Lost Girl, Being EricaCharacters/Pairing:
Lauren Lewis and Cassidy HollandRating:
Cassidy breaks her foot and has an interesting night in the ER. Author’s Notes:
I took the mistaken identity prompt and wrote a fic I already had in my head since I’ve watched Being Erica in which Anna Silk plays a lesbian artist who later mentions having a girlfriend named Helen, of whom we know nothing other than that name and my headcanon just went with that and had a lot of fun - or more like a lot of sads, but yeah...
Nothing better than sitting in an emergency room in a strange country, your foot throbbing, everyone talking in a language you don’t understand, waiting for someone to finally take care of that damn broken bone. At least they gave her a room now, after more than three hours of waiting and being carted to and from the x-ray while trying to communicate mostly in gestures.
Everyone had said that going to Germany would be no problem, everybody would understand English enough to get around. Yeah, sadly, that didn’t take stumbling over a bench, breaking your foot and having to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night into account. At least they gave her something for the pain and assured her that there would be a doctor from America coming soon – well, she hoped that that was what the nurses were trying to tell her – but the waiting started to get on her nerves.
Cassidy stretched a little bit on the cot, putting her foot in a more comfortable position and sighed. At least all the heavy lifting for the exhibition had already been done today, so she didn’t have to worry about doing any of that with a broken foot. Even though getting around and actually talking to visitors would probably be a chore too, but not having to set up things anymore was definitely good.
Finally the door opened and someone other than a random nurse entered. Cassidy first saw only a clipboard held in front of a distinctly female figure, but then the clipboard lowered a little and her heart jumped a beat, or at least it felt like that. Her gaydar flew into the atmosphere. It wasn’t even the short black hair, or the big rimmed glasses or the very distinct lack of make up on her visitor – it was the way women held themselves, the stance, everything.
It was the aura of knowing that who and what you were was not approved by general society, the aura of having fought for the right to simply exist, to simply do what made you happy. That was almost always a very safe indicator and this woman exuded it in strides. Obviously she was a doctor, so Cassidy made allowances for that, succeeding in a field like that had to have taken some fighting, but still, it seemed almost certain.
All these thoughts had only taken a few seconds, in which the doctor had said something about her foot without looking up from the clipboard – at least the nurses apparently had been saying that there was an American doctor, because hers was very distinctly an American accent – thank god. Between that and her being a really cute person and with a pretty high probability gay, Cassidy’s night just got one hundred percent better.
At least for a few seconds more, until the doctor actually looked up from the clipboard and directly at her. And froze.
And in just a second, the gaydar changed into a huge alarm bell. She had seen this look before. She had seen it on far too many faces. Seeing it directed at her, on the face of a stranger was more than a little unsettling. She had no idea what was going on, if ‘Bo’ was a name or something else, if she was being mistaken for someone or if she actually should know this woman, but the doctor, who had been petrified for a second, staring at her like a deer in the headlights, with eyes that screamed silently, suddenly sprung into action.
She nearly threw the clipboard on a nearby desk, darted forward, took her hands – something that wouldn’t be unpleasant normally but with the desperation that seemed to be behind this gesture was truly heartbreaking.
“What are you doing here? Do they know that you’re here? Are they coming? Why are you here? I…”
After all this had been uttered hastily, she seemed to have run out of questions, or breath, or just simply strength, as Cassidy could feel that she was trembling. She had no idea what to do, so she just tried to comfort the woman by holding her hand a bit tighter and giving her what was hopefully a comforting smile.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know you. My name is Cassidy Holland. I think you might have mistaken me for someone else.”
It was an obvious assertion and Cassidy felt weird making it, but she didn’t know what else to say. There was a storm of emotions written all over the doctor’s face. She seemed to still be caught in whatever memories had caused her to react like this. She sat back on the chair next to the cot and seemed to try and regain her composure.
“I’m really sorry. I’m just happy that someone speaks English, but I can call for another doctor. I really don’t want to cause any trouble.”
She basically just rambled and she knew it, trying to find a possible topic to talk about so that the doctor, who was still breathing heavily and seemed to struggle with tears, could calm down a bit and recover from what had clearly been a shock. For a few seconds, both of them were silent, Cassidy thinking fervently about something to comfort the woman, to assure her that everything was okay, but coming up empty.
“I’m so sorry.”
