Two Redheads In A Warzone


lucille2_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Two Redheads in a Warzone
Synopsis Megan and Lucille are working in a field hospital, taking a brief break. One should not leave redheads alone.
Date July 15, 2012

Somewhere in the War

It's been a busy day, a busy day indeed. There was a battle fought the day before and today was proving to be just as hard as the day before. They had been tending to the wounded all through the night and Lucille was tired. No, exhausted. She had sat out of the battle, as much as she wanted to roll into battle with her father and Aunt this time go round Lucille had other skills she needed to be honing.

That's why she was here going from bed to bed and following Megan’s instructions, long auburn hair pulled back into a tight ponytail, her eyes glowing that amber gold color as she sits in the middle of two beds. One hand outstretched on either side of her, for two separate patients. One burned rather badly and the other had lost an arm. She was holding back their pain until a nurse came by with the painkillers, if there were any left.

It's loud, the triage full of yelling, moans of pain. The stench of sick and death in the air. Luce blinks back moisture from dripping in her eyes, she had been sweating for God knows how long. She had been waiting here for Megan to return but it had been awhile.

That wasn't a surprise. It was a shitshow in here.

Lucille tries to hum to soothe herself more than the patients as they cannot feel a bit of their pain as Lucille works her influence on their biology. The effort of doing it for two is hard on her but the guy who was missing an arm had been crying out in such pain. She couldn't let the guy just lie there next to her and not do anything.

A shit show indeed. Megan hasn’t seen such a clusterfuck in a long time. She’s been nonstop since yesterday sometime, catching ten-minute combat naps where she can. She finally managed to find the painkillers she was seeking and arrives back in time to see him finally, mercifully, pass out. She administers the painkiller for him, hoping he’ll actually get some rest, and then sets he syringe on the metal tray on the floor. “Lu, go get some rest. You can’t keep running yourself ragged like this. It’s … Honestly, I’d rather you save your strength for the ER,” she admits quietly, blue eyes just as exhausted as Lucille’s. “We’re running really short on anesthesia, and … pretty soon, we’re looking at doing surgery with none and hoping they pass out fast.”

She checks the pulse and the bandages of the amputee and the burn victim, but there’s little enough she can do beyond what she’s already done for them at this point. So she helps Lu to her feet and insists, “Outside. Come on. You need sleep and food. Not necessarily in that order.” Her index finger shoots up in admonishment. “And don’t make me go find Huruma. You know she’ll be harder on you than even I will be!”

As her mentor, one of many rounds the bed to take care of the patients, Lucille breaks her hold on the men and she sighs as she sags in the chair, her eyes fading to their natural blue color, they’re bloodshot. The young woman nods numbly at the other redhead. “I..” She falls off as she fails to think about what she can say in protest. “Please don’t get Auntie Huruma.” That threat alone is enough to spur Lucille into action and she leans forward preparing to rise just as Megan touches her skin.

Lucille had removed her elbow high gloves yesterday. They were stuffed in her pocket, but the fact that both women are tired and the chaos of the room it can lead to mistakes and this is a new problem that Lucille and her friends have had to learn about.

“No!” As her ability awakens her eyes grow wide in horror but the spilt second is all that she needs for her power to strike out at Megan. A prickly sensation settles over the nurse’s skin followed by a blazing heat all over her body. Lucille’s ability had been on random if touched without her knowledge. This time the wheel had settled on inflicting agony on the older woman. “Fuck!”

The young woman screams before she backs up in her chair so much that it tips over and she ends up on the ground rolling over and ending up on her belly. The contact is thankfully broken rather quickly and the pain would evaporate instantly but that second would hurt. Luce breathes heavy into the dirt of the hospital floor as she tries to steady herself her emotional and body rolling on the inside.

“Meg.. Megan!” She's climbing up to her feet and rushing over before she skids to a stop and is falling back on her ass. Looking down at her hands and arm. “Fuck.” She whispers.

She forgot. It’s new enough and she’s tired enough that Megan forgot not to touch Lu when her gloves were off. Brilliant starbursts of agonizing pain lance through her nerve endings, and the older redhead arches backward, almost like being zapped by lightning. She lands hard on the ground, grazing the edge of the cot as she goes down.

