Writer's note: One of the things I like to do when writing fic is see what would happen if a scene had gone a different way, like this fic - what if Patrick and Kat hadn't fought in the middle of the "Don't give a damn..." episode and she'd come with him into the health office?
Oh btw, thanks so much for all the great feedback for my first 10 Things fic! Hope you all enjoy this one, too.
ETA: Okay, you got me, I'm a sloppy proofreader. Thanks for the people who pointed out the mistake with Kat's name, I've fixed it.
Kat and Patrick sat silently on the bench outside the health office, waiting for Patrick to be called in to get his foot looked at. Nervously fidgeting with the hideous orange vest, Kat glanced surreptitiously at Patrick's foot as he frowned thoughtfully (painfully?) at the now-bleeding toe.
"Are you sure you don't want me to look at it, my father's a doctor," Kat offered somewhat sheepishly.
Patrick frowned. "Oh, he's a doctor...so do you go around stabbing his patients, too?"
Kat bristled. "It was an accident, okay? I didn't mean to-"
Glaring, Kat opened her mouth to fire another one of her retorts at him when the door to the health office swung open.
"Mr. Verona? You can come in now."
Patrick grabbed his bag and walked into the office, Kat closely behind him.
The nurse practitioner, whose name tag read "Ms. Tancredi," frowned at Kat. "You'll have to wait out here, Miss Stratford. Non-patients aren't allowed in exam rooms-"
"I just want to see if he's okay," said Kat.
Patrick rolled his eyes. "She's obligated to stalk me at least once a day," he said sarcastically to the nurse.
The nurse sighed, turning to Kat. "You can see your boyfriend as soon as I'm done with him, I promise-"
"I am not her boyfriend!" interjected Patrick huffily.
"He is not my boyfriend!" sputtered Kat in almost perfect unison with Patrick. They looked at each other in as the nurse looked at both of them in bewilderment.
"Please, my dad's a doctor," said Kat. "I'm used to seeing him treat patients, you won't even know I'm here."
Staring, the nurse practitioner shrugged. "Well, if it's all right with Mr. Verona."
"Trust me, I couldn't get rid of her if I tried," muttered Patrick under his breath.
Ignoring the looks they were giving each other, Ms. Tancredi motioned Patrick to sit on the exam table. "You can sit in that chair over there, Miss Stratford. This shouldn't take long."
Kat sat in the chair anxiously as the nurse carefully examined Patrick's foot, cleaned the wound, and started bandaging it up.
"Well, it looks like you'll be okay, Mr. Verona. It's not infected and there's no permanent damage done." Kat sighed an inward sigh of relief as Ms. Tancredi finished wrapping the bandage around Patrick's toe.
"So I can go?" asked Patrick, shooting a pointed glance toward Kat.
"Yes. As soon as I give you a tetanus shot."
"As soon as you...wait, what?" Patrick sputtered, his eyes wide open in shock. Kat looked at him curiously.
Ms. Tancredi looked up from the notes she was making on Patrick's chart and frowned at him. "Your immunizations are out of date, Mr. Verona. You were just stabbed with a metal razor. I'm going to have to give you a tetanus shot or it could get infected. Now wait here while I get the shot," she added briskly, leaving the room as a dazed Patrick sat back down on the exam table. Noticing Kat's staring at him, he quickly looked away.
"What?" he asked as she continued to stare.
"Oh, my gosh," said Kat slowly. "Are you afraid of needles?"
"Don't be ridiculous!" he said haughtily. "Of course not!"
"You are!" Kat was now completely taken aback. "Patrick Verona, Mr. Bad Boy of Padua High, the biker, the cannibal who has tasted human blood is afraid of a little needle!"
"I am not afraid-"
"You are, too, admit it-"
Their bickering was cut off as the door opened and Ms. Tancredi came in carrying a nasty-looking syringe. Kat couldn't help but notice Patrick's eyes get even wider in anxiety.
"All right, Miss Stratford, please turn around, you don't need to see this. And Mr. Verona, please drop your pants," said the nurse in her usual brisk tone.
"What?!" yelled out both Patrick and Kat, this time in perfect unison.
Ms. Tancredi shook her head exasperatedly. "I'm going to have to give this to you in the butt, Mr. Verona, that's where tetanus shots are usually given."
Kat's cheeks burned as she looked away, Patrick doing the same. "That's okay, I can take it in the arm," he assured the nurse. "Really."
Ms. Tancredi frowned again. "Mr. Verona, tetanus is a very painful vaccination, you won't be able to take it in the your arm, there's not enough tissue there to pad-"
"I'll be fine, really," pleaded Patrick as Kat sat in the corner, blushing furiously, looking down at her feet. "Please, just give it to me in the arm."
