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Unabashed Spoiler Hound & Fanfic writer

Reveling in the fickle nature of fangirlishness

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What's in Front of You
sophie_deangirl

I love the addition of Jeremiah Sacani played to awkward perfection by Ben Shenkman on Royal Pains and have been inspired by the potential romance, even if only in my imagination, between Jeremiah and Divya. This is my wish fulfillment. Those who know me can predict how this plays out. Hahaha.


Disclaimer: I own none of these lovey characters.

Summary: Divya is still recovering from her failed fling with Rafa. Jeremiah Sacani wants to help, but feels woefully inadequate and endangers his own health.


What's in Front of you

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.” - Thomas Merton


Divya was still struggling to recover from her failed fling with Rafa and Jeremiah hated that he couldn't give her what she needed.

He could never be dashing, handsome, or romantic. He knew he was completely incapable of being someone Divya would choose as a confidante let alone as someone more. He was a frightened man completely devoid of any appreciable social skills as well as bedside manner. He had joined HankMed in the hopes of developing that skill then he had met Divya and all he had wanted to become was a better man for her.

All he could offer her during the most painful moment of her life was an impersonal hand on her shoulder. It was as sterile as he was and though she had been kind enough to grasp it in whatever meager comfort it had provided, she was still suffering and he hated that he had failed her.

His affection for her only grew day after passing day. It was more than her breathtaking beauty that drew him to her, but she was also profoundly intelligent and caring. He as much wanted to be more like her as he cared for her.

But he knew that he would never measure up. She deserved far better than the cad Rafa and she deserved more than he could ever give her.

So he thrust himself into his work at HankMed, determined to be useful and profitable if he couldn't be the man that Divya deserved, just being near her was comfort to him.

He hadn't slept and had barely eaten, thoughts of her suffering and his inadequacies plagued him. He knew he was neglecting himself, but he was helpless to stop it.

Another sad comment of his pathologies.

Evan had noticed it. He had already discovered his ruse and his affections for Divya so denying or hiding them was a fruitless endeavor.

"You look like Hell, man. Have you been sleeping?" Evan asked.

"Of course," Jeremiah evaded, his breathing a wheeze.

"Huh, I guess it's true. Doctors make lousy patients and lousy liars."

"I don't know what you're taking about," Jeremiah denied, but leaned on the table to keep dizziness at bay.

Evan had remembered their last conversation and straightened with enlightenment.

"Is this about Divya?" He asked.

"No...this has...nothing to do...with Divya. I have -"

"No feelings, yeh, so you said, but I don't believe you. It's written all over your face, that and being pale and in pain. You look like death warmed over and you sound like you've run a marathon."

"Are you...a doctor now?" Jeremiah said as he clenched in pain, the pressure in his chest becoming unbearable.

"Don't need to be."

Jeremiah teetered on his legs and swayed then clenched and groaned in more pain.

Evan noticed.

"I'm calling Hank-"

"No, no, don't bother him. I'm fine."

"You're not fine, Jeremiah and if you care for Divya, you should tell her how you feel."

"No...no, I'm not...good enough for her."

"No, Rafa wasn't good enough for her. She deserves someone who's kind and puts her first. You can deny it all you want, but I know better. You're the kind of man she not only needs, but also deserves."

Jeremiah closed his eyes to stave off dizziness.

"You're...wrong. She deserves someone...who can sweep her off her feet...not someone who's afraid to even touch her...who's afraid of talking to her unless it involves a differential diagnosis, who needs index cards to buoy his confidence."

"I don't know where you've been, but she did have someone like that and he broke her heart."

Jeremiah shook his head slowly.

"It doesn't..." Jeremiah tried to utter, but his breaths were coming in gasps, "doesn't...matter."

He dropped to his knees, every breath more difficult.

"Jeremiah!" Evan said as he approached to help him. "Come on, let me get you on the couch."

Jeremiah was too weak to resist. Evan then reached for his phone and dialed his brother.

“Hank? Hank, you’ve got to come back to the house. It’s Jeremiah. He’s collapsed and he’s having trouble breathing...Okay, okay, I’ll call 911 and meet you at the hospital.”

