Actions

Work Header

so if you will (please fall in love)

Work Text:

MED–4

 

If her tracking was accurate, today would have to be day ninety-four of hell, and Nayeon wasn’t sure why she was going through it in the first place. If she were to  have kids, she’d send them to all the art schools her money could afford; or business schools; anywhere other than medical school.

God. It was just so, so draining.

Maybe she was being dramatic (she probably was), but the instant coffee the vending machine served her had lukewarm water and some granules that Nayeon was pretty sure wasn’t supposed to be part of the coffee mix was a nice touch to her impending breakdown. She sucked it up and the paper cup was nearly empty, save for the weird bits floating at the bottom. Beggars can’t be choosers, and Nayeon was unable to go out to the nearest 7/11 chain to get some semi-decent caffeine.

She suddenly missed all the weekends at Starbucks with Jeongyeon. Jeongyeon maybe shit for company (a jest she’d always say to anyone who asked but Nayeon wouldn’t have been sane if Jeongyeon wasn’t by her side), but at least the coffee was good (Chaeyoung would argue that Starbcuks had shit coffee, but everybody’s standards were different).

 

Nayeon checked the time, it was five minutes past one in the morning. She checked her phone as well– no alerts from her residents (they’re probably asleep, pft); no messages from Momo, her co-clerk stationed at the ward; nor any update from Dahyun, her emergency room counterpart from six to six.

 

Nayeon took a deep breath.

 

She just finished the census rounds of their co-managed patients that were admitted outside their ward and, assuming that Momo was doing her part the with updating the census of their in-ward patients, Nayeon had some time to kill before going back. Ten minutes seemed reasonable. Ten minutes, okay, fifteen minutes tops.

 

Her feet took her automatically to the nursery, where the nurses opened a secret viewing time every one to two in the morning. It was probably to appease the new fathers and the other folks of the babies, but Nayeon was thankful for it nonetheless. Babies were too cute and too innocent for the world and their wrinkly skin and uncoordinated movements never failed to give Nayeon an energy boost.

 

The first crib was blocked by some clerk in scrubs and Nayeon slightly panicked. Did they have a new delivery? She checked her phone again, and there were no new messages. A wave of relief rushed over her. Ninety-four days of hell and Nayeon was turning into a bundle of nerves. Going on a total breakdown after nearly a hundred days seemed justifiable. She knew of interns who broke down after a week.

 

After some minutes of staring, she realized that the clerk was actually doing rounds on the newly bathed babies. Nayeon must admit it was a good strategy. Baths were always calming to the babies, making them less irritable when they’d get poked and prodded by their assigned clerks and residents. The clerk was good.

 

And oh my god, the clerk was Myoui Mina.

 

Nayeon was at the peak of her sleep-deprived, one-in-the-morning yawn. Her mouth was wide open, her arms stretched out, and her spine in the most awkward lordotic angle. It was at this moment Mina happened to turn around, and by then it was too late to stop the entire yawn. Nayeon couldn’t hear it through the double-layered Plexiglas window separating the cribs from the hallway, but she was sure Mina was laughing at her.

 

Whatever, that’s not anything new.

 

The baby Mina was holding up gave Nayeon a big wave with both of his hands (actually no, it was Mina controlling the baby’s movements), which made Nayeon laugh as well.

 

Too cute.

 

Alright, Nayeon got her energy boost– thank you, universe, for babies. Maybe Nayeon was thankful for Mina as well, but it’s been nearly two years since the weird weeks of whatever (it was Nayeon basically giving up her weeknights and some Saturdays to help out with Mina on some extra-curricular activity but if Nayeon were to be brutally honest, she went through all that because she developed a fat crush on Mina after a stupidly platonic day-long errand downtown) and Nayeon had since tried her best to squish the stupid, absolutely silly, completely unnecessary crush.

Tried to. The effort was there.

 

 

 

 

“Hey, you’re back. Can you return these charts? The nurses have been glaring at me for the past ten minutes.” Momo said, giving Nayeon the best sleep-deprived smile she could form. It looked like a grimace at best but working with Momo for the past months was enough for Nayeon to know Momo needed sleep to function properly. Sleep or food, whichever was doable.

