Cher Patty? Pam...ela? Pauline...
Francis crumbled up the letter again and sighed. What had been her name again? He gave up and simply wrote:
Ma belle fleur,
Last night was absolutely beautiful.
Merci. Hope we can do this again sometime,
sincerement avec tout mon coeur,
It was perfect, he thought. He bent the sheet of paper and a placed it on the bedside table. He left the room just as the young lady in bed began to stir. As he properly dressed himself in her apartment elevator, he was uncomfortably reminded that he would not have time for breakfast before getting to work. What a shame. Working on an empty stomach was absolutely dreadful. He would always tell Arthur that and yet he would always ignore him...
By the time he got outside into the brisk air of Fall, he was really wishing he had taken his car. He hurried to the nearest subway entrance, paid the fair and got on a train. Yawning, he found a seat between some grisly fellow and a teenage. The man was reading from one of those electronic books Francis had always been curious about but never got around to getting. Perhaps he could get Antonio to find one for him.
The intercom announced his stop so the tall blond stood and moved to the door. When the train came to a stop, he wavered slightly from the force before stepping out when the doors opened. Many others followed out after him and he was almost too caught up in the rush to notice the man sleeping on a bench.He must've been waiting for someone or else he probably should've woken for the train. What caught Francis' eye was determining whether he really was looking at a man since he had such ambiguous features. Very cute and Francis was reminded of a younger self. Very strange, he thought, but he ignored it for now. After a few seconds of disturbing the flow of people, Francis continued on his way, concentrating on not being late for work.
In fact, he got to the hospital early, early enough that Arthur was just preparing for his shift as receptionist and frowned seeing Francis stride in.
Arthur sighed grumbling. "Why are you early? I thought I'd get at least fifteen minutes of peace this morning..."
"You're happy to see me," Francis said leaning on the desk. "You've been thinking about me all night, n'est ce pas?"
Arthur snickered. "You're seriously full of yourself."
"You fantasized about me all night," Francis continued. "All night, 'Oh how I wish Dr. Bonnefoy was here...' and 'If only Dr. Bonnefoy would relieve me'..."
"You're disgusting, Francis."
"Come now, that's not what you're supposed to call me," Francis pouted. "Say it... 'Doctor...'"
"I refuse to be a part of your repulsive fetishes," Arthur said concentrating on signing into the computer. "Now get your diseased hands off my desk before I order you a vasectomy."
Francis leaned back and placed his hands in his pockets. "I'm going to get my scrubs. I'll be right back."
"Don't come back."
Francis went to get dressed.
The rest of the day was pretty bland. He had lunch with Arthur as always which was fun. The only patients Francis had that day were only really there because WebMD which told them their cold symptoms were terminal. It was kind of insulting to deal with them but at least they were careful. By the time he was done, he was rather bored and did some paperwork before heading out. He passed by the front desk to blow a kiss to Arthur before leaving.
Stepping outside again, he was really contemplating calling his roommate to pick him up but it was pointless. The rush hour traffic would be terrible and he really only lived a few subway stops away so he went underground. Paying his fair, he stepped out to the subway platform. There were so many others were all lining the subterranean walls like plaque that he might not have noticed the young man still on the bench.
He's still there? Curiously, Francis walked over to take a look. The man--more like boy--was still asleep and in the exact same place, his back against a suitcase. He wondered why the staff or personnel of the system hadn't noticed or moved him. It was highly unlikely someone would wait so long for someone else. This really disturbed Francis.
So he went up and poked him.
He didn't move so he poked him again. "Hey, wake up."
Suddenly the boy jolted from his sleep, his hands flying from his hood pockets to press against his heart. He had really scared him. "Wh-What are you doing?!"
"Désolé," Francis said. "But I couldn't help noticing that you've been here all day."
"You've been watching me?" he asked furrowing his eyebrows.
"N-No! Well, not exactly..." Francis scratched his head. "Shouldn't you go home?"
"Can't..." The boy looked at him with sunken and tired eyes and Francis realized he must have been here much longer than he knew. He didn't smell all that good either.
Francis sighed. "Do you need a place to stay?"
"No," he said quickly. "I'm fine." Then he used one unwashed hand to brush his lengthy hair out of his face and Francis noticed the bruises on his wrist. In fact, there were bruises on his neck too, revealed by the movement of his hair.
"Eh, you're hurt!" Francis picked up his hand to look at the bruises but the other tore it from his grip.
"Don't touch me!"
"But those bruises..." Francis became antsy. "I'm a doctor. I can help you. There's a hospital only seconds from this station..."
"No!" The boy seemed terrified. "No hospital! I'm fine! Go away!"
"Please let me help you," Francis insisted. "I can't leave you here like this!" He tried to see the bruises again but instead was pushed away again.
The boy began to cry; quietly though, not enough to draw attention. He shook terribly and he looked like he hadn't eaten in days.
"Please don't cry," Francis said crouching down in front of him. "I won't touch you but could you at least let me buy you something to eat? Perhaps just from the Gateway?"
The boy just nodded, sniffling and sobbing into the arms of his sweater.
"Come pick something," Francis said. "I don't know what you like."
He nodded again and stood, although seemingly unsteady. Francis presumed he hadn't walked all day. The boy took a few steps towards the snack stand before leaning against the wall.
"Huh?" Francis got there in time just before his acquaintance fell to the ground. "Mon cher!"
He had completely passed out. Francis tried everything to get him to wake up but nothing worked. Honestly, Francis practically forgot he was even a doctor and didn't know what to do. He knew he should get him to the hospital but the boy had been so against it before that a part of him thought to oblige to his wishes. And for some insane reason, he did.
Carrying him out of the subway, Francis called Antonio.
"Hola!" Came the greeting.
"Antonio? You have my keys, right?"
"Francis? Si! I do."
"Pick me up! Immediately!"
"Hey, is something wrong?"
"Yes, just pick me up!"
Surprisingly, two minutes later, the car pulled up to the side of the curb. Antonio rolled down the window. "Huh? Who's that?"
"I have no idea," Francis said as he opened the back doors and put the boy inside. He placed his suitcase beside him and then got into the passenger seat.
Antonio looked back. "He's so skinny and dirty! Did you pick up a hobo?"
"No, just get us home," Francis insisted. As Antonio pulled the car off the curb, Francis sighed. "He needs a place to stay and some food."
"I seriously should have just taken him to the hospital..." Francis pouted. Then he looked at Antonio. "Why were you so close when I called?"
"Eh heh..." The tan driver scratched his head. "I wanted to go shopping so..."
"You don't have money," Francis said.
Antonio took Francis' credit card out of his own pocket. The blond frowned taking it back.
"You're the one stealing a hobo..."
"He's not a hobo. Just take us home."