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Old 01-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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Seconds - Chapter 5

Title: Seconds
Authors
: GraceRyan and wo_speaking
Rating
: PG13
Disclaimer
: This didn't actually happen. U2 was not born until the 1960s.

*****************


David opened his eyes slowly, his stomach churning and his tongue like sandpaper. His head was pounding; he blinked his eyes and touched the sore spot on his forehead, briefly remembering hitting his head.


Was that before or after he kissed her? He wished he could remember how her lips felt or what she tasted like.
You eejit.

Did he touch her hair? Was it soft under his fingers? Did he run his thumb along the soft skin on her cheek as he touched his lips to hers? He smiled to himself for a moment when he pictured it, but he was angry that he let himself get to that state - he should remember
everything about their first kiss.

He tried to remember how he got home. He knew he didn’t go home with her - he’d definitely remember
that.

“Paul? Lar?”


No response. He retrieved his pocket watch from the shelf over his bunk, glancing at the time.


“Bleedin’ hell!” he blinked, throwing back the covers. It was nearly half-nine. No wonder the boys were nowhere to be found. He had just over an hour to wake up, clean up, and get over to the hospital. Today he was in line to perform his first collection from a volunteer blood donor. His stomach turned at the thought, a cold sweat spreading over the back of his neck.


He’d been learning how to perform transfusions and had overseen many a donation in progress, but today was the first time he would be the one holding the needle. He clenched his fists, trying to will away the shaky feeling in his fingers.


Lyneth. She’d calm him down with her sweet, soft voice - she would be there, wouldn't she? His stomach flipped again. It would be the first time he’d see her since that kiss. Did she even kiss him back? He wished he could remember...


David sat up and put his head in his hands. He’d have to get through this; he had no choice. What would it look like to Lyneth if he showed up ill?
A man should be able to hold his drink - not fall slave to it. That’s what Paul would tell him, anyway.

He made his way to the showers, taking a cold one to force himself into a legitimate state of wakefulness - also serving to temper the thoughts he had about a certain nurse. He didn’t want to appear desperate for her. The truth was, he had no plan. He had no idea what to say - he just hoped more than anything that she’d say something first.


Oh David, that kiss was lovely.


Or something like that.


GOD. What
will she say?

He finished cleaning up and made his way back to his room, dressing quickly in his army-issued shirt and tie and grabbing his lab coat, which he’d managed miraculously to keep free of bloodstains - for now. There was no time for breakfast - instead he stopped by the canteen on the way out the door to gulp back a few glasses of water. It was all his stomach could handle.


* * * * *

Lyneth couldn’t sleep last night - she’d tossed and turned on Ava’s couch for hours. Something was troubling her, but she couldn’t pin down quite what it was at the time. The fact was, she was nervous to see Adam again. She felt a bit lightheaded in his presence, and so very willing to impress. Usually she didn’t pay much mind to how she carried herself when she walked or if her skirt fit just right, but Adam made her feel...different somehow.

Was he the gentleman she had dreamed of finding?


She looked up from her daydream to see David standing in the doorway to the ward, breathing heavily and his hair in all directions, looking like he’d just run a marathon. He loosened his tie and swallowed anxiously as he met her eyes briefly.


“Private Evans! You get yourself scrubbed up and ready right this instant! Doctor Irwin will be starting his session on the hour...you have about 7 minutes to spare. I will not tolerate your tardiness again.”


Matron Wright wasn’t messing about.


Lyneth watched as David rushed off to the sinks. She was certain he felt miserable - he sure looked it; his bangs hung damp against his forehead and his skin pallid before turning crimson after Matron Wright’s rebuke.


She’d forgotten until this morning that today was the day that the cadets were to complete their transfusion training - there couldn’t be a worse task for David today than that, and he was up first. She’d grown accustomed to the look of blood, but its distinct, metallic stench was what really turned her stomach on the best of days. She couldn’t imagine how she would feel if she was under the weather, especially if she’d been the one responsible for it.


She stopped a moment, questioning his judgement and sense of responsibility; he wouldn’t have forgotten about such a thing, would he?


Lyneth joined the small group around the volunteer donor. He was a jovial Polish pilot who was promised a fortnight’s leave - he would serve as David’s first subject.


Soon enough, David slipped into the group, his eyes focused on the tray of instruments and his jaw steeled against the challenge. Lyneth wondered whether he had it in him to go through with it at all.