 

Nayeon peeled a granola bar she grabbed from the vending machine earlier and fed it to Momo, who was finishing up her part of the census. Momo beamed, now sitting a little straighter and typing quicker than before.

 

“You’re the best, Nayeonnie.”

“You say that to anybody who feeds you, Mo.”

“I stand by my words.” Momo stuck out her tongue, and Nayeon simply rolled her eyes.

 

 

“Mina’s stationed at the nursery now?” It was a casual question, as Nayeon tried to downplay the excitement she got from their miniscule interaction earlier.

 

Jesus, Im Nayeon. The girl literally laughed at your yawning face and used a baby to give a wave. That’s it.

 

A smile made its way to Momo’s face at the mention of her other third (Sana was the other, those three were a trio of sorts). “Yeah! Today’s her first day. Minari was a total wreck during her first catch earlier, you should’ve seen it.”

 

“I’ve been at the operating room the whole day.” Nayeon grumbled, slightly envious on how Momo got to see Mina’s first catch as a nursery clerk.

 

It was always amusing seeing friends fumble around. Well, as long as the only one making mistakes were them. Nayeon was a witness to Jeongyeon’s first catch but Jeongyeon was a witness to Nayeon’s first delivery as well, and they both agreed to bury it in the past. They both were scolded the entire time.

 

Nayeon (and Momo, they didn’t come separately as far as their school’s scheduling was concerned) was currently rotating in the OB-GYN department as a ward clerk. It meant close coordination with the emergency room complex and the nursery. Oh, Surgery too. Nayeon winced at the memory of the shared operation her decked patient had earlier. She got to scrub in a cancer-resecting case which was co-managed by surgery. It boiled down to who didn’t fall asleep while retracting, and Tzuyu, the surgery intern who scrubbed along with Nayeon, won the bet.

If Nayeon closed her eyes now, she could still feel the soles of her feet throbbing from all the hours (it was six) she spent standing in one go in the operating room earlier. There were two other surgeries she scrubbed in as well, but those weren’t that long. An hour for a Cesarean delivery. Two hours and a half for a vaginal hysterectomy. Did Nayeon ever mention this was hell? Totally.

 

“Sana said you fell asleep intra-op?” Momo asked, but if her grin was any indication, Nayeon didn’t really need to answer categorically.

 

“And how would Sana know that? Isn’t she… wait, what department is Sana in now?” Nayeon hit Momo’s shoulder with her forehead which, in retrospect, wasn’t such a good idea because now her head hurt. But Nayeon’s head was now parked on Momo’s shoulder and it made for a nice makeshift pillow.

 

“You know Jihyo’s in Anesthesia. She told Sana. Sana’s now in Nursery with Mina. They go together, just like you and I.”

“Jihyo wasn’t even the clerk in our O.R.!”

“So you did fall asleep intra-op.”

“Retracting is so fucking boring. Tzuyu fell asleep five minutes after I did.”

 

(Sleep was a very loose term. Sleeping intra-op meant dozing off for two seconds; ten seconds was already a stretch. Still, you snooze, you lose. You’d also got a verbal beating from of the residents. Surgical operations were a matter of life and death, after all.)

 

Momo let out a laugh.

 

“How much do you owe Tzuyu?”

“Two pretzels and a large-sized order of boba.”

 

Momo’s laugh grew louder.

 

 

“Alright, your turn with this damned computer.” Momo clicked the save button some ten times before standing up from the bench they were seated on. She shoved Nayeon to the edge, to where the computer was and positioned herself nicely on the remainder of the bench with her head on top of Nayeon’s lap. “Wake me up in thirty? Beds 1 to 4 have some monitoring due by then.”

 

“I hate you.” Nayeon said, softly stroking Momo’s messy hair. Her words fell to deaf ears because Momo was already out. Nayeon gave out a long sigh and started editing her part of the census.

 

 

 

 

Nayeon’s phone blared out a special ringtone, jostling Nayeon out of her sweet slumber.

 

“Dubu?” Nayeon rubbed her eyes and focused on the digital clock at the computer’s screen. It was around half-past four, which meant she got to sleep for an hour uninterrupted. Not bad.

 

“Run to the delivery room, now. Doc’s here in the E.R. already and nursery has been informed.”

 

Ah, fuck. It was Nayeon’s turn to attend a delivery.

