Disclaimer: I don’t own a thing. Helen and Lex both belong to Miles Millar, Alfred Gough, and the folks at DC Comics. I’m just playing in their world.

Author’s Note: Deb, this is for you; happy birthday! I hope it brings a smile to your face. This story is totally AU and completely ignores the events of season three.

“Paging Dr. Bryce to room 302. Paging Dr. Helen Bryce to room 302.”

Sighing, Helen rewrapped her half-eaten turkey sandwich and placed it back into the refrigerator. It was already three in the afternoon, and she had yet to get anything to eat.

She couldn’t say she was a bit surprised, though. The whole day had been miserable. Patients had been flooding in left and right with various problems and illnesses. A few staff members had called in with different excuses, leaving Helen to pull a double shift. Then, to top it all off, Lex Luthor, her fiancé, called to say that he wouldn’t be back from his business trip until Monday, three days later than he had planned.

Ignoring her persistently growling stomach, Helen slipped on her white coat and made her way into the hallway. Reaching the elevator, she pressed the down button and patiently waited. One minute turned into five minutes. Five minutes turned into ten minutes. Finally, after waiting twenty minutes for the elevator, she walked over to the nurses’ desk.

Catching the attention of one nurse, she put on a tired smile. “What’s wrong with the elevator?” she asked casually.

The small brunette’s eyes widened. “There’s not a sign?”

Helen’s brown eyes narrowed and her smile faded. ‘Remember your anger management classes,’ she thought calmly. “What sign?”

Nervously, the nurse jumped at Helen’s tone. She quickly dove under the desk, the sound of ruffling papers reaching Helen’s ears. Within minutes, she produced a sign that read, “Out of Order – Please take the stairs.”

Groaning, Helen turned away from the desk and sauntered toward the stairs. Why was she not surprised?

Three flights later, she arrived at her destination and trudged down the hall to room 302. Automatically, she picked up the folder that sat in the box hanging on the door. Opening it up, she peered at it quizzically. Alex Roluth – Heart problems. She hadn’t come across this patient before, and usually, if they had a room upstairs, she would have already met them. Shrugging it off, she smiled brightly and opened the door.

It was completely pitch black inside. Confused, Helen double-checked the room number to make sure it was right. Sure enough, it was room 302. Slowly, she crept inside and felt around the wall for a light switch.

The minute the room was flooded with light, a violinist standing in the middle of it began to play. In front of him was a small, round table covered in a green tablecloth and set for two. Helen raised her eyebrows as she walked toward it. As soon as she neared the table, she saw a small note resting on one of the plates.

She gasped as she began to read. “One week is entirely too long to be away from you. There was no way I could wait three extra days. LL.”

“It’s the truth,” a familiar voice behind her said. Turning around, she found him leaning on the bathroom doorframe. He looked extremely handsome in a purple shirt and dark slacks, his hands resting in his pockets. His beautiful eyes bore into her as he stood straight and crossed the room to her.

“I missed you,” he whispered as he pulled her into his arms.

“Oh, Lex,” she murmured.

Just then, he stepped back from her and pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. “Bring in the food,” he ordered. Then he snapped it closed. Next, he nodded towards the violinist, and immediately, the song changed. Lex wrapped his arms around Helen, and they began to sway to the music.

Flustered, Helen tried to protest. “I don’t have time, Lex. The hospital’s overflowing; we’re understaffed—“

Gently, Lex placed a finger over her lips as he grinned. “I’ve got it covered. I get you for three whole hours.” He then moved his finger and touched her left cheek with his hand.

“But…how?” she stammered.

“Don’t worry about it.” With that, Lex softly lifted her chin and placed a warm kiss on her lips. As the kiss deepened, Helen finally realized that there was no use in arguing with Lex Luthor.

Oh, yes, the day had certainly improved.


© 2004 Crimson Idealist