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underneath the mistletoe

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“really getting in the holiday spirit, dr. browne.”

claire nearly jumps at the sudden voice behind her, clutching her chest as she startles and turns to find the source of the intrusion. the sight of dr. melendez smiling down at her does nothing to calm her down.

“oh, this?” she says, holding up some tinsel that she had been in the process of hanging in the doorway. “it’s nothing. the nurses asked me to put it up.”

“did they?” dr. melendez says, taking it and the roll of tape from her hands before reaching above her to perfectly (because he can never be flawed, apparently, she thinks) hang it up in one corner of the doorway. he shifts to stick up another corner, and claire blushes, silently cursing her lack of height.

“much better,” he says when he finishes. claire smiles sheepishly as he hands the tape back to her.

“thanks,” she mumbles.

“was that the nurses’ idea too?”

claire follows dr. melendez’s gaze up, only to find some (plastic) mistletoe hanging above their heads.

“i didn’t even notice that,” claire says, giggling uncomfortably, instinctively bringing a hand up to fix her hair. dr. melendez smiles.

in a flash, his lips are brushing against her cheek, so fast she hardly even feels it, but it still leaves her blushing.

“merry christmas, claire,” dr. melendez says softly, smiling once more. claire can’t help but smile back.

“merry christmas, dr--neil.