Original fic: Slow Burn - rinalin
Written for the Slacker's Remix a thon challange
Gauze. Tape. Cotton balls. Bone saw. Antibacterial wipes. Splint.
Calm voice. Blank face. Steady hands.
He only looks at her when she is hurt. He only makes contact to sew her up or apply a bandage or examine a wound.
It's the only way he can touch her safely. He knows that. He uses his profession to slip around her reserve, fingertips pressed to her throat, thumb against the too fragile heartbeat.
The others don't touch her. He knows that, too.
He pushes the awareness away when she comes into the infirmary. His face shows nothing - a professional mask hiding the want underneath. His face is under his control at all times.
His body is a different matter.
She has never been one to fidget or fuss. She sits unnaturally still on the medical bed, hand or knee or stomach bloody or bruised and waiting.
A doctor's hands are for healing - an impersonal touch against a wound, pressed against a cut or a gunshot. (He has a collection of bullets pulled from her body. Sometimes he counts them to remind himself she is still alive.) His hands and his face are cool and professional.
(His knee touches her booted foot when he leans over her hand. His belly brushes against her back when he stitches up her scalp.)
She shivers, and he pretends he doesn't see.
Her breath catches, and he fools himself into thinking it's from the pain.
(He only slips once, and brushes her hair back from her face. She almost flinches and her eyes are full.)
She doesn't want him.
She only wants a moment. Only a touch. A reminder than she is human.
He laces his fingers with hers, and uses his hands to heal.
(His heart beat is unsteady. Her breathing never wavers.)