I See You

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17

Anyone else play choices? Lolll the name. I had to ^

(past)

"Hazel, please present."

My intern stepped forward happily. "Avery Weppler, thirty-year-old male. Post-op day two. He had a malignant occipital tumor that was successfully removed..."

I turned my gaze to Avery and we smiled at each other, though his was a bit weaker. But the exciting part was that his vision was back, so his wish to see me again was fulfilled.

"Alright, well we're going to finish our rounds. Hazel, you and I will return to assess Avery. I will assign the rest of you to my other patients and I'll be checking in frequently to make sure you don't kill anyone. Got it?"

"Yes, Dr. Larsen," they chorused respectfully. I heard Avery stifle a laugh before I beamed.

"Alright, let's go."

**

After Avery returned from his scans, we were finally able to talk one on one.

"I missed you when I woke from surgery," was the first thing he told me.

I pouted. "I know. My shift was over so I headed home. I did tell my friend to keep her eye on you."

"Lyanna right?" His eyes lit up.

"Ah, I see you've met her."

"Yes, she's the sweetest. I can see why you two are great friends. She really made me feel like I wasn't alone, like how you make me feel."

I smiled, pulling up a chair next to his bed. He gazed at me, clearly happy to have his sight back. He wasn't taking it for granted this time, as he committed my face to memory. And honestly, I did the same.

I wanted to remember him. Life was too fragile around here for me not to.

"Are we really just looking at each other?" He pointed out with a laugh, picking up his little cup of water to sip.

"Don't take this the wrong way, Avery. You... sometimes sort of remind me of my husband."

His eyebrows hitched up. "Oh? Does he have a little black in him?"

I snorted. "That's not what I meant. But no, he's not mixed with black."

"Hm. I understand your preference for vanilla pudding now."

I gasped. "Hey! I love chocolate cake."

"Oop-" he almost spit out his water, causing me to double over in laughter. "Of course you like cake—I mean, chocolate cake." He set his cup back down.

"I officially can't stand you. Look, while physical attraction is always a definite plus, I'd date a tree if it had the personality I was looking for. I don't really have outward preferences."

"Interesting. So you're saying my personality is similar to your husband's?"

"Pretty much. I'm pansexual, but he's the only person I've ever been with."

"That's incredible. You're clearly soulmates then. I was going to ask if you've been with a woman, but that answered my question."

"Yeah. I mean I would if she was right for me but that title is taken."

"I feel the same. I'm bisexual."

"Oh? Have you ever been in love?"

He looked away. "Maybe once."

I grinned. "Nope, you gotta tell me!"

"Do I?"

"Uh yeah. I helped get your tumor out. You owe me."

He playfully scoffed, changing the subject. "What about the other one? On my brainstem."

My perky mood quickly vanished. "You'll go to radiation therapy when Dr. Naiman clears you to. Which may be some time from now."

"I know. They gave me the whole rundown. It's unfortunate."

"It is," I responded, my voice quieter as I fixed my attention to the hem of his blanket. My fingers toyed with the fabric as I willed my mind not to dwell on the reality of his situation. "I'm so sorry you have to deal with this."

"Casper, I can see again. I'm only grateful. You and every doctor who's helped me gave me more time. This isn't a loss."

I wondered if they told him the whole truth. Probably not. Many doctors, while very informative, didn't see the need to worry their patients over 'what ifs.' But since his cancer had spread to another part of his brain, it would likely metastasize to other areas of his body. I didn't think he realized that, and it was evident that nobody had bothered to tell him.

Yes, this wasn't a loss.

But it was definitely not a win.

"You remember this?" He asked, removing the knitted maroon scarf from his neck.

"It's your mom's, you said," I recalled.

"Here. Take it."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "What? Don't be stupid; it's your mother's scarf."

"She gave it to me. It's mine, and now I'm giving it to you."

Still, I refused to accept it. "We're not allowed to take anything from patients."

"Bullshit. It's my dying wish to see you have this."

"Really? You're pulling that card and you aren't even dying." I slowly took the scarf, noting how soft it felt. "Why do you even want me to have it?"

"To comfort you. It seems there are things weighing you down that you probably can't share. It'll be okay."

I shook my head. "And what's going to comfort you?"

"Well... I'm looking at it."

