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That was the first thing that Jared was aware of as he fell back onto his bed and kicked his feet up, crossing them at the ankles. He relaxed back into the pillow and blew out a slow breath. He knew his parents were downstairs in the kitchen, his sister had disappeared somewhere into her room, but he couldn’t hear any of them. It was strange. Compared to the endless noise the dorm hallways always had, the silence was almost uncomfortable. Almost.

It had been a long semester and Jared was ready to not pick up a textbook for at least the next four weeks. He closed his eyes and pulled at the front of his shirt, the cool air sweeping against his sweaty skin. It was definitely weird to be back in Texas. The dry heat, although hot, was nothing compared to the humid May air of New England, and he was grateful for the Central Air circulating through the house. He thought of how Chad would be just as hot in New York as he’d been in New Hampshire and he chuckled softly.

Speaking of… Jared chuckled as he reached into his back pocket for his phone to send his friend a quick message. Part of him already missed his best friend, though he wouldn’t miss the obnoxious snoring.

Chad [6:42pm]: Not mad at me anymore?

Jared rolled his eyes at Chad’s response. Despite being on Chad’s ass about packing the night before, he’d still woken up to his frantic best friend trying to shove the rest of his things into two large duffel bags. Jared had helped --even though it meant skipping getting them coffee-- and they just barely made it to the bus stop for their Concord Coach down to Boston.

As soon as they took their seats in the darkened bus, Chad had started to grumble about not getting breakfast. Jared must have given him quite the look because Chad had snapped his mouth shut and then plugged in his earphones to spend the hour ride sleeping against the bus window. He’d hugged Chad goodbye as the bus pulled into South Station--Chad making his quick exit before the driver lost patience to catch a MegaBus back to NYC--and Jared relaxed back into the seat for the fifteen minute ride to the airport.

Jared [6:43pm]: Depends. Does staying mad at you do me any good?

Jared tossed his phone down onto the bed and turned to look at his bags. Part of him knew he should be unpacking a little bit—his mom would be on him soon enough if he chose to just live out of his suitcase for the next two months—but he lacked any energy to do anything further. He’d spent seven hours, with a half hour layover in Minneapolis, staring at his carry-on and that was good enough for him.

His phone chirped from the bed and Jared took that as a sign to flop back down and pick it up.

Chad [6:46pm]: I’ll spam you with all the pussy I’m getting.

Jared chuckled as his phone chirped four more times. Each text was a picture of Chad’s fat, orange tabby cat Marvin, named after Marvin Gaye of course.

Jared [6:50pm]: Yeah, yeah. You’re forgiven, I guess.

Jared smirked at the next picture of Chad sticking up his middle finger. Another notification popped up and Jared hit it, his phone opening up his Twitter app.

↰In reply to Jared P.
Jackles @profjackles · 4 min
@mooseRN I may be biased, but they secretly know that #maleRNs are the best.

Jared clicked on the tweet and laughed when he remembered his frustrating last day of clinical.

Jared P. @mooseRN · 6d
“Can I have the real nurse?” “Uh, you’re a nurse?” “You’re… a guy.” #maleRNproblems #studentnurse

He hit reply.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles is this because you ARE a #maleRN or because you’ve been taken care of by one?

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN I am an RN, actually. I am hardly ever on the floor anymore. I've worked 12 years in cardiac and 6 years in rehab #awesomemaleRN

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles I was just on a cardiac floor! I learned a lot but realized I know zip. I've never felt more inadequate. #studentnurseproblems

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN I think all nursing students feel that way. I definitely would never want to go back to that. #nursingschoolsucks ;)

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles ain’t that the truth.

A knock on the door made Jared look up and he dropped his phone to the mattress beside him. He looked over as the door opened and Megan slipped in.

“Jeff’s almost here,” she said as she crossed the room and dropped down on the bed beside him, “and Mom expects us to be washed up and ready-”

Jared smiled and nudged his sister with his shoulder as he finished the sentence with her, “-for dinner in five. Not much has changed around here, has it?”

