About Ready to Fall Down


bao-wei_icon.gif daphne_icon.gif

Scene Title About Ready to Fall Down
Synopsis Daphne brings out the nice lollipop doctor in Dr. Cong — well, he doesn't pass out lollipops, but there are free crutches offered! — when she stops denying the truth and stops in at his clinic.
Date March 9, 2010

Cong Medical Clinic

Tucked in a sidestreet of Chinatown, the presence of the clinic is somewhat deceiving in that it possesses an old shopfront as the entrance instead of the usual single door. The large, single window is blocked from the sidewalk by white blinds, and the lettering emblazoned upon it reads the name of the clinic in Mandarin Chinese and English text; Doctor Cong's name is written below in a similar fashion, and below it is the Rod of Asclepius.

Inside, the front room is the waiting room, with a row of chairs along the sides, all of which more or less face the nurse's station behind a low wall and a windowpane. The trained eye will recognize it as very high-grade bulletproof glass.

To the side of the nurse's station is a hallway; there are two smaller exam rooms on the right, and a larger one that includes more major equipment on the left. Further down on the left is a locked door, only accessible by the doctor or his aides that leads into the fineries and inner workings of the office; important files, equipment, a small clinic lab, et cetera. At the very end of the hall is a heavy, often locked door, which opens to an elevator-sized room with three exits. One is a plain staircase leading up, and parallel to this is a inconspicuous door that leads to a staircase aiming downward. At the bottom is another door that looks like something straight out of a high-tech bank vault, though considerably more intimidating. Unless you are supposed to, you will not get in.

As for the door straight ahead of the main hall in the clinic, the heavy door leads into Doctor Cong's personal office. It is a rather picture-perfect physician's office, complete with a hardwood desk in front of a duo of chairs, framed documents, a large bookshelf, and only one window that offers a view out into another Chinatown alley.

Daphne Millbrook has never been one to fade into a crowd, and she certainly doesn't here in the Chinatown clinic. Sitting in the waiting room moments before, she received more than a few odd glances from the more expected clientele that make up Bao-Wei Cong's patients. Though she was bundled up against the cold, the little bit of her pale skin and her paler-hair that could be seen beneath scarf and coat and hat quickly set her apart from the rest. Perhaps it was that, or perhaps it was the fact that the small speedster looked like she might pass out any moment, but it wasn't too long before the nurse led Daphne back to one of the small exam rooms, where she sits now.

So far today, her power has held steady except for a brief moment or two when her legs threatened to buckle on the way to the clinic. Other than that, her head hurts, she's running a fever, and she's developed a cough. The signs are all there that she has a flu — she can't ignore it any more. But she still is clinging to the smallest shred of hope that it's not the flu, that these moments of power failure are something else — maybe something that can be fixed.

The clinic is fairly small, so things tend to be very streamlined. There are only a couple exam rooms, so Doctor Cong is able to see just one after the other and so on. Daphne's presence wasn't so much a disruption except to the people that live in the immediate area as they always happen to find things disruptive. The nurse just finds that very irritating, so she is kind of glad when the time comes to allow Daphne back to the second exam room to sit.

While Daphne is in the exam room, she can hear the voices in the next one over, though the masculine speaking with the frail is in some other language and it really only passes as background noise. The sound of a shutting door later, the one to her room opens up with a moment's pause, admitting Bao-Wei a second later. He's looking at the contents of a manila folder, as doctors are apt to do, and his first impression of the pale girl turns out to be more of a subtle double-take. He recognizes her, but she probably will not recognize him. Well, if she listened closely to his voice before, she may.

"My nurse told me that you looked about to fall over while in the waiting room."

She knows the voice, but all it gets is a slight furrow of her brow, unable to place it. Perhaps, if she were not practically delirious with a fever close to 104, she might be able to put together the dream persona of a dragon with this doctor affiliated with the Dragons of the 'Flying' and Chinese sort she has worked for.

The words fall get another scowl — much too literal for her taste. "I'm … I have a cold or flu or something," she begins, as if that weren't obvious, watching him with dark eyes a little distrustingly. Nothing personal — she doesn't like doctors in the least. "And I'm Evolved." These words are more quiet, said in the manner of either a confession or a warning or both.

It is an understatement to say that Bao-Wei is used to getting distrustful looks. In this case, however, he cannot seem to decide if it is because of who he is, or because of how she knows him. These things aside, he sets about the usual menial tasks afforded by doctors; the temperature gauge along the wall is picked up as he moves across the exam room, putting her slim folder onto the counter. "Do you think that you have the H5N10, in that case? I've heard that it negates powers by sickening the pertinent part of the brain. Have you been experiencing power loss?" Surprisingly, he seems to treat her being evolved as another day at the office. For Cong, it really is.

While he asks her to clear things up, Bao-Wei brandishes the ear thermometer so she can see what he's up to before going to put the gadget into her ear; he doesn't exactly make ceremony with waiting for her to sit still or pull back her hair. A mixed blessing, maybe. He is very mechanical about it, which is great. But he is also very impersonal about it, which may feel a bit cold.

