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Painful Nobility Part1/1
sophie_deangirl

Summary: Divya had no idea how wrong she had been.

Painful Nobility

A tag to Off-Season Greetings

Part 1:

Jeremiah had gotten a call from Divya.

At first it was wonderful to hear her voice, but then he heard the tremble and caught emotion in it. His chest tightened as he pondered for a minute what was wrong and longed to comfort her.

“It’s Hank, he’s collapsed, they think it might be an aneurysm...or worse...from the explosion. I must have missed something...”

“Wait, what makes you think you missed something?” Jeremiah asked his voice sympathetic yet also switching into diagnosis mode as well.

“He was having headaches. I performed a head CT, I didn’t find anything, but I must have missed something...”

“No, no I’m sure you didn’t. Aneurysms can be difficult to find under the best of circumstances, depending on their locations. You mustn’t blame yourself. You are an excellent clinician,” Jeremiah said with sincerity.

He respected her and her skills. He knew that she would have found something if there was anything obvious to find.

Divya felt better knowing that someone as capable and as knowledgeable as Jeremiah believed she was correct in her analysis. He was blunt and honest, not subject to extending excessive flattery or hyperbole. She liked that about him and it made his opinion all the more important. She had worried that her reconciliation with Rafa might have distracted her.

"Thank you, Jeremiah. I appreciate your vote of confidence."

“I’ll be taking the first flight out of Reykjavik into New York. I’ve been monitoring the storm there and have heard that some flights are getting in -”

“No, it’s allright, Jeremiah. I know that you were looking forward to the conference. There’s nothing you can do here.”

“Except comfort you,” Jeremiah thought to himself.

“On the contrary, I’ll need to see to Hank’s patients, make sure that HankMed continues to operate... also...” Jeremiah almost slipped and said “I can be with you”, but managed to stop himself.

“Also what?” Divya asked curiously.

“I know that Evan, Paige and you will need to concentrate on Hank and his recovery. Anything I can do to assist that...” Jeremiah stumbled. “You’re his family. He’ll need all of you.”

Divya smiled at the other end of the line.

“You’re also family, Jeremiah.”

He silently wished he was more to her.

RPRPRPRPRP

Jeremiah arrived hours later, insisting on taking a cab rather than have any of them pick him up at the airport.

He arrived at Hamptons Heritage, feeling a bit jet lagged, but didn’t want to go home without checking in with everyone.

He saw Divya sitting in the waiting room. She looked up and spotted him.

“Jeremiah!” She said, her beaming smile greeting him lifted any feelings of fatigue from him.

She hugged him and he allowed himself to relax with it. When they separated, he could see her own fatigue.

“Where is Evan and Paige?”

“They were exhausted. I told them to go home and get some rest.”

“You need your rest as well,” Jeremiah said.

“I will, I promise," she smiled.

“How is Hank?”

“He came through surgery well and just as you said the aneurysm they found was well hidden, easily missed and misinterpreted, but they believe that Hank will recover fully.”

“Good, I’m glad.”

“Thank you for coming back and I’m sorry you had to miss the rest of the conference.”

“No, no, as I said, I need to be here to help HankMed. Also I -”

“Rafa!” Divya cried out as she ran past Jeremiah to leap into Rafa’s arms.

All Jeremiah wanted to do at that moment was run himself, but he straightened and swallowed his pain and disappointment.

Rafa and Divya walked back towards Jeremiah.

“Ah, so, you two have reconciled,” Jeremiah said as more of a statement.

“Yes, yes, we did. We talked and decided that what happened was all a misunderstanding. Rafa and I have decided to try to work on our relationship,” Divya said, giddiness in her voice.

“Yes, Divya is the first woman in my life that I want to work things out with,” Rafa said beaming.

Jeremiah just nodded, trying to keep his albeit prejudiced opinion to himself for Divya's sake. If she was happy, that's all that mattered to him.

“Yes, well, I better unpack and get to work," Jeremiah evaded wanting to leave the awkward situation.

“Thank you for coming back, Jeremiah. You’re a true friend.”

He smiled, nodded and rushed off.

Once outside in the still brisk winter air, he took in deep breaths to keep himself from hyperventilating.

Though he knew that he had never had a chance with her, he had thought that when she had taken his reach of comfort that maybe...He had hoped...foolishly, as always.