“Doctor Irwin, this is Private Evans,” Matron Wright introduced him. “Although he looks a bit worse for wear, which, may I add that I find quite unacceptable - it needs to be said that he has excelled in his studies to become a medic. I suspect we will find him in France sooner rather than later.”


David’s eyes then moved to the wall behind her, looking everywhere to avoid another set of eyes. He didn’t want anyone to see the fear in him. Maybe he was doing too well; he wanted to do his best - it was instilled in him from a young age to do so, and more often than not he’d succeeded. He only wished that his proficiency extended to matters of the heart, but it seemed that it might prove to be the death of him instead - sending him off to war much sooner than he’d hoped.


“Airman Wójcik is an A-negative. Rapid fire, David. Who will his blood type best serve?” Doctor Irwin questioned, drawing his attention to him whether he liked it or not.


“Either A or AB...either RH,” David answered quickly, putting on a brave face in spite of his thoughts otherwise. He knew his blood types better than anyone in his group - it was second nature to him and the other cadets constantly leaned on him for advice.


He cleared his throat before continuing. “A-negative, although rare, is preferable over A-positive, as a negative type is suitable for either RH in the A or AB group. Which is advantageous if there is only time to group but not type the recipient. Which is why Airman Wójcik is a valuable donor. And we must get his contact information to donate regularly if he is willing.”


“Very good, Evans,” Doctor Irwin said, nodding. “More than I asked, but demonstrating a thorough practical understanding of typing. Bang-up, I must say.”


Lyneth looked up at David. His attention to detail was most impressive. Perhaps he was more responsible than she’d pegged him for.


“Now if you’re ready, we’ll begin please, Nurse.”


Lyneth stepped toward David and Doctor Irwin under the Matron’s watchful eye, the tray of instruments in her hands.


David began to apply a tourniquet to the Pole’s arm, his brow knit in concentration as he worked. He took a deep breath before removing the transfusion needle from the paraffin-filled test tube. “All right...now I need you to make a fist. Not too tight, now...”


He ran his fingers over the protruding vein in the airman’s arm and lifted the syringe filled with novocaine from the tray. Lyneth noted that David had a compassionate bedside manner, something that one would expect in a man of medicine but unfortunately it didn’t seem to be a requirement.


“Powodzenia,” Airman Wójcik smiled up at him. David wasn’t sure what that meant, but he nodded his head and quickly injected the anesthetic before raising the scalpel to make a small cut where the needle was to enter.


Suddenly, a rush of nausea took over; he had been able to temper it down for the past half hour or so, and it seemed that it had come out of nowhere.


“Evans? Are you all right?” Doctor Irwin asked cautiously. “You’re looking a bit green...”


“I think I’m about to be sick...”


“Private Evans! Pull yourself together...you’ve a job to do and I won’t tolerate...”


Matron Wright’s stern words fell on deaf ears as David dropped the transfusion needle into the tray and covered his mouth. He gagged once before turning and rushing down the hall, still in view of the group as he lost the lunch that he had yet to eat all over the tiled floor.


The ward erupted into fits of laughter from the soldiers well enough to notice and louder chuckles still from David’s fellow cadets.


“I’ll get the mop,” Lyneth volunteered with a sigh.


* * * * *

David couldn’t wait for the day to end. He pulled himself together just enough to return to the task at hand, after his two fellow cadets finished their first successful donations. He had the last donor, who luckily hadn’t arrived in time to see the him throw up. However, the Canadian airman that David was paired with was most definitely wondering why everyone around him was smirking.

He tried to concentrate on the paperwork required, making sure he included all the details of his donor so the samples could be labeled appropriately. No matter how thick his head still felt there was no room for mistakes.


His gaze shifted to see Lyneth breeze past the doorway. He took a deep breath. He needed to talk to her, no matter how embarrassed he felt. He needed to know how she felt about him - did she welcome the kiss, no matter how clumsy it must have been? Or did the mere thought of it sicken her? Had he lost her respect or interest today by being an eejit and getting sick in front of her? He had to know.


She was carrying a navy blue rucksack, RAF-issue. She must have been moving a patient’s personal effects to the storage room - he would have been there for her in a split second if she’d only just asked him to help. He shoved the papers aside and stepped out of the room, glancing around quickly to make sure Matron Wright wasn’t watching. After all, she had her eye on him all morning now that he’d single-handedly made an embarrassment out of the Royal Army Medical Corps.


