Title: Live Hard

Summary: He may not even be considered much of a person anymore but the moon does things that bring out what he used to be, there's a reason the doctor has him on a sedative and there's one unlucky nurse's name on the bottom of the incident report following the bite.

Rating: M

Warnings: Language, violence

Spoilers: There are some but they are few and far between for the most part, this story works around the main storyline while incorporating it at key points.

Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Wolf

A/N: Kind of starts off as an outsider's view of what's going on in Beacon Hills. It's a Derek/OC pairing that doesn't include someone's cousin or sister or out of town relative or sexy female werewolf that just moved to town or mysterious injured girl he just found in the woods on a lonely midnight stroll. Nothing against those types of OC's but I think there's already authors writing those stories and I kind of want to write my own.

Day 1:

The agency had called and asked if she wanted to do an eight hour at twenty-six an hour. She hadn't been in a long-term care facility since she'd done her geriatrics clinical in school. The recruiter said that she'd be in charge of four licensed practical nurses and that they wouldn't have to deal with students performing care at the facility until next August.

It was only the location that made her say yes, suburban town with a skilled nursing facility and accredited teaching hospital within five miles.

They told her the bonus for the full nine months was in the range of four-thousand five hundred and six thousand dollars, they were giving medical and dental insurance and accommodations with a grocery allowance.

Over the phone she made arrangements for them to transfer what they were paying the apartment complex for accommodations to her bank account and that she's find her own housing and drive down within the next three weeks ready for work.

The woman on the phone told her where she could pick up her uniform and said goodbye with instructions on how to get in touch with the Beacon Heights facility if she had any questions regarding procedures and protocols.

Once she had hung up she turned to face the hovering figure sprawled across her couch.

"You better fix those cushions and the afghan when you get up, bitch," she smiled.

"I will. Skank," her couch-bound companion replied much more interested in the cop show on the television than the other woman or her reminder of the proper way to leave the couch.

Popping her hip into the edge of her dining room table the older woman smiled softly and informed the younger that from the way she was laying her boobs were about to pop out.

"You're just jealous because men can't motorboat you. Who was on the phone? You leaving?"

Straightening a placemat on her table the older and smaller-chested woman nodded and answered, "Yep. It's over in Beacon Heights."

"How far away is it?" The other woman raised her head to catch her eyes.

"About the distance Long Island is from Buffalo."

"Long way to go," she stated flatly.

"Uh-huh, yup."

"Have fun wiping ass. It is old people right?"

"It's toileting, not wiping ass. Say that around your instructors and they'll fail you," she sing-songed at the younger woman.

"Whatever. When are you leaving?"

"I'm going to have to call the real estate guy today and get him to find me someone who rents houses because I am not staying in some shitty agency bought apartment."

"Um, if you don't like apartments how come we're standing in one right now?"

With a scowl the older of the two lifted a pack of cigarettes of an end table next to the couch and thumbed one out, placing it in her mouth; she bent to find her lighter.

"I'm standing, you're sitting on you lazy ass," she mumbled around the filter.

"You know what I mean, Lucy."

"Because I want to rent a house, nothing big. It's not permanent, and this apartment is permanent and since I'm not buying a house here it's more cost-effective to rent a permanent apartment than a house every month. Does that make sense?"

She found her lighter on the floor under the table and after lighting it and blowing out the first inhale, pointed at the woman on the couch with a glare, "And quit it with the 'Lucy,' if you don't I'll start calling you Ethel."

"Why would you call me Ethel?"

The older woman rolled her eyes at having her joke fall short.

"Look it up. You want to stay here while I'm gone?"

There was a huff of exasperation from her couch, "Don't care enough to look it up," and after a moment with no response the younger woman changed the topic. "How much am I going to have to pay in rent?"

"How much do you make a week?"

"Eight hundred."

Thoughtfully the apartment owner took a drag and tapped her nails on the end table's porcelain lamp. She liked the sound.

"Okay, then you can pay forty percent of the rent. While I'm gone you can have your dumbass come over, and you can keep that stupid cat here as long as it doesn't urinate on my bed."

The younger woman reared up and pressed her torso over the arm of the couch to grin and turn her face into the cushioning in a childish expression of glee.

"I love you."

Blowing a puff at her the older woman rolled her eyes again, "I hate you."

"You. Are. My. Biffel," the couched woman persisted. The older one stared for a long moment and shook her head in defeat.

"Ditto. Move over and gimme the remote," she mumbled around her cigarette, sprawling onto the couch and the other woman.

"I thought you had to call the real estate guy."


"Dad called before."

The eldest sister looked down at the youngest who grimaced in pain as she shifted her weight.


"When you were out walking Spike. God you have a bony ass, get off!"

"Don't call him that it will confuse him," she moved her bottom back and let her sister wiggle towards the edge of the couch and then used her abdomen as a leg rest.

"He looks like a Spike," the younger sister commented thoughtfully.

From her sagged position she moved her arms onto the back of the couch and reached for the ashtray on the opposite arm tapping her ashes delicately into the cut glass dish.

"What did he say?"

Looking down she found her sister peering up confused.

"The dog?"

With a smoky sigh she snorted and shifted her gaze to the television fast enough to catch a dog nip a bad guy on the butt. On his bedding next to the door her own raised his ears and growled happily.

"Dad, dumbass," she stabbed at her human leg rest with a long nailed finger.

"Owww. Don't poke my fat!" She grabbed at the offending finger and made to chomp on it before getting scratched on the arm in her sister's growing irritation.

"Come on, what did he say?"

"To call him back when you got the chance."

Phone calls from their father were rare and per functionary, unusually short and laconic. Each one had a reason other than idle chit-chat.

"Did he say what he wanted?"

"I think he wanted to know when the new game is coming out or something."

"Which one?"

"The one with the zombie aliens in space."

"Oh, that one's not coming out until February or something like that, call him and tell him early next year."

"You call him."


They both watched a police officer climb a chain-link fence in pursuit for a moment until the suspect was tackled by three others.

"You're the one that is too lazy to get up and call him. Give me back the remote, change it back!"

With a snicker the older sister tossed it back as she climbed off the couch with ashtray in hand to go call their father and find the number for her real estate agent.

"Fine, here. There's nothing else on any way."

Her sister rose up on her elbows and waited until she recovered from a light stumble over a shoe that wasn't hers, breaking her yell of anger about putting shoes by the door off before it started, her sister drew her attention away from a rant with, "Lucette, I have a question."

"What is it?" She was glad her sister didn't call her Lucy again.

