The meeting swiftly ended after everyone’s very brief introductions. All consultants and registrars said their names and specialties and that was that. Eve may have stuttered when she tried saying Trauma, but she tried to forget about that as soon as she was outside the conference room.
Everyone, except her and Elena, had stayed in the room for free pastries and to talk to the new too beautiful for her own good registrar.
As soon as the elevator arrived, Eve rushed in pressed 2 -- the floor with the on-call rooms, changing room, and the lounge. All the surgeons called this room ‘the lounge’ as it had one couch, a very small tv, a microwave, a fridge, but most importantly, a coffee maker. It is where most of the surgeons were before work, after work, and sometimes even during their breaks.
Eve rested her head on the back of the elevator and sighed. Why was she nervous? Why did she get butterflies in her stomach when she saw that woman in the elevator and then the conference room? She felt 17 again. And Elena could sense it.
“So.. she’s... hot, right?” Elena said looking at Eve from the side of the elevator, smirking.
Eve closed her eyes. Did Elena just know her too well or had she made it obvious?
“Yeah I guess… I mean yes she’s very pretty yes.” Eve felt like an idiot already and it wasn’t even 8 AM.
“She looks like fun, maybe we should all go out for drinks later.” Elena said, now looking away from Eve and on the descending floor numbers.
Why was this elevator so slow?
“Sounds fun.” Eve mumbled, not realizing the implications of what she was saying.
The elevator doors finally opened to the second floor.
Eve exited first, with Elena right behind.
“OMG yes, Eve! Finally, going out with the registrars!” Elena chippered, clapping her hands a few times.
The Lounge was only a couple of doors from the elevator, with the three on-call rooms further down the hall. As they entered, they were met with absolutely no one.
Thank God, Eve thought. She was done with people today. Well, not exactly, as she was a surgeon and had patients to attend to, but this morning did feel extraordinarily long.
Eve headed straight for the coffee maker, starting to make a jug for her and the rest of her co-workers. She was just that kind, but she also needed another coffee.
Elena took off her coat and hung it up in the coat closet, which was next to the couch.
When the coffee was brewing, Eve also hung up her coat, and they both sat on the singular circular table in the middle of the room.
“So.. drinks at Bear’s across the street tonight at 7?” Elena said to Eve while tapping the keyboard of her phone.
“Oh uh I don’t know.. I have a few surgeries today and a big one tomorrow so..” Eve trailed off. She really didn’t have an especially busy day today or tomorrow, she just didn’t want to go out...especially not with Villanelle.
Eve knew she would make herself friendly and welcoming but she also felt so awkward this morning, she was embarrassed and couldn’t face the new registrar, despite knowing nothing about her.
About 0.2 seconds later, Eve’s phone dinged. A text message. A group text message. From Elena.
Group: Elena, Kenny, Hugo, Eve
Elena: Eve agreed to drinks ton8!! 7 @ Bear’s! We are inviting new girl!
Eve rolled her eyes and looked at Elena. Elena, still not making eye contact, looked at her phone and just smiled.
Eve’s phone dinged again. What now?
Hugo: Finally Eve! And wait.. are we walking about hot new girl from the conference room/the elevator?
Eve clenched her jaw. Something about Hugo talking about how Villanelle looks made her very uncomfortable.
Kenny: Can’t wait! I’m with her now, we are coming down to the lounge with K.
Eve’s heart jumped and her breath hitched. She didn’t need another run-in with the beautiful model who wasn’t actually a model but rather a surgical registrar.
Elena couldn’t help but snicker.
As if the Gods weren’t already (not) on her side, the lounge door opened. And just as Kenny said, him, Konstantin, and Villanelle walked in.
“Hi, guys!” Elena said, a bit too loudly. Eve glared at her, annoyed.
“Hello, Elena, Eve.” Konstantin said in his thick accent, smiling at them both.
Kenny smiled and headed to the coffee maker, but Eve quickly got up and arrived there first.
“Don’t worry, Kenny. I got it.” She said, oddly fast, holding a hand up, stopping him.
Eve hoped fixing herself and his coffee would distract her mind from the beautiful, and still mysterious, woman who was behind her right now.
“So, Villanelle, fancy coming with us for drinks tonight?” Elena said, looking over at the new registrar who was taking off her trenchcoat and hanging it up next to Eve’s jacket.