He was a failure in more ways than he could count and the number kept rising the longer he was around Hank, his family and Divya. Despite wanting, needing to be better, less inadequate, less a cold clinician and more a caring, compassionate doctor and human being, all he had been reminded of was the exact opposite. His hopes of becoming a better man hinged precariously and foolishly in the command of a loving woman. A woman he could never have.

Perhaps it was just. The story that he had bonded with Evan was true, just the roles and feelings reversed. He had been the one who had loved someone only to learn that he had been hated in return.

He never seemed to get things right when it came to feelings...Divya was just more proof of that.

He went back to his empty home, dropped his luggage in the foyer and sat heavily into a nearby couch. He let the jet lag finally win and fell asleep.

He awoke a few hours later, showered and dressed with a fresh shirt, tie and pants. He headed back to the hospital and decided to check on Hank. He spotted Evan and Paige in the waiting room this time. Divya and Rafa must have left to get some rest. The thought gave him pain.

"Hey! Jeremiah!" Evan called out.

Jeremiah approached and they both hugged him.

"Thanks for being here, man," Evan said.

"Of course. When Divya called, I took the first available flight back. I wanted to keep HankMed operational so that all of you could concentrate on Hank and his health."

Evan and Paige were moved by Jeremiah's selflessness.

"Thanks," Evan said, true gratitude in his voice, but he noticed the sadness in Jeremiah's own voice and posture.

"He must have found out that Divya and Rafa are back together," he thought to himself and sympathesized.

"We're happy you're here," Paige said, observing herself, Jeremiah's solemnity.

Jeremiah nodded nervously, unaccustomed to the praise.

"I'll go check on Hank and report back."

He quickly left.

"Is he okay?" Paige asked, concern etched on her forehead.

"He probably found out that Divya is back with Rafa," Evan sighed in empathy, remembering their bonding moment.

"Why would he...?" She asked then recognition dawning. "You mean he..."

"Yeh, in that puppy dog kind of way," Evan said sympathetically.

"Does Divya know?"

"No, Jeremiah is being all noble. He doesn't want to ruin her happiness."

"So he's going to just say nothing?"

"Looks that way."

Jeremiah entered Hank's room. He walked over to grab the chart and looked it over. He heard a moan and came over to the bed.

Hank opened his eyes lazily, blinking as if to focus them. He felt a presence and moved his head towards Jeremiah. He began to mouth words, but Jeremiah stopped him.

"No need to speak, rest. From your chart, you came through the surgery successfully. Your vitals appear to be strong. I'll get your doctor -"

"Wait..." Hank uttered hoarsely. "Is everyone...?"

Jeremiah stopped and turned back.

"Everyone is fine. They are worried about you, of course, but I will inform them that you are recovering well. You must rest. I'll make sure everything's taken care of at HankMed."

Hank nodded slowly.

"Thank you," Hank whispered.

"Thank your doctors, they -"

Hank shook his head tiredly.

"No, thank you...for coming back."

Hank then fell back asleep.

Jeremiah was moved by Hank's words. He had felt belonging as he never had in his life yet he selfishly wanted more. He wished that he had Divya's affections and it was painful for him to accept that he never would. In the past, he would have accepted it, but his investment in HankMed, of the people sharing that investment with him, had kept him there, enduring a loneliness he had briefly allowed himself to believe that he might have had a chance of bridging, but berated himself for deceiving himself. Now, he was rethinking his decision, entertaining the cowardly way out of his misery by leaving after Hank was well again.

He went back to the waiting room and found everyone there including Divya wrapped in Rafa's arms. He took in a breath.

"I've talked with Hank's doctors and have reviewed his chart myself. He is recovering well. He woke up briefly and seemed coherent and aware of his situation. All excellent signs."

Everyone heaved a sigh of relief.

"What did he say?" Evan asked.

"He was concerned about all of you and I assured him that you were all right." Jeremiah said gently.

"Thank you, Jeremiah," Divya said.

Her compassionate voice and comment gave a tinge of pain.

"You're welcome. I'll see to the HankMed patients now."

"I'll help you," she offered.

"No, no, you need to be here for Hank," Jeremiah honestly proclaimed.

"I can't help him right now and as you said, he's recovering well and is being taken care of."

She turned to Rafa.

