THE NIGHTINGALE JOURNALS
A/N: This is a new story. It takes place in a hospital, so there will be lots of medical situations; I will warn you up front for those who are squeamish.
Many situations in this story will be real, but fictionalized. The sex, however, is all from my wicked, dirty brain. While I'm sure some sex does occur in RL, in general, medical institutions maintain a professional environment and atmosphere. I'm not trying to imply this is how we all behave, because we don't; the personal relationships in this story are purely fiction.
Thanks to my adorable beta, naughtysparkle, for giving me her time and energy so freely. I love and appreciate you, bb.
Things I own: My fingerprints, which allow me to get narcotics out of the Pyxis dispensing machine. These same fingerprints are used to return everything that I don't give to my patients, however.
Things I don't own: Anything Twilight. It all belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Let's Play Doctor
I'm tired, I'm stressed, and I have a fucking headache. I stayed up too late studying and the caffeine is simply not kicking in this morning. As if all that isn't bad enough, I'm just a stupid med student, who knows nothing, who's the lowest of the low rungs on the ladder. I happen to be working with a sadistic resident who eats a steady diet of medical students. By his attitude toward me today, the asshole is starving, and I'm his next meal. To top it off, the only thing to eat around here is a stale, crunchy bagel, and the only source of caffeine available is a pot of coffee that's so old it looks like sludge and is guaranteed to eat a hole through your stomach in less than 5 minutes. Things couldn't possibly be worse. I run my fingers through my hair, a bad habit of mine made worse by the stresses of medical school.
Since I was young, I've always wanted to be a doctor. I followed my dad around the hospital like his shadow, and the energy of being here is what I've always craved. I fully understand that med school is the time to do grunt work and earn the respect of your elders; I refuse to get by on my father's coattails. I wish to hell I didn't have a hospitl badge with my name on it, like every other med student, because all anyone ever sees is the word "CULLEN," and they're instantly aware of my parentage. I'm determined to make a name for myself on my own merits.
I'm not even consciously aware of the scent at first, being so lost in my thoughts. It wafts over to me in a subtle wave. It smells fresh, which is unusual in a hospital environment, and provocatively feminine. I've never smelled anything like it in my life, but I'm instantly aware that it is the best aroma in the world. I take a deep breath, trying to discern the subtleties of this bouquet. Citrus, definitely. Lilac, perhaps? Not cloying or strong, just clean, crisp… female. Without knowing what I'm doing, I follow the scent, like a dog following a bone. It's like this fragrance was created just for me. I'm utterly certain I will never smell anything this wonderful again.
I turn around the corner, and it hits me head on. Then I see her. Jesusfuckingchrist, all I can see is her backside, and I already want to fall on my knees and thank the heavens for the sight in front of me. The first two things to hit me, aside from her delicious smell, are her neck and her ass.
Her shiny brown hair is in a high ponytail, which exposes a neck that the sculptor Rodin would cry over. It's long, graceful, and elegant; it evokes the image of a swan. It screams out to be fondled and kissed. I'm certain if I could just lean into the crook, I'd find the most potent source of the aroma that's presently driving me crazy.
She has a slim waist that curves into a luscious, inverted, heart-shaped bum that I want to run up and grab; it's absolutely perfect. That's no small feat, because scrubs are designed to be utilitarian—no one looks good in them. No one. This woman, though, seems to break all the rules; you can tell she has a beautiful figure. I suddenly become aware that I'm standing in the corridor, like an idiot, with my mouth gaping wide open, staring at a stranger's ass.
The object of my affection must feel the blast of erotic energy I'm generating, because she turns around and looks straight at me, drool and all. I try to make up for my obvious leering by giving her my most charming smile. She responds in an amazing way—she flushes scarlet and gives me a beautiful, embarrassed smile. Her badge is framed in bright blue, the standard color for nursing students. Mine, naturally, is framed in green, since I'm a medical student.
The med student lusts after the nursing student. What a pathetic fucking cliché.
She turns back around and quickly heads off in the direction she was originally walking. I just stand there and watch her leave. I must have made her flustered, because she trips over her feet, nearly falling to the ground. I make it a goal to find out what her name is, because she just became my new obsession, fucking cliché or not.
I bumble through the rest of my day, my mind focused on the beautiful stranger. Incredibly, I manage not to piss off my resident too much, so I actually leave at a decent hour for the first time in weeks. Because I'm a determined and tenacious kind of guy, I head straight for the Health Sciences building the second I leave the hospital, with one specific task in mind: to find out the swan girl's name. I walk through the med school and over to the school of nursing, where all the student photos are posted. Sure enough, I find my girl there. She's a senior nursing student, so she's close to graduation.