Laying dazed on the ground with a shallow gash across her forearm where she caught the hard metal of the cot, she can’t breathe for a long minute. When she can finally suck in air, it’s a labored wheeze, and she pushes up slowly to rest her weight more on one hip as she sits upright. “Fuck,” she whispers. “Oh fuck that hurt. Lu, you okay?”

Reaching up, Megan shoves a silver-streaked strand of red out of her way and her blue eyes skim the younger woman worriedly. “Jesus… tell me you’re okay,” she insists.

“Me?!” Luce crawls closer to Meg but not close enough to touch. No, definitely not. Yanking her gloves out from her back pocket she tugs them on quickly with a scowl on her face. “I'm fine. I'm so fucking sorry, are you okay?” She knows that the effect go away immediately but disorientation on different levels usually ensues, it makes her nervous but as Megan seems to be okay save for the gash Lucille looks relieved.

Though her gloves are now on she doesn't move to touch Megan. She's still scared. “I.. I thought it would be better by now.” It had been just a few months since she had joined Megan and her father in the fight. No amount of mediation seemed to give her control over that aspect of her ability. And the Russian Roulette aspect of it was really proving to be a problem.

She had already made her brother projectile vomit once on accident.

The young woman slowly climbs to her feet and finally reaches out tentatively to help the other woman up. “Let's get that bandaged.” Her eyes wide still, she's rattled.

Megan doesn’t move any further, not wanting Lucille to see how very close to vomiting she is as the world spins out of control. Laying down was actually worse, something she wasn’t sure she believed possible. “Just…. Give me a minute, okay, kiddo?” she tells the younger woman. “I’m… I just need a minute.”

She holds herself still sitting there, and she breathes really deeply. When she finally lets Lu help her up, Megan’s shaking. Clearly Lu isn’t the only one rattled. Meg’s nerve endings are still firing in rather stinging fashion. “That was … unpleasant. Let’s not do it again, huh?” she quips. One trembling hand goes up to her forehead and comes away bloody and she mutters, “Fuck me. Gonna take some shit for that.” From whom she merely leaves in the air, cursing under her breath at her own stupidity in putting her hands on Lucille.

“Do not go confessing this to your father or Huruma,” she instructs the younger woman in a tone that would be stern if it weren’t a little shaky. “It was an accident. We all know that you’re still working through the shifts in your ability. This was my own fault… let it stay that way.”

Her lips quiver as she nods at the woman shakily at first but then more firm. She almost offers to take away the pain but the thought at using her ability again at this moment after what she just did, causes her stomach to roll over. Blue eyes still wide she helps Megan and as soon as her friend is able to stand on her own Luce backs away.

“Okay… I.. I won't tell them.” Worrying her father about this seemed unnecessary. There was sadly nothing he could do. She feels a little crack in her heart as she promises to keep a secret from him. They promised each other no more but this one is a tiny one (with large implications for how Lucille will live her life from now on).. it couldn't hurt right?

The scar on her neck pulsates as she clenches her teeth together, grinding them before offering, “Agony, it's what I've come to call that particular fun trick.” The fun is said as sarcastic as Lucille can manage in this instance. She had begun naming them, keeping a detailed notebook of her progression. Who knows? Maybe she’ll go back to school when this is all over. Study medicine and genetics.. The Evolved. Be a doctor or scientist or some shit. It sounds like some weird parallel universe her but she thinks about that girl sometimes, how life would be if she hadn't be just dropped into this fight years ago.

That happier life only gets a moment of reflection before she is back in that loud hospital with a friend she just caused pain.

Once Megan’s on her feet, she seems a lot more stable. “Yeah… I’d say it’s an apt name,” the nurse replies with a faint grimace and then a snicker. “Christ. I know better.” She scoffs at her own stupidity, clearly not holding Lucille accountable for the action. “Okay… it was a good reminder to keep my head in the game, yeah?” She glances at the younger girl, who looks a lot more shaken than Megan really cares for. “C’mon, kiddo… let’s get a drink. I think we could both use it.”

She gestures for Lu to go ahead of her, and though Megan is moving a little stiffly — just the memory of that instant of pain still has her muscles reacting a bit. She’s rather beaten up her body over the years, after all! It’s a bit slower recovery these days! She walks with Lucille toward the tents they’ve got set up as crash space, and she says, “C’mon — your dad hides the good stuff in his ruck.”

