It is 2:01am when Lucas braves the cold New York streets once again. The bar is due for closing time in an hour but his boss always did have a soft spot for him, letting him bundle up in the dressing rooms with his books and notes for half of his shift. The old man specifically brought in a little cot just for him, so he guesses he has a soft spot for the old geezer too. Its common knowledge around the guys at the bar that he barely ever sleeps, opting instead to make use of his time to pore over anatomy books. His companion all night had been a sad excuse for a textbook, Clinically Oriented Anatomy (the sixth edition), that he had bought second hand from his old roommate. The guy was the type who doggy-eared. Lucas hated those types. Neanderthals. Post-its existed for a reason, he would often mutter through gritted teeth.
It's 2:09am when he makes it to his first bus stop. From here he has to catch his bus, trek across time square and make another transfer at the dingy bus terminal. It takes him approximately an hour and a half, and when he gets to the hospital he can probably snag a coffee for free if he can manage a meek smile for the Starbucks girl.
Whenever he walks past the bums at the bus terminal, he always gets embarrassed at how similar his gloves look to theirs. He's not poor, not exactly. He's a first year resident at one of the best hospitals in the city, he mutters as he inspects the condition of his gross looking fingerless gloves. They're the wool kind, the kind that builds up ugly, dirty little balls of thread on the surface as it ages. He should probably splurge on a new pair for Christmas, he thinks as he steps onto his last transfer.
Its half past three when he walks across the pristine white floors of the hospitals. He is putting his things away in the locker room when he hears the incessant yelling. It's quite grating on the ears, honestly. And that's saying a lot, seeing as he is right by the ER, and a lot of people arrive screaming there. Lucas quickly shucks off his trench coat and puts on his coat and ID. He hasn't properly changed yet, but its not like his clothes are worth a whole lot anyway. Definitely not the fall-winter collection of any high-end brand that he can't pronounce the name of. He is on standby tonight and he can tell a wreck when he hears one. He steps out to helps the paramedics wheel the man in, feeling the biting cold on his face. Efficiently, he makes a mental checklist of all the statistics the paramedics have informed him of. He checks for vitals and condition coolly. The man on the stretcher is clean-cut, young, gives off an aura of good-breeding, not the usual alley-cat bleeding his guts out from a stab wound. His sharp features and bleached shirt are covered in red, but he still manages to look quite impressive.
"Severe hemoptysis", he says to the nurse, before turning back to the man. "You can call me Doctor Odierno, I guess", he says.
He goes through the regular process with the patient, who he learns is one Nathan Fischer. The name rings a bell but he doesn't pay it too much mind as he issues the standard questions. How many times have you coughed up blood before this? Has it increased recently? What other symptons do you have? A senior doctor soon takes over, and he watches from the side as the standard set of tests are ordered for the man. Everyone eventually clears out of the room, but Lucas finds he can't bring himself to leave. Standing under artificial white light, in his bloodied lab coat, he blames it on the fatigue. He wonders if monday mornings are always hard, even for those whose days make no distinction.