"Can I buy you a drink?"
She doesn't expect to see him when she turns around, but there he is, trademark Princeton smile and a suit that probably cost him a year of tuition.
It looks good on him. He looks good.
"It's an open bar," she says, finishing the last of her cocktail, and he shrugs.
"Can I buy you a dozen, then?"
She smiles at that, and tells herself she's just being polite. "Martini," she says, keeping her voice careful, measured. She probably sounds like she's doing a bad impression. "Extra dry. No olive."
"That's just gin," he points out, and she arches an eyebrow.
"Your point being?"
He nods, and signals the bartender. She picks up the glass when it comes, drinks slowly.
"It's been a long time," he says, and she shrugs. Her mouth is dry, and suddenly it's as if the past eight years never happened.
"How have you been?" he asks, and she wants to ask if they can just skip this part already, because he's fine, she's fine, and she's going to need those dozen drinks if they have to stand here and do this for much longer. It's awkward as hell, and the worst part is, she thinks she might almost be enjoying herself.
"Fine," she says, and manages to smile as if she's someone slightly less neurotic than Paris Geller.
"Good." He smiles again, and it's almost infectious. "I finished clerking for Rabner."
Her eyes widen, just a little, and she nods. She's not that impressed. "I finished med school."
"Harvard?" There's nothing teasing in his tone.
"Of course." She meets his gaze, silently dares him to mention undergrad admissions. He doesn't.
He was never stupid. She always liked that about him.
"So where are you interning?"
She swallows. She's half expecting the words to hurt. "UMC," she says, and then, "Princeton."
He smiles genuinely, then, and she'll slap him if he calls it fate. "I always knew you'd see the light."
Princeton's a joke, she almost says, and is proud that it's only almost. She takes a drink to keep her mouth busy.
"So how come you're here?"
"Friends of the family. My parents couldn't make it." He knows what that means as well as she does, and she hates that about him.
After a moment, he leans in. "So will you dance with me?"
She takes his hand, and he leads her onto the dance floor. There's a piano in the corner, and she blushes. He's looking at it, too.
His parents had a baby grand, and she tries not to remember the time she slid across it, trying to be Michelle Pfeiffer, and fell on her ass. He'd laughed, but kindly, and they'd had sex for the second time. Afterwards, she remembers being gripped by a half-realised superstition that they'd revoke her admission to Yale.
She turns her head, and Jamie's looking at her. She smiles, because it's kind of nice to see him again, even if she's not quite sure if it's supposed to be.
He doesn't ask for her number when the night is over, and she tells herself that she doesn't care. That was all a long time ago, and she's over it now. Besides, she has far more important things to worry about.
"Myasthenia gravis," she says confidently, and beams when the attending nods. He's going into surgery later, and she thinks the hour she spent looking over the patient's chart this morning was worth it.
"And what's our best option for treatment?"
"A da Vinci Thymectomy."
They round on the next patient, and her mouth falls open in surprise. She recovers quickly, but she knows he's seen it.
"Jamie Babbit," the attending reads, and she looks anywhere but at the bed in front of her. "Admitted with complaints of stomach pain and nausea. Probable causes?"
He looks at her, and she almost doesn't notice. "Um," she stammers, and someone else cuts in. Brown noser.
"What are you doing here?" she hisses when everyone else has left the room. She can catch up later. "You aren't sick."
"Nope," he confirms with a smile, and she wants to throttle him.
"This isn't a hotel, you know. These beds are for sick people."
"I wanted to see you," he says, and it's so infuriating, the way he clearly thinks he's charming.
"Well, you've seen me. Now leave."
"Can't leave," he says, and she wonders if he's wearing any underwear. She definitely has the upper hand here. "They just admitted me. Got to find out what's wrong."
"There's nothing wrong," she says, and realises she's almost yelling. "You just told me you were faking it."
"Are you going to tell?" he asks, and she really, really wants to. "I figure they'll at least run me through the motions."
She stalks out, because she really should be with the rest of her group. She wonders how much trouble she'll get in if she tells them the only reason he's there is because of her.
She's going to kill him.
"Geller," the attending says, and she looks up. "Run Mr Babbit down for an abdominal CT."
"I think he's faking," she says, before she's properly thought it through. "Or a hypochondriac. He probably just has indigestion."
He nods absently, and she wonders if he's even listening. "I'll keep that in mind. But we still need to check him out. I think we can spare you for a couple of hours."
She frowns, because she doesn't want to be dispensable, but she turns around anyway. She learned quickly not to argue with the attendings.
"Back so soon?" Jamie asks, and she glares in response.
"I wish there was a very painful medical procedure I could put you through," she says, and he actually laughs.
"I could think of better things to do in here."
She blushes, but doesn't dignify it with a response.
"Get up," she says, and he gets in the wheelchair without further comment. She pushes him down the corridor as quickly as she can without running, and she can almost hear his smile.
"Come on," he says, as they pause for the elevator. "Aren't you just a little bit glad to see me?"
"No," she lies.
"You're wasting the hospital's resources, and my time." The doors slide open. "We should sue you."
He laughs. "I know some very good lawyers."
The CT doesn't take very long, if still longer than she'd like, and she doesn't wait for him to speak as she drops him off in his room. That surgery spot had better still be open.
It isn't, as it turns out, and she curses Jamie as she walks towards the nurses' station.
He's there. Of course.
"You cost me a surgery," she says, and he turns as he finishes signing some papers. He's still smiling, and she wonders what it would take to get him to stop.
