Dave Malucci crutched his way into Radiology. "What's the matter with you guys?" he asked impatiently. "I've been waiting hours for a set of films."
Dr Steve Flint looked at Dave over the top of his glasses. "We've been busy," he said, as he unobtrusively pushed his magazine under a pile of envelopes. "Was it an urgent case?" he asked.
"Not exactly," replied Dave. "But I really need to get the results."
Flint sighed, and indicated a stack of envelopes. "If you find the films in that pile, then I'll take a look at them for you, okay?"
"Thanks," said Dave, as he sat on the counter and started rummaging through the files.
"Just don't tell anyone, or I'll have half the ER docs trying the same thing."
Dave quickly found the films he was looking for. Carefully he slid them out of the envelope and stuck them on the light box beside him.
"What's the case history?" asked Flint, moving over to take a look.
"Twenty nine year old male, fractured his ankle six weeks ago. Want to see if it's okay to take the cast off."
"Hmm, lets see," said Flint as he examined the film. "The bone looks as if it's healed straight. Yes, that looks fine. You can remove the patient's cast."
"Yes!" said Dave, punching the air triumphantly.
"Not like you to get so excited over your patients," said Flint, bending down to pick up the empty envelope that Dave had knocked to the floor.
"D. Malucci," he read off the label. "Malucci...these are your x-rays?"
Dave nodded. "Yeah," he said, a little shame faced. "Dr Greene got fed up with me pestering him for the results, so he told me that if I wanted them that badly, to go and get them myself."
Flint hid a smile. "Well, you can tell him from me, that there's no reason to keep the cast on any longer," he said, quickly scribbling a note on the envelope.
"Thanks Dr F.," said Dave absently, as he looked around the room. It had been a while since he had been in the Radiology room. "Hmm," he thought to himself. "This place had definite possibilities." Luka had said that they must do something special to celebrate Dave getting his cast removed, and Dave had just been struck by an idea for something special to do.
Grabbing his crutches, he picked up the envelope.
"You going to be able to carry that okay?" asked Flint.
"No problem," replied Dave, as he quickly stuffed the films into the waistband of his sweatpants and pulled his top back down. "Look, no hands," he said, tucking the top into his sweatpants so they wouldn't fall out.
Returning to the ER, Dave quickly found Mark in the lounge.
"What is it now Malucci?" asked Mark, in a tone of exasperation.
"I got my films checked out," said Dave, eagerly. "You can take the cast off. Dr Flint said so."
"Let me see them," said Mark, resignedly. His eyes widened in horror as Dave started tugging on his scrub. "What the hell are you doing?" he asked, in shock.
"What?" said Dave, puzzled. "Oh, this? It was the only way I could think of to carry them," he said, pulling the envelope out and handing it to Mark.
Mark gingerly took the envelope and slid out the films, trying not to think of what parts of Dave's anatomy they had been in such close proximity to. Holding them up to the light, he said, "Yeah, they look fine to me," and quickly gave them back to Dave.
"So, will you take the cast off me now?" asked Dave, excitedly.
"Yes, okay," said Mark.
"Okay, hold still," said Mark, as he lowered the saw to Dave's cast.
"Wait a minute," said Dave, "Don't cut there, there's some good jokes along that line. Cut here." He indicated a point a few centimeters away.
"You're going to keep the cast?" said Mark, surprised.
"Of course," said Dave. "Doesn't everybody?"
"Not over the age of twelve," muttered Mark, as he moved the saw.
A few minutes later, Dave was holding the two pieces of his cast. "Cool," he said, admiringly. "I'm gonna glue it together, and hang it on the wall at home."
Mark rolled his eyes at the thought. "Okay, I'm going to strap up your ankle, but you have to remember to take it easy for a while. It's going to take time to build up the muscles."
Dave looked at his wasted leg and shuddered. It wasn't that he was vain, but the thought of Luka seeing it like that... "What?" he said, suddenly aware that Mark had continued talking.
"I said, I'll write you a referral for physio. A few sessions of that, and you should be able to lose the crutches."
"Thanks Dr Greene," said Dave, as Mark unrolled the bandage.
Dave returned to the Lounge and put the cast in his locker. Looking at his watch, he frowned. Still a couple of hours until he and Luka were finished their shifts. Oh well, he could wait. He dug a pen and paper out of his locker and was about to start writing a note, when he had a better idea. With a grin, he started rummaging through the junk at the back of his locker, finally coming up with a packet of photographs.
He had been at home one day while Luka was working. With nothing worth watching on TV, and no videos either, he had decided to have a little fun with his camera...the one with the time delay on it. He hadn't had a chance to show the results to Luka yet. Picking out he most 'interesting' photo of himself from the pile, Dave quickly scribbled on the back of it. 'Meet me inRadiology after your shift. Don't be late'.
Slamming his locker shut, he moved over to Luka's and slid the photo in through the narrow gap between the hinges. Grinning, he was suddenly startled by a voice behind him saying, "Malucci, what are doing at my locker?"
Turning around, he saw Kerry standing just inside the door with an amused expression on her face.
"Your locker, Chief?" he asked. Kerry nodded. "Oh shi...crap," said Dave, remembering exactly how clear the photo had been. "I thought it was Luka's," he said frantically, while wondering how best to break into the locker and remove the picture.
"Oh, and what were you doing at 'Luka's' locker?" asked Kerry.
"Umm, err, umm," stammered Dave. "I...I was just leaving him a message."
"A personal one?" asked Kerry, trying to keep a straight face as she saw Dave blush.
"Yes," muttered Dave, thinking, 'oh God, if she sees that picture, I'll never be able to look her in the face again'. "Umm, you might not want to look at it," he said, blushing furiously.
Kerry couldn't hide it any longer. "Relax Dave," she said, laughing. "It is Luka's locker."
Dave breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank God," he said. "Listen, you won't tell him what I was doing will you? It's just I'm trying to do something special, to celebrate losing the cast."
"I won't tell him," promised Kerry, with a smile.
"Thanks Chief," said Dave, with relief. "Oh, and do you think you could make sure he isn't delayed after his shift tonight?"
Kerry looked suspiciously at Dave. "I'll do what I can, but no guarantees. If a trauma comes in five minutes before he's supposed to leave..."
"I understand," said Dave, hastily. "Thanks Chief. You're the greatest," he said, before quickly leaving the room.