No fucking way… her name is actually Isabella Swan?
I study her picture closely. She has small, delicate features and a set of huge, brown eyes. Her dark brown hair is worn loose in the photo, hanging in over her shoulders in curly waves. I notice that it looks shiny, and it makes me want to run my fingers through it. She has a small, pert nose, and her lips are full, but not large; they look perfect for kissing. Just like her enticing little ass, her face is heart-shaped. It looks like Ms. Swan is doing her best to kill me slowly. Everything about her features tempts me and invites me in.
Naturally, my eyes wander south. Fortunately, her breasts are within the frame of the photo, so I can assess them without gawking at her in person. They appear to be wonderfully round globes, just the right size for caressing.
God, what I wouldn't give to have my hands on them.
It's as though she was made to my exact specifications; she embodies the physical ideal of my perfect woman. My dick takes notice of her rack, and I'm suddenly rock hard.
I hear someone coming, so I quickly take out my phone and snap an image of her picture. I want to acquaint myself with all her features in private. With my task complete, I do the only thing left to do: I go home and beat off to the image of that unique neck and hot ass, and all the wonderfully nasty things I want to do to Isabella Swan.
Second Year Residency
I'm on call tonight for the first time in the Pediatric ICU. Residents aren't assigned to the PICU until after we've completed our first year of residency. Otherwise, we simply don't yet have the skill set necessary to take on these more complex cases. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous, because I want to do a good job. My dad has a great reputation at this hospital, and it's important to me to honor him and his work. God forbid I should fuck up and bring negative associations to the Cullen name. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be an exemplary resident, because it's important to me to earn a reputation on my own merits.
My attending physician and I quickly go through rounds, which essentially details going through the unit, patient by patient. We cover a short history of the patient's illness, their issues during the past shift and a plan of care overnight. It's an easy way to get up to speed on our patient population, as well as to make mental notes about which patients might be troublesome on my watch. Fortunately, our current cases are fairly straightforward. After rounds, my attending goes off to bed, leaving me with the patients. Typically, I won't call them again unless a patient deteriorates dramatically, or someone codes. I go back to the doc's room and review patient orders.
A soft, sweet voice interrupts my concentration.
"Excuse me, Dr. Cullen?"
I turn around to see who it is, and I'm shocked to my core. It's her. Same beautiful, petite features, same beautiful body underneath the scrubs.
I clear my throat to make sure my voice doesn't crack from nervousness. "Yes?" It's lame, but it's the only thing I can manage to say at this point.
She walks over to me and extends her hand. "I'm Bella Swan, one of the nurses here in the PICU. I always like to introduce myself to the new residents, even though you'll probably never see me again. It's good to meet you, but I certainly don't expect you to remember my name."
"On the contrary, Nurse Swan, I never expect the nurses to remember my name. You're here all the time, after all."
"That may be true, but call me Nurse Swan one more time, and I'll deck you. It's Bella, please."
"Well, then, you'd better call me Edward. I can't remember the last time anyone actually referred to me as Dr. Cullen."
"Do you find that you run into issues with that because of your dad?"
I chuckle at her question. "To be honest, if anything, it makes people refer to me by my first name even more. It gets a little confusing when there are two Dr. Cullens around."
"Your dad is an amazing guy. I have a huge amount of respect for him. It can't be easy to fill those shoes."
"Oh, believe me, I don't even try. I'll never be my father; I'm just trying to make a name for myself."
"That's really admirable."
"I'll bet that isn't why you stopped by though, is it?"
She blushes. Just like when she caught me staring at her last time.
"No, it isn't. Actually, I just wanted to let you know that my patient with the ventriculostomy just had a temperature spike to 104.4. Do you want me to send cultures?"
"Yeah. Remind me again, we have a central line?"
"Yep. Draw from both ports?"
"Please. I'd like you to send a ventric culture, too."
"Well, you may want me to do that, but it ain't gonna happen."
"I beg your pardon?"
"We aren't allowed to touch the ventrics for cultures; we can only drain them. If you want those cultured, you'll have to call the neurosurgery fellow. Dr. Hale is on tonight, and if you're ready to have her rip you a new one for no other reason than you called her, have at it."
Bella is waiting for my reply when she suddenly starts giggling.
