20 January 2019 @ 04:00 pm
Challenge 11: If You Want To Touch Her, Ask! (The Good Doctor)  
Title: Touching
Fandom: The Good Doctor
Author: Alobear
Rating: PG-13
Challenge: #11: Song Titles: Shania Twain (If You Want To Touch Her, Ask!)
Warnings: none
Spoilers: References to several Season 1 episodes
Summary: Shaun discovers that other people also prefer not to be touched in certain circumstances

“Why do people touch other people without asking them first?”

Claire looked up at the question. Shaun was looking just over her left shoulder, about as close as he got to eye contact most days. It had taken a while to get used to; that and the incredibly blunt questions that came out of nowhere.

This one in particular hit a nerve. She flashed back to Dr Coyle’s hand on her back, and shuddered.

“That’s a good question, Shaun,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realise that it might be inappropriate, and a lot more people don’t think about how it affects others.” She smiled over at him. “Did a patient’s family member hug you again?”

“Not today. I’m getting better at moving out of the way when that happens.”

“So why the question?”

“Jared touched our patient and she asked him not to, unless it was for medical reasons.”

Claire gave a hollow laugh. “You’d think he’d know better after the whole mess with Dr Coyle. I mean, he assaulted the guy for coming onto me and he’s only just got his job back. And then he goes and offends a female patient like that? He’s got to be more careful.”

Shaun cocked his head to one side.

“I think he was trying to reassure her, not ‘come onto her’. He said her objection was probably for religious reasons.”

“Oh, I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it,” Claire said. “Like I just said, people don’t think about how their actions affect others. Especially men. There are always power dynamics to take into account, especially with interactions between a man and woman. And even more so when the woman is the man’s patient.” She smiled again. “At least nobody is ever likely to bring a harassment suit against you.”

Shaun huffed in amusement. “That’s very true. They just think I’m rude for not wanting to shake hand with them.”

“That’s a pretty weird custom when you come to think about it,” Claire mused. “I wonder where it originated from. But I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as you give them good care, they’ll get over your quirks. Besides, in a hospital, it’s best not to touch people unnecessarily. You’re probably the staff member least likely to get sick. I might start avoiding handshakes myself.”

“I am glad to have given you a good idea about how to behave in the hospital,” Shaun said with evident satisfaction. “You have taught me a lot about how to interact with people and I’m grateful. So, it’s good for me to be able to return the favour.”

Claire’s smile widened. “That’s sweet, Shaun. Thanks.”

“You are welcome. Now we should get back to checking the test results.”