When she wasn't busy patching up bruised and beaten soldiers or burying herself in her never-ending research, Mercy enjoyed using whatever free time remained to slip out of her Valkyrie suit and into more casual clothing to relax and catch up on the latest news with a cup of coffee and some music playing in the background. The latter was a means to drone out any unwanted silence, similar to the silence before a storm: it simply reminded her too much of the countless warzones she had already seen throughout her life, despite learning how to save lives, not how to end them. She rid herself of those dark thoughts with a shake of her head that sent her blonde locks flying before settling into her favourite examination chair and making the holo-screen flicker to life with the push of a button on her keyboard.
Music started playing immediately, a random playlist of songs she didn't even all know, continuing from where she had turned it off the night before. Some unknown singer's voice soothed her over-worked body into a more comfortable position on her chair before she started scrolling through various news websites, free hand reaching for her filled to the brim mug while her baby blues darted through several interesting sounding headlines. Reports about the latest medical achievements, reconstructions of previously abandoned clinics and hospitals after they had been destroyed during the Omnic Crisis: they were news Angela longed to see, that filled her with hope and strengthened her resolve to keep pushing towards her goal to make this world a better place for everyone. The close-mouthed smile that dared to split her face in two made it hard for her to drink her coffee, so after a quick sip she put the mug back down, slipped out of her chair and into her coat and brought up her latest findings she had spent weeks of research on, on her computer, eager to continue her work and contribute to the stream of health-related breakthroughs, any plans to simply sit back and relax all but tossed out the window.
A new song started playing and Angela paused momentarily, fingers ghosting over the keys as she looked at the title of the song.
"Can't stop me now by Queen", she mumbled softly to herself before an image of Lena popped up inside her head. The through and through British woman had made it her goal to find out everyone's favourite songs after Mercy had voiced out loud that she enjoyed getting to know more about everyone. While Aleksandra had just laughed and mentioned that she usually only listened to music that would suit her work-out the former pilot had beamed at her and had already started rambling about some of her favourite bands and songs, which eventually led to Angela's desk being covered in various CDs, portable memory devices and lists with song titles scribbled on them. The compact discs were utterly archaic but Mercy loved the charm they held, so oddly fitting for the time-travelling adventurer. The low chuckle that escaped her sounded loud in the silence that ruled the transition from one song to the next and the doctor leaned back and simply listened when the next song turned out to be a German one.
'How does she even find out about these things?', she wondered quietly before her thoughts turned into another direction. 'I wonder if she managed to find out something about Pharah?'
The Egyptian soldier was as talkative as Tracer was quiet, which meant next to not at all. When the team was already celebrating a victory she would retreat to her room to check her armor for possible damages, when they sat together for breakfast or dinner she would sit off to the sides with a tray full of food that looked more like a military ration than an actual meal. In some ways Pharah was much like her mother, but the distance the woman put between herself and her teammates was a trait so unlike Ana that it baffled the doctor to a point of frustration. They had served together in Overwatch and while Ana had already passed, Mercy felt a pang of responsibility for the offspring of her deceased friend. Maybe it had been that specific feeling that had initially sparked her curiosity and interest in the dark-skinned security guard but she had realized, much to her chagrin, that that initial curiosity had long since turned into a full-fledged urge to get to know the ex-soldier better in general, not just her combat tactics. Those she was very well acquainted with, seeing as how she was the only one able to keep up with the airborne combatant.
Mercy was so absorbed in her own thoughts that she didn't hear the very cause for her distraction knocking on the door and eventually entering, startling her all the way to heaven and back as her eyes fell upon the dark-skinned warrior now standing inside the infirmary. Her yelped exclamation of "Um Himmels Willen!" seemed to startle the taller of the two, if because it had been in a language she didn't understand or because it had been fairly loud Mercy really didn't know, but her usual stoic expression softened barely but visibly before her accented voice rose above the sound of the music still playing.
"Apologies Dr. Ziegler, I didn't mean to frighten you."
The blonde, who had gotten up from her chair and had already been halfway across the room to access the fridge containing the research samples, shook her head in reassurance before her own accented voice finally replied.