"You understand? I need to feel useful and help our patients. Hank would want me to make sure they are not being ignored."

"Of course. I need to talk to my agent anyway and check back with the circuit. I'll see you back at the house."

Rafa pecked her lovingly on the lips and left. Divya smiled at Jeremiah.

"I'm all yours."

Jeremiah smiled back and sighed. He wished that her words were true.

RPRPRPRPRP

Jeremiah and Divya visited with each patient slated by Hank for that day. People did ask about Hank and Divya had been impressed as Jeremiah diplomatically explained that Hank had some personal affairs to attend to, but that he would return.

"You know, you're doing a good thing."

"Well, I know all too well that a doctor's reputation is paramount and telling people Hank had fallen seriously ill, even if through no fault of his own, for an extended period of time could compromise the trust he has worked so hard to establish. I know how important that is to Hank."

Divya listened with admiration at Jeremiah's loyalty. He had only been with them for a short period of time and yet he well understood Hank's commitment to people and their care.

"People trust you as well."

"Not yet, but that's all right. Trust is...something one earns by one's actions," he said, not completely talking about HankMed anymore. "I understand that I haven't earned that yet."

"You have earned our trust," she said referring to her and the others.

"I respect and admire all of you for creating HankMed. I can only hope to measure up to that respect."

Divya was moved by Jeremiah's statement.

"You already do," she said softly.

She remembered how when Rafa had hurt her, he had given comfort without expectation of anything from her. He had given trust and she had gratefully accepted it.

"Thank you, Jeremiah."

"For what?"

"For providing comfort when Rafa had..."

"Well, it seems that it was unnecessary. So, you have reconciled, yes?" He asked even though he knew the answer.

"No, no, it certainly was what I had needed then. I am grateful to you for seeing me through that. You were a good friend."

Jeremiah had to suppress closing his eyes in a grimace. Though he would value any crumb of a relationship she would give him, the friendship declaration by a woman to any man who had wanted more from her was as good as a death sentence to being more especially when she was clearly in love with someone else.

"And yes, Rafa and I are giving it another chance. We realized when we hastily married in Vegas-"

Jeremiah felt his knees buckle a bit.

"M...married?" He sputtered out, surprise mixed with shock in his voice.

"Oh, yes, I'm sorry. Please don't mention it to anyone. I told Hank and he was totally against it. I realized later that he was right. I know now that it was foolish and reckless. Rafa and I agreed to end the marriage and take the time to get to know one another first."

"Ah, I see," He said, relief radiated through his body. "Wise decision."

Jeremiah had to suppress his happiness. Not that he thought he could have a chance with her, but because he believed Rafa didn't deserve her. He knew he wouldn't be able to convince her of Rafa's duplicity, her love for him and his slick charm blinding her. He would give anything to spare her pain, but the best thing he could do was to be her friend whenever she needed a shoulder.

"I can finish things here. Go on home," Jeremiah offered, knowing she'd rather be with Rafa. "I'll check on Hank again on my way back home."

"You sure?"

Jeremiah nodded.

She excitedly pecked him on the cheek and rushed off. His heartbeat slowed at the loss of her company.

True to his word, he went back to the hospital to check in on Hank. Evan and Paige were still there. He knew that the best thing he could do was allay their concerns.

"Any more news?" He asked them.

"No, just that he's stable. We did visit, but he slept through it," Evan softly complained.

"Rest is the best thing for him so you needn't worry if he's sleeping. I will check with his doctors and I'll check to make sure he's all right before I leave. You both should get some rest as well. Divya was right, there's nothing more you can do for Hank right now. I'll call you if there's any change."

Evan and Paige saw the sincerity in Jeremiah's eyes.

"I'll meet you at the car," Evan said to Paige as she nodded, smiled and squeezed Jeremiah's arm, giving him a grateful look.

Evan turned to Jeremiah, gratitude on his own face.

"Thanks, man."

"I'm glad to be of help."

Evan noticed a sadness about him and knew the root of it.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," Jeremiah said quickly.

"I know you feel pretty bad about Divya and Rafa. If it helps, Hank and I think she's making a mistake."

Jeremiah looked at Evan, his expression filled with resignation.

"I appreciate that, but she's happy. I could never make her happy like that. Her happiness is all that matters to me."

