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The Night Shift

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Thursday Night

 

“Eeeevvvveeeee…” Villanelle whines as she sits on the edge of the bed, watching the brunette change into her scrubs and get ready for her night shift. 

 

Being a surgeon isn’t easy, as most of us can assume. It requires countless hours of studying, training, and… surgery. However, one of the hardest aspects, something many people forget about, is the nightshift. Eve has Thursday nights. Villanelle has Tuesday nights. Both hate it but the blonde really hates it. Why, you ask? Well, ever since they got married, and even before then, Villanelle finds it very hard to sleep in their bed alone. She’s become so used to Eve’s presence, her smell, her hair. All of it. So, when she has to spend a whole night without it, it’s very hard. No matter if it happens every week.  

 

“Yes, sweetheart?” Eve asks as she pulls her scrub shirt over a white tank-top, now standing in front of her wife.

 

“I do not want you to go.” The blonde huffs, crossing her arms like a child.

 

“I know, baby,” The brunette kneels in front of her, resting her hands on Villanelle’s thighs, a form of this reassurance happens every Thursday night, “But I’ll be back when you wake up.”

 

“No, you won’t.” 

 

“What do you mean? I will, I get off at 6. I’ll be back here by 6:15.”

 

“No, I mean, I won’t be able to sleep.” She mumbles, slightly embarrassed. It’s not embarrassing but… she’s never been able to tell Eve, other than the fact that she’ll miss her, why she despises Thursday nights. It’s difficult enough to rely on a person so much but then having to tell them how much you rely on them… unfathomable.

 

“Ah,” The brunette quickly understands, standing up and sitting next to the blonde, leaving one hand on her thigh, “Because I won’t be here?” They can read each other like a book.

 

Villanelle nods, looking down at Eve’s hand, her wedding ring.

 

“I know it’s hard…” Eve whispered, now rubbing indistinct designs on the blonde’s thigh, as she contemplated a solution.

 

“Is there anything I can do to make you stay?” The blonde looked up and leaned toward the consultant, her eyes much darker than the last time Eve saw them.

 

“You know I can’t,” The brunette feels Villanelle’s fingers as they attempt to undo her scrub’s waistband tie, “Not even for this.” She gently puts her hand over the blonde’s.

 

“Please, Eve,” Villanelle’s head dips to attack the brunette’s neck with bites and kisses, “I will make it worth it, I promise.” Eve’s heart still skips a beat when she hears the blonde’s accent curl around certain words. 

 

However, surgery. Hospital. Work.

 

“I have an idea,” Eve forces herself to turn her body and face her wife, their hands now intertwined, “How ‘bout I call you?”

 

“Like, on your break? That will not really going to help me sleep since it-”

 

“Let me finish, baby,” Villanelle obeys, focusing on the ‘baby’, “I can call you, and put my phone in my pocket. You can hear me while I work and it’ll be like you’re right here next to me the whole night.”

 

The blonde furrows her brow, creating lines between her eyebrows that Eve finds weirdly attractive.

 

“It could work…” She says slowly, smiling a little.

 

“Hmmm, okay we’ll try it out, yeah?” Eve gets up and heads to the living room, the blonde following her.

 

“Okay… but what if I fall asleep?” She asks as the brunette throws her coat on.

 

“That’s kind of the goal, isn’t it?” Villanelle rolls her eyes at this, she has a love-hate relationship with sarcastic Eve.

 

“Also if you do fall asleep,” Eve starts, putting her shoes on, “I’ll get to listen to you snore.”

 

“Snore?” The blonde almost yells, “I do not snore!”

 

“Yes, you do, sweetheart,” Eve pecks her lips and turns to the door, “It’s adorable, and I can’t wait to hear it! I love you!” She closes the door before Villanelle can get a word in.

 

Eve calls from the hospital. 

 

“Hi, doctor.” The blonde picks up after one ring.

 

“Hi, doctor.” Eve counters, smiling as she walks into the large fluorescent-light-filled Trauma Center.

 

“How is this going to work?” Villanelle is laying out like a starfish on their bed, staring at the ceiling, “I want you here.”

 

“I know you do. And I want to be there too, but… this could be a nice alternative, right? It’s like you’re just sitting here in my pocket.” 

