a/n;; i’d just like to say thank you to everyone who encouraged me for writing this. this was loosely based on the promo of 1x15 and otherwise based on my love for melendaire and how my heart chases them. have fun reading and sweet melendaire dreams
warning;; 13+ near the end, mentions of sex
This week was turning out to be a crappy one for Claire. Jared had confessed his unrequited feelings for her at the gala the previous night, and she had to solemnly turn him down because of feelings she held for someone else. Dr. Andrews was breathing down her neck about her patient that needed the liver transplant. Ms. Preston wouldn’t stop badgering her about the legalities of the case and the precedence it took over all the other ones she had ever worked. Her car had broken down on Sunday, no one could drive her to work, and her bike was rusted too. She forgot breakfast that morning, the cops she rode to and from the prison with were super sexist, and the organ-donating prisoner was pointing a gun at her in the hospital she’s currently working at.
Oh, yeah, the prisoner was pointing a gun at her.
Claire felt her breath get caught in her throat as the weapon was pointed warily at her tiny frame. With the guard in the man’s arms struggling for breath with each passing second, all Claire could’ve done was pray for a miracle. When she heard the sound of a couple more people entering the hallway behind her, she thought her prayer was answered. When the prisoner pointed his gun at the men and his finger moved to the trigger, Claire felt her reaction system kick into full gear and felt her body choose to fight.
She shouted,“NO!”, causing one of the guards who was inching closer to start picking up speed, before she ran towards the prisoner swiftly. She saw the gun flit towards her and then heard a loud noise moments before getting in extremely close proximity to the prisoner. In his surprise, he released his captive and hit Claire across the face with the gun to protect himself. She fell to the ground and started to get up, only to get kicked in a menial attempt to keep her grounded. She screamed in pain, feeling something terribly, terribly wrong with her hip. Instantly diagnosing it as a dislocation, she felt another pain blossom on her back as the adrenaline wore off.
Claire whimpered, brain muddled with pain and fear. She barely registered the sound of someone shooting their gun before she let out another wail. A kid was going to die because she was stupid and tried to stop a gunman from hurting her. Her own mind’s interpretation of the Hippocratic oath betrayed her. She glanced up and managed to see the donor murderer cuffed and bullet holes in the walls. More steps flooded the hallway as doctors rushed to her aide. Claire ventured out the plan to stay somewhat calm and ignore the growing pain in her back and her hip.
When they lifted her onto the gurney and she landed a bit too roughly on her hip, her endeavor for ignorance was proved futile. The scream Claire released could wake the dead. In fact, if you asked Mrs. Dulaney, who was in cardiac arrest upstairs till she sparked back to life at that exact moment, that scream did wake the dead. The doctors wheeled Claire up one floor to the ER, with Nurse Fryday pulling off to the side and calling Claire’s attending doctor with haste.
“Dr. Melendez?” Nurse Fryday barked into the phone, words cracking with a worry never heard in her voice before.
“This is him.” Dr. Melendez answered from the other end, clearly aggravated by his impatience towards the long wait for the arrival of the donor.
“Get down to the ER now. Dr. Browne’s been injured.” Nurse Fryday informed him, and the smack of him slamming the phone down is loud in her ear.
“Dr. Melendez?” Nurse Fryday questioned the air, trying to see if he was still there. “Dr. Melendez?” She inquired again, before rolling her eyes and hanging up.
With the speed that Dr. Melendez ran down his hallway and boarded the elevator with, the people who saw him could’ve mistaken him for a cheetah in scrubs. When he entered the elevator, he smashed the button for the first floor and the “Close Doors” button with extreme force. The doors shut and he anxiously waited for the elevator to reach the first floor of the hospital, which is the Emergency Room. The floors were snails in their speed of passing, and Melendez grew more nervous rather than angry as the seconds ticked by.
What had happened to Clai- Dr. Browne? He shouldn’t call her by her first name, even mentally. She was his resident, first of all, and secondly, she was not a close friend of his, if she was a friend at all. God, why did he start developing feelings for a woman that he couldn’t start a relationship with now and probably ever? Probably because she was smart, and kind, and stubborn, and compassionate, and funny, and different than all the other women he had ever met in his entire life. What a cliche; an attending falling for his resident.
When the elevator doors on the ground floor finally opened, Dr. Melendez zoomed out of there and to the nurses’ desk.
“Where’s Dr. Browne?” He demanded, his voice softer than anticipated and saturated with worry. Nurse Fryday averted her eyes to the back and sighed.
“Bay 20.” She answered and Dr. Melendez hurriedly strode over, only to see 4 ER doctors and nurses there who were reducing Claire’s hip back into place. With a simple maneuver, the hip was back in place, but as all doctors know; reductions hurt like h*ll. The low, pained moan she released after the reduction is audible enough for the cardiothoracic surgeon to hear it. He bit his lip and once the other medical professionals noticed him, they began to trickle out to other bays. The lead doctor, Dr. Lucy Carter, approached Dr. Melendez.
