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“I am going to kill you, Chad!” Jared groaned as he collapsed onto the beaten up couch in their living room, his backpack slipping from his left shoulder and falling to the ground with a loud thud from the weight of his textbook.

“You’re the one that told me you couldn’t stop staring at your teacher,” Chad snorted back, dropping his own textbooks onto the table and kicking his boots off. “I think what you said was, ‘It’s going to be seriously hard to concentrate in this course with honest-to-God eye candy teaching me, Chad!’”

“I am going to murder you.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell Jackles you’ve got the hots for your cardiac professor.”

Jared shot off the couch and turned quickly to see Chad ducking into the kitchen. He sighed and flopped back down, jerking his backpack up into his lap.

“See if I tell you anything in confidence ever again…” Jared muttered as he fished out his notebook and a pack of flashcards to start re-writing his lecture notes from that morning.

From the kitchen, the noises of pots and pans being banged around could be heard and Jared forced himself to look back down at his notes, satisfied that Chad was busy for the moment and wouldn’t be ribbing him until dinner was at least halfway made.

He was wrong, of course, because just as he started writing ‘SINOATRIAL NODE – SA NODE’ across the top of a note card, Chad popped his head back into the living room.

“Do you really think your Twitter boyfriend would care if you found some professor hot? Jensen doesn’t really come across as the jealous type to me… we could always see, though…”

Jared turned his head around and pinned Chad with a glare.

“Hey, it’s important to know if your boyfriend is secretly a jealous psychopath.”

“He’s… he’s not my boyfriend, Chad,” Jared answered with a sigh and saw Chad swallow back a laugh.

“Right, he’s not your boyfriend because there’s no such thing as ‘online relationships’? Well, whatever you want to define yourselves as is your business, but we both know you’ve got the hots for one another.” Chad waited another beat before he shrugged and said, “Well, if he’s not your boyfriend, maybe Professor McHotstuff can be your boyfriend.”

“I am ignoring you now.” Jared turned back around, slamming his back against the couch in a final attempt to end the conversation they’d been having since lunch that afternoon.

“Isn’t it funny you have a thing for cardiac nurses? Didn’t figure you to ever have a type…” Chad tapped his foot against the floor and started musing to himself loudly when Jared stayed quiet. “I bet Jensen would be jealous over that fact. You can tell him your professor is a babe, but don’t tell him you found a different cardiac nurse to learn… new skills from.”

“If you don’t shut up and make me dinner, I am going to go to the library to study.”

“Yes, honey. But don’t tell Jackles or Professor McHostuff that I make dinner for you. They’ll know there’s no competition when you’re compared to the Chadmeister.”

Jared grit his teeth and held back an answer, finally silencing Chad as well.


Hey! How’s school going?
2:43 PM

It’s going… I had almost forgotten how much work there was.
2:43 PM

Almost.
2:44 PM

Haha snuck back up on you, huh? How’s cardiac going?
2:45 PM

It’s going really well I think… I am really enjoying it. The cardiac professor is a little different, he’s younger than the rest of the professors in the program, but I like his teaching style. He has definitely made it less intimidating.
2:46 PM

In tandem with the cardiac, we have psych classes, too. We are learning psychological disorders and psych nursing which is… still 110% intimidating. I find it interesting, but I already know I am not a psych nurse.
2:47 PM

Well, and this could be biased, but cardiac nurses are the best kinds of nurses so it’s not surprising your cardiac professor is awesome.
2:48 PM

It takes a special kind of person to be a psych nurse… I always found psychological disorders to be fascinating as long as they were down on paper. But I never had the patience or the drive to actually be a psych nurse. It was too… open ended? With cardiac, I know the rules, I know what should happen and what shouldn’t happen, and I know what will happen when something goes wrong. Compared to psych, cardiac is very black and white.
2:50 PM

However, psych is probably the most undervalued and underappreciated practice. The mental health system is surrounded with such a stigma… and it’s so important. Mental disease affects everyone, through one maybe two degrees. Hell, I would bet you that every single college student in America suffered from some sort of anxiety disorder, even if just temporary. People find shame in asking for help and it trickles into every other type of nursing-- a cardiac patient who ignored their symptoms because they were confused with anxiety. A GI patient who was struggling with an eating disorder and missed glaring red signs that something else was going on. I could go on and on, and some may be extremes, but it’s so true.
2:55 PM

