Cared Scratches


brennan_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif

Scene Title Cared Scratches
Synopsis Following a meeting at the bookstore, Lydia seeks treatment for some wounds.
Date September 7, 2010

Suresh Center

The second floor is an idiosyncratic combination of small medical center and psychiatric hospital. In the back of the building are several lab rooms, equipped with everything from blood-test equipment to an MRI; despite its size, the facility is competitive in a features sense with many larger and more mainstream hospitals. The core is dominated by a multipurpose room, usually serving as a cafeteria but sometimes transformed into a game hall or ad-hoc movie theater; on either side of it are the two permanently-staffed nurse stations, the balcony at the front offering a view of Roosevelt Island and the opportunity for plenty of sunlight.

One wing of this floor has been given over to a medium-term ward, intended to house medical or psychiatric patients for only a few days, perhaps a couple of weeks at most. Most rooms are double-occupancy, particularly for medical patients, but in some cases they may be allocated as singles; all have large exterior windows and are surprisingly not painted in generic institutional shades. Rather, they each have their own personal theme, from ascetic to modern, oceanic blues to autumn reds and browns. Rooms are allocated primarily by what environment a patient feels comfortable in. The opposite wing is the Suresh Center's juvenile ward, designated for the care of Evolved children and teenagers coming to terms with their abilities. It has its own rec room, several single-occupancy rooms, and at the end of the hall a larger shared room for siblings, friends, and children who do better in company. As for the adult ward, the decor is engaging and inviting rather than blandly uniform.

Visitors are required to check in at one of the stations before going anywhere else on this floor, and in some cases may be provided with an escort for the duration of their visit.

There's a quiet shuffle of steps as the doors of the Suresh Center open. Lydia peeks in hesitantly before actually stepping into the lobby. She adjusts once inside, shifting the bag that's slung precariously over her shoulder, heavy with the weight of several book choices — all collected by Quinn for their customer.

Dark umber eyes peer out along the lobby. Her gaze is reluctant, for no reason other than the fact she avoids hospitals and clinics and has for nearly fourteen years. Her cheeks flush an involuntary pink. With a quick inhalation of breath, she takes careful steps towards the security guard. When she addresses him, her voice is warm, smooth, and weighty, "Hello. I'm looking for Doctor Harve Brennan… " Lips quirk into an equally warm smile — she's talented at forcing a brave face.

Down here in the lobby, on the bottom floor, it's not so much clinical as more of a community center with it's raised platform and couches that act as waiting area, classrooms and lecture theaters off in halls. Lydia however, at the request of being directed to one of the physicians that work here, is directed to another wing, and to the second floor. Here is where those with medical issues dealing with their or stemming from their ability tend to come. At the nurses station they gesture for the bookseller to take a seat, that the doctor will be out soon.

And he is, jacket abandoned for a white coat, his name embroidered across the chest of one side and scribbling away on a clipboard while a teenager walks beside him. "Pretty normal, really. Bet the chicks will all flock to you with it. Just go easy on it okay? It's good to practice, just don't overdo it and it won't happen again. It's new, I get it, but much like gunning a brand new car, you can just destroy the engine. Use it wisely grasshopper and you'll do fine. I'm gonna see you at the meeting? I hear Gemma is bring her cupcakes she promised on Friday"

"Seriously? " The teenager seems to have ignored or not commented on the gentle chiding from the physician. "Sure, I'll be there, Gemma or not" Shoulders squaring, putting on the male bravado that seems to come out at the mention of girls.

"Uhuh" There's a punch by Brennan to the teenagers shoulder. 'Get out of here, go enjoy your freedom. Tell your parents I said hello and that your fine. Seriously, James, no overdoing it. You just passed out from overload" He wags a finger then tucks his pen away. "Don't make me make a housecall." The freckle faced teenager just rolls his eyes then strolls away, Brennan watching him go before he turns to the nurses station, sign off on the clipboard, flip it closed and listen while a nurse relays that he has a visitor.

"Miss Taylor" When he turns. "I wasn't sure whether you'd actually show up or not" He claps his hands, rubbing palms together. "Welcome to my second office"

"Doctor Brennan. Your second office is… impressive… and please, call me Lydia," she stands at the greeting, hands press to thighs to find balance as she rises. Her fingers clasp around the shoulder bag's strap, whitening underneath the pressure, but her expression finds that rehearsed peace, a veil of calm hiding an inner storm. "What made you think I wouldn't come? I wouldn't neglect to bring you your books, well the ones Quinn selected for you, anyways. And… I'd rather not suffer from infection. And prevent scarring, if possible."

"Thank you. For seeing me." Her smile tightens with an increased guardedness, still feigning some measure of comfortability despite her surroundings.

