For once, Chris was actually doing what he was told. He was sitting in MT1 and waiting for Serena. It was almost driving him mental being there and knowing he couldn't step in to the absolute chaos overflowing around him, but he was still sitting... and waiting. Waiting forever, it felt like. On the upside, just about every staff member at MT1 save for the Alpha Team had come to sit with him for a little while to see how he was and try to interrogate him about dating Serena. He managed to joke off all the questions with most, and those who kept persisting, he told them he was feeling tired and ill, so they backed right off anyway. It probably did help that he looked far, far from in Dr C form. He wasn't in scrubs, for one. He was in sweats and a hoodie, not to mention the amount of weight he had lost from the transplant-gone-wrong. Of course, everyone knew what happened and they were glad to see he was back on his feet. He just really didn't feel like getting sympathy looks. He would rather sit there alone and wait than sit there with someone looking at him like they wanted to spoon feed him or give him a sponge bath.
It was just lucky he had insider information. He was still part of the team, and that did take some weight off him. Even Proctor came and sat with him while he worked his way through two jelly donuts on his break, and Chris had to bite his tongue to stop himself asking about a fellowship. It was still something hugely playing on his mind. He just knew he was in no shape to discuss work and Proctor would be evasive anyway. Chris wasn't physically capable of working just yet, and it was still one of the hardest things about the whole ordeal. For now, he knew that Dave and Proctor were in OR2 working on a punctured lung and perforated bladder, while Serena and Eva were in OR3 up to their eyeballs in a leg amputation. All a result of a seaplane crash. Chris had never in his whole life felt more out of the loop than he did sitting there in MT1 as a spectator only.
He looked at his watch for about the eight hundredth time since he arrived and then let his head rest against the back of the chair. He was so exhausted and he was sore, but he would be fucked if he was moving until he at least got a kiss off Serena, if that was all she had time for. He was about to let his eyes fall closed to rest them when he caught a glimpse of one person he wasn't really sure he knew what to say to anymore.
Dave. His best friend.
Dave had reached the staff station in the middle of MT1 and was peeling his surgical cap off his head to wipe his forehead with it. A patient chart had been set on the counter top, and after a moment of anxious hesitation, Chris peeled himself out of the chair to make sure he could intercept Dave before he disappeared again. Which is exactly what Dave was about to do. He was delivering the chart and nothing more. "Dave!" Chris called out, picking up his pace a little, but really, it was as fast as he could manage. He was so limited in physical activity, and it was times like this it sucked to epic proportions.
All Dave could do was stop walking as soon as he heard that familiar voice shout out his name. Of course he hadn't been expecting it, but there wasn't even an urge to avoid it. Closing his eyes very briefly, he just waited for Chris to reach him. Hell, all he wanted was this horribly long shift to end so he could go home to bed. That's all his life had consisted of lately. Work, and then bed. He had even done his grocery shopping online when the thought of how much energy it would take to go to the supermarket literally had him in tears. He was actively avoiding anyone, he was just functioning. He didn't want to talk on the phone, he didn't want to do anything but sleep when he wasn't at work. "Chris," he said flatly and then pointed behind him. "They're just closing up on the amp. Serena won't be long."
"Dude, shut up," was Chris' response, frowning as he finally came to stand in front of his best friend. "I don't know what I've done to cause you to avoid me, but you are, and I'm not quite sure why. I have a few theories, but none of them really fall into the realms of how best mates would treat each other. You were amazing as my proxy, man, and then just... nothing? I don't get it. I'm totally feeling like a leper around you right now and all I want to know is why. I can understand why Eva is avoiding me, but not you, dude."
With a tiny, helpless wonder of why this couldn't be happening when he was sitting down, Dave put a hand up to scratch his head. "I'm not avoiding you, Chris. I've just been busy. You were... tied up whenever I went to try and see you. I got tired sitting around in hallways waiting for you to be available. I felt like I needed to take a number to get to see you. But I get it. I was going to wait til you got out, and here you are," he said, waving his hand a little.
"Well, I'm sorry I was such a freaking inconvenience!" Chris snapped, a frown falling over his face. "It's not like I didn't nearly die or anything!" Okay, he really didn't mean to say that so loud in the MT1 corridor, because he suddenly had all their workmates in hearing distance watching him uncertainly. Kathy even looked like she was about to cry. Of course she was eavesdropping on this conversation. Chris knew his friends were more than aware how close he came to dying. He didn't mean to rub salt in the wounds, but he was so frustrated and Dave was just standing here blankly like nothing had gone on at all.
