Disclaimers1: Xena and Gabrielle belong to Renpic. And, this being an Uberish tale, the main characters will bear a physical resemblance to them, but thats as far as is goes. Oh, and two supporting characters will be named after them. But its meant strictly as a tribute; nothing more. J
Disclaimers 2: There will be a tiny bit of violence scattered through the story, including one piece dealing with domestic battering and attempted rape. Nothing really intense though. There will also be some swearing scattered throughout the story.
Disclaimers 3: This is an adult alternative romance, which means that there will be sex between two consenting adult females later on down the line. If this bothers you, or is illegal where you live, then please read no further. You have been warned!
Copyrights: All characters mentioned in this story belong to me. Please do not use them, or any portion of this story without talking to me first. The song "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart" belongs to MCA Nashville, Garth Fandis and Trisha Yearwood.
Thanks: I would like to offer sincere and heartfelt thanks to the bestest <g> beta reader a bard could ever ask for. Thank you, Maggie Sheridan. Without your skills, patience, gentle guidance
And boundless encouragement, this story would never have seen the light of day. J
The tall woman cocked a bemused eyebrow. "Well….that's not the normal response for saving someone's life, but…You're welcome."
Megan's scathing response was reduced to a raspy squawk. The small blonde grimaced as she licked parched lips and tried to swallow the pound of sand that seemed to be sitting in her mouth. She flinched as she felt something touch her lips.
"Here, sip this….slowly," the tall woman cautioned, as she held the straw to the blonde's lips.
The writer glared as she wrapped her lips around the slender tube, bristling at the perceived 'command' given by this…. Person, and proceeded to take several long, deep gulps of the wonderfully cool water.
"Hey," the doctor exclaimed, as she pulled the straw away from greedy lips.
Any protest the writer may have had to having her liquid treat removed, expired quickly. Her eyes bulged, as her stomach clenched painfully, and the liquid contents inside made a searing, painful journey back up her esophagus.
Randi knew what was coming, and without missing a beat, she placed the water cup on the nightstand and picked up the small kidney-shaped bowl that she had placed there last night, and had it in place as the small woman lurched to the side and surrendered the contents of her stomach.
Randi held the limp, sweaty strands of hair out of the young woman's face as she spasmed through the remaining dry heaves of her rebelling stomach. Finally, the writer flopped back in the bed with an exhausted groan.
The tall woman simply couldn't help it. "Feel better now?" she inquired innocently.
The writer glared, then squeezed her eyes shut as a wave of pain washed through her. "Wonderful, thank you," she responded through clenched teeth.
You're being a jerk; Randi's conscience scolded her. You're supposed to be a doctor! This woman is confused, exhausted, and in pain. You should be helping her…not baiting her!
With her self-lecture finished, the guilt-ridden brunette used a kinder tone to address her patient.
"Ms. Galagher, I know you're extremely dry, thirsty, and maybe a little hungry. But, because of your concussion, and the trauma to your abdomen from the car seatbelt, your stomach is not able to handle whole lot. That's why I told you to sip the water slowly."
Green eyes looked up at the tall woman warily. You may not want to admit it, Meg…but she's right. "Yes, of course, you're right," she mumbled. Taking a semi-deep breath, the blonde reined in her hostility for the moment. "Look, Dr. Oakes, I appreciate the fact that you saved my life and treated my injuries. But let's face it…you don't like me, and I don't like you. The sooner we part company, the better off we'll both be. If you will allow me to use your phone to call my agent, I can have her send an ambulance for me and take me back to New York. Once I'm settled, I'll make sure you are suitably reimbursed for your time and trouble."
The tall woman grimaced internally. She is gonna shit a brick. Clearing her throat, the brunette walked around the bed, heading toward the window. "Well, Ms.Galagher, I'll be happy to let you use the phone to call your agent. I'm sure she'll be glad to know that you're okay." Grasping the cord to the window blinds, the brunette pulled, slowly raising the pale lavender shield. "But I'm afraid an ambulance is out of the question right now."
The small blonde's eyes grew saucer-wide as she beheld the solid white world outside the window.
