Fandom: PrisonBreak/ER Crossover
Characters; Sara, other (Gen)
Summary: In which the Fair Maiden and the Mysterious Prince meet by chance in the Storm-Blown City.
Author’s Notes: Written for the pbreak_drabbles challenge to “Write Something Different.” I wrote a “Het” story for it already. But Crossovers and AU stories aren't really my thing either, so this one fit the challenge too.
Inmate Lauder needed sedating, and Patterson needed stitches. That was how the morning had started.
By ten, an orderly had vomited in Exam Room A. Then Bellick came in complaining of a headache—all the while leaning in too close. The breakfast she hadn’t eaten was unneeded and forgotten.
At eleven-thirty, her nurse said, “Sara? Are you feeling all right?” She was pretty sure that was the second or third time she’d been asked that, so apparently the answer was No.
She drove home at noon, suddenly tired and queasy, and settled herself on the sofa for a bleary afternoon of soap operas and talk shows.
By evening she felt even worse. No vomiting and no gurgling, but a cramp was forming near her bellybutton and getting sharper all the time. She ran through a mental list of what she’d eaten, where she’d been. No foods that could puncture, no exposure to mysterious illnesses. When a sudden sweaty heat came over her, she called for an ambulance.
“Not County General,” she insisted, as they drove through the crowded streets. But it was closest, and it matched her insurance. She vowed to keep her hands at her sides and let no-one breathe on her.
When they wheeled her through the doors, the smell of sickness and antiseptic assaulted her. Even working in the infirmary didn’t make a difference—the sheer volume of the smell was nauseating and overwhelming.
The paramedics handed her off to the attending physician, with a description of how she presented.
“I think I have appendicitis,” she interrupted, and three sets of eyes turned her way.
“We usually leave the diagnosis to the physician,” a soft voice said. Something exotic ran under the words, but the name “Luka” didn’t sound like anything in particular.
“I’m a doctor,” she said.
“Really?” He said it politely.
“Yes—I work at Fox River prison up in Joliet.”
The flicker that passed across his face betrayed the poor impression that gave of her skills. It was no different from her assumptions about the capabilities of the staff at County General, and if she’d been feeling better she’d have thought the irony was deserved.
“We’ll take it from here,” the doctor said, and then she was wheeled into an exam station as a nurse took her vitals all over again.
“When did you start feeling symptoms?” he asked her, and she went over the list of developments again. He listened carefully, taking in every word, and his eyes were so very dark and so sincere. Those eyes would never lie to her, would not seek hers out only to sparkle and then evade all in the same few minutes.
There was something compelling about him under the surface of that solemn kindness, and maybe it was because she was becoming more feverish now. Still, she found her mind wandering over every warning or fable she’d ever heard about the lure of gypsies, and she could glimpse their truth through the fog.
A pulse of pain made her cry out, and that concerned face washed in and out of her view along with words like “surgery” and “prep” and “now.” In an agonizing, endless span of time she felt the room spin and move and a wetness swiping across her belly. Then it was lost to welcome blackness in an instant.
Post-Op Recovery was too bright, and too loud and harsh and busy. She drifted in and out of consciousness, feeling nauseated and drugged. Voices spoke to her, their questions vague and repetitious. She was sluggish and she ached, and if she wasn’t dying why couldn’t they just leave her the hell alone?
By early morning she was in a shared hospital room, and she’d shaken off the effects of the anaesthetic. She’d certainly felt better, but it was a big improvement over yesterday. She supposed that at some point she ought to call in sick.
There was a knock on the door, and Dr. Luka entered quietly.
“Feeling better?” he asked, lifting her chart for a quick scan of the last hour’s notations.
“Yes, much.” A soft smile lifted her mouth as she caught his eyes and felt that same strange connection as before.
“You mentioned yesterday that you worked at a prison?” he asked.
“Yes—ever since I got back from the Peace Corps. I wanted to choose a job where people might never have access to a good doctor—to save them from a butcher, I guess.” She laughed. “It all made sense at the time.”
His eyes crinkled with a hint of amusement. “I know what you mean. I spent my vacation in Africa last year, working in the Congo.”
The words alone brought back memories of heat and sweat and an endless flow of patients—and the beauty of survival when she’d managed to heal or to help. “Was it worth it?” she asked on impulse.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve never felt so strongly that I was making a difference.” His smile was wistful. “I’m thinking about going back again this Spring.”
So he understood, she thought. It was so nice feeling like she didn’t have to explain herself—like her choices didn’t have to be defended.
“Luka?” a voice called, and a little blond nurse stepped in through the doorway. She had a tight mouth and distrustful eyes, and she took Sara in at a glance. She conferred with the doctor for a moment, murmuring near his ear. He nodded, and she left. When he turned toward Sara, his smile was regretful.
“I’m glad you’re feeling better,” he said. “I just wanted to check on you before I went off duty.”
“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” she said, and then she watched him go.
She closed her eyes in frustration. He’d been kind and intriguing, and apparently also snugly wrapped up in a pretty blond package of “taken.”
Why couldn’t anything ever be that easy?
Well, who was she kidding? She’d never been that lucky before.
She reached for the remote control, another long day stretching out before her.
If Oprah had the answers, she was in the mood to buy...
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