"Do you think I'll see someone die in the hospital this rotation?"

The question wasn't one she was expecting. She was expecting a question about her sister's cat, or what to get their father for his birthday, or about why police officers had to put their hats on before getting out of their cars, the topic of dying people wasn't really what she had been putting her money on.

"There's a good chance you'll see a dead body and do care on it, I don't know if you'll actually be there when they die."

"Did you ever see it?"

"Yes," she called from the other room searching for her file box. Returning from her office room she set the box on the table and flicked through the tabs until she found the one with the label for 'APARTMENT,' on it.

"What happened?"

Distracted by finding her lease agreement she didn't answer for a long moment. Remembering her cigarette she sat down in a leather seated dining chair and finished it, remembering back to when she was still in school.

"The family wanted someone to do a blood pressure on him and my instructor brought us all in to show us the breathing pattern and he died while she was taking his apical."

Her sister had climbed onto the arm of the couch and kicked at the side with her heels. She stopped when she saw her sister's grimace.

"Was it sad?"

"For them. We were all just in the gallery, you know," she made a neat pile of papers she would need for when she made her calls later as she spoke.

"And then what happened?"

"A nurse came in and started saying bull on how a piece of him would always be in his children and grandchildren and shit like that. I thought it was incredibly insensitive to say something like that to the family of a man who just died right then with them still looking at his body and crying."

The thought of the experience was dulled like a bruise that had stopped hurting but still showed.

"How did you feel?"

"Like I shouldn't be in the room, like none of the students should be."

"Hmmm," it was a thoughtful hum and Lucette wondered if her sister understood at all.

Clarifying the sentiment and lighting another cigarette while she sorted and categorized the information her agency representative had given her she explained further, "It's not that sad, because you don't know them. It just happens. It was different when I was doing homecare for that one woman."

Her sister remembered the woman as Lucette's 'Old Lady,' that was what everyone else had called her.

"But you weren't there when she died."

Testily she answered, "No, but I was there the week before when she thought she was going to die one night."

"And what happened with her?"

"Well, that night, she thought it was really time and she was in bed and asked if I'd stay with her and lie down next to her and just hold her hand until she fell asleep and died. So I did and I feel asleep and then in the morning when I woke up I saw she was awake and when she saw that I was awake she said 'Damn it, I'm still here,' and we laughed and I made her tea and she died the next week."

She tapped her cigarette and took a slow, deep drag, letting it out after holding it in for a long time. Her sister waited until she'd blown it out to ask another question.


"From her disease," Lucette stated expecting the question.

"I mean like, where did she die, when?"

"Oh," she thought for a moment, "She was watching television and crocheting. It was peaceful. She made me a scarf."

Her sister's expression turned aghast and Lucette choked on smoke from her giggle.

"Before she died?"

"No, for Christmas," she was still laughing at her sister's relieved expression that the old woman hadn't died while making her a scarf.

"The green one?"


She thought they were done talking because her sister had lain back down and turned her face sideways to stare at the screen.

"How did you feel?"

Slamming her highlighter down the older sister rolled her eyes hard and deep up into her skull and stared at the ceiling for a few seconds in aggravation, "What are you a social worker?"

"No, sorry." She knew her sister wasn't really sorry, she also knew that she knew that she would answer anyway.

"I was sad about it. She was alone and I guess I was the only one to feel sad about her but when someone's sick and dying like that, you're glad too," she bit the end of her filter and clicked her highlight cap on and off.

"So they're not suffering anymore?"

She let her highlighter drop and stopped its roll to the edge of the table with the edge of a file folder. She answered while staring at the wall.

"There's more to it than that, but yeah. I think it's more about you having to watch them suffer; it really has nothing to do with them. It's a self-centered sort of feeling, because you're the one feels the grief while they're dying and after they're dead. Grief is draining, it lasts while a person is there and after they're gone so the faster they die the less grief you have to carry around with you."

"I get it," her sister said softly, distracted by her own mindless jumble of thoughts that were more feelings than ideas or concepts.

"I know you do. Life's hard, Whatcha gonna do? Stella?" Her tone was joking, trying to diffuse the heaviness of the sentiment with humor.

Her sister mumbled something she couldn't hear. Lucette let it go and went back to her papers and let her sister rummage through her own thoughts on her own.

Day 4:

"Last girls' night for awhile huh?" A spread of three jacks went down on the other side of the table for thirty points. The card at the top of the pile was picked up after her card playing companion put one down.

"I get a three day weekend at the end of every month, I'll tell you when so I can drive up and keep you from going crazy because Bubba's the only person besides me that you spend any time around," Lucette mumbled looking at her hand and laying down the last jack on her friend's for ten counter points.

"He has a name," her friend mentioned annoyed with the nickname. Her angry eyes made Lucette grin and blow smoke out at the other woman.

"He's still a Bubba, completely momma dependent," she replied carelessly and laid down the three, four, five and six of spades for twenty points.

"He is not, he never lets me cook for him or when he gets banged up he never lets me know so I can help, ya know? He's annoying."

"Because he's not old enough to know he can fuck you and have you momma him. He goes to his momma for that and to you for the fucking. Give it like five years."

"I don't want to wait for five years."

"Then find an older guy."

"But I like my Bubba," the other woman persisted, she hissed when Lucette laid down three aces for forty-five points after she had just thrown away the one she'd been holding into the pile of pick-up cards.

"There's plenty of Bubbas at the barbeque, Molly."

Molly puckered her mouth like her mixed vodka drink was lemon juice, "How can you say things like that with a straight face?"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Her own drink was warmth in her esophagus and stomach, like the whiskey was wafting through her chest with hot liquid fingers.

"It means you're crazy," Molly informed her from across the table as she slapped down a just drawn final ace and counter-pointed for fifteen points.

"Because I'm single or because I think you're relationship is flawed," Lucette inquired with a low chin and high brow, eyes peeking up under her hair.

They went back and forth with cards for until Molly caught the other woman with too many cards left in her hand to beat her score.

Switching to scrabble and a fresh cigarette the conversation about dismal and nonexistent relationships went on with minimal glaring and raised tones.

"Because you've always been single and because you think my relationship is flawed."

"What's wrong with having a relationship with yourself?"

'Jowls' was added to the board first quickly followed by 'sigh.'

"What's wrong with having one with someone else?" The freckled blonde asked.

"Nothing, if you're not working full-time. Jeez you won't even know what this word means."

She placed the tiles slanted and let the other woman fix them so 'deity,' branched off of 'sigh.'

"I like having a Bubba."

