well i meant 15 anyways, but meeting in the E.R.
Shit man this got super long but here it is, finally. Throbb for prompt 15. (Yeah, I honestly can’t remember how my one trip to the ER went down, so just… go with it.) I had, like, a lot of fun writing this… keep em coming, friends! ✩
Robb rubs his eyes. It’s been a long shift, long enough that he’s begun to question why the fuck he decided to become a doctor. Helping people is great, he thinks, knocking back what seems like the millionth coffee of the night, but twelve hour graveyard shifts are not as exciting as one would think. Mainly tiring. And, at the so-called “exciting” moments, pretty damn stressful.
"Stark, they need you again. Room 42."
Robb glances up, stifling a yawn as Margaery, one of the nurses strides into the room, smiling brightly in the fluorescent lights and 2 am radio static.
"Alright. What kind of situation is it?" Robb gets to his feet, already buzzing with adrenaline. Now that there’s something on the line, he knows he doesn’t have time to sit around, feeling tired.
Margaery sighs. “Some young guy, with.. his boyfriend, I guess?” Her nose crinkles slightly. “He’s banged up all over, in for a broken ankle. The other guy claims he ‘fell down some stairs’.” The young woman’s last few words drip disbelief. “Personally, my money’s on him being beaten up by the other one. Guy’s a real creep.”
"Got it." Robb doesn’t say anything else, just rolls up his sleeves and slides on his jacket. Being a doctor, he sees a lot of injuries each day, but nothing really bothers him the way domestic abuse does, and god knows he has his reasons for it. He should never have let his little sister date that little shit Joff…
Mentally shaking his head, Robb thanks Margaery for prompting him, and heads towards room 42. It’s ways down the hall, but Robb covers the distance in less than a minute, his sneakered feet soundless on the polished floors.
"Hello?" Robb knocks once on the door, for show, really, before making his way into the small room.
"Hello there, are you the doctor?"
The man who addresses Robb is a fleshy man with odd, light gray eyes. He smiles unnervingly widely, his lips pink.
"Yes, I’m Dr. Robb Stark." He glances at the man again, and then at the one on the hospital bed.
The injured man is painfully thin- Robb can tell even through his faded gray T-shirt and baggy sweatpants that he hasn’t had a real meal in a while, and while his face is marred only by the deep bags beneath his eyes, when he shifts his weight, Robb glimpses a galaxy of purplish bruises flowering across his ribcage.
Still there’s something oddly attractive, about him… No. Focus, Robb tells himself. You aren’t here to ogle the patients. You’re here to heal them.
"What’s your name?" Robb asks.
The man starts, and then runs a shaking hand through his curling brown hair. “Theon Greyjoy,” he mumbles, staring at one Converse-clad foot.
"Well, Theon, what seems to be the trouble?" Robb can deduce well enough what happened. Margaery had been on to something when she thought the guy was being abused. Robb remembers Sansa when she was in that situation, remembers her carefully hidden bruises and the fear in her eyes when she thought no one was listening.
"Oh, Theon tripped and fell down some stairs, and now his ankle is bothering him." The other man’s voice is dripping condescenion, even while he smiles. "You’re so clumsy, darling, aren’t you?"
Theon mutters something, looking down.
"And who are you?" asks Robb, directing his gaze towards the pale-eyed man.
"I’m Theon’s boyfriend. Ramsay Sn-Bolton." He smiles again, and Robb decides he does not like this guy. There’s something a little off about him. Sansa would say there was something weird about his aura, and while Robb normally assumes all of that new age shit is just that, he can’t think of a better way to phrase his distaste for Ramsay.
"I see. Well-" Robb clears his throat, putting on his most professional voice. "It’s been a real pleasure meeting you-" lie, ”- and I can assure you that I will make sure Theon is in perfect condition-” true, "but I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave, Ramsay." He smiles, a little sadly, he hopes. "Hospital policy. You know."
Ramsay sucks in a deep breath, his jaw tightening, and out of the corner of his eye, Robb can see Theon shrinking back against the wall, his eyes wide.
As if there wasn’t proof enough already that there is something very much not okay happening, Robb thinks, that reaction was telling enough.
"I…see," responds Ramsay finally, gritting his teeth. He gets to his feet, a tall man in an odd, pink-ish trench coat, and gives Theon a long look. "We’ll talk later, dear."
Ramsay slams the door behind him, and Robb’s damned if Theon doesn’t exhale a little once the other man has left the room.
Robb smiles to himself. It isn’t actually hospital policy, but he doubts that Ramsay will say anything about it. And if he does- well, Robb’s sure there’s a clause somewhere in a rule about abusive relations not being allowed in without consent.
"So. About your leg…" Robb takes a seat next to Theon. Not that he doesn’t usually care about patients, but there is something particularly endearing about the gaunt man beside him, something that makes him want to go above and beyond and really make sure that he’s alright.
Theon heaves a shaky sigh, and leans his head back against a wall. “I fell down the stairs. I’m a klutz.”
