“Gretch! Another one coming in! Male, about 35. Claw wound, deep across the chest! Probably hit the heart!”
Gretchen looked up from her clipboard, pointing down the hall to the right.
“Pritton is free! Take him to surgery 4!”
Gretchen barely had the time to duck aside as the stretcher buzzed by, ushered along by the lizardgirl who’d just called out and two human nurses. Pritton was one of the best with hearts, and unlike Dia, didn’t faint at the sight of one still beating. That poor gazer was not fit to be a surgeon, really, but she loved it for some odd reason, and Gretchen wasn’t going to be the one to tell her she couldn’t.
Throwing her pony tail back over her shoulder, she went back to the clipboard: another patient’s status in the ICU. He’d almost succumbed to a drunken oni’s beatings last week, but it seemed he’d since recovered nicely. Perhaps today she’d be able to give him the good news.
When something bumped into one of her legs, she absentmindedly pulled it closer in. While her pediapalps were fairly easy to reign in, the rest of her body often made itself a constant, living nuisance to those trying to move around. Gretchen had long since quit worrying about it; such was the nature of her arachnid body. Most hospitals hadn’t been made with monstergirls in mind, and there weren’t many of the larger type who desired to work in the field of medicine, so hallways could prove especially troublesome to her. She’d mapped out the place thoroughly and knew where the most foot traffic was and when, allowing a little care and planning to make her life much easier.
Her seal began to droop again and she pushed it back up. The one she wore was beginning to age. About time to pick up a new one, she supposed, though finding a hospital-appropriate style seal of adequate strength would require some time and more of an investment than she was typically comfortable with. Tucking the chart under her arm, she reached over and took another sip of her coffee. It’d been a long shift, and there was still long to go. Again something bumped into her leg, and again she moved it aside without looking. When it tapped her again, she turned around to find a smiling succubus pushing an empty stretcher.
“Hiya, Gretch. Long shift? Usually don’t see you with coffee.”
“Well, tonight’s has been long enough for it.” She set down the coffee to jab a finger at the succubus. “And you can stop with that nickname. My full name is and has always been–“
“Gretchen. Yeah, yeah, I know.” The succubus leaned forward onto the stretcher, letting her wings flare out a bit. “Did you see the cutie in 315 upstairs? I got to carry him all the way in and I’m just waiting for the moment he wakes up.” Clapping her hands together, she waved her rear back and forth. “Then he’s gettin’ a good ol’ dose of Vii.”
Gretchen’s mouth curled into a half-frown. “Yes, I did in fact see him. I ALSO saw he had four broken ribs, a severely swollen ankle, several lacerations on his back, and a pelvis much worse for wear.” She tilted her head down a bit to glare deep into the succubus’ eyes. “A ‘dose of Vii’ would set him back a week, if not more. I would not prescribe it. In fact, I think there are no cases in this hospital which would call for such a thing.”
Vii’s face swelled red and she her eyes shifted as far away from Gretchen as possible, but that ridiculous smile still remained. “You know I was joking, Gretch. And besides, ‘no cases’ would be wrong. We had that hunk last week overdosed on manticore venom. He would’ve been in real trouble if we hadn’t stepped in.”
Gretchen scoffed at the statement. “We did nothing but give him a room. As I recall, you were ecstatic to the point of delirium about ‘helping’ him, but I was able to hold you back until the moment you realized he was already taken. By a dragon.”
“Mmm.” Vii shrugged it off. “I feel sorry for the manticore.”
“Maybe we’ll have her in here soon. I’m almost expecting it.”
Gretchen went back to her work, grabbing another chart and updating herself on her patients’ statuses. Vixen, or ‘Vii’–Gretchen still found it ridiculous the succubus had taken the trouble to change her name to something so brazen–was one of the better nurses in the hospital, though also one of the troublemakers. Thankfully, she hadn’t brought in a rape lawsuit yet, but Gretchen wasn’t sure how long she could keep that from happening.
It used to be she could visit each patient personally, but she found if she limited her presence to one room at a time, the more troublesome nurses–like Vixen–would take advantage of their supervisor’s absence and ‘pisser prowl’.
Yes, ‘pisser prowling’, named after the juvenile habit of certain highschool monstergirls to skip class and prowl the halls and men’s bathrooms for boys foolish enough to be out and about on their own during class. Usually the boys would get caught taking a restroom break, hence the name of the act. And ‘caught’ being a loose term–some boys put themselves in that situation on purpose.
Checking the clock, Gretchen made her way toward the elevator. Another disadvantage of her ushi-oni size. While she was certainly capable of taking the stairs, they were generally more trouble than they were worth.
As the elevator dinged its arrival on the second floor, Gretchen found herself face to face with another of her nurses, a short yet vigorous manticore.
Uugh. Again with the nickname.
“Hello, Callie. And please, use my full name. ‘Doctor’, too, even, if you find yourself in the mood.”
“You got it, Doctor!” Callie sauntered into the elevator, stopping and spinning around at Gretchen’s side, watching the elevator door close. Her braid twirled around her neck with the momentum. Why was it every manticore seemed to wear a braid, anyways?
“And where are you headed?” asked Gretchen. Callie wasn’t quite the caliber troublemaker Vixen was, but it didn’t hurt to know where her nurses were off to.
“Fourth floor. Adjusting some medication in 416 then cleaning out the bed in 410.”
“I’m hoping that bed is empty.”
“Of course it is. Hey, did you hear about the guy in 315? I heard he was a real looker. Not claimed yet, either.” Callie winked.
