Warnings: This is an omake; don't take it too seriously. Possible spoilers for parts of "Rheotaxis." Swearing.
Author: Amy the Evitable
Last updated: 22 January 2003
Crawford's approach had been direct. "What the hell is your problem?"
Behind the spotlessly-polished glasses, eyes had narrowed threateningly. Ken returned the look with his best game grin that had been known, in the day, to make experienced soccer forwards faint. 'Take me on,' it said. 'Sure, all of my limbs may be tied down right now, but I've bounced soccer balls meaner than you off this forehead and I'm none the worse for it.'
The eyes narrowed further. He wondered if Crawford could actually see anything through those slits. "Doesn't it get all blurry when you squint like that?"
"No." Crawford snapped his mouth shut, hard enough that he could hear the teeth meet.
"Huh." Ken waited for further explication, but none was forthcoming. "Don't talk much, do you? Like Ran."
He couldn't actually hear the sound of teeth grinding, but from the working of the jaw, that had to be what the American was doing. Some people were just touchy, he figured. He gave a friendly grin, like you'd give to the goalie of the other team after he'd lost a few teeth to a well-aimed ball.
There was a sound from behind the curtain at the nurses' station. It soon resolved into a cough, but it really hadn't sounded like that at the start.
"You're bored." Crawford was staring down the hallway now, his face in profile to Ken. It was better than the squinting, Ken figured. "What, pray tell, did you expect from a stay in a hospital room?"
Crawford's voice had that sneery little edge that people got when they thought they'd made a point. Heh. He'd show that Schwarz bastard.
"Eeee. Essss. Pee..."
Crawford was turning to stare at him, wide-eyed this time.
"What?" The American looked relieved, but baffled.
"ESPN. You know, television. CNN would be ok, I guess – at least I'd get the scores. ESPN and ESPN2 would be great, though. You have to pay more for those satellite channels, but it's really worth it."
If he kept grinding his teeth like that, Crawford was going to have to pay a fortune in dental bills. "You want to watch sports?"
"No!" Ken's eyes flashed with passion. "If I wanted to watch just any sports, I'd ask for ESPN Classic! But I'm trying to be reasonable here. I just need to know how the World Cup matches are going. Come on, don't tell me that you guys are so evil that your secret military hospitals where you conduct sadistic experiments on helpless prisoners don't even have cable!"
Crawford definitely had a headache now. And those lines on his forehead really did suit him.
Score: Nurse 1, Ken-ken 1, Crawford 0
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