Eve was always amazed at how Elena could befriend literally anyone . It sounded as if she had known Villanelle for years, and Eve knew they hadn’t even had a real conversation with each other yet.
“Who’s us?” Villanelle said, smiling as she sat down, in Eve’s seat, crossing her legs.
Damn it, she was friendly just like Elena. Great.
“Hugo, Kenny, me, and Eve.” Elena said, gesturing at the trauma surgeon who was somehow struggling to pour coffee into a cup.
With the mention of her name, Villanelle looked over at Eve, Eve still trying to look down and pour way too much sugar into Kenny’s cup.
Without looking back at Elena to answer, Villanelle responded with a simple “Yes.”
"Sorry, Konstantin." Elena said, trying to sound like she felt bad for not inviting him.
"Don't be, I couldn't keep up with you children, anyway." He shrugged and headed for the couch.
Eve finally finished pouring the coffee and walked it over to Kenny, who was sitting on the couch with Konstantin, looking at some files.
“Thanks.” He muttered, not looking up from the papers.
She then realized Villanelle had taken her seat as she turned around, forcing Eve to sit next to Villanelle as, oddly enough, there were only three seats at the circular table.
Eve sat down, rather awkwardly, looking over at Elena and Villanelle, who were exchanging phone numbers, already. Eve couldn’t help but roll her eyes.
She used two hands to hold her coffee, as she had no idea what else to do with them.
The silence was killing her. She hates small talk but she hated awkward silences even more.
“So, have you decided on a specialty?” She finally mustered up the strength of asking Villanelle.
Villanelle looked up, making eye contact with Eve. The most beautiful hazel eyes, Eve thought. The younger woman seemed delighted at the notion of starting a conversation.
“No, I know it's odd, but I find every specialty interesting in its own way.” She said, with her stupidly gorgeous accent.
Elena could sense Eve had no idea what to say, so she thought she’d help.
“I was the same, V. As an intern, I was literally everywhere and I loved it because every specialty was so unique. But then I met Eve, and she showed me the lovely specialty of trauma. And well, here we are.” She gave a slight gesture to her surroundings with her arms.
V? A nickname, already? Eve knew Elena could get along with anyone but this seemed too quick.
Villanelle, or V now, turned quickly to Elena when she spoke. When Elena was done, Villanelle looked back at Eve, making that deadly eye contact once again.
“She must be a good teacher, then.” Villanelle said, with a half-smile and Eve swore Villanelle’s eyes dipped for a millisecond.
Eve was at a loss for words, again. Why did Villanelle have to say things like that? They had literally just met. And why does Eve feel things when she says stuff like that? They had literally just met.
Elena, being the mind-reader she is, could sense this.. again. So she made a show of looking at her watch.
“We better get down to A&E, we are due down there soon.” Elena said, standing up.
Eve thanked Elena telepathically and stood up too, giving a slight smile to Villanelle as she started to walk away.
“See you later, Eve.” Villanelle said, dragging out the singular syllable of her name.
After Eve and Elena changed into their respective scrubs, Elena couldn’t contain herself anymore.
“What was that?” Elena half-whispered to Eve as they walked next to each other, down the hall.
“What was what?” Eve pretended to not understand the question.
“Come off it, Eve.” Elena said, rolling her eyes at her friend’s antics.
“We have patients.” Eve said, speeding up her walk, in a hope to not only end this conversation but also stop wherever it would’ve gone.
Villanelle started her week in cardio with Konstantin. They had quickly bonded over their shared Russian heritage so Konstantin asked Carolyn to put Villanelle with him for the week. Carolyn had just shrugged, so he took that as a yes.
Surprisingly, Kenny liked Villanelle too. They were completely different people and Kenny found that interesting, bringing excitement into their department. At least for a week.
Villanelle was loud, confident, and way too charming. Patients loved her instantly.
Their first patient of the day was Mrs. Jameson. She was due for a coronary artery bypass later that week. While it was a relatively simple procedure, especially for a trained surgeon like Konstantin, Mrs. Jameson was still nervous.
While they interacted with patients daily, neither Konstantin nor Kenny were people persons. They cared for their patients dearly and did whatever they could to help them, but when it came down to calming patients before surgery, it was neither of their strong suits.