 

“Mo, we got a direct to D.R. case. I’ll go deliver, you stay here.” Nayeon said, shaking Momo awake. “I’ll text you the census details ASAP!”

 

And now Nayeon was making a run for it, because if there was a top sin in the sin book of the department, it was to have a mother give birth unattended. That was actually some policy set by the United Nations, but ‘top sin in the sin book’ sounded way cooler. And Nayeon liked to believe she was cool. (She had a fan club!)

 

 

 

 

“That was my first direct to delivery room case.” Mina stifled a yawn, absentmindedly playing with the newborn’s hand that  grasped her index finger. “I’ve never moved so fast in my entire life.”

 

“Wasn’t your last rotation in the E.R. complex?” Not that Nayeon specifically kept tabs on Mina, it was simply inevitable to familiarize who went where.

 

“Yeah, but you don’t really sleep in the emergency room so…” Mina eyed Nayeon with a teasing look, and it was too early to be guarded around Mina’s sleepy eyes. Nayeon couldn’t help but blush. Thank god for scrub masks.

 

Damn it, Nayeon, what was so great about Mina, anyway? Maybe Mina wasn’t all that. Stupid crush. Stupid feelings that should’ve gone away by now.

 

“I sent Momo the baby details already, by the way. Check your messages, I sent it to you too.” Mina pocketed her phone and eyed both of their patients. The mother was sleeping soundly, with the baby looking snug lying on top of her mommy’s chest. Mina adjusted the blankets that slipped off, covering the mother and child.

She got up, and before Nayeon could ask her nursery counterpart where she was headed to, Mina returned with another pair of blankets. “This one’s yours. Might as well get comfy, we still have more than an hour of close monitoring before they get transferred.”

 

Okay, maybe Nayeon shouldn’t ask stupid questions to the universe. Mina’s a great person. Got it. Noted. Copy. Im Nayeon over and out.

 

Nayeon wrapped the blanket around her entire body while giving a small thank-you. Mina nodded in acknowledgment, but from the way her chin was nearly touching her chest, she was already seconds away from dreamland. It didn’t stop Nayeon from talking though, “For somebody new to the nursery, you’re pretty quick on your feet. You even managed to get blankets on your second day. Spare some PR tips?”

 

Mina hummed, although her eyes were still closed. “Jeongyeon endorsed the do’s and don’ts well.”

“Oh god, don’t tell her that. It’ll only stroke her ego.”

 

Nayeon assumed that the smile on Mina’s face evolved into a grin by the way the side of her eyes crinkled. Nayeon mentally tapped herself on the back. She still knew how to make Mina smile. Hah!

 

“So the blankets? How’d you snatch an extra two?” Nayeon was honestly impressed. Blankets were for the patients, after all. It took Nayeon a full week before she could sit freely on the unoccupied beds, and another five days of sucking up to the nurses and aides before they trusted her enough to snag the occasional sheets to keep her warm during labor watch that stretched well into the night.

 

“I… asked?”

“You’re shitting me.”

 

“No, I’m telling the truth.” Mina finally opened her eyes, settling her gaze on the human burrito that was Im Nayeon.

 

It was silent for a moment as Mina held Nayeon in some kind of stare-off.

 

“Can I borrow some blankets?” Mina’s voice dipped an octave lower and went some decibels higher, simultaneously enunciating the words clearly yet bearing a shy tone that gave Nayeon a familiar woozy feeling.

 

“Uhh?” Nayeon was confused but she slowly removed the blanket that was wrapped around her.

 

Mina laughed, loud enough to startle the baby on the mother’s chest. She stifled her laughter as soon as the neonate started crying. Mina focused on patting the baby gently back to sleep. “Nayeon, no.” She whispered, and Nayeon was too slow in understanding what Mina meant.

 

“Oh. You really did just ask? Like that?”

“Yeah.”

 

 


 

 

On day ninety-six of the required three hundred sixty-five days of torture, Nayeon was in a better headspace. It was a relatively slow day, and their E.R. was empty. She had a reviewer open and had an ice drop hanging from her mouth. Life was suddenly good. Maybe she’d send her children to medical school if they asked nicely.

