I lean forward, resting my forearms on my thighs easily, setting myself up defensively for Kelso's rant.
"This irresponsible skirt-chasing will stop immediately," Kelso commands, looking from Derek to me. Derek rolls his eyes. Kelso narrows his. "Son, this is not a joke. Lives are at stake here."
Derek cracks his knuckles and yawns. Kelso slams his hand on his desk and opens his mouth to yell.
"Bob, you're wasting your breath," I murmur softly. Bob turns his eyes to me.
"You haven't exactly been on your best behavior this whole time either, Perry." I shrug at him and turn up my mouth a little to signify that, yeah, I knew that too.
…what? Don't give me that look. I'm not all innocent in this!
I cross my arms and sit back in Bob's cushy office chairs. "Thanks for the reminder, Bob-oh, but can we focus on the anarchy at hand?" I turn my eyes to Derek, who is now drumming his fingers on his chair's edges, eyes everywhere but on Kelso. He claps his hands together.
"All right, so you've told us to cut it out and in about thirteen hours," Derek looks at his empty wrist, "I'll have Lacey all to myself, so yeah, it'll stop."
I snort. "You really think that Lacey would be with you?"
Derek looks at me. "Why not? Jordan was."
I can feel my eyes narrow involuntarily and I lean forward towards Derek.
Bob sighs. "Shake them off, gentlemen. No one actually cares." Bob runs a hand over his face and then sets his hands on his desk. "Okay – this is what we're going to do." Bob turns to Derek. "You. Stay in surgery. Once the interns are done with their surgical rounds this week, you will leave Dr. Martin alone. This is not Grey's Anatomy, Dr. McGinnis, and you will not treat Sacred Heart like your personal cesspool of willing harlots, is that clear?" Kelso glares at Derek, who nods and shrugs.
"Whatever floats your boat, Bob-oh."
Hey…that's my line.
Kelso turns to me. "That goes for you too, Perry. No flirting with interns, no going after interns, and you will also leave Dr. Martin alone." I open my mouth to protest; Bob holds up a hand. "I will pair her with Dr. Dorian or Dr. Reid for rounds. You will check in twice a week with them." I clamp my mouth shut, my teeth letting out a snap as I bring my jaw up.
Bob then looks each of us over and says "I want you two on separate floors at all times. No fraternizing. At all. Ever." Bob grimaces, portraying what I'm sure he thinks is a smile. "Now this shouldn't be too hard, right?"
I glance at Derek, who slides his eyes over me, and nod. "Shouldn't be too hard." Bob claps.
"Good, glad to hear it." He glares at us. "Now, get the hell out of my office."
Derek is out of his chair like it suddenly burnt him and is out the door just as fast. I stand, stretch, and salute Bob.
"A pleasure as always, Bob."
I wander out of his office and down the hall, stopping by the nurse's station to grab a few patient's charts. Carla sidles over.
"How bad was the slap on the wrist?" I turn away from her.
"Neither of us are supposed to see Lacey…and he made the third Grey's reference that I've heard in the past 24 hours." Carla laughs.
"Well, you have been acting kind of like McDreamy when he saw McSteamy flirting with Meredith –" I whip around and she shuts her mouth.
"Not you, too!" I wail. Carla shrugs and mimes locking her mouth. "Is there anyone in this hospital not interested in my frickin' drama?!" I yell.
"I don't really care," says the janitor, shrugging at me. I roll my eyes.
"Like you matter, Lurch."
"Oop," Carla squeaks behind me and I sigh.
"Jordan, Lacey, Derek, Barbie, or Janel?"
"Uhm…all of the above."
"Shit. See ya." I twist away from the counter and hightail it into my first patient's room. "Mr. Bartlett, I see we're back in Sacred Heart for the," I pause to look at the chart, "fifth time this month," I cross my arms. "Now, are you going to lay off the red meat or am I going to have to keep you here for more than a few hours this time?"
Bartlett shrugs at me. "If I can have my steak here, I'll stay."
"Veggies, chicken, turkey, pork. Or else." I stride out the door and into the next room.
"Mrs. Applebaum, you just get prettier each day!"
I tie off the remaining stitches that Turk is letting me sew and breathe a sigh of relief.
Neat. Tight. Not one popp-
Dark purple blood shoots up.
Damn. Almost had it.
"Ah, don't sweat it, Lace. This dude always pops stitches. Just redo." Turk's voice is calm and encouraging, the monitors are still softly beeping, and the obscenely overweight man on the table is still breathing gently.
I wipe my sleeve along my brow and reposition myself to redo my sutures.
Neat. Tight. Not one popping.
"Good job. Go grab some water, I'll close." I nod once and slip away from the operating table. I yank off my gloves and shake the caked powder from my damp hands as I glance at the clock.
Damn. We've been in here for two hours? That's amazing.
As if on cue, my stomach rumbles loudly. I put my hand on it and make a shushing sound. I place a surgical mask over my face and duck back into the OR.
"Hey, Turk?" Turk keeps working.
"I'm gonna get some lunch. Want me to wait for you?" Turk sighs and rubs an arm over his face.
"Yeah. Five minutes, tops." I step out into the hallway and stretch – my arms first reaching towards the sky, then the ground, my back popping when I twist left to right.
I hear clacking heels and chattering voices coming towards me, one more shrill than the others.
"Ohio trailer trash," Jordan hisses at me as she leads other board members past the ORs.
"Unwanted cougar," I hiss back, still stretching. Jordan glares at me before turning a sunny smile to her colleagues.
A smile that looks more than a little strained.
"Now we'll head to the nurses' station and meet a few of the young men and women who keep our hospital running smoothly." I watch the group wander down the hallway and notice that Don Barnes, one of the COOs, is trailing in the back, jotting notes on an iPad mini, his eyes glazing over the hospital.
Barnes is here? That ain't good.
The door behind me opens and Turk busts out, a smile on his face.
"Now THAT'S how you do an appy! Hell yeah, Lacey! Side bump!" I giggle and bump hips with Turk, first the left then the right. "Uh uh, yeah yeah yeah, that's right, that's Dr. Martin. Who's the doc?"
"I'm the doc!"
"Who's the doc?"
I laugh loudly. "I'm the doc!" Turk grins again.
"Hell yeah, now let's go eat." We make for the nurses' station, staying less than 50 feet from Jordan's tour group. Jordan's voice carries in the hall and her disposition seems more than a little forced.
"What do you think that's about?" I whisper to Turk as we round the corner and see Carla.
Turk shrugs. "Dunno, but Barnes is here…that can't be good." Turk waves at Carla right as I hear an "Eeeeeeeeeeagle!" from behind me.
I duck just in time.
Carla grimaces at Turk and J.D. and nods to Cox, who visbly stiffens and woodenly disappears into a patient's room.
I'll ignore that…
I lean my hands on the counter, pretending like J.D. isn't riding Turk behind me, and smile at Carla.
"Wanna get lunch?"