It had been a long, tiring, hectic day. She still had about an hour and a half of her shift to go, one of the last shifts that she would ever have to work in the emergency department as a resident, but despite all of the usual traffic that was going in and out of the emergency room, the final hours of her work day seemed to be dragging. All that Nora could hope for was for time to speed up and for the world around her to slow down — and for none of her friends to show up at the hospital in need of emergency care again. Seeing those familiar faces at work two days in a row was a little too crazy-making and she wasn't sure that she could handle the added stress and worry if it were to happen again. She scanned her list of patients and saw that all of them were either being discharged, flipped inpatient, or were waiting for test results, so she used the opportunity to sneak away for a few moments. She had managed to make it to the nearest coffee cart just minutes before it closed and put in her usual order of an iced coffee, light on the ice. She picked out one of the least pathetic and sketchy-looking sandwiches sitting in the glass case, all of them rejects from earlier in the day, and she hoped that she wouldn't regret the decision later on. Nora had worked through lunch and was in need of sustenance beyond protein bars, and surely some fresh air couldn't hurt, either. As she juggled her bounty, she made her way to the nearest exit, stepped through the automatic doors, and planted herself several feet away so that she could steer clear of any incoming trouble and eat her sandwich in peace. She only needed a few minutes to herself. Was that really too much to ask?
She set the coffee down on the pavement near her feet so that she wouldn't have to continue her juggling act. Unwrapping the sandwich, she took a monster bite and chewed, slipping her phone out of her pocket with her free hand so that she could see what she had missed over the past several hours that had been otherwise spend dedicated to patient care and charting. Nora skimmed through the notifications on her phone, not seeing anything particularly interesting or important but was engrossed nonetheless, eager to give herself a mental break and block out the world of the hospital for a few minutes. Switching her phone to her other hand, she reached down for her coffee and took a long sip, hoping in vain that it wouldn't end with a brain freeze.
She grimaced as the pain drilled into the middle of her forehead. Pressing her tongue to the roof of her mouth, she willed it to go away even though she knew it would be over in a matter of seconds. Nora shut her eyes through the worst of it and opened them again. It took a few moments for her to collect herself, and a few moments more to piece together what was happening in front of her. A looming figure entered her field of vision and she gasped, her mouth hanging agape as her brain tried to compute just exactly what was happening. The teenager in her head could think faster than she could at the moment and explained everything she needed to know in two words: That's Superman.
Laughter rang through the air. Charlie was seated on the floor, leaning against the couch with her legs stretched out in front of her and a bowl of macaroni and cheese resting comfortably on her lap. An episode of Gilmore Girls played in the background, as it had for the past couple of hours, providing ambient noise and occasional fits of laughter from those in the room who might have actually been paying attention to the screen rather than to present company. Drinks and an assortment of snacks, candy, and other junk food were spread across the coffee table, all within easy reach. Charlie looked over at Cait, more for Nora's sake than anything else. She seemed comfortable despite her injuries, if not a little loopy from her pain meds, but that seemed to be expected. Satisfied, she dove right back into her bowl of mac and cheese and did her best to focus on the action on the screen. "This is the perfect food," she mumbled through a mouthful of pasta. Charlie couldn't remember the last time she had had macaroni and cheese. Ages ago, may not since she had lived in Metropolis, or maybe even back in Platinum Flats when she had been forced to go to school like a normal kid.
She woke up in a cold sweat and sat upright as she tried to place her surroundings, but the general feeling of being unwell wasn't at all helpful. Waking up or coming to in an unfamiliar place seemed to be a running theme for the week. The couch she was sleeping on was lumpy but comfortable, but the walls around her didn't look familiar at all. A streetlamp cast some light into the living room and she groaned as she saw the candy spread that was scattered across the coffee table from earlier that evening. Charlie frowned, realizing just how sick she felt in that exact moment. She threw the blanket off of her and did her best to hurriedly tiptoe through the apartment without waking any of its inhabitants, and she hoped that the room she had just turned into was actually the bathroom after all. She managed to flip on the light and shut the door behind her, just in time for her to need to race to the toilet.
Charlie was all but hugging the toilet. She was seated on the floor again, this time in the bathroom, ill and achey and tired. Something from earlier in the night wasn't sitting well in her stomach and decided that it needed to get out, ASAP. Too much boxed pasta? Too many handfuls of Skittles? Charlie groaned as she felt her stomach lurch again and leaned forward as her stomach forcefully purged itself of its contents once again. She flinched as she sat upright, catching a glimpse of the toilet bowl and cringed. "Taste the rainbow," a voice echoed in her head with a sarcastic laugh. Charlie sneered.