Joe Gibken ([personal profile] ajoeface) wrote2012-09-16 11:17 am

Catboy!AU: Cuddles are the Best Medicine, Part 2

[ooc: continued from here.]

-


When Joe walks back into Sid's office from reception Sid is still in the adjoining room clearing up the counter just beside the reclining bed. Joe knows that the first thing Sid is going to ask is, "who is next?", so he cuts in first as he walks through the open door. 

"It's lunchtime," he says. And before Sid can open his mouth to protest, he adds, "there are no walk-ins waiting at the moment; everyone out there has a scheduled appointment. It's time to eat."

It's not even that Sid means to neglect his body's need for food - he would never do himself any purposeful damage. He just gets too carried away at the surgery sometimes - helping people in need - to think about eating. Joe doesn't mind having taken up the responsibility to make sure that Sid looks after himself when he should. George has always tried his best, but his bossiness tends to melt in front of Sid, and he can't help but agree, "yes, maybe just this next one before you stop, Doctor Sid. I think he really needs your help."

And it isn't like Joe doesn't have any compassion; he knows a lot of the catpeople who come to the surgery are in desperate need of help. But his priority is to make sure Sid stays fit enough to be able to keep on helping them all. And right now there really is nothing pressing, nothing that can't wait until the appointed doctor gets to it. 

He gets out the sandwiches for lunch, ("I'll make them," they both always seem to offer at exactly the same time in the morning; Sid always solves the problem by suggesting they do it together) and sets them on Sid's desk in front of each seat. 

"Is there anything else that needs to be cleaned up?" Joe asks before he even thinks to sit down and start eating. It's one thing to keep Sid from overworking himself, and another for there to be actual health and hygiene reasons for him not to have stopped and sat down yet. But if there is anything, they can do it together and it won't take anywhere near as long to complete. 
handsomesempai: (gaku almost smiling at the camera)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-16 10:57 am (UTC)(link)
The days when the clinic takes free walk-ins are always busy, but they’re also the days when Sid feels the most fulfilled in his work. He’s been seeing walk-in patients all morning, tending to injuries and illnesses for catpeople who can’t afford to pay for treatment. There are so many of them fending for themselves on the street, and through no fault of their own - the system they live in doesn’t give catpeople many ways to make a living. Sid never feels like he’s doing enough to help, but by offering free treatment to those who need it, he’s at least doing something.

Sid is a little surprised to hear that it’s lunchtime already, when Joe comes in - he’d been so focused on taking care of the patients who had come in that he hadn’t realized he was hungry until Joe reminded him. He can’t help but smile at how well Joe knows him. Joe is always looking out for him like this, making sure he doesn’t overwork himself, and Sid is grateful for it. When he spends so much time caring for others, it’s good to have someone around to care for him.

It’s really wonderful having Joe here. Not that Sid had been lonely before, exactly, not with all the other people who work in the clinic around, but Sid has never been close with them like he is with Joe. Joe is his companion, his partner, and everything in Sid’s life has improved since Joe has been in it, including his work.

“Alright,” he says, smiling at Joe as he continues to clean up the examination room. “There’s not much left to do here, I’ve already cleaned the instruments. Just have to put a few things away.” He picks up a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a jar of cotton swabs and carries them back to their cupboard. “Can you change the cover on the examination table? Then we’ll be all done and we can wash up for lunch.”
handsomesempai: (gaku smoldering some more)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-16 12:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Sid listens carefully when Joe starts to speak, his eyes widening a little as he hears Joe’s idea. There are a lot of catpeople who come in for the walk-ins, but Sid and Joe both know that there are many more out on the streets in need of care who don’t even know that there’s a place where they can get treated for free. Sid has always done his best to spread the word, but most strays are distrustful of humans, and rightly so. They’d be much more likely to trust the word of another catperson.