"Suresh Center tends to scare some people away" Displeasure at that though, she's getting things off him now, fleeting displeasure. "But what can you expect with the events of late. If you hadn't showed, I was going to grab a kit and stop by on my way home and make sure. I think I'm one of the few that is still willing in the city to do housecalls"

Brennan offers a hand out to her in greeting again, displeasure gone and in it's place genial warmth. "You won't scar. Worst is I'll put some butterfly stitches on and they'll hold the biggest one closed, but that's not even a needle and a thread really. Come on down, we'll skip the whole exam room thing, they have graced me with an office here with a couch, be much more comfortable. Welcome to the Suresh Center. I have a private practice that I share with my wife and others, but these days, I seem to find myself here more and more."

"I wish they'd had a place like this when Michelle, she's my wife, had discovered her ability, and my own. Would have made things much easier than practicing making making small thunderstorms in the backyard and then making them go away day after day" He gestures to a hallway with a multitude of doors, one with his name on it.

"I suppose people have conflicted opinions about this place," the hand is accepted into a kind of squeeze rather than an actual handshake. The contact itself has an easing effect while her features flip out of the rehearsed neutral into a more genuine smile that vaguely touches her eyes.

"Good, I'm glad it won't scar. I have a lot of ink and I'm pleased with how it all… " there's a brief pause as she contemplates her exact word selection, "turned out. Some of my tats are very precious to me, eat is a memory, face, or soul imprinted on my skin. Maybe that's silly, but…" she shrugs fleetingly. Silly or not, that's the feeling for which she won't apologize.

She follows him easily down the hall and into the office with his nameplate, perching on the couch. Her legs cross only to uncross and cross the other way. Unhappy with this position she shifts again, not quite reaching a place of comfort. "Forgive me if I seem nervous… I haven't seen a doctor in…" she hisses in a breath, "fourteen years." Since Amanda was born. Her cheeks flush slightly and are accented by a sheepish grin.

"Be surprised who has ink Lydia, may I call you Lydia?" Hand squeezed, then let go as they make their way down to his office. The door is left open, many reasons to do such and there on the corner of the desk is a couple different kits, unsure of what he'd need. Desk, long comfortable couch, armchair, low shelves with books and work on his desk. It's not big but it's not a hole in the wall.

"Had a healer come in once, hadn't seen a doctor in.. probably far more longer than that. I managed to get her in so I could patch her up or she'd have stayed out in the middle of the ruins and probably died from sepsis or who knows what." One of the two chairs that perch in front of the desk is pulled over, a little folding table too so that she can rest her arm on it. "I can numb this all up if it would make you feel better. put you at ease." Worry, just a little. "How many tattoo's do you have?"

"Of course. I'd rather be called Lydia, anyways," and not the last name that she'd chosen for herself three years before. "It's becoming common, I think. More mainstream than most would admit, I think. Although the general populace seems to try covering them. I make not such effort." Her lips press together as she twitches again, her nerves still on the surface.

"My last time in a hospital just…" she shudders. Amanda's birth wasn't bad, the events following only proved her own cowardice, self-revelation she'd rather forget. With a deep breath, she eases a few of those nerves followed by a quirk of a smile and a nod. "Please. anything to help me relax is good…. " The question as to the number of tattoos she hmmms quietly, "I stopped counting after the first five. But I think it suits me. All of the important parts are there on my skin like a well documented photo album that I carry everywhere." Her fingertips graze one of the faces imprinted on her arm.

"I think the wife likes mine" Not that they can be seen, hidden under his clothing, encircling a bicep. It's not often he wears short sleeves either. One of the trays is shuffled out, numbing cream to be found and q-tips, setting about with gloved hands to working on the multitude of scratches. It's really quite impressive, the sheer amount of damage that the cat is done and he's fairly impressed. "Whoever does your work, is pretty good" He offers, pausing now and then to gauge a wound and mentally tallying how to go about treating it.

"If you need a check up, I can set you up with an appointment with my wife" He's met his fair share of doctor phobic individual's. 'She's french, great bedside manner, and an atmokinetic. So when her temper is up" he chuckles with a shake of his head. 'There's two inches of snow in brooklyn in the morning. That cat…" He gestures with a q-tip, another shake of his head. "Your… favourite tattoo?"

For someone who's afraid of doctors Lydia is incredibly still through the process, frozen in place. "I'm not sure I'm ready for a check up yet," even if she's more than overdue. The admission are punctuated by an apologetic smile and tone. "No health problems I know of. Nothing immediately coming up imploring me to get checked out…" her head tilts slightly to the right. "I'll keep her in mind though. And I will call if I'm ready for one in the near future."

"I've done some of my own tattoos — not many, but some. I was an apprentice until I came into possession of the bookstore. I still do some ink, but not often and I don't really have a permanent spot for it yet, but then I don't think I've had the bookstore for a month yet." A glance is given back to the face along with blushing cheeks and a sheepish grin, "It's dear to me. Like a photo album on my arm…" her eyes flit towards him. "When did you get yours?"

