f_abby_icon.gif f_amato_icon.gif

Scene Title Credo
Synopsis Amato receives his usual Monday visitor. Today, is a good day.
Date April 6, 2019

St. Lukes Hospital - Psych Ward

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

It's that time of the week. The Monday that Abigail visits the lone Vanguard in the psych ward of the hospital that she and eileen work at. Not really any difference from visit to visit. She comes bearing a new book, to trade for any he doen't want anymore, a paper fag with baked good and a fresh lunch that isn't hospital made. She takes an extended lunch, sacrificing one of her faternoon breaks ot spend a little more time and take her lunch with the lonely man. Today though, is abit of a change in whats in the bag.

Through the locked ward she goes, and the checkpoints, getting searched, the bag searched, greeting the orderlies who work on this level with a smile and dropping off a separate bag for them. Some could call it a bribe, she'd call it her gift of appreciation for taking care of one of her friends friend and well, someone she's come to call friend over the years if only through their similar belief that god gave them a gift, and it's not some freak mutation in due part of evolution. There's cat's chasing balls of red yarn all over her scrub top today, one of many different ones that she owns, and it doesn't take her long to find where Amato has hid himself off today, a new bathrobe draped over her arms, and slippers, the bag that carries their joint lunch as she knocks on the door.

The orderlies who open the door from the bubble-like nurse's station to the ward's common room do so with a friendly smile. Regular visitors are breaths of fresh air, even if they are part of the routine. The heads of many other patients and patient-inmates turn when the door opens, out of habit more so than surprise. This time of day, it can, or at least should only be one person.

Amato is sitting off in one corner, his posture relaxed, almost slumped, as he reads in one of the slickly upholstered chairs. It's a book he's read before - one he's finally ready to trade in for whatever new volume Abby has brought with her, and so his attention to it is fleeting, like one tasting a particular food food again, not out of hunger but sheer nostalgia. He's opted for a simple t-shirt with his pajama pants today, and an older pair of slippers cover his socked feet. When Abby approaches, he looks up from his book with an almost conspiratorial smile before he closes it and stands like the gentleman any man can be, regardless of what they wear or where they lay their head.

"Missus Baker," he greets with warmth, his arms tight to his sides as he inclines his head. "It's good of you to come and visit once again. A perfect example of a saint, in the strictest terms."

It's an equal incline of her head to him, response to his. He may be in the psych ward and have been a participant in what had been planned but unlike others thoughts, he was still deserving of her respect at least. "Mr. Salucci. Never a saint. It seems I shall have to tell you that every visit regardless. I brought you a new robe and slippers, since your others are looking a bit worn. Eileen said you'd enjoy the color" It's offered up with a smile. " There's blueberry muffins in the bag, for you to have the nurses stash in the kitchen for you. They have their own so they won't touch yours. I also…"

From a glad bag is produced a honeycomb, filled with honey. "There was some fresh at the whole foods. I figured it has been some time, so I brought some biscuits to go with lunch so you could enjoy it. How are you today Mr. Salucci. Need anything seen to?" She can pinpoint the healing now, can eschew the healing of his hand. "Eileen should be by later this week"

But she wouldn't. Not without Amato's permission, and it is with that confidence that Amato takes each offered gift with a grateful smile and nod. He marvels over the honeycomb after setting the muffins on the table and slipping on the new garments. "White is terribly boring and so difficult to keep clean," he remarks, affirming Eileen's observation without mentioning her directly.

He turns the waxy chunk filled with sweet, viscous liquid in his hand, waiting for Abby to sit before he joins her. "You are a marvel, Missus Baker," Amato says in a voice close to a whisper. "I…I wish I still had them. I'd gladly give you enough honey to last you ten lifetimes, and your kindness still wouldn't be repaid." When he meets her eyes again, his appear slightly hooded. "Thank you."

"Some day, Mr. Salucci, you'll be out of here, and you'll be a kindly old man, standing on a hill and looking over your field of clover and the bees that are busy keeping it and phoning me up to bring my children or my grandchildren out to teach them how to gather it. You may be locked away from the world and that which you love, but, it doesn't mean that you still can't enjoy things. Some day." She says it like it might be true. She has some hope, that someday they might reconsider what he's done. But likely not. He did some bad things.

"and now, for lunch. We have Lasagna. I heated it up just before coming, Natalie helped make it, she sends her love" A little girl he's never seen. One of my patients suggested that I bring Moby Dick up, Mrs. Mc Clusky, that her husband enjoyed it. Classic. I haven't read it yet" it's not exactly on her reading list growing up. "So when your done with it, I'll read it and we can talk about it" Chattering on the blonde goe as she sets up the paper plates, the plastic fork, no knives, dish out the fragrant lasagna. "You didn't answer me though. How are you today? Any better? Any worse?"

