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Needled

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The ER doctor is getting on his last nerve. Yeah, okay, so there was a small crisis--that wasn’t his fault. For crying out loud, he’s been dealing with his diabetes since he was eight, he already knows everything the doctor is yammering about and then some. It’s insulting.

The doc pauses, evidently expecting him to apologize or some such crap. Gil is having none of it.

“I’m not in the habit of playing games with my insulin,” he says, his tone sharp, because if there’s anything he hates, it’s being talked down to. “Go ahead, look at my records. The last time I had to come in to the ER, I was eleven--and that was for a broken wrist.”

“Even so, Mr. Bobbsey,” the white coat’s tone is patronizing, “This kind of carelessness can cause problems down the line--”

Gil snatches the folder from his hand and looks at the contents. The first thing they did when he’d been brought in was to run blood tests.

“Oh, look!” he drawls, affecting surprise. “My A1C is 6.6!” He glares at the white-coated individual. “ I know what I’m doing as far as managing my condition goes. Save the lecture for some chain-smoking chump who can’t walk up a flight of stairs.”

He tosses the folder onto the exam table. The doctor grabs for it, but the smooth pasteboard slides across the slick paper surface and cascades over the far side, a waterfall of paper scattering on the linoleum below. Gil exits the cubicle without further ado.

Mandy is still recovering from her own injuries--last night hadn’t been easy on either of them--but Gil knows if anyone will understand the situation, it’s Amanda. He tells her everything that happened after they’d been separated--the wraith in the woods, the standoff on the old bus, his negotiations with Drew and her crew….

“But I got the money,” he announces, producing it with a triumphant flourish. “And really, I’m fine.” Since he doesn’t exactly have vast ancestral wealth, Gil knows they have to depend on each other.

“Good.” His twin sounds relieved. “Now you can get more insulin.”

“Definitely,” he agrees. Veterinary grade…he’s knows a clinic that sells him, no questions asked about his pack of adopted senior dogs. It plays well--the office staff frequently inquire by name about his quartet. He tries to remember which ones he’s written out of the narrative He can’t always keep track of the names he’s used….

It’s an ongoing problem: the cost of test supplies, of insulin, and of course, doctors always want to conduct office visits and do labs every five minutes, it feels like…which they want to charge him for, regardless of whether or not they actually did anything.

Gil grins at her, masking how weary he really is. “Don’t worry. You’re not getting rid of me any time soon.”

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