‹ Prequel: True Love

I Had My Heart Set on You

Chance Encounter

December 3rd, 2003

"So here I am, trying to stitch this guy up but in strolls the wife!"

"I thought the wife was already there?" Mia groaned, stirring the packet of honey into her tea.

"I thought the same thing, turns out the woman was his mistress!" Kelly gawked, tearing of a piece off her croissant before shoving it into her mouth.

"Okay you bunch of gossips!" Miranda growled, tossing out a chart to everyone. "Time's up! We have a full bay."

It was just after 10:00 p.m. at Massachusetts General and the first rush of the night had slowed down just long enough for everyone to get their caffeine fix and a bite of something to hold them over until their shift would end at 7:00am. Mia had spent her night bouncing between a bad case of diaper rash, a broken finger, a cut on the foot that required three stitches and a tetanus shot, and (ironically enough) a woman who swore up and down she had the flu, but instead found out she was expecting a baby.

Mia cracked open her file, scanning as she took a sip, cringing as she singed the tip of her tongue with the scalding tea.

McMillen, Chance A.
D.O.B. August 19, 1979 (Age: 24)

Laceration to the top of the head, possible broken arm. Patient injured riding an ATV- the vehicle rolled while trying to scale a rock incline, patient's friends estimate the ATV rolled at least (4) times before trapping the patient under the vehicle.

Wrapping her stethoscope over her neck, Mia grabbed the chart before walking through the noisy hall of the emergency room. She passed several open bays before coming to the one curtain that had been fully closed.

She reached up, pulling it open. "Hi!" she chirped, pulling the curtain closed behind her. "I'm Dr. Winters and I'll be your attending tonight." she mumbled, grabbing a pair of gloves from the box marked ‘small’ that had been mounted on the wall. "Can you tell me what happened?"

But as she looked up, she came face-to-face with three mud covered men and her patient- who was also covered in spots of dried, flaky mud. He had a piece of gauze wrapped tightly to the apex of his forehead, the blood had more than soaked through the bandage while his arm and his neck were both in immobilizers.

Even with as filthy as the man was, he was clearly very handsome. His eyes were a bloodshot shade of hazel and jade, his beard was scruffy and his hair was on the longer side, but he had a killer smile.

"You're my doctor?" he slurred, earning a chorus of giggles from his friends, "Hot damn!" he squealed, "Best. Accident. Ever."

Mia felt her cheeks flush hot, "Someone's had their morphine."

"You look really young to be a doctor..." one of the men spoke.

She got that a lot.
Sure she was young, she graduated high school a year early, she finished her bachelors degree in under three years and now was in her last year at Harvard.

"I'm an intern at Harvard, but I promise, I'm very capable. Also, if you have any questions you're more than welcome to see my attending."

Chance cracked a smile, his head lulling to the side of the pillow. "You didn't answer the most important question..."

"And that would be?" Mia asked as she charted his vitals.

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

Mia ignored him, extending her hand to the men jittering against the wall. "And you are?"

"Oh! Uh-" the first man extended his hand. Much like her patient, he was very handsome. "Logan- I'm his brother." he made sure to wipe his muddy hands on his jeans before shaking Mia's hand.

The other two, a redhead named Andy and a blonde who went by "Hemmo" -apparently, his last name was Hemingway- sat quietly, doing everything in their power to avoid seeing the blood.

Apparently, it made them queasy.

Mia was quick to review the medical history the paramedics had taken on the ride in before she began her exam.

"Okay," Mia spoke as she reached into her pocket, searching for her pen-light. "Let's take a look, yeah?"

"Doc, when when can he get that thing off his neck? He can't move and it's driving him crazy." Logan spoke.

"That's the point-" she smiled, "I can take it off once we rule out a spinal fracture. Radiology is a bit backed up tonight, but once we do the scans, he's free." she lifted the light, letting it scan over his pupil- which, much to her pleasure, reacted quickly to the light as the black orb lining his iris shrunk before he jerked, blinking as he let out a hiss. "Good,"

She smiled, shoving the pen light back into the pocket of her coat before she pulled at the blanket revealing his bruised and battered legs.

