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Here We Go Again, Wishing We Could Start Again

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This was it. She was about to start her new job at a real practice like an adult. After years of schooling, her residency, and grueling rounds at the hospital she was about to work a regular 9-5 at Shulman and Associates. She was choosing to ignore the fact that she still had overnights at the hospital because nothing could put a damper in her mood on this beautiful Monday morning. The elevator dinged and she stepped through, her five inch stiletto hot pink shoes propelling her forward toward her destiny. She pushed open the doors and entered the small office space with a happy sigh. 

"Mindela!" Dr. Shulman greeted her with a wide grin and a little wave over to the receptionist desk. She practically skipped over to him, a beaming smile plastered on her frosted pink lips. "Betsy, Shauna, this is Dr. Lahiri."

Mindy nodded to the two receptionists and exchanged pleasantries with some of the nurses as well before Dr. Shulman showed her to her office. He gave her a small pep talk, a pat on the back, and left her to her own devices. She set her purse on the desk, closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, releasing it with a self-satisfied smile. Just as she shirked her coat off her shoulders, she felt a tingle at the back of her neck and her ears perked at the sound of a voice she hadn't heard in over 10 years.

"Morning, Shauna. Is the new doctor here yet?"

Mindy's body stiffened and she braced herself for the woman's response.

"Morning, Dr. Castellano!"

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck!

"Dr. Lahiri is in her office!" Betsy said in excitement. "She's amazing."

"Did..." his voice cracked the same way it used to. "Did you say Dr. La-Lahiri?"

It took seconds for her office door to push open, but Mindy refused to turn around, terrified of seeing who she knew was standing behind her. There was no mistaking it was him, though. The voice, the name, hell - the fucking goosebumps on her body she got being in his mere presence let her know it could only be him. 


Biting her bottom lip, Mindy turned slowly on one heel, lifting her eyes from the floor to see the face of Danny Castellano - the boy she fell in love with at the age of 15.

"Min, I'm not sure about this. This is a lot of peer pressure from a group of people I don't respect."

Fifteen year old Mindy Lahiri rolled her eyes, ignoring the boy from Staten Island's concerns. "Whatever, Dan. Just get in here!"

With a quick nervous glance at the group of kids watching them, Danny followed Mindy into the cramped closet and she closed the door behind him.

Crossing her arms over her chest, Mindy let out a puff of air. "Look, I know you didn't want the bottle to land on me because you don't think I'm pretty or anything, so let's just sit in here until the seven minutes are up. But could you maybe please lie and tell Tom I'm a really good kisser?"

"I-what?" Danny shook his head, squinting in the dark at the girl before him. "Why would you think I didn't want the bottle to land on you?"

"Come on, Danny," she scoffed. "I see the way you look at Christina in history. I catch you staring at her almost the entire time. That's the kind of girl you want to be with. She likes you back by the way, she forced me to find out if you liked her when she found out we were lab partners in AP biology."

Danny was silent for a moment and cleared his throat. "Well that explains why she kept trying to hold my hand the other day." He stepped closer to her and swore he could hear her inhale sharply at the close quarters. "I'm not staring at Christina in history, Mindy." He placed a sweaty palm on her sleeve covered forearm, seeing a glimpse of her dark brown eyes. "You sit right next to her, one seat up. I've been staring at you."

A shy smile broke out on her face. "Me?"

He nodded, his hand raising to rest his palm on her cheek. Just as he was about to kiss her, she pulled back.

"Wait, this isn't some terrible prank like in Carrie, right? No one is going to drop pig's blood on me?" She sounded truly worried and Danny couldn't help but chuckle.

"Shut up, Lahiri," he said right before his lips captured hers.

"What are you doing- I mean, I know what you're doing here, but like... I- how?"

She watched him ramble for a second and couldn't stop the flutter in her chest at how adorable it was. He looked damn good, exactly like she remembered except he had a lot more muscles and there was a some aging around his eyes. Realizing he was still trying to ask questions and form a complete sentence and she was just staring at him, she cleared her throat, putting her most professional face on.

"Danny, good to see you."

Lame. So lame.

Danny furrowed his eyebrows and crossed his arms over his chest, his stance wide. "Y-yeah, good to see you, too."

Mindy jutted her chin out, praying for some confidence to strike her at any moment. "I didn't know you were a partner here."

"I, uh, Dr. Shulman was my mentor. The position opened up about a year ago and he offered it to me." He shrugged and there was an air of arrogance that he always possessed floating around him. "How did you...?"

Rolling her eyes in true Mindy fashion, she turned and sat at her desk, clicking around on the computer to distract herself from his intense gaze. "Look, it's my first day. Can we not hash this shit out right now? Let me do me and then we'll talk."

"Who's doing who?" A British voice sounded from the door. Jeremy walked in with a charming smile and Mindy practically melted to the floor. She ignored Danny's immediate look of indignation and smiled back at the man as he held his hand out for her to shake. "Dr. Jeremy Reed. You must be Mindela."

