Again, Lexie dropped her gaze to avoid his own. She found herself fidgeting beneath his scrutiny, fingers picking at loose threads and the hem of her shirt absently. Her dark hair swept back over her shoulder as she lifted her chin fractionally, turning her head to the side to expose the wound to him. Rolling her lips together in a thin line, she dabbed with her tongue before sighing with resign. Of course he knew about her habits but for him to say as much so openly caused her brow to crease. Typically when confronted by such accusation, she would have responded with sharp ire, whether it rang true or not. This time though she could only nod in reluctant agreement. His question though still hung in the air unanswered. How had it happened? She wasn’t even certain she had an answer, it had happened too quickly to process. One minute things were fine, the next words among other things were being thrown viciously. “I got in a fight,” she told him vaguely, not entirely a lie. “You should see the other guy.”
"A guy did this to you?" He stared in disbelief, hands clenching so tightly at his side that his knuckles stained white. Why was this getting under his skin so much? Graham had been raised with strong morals, he didn’t believe in hitting a woman. His parents had raised him too respect women, to treat them with kindness. People who didn’t were an anomaly to him, they disgusted him.
He believed a special place in hell was reserved for them, that they would get what they deserved eventually. The thought of another guy laying a hand on her — a dealer no bout — made him want to take matters into his own hands. It made him want to be the judge, jury and executioner.
That wasn’t his place in the grand scheme of things though, that wasn’t his role to play. Graham was the healer; he treated people’s wounds, he saved people’s lives. He didn’t take them.
Unclenching his hands, he lifted one to her forehead, positioning strands of hair behind her ear to give him clear access to cleaning and stitching up her injury.
"Does anything else hurt?
With a shrug of a sore shoulder, the bag resting there slipped down to the floor with a quiet thud. She perched almost uncertainly on the bed, her toes just touching the floor.
Letting her hand drop from her face revealed the extent of her injury, the result of yet another - and what she hoped was the last - conflict with her poor excuse of a now ex boyfriend. Her head dipped forward, chin close to her chest as she sought to avoid his gaze. She didn’t want to catch those imploring brown eyes of his and have everything unravel.
It just had to be him, not any of the other hundreds of doctors here, didn’t it?
Lifting her own dark eyes, she only briefly looked towards him, and rather than nausea she felt a pang of guilt. She was using him like the countless she’d used needles before, ready to discard him just the same too. All he’d wanted before was to help her and here he was doing it again.
No. This was his job, it wasn’t like he actually gave a shit and she just needed to get patched up and put of here before /he/ caught up with her. Graham was just a convenience stop, nothing else.
“So, what’s the diagnosis, doc?”
"I need to check for a concussion, which means I need to ask you questions about how you obtained that nasty little cut." He siad, gesturing towards the wound. "Which also means I need you to not lie to me. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what really happened."
That was true, for the most part. Whether she told him the truth or not, he would still be able to treat her — he’d treated many minor head injuries before.
Lexie was different though, he didn’t just want to patch her up and her on her way. He wanted to find the source of her problems, to make sure she didn’t ‘walk into anymore doors’ and wind back up in the ER.
Not that he didn’t enjoy her company, he’d just rather see her during social hours, not work hours.
"If you do have a concussion, you’ll need to rest up. That means no alcohol and no drugs — even the recreational kind."
Any other time she’d have been ready with some remark of her own but as it was she was struggling to say anything of sense much less witty. A flare of pain from the open cut made her cringe again, teeth grinding as she bit back a whimper of discomfort. Her shoulders slouched, curling in on herself, her brow scrunched and her expression conveyed her increasing agony. The most she could manage was a quiet hum of reply, pads of her fingers pressing against her brow again.
She might not be the one with a medical degree but she was more than sure she had a concussion among the rest of her ailments. Beneath her trusty old leather, her second skin, was an array of bruises and scars, new and old. Those she could deal with, the throbbing of her head was another matter.