 

“Hey.” Mina waltzed in their emergency room, going directly to Momo’s open arms. She sat on Momo’s lap, with Momo’s arms wrapped around her waist to prevent Mina from moving around.

 

Now, Nayeon loved Momo. She really did. Momo was the partner the gods above (the school) assigned to be with her for the whole year, and they could not have been more of a perfect fit. But Jesus, could Momo not be so clingy with Mina? Nayeon gets it. They’re peas from the same pod, yada yada–

 

“What’s up, Nayeon?” Mina asked, offering the sulking girl a small smile and her full undivided attention.

 

Nayeon’s internal monologue was cut short. Her brain short-circuited, and she was panicking to think of a smooth reply to Mina’s question. What was up? The question was suddenly so hard to answer.

 

“The canteen?” That wasn’t smooth. Momo and Mina laughed, and Nayeon wanted nothing more than to throw the highlighter in her hand to the duo. And she did, managing to hit Momo’s shoulder, which made Momo laugh harder. “I mean, the canteen is upstairs. Stop laughing.”

 

“Is she always this weird?” Mina asked Momo, completely ignoring Nayeon’s glare.

 

“Not really, she gets worse when she’s from duty.” Wow, thank you, Momo. “You hungry, Nay? You can take lunch now. I’ll man the E.R.”

 

Nayeon shot Momo a smile, and although she wasn’t that hungry, she took up on the offer. They couldn’t have lunch simultaneously while on duty, and they really had to eat whenever they had some downtime. A near fainting spell in the operating room was enough for Nayeon to never pass up the opportunity to eat– well, that and the instinct to avoid Jeongyeon and Jihyo’s lecture on how she should take care of her health.

 

She stowed away her reviewer and gave them a wave. “I’ll be back in twenty.”

 

“Nayeon, wait up.” Mina detached herself from Momo’s grasp and ran to Nayeon, bumping their shoulders softly. “Let’s have lunch together.”

 

Wow. Thank you, Momo.

 

Nayeon loved Momo. Life was good. Her crush for Mina was exploding exponentially after the shoulder bump. Fuck.

 

 

Nayeon found herself outside the nursery, smiling at the babies that were sleeping soundly at the opposite side.

 

“The ward okay?” Momo appeared by her side, leaning back against the wall.

 

“Yeah. Doc just made rounds and gave me thirty minutes to get some coffee in my system before I scrub in a D&C.” Nayeon leaned against Momo’s side, settling her head nicely atop Momo’s shoulder. “Co-manage okay?”

 

“All’s good. Room 412 was bitching about her pain so I called up Anesthesia. Jihyo said she still had an epidural due. We have a morbid patient in Intensive Care but Cardio’s doing close monitoring on her. Chaeyoung’s not going to sleep tonight, I think.” Momo was now opening a bar of chocolate. “So, where’s your coffee?”

 

“D&Cs take five minutes. Thirty if Doc’s feeling talkative. I’ll survive without the caffeine.”

“You’re trading coffee time to watch at babies?”

“Mo, the babies are cute.”

 

A resident went to check on crib 3, with Mina tailing behind him, chart on hand. She was too busy to notice Nayeon and Momo on the other side, but that was okay. It wasn’t like Nayeon went to the nursery to get a wave from Mina. Ew.

 

Nayeon gave out a long sigh. The smile on her face got wider and it wasn’t even a conscious decision at this point. She could feel Momo’s gaze boring into her skull. And then, a chuckle reverberated, making Nayeon’s head bob up and down.

 

“Right. The babies are cute.”

 

 


 

 

“Mommy, I’m gonna need you to stop moving around, okay? Let’s check your baby’s heart rate.” Nayeon cooed, giving her best smile to her patient that was a thrashing mess on the bed. Not that the smile would actually be seen, she was already in scrubs complete with the head cap and mask, but it couldn’t be helped.

 

A door that was supposed to be pulled was pushed, making a screeching sound that got the attention of both Nayeon and her patient.

 

“Nay? How far along are we?” It was Sana, peeking in to the labor room complex from the door that connected the labor room to the nursery.

 

“We’re at seven centimeters now. Station 0. Mommy’s a G1P0. I’ll give a heads up when we reach nine.” Nayeon replied. A beat later, “You’ll catch?”