“Your resident is going to be fine. She had a dislocated hip, a laceration to her back, most likely from a bullet, and has a mild concussion. Her hip has been reduced, her back has been sutured, and she knows what to do since she has a concussion. That being said, she can’t work tomorrow, and will probably need herself or someone else…” Dr. Carter explained and paused to look at Dr. Melendez suggestively before continuing. “To massage the area around her hip for the next couple weeks. I have patients to attend to so you can tell her this when she’s less groggy from the anesthesia.” Dr. Carter finished, handing Dr. Melendez the chart and walking off.
Dr. Melendez hastily scanned over the chart before turning his attention back to Clai- to Dr. Browne. She was awake but somewhat high off of the anesthesia. When she looked over at Dr. Melendez, she gave him a “drunken” smile that could send anyone falling head-over-heels for her.
“Dr. Melendez? What’re you doing here? Don’t you have a surgery to do?” Claire challenged, her contradictory tone filled with warmth and lightness.
Dr. Melendez chuckled before nodding. “I do, but I decided to check on my resident first. They’re still prepping the OR anyways, so I have time.” He justified himself, stepping further into the bay and setting her chart on the side of the hospital bed.
“They said they’ll be wheeling me into recovery soon, once they sort everything out at the desk. It’ll finally be quiet. I suddenly remember why I hated my ER rotation back in med school.” Claire joked, laughing softly but gnawing at her lip after the slight movement irritated her back. Dr. Melendez chuckled at her joke as well and nodded.
“That’s why we’re surgeons. Most of the time, our patients are asleep.” Dr. Melendez added, causing Claire to nod in agreement and crack a smile, rather than cause herself pain with a laugh. Dr. Melendez gazed at her for a second, thinking of something to talk about, when Nurse Fryday popped in.
“She’s ready to go to recovery, and Dr. Murphy has been bugging me for the past two minutes to get you up to surgery.” She elaborated, and Dr. Melendez nodded. He turned to leave before stopping in his tracks and turning back around.
“Get some sleep so you can heal quicker, alright?” He advised the bandaged woman, who rolled her eyes and inaudibly chuckled.
“I went to medical school too, Dr. Melendez. I know how the human body works.” Claire responded facetiously. Dr. Melendez chuckled and walked off to the elevators, getting into the mindset of surgery.
Claire was seated on her couch, groaning as her attempts at massaging the pain in her hip away were futile. Leaning over to the other side of the couch, she grabbed her phone with a wince. Pondering about an idea she thought for a minute, she reluctantly opened her messages. Scrolling through her contacts, she saw the one she wanted to select but hesitated. Oh geez, that was going to be an awkward request. Asking her boss, who she had feelings for, to come and massage her hip because she couldn’t do it herself. That definitely crossed the line from professional to personal. H*ll, it broke the line into a billion little pieces.
Nurse Janette, who drove her home and helped her get situated the previous night, was on shift till 12:00 AM. There was no way she could call Jared, after the fiasco a couple nights before that was the gala. She didn’t want Shaun to do it although she (platonically) loved him so. Morgan was a definite NO. She didn’t have Dr. Lim’s number. The only person left that was medically trained was Dr. Neil Melendez, her boss and also the person who she had once been unconsciously, and as of the recent, very consciously flirting with. It’s why she couldn’t bring herself to go out with Jared; she’d be leading him on. She had started to fall for her attending and began to slightly yearn for a relationship that could never be. A resident dating their attending? It’s against the rules, and it’s such a terribly reiterated cliche in so many televised medical dramas that it almost physically pained her to reenact it in real life. Almost.
But her hip was actually causing her physical pain, so much so that she knew she needed to bury her minute feelings for a couple hours and call her boss to massage her hip. It was still a very weird request. Claire clicked his contact name, her keyboard popping up under her fingers in response. She tapped away, typing a long explanation for everything and going to press send. Her finger, though, hovered over the send button. She shook her head, deleting the whole message and resolving to just start with the basics.
Key: (Neil’s Texts: -NM) (Claire’s Texts: -CB)
“Hey, Dr. Melendez, it’s Claire. Are you available?” - CB
A few moments later, her phone pinged and she opened the text.
“Hey, Dr. Browne. I’m available. What’s up?” - NM
“Dr. Carter told me that I needed to massage my hip. She also said that if I couldn’t get it right, someone else could do it. Well, I didn’t get it right, so…” - CB
“Can you come over to my place to… to massage my hip? I know that sounds super weird but I really need the help.” - CB
“Nurse Janette is on her shift until midnight tonight so she can’t come over.” - CB
“Everyone else is doing stuff.” - CB
She began typing another justification when he responded.