 

“Fine!” She groans, slumping against her and Eve’s pillows.

 

“Okay, I’m going to put you in my pocket now… I love you. A lot.” Eve stops and rests her hip on the front desk, as patients and doctors pass. Her focus is on Villanelle.

 

“I love you more.” Villanelle huffs.

 

“I love you most! Bye!” Eve stuffed her phone into her scrubs pocket before the blonde could rebuttal. This could be fun. For Eve.

 

Villanelle was tired, she required her beauty sleep. But she was listening to Eve talk to her patients, talk to Elena, even her boring (and slightly uncomfortable) conversation with Hugo.. and she was enjoying it? Eve was right, it was really like being next to her but without being able to say anything. She had never been good with listening and now listening was all she could do. She needed to sleep if she was going to go to work tomorrow but hearing Eve, while she worked, was new and exciting. They worked in the same hospital, both as surgeons, but they’re in different specialties. They occasionally worked the same case and performed surgeries together but that was the only time they’d see each other at work. They’d see each other at the hospital for lunch, during breaks, and in the on-call rooms. But seeing each other as they worked, as they did surgeries, as they talked to patients… very rare. So, Villanelle was hooked. Hearing how Eve talked to patients, other coworkers, she even heard her perform a surgery!! A cholecystectomy, no less. Very exciting stuff.

 

When there was a lull in conversation, the blonde would try to do things around the apartment to stay awake. She washed the kitchen counter 3 times, opened and closed the balcony door twice, and she even reorganized her accessories. None of it helped because the blonde could barely stay awake. She kept trying to listen to her phone but there were a few minutes where Eve wouldn’t be talking. That’s when her eyes started to close. And it was 4:30 AM. She had to be awake in two hours for her shift. She had just drifted off to sleep when… 

 

“V? Are you there?” Eve was taking a break, sitting in The Lounge, but then she saw the time, “Oh god, I really hope you’re asleep. You better be.” She smiled to herself and pulled the phone closer to her ear. 

 

That’s when she heard it.

 

She hadn’t been lying when she said Villanelle snored. She does, in a way. It’s not what you’d usually think of when you think of snoring, it’s more of a buzz? Maybe a light humming? No… a purr! It’s a purr. When Eve first saw Villanelle, she did describe her eyes as cat-like. So, yes, a purr is very fitting. 

 

Don’t get her wrong, Eve loves the blonde’s purr. She noticed it as she slept over more toward the beginning of their relationship. And now she notices it almost every night. Sometimes, she even waits up at night so she can hear it. Isn’t that crazy? The brunette willingly losing sleep to hear a snore. But there’s something about the sound that makes her feel right at home, right where she belongs. What Eve is trying to say is that Villanelle wasn’t the only one having a hard time with these night shifts.

 

She leans back on the couch, the phone squished to her ear and she just… listens. It’s all she wants to do. It’s not the same as being cuddled up next to her and hearing it up close, but it’s a decent substitute. Sure, she wanted to hear the blonde’s voice but then again, it was 4:30 AM. She was glad Villanelle had fallen asleep, she needed her rest.

 

Eve listened for a few more minutes but eventually her break ended and she was forced to put her phone back into her pocket. As she tended to her last few patients, she notices how the time is going much quicker. The past few hours had felt so slow. Yes, she had things to do and the Trauma Center was usually more crowded at night than the day, but time was annoying. It felt like an hour had passed but when she looked at the clock, it had been 10 minutes. 

 

All she wanted to do was be asleep next to her wife or at least talk to her on the phone but she couldn’t do either. She loved her work but the night shifts were really hard. Not only did it completely fuck up her sleep schedule, but she missed her wife. Simple as that. Speaking of, it was finally 6:00. She didn’t even change out of her scrubs, she just grabbed her purse and sprinted out of St. Thomas. She got to their apartment in record time, just under 10 minutes. She wasn’t a runner but when she had somewhere to be, she had somewhere to be. And she had to be in bed with her wife.

 

Her phone was still on and she could hear Villanelle’s purr as she walked up the stairs. She heard it all the way until she was standing next to her and heard it in-person. The blonde took up the entire bed, in an effort to forget about Eve’s absence, so the brunette carefully slid under the sheets next to her, with her scrubs and all. 

