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Chapter 5

 

Eve didn’t tell Elena everything. 

 

She just mentioned that she was alone in the elevator with Villanelle who asked her to show her parts of London since she was new to the city. She chose not to mention her being asked to come over to Villanelle’s apartment and help her unpack.

 

Elena tried to act shocked. She knew Villanelle would take Eve up on her offer as soon as the words left her friend’s mouth last night. But, she was shocked at the new registrar’s efficiency. 

 

After changing into their scrubs, they went to the Trauma center, with Eve at the main desk, looking over files on her patients. After a while, she heard the ambulance arrive. 

 

Usually, paramedics called the desk to let them know they were on the way so they would meet them outside. 

 

Most of the time, neither Eve nor Elena were in the trauma center when they called. There were usually some emergency medicine specialists there to meet paramedics. They were paged when surgery was necessary and immediate, and then they would bring their patient into the OR. 

 

But, Eve and Elena gravitated toward the Trauma center because they were always called in at one point anyway. They also thought it made more sense to be there when a patient arrived in the ambulance. They could assess their injuries and make a decision to operate or not, wasting no time.

 

This incident must’ve happened close to the hospital, leaving the paramedics no time to call the hospital. Eve was already on the go, followed by Elena as they rushed outside to meet the paramedics. 

 

The ambulance swerved up and stopped in front of the glass doors. The yellow rear door of the ambulance swung open and there were two paramedics in the back, one on each side of the stretcher.

 

They pulled down the stretcher, carefully, revealing a middle-aged man wrapped in bandages with an oxygen mask on his face. 

 

“Hit and run two blocks from here, BP is 80/40." The older paramedic said as Elena came around Eve, assisting them in pushing the stretcher inside.

 

The first thing Eve thought was that this was just like what had happened to her father. Eve pushed that image out of her mind as quickly as she could. She focused on analyzing the patient. 

 

There was a high probability of the heart muscle being bruised due to how the car struck him. His heartbeat was irregular. His legs, specifically his right, was definitely broken. She really didn’t want to amputate, but she felt she could save it. She also needed to avoid hypovolemic shock, especially if his heart was as damaged as she thought. She told Elena to stay at the center, in case any other emergencies came.

 

“He has arrhythmia so we need to get him into an ECG. Call Cardio!” Eve yelled, gesturing at the head nurse to call Konstantin. 

 

Little did she know, Konstantin was already in surgery and wouldn’t be done for hours.

 

The staff made their way to the ECG, but his vitals kept dropping. His pulse and breathing rate lowered. He wouldn't make it to and through the ECG before he crashed. Eve had to make the executive decision.

 

She told the staff to start setting the man up for surgery in OR 2. This patient's life was in her hands. Eve headed to the OR and was scrubbing in when Villanelle opened the door, Kenny following behind her.

 

“You called?” She said, strolling in and starting to scrub in next to Eve.

 

“Where’s Konstantin? I called him .” Eve said, regretting how mean she sounded. Villanelle didn’t really pick up on it.

 

“Surgery. He won’t be done for a few hours so he sent us.” Kenny said, standing next to Villanelle to scrub in as well.

 

“Ah ok, well we have a big injury to the chest and legs. He has arrhythmia so it could be a possible myocardial contusion and he is definitely close to going into hypovolemic shock. His vitals are dropping as we speak.” Eve said, looking down as she scrubbed her hands, over and over again. ‘Keeping her distance’ wasn’t going so well.

 

Villanelle couldn’t help but be impressed. Eve wasn’t even in cardio. Granted, neither was she, but Eve was so extremely smart. And Villanelle found it really hot.

 

“Alright, let’s get in there and see.” Kenny said, walking towards the OR.

 

Eve closed her eyes and sighed. She needed this man to live. It couldn’t be like her father. It just...couldn’t.

 

Villanelle instantly saw Eve was stressed or nervous. Or both. Villanelle didn’t know what the woman was feeling but she wanted to help. She put her hand on the small of Eve’s back, in a gesture to comfort her. Eve’s eyes opened at the contact and her head turned to Villanelle.

 

“You okay?” Villanelle said, looking right into Eve’s eyes. Fuck, they were so hazel.

 

She couldn’t tell Villanelle what had happened, they had just met. Elena barely knew the whole story.

 

Eve nodded and smiled. She started to follow Kenny into the OR.

 

They all were gowned and gloved and ready to work. As Kenny and Villanelle opened up the man’s chest, Eve started examining his legs. She would have to perform an angioplasty and put a stent in the right leg. She realized the left would be fine in time with a cast.

 

Kenny and Villanelle were able to stabilize his vitals quite quickly. They assessed the damage and Kenny, doing his best to teach Villanelle, tried asking her questions. 

 

She instantly said what they needed to do as if it was the easiest question in the world. 

 

Drain the blood from the heart. Repair the blood vessels. Insert a chest tube to prevent fluid buildup. Placement of a pacemaker to help regulate heartbeat.

 

So, she was smart. Eve swallowed and tried to focus. She found intelligence very attractive.

 

Eve was always very quiet while she worked. Villanelle wasn’t. 

 

“So Eve, what are you doing?” Villanelle said, looking over at Eve as she let Kenny repair the blood vessels.

 

“Oh um just putting a stent in this leg.” She said, taken aback by the question.

 

“Tell me about it. Talk me through it.” Villanelle said, looking down at the man’s chest.

