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 The Better Man [Willem]

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Former Arthur

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PostSubject: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:30 pm

The cafeteria was always moving with the sound of shuffling feet, clattering of plates the slop of food, the murmurs or orders and the patients and doctor and whoever else lurked rang through the room. One would think that it would be the last place that Dr. Kirkland would ever go to read over notes on a certain patient. Which is exactly why he was there, because no one would expect him to be there. It was brilliant.

He chuckled a little at his own cunning, sipping his tea, a pen tapping contemplatively against the table. This was one of the harder cases that had come across his desk because they symptoms were so generalised. Little Emily Peterson had only a light fever, a terrible cough and a strange rash along her hips and armpits.

This was actually one of the second reasons Arthur was hiding out in the cafeteria. Emily wasn't exactly his patient. True she had come to see him but she had been passed along through the hospital and ended up in the Dutch doctor's care. Since Arthur wouldn't trust that man with taking care of a banana let alone a sick child, the Brit had stolen into his office and taken the file, hurrying away before anyone would see him.

Eventually, he knew that 'Willy' (pronounced with a heavy Scottish accent by Arthur leading to something akin to 'Will-EH') would figure out where he was which only gave him a few minutes to figure out what was wrong with her. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Last edited by Arthur Kirkland on Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:16 pm

There was no wrong time in the day for coffee. At least a caffeine was a very socially accepted addiction, nobody would ever blink an eye at someone heading down to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee. After quickly grabbing a styrofoam cup, he quickly acquired his drink and well as a small bit of sugar and cream. Just the one thing he didn't expect to see as he quickly scanned around the busy room was the English doctor sitting around, with what looked like a file down in front of him.

Willem quirked an eyebrow, rising his cup to his lips as he blew across the surface. He'd worked at Axis Memorial just a tad longer than the other man, and he continued staring over the rim of the cup as he took a drink. Even to someone like him, the other man just seemed stuck up and a bit snobbish.

The very reason he didn't seem too keen on doctor Kirkland was because they seemed a bit too alike. If Willem had to be stuck in a room with someone the rest of his life, he wouldn't chose himself and he certainly wouldn't chose someone with a similar personality. He'd heard all the whispers about the other, considering Arthur's young age and top education. But as frequently as Willem visited the cafeteria, he'd never seen the other around...

Striding up to where the other man sat, he loomed over him for a moment as he glanced at the file. Seeing 'Peterson, Emily' across the top, it all became a bit more clear.

Arthur Kirkland must have been jealous his former patient was now under his care.

And why shouldn't he be? A strained smirk crossing his lips, he reached down to plant his unoccupied hand flat across the paper with no regards whether or not Arthur was still busy reading.

"Seems someone forgot their doctor-patient privileges today. The whole part about not being on the case, I think." He murmured in a flat voice, taking another drink and staring down at the green-eyed man.
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:29 pm

The shadow cast across his table was tall and spiky and before he could even pick up his papers and make a run for it, a spindly hand had slammed down on the forms, blocking the words and smudging a few of the freshly-penned notes Arthur had made. His fist tightened around his pen and he looked up at the man, scowling.

He was silly-looking. With that damned scar (which he never spoke about because he was mysterious even though Arthur would bet his entire medical career on the fact that he probably just fell off his bike and didn't want to talk about it), poofed up hair that made him look like an agitated porcupine and a face that never had any more emotion than "rarg-I'm-angry-and-dutch" or just simply condescending.

It was the latter today.

Clearing his throat a little, Arthur waved at the hand, trying to brush it off of the patient's charts. "You've seen her twice and you still haven't figured out what's wrong with her," he said, "I've written a list of possible diseases but it would be anything, way too general of symptoms. our check-up must have missed something, something important. You should really hand her over to me since I at least know what I'm looking for."
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:48 pm

Having half a mind to just crumple the paper below his hand into nothing, he tried to refrain due to the fact he didn't want to spend time later copying files down over again. While Arthur tried to brush his hand away, the Dutchman refused to relent. He jerked at the folder, trying to forcefully slam it closed.

"There's a reason she was handed to me in the first place. I've been doing this longer, and would you care to remind me which of us is the pediatrician?" While the latter bit wasn't quite true yet, he was proud at least that he kept making increasing progress towards it. He could easily recall the details about the small girl, although nothing about her case seemed even remotely close to life-threatening.

