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Her Other Half

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Clark had brought Emil to Watchtower so Tess could patch him up. It wouldn't have boded well for the good doctor to show up at Met Gen with his injuries, so Clark had opted for Watchtower. Tess would patch him up and send him home so he could get some much-deserved rest. After Clark super-sped Emil to Watchtower, he and Chloe took off to the Fortune Casino, where they hoped to find Lois.

 

"Ah! Mmm!"

 

Tess cringed and gently dabbed at the wound on Emil's forehead. "I'm sorry, Emil. I'm trying to be gentle, but this is really bad. I need to clean this up so you won't lose any more blood." She finished wiping away the blood and placed a gauze bandage on it. "This should help stop the bleeding in a few hours. Then you can take it off."

 

She picked up a small bottle and shook two pills out of it, handing them to him. "Take these with a glass of water and make sure that you drink the whole thing, not just a few sips." Her voice was a bit stern, but there was a playful glint in her eyes that didn't escape Emil's attention.

 

He took the pills, as she told him, and accepted the cup of water she gave him. He wasn't used to being fussed over by a woman. It took his mind back to when his wife, Nicole, was still alive...

 

"I thought I was the doctor here," he said with a soft smile before swallowing the pills and washing them down with the water.

 

Tess' cheeks turned pink. She hadn't meant to sound so bossy, but there was a new part of her that didn't like seeing her friends in pain. That protective streak which she had originally felt towards Lex was now directed towards the team. "Well, since you're in such terrible condition, I decided to pick up the slack." She looked away and began to put the rest of the supplies up.

 

Emil said nothing in response. He just raised his eyebrows at her and continued to drink his water. The look on his face seemed to say, 'I know there's much more than that,' and he wasn't wrong either. He wasn't probing by any means, just waiting to see if she would say anything.

 

This was one of the things Tess liked the most about Emil. He knew when it was the best time to speak and the best time to just sit back and listen. It was remarkable that he wasn't a counselor or a therapist with the way he could read people. Perhaps he had the same kind of spirit.

 

Tess found it easy to speak. "You know that I'm a marine biologist and an environmentalist, but...I also took a few nursing courses in college. And I interned at a hospital for two years while I was enrolled in Harvard."

 

The pleased look on Emil's face was mixed with a bit of something that Tess could have sworn was pride, but she didn't comment on it. Maybe she was just reading too much into things.

 

"Really? That makes sense. I had a feeling that you possibly had a background in medical experience." Emil smiled at her and drank down the rest of his water.

 

Interesting response. Tess cocked her head to the side and cleared her throat. "You did?...Would you like to share just how you knew this about me?" It's not like she ever volunteered the information before. Not even Oliver knew about it and he was the one person she knew the longest out of everyone on the entire team.

 

Emil looked over at her and watched her for a few moments. It was hilarious to think about, but Emil was the only person Tess knew who could unnerve her, excite her and scare her all at once. He was the kind of person who simply made her feel at ease with being herself.

 

Tess wasn't the kind of woman who was comfortable with compliments and things of that nature. She hardly experienced affirmation and praise when she was growing up. That was the main reason why any time a member of the team told her that she did a good job or thanked her for helping them with something, Tess felt a swell of joy stir in the pit of her stomach.

 

The idea that anyone in the JL could trust her after everything that she did to hurt them, despite the fact that she was their enemy months ago, boggled Tess' mind. These were good people she'd surrounded herself with and she never wanted to them to question her allegiance or doubt the resolve of her loyalty.

 

"Call it a doctor's instinct. When you work in the business as long as I have, you start to pick up on things about people."

 

"Like a sixth sense for finding people who have a history in medicine?"

 

"Something like that." He got off the hospital bed and put his glasses back on.

 

Tess held back a giggle, finding it amusing that he was wearing his glasses along with his pompadour and Elvis outfit. "Emil...I have to go home and change out of this dress. If you want, I can drop you off at your apartment too." She had a feeling that he would like to get into his own clothes just as she did.

 

He sighed and nodded his head. "Yes, thank you. I'd appreciate that. I'd never live it down if I went to work dressed like this."

 

 "We're definitely of the same mind in that respect." Tess took a step closer to him and, before she knew what she was doing, she ran her fingers through his hair. It was nice to see him looking so different than he normally did. "I'm going to miss seeing your hair like this."

 

Their eyes met and Tess quickly drew back, realizing what she'd just done. It wasn't like her to initiate physical contact so freely with someone. What in the world had gotten into her? "Sorry," she muttered, feeling a little embarrassed about taking such a liberty with him.

 

However, Emil smiled and waved it off. It wouldn't have been appropriate for him to admit it, but he enjoyed the feel of her hand on his scalp. Something about her soft touch seemed familiar to him, but he was utterly clueless of the reason why. "It's fine."

 

"...it's not just that. I'm sorry for convincing you to drink that champagne. You never would have gotten hurt if I'd just left you alone." Regret was evident in her tone and she tightly crossed her arms to her body.

 

From her body language, Emil knew that she was seriously beating herself up over this. The slight flush on her cheeks also helped to confirm this. "You don't need to feel bad about it. I chose to drink it because you asked me to. I could have declined, but I didn't. It's not your fault, Tess."

 

The redhead sighed and rubbed her shoulders. Even though he was trying to comfort her, she still felt badly about it all the same. "I guess you're right..." She smiled at him, letting her eyes convey to him that she was grateful for his cheering her up. "Come on. I'll take you home."

 

They both made their way down the stairs and, after locking Watchtower, they walked to Tess' car across the street. Emil looked down and couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as he looked at her white go-go boots. Tess looked good in her outfit, retro as it was.

 

When they got in the car, he commented on it. "You should keep that dress. You might find a use for wearing it again."

 

She turned to him, surprised and scoffed. "Emil, I'm pretty sure that I will never go to a costume party dressed like this and, even if I did, a go-go dancer would not be my first choice. I honestly can't see this dress being worn out in public again, but thank you for the compliment." A tiny smile spread across her features.

 

"You're very welcome," he responded.

 

Again, Tess felt that connection, the feeling of closeness to him. She had no idea where it came from or how, but she was one hundred percent certain that it had something to do with last night. If only she could remember...