randomweaving: (a light in dark places)
[personal profile] randomweaving
Title: Survivor
Characters: JD/Perry, JD/Jordan, Jordan/Perry, JD/Perry/Jordan
Rating: NC-17 (eventually)
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Description: A terrible accident requires JD use all his skill to save the mentor he idolizes. But times of crisis can bring people together in unusual ways...
Author's Note: Beta by [livejournal.com profile] yutamiyu who rocks all! Thanks again, you are totally awesome. Everyone else, she's gotten us four of the remaining nine parts, so we'll be getting them out quickly! We're so, so sorry for the long delay. Stupid real life.

Warnings: Eventual OT3. Het content.

JD returned that evening, giving Jordan the overnight bag he'd put together for her, and settling in by Cox's bedside in her absence. She'd wanted to shower, change and get some food and he could hardly blame her. She'd been sitting in the same uncomfortable chair all day, after all.

And now here he was instead, his feet propped up on the mattress beside Cox's casted leg--but carefully far enough away to do no harm--examining his mentor, willing his vitals to improve, for him to wake. To be himself when he did.

"Dr. Cox," he murmured, after checking the door was closed, "I don't know if you can hear me, but...You have to get better, okay? You're too important to too many people. Jack needs you, Jordan needs you. And Carla depends on you more than she'll admit, and you're the best thing this hospital has going for it, and...Well, I know it probably doesn't mean so much, but I don't know what I'd do without you. Not as a doctor--I know that what I still need to learn, I can on my own--but...I know we're not exactly friends, but you mean a lot to me, and...the world needs you too much to lose you, okay?"

Cox was still. JD didn't really expect anything else, but it still hurt a little, and he blinked, trying not to allow the weary tears to rise. But this time, he wasn't able to stop them; climbing to his feet and closing the blinds quickly, he moved forward and scooted the chair closer to his mentor's bedside. Then, lowering his forehead gently to the older man's forearm, he released a shaky sigh and let the tears fall. "Please, Dr. Cox...Perry, you...you have to be okay. This isn't supposed to be it for you, this isn't...isn't how you're going to go. Please..." His voice choked off in his tears, but the pleas continued in his mind for a long, long time.

He wasn't sure how long he cried, and he never knew Jordan opened the door, saw him, and stepped back again, giving him his moment along with his mentor. All he knew was that when he finally pulled himself together once more, blowing his nose repeatedly and scrubbing his eyes, Perry's fingers were twitching.

His eyes went wide, and he leaned forward, staring into Perry's face. "Dr. Cox?" he breathed.

Perry's brows twitched, eyelids moving ever so slightly; as JD watched, they fluttered a little.

JD felt a wide smile spread across his tearstained face, and he touched Cox's arm lightly. "Hey, Dr. Cox. Can you hear me?"

The monitor sped up a little as Cox's heart rate picked up, and as JD watched, Cox's breathing began to speed up, growing a little more shallower as he left the deep recesses of his nearly comatose state and began to move toward consciousness. His eyebrows twitched slightly, and there was a soft, almost inaudible moan.

"You're coming out of it," JD murmured, almost to himself, wanting to dance. His smile somehow widened, and he leaned closer as Cox's head turned toward him--and slowly, slowly, his eyes opened, and rose to JD's face.

"Hi," JD said, in the cheeriest tone he could manage. "It's about time you woke up, I've been covering your patients for hours."

Cox blinked, eyes cloudy, swirling with confusion and absolutely no recognition.

JD bit the inside of his cheek, but told himself not to jump to conclusions. The other man was still pretty drugged up, after all. "Jordan's here, she just stepped out for a few minutes. You're at the hospital, but we're taking good care of you...All you have to do is rest. We'll look after you."

Cox blinked a few times, slowly, eyes half-lidded, then closed them again, and did not move, save the steady rhythm of his breathing. He was out again.

JD sighed, trying not to feel too disappointed. Cox'd woken up. That was the important thing. In fact, it was pretty damned astonishing, given how much had happened to him, and how long he'd been in surgery. Given his condition, it wouldn't have been surprising for him to remain out of it for another few days, even.