"And I don't have to preform another check-up. I don't miss things."

After another quick sip, his lips quickly turned down into a frown the more he stared at the terrible mop of blonde hair. If only the other could try to give the impression he was a professional and not some unwashed young European punk...

"Third of all, how did you even get this?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:59 pm

"Neither of us are pediatricians, though one does hang children quite a lot." Arthur's sharp gaze bored into Willem's and he smirked slightly, "But that's all under the table, hushhush and the such. Just gossip and we all know that the nurses see a lot of things~"

In reality, the nurses saw fuck-all and all the times he had requested they watch the Dutchman deal with children, they had always come back and told him that he was very good with children and in no way a paedo. But Arthur enjoyed goading the man the man anyway, it was like a hobby of sorts and he was waiting for the day the man snapped.

Oh what a glorious day it would be. But for now, Emily was more important. "I snuck into your office," he said, "Did you check her tongue? Was it very pink? Coarse? Were her rashes peeling?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:30 pm

"Why would anything have to be under the table? Of course I spend time with children, far sooner than the time you figure out nobody cares about your Oxford years I'll finish up my specialty." With a blunt and uncaring tone, he slid the manila folder away from Arthur.

There was no need to deny any of that. Even if he he was fully aware his personal preferences usually deviated a bit young, he was still adamant about never becoming involved with a patient. One could accuse him of being a pedophile and have as much to go on as if they'd accused any regular person with a profession around minors.

Roughly pulling out the seat across from Arthur, he figured he might as well sit down. He opened the folder back up, glancing at the now smudged remarks that the Brit had scribbled. Without even giving them serious thought he dropped the folder again.

"I'll remember to lock it next time then. Her tongue was entirely normal, as well were her rashes... as normal as rashed could be, anyways. No weeping even. It's probably something run of the mill, Dokter, couldn't you be spending your time elsewhere?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:42 pm

Quickly snatching the folder back, Arthur opened it, crossing off a disease. "Not Scarlet fever then..." he murmured, closing it and placing it diplomatically between them at the small table before folding his arms over his chest, frowning, beginning to tap the pen against the table again, eyebrows furrowed.

"Also, when I have my PhD and MD, we'll see who's talking about specialties. It doesn't matter anyway though, this little girl is still sick and you damned well can't figure out what's wrong with her!" he grumbled, picking up his own tea, sipping at it. "And I'm actually trying to hide from my intern, he's a complete idiot sometimes, keeps thinking he's bloody dying and rushes into my office like it's a damned international crisis."

The Brit swallowed a little. "Plus Emily is a sweet little girl... She said she couldn't go to her piano recital because she had to come see me during the preliminary check-up... I felt terrible." He mumbled all of this in a vague hope that Willem wouldn't be listening too hard.
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:08 pm

"...Are you joking? Of course it isn't scarlet fever. Her fever isn't that high and it usually doesn't even present with a cough. Does Oxford just teach you to pull random diagnoses from y--.." Begrudgingly managing to stop himself from finishing that sentence, he stared at Arthur with a dull look.

"I'll figure it out. To be perfectly honest, I have sicker patients even to deal with. The tussionex is surpressing the cough for the most part even." Without a pretty solid diagnoses he didn't have much to go on rather than just trying to treat the symptoms, and he took a deep drink as he thought. Hiding from someone he was supposed to be taking under his wing? It left a sour taste on Willem's tongue to think of it.

Just before he could come up with anything else to say, he caught a vague bit of what the British man said. Sighing, he removed a pen from his pocket as he tried to think. It did seem that the other had a rather vested and passionate interest, but he also believed passion was often the thing that ended up killing people.

After a slight hum, he reached over and wrote in dark letters across some of Arthur's notes.

Laundry soap.

"She probably just has a cold. Her parents could have switched detergents recently and it's been an irritant to her skin, judging by the sporadic patten and how it doesn't even seem to have a connection. There. The nurses probably didn't ask, but I'm sure it's just some simple environmental factor. A few days here and it'll be gone entirely."

He fell silent again, staring at the other in an almost dare for him to argue it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:15 pm

Shaking his head quickly, Arthur tapped the words 'mild fever'. "Scarlet fevered is characterised by its low fever, cough, rashes located on her armpits and groin, which hardly explains the laundry detergent because then she'd be covered in rashes."