"No need to worry Fareeha, I should probably turn this down a bit for the next visitor though", she chuckled with a hand gesture towards her computer before her attention returned to the woman still awkwardly standing some distance away from her. Her blue eyes roamed over the soldier's body in a silent examination, more a habit than a necessity, before the fact that Pharah was only clad in tight fitting workout clothing manifested itself inside her head.
"And I thought I told you to call me Angela. There is no need for you to address me so formally, we are friends after all, no?"
Brown eyes finally shifted from a spot somewhere behind the medic's head to look straight at the Swiss.
"I shall remind myself for the future, doctor."
Mercy suppressed the urge to sigh before crossing the awkward distance to stand in front of the woman, willing her mind to stay focused on the reason why Pharah was here instead of marveling at her beautifully shaped body.
"What brings you to me this early in the morning, Fareeha?"
"Zaryanova forced me to seek you out after I wasn't able to dodge one of her hooks during hand to hand combat training. I apparently moved like a Russian mole rat as compared to my usual speed of a Siberian tiger", she replied with audible quotations marks surrounding the Russian animal references, an action that nearly made the blonde snort with humor. Aleksandra and Fareeha were maintaining a healthy rivalry due to their military backgrounds and the Egyptian was easily annoyed to be called anything but a soldier by the hulk of a woman, even if her stoic demeanor rarely ever let it slip.
Already switching from friend to doctor mode Mercy gestured towards the examination table before grabbing her chair and plopping down on it in front of her patient, crossing her legs for comfort. Unbeknownst to her the other woman was using her trained self-control to not stare at the pale, smooth legs sticking out of the suddenly relatively short looking skirt Mercy had decided to wear today. Pharah could feel her heart leap into her throat and was eternally grateful that she couldn't see a stethoscope anywhere, otherwise the doctor might think she was suddenly about to have a heart attack from being childishly nervous. This was just another medical examination done by her friend and supporter, one of the many she had already gone through.
'Then why are you sweating like you just finished a weight-lifting contest with the Russian?' Pharah clenched her teeth and chased away any unwanted thoughts. She didn't have the luxury to think of Dr. Ziegler as anything but a friend and a caretaker. Mercy was a medical genius and she? She was just a mere soldier.
Torn out of her silent musings by the doctor's voice the Egyptian quickly brought her attention back to the bright blue orbs resting on her own brown ones, noticing the growing expression of worry on the woman's face.
"آسف doctor. Would you please repeat yourself?"
Frowning in worry but complying nevertheless the medic did as she had been asked.
"What are your symptoms?"
Pharah pondered for a second or two before gesturing from her neck up to the top of her head.
"Dizzyness. My head feels like it's about to collapse in on itself."
Nodding Mercy shifted in her seat before continuing. "Any pre-existing symptoms? Nausea, pains along the spine or the neck?"
"A blackout. I presumed it to be a side-effect from being shot out of the sky by one of Torbjörn's turrets yesterday but after awakening to this feeling…"
Pharah fell silent when she was faced with the intense gaze from the smaller but not any less intimidating scientist and suddenly wished she had ignored Zaryanova's urgings, if only to escape the scolding she knew would soon be raining down on her.
"And you don't deem a blackout worthy enough to mention to your doctor, especially not after being shot out of the sky before that? Now that you even mention it, where was I? We were matched together yesterday, I remember that."
"You were fulfilling your purpose, Dr. Ziegler. Two of our teammates had perished beneath the onslaught and you", she said, lifting a hand in a perfect mimicry, "brought them back into the fight." She purposefully left out the part where she had stopped and stared in mid-air, for maybe a second or two, at the beauty that had been Mercy in that moment: engulfed in ethereal light, wings brimming with energy as her radiance seeped into the lifeless forms of her comrades that then rose from the ground like flowers blooming after a wildfire. A second too long because when her instincts had kicked back in the turret had already locked on to her, successfully blowing her out of the sky.