"I like not having one," the brunette insisted jabbing the air in front of her with her cigarette.

"You wouldn't say that if you had one."

"If I wanted one I'd get one."

"So do it."

"I don't want one," her whiskey was soothing and made the old conversation less boring and aggravating than usual.

"Why not?"

"Because I'm entering a nunnery and becoming a bride of Jesus."

"You are so funny."

"Glad you think so."

The rattling scrabble bag passed back and forth and tiles clacked down every few minutes, they got buzzed and yelled at the other for using the space the other wanted or that the other was full of shit and that there was no such word in the dictionary: Molly to Lucette, the latter was always happy enough pull out a dictionary and prove that, no, she was in fact not full of shit, or that the other was mentally impaired and that they were spelling the word they wanted wrong: Lucette to Molly, the latter was always displeased to realize that they were in fact not spelling the word correctly.

When they were down to a respective five and three tiles the blonde looked up and asked, "Seriously what's so bad about having a boyfriend?"

"I hate people," Lucette answered fast with flailing hands and raised shoulders disturbing the smoke tendrils around her.

"You're a nurse," the other woman told her as if her job choice had anything to do with her love life.

"It's my job to care for my patients; I get paid to do it. It's different. That's job life, not real life. If work was supposed to be fun, they'd call it carnival and not work."

Not enjoying or appreciating the thoughtful look she was subjected to from across the table as Molly took her time meandering through her thoughts on the subject of boyfriends and relationships instead of how to use her last five tiles.

"But you talk about men all the time. You should get one," she laid down the pitiful word of 'lay,' and stared at the three tiles she hadn't used.

"I'd rather have a rich fantasy life. Less stress, no drama, and after I get off there's no man mess to clean up off my sheets."

"You are disgusting. Man mess? Really?"

The 'really' made her feel like behaving badly and saying something vicious. She hated that tone her best friend liked to use, as if she were a child that needed to be knocked down a few pegs.

"Yeah, man mess, wet spot on the bed, cum, semen, bodily secretions. For someone who let their boyfriend give them a pearl necklace I thought you'd get what I was talking about," she smiled in victory at the angry red blush that colored the other woman's face.

"Shut up! I know what you're talking about, but who talks about it like that? How do you even know?"

'Porn,' was the first thought that came to mind, she didn't say it like that though.

"My mind is a swamp of smut. I know how babies are made and what men do with their penises, I have a computer."

"Why am I friends with you?"

"Because everyone else coddles you and lets you keep thinking the sun shines out of Bubba's asshole and that he's got a golden dick."

"I need another drink. Make me a drink. Do you see what you do to me?"

Pausing their game she got up to make the blonde another vodka, passion fruit, whatever drink for the collection of bottles cluttering her counter-top.

She put on her best deep man voice impression and said, "You wish I'd do it more often." She flicked out her tongue for maximum creepy affect.

Molly made a face of disgust. "Eh! What is wrong with you?"

"Sorry, I'm liquored up. I'm being mean, sorry," she turned and threw ice in her blender and finished making the dumb drink with ingredients she didn't even know she had had in her cabinets.

"You're' mean and disgusting. It's okay. Just, I don't know, things are weird with me and him right now," the blonde told her as she handed her the drink and sat back down to look at the 'R', 'C' and 'X' on her own letter rack.

"You and Bubba?" She went through all the words she knew that started with those letters that used an 'E' or a 'U' as a vowel; she was no longer interested in the conversation that had gone on too long.


"Estelle is having problems with her dumbass. You're not the only one."

"What's her problem?"

"Stupid stuff. Nothing important, same as you." Lucette looked up and grinned at the pout she received from across the Scrabble board.

"I'm not going to miss you when you're working, because you treat me so horribly. Lucinda."

"Uh-huh, whatever. Hate that name, bitch. I win, you loooose. Heh!" She choked a bit on her last swallow of whisky.

She used her final three tiles by using the 'U' the other woman had used to create 'flute' to make 'crux.'

"I hate this game. It's not even fun to play with you, and your big words."

"Four letters is not a big word," she informed her.

"Who even knows words like that?"


"Obviously, because you are such a genius."

"You're making me blush."

They cleaned up the tiles and the board and threw the box on top of the Harry Potter edition of Monopoly and Disney Scene it.

As the blonde lay down on the floor next to the couch she looked up and offered some hopes on the new assignment, "Maybe you'll have some good-looking orderlies at the facility."

"Hopefully," the other woman answered moving her laptop from the seat cushions and onto her stomach as she extended her legs and leaned back into the arm of the couch.

"Yeah, do they have a gym in the town?"

"I don't know, I was actually going to go look on the computer and see if they had a community page or something," she pointed at the screen as she typed in her password and opened up an internet tab.

"Do it now. I want to see."

She double clicked on the search engine box and let the blinking cursor form the letters of the new locale. It didn't have a community page on the website she liked but it had an alright self-run one under the links on the page of their teaching hospital.

"That one, click it," Molly pointed with finger whose nail bore chipped blue polish and the ugly purple of the color before it still on the cuticle.

"I know. Stop being a backseat keyboarder."

She clicked the link and a picture of the town's welcome sign greeted her with the local temperature and weather forecast in a tiny box to the right and a list of links to the left. A sentence in white with red blocking slid by underneath the picture.

"What's that rolling red thing at the bottom say?"

"The marquee?"

"Okay Miss Big Words, just click."


The marquee led to a public advisory on local sightings of roaming/foraging animal(s) throughout the community. It had the number of the local animal control authorities and a link off-site of what to do if encountered by the roaming animals.

"What's that mean?" Molly asked.

"I think it's the phrase they use for stray bears and stuff," wondering even as she said it if bears spent a lot of time roaming into suburban backyards.


Clicking the link off-site it led to a page of how-to tips for not getting killed by big cats.

"Mountain lions."

With a laugh the other girl attracted her attention away from the computer and down towards the floor next to the couch. Leaning back on her elbows Molly looked positively gleeful.

"Looks like you picked a good place to work. I'm jealous, I'd love to work in an environment where there's a high risk of being mauled to death by wild animals."

"Mountain lion, singular not plural, it's not a zoo stampede of various animals or many mountain lions, mountain lions: plural. Mountain lion: singular, as in one, uno, solitary."

She let the other girl take her laptop and play around on it and read the article she had went back to, the local news report on the subject of the advisory.

"Did you read this?"

"I skimmed," her buzz was making her deliciously weightless and mumbly in her speech.

"One person says it's a mountain lion, another says it's a bipedal bear and down at the bottom someone says it might be a subspecies of wolf."