 

She enjoyed the silence for a few moments. There were no sounds other than her own breathing and Villanelle’s purr.

 

“Good morning.” She finally said, pushing a stroke of messy blonde hair behind Villanelle’s ear.

 

“Eve?” She mumbled, groggily, trying to sit up.

 

“Yes,” Eve chuckled, who else would it be? “How were you? Did the phone help you fall asleep?”

 

Villanelle nodded, now looking at the brown eyes she fell in love with. She carefully took her hand and gently pulled the hair tie out of Eve’s hair and watched her curls fall to her shoulders.

 

“I still missed you, though.” 

 

“I missed you too.”

 

“You are very good with your patients. I liked that one old man. He was nice.” Eve had a few patients that night, all of which she remembered, but she forgot that the blonde was listening to them the whole time.

 

“He was nice but that was very late, babe. Did you get any sleep at all?” 

 

“A few hours,” Eve opened her mouth to protest but Villanelle continued, “But I don’t mind. I really liked listening to you work.” The brunette softened, putting a hand against the blonde’s cheek.

 

“Then we will make that a weekly thing, okay? And you can do the same for me when you have the night shift.” Villanelle quickly nodded, then looked over to the clock on the bedside table.

 

“I better get ready for work,” She smirked, pecked Eve’s lips, and stood up to go into the adjacent bathroom, “I’ll call you when I get to the hospital!” She half-yelled as she closed the bathroom door.

 

-------------

 

Tuesday Night

 

Villanelle’s shift. 

 

Eve was handling it better than the blonde but… that wasn't saying much.

 

“You will be okay?” The blonde was putting her hair in a low bun as she looked at the brunette in the mirror.

 

“I’ll be fine, sweetheart.” Eve finished brushing her teeth, spit in the sink, and kissed Villanelle on the check as she headed into the bedroom.

 

She would not be fine.

 

“Do you still want to…” Villanelle gestured around, not knowing the word for this arrangement they had.

 

“Call? Yeah, I’d like that.” Eve sat down on the bed, gazing at her wife, who looked… nervous?

 

“You know I can call Carolyn, I’m sure she doesn’t need me all night. It might even be easier for-”

 

“V, stop. You’re the best neurosurgeon at St. Thomas. They need you.”

 

“Oh stop,” She grinned, throwing a hand up in dismissal, “But don’t. Please tell me how good I am.” She starts to straddle Eve, cupping her face. The brunette’s hands instinctively went to the blonde’s waist.

 

“You are amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Gorgeous.” The consultant said somewhat mockingly but she means every word.

 

“I love you.” Villanelle rests her forehead against Eve’s. When did she become this soft?

 

“I love you too.” Eve kisses her. It’s a feeling that still hasn’t gotten old. The softness of her lips, the small moan she hears when she takes her by surprise, the subconscious circling of her thumbs across her cheek. Everything.

 

“You better go.” The brunette mumbles against the blonde’s lips.

 

“Ugh, tease.” She groans as she stands off of her wife and heads to the living room. She stops at the door and leans against the frame.

 

“I’ll call you when I get to the hospital.” 

 

“Okay.”

 

“Okay.”

 

They stare at each other for a few moments before Eve starts laughing.

 

“Go please! If you keep looking at me like that, I’m not going to let you leave.” She motions for the blonde to go toward the front door.

 

“When I get back, you are going to tell me what you mean by that,” She turns and walks through the doorway, “Ti amo tanto!” She yells as she leaves the apartment.

 

Eve slumps onto the bed and sighs. It’s going to be a long night.

 

Villanelle does do what she said. She calls as she gets to the hospital.

 

“It’s still weird to be here at night.” The blonde recognizes, some nights are crowded and some nights you barely see anyone. She never knew what kind of night it would be until she got there.

 

“Yeah, it's completely different from what it’s like during the day.” 

 

“I don’t like it.” Villanelle states, frowning at some of the other registrars.

 

“I know. I’d much rather you be here with me but it’s only once a week.” Eve tries to reassure her but she didn’t like the night shifts either.

