untilted drabble No. 79

Title: untitled drabble #79
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jennifer Keller
Warnings: after the Haegria in "Exsul" in the Ancient!John 'Verse
Summary: A Jennifer Keller vignette
Notes: I had thought Keller's POV might be the solution to all my problems, and it may still be, but this isn't it.

"It's about a girl on the cusp of becoming someone. ... A girl who may no know what she wants right now, and she may not know who she is right now, but who deserves the chance to find out."

Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

* * *
Jennifer never intended to be in this position. It's just, her family has never been well off. She'd gotten through undergrad on scholarships and willpower alone, with most of the difference being paid for by a sympathetic great-aunt who really didn't have the money to spare. Medical school had been more scholarships and a boatload of federal loans that, frankly, terrified her to think about. But that was okay, because she'd make enough after she got her M.D. to pay them off before too long, or so she figured. Dad assured her that would be the case, anyway, and he'd never steered her wrong, so she trusted him on that.

But then Georgetown had happened - or, rather, her residency there, which had concluded about the same time as her attending had been looking for someone to replace him on the Médecins sans Frontières mission to Côte d'Ivoire that he'd agreed to go on before things started to get serious with his girlfriend. Doctor Wallis hadn't wanted to leave and, well, she'd minored in French, so it'd seemed like a good idea at the time. She'd enjoyed it, and signed on for a second mission, and a third, and, well, one thing had led to another.

And then she came back stateside for Christmas of '04. That's when they find out about the cancer, all the little things Dad's shared with her over monthly satellite phone calls finally adding up to something she kicks herself for not having put together before. It's colon cancer and perfectly operable (not that they'd known that at the beginning) and, well, insurance companies don't care if one's daughter is a doctor. The bills start adding up fast, until the numbers bleeding on the page grow to such a size that they threaten to crush her with their weight. Or may

So Jennifer takes a position at Sacred Heart in Eau Claire to stay close to Dad through the chemo and the surgery, but that's not the kind of medicine she wants to practice - let alone the kind that would pay the bills - so she starts looking for something better as soon as Dad's prognosis starts trending upwards.

She applies to the multinational research service doing work in Antarctica on a whim. She doesn't think she'll get a posting (it's supposedly very competitive), but Doctor Wallis had told her to try when she'd called her old attending asking if he knew about open positions that might fit her. Jennifer's not so sure, but Simon had been right about Côte d'Ivoire, so she's willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Besides, the money is supposedly phenomenal.

But, again, Jennifer doesn't expect anything to come of it, except it 'does', which is how she somehow finds herself an employee of the United States Air Force, being shepherded by a young man in dress uniform towards a black Lincoln town car minutes after landing at the Colorado Springs airport. She doesn't know what the US military might have to do with the supposedly-international NGO she'd thought she'd applied to, let alone what Colorado might have to do with Antarctica, but there it is, and she's still trying to figure out if "multinational research service" had really be code for human trafficking or the mob all a long when the airmen opens the car door for her.

Interesting view on Jennifer! I'd always wondered why she'd joined the expedition. I love that she knew Simon and that's how she was introduced to it all - very clever!

Thanks bb. I've got to admit that, once I got the general sketch of what I wanted Keller to be in this, it was pretty easy to write. It's just not how I wanted to start the next one. But, yeah, for a girl who didn't want to leave her dad so much, she went pretty far from home. Had to think of a reason why - and why the Expedition might want her in the first place.