Jeremiah then walked quickly away. Evan admired his noble acceptance, for putting Divya first above his own feelings, at the expense of his own. Evan didn't feel as charitable as Jeremiah, knowing how badly hurt Divya had been by Rafa's lies and he believed that he would hurt her again. Evan couldn't understand how Divya could forgive him so easily and quickly and take advantage of Jeremiah's generosity and support.

Jeremiah went into Hank's room, checked his chart then his vitals. Everything seemed to be going well. Work always helped him forget his troubles. He then heard a soft groan. He went over to the bed and found Hank waking up. He was grimacing in pain.

"Hank? How are you feeling? Are you in any pain?"

Hank focused again, tried to assemble his thoughts and memory.

"Jeremiah?" He rasped.

"Yes. Do you know where you are?" He asked testing Hank's cognitive state.

"Hospital. I collapsed at Evan's wedding...they found an aneurysm."

"Yes, the surgery was a success. You should fully recover, but you should hear it directly from your doctors."

"How's everyone?"

"I sent Evan and Paige home. I told them I would call if anything happened. They needed the rest."

Hank closed his eyes and Jeremiah thought he had fallen asleep again.

"Thank you."

Jeremiah nodded.

"You've been a good friend to all of us. I meant what I said about being lucky to have you," Hank said.

"Thank you, Hank. I appreciate that. I am grateful that you have given me a chance...that all of you have...I know I didn't exactly bring the necessary skills, but I'm a work in progress..."

Jeremiah trailed off, the reference painfully reminding him of Divya and thinking of her being with Rafa.

Hank, even in his groggy state, noticed the obvious uneasiness.

"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine. I'll let you rest now. I'll check in on you tomorrow."

Jeremiah hastily left the room, leaving Hank wondering.

RPRPRPRP

Jeremiah told Hank's doctors to don't hesitate to call him if Hank's condition changed, that he would be on-call for him.

He drove home, feeling dejected and needing to sleep himself. He hadn't completely caught up from his flight from Iceland.

He drove up the driveway and noticed that another car was parked there. He recognized it as Divya's car. He was both concerned and happy, but he also intuited that she should be with Rafa and that something must have gone wrong for her to come to him.

He entered his house.

And he heard sobbing.

He followed the sound into his living room and what he saw took his breath away.

It was Divya, sobbing. When she looked up, she had a cut on her cheek. He immediately rushed over to her, his concern overriding any excitement he felt at seeing her.

"Divya? Are you all right?"

"I'm sorry for intruding. I had no where else to go. I still had your combination from when...when..."

Jeremiah was confused, but he knew that this time, Divya needed more than just a solitary hand on her shoulder so he inched closer to her and tried to wrap his arm around her. She fell easily into his chest and continued to sob. He then held her and did his best to comfort.

"You're not intruding at all. You're always welcome here, but what has happened?

You're injured."

Divya squinted in pain and loss as she sat up to look at Jeremiah, her tear-stained face begging to be wiped away from her cheeks, but he didn't want to presume. He did want to mend her wound.

"Rafa...I went back to my house...I found him..." Divya hiccuped. "I found him with another woman...I was so shocked...so angry...I ran out. He caught up with me, restrained me to keep from leaving, he then scratched me...I managed to wriggle out of his grasp, but then I fell. I'm such an idiot, a fool for believing in him."

Jeremiah felt his protectiveness and anger rise at Rafa's treatment of her. He also wanted to reassure her that no man was worthy of her or deserving of her love.

"I can't believe that I trusted him again, that I believed his lies again."

"He is not worthy of your belief or trust nor does he deserve your love. You are above reproach in your compassion."

She clung to Jeremiah and sobbed. At first Jeremiah, not used to anyone seeking comfort from him, let alone companionship in a crisis unless it was a medical one, was unsure of what was the right thing to do, but as Divya melted into him, he embraced her gently, stroking her back platonically.

Suddenly their comforting quiet was broken by loud banging and Divya stiffened in fear.

"DIVYA! I know you're here! PLEASE talk to me! I'm so sorry! She means nothing to me, I swear!" Rafa yelled and banged.

"Please, Jeremiah send him away. I don't want to talk to him."

"Of course," he said as he got up off the couch.

Divya felt guilty about putting Jeremiah in the awkward position of protector, but she had to admit that she felt comforted by his presence.

"I think you should probably stay safe by leaving the room. He sounds quite unstable and unpredictable," he advised.

