She’d picked a ringtone she hated for both Lim and Melendez.
The blasting, old school ringtone was guaranteed to wake her at any hour of the day, whether she’d had 20 minutes or eight hours of sleep. It also gave her the chance to assess whether she could just hit the silencer without bothering to check who the caller was.
“Reznick speaking,” she all but spat into the phone as she hoisted herself up on one elbow, squinting at the crack of light between the blind and windowsill.
“Dr Reznick,” came Lim’s cool voice in return. “Sorry to do this to you. I need you to come in, ER duty. We’re perilously short staffed today; going to need a few more hands.”
Morgan groaned, trying to focus her eyes enough to read the alarm clock on the other side of the room.
7:23AM blinked back at her in obnoxious red neon.
“I finished a 36 hour shift after 2am.”
Lim sighed audibly into the phone. “And if I could stop people maiming themselves for stupid reasons, I’d happily let you sleep in.” Her voice softened the tiniest bit as she continued; “if there’s a chance during the day for a nap, you’re more than welcome to take it. And it’s Keller’s birthday today, so there’s cupcakes.”
“You’re bribing me to come in for another 12 hours with a cupcake?”
“I’m not bribing, I’m ordering,” came the snipped reply. “Take a quick shower, pick up a coffee. Any chance you could swing by Dr Browne’s place and ask her to come in as well? I’ve tried a couple of times to reach her, but her phone must be off.”
Morgan groaned, letting her face drop heavily into the pillow before hoisting it back up to speak into the phone. “I can grab her. I’ll see you in half an hour.”
She barely waited for Lim’s goodbye before ending the call and rolling herself back under the quilt, soaking up the last traces of body heat that the blankets were still radiating before sitting up, throwing the covers off.
One benefit of putting yourself through residency was that you could learn to shake off lethargy pretty fast.
Still 90% asleep beside her, Claire winced at the onslaught of cold air, burrowing deeper into the blankets on her side of the bed. Morgan threw one leg over Claire’s hips, straddling her partner’s waist as she leaned down to run her lips across Claire’s sleep-flushed cheek.
“Time to get up,” she cooed into Claire’s ear in the closest approximation of a sing-song voice anyone would ever hear Morgan use. Claire, unappreciative of her rare bout of less-than-perfect simply grumbled and wriggled unhappily, pressing her face further into the pillow.
Morgan scowled. She let her knees drop out from under her, the majority of her weight now pinning Claire’s hip to the bed as she stroked one hand up under Claire’s t-shirt, softly kissing her partner in an attempt to coax her awake. Not quite willing to cooperate fully, Claire turned onto her back, lips barely moving against Morgan’s as she slowly drifted up from sleep, Morgan’s warm weight on top of her a delicious incentive to stay exactly where she was.
Morgan rolled her eyes as Claire stubbornly refused to display any visible sign of preparing to actually get up before pressing butterfly kisses against the corner of her jaw. She hummed a little as she continued to press chaste, innocent kisses into Claire’s skin, her right hand skimming down the bed with her fingertips trailing over the blankets. She snuck her hand under the waistband of the over-large tracksuit pants Claire wore, and felt her partner suddenly gasp awake under in her in shock, her hips jumping up, nearly dislodging Morgan from her perch.
“There we go” she smiled sweetly, leaning back a little to see the shocked look on Claire’s suddenly wide-awake face as she gave another firm stroke down her clit. “Time to get up.”
She let a faux-confused look slide over her face as Claire gasped something unintelligible beneath her, hips still writhing under Morgan’s hand. “Mmm, no” she murmured, moving her other hand up to caress the underside of Claire’s breast. She ducked down to lave another kiss into the warm skin over Claire’s sternum, nosing her t-shirt out of the way as Claire let out another garbled noise, revelling in her partner’s loss of self-control.
“We have to be at the hospital in 30 minutes” she nicely informed Claire’s stomach as she dropped her head to kiss her belly button. “Traffic’s a bitch at this time of the morning, which means we have to leave now or forgo coffee”.
“I’ll skip coffee,” Claire begged, voice hoarse. “Just please, please-“ Her voice cut off as Morgan dropped a little lower to mouth along the pubic bone just visible above the top of Claire’s pants, pushed down considerably from where Morgan’s hand was still working below.
