bella_icon.gif deckard4_icon.gif

Scene Title Doctor-Patient
Synopsis Once Bella's returned to Fort Hero and been alerted to Flint's status, she's able to bluster her way into enough privacy for them to have a few uncomfortable exchanges while they get stoned.
Date May, 23 2010

Fort Hero: Infirmary

For all the time he's spent laid up and out of action over the last two years, a hospital setting does not become Flint Deckard.

He's pale and sunken in around the face, the increasingly grey bristle of his beardy stubble not quite enough to buffer the hollows at his jaw. Looks like he's been punched in both eyes too, purpled sockets dark around irises drained of their color by overbearing fluorescent lights.

His sheets and gown are clean, at least — bruising blackened up from his chest through the side of his neck splotched unevenly around one clavicle. Old ink shows at his shoulder ansd close to the low scoop of his collar. There are IVs. Drips. A heart monitor. The whole shebang. Infirmary staff may note he talks more when asleep than awake and is awake more than he sleeps, with increases in relevant chemicals through the tube knitted into the back of his right hand to mellow him out after he pulled his first round of stitches.

Currently he's somewhere other than present, chilly eyes fixed vacantly on the ceiling while he waits. And waits. And waits.

Bella can be heard before she can be seen, her familiar voice pitched into an unfamiliar register: one both commanding and irritated. She has only just arrived from the helipad, a setting becoming more familiar as her costly conveyance from place of employment to place of employment is used more and more. Her attitude: if they realize that suspending her makes her both costly and useless, they might well reinstate her, just to recoup their losses. That or they'll just cut her off. But the Institute might not be pleased about that, and Bella is finding it's nice to have a new strongman on your side.

At least, she'd like to feel that way, but recent developments, and recent revelations, have made a retreat from the cold company of Dr. Cong and the well stocked cells of the Staten Island Hospital an enormous relief. Only, upon her arrival, she has learned that a client of hers, her only active client, in fact, has been hospitalized himself. And she is livid. As the nurse who stands in her way is finding out, first hand.

"I'm not a visitor, I'm a physician. And he is my /patient/. Perhaps you were not made aware of this at whatever cut rate school you attended, but that makes me responsible for his welfare, and thus entitled to be informed of it," Bella says, her blue-eyed glare transfixing the poor man, whose clip board is lifted as an ineffective shield for her ire. "I… I'm sorry Dr. Sheridan, but you're not on the list of active-" he attempts to interject, but Bella has no intention of letting him build a defensive justification. "That is because I do not practice in this facility. That does not mean I do not have a right to speak with my patient after a traumatic and violent incident. That I wasn't informed at once is a gruesome breach of my privileges and, while perhaps that oversight not your fault specifically, you will be implicated if you impede me any further. I ask once more before I start making your life miserable - let me see my patient!"

Bella is actually bluffing here. If push came to shove and news got up the ladder, she might well be barred officially - she knows she is overdrawn on her influence here. But ferocity often triumphs where proper procedure does not. This man doesn't want trouble, and Dr. Sheridan looks like she'd make good on her threat. He steps aside. "Please, he might be sleeping. If he is, you should let him rest." Bella gives the nurse a thin smile, "Of course. I am a doctor, after all." She walks past the gatekeeper, stating, as she goes, "I'm seeing him alone. Confidentiality." And she's through the door, and in Deckard's presence. Her anger falls away like a badly-fastened mask. She moves over to Deckard's bedside and pulls up a chair, folding her leg carefully but with no visible wince, before reaching up and examining Deckard's IV. "What have they got you on? Demerol?"

Unaware of his status as a living fossil representative of Bella's increasingly 'former' position in the world as a therapist, Flint is slow to draw himself back into awareness at the sound of a familiar voice. His stirring is initially limited to swallowing some of the dryness out of his mouth as he listens, left hand lifted to smear at fogged lenses until edges and corners begin to resolve themselves out of the haze of his room once more. Lights still too bright. Air too cold.

A smile ghosts faintly at the flat of his mouth when she sets to blustering, but it's short-lived and fast to fade while the pads of his fingers give over to bony wrist and then entire forearm to screen out all the brain-searing white. Eventually he drags it back off his face, all wires and dead weight with his hair spined and mussed coarse to one side and his low-slung skull all the longer for the fact that he hasn't been eating much to fill it out again.

He's relaxed. Ssso relaxed. Drugs and exhaustion leave little room for him to be much of anything else. Doesn't look surprised to see her when she comes in anymore than he looks pleased, uncomfortable or annoyed she didn't find out sooner. He's here. She's here. He hurts. She seems okay. Even when his eyes do their cuttlefish bleach through in search of more internal breakages, the effect rendered sluggish by his current state. Is he on Demerol? "Sure."

