Title: “all along the waterfall”
Rating/Classification: a little bit of adult language, humor, 'shippiness, Patrick/Robin.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters.
Summary: So where WERE the good doctors on New Year’s Eve?
“I’m on call,” she snapped before he could even ask, her eyes taking in his tux, the undone bow tie, and the rims of the champagne flutes sticking out of his pocket. “What are you doing here?” Her voice was full of that officious disdain that made it clear she expected him to be out setting off firecrackers and egging people’s cars.
He’d met a lot of brown-eyed girls in his life. Sung the song, the whole nine yards. But he’d never met one who made a warm, homey, color look so absolutely glacial.
But it was those very same freeze-your-testicles-off eyes that had been haunting him all night at the Metro Court. That had killed the buzz of Cristal and canapés and the smokin’ redhead in the Jessica Rabbit dress that definitely would have joined him in popping a cork after midnight.
It was really, really, hard to angle for empty sex when he couldn’t forget that Robin Scorpio had HIV…when he couldn’t forget that it made her bitchy and defensive and the last time he’d seen her, here at the nurses’ station some 24 hours ago, she’d almost cried. Just almost, though…because he knew she’d be damned before she let anyone see her weak.
“I knew you’d be here,” he said, trying to project the air of the bastard she’d come to know and loathe…instead of a guy who wanted to break down and give her a hug. “It’s your MO. Why bother having fun like the lesser mortals, right?”
“I offered since Dr. Jones gave the rest of the department the night off.” She stared down at him from behind the station’s computer terminal. The only time she had the height advantage and they both knew it. “And I have patients to check on.”
“At…two minutes till midnight?” He checked the digital read on his watch to make sure. “Our patients are either sleeping the sleep of carrots and potatoes or watching Ryan Seacrest’s shitty imitation of Dick Clark.”
He wasn’t sure what offended her more: him saying ‘shit’ or him implying that their charges were vegetables. Maybe he could go 0 for 3 and mention that her darling Jason Morgan had been out on the town with his other pint-sized brunette cheerleader.
“Come on, Dr. Scorpio,” he murmured, instead, holding up the bottle he’d up until now been hiding behind his back. “Live a little!”
“Patrick, this is a hospital!” she gasped, completely predictable.
“Which is why this is sparkling cider.” He held the bottle closer for her inspection. “In addition to which, my father is a raging drunk whom I have shown nothing but utter contempt for, so do you really think I would be stumbling around encouraging alcohol consumption as the free pass to a good time?”
Her eyebrows drew together. “So…what are you encouraging?” She’d look adorably confused if she weren’t intent on looking so repressed and snotty.
He stepped up into the empty nurses’ station, setting down the cheap cider next to a pile of charts. “You. Me. And a midnight toast.” He had the height advantage now. He towered over her. And he could see the pale blue scoop-necked blouse underneath the starched, buttoned-up lab coat. Below that, he knew she was wearing really sexy and out-of-character lingerie. If he was lucky, it was lacy and black and he’d get to see it later. Thank the Lord for small favors like co-ed staff lockers and WonderBras.
“I am not toasting with you, Patrick,” she huffed, probably because she knew exactly where he was looking and exactly what he was remembering.
From one of the wings came the distant chanting of patients counting down with the crowd at Times Square. He’d tried that once -- the real thing-- in college, too stupid to know better, and really did understand why Robin would choose the austere, sterile, quiet of a hospital over noise and wall-to-wall people. But he wasn’t a crowd…he wasn’t a deafening clash of noisemakers, some crap rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” and people wishing each other “Happy New Year!” like it wasn’t just going to happen again in 365 days like it always did. And he was going to do the only thing worth it when the chant and the hands on the clock signaled 2006…
“Toasting wasn’t what I had in mind anyway...”
He wasn’t surprised that she held herself stiff in his arms when he pulled her close. That was vintage Robin. He already knew. She wouldn’t bend. She wouldn’t break. Her lips tasted like practical cherry lip balm. But this was the girl with the piercings, with the silk and lace secrets, and when she let him inside her mouth even as her fists shoved, ineffectively, at his chest, she tasted like Bordeaux and chocolate. A combination that even the soberest man would want to get smashed on.
“That, Dr. Scorpio,” he whispered as he let her last shove actually propel him backward so they could both catch their breaths, “is what I’m doing here.”
He waited for the inevitable string of insults. The denial. Pretending she hadn’t been kissing him back.
And then she surprised him.
She curled her hand into the lapel of his tuxedo jacket and pulled him back to her.
“I thought you were a perfectionist, Dr. Drake.”
“Are you saying I didn’t live up to your standards?” he arched an eyebrow, watching the glaciers melt and her eyes go exactly the shade that usually led to him humming a few ‘sha la la’s.
“I’m saying that it’s still one hour and 58 minutes until it’s midnight in Arizona…and add on one more hour for the West Coast. So, if you’re trying to kiss me on New Year’s…”
“Well, it turned 2006 in Paris what, five, hours ago?” he mused.
He made up for lost time with…what else…? French kissing.
And later…much later…he did get Robin to raise a toast.
And to living…more than just a little.
December 31, 2005.