She pushed a little harder one more time, smiling as Claire let out a vicious gasp before pulling both hands away, ignoring the little cry of distress that let out as she crawled back up her partner and moved down into a filthy kiss, shifting her hips a little to sit on top of Claire properly.
And then she got up, and ripped the blankets clean off the bed.
... ... ...
Claire was still scowling when they arrived in Emergency, despite the hazelnut mocha in her hand. Morgan usually held flavoured coffee in some disdain, but after leaving Claire high, dry, and utterly freezing she forked out her own bank card for the small peace offering, batting her eyelashes as Claire wrenched the cup out of her hand and stomped off.
It didn’t look like her peace offering was working that well.
“Dr Browne, Dr Reznick,” nodded Lim, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand as she walked up. “Sorry to call you in. Word of advice, don’t ever have school aged kids.”
Morgan made a faint noise of disgust while Claire, ever the more sympathetic of the two looked up at Lim, her face softening. “What happened?”
Lim did not look pleased. “Sander’s children go to the same school as Moira’s. It seems that they picked up a bug, in those lovely, grimy hellholes and gave it to their parents, who in turn are passing it around the hospital. A third of the staff are down with viruses.”
She suddenly squinted a little harder at Claire, honing in. “I know it’s an ungodly hour of the morning to be awake after an all night shift, but why do you look grumpy? You’re not usually grumpy.”
Morgan sipped her coffee with some trepidation as Claire slowly turned towards her, mouth opening before all three women’s attention was diverted by Shaun suddenly ambling into view, looking like a train wreck in a lab coat.
“Murphy,” Lim acknowledged, former concern forgotten. “How come you’re here? I thought you were scheduled in with Melendez for today?”
“He didn’t want me,” came the flat reply. “Dr Melendez said I should go and bother someone who didn’t have a pounding headache until lunchtime. Do you have a pounding headache?”
“Not at present, but if I develop one you’ll be the first to know,” came the dry reply. “Alright team; Browne? Scut work. Murphy and Reznick, you’re with me. Dispatch came through a few minutes ago, 55yr old construction worker with crushed leg, tachycardic and developing further into shock. ETA seven minutes.”
“Look busy, everyone.”
... ... ...
Morgan knocked gently on the door before swinging in to find Claire flat on her back on the on-call bed.
“Out,” came the imperious demand from the bed.
Morgan shifted her wait impatiently to her back leg, holding the door open where she stood. She felt a very slight tinge of empathy for her partner, after her (necessary) stunt this morning and then a morning relegated to ER scut work in winter.
“I brought you something,” she tried, moving a little further into the room when Claire didn’t throw the pillow at her.
Claire didn’t move, but her head turned and her gaze tracked Morgan as she crossed the room to put the containers down on the bench. She turned away immediately, washing her hands thoroughly at the little sink as she went to put the kettle on, rummaging around in the cupboard for the box of black tea that was hiding somewhere at the back, hyper aware of the small sounds Claire made as she sat up behind her.
Not saying anything, she busied herself on making the hot drink without turning around. The silence behind her was deafening.
After washing, drying, and putting away the single teaspoon she’d used to put sugar in, she admitted defeat and turned around. Claire was staring at the massive smoothie cup on the table like it might bite her.
“That’s fruit salad,” said Claire, a little dumbly. “That’s not even just fruit salad, that’s the really good one from the Dulce bar, that has heaps and heaps of strawberries in it that I really like and you refuse to buy because it’s ridiculously expensive.”
“No it’s not,” she replied waspishly, jerking her head back away.
She could feel Claire staring at her from her position on the bed, before she heard the surgeon heft herself up, coming to stand opposite Morgan in front of the table. Morgan felt her head slipping by degrees as she involuntarily turned back to look at Claire, who picked up the fruit cup without saying anything, a soft look on her face.
She turned her whole body to stare determinedly out the window, doing her best to ignore the prickly red flush rising up the back of her neck and cheeks before a soft hand touched the point of her chin. Startled, she looked back at where Claire had moved, now standing beside her and tilting Morgan’s chin back down to look at her, dark eyes carefully taking in the unmissable blush that was giving her away.
