Chapter Six

I know you’re only protecting yourself
I know you’re thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I’m not above
Making up for the love
You’ve been denying you could ever feel

June 24, 2006

General Hospital: Nurse’s Station

“My last performance review,” Emily sighed happily as she put away her last chart of the day. “Thank God.”

“Well, if someone hadn’t taken a month off, possibly someone would have been done in May like all the other med students,” Elizabeth mused. She frowned when her pen ran out of ink and started rooting for a new one. “So I’m thinking this weekend–Friday night–since you’re single and Lucky’s working, we can take Robin out. She could use the downtime.”

“And since I won’t have to be studying, I can actually go,” Emily said.

“And you won’t be needing to leave early to go study,” Elizabeth smirked. “Since school is over.”

“That is so over with, Elizabeth,” Emily rolled her eyes. “So, I want to hear from your lips how the scene in the locker room really went down because some people have Patrick tackling you to keep you from going at Kelly Lee and others have Kelly running from the room after Patrick made her cry.”

“The people at this hospital should have better things to do than gossip,” Elizabeth grumbled. “I wish Patrick had had to hold me back but before I could even open my mouth to tear Kelly a new one, Patrick had it all taken care of. That is one doctor you do not want to piss off.” She finally found a new pen. “Oh, so I was calling around for recommendations for Robin’s new doctor when I remembered–duh! I called Steven to see if he was interested in taking her case.”

“Steven’s a pediatrics doctor,” Emily frowned. “Why would he take Robin’s case?”

“Well, he went to med school for both pediatrics and obstetrics but he spent the first few years focusing on pediatrics but one of his patients at the hospital here last year was a baby with HIV and it made Steven want to concentrate on obstetrics more and he actually specializes in HIV pregnancies now. Robin would be like his fifth patient.” Elizabeth grinned. “So Steven’s agreeable and I’m sure Robin will be so I just have to run it past her. It’s a win win situation. She gets a fabulous doctor and I get my brother back in town for a while.”

Robin’s Apartment: Living Room

“Now, I want to know everything there is to know about Dr. Patrick Drake,” Anna said as she sat next to Robin on the sofa.

Robin shrugged. “There’s not much to tell. He moved to town not long before Christmas. We started dating in April and we broke up in May.”

“Don’t bull shit me, darling,” Anna said briskly. “I’m your mother and I know better.”

“Okay…” Robin exhaled slowly. “Patrick came to GH to perform surgery on Jason and Alan offered him a staff position. He moved here before Christmas and he…I guess you could call him a bit of a player. He never seemed to really stick to one woman but it was never serious.”

“So far I’m not impressed,” Anna mused. “Continue please.”

“He flirted with me,” Robin couldn’t stop the small smile that spread across her face. “And he didn’t stop even after he found out I had HIV. We had dinner a few times, there were a few misunderstandings regarding a certain blonde that I believed you slugged today. His father got sick and needed a liver transplant–Noah refused because his drinking had caused it and he didn’t think he deserved one. It tore Patrick apart and he even went behind his back to get him on the transplant list.”

“Okay, my opinion has been upgraded marginally.”

“When the liver we thought would work wasn’t viable, Patrick donated part of his liver and…” Robin hesitated, remembering that particular event. “We nearly lost him on the table and then from an infection after the surgery. And Noah was furious because he’d denied the living donor transplant because he was worried something would happen to Patrick. Not to mention that we’d both gone behind his back to do the transplant at all.” Robin looked away. “But Patrick recovered and we started…we decided we wanted to try…that we would see where it could go.”

“Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.” Anna patted Robin’s knee. “What’d he do to screw that up?”

“It was fine for a while. We…we were having fun together and I was happy. We…I wanted to take it slow after that one night and he seemed okay with that but I…I made a mistake, and I didn’t trust him. And we’re better off as friends,” Robin finished, lamely.

“Uh huh.” Anna tapped her chin. “No, I don’t think that quite covers it, luv, finish it out.”

“Fine,” Robin sighed. “I saw a woman leaving his apartment and I overreacted and he was angry that I thought he’d cheat on me and I was angry that–I don’t even know why I was angry. He told me she was a nurse from his last hospital that was in town for a conference. She’d stopped by to…” Robin coughed, “…to catch up. Patrick said he explained to her that he was seeing someone and that was the end of it. I chose not to believe him, he continued to explain and he even sent flowers but I told him that I didn’t trust him and that it was over and he decided I was right and now here we are.”

