09 January 2012 @ 06:19 pm
 “You know that new patient you assigned me to look after? Bramley? He, um… He kissed me.”

The doctor peers over the rim of his glasses and then pushes them up to the bridge of his nose with his middle finger. “Oh?”

“He seems to have put me into his fantasy. When it kicked in, he called me his ‘priest’.”

Doctor Mubarak blinks, his eyebrows arching up. His lips purse in the way they do when he is holding back laughter. “Is that so? I didn’t know you were religious, Wellington.”

“So I thought I would tell you in case you wanted to keep me away from him?”

“That won’t be necessary,” the doctor says, rising gracefully. Doctor Ramses Mubarak, presiding doctor of Sainton Sanatorium, is a man of ancient Egyptian blood, and it shows. He is an attractive fellow with an ageless elegance and languid, dusky eyes. He walks with a marked worldly swagger, lazily lilting through the halls of an otherwise dreary place as if traversing the canals of Venice or browsing pieces of artwork at the Louvre, or biding time with the gods at Olympus. Despite his general appearance of nonchalance with the world at large, patients respond well to his treatments, which are not necessarily conventional. “Seemingly our Aidan Bramley has taken quite a shine to you. He seemed to trust you during this delusion, yes?”

“Well, he accepted my assistance.”

“At this point, we are to consider this a success,” doctor Mubarak intones blandly. “He did not attempt to kill you, and if he has incorporated you as a part of his delusions, particularly as a friend or trusted colleague, we may be able to wean him out of his fantasy state and into reality.”

“I thought you wrote to disregard—” Ellis is cut off with a wave of the doctor’s hand.

“That is what another doctor suggested. In any case, I have yet to make my diagnosis. You may humour him as you see fit, but do not baby him. You know, just employ your usual patient drivel. I’ll be meeting with him tomorrow and we will slowly introduce him to others. Until then, consider Bramley your pet project, but don’t do any kissing yet.”

“Yet?” Ellis sputters.

“Like I said,” Mubarak loosens his tie and pulls on his coat over the maroon dress shirt and pinstripe vest. “We may need to use your influence over him. Nothing that will endanger you, of course, but you may be the therapy he needs if he continues to respond positively to your presence. That is all, Ellis. I will see you in the morning.”

* * *

Ellis takes a few moment to compose himself in the kitchen. He has dealt with difficult patients before, but none were quite so compelling and tragic and dangerous as Aidan Bramley. He has killed people, Ellis must remind himself. In his line of work, there should be few allowances granted, but Ellis has always been one to give certain people the benefit of a doubt. When Aidan is not suffering from his dream state, he seems too normal. It makes Ellis sad to see him afflicted so. that person never would have killed anyone, claiming they were vampires.

He tends to a few more patients before Aidan’s lunch time comes along. Nurse Martins smirks and falls into step beside Elis.

“Going to see Bramley? I hear he kissed you.

Ramses, Ellis thinks with a grimace as a blush spreads over his cheekbones. “Well…”

“Man, I’d quit. Why haven’t you?”

“He is… well, if you’ve seen him, you’ll know.”

“Attractive? A damn hot, crazy piece of ass!” Jeremy supplies generously. Ellis rolls his eyes. “Is he a good kisser?”

Ellis pushes Jeremy. “I need to bring him lunch, shove off!”

“Okay, but try not to get your mack on! Aphrodisiacs also aren’t on his med list!”

“Wanker!” Ellis laughs. He retrieves Aidan’s lunch and brings it to the room. He knocks on the door to make known his arrival and then nudges his hip at the lock so his access card is scanned, though it takes a bit of awkward shuffling. He attempts to balance the tray, but he isn’t a waitress for a reason. “Aidan? It’s Ellis.” He calls, struggling with the door handle. Ellis shifts the tray over to one hand and furrows his brow, fiddling further with the doorknob. Finally he turns it and lunges forward a little to catch the tray before he drops it. 

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