 

She had never heavily considered trauma as a specialty, she had too much of it in her personal life. But, she really loved hearing Eve talk.

 

“Well, luckily, the injury wasn’t too extreme. It just nicked the artery here.” She pointed, when she realized Villanelle was looking over to where she was working.

 

Villanelle gave a hum of agreement.

 

“Next I guided a thin tube, the catheter, through the artery to here, the heavily damaged area.” Eve said, pointing again, but lower on the man’s leg.

 

“Ok…and then?” Villanelle said, paying attention to Eve, but still attending to Kenny with the blood vessels.

 

“Now I am inserting another catheter with a balloon on the end over the guidewire, into that same affected area. The stent expands when the balloon is blown up. The artery will then stay open so--” Eve said as she was doing it, but was interrupted.

 

“So blood can be resupplied to the area.” Villanelle finished for her, looking up at her and smiling.

 

Eve was in awe. At one point, Eve was sure Villanelle had checked out. It wasn’t the most interesting stuff for everyone. Eve thought to reiterate what she was doing helped herself more than anyone. 

 

But, here she was, Villanelle paying attention the whole time, while working on her own surgery, and then finishing her sentence. Gorgeous, kind, smart. Eve was starting to think it might be hard to keep her distance. 

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The man had pulled through. His vitals were stable and would be put into a recovery room and then into intensive care.

 

Villanelle, Eve, and Kenny were all taking their gowns and gloves off when Eve realized the time. Her shift was finished. So was Villanelle’s.

 

They all walked towards the elevator, heading for the Lounge. It wasn’t an awkward silence because of Kenny, but Eve couldn’t help but wonder how different it would be if he wasn’t there. 

 

Don’t get her wrong, she really liked Kenny. She always wondered if he liked Elena because Eve thought they’d be great together. Elena disagreed.

 

But, as if there was some force out there listening to Eve’s thoughts, Kenny’s phone rang as they walked up to the elevator.

 

“Oh god, Konstantin and Carolyn emergency! Gotta go, see you guys later!” He said, running down the hall with his phone to his ear, talking indistinctly. It must’ve not been a medical emergency as either, if not both, of the women, would’ve been called.

 

This elevator was going to be the death of her, Eve thought. When it opened, both Eve and Villanelle walked in, brushing shoulders. Eve thought she shuddered at the physical contact, but she doesn’t think she actually did because Villanelle would’ve had a reaction.

 

Luckily, there was someone else in the elevator. Eve took a moment to recognize her but eventually she did, it was Nadia. She assumed her shift was also ending.

 

“Nadia.” Villanelle said, nodding at her.

 

“Oh uh hi.” Nadia said, suddenly seeming very shy and non-forthcoming. 

 

Eve knew Nadia was on the shy side but she seemed scared or startled at the sight of Villanelle. Villanelle wasn’t that scary. And, sure, maybe her beauty was startling but not in this way.

 

They stood, awkwardly, for only two floors. And, not the Lounge’s floor, Nadia rushed out. Eve was beyond confused.

 

When the doors closed again, Eve didn’t even realize they were now alone.

 

“Why was she so scared of you?” Eve laughed, because it was a little funny.

 

“Well I may have slept with her a few nights ago, not thinking it would be anything serious. But I guess she thought differently. And then I found out she worked here, it became…. what do Americans say? Awkward?” Villanelle said, shrugging. 

 

Eve swallowed. The thought of Villanelle sleeping with other people was one that did not make her comfortable. 

 

Ugh, she really needed to find a way to get over that. Eve was never the jealous type, especially of someone she had just met and was not dating. 

 

So, this feeling was new to her. A lot of this was new to her. Yes, she had been with girls at college and had an actual attraction to many of them. 

 

Yet, she never really considered her sexuality at that point. Never really questioned it. Especially, since she met Niko. She never needed to.

 

Now, however, she might need to, if she hadn’t already.

 

“Oh so you like…” Eve lost the words when she turned to Villanelle, who’s head was already turned to her. When Eve met those hazel eyes, especially at this distance, her brain forgot how to make words. Not helpful. 

 

“Women? Yes, Eve. Very much.” Villanelle grinned, turning fully and taking a step closer to her. 

 

“Oh that’s well that’s..” Eve was now able to smell Villanelle’s perfume so her brain was not functioning at all anymore. 

 

Eventually, Eve would get Villanelle back for this. Just… not right now.

 

Villanelle felt bad, she didn’t mean to make Eve fluster this much. Now that she knew Eve liked her too, she decided to help her out, but just this once.

 

“So, still up for helping me unpack? And maybe getting food? I have no idea of any good places around.” Villanelle lied. She had been around the neighborhood multiple times, trying different restaurants and shops.

 

Eve was relieved. She knew Villanelle was helping her out. She needed it.

 

“Yeah, there’s a nice small bakery and ice cream place just down the street so..” Eve trailed off as she saw Villanelle bite her lip while she was speaking.

 

“I love ice cream. Meet you outside?” Villanelle said, as the elevator doors opened. How did she do that?

 

“Yup. See you there.” Eve said as they got out, greeted by Hugo and Jess.

 

“Oh hey guys!” Jess said, waving, walking with Hugo.

 

They walked to the Lounge as a group. Hugo and Jess started talking about the patient they just saw but Eve couldn’t listen. 

 

Her mind was solely focused on ice cream. And Villanelle. Villanelle and ice cream.  

 

What did ‘keeping a distance’ mean anyway?