“I’ll do it.” - NM
“And no need to keep justifying, I understand.” - NM
“You still live in the apartment listed in your file, right?” - NM
Claire paused, thinking it over, before nodding. She had moved apartments, but she had filed it.
“The one in Silver Lakes?” -CB
“That’s what it says in your file.” - NM
“Yep, that’s my apartment complex.” - CB
“Apartment 639?” - NM
“It’s actually 693.” - CB
“Your file says 639. You should probably request to have it fixed.” - NM
“Will do.” - CB
“I’ll be there in 20.” - NM
“Thank you!" - CB
Claire set her phone down on her lap, resting her head on the top of the couch in boredom. She admired the city view out her window, trying not to contemplate what might occur once Dr. Melendez got there. Every time she started to accidentally daydream about it, the reverie she was in quickly shifted to erotic mental expressions, and so she had to squeeze her eyes shut and push the thought away with all her willpower. What was wrong with her? She used to barely have any sexual fantasies and now she had had multiple within the past few months, and a ton in the past half hour. The nature of the situation must have triggered the unexpected influx of venereal feelings.
This was not going to be a fun interaction for her.
About an hour later, Dr. Melendez had arrived with Chinese food for them to share, since he inferred that Claire wouldn’t be up for moving around, and much less up for making dinner. They had shared it over an interesting discourse about how the child’s liver transplant went, that eventually branched into a discussion over their recently failed relationships, or attempts at relationships. Currently, they were laughing over a weird medical joke about acute tubular necrosis and stuffing the last bits of lo mein into their mouths with chopsticks.
“Well, did your hip pain magically disappear or do you still want the massage?” Neil, because they were now on a first-name basis, questioned her. Claire felt heat flood her cheeks as she nodded reluctantly, her head tilted downwards.
“It’s better to do it somewhere more spacious, like a bed. Do you think you can walk to it, or do you need help?” Neil asked, standing up and extending his hand to Claire. She considered it for a second, stubbornness and pain battling it out in her head till pain overtook her stubborn side and won the conflict. Claire took Neil’s hand and he pulled her up, accidentally a little too much. Miscalculating her weight, Neil pulled Claire up too far and she fell into him. His arm unconsciously wrapped around her, to stabilize them both, and he unintentionally pulled her closer. Their eyes met, the close proximity causing both of them to heat up and they push apart.
“I can make it there. My hip is sore, not paralyzed.” Claire defended herself, then doing a mix of walking and limping to her bedroom, side-by-side with Neil. He rolled her eyes at her stubbornness but kept walking with her, smiling. She opened her bedroom door and flopped onto her bed, sighing happily as the weight was taken off her hip and the pain reduced slightly.
“So, how should we do this?” Claire requested an answer, beginning to toss some pillows to the floor. Neil is about to answer, then smirks like a scheming teacher (which he is).
“You’re the surgical resident. Why don’t you tell me?” He quizzed, and she groans noisily.
“Well, I was asking because the best way to massage a hip after a hip reduction is naked and almost always done as foreplay. My teachers actually said that. It’s why over 60% of elderly patients return with hip pain after a hip reduction; because most of them don’t get the massage they need.” Claire rattled off a statistic she learned in medical school, looking at Neil uncomfortably. Sure, she definitely wouldn’t mind the massage if she was naked and it was forepla- Stop brain! Bad brain! Don’t think of a fantasy in front of a person that never would’ve previously crossed her mind like that till recently in front of him!
“We can do it if you’re in leggings. It wou-” Neil suggested, his bad idea getting interrupted at the opportune time.
“The friction would cause too much heat and the fabric would be too constricting. Maybe I could just do it in undies.” Claire interjected, shooting her solution to the problem out of her mouth as quickly as she could, falling flat onto her bed in embarrassment. Neil blinked in surprise, taking in what she said and blushing brightly. Gosh, he was taking this out of context. She just wanted to relieve the pain in her hip, not do all those lovely, extra things that he couldn’t get out of his head ever since she suggested he give her a massage. It’s so wrong so he wouldn’t do this; he wouldn’t treat her like a sex toy just because he thought she’d look cute in a naughty nurse outfit. He wouldn’t treat her like a cumrag just because he was aroused and wanted her underneath him. He wouldn’t do that. That’s wrong on so many levels. It’s manipulative and disgusting, and he knows it.
“It’s not like I’m wearing a g-string!” Claire insisted, causing Neil to look at her.
“It’s not that. It’s just- it’s just wrong.” Neil replied, sighing and looking away.
“Okay, I know that this seems wrong, but this is all just medicine. Pretend I’m a patient that needs a massage for- okay that sounds like roleplay. Just pretend I’m a patient, okay? Will that work?” Claire advised, and Neil pondered it for a second, before agreeing.
