Jackie was gone.
Missing in action for days now.
And as Eleanor sat at her desk, tiding up some paperwork she'd neglected for the week, she suddenly felt a tear trickle down her cheek.
"Pull it together, O'Hara," she muttered, angrily wiping at her cheek as she continued to jot down notes, followed by a fast, unreadable signature. She flipped the folder closed and then reached for another.
It wasn't the same. She'd admitted to Jackie that she scheduled her time in the ER around the nurse's schedule, and how the hell was she supposed to work now? Without Jackie, Eleanor seemed lost. The only thing she seemed remotely interested or fascinated by these days was being able to cut people open. And those cases had, somehow, become nearly non-existent. She needed a good case to sink her teeth in to, a good gunshot wound, or stabbing to come flying in to the ER. Then she'd feel better.
Her pager started vibrating on the desk beside her. She quickly glanced down and saw the three letters she'd been hoping for. GSW.
She quickly slammed her folder closed and jumped up like a giddy school girl, racing out her door and to the elevator.
"We've got a gunshot wound coming in, people. Can you please stop loitering by the nurse's station?" Zoey called out, feeling herself channel the spirit of Jackie. Ever since she'd left, mysteriously, Zoey felt she was entitled to take over. After all, she was Jackie's protégée, her prime, number uno student. Yes, she was now on top and in charge. "Thor, put that InTouch down and get over here."
Thor quickly tossed the magazine, embarrassed at being caught, and got up just in time to meet the EMT's as they raced in with the bleeding patient. He looked young, his dark skin was covered in blood and his clothes were tattered and torn from the EMT's attempt at helping him.
Zoey reached for her stethoscope, feeling particularly prepared for just this sort of case. She exited the nurse's station and slammed right in to a passerby.
Zoey happened to glance over and realized exactly who she had just run in to.
"Bloody hell, Zoey. Are you trying to kill me?" Dr. O'Hara dusted herself off and regained her composure on her precious Blahniks.
"So-sorry." Zoey stuttered, watching as Dr. O'Hara walked briskly toward the room in to which they had just taken the gunshot victim. She quickly raced after, just in time to take orders from Dr. O'Hara.
As if the day couldn't get worse, Eleanor had expertly been removing a bullet when the boy's heart began to give out. Before they could regain his normal heartbeat with paddles, he had slipped away. He was gone in a heartbeat and Eleanor had lost her gunshot wound. Her fun of the day could only be fun if she was the heroine in the end.
But alas she was not.
She stood, staring at the Virgin Mary. Her shoulder was still chipped from a bullet. "You're still alive." She whispered angrily at the Virgin, sipping her coffee.
How she longed for Jackie to walk up to her and ask her what was wrong. To make sure she was okay. She wanted someone, really anyone to happen upon her and take her mind off the wretched day- no scratch that, month she'd been having. How could Jackie have betrayed her like that? How could she be a drug…
A body slammed in to her, knocking the coffee cup she had been holding out of her hand and all over the front of her Prada pencil skirt and her silk ruffled shirt from Chanel.
"Oh my God! Dr. O'Hara I am SO sorry."
Eleanor turned to find Zoey standing bashfully behind her, her eyes wide with fear and embarrassment.
"Oh no, it's all over!" Zoey cried, reaching out with blind hands to try and wipe away the coffee, but she soon realized she was just grazing Dr. O'Hara's boob with her hand, and her face turned even redder.
Eleanor got an amused look on her face and without words she motioned for Zoey to follow her.
Zoey bit her lip, knowing the ensuing conversation would not be good if Dr. O'Hara was asking her to go somewhere private with her. She was going to rip her apart like a patient. That outfit had to cost well in to the thousands and Zoey had just ruined it! What if Dr. O'Hara expected her to pay for it? How would she come up with that kind of money?
When they arrived at her office, Eleanor walked right in, not seeming to care if Zoey was following or not. She began unbuttoning her shirt and looked down to make sure the coffee hadn't burned her. Luckily enough, she hadn't had time to drink the coffee when it was still hot, so it had cooled considerably and had not burned her, or even hurt.
"Shut the door." She quietly demanded, and in an instant she heard the door shut.
"I'm really sorry, please don't yell." Zoey's frightened voice sounded rushed and a bit too loud for Eleanor's small office.
Eleanor, with back still turned to the young nurse, smiled. "I would have preferred it be blood, but since nothing seems to be going my way today, I'll take it." She shrugged and turned to face Zoey, pulling her shirt off completely as she did so.
Zoey's eyes moved to Eleanor's perfectly round breasts, which were confined by a white bra. The lace danced over taut nipples and she swallowed. What was Dr. O'Hara doing if she wasn't chastising her? And as her eyes wondered lower, she watched as Eleanor's hands moved to undo the back of her skirt, pushing it down to reveal…
"You don't wear underwear." Zoey found herself saying. Her eyes quickly moved upwards again. She looked away and then ran a hand through her hair. "I mean, you don't wear underwear." She closed her eyes and winced. "Um, you don't…I mean. Can I pay for that?" She squeaked out, her eyes tightly shut as Eleanor stepped out of her skirt.