“Well…” Megan thought for a second. “It’s a heck of a lot quieter without having to listen to your crappy music playing in here.”

“Hey!” Jared protested, shoving against her harder. “It’s not my fault I don’t listen to the emo crap you listen to.”

“It’s not ‘emo’, Jared. It’s punk, thank you very much.”

Jared turned on his side to look at Megan whose arms were crossed tightly over her chest and she was staring up at the ceiling.

“Besides, anything is better than your country crap.”

“Shut up,” Jared laughed and sat up, reaching under Megan’s leg for his phone. “I’ll beat you downstairs.”

“That’s just because you’re a long-legged freak of nature!” Megan shot back and threw her legs over the side of the bed to sit beside him. She waited a pause, then yanked on his shoulder, hard, causing Jared to fall back on the bed. “Sucker!” Megan called over her shoulder as she bolted out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her just as Jared reached it.

He flung it open and burst into laughter as he heard his mom scolding her for slamming doors.

It was good to be home.

Jared blew out a slow breath and tried to calm the overwhelming sense of nausea.

It wasn’t working. He was going to throw up.

He’d been up for six hours now, refreshing BlackBoard’s grade page repeatedly. They’d said the grades would be posted sometime in the morning, three weeks after the final. It was almost ten o’clock! There wasn’t much ‘morning’ left! He refreshed the page again, held his breath as the screen went white, and then fought the urge to throw his phone across the room.

Chad [10:01am]: Passed with flying colors!

Chad [10:02am]: Or, well, a C. But still!!! I PASSED MAN!

Chad [10:02am]: And Mr. Perfect got an A, am I right?

Jared [10:03am]: Haven’t posted yet.

Chad [10:04am]: Ouch. Keep me updated.

Jared sighed and then realized he never replied to his friend’s good news. Also, Chad had been complaining the entire semester about the one English class he’d missed that was required for his major. It had been a nightmare helping him study for it, with countless drunken ramblings of how he ‘already spoke English!’ and ‘There’s no reason for this shit to be so fucking hard’.

Jared [10:05am]: Well now you can officially be the best damn hydrologist I know! And the rest of the world will be able to understand you, especially now that you’re a proficient C in English.

Chad [10:06am]: Shut up.

Jared refreshed the grade page again and groaned in frustration. Still nothing.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
Waiting for your final grade, if possible, is worse than taking the actual test. I’m going to vomit. #nursingschoolproblems

His stomach rolled again and he twisted, rolling over to lay on his stomach so he could bury his face in his pillow. He wondered what would happen if he did fail… He knew his parents would let him come back home. Hell, over the past few weeks all his mother could talk about was how nice it was to have him home and how much she missed him. So he at least had a place to stay.

But then what?

His stomach turned again. Last semester, they had gone from a class of one-hundred and eight to ninety-four. He hadn’t been close to any of the students that chose to drop or had failed, but part of him now wished he had been. What were they doing now? Did they try again? Were they going back? Were they destined to work at a McDonald's for the rest of their lives and never step foot in a hospital again?

Once again, he started thinking about the final. If there was one thing he’d learned from nursing school so far, it was that there is usually more than one answer, and the best one may not be the right one, depending on who is asking. Nursing is extremely situational, and a test question just… isn’t. Trying to make something black and white that’s really technicolor? Well, Jared was screwed.

He’d known the moment he had walked out that he’d messed up his ABGs… He’d flipped respiratory and metabolic acidosis and really, who even does that?! He would never end up being a nurse… there was no way he passed. The last few weeks of the semester, the entire class had crunched their numbers to see what they needed on their final to pass the semester as a whole. Jared himself needed to get a 62%... but there was no way. Not when he couldn’t remember--

A ping from his phone made him pull out of the pillow and for a second, he thought the grades had updated. He rolled his eyes at his own wishful thinking and checked the notification.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN I am sure you did fine! Afterall, #maleRNs are the best. Deep breath.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles No, I am pretty sure I bombed and I am a failure and will only ever be a wannabe #maleRN.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN I am trying not to laugh over here… Waiting for grades was probably the worst thing in nursing school. Pure torture. I empathize.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles Yes, it is. And obviously you managed to pass where I am positive that I have failed

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN What makes you think you failed? I am sure you did great. Your feed shows you care, are passionate, & spent a lot of time studying.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@profjackles I completely screwed up my ABGs… and I think I mixed up hypo/hyper thyroid disorders. And… *head desk*

He waited a beat, but there were no new notifications. For a moment, Jared had the awful thought that he couldn’t even start a friendship properly, when his phone alerted him he had a private message.