"A subspecies of wolf is a wild dog; see they try to make themselves sound smart by saying dog in a roundabout way," she told her with a smile teasing the corners of her mouth at her own intelligence.

"Maybe it's Bigfoot."

"And since mountain lions and wolves and dogs walk on four legs the fact that they used the word bipedal is superfluous," she continued on, ignoring the comment about Bigfoot.

"You are obnoxious when you're buzzed, I hope you know."

A finger poked at her cheek, she slapped it away.

"Also bears are only bipedal when they rear up to snarl or scare something or when they're trying to reach something, like bee hives; they don't walk around like that."

"I told you it's Bigfoot. Bee hives?"

"Yeah, bears like honey."

"They do not, they eat fish."

"And honey, see exhibit pooh bear." She slurred the tiniest of bits, more happy and dozing than actually alcohol induced.

"You get all your facts about bears from Winnie the Pooh?"

"Actually I get them from Robin Goodfellow."

"Who's that?"

At the question she opened her eyes and rolled them so the other woman could see her do it and know that the question was a stupid one.

"You and my sister are stupid."

"Your joke references are stupid."

"Watch more television and you'd get them."


Lucette took the laptop back and sat up straighter from her formerly slouched position. "Can I ex out of this? I want to see what else they have in the town before I actually get there."

"Yeah, okay. Ex out and look at the town directory, it's on the left."

Molly pointed at the screen again, the brunette grabbed for the finger but wasn't fast enough to catch it in her palm.

"I know where it is, I just saw it like two minutes ago; I didn't just have a seizure and forget I saw it."

"I think you have absence seizures, did I tell you that?"

The directory of stores and local attractions popped up from the link.

"I just don't listen to you, that doesn't classify as abnormal brain activity, it is classified as me not giving a shit."

"I'm serious. You don't even know you do it. You zone out, or you'll ask a question and I'll answer and you won't remember if I answered it. And you do it with other people too."

"I'll make an appointment to have my brain dissected as soon as possible then, in that case."

"I think it's hereditary."


"You're dad is exactly the same way, maybe you just picked it up from him."

"Aspergers is said to be linked to a male carrier," she remembered from her pediatrics rotation in school. Molly scoffed and crawled up onto the couch, letting Lucette's feet drop in her lap. "You're not autistic."

"It's autism without cognitive issue; it's a social deficit, not a mental," she explained going back to the search engine and bringing up her medical dictionary site to show the other woman the definition of the disorder.

She passed the laptop over and watched her friend read it with a smile turning into a grin and then into an absolute gorge in the middle of her face.

She read the page aloud on the edge of cracking up, "Incapable of basic human empathy, yep sounds like you, unable to understand humor in a nonliteral way, yep that's you, and one-sided verbosity with lack of eye contact during speech, oh my god, that's you!"

The blonde let the giggles spill out and quickly they turned into gasps for air.

"Sounds like me. I am Aspergic," the brunette agreed.

"Not a word."

"I'm being unilaterally verbose."

"Jesus Christ," Molly rolled her eyes.

"Kathleen," Lucette smirked.


The brunette laughed and told her, "Another television joke, which you did not get at all."

"Who's Kathleen?"

"Nobody, now I need a drink."

Day 10:

"I think, young man that you are behaving very badly today," she spoke with a downward stare. Sidestepping a gap in the pavement she stumbled over a too long shoelace bow.

She bent a re-tied her sneaker frowning that her nail-polish didn't exactly match the shade of the shoe like she had thought it did, mint green instead of grass stain green. "Did you know that?" She asked at eye level with the wet eyed stare.

"You know when you're being naughty. So bad, and misbehaved. By the way do you have to drool so much?" Scratching at the large animal's ears she smiled softly.

Drool was collecting and threatening to drop at the corner of the dog's jowls. Picking her knee up from the ground she pressed the denim to the slobber and with a shift wiped it away.

"I think I should make you a monogrammed slobber rag. What do you think? As a Christmas present, though. Monogramming is expensive; I'd have to send away for it and everything," letting out a heavy breath as she stood she kept her eyes on the now upward stare from the dog.

"Are you listening to me, bad boy?" She let him walk along father in front while she trailed behind to watch a team practice through the chain-link around the sports ground of the highschool. There was a hard tug on the other end of the lease, "Quit it. Naughty boys, do not get treats," turning his head with raised ears at the word treat the dog's expression seemed to say 'yes, please.'

"If you behave then maybe you can have a treat after."

The teams on the field broke for a break, soccer and lacrosse. Without the extra padding above the waist as the other team had several soccer players stripped down to bare chest and flopped unto the grass.

She hummed in approval and stood to watch, wondering if her sunglasses made her look alluring or creepy. After considering the thought idly she figured since she was a woman it was more a more seductive image than if she was a man walking his dog watching half-naked highschool boys play violent sports.

A ball slapped into the fence, rattling it. Stepping back out of surprise she rolled her eyes when a loud bark of displeasure came out of her companion.

"Don't bark, jeez you are going to get me in trouble. Don't be jealous they are a little too young, jail bait, for sure. Cute and shirtless, but still young. Molls would call me a cradle robber and Stella would want me to send one home to replace the one she's got."

Continuing to bark as one of the players ran over to collect the small ball she reprimanded the dog with a sharp tug on the lease.

"Brigadier, bolo."

The mastiff quieted instantly, "Good boy, I knew you weren't really being naughty. You are so good. Treats for you," she feed him a bone shaped treat from her pocket and pulled at his flopping jowls affectionately.

The sound of a heated discussion between two guys at the edge of the student parking lot at the end of the fence made her dog run forward and growl at the duo at a far enough distance away that she couldn't exactly make them out to determine if they were attractive.

She chastised herself for wondering about looks rather than if her dog was alarming them.

"Brigadier, rally." Her tone was stern and not pleased since even a sharp tug prior had failed to get him to let up on the growling.

"Good boy, Brigadier," she stated tersely and with a hard look directed at the off put animal, "Now put those teeth away."

The duo came around the corner, they were too young but cute in a school boy way, not her type but it didn't keep her from giving them a once over and respective ratings of seven and six point five.

"Woah! Big dog!" The shorter boy did a full circle, running into his friend and looking back at the dog with a leg raised as a protective measure.

"Brigadier, you and those teeth," she sighed shaking her head and winding the lease around her fist, the cuter of the two tripped over his friend's feet and had to catch himself on the fence.

He straightened and stepped out of her path; he took his friend by the arm and jerked him away.

