Fic: The Guest Lecture v1.5
Fandoms: Scrubs / House crossover (Set in Sacred Heart Hospital, my money's on Sacramento, CA)
Characters this chapter: Carla, Elliot, Turk, Dr. Cox, JD, Laverne and Doug
Chapter rating:PG for allusions to chapter 7
Overall story rating: NC-17 in parts, if I can make myself stop blushing, but relatively plot heavy overall.
Genre: Humor, angst, romantic, smut, I think I hit everything but horror.
Warnings: Angst, a whole lot of conversation and not a shred of action.
Spoilers: Up to Scrubs Season 6, episode 7, "My Musical" and House, M.D., up to "Fools for Love," Season 3, episode 5.
The Guest Lecture 9/??
Chapter Narrator: Carla
Chapter 9: The Gravity of the Situation.
Red House Painters, "New Jersey"
Another dying spark that burned too fast too soon,
You're not as bad as your dad,
But you're as good as dead.
You're as good as dead,
New Jersey ain't the whole world.
[This chapter narrated by Carla.]
"Baby! Baby baby baby we've got a crisis!" Turk said as he skidded up to the nurse's station. It was early as hell, a few days after the welcoming dinner, and I was swamped, but Turk in crisis will bring me to a dead stop.
"Is Izzy okay?" I gasped, my heart dropping into my shoes.
"Not Izzy, JD. He just told me that creepy racist doctor with a limp offered him a job in New Jersey."
"So? And don't scare me like that!" I cried, smacking him on the arm.
"So he's thinking of taking it! Baby, JD can't go to New Jersey. I don't wanna go to New Jersey!" Turk whimpered, jittering up and down.
"Well I sure as hell ain't going to Jersey, but Turk, if he wants to go, we can't make him stay… he's gotta do what's right for him. Having said that, I really don't see him leaving you, me, Elliot, Dr. Cox—"
"Dr. Cox? That bastard," Elliot said, strolling up with a cup of coffee. "What are we talking about?"
"JD's thinking of taking a job in New Jersey with that prick with a limp," I answered. Elliot's eyes got very wide and she whimpered a little, hand tightening around the handle of her coffee mug.
"Mmm mmm, bad timing given the way Dr. Cox went off about about him yesterday," Laverne said, rolling her chair beside mine.
"What are you talking about?" Turk asked.
"Dr. Cox and Dr. Gimpy were arguing about Dr. Gimpy's boyfriend that Dr. Cox fooled around with? And Dr. Gimpy implied that Dr. Cox wanted to sleep with Q-Tip. Dr. Cox starts going on about how nasty that would be, and Q-Tip was standing behind him for all that. It was ugly."
"I gotta be in surgery in ten minutes, but when I get back, Dr. Cox is a dead man," Turk said, starting to jog away.
"Let me talk to him, Turk, I might be able to make it right," I protested.
"Talk all you want baby, I'm wipin' the floor with him, unless I find Dr. Racist-ass first!" Turk called back to me, breaking into a run down the hall towards the O.R. I broke into a scowl.
"There's not gonna be anything left of him when Turk gets back, is there?" Elliot asked.
"For the next half hour—" I started. Laverne stuck out her hand.
"You're not a nurse. You know the rules, gimme your stethoscope," Laverne said. I handed it over and jumped over the counter of our station.
"Where is he?" I asked Elliot, who was walking along swiftly to keep up. She shook the sleeve of her lab coat up her arm a bit and checked her watch.
"Two o'clock, General Hospital is on."
We'd just walked right past the lounge, so after a quick 180 I knocked the lounge couch over backwards (thank you pregnancy weight) and was standing on Dr. Cox's chest.
"Oh god…" Doug, over at the only table Dr. Cox would let him sit at, started to get up to go.
"No, Doug, stick around," Elliot said, already speaking staccato and fairly high in the octaves. "Someone's gonna need to figure out exactly what kills him."
"Carla, Dr. Barbie, to what do I owe the unnecessary chest compressions?"
"JD might be leaving because you're such an ass face," Elliot said, leaning over a little to make sure he could see her expression. His clouded just a bit; to the untrained eye it'd look like he was just trying to breathe, but I knew better.
"Leaving?" he asked, pausing to cough. "Why, precisely?"
"Like you don't know!" Elliot snapped.
"Are you trying to be funny?" I asked. "Because if you think this is funny I'm gonna use your chest as a trampoline. Laverne told us all about your little tirade about him yesterday."
"If Holly was gonna quit over me being an asshole then she'd be a veteran Hooters girl back in Columbus by now. Carla, you could really stand to lose some more pregnancy weight," he pointed out.