"So-" Mia started as she squeezed at various points on the man's legs, "can you tell me exactly what happened?"

"You never answered my question-" he whined, sinking down further into the bed. "Do you have a boyfriend?"

"Are you going to tell me what happened?" she quickly challenged as she began to scribble in his chart.


He was persistent, she would give him that much.

As bold as it was, it was a fairly good sign. He was coherent, and despite the massive dose of morphine, he was wide awake.

"I'm fairly confident you don't have a concussion." she spoke, "Was he wearing a helmet?"

Mia was sure to direct her question at Logan, who began to nod quickly. "Yes ma'am, he had on an open face helmet. No goggles though..."

"That explains the trauma to your forehead."

Mia stripped off her dirty exam gloves before grabbing a clean pair, pulling them on before she began to unwrap the gauze from around his forehead. He let out a low hiss as she pulled the last bit of gauze from his bloodied forehead, tossing it into the biohazard bin.

"Does that hurt?" fresh blood began to pool around the wound.

"Are you married?" he asked once again, cracking a wicked smile as a fresh stream of blood began to trickle down his forehead.

"Are you ever going to answer my questions?" she asked, grabbing a fresh gauze pad, pressing it to his wound.

"I'll make you a deal you can't refuse!" he slurred proudly.

Mia couldn't help but laugh.

"And just what would that be?"

"For every question I answer-" he stopped thinking for a moment, desperate to work through the morphine fog that had clouded his brain. "you-" he stuttered, "you have to answer one of mine."

Mia thought for a moment, "Deal."

His smile went so wide she could count his back molars.

"So, do you care to explain to me exactly what happened?"

He let out a deep sigh, his head lulling back onto the pathetic excuse of a pillow. "Climbing a rock incline, didn't have enough throttle and the bitch steam rolled right over me..."

"And the dumbass wouldn't let go of the bars..." Logan added, earning a glare from Chance.

"Aye!" Chance slurred, "That's a brand new quad!"

"Well-" Mia spoke in an attempt to stop the bickering. "the important thing is that you're alive. This could have been a lot worse."

Chance just smiled up at Mia as she placed her stethoscope to his chest. "Are you hitting on me, doc?"

Mia felt her cheeks flush hot.

"No I am not." she answered, grabbing a stitch kit form the drawer in the corner. "And you-" she spoke as she opened the kit, "are going to need stitches."

Andy and Hemmo had to excuse themselves from the room, though Mia wasn't sure if it was the sight of blood or the thought of stitches that sent them running.

Mia held the tiny glass bottle, filling the syringe.

"Where do you plan on sticking that?"

"Your head- this will really hurt if I don't numb you first." Mia tapped the syringe, pushing out the bubbles.

He cringed- letting out a wince before the needle even touched his bruised skin.

"Is there anything I can do to make this a little easier?" Mia asked as his fists balled around the loose sheets making his knuckles go white.

With his eyes closed, he offered a ornery smirk. "You could talk to me..."

Mia chuckled. "Okay, what about?" she asked moving the needle, injecting more of the medication around the torn skin.


"Okay-" she thought for a moment, wiping at his skin. "to answer your question, I am single- no boyfriend and definitely no husband. I do have two little girls though- twins actually. They are three and a half, but they'll be four in February."

His eyes were closed and he seemed a bit more relaxed- so much so he hadn't seemed to notice that Mia had moved on and was now stitching him up.

"I'm from California- Huntington Beach. I received my undergraduate degree from NYU and I am currently a student at Harvard."

"So-" he finally cracked one eye open, smiling as he caught a glance of Mia. "tell me about your little girls."

This took Mia aback.
Usually the last thing men asked about were her kids- usually the only thing they asked was "is the father in the picture?".