Mercy's expression hardened as she stood from her chair, face briefly clouded by her mane of bright, blonde hair.
"My apologies, Fareeha. I failed to keep-", she started before a loud "don't" cut her sentence short. Startled and almost afraid of having offended the Egyptian, Angela wordlessly closed her mouth and pressed her lips into a thin line.
"Do not blame yourself. If anyone is at fault it is myself and my carelessness, not you. You were doing the right thing, like you always do."
'Like a raging fire', Mercy thought as she looked at Pharah for a moment before breaking eye-contact again, intimidated by the intensity of the stare. She knew the hatred wasn't directed at her, but simply seeing it hurt because it was a wound even she wasn't able to heal.
"You will have to undress from the waist up for the examination. You can keep your bra on."
Choosing to ignore her lack of emotional control Pharah wordlessly complied and easily slid off her frame-hugging tank top, leaving her torso exposed safe for a simple, dark sports-bra. Her dark skin was dotted with faded scars, some visibly older than others, and her muscles rippled with every movement she made, a detail that gave away how tense she really was. Now standing, Pharah was obviously taller than the blonde Swiss and Mercy took half a step back to quickly check her back for any obvious signs of trauma. When she didn't find any she placed her hands on the other woman's shoulder blades, eliciting a mixture between a twitch and a shrug.
"Oh sorry, I should've probably given you a heads up", Mercy said while mentally scolding herself. Pharah very often acted like a frightened deer and she really didn't want to scare the poor thing away. Plus her hands felt comfortably warm on the muscular back of the soldier and she was really enjoying that.
"I did not expect your hands to be so cool, doctor. No need for precautions, you can proceed."
Angela only hummed in response before her hands made her way over the woman's exposed back with trained ease. She felt several hardened patches of muscle that were common for hard-working people as she made her way up and closer to the Egyptian's neck, about to finish her fruitless search for any abnormalities until a specific spot she pressed down on caused Pharah to hiss in anguish and momentarily flinch away from the painful contact.
"I think I've found something", Mercy chuckled when she saw the woman's skin darken further in an unconcealable blush that was, thanks to her complexion, not as apparent as it probably would have been on Mercy's face. Probing the obvious knot one final time the doctor sighed and sanitized her hands before running one of them through her blonde locks.
"Well, I've found the issue", she started, the corner of her mouth curling upwards into a close-mouthed grin when the soldier slowly turned around to face her, already putting the top back on. "Your tenseness is causing your muscles to harden, especially in that one specific spot I just discovered. It's most likely pinching off a nerve which results in the dizziness, nausea and your blackout since it's fairly close to your neck."
When all she received was a deadpan stare, Mercy crossed her arms over her chest and blew a strand of hair out of her face.
"When was the last time you took some time off? Just doing nothing but spend your day relaxing or not working out?"
"I skipped morning training two weeks ago."
"Uh-huh. And then went on and did twice the normal amount for evening practice."
When, yet again, she was met with nothing but silence the medic sighed and wished she could just use her Caduceus staff but she knew that wouldn't teach Pharah the importance of taking care of her body with resting and breaks and not just non-stop workouts and training. So instead of using her advanced healing technology she opted on choosing a somewhat outdated but still as effective method.
"I expect to see you tomorrow, Fareeha. We'll try to relax your muscles and rid them of some of the tension with some simple physiotherapy, like massages and stretching exercises. Until then no more working out, understood? Doctor's orders!"
Pharah nodded and thanked the medic before extending her hand in an effort to show at least some form of gratitude. What she didn't expect was the healer to grab her hand, pull her close and squeeze her in a short-lived hug instead of just shaking the extended limb so when they separated the utterly dumbstruck look on the Egyptian's face was enough to make Mercy burst into a fit of merry laughter.
"This is exactly why you are in dire need of some stress relief, Fareeha. Loosen up, the more you tense up the more painful the treatment will be. It also won't persist if you don't start taking care of yourself properly."
Pharah, unable to think of anything appropriate to say, bowed slightly and thanked the doctor again, this time in her native tongue before looking at her with eyes that reflected honest gratitude.
