Chapter 1: Prologue
The one thing Keith swore to himself before going to the Intern Mixer was to not end up at a stranger’s house hungover and sprawled like a cat on the sofa.
This, of course, is what he wakes up to the following morning.
He groans, stretching out his legs in front of him and trying to ignore the pounding headache that eventually woke him up. He still wasn’t sure what was worse: the pounding headache (that demands his attention above everything else), or the fact that he was hungover in a stranger’s house two hours before he’s supposed to arrive at his first shift. He decides on the latter.
He finally opens his eyes and he thanks whatever being is watching over him that the sun hasn’t risen too high up yet. He looks around what he assumes is the living room; there’s a nice fireplace in front of him and a dozen boxes (some labeled with Lance’s name, one with Pidge, and others that just have a smiley face drawn on them) that are still half-unpacked. There’s a plasma TV leaning propped up against the wall with a game console connected to it along with empty beer cans strewn across the floor.
His train of thought is thrown off by the sudden snore coming from his lap. He jerks slightly at the interruption to his thoughts and lets his gaze fall down to his lap. There, sound asleep and snoring like no tomorrow, is Lance.
Last night’s memories are mostly a blur, but with Lance’s dress shirt crumpled on the floor and a visible hickey on the side of his neck, Keith gets a strong feeling what happened the previous night as he feels his cheeks warm.
He takes out his cell phone from its spot on the armrest and turns it on to check the time. He winces as the brightness of the screen makes his head pound and he turns the brightness down. He checks the time (5:58 AM, still early) and opens the front camera to check if he has any sort of marks on his face or neck. When the camera focuses, he gets a good look at how messed up his hair is. Shiro had been nagging him to get a haircut for weeks now but Keith never budged. He supposes that for these cases, shorter hair would be more manageable. As for the marks, he doesn’t notice any. But when he lowers his collar to check his collarbones, there’s a nice hickey where his neck meets his shoulder. He sighs and he closes the camera.
Alright, alright. His cheeks are most definitely on fire right now. He supposes there’s nothing that can be done about that. Slowly, he shifts so he can get out of the couch and leave.
He can’t be late for his first day.
He’s careful not to knock over the scotch bottle left beside the couch, not wanting to wake Lance. He decides to request an Uber and he prays that there’s an eager driver at six in the morning. Luckily for him, a driver confirms they’re nearby and will pick him up in less than ten minutes.
Fair enough, he decides. He picks up his sneakers and tie (left behind the couch some point in the night, he assumes) and darts for the door, hoping to leave unnoticed by any other of the residents living until he hears a throat clearing that stops him dead in his tracks.
“Leaving so soon, Kogane?”
Keith recognizes the voice easily. Pidge-er, uh Katie- is sitting cross-legged on one of the dining room tables, visible from the foyer. Her short hair is held up by a headband, but it doesn’t do justice to the frizz behind it. She’s reading something (another medical journal, Keith supposes) on her tablet while sipping coffee, the heat of it slightly clouding her glasses.
Katie was a classmate of his back in med school. Despite being younger than Keith, she was two years ahead of him academically thanks to her skipping both kindergarten and the third grade. They only took Year 1 Biochemistry together (Katie traded her class for another by threatening to release the exams before their due dates with a teacher of hers when she hacked the system) and Keith remembers her being quiet and stealthy in classes. They usually met up on weekends to discuss conspiracy theories after she saw his notes on whether or not Mothman was a real thing.
And she’s still staring at him with expecting eyes. They rekindled their friendship after Katie saw his name listed on the interns assigned to her service for the year about three months ago and caught up the previous night.
“Um, yeah. I called an Uber, sorry-by the way-for crashing over here last night.” Keith says, while clearing his throat (and trying to ignore the taste of shit on the back of his tongue).
Pidge waves away his apology, “Eh, don’t worry about it. When I came back from my shift later you two were still sucking face and talking on the couch and I just ignored you two and went to bed. Hunk-our other roomie who I told you about last night-woke me up later, though. He said you were both blasting ‘Despacito’ on the surround system and wouldn’t let him sleep. I had to give him a pair of earbuds, so you owe me a pair of ‘em.” She says nonchalantly, eyes darting to and fro on her tablet. Keith tries to wrap his head around the information.
“Um, A) I don’t owe you the earplugs, Lance does. I think I remember him ranting nonstop about how “the original is way better!” or some other crap and he was the one who played it from his phone. And, B)” he deadpanned, “Again, sorry for disturbing you and your friend.”
“Ah, don’t sweat it.” She says, taking another sip of her coffee. She yawns and wipes the tears that gathered in her eyes.
“How long has it been since you’ve slept more than eight hours.” Keith asks
“Keith, I’m a first-year resident. The last time I got more than 6 hours of sleep was before I became an intern. Speaking of which, you’re on my rotation this year along with these other bozos. If I were you, I’d get going and change in your scrubs.” She says, eyeing him.
“Oh, please. I still look better than you.” He says
“Nah, you’ve seen better days.”
“Hmm yourself. Is your ride here yet?”
On cue, his phone dings. His Uber driver is right outside the house.