When he was sure that it was clear, he followed Lyneth into the alcove near the back entrance when he stopped dead in his tracks.


Adam sat in a wheelchair in the common room to her right, casually drawing on a cigarette as he smiled up at her warmly. She was delivering the rucksack to him, not to storage. David stepped back into the shadows, still able to see them but just out of their view.


“Are you ready to face the world in a couple of days, Sergeant Clayton? Your friend brought you something to wear for the event...”


Lyneth looked at him with a warm grin as she stepped into the room. He certainly couldn’t leave wearing that dreadful hospital gown.


“Ah, Larry. I knew he’d come through for me. I suppose I will manage. Although it’s been lovely being in your care.”


Adam reached forward to take Lyneth’s hand, kissing it softly. She was charmed - that was an understatement - and she dearly hoped that this would not be the last time she’d see him. She didn’t want to appear too eager, as she pulled her hand away quickly, a soft laugh escaping her.


“Well, Sergeant Clayton, I have to let you away from my watch at some point you know...”


“What if I’d rather you didn’t, Lyneth?”


She leaned in whispered in Adam’s ear. David’s heart dropped. The nausea from his hangover had long since left him, but a new sickness enveloped him as he watched the fleeting glances between them. He’d never known Lyneth to flirt with her patients. Goodness knew enough of them looked at her with fancy, but she always handled it with a professional grace that didn’t leave anything to their imagination.


Since he first started to fall for her, he’d watched her more than he cared to admit; he knew by heart the curve of her calves, the freckle on her neck and the flecks of gold in her eyes. Eyes that were now sparkling as she laughed and regarded fondly the man who he’d called a friend and shared barracks with since he’d arrived.


“Hush... If Matron Wright catches me on a first name basis with one of my patients, it will be sooner rather than later...” she giggled.


David found himself wishing - for just a moment - that Matron Wright came marching down the hall to put an end to this. How could she? Their kiss obviously meant nothing.


He disgusted her.


He couldn’t stand to watch them for another moment - he felt as though someone had just punched him in the heart and couldn’t get away from that hallway fast enough. He snatched his pocketwatch out of his trousers, wondering just how much longer he had to be here. Two more hours. He’d bury himself in paperwork - hell, he’d even volunteer to clean the bogs - anything to avoid having to see them together. It should be him walking her home after work - her hand in his, not Adam Clayton’s. But that wasn’t what she wanted - that much was true.


David dragged himself down the hallway back to the ward to finish his paperwork, leaving her alone with Adam. It was obviously what she wanted.


Her shift was over an hour sooner than his. He abandoned his quest to walk home with her a few hours ago. As he hovered over the last of his reports, she breezed in to collect some of her things. She offered him a weak smile - one he couldn't bear to return.


"See you tomorrow," she chirped.


He glanced up into her warm eyes. "Yeah. Have a good night, Lyn."


With that, she turned on her heel and walked out toward freedom for the next twelve hours. She couldn’t wait to tell Ava about Adam.


David returned his eyes to the paper before him - the one he had been staring at for ten minutes as he replayed all he heard between Lyneth and Adam. Was it truly as bad as he thought? She did make a point to bid him good evening... He buried his hands in his hair as he sighed heavily. It was so much easier when girls did not interest him.


His eyes followed her form as she left the room and the emptiness within deepened.


"Private Evans, those reports do not write themselves," Matron Wight's voice trilled behind him.


His shoulder crept up to his ears. "Yes ma'am."

He still had one hour to go before he could escape this day. He had planned to visit Adam on his way home, but decided that his dear friend had enough excitement for the day.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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ETA: Ok, I've read the chapter and now all I can say is poor David!
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
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this is great and i have to say it too: poor David
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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Poor David. Sure hurts even more when it's a friend that gets your girl.
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Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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OH DAVID EVANNNNNS

he's reminding me so much of baby Edge from Stories For Boys...except with a proper job and almost much more awkward...

Adam's doing quite well for himself considering he's been in hospital the whole time XD
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Poor David! I think everyone's said that now. Adam is quite charming. I'm looking forward to him being a main character...
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnCatKatie View Post
OH DAVID EVANNNNNS

he's reminding me so much of baby Edge from Stories For Boys...except with a proper job and almost much more awkward...

Adam's doing quite well for himself considering he's been in hospital the whole time XD
Is it weird to be inspired by my own story? LOL!

Glad you guys are enjoying it - expect Chapter 6 tonight!
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