"I shall work on that, Dr. Ziegler. I will see you tomorrow then."
Angela smiled and gave a short wave, trying to ignore the growing feeling of anticipation for the upcoming day that was swirling around inside her chest.
"See you tomorrow, Fareeha."
The door to the infirmary closed with a soft clicking noise and Pharah held her breath until she heard the doctor sit back down and turn the music back on before she released said breath, pressing a closed fist over her rapidly beating heart while she rested her back against the cold door.
'In dire need of stress relief. If only you knew, Angela.'
Um Himmels Willen - For goodness' sake! (German)
آسف (āsif) - Sorry (Egyptian Arabic)
Phrase of the Day
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.
~Orison Swett Marden
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Chapter 2: Doctor's orders
Note: Please ignore any mistakes. Or point them out and correct me, whatever you prefer.
I don't like how this turned out, it didn't go like I planned and I didn't feel good writing and finishing this but alas, if I work more on it I will erase everything and drop it and that would just piss me off and disappoint you guys so...sorry this isn't as high quality as the first part. Will write more soon, don't know when yet. Still hope you enjoy this though :)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Mercy couldn't sleep.
Blinking tiredly at the black letters dotted on the white paper the Swiss raised a pale hand to try and stifle her yawn, fully aware that no one saw her but still doing it out of sheer habit. When the nearly jaw-locking reflex was over her now free hand reached for her still steaming mug of coffee and brought it up to her mouth, before she took a sip and let out a sigh that sounded like a mixture between defeated resignation and blissful appreciation. She adored coffee but she sure as hell didn't love it as much when she had to drink it at 4AM to try and keep from falling asleep. Another sigh fell from her lips as she put down the paper and leaned back on the couch, flinging her legs over the armrest to accommodate for the fact that her body was too tall to fit on it entirely. The lamp on her nightstand shrouded the ceiling in semi-darkness and for a moment Angela found her behaviour to be insanely childish but yet here she was, up before the sun was and trying to keep the night terrors as far away from her as possible.
Life as a doctor was cruel. When she had been nothing but a mere child she had already dreamed of being a doctor, helping people in need and ending suffering wherever she could. Only after her parents died did she realize that some people's suffering could not be ended, that some pain could not be lessened and that some lives could simply not be saved. Death was as much a part of being a doctor as giving life was, and as easy as it was to acknowledge that fact, it was that much harder to deal with it. Taking another sip from her mug before placing it on the table next to her the blonde blinked, a sudden question manifesting itself inside her mind.
'When did it start?'
Having been a member of the former Overwatch had put her out of her comfortable lab and into several, devastating warzones. And while it hadn't changed her will to save lives, it had certainly dampened her by optimistic ideals blinded wish to save everyone. She still remembered every death, every last breath taken during the heat of battle when the wounds were too grave, when it had taken too long to get to the wounded soldiers. The feeling of a grip slowly losing its strength until the hand falls limply off to the side, the heat seeping from the body that eventually turns cold.
Mercy shook her head, trying to rid herself of the very thoughts responsible for her early waking. The night terrors always reflected her guilty conscience, pictures of deceased soldiers, friends and family flashing before her eyes, as if they were taunting her. Too late. Two words she despised to hear, too late.
Realizing that she needed to distract herself from her poisonous thoughts she picked up the paper again, baby blues scanning over the several instructions for the umpteenth time. It was a simple reference sheet she had gotten from Aleksandra that Angela really needed, seeing that she wasn't an expert on muscle-related issues. She had learned a lot of things in her 37 years of existence, but if she could get help of a professional then she sure as hell wouldn't turn it down. And Zarya was, despite her brutish appearance, very adapt and knowledgeable about human physiology. Probably because she needed to take care of her body as an ex-bodybuilder, even now after giving up her career to become a soldier and eventually even an Overwatch member. They had sat together during dinner as usual, and the Russian had asked her about the wellbeing of their mutual friend. Turned out that thanks to Zarya the blonde medic didn't have to browse through her ridiculous amount of medical related textbooks and could instead just focus her attention on the summarized treatment methods and the patient that would receive it. After scanning over the instructions one final time Mercy allowed herself a moment of rest, closed her eyes and settled down on the couch more comfortably.