 

Sana gave out a chuckle, something similar to what Momo would do when she’d tease Nayeon. “Disappointed, Nayeonnie?”

 

In between trying to position the probe accurately on her patient’s gravid stomach and getting flustered by Sana’s comment, Nayeon opted to withhold any response.

 

“If it makes you feel better, Mina wasn’t that happy when you weren’t the assist in the delivery during her catch earlier.”

 

Nayeon’s mood instantly lifted, and finding the baby’s heartrate within the accepted range wasn’t the only reason behind it.

 

 


 

 

Nayeon was drunk. Her thoughts and words had no lag time in between, her hand gestures were far too many to be considered as a normal part of communicating, she needed to touch the walls while walking so she wouldn’t tumble down, and she was seeing Mina park her car right across the  entrance of the convenience store – slash – drinking hang-out where they were currently in.

 

“Wait, is that Mina?” Nayeon thought and asked, uh… Dahyun? No, the one next to her was blonde. Momo. Yes, that’s the one.

 

“Minari!” Blondie, err, Momo waved at Mina, and Nayeon waved as well. Maybe too much. Now her body felt like she was at sea, rocking side to side. Okay, bad idea.

 

Nayeon placed her head on the table, forehead landing on something wet and Nayeon was willing to bet it was the shot of tequila she spilled an hour ago. It would be gross if the room wasn’t spinning, but Nayeon’s balance was off and she needed something to ground her.

 

“Hey, you okay?” Nayeon could feel Mina’s hand on her head, and Nayeon managed to turn her head sideways to say some sort of yes. Maybe. She wasn’t sure.

 

“She’s drunk.” Momo said before scooting away from Nayeon. Where was Momo going? No, Momo, don’t leave. Momo shot Nayeon a wink. What was that about?

 

Oh. Okay. Momo slid down the bench so Mina could insert herself between them. Nayeon closed her eyes for a moment, she needed some time to recover before she engaged in another argument about which pizza topping was superior. Well that and the way Mina’s hand was stroking her hair made her sleepy.

 

 

 

“Hey.” Mina was whispering to Nayeon’s ear now, and Nayeon was thankful that she was already red with alcohol. “Drink up.”

 

A tall glass filled with something crystal clear greeted Nayeon. “Mina, I’m drunk.”

 

A silver smile. “I know. Drink this for me? Please?”

 

Nayeon drank it, bottoms-up. She mentally prepared herself for whatever liquor Mina plotted against her, but it had no taste whatsoever. No aftertaste as well.

 

Oh, it was water.

 

“And they call me dramatic.” Nayeon quipped, rolling her eyes.

 

Mina laughed, and Nayeon was suddenly irritated by the shitty speakers blowing out unregulated bass beats that drowned Mina’s laughter. She got up abruptly, and prepared to leave her spot. Where was the owner? She’d like to have a word.

 

“You aren’t going anywhere, Im Nayeon.” Mina said, pulling Nayeon back to her seat.

 

The table went quiet, and Nayeon could feel all eyes on her. She could also feel Mina’s grip on her wrist loosening, which made her shoot a pout at the woman beside her. Mina raised an eyebrow in question, but underneath the table her hand slid into Nayeon’s, the pad of her thumb now tracing circles at the back of Nayeon’s hand. The table was still quiet, and Nayeon had to ask help from all gods she knew to give her the strength to tear her eyes away from Mina.

 

“What?” She wasn’t looking at anyone in particular, and the question was thrown to everybody at their table.

 

“Un-fucking-believable.” It may be Jeongyeon, it may have been Jihyo. It didn’t matter, because Mina was giving Nayeon another glass of water to help her sober up.

 

Christ, Mina was so pretty. More than that, she was smart. She was quick on her feet during emergencies and she was so good with babies. She’s thoughtful as well. And her laugh did things to Nayeon that alcohol could never do.

 

“What?” Mina asked, eyeing Nayeon as she downed her shot of tequila. No salt, no lemon, no chaser. Nayeon had never been so turned on by the sight of somebody drinking.

 

Nayeon shrugged, having enough sense to not speak. She gave Mina what she thought was a wink before she inserted herself in the conversation the table had going on. Their hands were still intertwined underneath the table, and Nayeon could feel Mina’s hand tighten when she’d go a little too loud, or when her words were a little too fast. Mina was in her own world as well, being hogged by Sana and Momo at their end of the table.

