Disclaimer: I do not own Trauma Center.


It had already been quite a long night at Caduceus. Victor was up in his lab, running on a half an hour of sleep and three and a half cups of coffee with sugar.

He was tired. Though he did not want his utter exhaustion to get in the way of his research. Lives were at stake. He couldn't waste time sleeping.

Victor sighed, his eyelids were beginning to droop. He almost had it. The key to creating this serum to fight against the latest GUILT strain. He almost had it all figured out, and it would save many lives in the process. No. He was falling asleep. Those long all nighters up in Research and Development were taking its toll on the man. He couldn't fall asleep. Not now.

Victor closed his eyes. It was only to rest. For just a minute. That minute turned into a half an hour, and that half an hour turned into forty-five minutes before he woke. He woke to a familiar sound. That of his coworker's voice.

"...Victor... Victor, wake up. I think you should go home and sleep." it was none other than Dr. Derek Stiles.

Victor immediately lifted his head off of his desk, looking around before making eye contact with the surgeon. He cleared his throat, taking in a deep breath, "I was not sleeping. I need to get back to work."

"Victor, remember, we talked about this." said Derek, crossing his arms and staring at the other doctor, "Eight hours a night, at least. You can't function on a half an hour of sleep and a cup of coffee here and there. Your patients depend on you, and I think you know that."

Victor sighed and drew down his eyebrows in irritation, "I'll sleep when I am damn well ready to, Dr. Stiles." He wasn't going to let Derek talk him into abandoning his research to sleep. He needed to get this serum figured out and completed so no more patients could die on him!

"Okay, how about now?" Derek suggested, not yet unfolding his arms. He was getting impatient. Neither doctor knew exactly the last time when Victor slept through the night. "You need to start taking better care of yourself, Victor. You're not functioning at your best, and your patients need you at your best. Your whole department needs you at your best."

"I doubt you came up here just to lecture me, Derek. Why the hell are you here?" Victor was trying to avoid the conversation. He knew that the man on the other side of his desk was right, but he wouldn't exactly admit to being wrong.

"We aren't talking about that right now, Victor. Stop trying to avoid this. You're putting your health, your life, and even your patients lives at risk by doing this." Derek was just scolding Victor now. He watched the reseacher's expression change, and watched him shift positions, all under his scorching gaze.

"Yes, I know that, Dr. Stiles. I said I would sleep when I am damn well ready to, which is not now. I've almost got this figured out, now would you kindly do what you came up here to do and get the hell out of my hair?" asked Victor with much annoyance on his tongue. His tone bit into Derek quite deeply but Derek stood his ground.

"I wanted to tell you that the patients that are scheduled for surgery are doing well, the temporary serum you created seems to be taking an effect. I won't leave until you promise me that you are going to sleep."

"Yeah, yeah, fine. Sure." Victor agreed just to make the other man shut up and go away. Still Derek did not leave Victor's lab.

"I don't mean an hour and a half. I mean ALL NIGHT, Victor. You get a full nights sleep tonight and I will not bother you again." honestly, Derek knew that there was no real motivation for Victor to abandon his research for the evening to sleep. He couldn't exactly threaten the other doctor, could he? That would cost him his job. Victor respected him, and he didn't want to break that respect over something such as this.

"Yeah, yeah. Promise. Just get out." said Victor, "I have work to do." he finally looked up to Derek, who appeared to be deep in thought over all of this. In truth, Derek was. He kept his gaze on Victor for a long while, and Victor was beginning to feel extremely uncomfortable. "Hey. Snap out of it, and get out of here."

"Sure, Victor." Derek felt uneasy about Victor's promise. He had a deep, sickening feeling that Victor would not sleep at all, and that he would find the other man passed out on the floor of this lab like last weekend. Derek remembered, he was so afraid, until realizing that Victor was just asleep. "If I find you didn't sleep..." he started.

Victor didn't give a response. He was much too absorbed in his work again, now.

Derek sighed, knowing Victor probably was not even listening to what he had to say anymore. He fell silent, turning on his heel and heading out the door. He would return later...He needed time to think about it.

Victor finally found the last piece of the puzzle for this serum. "Yes!" he exclaimed, and after writing the conclusion, he felt his eyelids begin to drop once more. No, Victor. Fight it. There's much more to do tonight, you can't slack off. He needed to sleep, desperately. It seemed though, the more he fought against sleep, the faster he was drifting off into sleepland, his head lowering from his palms down to his desk.