"Elliot, get up here," I said, sticking out my hand. I was the only one allowed to talk about my pregnancy weight, damn it. "Doug, you're on deck."
Doug whimpered as Elliot grabbed my hand and got up on Dr. Cox's right pec, which hurt a lot more than me on his left since she was in heels.
"I don't know what you're talking about!" Dr. Cox wheezed.
"So you know nothing about JD getting offered a job at a hospital in New Jersey by the biggest creep to ever live," I said.
"Hi JD," Doug said weakly. Elliot and I both looked at the door to see JD himself.
"What are you guys doing?" he asked, looking a little amused.
"Um…" I said, scrambling for an excuse. "Acupressure."
Elliot lasted about seven seconds in the silence that followed before she totally blew my brilliant cover story.
"JD, you can't go to New Jersey!" Elliot whimpered, tearing up.
"How does that lead to you two trying to squish Dr. Cox?"
"I thought if we beat the nasty off of him you wouldn't wanna leave," I said. JD sighed back.
"Would you get down, please?" he asked. I stepped down, as did Elliot, giving her heel a twist as she stepped off, making Dr. Cox grunt.
"I love you both," JD said calmly, "but I really can take care of myself. I don't need you to make people be nice to me."
He paused, glancing over at Dr. Cox, and amended his statement.
"Anymore, at least."
"So you're not going to New Jersey?" Elliot asked.
"You're going to New Jersey?" Doug asked, eyes getting wide.
"Doug we're trying to have a conversation!" Elliot shrieked, snapping her head around to stare daggers at him before focusing back on JD. "But you'll stay, right?"
JD's face clouded a little.
"I've gotta think about it. I mean, I love you guys, but this is an amazing job opportunity. There might be a job for Kim out there once her assignment in Washington is done. I mean, things have to move forward eventually, right?"
"JD don't go!" Elliot sniffled, hugging him.
"Bambi, New Jersey sucks," I added, trying to keep my chin from quivering as I hugged his other side.
"JD, you can't go!" Doug cried out, running up and hugging all three of us. We all stiffened, waiting to feel the cold fingers of the angel of death, but when it didn't come, we relaxed again, JD placing a smooch first on Elliot's head, then on mine, and then, with a silly grin, one on Doug's.
"C'mon, guys, getting all sad isn't gonna make anything any better," JD said. "I'll figure out what the right thing to do is, and I'll do it. It'll all be fine."
And that's what did me in.
"Bambi, you idiot, when in the past six years that we've known you have you ever known what the right thing was unless one of us was there to tell you?" I sobbed, shoving him a little, which doesn't really work so well if you're hugging someone.
"Give me a little credit," he said, giving me an indignant little smile. "I've had my moments."
"Well who's gonna tell me and Turk and Dr. Cox what the right thing to do is?" Elliot burst out, tears ruining all that eye make up.
"Carla gets through to that ass face two times out of ten maybe and you're the one we count on to make him see reason the rest of the times!" she whimpered, accelerating and getting higher pitched.
"Bambi, it's true, he doesn't listen to me the way he listens to you!" I nodded, glancing down at Dr. Cox, whose expression hadn't changed the whole time, and thinking seriously about kicking him.
"Guys, we're really, really jumping the gun here," JD said gently. "I mean, I haven't even really thought about it yet, I don't know how Kim's going to feel about it, I mean, there's a whole lot that has to happen, or not happen—"
"Newbie," Dr. Cox said, still in the same position on the tipped over couch, not taking his eyes off the ceiling. JD looked down from the group hug. "Talk to his staff. The twiggy chick, the guy with the pretentious goatee, the Aussie. Ask them what it's like to work for him before you go signing your life away. Hell, talk to the guy he sleeps with. Can you do that for me, Newbie?"
"I can do it for myself," JD answered without any maliciousness. Dr. Cox nodded, still gazing straight up at the ceiling.
"Even better," Dr. Cox said in that hoarse, quiet way of his. JD gave us a last squeeze.
"It'll be okay," he said on his way out. Elliot spun around.
"Why wouldn't you say something to him? Tell him you didn't mean it?" Elliot snapped, glaring at Dr. Cox through her tears.
"Even if I'd wanted to, and I'm sure as hell not saying I did, how convincing would an apology sound, exactly, coming from a guy with your size nine footprints on his chest?"
Elliot stammered, then turned and stormed out.
"You'd better find an elsewhere to be, nervous guy," he added. And so it was just me and Dr. Cox. I sighed and lay down on the couch next to him, my legs propped up on the seat.
