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Living for the hope of it all

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Claire sat in the break room with some oolong tea and a new romance novel from Joe when she got a page. Apparently, she has been requested by a patient.

Sighing, she walked into the room. Looking up, she noticed that an intern or resident was about to break a man’s arm.

“Stop! You can't do it like that, you'll break his arm.”

They'll just let anybody be a doctor these days she thought. Being a young resident herself, she couldn't really judge, or blame the new intern, but the person that is training them, or hiring them. But still, it's just a dislocated shoulder!

She rushed forward, not really looking at her patient, but at his dislocated shoulder, poking and prodding at it, to check the swelling and the injury.
“ Did you look at an x-ray? Is there any broken bones or other damage?”

Claire glanced up at the two new residents in their white coats, they were staring at her, scared. One of them began flailing around trying to put up the x-ray for her to see. Without really looking at the x-ray, but at the shoulder, Claire said, “ nevermind, it's fine, just a bit of swelling…”

She finally turned to the patient, grabbing his hand, and looked into his eyes.
“This is the worst part.” she said, while realizing who was sitting on the examination table in front of her.

“I know, sassenach,” he responded while heavily breathing, waiting for the pain, and for his shoulder to go back into place.
“You've helped me with this… before!” he tried to say as she moved his arm into position and back into the socket, not counting back from three. They've been through this before.

Not even bothering with an hello, Claire said, “Really, Jamie, this is what? The fourth time I’ve had to fix something like this, and a shoulder this time... again,” while staring him down.

Sheepishly, Jamie responded, “ Fifth dislocation overall, third time you've helped me out Sassenach. Lost count of the stitches though.”
He grew up on a farm, was a reckless kid, and a reckless college student, who knew a pre-med student thankfully, who was able to help with a few drunken two am calls for help with an injury.

“Alright, well, at least you know the drill, let me find you a sling.”

With her back turned, looking through drawers for a sling, Jamie mustered up the courage to ask, “So, how’s Frank?”

Jenny may or may not have told him that Claire and Frank were over, but he wanted to be sure. He honestly hadn’t seen Claire in a few years, and was just curious. He just wanted an update on his friend, well his sister’s friend, he told himself.

“I wouldn't know.”

Claire turned back to face Jamie, looking down at the sling she was putting on his arm, not looking him in the eye. She was suddenly very aware of the young residents in the room. They love gossip. She has no clue how they have enough time and energy for it, or the time to just stand there, instead of helping other patients...

Jamie tried to get Claire to look at him the entire time she was explaining how long he'd have to wear the sling and whatever, but she kept her eyes trained on his shoulder.

“Thank ye, Sassenach. Truly.”

She glanced up, then.

“ Maybe I could buy you a real drink to thank ye sometime, instead of all the god awful, cheap beer I got ye in college?” Jamie asked.

There, he thought. She was looking at him now. Well, staring, more like. But still, progress.

Claire, caught off guard, studied Jamie’s face, looking for answers. Was he serious? Was this a date? Was this not a date? Does it matter if it is or isn't? It's just Jamie, right? Just two old friends catching up. Even though they could just go to Jenny’s house at literally any time, and see each other there.

Still very aware of the new residents in the room, Claire reached into her pocket to get her prescription pad. She wrote him a prescription for pain meds. And then her number on another sheet. Again, taking Jenny out of being the middleman, a very nosy middleman.

“Sure. I'd like that. And here, I know you won't use this, but please take a look.” Claire said while handing him the two slips of paper.

Standing up, Jamie said, “Aye, Sassenach.”

Taking their cew, the residents awkwardly stepped forward, in front of Jamie.

“You’re James Fraser, the football player, Right? Can we get a picture please?” one of them said while the other took out her phone.

Claire rolled her eyes. Before Jamie could respond, she cut him off and reprimanded the supposed ‘professional doctors.’

“ excuse me, what about doctor patient confidentiality? I'm sure that Mr. Fraser is in a lot of pain, and he shouldn't have to take selfies with his doctors to be allowed to leave.”

That made Jamie smile. He just asked his doctor out... maybe? And she gave him her number, then proceeded to call out others on their professionalism. She is right, he thinks, he isn't exactly in the mood to be The James Fraser at the moment, but that's part of the job. Thankfully, they move out of the way, without taking any pictures, and Jamie walks out, with Claire right behind him.
He wanted to continue to talk to Claire, but out in the open, he saw a few people recognize him, and he didn't want an audience.

Claire stood awkwardly, not knowing how to say goodbye to Jamie, in the middle of a busy hospital hallway, right by the nurses station. And the nurses love gossip more than the interns. Luckily, or unluckily, her pager went off.

“I gotta go, see you later, Fraser.”

“Aye, see you soon, Dr. Beauchamp.”