His words have a feelingless quality to them, as if they were memorized words, lines from the script of some dark production.
Robb has no idea where the gesture comes from, but without even thinking about it, he lays a hand gently on one of Theon’s bony wrists. He feels like a bird under Robb’s fingers. Delicate and breakable at any turn.
Theon stiffens for a moment, but then he seems to relax, the tension drawing out of him. “H-he pushed me. Too hard, this time, and I fell down I can’t walk now.” His voice is a tenuous whisper, and Robb tries not to think too hard about what he meant when he said “this time”.
"You know- you could go to the police. Get him away from you, for good." Robb wishes he didn’t speak from experience. Not only had Joff been a little motherfucking cunt, he was also surprisingly tenacious. It took three restraining orders to get him to leave Sansa alone.
Theon laughs, dry and humorless. “And then what? My sister doesn’t give a shit. My dear daddy’s in jail. Mom is mad as a bat and living with my aunt three hundred miles away. And my brothers- well-” he cracks a crooked toothed smile. “They wouldn’t hesitate to add on to what Ramsay has already given me.”
Robb sighs. Theon makes a decent point, according to his logic, at least. Greyjoy…Robb furrows his eyebrows, deep in thought. The name sounds familiar…
"You have a sister, you say?"
Theon nods. “Asha. She’s five years older than me. Runs a bike shop.”
"Aha!" Robb almost leaps to his feet in excitement. "Asha Greyjoy! That’s why your name is so familiar." He laughs. "I actually know her pretty well, not personally, but through my younger sister, Arya. She was an assistant at Black Wind over the summer."
Theon opens his mouth, but then stops, gritting his teeth in pain. “Ah, my leg…” He trails off, looking down again.
Robb wants to punch himself in the face. He’s a bloody doctor, and he got so caught up in asking personal questions that he forgot to do his damn job.
"Right, yeah, sorry I got so off track-" Robb gets to his feet hurridly, feeling himself blush as he kneels down to take a look at Theon’s leg.
When he rolls up the sweatpants, Robb breaths a sigh of relief. It’s not broken, only sprained, given the looks of the swelling around the foot. He can treat a sprained ankle on his own, doesn’t need to send Theon off to some other specialist. Part of it is that means that Ramsay can’t come back in yet, but another, more selfish part of Robb is glad he doesn’t have to say goodbye to Theon just yet. Which is ridiculous, because he’s a doctor, and Theon is a patient, and it’s nearly 3 am and they’re in the damn ER.
"It’s sprained," Robb says as he crosses the room and takes a thick splint out of the cabinet.
Theon sighs. “Ramsay’ll be pleased. That he- ah- that I’m not worse off.”
Robb says nothing, because he thinks if he speaks he’ll end up saying something dumb like, stay with me and I won’t let Ramsay do anything to you again.
His hands are deft and gentle as he winds first a bandage around Theon’s foot and ankle, and then straps on the splint, but his heart is pounding. If he looks up into those sea green eyes, deep and swirling and so, so full of feeling…
"Thanks," Theon says as Robb straps on the last part of the splint. "Thanks."
"Oh, yeah, uh." Robb clears his throat, more awkward than he’s been since at least middle school. "Of course. I am a doctor, after all."
Theon nods a couple of times, swallowing like he’s working up the nerve to say something. “Uh. Do you think I could borrow your phone, maybe call my sister. I don’t-” he stops, and then his voice breaks into a ragged whisper. “I don’t wanna go home with Ramsay now.”
Robb wordlessly fishes out his phone, turning away while Theon dials. He doesn’t hear what is said, but a few minutes later, when Theon hands the phone back to him, his eyes glitter with tears.
"Are you okay?" Robb bites his lip. Theon looks even more upset than when he came in.
Theon shakes his head, and then nods. “I’m- ah, fuck.” He looks up, and smiles at Robb. “I’m not okay but I think- maybe I can be?”
Robb leans over and puts an arm around Theon. If anyone walked in, it is true that Robb would be pressed to think of a good reason why hugging a patient is a professional, necessary action, but when Theon presses his head against Robb’s shoulder and closes his eyes, Robb forgets to think of anything else.
It’s only a few minutes later that a tall, dark haired woman that Robb recognizes from his brief time at Black Wind as Asha comes into the room, her long leather jacket and boots (okay, so Robb does get why Arya admires her so much).
"Litte brother," she says, her eyes wide. "Who did this to you?"
Theon sighs. “I- we can talk about this later. Asha. I want to go home.”
Robb feels like he is intruding as Asha comes forward and embraces her brother, but after a second, Theon turns and looks at Robb with deep oceanic eyes.
"Thank you, thank you for-for everything."
And damn it if Robb’s eyes aren’t a little misty when he watches the Greyjoy’s leave, Theon limping and Asha holding his arm.
His eyes dry up pretty quick when he sees a text ping into his phone just a few minutes later, from a number clearly already in his phone as “Theon from the ER”: "How bout I pay you back with some drinks later this week?"