"Well, Mackenzie and Emma are very independent and so...stubborn."

He listened to everything she had to say.
He listened to her ramble about the disaster that was spaghetti night and the incident with her nail polish. He listened when she talked about the peanut butter incident from last Thursday. He listened to her babble about the stalemate that was weaning the girls from their pacifiers.

He listened to it all, and he did it with a smile on his face.

"And-" she snipped, dropping the needle into the metal tin. "You're done. You did great, Chance"

His hazel eyes popped open, "That's it?"

"That's it?" Mia mocked as she placed the needle into the bright red bio-hazard receptacle. "I gave you thirteen stitches. What do you mean that's it?"

He just shrugged, his smile making her heart flutter. "I didn't feel any of them, that's all."

"See?" Mia questioned, "Didn't I tell you I was good?"

But a quick knock sounded through the curtain. "Radiology!"

Mia cleared her throat before mumbling a quick 'come in' as she slipped the blood pressure cuff from his arm and pulled off his pulse-ox monitor.

"They'll take good care of you." Mia spoke, peeling off her gloves before tossing them into the bin. "I'll be back to see you once the results are in." Chance just flashed her a big, morphine smile.

Mia found Logan and his friends in the waiting room, surrounding the coffee pot as they sucked down the hours-old, bottom-of-the-pot coffee. They all looked exhausted with dark circles lining their bloodshot eyes as their heads hung low in what she could only assume was shame.

What caught her off-guard, however, were the newest additions to their group.

A middle-aged couple.

They were over-dressed, especially for a late-night hospital visit. Everything about the two screamed 'money' -the man was in what was clearly a custom Italian suit and a pair of leather oxfords while the woman wore a pair of wide leg coral trousers and a silk blouse. She had an Hermès Birkin bag nestled in the crook of her arm, and Mia wouldn't even dare to guess how many carats were wound around her fourth finger. Quite frankly, they reminded her of her own parents, which left her heart racing.

"I don't know what you were thinking!" the woman scolded.

They hadn't yet noticed Mia.

"Clearly, they weren't." the man snapped.

"Mom, I'm sorry-" Logan promised, picking nervously at the rim of the styrofoam cup. "but the doctor said he's gonna be okay." he grumbled.

"Logan?" Mia finally spoke, catching every eye in the room.

He shot up from his chair.

"Dr. Winters..." his voice shook, "These are our parents."

His father pushed him out of the way, extending his hand to Mia. "Sean McMillen, and this is my wife, Cathy."

"Dr. Mia Winters, it's nice to meet you both."

But the man's face pulled into a smile. "Your father's name wouldn't happen to be Gavin, would it?"

"Actually, it is..." the man let out a soft chuckle.

"You must have been this high-" he motioned to just below his hip, "the last time I saw you!"

Mia (understandably) didn't remember the man.

"I work with your father, we play golf together every now-and-again!"

"It's a small world."

"Indeed it is! You know, your old man told me you were in med school, but it just doesn't seem right you'd be old enough to be here." Mia just nodded.

"It's amazing how fast time seems to move, isn't it?"

The man nodded, before earning a glare from his wife.

"So, you're Chance's doctor?" Mia just nodded, "How is he?"

"Well-" Mia started, finally confident she may be able to get a word in. "he's doing just fine. Thirteen stitches, no evidence of a concussion. He's back in radiology now, and if we don't find any fractures or internal injuries I should be able to send him home with some pain meds and an order to rest."

"Oh thank God." Cathy finally spoke, "It's a wonder you two haven't killed yourself on those death traps."

Logan let out a deep sigh, "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry? He's the idiot that decided to climb a rock incline!"

"Well," Mia spoke, tucking his chart under her arm. "as soon as he's back, I'll send a nurse back and they'll take you to see him. I'll read the results as soon as they're available. It was good to see you." Mia left the family with a quick wave.

