ER
Just A Touch

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Heathen: C- | Grade It Now!
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Just A Touch

Before Pratt can bend Sam's ear, he's called away by Malik; Smurfette has collapsed. "Find Neela," he instructs.

In the trauma room, Neela enters and explains Smurfette's history. Malarkey enters cheerfully to offer another set of hands, and Pratt gives him the stink-eye, because he knows that at least a fraction of Weaver's wrath probably had something to do with Malarkey's giant mouth. Back and forth, back and forth, Malarkey denies blabbing and Pratt doesn't buy it; amid all this, they get Smurfette's pulse back. "What'd you say to her?" Pratt seethes. "Nothing! That hot patient was complaining about you," Malarkey insists. Neela coldly points out that referring to a patient that way might be part of the problem. Pratt's annoyed with her. "Can you imagine what it was like for her to come here? She's feeling ill, worried, scared, and probably waited several hours to be seen, only to have a stranger fondle her breasts," Neela blasts him. Yeah, but the woman's not sixteen. She's a woman who, by all rights, should be mature enough to understand that sometimes doctors need to see you naked. And I think Brunette so overreacted to Pratt that I really don't want to give Brunette any points at all. Maybe that makes me a shitpipe, but I can't help that. Pratt takes a break from talking about his personal affairs to focus on the patient at hand, which is very responsible of him. It seems Smurfette stopped taking her arrhythmia meds weeks ago. Pratt wonders why. "Maybe because men are idiots," Neela seethes, stomping off. Sigh.

Sam's at Ike Ryan's with Steve and Alex. That doesn't really seem like a very quick lunch. Alex wants to get up and play pinball; Steve hands him money as Sam orders Alex to finish his food first. "I have," he says. "You barely touched your hamburger," she points. "I don't want to get Mad Cow Disease," Alex retorts. Then don't order hamburgers, kid. What ten-year-old boy doesn't want to eat his lunch? Don't go all manorexic on me here, Alex -- you're at least two career slumps too early for that. Sam compromises by asking him to finish his fries, which he carries petulantly to the pinball machine, where he ostensibly can't eat them while he's playing unless he face-plants into the basket. "He's grown a foot since I saw him last," Steve says admiringly. "Been a year," Sam says frostily. Steve seems affected, and then softly praises Sam for the job she's done with Alex. Interestingly, the song playing is "Keep Me Hangin' On," and it's the part where she sings, "Set me free, why don't you, babe; get outta my life, why don't you, babe," which I'm sure was a deliberate choice. Steve asks whether Alex is good in school. "When he's not being expelled for performing medical procedures on himself or dissecting squirrels in the school yard," she answers. Hey! I made a joke about that a few pages ago, completely forgetting she even said this line. That's...actually, that kind of scares me, on account of the fact that it means I think like the typewriter monkeys. Steve chuckles, but Sam insists that it's not funny. "He seems to like that Russian doctor," Steve observes. "Croatian," Sam says with a private little smile and glow. Steve asks if they're together, to which Sam replies, "We've gone out...nothing serious." Oh, shut UP, Sam. All that goodwill I'd tried to foster for her just diminished. That's both a lie and disrespectful to Luka, and of course is meant to make everyone wonder if she's still got unresolved feelings for Steve...ugh. There's no comparison. With all due respect to Cole Hauser, there's no way. He can't compete.

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