Original prompt: imagine jamies thoughts when he first met claire and she was fixing him up
He feigned sleep like a coward, completely at a loss as to how to speak with her again. They’d been airborne for some time now, the rustle of her turning pages beside him the only noise save for the hum of the engines.
What was it about her that had his stomach in knots?
“Sir?” The weathered flight attendant had returned, and he rubbed his eyes against the harsh fluorescent light. “Something to drink?”
He sat up a bit straighter and undid the tray table. “Just water, please. With ice.”
He looked straight ahead as the flight attendant set a plastic cup full of ice and a little bit of water on the tray. The woman beside him quietly ordered a coffee – black – and he committed her preference to memory.
Just as the flight attendant finished filling the Styrofoam cup, the beverage cart jerked and she lost hold of the cup. Jamie started bolt upright as scalding hot coffee poured down the back of his neck.
“Ifrinn!” he exclaimed, panting. Two seconds of numbness before a searing pain shot through him.
“I’m sorry, sir – I don’t know – ”
Quickly Jamie felt the woman beside him push up the armrest, turn him to face the aisle, and untuck his shirt. “Get me some ice!” she hissed at the bewildered flight attendant. “Or cold soda cans, if you have them. Now!”
Dimly Jamie sensed the flight attendant pushing the drink cart further down the aisle and heard her digging through it. But all he could feel was the sudden rush of cool air on his back, and the Englishwoman’s soothing hands as she drew his shirt over his head.
“Easy – just help me get this off,” she said gently. He ducked his head and shrugged out of the shirt, sodden and drenched in the scent of weak industrial coffee. She dropped the shirt on the floor and gently drew her fingers along his back, checking for blisters.
Heaven. And Hell. His body burned at her touch – and his back flamed in pain.
“Here you go – some cold packs. And the aloe cream from the first aid kit.” Jamie felt cold drops of water drip onto his forehead – that must be from the bags of ice.
“Thank you,” the woman said quietly. And his back was instantly cool.
He shivered. Was it due to the coolness of the ice, or the heat of her hands on him?
She rubbed the bag of ice gently up and down his back, soothing away the angry red burns. “It won’t be too bad,” she said softly. “It shouldn’t blister. I don’t think you’ll have any lasting marks.”
He swallowed. “I should hope not,” he said softly, turning his head over his shoulder to face her. “I’d expect no less from a doctor.”
She smiled despite herself. “I’m not a doctor,” she said softly.
He smiled back, meeting her eyes. “Not yet. But ye will be one day.”