A visual of Pharah, her patient for the day and also the very reason why lately she was anything but attentive whenever the dark-skinned beauty of a woman was around, immediately appeared in front of her inner eye. Her bronze, sun-kissed skin stretching over her lean body, muscles from years of training flexing with every little movement she did. The scientist had seen the Egyptian stripped off her pants and shirt numerous times, every time for medical procedures and routine check-ups only, but despite her professionalism she couldn't deny the fact that she enjoyed the sight, even if the appreciation might not be mutual. It was a stupid crush, an unexplainable fascination with the former security guard Mercy partly blamed on her deceased friend's stories of her daughter. Ana had always been full of life when talking about her offspring, arms flailing in silly reenactments of things that had happened to her. Angela knew that Fareeha was bitter of what to her felt like abandonment by her mother, that their relationship had always been strained due to being separated for so long but she also knew that she had looked up to her mother, had aspired to follow in her footsteps and that that desire had eventually become the reason why she had enrolled in the Egyptian military.
Angela was breaking one of the basic rules of being a doctor: never fall for your patients. It was the same with a lot of other professions, like teacher and student, superior and subordinate, boss and employee. Her fondness of the younger yet taller woman was daring to cloud her judgment, making her act in a way she never would with any other of her patients, and she wasn't even entirely sure why. Pharah was everything she wasn't. Where she barely functioned without coffee in the morning, Fareeha was already done working out and showering, a mug of tea sitting beside her at the breakfast table. When the team went out to party and relax at a local club or bar she would enjoy drinks and dances, clad in one of her favourite dresses, while the Egyptian stood off to the side in practical, casual clothing and a glass of water. Pharah was everything she wasn't, but despite that, or maybe because of it, she had felt drawn to the stoic warrior since the very first moment they had met, when Overwatch had formed again.
The way her in armor clad body had descended from its airborne position, dust and wind making her shield her eyes as Pharah connected with the ground with a metallic clink of her boots. She had lifted her helmet, strands of silky black hair cascading down her shoulders as her dark eyes had locked onto the blue ones of the medic. She remembered how the solider had extended her hand, gloved fingers ghosting over her arm and softly rocking it back and forth.
Prying open her eyes, Angela came to stare at the concerned face of the woman she had just dreamed about, a fact she only realized when her gaze shifted and fell upon the Egyptian's hand still resting atop of her arm that felt pleasantly warm against her slightly chilled skin. Her mouth opened in confusion before she finally took a look at the clock hanging just above the door and immediately bolted into an upright position on the couch.
"Oh my god I'm so sorry, I promise I didn't forget about you, I just fell asleep about 2 hours ago and-", she started before a quiet, almost inaudible chuckle interrupted her ramblings, a rare sound coming from the dark-skinned woman whose lips were already curling into a calming, beautiful smile.
"Do not apologize, doctor. I have been up and about for an hour already, out of sheer habit and because someone advised me to skip my training for the day." Lips falling back into an expression of sudden realization, Pharah rose from her slightly bent-over position and took a tentative step backwards, face turning a nuance darker in a brightly burning blush. It took Mercy a moment to figure out why, but when she finally did her body rose from the couch almost on its own accord, mind collapsing in on itself as it tried coming up with a scenario to end the current awkwardness.
'You were staring. Most of all, you were staring at her lips. Okay, komm runter, you just woke up. You're obviously not thinking clearly and oh Lord have mercy she's looking at me.'
Ignoring her inner voice laughing at her out-of-character awkwardness, Angela offered Fareeha a seat on a nearby recliner before excusing herself to hop into a quick shower, the promise of being ready to start the treatment in about 30 minutes being the last thing Pharah heard before the sound of running water filtered through the crack beneath the bathroom door.