“Strange, how’d you know that-”
“It’s because I’m a witch, Keith.”
She bristles, “Goodbye, Mr. Keith Too-Cool-For-His-Job Kogane.”
He laughs and he hears her tired chuckles.
“See you in the hospital.”
He shuts the door as he exits.
Chapter 2: Ch 1: (Not Really) Chasing Cars
First Days=/=First Impressions
"The skin is a hard shell, so make sure you dig deep."
If Lance hears the honk from Pidge’s car calling him outside one last time, he swear he’s going to murder a patient today.
“I’m coming!” He yells out to no one in particular, grabbing his bag stuffed to the brim with his scrubs and coat. He swings the door to his messy bedroom close and runs (and almost trips) down the stairs. The lights to the foyer are already turned off, so he leaps out the door and shuts it behind him.
As he’s nearing the car, Pidge honks once again as he’s opening the door to the back seat and tumbles inside.
“Christ, what took you so long?” Pidge asks brusquely as Hunk turns and hands him a sandwich wrapped in a paper towel. Lance grabs it, eager like a puppy with hunger.
“Hunk, you are a lifesaver.” He practically drools as he unwraps the sandwich and takes a big bite, “Mmhhf. This is so good. What’s inside? I’d look myself, but I don’t need to distract myself with the sight of this being one bite less than usual.” He says in between bites, not paying mind to the spit that spews out his mouth.
Pidge finally shifts the stick to Drive and goes out the driveway and Hunk shifts back to sit upright “in order to survive Pidge’s reckless driving”.
“It’s just a cheese and spinach omelet topped with some ham, no biggie.” Hunk says casually.
“No biggie?! Dude, you can cook a shoe and make it taste great!” Lance says, “And, good morning to you too, Pidge. I was late because someone woke me up late from the couch this morning and I had to make sure to at least cover what happened last night.”
“Well the bottles are still on the living room floor and I’m not gonna pick that up when I get home later.” Pidge replies
“I meant the…um…marks on my…yeah. I spent a while covering it with concealer so I wouldn’t make a bad impression on our bosses on my first day, duh.” Lance explains
Pidge hums in response as she pulls over the highway.
“Sure, sure. And don’t worry, Dr. Altea is nice enough to the staff that they won’t bite your head off if you show up late.”
She turns up the radio and changes the station until Hunk perks up at a song that’s to his liking. Lance continues scarfing down on his sandwich and tries to ignore the slight aching spot on his neck. He clearly remembers the previous night at the mixer; he set his sights on a young man with a black mop of hair-that he should at least trim it, ¡carajo!- chatting animatedly to an older-and yet attractive-man with a white tuft of hair on the front. He knows the former is in his intern class-hence the name tag and dark red dress shirt he’s wearing-and already tipsy enough to flirt, he walks up to him and introduces himself to the young man (while interrupting him).
“Hello, name’s Lance. But you can call me” he waits a few seconds for the punchline, “anytime.” He winks as the older guy clasps Keith’s (he read the nametag in the split second it took for a light blush to spread across Keith’s features) shoulders and whispers something in his ear, before smiling at Lance and walking away.
His (very pleasant) recap is interrupted by Hunk calling out his name.
“So, Lance. Excited for today?” he asks
“You betcha, buddy! When I stroll in the O.R., everyone’s gonna know that I’m the guy.” He says pompously.
“Pshhh, yeah. Everybody’s gonna know you’re the guy who will kill the patient once you lay your hands on them.” Pidge chuckles
“Ooooh, good one, Pidge.” Hunk praises.
Lance tries not to let the immense love of his friends get to him.
As Pidge is pulling the car into a park at the hospital parking lot, she turns her head to look at Lance directly in the eyes, sending a chill down his spine.
“Now, when we’re in there, I’m not “Pidge” anymore.” She starts, “I need you to call me “Dr. Holt”. The other residents in my class already give me enough shit with me being younger than all of them, I can’t have more teasing from them or I will snap their spines. Can I count on you two?”
“Of course, Pid-Dr Holt!” Hunk corrects himself immediately and looks away from her scrutinizing gaze.
“Awww, don’t worry Dr. Holt! I’ll make sure Hunk stays in his lane.” He says, opening the door to the car and stretching out his sore limbs. Hunk steps out in front of him.
“I think she was talking about you, buddy.”
They both slam the doors shut and walk over to the front of the car.
“Wait, wait, wait.” Lance says hurriedly while pulling his phone out, “I want a selfie with you guys before we go in!”
Pidge and Hunk let Lance do his thing, and both turn to face the front camera on Lance’s phone. Lance angles his arm far enough to not let the sun block their faces and for the hospital name to be visible in the shot. They all stretch their smiles as Lance takes a bunch of pictures in a second using a burst shot. He sends the best one to his family’s group chat with the caption: “First Day on the Job! Love you guys~”
Yeah, his first shift can’t be bad.
“By the way, Hunk, which O.R. was it again? I know it was in the folder they gave us when we got accepted but I kinda forgot.” Lance says sheepishly as they walk up the flight of stairs.