Hey! I figured this would be easier than a million small tweets. I know this doesn’t help you right now, but I have a YouTube channel with nursing videos that will help you remember things easier, like cranial nerves or ABGs, lab values, assessments, etc. There’s a few with nursing processes, different systems disorders, pain scales… That is, if you’re a visual learner. I never could learn from textbooks and power points, so I made these to help me remember through school and I’ve gotten a lot of followers on it who have said it’s helped them too! I’m on YouTube as profjackles as well.
10:20 AM

And really… breathe. There is nothing to panic about. You came out of your final and tweeted that you felt confident, happy it was over. So you’ve got this! Don’t worry until there’s actually something to worry about.
10:21 AM

I don’t know how you had the time to do any of that… I can barely get a few hours at the bookstore in between studying, class and lecture, and you were able to make YouTube videos?! Color me impressed… I honestly don’t know how to stop worrying. What if I DID fail? Then what happens?!
10:22 AM

If you failed… then you figure out why you failed and you go back and kick ass next semester. If you failed, you find better study habits, gain a better support system, cut back on working or carbs or whatever else might have interfered with you being successful, and then you go back and you become successful because IF you fail, it will be temporary.

But, for the record, I don’t believe that you failed.
10:23 AM

You don’t even know me… I could be the worst student ever and just pretending to tweet about my good grades and successful clinical days. I could honestly be a horrible, horrible candidate as an RN and would be much better suited for the wonderful world of MacD’s.
10:24 AM

I really do like a good burger… Could you aim a little higher than McDonald’s, maybe Red Robbin?
10:25 AM

Hah. Hah. Hah. You’re funny Jackles.
10:26 AM

Red Robbin… YUM!
10:26 AM

That’s it, when I become the best server (cashier?!) at Red Robbin, I will refuse you burgers.
10:27 AM

Ouch. That’s cold, man… Here I am, supporting you in your endeavors, whichever they may be, and you’re going to cut me off from quick, delicious burgers.
10:28 AM

Hey, Jared… I’ve got a good feeling. Check your grades.
10:30 AM

Jared read the last message and felt his heart seize. For a moment, he’d actually forgotten about his stupid grade and had felt himself smiling. The nausea returned as he pressed the home button on his phone and found the Blackboard app.

It seemed like his fingers were frozen, stiff as they navigated through the pages to Tools and then Grades. The page seemed to take ages to load.


“Mom!” Jared screamed as he threw himself off the bed, his heart pounding wildly in his chest as he flung open his bedroom door and stumbled into the hall. His phone was clutched in his hand and his eyes were burning as he made his way to the downstairs office where his mom would be working.

Sherri looked up with an eyebrow raised and hit a button on her phone, silencing their end from the conference call she was on.

“Everything okay, honey?” she asked, shoving the chair beside her desk with her socked foot for Jared to sit in. Jared practically threw himself into the chair and shoved the phone into his mom’s hands.

She looked down at the screen, squinting as she read, and Jared was sure the air in the room was completely sucked out as he waited for his mom’s response.

“Oh, Jared…” Sherri looked up, eyes shining in the lamplight, and Jared held his breath. “Honey, you did so well!”

Jared couldn’t help but break out into a wide smile and was immediately on his feet as his mom moved towards him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and tugging him down into a hug. She squeezed him tight and the rest of the stress and tension Jared had been feeling, melted away in her arms.

“I am so proud of you!” she whispered against his ear. “We need to go and celebrate! I’ll grab my keys and we’ll head to--”

“Mom,” Jared laughed as he pushed her back to an arm’s length, straightening up to look down at her with a smile on his face. “You’re not finished working, remember?” There was a moment of silence between them in which they could hear the non-muted side of the conference call still going on.