"Mindy," she corrected him. She had literal heart eyes for this guy and wondered what kind of chance she had with him, if she had any at all. "Nice to meet you, Jeremy."

Danny scoffed and left the room in a huff. Mindy counted it as a win.

His hands squeezed her ass and she moaned into his kiss, opening her lips to let his tongue brush hers. She lifted her leg and wrapped it around his hip, feeling his erection brush between her thighs. His mouth moved down her neck and one of his hands moved between their bodies to touch her breast. Mindy sighed and let her head fall back against the wall as Danny's teeth brushed her pulse point.

"Mmm, Danny, I want you."

Danny lifted his head and kissed her quickly. "I don't have a condom, baby." At her disappointment, he glanced in both directions of the alley between the apartment buildings and then moved his hand from her ass to her skirt, pushing it up to her waist before his fingers slid into her damp panties. He swallowed her gasp, his fingers teasing her slowly. "I do have fingers, though..."

She giggled but it quickly turned into a moan when he slipped a finger inside of her. "You're so lame." 

After only a few minutes of teasing, he removed his finger from her tightening walls and paid all his attention to her clit until she fell apart. She bucked against his hand and Danny kissed her hard to drown out her sounds of release for fear of someone catching them. She kissed him back, sucking his tongue in a way she wanted to suck on another part of his body and this time he groaned.

"What time is your curfew tonight?" He asked between kisses as her hand palmed him through his jeans.

"10:30. My dad let me have an extra half hour for that A+ I got in calculus."

Danny quickly glanced at his watch and did some quick math as best he could with her hand unzipping his jeans and slipping into his boxers. "We've got some time then."


And with that, Mindy squat in front of him, her legs spread wide as she balanced on her feet and released him from the confines of his jeans, her lips wrapping around his cock with determination.

"Oh fuck..."

"So are you going to ignore me forever?"

Mindy looked up from her patient file to look at Danny as he sat in the chair in front of her desk. "What are you talking about? I just talked to you in the break room ten minutes ago."

"Min, you've been here three months and we've barely spoken to each other. About... about us." He whispered the last part like someone could hear even though the door was closed.

"Us?" she repeated, setting her pen down and leaning back in her chair. "Is there an us, Dan?"

A look of incredulity crossed his face and his jaw tightened. "You know what I mean. We had a really bad break up and I haven't seen you in ten years. I think as professionals and adults we should discuss it. Clear the air."

"Professionals?" Her face flashed to one of sudden anger. "So, this is about you making sure no one here finds out our past for the sake professionalism? This isn't about you actually wanting to get along with me and move on? This is about making sure I'm kept your dirty little secret!" She didn't realize she was shouting or standing until he suddenly stood as well.

"Will you lower your voice?" he whisper-yelled at her. "That's not what I meant, Mindy, and you know it."

She did know it, but she was too upset to admit it. "Just get out, Danny." She sat back down with an exhausted sigh.

"I saw you with Jeremy last night."

Mindy froze, slowly raising her eyes to his and registering the look of hurt in them before it was replaced with annoyance. She cleared her throat and tried to act nonchalant. "What are you talking about?"

"I stayed late last night to catch up on paperwork and I saw you," he pointed at her accusingly, "and Dr. Reed going at it on top of his desk as I was leaving."


He straightened his spine, ignoring her comment and looked down at her. "I could have you fired for that."

Mindy felt a lump form in her throat and tried to swallow it down. "I, uh, you..." she stammered.

"Why Mindy?" His voice was much softer now and she saw the hurt return to his eyes. 

"Why what?"

"Why him?"

She stared at him, willing the tears she knew were welling up in her eyes away. 

"Because when he breaks my heart at least I'll see it coming."

It was raining and damn it she should have seen this coming. This was the typical break up scene in every romantic comedy. She stared at her boyfriend of three years, her clothes drenched and clinging to her skin and her hair sticking to her face. Danny stared right back at her, his curls flat against his forehead and a look of contrite on his face. She wanted to slap the expression right off him.

"What are you saying, Danny?" Her voice shook and she was more than sure it had nothing to do with the cold rain beating against her skin.

Danny ran a hand through his hair before wringing his fingers together nervously. "I'm saying, we don't know how things are going to turn out, so we should think rationally about this."

"So, what," she wrapped her arms around herself, squinting from behind her glasses. "Because we're going to different colleges you want to break up with me instead of doing long distance?" At his silence she felt the tears begin to fall, mixing with the raindrops. "Is this really about us or is it about you not wanting to be with me anymore? Do you want to sleep with other girls, Danny? You want to have that college experience of getting drunk at parties and dicking some slutty chick down at a frat house?"