“Walked into a door,” she offered lamely, knowing he wouldn’t buy it and pressing on before he could assure her of as much, “can you fix me up or not, doc? I’ve got places to be.”
"Walked into a door?" He asked, an incredulous tone lacing his words, a brow raised to match the tone of his voice. You didn’t have to be a genius to know she was lying, that was the oldest lie in the book and if it wasn’t for the circumstances, he might actually be offended that she thought he was foolish enough to fall for a story like that.
Now wasn’t the time to push for the truth, it was more than clear that she didn’t want to spend any more time here than she had to — or possibly spend anymore time with him than she had to, so he’d leave the questions for after he’d stitched her up.
"Can I fix you up?" He scoffed, almost insulted that she would even put his skills into question. "Can Bob the Builder fix it?" He asked sarcastically, gesturing toward an empty bed away from the one that was currently being occupied.
“In the flesh,” she retorted vaguely, standing to the side of the patients bed he was at, eyes trained on his hands and watching his intricate work with a wince. Whether out of sympathy she wasn’t sure, it wasn’t like she was scared of needles considering her.. habits. But the point of that was the pain was minimal and faded within seconds.
Her stomach turned and her arm curled tighter around herself, shifting her weight uncomfortably as she tried to steady herself against the dizzy spell that clouded her mind.
“You, uh.. You got a second?” She managed, turning her attention away from the strangers injury, her own making her too woozy to look any longer.
"For you? I’ve got two." He answered with a wink, flashing her a cheeky smile before turning his attention briefly back to packing away the suture kit away into the tin bowl, to be sterilized before future use again, that he had been using on the patient.
Turning his full attention back to the girl, his brown orbs fell immediately on the crimson red liquid that trickled down from her eyebrow. His own eyebrows knitting together, an increasing amount of worry overcoming him has it dawned on him that this wasn’t a social visit and something had happened to her.
"Anything to do with that?" He asked, pointing to her eyebrow before dropping his hands into the pockets of his lab coat.
it takes an ocean not to break
With a swoosh the automatic doors opened and gave plentiful room for Lexie’s small frame to pass through, one arm wrapped around her middle and the hand of the other drawn up to her face, lithe fingers pressing against her throbbing temple. A slight trickle of fresh blood trickled down over an already dry coating, her skin hot beneath her touch, still raw from the blow she’d taken earlier.
Inside she was greeted by the hustle and bustle of patients and staff alike, her dark eyes scanning their faces as they passed in search of only one, of him. The odds of coming across him were slim she knew, he could have been anywhere within the vast building but when she’d found herself walking towards it, she’d found herself vacantly hoping she’d find him there.
Typical, she thought. Running from one guy to the next, in search of her next fix. Only this time it was her that needed fixing and, for whatever reason, he’d seemed intent on doing so before.
Brought out of her reverie by someone jostling into her as they passed, Lexie turned on her heel, exhaling slowly at the oncoming wave of nausea, and by some fluke there he was.
"Hey do-gooder. Missed me?"
It had been five days since he’d last seen Lexie, or “The Punk Rock Junkie” as the other residents had called her, much to Graham’s disapproval. Five days and he was still unable to get the girl out of his mind, she plagued his every waking thought; Was she okay? Would he see her again? Would it be too late? All these questions and no sure-fire way of getting an answer.
It frustrated him to no end. He was a doctor and as a doctor it was his job to help people, but how do you help somebody who doesn’t want your help? The burning question caused a heavy sigh to slip between his pursed lips, breaking the look of concentration on his face as he finished suturing up his current patient.
It wasn’t like he needed to pay all his attention into the process, he’d done countless sutures at the hospital since he began his first day as an intern here. It had become second nature, like riding a bicycle.
Do-gooder? Graham furrowed his brows, deep in thought. Only one person had ever called him that. The same person that had gotten under his skin.
" — Lexie?" He stood up from his stool, turning around to face her, his eyebrow arched. "It is you."