“And I hope by the time he leaves, it is still that way.” Gretchen crossed her arms. “Yes, I did hear about him. Just heard, in fact. From Vixen. She had much the same attitude as you.”
“Aww, don’t you ever just like to think about that stuff? You’ve been a doctor for what, ten years now? You have to have found SOME way to make it fun.” She pointed at Gretchen’s seal. “Unless that thing wraps up emotion, too.”
“I didn’t become a doctor to use patients as a toy for my lust.” She waved a hand in dismissal. “But feel free to joke about it all you wish. As long as it remains a joke. I was actually going to check on him now. It seems he’s progressing nicely.”
“You’re such a softie, Gretch,” Callie said, jabbing Gretchen with an elbow. “I know that’s why you’re really here. You work so hard to fix monsters and people up to see their smiles as they walk out.”
“Perhaps.” That’s not the reason Gretchen would give, however. “So why are you here, then?”
“Me?” Callie intertwined her fingers and let her paws drop to her front. Her face grew a cheshire grin. “Maybe I like the power.”
At that moment the elevator hit the third floor and opened up. Gretchen’s stop.
“A bit more honest about it than Vixen, at least,” said Gretchen.
Watching her legs along the way, Gretchen headed down the hall to 315, pausing before the door to check the papers placed in the door tray. Updates on his status, routine checks coming back all negative, though Gretchen already knew that. This case was never more than a bit of monstergirl assault.
Before opening the door, she had to throw her ponytail back over her shoulder again. The fountain of black hair which she enjoyed so much had the one drawback of needing to be controlled, especially during work. Perhaps a braid like Callie’s would help. Shrugging to herself, she walked inside.
The moment the door closed behind her, she let out a loud breath of relaxation. Even with the seal, it could be difficult at times to keep the prim appearance others expected of a doctor. At least in rooms alone with a patient, she could let things hang a little loose. Besides, most people liked a bit of a casual atmosphere from a doctor.
Gretchen placed a hand over her heart. Ever since she’d started toward the room, its beat had grown louder and louder, stronger and stronger. Blood ignited the fire she often kept so dull. A chuckle of anticipation almost escaped her.
With razor-sharp claws, she pushed the curtain surrounding the bed aside. On it laid a pitiable man, though mostly free of monitors and other hospital apparatuses but for the IV in his arm. Gretchen’s excitement bloomed and her pupils dilated at the sight of him.
When his eyes laid upon her, however, the reaction was opposite. His arm raised defensively on instinct, but the motion was so slow and pointless. He tried scooting away, as well, but the pain from his injuries stopped that very quickly.
Shaking her head, Gretchen grabbed the arm he’d used to hide his face and pulled it back down to his side with ease.
“Careful, your IV’s in that arm, and you need that. I know I might look frightful, but I assure you, I am a legitimate, licensed doctor.”
The fear within him boiled up, swelling tears within his eyes. Her heart beat harder, as if to reach out from her chest and touch him. Her claw did instead, wiping away his tears while her other hand hit the switch to lower the bed.
“P-p-p-p-pl–” Not even the first word could make it past his lips.
“Please? Are you trying to say please? Please what, sir?” The bed clicked to its lowest position. “I cannot help you if you don’t say what you want.”
Gretchen brushed the hair from his face with her claws, careful not to break skin. “I’m just as capable as any other doctor in this hospital. Besides, it would be rude of me to just shove another patient off on them. Don’t worry, I’ll see you have the best of care. It is my job.”
“I see why you’re worried. No, it’s alright, I understand the sight of a ushi-oni is particularly frightening. They do have a tendency to put men in the hospital much more than others, though this one has made a habit of getting them out.” She jerked back, placing a hand on her chest. “Oh, I forgot. You were sent here by a ushi-oni attack, weren’t you? It’s not on your papers, the nurse just put ‘monstergirl attack’, but I know the specifics.” Reaching back, she pulled out her ponytail holder and released her hair in a cascade of darkness. “Alone, taking a shortcut through a neighborhood not far from this very hospital, you were on your way home when something seized you by the neck, dragged you off to a secluded area, and pounded you until you were empty. I think I live near there, in fact.”
The man’s mouth kept opening and closing, useless for anything but gaping. His eyes widened as Gretchen stood up to full height, nimbly undoing the buttons on her top, one by one. Once bare as the day she was born, she turned back to the man and swelled up in contentment.
She didn’t need to threaten him at all. This man would never say a word to the hospital administration, wouldn’t have a single complaint about his entire stay, regardless of the fact it would be a bit longer than usual for someone with his sort of injuries. He might never forget her face, but there was no chance he would go to the police or even a friend.
Gretchen smiled as she positioned herself over his battered body, staring right into his eyes, and slowly began to lower herself. The smile let out a sigh as a wince of pain escaped his mouth. She wasn’t a masochist, really. The pain which she knew now pounded from those broken ribs wasn’t what satisfied her, but rather the fact he’d suppressed a scream to a wince. Even with her overwhelming physical prowess over this man, she hadn’t the need to use a fraction of it. A claw slid gently over his chest. Maybe that was why she found herself drawn to him: that instinctual submission, his need to be controlled, to be dominated by a mistress such as herself. He wasn’t the sort of man who needed leather, whips, and handcuffs with his mistress, either, just raw power–exactly what Gretchen could provide.
Letting more of her body weight down onto the man, she leaned over and kissed him while her claw moved to relieve him of his gown.
They were perfect for each other.