"I'm sorry," he says, and she could almost believe he means it. "Whoever made that decision was an idiot."
"Dr Feldman is the best surgeon on this staff," she says, but she's trying not to smile. Privately, she agrees.
"So are you free tonight?"
She looks at him sharply, and her mind runs through all the plans she could have made. "No."
"Got a date?"
"Plans with friends?"
"That's none of your business," she says, and starts to walk away. He follows her, and she stops. "Would you stop doing that?"
He moves past her. "I was just leaving."
"Oh." She watches as he leaves, and tries to remember what she was supposed to be doing. It's not like she cares, anyway.
She's halfway through a carton of Kung Pao chicken when somebody knocks on her door. She gets up, sliding the chain on before peering out.
She should be more surprised than she is. She looks at him evenly.
"I thought you had plans."
She frowns. "I cancelled."
"Are you going to let me in?"
She tilts her head to the side. "You haven't asked."
He grins. "Can I come in?"
She closes the door. After a minute, she slides the chain off, and opens it again. He's still there.
"Smells good," he says, as she steps back to let him in. "Got enough for two?"
She does, but she doesn't want him knowing that. "Maybe."
He looks more at home than she does as he sits on the couch, picking up a pair of chopsticks. "Nice place."
She shrugs. It's not, really - not on an intern's salary - but it's close to the hospital, and big enough for one. She had wanted to live alone for once. She wonders, sometimes, if it wasn't the wrong decision.
He turns on the television, and flicks over to the news. She wants to tell him not to get comfortable, but she thinks he already is.
They eat in silence as the newscast ends, fades into a movie. Sometimes she waits to see Rory's face in front of her. He passes her the dumplings, and she takes the last one without asking. It's her food, anyway.
After dinner, he starts singing, and she wants to throw a towel at him. It would be easier if there were any dishes to wash.
"Yes I, oh I'm gonna love you, oh oh. Come on let me hold you darlin', 'cause I'm the Duke of Earl."
"Stop it," she says, because he's looking at her. Nine years ago, it was endearing. Now it's just uncomfortable. He switches over to something else, and she looks away.
"Walk like a man, talk like a man -"
"You can't sing," she tells him, and it's kind of a lie. "Anyway, don't you know anything written in the last thirty years?"
He shrugs. "I like the old stuff. Don't you remember -"
"No," she says quickly, and opens the fridge. She takes out a bottle of wine; she's going to need it if he sticks around.
She pours herself a glass, and after a minute, pours one for him too. He takes it, and doesn't complain when it obviously cost less than a cab fare down the block.
"We should do this again," he says, and she looks up.
"This wasn't a date."
"I didn't say it was." She finishes her glass, and he looks at her from across the kitchen. "We should still do it again."
She should be worried when her door is unlocked, and she can hear noises coming from inside her apartment. She should run, or scream, or call for help, or do anything other than step calmly inside.
She should be surprised when Jamie looks up at her from the kitchen and smiles.
"Are you cooking?" she asks as she slides her bag to the ground. Whatever it is, it smells good, and it should bother her more that he's in her apartment, looking for all the world as if he's supposed to be there.
"What happened to you?" he asks, and she glances down. She's stopped noticing when she's covered in blood.
"Surgery with Kellerman," she says. "Never again. The guy's a quack."
He laughs, and she can only imagine how she looks. She would have showered at the hospital if she'd known he'd be here, but then she wouldn't be standing in front of her ex-boyfriend looking like crap and smelling like she's been in surgery for twelve hours, like she got to do anything more glamourous than holding a scalpel and answering inane questions.
Naturally, he looks great.
"Go have a shower," he says, as if he doesn't notice the difference. "This won't be ready for a while."
She doesn't bother to argue, because a shower sounds really good right now, even if it was his idea. As she undresses, she can't help being aware that he's in the next room, and she tells herself that she needed to shave her legs, anyway.
She doesn't take too long looking for something to wear once she's clean. She wouldn't want him to think she made an effort.
He hands her a glass of wine as she walks into the kitchen, and she tastes it slowly. Definitely not one of hers.
"Don't you have a place of your own?" she asks. "A job? Friends?"
He could probably ask her the same, but he doesn't. Instead, he spoons dinner onto a plate, and she breathes it in.
"If you don't want me here ..." he says, but he doesn't finish; maybe he thinks she'll agree. She doesn't.
"As long as you're making yourself useful," she says, and he smiles.
Dinner is every bit as good as it looks, and she doesn't care if she eats too fast for polite company. He pours her another glass of wine, and she gets up to help him with the dishes.
He knows where the plates go, too, which shouldn't surprise her, since he found them in the first place. She wonders when she became the kind of girl who was guys showing up at her place unannounced - for that matter, she wonders when he forgave her - and decides that she doesn't care.
The sink is still full of soapy water, and he flings suds at her when she turns around. She shrieks, so high it's embarrassing, and smacks him on the arm.
He grins, and she knows he thinks he's won, and she's not even sure what game they're playing. He slides a hand around her waist, and she follows it, and maybe she does care why he forgave her, because she isn't even sure if she wants him back, or if she just enjoys the company. She needs time to think; she's never been good at acting on impulse.
She doesn't know if he wants the girl she was in high school. She doesn't want to be that girl, and she's pretty sure she isn't.
She swallows. "I have to be at the hospital early."
He nods, and drops his hand.
"But maybe I'll see you this weekend?" she asks, and waits until he smiles.