Ms. Tancredi rolled her eyes. "Oh, all right. Don't blame me if it hurts. Take off your vest and roll up your sleeve." She examined the hypodermic while Patrick did as asked, flicking the cylinder to release the excess vaccine. Suddenly, she turned to Kat.
"Miss Stratford, would you like to hold his hand? Sometimes it helps."
"I don't think that's necessary-" started a horrified Patrick.
"I think I'm good," squeaked Kat, face burning harder than ever as she hastily got up from the chair, trying very hard not to look at Patrick.
The nurse shrugged and jammed the needle into Patrick's arm as poor Patrick winced painfully, Kat feeling guiltier than ever. Without realizing what she was doing, Kat reached out and grabbed his hand. Patrick's eyes widened as he looked at Kat while Ms. Tancredi finished and put a band-aid on his arm.
"Well now, that wasn't so bad, was it, Mr. Verona?" Ms. Tancredi obviously didn't realize the answer to her rhetorical question was yes. "Now wait here a minute while I file your chart and then you're free to go. Oh, and if you like, there are lollipops in that container over there on the counter," she added wryly as she left the room.
Wordlessly, Kat dropped Patrick's hand and he rolled his sleeve back down and shrugged back into the ugly orange vest. "Are you okay?" mumbled Kat, trying not to meet his eyes.
"Oh yes, peachy," he said sarcastically, then looked away again. Another few moments of quiet. Patrick cleared his throat. "By the way, um, thanks," he muttered, still not looking directly at her.
"For, you know, coming in to make sure I was okay..." His voice drifted off.
"Well, it was my fault and all-"
"Yeah, it was-"
"I said I was sorry-"
"Maybe you could try to keep the sharp pointy things away from me in the future while you're stalking me-"
"Why, because you're so afraid of the sharp pointy things, like, say, oh, I don't know, a needle?" Kat said bitingly.
"I am not afraid, I told you-"
"Oh, right, you're not afraid of shots, you're probably more afraid of being shot down-"
"Afraid of being shot down? You mean, like you are?" Patrick fired back. They stared at each other.
Ms. Tancredi came back in. "Mr. Verona, you're free to go. Miss Stratford, I need you to stick around for a minute."
"Me? Why?" It was Patrick's turn to look at Kat curiously as he picked up his bag.
"Since you're here, I checked your file and apparently your tetanus immunization is up, too. Let's just take care of it while you're here, shall we?"
"But-but...I'm sure it's up to date," blurted Kat. "My father's a doctor, I know it wouldn't lapse-"
"Oh, what's the matter?" interrupted Patrick sweetly. "Not afraid of a little needle, are you?" He smirked at Kat's obvious mortification.
"You know," he said, stepping closer to her. "It's just a little shot. If you like, I'll hold your hand and get you a nice shiny lollipop afterward," he added grinning as Kat's face flushed again with humiliation and she glared at him harder than ever.
"Roll up your sleeve, Miss Stratford," said Ms. Tancredi, ignoring the tension in the room as she held up yet another nasty hypodermic. Patrick crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, making no motions to leave.
"My father's a doctor," insisted Kat fervently as she rolled up her sleeve. "I'm sure he can take care of this when I go home today-"
"You're not allowed to be in school with lapsed immunizations," said the nurse in a no-nonsense voice. Without another word, she jammed the shot into Kat's arm.
"Holy, sh-, I mean crap!" yelled Kat.
As the nurse gave her a disapproving look and started to push it into her arm further, Patrick came to Kat's side and squeezed her hand. Shooting him a grateful look, Kat squeezed it back as they held their hands tightly intertwined in each other's.
"There, all done!" said the nurse in her best thank-goodness-they-can-both-get-out-of-my-office-now voice. "You're both free to go. Be sure to see me if you have any abnormal symptoms or reactions." Without another word, she left the room.
Kat silently put her vest back on as Patrick picked up her bag from the floor.
"Thanks," mumbled Kat. "For um, helping me out there..." Her voice trailed off.
"You're welcome," said Patrick off-handedly as neither of them looked at each other.
"Sorry about making fun of you. I don't like getting shots, either," Kat admitted. "My dad's a doctor, I always pretend to be brave." She paused. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone about you...you know, being afraid."
"And I won't tell anyone about you being afraid," assured Patrick. He paused. "I think," he added smugly as he gathered up his things and started for the door.
Kat's jaw dropped open in fury.
Patrick turned around to face her. "What?"
Kat stepped forward toward Patrick. Holding one of the candies she'd just taken from the jar and unwrapped, Kat shoved it into his mouth. "You forgot your lollipop," she said coolly, smiling wickedly as Patrick watched her walk out the front door.