"What?! No!" Danny exclaimed. "That's not what this is about, Mindy!" He stepped towards her, grabbing her shoulders so he could look her squarely. "Look, I love you. I love you so much it hurts, Mindy. I'm not breaking up with you, but I do want us to think about our future and about the fact that we will be hours away from each other."

"No," she pushed him away, pulling her shoulders back. "Don't feed me that love bullshit, Danny. If you loved me, you wouldn't be doing this right now. If you loved me you wouldn't be worried about our future together. Not once did I think our going to different schools would hinder our relationship, but it seems that's all you can think about. So fuck you for saying you love me. You don't love me, so let's just end this."

He swallowed and she could see his eyes glimmer red from his own tears. "Maybe you're right. Maybe we should just end this."

No. No no no!

"What?" she gasped, a sob threatening to escape at any moment. 

He looked at her and shrugged. "Mindy, you're my best friend. You've been my one constant for years and I've become so attached to you, so used to you always being there, but you're going to school across the country and I think maybe its time for me to just grow up."

"That's so fucking stupid," she croaked out, choking on a sob. She took a deep breath, shivering in the cold. "You know what just go, Danny. You've obviously made up your mind. You don't want me anymore, I get it. So just leave."

"Mindy, I-"

"Leave!" she screamed at him. "Get the fuck out of here! GO!"

Danny stumbled back, running a hand down his tired faced to wipe away the rain and tears. "I'm sorry."

And then he was gone.

Mindy sat at the bar, nursing her second Manhattan when she heard the stool next to her scrape against the floor. She glanced over and then sneered at her new bar mate. "What do you want?"

Danny smirked at her and then got the bartender's attention, rattling off a scotch and another Manhattan for her before he turned to face her. "Who said I wanted anything?" 

She narrowed her eyes at him, setting her drink back down on the bar. "You obviously asked Betsy where I was and came here to bother me."

"You're sitting in a bar across the street from where we work. It wasn't like it would have been hard to find you."

"So you were looking for me?"

He clamped his mouth shut. The bartender set their drinks in front of them and Mindy downed the rest of her second drink before reaching for the third. Danny sipped his scotch, his fingers messing with the napkin on the dark wooded bar. "I wrote you letters, you know."

Mindy looked over at him curiously, her intrigue peaked. "What?"

Danny kept his eyes on his drink. "After we broke up and you left for Stanford. I wrote you letters, but I didn't... I couldn't bring myself to send them." He finally looked at her, seeing the confusion in her eyes mixed with curiosity. "I missed you so much, Mindy. Whenever something would happen I would immediately want to tell you. I was scared of what would happen if I sent the letters - would you shred them immediately without even opening them? Would you open them and then write me back? And what would you write me back? That you met some guy and you were happy without me? Because I don't know if you realize that I am miserable without you."

She stayed silent for a moment when it clicked what he just said. "Am? As in present-tense?"

He smiled a little half grin and nodded. "I tried to find that carefree happiness that we had in high school, but I never did. I've wanted to contact you for years, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. I even went by your old house only to find out your parents moved back to Boston." He let out a humorless chuckle, shaking his head. After a moment, he placed his hand on her forearm, his thumb brushing back and forth against her soft skin. "I really loved you back then, Mindy. I know you think I didn't, but I did. Hell, I still love you. And I know you hate me, I get it. I fucked up so bad, but I-"

"Mindy?" A tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes walked up to them, his eyes zeroed in on Mindy. "I'm Casey. Our friend Betsy set us up?"

Mindy looked from Casey to Danny and saw the color drain from his face as he stared up at her date. She felt his hand slipping from her arm and she tried to grab it, but he was too quick. "Danny, wait-"

"I gotta go," he muttered, standing from the bar. He threw a few bills down for tip, ignoring her calling of his name as he swiftly walked out. He was only halfway down the street when he heard her yelling after him and felt her arm grab his shirt, halting him.

"Stop walking away from me, goddamnit!" she exclaimed. 

Danny looked around her, his hand shoved in his jeans pockets. "Where's your date?"

"He's still at the bar, probably wondering why his friend set him up with a woman completely in love with someone else."

Danny nodded, accepting defeat, but then he jerked his head up to see a smile on her lips. "Wait, what?"

"Did you really think I didn't still love you?" she asked him, stepping closer. "That's why the past few months have been so hard, Danny. I tried so hard to get over you and just when I was starting to move forward with my life, there you are."

He looked down, ashamed. "I'm sorry."

She placed a hand to his cheek, lifting his eyes back to hers. "Don't be. This was meant to happen. It's fate that Dr. Shulman hired me."

"Is this more of your romcom stuff cause I don't know how much I believe in fate."

"Oh, shut up, Danny." She grabbed his face in her hands and brought his mouth down to hers, feeling his hands immediately finding their home on her ass. Just as Mindy tilted her head to deepen the kiss, Danny pulled away with a smirk. 

"Hey, that's my line..."