“Oh, right.” Sherri looked sheepish and shoved her son away. “You distracted me!”

Jared rolled his eyes and took his phone back from his mom. She grabbed him as he made to leave and pulled him down again to kiss him on the cheek.

“We’ll all go out to dinner tonight, okay? I bet we could get Jeff and Katie to go with us, too. I’m proud of you baby!”

“Thanks, Mom.” Jared’s stomach gave a happy flip and he left just as Sherri unmuted the phone and seamlessly joined back into the conversation her colleagues were having. As he went to the kitchen to make himself a cup of coffee, he checked his phone.

Jackles @profjackles · 5m
Well?!?! @mooseRN! You can’t leave us all hanging!!! #whatdyouget #patientsisnotmyvirtue #SeeWhatIDidThere

Jackles @profjackles · 4m
@mooseRN Patients… hah. I am still laughing at myself. #nursinghumor #ineedmorecoffee

Jackles @profjackles · 2m
@mooseRN… I am hoping your silence is a good thing?

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 1m
@MooseRN Dude. @profjackles ain’t the only 1 waiting! I know u have ur phone on u. It’s attached 2 ur friggen head.

Jackles @profjackles · 1m
@ChaddasaurusRex @MooseRN It’s attached to his head? I am not sure how to picture that…

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @MooseRN Picture moose, freakishly tall n gangly w/iphone plastered 2 his head. Basically J in a nutshell. Even does moosecall

Jared rolled his eyes as Chad’s reply to Jackles came through and he immediately typed out his own response before grabbing his mug from beneath the Keurig and adding creamer and sugar to his coffee.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @profjackles Chad, you’re a douche. I don’t have the phone attached to my head.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@mooseRN @profjackles head, face, same difference.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN Maybe not the same, but similar for sure. Must make it hard to see…

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN Dudes always walking in2 things. Doors, walls, people, air. Tall n gangly man, tall n gangly.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN Guess he should invest in some padding. Maybe a helmet? #reallifenursingproblems

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN then the phone on his head could be like a headlamp. Perfect. So doing it next semester.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @profjackles I hate you both.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@mooseRN @ChaddasaurusRex Somehow I don’t question that. You did say you would deny me burgers. #cruelandunusualpunishment

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@mooseRN @profjackles B-L-O-W M-E B-I-T-C-H

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN Wow, that escalated quickly.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN He would. He’d love it 2. I m the chadmesiter, dr sexy in the house!

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN is that after the Heatmeister?

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN … the wut now?

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN The Heatmeister! From the Year Without Santa Claus?

Jared took a sip of his coffee and laughed as soon as his phone beeped with a text message from Chad.

Chad [11:14am]: Dude. Wtf is a heatmeister?

Chad [11:14am]: I feel stupid. Like, is my username supposed 2 mean something?

Jared [11:15am]: Remember the Rudolph movie? I think it was Heat Miser though…

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN I officially feel old.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN Well u r old. U got it wrong! Its heat miser not meister. So… #owned.

Jackles @profjackles · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN Oh, I see. My mistake. You are correct!

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@ChaddasaurusRex @profjackles You’re a toolbag Chad.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · now
@profjackles @mooseRN kisses bitchessss

Jared [11:20am]: lol really Chad? You had no freaking clue what he was talking about.

Chad [11:21am]: utilizing resources, jman. Isn’t that some nursing lesson crap?

Jared rolled his eyes and looked up as Megan shuffled into the kitchen, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Although he’d been out of school for over a month now, the high school had just gotten out four days earlier, and Megan was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunity to sleep in.

She grumbled a hello and reached over for Jared’s mug, immediately dragging it across the island so she could pick it up and down half of it in one go.

“That was mine,” Jared sighed as he accepted his half-empty mug back and smirked as his sister lifted the bottom of her shirt to wipe her mouth. “Real classy, Meg.”

“What can I say? Its how I get all the boys.” She sniffed and hopped up onto the stool beside Jared’s and leaned her head on his shoulder. “What was Mom all excited about?”

