AN: Hi guys. The bad news is that I haven't posted anything in forever. (For the past few months I've had constant –undiagnosable- nausea. I'm a shell of my former self, but I will continue to write for you.) The good news is I have at least 3 more stories completed in my notebook. This was originally a new chapter of When It All Goes Wrong, but it ended up not fitting. Warehouse 13 is not mine, and rated T for mentions of self-harm and abuse. Please let me know what you thought!
At first, Dr. Vanessa Calder cannot understand why the red haired teen would not just let her see the knife wound. This was Claudia Donovan. Any other patient, she might assume modesty or overwhelming shyness to be the problem. But Claudia Donovan was not shy or modest.
When the girl finally gave in to the lecturing and huffing of the doctor next to her, she was left only in a simple black bra.
The way Dr. Calder's eyebrows twitch slightly and the way her lips pull together is barely noticeable as she takes in the sight before her. Splayed across the girl's back, with varying depth were quite simply: scars. Some round and scraggly. Obvious signs of abuse. But the others, others- were straight lines. Slashes across her side. Well, tally marks if she was being honest.
It's nothing she hasn't seen before of course, but it displeases her more than usual to see to see them on the girl she has come to know and like.
Medical maturity has led her to not have any superfluous judgments (good or bad) about whom similar patients are, what they did, etc. They needed medical attention, period. Her own life and pain never carry over in any way, positive or negative.
They were just another case.
And it's not like she hadn't known Claudia had issues before in the past. Her medication list spoke volumes – although it seemed excessive for a kid- she was one of those "throw everything at it" type lists, antidepressant, antipsychotics… But to know it and to see it were entirely different sets of circumstances.
Claudia, for her part, seems so anxious and on edge that it would be amusing if the situation wasn't so macabre. She finishes patching the wound calmly as the girl jabbers incessantly to fill the silence.
Just then, Pete walks in and Claudia jumps out of her skin. Vanessa sees the flash of recognition and the way his face falls slightly with understanding and grief before he quickly rearranges it into a half grin, half grimace.
"Wow, Claude. You gotta stop falling into lawnmowers."
"You know me," she says, quickly shoving her t-shirt on again and giving a decidedly fake laugh, "Clumsy is my natural state of being."
The fake laugh encompasses just a touch of hilarity as Pete leaves the room.
The girl stares wide-eyed as Vanessa presses various salves into her hands, instructing her on proper wound care.
She doesn't say anything. Of course she doesn't say anything. Then they are done and Claudia is leaping off the table and pausing at the door, asking about doctor-patient confidentiality.
"For a stab wound?" she gives a small smile, "Of course, Claudia. I am legally obligated not to say anything about your medical records, but I wouldn't have anyway. It's not my secret, you know."
Claudia breathes a sigh of relief and leaves the room.
From that moment on, the two share a special relationship. Whenever Claudia has an embarrassing question, a lapse in depression or just something she can't share with anyone else, Dr. Calder is there. Vanessa may not a part of the family, but she's certainly part of the team.
AN: That was really hard to finish. What did you think? Please review! And go ahead and check out my other stories!