Well, Jensen, that was quite passionate.
2:56 PM

Shut up. Now I’m embarrassed that I rambled.
2:56 PM

No, no, I was just kidding.
2:57 PM

I completely agree with you. Also, the psych professor we had today was actually quite passionate about it too. I really enjoyed listening to him. I think he completely fits into the stereotype of ‘psych nurse’ but he had all of us involved in our lecture. I am hoping that he will be my clinical instructor for my psych rotation…
3:00 PM

That’s good! A subject is always better when you have a good teacher. So are you starting a cardiac rotation first then? Have you only met your psych and cardiac professors?
3:01 PM

No, I met two other professors who lectured on pain management and just general welcome to nursing, try not to fail this semester. And yeah, cardiac rotation is first. I’m pretty excited about it. Plus, we’re not allowed to pass meds or do assessments in the psych rotation… Is that normal?
3:02 PM

Yeah that’s pretty standard. When I was a student we just focused on therapeutic communication and it was almost like… a few hours of hangout time? We were supposed to ‘interview’ the patients as best as we could and then write up our experiences. It was the most writing I think I did in nursing school, other than a complete Care Plan. But because of the nature of psychiatric facilities, patients don’t have to take meds, they don’t have to participate, they don’t have to do anything and they tend to know how to manipulate the students.
3:04 PM

It’s safer for them and for you to have the staff attend to them and just have the students there as company. Plus, it’s totally not boring. I learned a whole hell of a lot on my psych rotation…
3:05 PM

I am both excited and terrified for it, to be completely honest.
3:06 PM

Haha you’ll be just fine :)
3:06 PM

What are you up to right now?
3:07 PM

Well, I am enjoying the last few minutes of silence I have in my apartment before Chad comes bursting through the door. He has a late class today. Since clinical hasn’t’ started up yet, I actually have the next two days free!
3:08 PM

Wow!
3:08 PM

So are you going to catch up on all the sleep you’re going to be missing over the semester? :P
3:08 PM

Naw, I would much rather talk to you…
3:09 PM

:D
3:09 PM

Well, I am a fan of that idea.
3:10 PM

Jared smiled down at the screen and settled himself more comfortably on the couch, drawing his legs up to tuck underneath him. There was an excited, warm bubble rising through his chest as he typed back, asking Jensen (he still thought that was one of the best names he’d ever heard) what his plans were for the rest of the week.

He hadn’t even realized how much time had passed until Chad came flinging himself through the door, cackling loudly with one of the girls he used to bring around the year before. Jared looked at the top bar of his phone and gave a short laugh.

Chad just walked in so it may take me a bit to respond. He’s insufferable about 85% of the time, and that is being generous.
5:26 PM

That’s okay, I completely understand. My best friend Mish, I think I told you about him? He’s been bugging me for about 45 minutes now to go get some dinner with him. I told him earlier this morning we could grab something tonight. Oops.
5:28 PM

Well, we can’t have you starving your friends now… He’ll get fed up and bring dinner to you instead, and you know he’ll get something loaded with green beans.
5:29 PM

God, that made me shudder. That, out of every other reason, is why I am going to say goodbye. He totally WOULD bring me a green bean dish.
5:30 PM

Well, I promise if we ever get a meal together, we will get something without them or I’ll just have to save you from them all.
5:32 PM

You’re my hero! <3
5:33 PM

LOL Go get dinner.
5:33 PM

I have to go iron my cape anyways.
5:34 PM

Hahaha! Sounds like a plan.
5:34 PM

I’ll message you again later.
5:35 PM

“You remember, Jared.” Jared looked up at Chad who was still standing in the doorway with his arm around… Marissa? Miranda? Macie? “Jared, you remember Gen?”

Right. He was kind of close…

Jared nodded and dropped his phone to the small coffee table and stood up to hold out his hand for the small brunette.

“Nice to see you again, Gen,” Jared smiled at her as she shook his hand in greeting and beamed back.

“You, too, Jared. It’s been a while.”

Behind her, Chad rolled his eyes. “Well, yeah, Gen. It’s been at least an entire summer.”

Jared had to bite back the laugh at the expression that crossed her face.

“Chad,” he sighed out. “I don’t know why you hang out with him.”

“Despite his less than desirable social skills, the guy’s a genius when it comes to geochemistry and I am hoping he’s just as smart with oceanography.”

Jared raised an eyebrow and nodded slowly while a huge smile broke out across his friend’s face.

“Come on, Gen. Oceanography is mostly just trophodynamics and zooplankton ecology. The rest is just ecosystem crap… mostly.” Chad shrugged his shoulder and threw Jared a look.

“Yeah, exactly, sounds super easy,” he offered and received a smile from Gen for trying. “Well, I’ll let you guys study… I should probably do some of that myself anyways.”

