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by beetle
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Gay/Lesbian · #2018315
For the prompt: A child pretending to be an adult in a profession they wish to be in.
“I’ve made my prognostication and,” Dr. Riley began portentously, patting Devon’s leg with brisk gravity. Dev’s dark eyes widened dramatically and he looked forward, quite solemn.

“What is it, doctor? I can take it,” he murmured with believable uncertainty. And the “doctor” sighed, shaking his head with equally believable sadness.

“I’m afraid the leg has to be chopped right off,” he said simply, with the same gravity he’d displayed when he’d made his “prognostication.” And as when he’d first offered to examine Devon’s perfectly fine, jean-clad leg. “There’s nothing else for it, Mr. Devon.”

“Oh! How terrible!” Dev sighed as a purse-mouthed Dr. Riley moved the stethoscope up the side of his right calf. “Isn’t there anything else to be done?”

“I’m afraid not, Mr. Devon. But after the surgery, the hospital can have you fitted with a life-like, bionic prosthetic, and soon you’ll be able to walk, run, and jump even better than you did before,” Dr. Riley said, sitting on the coffee table and prompting Dev to put his leg up on it, as well. Which Dev did, after toeing off his sneaker. Dr. Riley frowned and examined the leg once more, murmuring to himself: I see, and very interesting. He even pinched Dev’s wiggling, sock-covered toes.

Only to finally look Dev in the eye again and nod. “Yep. Full amputation. That’s the thing to do. Nurse—oh, nurse—?” Dr. Riley looked at me pointedly and waved me over. I went with a sigh, after levering myself out of Dad’s comfy recliner. I ambled over to my eight year old brother and my extremely patient boyfriend.

“Yes, Dr. Riley?” I asked meekly, and Riley stood up, handing me my own stethoscope—which, after two years of me being in med school, he had yet to tire of co-opting and playing with every time I came home to visit—and turning that grave look on me, now.

“Prep the patient for surgery,” he commanded, then marched out of my parents’ living room. His giggles and footsteps trailed back to us as he ran down the hall and bolted up the steps, all the way to his room.

Dev and I looked at each other, amused, though he was the first to start laughing.

“So,” I murmured, flopping down next to him as he put his foot back in his sneaker. I slid an arm around his broad, scarecrow shoulders and he leaned into my embrace with another sigh—this one quite contented. “Amputation, huh? He must really like you.”

“You think so?” Dev blinked up at me and I kissed his temple.

“I know so. He only prescribes amputation for the people he likes. And for Mr. Sparkles.”

Dev laughed again. “It’s good to know I’m in the same league as the family guinea pig.”

“You’re in good company,” I agreed, kissing his temple again. Just then, my mom popped her head around the corner of the living room archway and announced that dinner was ready. Then she was gone again, her voice ringing as she went upstairs to round up Riley and my sister Shawna. Dad was probably already in the dining room helping himself to what smelled like pork chops and mashed potatoes with all the fixings.

Dev and I looked at each other and he smiled shyly.

“So,” he said softly, his eyes mesmerizing and direct. “I really like your family.”

“And they like you,” I reassured him, smiling back, and Dev blushed.

“I was nervous about coming home with you to meet them, but they’re really awesome . . . I see, now, where you get it from.”

“Flatterer.” I blushed, too, and grinned—kept grinning as we made our way to the dining room. Then I pause and, said: “Wait a sec,” then ran back into the living room. When I caught back up with Dev, his eyebrows were raised in question, and I held up my stethoscope in explanation. “If I leave it where Ri can get it, I’ll never see it again.”

“Ah.” Dev chuckled and slipped an arm around my waist. I did the same, and together, we went to join the family for dinner.

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