Word Count: 1,500
Disclaimer: I can't own anything. The pygmies and debt collectors own me.
Summary: Christina isn't always right.
Spoilers: Up to 1x07... Since Wakefield being able to speak French is a spoiler... :P
Author's Note: Chapter titles come from the lyrics to the song by Mirah, "Promise to Me." Okay... Final chapters always make me nervous. But here it is. :)
Promise to Be Kind
"I'm dreaming. Having a nightmare," the man in the hospital bed began, shaking his head, trying to move away, back into the pillow. It didn't do him much good. He was immobilized, the bandages around his abdomen wound tightly, keeping him in place.
"Actually, no," Tom corrected, picking up his chart. Christina should be here. She'd milk this for all it was worth. Tom didn't really feel like going to all that trouble. "Welcome back to the land of the living. We were wondering if you'd come back around. I'm Dr. Wakefield, chief of surgery here at Richmond Trinity. I'm afraid we still don't know your name."
"Ed Jerome. You're my doctor?"
"Technically, no. Technically, yes. As chief of surgery, you're all my patients. I was the one who get you to the hospital, but you've been in Dr. Markov' hands since. He's an excellent cardiovascular surgeon," Tom explained, closing the chart and replacing him. "Your vitals look good. There was a risk of sepsis, but you're past that and looks like you'll make a full recovery."
"Full recovery? I got hit by a car."
"If you're thinking of suing, the driver died of a heart attack," Tom told him, shaking his head when he realized where the man's thoughts were going. Maybe that had been the man's intention in the first place. He'd better hope that Christina never heard about it. She'd blame him for the death of the driver. Annie. Her mother. "The hood ornament that was lodged in your stomach's still around, if you want a souvenir."
"Are you kidding?" Jerome demanded. He shook his head, disgusted by the idea. Well, that would please Christina. She kept telling him that he should keep that thing. He kept finding it on his desk every time he tried to get rid of it. Just another one of those things that she could do.
"No," he told Jerome, wondering if it was going to be on his chair when he finally made it back to his office. "One of the nurses put it on my desk. She thought that I might want it since I saved your life—"
"And it almost got yourself killed," Christina finished, coming up next to Tom and glaring at Jerome. "So I see you're awake. Maybe next time you'll look where you're going. You owe me a new pair of gym shorts and him your life."
Tom shook his head, smiling at her. He'd been thinking about how much she'd enjoy this, and it was just funny that she came in right now. Her special talent at work again. "Christina, I thought you were covering the ER today. What are you doing up here?"
"Looking for you. Someone's not wearing his pager, and seems to be a little deaf, since they've only paged you to the ER three times now," she told him, and he frowned. He really hadn't heard any pages. She'd have him dragged down for hearing tests next. "Those new interns are fighting over a procedure, and the patient doesn't even need it."
"This job is never dull," he agreed. He looked back at Jerome. "Let me know if you want that hood ornament."
"Oh, come on, Tom, you know you want to keep it," Christina teased as they walked towards the elevator. "It'll go great next to that picture of Iron Man."
"Are you making fun of my art?" he asked with a frown, causing her to laugh. He smiled at her, enjoying her presence. Things were almost back to normal. Normal, with a strange side dish of hope.
"That's not art," she said. "That's just proof that you'll never grow up."
He shook his head, used to her telling him that he was an overgrown child. "That is a collector's print from the last comic my father ever bought for me."
She turned back to him, suspicious. He had to admit that he didn't usually volunteer stuff like that, but Christina was different. He took out a sucker and handed to her. She smiled. "You are full of surprises."
"Come over for dinner, and I'll cook you a few, too," he offered, smiling back at her. He hadn't pushed her about anything yet, and maybe it was still too soon.
"Dr. Wakefield," she said in mock surprise. "Are you asking me out?"
"Do I have a shot?" he countered, leaning into her, close enough to kiss her again. He didn't. There were cameras in the elevators, too. She laughed, pushing him back playfully.
"We'll see how you do after dinner," she said as she sauntered out of the elevator.
"Okay, so if I go looking, am I going to find take out containers hidden somewhere?" Christina asked as she finished her plate and took a sip of her wine. If he had really made that, then he was one fine cook. Good looking, fairly sweet, smart, good cook, great kisser, the pros were really starting to outweigh the cons. She wasn't sure that she was ready for this, but she was running out of reasons to say no.
"My grandmother taught me how to cook and how to sew. One of the reasons that I became a surgeon," he said with a smile, rising to pick up the plates. She set down her wine and helped him clear the table.
"I don't know what to make of you, Tom," she muttered.
He smiled. "You don't have to make anything of me, Christina."
"It's been a long time since I've done this," she admitted, shaking her head at the memory. She and Micheal hadn't even been out in years before his death. "I don't even know what I'm doing. You're a good man, but I don't know if I can do this. I loved Micheal. I still love him. I miss him every damn day, and I—"
"Dating me doesn't mean that you don't love Michael. It doesn't mean that you didn't or that you're betraying his memory. He loved you, Christina. He wanted you to be happy," Tom told her, taking her hands. "I don't meant to pressure you. If you feel like you're doing that you shouldn't or you don't want to do. You are a very special woman, and I've always been proud to be your friend. I feel like we could be more. I feel more. That doesn't mean that you have to."
She looked at him, a shiver passing through her as he turned his fingers in circles across her palms. "You've got nice hands. Skilled."
He smiled again. "The hands of a healer, my grandmother used to say."
"I like that," Christina agreed, meaning both the touch and the compliment his grandmother had given him.
"I think you're the better healer," he told her, leaning close again. She liked that, too.
"Ooh, flattery. I like it," she said with a laugh, and he lowered his head down, kissing her again. Prepared this time, she took a moment to savor it. She could taste the meal, the wine, and something else that was just him. Damn, that was good. It had been too long, even if he'd kissed her the other day. She had missed this, missed being kissed. She didn't compare Tom to Micheal. He was different. Everything was different.
Tom let his forehead rest gently against hers, still holding her hands. She took a deep breath. "How is this going to work, Tom? You know you're my boss. You know hospital rules about fraternization."
"Since when has Christina Hawthorne been afraid to break the rules?"
She laughed. "It's easy to break the rules when I know you've got my back. I know that you cushion the blow. You take the heat for me, Tom. What happens when this means you can't do that anymore? I'm not going to stop. I don't want to cost you your job, too."
"It's just a job," he said, kissing her again. "I like you a lot better than my job."
"I've risked my job a lot for you already," he reminded her. He ran his thumb over her cheek. "Tu es plus qu'un travail. Tu es une vie; tu es tout, même si tu es completement folle."
"Oh," she moaned a little, liking the way he spoke and that language just a little too much. "Did you just speak French to me? I think someone's trying to get lucky tonight."
He shook his head, stepping back. He didn't let go of her hands, though."I figured we were taking things slow."
She nodded. "Oh, we are. But I have a feeling I'm going to find out just what else those hands can do."