"You're too damn stubborn to stay out of it for long," JD murmured, smiling slightly, before pushing himself up. He should let Jordan know. But before he left, he very hesitantly stroked the side of Cox's face, giving himself a single moment to pretend. "Glad you're still with us, Perry," he murmured, before setting himself and heading out once more.

* * *

The night passed slowly, Jordan catching what sleep she could, always alert to catch the next time Cox woke. JD checked on them often, sitting in companionable silence with her when he could, letting her sleep knowing he'd wake her if Cox opened his eyes again.

But he didn't, not by morning, and JD started the second half of his double shift with a feeling of anticipation hanging over him. It was like Christmas at Grandma Dorian's house. You were excited because it was Christmas, but dreading it because she knit the most God-awful sweaters your mother insisted you had to wear the whole visit. JD couldn't wait for Cox to wake up, but at the same time he dreaded everything that would follow. Even if all the complications were avoided, if Dr. Cox was still himself...he faced months of recovery and rehab. And JD didn't even want to think of how the other man would handle that news. He wanted even less to think of the fact that Dr. Cox would be gone, while he recovered, and JD wouldn't be able to see him, to help him...

But that was putting the cart before the horse, as his Grandpa Dorian--who'd always had peanut brittle in a tin and had shown him how to gut a fish (and not laughed when he'd thrown up)--always said. So JD forced himself to stop dwelling on the future, stop worrying over the fact that he'd slept with Jordan (again), stopped everything but concentrating on covering Cox's patients in addition to his own, and still spending every moment he could with Jordan.

Who disappeared in the early afternoon.

JD frowned when he stepped into Cox's room and realized Jordan wasn't in her accustomed spot right beside him. He leaned out of the room and glanced around the ICU, but she wasn't anywhere in sight; frown deepening, he moved into the room again and picked up Cox's chart, glancing through it. He'd ordered a neurological consult to go over the CT scans; though he'd been watching for the guy, he saw from the progress notes that he'd missed him. But the CT scan looked good, according to the notes, and he allowed himself a moment of relief, one more fear easing a little. Dr. Cox's brain appeared to be functioning normally, which meant that apart from some possible anterograde amnesia, he should make a full mental recovery. He'd still be Dr. Cox.

JD slumped a little at the thought, a small, weary smile playing at his lips. He hooked the chart back to the end of the bed, moving forward and pulling off his stethoscope to listen to the older man's heart and lungs. He didn't need to--the telemetry monitor was beeping away at him, and the pulse ox sensor taped to Cox's finger told him his O sats were fine (98%), but there was a part of him that wanted the simple comfort of hearing his mentor's heartbeat; wanted the excuse to lean close enough to feel the warmth coming from the other man's body, hear the soft sigh of his breathing beneath the hiss of the mask.

He placed the earpieces in his ears and leaned down, laying his hand lightly on Cox's chest. He spread his fingers a little bit, feeling the heat of his skin beneath the thin fabric of the hospital gown, then slid them up, coming to rest on Perry's shoulder, right at the junction of his neck. As he moved the stethoscope, checking each lung as best he could from the front, he let his thumb caress the skin of Cox's neck, stroking in slow, almost imperceptible movements.

When there was nothing more he could conceivably check, he reluctantly drew the stethoscope away, pulling it out of his ears and looping it back over his neck, but he remained bent forward, hovering over Cox, studying his face. The gash on his forehead had been stitched up in the ER, and there was a light bruising around it; there was another bruise under one of the older doctor's eyes, along the line of his cheekbone. But other than that, Cox might've just been sleeping, lips gently parted beneath the transparent mask that was supplying him with oxygen, eyelashes resting against the fragile skin underneath.

JD bit his lip, reaching forward as though in a trance to stroke the curls away from Cox's brow under the half-formed pretense of checking the stitches, though the gash lay closer to his temple, and JD was stroking the hairline above the older man's eyebrows.