“I got an 87% for my final grade this semester,” he explained and swirled his cup around before taking a sip. “Mom’s thinking we’re going out to dinner tonight to celebrate.”

Megan nodded slowly, holding out her hand for his coffee again, and nudged his shoulder in her own form of ‘congratulations’. Then, after she drained his drink, she sighed.

“What?” he asked, accepting the empty cup and pushing up on the stool to deposit it into the sink across the island.

“Between celebrating your semester and me graduating this weekend? Do you even know how many times we’re going to go out to eat and get cake and all that crap?” She sighed again, then whined, “I’m going to get so fat! I’m going to have to go to the gym on Sunday and Wednesday this week!”

“Megan… since when do you even go to the gym ever?” Jared asked, raising an eyebrow. His sister turned and looked offended for a moment before she smirked.

“Okay, well, if I did go to the gym then I would have to work extra hard this week. Is that better?”

Jared just rolled his eyes and hopped off of the stool. “I’m sure you’ll survive,” he called over his shoulder in parting and heard his sister huff in response.

Back in his room, Jared shut the door behind him and collapsed backwards on the bed, a smile playing at his lips.

He did it. He actually fucking did it.

One year of nursing school, done and gone, and only two more left. He’d gotten all of his pre-requisites out of the way—his statistics class being how he met Chad in the first place—and now all he had to do was focus on the nursing centered courses over the next four semesters and he would be golden.

He couldn’t help the elated giggle that burst from his chest and then quickly shut it down, more than grateful that he was home and alone. Chad never would have let him live a noise like that down.

Speaking of… Jared pulled out his phone and realized he’d never actually told Chad or Jackles that he’d passed the course.

Hey! So… I don’t know if you assumed from me actually having an intelligent conversation with you instead of being a wreck and a half. But… I passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11:42 AM

See?! I told you!
11:43 AM

I am so happy for you! I knew you had it in the bag :) You must be feeling so relieved… I didn’t want to ask you on your feed, just in case. So I’m glad you told me!
11:45 AM

My mother had to be the first to know. I’m sure you know how that goes?
11:46 AM

Oh, don’t I. Moms are the best.
11:47 AM

Or they cook the best.
11:48 AM

Or, both options.
11:48 AM

I’ll go with both options. If I didn’t? My mom would kill me.
11:49 AM

LOL I hear that! So are you going out to celebrate tonight? Something like this deserves celebration!! First year done, right?
11:50 AM

Yeah, we’re going to go out as a family. Plus, my little sister finished high school and graduates on Friday, so it’s almost a preliminary celebration for that, too. I am in my second year, first year of nursing courses and clinical.
12:01 PM

Well that should be fun! I haven’t been able to get together with all of my family in far too long… And those are definitely reasons to celebrate! How many siblings do you have?
12:02 PM

I have an older brother and a younger sister. Jeff is three years older than me and Megan is six years younger.
12:02 PM

Middle children are the best.
12:02 PM

I may be biased on that statement too.
12:03 PM

Haha middle child, too? It’s definitely better than being the youngest or the oldest. I am sure I got away with much more than either one of my siblings. Its been a while since I’ve seen Jeff... he’s married now, has a kid on the way. My mom mentioned that Megan applied to my school for next year… It would be a different program but would be nice to have her around.
12:05 PM

I’m sure that would be a good experience for her, too, having her big brother around to show her how college life is. Too bad you’re a nursing student and your college life is all studying… She’s going to be bored out of her mind if she gets stuck with you! ;)
12:06 PM

Hey now, I’ve gone to a college party!! I stayed out way too late and even skipped class in the morning because I was too hungover to get out of bed!!!
12:07 PM

During your first year? The pre-requisites?
12:08 PM

Hah. I thought so.
12:12 PM

Well, you know what it’s like. You miss a lecture, you better be dying. You miss a clinical? You better be dead. Either way, you’re screwed.
12:13 PM

Yeah, I am not about that life anymore. I don’t miss being a student…
12:14 PM

I just keep telling myself, two more years, two more years.
12:15 PM

You’ll get there :)
12:16 PM

Chad [2:22am]: Dude. The girl I just boned was the most flexible a girl could ever be. Not even jokin’

Jared [2:23am]: Chad. Did you just wake me up to tell me about your sex life?