“Oh my God, what’s happened?” said a voice from the french doors.

Evan looked up to find Divya.

“I’m calling 911. It’s Jeremiah.”

Divya rushed over to the couch.

“Jeremiah? What’s wrong?”

He heard a lilt of genuine concern and it made him smile. It was contrary to how he was feeling.

“N...nothing...please...don’t concern yourself...” He gasped out.

Divya fixed him with an “are you crazy?” expression then went to grab some oxygen. She placed the mask over his face. Jeremiah appreciated the concern, but knew she was only being compassionate as was her nature. It was pity for a pathetic figure of a man.

He tried to take the oxygen in, but found it frustrating and he was struggling.

“EMTs are on their way,” Evan announced.

“Help is on the way, just relax, all right?” She comforted.

Jeremiah smiled weakly, closed his eyes and lost consciousness.


RPRPRPRPRP


Pneumonia had been the diagnosis. Jeremiah was a doctor yet he had ignored the symptoms and had allowed himself to deteriorate. He could have gotten help easily and yet he hadn't. Now he was in danger, potentially dying.

Hank and Divya were perplexed.

Evan hadn't been, but sharing his suspicions wasn't going to help Jeremiah and it would only make Divya feel unnecessarily guilty. She didn't need that at that moment and he knew Jeremiah wouldn't want her to find out how he felt about her that way. Hopefully, he would get the chance to finally tell her himself.

Trouble was, Jeremiah could be dying and he didn't believe that was right either, that Divya might never know that a good, misguidedly noble man loved her.

RPRPRPRPRP

Divya was saddened and confused by Jeremiah's sudden illness. Just a few weeks ago, when she had been crushed by Rafa's betrayal, Jeremiah had tried to comfort her. She had respected that he hadn't tried to take advantage, had just offered a comforting hand to let her know he was there for her. She would have expected that kind of gallantry from him because he was almost pathologically insecure and shy. Something she understood. Her upbringing was all about being proper and obedient. She had been sheltered all her life, was still inexperienced in many ways, and pathologically naive herself at times as she had been with Rafa.

It was why she had fallen so hard for Rafa, how easily she had been swept off her feet by him. He had said and done all of the right romantic things and she had trusted him quickly. She had paid the price for that blind trust.

In many ways, she was no different from Jeremiah.

A work in progress.

Still, she couldn't understand why Jeremiah would let himself become so sick. He was such a responsible doctor and clinician, to a fault at times. He must have known what was progressing inside of his body as the symptoms became more pronounced and multiplied.

She had shared her theory with Hank about how Jeremiah must have gotten the flu from Tommy, a little boy they had made a house call for. For all of his bedside manner shortcomings, Jeremiah had been drawn to Tommy. He had taken time to be comforting, to give a touch, had made Tommy laugh with a magic trick. It was a side of him she had never seen, that he had never revealed. It made her more convinced that given time, Jeremiah would fit in with HankMed nicely.

She had decided to go back to Jeremiah's home to pick up some personal items for him. He had given her the combination so that she could set up the meet and greet party to introduce everyone to Rafa. A pang of regret hit her as she entered. She had a long way to go to overcome breaking up with Rafa. It made her sad and angry at the same time.

She entered Jeremiah's bedroom and it was as neat and organized as the rest of the house. She felt a little nervous about taking anything out of place. She then noticed something that looked completely out of place.

She walked over to his desk. It was a mess with file folders. She took a quick glance and realized that they were case histories of patients. There were at least ten, fifteen files. He had been seeing patients without her. She realized that her preoccupation with Rafa had left Jeremiah to work alone. Guilt gripped her, but there was also admiration for Jeremiah's dedication. Another harsher truth hit her as well. He had probably worked himself into illness taking up her slack.

Something else then caught her attention. A card. Upon closer examination, it had her name on the envelope. She suddenly felt as if she was invading Jeremiah's privacy, but her curiosity was driving her. She opened it.

It was a birthday card.

He had remembered her birthday.

Rafa had forgotten, but then had made up for it with a lavish party in which she lapped up the attention shamelessly.