However, with Villanelle, everything about the atmosphere seemed to change.
She was actually able to completely change Mrs. Jameson’s outlook on her surgery. Kenny and Konstantin were very glad to have her on cardio for the week.
But, Villanelle was not happy about moving to London. She hated Liverpool, and she was already starting to dislike London. She wanted to be somewhere like Paris or Amsterdam, not a city she found dreary, cold, and rainy. St. Thomas wasn’t too bad though, but the coffee could be better.
However, something, or rather someone, did cheer her up.
When she saw her in the elevator that day, she was instantly hooked. She knew she had a type, and she didn’t care.
And running into her in the lounge was exhilarating. She wanted to talk to Eve, start some sort of conversation. And when Eve was the one to start talking to her, she was determined to get to know her.
Obviously, there are other things she’d rather do to Eve but she knew she would have to take it slow, despite how much she hated the waiting.
Villanelle loved having control and power, and she would do whatever she could to keep them. So, when she found herself being excited about seeing Eve for drinks tonight, she tried to push the feelings down. She was good at that.
She couldn’t get attached, she couldn’t get feelings.. not again. Not after what happened last time.
For Eve, the day seemed to drag on and on. It felt like years had past when the clock finally struck 7 PM.
Eve only had a laparotomy and tracheostomy today. Neither were easy operations but she had done them so many times in her years of surgery, it felt like second nature.
Luckily, both patients seemed to be pulling through. They were both in the same car-motorcycle collision. Eve was terrified that the motorcyclist wouldn’t make it. He was quite young and the damage to his chest was very severe.
But, Eve was outside his room re-checking his charts, and he seemed to be doing fine.
When she looked up at the clock, she sighed. Long day. And it was probably going to be an even longer night.
Due to the surgeries, she was able to keep her mind off Villanelle for the majority of the day. However, during her breaks and even now, when she should be focusing on her patient’s condition, her mind couldn’t help but wander to the woman.
Eve couldn’t explain why. Was she just excited for a new coworker? A young mind she could perhaps turn to her specialty? Or was it something else? Something more…
Interrupting her thoughts, she heard her name.
“Eve!” Villanelle shouted as she turned the corner, hair down and flowing behind her.
It took Eve a moment to acknowledge her, distracted by the long blonde hair she had never seen down before. To prevent her from being more distracted, she looked down at her files, closing the folder and handing it to the nearest nurse, who looked up at her from the computer desk.
“Villanelle, how was your first day?” Eve said, looking back at the younger woman, who was now standing in front of her.
Eve’s heart was racing. Why was she so nervous to talk to her? She was just another registrar. Eve was the consultant. Just make a normal conversation, she said to herself.
“Really great. Cardio is fun, but I’m bored of Kenny and Konstantin.” Villanelle shrugged.
Eve wasn’t sure if she was serious or making a joke. Either way, she found it hilarious. She had known both men for quite some time and she could see where Villanelle was coming from, serious or not.
Eve laughed, a sound Villanelle realized she needed to hear again and again and again.
It made her pause. She was going to start talking about something dumb Kenny had said earlier but the way Eve smiled as she laughed made her stop. She wanted to watch her, not do anything that could ruin this moment.
Eve sensed that her laugh was slightly abrupt, so she tried to cover it up by continuing the conversation.
“I mean I get what you’re saying. Those guys... they’re.. well, let’s just say they’re very focused on their work.” Eve said, pushing off the desk and heading towards the lounge.
“How was your day, Eve?” Villanelle said, catching up to Eve and walking on her left.
The way Villanelle said her name made Eve’s heart do something it hadn’t done in a very long time. Eve told herself it must just be her accent. Eve loved accents.
Eve took a moment to think about her answer. Obviously, Villanelle was very sociable and could make friends quite easily, but Eve wondered how much she should actually share. Would describing her surgeries be too much information? Should she just say it was ‘fine’ and move on?
Eve went with her gut.
“It was very long. Long and hard surgeries. I’m in need of sleep or a very strong drink.” Eve smiled, forgetting for a moment that she was actually going out to drinks with Villanelle that night.
“Hmm, well maybe you’re in need of other things.” Villanelle’s voice lowered, with a very not-subtle sexy undertone.