"Long ago, overseas. I spent a lot of time just working with doctors without borders, and I got some color on my upper arm. No one see's it, it's not intentional, just, being a doctor doesn't lend to running around in short sleeved shirts. An offer from some very grateful people and who was I to refuse them?" Everything's numbed, testing edges to see if there's a reaction before he sets about to doing what she intended for him to do. Clean and bandage one by one, if they looked deep enough to require a cover, working away at it and the majority of his attention focused on her. "Who's that one?" The one that she was looking to. "And how did a tattoo artist come to own a bookstore with such an eclectic clientele and customer base"

Brennan looks up. "And cats"

The discussion of the bookstore has her easing more, the tension draining entirely from her shoulders. "It was an unusual circumstance. You see, I'm a fortune teller by trade — started reading palms, tarot, and tea leaves when I was still a teen. And in that? I got the attention of the former owner who wanted the store to maintain its mystery." Her lips twitch upwards. "The rest just worked itself out." The mention of the bats, however, has her near-chuckling. "Well Gabriel came with the store. I think it's his more than mine. and the kittens… well one of my employees found them in the alley and my heart goes to small defenceless creatures … we'll find them good homes and I'll regain my sanity and hopefully my space."

The question about the tattoo is left for last. While she generally has a good poker face, here it falters just a little, edging on a bittersweet sadness, "He's the love of my life. Long gone. Never forgotten."

"One of those" A sobering thought, that one can have a love of their life that is gone, not seen day to day, that you can't come home to and curl beside in bed and wake up to their dent on the pillow and their smell lingering in the air.

"I have three kids, soon to be four. I wouldn't mind, I think, taking two of them when they're ready to be separated from their mother." He offers. "Something to distract my girls with and care for, so that they're not feeling left out when the baby comes"

"Congratulations. You and your wife must be very excited," Lydia smiles warmly, all traces of sadness cast away by the depth of that smile. "All girls? Or would they be the only ones interested in kittens?" her smile grows. "I would love to give you a pair of kittens. They just need good homes where they're cared for and not on the street." With another deep breath, she shifts. "How bad does it look? Gabriel can be fierce when he's got the will…"

'Alll girls. This one coming, it's a boy. I'll still be outnumbered, but.." Brennan tilts his head, plucking up a little bottle with a brush on the end, the longest cut from the cat worked on and quickly as the harsh smell of what one would swear is super glue is applied and pressed edges together. "Not too bad. If you want, I can write you a prescription for antibiotics if any of them seem to get worse. You can just fill it and take it. I should probably update your tetnus since you probably haven't had it in a long time, but I surmise, Lydia, that you will get to keep your arm. No amputation necessary"

"Whew! I'm glad to hear it; I've grown attached to my arms over the years…" her gaze shifts with a mischievous smile. "It was touch and go for awhile there, and my artistic pursuits would have stunted before even beginning."

"Having a boy evens things out a bit, at least, doesn't it?" Lydia counters. "Although I imagine each girl has you wrapped around her little finger?" A crooked smile has her taking another deep breath, the smell wrinkling her nose. "The prescription could be good. If I need it. You probably have guessed I don't really get sick and I haven't been on antibiotics in ages… so there's no chance I'd fill it unless I need it."

"Stunted? Noo, I'm pretty sure, given a few months, you have learned to tattoo using your toes. You'd be world famous" There's the lopsided grin as he finishes, not covering the cut he just quite literally glued together. "Derma bond. Like super glue but medical. You should be good and the antibiotics are… well, you never know" He gestures towards the lone window. "Evolved flu and all. NOt that I have a clue if you're evolved or not. And you, Lydia, are done. I can give you one of these kits, just in case Gabriel doens't take well to the lemonade spritzer, or he swipes at your other employee's"

"That would be a talent," Lydia concurs as she draws her arm back to her chest, stretching the shoulder and then her neck as she allows her ear to drop towards her shoulder. Registered or not, the painted lady is mysterious about her status as a criminal might be although the notion of the flue piques her attention, "Evolved flu? I thought that was under control now?" She glances at the kit and then nods. "Please. I'm ill-equipped in the business as it stands. Anything to alleviate Gabriel's assault would be appreciated."

"Once it's out there, it never goes away. Innoculation and careful vigilance, it'll be like chicken pox, I'm sure. Maybe some day like small pox. Eradicated and never heard of again except for the odd case" Brennan nudges the one kit towards her, cleaning up his mess even as he stands to take care of all the materials used and clean up. "You, Lydia, are free to go. I pronounce you fit as a fiddle, and you have my card already. same number for my wife, call if you ever have any medical emergencies. Doesn't matter what time of the day"

Her fingers clasp the kit with a thankful smile. "Thank you, Doctor Brennan. I appreciate… all of it." And Lydia is substantially less wary than when she'd come in. Her cheeks flush again as she offers him a small wave before raising a single finger and removing several books from the shoulder bag. "Keep them. I think it's a fair exchange for today. You shared what you can do, I'll share what I can." Kind of like the carnival, everyone gives what they're capable. On that note? She slides off the couch to the door, lighter than when she'd come in.

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