Nayeon would give a small tug whenever Mina scooted too far from Nayeon’s liking and Mina would go lean back to her. It was nice. They should drink together more often.

 

 

 

“Fuck, marry, kill” Jeongyeon was eyeing everybody, and Nayeon was thankful Mina stepped out for a bathroom break. “Sana, Momo, and… Mina.”

 

Before Nayeon could turn around, she felt Mina settle beside her, her hand reaching for another cup of beer and the other snaking its way back to Nayeon’s. “Hi.”

 

Nayeon blames Jeongyeon for tricking her in drinking a glass filled with gin some thirty seconds ago. “If I kill both Sana and Momo, would I get to fuck and marry Mina?”

 

The whole table erupted with laughter, and Nayeon wasn’t sure if Mina had some degree of Asian flush on her cheeks or if she was actually blushing.

 

“Have a crush on our Minari, Nayeonnie?” Momo teased.

 

“Between the three of you, it’s a no brainer.” Nayeon spat without missing a beat, and mentally gave herself a high-five. Smooth. As a bonus, Mina giggled beside her, the pad of her thumb tracing something that felt like a star on the back of Nayeon’s hand. Nayeon suddenly felt like a kid who was given a star by her teacher for getting the answer right, but only this time it was so much better because she was drunk, she had Mina’s hand in hers, and she may have admitted to having a crush on Mina in the most inadvertent way.

 

 


 

 

Something shifted.

 

 


 

 

They just finished their lunch and were now on their way back to the ward with Momo going on about the difference between imported avocados and locally grown ones, a topic that Nayeon would actually find interesting if her phone wasn’t blowing up with Mina’s random texts. Sleep deprivation and a multitude of pending paperwork brought out a whiny Mina, and a whiny Mina was such a pick-me-upper for Nayeon.

 

Mina: [sent a photo]

[You do not have enough data to view photo.]

 

Right, her prepaid data subscription expired earlier. Nayeon planned to get a new promo tomorrow, since she was already post-duty now and only had some four hours of paperwork before she got to clock off. No need for data. Well, not until Mina sent the picture.

 

Nayeon: what is it? i don’t have data for pics anymore

Mina: it’s a picture of your crush :D

 

 

Nayeon choked, bringing Momo out of her avocado monologue to place strong pats at Nayeon’s back. “You okay?”

 

“Yeah. I just–” Nayeon grabbed Momo’s water bottle and took a big gulp. “I actually need load right now. Can you send me some data?”

 

Momo shot her a weird look, but took out her phone nonetheless. They resumed walking, and Nayeon was getting restless. Momo took her time with sending, and they just conveniently had to be walking by the area where the signal was bad.

 

Nayeon shouldn’t be worried, it was probably a harmless picture. What would Mina send, anyway? Some picture of former One Direction member, now solo singer Harry Styles? A shot of renowned Korean soloist IU?

 

 

Finally, the picture was loading.

 

It was a selfie.

 

 

Fuck.

 

 

It was Mina’s selfie.

 

 

What the actual fuck.

 

 

“What got you so riled up?” Mina’s voice made Nayeon snap her head from staring down at her phone to looking up at… her crush.

 

Of course she’d bump into Mina now, of all times. Of fucking course.

 

The selfie wasn’t that much different from the real thing– the bangs were still messy, the bags under the eyes were still the same dark shade, and the white blazer still had the same smudge of ketchup at the collar area. The real thing, however, was sporting a mischievous look in her eyes.

 

Nayeon was getting palpitations as hard as the time she drank five shots of espresso under five minutes (a dare from Jihyo which she would never do again).

 

“Oh, you would know.” Nayeon gritted out, hyperaware of Momo’s questioning eyes on her.

 

“How would I know?”

“You’re so cheeky.”

“I thought we’ve already established that you’re the cheeky one, not me.”

 

And suddenly Mina was up in Nayeon’s personal space, one hand clutching her paper work close to her chest and the other on Nayeon’s cheek. It lasted for a full second, with Mina looking at her with an expression Nayeon was unsure to label, and then, Nayeon felt something sting.

 

“See, very cheeky.” Mina took a step back, but her fingers were now pinching Nayeon’s cheek.

