A/N: Inspired by all the times someone has asked me whether life at work is like Grey's Anatomy. As well as all the times our poor bosses at work have had to deal with 'the awful things we interns do'. Pretty much Enjonine, but there are mentions of other pairings.
Inasmuch as Eponine enjoys her work at Saint-Michel Hospital, there are still other places she would rather be on a Sunday evening. 'Can't let on about that to this bunch,' she reminds herself as she picks up a folder from her desk and heads down to the interns' room. Spot checks aren't something she normally does on the night shift, but this particular group of interns has made this practice somewhat necessary. The last thing she needs is to have to suddenly scrub in and have no assistants at hand.
She's not even at the ward yet and already she can see some of her interns scurrying in the general direction of their quarters. Yet somehow she doesn't hear the door opening, a sure sign that something is afoot. "What's going on guys?" she asks the crowd assembled outside the interns' room.
The oldest intern, a short girl named Sandra, clears her throat. "Doc, we need a toolbox."
"Did you guys lock yourselves out?" Eponine asks. It wouldn't be the first time this has happened, and it sure would explain why some of the boys are standing around awkwardly wearing little else but their undershirts and scrub pants. She quietly surveys the group and realizes that there are some missing faces. "Where are Gerard and Sheena?"
Sandra merely looks down while the rest of the group starts nudging each other. "They're the ones stuck inside," one of the boys mutters.
Eponine motions for the interns to clear the doorway. She knocks twice, softer at first, and then loudly. "Gerard! Sheena! Open up!" she shouts. Before she can try the doorknob, she hears rustling sheets and frantic voices. "Get out of there, you two!" she hisses.
Suddenly the door flies open, revealing Sheena with her hair tousled and her scrub top completely rumpled. "Gerard is stuck," she whispers, going red in the face when the other interns laugh.
Eponine gives the group a withering look; it's not quite a glare but it does the job right. "The rest of you, go to the nurses' station. I'll check your attendance there," she orders. She turns to see Sheena quickly throwing a blanket over a young man lying in one of the room's top bunks. "Seriously you two, this is not one of those hospital dramas!" she snaps.
"We know, Doc E. We're sorry," Gerard says in a voice that is muffled from embarrassment as well as the blanket that Sheena has thrown over him to preserve his modesty. "It's not gonna happen again."
"You're right about that," Eponine mutters. She ought to give them demerits, really, but the humiliation here is more than enough to drive the lesson home. "Where did you last see the key to these cuffs?" she asks Sheena.
"That's the problem, Doc. They fell into that crack there," Sheena stammers as she points to a hole in the wall.
"And how?" Eponine asks, but this is more of a rhetorical question since she's pretty sure this couple won't answer the query. She quickly spots the tackle box of forceps and clamps that is always kept on a shelf near the door, and fetches the longest curved forceps she can find.
Thankfully Sheena gets the hint and fetches a penlight. "Will those fit, Doc?" she asks.
"They'd better, for your sakes," Eponine says as she crouches next to the hole. She's sure that they will never live it down if she has to call a custodian or handyman to fetch a file to help cut Gerard loose. She takes a deep breath as she gently angles the forceps into the crack, feeling for the smooth clank of metal. She almost misses it thanks to the sniggering of the interns waiting outside the door. "Hold the light steady, Sheena," she warns the girl who is also fighting to keep a straight face.
Sheena merely nods, too afraid now to cross Eponine any further. She breathes a sigh of relief when Eponine finally fishes the key out. "Are you going to tell Doctor Combeferre?" she asks.
"I will," Eponine says as she reaches up to free Gerard from the handcuffs. It's not her call after all what the chief resident will decide by way of punishment, assuming if he deems it necessary. "If you two must, then you have your dorms for that," she scolds as Gerard sits up and rubs his wrists.
"I have a roommate," Gerard whines. "Sheena has her mother."
"Lame excuses for not getting a room," Eponine says, putting her hands akimbo. "Get dressed."
Gerard scowls as he grabs his shirt. "Not like you've gotten caught before, Doc," he murmurs.
"Excuse me?" Eponine asks pointedly. "What exactly did you say, Gerard?"
"It was nothing," Gerard says quickly. "Nothing Doc!"
"I could give you demerits for rudeness and insubordination," Eponine warns. "Now what was it?"
Gerard blushes up to his hairline as he looks down."It's just something that people say, Doc."
"Gerard, just go," Sheena says. She wrings her hands as she looks at Eponine. "It's just a stupid thing that they like to talk about."