The soft kiss to her lips surprised her, she looked up from Claire’s shoes to find her partner staring at her with a soft expression on her face.
“Thank you,” Claire said gently. “Am I needed back on the floor yet, or do I have time to eat this now?”
“You’ve got time,” Morgan answered quietly. “We’re rotating, Shaun’s on scut work for the rest of the morning and you’re on surgical assist.”
Claire dipped her head in acknowledgement, eyes returning to the fruit cup. “Stay and share this with me?”
If kindness was what all humans were measured by, Claire was a better person than the rest of them put together. “I have to get back,” she said, gesturing towards the door. She hesitated for a moment, unconsciously checking that no-one could see before leaning to drop a swift kiss on Claire’s cheek, laying one hand over hers, rubbing her thumb against her knuckles.
The cup of tea was a pleasant hand warmer, for all that she didn’t really have time to drink it. She sighed as she clicked the door shut behind her, took two long swallows, and sloshed the rest into a nearby hygiene sink, quickly rinsing the remnants away. The chaos from emergency beckoned.
... ... ...
“I’m happy to drop you home,” Lim said offhandedly, throwing Claire’s jacket back in her direction as the scrubbed down in the change rooms.
Morgan froze momentarily as Claire looked up. “What?”
Lim pulled her scrub shirt over her head, revealing the layers of thermal singlets below. “It saves Morgan the trouble of going out of her way again, right? Since she picked you up to get here.”
Claire spluttered incoherently, one hand waving in the air as she scrambled on the spot.
Morgan watched in dawning horror as she realised that Lim was handing Claire an excuse on a platter to go home and fall on her face in her own bed, rather than Morgan’s. This was not the plan.
“Ah, thank you, but if it’s ok I might… I mean, it’s really nice of you but…”
Lim shrugged, hoisting her bag over her shoulder as she checked the bench below her. “Suit yourself. Good work today, the both of you.”
With that, Lim walked out whistling, a small smile on her face as the two younger women stared at her.
Claire blushed. She caught Morgan’s eye for a moment, and then they both looked away. “She didn’t say anything,” Claire pointed out.
“She has a betting pool going on with Melendez about when and which of the residents are going to sleep with each first,” Morgan returned, still a little shell-shocked. “She’s probably maintaining plausible deniability until it’s convenient for her to cash in.”
Claire turned sharply to look at her. “A betting pool!? There’s an actual betting pool?”
Morgan snorted. “Well given Alex is supposed to be trying to get his marriage back on the rails, and Shaun is… Shaun, I don’t think they were left with all that many options, do you? Unless there’s something you haven’t told me,” she teased.
“You know perfectly well Jared and I were together before he left for Denver.”
Ugh,” she snorted delicately, sniffing in distaste. “Kalu doesn’t count.”
“Why, because he’s not here any more to be competition?” Claire laughed, her face finally losing the mortified blush.
“No, because he’s a boy,” Morgan replied prissily. “There is no competition between me and a boy, there’s just me. Are you ready to go?”
Claire threw her beanie at her, and Morgan perfunctorily allowed it to hit her in the shoulder, shooting her partner an unimpressed look before cramming it down over Claire’s head and fussing at her neck to make sure her scarf was tied tightly enough.
“Yeah,” said Claire, still grinning. “Let’s go.”
... ... ...
“I am a perfectly safe driver,” Morgan pointed out as Claire clutched at her seat while the car rounded a sharp corner.
“I was taught to drive three miles under the speed limit,” came the wheezed reply. “Have you ever heard of a brake pedal?”
“I did a stunt driver’s course in undergrad, do you really think I need a brake pedal to go around a corner doing 30 miles an hour?”
“Of course you did a stunt driver’s course in undergrad. Anything else you did? Evasive driving manoeuvres? Do you have the qualifications to drive an ambulance that you never bothered to share with us? Secret pilot’s license that you used for Angel Flights?”
Morgan smiled saccharinely, exposing far more teeth than was usual, giving her a predator’s smile. “No, but I can get over 60 on a motocross track and still clean up the stragglers.”