"Please be careful," she said, worry for his well-being stifling her fear, then left.

Jeremiah headed to the front door, inwardly cursing the fear he felt, but being buoyed by Divya depending on him to keep her safe. For her, he would evolve and set aside every insecurity.

"She doesn't want to talk to you!" Jeremiah yelled back, refusing to open the door. He had engaged the alarm just in case Rafa resorted to violence.

"Open this door! You do not speak for her!"

"In this case, yes, I do and she wants you to leave her alone."

"I'm not leaving until I talk to her!"

"Then I'll have to call the police."

"I don't understand why she came to you! You're a weak, pathetic mouse of a man! You could never make her happy!"

Jeremiah took in a breath. Rafa was right. Neither of them was good enough for her.

"You're not wrong about me, but YOU are a cad and a bully. I do know she deserves better than you and I will keep you from hurting her again," Jeremiah said his voice determined, infused with courage for Divya.

Divya listened and heard Jeremiah's soft proclamation. Her heart swelled with appreciation and she felt the warmth of his declaration as well as the sincerity behind it.

Suddenly, there was a gigantic crash and the sound of breaking glass. She was no longer afraid for herself but for Jeremiah and it was that concern that drove her to leave the room in which she had hidden. As she got closer, she heard struggle and then she saw that Rafa had broken into Jeremiah's house by hurling one of the lawn chairs through the patio doors. He and Jeremiah were engaged in a fist battle.

"STOP IT!" She screamed in the hopes of breaking them up.

Jeremiah pushed Rafa off of him and turned to Divya.

"Divya, run! The police will be here shortly, but you must get to safety!"

While Jeremiah was distracted, Rafa ran into the kitchen and grabbed one of the knives from the block.

Divya had seen the knife before Jeremiah because he had been focusing his attentions towards her, but Rafa had been quick.

"Jeremiah! Look out!" She screamed.

Jeremiah turned back towards Rafa and at that moment Rafa plunged the knife into his abdomen.

"NO!" Divya screamed again as she ran towards Jeremiah no longer worried about her own safety.

Jeremiah gazed down to where the hilt and handle of the knife protruded from

his abdomen, more in shock than in pain at first, but then the rush of pain and what he had surmised as dizziness caused by rapid blood loss began to affect him, he crumpled to his knees then melted to the floor.

She held him as he tried to breathe through the pain.

"Divya, you must go...I...c...can't stop him..." Jeremiah said with slowly creeping exhaustion, a leaden weakness that told him he was losing blood volume quickly.

In the background, she heard sirens approaching.

"I'm not leaving you. Help is on the way."

She then turned towards Rafa, rage coursing through her body.

"DON'T YOU DARE COME NEAR HIM!" She yelled, her voice cracking with both anger and a touch of terror. "The police are coming and I'll make sure you pay for what you've done!"

Rafa stood in his own shock at what he had done and as he heard the sirens approaching, his instinct to run was overwhelming. He ran from the room, disappearing into the inky blackness of night.

Divya turned back to Jeremiah, her anger ebbing but her sorrow, raw and painful.

"I'm so sorry, Jeremiah, this is all my fault."

"No...no...not your fault," Jerrmiah groaned.

"Please hang on. I feel so helpless."

Blood began oozing out of Jeriemiah's mouth and she feared internal bleeding.

"You...deserve...more...and...better...than Rafa...or me..."

"Rest, Jeremiah," she pleaded to him as she stroked his face in comfort.

"I...I...love...you..." Jeremiah said, his breathing slowing.

Jeremiah trembled with pain and lost consciousness. Just at that moment, police and EMS stormed through the broken patio doors.

"Help him, please help him," Divya implored.

She backed away so that EMS could work on Jeremiah.

She felt her heart constrict tightly, taking her breath away. She had brought this upon Jeremiah. It was her fault that he was fighting to live.

He had confessed to loving her and all she had wanted was to have the courage to tell him that she cared for him. Her emotions were confused and muddled, but one thing was certain, she needed to prove to him that though she was still a work in progress, she would evolve because of him, that she would prove herself deserving of his love for her.

He was wrong. It was she who didn't deserve him, but just as he hadn't left her so she wouldn't leave him.

TBC

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


  • 1
I remember this one. Glad to see it on LJ! :)

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