"You're going to be okay," he whispered. Then, on impulse, he bent forward, pressing his lips to the skin his fingers had revealed, feeling the tickle of Cox's curly hair against his upper lip as his hand slid down to cup the older man's cheek instead. A faintly textured growth of facial hair met his fingertips, and they curled automatically, driven by a protective impulse he did not quite understand.

It wasn't a long kiss, by any means, but JD lingered for a few seconds, allowing his eyes to drift shut as he drew in a deep breath, absorbing the scent of Dr. Cox under the ever-present smell of sickness, antiseptic and ammonia that pervaded the ICU. There had been precious few times over the last four years that he'd been allowed a chance to get close enough to Cox to absorb his scent, but he knew he'd always recognize it in a heartbeat: the faint musk of aftershave, the smell of his shampoo, a hint of scotch, and the very distinct, very male scent that was Cox's alone. JD absorbed as much of it as he could before he finally drew back, pushing himself away from the bed as the sounds of the ICU began to work their way back into his consciousness.

He stepped away from the bed, gazing down upon Cox for a moment longer before releasing his breath on a sigh, running one hand absently back through hair he hadn't bothered to spike. When he turned, however, he barely suppressed a startled yelp.

Jordan stood in the doorway, leaning against it, arms folded and head tilted as she gazed back at him, face inscrutable. JD felt his own go beet red--he didn't know how long she'd been standing there, but something in her pose told him it'd been long enough.

"How's he doing?" she asked, her voice even, lips quirking slightly.

"He's, a...about the same," JD replied, swallowing hard. "The neurological results are good; he should be himself when he wakes up again and..."

Jordan's slight smile widened. "Good. You've been reassigned, by the way. I told the board members and Kelso how I felt, and Perry's your only patient now. So you can give him your full and mm, unbiased attention."

JD felt his blush deepen. She knew. He didn't know how she knew, but she did, and he guessed the kiss had been no surprise to her. But where in the hell did that leave him? "I...okay..."

"Oh, relax, Sparky, I'm not going to bite you," she said, moving into the room and walking to the other side of Perry's bed. "Though clearly we're going to need another chair," she added, lifting an eyebrow.

JD snorted, and nodded. "I'll look into that. And go find out who's taking my patients and his off my hands...I should fill them in. Jordan..." He blushed, when she looked over at him, but let out a long breath. "Thanks. I'll do my best for him."

"You'd better, DJ, or I'll regret getting you assigned," Jordan retorted, settling herself by Cox once more. "Go do what you need to do so you can get back here."

Smiling slightly, JD took himself from the room, wondering what he was supposed to make of all that. Jordan catching him kissing her ex-husband's forehead, and not only not being surprised, but just seeming to accept it...Maybe it'll be okay that I slept with her...Or maybe I'm just even more screwed than I thought. Deciding he really didn't want to think on it, he headed off to get things worked out, so he could get back to where he wanted to be.

* * *

When he got back, about an hour later, there was an extra chair in the room, as well as a pile of blankets and a couple pillows. He lifted his eyebrows as he pushed open the door, intending to ask Jordan about it, but when he entered the room he realized she was sitting on the edge of her seat, eyes fixed on her ex-husband, elegant fingers curled lightly over his forearm.

"Jordan?" he said, moving forward quickly, kicking the door shut again with his heel. "Is he okay?"

"He moved, and made a noise," she whispered. "I think he might be waking up again."

JD smiled, resisting the urge to ask her why she was whispering. "That'd be a very good sign. I'm almost surprised he woke up once already...it wouldn't have been that odd for him to have been out for a few days." He kept his own tone at a normal range, eyes scanning the monitors before returning his attention to Cox, willing him to open his eyes. He didn't really care if he would be in trouble after, he wanted to see them again too much.

I am such a girl...

"Dr. Cox," he said, as he moved closer to the bed. "Dr. Cox, can you hear me?"

Cox groaned a little--barely more than a whimper--and the monitor tracking his heart rate picked up speed. His grin broadened, and he looked up at Jordan, giving her a thumbs-up.