“O.R. five, I believe.” He replies-almost out of breath-. “The rest are taken by some morning procedures. Pidge lamented to us earlier that she’s not able to “watch us squirm” from the gallery.”
They continue their climb on the stairs and finally reach the O.R. floor. They spot the group of interns already waiting to enter the O.R. . The group turns their heads at the pair as the door shuts and echoes down the hallway. A tall, pretty young woman with a thick, white bun notices them and addresses them.
“Welcome! You two are just on time! If you’d just kindly follow me to the operating room…” She says. Lance and Hunk speed-walk their way to the end of the hall. He mostly recognizes their faces from the previous night at the mixer before he got drunk. Remembering last night, he tries to look for a familiar face, but the doctor from earlier is speaking again as she’s letting the interns in.
“My name is Dr. Allura Altea, current Chief of Surgery here in Seattle Grace Hospital.” She says as the last intern (Hunk) trails in. She lets them wander around, take in every detail of the room. Lance sees her eyes wander up to the ceiling and wink at whoever’s behind the gallery windows. He thanks the heavens he can’t see them thanks to the blinding lights strategically placed there, because he thinks the attendings are there (plus Pidge) saying god knows what about them. Hunk grabs him by the arm and pulls him close to whisper in his ear.
“Can you believe it Lance? We’re finally here! All those years in med school practicing on cadavers and now we get the real thing!” He basically whisper-screams at him, prompting some looks from their fellow interns. Lance pays no mind to them.
“That’s right, buddy! We better not screw this up! Now it’s really life or death here…” He whisper-replies. He hears Dr. Allura clear her throat.
“Each of you comes here hopeful.” She starts, “Wanting in on the game. A month or so ago you were in med school being taught by doctors. Well, starting today, you are the doctors! The five to seven years you spend here as a surgical resident-depending on what specialty you choose-will be the best and worst of your life. You will be pushed to the breaking point, but this should not be of any news. So, take a look around you and say hello to your competition.
Eight of you will switch to an easier specialty. Five of you will crack under the pressure. Two of you will be asked to leave.” She continues off, and Lance marvels at her for not showing any signs of being out of breath. “This is your starting line. This is your arena. How well you play? That’s up to you.”
Ten minutes later, the entirety of the interns are shoved into the locker room. In the organized chaos, most of the interns are changing into their scrubs while the others are more panicked on meeting their resident for the year.
Keith, on the other hand, feels calmer than he should be feeling right now. He’s as “cool as a cucumber” or some other thing Shiro had told him. Keith is chilling on one of the benches, waiting for his name to be called out to meet his resident (he knows it’s gonna be Katie as she told him the previous week when she found out Keith was in the program) and the rest of his classmates.
He just hopes that not one of them is Lance.
Sure, last night’s fling had been pleasant (save for the hangover he still kind of has, which is why he had to wear sunglasses indoors) but he didn’t want to have to interact with him unless it was strictly necessary.
Or the patient was coding and he were the only doctor not busy to help him run the code.
Hopefully, he wouldn’t have to get to that.
He sighs and runs his hands through his hair to swipe it off his forehead in the least. He twists it onto the hair tie on his left wrist and lets it fall to his lower neck at the weight.
A resident-not Katie- steps into the locker room with a checkboard in his hand and starts listing off names.
“McClain, Garret, and Kogane? This group’s small, but it’s just like that for a while the Chief figures out some kinks in the groups.” He says. “Dr. Holt will be waiting for you all down the hall to the desk by the right.”
Lucky for him, it’s Katie.
He’s the first one out the locker room, quickly grabbing his notepad and shifting his coat on. On one side, he’s thankful for the hospital letting the interns wear whichever color scrubs they wanted like the rest of the staff. One should know the position of the staff by the length of their coats.
As he’s walking down the hall, he sees Katie-Dr. Holt now, god- perk up and smile slightly. He slightly smiles back at her when he feels a sharp tap on his shoulder. When he turns around, he sees Lance’s face too close to his for comfort.
“Hey, aren’t you supposed to be with your resident? Are you even sure it’s Dr. Holt?” Keith asks, almost incredulous.
“Well, hey there Keith.” Lance almost spits out, good mood tampered by Keith’s response. “if you’re smart enough to read, you’ll see that I’m McClain. Lance. Lance McClain.”
“Fuck” Keith mutters under his breath.
Once again, thank you all for reading this! Kudos, Comments are always appreciated!
I also wanna thank you all for the support so far! This is just the work of a silly fan of a comic and I'm happy that you're all enjoying this so far!
One like=one sentence.
Also! Bit of good news and bad news:
-Bad News: School starts tomorrow for me so I'll be busier until May (rip social life) and I think that updating once every two weeks would be more comfortable for my schedule
-Good News: Those chapters will be longer to hold you guys for the time. if i have any extra time for the year, I'll probably update more often. But, once every two weeks will be the ticket (expect them coming at ya Sunday or Monday~!) This means that the next chapter will be up in two weeks, so mark your calendars.
(also i think it's a given that everyone here is aged up, official cast page+bios for our kids in this AU will come soon since classes start this week for meeeee)