“I think that’s a great idea,” he says, smiling at Joe. Joe has always taken so much initiative to help other catpeople, and Sid can’t help but feel moved by that, especially knowing what kind of place Joe used to live in. “You’d be much better at convincing the people who need this place the most to come here than I ever was. And it’d be good to get follow-ups, like you said.” He rinses the soap from his hands. “I need you here, too, but if it was just once a week... You could go in one of the afternoons, when we’re not so busy.” Most afternoons are appointment-only, and the appointment patients usually don’t need as much calming as the walk-ins and the emergency patients. Joe has been invaluable for helping the more distraught patients feel safe inside the examination room.

Sid dries his hands on a paper towel and drops it in the nearby wastebasket. He walks back into his office and sees the sandwiches they’d made that morning already laid out on his desk. As he sits down, something else occurs to him.

“It’s a great idea,” he says again, “and I’m all for it, as long as it wouldn’t be too much for you. Would you feel safe doing that? I don’t want you to force yourself.”

Joe hasn’t talked much about his time on the street, so while Sid has a general idea of what it might have been like, he doesn’t know any specifics. Like if Joe has had any experiences that would lead to him feeling unsafe going out there on his own, even just for an afternoon. Sid doesn’t want Joe going into any situation that could trigger unpleasant memories for him.
handsomesempai: (gaku with way too much bosom)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-16 02:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Sid smiles to himself when Joe reminds him of how they’d met, and of the first time Joe had come to the clinic. It had taken weeks of coaxing, mostly through chance encounters, and it had all been worthwhile to see him come into the reception at last. To see him accept the help that Sid had been trying to give him for so long. Sid couldn’t be happier that Joe wants to make that help accessible to as many catpeople as possible.

It’s a little surprising to hear Joe say so much about what his life on the streets had been like, since he doesn’t usually talk about it at all, but what he has to say is reassuring. He hadn’t felt unsafe, hadn’t been alone. Sid knows that catpeople prefer living in groups to living alone, though there are some strays who keep to themselves. And it’s good to hear that he hadn’t been afraid of being caught by humans, wasn’t hurt by them during his time on the street. He’s seen plenty of patients who hadn’t been so fortunate. It’s the last part, when Joe says that living there had worn him down, that makes Sid’s heart ache; he knows the look of exhaustion that strays have all too well.

“I’m glad you didn’t feel unsafe,” says Sid. “And I’m even more glad that you trusted me then.” He reaches across the desk to lay a hand on top of Joe’s. “I’m glad you’re here now, Joe, and that you don’t have to live like that anymore.” He squeezes Joe’s hand gently and smiles. “If you’re comfortable with going out there, I’ll back you up all the way. Thanks for volunteering to do it; I think it’ll make a big difference.”

He lets go and picks up his own sandwich. “We can get the details worked out after lunch, I think.” He takes a bite and chews, relishing in the taste after going without food since their early morning breakfast. They always make their sandwiches hearty, with lots of meat and vegetables, so that they can make it practically a whole meal in case they don’t have time to eat much else. They’re not usually busy at this time of day, but they never know when an emergency might arise.
handsomesempai: (gaku almost smiling at the camera)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-16 04:41 pm (UTC)(link)
It’ll take a bit of thinking to work out the scheduling for Joe’s trips out to the streets, and they’ll have to make sure he has things to take with him, like maps to the clinic and food to give to those who need it, but Sid is confident that they’ll be able to work it out. Between himself and Joe, there’s always a way.

They continue their lunch in relative quiet, focused mostly on their food. Joe isn’t much for talking and eating at the same time, and if it’s during work he tends to give Sid a look if Sid gets distracted from his sustenance. Sid has no idea how he ever managed without Joe, really. He’d always overworked himself before he had Joe around to remind him to eat and rest on a reasonable schedule. Some days he’d fallen asleep in his office before he had a chance to go home. That doesn’t happen anymore, now that Joe lives with him. They look out for each other, which means going home at a decent hour and having dinner together before falling asleep early enough to be well-rested the next morning. Sid knows this has improved the quality of care he’s able to give his patients, too.