Claire looked at her. “You can ride a motorbike.” she demanded flatly.
Morgan tipped her head back a little against the headrest to look at her, pulling to a stop as they made it inside the building’s carport. “I can ride a motorbike,” she purred back.
“Fuck,” Claire swore, banging her head back against the headrest as Morgan laughed. “Of course you can.”
… … …
“I need a shower” yawned Claire, dropping her bag on the floor and looking like she was considering joining it.
“There’s hot water,” Morgan said, leaning over the sink as she shoved a handful of cereal in her mouth, too tired to organise an actual meal. She swallowed an entire glass of water without coming up for air, before looking up to find Claire still standing in the exact same spot, not having moved at all.
“I really need a shower,” she repeated, as Morgan walked over.
“Mmmm,” she agreed, hooking her fingers into her belt loops and tugging Claire gently forward. She felt Claire relax into her a little more, body moulding to her chest as she craned her neck up for a kiss that Morgan was only too happy to give.
She grinned wickedly into her mouth when she felt Claire shiver against her, where her fingers were rubbing small circles into the skin just above her waistband, still being held tightly against Morgan with no chance of backing off. Claire tried to move closer. Morgan bit her lip, smiling at the muffled yelp that elicited, and then kissed the small hurt away with her tongue, tracing the outline of Claire’s lower lip as she walked them gently backwards. Effectively trapping her partner between her own body and the high kitchen island, she yanked harder on Claire’s belt loops as Claire pushed back into her, reaching up to wind her hands into Morgan’s hair and pull, clearly tired of being teased.
She let her head slip down the side of Claire’s jaw and kissed little marks against her neck. She used her teeth carefully, enough to make Claire squirm against her but not hard enough to leave marks that would still be there tomorrow.
Claire was starting to whimper, moving restlessly against where Morgan’s thigh had slipped between her legs and the hands that were still kneading warm circles into her arse, maddeningly refusing to give her what she wanted.
“Come have a shower with me,” she murmured, moving back up Claire’s neck to tug gently at her earlobe with her teeth.
“That’s a bad idea,” Claire gasped back. “We need… Ah! Sleep. We need to sleep. And showering… oh god. Showering together is a safety hazard.”
“I can let you sleep,” Morgan purred, deliberately letting her voice drop an octave lower. “I was mean this morning, after all, not letting you sleep in. If you want to stop, we can stop, you can sleep.”
She smiled as Claire swore viciously, blunted nails suddenly digging into her back, tightening her hold. “Don’t you dare,” she hissed. “Don’t you dare – oh! – do that again.”
“Sorry? Morgan replied innocently. “You want me to do that again?” She slid her hand back down the crotch of Claire’s jeans, pressing hard against the denim as she allowed her middle finger to press down against the slight groove she could feel, even through the thick material.
She could feel the warmth even outside Claire’s clothes, as Claire let out a short, high pitched noise, still desperately trying to wriggle closer.
Morgan pulled off her completely, and thought for a moment Claire might actually slap her as she curved around her, making sure she was still facing her partner. She reached out to grab both of Claire’s hands in one of hers, pulling at her shirt buttons with the other hand as she walked backwards towards the bathroom.
“Shower it is then.”
… ... ...
She’d only turned the water on, focusing on getting it to the right temperature before turning around to find Claire hurling her underwear in the vague direction of the laundry basket. Fed up with waiting, she reached up to pull Morgan back to her, her small hands plucking at the waistband of Morgan’s pants.
Claire let out an unhappy noise as her bare back hit the tiles, but she quickly got over it by beginning to tear at the rest of Morgan’s clothing. Not unaffected herself, Morgan let out a hiss as Claire inadvertently brushed against her nipple, lost in the process of clawing her shirt off. Claire looked up and smiled, sweetly kissing the corner of her jaw. “I’m sorry, did you want something?”
Shirt now open, she ran her hand over the satin of Morgan’s bra, delicately rubbing her fingertips over the small bud until she felt it stiffen. Moments later, she let out a sharp squeal as Morgan pulled them both through the shower door, still partially dressed.