Eve swallowed, hard. Was this flirting? If it was, should she stop it? Should she do it back? She hadn't flirted with a woman in years. She hadn’t flirted with anyone in years!
Before she needed to say something back, they arrived at the door of the lounge, already hearing Elena and Hugo from inside.
Villanelle pulled the door and held it open for Eve.
“After you.” She said, obviously looking Eve up and down as she walked through.
What the hell was happening?
“Eve! Villanelle!” Elena basically yelled, sounding somewhat shocked at the combination of the women walking through the door.
“Hi, Elena.” Eve simply said, heading to the door of the changing room, adjacent to the coffee maker.
Eve walked through, leading to a room with a few lockers and a wooden bench. It was a small room where surgeons store their clothes and change in and out of scrubs.
Everyone knew who was in there and when, as you had to pass through into the lounge to get in. So, there is this unspoken rule of one person goes in and one person goes out among the St. Thomas surgeons, just to keep everyone’s privacy whilst they changed. Eve never understood why they didn't just put a lock on the door but she just chalked it up to Carolyn not caring enough.
This "rule" had been mentioned to Villanelle this morning when she asked where she could change into her scrubs. Except, it may have “slipped her mind” as she walked into the room before Eve had left, finding Eve in a bra and jeans.
Villanelle considered Eve lucky as she could’ve walked in a few seconds earlier, before Eve put her jeans on.
“Oh god hi” Eve said, hastily putting on an oversized white t-shirt. She was wearing a black bra. Villanelle definitely stared.
“Oops, so sorry, I forgot this was a room for one person!” Villanelle said, the acting deserving an Oscar. She turned around to face the door, turning faster than she'd have liked to.
“It’s fine.. I don’t really understand that rule anyway.” Eve said, instantly realizing what that sounded like she could have been insinuating.
“Me either.” Villanelle said as she turned, making a show of walking past Eve to the furthest locker and opening it. It contained two pairs of light-blue scrubs, two black jeans, and two button-down shirts.
Eve instantly questioned how she got multiple pairs of clothes here already, it was literally her first day.
This woman kept surprising her, and she had a feeling she wouldn’t stop.
Eve rested one foot on the bench as she started to tie her shoes. Villanelle then, knowing Eve would see her, took off her short-sleeve scrub shirt, revealing a lot of skin and a white bralette.
Eve swallowed, again. Of course she was wearing a bralette, of course she had amazing breasts, of course she had abs. Of course. This really wasn’t fair.
Eve looked up but quickly caught herself and looked down. Heavily focusing on tying her shoes. In..out..through the loop…
“Which top do you like?” Villanelle said, turning to Eve, still without a shirt on, but holding two button-downs -- one white and one maroon. Both were silk and very expensive looking.
Villanelle was staring at Eve, smirking, as she saw Eve look down at her breasts and then to the shirt options.
Eve scolded herself, why did she have to look?
“That one.” Nodding her head in the direction of the maroon shirt.
“Thank you.” Villanelle said as she threw the white shirt in the locker, and slowly put on the maroon shirt. She really took her time when doing up the buttons.
After what felt like an eternity, Villanelle did the final button, or what she considered the final button, though there were still three more undone, leaving little to the imagination.
She had to know what she was doing, right?
“Ready?” Eve said, pulling her purse onto her shoulder.
“Yup.” Villanelle said, popping the p, grabbing her own purse and following Eve out the door.
When they exited, Kenny had arrived at the lounge. He and Hugo were talking about sports or something, with Elena in between them, not caring about a single word they were saying.
When the boys realized Eve and Villanelle were back in the lounge, they turned toward them.
Villanelle walked across the room and opened the closet to grab her coat.
Eve instantly saw Elena give her a knowing look, not attempting to hide her smirk.
“Let’s go get wasted!” Hugo said, Eve hoping he was joking. It was Monday. They all had to work tomorrow.
Eve sighed and just shook her head, not trying to hide the fact that she did not want to get wasted.
She looked over at Villanelle, who had just pulled down Eve’s jacket from the closet too. She saw Villanelle look at her, up and down. Again.
Villanelle stalked over to her, handing her the jacket.
“You look good in those jeans. You have a very nice body.” Villanelle said, biting her lip, then followed Elena and the boys out the door.
Eve knew it was going to be a long night.