In what can only be called a shocking upset, Sid manages to finish eating before Joe does. “This has to be a first,” Sid says with a smile, free to talk now that he’s finished his meal. “I feel like we should commemorate it with a plaque or something.”

Before he can decide what the inscription on that plaque would be - On this day, Dr. Sid Bamick stopped talking long enough to eat an entire sandwich, perhaps - his desk phone rings. It hadn’t rung in the reception; someone is calling his direct line. If Sid hadn’t already finished eating, Joe would have lunged for the phone to keep him from answering when he still had food left, but Joe still has a bite of sandwich in his mouth anyway. Sid picks up the receiver and presses the button for his direct line.

“This is Dr. Sid Bamick speaking,” he says in his most businesslike tone, as if he hadn’t just been talking about having a plaque made to commemorate himself eating a sandwich. “How can I help you?”
foodispriority: (Default)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-09-29 07:57 am (UTC)(link)
"Sid?" Marvelous repeats stupidly; of course it's Sid, this is the office number he gave to Marvelous that one time with the thing about Catpeople in Need and Marvelous had nodded along and promised that if he ever came across any catpeople in need of course he would call Sid for advice or even for aid if they were willing.

He hadn't expected it to ever happen, but it clearly definitely has now.

His own phone is wireless; he'd picked it up and brought it back with him to be alongside Don as he made the call, but now Marvelous realises this limits what he can say. Not that he would ever lie, but perhaps he would have panicked a bit more had Don not been in earshot.

Actually, this is a good thing; would he really want Sid to have heard his hysterical babbling?

"Hi," he says smoothly, "I'm sorry to bother you but it's important." Good so far. "You know what you said about helping catpeople? That I should call you. Well, I know a catperson who needs your help. So I'm calling you."

Maybe it didn't sound as completely dorky and vaguely alarmed to others out loud as it does to his own ear. Marvelous threads his fingers into Don's hair to offer him some comfort as he speaks on the phone - and to keep himself from slapping a hand to his own face in disgust.
handsomesempai: (gaku smoldering some more)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-29 08:26 am (UTC)(link)
It takes a moment for Sid to recognize the voice of the caller - it’s Marvelous, who he used to see around the coffee shop on the way to work sometimes. Sid hasn’t seen him there in a month or so, though, so it’s a bit of a surprise to hear from him out of the blue like this.

Marvelous isn’t sounding like his usual smooth self, either. He’s always been very suave (he’d even propositioned Sid once a while back, which had been flattering but Sid had declined and Marvelous has respectfully not brought the topic up since), so hearing him sounding flustered and almost panicked is a bit alarming to say the least.

And then he mentions that there’s a catperson in need of help.

“Okay, I should be able to help,” says Sid, reaching for a pen and paper in case he needs to take notes. He thinks he sees Joe’s ears pricking up at the sign of trouble. “Can you tell me what’s going on?” As it is, he has no idea what the situation is - it could be anything from a stray in need of shelter for the night to a sick pet, though he didn’t think Marvelous was keeping any pets. He’ll just wait for Marvelous to explain.
foodispriority: (quiet contemplation)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-09-29 08:59 am (UTC)(link)
It occurs to Marvelous that Don never did explain exactly what he had been doing when the accident happened; it had hurt too much, and then Don had been worried over the chair of all things. Marvelous had just filled in the blanks as he went along. But he looks at Don for confirmation as he tells Sid what he knows; Don would almost certainly rather leave it to Marvelous to explain right now than do it himself. He's still pretty shaken up.

"Don was getting some ingredients out of the cupboard for dinner," he begins tentatively, "stood on a chair to reach. And he must've slipped or something, and fell from it. It's his ankle. We don't think it's broken-"

Marvelous really doesn't want to finish up that sentence with, 'but it looks pretty bad' and scare Don at all, so he just says, "but I mean, neither of us are doctors."