Megan’s raiding Ryans’s stash?? Oh yes, yes she is. She ducks into a tent, there are sounds of rummaging, and she comes back out with a flask. “Just remind me to replace it,” she grins rather cheekily at the man’s daughter. Then she heads for a quiet corner under a tree where they can just sit, pulling out a battered, nearly empty pack of cigarettes from a pocket of her cargo pants and silently offering one to Lucille if she wants it.

Her hands are still shaking as she lights hers, and Megan drops her head back against the trunk, and she takes a long drag off the cigarette without speaking.

Leading the way out of the hospital she tries to smile as they leave the place. A break, thank you. The previous moments still weighing heavily on her mind. Luce then follows Megan out to the tent, “No fucking way,” she does in fact laugh here. It's small but it's a start.

Her blue eyes look around where her father sleeps, she use to love to sleep in his shirts when she was younger and he was away. The sight of his belongings makes her smiles a bit more and she nods as Megan goes through his stash. “How'd you find out about that stash hm?” Poking fun at her mentor, they walk out to that tree and park it.

Glancing back at the younger woman as they park their butts, Megan lifts her brows at Lucille and asks in a wickedly amused tone, “You sure you wanna know that answer?” Because it cracks her up to see the redhead make THAT FACE at the possibilities that present themselves.

Taking a cigarette for herself and pulling her own lighter out she lights it and takes a long drag as wel, blowing the smoke up towards the treetops. The echoes of anguish are distant here by the tree. Though they can still hear them.

“If you don't replace it he’ll give you that stare. Then you're done.” Lucille snickers, Megan is good at getting her mood up.

Blowing a slow stream of smoke into the air, letting the nicotine hit her bloodstream and start to settle the overactive firing of those nerve endings, Megan merely smiles. “He can stare all he wants, kiddo. He doesn’t intimidate me in the slightest,” she informs the man’s daughter candidly. “I’ve known too many men like him to be brought down by a ferocious glare.” She laughs. “You should have seen the first surgeon I stared down in an ER.” The redhead really has zero tolerance for the intimidation factor. Perhaps it’s why she and Huruma get along so well.

“No no.” She would not like to know thank you very much. She does laugh at Megan’s words, she loves Megan’s tude as her mother would call it. Lucille takes a drag from her cigarette and snickers, “What you were standing over a bleeding body and had to let him know what was what?” She loves to hear stories from Megan and Huruma. They often didn't hold back.

Lucille leans against the tree not too close to Megan though she does pluck the flask from her hands with gloved fingers to take a deep swig. Her eyes slight as the liquor falls in her mouth.

“Well fuck dad.. he really has a taste for fine liquor.” She holds the flask up and tips back more before shoving it in Megan’s direction. There's another pull from her cigarette and she smiles faintly to herself as she blows the smoke out.

Megan considers the first question, snickering softly. “We were standing over a bleeding body and I was letting him know what was what,” she agrees readily. “Asshole wanted to pump the kid full of painkillers to stitch him up, only the kid was allergic to morphine. He had on a bracelet and everything.” She shakes her head as she hands over the flask. “Fucking residents. Barely out of med school trying to tell me what’s what in my own ER. I’ve got 20 fucking years’ experience dealing with asshole OFFICER doctors.” Blue eyes roll. “Think you’re gonna threaten me with my job?” She snickers. “Guess who got reassigned to the morgue for a rotation. Not this girl,” she jerks her thumb at herself.

Taking another drag off her cigarette, finally calming from the effects of Lucille’s ability, Megan reaches up with her free hand and pulls the rubber band from her hair, scratching through the silver-streaked copper strands to ease the pull. Reclaiming the flask, she tips back a long swallow, enjoying the burn as the alcohol wends its way down to her stomach, leaving a comforting glow there. “Yes… yes he does,” she agrees with the assessment. “He keeps the good stuff in the flask. The rest of the stuff we come back with usually, I keep for battlefield dressings. But every once in a while, it’s nice to be able to do this.”