"Perry?" she said, and her voice was unlike JD had ever heard it before--soft, gentle even, and very warm. "Sweetie, open your eyes..."

Cox's eyelids fluttered, head turning toward her just a little; she blinked rapidly, eyes going shiny. "Good," she whispered. "Open your eyes."

Cox did. Slowly. He kept them fixed on her, but from his angle JD could still see them, could see the recognition in them, beneath the drugged haze.

Could see the affection, too. The love.

He bit the inside of his cheek, pushing down his reaction, ignoring pain like a steel splinter digging into his heart. He should have become accustomed to it, after all this time. "Keep talking to him," he offered Jordan, managing a smile from somewhere, hoping his eyes didn't show as much as he feared they did.

"You're in the hospital," Jordan murmured, reaching out to stroke Cox's cheek, not even looking up at JD. "You...you were hurt pretty badly, but we're taking good care of you, okay? Don't worry."

Cox blinked, slowly, brows drawing together a little; his head turned, and his eyes flitted over to JD's, who tried to smile for him. "Hey, Dr. Cox. Don't worry, you can check your chart over as soon as you wake up enough, and make sure I'm doing everything right."

Cox's brow furrowed a little more, and JD bit his lip, wondering if Jordan was wrong when she'd assumed Cox would want JD for his doctor. His mentor mumbled something, and Jordan frowned, leaning closer. "What was that, Per?"

Cox sighed, closing his eyes, though his brow remained furrowed for another few minutes before smoothing out into sleep again.

"Well, he can ask for someone else when he wakes all the way up, too," JD said, trying to smile. "I'll stick around until then, I guess..."

"Of course you will," Jordan replied, frowning herself. "Damn, I hate all this waiting."

"Yeah, me too..." JD sighed, sinking down into the extra chair, rubbing his temples. His shift was over, but he wasn't going anywhere. God. Stuck in a room with Cox and Jordan, the one unconscious and the other apparently aware of his crush on the older man...What, exactly, were they supposed to do to pass the time? Play I Spy?

Jordan sat back, still watching her ex-husband; after a long moment of silence, during which JD wondered if he'd end up falling asleep himself, she murmured, "That was a good thing, right? That he woke up?"

"Yeah," JD assured her, running a hand back through his unspiked hair again. "It really is. Even better that he recognized you. He didn't recognize me, before..." And hadn't seemed to this time, either, but JD wasn't going to dwell on that.

"He's out of it, kid," she said softly. "He'll know you, when he wakes up for real."

"Christ, am I really that obvious?" JD asked, scrubbing a hand over his face, knowing he was asking about more than his current disappointment.

Jordan smiled slightly. "You really are, DJ. Sorry if you thought you were being subtle..."

"Great." JD let out a long sigh, unable to meet her eyes. "Does he know?"

There was another long moment of silence, then she said softly, "Yeah. He knows."

Oh God... JD bit the inside of his lip. "Thought maybe the whole mentor thing would mask it. At least a little..." He let out a short breath, squaring his shoulders, though he still couldn't look up. "I won't...I mean...I'm not going to do anything, Jordan. I know it's not going to happen, I know he doesn't...couldn't ever feel the same, even if it weren't for you. I'll try to be better about showing it. I'm sorry."

"Don't be," she said. "It's not exactly like I can blame you. I'm in the same boat." She turned back to Perry and smirked, shaking her head a little as she reached out to stroke his cheek. "He's obnoxiously lovable."

JD pushed down the sudden lump in his throat. The last thing he was going to do was break down in front of Jordan, even if she wasn't as hard edged as usual. At least...at least if Perry--Call him Dr. Cox, you idiot, or you're going to slip!--at least if Dr. Cox knew about his crush, well...maybe he would believe that JD'd been upset enough to take comfort in Jordan's embrace.

It was small consolation for finding himself suddenly laid bare, but consolation nonetheless. "Yeah," he murmured softly, curling his fingers around his elbows against the urge to once again touch the older man's hair, lean close and listen to the reassuring thump of his heart.

* * *

Next Chapter

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