So this is a new one for me. I had a lovely reader request a Maeve X Elsie AU story. I admit it was a bit of a challenge as I haven't seen enough of Westworld to really grasp Maeve yet. She's an enigma, which in itself is kind of sexy. Anyway, to the requester: I know it's not exactly what you wanted, but I hope you enjoy it! And thank you for the awesome challenge.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything about this show including the characters. Just the plot is my own. For entertainment (hopefully) only. Also, I am not a doctor. I did do some research on broken legs etc, but it's highly likely that I got the medical facts incorrect. Lastly this is self-beta'd. Please forgive any errors. (If there's something horribly glaring, please let me know and I'll be happy to correct and report. *will be cross posted on Archive of Our Own)
"Fuck, I'm late," Elsie muttered, shifting the heavy backpack on her shoulder as she ran across campus. Her one morning class had run longer than she'd expected and now she only had thirty minutes to make the forty-minute drive to her job at Delos across town.
If she hadn't been so busy cursing the guy who felt the need to wait until the end of class to ask every question he'd ever had, she would have known better than to run across the street without looking. Unfortunately, it wasn't until she heard the squeal of a car's breaks that she realized her mistake and by then all she could do was brace for impact.
Maeve's heart stopped in her chest as she saw the girl dart in front of her car. She slammed on the brakes but she knew there was no way to avoid her and the sickening thud would stay with her for months.
"Bloody hell," Maeve choked out as she put the car in park and ran around the front to see the girl laying in the road, her leg twisted in an incredibly unnatural angle.
"Miss?" She knelt beside the injured woman, relieved that she was conscious enough to be crying in pain. This was one of those times she was grateful that she'd chosen to become a surgeon.
"Could one of you please stop recording and use your phone to call an ambulance?" she snapped at the mob just standing around cellphones out to capture the morbid sight. Used to being obeyed without question, Maeve turned her eyes back to the young woman on the ground. There wasn't much she could do from where she was but at first glance it was clear the leg was broken in at least two places. Maeve's main concern was whether there was any internal damage.
"Miss? Are you hurt anywhere other than your leg?" she asked, noting there was no sign of blood from her nose or mouth.
"Isn't that enough?" Elsie managed, between moans of agony.
Maeve was pretty sure she shouldn't have been amused by that, but she couldn't help but find it a good sign the woman still had a bit of spirit.
"What's your name?" Maeve asked, hoping to focus the woman's mind and keep her awake.
"Elsie. Elsie Hughes. Who the hell are you?" Elsie managed, wishing she would hurry up and pass out already.
"Maeve Millay. I'm a doctor and…" she stopped when she heard the sound of sirens.
"Just hang on," she said gently. When the paramedics arrived with the gurney, she stepped aside, identified herself as a doctor and asked which hospital they were taking her to. Before she could follow, she was stopped by the police and quickly answered all of their questions, anxious to check on the girl she'd hit.
Finally, she was released to go and she made her way to the nearest hospital. When the admittance nurse refused to give her information, Maeve simply showed her identification and told them she was Elsie Hughes doctor.
The nurse reluctantly said she had been taken into surgery and Maeve could sit in the waiting area and it would be up to the doctor to decide if she would release information.
Maeve Millay was not a woman used to being told no, but she knew the laws as well as anyone and she suspected this woman was used to being stepped on by doctors, particularly male ones, so she let it be.
Having seen the girl's injuries, she suspected they would be with her for a while so she went to get some coffee and call her own hospital, to say she wouldn't be in and explained the situation and then she waited.
"You don't have to do this, you know," Elsie said as the woman who'd run her over. stopped the fancy, if now somewhat dented, BMW in front of a house bigger than her apartment building.
"I know," Maeve stated simply.
Elsie blinked, momentarily distracted again by the throaty British voice. This woman made her nervous in about five hundred different ways.
"I guess, what I'm trying to say is, I'd rather you didn't do this."
Maeve, just smiled and stepped out of the car, going back to pull the wheelchair out of the trunk and set it beside the passenger door. The stubborn girl was still sitting there, seatbelt fastened and the door closed. She opened the door.
"Well that's too bad, I'm afraid. You already told me that you had no family here and you have a badly broken leg and bruised ribs which make your getting to your third-floor apartment extremely challenging.
"It wouldn't be, if you hadn't run me over," Elsie said, irritably.