 

“It’s two nights. Your night and mine,” The brunette hums sadly in agreement before the blonde continues, “Is it bad? That I find it hard to sleep without you?” She’s whispering now. She can be soft around Eve, but she has a reputation to uphold at the hospital.

 

“Not at all, baby. I find it hard to sleep without you too. It just shows how much we need each other,” They both smile as the brunette talks, both knowing how right she is, “It’s not ideal, but this phone thing is better than nothing.”

 

“I never knew a ‘phone thing’ could mean something so…,” Villanelle tries to place the word, “Innocent.”

 

“Oh and what exactly is another ‘phone thing’?” 

 

“If I wasn’t walking through a hall of children right now, I would love to show you.” Her voice lowered as she smirked. She really was passing children, the Pediatrics wing, and that was the only reason she didn’t duck into a storage room. 

 

“Alright alright, you can show me when you get back,” Eve laughed, missing the blonde even more, “You better get to work. Save lives or whatever.”

 

“Okay, la mia vita,” The brunette loved when Villanelle spoke Italian, so the registrar purposely did it more often, “I’m putting you in my pocket now.”

 

“Okay, I love you.”

 

“I love you more!” And she shoved her phone into her scrubs pocket. She was slightly annoyed when Eve cut her off last time when she put her phone in her pocket. This was her revenge. Just a little revenge.

 

Villanelle had too many patients. So many that she was losing her patience. She loved her job, she especially loved her specialty. Neuro. But little did she know, she would be working with children tonight. She had already passed the Pediatrics wing, but she was called right back. 

 

“You have got to be fucking kidding me.” She mumbled under her breath as she basically stomped back toward the children. Eve was smiling and laughing on the other side of the line. Villanelle had occasionally worked with children before and the brunette heard the horror stories, but now she’d be right next to her as it happened. Who needs sleep anyway?

 

“Dr. Astankova. Room 3.” Some irrelevant registrar nodded his head toward the room.

 

When she entered, she recognized Hugo. Oh, this is wonderful. 

 

“Oh hey, I forgot you work Thursday nights,” He said, looking up from the patient, who was a young boy, maybe 10 or 11. Short dark hair, chubby face. Kinda cute. “This is Bor’ka. We just got his CT scan back.” Hugo hands Villanelle a manila folder. 

 

The blonde opens it to a scan, which she looks at through the light. Usually she’d go into the imaging room but she was called here last minute, so she knew it was urgent. And as she looked at the scan, she realized why. A medulloblastoma. It was the most common cancerous brain tumor in children. Luckily, the survival rate was high, so Villanelle tried to be optimistic. She didn’t work with kids often but for some reason, this one made her feel… sad. Awful, really. But she was confident. She could remove it. She'd help Bor’ka live a normal, long, happy, healthy life.

 

She closed the folder, giving a brief look to Hugo, and went to sit next to the young patient.

 

“Hey,” She started but she discovered she had no idea how to talk to children, let alone sick children, “How are you feeling?” 

 

The boy shrugged, not wanting to make eye contact.

 

“Are your… parents here?” She just realized there was no one else in the room other than her, Hugo, and the young boy.

 

“They sent him here from Russia. They can’t afford flights for themselves and the… hospital bills.” Hugo said, from the foot of the bed.

 

This was a lot to take in for the blonde, so much so that she forgot about the phone in her pocket. However, Eve was still listening. She was listening to every word. Because they knew each other so well, she knew how much this would affect Villanelle. She just wished she could be there with her. But, she knew the blonde was strong enough to handle it. She didn't need Eve, but the brunette was there, no matter what.

 

“Well, I am here,” She looked back at the boy, who she could tell was sad. She was very good at reading people. She never had to study children, but they were just smaller adults, right? Bo’rka was sitting there, clutching a stuffed teddy bear as he looked away from both registrars. “What is it’s name?” The blonde gestured to the bear. 

 

“Elton,” He smiled and looked up to her, “Like the singer.”

 

“Ah yes, the singer. That is very… nice. He is cute.” She was trying. Eve had to stifle her laughter. This was the most precious thing she could ever be a part of. Well, she wasn’t really a part of it, but you know what I mean. They’d never thought of having children but maybe this would change the blonde’s view on them.