"Sorry," he mumbled.

"Not a problem. Trot," she commanded with an irritated clip in her voice brought on by her dog's return to growling like the apologetic boy had a steak in his pants.

With a mental giggle she shook off her self-centered amusement at the idea of boys having meat in their pants. The duo walked off across the parking lot, the smaller boy looking back over at the dog as if she was going to set it after them.

"Your first walk and you are already scaring boys, so possessive," she chided confused as to why exactly her dog seemed more interested in teenage boys than she did for the brief moment.

Day 12:

"Why on earth do you have all these books?" Molly huffed from three stairs behind her.

She was glad her friend couldn't see her smile; if she had she would have called her obnoxious, "Because it makes me look smart."

"I knew it."

"I don't even know how to read," Lucette joked walking into her new office room and dropping the heavy box of medical textbooks onto the floor with a bang.

"Is this required reading for your BSN?" The blonde had lifted a book on cardiac pacing from the lighter box her friend had given her to carry up the stairs.

"No, why?" A look of disgust crossed the other girl's features at the answer. "Then why do you have it?"

"Because I like cardiology," the brunette shrugged sending her long braid off her shoulder and down her back already knowing what was coming.

"Jesus Christ."

"What?" Despite knowing exactly where the conversation was going she had to ask, she busied herself with pulling out books and putting them on the half-full book case.

"You should be a doctor."

She turned with three books in her hand and stared at her best friend who leaned against the desk in the room.

"I thought about it," Lucette admitted with a much less enthusiastic shrug than before.

"Well, why don't you do it? Girl who reads books on heart rhythms for enjoyment."

She laughed loudly at the idea, "Ha! Um, money. Kind of need a lot of it to go to med school. And I read fictional romance for pleasure, did you know they call the ones with vampires and fairies and stuff 'Urban Fantasy?' Like there's a surplus of paranormal romance happening in big cities."

Molly sat on the desk and played with a pad of post-its she held one end and let the other fall to the floor in a slinky like motion. "I don't care. Besides back on the topic of school it's not like you don't have it, money wise."

"What's that supposed to mean?" She filled up the shelf she'd been working on and moved to the one under it, wiping sweat away from her neck with her hand.

"That you work enough to go through med school twice."

"I could pay for it if I didn't have an apartment and if I worked full-time to pay my car bills and still go out and be able to buy girl products. And don't say 'back on the topic,' my tangent on the classification of romance novels is much more important and interesting."

"So do it. Med school, not the reading of romance novels."

"I don't want to be a doctor." She turned around to lean on the bookcase and give her friend an exasperated look, "Too much work for too little pay and too many hours. It's not worth it today. Nurse practitioner is the next thing, but I want to have a break from school for at least another year."

"So you'll work and save up," Molly smiled and shook her head as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

"Uh-huh. That's the plan. Or you know I could blow all my savings on lotto and booze and hope to hit the jackpot and buy my own island."

"Go for it," her friend once again became more interested in the post-its and paperclips. Lucette took the behavior as her cue to finish filling shelves.

"Or I could spend all my money on high class gigolos whom I would shower with expensive love tokens," she remarked over her shoulder as she crouched down and opened another box.

"Oh my god, yes! You can have a live in gigolo!"

"If I could find one that knew how to cook, do laundry, iron, vacuum, and give the dog a bath I'd do it. But those gigolos are so selfish; all they do is have sex with you for obscene amounts of money for a short period of time. Lazy bastards."

Grabbing her keys off a higher shelf she used the one for her car to cut through the packaging tape and made a pile of books as high as her knee next to her.

"You need to get laid."

The idea was not a new one. She appreciated the sentiment but it was old. "I need a massage."

"Good luck getting both from the same guy."

"That's precisely my point," she turned and let herself fall out of the crouch she'd been holding and stretched her legs on the wood floor in front of her.

Molly hopped from the desk and sat down next to her; she bumped the toe of her sneaker to Lucette's, and let her bump it back.

"Why do rented houses have furniture but not plates? Is it always like that?"

"For the most part, at least I have a television."

"With the cable?"

"No, that I have to pay for. I don't have to pay for utilities though. Which is nice."

They lapsed into silence and stared at the desk and the wall behind it for a long while. "Can I stay here tonight and drive back in the morning?"

"Sure. I was surprised when you called and asked if I wanted the help unpacking, by the way," she turned her head to meet the other girl's eyes.

"I wasn't going to; it was kind of a spur of the moment thing."

"Wasn't the game this week?" Lucette remembered hearing about it earlier.


The affirmation surprised her. "Why aren't you at the game then?"

"Because I decided to come down and help my best friend move into her new domicile."

"You and your big words, soooooo irritating," she joked while sagging to the side and pushing Molly to the floor sideways with her body weight.

"Oh, shut up!" She got a lazy kick to her shin and shove back into an upright position for her efforts.

"Bubba being an ass?"

"A big stupid fucking asshole is more correct at this point in time," Molly banged her head back; it sent the books back further into the shelf.

"What did he do?"

"Stupid guy shit. He yelled at me for trying to 'baby' him," her friend answered with a single eye peeked open.

"Hmmm," she closed her own eyes and relaxed.

"Go ahead; tell me it's my fault. You told me this would happen and you were right. Go on say it."

"Don't have to, you already know what happened. I'm not going to yell at you, it was your choice. Whether it was your fault or not I'm still going to side with you because I'm your friend not Bubba's."

"I love you."

"I love you for helping me carry all my books upstairs. I do have a lot don't I?" She looked around at the six other boxes in the room, there were still four downstairs.

"It borders on obsessive."

With a snicker she nodded, "That was a pretty good pun."


"Borders on obsessive, books, Borders. Borders books," she explained with her eyes closed.

"I wasn't even trying to make a joke."

"You're just inherently funny; since you're staying the night I guess we should have drinks."

There was an aggravated growl next to her, "No drunk Scrabble tonight, please no drunk Scrabble, I can't spell when I'm sloshed."

"The cable guy is supposed to come by later and set up the box for me, we could do that," she suggested.

"Movie night, no scary movies."


"Yes, yes I am. Thanks for noticing."

"No comedies, romantic or otherwise."


"No, you can choose a drama or an action movie."

She allowed the blonde a moment of thought. It didn't take her long to choose. "Action, with shirtless men, loads of them."

"I need one with a good sex scene."

"What's that show you made me watch with the gladiators? I'd watch that."

"Okay, yeah. That one gladiator chest kicks someone in every single episode. And then in one episode him and the main guy wrestle each other naked in the bath house, slathered in olive oil."