“Okay, so, I’ll take my pants off and I’ll lay on the bed, and this will not be wrong or sexual at all. Just a massage on a patient, okay?” Claire informed him, beginning to back up to her bed. She slipped her sweatpants off and used her arms to pull herself onto her mattress. Neil took a deep breath before approaching her, mentally repeating the mantra, “She is a patient, not the person you’re attracted to,” although the second bit was only an occasional addon.
He positioned himself over her leg at an angle to be able to reach her hip and began to massage it. Ignoring the soft sounds of relief and pleasure coming from Claire’s mouth as kneaded her hip, Neil tried to focus on anything else. This was a medical procedure, so why not quiz his resident?
“What is the cause of Poland’s syndrome, since we have a surgery scheduled for a sufferer of that syndrome to give him an artificial pectoralis muscle?” Neil asked as he rubbed her hip therapeutically.
“Really? Are we quizzing now?” Claire turned her head up from her spot on the bed and glanced up at Neil, getting an answer by the jocular look in his eyes. She sighed and dropped her head back on her bed, gazing at her ceiling again.
“It’s a trick question; there isn’t a directly discerned cause of Poland anomaly,” Claire answered and shut her eyes again, letting out a strangled cry as he massaged a spot in her hip that had been irritating her since it was reduced back into place. Neil immediately stopped and worriedly glanced at Claire.
“Are you okay? Did I hurt you?” Concerned, he interrogated her gently, to which she shook her head in disagreement.
“It didn’t hurt,” Claire reassured him, so he cautiously began to caress that spot on her hip again. She held in her moans and groans of satisfaction and eased pain as he continued. They both went into their own zones of concentration, so when they both made motions for the massage to stop simultaneously, they let out a few laughs.
“Well, I guess we’re done,” Claire stated as she pulled her leg back, curling it closer to her body. Neil nodded in agreement,.
“I guess so.” He acknowledged her statement and looked her over. “You’re okay with me going now?” He asked her with worried interest. When she hesitated in answering, Neil grew moderately worried.
“I can stay the night if you need someone here.” Neil offered compassionately.
“That’s not it. I… I do want you to stay the night. But I want you to do so much more.” Claire admitted, keeping her eyes averted from Neil’s intense stare. He walked back to her bedside, to her side, and grasped her chin gently in his fingers, tilting her head upwards.
“What do you want me to do?” He purred softly, leaning closer to her. She met his intense look with one of equal passion, her heart thrumming in her chest.
“I want to disregard all the rules. I want to say screw it, not just for one night but for as long as we want. I want to… I want to be with you.” Claire continued her long tale of truthful admittance.
“Good, because I want to break the rules with you. I want to be with you for as long as we want. I want to be with you.” Neil reciprocated the feelings Claire expressed. Claire, getting impatient with all the talking, closed the distance between them to start a kiss.
She started a passionate, fiery kiss that began an action of intimacy that didn’t end until the early hours of the morning. Several rounds of intercourse would occur on that bad that night and early morning, each further justifying that what they felt for each other wasn’t just sexual attraction and lust, but love. They also may have shouted that at the top of their lungs at certain points during their coitus too. The walls of her apartment were thin, thin enough that you could hear her neighbor slam the door in annoyance as he left his apartment due to all the noises next door. Thin enough that the soft bird chirps from the outdoors could be heard after they were done and dozing off. The explosion of emotions that came with each kiss, each thrust, and each climax wouldn’t just end with their wild night of passion. As they dozed, they subconsciously knew something greater was blossoming between them.
Claire awoke, looking around at her empty bed. She felt her pulse quicken with fright and sadness; what if that was all a dream? The sex, the passion, the love she had felt… could it all have been a product of her vivid imagination? Her stomach began to drop, filling with dread the weight of lead as her eyes began to water with tears. Though, she noticed that her hip wasn’t hurting as much and her back, albeit slightly stinging, didn’t feel as painful as it had previously. That can be attributed to large releases of endorphins from having sex. Hearing the sound of sizzling bacon in the frying pan and the quiet, familiar cursing of someone as they got oil splashed on them, her stomach began to lift and so did her heavy heart. She got up, grabbing her crumpled silk robe from the floor and wrapping it around her naked body as she walked into her kitchen. There she saw the person who had sprouted feelings in her heart since they first met almost an entire year ago. The feelings that had, overnight, sprouted from the sapling they once were into a flowering peach tree with blooms denser than osmium. These blooms had the undeniable potential to bear great, healthy fruit in the future.
With the smile Neil and Claire shared, they both knew: this great relationship that had finally initiated itself officially last night would, like the peach tree, would give awesome fruit in the future and hopefully continue on forever.