Prologue

Patients. Blood. Death. Sick. The occasional gut. All of which the team in Albion Hospital were used to seeing on a daily basis down in the ER. They were also used to God awful coffee from the machine in the Doctor's Lounge.

Personally, Guinevere Leodegrance found the 'Doctor's Lounge' to be most offensive, like the nurses weren't allowed to use it too, like she was now, waiting for more evil coffee to go through the filter. She would have been better off going across the road to Costa and spending two quid on a simple coffee, it would do her better than this, but she didn't have the time.

They were short of nurses as it was, she couldn't go disappearing.

The door opened behind her, she peered over her shoulder to see Doctor Le Fay and Nurse Emrys, otherwise known as her two best friends; Morgana and Merlin.

"Gwen," Morgana exclaimed on seeing her, "Tough shift?" the Graveyard shift had never been fun, ever. It was less fun when you were doing a double shift and the day wasn't any where near over.

"Three GSWs, all fatal. I've had to change five times because the same kid threw up on me, and oh yeah, Arthur's on this shift and I can't escape him."

It hadn't been pretty. She'd been avoiding him for the last couple of days. It wasn't right for the Chief of the ER and one of the nurses to date. Or have hot sex after drinking far too much after a really, really crappy shift. She'd managed to avoid him for the last three days successfully.

The door opened again, "Merlin, there you are," and with that Gwen was glad she was facing away from him and at the still filtering coffee machine, "I need you to set up a line on Mrs Parker in Curtain Four. Get the history from the suspected Appy in Exam two. And, oh Morgana, you can take the broken arm in Exam Six. Then talk to Miss Williams in Curtain Three; her results are in."

Merlin made to leave without argument, waiting by the door. Morgana looked over at Gwen awkwardly, she didn't want to leave her on her own with her brother, unfortunately for Gwen, he would relish in the action of putting his own sister on probation, "You're a gem," she commented, scowling at him as she took the chart from his hands.

Merlin held the door for the female doctor, a scowl on his face.

"Goodbye, Morgana," Arthur ushered them out and shut the door behind them. Arthur was Dr Pendragon, Chief Attending of the ER, son of the Dean of Medicine. In short, he could fire Gwen at the drop of a hat if he so desired, and to make his life easier so he could go back to his girl-a-night ways, "Guinevere?"

"Dr Pendragon-" he looked at her sternly, "Arthur," she greeted, pouring her coffee from the freshly brewed pot.

"I was starting to think you'd been avoiding me."

"I have," she replied honestly, stirring in sugar. Arthur was leaning against the arm of the sofa.

"Look, Gwen-"

"Don't. It was a tough day, we were drunk, didn't mean a thing," she reasoned, attempting to walk past him to the door. Arthur reached out, taking her wrist in his stronger hand.

"Is that it?"

"Is what it?"

"It didn't feel like it meant nothing," Gwen sharply tugged her arm from his grasp.

"Arthur don't. We both know I mean very little to you. I'm your sister's little friend you didn't know the name of for ten years. You're my boss, that's all you'll ever be," she walked away, leaving the Doctor's lounge.

"Guinevere, you d-" Arthur shouted, his voice carrying door the hospital corridor, she looked back over her shoulder shooting him daggers until the door closed again and he could see her no more. He practically growled and hit the wall with his balled fist, Why couldn't it be anybody else?


Hunched over one of the cubicle toilets, Gwen emptied her breakfast into the bowl another time, Morgana rubbing gentle circles on her lower back, holding her long hair out of the way, "Christ, Gwen, what did you have for breakfast?"

"I didn't."

"Dinner last night?"

"It's not food poisoning, Morgana, I've been feeling rough for a couple of days, it'll pass."

"You shouldn't be at work if you're upchucking," the Irish girl reasoned, flushing away her best friends vomit, continually rubbing circles on her lower back.

"We're short staffed as it is," Gwen argued, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. She stood slowly and made her way out of the cubicle and over to the sinks and washing her hand thoroughly. She dried them with a paper towel and placed it in the pedal bin before finally squirting her hands with her anti-bacterial gel and rubbing it in.

"Go home, we'll cope," Morgana ordered, looking stern and concerned, "Merlin can manage."


It had been the longest two minutes of Gwen's life to date. She'd scrubbed the toilet until it shined, cleaned her bath and shower even attacked the sink, but still found the two minutes to stretch before her.

She sat on the closed toilet lid, looking in the mirror opposite where she could see the top of her head in the bottom of it. Staring herself down, her mind wondered to the reason she was sat there now.

She'd gone back to his flat after sharing a bottle of wine with him after one of the hardest shifts she'd ever had to deal with in her five years of being a nurse. Two children had been involved in a smash up of five cars on the motorway. When they'd arrived they'd been talking, seemingly okay.

Half an hour later Gwen had gotten news that their mother had died on the operating table and it fell to her to break the news to them. She'd turned to him; knowing she couldn't do it alone and he'd been nice and stood in with her.

One of the kids, Elaina had cried so hard she'd started to cough, when she had taken her hand away there had been blood. It had all gone downhill from there. Her brother, Marty, had had internal bleeding that hadn't presented itself originally.

He didn't last the shift.

Both of them had worked past their time to help with the pile up victims. They'd left together and ended up in Joe's with that blasted first bottle. After one bottle they'd left, talking about how shit the day had been, and how much they wished that they didn't have to deal with kids, especially when they died.

Their conversation had taken them back to his flat in the nicer part of town to hers. He'd pulled out the oldest scotch he could find and they'd proceeded to get utterly riddled.

She dare not think about what came next – not again.

She took to humming to herself just as her phone alarm sounded; two minutes up.

"Here goes nothing," she picked up the lone white stick, her eyes screwed shut.

Slowly she opened her eyes and focused; "Oh no. Oh god."

Positive. The test was positive.

Guinevere was pregnant.