"Liar. You are horrible."

"I'm being serious."

"I am not watching gay porn with you."

"It's not gay porn, there is no penetration. They just punch each other and roll around while naked with other naked greased up men yelling in the background."

"Do you see their…you know?"

Lucette opened her eyes and stood up reaching down to pull the other girl up, when they were eye to eye she raised her brows. "For a girl that has a boyfriend and gives bed baths to old men it's a little strange that you say 'you know,' instead of penis."

"Sorry," Molly blushed and walked to the door with her friend a few steps behind. On the stairs the brunette reminded herself to not be such a pain in the ass.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't laugh at you. By the way I didn't bring any of that drink mix you like with me," she leaned on the banister as the other girl turned to face her.

"Why not?"

"Because I just took what I drink, I left the rest for Stella. She's staying at my apartment while I'm here."

"She's not twenty-one yet."

"It's not like she hasn't had a drink before."

"What if she overdoes it?"

Moving past she asked, "Who made you her big sister?"

"Sorry. But is she gonna be okay?"

Rolling her eyes at her friend's overprotective instincts for everyone but her own self she informed her, "She'll be fine, she doesn't get smashed or anything," pausing she added, "At least not that I know of."

"Well, that's good. Not like my sister."

Lucette barely held the nod she wanted to let loose, it would not do to get the other girl riled up any more, even though the other girl's sister drank like a elephant at a watering hole. "But anyway if you want a drink you have a limited selection," she said instead.

"How limited?"

Chuckling at what sounded like worry in the other girl's tone she raised her hands before bending to lift a box up onto her hip.

"Rum or whiskey."

There was a break in the discussion, a pause for the shock she mused to herself.

"Are you kidding me? Those are my options? You left everything else with your sister?"

She climbed the stairs after finagling another box on top of the other one and steadying it with an upraised knee. "Those are all I drink, why would I bring stuff I won't even drink?"

"I can't drink it straight."

Careful to not let both boxes slam down she bent her knees and placed them onto the desk.

"Oh! I brought the red syrup stuff," she remembered.

When she looked back she found the other girl about ready to throw a hissy fit in the doorway at the limited alcohol selection. "What am I supposed to do with nonalcoholic drink mix syrup?"

"We could hire a gigolo and pour it on his body and lick it off. Or we can have Shirley Temples."

The blonde ignored her too wide grin. "Have you gone food shopping yet?"


"Good, put beer on the list."

"What no girly lemonade wine coolers, just beer? You really won't drink rum or whiskey?"

"Not all of us can be men, Lucette."

"If I was a man I'd be ten times worse."

"You wouldn't be able to keep your hands out of your pants."


To keep herself from answering and getting herself in trouble she opened another box with her retrieved keys. "What no sassy joke?"

"None that would keep you from smacking me in the mouth after I say it," she mumbled down at the open box.

"Smart move. What were you going to say, I kinda want to know now."

"I can barely keep my hands out of my pants now."

"You should find a guy to shove his hands down your pants."

Lucette tossed a paperback science fiction novel about Armageddon at the doorway, it flew down the stairs at the blonde's quick sway to the right, the brunette couldn't help but crack up at the fact that the blonde in her quickness managed to slam her head into the doorframe. "Dumbass."

"Don't throw books at me!"

Day 17:

They had called her in for the monthly staff meeting, it wasn't mandatory but it felt nice to be able to get back to work. It was hard to sit at home with nothing to do besides walk the dog and watch television.

Mostly she came so she could catch a glimpse at the charts and meet the other nurses who she would supervise, she was already ready to get a feel for them and have them assigned patients by the end of the day.

She didn't have to be in uniform but she came in her best looking pressed blouse and trousers, keeping her hair up and her heels and make-up minimal.

In the mirror her work clothes made her lines mannish.

The nurse practitioner for the unit spoke in a soft voice and flicked through her file, a pen neatly tucked behind her ear. She was a nurse who was far enough along in her education that she could talk with doctors on the phone and sit at a desk for the whole day, the desk probably sitting in an office with her name on a plaque outside the door.

"So, right now we have about seven patients we need to have you handle, we were thinking since you're heading up four nurses that we'd do a split of two minimal care patients with only minor ADL deficits for each of three nurses and have the most ADL deficient patient placed with the last one, this way you are free to supervise and handle the charts and the medication schedules."

The idea was tried and true, but she didn't like it. It meant she'd be sitting around all day, doing nothing but being used as a scapegoat when her team failed to do something and called the fact that she didn't directly oversee care in a hands-on way into play when they looked for someone to point the finger at.

Instead of frowning she put on her best shit-eating smile and sold her own idea like a used car salesman sold lemons; with flair.

"I see your point, but there may be some issue with…," she paused to make a show of looking through her papers as if she was looking for the name that she already knew by heart.

It put the older nurses at ease if she looked over eager rather than over prepared.

"…Mrs. Jenson. Since she's a larger patient, I would feel more comfortable if two of my nurses were assigned her care for safety reasons, and rotate them out every other day with the left-over patient,"

Lucette tapped her pencil's eraser on a spot on the patient list in front of her and paused to let the information soak in and so the rest of the conference room could take down her intentions.

"I would take Mr. Hale since he has, if I've read the reports right, been requested to have a one-to-one by the family. And then I would put the two most self-sufficient and skill strong nurses with two patients each, every day."

The table hummed in small snippets of conversations and general agreement.

"That seems more practical, there would be no running around for another nurse to help with the Hoyer lifts for Mrs. Jenson if she had two nurses," the facility unit's charge nurse stated conferring with the nurse practitioner.

"I would suggest you call the remaining two nurses and coordinate with them to come in and do a skill demonstration for you before you make your final choices on the assignments to patients," the charge nurse added with a wide eyed stare and a nod as if she was some large eyed farm animal bobbing its head.

Lucette's smile was large and overly vibrant, "Oh, of course. That's no problem, I've spoken to them already. I have them meeting me at the fundamentals lab building at the teaching hospital later tonight, due to scheduling conflicts that prevented them from being here with us."

The unit doctor smiled at her, "And the rest of your nurses?"

"I will have them do demonstrations today. I would like to, if it's possible to pick up the med pass for noon today," she glanced at the med nurse for the floor and received a permissive nod at the idea.

She went on, "Just to see how strong everyone's med skills are. If you can all stay, that is," she looked at the two agency LPNs that had made it to the meeting, they seemed ambivalent to the idea.

"If you can't then I would have you with me early on the twenty-fourth to do the morning med pass, so I can have the assignments for medications buckled down," she offered as an alternative to seemed like a democratic sort of team leader.