Chad [2:25am]: Its just like college. Would probably climbed in2 bed w/ u to tell u all about it at home. U no it 2.

Jared [2:26am]: I hate the way you write text.

Chad [2:26 am]: That is ur glorious response? U don’t like me text speaking? I just told u my night was bomb, and u want to be the grammar police?

Jared [2:28 am]: Just an observation. You woke me up, deal with it.

Chad [2:29am]: Love u2.

Chad [2:30am]: Love you too. Better?

Jared [2:31am]: Hope you wrapped your tool. You know the ‘flexible ones’ are the ‘best ones’. Isn’t that what you said about Sophia?

Chad [2:33am]: Do u take me as some kind of idiot? Course I wrapped my tool. I ain’t dumb!

Jared [2:34am]: …

Chad [2:35am]: Fuck u Paddles. Go back 2 sleep princess.

Jared opened his eyes slowly and blinked at the sun that was streaming through the thin crack of the blinds. He reached for his phone on the nightstand and scrolled through his Facebook feed to see if there was anything worth checking on since the night before, and then looked at his Twitter notifications.

He snorted as he saw the conversation that had gone on between Chad and Jackles while he’d been sleeping.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@mooseRN is a grumpy bitch in the middle of the night. #grammarnazi #getyoursleepprincess #paddlesneeds2bpaddled

Jackles @profjackles · 6h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN I am assuming you woke him up? Not sure I want to ask about the paddles part…

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles Yeah, @mooseRN needs a good paddling. Prolly like it 2 much 2 b honest…

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles Right @mooseRN? U kill 2 have me paddle U!

Jackles @profjackles · 6h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN I am not even sure how to respond to that. Beauty sleep is important. We obviously don’t need it.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles @mooseRN Dude, speaking my language. Don’t need beauty sleep, I’m the mothafucking Chadster!!!

Jackles @profjackles · 6h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN lol I thought it was –meister?

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles Ladies can’t always handle the meister. Apparently, @mooseRN can’t either because he actually went back 2 sleep

Jackles @profjackles · 6h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN lol he couldn’t handle it, huh? How late is it even for you guys?

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles @mooseRN East Coast 4 me baby! Princess is 1hrs behind down in the longhorn state. So really, shouldn’t b bitching.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles granted, @mooseRN isn’t an Adonis like me and needs all the help his freakish frame can get.

Jackles @profjackles · 6h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN I am more than positive he will appreciate that comment greatly.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 6h
@profjackles @mooseRN hell get over it. He loves me 2 much. What r u doing up so late? Have a hot date with a flexible hottie like me?

Jackles @profjackles · 5h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN Well, I suppose that all depends on if you consider the main character of FarCry4 a hottie. He is pretty flexible.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 5h
@profjackles @mooseRN DUDE U GAME!? What system.

Jackles @profjackles · 5h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN I have both, but prefer the PS.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 5h
@profjackles @mooseRN Adding you. Best friend status accomplished. Can’t get mooseman to try a freaking Gameboy.

Jackles @profjackles · 5h
@ChaddasaurusRex @mooseRN You’re failing him!!!! Go ahead and add me. I’ll kick your ass in multiplayer. Same name as this.

Chadmeister @ChaddasaurusRex · 5h
Hear that @mooseRN? @profjackles is my new biffle.

Jared rolled his eyes as he finished scrolling through their conversation and then rolled over onto his side. Suddenly, it hit him how much he really missed having Chad around. Despite being in a near constant state of communication—the idiot had snapped Jared a picture of his shit the other morning—it was different. He missed seeing his friend, hearing his voice, though that sounded way too weird for his own mind.

He needed a distraction.

