Summary: The show didn’t give us this scene back in 1986, but this is what I think happened between Steve and Kayla after he escorts her home.
Beta by: Slynn6776
Notes: In clip EarlySK53, Steve escorts (in his imitable way) Kayla home from the emergency center. I was surprised the show didn’t follow up with Steve watching Kayla walk into her loft. So this is my take. I do want to reiterate that Steve’s views of doctors and nurses aren’t necessarily MY VIEWS on nurses and doctors. I hope I don’t mean to offend anyone.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this stuff. But man, if I did….
Kayla turned, startled to hear Steve behind her. Today was most definitely the worst day she had at the emergency center and she couldn’t deal with Steve Johnson now. As for Steve, he noticed immediately that Kayla’s eyes were missing the usual spark and fire which were replaced by sadness and guilt.
Afraid that Kayla had finally succumbed to treating him like everyone else did, he asked, “Do I make you that nervous?”
“Please, just go,” pleaded Kayla. She turned, putting her back to him. She could feel the tears well up in her eyes and she had no strength for Steve’s wisecracks.
Now that he wasn’t mesmerized by her eyes, Steve could see her body shake like she was very cold. That day had been a damp day for August, but Kayla’s trench coat should have been enough to keep her warm.
“No, really, are you cold or something?”
Not looking at him, Kayla shook her head, and said, “No.”
“What’s the matter? You’re shivering,” Steve worried out loud. He had never seen Kayla like this. Was it her family?
Kayla struggled with what she wanted to say. She didn’t want to get into it, least of all with him. Fighting back the agony in her voice, Kayla explained, “I just had a bad night, that’s all. A man died.”
Realizing she was referring to a man dying under her care at the emergency center, Steve felt awkward and did not know what to say. He wondered if she knew the man, surely she wouldn’t be this upset if this was the first time he had come into the clinic. Looking behind them at the darkened building, Steve questioned, “Well, uh, are you finished here for the night?”
With her back still to him, Steve could see Kayla nod her head. Making up his mind, Steve stated, “I’ll walk you home.”
Kayla turned to look at Steve. She did not need him hounding her all the way home, so she began to plead, “I’d rather you not…”
“I’ll walk you home!” Steve interrupted. Kayla looked into his eye realizing it wasn’t a request. Instead of being put off by his rudeness, she reluctantly gave in and agreed. She wasn’t sure what Steve was up to but it was better to get it over with than argue with him here.
Surprising her, Steve slowly took off his blue jean vest and wrapped it around her shoulders. He had to lean in to get his arms around her, and Kayla had to remind herself to breathe. When he backed up, she saw he was waiting on her to lead. So she did.
The two were quiet all the way back to the loft and Kayla had never been so thankful. His gesture of walking her home was probably the nicest thing he had ever done, outside of saving Bo’s life. Getting to her building made her nervous though, as she was so scared he would ruin the gesture by propositioning her when they reached her door.
Steve was actually worrying about what he would say at the door. He could see the tears she blinked away from her eyes and his desire to wrap his arms around her and tell her to cry was all he could imagine. He wished he could do more for her.
After they got off the elevator and walked the few steps to the door, Kayla unlocked her door. She slowly took off Steve’s vest. Taking it back, Steve felt silly, it was really thin and probably didn’t do much of anything other than make him look like an idiot. She thanked him anyway.
“Don’t thank me, Sweetness,” Steve said, and Kayla braced herself for the inevitable one-liner from him. Instead, he softly said, “Do you want to tell me what happened?”
Kayla’s astonishment at the Steve Johnson she had ran into tonight was never ending, it seemed. Looking down at her purse, Kayla shook her head, “I’d rather not talk about it.”
Steve nodded. He still couldn’t let the worry go that this was someone she knew well, and voiced his concern, “Was the guy a regular visitor to the clinic?”
Kayla shook her head, and replied, “No, this was….this was someone that Roman brought in. He had been shot. There wasn’t much I could do for him.”
Now Steve was really confused. Not being able to stop himself, Steve questioned, “Kayla, you mean, this was a crook?”
“No, he was a friend of Roman’s, or a contact of Roman’s. I don’t know, I didn’t get details! Why do you want to know?”
Steve shrugged, “I don’t know, I just thought…I mean, I can understand certain cases getting to you, that you never get used to seeing like a kid getting sick or something like that. But you are a nurse and have been one for a few years,” Steve could see the famous fire returning to Kayla’s eyes, but he wasn’t sure that was a good thing in this case. He wasn’t meaning to insult her, he just didn’t understand, so he tried again, “I mean, isn’t a patient dying expected? How can you be a nurse all this time and not run into it?”
“I’ve run into it before, Steve,” Kayla said taking offense. “It hurts every time. I’m not made of stone like some people!”
She then went to slide the door on the loft on him, but Steve stopped her by grabbing her hands. He couldn’t bear Kayla thinking he was this callous; he just was trying to understand. Still holding her arms, he said, “Kayla, please, I’m not trying to hurt you. I just thought that nurses and doctors who had been practicing for a few years get a thick skin to this type of thing.”
Kayla stopped fighting Steve’s grasp when she realized what he was trying to say. Steve let her arms go and stood there looking incredibly shy which was obviously a side to Steve that was absolutely new.
“You’re right,” Kayla admitted. “Some doctors and nurses begin to get used to this type of environment. They can detach their feelings and go on like nothing has happened. I remember my boss in Cleveland did.”
Kayla felt her cheeks turn red, thinking about the man she now knew was responsible in kidnapping her nephew. She hadn’t actually totally let Steve off the hook about her earlier suspicion of him. She still wasn’t ready to do so yet.
Remembering what Steve said before, she went on, “I don’t want to ever become like that.”
“Don’t you ever worry that you will burn out though, Sweetness? Eventually you are going to have to learn to let this kind of thing go.”
Shaking her head, Kayla sighed and said, “No. I actually have thought a lot about this. I’ve seen nurses and doctors who have as no compassion for an ill or dying patient. I don’t want to ever…”
Kayla had to pause, she really did feel strongly about this and she wanted to make her point clear, “I got into this profession because I wanted to help people and heal them. Even if I can’t heal them, maybe there is something I can do that will make what’s left of their lives a little easier. If I lose that passion, then I might as well quit. It’s what made me go into nursing in the first place.”
Steve listened felt his heart swell. Kayla was so different than anyone he had ever met. Most of the time when he met middle-class girls who were out to change the world they would quickly become disillusioned and give up. Kayla was most definitely the real thing and someone who probably had helped more people than she even was aware of. Not being able to help himself, Steve smiled at her.
Taking his smile to be a sneer at her naive attitude, Kayla changed gears and became defensive. “Don’t look at me like that. That is how I feel and I’m sure you don’t believe me. Or if you do, then go ahead and make fun, I’m not going to change!”
Kayla jumped back a bit as Steve stepped towards her. He had grabbed her hand and placed it in his. While rubbing it, he kept the smile on his face he said, “I’m not going to make fun of you, Sweetness. This is why you are my favorite nurse, you really do care!”
With that, Steve kissed her hand and walked back to the elevator, grinning back at her. As he shut the door, he called out, “I’ll see you tomorrow!”
Watching the elevator head back down, Kayla looked and realized she was rubbing her hand where he kissed it, just like she did a few weeks ago the first time his lips touched her hand. Feeling herself blush, Kayla shut the door and put her purse down. Getting herself a glass of water, Kayla had to admit, she did feel better. Shaking her head, she wondered if she would ever be able to figure out Steve Johnson.