"You are lucky the other residents aren't here to hear this," she warns. Of course she knows that the senior doctors are a favourite topic among the interns, especially when they can catch them in surprisingly human moments. 'Little do they know!' she thinks to herself amusedly even as she heads out to meet the rest of the group gathered at the nurses' station.
She can hear their laughter even before she rounds the bend in the corridor. "There's just one bed in the staff room. I checked when I had papers signed," one of the other girls says.
"Checked? You actually looked?" a boy asks.
"Was it occupied?"
"I saw Doctor Reynault head in there with a girl once," a boy says.
"Sure it wasn't his sister?" Sandra asks.
"He has what, a dozen sisters by now?"
"What about Doctor E and Doctor Combeferre?" the first girl chimes in. "They were-"
"Before. Not sure how that works," a boy says.
"There's something going on there."
"Shut up, she's married to his best friend," Sandra hisses.
"Now him..." another girl whispers.
"Seriously, you girls are so obvious. Every time he's around for some reason or another, you're all over the place. She's so going to catch on," one of the boys drawls. "Bet they've used that room."
"Like you wouldn't do him yourself?" Sandra retorts.
By this time Eponine is near the nurses' station and she clears her throat to catch the attention of these miscreant interns. "No one else has gone missing?" she asks, masking her glee on seeing their astounded expressions.
Sandra regains her composure first. "Everyone is here, Doc," she says, motioning for Sheena and Gerard to now join the group.
"Good," Eponine says before holding up the folder to call the roll. Yet it is at this moment that her phone beeps, eliciting a peal of laughter from the interns. She smirks as she sees the name on the screen. "It's my sister," she says for the benefit of the group. She could almost strangle these kids, really, but it's not as if she and her workmates are complete innocents. 'Time to be the grown up though,' she reminds herself as she matches the voices to the faces, committing to memory every single one of these gossipers. After answering Azelma's text message she closes the folder and crosses her arms. "Study your cases for morning rounds. If there are no questions, then back to your posts," she orders.
Sheena at least has the decency to look contrite. "Sorry for the trouble, Doc."
"Just behave," Eponine says over her shoulder before heading back to the staff room. She frowns when she gets a look at the one bunk there; it's a flat surface alright, but far from comfortable. 'Can't blame anyone for making do,' she thinks ruefully as she takes off her sneakers and crawls into the bed. She checks her phone once more for any messages that she may have forgotten to answer, and only then she decides to make a call. She shuts her eyes with relief when the call doesn't go to voicemail but rather gets picked up on the second ring. "Hey Auguste. I thought you'd still be at work."
"I am there, but just finishing up some papers-clients can't lose time anymore," Enjolras replies. "What's going on in your shift?"
"It's benign-no scrub ins yet. Though now I've said that out loud, that might change," Eponine quips wryly. She can actually imagine him now sitting at his desk, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, red tie slightly loosened, and with his coat folded up on a nearby table. It's a terribly familiar image; there's a version of that actually that involves him stretched out on their sofa instead, and it's enough to make her breath catch. "For now, it's mostly babysitting duty," she admits.
"You'd think that they'd know better, being what, in their mid-twenties?" he asks.
"Twenty-four, twenty-five maybe," Eponine explains. Those numbers seem like a long time ago, even if she is just passed her 31st birthday. 'I didn't know anything then,' she realizes, and while she's not sure she's all that much wiser now, she has enough sense not to go through things alone. Her hand brushes against necklace he gave her on the night they got engaged and she hears the clink of the pendant there against the warmer metal of her wedding ring. "So are we still on for breakfast?"
"Of course. Unless something comes up on your end?" he asks a little anxiously.
"That's why we're meeting at seven-thirty, so we have time for adjustments," she whispers. She knows it's maddening to him, especially since he likes having things planned out to the minute, but then again he is the one who has thrown a wrench in her plans in the best possible way. "That's what...ten whole hours from now."
"You make it sound agonizing," he chuckles.
"It can be." She bites her lip as she pictures him again, only this time it's in considerably more detail, with his cheeks just so slightly flushed as he's talking to her, and even the way his lips move with every word. She grips the bedpost as her mind wanders to the other things she knows his mouth can do, especially to her. "The day doesn't exactly feel right when you don't kiss me good morning," she teases.
"I would say the same about some other time of the day, or night, rather," he retorts casually. "For one thing, it's weird to have the blankets all to myself..."
"You're my blanket," she reminds him, and the way he laughs makes her feel warm all over. She frowns as she hears some of the interns tiptoe by the staff room, probably in search of coffee from the vending machine down the hall. "If you were here..."