There is so much he hasn't elaborated on still, but surely none of that is actually important.

"I don't want to move him," he explains. Sid could always just tell him to bring Don over himself, after all. "And Don doesn't want it either, so I'm not going to." Maybe this is just making him sound like a stubborn jerk. "I wouldn't waste your time over this though. Can you possibly take a look at it? ...Please?"

(Marvelous pretty much never says please to anyone.)

handsomesempai: (gaku with way too much bosom)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-29 09:19 am (UTC)(link)
Sid listens patiently as Marvelous explains what had happened. From the sound of it, Marvelous has a catperson living with him, which must be a recent development since Marvelous had always mentioned not knowing much about them. Sid takes a few notes as Marvelous talks: Don, male, ankle injury from fall, prob. not break - sprain?

It’s not terribly common for him to make house calls, but it’s not like he’s unprepared for the possibility - the clinic has a vehicle just for that, a repurposed ambulance with medical kits and supplies already inside it so that they can head out at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency. They haven’t had much cause to use it, but Sid likes to be prepared. And he has nothing but respect for Marvelous’s firm stance on honoring his catboy’s wishes.

“Of course I can come, it’s no trouble,” he says. Marvelous sounds so desperate, and Sid could never say no to a request for help for an injured catperson. “Just tell me your address and I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

As he takes down Marvelous’s address, a couple of other important things occur to him. “How is Don right now, is he calm? Have you done anything for the injury, like putting ice on it or giving him pain relievers?”
foodispriority: (wtf!face)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-09-29 09:44 am (UTC)(link)
It probably isn't his come-hither demeanour that convinces Sid to come to Marvelous's aid, but that's okay. Just like this isn't the scenario in which Marvelous imagined giving Sid his home address (and anyway, it would have been Sid giving Marvelous his address and inviting him over in this hypothetical scenario, not the other way around!), but that doesn't matter anymore either. This is for Don's sake.

"Thank you," Marvelous says, another thing he isn't prone to saying to people much. And, "I'm sorry we're taking you away from your work." Not sorry enough to go back on the request, but he says it because Don definitely would if it were him speaking.

"He's calmed down a little," Marvelous replies to Sid's question. He feels awful for not even thinking of offering Don something for the pain, but-

"Maybe because we put ice on it?" he says. "To ease the swelling. And I thought that if doctors were going to be seeing patients they'd prefer to give their own medication?" He lowers his voice a little automatically, even though Don can obviously hear what he says; it's more of an attempt to hush his own ignorance. "Is it different with catpeople?"

He's practically asking Don this at the same time he asks Sid, looking his way for some sort of reassurance. Don might not even know himself; Marvelous is a human but he doesn't know everything a doctor does about the human body and medicine, so why would Don in regards to catpeople?
handsomesempai: (gaku almost smiling at the camera)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-29 11:01 am (UTC)(link)
“It’s alright,” says Sid when Marvelous apologizes. “This is my work. It’s no trouble, I promise.” He doesn’t want Marvelous to feel bad for asking for something that’s perfectly within his line of work, after all.

“I’m glad to hear that he’s calm,” Sid continues, “and it’s good that you put ice on it. As for the medication, it’s alright that you haven’t given him anything. Catpeople can take some of the same medications as humans, but not all of them, so if you didn’t have any around that are formulated for catpeople, it’s better that you didn’t give him any. And I do prefer to give the medication out myself; I just needed to know in advance if you’d given him anything so I’d know what kind of dosage he’d need. Don’t worry, you haven’t done anything wrong.”

Sid looks back across the desk at Joe, who’s finished his sandwich and is listening intently to Sid’s half of the conversation. One last thing that he needs to ask comes to mind. “I’m guessing you haven’t taken him to a veterinarian before,” he says, since if Don had a vet already, Marvelous wouldn’t have called here. “Is he nervous about having someone look at his injury?”

