Friday, Full of Grace
A 500-word ficlet written for the lj community, romancingwizard's rarepair challenge.
Susan Bones sighed wearily as she walked slowly to the women's locker room.
"Oh, deary, I do hope you're going home ... You're looking a little peaky. Perhaps some Pepper-Up?"
She rolled her eyes as she passed the portrait of the eternally-interfering old crone of a Healer. It's not like I'm also a Healer and know how to look after myself. In truth, she was tired; working long hours as a Trainee Healer was all-consuming of life-force sometimes. Hell, all the time. She couldn't remember the last time she'd gone out dancing or to dinner with her friends. It was spring now, her favourite season, but she hadn't seen sunlight in days.
She reached up, stuck her fingers into the tight bun at the nape of her neck and wiggled her fingers. A light frisson of released magical energy tingled momentarily, and her plait unravelled, falling heavily down the centre of her back.
Footsteps echoed down the empty corridor behind her. "Hey, Suze!" Susan turned to see a dishevelled-looking Anthony Goldstein jogging towards her, lime-green robes flapping around his legs. He skidded to a stop in front of her, smiling that (oh, so devastating) smile of his. "I was wondering –"
For Merlin's sake! Susan was generally really easy-going and calm, but enough was enough! "No!" she cut him off abruptly, shaking her head.
The badger inside was roaring like a lion tonight, fuelled by lack of sleep and too many whinging patients. "I am not going to cover your call duty again so that you can go on the piss with Terry. This is the third Friday in a row that you're asking me. No!"
She pulled the locker room door open and slammed it shut behind her. The glass shattered, and she whirled again, flicking a snarled Reparo at the unfortunate door.
By the time Susan had showered and changed into civilian robes her temper had abated, and she was feeling sheepish about shouting at Anthony. Damn! She wouldn't be able to look at him now without feeling horrible.
She sighed as she pulled the door open, and started at seeing Anthony leaning against the wall obviously waiting for her. Before she could open her mouth to stammer at him, he pushed up from the wall and stepped forward to face her. The face that usually bore that boyish smile was serious.
"I'm not on call. I'm Jewish. My mother visited the last fortnight, and she insists on observing the Sabbath," he said quietly. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you why I asked you to cover for me. I should have.
"I was actually hoping you'd go out to dinner with me. I know we're not really allowed to date colleagues, but ..." His smile returned, sending her heart fluttering. "Terry can go on the piss by himself." He was teasing, she realised, and she blushed.
"Ah, yes, please, thank you," she managed, taking his offered arm. Her smile was broad and a little dazed at her unexpected turn of fortune.
A/N: Thank you to Gelsey for proofreading.