“No, I am sorry. I shouldn’t have… I…”
The words were still heavy with uncried tears, it seemed to take her a lot of strength to even get them out. Cassidy decided that maybe engaging her with something familiar would be calming.
“I didn’t catch your name. Doctor?”
“L... Thomas. Helen Thomas.”
Cassidy smiled wider, pretending that she didn’t notice the little stutter or realized the probable reason behind it.
“Nice to meet you. I am Cassidy. Cassidy Holland. I would stand up, but…”
This seemed to bring the doctor back into the present, from whatever scary place she had still been caught up in. She got up and reached for the clipboard.
“Yes. Your foot. Your foot is broken in two places. It’s clear breaks though, there’s no need for setting it. You will have to be in a cast and you will need to take the weight off of it for a while. The nurses noted that you fell over a bench?”
She said all of these things quickly, still seemingly desperate to regain her professionalism, still not entirely succeeding. Cassidy decided to go along with it.
“Yeah, I was a klutz and stumbled over a bench when I was checking my paintings in the gallery. I would blame someone else for putting a bench there, but well, I did that myself, so...”
She laughed a little bit and was relieved to see that Doctor Thomas also smiled a little bit.
“You’re an artist? Which gallery?”
Delighted that they had a topic to talk about, Cassidy told her and was relieved to see her seeming to relax more and more now that she was talking about something other than her emotional outbreak. Cassidy found out that she had not only planned to go to the exhibition but also knew a lot about art and artists and that they had a lot in common when it came to favourite artists and paintings.
They talked quite a while, the doctor relaxing more and more. When a nurse opened the door and asked something in rapid German that Cassidy didn’t understand but that made the doctor nod and get up, she actually felt sorry that their conversation had to end.
When the nurse came in and put a cast on her leg the doctor left, probably for another patient, and after the nurse was finished and gave her crutches and some papers, Cassidy already wondered if the doctor would come back at all, realizing that she would much prefer it if she did, not only to make sure that she was alright but also because she had genuinely enjoyed their conversation.
She had to admit that she would quite like to see Doctor Thomas again, outside of the hospital, but the other woman’s reaction seemed to indicate that that was probably not the best idea ever. Figuring out how to best walk on the crutches took some time and then there was getting back to the gallery, which she had no idea how to do, so she approached the front desk to have them call a cab.
They actually understood English and assured her that a taxi would come for her in a few minutes and that she could sit in the waiting area until then. She had just sat down in an empty corner of the waiting area – which wasn’t very crowded at this time of night anyways – when she saw Doctor Thomas approaching. She didn’t even try to hide how happy she felt to see the doctor again and smiled widely, a smile that was actually returned, even though it still seemed like there was a little shadow on it.
“I wanted to make sure that you get back home safely.”
For a few moments, they just looked at each other, unsure of how to continue.
“Maybe you want to come to the exhibition opening tomorrow? I can get you free tickets.”
The smile got wider, and there was even the hint of a little laugh.
“Of course, how could I resist that offer.”
As soon as she said those words, the doctor seemed to regret them, her eyes getting wide again, even physically taking a step back, before she regained her composure again and let out a little nervous laugh.
Cassidy stood up, careful not to encroach on the other woman’s personal space but wanting to comfort her as best as possible. She decided that it wouldn’t do any good to just pretend to ignore the clear signs of the doctor’s discomfort.
“Are you okay?”
Another little laugh, straightening of shoulders.
“Of course. I’m fine.”
“You don’t have to lie to me. It’s okay.”
The doctor stared at her for a second, and then lost the mask of professional detachment completely. As if she somehow lost all her strength, she sunk into the chair next to Cassidy’s, trembling. Actual tears were falling down her cheeks now and she buried her head in her hands.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Cassidy had no idea what to do, if she could even dare touch the doctor, so she just sat down again, trying to exude an aura of compassion. They just sat there for a few moments, the doctor silently sobbing.
“I should go, I’m so sorry. I’m really sorry.”
She made a move to get up, which seemed to stir the doctor, she looked up with tearfilled eyes and made a move towards Cassidy’s hands, actually grabbing them, albeit weakly.
“No, please, don’t go.”
Cassidy settled into the chair more comfortably and held the doctor’s hands, while the other woman put her head onto Cassidy’s shoulder and let out a series of heavy breaths. She had no idea what was even happening and if this would turn out to be a terrible idea, but right here, right now, comforting this stranger felt right. It felt like the most right thing she had ever done in her entire life.