The Redheads of Mmm...Doctor!

Title: Perfect Stranger
Author: Elizabeth

Its one day later and I am back on Dupott drive. This time Elizabeth is expecting me and lets me in with a smile. Ella is on the floor playing with some toys and I notice the table is set for tea. I don't like tea but it seems to be the British thing to do so I am polite about it. I take a couple of sips and look up to see Elizabeth staring at me, waiting. She's waiting for me to tell her this great big story that will end with me thinking I might be gay. Only I don't have one really. I just think I'm gay…maybe. And it has nothing to do with past experiences, just the feeling that I get whenever women are around that doesn't come when men are around. I take a breath, “When I was dating Carter it wasn't there.”

Elizabeth looks confused. “It?”

“Oh you know…that feeling. Like the world has just stopped and it's just you and that other person.” I look up at Elizabeth and see tears streaming silently down her face. “Oh my God, Elizabeth. I'm sorry.”

Elizabeth shakes her head and says, “No it's alright. It's just I remember that feeling. I had it with Mark.” I wait while she wipes her face with a napkin and then she looks at me and nods me on. I clear my throat, “Well anyway, like I said it wasn't there. And it wasn't there with Mark either. He…I guess it was there for him or maybe he thought it was but anyway…I walked into the er the other day and looked up and suddenly it was there. Alex brought that out just by standing there. Then when she talked to me it was even worse. I couldn't respond. I was content just to look at her. It was amazing.”

I am looking at my knees again because I don't know what Elizabeth might be thinking and I don't really want to know. It scares me. But she surprises me and tilts my chin up and says, “Susan this is nothing to be ashamed of. I mean…look at Kerry. Do you know how long she was ashamed of herself because she's gay? About a year I'd say…maybe longer. There's no need of that. I'm not going to hate you because of it and you shouldn't hate yourself. Whatever you choose you'll still be Susan and you will be our friend.”

Well she knows what to say, that's for sure. I walked over and gave her a hug and thanked her with tears in my eyes. Then we sat back and had a nice visit for the rest of the time. Elizabeth is planning to have people over for thanksgiving and asks if I want to come. I agree but only if Alex will be there and she sits us next to each other. I offer to help since I am off that day and we set up a time for me to come over. I leave soon after thinking I at least have something to look forward to in the future.

I walk into the er on another cold day and there she is, standing near the admit desk talking to Kerry about something. My cheeks go red just looking at her and as if sensing my gaze she looks up. When she sees me she smiles although she is still paying attention to Kerry. I would love to know how she does this, but I don't have time to think about it. I have to go get my coat on and get ready for the day. I walk into the lounge and there's Abby at the coffee. She holds it up with a question and I nod. She starts to pour some for me as well. I put on my lab coat and take my coffee out of her hands, “Thanks. How was your weekend?”

“It was good. Went to work on Saturday and then visited Alex on Sunday.”

Keep your face neutral Louis, “Oh?”

“Yeah and you know the strangest thing happened. Alex was sitting facing the window that looks out onto the street and of course Elizabeth's house.” Abby looked at me to see how I was reacting to this. I tried my best to look confused. I must have passed the test because she continued, “Yeah so anyway we're talking and drinking coffee when suddenly Alex jumps up and runs to the window, almost spilling my coffee because I happened to be sitting under the window on the sofa. So I turn around to see what caused such a reaction and there you are trotting up to Elizabeth's door.”

“Well isn't that interesting. I did, in fact, visit Elizabeth yesterday.”

Abby smiles and raises her eyebrows, “What I'm wondering, Susan is what you did to my best friend to cause her to jump like that when your presence becomes known. She insisted on watching until you left, which was about an hour and a half later.”

If not for the tone of Abby's voice one would think she was very angry at the fact that I did something to her best friend to cause her to act like this. However, Abby seemed to find the whole thing very funny. I open my mouth to spit out some sort of answer, when the devil herself pokes her head in the door. She yells, “Multiple trauma rolling up. Kerry needs you” and disappears again.

Personally I am happy for this distraction because I don't know how to tell Abby I have a thing for her best friend. For one thing she doesn't know I'm gay. For another I didn't know I was gay until the other night. I ponder this while I run into trauma two to find a very sick looking man. I order my labs and start up the portable ultrasound and Elizabeth comes charging through. She smiles at me but can not ask any questions because Alex is bagging this man. Elizabeth is just getting ready to take him up to surgery when he crashes. We can't get him back and he dies. Damn it. I call the time of death, take off my plastic gown and go to find the family. They are in chairs. I really hate this part.

I locate them easily. Actually they find me first. They saw me going in with the man and ask if he is okay. I look down for a minute collecting my thoughts and then look back up. “We tried very hard but I'm afraid we could not help your husband. He came in with multiple injuries that we could not fix. I am very sorry. If you'd like I can take you in to see him.” They do want this so I took the mother by the arm and led her and her kids in. They cry and I watch. I hug the mother and help them arrange for the morgue to take the body. I call a grief counselor and leave them with her.

I soon find myself sitting in Doc Magoos once again. It is six hours after I pronounced the man's death and I am now off. I don't want to go home so I sit here doing charts. A shadow falls over me and I look up. It's Alex with her cute smile and her cute way of being concerned, “Can I sit down?” I nod and she sits across from me.

“I liked the way you handled that man and his family today. You're a very good doctor you know.”

I shake my head, “If I'm so good then why couldn't I save him?”

“It happens. We can't save everybody.” She reaches over and takes my hands in hers. I look up and see her staring intensely at me, as if she is trying to read my mind. I am back in that place where there is no one else around. She searches my eyes and then says, “Why?”

I take a deep breath and tell her everything I told Elizabeth, about Carter and Mark, about feeling it with her and not with anyone else. I tell her about what Abby said to me and how it made me feel. I tell her she is not an experiment. She is quiet through the whole thing and when I finish she just stares at me again. Then she gets up, packs up my things and takes my hand once again. She is leading me to her car, opening the door and helping me in. She is getting in herself. She looks at me and asks, “Where to?”

I smile, “Take me to your house.”

We drive off, leaving me to wonder what will come.

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