Jared pushed himself out of bed, pulling on a pair of sweats from the floor and heading out of his room and down the hallway. His mother was busy typing and talking on the phone when he passed by the office door, so he continued into the living room to find Megan, curled up on the couch with a blanket and watching Saturday morning cartoons.

He gave a soft chuckle and jumped over the back of the couch, landing with a rough plop beside her. He beamed as she smacked his arm, grumbling at him for scaring the crap out of her.

“What are we watching?” He nudged her feet and took some of the blanket for himself as he looked up to the television.

“Spongebob,” she replied with a shrug. “Nothing else on.”

“You would watch Spongebob even if there was something better on. Don’t lie.”

“No!” she argued back, then smirked, pressing her toes against his ankle. “There is nothing better than Spongebob anyways.”

They fell into a comfortable silence, watching the two fifteen-minute episodes and just as the next episode was starting, Jared’s stomach let out a growl. Megan jumped for the second time that morning and cocked her head to look at him.

“Hungry much?” She laughed and Jared’s stomach answered for him as it growled again. “Think we could get Mom to make us breakfast?”

Jared snorted. “Do you want to be the one opening that door to ask? You know the rule, it better be bleeding or someone better be dead.”

“Or you better have passed nursing school,” Megan added.

“Yeah, or that.” He smiled and leaned back into the couch. “I don’t want to cook anything…”

“I am not cooking shit for you, Jared,” Megan said quickly, throwing him a look. “There’s bread and shit on the top of the fridge.”

“Oh, toast. Just what I wanted.” His stomach protested again. He sighed, then looked over at his sister. “Want to go to Denny’s?”

“That’s a stupid question.”

Megan threw the blanket off her lap and into Jared’s face as she pushed away from the couch and made her way down the hallway. Jared followed after her, after detangling himself from the mess, and swapped his sweats for jeans and pulled on a t-shirt. When he got back into the kitchen, Megan was leaning against the counter and brushing her hair out.

“I’m driving,” she said calmly, tossing the brush onto a chair and picking up a set of keys from the countertop. “I texted Mom and told her I was taking the Explorer.”

“I’m driving back.”

Megan rolled her eyes but didn’t argue.

Jared took his phone from his pocket and updated his Twitter with a smile as his sister hooked up her iPod and started playing old school Taylor Swift.

“This is for your benefit, you know. Wouldn’t want your ears to bleed from my ‘emo shit’.”

“I knew you loved me,” Jared beamed back.

Jared P. @mooseRN · now
@mPad wouldn’t cook me pancakes, she just doesn’t know she’s going to buy them for me instead. #goodtobehome #sisterprivileges #feedme

Megan glanced down at her phone as it pinged his tweet to her. “You’re such a loser. You’re older, you’re paying.”

“We’ll flip a coin,” Jared countered back, laughing as she turned up the radio in response.

The drive to the diner was quick and Jared’s stomach growled again the moment they stepped out of the SUV and were assaulted by the scent of bacon and sausage from the parking lot.

Megan side-eyed him as he pushed open the doors and held them for her. He raised an eyebrow and she smirked in response. The hostess smiled at them as they approached the podium, grabbing two menus, ready to escort them to their table. Softly, Megan whispered, “From the look on your face, you’re contemplating enough food to feed three people. If that’s the case? You are so paying.”

“Here you are! Sarah will be your server this morning and she’ll be right over in a moment!” The hostess beamed at them as they took their seats, handing each of them a plastic coated menu.

“You know, since you’re paying, I think I’m going to get the Lumberjack Breakfast and the French Toast Platter. What do you think?”

“I think I’m going to kick you, that’s what I think,” Megan answered from behind her menu, her eyes never leaving the glossy pages.

Jared chuckled and returned his attention to figuring out what he wanted to eat. Although, the Lumberjack Breakfast and French toast did sound good… When Sarah came to take their order, Jared ordered them a pot of coffee and the Lumberjack Breakfast with French toast instead of regular toast.

“It’s all about compromise.” He beamed across the table as Megan folded up her menu to hand to their waitress.

