Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 563
Character(s): Ducky Mallard, Jimmy Palmer
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Character Study, General
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: When faced with a corpse one day, Jimmy questions his decision to become a Medical Examiner.
He was alone in Autopsy when the corpse was brought in; Dr. Mallard had had to go out. Before he'd gone he'd told Jimmy not to unzip the body bag until he returned. They would do it together, he'd told Jimmy.
At the time Jimmy had agreed. But now faced with the bag he knew he couldn't wait. He had to unzip it. He had to see inside it. He had to.
He was going to be a doctor; he was going to be a Medical Examiner. He would have to face this kind of thing some time, why not now? It was only another body after all, and he'd seen plenty of those during his time working with Dr. Mallard.
Swallowing hard he slowly began to unzip the bag, but he kept his hand on the tough material to keep it covering the body until he'd completely unzipped it.
This was it.
He either had to turn back the bag or re-zip it and wait for Dr. Mallard to return.
The taunts of 'cowardly Palmer' which had haunted his High School life came back to him. He was not a coward; he wasn't. He could do it. It was only a body.
Why then did his hands shake slightly as he gripped the material? Maybe he should do as he'd been told: wait for Dr. Mallard to return.
But no, he'd decided he would do it and he would.
Slowly he pulled back the material and stared down at the corpse.
It was so small.
He hadn't expected it to be that small.
He shook himself. It wasn't an 'it' it was a she.
A little girl.
The daughter of a Marine family who had all been slaughtered. All three bodies were here in Autopsy, mother, father and their five-year-old daughter.
She looked so peaceful. She looked as if she was only sleeping.
As he looked at her his eyes began to fill with tears and for the first time since meeting Dr. Mallard he began to question his decision to become a Medical Examiner.
Before he realized what he was doing, he had put his hand on her hair and had began to gently stroke it and then he began to talk to her, as he'd heard Dr. Mallard do so many times.
He told her how pretty she was, he told her how he, Jimmy, would take care of her. He told her she wouldn't feel anything. He told her . . .
He no longer was consciously aware of what he was telling her; he just went on talking to her.
He wasn't aware of anything, until he felt a hand come to rest on his shoulder. "I know you probably won't believe me, Jimmy, but I promise you it does get easier," Dr. Mallard spoke quietly, and his grip on Jimmy's shoulder tightened.
Eyes still full of tears Jimmy turned to look at the man he respected above all others. "Can I do it, Doctor?" he asked. "Please. Will you let me?"
He waited, sure the answer would be 'no'.
Then slowly Dr. Mallard nodded. "I'll start on the man, just call me if you need me, Jimmy."
"Thank you, Doctor," Jimmy said. He knew then that while he might question his decision to become a Medical Examiner again, it was the correct one.