"There's already more than two feet of snow out there," the doctor continued as she lowered the blinds. "Snowfall is expected to continue for at least another twenty four hours. With that amount of snowfall, it'll be six…perhaps seven weeks before the road leading up here will be clear. We're snowbound, Ms. Galagher, I'm sorry."
Megan sat there, stunned. The impact of the tall woman's words sinking in. I'll be at the mercy of this…this pervert for months! Pain, anxiety, and unreasoning fear worked together to shatter what little grasp she had on civility. "You bitch," she rasped to the startled doctor. "You couldn't bring me into town for treatment…couldn't call an ambulance when you found me." Using her good hand, the agitated blonde threw back the bed covers and struggled to rise. Only to have a firm hand on her shoulder, impeding her efforts. "Let me go," she spat, still trying to rise, her green eyes sparking and her temper flaring. "I don't know what you hope to gain by imprisoning me here with you, but it won't work. I'll get away sooner or later…and I'll make you sorry you ever met me. I'll…"
"ENOUGH!" The tall woman bellowed, as a firm shove set the blonde firmly on her back and kept her there. Randi had had enough. Her own temper was beginning to flare; and that was something a responsible Doctor should never let happen. She had to end this quickly. Steely blue eyes locked on to hostile green. "First of all," she began, through gritted teeth, "I'm already sorry that I met you. Second, I tried to get our rescue squad to come for you. But they were tied up on another accident site. Third, the nearest medical facility that could handle your extensive injuries is over thirty miles away. Road conditions being the way they are, we never would have made it. Fourth, I don't 'hope-to-gain' anything by keeping you here. If anything, I expect to lose quite a bit…my sanity, most of all. Now you don't have to like me…you don't have to like being stuck here with me. But you do have to quit fighting me, and allow me to help you heal. If you don't, then by god, I'll keep you so sedated you won't know your ass from your elbow the whole time you're here." Taking a deep breath, and removing her restraining hand from the younger woman's shoulder, she replaced the cover over the unresisting body. In a slightly gentler tone, she inquired, "which way is it going to be, Ms. Galagher?"
Frustrated tears escaped tightly closed eyelids. "You win, Dr. Oakes," the blonde responded in a tight whisper. "For now."
Randi sighed. Her temper had tucked tail and left her. Now she stood here feeling like five kinds of bully. Silence reigned for long moments, as doctor and patient each grappled with their own private demons. "I…um…I need to check a few things," the brunette offered, breaking the silence.
Green eyes snapped open, filled with equal parts fear and defiance.
"I just need to do a visual check of your bandages, to make sure your 'exertions' didn't undo them, or cause you to start bleeding again. Then I need to check your BP, heart rate, and pupils. It won't take long, Ms. Galagher, I promise. Then I'll leave you alone so you can get some more rest."
The blonde pondered this for all of twenty seconds, "the sooner she gets this over with, the sooner she'll leave you alone," before nodding her acceptance.
The examination was proceeding smoothly, much to the writer's irritation. She wanted to find something wrong with the doctor's procedure…she needed to find something wrong. But the tall woman was being maddeningly efficient, and this frustrated the small woman to no end. Finally, the writer decided she would make something wrong.
"Why am I naked?" the blonde inquired, knowing full well the obvious answer.
"I had to cut off your clothes in order to do a thorough examination and treat all your injuries." If the tall woman was taken aback by the question, she didn't show it, as she shined a light into the smaller woman's eye.
"Did you enjoy taking my clothes off?" the blonde inquired cattily. "Did you get a quick thrill having a woman laying there naked in front of you?"
Damned if you aren't some piece of work, the doctor mused, as she checked the pupil of the other eye. Betraying no emotion, the brunette put her equipment away, and turning to face the irksome blonde, she crossed her arms and smirked.
"You've been reading too many of your own books, Ms. Galagher. (A) I was too busy saving your life to ogle your…. Assets. (B) The sight of a broken and bloody body does not turn me on. It never has, and it never will. And (C)…" the tall woman quirked a mischievous eyebrow, "don't flatter yourself." With that, she calmly turned and left the room. Leaving the young blonde speechless, embarrassed, and thoroughly miffed.