She gave in for a minute, and began yanking her arms through the sleeves of her shirt, letting Claire strip the rapidly darkening fabric down, and throw it away. Having gotten rid of the most troubling piece of clothing, she went straight back to kissing Claire, who moaned and buckled against her.
Gently mouthing small bites down the side of Claire’s neck again, she spared a brief chuckle for how Claire’s stumbling fingers were still trying to work the wet clasp of her bra at the centre of her back; before Claire lost her patience entirely and pulled the straps down her upper arms, effectively stripping down the cups of the bra as well.
She let Claire have a moment to twist at her nipple, making a small noise of appreciation as the curly head dropped to pay the appropriate amount of attention to the other breast as well.
And then she let her hand drop back between Claire’s legs again, and effectively cut her off at the knees.
Claire swore as she buckled again, and Morgan pressed forward to trap her small weight between her own body and the wall. She continued to kiss her as she rubbed small circles around her clit, pulling one of Claire’s legs up to wrap around her hips before letting her free hand weave into the mess of sodden curls. She hummed softly into her mouth as she dropped two fingers a little lower, slipping inside of Claire as she timed a long stroke down the clit with her thumb.
Claire keened, her head dropping forward on her neck, both hands gripping tightly to Morgan’s shoulders as she moved against her, grinding down against her hand as Morgan laughed quietly and sang a wordless tune against the shell of her ear. She continued to breathe tiny kisses all over Claire’s face and neck as her hand moved relentlessly at the apex of her legs, sliding through the wetness that had never been from the shower.
Between how she’d played Claire that morning, and Claire’s growing desperation that tiredness stripped all inhibitions from, Morgan knew how tightly her partner was currently wound, only a few good strokes away from flying apart at the seams. Claire in complete loss of control was how Morgan liked her best, arms and legs desperate to pull Morgan closer, a constant stream of delicate noises dropping from her mouth, as she ground against her.
Apparently determined not to come without paying some of her own back, Morgan growled as Claire snuck a hand up between them, sinking her teeth into the round curve of Claire’s shoulder at the unexpected twist to her nipple. She let her hand twist, the two fingers currently inside Claire sinking in further in a sharp shock of friction as she rubbed the pad of her thumb directly over her clit.
Claire threw her head back and shrieked at the feeling, her hands tightening almost painfully around Morgan’s shoulders as she came, fluttering around Morgan’s fingers as her leg that still remained on the shower floor trembled. Already waiting for it, Morgan pushed Claire firmly against the wall by her hips, crooning into her ear as she gently worked her through the spasms, until she felt her partner take more of her own weight back into her legs.
She wrapped herself around Claire, who was still quietly shaking, almost purring into her ear as she went back to stroking the water-warmed skin of Claire’s stomach, patiently waiting for her lover’s brain to come back online. She knew she’d gotten there when Claire suddenly knocked her hand away, pushing up on the balls of her feet to kiss her, pushing her gently back so their faces were out from under the water.
Claire took a few moments to play with Morgan’s breasts, still kissing her all the while until she had Morgan pressing into her hands. Morgan let out a moan of displeasure when she pulled off suddenly, pushing Morgan away from her and tugging at her shoulder to turn her around.
“If this is about this morning I think you’ve made your point,” she said, voice embarrassingly tight. She felt Claire’s fingers sweep lightly over her shoulder blade before feeling the band of the bra suddenly go slack against her, catching Claire’s hand in hers as they both ripped it out of the way. She only had time to turn back around before Claire leaned up and took Morgan’s face in both hands, sliding her tongue into her mouth as she kissed her deeply. Worked up and nearing her own point of desperation, she squirmed a little against her, desperately trying to keep her body under some semblance of control as Claire pulled back and lightly nipped at her lips.
Claire stood there, just looking at her, grinning, long enough for Morgan to begin to think she was going to leave her to her own devices after all when Claire pulled them both backwards, a little unexpectedly, in a move that became all too clear as she sank to her knees on the floor. Morgan threw her hands up to clutch desperately at the window ledge as Claire wrapped both hands around her thighs, and pressed a chaste kiss to the small patch of skin between her index finger and her thumb.