"And I wouldn't have run you over, had you looked before dashing into the middle of a busy intersection," Maeve returned pleasantly. "Would you care to continue?" She almost laughed at the pout on the pretty face.
Sighing heavily, Elsie shifted to get out of the seat and hissed as a shock of pain went through her chest.
"Careful, darling," Maeve said quickly, moving to gently help the girl out of the car, wondering why she hadn't put the girl in the backseat.
Elsie bit her lip to hold back a whimper of pain as she managed to slide into the wheelchair. She didn't know this woman, but something about her had Elsie needing to appear stronger than she was.
Maeve could see the pain clearly on Elsie's face and she admitted she was impressed by the woman's fortitude, even if she thought it rather foolish and unnecessary. Still, she didn't say anything as she pushed Elsie toward the front door.
It was only as she entered the foyer and looked at the large staircase that she realized she had no way of getting the wheel chair up the stairs into a guest room.
"Not as easy as you thought, is it?" Elsie mocked, noticing the confused look on the beautiful face.
Maeve looked at her unwilling guest, surprised to see a sincere smile on her face, and for a second she was diverted by just how pretty the young woman was beneath her scratches. And stubborn.
"You are a cheeky little thing," she mused. "And actually, it is. The master bedroom is downstairs with a full shower and bath, so you will be staying there."
"What?" Elsie choked, the smile wiped from her face.
Maeve chuckled. "Alone, darling. I don't take advantage of injured women."
Part of Elsie whispered 'that's too bad', but she forced herself to ignore that part and blamed her medication.
"I'll go change the sheets and then we'll get you sorted."
"I don't have anything to sort," Elsie retorted.
Maeve frowned. She should have stopped by Elsie's apartment to pack her a bag, but for the first time, her almost compulsive tendency to plan for everything, had failed her.
"I've got a something you can wear tonight and then tomorrow I'll send Teddy or Dolores to go pack some things for you."
"Who the hell are Teddy and Dolores?" Elsie asked, in too much pain and discomfort to be polite.
"They work for me."
"Figures,' Elsie muttered. "I can go get my own stuff."
"Really? And just how would you get across town, given that there's no bus service out here."
"Cab," Elsie smirked.
"True. However, how do you plan on making it up three flights of stairs and then down, carrying luggage?"
Elsie opened her mouth, then shut it as she struggled to find a response. "I just wouldn't come back down," she finally said, trying not to imagine how extremely painful it would be dragging her leg up those stairs while dealing with injured ribs.
"Hm. Is staying here really so abhorrent to you?" She asked curiously, studying the young woman who grew more fascinating by the moment.
Elsie suddenly felt a bit guilty. "I'd be a liar if I said yes," she admitted, looking around the massive, beautiful house, before turning back to the strange woman watching her as if she was some weird experiment. Considering what Elsie did for a living, she found that last thought rather amusing.
"Look Dr. Millay…"
"Maeve. I appreciate what you're doing for me, but I don't know why. As you said, this," she gestured at her leg," wasn't your fault, it was mine."
"You aren't used to people taking care of you," Maeve stated, understanding this woman a little more.
"I understand that. I've been taking care of myself for most of my life as well," Maeve acknowledged. "However, and I admit, I'm not entirely certain of my motivation either, I intend to take care of you at least until you're able to move to crutches."
Elsie wasn't sure what she was feeling, but fear was part of it. It wasn't fear of being physically harmed by this woman, but more a fear of what this woman would do to the walls Elsie had built so long ago.
"You're pretty bossy," was all Elsie said, refusing to show any weakness at all to this stranger, no matter how much her beautiful smile made her heart jump.
"One has to be, in my profession," Maeve grinned. "So, if there are no more objections, why don't I show you to your room and then the rest of the house that you'll be able to get to?"
"Lead the way, your majesty," Elsie quipped, though she smiled to show she wasn't just being an ass.
"This looks lovely, Carolyn," Maeve commented as she sat at the dinner table. "Why don't you go ahead and take the rest of the night off."
"But the dishes…"
"That's quite alright, I'm sure I can manage to work the dishwasher," Maeve smiled
"Alright then Dr. Millay, thank you. I'll be back in the morning." Carolyn returned the smile and said goodnight to Maeve and to Elsie.
When she was gone, Elsie found herself studying her host. There was no denying Maeve Millay was a beautiful woman. Her accent and the elegant way she did everything only added to that, but there was a contradiction to her that was more fascinating to Elsie's curious mind. She had a presence about her that at first glance, Elsie would have assumed she was the sort that didn't care about people like her, but surprisingly Maeve had gone so far as to invite a virtual stranger into her very large home.
