Title: From Day One
Author: Surreal
Characters: Mark, Jesse, Steve, (very) pre-slash
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Don't own anything. Also, I play fast and loose with some rules. Just consider it fiction and move along.
Summary: The day Mark Sloan made one of the best decisions of his life. Response to Annie's "Job Interview" challenge.



**

The day Jesse Travis interviewed for his residency at Community General was a day Mark Sloan would never forget, for many reasons. It was that day that he gained an immeasurably valuable colleague, a friend, a student, and most importantly – another son.

**

“From the Midwest, huh?” the interviewing doctor inquired with a curious smile. “What brought you all the way over to the edge of the country?”

“I just tucked and rolled, must be a downhill slope to this side of the continent,” Jesse quipped brightly before remembering he was interviewing for a prestigious surgical residency. He flushed and sat up stiffly, berating himself for letting the doctor’s easy-going demeanor get his guard down. “I mean – “

Mark Sloan just laughed and adjusted his reading glasses. “Best answer I’ve had in years,” he assured the young man sitting in front of his desk. “I must say, your background and education are impressive. Top of your class, took some very advanced courses in – “

A sudden announcement over the intercom cut off Mark’s next words. ~Code Red – all available personnel to emergency – Code Red ~

With a frown, Mark picked up his phone and called down to the ER front desk. “Hello, Evelyn? What’s going on? Oh, my – I see. I’ll be right down. Tell Harvey to start triage as they bring them in.”

Mark stood quickly as he hung up the phone. “I’m awfully sorry, Dr. Travis, to cut your interview short but we’re about to have our hands full right quick.”

Jesse jumped to his feet, his earlier nerves forgotten. “What’s going on?”

“A metro train derailed, there’s a lot of casualties and they’re sending most of them to us,” Mark said as he made his way to the door of his office, grabbing his lab coat from the hook on the door. “You mind coming back in the morning to finish?”

“I want to help.”

That stopped Mark in his tracks, one hand already on the door handle. His mind flew through all the possible ramifications of his next move but he also knew the reality of what they were dealing with. He had seen enough to know he was making the right decision, and would face the wrath of the human resources department when the dust settled. “You’re board certified and licensed in California?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, then. Congratulations, Dr. Travis. Welcome to Community General. We’ll get as much of the important paperwork done as we can before all hell breaks loose in the ER.”

And with that, Jesse Travis became the only doctor in the history of the hospital to interview, be hired and begin working all in the same day.

**

One after the other, patients were sorted, treated, soothed and pushed through the emergency area in massive volume. Someone had given Jesse a set of scrubs and a lab coat and Mark introduced him around as the two of them worked together seamlessly. It was actually quite a relief and rather astonishing how easily Jesse had learned to follow Mark’s lead while just as often taking the initiative to lend a hand where it was needed.

Hours went by without a pause in the action. Mark had enough sense to stop for nourishment and to get off his feet once in a while, when the opportunity presented itself. Any experienced doctor knew that if a body didn’t refuel and recharge, it would eventually stop working.

Which is how Mark remembered that Jesse, for all of his brilliance and exuberance, was not an experienced doctor in the harsh reality of a working hospital.

After nearly twenty-six hours of intensive triage and emergency surgical work, Mark could no longer feel his toes, his eyes were red and itchy and all he wanted to do was get some sleep. He didn’t even trust himself to drive home; instead, he had phoned his son Steve for a ride back to the house they shared.

With a weary groan, Mark stretched his arms over his head and peeled off his lab coat, tossing it into the laundry bin next to the doctor’s lounge. He saw the familiar outline of his son making his way down the hallway. “Steve,” he called, getting the detective’s attention.

“Hey, Dad,” Steve responded, lifting a hand briefly in greeting. “You gonna make it to the truck or should I order up a nurse with a wheelchair?”

“Ha ha,” Mark smiled tiredly. “I’m just grateful this day is over.” He led the way down the hall toward the elevator, moving stiffly. It was only then that he noticed the small figure leaning against the doorframe of the storage room. “Is that – oh my goodness. I completely forgot about our newest resident! Dr. Travis – “ He stopped suddenly, noticing that the young doctor had not acknowledged their approach. “Dr. Travis?”

Jesse gave a sharp start, stumbling slightly as he looked around wildly. “Yes? I’m sorry – is there, where do you need me?”

Mark took in the young man’s appearance and was awash with guilt in having forgotten about his new colleague. “I’m terribly sorry, Dr. Travis. I lost track of you in the chaos and meant to send you home hours ago. Please tell me you’ve at least gotten some breaks and eaten?”

The blank stare Jesse gave him in return answered his question.

“Come on, we’ll take you home,” Mark said gently, wrapping a hand around Jesse’s arm to guide him forward.

Jesse just nodded numbly and took a few steps forward before his legs gave out. Luckily Steve was within reach and managed to break Jesse’s fall, easing him to the floor on his side. “You haven’t even broken this one in yet,” he muttered a gentle reproach at Mark, nodding to his father to show he would stay while Mark went for help.

When Jesse opened his eyes again, he had no idea who he was looking at but knew instinctually this was a person he would like. “Have we met?”

Steve chuckled and shook his head, glancing up as he saw his father returning with an orderly and a gurney. “Not officially. I’m Steve Sloan. Mark is my father.”

“Oh,” Jesse whispered. “I’m Jesse.” He closed his eyes as dizziness washed over him when the others slowly sat him up. “Whoa, blood sugar.”

“We’ll get you fixed right up,” Mark assured him. “Steve, you mind helping me get him up on the gurney? He needs glucose, for starters.”

Jesse was too tired to be embarrassed as he was maneuvered onto the gurney. He was barely aware of the others moving around and the trip to a curtained-off area. The next thing he was aware of there was an IV in his arm and two Sloans hovering over him. “I’m such an idiot.”

“Oh, now, Dr. Travis, trust me when I tell you that you are not the first person here to work a disaster shift and forget to find the time to take care of yourself,” Mark assured him with a pat on his arm. “You know, I knew there was something special about you and after seeing you work through a day like today, I can honestly say I am thrilled to have you as a member of my team.”

The way Jesse’s face lit up at that made Steve smile. His father was right about one thing – this young man was special. And Steve was looking forward to finding out how special he truly was.

**

End
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