Dave didn't know whether it was the fact Chris had raised his voice, or whether it was because he had been on his feet for too long, or just a mix of everything feeling like it was compounding on him all at once. Chris' words cut deep, but Dave had no hope of really processing anything. Something really wasn't right. Chris' image swum before him and a horrible wave of nausea swept over him. Before he could even hope to and analyse what he was feeling, it just all hit him like a tonne of bricks and he quickly leant forward as he started to vomit. Not again, he managed to think to himself. It started without warning and now it felt like he couldn't stop it. He doubled over in agony as a pain sliced through his stomach to match the dull ache already making itself known in the lower part of his body.
"Whoa... Dave, bro," Chris gasped, reflexively stepping over to put his arm around Dave's waist when he looked like he was about to lose his footing. He realised, though, that if Dave fell, Chris couldn't catch him. Not after the surgery. It had been one of the strict orders from the doctors when he checked out. No heavy lifting. "I need help here!" he added quickly to whoever might be taking notice. But just as Dave seemed to stop vomiting, he started all over again and both their shoes became a casualty. There were warning bells ringing in Chris' head and he wasn't even sure why. To look at Dave now, he realised he didn't look good at all. He hadn't noticed it initially, too annoyed and intent on bitching him out. Now Chris just felt guilty for the fact, of course. When he glanced up and saw Proctor hurrying over at Kathy's frantic pointing, Chris nearly cried in relief.
It was strange that even though he was feeling horrible himself, he was still super aware that if he passed out, Chris would reflexively try to catch him to stop him hitting the floor. Dave managed to get down on his knees with his hands splayed on the lino to hold him up when the dizziness engulfed him and was aware when Chris crouched down beside him. All he wanted was to stop throwing up, but his stomach kept contracting painfully. It wasn't the first time this had happened lately, but then he saw it. Blood. He was actually throwing up blood.
By this point, it wasn't only the staff in a panic about Dave's condition. Visitors were watching in horror that one of the doctors who was supposed to be doing the fixing here was in a terrible state himself. Chris didn't care, especially not now. He watched in horror as Dave started to vomit blood. It wasn't exactly a massive amount, but it was clearly obvious and it was fresh. He had his arm wrapped securely around Dave's waist, at a loss at what else do to. "You're sick," he realised and the words sounded stupid considering the scenario. "Dude, you should have told me." Chastising his best mate in the middle of a violent bout of vomiting was just ridiculous too.
"We need to get him to the ER," Proctor stated succinctly as soon as he was close enough to see what was going on. He crouched down too, on Dave's other side and rested his hand on the younger surgeon's back. "Did this just come on, Dave? It's okay, just talk when you can. I just need to know if this is sudden, and if the pain is just in your stomach," he coaxed. The way Dave was clutching at his abdomen was telling, and to be honest, despite the surgery going smoothly, Dave hadn't looked well most of the day. In fact, for the past week, he had been noticeably tired. Warning bells were suddenly ringing in Proctor's mind. "Chris, don't you dare try and lift him. Hop up before you hurt yourself. Kathy, can you find Tuck, please?"
Proctor's voice was calm and Chris just reacted. He was glad when Kathy reached down to help him up, though. His own stomach protested at the strain from crouching and he winced as he straightened up, still watching Dave with a deep and concerned frown. Of course it just came on... right? Dave had been talking okay just a few moments before. It was sudden. Out of the blue. The blood was probably just salmonella or something. Not surprising if Dave had been eating in the hospital cafeteria or out of those vending machines. Kathy took off down the corridor in search of Tuck and a couple of the Charlie team members were getting the gawping visitors out of the way. The ER was a good idea. IV fluids and probably a scope to see where the blood was coming from. It would be nothing.
"No... and no," Dave choked out hoarsely and put his hand up to his mouth in any attempt to try and stop the overwhelming urge to vomit. He thought he would get a little longer than this before everything started to fall apart, only he realised he had completely lost track of the time that had passed between now and when he had received his diagnosis in Bella's office. It felt like a few days, but it could be longer. Had it been longer? As much as it pained him to know, this sort of thing wasn't new to him. His body rebelling against him had become almost a familiarity. This time, though, it seemed to take him down quicker than he remembered. "I need help," he managed to add right before the blackness claimed him and he passed out.
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