It hadn't been intentional, that just wasn't her style, but she had to admit, at least to herself, that she had thoroughly enjoyed the moment they had just shared. Especially the barely contained look of shock and the obvious stare from the blonde were two things Pharah would replay in front of her inner for days to come, ignoring the fact that she had been staring too, just not at the same spot the medic had. Needless to say Mercy preferred to sleep in a light top and a pair of comfortable looking shorts, at least in the summer, showing off an appropriate amount of cleavage for anyone lucky enough to see her out of her Valkyrie suit or her lab coat.
The 15 minutes filled with the sound of running water went by in what felt like a heartbeat, and it wasn't long after that Angela's in a towel wrapped body emerged from behind the door, blonde locks dripping wet as she cursed in German before snatching a bunch of clothes and a blow dryer from her closet. Fareeha's attempt at trying not to stare was done and out the window the moment their eyes met and Mercy, appearing unfazed at her partial nakedness, only smiled and reassured her guest that she would be done soon.
'If this keeps up I will be the one who is done soon', Pharah thought before she ran a hand through her dark mane, forcing the unwanted thoughts out of her mind. 'Wishful thinking, Fareeha. She considers you nothing but a friend and your mother's daughter.'
When the Swiss emerged again she did so fully clothed with her hair tied up in her usual ponytail, any traces of tiredness and dismay gone from her now beaming expression.
"Well, now that I am finally done screwing up everyone's timetable how about we get started?"
Fareeha stood from her previously seated position on the recliner and nodded, already heading out and towards the infirmary with the medic hot on her heels. Quite a few moments were spent in silence, both women still feeling about equally confused about what the hell they were even doing before Mercy's accented voice broke the building tension.
"Thanks for waking me up, Fareeha. I probably would have slept all morning if it hadn't been for you."
A low hum sounded as a reply before the Egyptian decided to speak.
"You are most welcome, doctor. When I could not find you in both the infirmary and the dining area I assumed that you were still in your quarters." Her gaze shifted from looking straight ahead to look at the smaller woman out of the corner of her eyes. "It is unlike you to stay up unreasonably long. Are you feeling unwell?"
"Just couldn't sleep."
A lie, as obvious as the visible shadows beneath her bright, blue eyes. But the soldier didn't press the issue further, respecting the blonde's unspoken wish to not discuss the issue, at least not now. And even if she did wish to speak about it she would most likely consult Reinhardt or Torbjörn, her closest friends, and not her. A touch tore her out of her pessimistic musings and Pharah stopped dead in her tracks when she noticed the pale fingers wrapped around her bare arm.
"Uhm, Fareeha? You walked by the infirmary."
The fingers felt cold against her usually heated skin and before she could even respond or do as much as react, the doctor had already released her gentle but firm grasp and stepped inside the small clinic, followed suit by the currently with a blush fighting soldier. Sometimes she cursed her unfamiliarity with physical proximity because it made her feel so damn awkward whenever someone did end up touching her. Especially if it was a certain foreign doctor she somehow ended up having more than just a crush on.
When she walked into the room the first thing she noticed was that it was unusually dark for a morning in summer, due to all the curtains being drawn close. She absently closed the door before her eyes roamed over the various desks and shelves, noticing several candles and incense sticks whose presence made her raise an eyebrow in mild confusion. Said confusion must have been fairly apparent because when her attention finally returned to the only other inhabitant in the room, said person was trying her hardest and failing at trying not to laugh.
"Apologies, Fareeha. You look like you've never seen the use of incense sticks and candles in medical procedures." Mercy started lighting some of the items before she opened a window to ensure the scent to not become too overwhelming, smiling faintly at her patient after she finished sanitizing her hands and putting a clean sheet on the examination couch. "Well then, let's get started."
The entire scene felt like it had been ripped straight of a bad sitcom or a stereotypical romance flick and even though Pharah certainly wasn't an expert on foreign media, she at least knew what the setting was usually used for. With that thought dominating her mind she stripped off the shirt and folded it neatly before placing it on a nearby chair and sitting down on the couch, gaze now fixed on the doctor in expectation of further instructions.
"You'll have to take that off too."