"Well, this is pretty fucked up," I said finally.
"I'm… still mad at you for standing on my chest," Dr. Cox said sounding slightly more like his usual self.
"No you're not."
"…maybe not," he sighed, looking slightly crestfallen again.
"So what do we do here?" I asked.
"Do?" Dr. Cox replied. "Is it not traditional to let Lindy make at least a preliminary decision before undermining her confidence in it?"
"If we don't fight this tooth and nail, he'll think we don't care and he'll leave. I don't know, maybe it's just time for him to go."
And I didn't know. Friends move away. Family moves away. Things eventually have to change, no matter how much you may not want them to.
"No," Dr. Cox said suddenly. "No, that's just not gonna fly. He's the only other attending left who gives a crap. I am simply too old to be the only doctor who cares about keeping at least some of the bastards who get wheeled in here alive long enough for them to walk out again, and I'm too exhausted to make another one. I can't do it again. I just can't."
"What am I, chopped liver?" I asked, preliminarily insulted.
"Of course not. You're foie gras."
"Funny," I said, rolling my eyes.
"You know what I mean," he said.
"I do," I answered. "Everybody knows you can't live without Bambi."
"Ya know, that right there is the sort of remark that's going to make me make him go, because it'll pop into my head whenever I see him and cause me to torture him until he really can't stand to be in the same state anymore and abandons me."
"Wow!" I said, laughing. He turned and looked at me with a slightly nauseous expression.
"Did I just say that?" he asked.
"Yeah you did."
"No. No, I think I misheard me which means you damn sure did."
"This is a big step for you, you're not even drunk!" I said. He scrambled up, so I did the same, moving to block the door so he couldn't just get out of it by running away. He paused.
"The blood was rushing to my head. I'm hopped up on two bottles of cough suppressant from pediatrics," he said carefully.
"You are not."
"Maybe not," he said, eyes bulging a bit and that vein in his neck starting to twitch. "But we have to assume I am because I would just never make such a statement unless I was under the influence of something, something that'll probably absolve me of responsibility in court if something unforeseen was to happen to you."
I put my hands on my hips and cocked my head at him.
"I think it's so cute that after all this time you still think you can make a scary face and get me to buy that kind of crap."
His face didn't get any less scary, but he did change tactics.
"Would a hundred bucks help?"
"Help me? Yes. Help your crazy ass? Uh uh," I replied. He dug the heels of his hands into his eyes, pulling his hands down his face.
"God," he said into his hands. "So I'm used to him being around constantly, that doesn't mean anything."
I shook my head at him and sighed.
"Help me get the couch right side up."
We tipped the couch back up and I sat down, patting the seat next to me.
"Look. JD's gonna take your advice, and assuming the guy is half as big a dick to people he knows as he is to strangers, the staff'll warn him off and he's not gonna go."
"Yeah, Carla?" Dr. Cox asked. "What does misery love, again?"
"Company," I sighed. "But it doesn't necessarily like sharing its cases with company. Let's just hope he's not so used to us telling him what a bastard you are that he goes expecting everyone we say is a bastard to be a stand up guy."
"You think I'm a stand up guy," Dr. Cox said.
"Hell no. I think you're a bastard. Bambi thinks you're a stand up guy."
"Bambi thinks I'm a stand up guy… Bambi didn't seem to care what kind of guy I am."
"Maybe not at this particular second, but that's been like his hobby. He's a doctor by day, and then in his spare moments he tries to convince everyone, and himself, that you're terrific."
There was a long pause of silence.
"That's the worst god damn hobby I've ever heard of," Dr. Cox sighed. "I mean really."
"And what've you been spending your time on since Jordan got custody of hiking?" I scoffed.
"I have a toddler, and I still have Newbie. I don't have free time."
"Did you just identify JD as a hobby?" I laughed.
"No, I identified him as hobby-prohibitive," Dr. Cox answered in his usual, "why must I be surrounded by complete fools at all times" tone.
There was another long silence, this one heavier as the reality of the situation set in.
"You've got to make a decision," I said. "We all do. If you want him to stick around, you've got to do something, and it's probably gonna mean eatin' some of your damn pride. If you're ready to lose him, you can sit there and do nothing."
I got up.
"What are you gonna do?" Dr. Cox asked, staring at the TV where General Hospital had ended and Oprah had started up.
"Something. Who do you think you're talking to?" I asked. "Have I ever in my life left a situation alone if there was something bothering me about it?"
"Never denied you've got balls there, sugar."
"Don't think about it too long. Might be too late when you decide to get moving," I answered, and left him behind.