"It's a story about vengeance," Amato says as he sits again, eying the food as it is produced and smiling gladly. "I haven't read it, though. Thank you." It's only once he's pulled himself up to the table and picked up his fork that he addresses the question at last, and his expression becomes visibly, if only slightly strained as he does so.

"I am the same today as I was yesterday, and the day before that. Only I am older. And if I am wiser, or more worthy of that life on a hill filled with so much sweetness, I don't feel it. Otherwise, I am well fed and…" Amato's voice drops off, and he casts a wary look toward the nurse's bubble. "…apparently well-medicated. It is a better day, to answer your question more directly."

As better as it can be in here. She's watched him from the nurses bubble when he doesn't know it. Off by himself, doing nothing. Out comes some salad and even some dressing. "Doesn't let you feel like yourself. The medication. Some strange quiet version of yourself. No elation, but no manic either" He's at set, letting him deal with his own things, only going far enough to lay it out. Keep an eye on those around them so they don't impede on their lunch. Nurses will dole out baked goodies later to the rest. Especially to those that no one visits. "I'm trying to convince Eileen and Gabriel to go camping. But Eileen doesn't think Gabriel will go for that. I was thinking of seeing about renting a cabin up in Quebec, and take everyone up there. Get away from the city. Do you think they might go for that instead?" She's getting around to her own lunch now, brown bag tucked under her seat.

Amato swallows, even though he hasn't taken a bite of food yet. It's appetizing, to be sure, and it may be a Pavlovian response, if it weren't for the slight tightening of his neck and jawline. "She would know him better than I, Abigail," Amato murmurs, picking at his food for a moment before selecting a cross section of layered pasta to transfer to his mouth. He gives it a moment's thought as he chews and swallows, then squints as he looks across the table. "Why not go up, just the two of you? You could take Natalie and make it a girl's weekend or some such. Men ruin nature so often."

Amato is slow to eat another bite, almost methodical in the way he selects the next portion to go onto his fork and then into his system. "I dislike the drugs," he admits, his lip curling into as near a sneer as he can muster these days. "It isn't real. It's…it's witchery, in a way. Hiding my faults from me so that I cannot see them. So that I cannot fix them. I am not better, Abigail. I do not think they wish for me to get better."

"If we are going to do a girls weekend, I think I might take us out to a spa. The only appeal really of the camping is that I can use my hunting license and get a deer for the winter, but it wouldn't be till fall regardless. And I ask you because while you cannot do it yourself, at least you have an impact on the world, if even through another" Is murmured, her fork gently stabbing at some lettuce with ranch on it, listening thoughtfully to him. Blue eyes watch him carefully, blonde hair ever so neatly up, not a curl out of place.

"Do you even want to fix your faults Amato?"

"That is true repentance, Abigail." Amato's eyes remain on his food as he loads up another forkful, his lips pursed. "And if it is not repentance that people want, then I ought to have died by now. Swiftly and judiciously culled by the proverbial sword just as I had the audacity to do. Eye for an eye and all of that. It it cruel, though not unusual, to remove from a man the right to reform himself to the point where he might rejoin society. The overture to Hell's symphony has gone on quite a long time."

"Do you want me to talk with them? I don't use.. it much. But… I can try" It being the fact that she was the one who actually eliminated Kazimir Volken from the face of the earth, in concert with others. Her own lunch slowly disappearing as they talk. "I can get them to lower it a little, see if it helps, I can try to speak to someone in the justice. I would do it, and I'm sure Eileen would support me. It's not like what you've done since you have been incarcerated has been purposeful"

Amato raises a single eyebrow, squinting slightly across the table at Abby. "You breathe with purpose," he retorts, then shakes his head like an amused professor might. "How are your children? Excelling in every possible way, I'm sure?" It's easy enough to see through the change of subject, to see it as the deflection it really and truly is. "And yourself? I've been so rude and not even asked until now. Do forgive me."

"Always forgiven" Fine. Be that way. She'll still see about getting it change. Lowered. Maybe talk with Cat, see what she can do, if Cat would even do anything. "Joseph is growing like a week and I'm looking forward and dreading him going off to kindergarten. I'm thinking of putting him in a private school. I think I can swing it financially. Johan would have wanted that. Natalie though" Abby leans forward. "I took her in, a few months back, with Delilah and her son. She wanted to give walter the evolved test, she's worried you see, given what she can do. Well. Natalie did it too. It turned red" Red means special. Gifted by god. Like her and Amato. "As for myself" She picks at her lasagna. "I have found myself…" Her fork stabs at the salad again. "Would you let me take care of your hand?" It's quietly added on. Lower voiced than she normally speaks.

