triage\ trē-ˈäzh \ noun
1: A process for sorting injured people into groups based on their need for or likely benefit from immediate medical treatment.
2: A process in which things are ranked in terms of importance or priority
Chapter Twenty-Three: Me And My Husband (in which we wallow in past mistakes)
“That’s not a happy face, huh?”
Margot glanced up, expression neutral. “What- ah. Sarcasm, I see. Because I never have a happy face.”
Fiona dropped herself into the chair next to Margot, grinning easily. “Well, look at you! You really can teach an old dog new tricks!”
“Hm. Maybe they’ll be able to teach you not to call me old, then.”
“You are old.”
“I’m older, not old. And, as I constantly remind you, only by two years.”
“Older is older!”
“And wiser, to follow the sayings.”
“Well, can’t argue with that.” Fiona settled back in her chair, draping one arm loosely over the back. “What’cha working on?”
Margot set down her pen, closing the notebook she’d been writing in. “Nothing that would be of interest to you, unfortunately.”
“Aww, that’s not fair! You know I make an effort.”
“You do, and I appreciate it.” Margot patted her knee twice. “If that’s the case, then you might be interested in the fact that I am currently working on the relative extraction, saturation and regeneration rates of regional soil samples to see how different mineral contents can affect the formation of ephemeral phenomenon.”
Fiona nodded slowly. “I see.”
“Really? Repeat it back to me.”
“You’re currently working on the relative extraction, saturation and… regeneration rates of… soil samples, to see how different…” She trailed off.
Margot patted her knee again. “You know, that was actually better than you’ve done in the past.”
“Hey,” Fiona grinned, “go me. I’ll be doing a thesis in no time.”
Margot didn’t smile, but Fiona had known her long enough to read the amusement in her eyes. “Let’s leave that hypothesis untested for now.”
“Fine by me.” Fiona stood, and Margot gave her a once-over. “Like what you see?” Fiona drawled, faux-seductively.
“Are you going somewhere?” Margot asked, completely blowing past the innuendo. “You aren’t normally dressed before lunch.”
“First of all, ouch. Second of all… I kinda thought we could go out, go to the park, get some food, but if you’re busy…”
Margot glanced back at her work, considering. She was busy; ‘in the zone’, as Fiona would sometimes call it. Her instinct was to agree, and make plans some other time, but their last argument had been about how Fiona felt like she was always the second priority to her work. Margot knew she tended to be oblivious, but even she could recognise something that obvious.
“I think it might be a good time to take a break, actually,” she said, standing up as well. “Where were you thinking for lunch?”
Fiona grinned hesitantly. “…you sure? You’re not gonna… fall behind, or something?”
“Oh, I will,” Margot assured her, beginning to tidy away her work and so missing the way the other woman’s face briefly soured. “But I can make it up later. And, as you pointed out, it’s a beautiful day. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.”