“It sounds like you believe him now,” Anna observed. “And your wording–you chose not to believe him. So did he cheat or not?”

“Probably not,” Robin admitted. “But we’re better off as friends. The relationship was getting serious and it’s for the best that we don’t–that we keep it friendly.” Restless, she stood and crossed to the large bay windows that overlooked the harbor. “Patrick didn’t sign on for my insecurity and other things that come as part of my life. He’s got a brilliant career ahead of him and he doesn’t need me dragging him down.”

“Oh, my God.” Anna stood and stalked over to her daughter. “This is not the girl I raised. What is wrong with you?” she demanded.

“Nothing. Mom…” Robin bit her lip. “Whether I like it or not, people look at you differently when you have HIV. They assume you got it because you were either a drug addict or a slut. There are certain assumptions made and I don’t…I don’t want people to look at Patrick that way.”

“Oh, honey…” Anna embraced her daughter tightly and then kissed Robin’s forehead. “You’re an idiot.”

“Hey!” Robin folded her arms across her chest. “That’s not fair.”

“I understand where you’re coming from, Robin, I do. And I think that there are some cruel people in this world but you do not get to make that decision for Patrick.” Anna squared her shoulders. “Now, I think it’s quite clear that you and your Dr. Drake need to have a discussion and since I would like to meet him, I will drive you to his apartment.”

“Mom, no–”

“Don’t argue, Robin. Mother knows best.”

Patrick’s Apartment: Living Room

Patrick had just opened a bottle of beer when there was a brisk knock at his door. He set the bottle on the table next to the sofa before opening the door.

Robin stood behind a much taller brunette who strode in and took a quick look around the apartment before turning her attention back on Patrick. “Dr. Patrick Drake, I imagine?”

“Yeah…” Patrick drawled. He shot a questioning look at Robin who looked away. “Ms. Devane?”

Anna smiled at him. “Aren’t you a smart one?” She pinched his cheek. “And you are just as cute in person. Good to know. All right, I’ve got what I came for. Robin, dear, call me when you need a ride home.” She strode out of the apartment.

“Wait, Mom–” Robin called after her but Anna just smiled and got on the elevator with a little wave.

Patrick closed the door behind Robin’s mother. “So that’s the famous Anna Devane. She doesn’t look that scary.”

“Looks can be deceiving,” Robin murmured. “I’m sorry about this–we were at my apartment talking and she decided that I had to come over and talk to you and well, once Mom gets an idea into her head, she tends to steamroll right over you.”

“It’s fine.” Patrick shrugged. “Did you want something to drink? To eat?” He started towards the kitchen.

“No, I ah…” Robin took a deep breath. “Patrick, I wanted to tell you that I never…I never actually believed you slept with that nurse.”

Patrick stopped, turned and just stared at her.

“I just, ah, I thought…” Robin let out an impatient breath. “We were getting serious and I was nervous and I didn’t…I used it as an excuse to break up with you,” she admitted.

“Are you…” Patrick drove his fingers through his hair. “Are you kidding me?”

“No,” Robin sighed. She wrapped her arms around herself. “Look, Patrick–maybe you didn’t hear the whispers around the hospital but I did and there is still an attitude about HIV and the people who have it.”

“What does that have to do with us?” Patrick demanded. He needed a drink. He grabbed the bottle from the table and took a long gulp. “What the hell, Robin.”

“It has to do with what people think of you,” Robin explained. She twisted her fingers together. “You’re not going to be on staff at the hospital forever. I mean, come on, Patrick. You and I both know that you’re headed for bigger and better things. You’re already one of the most respected surgeons in the state. In another few years, that’s going to be the country and I want that for you and it won’t happen if…” she trailed off and looked away.

Patrick exhaled slowly and really hoped for the patience he would need not to take her by the shoulders and just shake her. After a long moment, he finally spoke. “I can’t say that I don’t know what you mean because you weren’t the only one who heard what people said. And I appreciate the concern you have for my career, but my skills speak for themselves and I’m going to make a name for myself, regardless of who’s at my side. But you know what really pisses me off Robin?”

“What?” Robin asked quietly.

“That you didn’t talk to me about this like an adult. We could have worked this out. Instead, you put the blame on me. And I’m sorry, but I can’t forgive that.”

Robin nodded. “I accept that. I just…it was time to tell you the truth and I thought you should know.” She bit her lip. “I’ll call my mom from the lobby for a ride–”

“I’ll take you home,” Patrick interrupted. He took his keys from the table and headed for the door. He never once looked her in the eye.

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