A crack of laughter as Megan details her time in the ER, “Wow, I bet he never mouthed off again, or at least he became more observant.” Megan is a strong woman, Luce looks up to her. Lu’s blue eyes go out to the field around them as she talks. Mimicking the older woman and removing her hair from the ponytail, it falls to past her shoulders. She closes her eyes and allows herself this moment to relax, no pressure.

“You’ve been through this before,” War that is, “It seems never ending when you’re right here. Near it all.” There was no hiding to be done, they were right in the middle of it. “I get lost in battle, feels good ya know?” she shrugs lightly. Maybe the trauma of her injury has her feeling this way.

“I just don’t want to scare my family.” Because she likes it, she really does.

Stretching her legs out and crossing her combat boots at the ankles, Megan leans all the way back against her tree with one arm crossed over her body where she can perch her other elbow on it while she smokes thoughtfully. “There’s a very real danger, when you spend too much time in combat zones, of getting hooked on the adrenaline rush. It’s … something that harkens back to your lizard brain,” the nurse says quietly. “You feel alive in a dangerous situation in ways you just don’t when you’re living in peacetime. Some soldiers are never able to come back.” Although she doesn’t say it aloud, Megan tries not to wonder if Benjamin is one of those soldiers. She already knows Huruma is one of them. She doesn’t know it of herself, either, though he’s beginning to wonder that too.

Pulling in a drag of her cigarette, she reaches over to flick the ashes from the end while she thinks. After blowing the smoke in a thin stream to one side, she says quietly, “It’s not something to aspire to. I know it’s not what your family wants for you. But in the end, Lucille… you’re the only person who gets to make the choice.” She looks over at the younger woman. “I think, of all people, your father will understand where you’re coming from even if the rest of them don’t. Extraordinary times require adaptation.” She shrugs a little. “From all of us.”

Listening to Megan speak she nods faintly, slouching now into the tree. Taking a deep breath and then pull from her cigarette, her words as true. She wonders to herself if she's already one of those people. She just enjoys the thrill of it, her blood running hot as she charges down a hill. Lucille had maybe found her calling, it took a while but.

She exhales her breath blowing a few strands of hair up and out of her face. Luce nods again. “It's just another world. And for all the complicated shit that war brings there's such.. simplicity to it.” You lose, we will. You die, we live. Or vice versa.

Her eyes are half closed as she stares off into the distance. “You're right. We have to adapt. This time a few years ago.. I was in London. Walking fucking runways, getting my heart broken,” Avery… “All those things seemed to be it ya know? Like modeling this is it. Meeting the guy for the first time, this is it. Why are us young people always like THIS IS IT?” She laughs and smokes more.

“Ffffft.” Megan shakes her head. “Because when you’re young, everything is the end of the world, I guess?” She doesn’t recall being that way, but she probably was. Or perhaps she was always as pragmatic as she is now. She’d have asked her mother, but she’d passed away not long after Auggie died. And she hadn’t been able to contact her brothers or her father since the war began. It’s a thought she pushes away.

“When you get to be older, you realize that nothing in life is a one-shot. Not jobs, not friendships, not love. You just have to be open to possibilities.” Megan grins slightly and shrugs. “There’s always something to surprise you out there. Even in the middle of a war.” She’s definitely been surprised by a few things lately.

She guesses that Megan is right. Luce nods her head and takes another swig of the flask placing it on the ground between them. “Possibilities.” She echoes quietly drawing knees up to her chest, resting her chin on top idly taking drags from her cigarette.

“I feel like there's been one surprise after another. My dad.. my new sister,” the notion makes her eyes roll still. She loves the idea of another sibling for sure but dad really?

Taking her eyes off a nearby fallen branch Lucille surveys Megan blowing smoke out of the side of her mouth. “Never thought I'd be in the middle of a war or even in the middle of a goddamn hospital.”

Studying the burning ember of her cigarette, Megan nods slowly. She can practically hear the eye-rolling and it amuses her. “Benjamin has a chance that few of us ever get, assuming this war ends sometime soon… I hope he takes the opportunity that has been handed him,” She comments mildly. “From what I gather, he was too busy with a war no one knew was happening to be around for you girls and your mother very much. He feels very guilty for that.” It might come as a shock that Megan knows so much about Lu’s father and his regrets. Or perhaps not. Whatever is between the two, it seems very discreet generally. Nothing hugely overt.