"Can I ask you something?" she finally asked.
"Well, you haven't mentioned a husband or kids, so I'm assuming you live here alone?"
Maeve sipped her wine and lifted her lips. "Well, you're assuming I would actually want a husband," she said pointedly.
Elsie blushed as she realized she hadn't even considered that the fascinating woman across from her, might prefer women.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…"
"That's alright dear," Maeve chuckled. "And to answer your question, yes I am single and without children. Why do you ask?"
Elsie felt her face heat, knowing the woman was expecting to be hit on and knowing she'd like nothing more than to have the courage to do so. Instead, she did as she always did and played it safe.
"I was…well, it just seems like an awful big house for one person."
Maeve lifted a surprised eyebrow. Truthfully, she had been expecting another lame come-on. It seemed those were the only ones she tended to attract these days, but once again young Elsie had surprised her and very few people were able to do that anymore. She decided to return the favor and surprise the other woman with more honesty than Elsie was probably expecting.
"It is. It's way more room than I need but I spent more years than I care to admit, living and working in a brothel in Nevada." She paused, not bothering to hide a smile when Elsie choked on her wine.
"A brothel?" Elsie managed, once she caught her breath.
"Mm-hmm. And needless to say, sharing a house with that many girls for so long made me a bit…claustrophobic."
"Brothel?" Elsie repeated, unable to think of any other word at that moment, as several extremely inappropriate images were racing through her mind.
Maeve's amusement continued to grow. "Are you alright?"
Elsie blinked several times before she finally regained her composure. "Yes. I'm…I hope I didn't offend you. I was just kind of shocked. Well, a lot shocked."
"You didn't offend me," Maeve assured her. "I'm well aware of what some people think of the profession, but their opinion doesn't matter a damn to me. I'm not ashamed and I was very good at it. I treated the customers with the respect I wanted to receive and they seemed to like me so much it paid for my undergrad degree and a very good bit of med school."
"I can understand that," Elsie lied.
"Can you?" Maeve smiled, seeing the lie in the pretty face.
"Well no," Elsie admitted. "Not because I don't have to work to pay for my education. I did have scholarships, but I spent my undergrad years working two jobs for extra income, but how were you…how could you let…" she paused, not wanting to sound preachy or judgmental.
"But…how could I let strangers touch me so intimately?"
"Yeah. Especially those you weren't even attracted to."
Maeve shrugged. "It wasn't always easy. Yes, there were men…and a few women, that some may not see as attractive, but that never bothered me. Those poor dears just wanted to feel special like anyone else and I was honored to do that for them."
Elsie nodded. "I can see that about you," she said, offering a shy smile that Maeve found incredibly endearing.
"And I didn't mean physically attractive," Elsie continued. "Looks are…well, if people bother to look, you can find beauty in anyone."
Maeve found herself touched by Elsie's comment. "That's very true Elsie. Very few people see things the way we do. Unfortunately, to a lot of people, someone is either 'hot' or not. They never look past the obvious and those were my least favorite clients."
"Weren't you afraid? I mean what about the assholes. The ones who thought they were better than you, or that you were just an object that they could treat however they wanted."
"I wasn't afraid. Not really," Maeve admitted. "There were a few men who tried to get rough, but they quickly discovered I can take care of myself and that no matter what they paid, any hint of violence would have them thrown out on their asses, probably with some broken bones of their own."
Elsie shook her head, still trying to reconcile the established surgeon with the former prostitute and not succeeding.
"Do you have a problem with my past?" Maeve asked, all traces of amusement gone.
"No," Elsie replied quickly. "No, of course not. I'm just surprised. I mean, I may not get it, but that's my hang up. I actually kind of admire the fact you aren't ashamed of it either."
Maeve wasn't entirely sure what to make of that so she simply shrugged. "Thank you. So, does that explain my rather expansive living space?"
"Yeah. I'm sorry if I was nosy."
"Quit apologizing," Maeve said gently. "You have every right to ask about the person you're trusting with your safety and care."
"And I could say the same," Elsie pointed out. "All you know about me is I tend to wander out into the road without looking."
Maeve chuckled. "Indeed. So, tell me about Elsie Hughes."