Quickly, Arthur scribbled out the words, allowing himself a few minutes of thought. "Fifth with a whooping cough?" he suggested, "If her fever gets any higher that means it something more serious, potentially three-day fever that's just drawn itself off but a mixture of that heavy cough and the random blotches of rash means that it's not environmental."

He glanced up at the Dutchman. "Oxford taught me how to save people. It's not a contest."
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:34 pm

Willem crossed an arm around his chest, listening briefly to what the other had to say. "What areas have the most friction when you wear clothing? The armpits and the groin." It had been a bit of a common sight to him, parents coming to him thinking something was direly wrong with their kid and it turned out something as simple as that.

"It's not pertussis either. And she's too old for three-day fever which is why this is something you should leave to someone more accustomed to children, considering you're practically one yourself." After the dry comment, he narrowed his eyes at Arthur. "The coughing certainly isn't environmental. I'm just saying it's probably not connected to the rash."

Slightly glaring at him, Willem leaned back in his seat. There was just something about not being able to have his caffeine and let it take effect in peace that was edging him on, effectively a bit moodier than usual. "It's not a contest and she isn't your patient. And there ends your involvement."
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:05 am

An ultimatum... and a damned good one at that. His mind reeled a little form the words, each of which was absolutely true. God, how he wanted to pick up the folder and bring t down on that gelled-hair and make it flump before promptly spilling the coffee all over that pristine white- goddamn coat of-

Okay, way too much day-dreaming. Arthur ran his fingers through his hair, thinking hard past the delightful image of Willem covered in steaming-hot coffee. "We eliminate the rash, environmental, leaves us with fever and a cough..." He shook his head, "I can't believe this is just a flu, that's impossible, it's too ordinary..."

"We are near south California... Could be early-stage Chagas? Or... Oh damn... Croup. Fuckin' croup, I should've known..." Arthur shook his head. How could be so stupid?
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:05 pm

Finishing his cup of coffee with one last drink, he set it back down onto the table. In a way, he much rather enjoyed the other flitting about as if it was a matter of national security. There wasn't anything yet that was saying it wasn't the flu or something ordinary, so he had no idea why the other doctor had to act so... emotive.

"If you hear hoofprints... assume it's from a horse, not a zebra." He murmured, a phrase that one of his professors in school had been particularly fond of. It was the most simple summary of Occam's razor, the very principle that the simplest answer was probably the correct one. Resting his left arm against the back of his chair, he tapped his pen against the table.

"Even if it was coup, which it isn't, her oxygen levels are fine and she's already on antibiotics and corticosteroids. Everything you keep pulling up, she's already on the treatment regiment for it. Just if you'd allow some time for the medicine to work, I'm sure you'd find the problem already solved."
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:19 pm

"I think you're a daft fool." Arthur said, standing up, glaring slightly. This man was an idiot, couldn't he just feel that there was something wrong? And then he heard hooves he thought of unicorns so there was an issue right there.

Instead of hanging around and arguing more, the Brit had decided that he would just wait for the events to unfold. "Listen, if you're right bloody good on you for curing the fucking common cold. But if that little girl gets any sicker and her condition worsens, I'm taking the case off your hands." he felt a little nervous (only a little) saying something so... angry to the Dutchman -he was Arthur's superior. But something about this just felt wrong.

He picked up his tea, tossed his own pen down and stormed from the room. "Oh," he hesitated at the door, turning around, making sure everyone could hear him, "And stay the fuck away from my interns you slut."
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PostSubject: Re: The Better Man [Willem]   Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:14 pm

"Why don't you just go back to Oxford?" Willem bluntly suggested, feeling pretty mirrored with the Brit's own thoughts. There wasn't room enough around for Arthur's ego, not while his own was in presence at least.

He closed the folder again, lamenting the loss of some of the paper inside due to both of their scribbles and the smudged ink. "You don't have the authority to do that and you know it." Continuing on with absolutely no expression, he watched with disinterest as Arthur dropped his pen and stood.

It actually made him a bit glad when Arthur started to walk away. At least now the argument--which in Willem's mind, he clearly won--would be over now. He wondered why Arthur had to embarrass himself though by screaming across the cafeteria, but he didn't shrink away the least bit in shame.

Slut was really the best thing he could come up with?

Damn, he needed a smoke...
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