Sid probably would have brought Joe along to help even if Don wasn’t nervous about it, but if he is, it’ll definitely be a big help to have Joe with him. Joe is such a good, calming presence for the patients at the clinic - it only makes sense to bring him along for house calls as well.
foodispriority: (Default)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-09-29 11:51 am (UTC)(link)
Marvelous breathes a sigh of relief; maybe he is just that tough that he can handle pain through sheer force of will, but not everyone is the same as him! Sid will be able to give Don the proper sort of medication formulated for catpeople though. And the way Don describes the pain in his ankle might help Sid to diagnose him more quickly too.

Hopefully it's just an awkward sprain?

"A vet?" Marvelous repeats. "No. It hasn't really come up until now. And whoever he went to before he moved in with me isn't an option anymore. But he is a little nervous around new people." A little could be considered an understatement, but Marvelous is hardly going to talk about Don like he isn't right here. "That's why he'd rather be in a familiar place. And with me."

He's about to ask Sid if he will be expected to leave the room for an examination, because he has in fact listened to Sid when he talks and knows a lot of catpeople can't be honest with their owners in the room, but realises that even the mere possibility of that being voiced might panic Don. So he decides not to after all. Sid will just have to deal with it if it comes to it, because Marvelous isn't going anywhere.
handsomesempai: (gaku smoldering some more)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-29 12:12 pm (UTC)(link)
“I understand,” says Sid when Marvelous mentions Don’s reluctance to leave the house. “Like I said, it’s no trouble for me to make a house call. I’d like to bring one of my associates along as well - he’s a catperson, too, and a lot of the patients find it reassuring to have another catperson in the room with them for their examinations. As long as neither of you have any objections, that is.” He wouldn’t want to bring Joe along if there was some reason why his presence would make Don more uncomfortable, after all, though he doesn’t think that’s really going to be an issue.

“We should be there in about fifteen minutes, give or take.” Sid puts the paper he’d been writing on in his pocket and takes the key to the ambulance out of his desk drawer. “Just try to keep Don calm and relaxed until we get there.”

He hangs up the phone and looks back at Joe. “It’s an ankle injury,” he says, knowing that Joe has already caught the gist of the situation, just not the specifics. “From the sound of it, I think it’s probably a sprain, but I’ll have to examine it to be sure.” He gets up to grab his coat from the coat rack by his office door. “And it sounds like the patient is nervous about being around unfamiliar people, so once we’re there, I’d like for you to approach him first and help him relax.”

Sid slips on his coat and leads the way out of the clinic to the garage where they keep the ambulance. They haven’t had a house call in a couple of weeks, and Logan had just done the supply check on Sunday, so everything they need should already be in it. He climbs into the driver’s side and shuts the door, waiting for Joe to get in on the opposite side before he starts the engine.
Edited 2012-09-29 12:25 (UTC)
handsomesempai: (gaku almost smiling at the camera)

[personal profile] handsomesempai 2012-09-29 01:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Sid shifts the ambulance into drive and pulls slowly out of the garage. He’s always careful when he drives - he has a very healthy respect for the kind of power that automobiles have, and the damage they can do if handled poorly.

“Yeah, I know him,” he answers as he turns out onto the street. “He’s a friend, I used to see him around the coffee shop sometimes. I didn’t know he had a catboy living with him, though. I think he must have just moved in recently. That might explain why I haven’t seen him in a while.” Sid doesn’t want to talk about it in terms of ownership, even though that’s the most likely scenario. He hasn’t heard it for certain, for one thing, and he likes to avoid parsing things as ownership around Joe whenever possible.

“He’s always seemed like a good guy to me,” Sid continues, “which I know doesn’t always count for much. But I don’t think it’s an abuse case.” This is an ugly subject to bring up, not something either of them likes talking about, but it’s not the kind of thing they can afford to be negligent about, either. “Though, we should still be on the lookout for any red flags, just in case.”