“I think you have a talent for the medical profession,” Megan says finally. “I've been watching you. You have a gentle touch, patients respond well to you, and you're a fast study. If this damnable war ever ends and you'd like to apply for nursing somewhere, you let me know. I'll see if there's anyone left to put words in with.”

A final drag on her cigarette and Megan stubs it out on the ground where she's sitting, then takes another swallow from the flask. She hands the container back to Lucille and blows that last stream of smoke out very slowly, savoring the burn of both tobacco and alcohol. “War is an ending for a lot of people and a lot of ideas and concepts… but it's also the beginning if you can find the light at the end of the tunnel.” A faint smile quirks her lips. “Now if certain other people we know could figure that out, it would be nice.”

Even though she does hope with Megan, in her head she wonders if her father would. Megan detailing this tidbit of history is something Lucille is grateful for. She leans forward looking out as the redhead speaks. “It was weird, he was like my hero but then not there and then we found it all out, I think we’re just really getting past that.” It has taken Lucille a long time to get to this point and she smiles faintly. “He was trying to protect us in his own way, I see that now. But at the time.. I was a little girl upset at her dad for missing a gymnastics meet.”

Taking the drink to sip at Luce nods her head with a grimace and then smile. “Wow, thanks Meg.” She means it too, see there it goes again nodding her in the brain. The medical profession. “I like helping the people, it’s nice.” But hurting people, or rather hurting the people who deserve it, feels good too.

“I think I’m seeing the light. I hope he does too.” It’d be nice to see her father finally retired and resting, he’s earned it. And by the end of this so will have Lucille probably. Quiet lives with some peace sounds nice.

But with the Ryans blood running in your veins.. Staying out of trouble just doesn’t seem to be their strong suit.

“Old soldiers don’t really retire. Not when they’ve been at it for 40 years, Lu,” Megan tells her quietly. “By that time, or hell, even by the time it’s been 20 or 30… most of us don’t know any other way than to keep… protecting those who can’t protect themselves. It’s why so many were mercenaries or contractors.” She shrugs a little. “I think… I’ve had it pretty good, overall. Most of what I do is far enough behind the lines that I don’t have quite the same problem.”

She pauses, for a very long moment and admits, “But I’ll never trust them again. I gave the government a blank check… I offered them my life for the ideals we swore to uphold. And they reneged.” Grimly, she looks away from the younger woman. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” When she looks at Lucille, the younger woman can see the answer in weary lines of the nurse’s face — the same acceptance that exists in Lucille’s father. “We do. We are the guards of the watchtowers, it’s our duty to watch them. And to call them out on it when they renege.” It’s a heavy knowledge for a woman who believed in the causes she fought for, a deep hurt that she can never fully trust her own government again.

“That is a rather long time to be fighting,” Luce comments as she throws the end of the cigarette away from her and watches it land. “You’ll be kicking ass as a seventy year old.” She grins and chuckles before laying back against the tree.

At the notion of not trusting her government Lucille understands. She's not sure if she ever really did trust her government. Definitely resented them for some things but Lucille isn't that patriotic. She wants to protect but.. finding out their government was an evil monster of a thing only made Lucille’s chest tight with pressure.

“They do renege.” And it hurts that they do.

“Damn straight,” Megan retorts. “Although to be fair, I’m sure as hell not gonna look as good as your dad at 70,” she laughs. It lightens the mood considerably. Sighing quietly, Megan merely nods. “Yeah. They do. And yet, we’re still here. And we still need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and helping where we can, right?” She nudges Lucille with a foot. “Keep on keeping on, kiddo.”

“Girl please. You'll look better than most at 90.” Because if Lucille has anything to say about it then Megan will reach that age and older. She means a lot to the woman. And jeez everyone with the comments on her dad! Luce snickers.

Her advice is spot on. They keep on keeping on because they have no more choice. Lucille is grateful for that. “Keep on keeping on.” She repeats softly and smiles at the older woman. Her blue eyes are bright with the lightening of the mood. She might still be in the situation that she is in ability wise but she has friends.. and she has family. And she's gonna keep on keeping on. Ain't no way around it.

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