 

“Ouch. Yah, stop.” Mina only pinched harder. “Yah! Stop! Momo, tell this sadist to stop hurting me.” Nayeon turned to Momo for help, but Momo was busy with her phone.

 

“Satang? Hi. Mina and Nayeon are flirting in the hallway. It’s kinda gross.” Momo deadpanned, effectively making Mina let go of Nayeon’s cheek.

 

“Momoring!” Mina whined. She grabbed the phone from Momo’s hand. “We were not. We met on the way to the ward.”  It was a variation of yes, no, and absolutely not before Mina ended the call.

 

“So, what did Mina send to you that made you choke?” Momo asked with genuine interest. She’d probably rat it out to Sana right after, but the interest was there.

 

“I sent her a picture of her crush.” Mina beat Nayeon to it, and Nayeon could only take so much of a no-holds-barred Mina in one day. Any more, and her heart would break her ribs from all the palpitations it was doing.

 

“Can you not?” Nayeon groaned, nudging Mina’s shoulder with the side of her head making them both sway to the side. It also made Mina giggle.

 

“Not what?”

“Not.”

“What?”

 

“Jeongie? Yeah no, no emergency. It’s just that Nayeon and Mina are flirting in the hallway. It’s really gross.”

 

This time, both Momo and Mina were laughing, probably from how Nayeon looked with her jaw hanging in surprise and eyes twitching in disbelief. Momo was being an ass, and Mina was being too adorable.

 

 

There was this general rule to not run in the hallways unless it was an emergency, but it was either chasing Momo down or giving Mina a kiss and Nayeon was too much of a coward to do the latter.

 

 


 

 

Crib 5 was crying, which made cribs 1 to 4 slowly wake up and cry as well. Now, it looked like a nightmare with all babies at the viewing area putting their arms and legs in the air, wailing to be soothed.

Nayeon wanted to cry too because today was particularly exhausting– her decked patient that was supposed to be a smooth delivery had a complication, was rushed to the operating room, and was currently in the intensive care unit for close monitoring. The monitoring was supposed to be split into shifts by her team, but Nayeon hogged most of it– it was her patient. On some moral ground, she felt she needed to be there.

Eventually, her resident kicked her out of the intensive care unit, demanding Nayeon to get some rest and coffee in her system. Nayeon got to nap for thirty minutes, had a cup of instant coffee from the vending machine, and yet, she still wasn’t allowed to back to her patient. So, she went to do the next best thing– the nursery for the serotonin boost.

 

“Cry for me, babies.” Nayeon’s forehead was leaning against the window, her entire body slumped forward. It was therapeutic in a sense. She did feel the stress leave her body as she watched the babies move restlessly in their cribs.

 

“Nayeon?” A familiar voice rang in her ear, but Nayeon was too far in her head to give out a proper response.

 

“Baby?” Nayeon replied, her eyes still glued to the cribs.

 

“Baby?” The voice echoed with a mix of uncertainty and amusement. A moment after, Nayeon realized what she heard was something she was sure she daydreamt about for more times than she would ever admit.

 

Slowly, she turned her head to the direction of the voice. The owner was grinning at her, the silver tooth peeking out of the side. “Hey. What’s up?”

 

Nayeon put her head on Mina’s shoulder as soon as the other girl was near enough. Between cold window and Mina’s warm body, the window could go. “Bad day.”

 

Mina gave small pats on Nayeon’s head before wrapping Nayeon in a tentative hug. Nayeon wasted no time in wrapping her arms around Mina as well, her head now resting more fully against Mina’s collarbone.

 

They stayed like that for a time. Mina was silent, simply hugging Nayeon and swaying them both slightly on the balls of her feet, the babies at the other side of the window eventually calmed down after the nurses attended to them, and Nayeon felt herself calm down as well.

 

“Thank you.” Nayeon made the uncalculated decision to talk while having her lips pressed against Mina’s body, and she didn’t know if Mina noticed that her mind was heading to another breakdown– this time for entirely different reasons.

 

“Anytime,” Mina paused, and this time Nayeon was sure the other girl was weighing what she would say next, “baby.”

 

Thank god Mina was still holding her, because Nayeon felt her knees buckle.