Mercy's outstretched finger pointed almost accusingly at the plain sports bra that was hugging the woman's chest tightly and before Pharah could say anything the Swiss had turned around, fully aware that exposing herself entirely in front of someone else was something she certainly wasn't used to. It took her just a moment to rid herself off her bra and when Angela told her to lie on the couch stomach first, she did just that, squirming awkwardly at the odd position she now found herself in.
"I'll start with some simple massaging to loosen up your muscles a bit", the blonde started as she rubbed some lotion on her hands, "and then I'll have to apply a little bit of force to get rid of that knot you have." When no sound of refusal was heard Mercy began the procedure by putting the palms of her hands on either side of the soldier's shoulders, chuckling when she felt the woman beneath her fingers twitch at the cold touch yet again.
"Either you really don't like my hands or you're not used to them being cold."
"I grew up in Egypt, doctor."
And as if that was explanation enough she fell silent again, eyes staring at the clean white wall about two feet away from her face. She wasn't entirely certain that her voice wouldn't quiver at the almost sensual touch from the fair-haired woman so she chose to remain silent, at least until spoken to, a detail that didn't go unnoticed by the doctor.
Angela had prepared her small clinic for the treatment, that much was true, but the candles and incense sticks had been a personal, not entirely necessary touch on her own accord. The main reason for the various items was for her patient to relax but she was very well aware of the atmosphere it set. A darkened room with candles as the only light source, scented incense sticks filling the air with an intoxicating aroma that managed to make her feel in a certain mood, and she wasn't even the one receiving the attention.
'At least you're able to enjoy the view.'
As if on cue with her thoughts her eyes travelled over the shoulders her hands were currently working on to a spot further south, lingering on the soldier's well-built back before roaming over the curve of her behind, marveling at the dark skin with the countless, almost faded scars . It was mesmerizing to watch her muscles respond to her touch, how her pale fingers created a contrast to the Egyptian's bronze skin and Mercy would have thoroughly enjoyed the contact if it weren't for the fact that Pharah was still not relaxing. A faint feeling of frustration welled up inside the doctor, if because her patient wasn't listening to her orders or because the woman in her care didn't seem to trust her enough to relax she didn't really know, so instead of just continuing her fruitless procedure she opted on trying a somewhat different approach.
More than seeing it she felt the woman beneath her shift her attention from wherever it had resided before to her voice and to how it had suddenly gotten louder. Or closer?
Yes, definitely closer. The last syllable of the word ghosted over Pharah and it took her every ounce of willpower she possessed to suppress the shiver daring to spread all over her body as the accented voice almost whispered into her ear. The ex-soldier took a deep breath and closed her eyes, the scent of incense and massage oil mixed with a hint of disinfectant the doctor nearly always carried with her filling her lungs, and willed her body out of its constant high alert mode. She trusted Mercy, that she was sure of, but she wasn't sure if she trusted herself enough to let her guard down and open up a side of herself she had rarely shown anyone before.
Once she felt some of the tension leaving her patient's body Angela smiled and rose from her slightly bent-over position.
"That wasn't so hard now, was it?"
A low hum was the only reply before the blonde shifted her position slightly, hips now faintly brushing against the arm lying limply at Pharah's side. Mercy placed both her hands on the same knot she had found the day before and took a deep breath before starting the procedure, knowing fully well how much it would hurt for both her and her patient.
"Now this part will hurt, okay? I need you to keep breathing, remember that. Whenever you hear my voice, take a deep breath and release it slowly."
"I've had worse, doctor."
To that Mercy could only reply with chuckle. She would need a notepad to count all the times she had heard that before a patient had fainted.
"Very well then, I've warned you though."
A moment after Pharah had voiced her thoughts she immediately regretted it and wished she could take it back. Pain exploded all over her shoulder and neck, dizziness seeping into her skull like poison as the pressure only continued to worsen on the spot the blonde was currently pressing down on with all her apparent might. Black dots started appearing through her already clouding vision and she was sure that she would have passed out if it hadn't been for the soft voice reminding her to breathe.