"Do you think it would bring you some peace?" Amato's question comes with a tilt of his head and an almost psychiatrist-inspired, or at least priestly expression. "It does not bother me. A beast marked me, and so I shall remain marked until I leave this earth. You can't heal the fact I associated with such people as that, Abigail. You cannot change what once was. And even if you did give me back my hand, it would serve me no purpose other than to make me forget the wrongs I have done." Amato lays his fork down, his appetite gone despite the wonderful food. "It would be an injustice for all of those who need me here, to feel justice for those whom I took from them."

"And no matter how much I use His gift to take away the hurts of others, or how much people pat me on the back when they find out, Mr Salucci, it won't take away the fact that I used His gift to kill your former employer. Just that trespass was pardoned and yours… " Landed you in here. "But your right. I can't change the pat, but I can change the future and doing that for you would bring me some measure of peace. But you don't want it, so I'll stay my hand, and have faith that some day you might let me" She's upsetting everyone this last week. Unintentionally is what makes it sad to her. "I apologize. I pushed. I should not have" She takes her leftovers, sliding them carefully back into the containers she had brought it all in. "I'll try and get them to lower your dosage, enough to let you feel yourself again, if even a little. Do you have any requests for next week?" She's killed the mood with her stupid question.

"You dote on me as no one ought, Abigail," Amato says with a tired smile and a soft sigh. "All I request is a smiling face and warm conversation. Don't trouble yourself too much over me and…." his condition. "It is as it is for a reason, and if ever the time comes when it is ordained that it be changed, it will. And there will be nothing to be done about it until that day."

"So it was, and so it shall be, for all eternity" Abby murmurs, not the finish to what he said, but just a finish, in her mind. The smile is offered up to him. "I dote, because everyone, no matter what, should have someone to make them feel wanted. Because everyone deserves to be acknowledged in their life" The blonde pauses in her putting things away, the offering of her hand up to him for his weekly touch up, make sure there's nothing wrong. "Because I enjoy knowing that someone in the world thinks the same that I do. That it comes from god and it comes with a purpose from him"

Amato reaches out with a lazy sort of smile, gripping Abby's hand as a friend and compatriot of sorts. "If only I had had the wisdom to use it as wonderfully as you have done." Then again, what right purpose is there for a gift such as Amato's? The thought courses through him like a trickle of fire toward a brittle stand of dry trees even as he says it's inspiration. "Perhaps some of us are just fated to fall."

"Falling is just a lesson in picking yourself back up" As with him and a few others, Abby still prays, out loud to turn on her ability. "I believe in God, the Father almighty,creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Ponctius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead…" The feeling her knows well enough, like clock work. Tweak an artery here, ease a stiff muscle there. There's not much to take care. The stump as always a beacon that screams for attention from her ability but she reigns it in.

Out of respect for the words, Amato dips his head and closes his eyes, murmuring along with Abby under his breath. His words may sound different, but they are essentially the same. When her voice trails off, his own gains volume. "Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen." Unlike Abby, the words come out with a chanting tune, though it is a scripturally stricter version of the song's proclamation.

"Amen" Hers ends before his, but she waits to say the last word with him. It's not her usual prayer, she's not of the same faith directly as his, but she was raised respectful, and she learned. With nothing left for her to heal, that she's allowed, She pulls her hand away so that she can finish packing up things, so that his food can be put into the fridge for is he's hungry later. The honey stays out. She's not about to take that away from him. "So. Moby Dick stays, or should I take it back and find something else? I think I might have something in my locker" onto more non-depressing stuff. "I'll have Natalie make something to tape to your wall, see if joseph won't part with some of the drawings on the fridge" Tidy up, neat, clean. Habit.

"The whale may stay, and I would be happy to have some decoration." He smiles, placing his palm on the book with tender affection, despite not knowing it's contents intimately. "Should I see what I can manage to trade? They're switching us from ceramics to pastels in art therapy this week. I think I may have more luck with something flatter."

"If you have something to trade, if not, no mind. It just means i'll take double from you in a weeks time. Though, if you are doing pastels, you might think of drawing your bee's and the field? I think Natalie wouldn't mind a trade off in artwork to adorn walls" Everything's squared away and the blonde pushes back her seat, white sneakers making barely a sound on the floor as she stands, letting a hand rest on the table as she leans over to plant a kiss on Amato's cheek. Quick, light, chaste. Like a parting kiss between friends or family. "Have strength Amato. Have faith, no matter how small. If it falters, I will have enough for you as well as myself" So self assured in that. "He is with us, no matter what"

It is a benediction that needs no response, and so Amato only nods once the kiss has been laid. "Take care, Missus Baker, of yourself and those nearest to your heart." Amato has no notions that he is closer than those with a deserving place, but he is glad to catch some of the warmth the fire within the nurse affords him.

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