"Weeks…I've got to put up with this for weeks," the dark-haired woman huffed aloud, as she hefted the weighted barbell off her chest. "We'll kill each other," she continued through gritted teeth as corded muscles strained to raise the one-hundred-eighty pound barbell one more time. She had retreated to her well-equipped weight room to blow off the excessive steam that had built up during her time spent with the venomous writer. And now, two strenuous hours later, her high ire was reduced to fatalistic grumbling. Her silk boxer shorts and tank top were glued to her lanky frame by the sweat that liberally coated it, and her muscles ached from the extended workout she had put them through. With a final heave, she racked the barbell and slowly lifted her weary body from its prone position. Sitting on the half-bench, the dejected brunette ran her fingers through sweat-dampened hair. You're getting a kick out of this, aren't you, Uncle Jake? Whenever I would get down in the dumps, or start feeling sorry for myself over one thing or another, you always told me that a good swift kick in the pants would straighten me out…and you'd be more than happy to provide it. Randi chuckled at the memory of those 'swift kicks' being delivered in the form of a good lengthy tickling; followed by an extended cuddle in warm, strong arms. Well, if this situation isn't a kick in the pants, I don't know what is, the tall woman mused, as she exited the room." But damned if I didn't like it better when you did it.
Something was smelling awfully good. Traveling through sleeping nostrils, down to a thoroughly empty stomach, causing it to grumble in protest of its current state. Bleary green eyes opened to long woodgrain paddles slowly revolving around a milkwhite globe. The eyes idly traveled across the ceiling and down walls that were papered with delicate floral designs. The blonde shifted her head to the right, continuing her perusal, and gasped when her curious green eyes collided with gentle brown ones.
Randi was in the kitchen, sprinkling mint flakes into a pan of rapidly boiling chicken broth. Dipping a ladle into the fragrant liquid, she scooped some out and gently blew on the steaming contents before taking a taste. Hmmm, not bad. The tall woman's taste testing was interrupted by the click-clack of canine toenails on a linoleum floor. The midnight-hued German Shepard ambled into the kitchen and paused in front of the woman.
"I take it she's awake, huh?"
A brief 'urf' was her answer.
Randi sighed and turned back to the stove. Picking up a small bowl, she ladled some broth into it and set it on a tray along with a slice of bread and a pitcher of water. Picking up the tray, she turned to her four-legged companion. "Well, here goes round two," she mumbled as she headed down the long hallway.
"Well, hello there. Aren't you the pretty one," the blonde rasped to her small visitor, earning her a happy, full-body wiggle and spin from the little canine. "You're a little small to be a nurse, so I'm going to hazard a guess that you've been appointed to keep an eye on me for her." This earned the writer a brief, yodeling 'roof'and an upraised paw; bringing an amused smile to the young woman's face.
"Actually, she appointed herself," came the voice from the doorway. "She seems to think that you could use the company, whether you're awake or not."
The smile faded from the blonde's face as she looked up at the tall brunette standing in the doorway holding a large tray in her hands. "Well, I certainly prefer her company to…anyone else's," the blonde replied acidly.
Randi chose to ignore the caustic comment. Striding into the room, she placed the tray on the dresser and looked down at the little dog that had come to greet her. The brunette dropped down to one knee and reached out, gently scratching behind a golden, triangular ear. "Good morning, little lady," she crooned to the little animal, who leaned blissfully into the tender touch. "You did a good job. Now, go get something to eat before your buddy hogs it all." Standing up, she chuckled as the little canine took her warning to heart and scampered out of the room. Stepping into the bathroom to quickly wash her hands, she came back out and addressed her patient, who had been observing her with a mixture of curiosity and pique.
"And how is Ms. Galagher this morning?"
"Ms. Galagher is thirsty, hungry, in pain, and has to use the restroom; but other than that, just dandy. Thank you for finally getting around to asking, Dr. Oakes," the blonde responded caustically.
"I'm sorry," the Doctor responded sincerely as she approached the bed, "I didn't mean to ignore you. The writer was caught off guard by the gentle response, but didn't show it; choosing instead to remain silent.
Oooh, no catty comeback, color me happy, the tall woman mused. "Well, Ms. Galagher, the good news is, we should be able to do something about all of your complaints. The bad news is, I'm going to have to change your bandages and check your vital signs first."