Elsie snorted. "Well, I'm nowhere as interesting as you," she said. "At the moment, I'm finishing up my PhD in Biotechnology"
Maeve's eyes widened. "Really?" she said. "That sounds like an incredibly fascinating field of study."
"Oh, it is," Elsie replied excitedly. "I mean, it's a field that has been around for years, but as technology continues to grow, the possibilities do too and right now, the possibilities are almost endless. Better prosthetics, better artificial organs, artificial intelligence...just all kinds of things."
Maeve found herself charmed by the young woman's innocent enthusiasm and she finally let herself realize what a beautiful woman Elsie Hughes was. Interesting.
"You say you're getting your doctorate? How much longer do you have?"
"I defend my dissertation in four months."
"That soon? And what is your topic?"
Elsie paused, unsure if Maeve was merely being polite or was truly interested. She was a very difficult woman to read.
"I could bore you for hours," Elsie laughed awkwardly, "but the short version is the feasibility of sentience in artificial intelligence."
"What? Are you talking about androids?" Maeve asked with surprise.
Elsie blushed, realizing how almost silly it sounded, coming from a woman who saved lives for a living.
"Well in a way I guess. I know it's not medicine or anything, but learning how to make more life-like technology that has life-like adaptability can help with so many things including making prosthetics that are much more responsive and interactive or creating technology that could generate artificial nerve impulses to help people walk again."
Maeve quickly reached out and placed a hand on Elsie's arm. "Please don't think I'm belittling your project. I think it's brilliant, truly. I just didn't know technology had come so far as to even consider the idea of sentient A.I.'s"
Elsie tried hard not to notice how warm Maeve's hand felt against her skin. "Well, theoretically it really isn't possible, but when you consider the electricity that the body and the mind produce and all it's capable of, it's only logical to try and integrate technology with that. Not to replace anything, but to enhance it."
Once again, Maeve forgot herself for a moment as she was swept up in Elsie's excitement and the way it lit up her face. For one startling second, she felt a wildly inappropriate urge to kiss her, but she ignored it. For now.
"You really are quite an impressive young woman," Maeve commended, sitting back in her chair.
Elsie smiled shyly. "Thank you. I just hope the people I'm defending to, and my employer, agree with you."
"Working on a doctorate, teaching classes and working? My, word, you are something of a Wonder Woman, aren't you?"
Elsie laughed. "Hardly."
Maeve considered arguing, but decided it would only make the other woman uncomfortable. "So where do you work? If you don't mind my asking."
"Well, right now I'm just a researcher at Delos Incorporated."
"Delos?" Maeve frowned. "Aren't they involved in amusement parks?" She thought that seemed grossly beneath Elsie's skill level.
"Well yes, that's one of their divisions, but they do a lot more than that. Oh, I probably shouldn't have said that," Elsie bit her lip, wondering if she'd actually crossed the line of violating her confidentiality agreement, or just placed her toe on it.
"Don't worry love, I'll pretend I didn't hear anything," Maeve smiled, more curious than ever.
"Thanks." Before she could say anything else, she let out a less than ladylike yawn.
"Oh, my God, I'm so sorry."
Maeve chuckled. "Don't worry about it. I know it's been an exhausting day for you. Come on, I'll help you get changed."
Elsie's eyes shot wide at that. Only now did she realize she couldn't dress or undress by herself and that this extremely attractive woman was the one offering to help.
"I don't…I think I can do it myself," she stammered, knowing her face must be bright red and not even caring.
Maeve bit her lip, trying not to grin at the young woman's sudden shyness. "You really think so?" She asked with a knowing expression.
Elsie may be a lot of things, but she knew her limits. "No," she pouted.
Maeve did chuckle at that. "Rest easy Elsie, I am a doctor and you don't have anything I haven't seen before," she teased and got to her feet. "I promise I'll only ogle a little," she added, laughing at the blush on Elsie's face as she wheeled her chair to the master bedroom.
Despite her teasing, Maeve was all business as she carefully helped Elsie out of her clothes, pausing briefly to examine the bruised area over her ribs and then slid a loose t-shirt gently over Elsie's head.
"Are you okay?" Maeve asked, looking for any signs of pain in the girl's face and finding a hint in her dark eyes.
"I'm okay, mostly. Lifting my arms hurt a little."
"I'm sorry about that," Maeve said sincerely. "Here, let me help you into bed and then I'll fetch you a pain pill, shall I?"
"Oh goodie, drugs!'" Elsie grinned. "Maybe staying here won't be so bad after all."