“Yeah, well, you better eat the entire thing,” she muttered back. They waited for their coffee and a comfortable silence stretched out between them. As Jared was lifting his mug to his lips, Megan broke it and asked, “Who’s this Jackles guy you and Chad keep talking with on your twitter? You guys blow up my feed…”

“Oh, he’s a nurse actually. He replied to one of my tweets at the beginning of the summer and we just started talking. He seems pretty cool and Chad likes to integrate himself into every conversation.”

Megan laughed and nodded her head. “Don’t I know that… I will never forget him talking to Ashleigh and I about what color lipstick would look better for one of Ashleigh’s dates. He actually had a few good points.”

“He was a woman in another life.”

“Probably.” Megan smiled and stirred her coffee. “Well, this Twitter guy seems pretty fun anyways. Are you picking his brain about nursing things? Are you still happy with your major?”

“Well, I actually haven’t done as much studying as I probably should… I’ve got an ATI book waiting for me to crack open on my desk but the idea of it just makes me cringe. I bet I could pick his brain though… He’s been good to talk to so far.”

“See if he has any study tips or something. Or, even better, how he remembers the shit he needs to in a real nursing situation.” Megan took a sip and sighed happily. “We both know school isn’t anywhere close to real life…”

“Oh, I know. Seriously Meg,” Jared leaned forward, “I had a professor for one of my rotations who wanted us to go through the assessment the way the text wanted. Which, of course, takes almost forty-five minutes. No nurse in their right mind would do that on a day-to-day basis!” He shook his head and took a long drag of his coffee before setting it back down on the table. “Bowel sounds for twenty minutes! They want three to five minutes on each quadrant, even if you hear sounds in the first thirty seconds. It took forever.”

“Well,” Megan shrugged, smirking at the sudden animation over Jared’s features, “I suppose it is good to know, just in case there is a situation that merits the full assessment, right?”

“Well, true. But in a real clinical situation, your assessment will be catered to the patient and their needs.” Jared nodded and looked up to see Megan staring at him. “What?”

“You just… I don’t know, sound nurse-like?” She smiled and shrugged again. “I never would’ve thought you would be a nurse, but you seem really happy. I’m really proud of you.”

“Thanks, Meg. If you told me that I was going to go to school for nursing when I was back in high school? I would’ve told you that you were insane. But, I don’t know, when I did the college tour and we got to walk around the different departments and buildings, it just appealed to me, you know?”

”Yeah, I know.” Megan paused and shifted, suddenly uncomfortable.

Jared opened his mouth to ask, just as their plates arrived, and his sister dug in with enthusiasm. Jared took his time cutting up his toast and covering every piece with syrup before he asked, “What are you thinking about?”

Megan shrugged, shoving a bite of her pancake into her mouth. She chewed slowly and Jared resisted the urge to ask again. “Would you be mad if I chose to go to UNH, too?”

Jared blinked. “You really applied to UNH? Mom mentioned it, but I wasn't sure you did.”

Megan shrugged, her eyes trained on the syrup running through the triangle missing from her cakes. “Just… figured I could try.” She licked her lower lip and slowly cut another bite. “They have a good criminal justice program.”

“And you’re worried that if you go there I would, what? Be angry you chose the same college as me?” Jared fought back the laugh as his sister’s face flushed red.

“Well, I don’t know, Jared! Maybe you don’t want your little sister following you or something! Maybe you like being up there alone!”

“Megan, look at me, you moron.” Jared smiled as his sister’s face snapped up, hurt flashing in her eyes until she saw the smile on his face. “I think it would be awesome for you to go to school with me. I would have someone to study with or get lunch with me, and since you’re my sister you would feel obligated not to tell me no!”

She smiled and shoved the forkful into her mouth. “You really wouldn’t care if I went to school with you?”

“No, Megan. I think it would be awesome. I love it there, really, and I think you will, too.”

“Good, because I already sent in my acceptance letter.”

Jared’s smile matched his sisters and he raised his coffee mug in a toast.

“This is so dumb,” she laughed but lifted her own mug to meet his with a ceramic clink over their plates. Jared just took a sip and turned back to his plate. When Megan whispered, “Thank you,” he nodded and nudged her leg with his foot.