"Eponine, we wouldn't be in your call room. Rules, remember?" he points out. "For one thing, Combeferre would say we're setting a bad example for your interns."
"I think they're kind of past that," she confides.
"The heat doesn't do wonders for common sense."
"Combeferre used to say that there is usually no time for such things?"
"Usually. I take that he never mentioned me?"
"A gentleman never tells, of course."
"You're right." This is why she is still friends with her former boyfriend, and why Enjolras can still look his best friend in the eye. It helps that time has changed them all so greatly. "Joly and Chetta kept their decorum up-I guess having Bossuet not in training with us was a big factor."
"That would have scandalized some of your teachers."
"Yeah. Mabeuf is the only cool one." She bites her lip as she hears more footsteps in the hall. "I think there's an emergency coming up, so I better go."
"I'll see you in the morning then," Enjolras replies. "Take care, Eponine."
"I love you, Auguste." She smiles even as she hears the click of the connection ending; as brief as this moment is, it's just what she needs. She silently puts on her shoes and heads down to the ER, managing to get there minutes before Sandra and Sheena come scampering in. "About time," she greets them.
Sheena is wide-eyed and breathless. "Doc E, how did you know?"
"I just do," Eponine says nonchalantly. 'You know better when you're older,' she thinks as she and the two interns head to a cubicle to meet the patient who has just been wheeled in. Thankfully the case at hand does a great deal to banish these thoughts from her mind as well as quell any plans of mischief, at least until she, Sandra, and Sheena scrub out to the sounds of patients waking up, nurses making their morning endorsements, and the interns scuttling about to finish papers, freshen up or grab breakfast before the morning rounds. As soon as she's done preparing the operating room report and making her endorsements to the resident on duty, she rushes up to the staff room, taking advantage of the early hour to be able to take a long shower and get rid of the lingering smells of sweat, powder, and adrenaline. The water is cold yet invigorating and she laughs at the notion that this is supposed to have the opposite effect on anyone. 'Not when you're waiting like I do,' she tells herself as she dries her long hair as best as she could before donning a white blouse and a red chiffon skirt.
Her watch reads seven twenty-five when she hears a familiar set of footsteps approaching the door, followed by a single and solid knock. "Come in," she calls, willing herself to keep her back turned if only for the element of surprise.
She is rewarded by the warmth of Enjolras' hands on her shoulders as he pulls her against him, so close that she can smell his spicy aftershave and his own crisp, clean scent. "Good morning, Eponine."
"Good morning to you too, Auguste," she greets before turning to face him and pulling him down for a quick but nonetheless passionate kiss. She grins on seeing that the blue of his shirt matches the intense color of his eyes. "So where are we going?"
"As I said last night, anywhere but here," Enjolras replies as his fingers slip around hers. "You'll see."
"Oh, you're surprising me now?" she teases. She sees him go red at her words and so she hugs him tightly just to show that she's perfectly fine with this, that in fact she loves it all. The fact that he's been trying so hard for her sake only makes this all more precious in her eyes. She smiles against his shoulder when his hand comes up to rub her back. "Did anyone see you come in?"
"Most of your interns," Enjolras says confusedly. "What was that all about?"
Eponine rolls her eyes. "Want to help me teach those kids a lesson?"
"About what?" he asks.
She doesn't answer but she kisses him soundly before going to the door. She links her hand with his before turning the knob and pulling the door open. She says nothing as she meets the entire group of chattering interns, and instead allows them a second to go silent. "Do you need something?" she asks them sternly.
Gerard shakes his head. "We were just waiting for rounds, Doc E."
"You are supposed to wait in the ward," she replies. It is just as well since she catches sight of Navet now coming up the stairs. "Navet, your turn today," she says. He's a second year resident now, and more than up to this task.
Thankfully Navet doesn't disappoint with his cheeky grin and hearty salute before he also nods to Enjolras. "Come on kids," he tells the interns. "You'd better know your cases before Doctor Combeferre comes in..."
The mention of the chief resident sends a ripple of fearful whispers and groans through the group of interns, but it is all that Eponine and Enjolras can do to keep straight faces. "He won't do anything to them," Enjolras remarks. "He's too kind for that."
"That's true," Eponine concurs. She gives Enjolras a wicked smile as she takes both his hands in hers. "Are you sure you won't tell me what we're up to for today?"
He lifts her knuckles to his lips. "Don't tempt me."
She shivers as she meets his eyes, knowing full well what else he promises her for the rest of the morning. "Bring it then," she whispers before tugging on his hand to lead him down the stairs.