 

Hugo cleared his throat, bringing the blonde back to the harsh reality of why they were here. She stood up and gestured for Hugo to follow.

 

“I will be right back, Elton.” She made a point of looking at the bear and winking at the young boy, hopefully trying to make him feel better. She never felt like she’d needed to do that before. But there was something about this kid that made her heart ache. All she wanted was for him to feel better.

 

Hugo and Villanelle moved to stand outside in the hallway.

 

“I’m going to stay with him. For the night.” She announces.

 

“What do you mean? He seems alright and you have other-”

 

“I am staying with him.” Villanelle gives him a look, one that says ‘do what I say or I will harm you.’ 

 

“O-kay,” He blows out a breath and looks at his clipboard, “I’ll find someone else to cover your other patients.” He tries to smile.

 

The blonde just nods and walks back into Bo’rka’s room but she turns as she passes the doorframe.

 

“Get us some snacks,” She demands to Hugo, but remembers what Eve says about manners so she adds, “Please.”

 

She can feel Eve smile through the phone in her pocket.

 

Villanelle does stay with Bo’rka (and Elton) for the rest of the night. They chat for a little while, about Elton John mostly, but a little about Russia too. The blonde finds Bo’rka’s view of the place fascinating. He really wants to travel. Specifically, to London. Well, even more specifically, to Pinner (where Elton John was born). He said his parents sent him here for better medical care because they knew something was wrong. They wanted to go with him but they said they would rather him get help here than Russia, even if it meant not being there with him. Villanelle admired this. Her parents wouldn’t have sacrificed that much for her, so she was happy Bo’rka had parents that would do that for their children.

 

Eventually, the young boy fell asleep, his arms wrapped tightly around Elton the bear. Villanelle sat for a few moments before remembering. Eve! She grabbed her phone out of her pocket, put it to her ear, and quietly walked outside into the hallway.

 

“Eve, are you awake?” She had no idea what time it was.

 

“I am, baby.” Her voice was raspy and she was curled up on their bed but she couldn’t go to sleep. Not only was Villanelle away from her, but she wanted to hear her wife and Bo’rka’s conversation. It was important to the blonde, so it was important to Eve. She didn’t want to miss it. She could sleep when she was dead. 

 

“Naughty, Eve! You should be asleep.” She couldn’t help but smile at hearing her wife’s voice, no matter how sleepy it was.

 

“I wanted to listen to you,” She cuddled closer to her pillows, “He’s a sweet boy.”

 

“He is. I feel… bad,” Villanelle looks at him through the window, sleeping peacefully, “I want to help him.”

 

“You will, you’re the best neurosurgeon I know.” 

 

“How many neurosurgeons do you know?” 

 

“A few, actually. I dated one once. A long time ago.” She laughed slightly, knowing the reaction she’d get from her wife.

 

“Oooo, you have a type then, hmm?” 

 

“I guess so. But you are much prettier than he was.”

 

“Good. I bet I am better in bed too.” She looks at the clock on the wall. 5:45. Where did the time go? Doesn’t matter, her shift was almost over and she could see Eve soon. That’s what mattered.

 

“Yes, you are, darling.” 

 

“I am on my way back to you, amore mio,” She was running to change out of her scrubs and get back to her apartment, “Wait up for me, please.”

 

“You know I will.” 

 

Villanelle’s heart melted. This woman was the love of her life. Her home. And she was running back to her right now. 

 

The blonde did actually run in her freetime so she got back to their apartment in 7 minutes. Good job, V! She raced up the stairs and swung the door open, not even waiting to check if it closed before running into the bedroom and jumping on the bed. Well, she actually jumped on Eve, but we’ll just say she jumped onto the bed.

 

“Mmm,” She was hugging the brunette from behind, squeezing her so tight Eve found it hard to breathe but she knew the blonde wasn’t going to loosen up, “Funny seeing you here.”

 

Eve chuckled. “I missed you too,” She snuggled into her wife further, “God, I’m tired.”

 

“Me too,” She moved Eve’s hair to the side and kissed the brunette’s neck, “Let’s sleep.”

 

They both fell asleep instantly in each other’s arms.