The power question gets another scowl. It's humiliating to her to have to admit what she is and what she isn't with her power. "It's on and off. That's why I was hoping… the articles I read just said power negation, not that it would come on and off so I was wondering if maybe they're two different symptoms." Does she not watch House? Everything's connected! Except those rare times when there are actually two different diseases throwing the medical team for a loop.

"My power… I have super speed." That isn't the whole story, and she has to take a deep breath before telling the rest of it: "I have cerebral palsy. I used to not be able to walk. Somehow my power lets me walk normal." She doesn't speak the obvious ramifications of the loss of such a power. Instead they hang in the air, practically tangible.

Daphne's temperature is exactly where he expected it to be, and after disposing of the cap on the thermometer, Bao-Wei studies her the few moments when she further explains the complications. There is some curiosity in his eyes when she tells her short tale of miracles, and he allows himself to assume the question of what happens when her ability disappears. Somewhere in there is a nice lollipop doctor, it just takes more than a sniffly nose to get it to show up. This qualifies, in part.

"From your temperature to your other problems, in all likelihood it is the Evolved virus." During this he has fetched a small plastic tube from one of the various drawers. It has a cheek swab inside. He shows it briefly before leaning into a half-sit on the metal stool near the exam table to speak. "I can test for it if you would like me too, but at this stage it would not do much apart from a positive or negative identification. What I can do to help, however, is tell you to treat it like any other flu, and quite possibly lend you a wheelchair or a set of crutches in the meantime."

In the meantime. Hopeful words, when the diagnosis could mean death. "Thank you," she says tersely, glancing down, cheeks flushing a bit more than with mere fever at the thought of having to use the crutches or the wheelchair.

"So, I'll lose my power completely, if I have this Evo flu?" Daphne says, opening her mouth as she waits for him to answer. She's been denying this too long — now that she is here, she may as well face the reality of the nightmare she faces. "But I'll get it back, after, right?" she adds, before he can swab her, then dropping her jaw again as if she were at the dentist. Her dark eyes are focused on his face, watching it earnestly, clearly hoping for better news than he has to deliver.

His mismatched eyes are very visible when he drifts closer to work, and he narrows them slightly at Daphne's dark pair. The movements are mechanical again, as he swabs her cheek and puts the result onto the counter with the folder. Doctor Cong is all to aware of her looking to him for something more hopeful, so he does his best to word it carefully. Girls are a mystery; it would not be the first time that he said something and the woman he said it to took it completely wrong. "There haven't been enough definitive cases for me to know for sure."

No, wait. He's going to do it again and make a little person cry(not that it would ruin his day). Backing up. "Not enough cases, but with the nature of things my professional opinion is that power loss only lasts as long as the sickness, being that the loss is a symptom, not a side effect."

"And how long does it last? Like… two months or something I heard?" Daphne asks, her voice small and her eyes narrowing. Pretty soon she will diminish all together. She coughs into her sleeve, much like children are taught — at least she has good manners. "If it's not… what else…" she begins, then shakes her head, and nods to the swab. "How long does that take to know for sure? There's no medicine? I can't… I can't go to a hospital, you know? There's a reason I came here." Code for Unregistered.

"It varies. If it is the virus, then just treat it as you would a normal flu. If it just happens to be a normal virus, then all it takes is self-treatment. There are only vaccines for influenza, which are aimed to prevent people from getting it in the first place. I am also assuming that you have at least been sick at home before now. It's not like cancer- you don't need to go to the hospital unless you start hallucinating or coughing up blood." Bao-Wei can read codes as well as anyone, and though he is trying to explain this to Daphne, her seeming fright of it is making her overreact. "If you're still worried, I suggest finding a friend that can come check on you from time to time, or even find someone well to take you in and help nurse you."

The speedster nods, though the way her eyes flit away are a tell-tale sign that this would hurt her pride too much. "Thank you, Doctor Cong. I suppose if I could borrow a pair of crutches, that would be …" what? The word 'great' just doesn't fit. Horrible? Humiliating? The end of the world? "I would appreciate it." She hops off the examining table, clearly preparing to head out. "You wouldn't happen to be a dragon in your spare time, would you? And I don't mean the figurative type." She finally connected his voice to the nightmares — where he's seen her without her power, like some harbinger, omen, premonition.

Ah. There it is. Bao-Wei narrows his eyes slightly, but it is with something like confirmation that he does so. "…I've been known to moonlight as one, from time to time." He answers, lifting his brows a moment before opening Daphne's folder to make a few inky notes. "Tell the nurse that you need a pair of crutches, and she'll sign you out a set. I think that we have some smaller ones if you'd like those. All I ask is that people bring them back intact when they finish with them."

It's a little strange, to check into a clinic due to a flu and to check out with a pair of crutches. She can't quite make herself accept the offer of a wheelchair. It's the same reason she didn't use one when she was young, even though it would have been easier. Daphne always clung to the little bit of self control she has on her own body. She smiles at the admission of being the dragon in the shared dreamscape. "Thanks, Doc," she says softly, then heads out of the room, cherishing what might be the last moments in a still-free body.

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