The blonde woman tensed. "My vital signs are fine," she gritted. "My bandages are fine. Just let me have some water and maybe something for the pain, and I'll take care of the rest on my own."
Randi took a deep breath. "Ms. Galagher, I understand this isn't easy for you, considering how you feel about 'my kind', but your first priority is to get better. And my first priority is to do everything in my power to make that happen. If I don't change your bandages, infection can, and will set in. If I don't monitor your signs, I will not know if something is wrong inside your body." Seeing the blonde's posture relax a little, Randi walked over and picked up the water cup. Returning to the bed, she placed the straw to the blonde's lips. "Remember," she cautioned, "small sips."
Mindful of her last experience, the writer obeyed. Taking a few small sips, pausing, then taking a few more. Finally, having quenched her thirst for the moment, the writer released the straw. Looking up into patient blue eyes, she mumbled a 'thank you.'
"You're welcome," the tall woman returned. "I need to go to the office to get fresh bandages and antiseptic and a bedpan. I'll be right back."
Randi was halfway to the door when the icy question stopped her in her tracks. "Oh, shit. I knew this was coming." She turned and grimaced internally at the flushed and furious glare directed her way.
"Did I hear you say 'bedpan'?
"You have got to be kidding."
"Well then, you're insane if you think I'm going to endure the humiliation of having you shove a bedpan under my bare ass every time I have to relieve myself." Using her good hand, she pulled back the blanket, keeping the sheet covering her body, tried to rise. "I've endured enough humiliation at your hands, 'Doctor', the bathroom is right…"
"ALL RIGHT, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"
The no nonsense tone in the tall woman's voice made the writer pause in her attempts to rise. She looked up as the brunette clenched her eyes and took a deep breath, as if mentally counting to ten, then strode back over to the bed. The smaller woman unconsciously pulled back as the taller woman squatted down so that she was at eye level. If the taller woman noticed, she didn't comment.
"Look, Ms.Galagher," the doctor began, "I'm not going to say that I know how you feel, because I don't. But I do understand." Ignoring the blonde's skeptical snort, the doctor continued. "But there are some things you have to understand too. Your left leg is broken, a clean fracture of the Tibia, to be exact. Your right arm is broken as well. The Ulna was fractured severely enough to break through the skin. Your head impacted with something hard enough to result in a mild concussion, as well as a deep laceration that required several stitches. You have a severely bruised abdomen that was caused by your seatbelt doing its job."
"Okay, I get the picture; I'm a fucking mess," the blonde snapped impatiently, "is there a point to this conversation?" The writer was unnerved by the doctor's close proximity; and she really had to go to the bathroom.
"Yes, there is," the doctor answered patiently, "and I'm just about to make it. You need a cast on your leg and arm. But I don't have the material here for casts. The best I could do, was splint them and wrap them tightly. If you try to put any pressure on your leg, such as trying to walk to the bathroom, your leg will buckle, and you'll drop like a rock. The resulting damage from that fall will be worse than what you came in here with. That leaves us with only two options: I can catheterize you, which is, in my opinion, not an option, or we can use a bedpan."
Randi's heart lurched at the defeated tears that now cascaded down the young woman's face. She always hated to see one of her patient's cry, and even though this woman looked at her as an enemy, it still pained her.
"Hey," she offered gently, "it won't be that bad. You can pretty much remain covered. I'll elevate your upper body and your bad leg. You can use your good leg to lift yourself, while I slide the pan under you. Then I'll leave you alone for a few minutes, and, when you're finished, we can remove it the same way. How does that sound?"
"Fine," the heartsick blond mumbled.
"Great," the relieved doctor replied, as she stood up and hurried out of the room.
"She's enjoying this," the writer rasped through her tears, to no one in particular. "I don't care how nice she acts. She's getting a perverse pleasure out of having me helpless and at her mercy. Her kind doesn't care about anyone else's pain. They only care about themselves." Are you sure about that? A small voice inside her asked. "Of course I'm sure," she mumbled aloud. "I'm living proof of that!" Are you sure about that? The small voice repeated, leaving the blonde frustrated and, for the first time in years, uncertain.
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