And then her head turned so that her face was pressing in between Morgan’s legs, and Morgan gave up the weak remaining control she had over herself.
She spread her legs wider, and clutched the windowsill with a white-knuckled grip, desperate to keep her balance as Claire’s head bobbed against her. She let out a short, stifled sob as she felt one hand stroke down her thigh, coming to wrap tightly around her ankle, anchoring her to the floor. She was so close already, her own teasing winding herself up as well as Claire through the day, and the turn on of having Claire writhe against her, coming apart under her fingers.
Claire’s fingers were busy at work against her clit, her tongue moving shallowly in and out as Morgan rocked down against her face. She shut her ears to the small sobs and whimpers she was letting out, all of her concentration on holding her balance and just watching Claire’s head where it was pressed tightly against her. Claire slipped her tongue up to join her fingers and vibrated her lips, and that was all Morgan needed to come, doubling over as she gasped, one hand dropping down to clutch at Claire’s head. She didn’t pull, just worked her hand into the mess of hair at the crown of Claire’s head and held her lightly against her as she rode out her own orgasm, Claire pushing her hard into the wall in an effort to make sure she didn’t lose her footing.
Eventually, she felt Claire gingerly slip out from under her, only after making completely sure Morgan wouldn’t fall without her and came back up to standing. Working her way under one arm, she wriggled back into the circle of Morgan’s arms and kissed her slowly, butterflying her way across her face, neither of them now standing under the water as she rubbed circles against Morgan’s collarbones with her thumbs.
Slowly, Morgan came to, picking her head up from where it had somehow come to rest on Claire’s shoulder, not able to bring herself to lift it completely but instead just nuzzling into Claire’s neck.
“Hey you,” came the quiet voice, warm and easy against the noise of the shower.
“Mmmm,” she huffed back, unwilling to move. She felt Claire’s shoulder’s shake with suppressed laughter, and spared a silent moment to be bitterly grateful her partner was too good of a person to laugh at her pride.
“Come on,” Claire said, her voice still warmly amused but not laughing. “I think it’s time we got out.”
… … …
Well wrapped in towels and with the heater set to blasting, they stumbled their way to the bedroom to find more clothes, leaving the mess in the bathroom to deal with tomorrow.
Morgan groped through her drawers for a spare shirt, throwing it in Claire’s general direction before yanking her own over her head.
So tired and blissed out she could hardly think straight, she caught sight of Claire in the mirror over her dresser, staggering towards the bed in Morgan’s shirt and a spare pair of knickers, her legs still flushed red from the heat of the shower. Her hair was damp but not dripping, the curls still shiny from where they had turned black with water.
Rolling her shoulders a little as she dropped the blackout blind, she stabbed the charger into her phone and set an alarm for ten hours time, on the off chance they were allowed to sleep that long. The duvet let out a woomph beneath her as she dropped heavily into bed, squirming her way under the covers and listening to Claire do the same.
She lay still for a moment, tired but not right, before figuring out the problem. Half shimmying over, half tugging Claire by the arm that she had already stretched out toward Morgan, she maneuvered a sleepily protesting Claire into the correct position in the middle of the bed; tucked against Morgan’s side, with both of Morgan’s legs under one of Claire’s, Claire’s arm heavily draped across her stomach with the shorter surgeon’s head using Morgan’s shoulder as a pillow. She shifted once to get comfortable under the extra weight and settled, pulling her hand out from under Claire’s back to rest possessively against her neck and shoulder, keeping them pressed together.
She snaked her free arm out to wrap around Claire’s waist, still glowing with the heat of the shower. Now satisfied that all was right in the bed, she tilted her head up just enough that she could still smell Claire’s hair without having it bouncing up her nose, and began to doze off in seconds.
She heard Claire give a small chuckle as she altered their position a little, apparently not satisfied with Morgan’s obviously superior arrangement.
“You’re soft,” came the tiny whisper, that Morgan was simply too tired to craft a response to. Easier just to feign an instant sleep, and hope it was believable. She wasn’t soft. Soft wasn’t something Morgan did, not even for Claire. It just wasn’t, she thought, as she unconsciously smoothed down a stray strand of Claire’s hair.
“It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone.”