“Right, as if you weren’t just talking to your boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” Gen asked, a look of confusion crossing her face as she looked between the two of them.

“He’s delusional,” Jared replied, plopping back down on the couch and reaching for his psychology textbook. “He’s not my boyfriend.”

“He just wishes he was,” Chad muttered and started moving past the couch to the dining room.

“Oh,” Gen replied softly and Jared could feel her eyes on the back of his head.

He didn’t feel the need to correct them.

Talk to me.
9:45 PM

About ANYTHING that is not nursing related.
9:45 PM

Like, I don’t even care what. Your bathroom habits, what you ate for dinner, how you’re feeling right now.
9:46 PM

GOD DAMNIT
9:46 PM

It fucking sounds like I am trying to do an assessment on you. How’re your bowel habits? Your nutritional intake? Your mental health?
9:47 PM

I can’t. Fucking. Escape.
9:48 PM

Hello, Jared. I would ask you how you’re doing tonight… but I am going to guess the answer is extremely stressed.
9:49 PM

Yeah. Just a bit.
9:49 PM

Do you want to talk about it? Cause I can totally start talking about something else… Like, I can tell you about the ridiculous episode of Naked and Afraid I just watched. It was a complete waste of the last forty minutes. OR I could tell you about the date my friend Misha went on this past weekend, it was a complete nightmare for him and I am still laughing about it today. Or… we could talk about why you’re feeling stressed, if you want.
9:51 PM

I am just… feeling overwhelmed already. I started my clinical this week on a cardiac floor and my instructor isn’t as cool as I thought he would be. He’s kind of an asshole.
9:52 PM

:(
9:52 PM

Is this the young one you liked? I’m sorry he’s an asshole… what happened?
9:53 PM

He just… I don’t know. He’s just short with me and I don’t know what I did to deserve it. We did the whole, ‘let’s get to know everyone in our clinical group’ on the first day and he had an issue with me living on my own instead of in the dorms. Made some crappy offhand comment about it and like, since then he’s been determined to push me to try to get me to break or something like that.
9:56 PM

What does it matter if you live on your own and not in the dorms? I mean there are plenty of students that successfully have apartments and live off of campus… I did it for my senior year…
9:57 PM

Yeah, well, I’m not in my senior year and I think he is just assuming I’m working too? He hasn’t even seen any of my grades yet! He’s totally judging me.
9:58 PM

I’m sorry, Jay… I don’t know how to make that any better. Unfortunately, a professor is going to judge their students until they get to know them. It’s part of human nature AND as a nurse, that’s what we do anyways. I mean, think of it… when we ask someone how many cigarettes they smoke a day or how many drinks they have a week, we automatically times them by three. In this field we think the worst of people. But I bet he just wants to push everyone in the group and maybe, the fact that he’s pushing you so hard so early, is because he believes in your potential.
10:01 PM

Or he finds me irritating because I am the only male student in his group and he thinks I’m going to try to get into the seven other girls’ pants.
10:02 PM

I should tell him I would be more interested in getting into HIS pants if he wasn’t such a fucking douche.
10:02 PM

Lol yeah, I do not advise going that route.
10:03 PM

Well, duh. I definitely wouldn’t tell him that.
10:04 PM

f I called him a douche I would get in trouble.
10:04 PM

Haha I don’t think I’ve ever heard you swear so much!
10:05 PM

In all seriousness though… just, one day at a time, okay? You just have a few weeks with him before you switch to your next clinical rotation, right? You just have to get through this. You’ll figure him out soon enough and know what he expects and what to avoid with him.
10:07 PM

You’re smart, you’ll get through it.
10:07 PM

Yeah, I hope so… I think I have him for eight weeks? He just… I don’t know. I hope that he backs off a bit…
10:18 PM

Do you think it’s something you should talk to him about?
10:19 PM

God, no. I think that would only make it worse… I’ll just take it one clinical at a time. I just wish I had some feedback from other students of his so that I could know what to look out for. You know? Every professor has different quirks, and I want to make sure I do the things he’s looking for.
10:20 PM

Well, in my experience you usually figure out the professor pretty quickly.
10:21 PM

I am not sure if I should take comfort in that or not.
10:22 PM

At the very least you will have me to vent to. And really, what else could you need?
10:23 PM

A hug is what I need right about now…
10:23 PM

*HUGS*
10:24 PM

Wish I could give you a real one… but cyber hug is all I’ve got.
10:24 PM

It’s perfect.
10:25 PM

Thank you, Jensen. *hugs*
10:25 PM



Master || One || Two || Three || Four || Epilogue
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