Notes: based on med. school in the states, because i can't claim to have knowledge of how the system works elsewhere; my knowledge of the tertiary program is tenuous at most so in no way should this be taken as an absolutely true account of things that happen in medical school all the time. will be continued as a series of ficlets. (oops i couldn't resist gomen)

It's seven-thirty in the morning, and if you would've bought yourself a cappuccino if weren't in between paychecks. And, yeah, it's hard to be friggin excited about pathophysiology. It's a sweltering eighty-five degrees outside. One and a half years in the Pacific Northwest has rewritten your opinion about good weather, (or just weather in general.) You'll take eighty-five.

But the fact of the matter is this: you're stuck here, in a class filled with overachieving students a good six years younger than you, at least. You figure you would've been one of 'em too, if you hadn't thrown caution to the wind, and ridden off with a girl right after your bachelors', just because you were an ocean away from your parents. Got married before you were twenty-five, and divorced somewhere in between.

Yeah, okay, your hand was forced a little bit. Her parents found out about the accident, shoved you into a job at the family vineyard or whatever, and all but gave you the engagement ring. Most days, it just comes back to her, the devil's child. Short on cash? Well, if you hadn't had to pay for that extra field trip…

And it's not entirely fair, but it's the way things have always been. The two of you never quite understand each other, and you'd like to think that's the way it's going to be. Hopefully not forever, but you can't make any commitments right now.

You sigh. No new text messages—your last date was almost a year and a half ago. You can only hope that the labcoat is worth it. Your thoughts drift between fancy cars, and equally luxurious apartments, when he walks in.

Fucking pretentious douche has an informal suit and a tie underneath his labcoat. Dude can't be a day over thirty, so you assume he's probably one of those students who took a couple years off to be condescending in Argentina or something. He even has an attaché case for Chrissakes. (Well, sorry, but some of us live off the discount racks at Value Village.)

You scan the classroom, and the only empty seat is the one right next to you. Figures. You'll just have to swallow this pill whole. You pull your phone out and scroll through your texts, hoping that you can find some excuse to ignore him. But then, you realize that he's not headed your way at all. He draws a few papers out of the case, and sets them on the lectern.

You almost don't know what to think. Baby-face over there can't be your instructor. He's just too young. And you know what that means. It'll be much, much worse than having to sit next to pompous douche for a quarter. He'll probably think less of you, 'cause you're thirty-three, working nights at a restaurant on campus, and trying to support a child that you made like thirteen years ago. You frown. If you hadn't registered late, you'd be in a section that met at a decent time.

But again, not your fault. It almost never is. External factors of some sort—daughter, job, ex. Whatever, really.

He doesn't have stage presence. It takes him a full ten minutes to get the class quiet. The syllabus was apparently emailed to all of you. (But, you didn't get it, go figures,) and it lists all the major tests, quizzes, and the recommended study, along with the homework. Oh. All right. As if this day couldn't get any worse. You can tell by the way he drums his fingers on his thigh, and the way he nervously fiddles with his collar that he's green. First class, probably. If it weren't for the fact that he's practically a walking GQ ad (blindingly platinum hair, stylish glasses,) you'd take pity on him.

Muroi, he says. His surname is Muroi, prefixed by a Dr., first name starts with an S. And hold up, you've heard that name before. Somewhere… you shrug it off though. Might just be a coincidence. He goes on at length about the contents of the course, course structure, minimum passing grades, first day kind of crap. You zone out, because it's still too early to have to deal with this kind of thing. Mental note to ask about office hours and all that shit later.

Class is dismissed early, because he apparently doesn't have much planned—figures. Seems more like a sneaky sob who springs a test on you when you're least expecting it. You catch the guy as he's packing up, which can be construed as a lack of tact, but, you suppose that he's probably gonna see you as some type of bottom-feeder anyways. "Hey, Doc?"

"Yes?" To his credit, he makes it seem like he's genuinely not-a-dick. "Can I help you with anything?"

"Syllabus." You blurt. You shift uncomfortably. "Er… I didn't get the email."

He frowns. "Did you register for the class after last Friday?"

"No—" You absently scratch the back of your head. "Actually... yeah, I think so."

He smiles. "Ah. That means that you haven't been added to the list yet." There's a temporary silence, and then "If you give me your card, I can manually enter you right now."

You grudgingly draw it out of your pocket—it makes you feel slightly vulnerable; a student ID, when you should be starting your first (or second) job.

He takes it. A few keystrokes later, it's back in your hands. "There you go, Mr. Ozaki."

"Thanks." You mumble. "Wait. What about the syllabus?"

"I emailed it to you." Another smile. You feel like there might be something off about them. Like it's just part of a veneer, or something. Maybe he is just as much of a jerk as you first thought. You sigh. At least, this time next quarter, you'll be doing clinical rotations, and not be stuck in a classroom playing is-he/she-a-med-or-a-dent.