 

“Baby,” Nayeon groaned, faking annoyance when in fact consciously calling the pet name spread all kinds of warmth in her chest, arms, and legs. Giddy. In the most elementary terms, Nayeon felt giddy.

 

Mina moved a step back, putting enough distance so she could look Nayeon in the eye. She did a small shake of her head to move the bangs that were hindering her view and gave out a grin that made Nayeon’s knees weaker. Good god. “Yes?”

 

The girl was impossible. It was hard enough to maintain her cool when she had enough sleep around Mina, but this– Nayeon was malfunctioning.

 

“Keep it up and I’m going to make you my girlfriend.” A malfunctioning Nayeon always spoke nonsense, and although Nayeon was filled with dread as soon as the words left her mouth, the soft look Mina had in her eyes was oddly reassuring.

 

“Keep what up, baby?” A laugh escaped Mina’s lips as Nayeon pulled her close, burying her head back to Mina’s collarbone. It was an attempt to hide her blush more than anything, because Mina being all bold and playful never failed to fluster Nayeon. “For all the talk people have about the Im Nayeon, you aren’t intimidating.”

 

Nayeon would have disagreed, but then she’d have to explain that she was really only a mess when it came to her. And confessing that tidbit right now would only inflate Mina’s head more than it already was and Nayeon wasn’t sure if she’d survive another level of cocky Mina.

 

“Really, you’re more of a squishy baby.” Mina continued, furthering Nayeon’s embarrassment. Still malfunctioning, Nayeon resorted to the poor thought of solution on how to make Mina shut up.

 

 

Mina tasted like watermelon, and Nayeon never thought that the fruit that was more water than sugar could taste so good. Her lips had some cracks, a sign that Mina wasn’t drinking water as much as she should, and that only gave Nayeon the prompt to run her tongue over the cracks– a good decision, basing on how Mina gasped and pulled Nayeon deeper into the kiss.

 

Kissing Mina was entirely different from how she imagined it would be, but that’s mainly because Nayeon steered away from indulging in daydreams of her crush as much as she could. But on the rare occasions she let herself free fall, Nayeon always thought Mina’s kisses were soft and shy, something light and airy. The kiss they shared was everything but. It was deep and hard, topped with a bite that Nayeon would have whined about but Mina was quick to placate her with tongue, making Nayeon whimper at her touch. It ended, too quick for Nayeon’s liking, ignoring the fact that her lungs were already burning from the lack of oxygen.

 

Nayeon, in some kind of Mina-induced high, pulled Mina back in to get another taste, only to be disappointed by the peck Mina offered. “We are in the hallway.”

 

Apparently, Nayeon was reduced to whimpers and groans. Didn’t matter, it made Mina laugh.

 

“You’re insufferable.” Nayeon managed to regain reign over her vocabulary. “Be my girlfriend?”

 

Mina rolled her eyes, and if Nayeon read that correctly, it would roughly translate to some degree of disbelief because Mina wasn’t the type to make out with somebody at the middle of the night in a public hallway if she had no whatsoever interest in the said person. Maybe. Nayeon wasn’t sure. Assuming what people thought had room for errors, and Nayeon really didn’t want to be wrong with this.

 

“Took you two years, but yeah.” Mina said, playfully shoving Nayeon away (Nayeon was yet again reduced to groans and whimpers). “Momo told me to tell you to go back to the ICU, by the way.” Mina looked like she had more things to say, but their moment was interrupted by the ringing of Mina’s phone. Shifting her gaze back to the nursery, it looked like Sana was looking for her.

 

“See you later, baby.” Mina gave Nayeon’s hand a small squeeze before going inside the nursery.

 

 

Nayeon made her way back to the intensive care unit, not quite sure of what entirely happened. She really just wanted some serotonin boost from the babies, and she may have walked away with exactly that and so much more.

 

And suddenly, she realized something vital.

 

“Hey.” Mina’s voice rang in her ear.

“WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY TWO YEARS?” Nayeon shouted, despite having the microphone of her phone directly beside her lips– she did spend the past years trying to squish the supposedly stupid, one-sided crush she had on Mina.

 

She only got Mina’s laughter in response, and Nayeon supposed Mina laughing at her would be a recurring theme from now on. Whatever. Mina was cool.