Fic: Ships in the Night part 9/17 (QL, Sam/Donna)

“How long have you been a paramedic, Jack?”

Jack Kemp sighed. “Almost five years. I wanted to be a doctor, but my family couldn’t afford medical school.”

“Couldn’t you get any scholarships?”

He laughed curtly. “I tried. It turned out that my GPA was one point too low for a scholarship at the school I wanted to go to.”

“Why didn’t you just go to another school?”

“Because even with a full scholarship I couldn’t afford to pay for both rent and textbooks. The place I wanted to go, I could have lived at home…saved a bundle.”

“I’m sorry.”

“The worst part about it is sometimes I feel so helpless.”

“Helpless? You save people’s lives, Jack.”

“I know. It’s just..when I see the ones whose lives are saved, too many times they’re so broken and scarred they wish they had died. Or even if they don’t…I just wish I could have done more.”

“Well, at least you can do something. You have to remember, my profession may have a lot of glamor, but it’s not known for giving you a whole lot of purpose.”

“You sound pretty disillusioned.”

Ferne glanced down at the strange garment she was wearing, the simplest thing she’d worn in a long time. “Disillusioned doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sometimes…this is awful, but sometimes I wish the gunman had succeeded. There are days when I would do anything to get away from it. The only thing that keeps me sane is that I love acting.”

With a sad, but accepting smile, Jack reached out a hand to the reluctant star. She took it gratefully.

“If there’s anything I can ever do to help, just let me know.”

Ferne smiled sadly. “I don’t need anything right now. You wouldn’t believe how nice it is to be away from all the crowds. I kind of hope we have to stay here for a while.”

“I guess that wouldn’t be so bad,” Jack agreed with a smile.

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