DISCLAIMER: Hospital Central and its characters are the property of Telecino. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just Following Orders
There it was again. That strange look Cruz had had plastered all over her face for weeks now whenever Maca was in the vicinity. It was a look of interest, intrigue or curiosity maybe, Maca couldn't fully decipher it. But it definitely made her slightly uncomfortable; she felt like she was under scrutiny, but had no idea what she'd done to deserve all the extra attention.
"Patient described lower abdominal pain..." Maca continued filling in her report, more of less successfully ignoring the chief of staff's intent gaze. "...prescribed 200mg of..." From her peripheral vision, Maca saw Cruz moving her chair and inching closer to where she was standing at the counter, and that finally made the pediatrician halt. She glanced expectantly at the raven-haired woman.
Neither of them said a word.
"What?" Maca was the first one to crack.
"Nothing." Cruz pursed her lips, shrugging, and then turned her attention back to the papers on her lap.
Blinking, Maca shook her head and returned to her own paperwork that absolutely needed to be finished by the end of the shift. She scribbled down her signature and then added the file on the annoyingly thin pile of finished reports. Opening a new one, she sighed. "...clear signs of previous head trauma..." This time it was the sound of Cruz's fingers tapping rhythmically on the table that distracted her.
"For God's sakes woman, what is it?!" She threw the pen on the file and glared at the older woman. "Well?"
"I need you to do me a favour," Cruz said quietly, still closely studying Maca.
"Well, why didn't you say so?" Maca exclaimed, rolling her eyes, but continued more calmly: "Something medicine related?"
"Not exactly. Come with me." Cruz nearly jumped out of the chair and the next thing Maca knew, she was being dragged down the hallway by her boss.
"What a...?" Maca muttered when she realised where Cruz was taking her, and a few seconds later she was pushed into a supply closet and heard the door close behind them. She turned to the other woman and crossed her arms. "Cruz?"
"I need you to do something for me," Cruz nearly whispered now. She snatched a broom and barricaded the door with it.
"Cruz, what the hell is going on?" The frown on Maca's face grew even deeper.
"I want you to kiss me," Cruz said a-matter-of-factly.
"You want me to what now?" Maca felt like a deer in the headlights.
"Hear me out, please." The older woman twisted her hands nervously. "See, you can never really know when your time's up, right? We should know that better than anyone, really, us being doctors. And then there was all that with Vilches' illness and... Anyway, I have this...list...of things I want to do before I die." With that Cruz looked up warily and met Maca's eyes.
"And one of them is to kiss me?" Incredulous wasn't nowhere near powerful enough a word to describe what Maca felt at that moment.
"Well, not you specifically." Cruz cleared her throat. "I've never kissed a woman, okay?"
"Right. Erm." Maca crossed her arms again and tried to come up with something constructive to say. But all she could do was nod and bite her lower lip, her eyes darting around the small space they were occupying as if in search for an escape route.
"Maca, you're the only one I could even consider asking, so..." Burying her hands deep in the pockets of her blazing white doctor's coat, Cruz stared at the floor and nervously shifted her weight from one foot to another. Then she seemed to steel herself and raised her eyes to the pediatrician again.
"Well, I...I...I'm flattered," Maca offered, still fidgeting and still in loss for words. "But, you know...Esther and Vilches, I just..." She shrugged helplessly.
"Oh, it would mean absolutely nothing, you know that!" Cruz gestured furiously with her hands. "Nothing," she emphasised.
"Oh, God," Maca muttered, rubbing her forehead.
"Come on! It's not everyday your boss asks you to make out with her." The older woman sighed impatiently.
"You could say that again."
"Get on with it, one kiss!" Cruz tormented her and took a step closer.
"Cruz, this is insane." Maca realised too late that there was no room for her to back out, so she watched helplessly as the other woman drew nearer.
"One kiss, that's all I'm asking." Cruz stood her ground, and for a tiny, tiny moment Maca thought that it looked rather sexy. "Come on." Maca's sigh was resigned.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," she said to no one in particular and then concentrated fully on the woman before her. "I'm not to be held accountable if you'll like it," she quipped to ease the bubbling nervousness she felt before closing the last gap between them.
Taking her head between her hands, Maca pressed her lips softly on Cruz's and felt the other woman's hands grab her shirt. She deepened the kiss, trying to show exactly how it was to kiss another woman. And, she had to admit, she did kind of enjoy kissing Cruz. It felt...different.
When they finally pulled apart, Maca watched Cruz slowly open her eyes, an amused smile playing on her lips. Blushing crimson red, Maca scratched the side of her neck as the thought of what she'd just done really dawned on her.
"Right, erm, all done?" Her voice faltered.
"Yes, thank you." Cruz was smiling widely now, which, for some reason, made Maca feel even more humiliated. She watched the older woman fetching a notebook from her pocket, flipping through a few pages and then crossing out something with a satisfied sigh. Setting the broom aside, Cruz pocketed her notebook again and turned the door knob. Before she stepped out, however, she turned to the pediatrician once more: "Kissing-wise, you're not half bad," Cruz said, wiggling her eyebrows, and then she was gone, the door closing behind her with a loud thud.
Maca gulped and wondered if she could spend the rest of the shift buried under the bed sheets in the closet. She wanted to die. She swore that she'd never let Cruz bully her into anything again, and that she would completely forget this fiasco ever happened.
But when a few weeks later Cruz asked Aimé for a favour and then let out an amused chuckle, Maca who was standing on the other side of the hall, blushed beet red and quickly hid behind an x-ray.
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