Facility nurse coordinators loved the phrase 'democratic team leadership.'

The unit charge nurse questioned, "You plan on having medication assignments as well?"

"Well I had planned to have at least two nurses on the med pass at one time to prevent medication errors; I'd rotate it between myself and one of the two nurses on Mrs. Jenson."

"Well, we don't normally like to do that, for quality of care reasons," the woman replied with poison honey dripping off the words.

Instantly the young nurse knew the woman would be a splinter in her ass for the whole nine months she would be in Beacon Heights.

"Well I see no reason for it to be a bad thing; it certainly doesn't take two nurses to perform vital signs, or an assessment, or morning care. Though if you'd rather I'll have everyone do their own patients' med passes," the nurse practitioner and unit doctor laughed at the idea, they knew how some nurses seemed to be attached at the hip, they hated that sort of behavior and made no secret about it.

"You handle it the way you think best," the older woman finally gave in, a bit terse but otherwise with those still honey toned words.

"I will have everything faxed over to you by tomorrow morning at the latest, regarding the scheduling and assignments."

"That sounds perfect," the nurse practitioner said, declaring with the three simple words that the meeting was about to come to a close. "Now if you would like we could do the tour now or wait until lunch has started so the halls will be clearer."

Clear halls were a blessing. "I think we'll wait until lunch, I would like to conference with my team, if that's alright."

"Perfectly alright. Thank you for coming in for the meeting. And you two as well, thanks for being here," she said to the two agency LPNs who had made it to the meeting.

The room cleared out, she shook a few hands and smiled big and sat back down when she and the two licensed practical nurses were alone in the conference room.

"Okay, while we're here I'm going to take a quick survey of what types of skills you have and gloss over a few things that may concern you while we're here."

They all knew each other's names; the one female LPN was Shana and the male was Sawyer.

"I've been a home care for the majority of my nursing career but I do have experience in intensive care and telemetry. I expect superb and complete morning care, bathing, shaving, hair brushing, teeth, dentures, nail care, foot care, and dressing. Toileting is to be done at least twice during your shift, if the aide assigned to your patient is neglecting this come to me and I will address this issue."

They nodded and asked vague questions on exactly how much help they should give the aides. She told them they should not be doing the aides job for them and left the topic at that.

"Next, I have a pet peeve on feeding; I do not want to see any of you feeding patients in the dining room. Don't even go near it, the aides will try to throw it on you; if they saddle you with it I will find them and address the issue. Basically my concern is that feeding is a greater percentage of the things aides are allowed to do compared to nurses, and there is no reason for you to have to feed."

The two nurses gave visible sighs of relief, no doubt having been stuck doing feeding while in school for more than one clinical rotation. She remembered, she had hated it too.

"I will quiz you on medications, I expect you to know what you are giving and, yes, I will ask what the lab values were, write them down when you examine the chart. Know when not to give the drugs. I have all of the patient MARs so go home and look them up when I assign patients."

She answered a question on how much she thought they should know about the medications. She told them that they should know enough not to kill a patient.

"Who does not need me to show them how to work a Hoyer," Sawyer raised his hand.

"Okay. You will double with someone on Mrs. Jenson. Oxygen administration, suctioning, pharmacy call-ups, stoma care and wound care are my main focal points for skills."

Shana informed her that she used to be a pharmacy technician. "Good you know how to do a call-up? Perfect."

"I have one nurse who has her wound care certification. So with me and her we should be alright with teaching the rest of you guys."

"Suctioning?" Both of them raised their hands. "Fantastic."

She ran down her list of patient's with a brief summary for each, pausing so they could write it all down as she spoke.

"On to the patients: we have the Hoyer lift, Mrs. Jenson."

"Mr. Baegi with the trach and the ostomy. He's got a nasogastric tube, his feedings are continuous so please remember to shut them off while doing care on him or moving him in bed."

"Mrs. Whit who's a COPD patient, to be kept on a two liter maximum of oxygen, if a nurse from the shift before has it set to three change it, if they make a fuss I'll handle it."

"Mr. Hale who is a traumatic brain injury who I will be taking."

"Mrs. Doyle who is a diabetic, has a wound, no, I'm sorry wounds: bilateral heels and on her right big toe, and a history of atrial fibrillation and CHF."

"Mr. Garsine who's in for a hip fracture, venous stasis ulcer, and coronary artery disease, he has a pacemaker in and a stint was put in eight months ago, he speaks Italian exclusively but he understands English."

"And Mrs. Marsdale who's a mild dementia case and is a bilateral below the knee amputee from a MVA."

She let them catch up and went on, "Whoever I put on Mrs. Jenson will also have Mrs. Doyle. I will take Mr. Hale for the one-to-one. Then I want Mr. Garsine and Mr. Baegi with the same nurse. Mrs. Whit and Mrs. Marsdale will have the same nurse."

She pointed with her pencil to the fresh out of school nursing graduate, "I thinking that I will have you, Shana with Mrs. Whit and Mrs. Marsdale since you've done homecare and you're familiar with the treatments, and I'm assuming you have had experience with dementia patients before."

"Yes," the girl was hardly older than her sister Estelle. "Is this alright with you?"

"I think it's the best patient assignment for me," she replied softly, nervous but handling it well.

"Okay then. I'll get you the chart and let me get back to you, Sawyer. How comfortable are you with wounds?"

"Pretty comfortable, I would like to go over it with you though," the forty-something former orderly responded.

"No problem. Okay, excellent. I will say Sawyer you are the only guy on this team but Mrs. Jenson is comfortable with male nurses but you may be stuck doing med rounds while Mrs. Doyle gets here morning care, at least for the shower or bed bath."

"I can handle that," he answered with a thoughtful look before adding, "Whatever is most comfortable for her."

"Well I think we're set for now," she clapped and closed her file folder. "We've got some time before lunch starts so I suggest getting your charts and catching up on the meds and the labs and also any treatments the other nurses may have forgotten to mention."

They broke and she found herself making various notes of what she surveyed from her two team members. Her heels clicked musically on her way to the nurse's station, she found her two team members confused as to how to take charts from their cubbies.

"Don't be so nervous," she laughed and pulled the chart on her own patient calling out to the desk secretary that she had two-eighteen.

"It's that easy. Just pull the chart, make sure you know if your patient is in the bed by the door or the window and call out 'so and so door' or 'so and so window', numbers not names. Some patients get very upset if they know you're looking at their charts; hold the spine inward if you walk with it. Got it?"