"You look like you just ate a worm."
"How many people have you seen eat worms, Ms. Swan?"
"None until you, apparently. Don't worry; I don't relish talking to neurosurg any more than you do. They're the biggest pains in the ass around here."
"Yeah, they aren't my favorite. I'll talk to them and let you know."
I watch her walk away, as mesmerized by her medical knowledge as much as her gorgeous ass. Okay, that's bullshit. It's mainly her ass. But she's incredibly smart, and I really admire that in a woman. I have no interest in being with someone who isn't as intelligent as I am, nor as intellectually curious. Bella Swan not only appears to be a genuine and kind-hearted person, but she's also quick as a whip. In short, she is my ideal woman, mentally and physically. I make it a goal of mine to get to know her as well as I can in the four short weeks that I'm assigned to the PICU.
"Are you absolutely sure you want to take the fellowship, Edward? You could easily go into private practice, you know."
"Dad, you know I've never been interested in that. I'd be bored senseless in that kind of a setting. I want to be an attending physician for the PICU; the best way to accomplish this is to do my fellowship there."
"I understand. I just needed to be absolutely certain your mind has been made up. You've never chosen what was easy, although you certainly could have. I can't tell you how proud I am that you've challenged yourself more than any of your peers. Dr. Cullen, welcome to Seattle Children's!"
My father is beaming with pride, and it fills me with a great sense of personal satisfaction. I've always wanted to make him proud of me, and to live up to his example.
"Thanks, Dr. Cullen," I reply. "It's all I've ever wanted."
During my first night as a fellow in the PICU, we have a patient who is being airlifted in from rural Washington. His heart is beating so rapidly that we're concerned it will conk out soon. Kids are remarkable in that they can deal with a lot of stressors put on their bodies, but when they start to decompensate, they deteriorate rapidly. It sounds like this might be the case.
When I get to the patient's room, I find out that Bella Swan is going to be the admitting nurse. As excited as I am to work next to Bella, I can only hope I won't be distracted by my attraction to her. I get into the Dr. Cullen zone in my mind, and ask her to give me a rundown of what she knows about the patient. She's thorough, precise, and prepared. Even if she wasn't so stunning, I'd still be impressed. Bella is clearly a very talented nurse.
The patient arrives in full cardiac arrest; the flight nurses are doing chest compressions and bagging with oxygen. I quickly assess the patient and we start to run a code. Bella is right there, guessing accurately what I'll need next. She has an extraordinary ability to size everything up and predict what the situation might call for. She's calm, an excellent communicator in a tense situation, and essentially leads the team. I'm fucking lucky as hell she's across the bed from me.
I'd love it if she was across MY bed. I wonder what she looks like when she wakes up in the morning…
"You did a really great job in leading the team during that code, Isabella."
"Actually, people just call me Bella. I'd prefer if you call me that."
"Yeah, I know… I just wanted to get your goat," I tease. "You've always gone out of your way to be so welcoming to students and residents."
"We're in the mutual admiration society, then—I was really impressed with how you handled yourself. You made it seem like you've been doing it for years. "
"I have been doing it for years, Bella. I completed my residency, after all."
"I'm aware of that, Dr. Smartypants. I just meant you were a lot more poised than most fellows on their first shift."
"Fair enough. I always remember you as one of the kindest nurses on this unit, but definitely one of the most skilled and professional, too. Even when I was a second year resident, you treated me like I was someone. I never forgot that."
"Really? I believe it's important to be respectful of everyone, because we were all students and noobs once upon a time. Why be mean when you can establish a good working relationship with someone?"
"Well, then, I look forward to establishing a good working relationship with you, Bella Swan."
I turn and exit the room with one thought in my head: Bella Swan will be mine, if it's the last thing I do.
END NOTE: To clear up any questions that may have arisen while reading this:
Typically, medical school is a four-year commitment. Once you graduate, you're officially a medical doctor.
Residency is a three-year commitment, and most medical doctors go to a different program for their residency than they did for medical school. A typical rotation in residency is four weeks. During that time, they're assigned to cover specific patients in their area. When they're on call overnight, they're responsible for all the patients in that unit.
Fellows have completed residency but want additional training in a particular field. The length of a fellowship varies, but it can be 1-3 years. While fellows have more clout than residents, it is the attending physicians who call the shots and run the show.
A ventriculostomy is a needle placed inside the skull to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid from the brain and relieve pressure, to track the intracranial pressures, and to keep track of how much fluid is collecting every hour.