She made her way back to the nurses station, desperate for a cup of coffee and a moment to herself.

But those hopes were quickly shattered.

Graham sat alone at the table, his head resting in his hand, as the other ran a highlighter over a passage of text in the book. Sat in the middle of the table was a bag, a bright red 'Thank You!' scrolled in the center of the white plastic. An unopened can of diet Coke waited just beside the bag.

When Graham caught a glance of Mia, he smiled.

"Hey you,"

Mia grumbled a quiet 'hey' as she fell into the chair next to him.

"I got your favorite-" he mumbled, dropping the highlighter into the spine of the book as he began to dig through the bag. "Pad Thai -chicken, not tofu, a pork egg roll with spicy mustard and a handful of fortune cookies."

Mia smiled, her heart speeding up ever so slightly as he leaned over, pressing a soft kiss to her lips.

"You're too good to me..." she mumbled, pulling the white container from the bag.

"You deserve it."

Graham was a vascular intern whom Mia had been -seeing? fooling around with? casually dating?- hell, she really didn't even know. They had been on several low-key dates and she enjoyed his company. He wanted to be "exclusive", but Mia just couldn't bring herself to commit to him, mostly because he wasn't much of a fan of the girls, he could tolerate them, but that was about the extent of it.

"Mia-" Graham's voice pulled her from her drifting thoughts.

"Hm?" she asked, swallowing the mouthful of noodles.

He pointed to her Blackberry, which was vibrating it's way across the table.

She read the alert before letting out a soft sigh.

"I have to go, my radiology results are in, but thanks for the food."

Mia had good news for Chance.

Much to her surprise, Mia found an empty room. Chance was sat up in the bed, finally free of his neck brace. He was flipping channels, never really stopping long enough to catch what was on, but he didn't seem to care.

"Hey you-" Mia cooed sweetly as she laid her chart down on the sink before she began washing her hands.

"Hey pretty lady."

Mia tried to hide her her face as her cheeks flushed hot, "No family?"

"They were drivin' me damn near crazy. Mom and Logan haven't stopped bitchin' at each other, so I sent'em to get some food."

Mia just nodded, she understood that all too well.

"Well," Mia started, opening up the updated chart. "you didn't break anything. So, I'm going to run another saline bag and give you a shot of an anti-inflammatory medication and once that's all done, I'm going to discharge you. Now, you need some serious rest -fourteen days- and no quads for at least a month and I want you to follow-up with your general practitioner sometime in the next seven days, deal?"

Chance just nodded.

"Okay," Mia closed the chart, shoving her pen into the pocket of her lab-coat. "take care of yourself, Chance."

Chance cleared his throat, desperate to work up the courage.

"Hey doc?"

Mia stopped, cradling the chart to her chest.

"Yeah Chance?" a shy smile crawled it's way over his battered face.

"Usually when I ask a woman out, she's the one in the gown..." he said, motioning to the spotted hospital gown. "so it's be great if you could pretend I'm wearing anything else."

Mia let out a laugh, her heart beating out of her chest.

"Okay?" she bit nervously at her bottom lip.

"You wanna go out on a date sometime?"

She didn't even have to think about it. "Yeah...I would love that."
♠ ♠ ♠
So, random- I found a pic of "Chance's" face claim in the ER. This is totally how I envisioned Chance's "morphine face". HERE.

Visuals: Mia + Chance + Sean and Cathy

This is -hands down- my favorite "ficlet" so far. I know a lot of people were never fans of Chance, but this was something I had pictured from the very beginning, even as I developed the story. Chance was just sweet (and slightly drugged up) and he was wildly persistent. He was a good guy who didn't see the girls as a problem, and most importantly, he cared deeply about her from the very beginning. He really helped in picking up the pieces for Mia, and for that reason, I thought this was so important.

Anyways, I'll stop rambling.

As always, thank you so much for reading. It means the world.
I hope you loved this, and I cant wait to hear what you think.