She realized that the card was handmade. It was a sketch drawing. She took in a quick breath as she recognized that it was of the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford Upon Avon. She hadn't known that he was an artist and felt guilty that she had not taken the time to get to know him more. He had listened and remembered when she had expressed her love for Shakespeare while blathering on gushingly about how Rafa had recited lines from the plays to her. She felt ashamed remembering how she acted like a selfish school girl, taking advantage of Jeremiah's generosity when he had offered his house for her party.

She looked inside the card and found a quote:

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind and therefore winged cupid it's painted blind

"A Midsummer Night's Dream..." Divya uttered with a sigh.

She understood the meaning and why Jeremiah had never given the card to her.

He loved her, but couldn't tell her because she had lauded Rafa's attentions toward her and he had felt he couldn't measure up.

In the end, Rafa had hurt her, it was a suitable punishment for her for treating a good man who was right in front of her so dismissively she now believed.

"Oh, Jeremiah, I'm so sorry."


RPRPRPRPRP


Divya returned to the hospital to find Evan in Jeremiah's room. Evan was deep in thought and his expression was of concern. He looked up and saw her. She had a look of profound sadness.

"How is he?" She asked.

"Not good. Hank said it's touch and go. Are you okay?" Evan asked concerned.

Divya sat in a nearby chair, tears in her eyes.

"This is all my fault," Divya said as she began to cry.

Evan brought his chair over to her and held her in a gentle embrace.

"Why would you think that?"

"I went over to his house to get some personal things for him and...I found his desk...it was covered with patient files. He'd been working overtime...helping people...he had caught the flu from a little boy, treating him so sensitively...and had neglected to take care of himself...or maybe didn't care about...because of me..."

Her tears were flowing.

"Hey, hey, this isn't your fault."

"He's in love with me and I've treated him so shabbily."

Evan looked sympathetically at her.

"Did you know about his feelings for me?" She asked.

"I suspected. He denied it when I asked him about it."

Divya wiped her tears from her face.

"I found a card on his desk...he remembered my birthday even when Rafa had forgotten it...I can't believe how callous and dismissive I've been to him."

"You didn't know. He should have told you."

"How could he? And I was acting so besotted and blinded by Rafa's charms I couldn't see what was right in front of me."

"How do you feel about him?" Evan wondered.

"I care for him deeply. I just didn't know how much until now. He was there for me when Rafa...but I'm not sure I deserve him after I hurt him so much. How can he ever forgive me?"

"He stayed. I think that's your answer," Evan teased with a smile.

"But he could die now...I drove him to this..."

"No, you didn't. Maybe he just needs to know that you'll stay for him too."

Divya looked at Evan and smiled.

"This newfound wisdom of yours is a bit unsettling," she teased.

"I guess love can do that," Evan said teasingly.

"Paige is lucky to have you."

"I think it's the other way around," Evan acknowledged, smiling back.

They both looked at Jeremiah.

"Jeremiah is going to be okay," Evan said with more hope in his voice than medical validity.

"I wish I could be sure. If he does, I hope he can find it in his heart to forgive me."

"I can almost guarantee that he will."


A week went by and Jeremiah was slowly responding to the medications and was breathing on his own. Divya had visited every day, staying by his side, talking to him.

"Jeremiah, you must return to us," Divya softly pleaded as she took his hand into hers. "I need you to come back so that I can make up to you my reprehensible treatment of you. I'm so sorry."

She then felt a weak squeeze.

"You have...nothing to...apologize for," Jeremiah said, his baritone voice scratchy and barely a whisper.

"Jeremiah! You're back," Divya exclaimed, surprised at how happy she was to see him awake and talking.

Jeremiah focused his sight towards Divya.

"It would...seem so," he uttered tiredly.

"Rest. You must get well."

"I don't...remember..."

"You collapsed from pneumonia. Gave us all quite a scare," she said, her voice cracking with more emotion than she had expected.

"Ah," Jeremiah said.

"Sleep, Jeremiah. There will be plenty of time to talk when you've fully recovered."