They nodded.

She went down her assigned hall and at the pull-down slab set the chart down and leafed through it making notations in her notebook as she flicked through the pages.

Separating the pages by med list, current labs, treatments, procedures, admission assessment, and discharge planning she created a detailed spread of facts to look over when she hit the inevitable lull of 'nothing to do limbo' that came at least once every shift.

The thought to make sure her team knew how to write up a care plan made its way to her to do list, on the first page of her notebook.

Standing with the pull-down pressed to her abdomen and one hip to the wall she raised one foot up on its heel to contemplate the medication administration record she hadn't noticed the unit doctor come up on her until he was about to touch his chin to her shoulder in an incredible invasion of personal space.

It annoyed her but she feigned surprise despite the fact that she'd been able to smell the spearmint gum he'd been chewing for the past twenty seconds as he leaned in closer and closer.

"Oh! You surprised me, Doctor Shrineburg."

"I'm sorry, bad habit, sneaking up on people."

While not unattractive he was too old and too gone to fat despite being so tall. His suit cut was sharp, she had to give him that much, and his shoes were polished and equally expensive.

She could have rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically: 'Doctors.'

"Was there something you needed?" She kept her tone light but without the prim eagerness of other young nurses when around old rich doctors. Her expression remained neutral as he popped his gum.

"I just wanted to say that I glad to have a smart nurse working on my unit, for once," he had a hyena smile. Instantly she changed her opinion of the old doctor, she very much liked him.

He wasn't what she first thought, he wasn't a creepy old doctor that liked young nurses, but one of the sarcastic and overworked variety; he was a 'cool' doctor.

"Even if you are more dictatorship than democracy in your team approach."

She shrugged as if to say 'you caught me.'

"Top twenty of you graduating class? The mean, smart nursing student, that doesn't always know when to shut the hell up, I right?"

"Number six out of one forty-four and five out of three fifty-two. I used to be an LPN, by RN school I had learned the 'shut my mouth' lesson. How'd you know?"

"My daughter is the same way."

"She'll do well then."

"Of course she will; she gets it from me. Glad to be working with you," he strode away in his expensive suit and polished shoes as she smiled to herself at the interaction.

The brief distraction had thrown her off her thoughts; she snapped the pull-down back into place and closed the chart and her notebook. She knocked before going into the room.

"Hello," she greeted the nurse's aide in the room setting shirts into a closet.

"Hi. Did you need something?" She asked. It wasn't spoken nastily but curiously.

"I'm the charge nurse in charge of the agency LPNs," she answered by way of explanation.

Closing the closet door and putting a chair back in its rightful place she walked over, "Oh, nice to meet you. So you're an LPN too, right?"

"RN," Lucette corrected.

"You're really young," the aide was not entirely spring chicken herself.

"I went to tech school." she shrugged half-heartedly.

"You are taking over the seven in this hall right?"

"Yes we are."

"Well this is Mr. Hale," she wheeled over his chair and placed a hand on his shoulder. "He's quiet. He's unresponsive for the most part but calm, cooperative and a good listener."

The smile on the woman's face was genuine and kind. The younger woman wished all nurse's aides were as cheerful.

"Good to know."

Wheeling him back to the window the aide asked, "So whose patient is he?"




There was a brief pause where the aide just stared at her, it wasn't overly scrutinizing but it was a probe for something, some trait or emotional tick.

"Well that's a nice change; I knew it would happen eventually."

"What would?"

"That these nurses, the ones here, would cave and finally give into the one-to-one request."

"Have they been…oh I don't know how to put this, against it? I guess against is close enough to the word I was looking for." Lucette tried her best thoughtful and coy way of speaking. It worked well enough.

"Well they haven't been receptive. They think he doesn't need it since he's a calm patient, but it must be very lonely."

"I'm glad to do it. It's nice to be a one-to-one nurse," it wasn't a lie.

"Just don't take anything his nephew says personally, he gets himself so fired up sometimes."

"His nephew?" the young nurse questioned.

"Yeah, young kid. To me at least. His niece came in a few times too, but I haven't seen her in awhile, I guess the niece and nephew are brother and sister. Anyway the nephew," she regained the thought as she was about to spiral away from it.

"He's kind of intense, comes off rude but I think he's just stressed. Who isn't right?"

"Thanks for the tip."

"I didn't mean to worry you; he's not like some of the family members that come in that yell at every single person for every little thing."

"So, silent but deadly?"

The aide tittered at the joke and nodded enthusiastically.

"And usually there are a few other aides that have the habit of walking in and trying to find something to do if his nephew visits, you know because he's young and attractive in one of those sort of ways."

She had no idea what 'those sort of ways' were but she pretended like she did, "Ahhh, penal gallery."

"Exactly. I'm, Nancy. By the way." She offered out her hand.

"Lucette." The younger woman took it.

"Well nice to meet you Lucette, good luck!"

"Good to meet you too. Thanks."

"Anytime, chick," Nancy said as she turned out of the doorframe with a small wave.

The room with quiet and lit minimally, it didn't bother her, it was probably better for her patient's eyes. She pulled up the chair Nancy had placed back in its original spot and settled in next to her patient.

She didn't seek out his eyes just sat and turned her head to face the good side of his, "Hello Mr. Hale. My name's Lucette, I'm going to be your nurse for the next few months. Would you mind if I sat with you for awhile?"

Knowing he couldn't answer but asking anyway, the way she'd been taught to, she settled into her chair and watched clouds gather on the skyline. She hummed to herself as she watched the sky. Mr. Hale made no response to the off key rendition.

She read over her notes and stayed for the rest of the shift, speaking again only to give the go-ahead to the two LPNs when they came to ask if they could go on a tour of the facility, she waved them off with the blessing to head on without her and leave if they had to afterwards.

A/N: I try to make it a point to never mention anything that the characters in my stories are watching or reading explain any references they make to certain things, pop culture wise, because when I read other people doing it the mention either annoys me or distracts me, but for anyone who didn't get any of the jokes between characters they aren't hard to place but in order of how they pop up this is what they are, Lucy and Ethel are from 'I Love Lucy', the alien zombies in space is 'Dead Space', the card game played is a version of rummy, momma dependent bubbas are from 'The Southern Rules', Robin Goodfellow is the little boy in Winnie the Pooh, "Jesus Christ, Kathleen" is from a Kathy Griffin joke, the show about gladiators is 'Spartacus', and for people that have never been in tech school, it's where you go in place of highschool or in addition to in order to learn a trade. In some places they are called magnet schools.