Maeve frowned. "Elsie, these aren't 'drugs. They're…"
"Don't get your knickers in a twist," Elsie laughed. "I was just kidding."
Maeve was relieved enough to hear Elsie laugh, that she didn't mind the teasing. "Glad to hear it. Now let me help get you into bed."
Elsie looked up at the beautiful woman and those big dark eyes and had to force herself not to make an inappropriate comment. She'd save that for later.
"Thanks," was all she said and then any amusement she might have felt vanished as Maeve slid an arm around her to help her out of the chair and pain shot through her body.
"I'm so sorry," Maeve murmured, though she didn't stop. "Just hold on a few moments," she encouraged and carefully guided Elsie to the bed, wincing herself at each hiss of pain she heard.
"There we are, all sorted," Maeve said, slightly out of breath. "I'm so sorry about the pain."
"That's okay," Elsie replied weakly. "It'll pass."
"I'll be right back with your pain pill and then we'll both call it a night, yes?"
"Are you telling me you're going to go to bed at six thirty?" Elsie's lips lifted in a tired smile.
Maeve chuckled "Well, I may just read and watch television for a while, but with my hours, I often go to bed fairly early." She left the room and went to get the bag from the pharmacy. She took a pill and filled a glass of water as well as Elsie's phone and went back to the bedroom.
"Here we are," she said.
"Thank you," Elsie said, taking the pill with no attempt at arguing.
"Now, the remote for the telly is on the table next to you, and here's your mobile. Oh, if you can unlock it, I'll put my phone number in so if you need anything you can just call me since I'll be upstairs."
Elsie listened to Maeve talked and let out a little sigh. "How about reading me a story?" she blurted.
Maeve blinked. "Pardon?"
Elsie realized what had just left her mouth and rolled her eyes at her own stupidity. Still, the truth was the truth so why hide it. "I like your accent," she said. "It's kind of comforting."
Maeve shook her head. "Thank you," she replied, "but no stories for you. Unless you want me to read from todays newspaper?"
"Oh, God no," Elsie retorted a shudder. "I don't think even you could make that tolerable."
"The American media is dreadful," Maeve agreed. "So, you'll be alright by yourself?"
"How could I not be, in this monster sized bed," Elsie teased.
"Oh, my darling, there are so many ways I could answer that," Maeve said, with a lilt in her voice that had Elsie swallowing and wishing she wasn't injured.
"Well, that would be an interesting story, whenever you'd like to tell it," Elsie replied.
Maeve lifted an eyebrow, a bit surprised by the sudden flirtatious turn of the conversation.
"Hm. I'll keep that in mind, dear," she smiled. "Now, get some rest. Tomorrow I need to go to the hospital and take care of some things before I start my leave but Carolyn will be here to make sure you're fed properly and have Teddy and Dolores will fetch your things and they'll make sure you're looked after, until I get home and then for the next few weeks, my little darling, will have very rare opportunity to have a surgeon as your personal home care provider."
"I'm sorry, what?" Elsie frowned, not entirely sure she had heard correctly. She couldn't possibly have.
"I know, it's a bit difficult to believe and if you knew me better, you'd say it was impossible, but I'm taking an extended leave from the hospital and I'm going to be taking care of you."
Elsie was absolutely floored. "You don't need to do that. I'm sure my insurance would pay for a nurse or C.N.A or something."
"Possibly," Maeve agreed, though she doubted it. "However, I'm going to do it and please don't argue because this is not an offer I've ever made and most likely will never make again."
"If this is because you think I'm going to sue or something, you don't have to worry," Elsie rushed to assure her. "The accident was my fault and you've already done so much for me."
Maeve studied the woman for a moment.
"You aren't used to having people help you, are you?"
Elsie scoffed. "No. Not without wanting something."
"I can understand that," Maeve replied, surprised to discover she had anything in common with this young woman. "However, rest assured, that I want nothing more than to help you and if it makes you feel better, that is not something I'm not accustomed to saying."
"That's kind of an odd thing for a doctor to admit," Elsie quipped, but was rather moved by the admission. She had a suspicion that Maeve Millay was a very strong and proud woman who rarely, if ever, revealed herself to anyone.
"I'm kind of an odd woman," Maeve replied pleasantly. "Sleep well, Miss Hughes."
Elsie didn't stop her as she left. She just leaned back in the enormous bed and tried to make sense of everything that had happened while waiting her pain meds to kick in.