He could only nod and fall back asleep.


Divya came by the next morning to continue to monitor Jeremiah's progress. She had to admit that she looked forward to seeing him. Though he was still extremely weak, he was grateful to see her as well.

"How are you feeling?" She asked as she walked in.

"I think a little better. It will be difficult to know for certain for another couple of days," he related, the doctor in him taking control. "Tests will also need to be conducted to record my progress."

Divya smiled. It was a comfort to know he was talking like himself. Still, she found her smile fade and crumble. Jeremiah noticed.

"I'm sorry, did I say something wrong?"

"No, no, I'm just glad you're all right."

Jeremiah gave her a puzzled expression.

"Given time, I should fully recover to continue my duties for HankMed."

"I don't care about that, I..." Divya said emotionally. "I'm so sorry,"

"I don't understand...you have nothing to -"

"You fell ill because of me."

"You are not responsible for any weakness of my immune response -"

"You neglected your health because of me, because of my insensitive behavior."

"No, no, I...I...took on too much...ignoring the progression of my symptoms...it was irresponisble to do so...I could have infected others...it is a doctor's oath to do no harm and I was being reckless and unprofessional," Jeremiah stumbled trying to give a logical and believable explanation for how he, a doctor, could have allowed himself to fall so ill to alleviate Divya's guilt. It was all true. He had been irresponsible and reckless. It was not like him to be that way.

"You've been taking up the slack for my absences, for my ridiculously childish mooning over Rafa, but more importantly, I've hurt you with my selfishness, for taking advantage of your kindness and acting ungrateful for your comfort to me. You were there for me when I needed it most and I'm sorry I was so cruel to you."

"You weren't being cruel at all, as I said, you have nothing to apologize for, you've done nothing wrong. I'm sorry my attempts at helping you were at best inadequate. You deserve better."

Jeremiah then gave her a surprised and fearful expression.

"Did Evan say something -" Jeremaih asked, anxiety escalating.

"No, he didn't say a word...I...I went to your home to bring back some personal items. I didn't mean to pry, but I noticed the patient files...you've been working so hard and neglected your health..."

"Ah, I understand but you needn't -" Jeremiah calmed, realizing his fears had been unfounded.

"No, you don't understand, I saw the card, I couldn't help..."

Jeremiah then stiffened again with anxiety and embarrassment. Divya noticed.

"I apologize for violating your privacy, but I'm not sorry about learning the truth of your feelings."

"Divya, I -" Jeremiah tried to protest, but was just too weak and too muddled by drugs to present a coherent, let alone an aggressive argument.

"I have been a fool...harboring foolish expectations from what was clearly a fling and nothing more to Rafa...I was blinded by his superficial advances and I paid dearly for my delusion. I realize now, I was mistreating the one person who truly cared about me, stood by my side at personal cost to himself and by doing so, nearly costing his life."

Jeremiah felt the inevitable direction that Divya was going. He had heard the "let's be friends" speech so many times in his life, he could recite it verbatim and he wanted to spare Divya the discomfort of having to say the words and selfishly of him hearing yet another woman tell him that.

"You don't have to -"

"Yes, I need to say this, please hear me out," she said. "I'm sorry for hurting you and I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me..."

"Of course -"

"And that you'll continue to be a part of my evolution. You see, I care for you very much, much more than I had realized after almost losing you. I'm not the woman you think I am. Far from it, actually. My infatuation with Rafa is proof of my immaturity about love and romance, but if you'll let me, I'd very much like to try..." Divya trailed off.

Jeremiah heard the words, but didn't believe he had heard them at first. He didn't think it was possible to feel so happy and yet so ill all at the same time.

"Jeremiah? If you need to think about it -"

"Yes," he blurted. "I would very much like to make that evolution with you as well. And you mustn't measure your worth by the careless and selfish character of a cad like Rafa. I know I'm not nearly a good enough man for you, but if you are willing, I know you can make me a better one...and I want to be a better man for you."

Divya's eyes brightened and teared up.

"You already are."


Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this silly little love story

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


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Just had to say again how wonderfully sweet I thought this was. :)

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