"Fareeha, don't concentrate on the pain, just listen to me."
She remembered her instructions and took a deep breath that almost turned into a desperate gasp for air before releasing it in a more controlled fashion.
"Good, keep breathing. You're nearly done, just a few seconds longer."
And it was just that, only a few seconds more, but they damn near felt like the longest few seconds of her existence before the hands left her shoulder and the dizziness subsided, her own breath now ringing loudly in her ears as she tried not to wince from the still lingering pain.
"Don't tell me I didn't warn you", Mercy chuckled and flexed her fingers to try and rid them of the numbness from the procedure, "but at least that should have done it. I've loosened up that knot as much as I could, now all you have to do are some stretching and workout exercises and the issue should be resolved in maybe a week or two."
Angela watched as the ex-soldier rose from her position and sat on the couch, back facing the Swiss before her accented voice broke through the silence.
"Thank you, Dr. Ziegler. I'll make sure to take better care of myself from now on."
She cursed the slight quiver in her voice and ran a hand through her dark mane, wishing the tingling that had spread from her shoulder, down her spine and further south would stop. 'You want her to take care of you. Wishing her hands would work miracles on places other than your shoulder.' It wasn't until she felt said hands moving over her back that she snapped out of her inner monologue, first explanation being that she was just imagining the touch but when she turned to make sure she wasn't dreaming she came eye to eye with the doctor, brown eyes meeting blue ones so intensely she was afraid she would drown in them.
"Dr. Ziegler, what are-", Pharah started but got interrupted by a soft but firm shake of the blonde's head.
"It's Angela, Fareeha. Because I am doing this as your friend, not your doctor."
It wasn't until the Egyptian felt the other woman's hand gently pulling her back onto the couch that she realized that she was still exposed. With all the things that could have been going through her head it was that one thought that manifested itself and made her suddenly very self-aware of how vulnerable she was. Her arm came up to cover her chest but something stopped her, a thought that her inner voice chased through her head. 'She's not your doctor anymore. She offered this as a friend, a…girlfriend?'
"I noticed how tense you've been lately", Mercy said, accented voice smooth and calming as she pushed her former patient back onto the couch until she lay flat on her back, "noticed the looks you gave me. You can control your expression but you can't lie with your eyes." Slender legs positioned themselves on either side of Pharah's own ones as the blonde straddled the woman with the same grace she carried on the battlefield. Her weight was comfortable, pleasurable even as she rested atop of Fareeha's hips, sky blue eyes roaming over her exposed torso with a hint of the same want and need Pharah hadn't been able to hide from her.
"I can help you get rid of that tenseness."
Burning hot desire shot through her so forcefully it left her breathless for a moment, vocals failing her as she tried to reply with something, anything that would ensure this goddess of a human being to stay right where she was. When nothing followed suit the same pale hands that had damn near crushed her shoulder earlier now ghosted over her stomach, fingertips grazing the dark, muscular flesh in such a way that left the Egyptian with goosebumps breaking out all over her body. It wasn't until they had reached her ribs, stopping shortly on the ones just below her breasts, that her head seemed to pick up its functions again.
And she did.
"Why now? Why me?"
"The answer to your second question would ruin the mood I so deliberately set so I shall answer that at a later time, but concerning the first," Mercy smirked, leaning down to whisper her response into the woman's ear, "I've had sideways plans for you for quite some time now, mein Schatz. I just seized the moment."
And it was then that Fareeha Amari felt incredibly dense for not picking up on all the of the goddamn little hints the blonde had dropped throughout the day but luckily for her that feeling was very soon replaced by one far more enjoyable. If this was also part of her physiotherapy she would most certainly come back for more sessions.
Komm runter - calm down (German)
mein Schatz - like "dearest/darling" (lit. treasure; German)
Phrase of the Day
The starting Point of all achievement is desire.
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PS: By the way, the description of the physiotherapy are things I actually went through myself. It hurts so much you get dizzy and forget to breathe and urgh it's not fun ._. My therapist just wasn't a hot blonde Swiss doctor that wanted to seduce me, I added that :d