Luckily Eleanor's shoes had gone untouched. She was glad. They were her favorite pair of Blahniks. She glanced down, just to double check they weren't sullied by the coffee. They were not.
"Can you do something for me?" Eleanor grabbed her coffee stained clothes and walked towards Zoey.
Zoey's eyes came partially open and widened when she noticed Eleanor was still unclothed. "Wh-what?"
"Can you dispose of these somehow? Recycle them, perhaps?"
"But they're…they're….they're beautiful. How can you…?"
"They're ruined. Now recycle them." Eleanor simply stated, moving towards her desk. She extracted a dress from a bottom drawer and slipped in to it, glad she had chosen black heels which would perfectly match the green hue of the dress.
Zoey's eyes watched as Eleanor's perfect frame was once again covered up by the silky material of the dress.
"Can you get the back?" Eleanor boredly asked, bending over her desk to have a look at an e-mail that had just arrived for her.
Zoey, with wet clothes in hand, moved quickly around the desk and got a quick inhale of Eleanor's entrancing floral perfume. Her entire office smelled of it, but upon getting closer to the woman, it was more pronounced. Her hands were unsteady as she reached for the zipper at the back of the dress. Eleanor's skin was milky white and looked as soft as silk. Zoey's fingers nearly grazed it as she tried to work the zipper upwards.
Eleanor was having all too much fun with this game. She found it comical that she could make Zoey so nervous. Yes, perhaps this day could get more interesting.
She felt the zipper go in to place, and boredly asked, "lunch?"
Zoey stepped away from the older doctor. She could hardly believe what she was hearing. She had spilled coffee on to her outfit, and now she was asking her to lunch?
"It's so weird without Jackie around, you know? I mean, I kind of like it because everyone seems to listen to me now, but it's so…"
"Empty?" Eleanor was swirling her sparkling water around in a glass, hardly listening to Zoey's ramble. But when she'd broached the subject of Jackie, Eleanor couldn't help but listen.
"Exactly. Hey, you sound sad. I bet you miss her. I bet you wish I was her. I know I'm not as good of a lunch date as she was, but I can certainly try. I mean until she gets back." Zoey offered, shyly turning to sip her childish orange juice.
Yes, Zoey was quite entertaining. Eleanor smiled, watching Zoey look bashful. "Well she certainly didn't talk as much as you do." She sat down her drink and reached for her purse, shuffling around inside it until she found her cigarettes. She had been driven to smoke again by Jackie's absence.
"Can you…can you do that in here?"
"I'm a doctor." Eleanor stated, lighting a cigarette and taking an elegant inhale.
Zoey just eyed Eleanor and nodded her head, watching as the older woman exhaled a stream of smoke. "So what did you guys talk about when you ate lunch together?" Zoey boldly inquired.
Eleanor shook her head. "Nope."
Zoey sat back in her seat. "Okay, news from Britain?"
Eleanor shook her head again.
"I think I could be in love with Lenny."
Eleanor's eyebrow rose. "Really? Talk." She leaned in, ready to get the dirt on Zoey's relationship.
"Thanks for lunch. Sorry about the clothes." Zoey placed her hands together and bowed towards Dr. O'Hara as they exited the cab.
Eleanor smiled, "next time, make sure it happens in the ER, or I will make you pay."
Zoey seemed to make a mental note of this request. "In ER, not coffee. Got it." She nodded.
"Zoey," Eleanor stopped just beneath the ER awning.
Zoey turned and moved closer to her.
"Can you keep something between us?" Eleanor acted as if she were fixing something in her purse, as she spoke.
Zoey nodded enthusiastically, excited to finally be let in on one of Dr. O'Hara's deep, inner thoughts.
Eleanor looked up and smiled. With one gentle motion, her hand reached up and caught Zoey's cheek. Their eyes met and Eleanor leaned in, pressing her lips firmly against Zoey's. Zoey was unprepared and could hardly contain her surprise. Dr. O'Hara's lips were as soft as her silk shirt had been. They tasted like her frosted cherry gloss, and her breath was a refreshing hint of mint mixed with a distant trace of cigarette. Her kiss was gentle, delicate, not intruding like Lenny's kisses. It was not needy, nor was it fast or selfish. Eleanor was giving Zoey a real, caring, soft kiss.
Their lips broke away and Eleanor moved to walk away, but Zoey pulled her back, pinning her against the wall of the hospital. Her lips were on Dr. O'Hara's once more, greedily wanting more of that sweet kiss.
But Eleanor gently pushed her away. "No."
"But…" Zoey was incredulous, like a little girl who had just been told 'no' by her strict mother.
A playful smile appeared on Eleanor's lips as she pushed herself off the wall. She allowed Zoey one last kiss and then turned, leaving the young nurse standing outside the ER, wondering what had just happened.
Oh yes, the day could get interesting, indeed.