I found it impossible to respond as my cheeks reddened instantly. As flattering as it was, I felt as though I was enabling him by not stopping his attempts to flirt. I glanced down at the mound of fabric in my arms, hugging it so subtly that he wouldn't be able to tell just how much I cherished it.

A knock pulled me back to earth and there stood Lyanna with the brightest grin on her face.

"Sorry to interrupt! You okay, Avery?"

"Yes, Lyanna. Thank you."

"Good! Can I steal him for a sec?" She briefly pointed at me, practically jumping out of her skin.

"Be right back," I told Avery, wrapping his scarf around my shoulders and following Lyanna out the door. "What's going on?"

My friend pulled me toward the employee lounge. "Are you kidding?" She gasped, laughing. "You must not give a crap about being Chief Resident."

"No, I do. I'm just rooting for you. So, did you find out? Who are we celebrating?"

"Why don't you see for yourself?"

We soon entered the lounge, and I looked at the wall of Chief Resident pictures- and the very last, most recent frame was a photo of me. I stared, not believing it was real.

"Oh my God. They picked me?"

Lyanna squealed excitedly, squeezing my hand.

"Well, well. Congrats!" Lorenzo's voice rang out as he walked into the lounge with our other friends, Zara and Kamele. "Didn't think you had it in ya."

I wondered if that was meant to be condescending but I shrugged it off. "Neither did I, Enzo," I joked.

Zara rushed up and crushed me in a hug. "Well, I knew you could do it, babes. We're so proud."

Kamele slapped me on the back enthusiastically. "Drinks on me! And you can't say no; you never celebrate with us."

"I don't really drink," I began to protest.

"Okay? Have a soda," Zara teased.

"Some other time maybe?"

They all whined in disapproval, and it was funny to hear.

"We can't celebrate you without you, man," Kamele pointed out.

"It's okay guys," Lyanna jumped in, always so eager to defend me. "How about I make a little dinner at my place when we're all off and we can celebrate that way?"

"I'll bring the booze," Zara offered. "And some soda for Cas. Or juice, whatever. Kamele, get dessert."

"I'll bring like a balloon or something. Well text each other and work the details out," Lorenzo said. Then he pointed at me  "And you, make sure you come hungry."

"Starve yourself til then, ayy!" Zara cheered and I rolled my eyes with a smile as we all left the lounge, chatting animatedly. My friends here were way too wild, but they kept me on my toes.

After my shift, I raced to tell David the good news. He lost his shit over it.

He immediately gasped and swept me up in his warm arms. "My husband is the chief resident?" He rejoiced, spinning me around as I laughed. "I've watched you come so far!" He set me down on my feet and gave me an eager kiss. "How do you wanna celebrate?"

"Hm... well, my friends at work wanna have a small dinner. But you and me..." I lifted my hand to his sweater and unbuttoned from the top.

"I think I see where this is going," he said softly, helping me unfasten the buttons. I giggled, sliding his sweater off and kissing him deeply.

"Not gonna lie," I admitted, "I wanted to do this with or without the good news."

"Let's get you out of these clothes then. I wouldn't want to disappoint you." David gripped the hem of my shirt and pulled it off of me.

I chuckled. "You can't seem to wait."

"No, I've missed you too much." He kissed right between my collar bones and I couldn't help but shudder.

"I-I should at least take a shower, don't you think?" I stammered. He cupped my butt and gave the skin of my neck a fervent suck before murmuring, "We'll get there."

By that point, any effort to resist him was futile and I was happy to give in. I let his strong arms box me in while we kissed feverishly. I was too focused on how amazing he smelled, how wonderful his lips felt against mine to notice when all our clothes had come off.

Without separating from me, he guided me toward the restroom with our hands roaming each other the entire way there.

God, I was so excited. I was hard in no time, and I stroked my husband to a quick erection also. His deep moan vibrated against me and I smiled with pride. I loved giving him pleasure. We stepped into the shower and he turned the water on. It was cold at first then it settled into a soothing warm drizzle.

Eager for his familiar taste, I bent to my knees and wrapped my mouth around his fleshy girth. His back hit the wall as he slightly shuddered at the sensation. My greed for him never wavered, and even with a solid decade of lovemaking under my belt, it still felt like the first time.

Okay, no. It was so much better.

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