Bella squints at the label, nods, "Good stuff," she says, nodding, "Or so I've heard. Never had the opportunity." Well, legal opportunity. She adjusts the height of her seat and rolls herself over to the foot of his bed, reaching out and plucking his chart from where it hangs. She peruses it with the absent concentration of the well practiced. She's able to speak while reading, her brain efficiently sorting its assigned tasks. "I'll save twenty questions for later - I'm here to check up on you, not turn this into a therapeutic moment. God knows if you'll even remember I visited. I almost hope not. You have the right to be completely out to sea with injuries like these," she glances around, looking for oxygen tanks. She doesn't see any. She glances at the door. It's closed. Good.

"Mind if I smoke?" Bella asks, setting the chart back in its place and reaching into the inner pocket of her jacket. She's dressed professionally today, with suit and skirt, and an identification badge clipped to her lapel. She removes an item he's seen before - a metal cigar case - and pops it open, tipping it and letting a hand-rolled cigarette fall into her hand. What Bella's grandmother would have called a 'funny cigarette'. "If you need me to leave, just say so. I just needed to get the hell out of that place. I only found out about what happened to you when I inquired as to your whereabouts. I was…" she gives a 'heh', "Peeved. But that's becoming a not-altogether uncommon experience." She takes a lighter from her pocket as well, but waits for Deckard to give her the go-ahead. Her opening question wasn't rhetorical.

Deckard watches her go. Watches her read and reach and tip a smoke into her palm. His tracking seems to be pretty okay. No brain damage past the existing tangle of shit in there. Torpid movements and the uncharacteristic lack of tension from neck to shoulders to knuckles are all that distinguish him from his self; reticence is as well-established on painkillers as off them, apparently. He's content to listen to her talk in the absence of question marks, not glancing drowsily to her face until he finally detects one.

Even then though, he only shakes his head a few disengaged degrees, looks to the lighter and reaches his hand out as if in request for a smoke of his own. Which should suggest that he doesn't mind.

Bella gives a small laugh as Deckard extends his hand. "Do they do routine drug tests on agents? I don't want to get you benched. You know? Fuck it. I'm prescribing you cannabis sativa to help counter the nausea and loss of appetite that accompanies narcotic use. Here," she leans over and hands the joint to Deckard, dragging the side of her thumb against the lighter's wheel and causing a small flame to plume, offering it up so Deckard can take the green hit. "I shook down some poor orderly at the hospital to get this. Confiscated it. I feel like a a bit of bitch, but there's no way his stress level is higher than mine right now."

Capable of propping himself slowly and stiffly up on his less-injured side to make the lighting and puffing and dragging process that much easier, any groggy wincing he does along the way doesn't seem to penetrate past the surface. The thickness in his tongue swallowed against before he can work up a decent enough breath to be worth holding, he tips the roll carefully back between his fingers on his way to offering it back out for her to take.

Smoke leaks thin through one side of his nose when he settles himself back again. It furls thicker on the exhale once he's had time to close his eyes and set his teeth. The more blitzed, the better.

All he needs now is a stiff drink.

Bella takes the joint, exhaling before she places it to her lips, vacating her lungs to maximize intake. Her toke is long, diaphragmatic, and she holds the smoke for a good fifteen seconds before finally expelling it in a long plume that jets over the bedridden Deckard. She quickly lifts an arm to cover her mouth as she starts coughing, eyes watering slightly. When the fit passes, she shakes her head. "Jesus. Only been a week and I'm already out of practice," she offers the joint back, maintaining the easy rotation of one, "I'd like to say you haven't said one word to me, but you have said one word. Literally just one. That's fine, if you prefer it like that. But please, don't think I wouldn't like a second side to the conversation." She grins, the THC already hitting her where it counts, "This isn't half bad stuff. Gotta be B.C. or Cali or something. Which makes me even more of a bitch for grabbing it. Poor guy."

A low, painful chuff of a cough is the best it's going to get out of Deckard for now. The ache in his ribs binds thicker than before and he's awful slow about taking her joint back a second time, like he's not sure he wants to mess with it after all. Fortunately good judgment isn't one of his stronger suits and he eventually brings it back in without sitting up, watery eyes rolled to the ceiling while she talks and he marinates in leafy smoke.

"I used to smoke with Teo," is what she gets for pushing him, voice all mud, gravel and shot behind the careful bite of middle finger to thumb and the joint in between. "Where were you?"

The intoxicating effects of the drug don't permit Bella nearly as much wiggle room when it comes to controlling the expression of her emotions. Her distaste at the mention of Teo is writ plain across her face. Her tone is undisguisedly cool. "He seemed like he could use some mellowing out," is all she has to say on the matter. "My other job," she answers, "It turns out it's not enough that I'm married to my career. I need a mistress as well. And I don't have a lot to do on this end, not after my suspension." She worries this particular wound with fair regularity, the star pupil seething in detention. "Like all new relationships, it feels special, and one tends to ignore warts and blemishes," she says, "Though…" a pause, "I don't know. It's all the same, isn't it? Clandestine, morally ambiguous shit. Make your bed, sleep in it." She extends her hand, two fingers making a 'come hither', "Come on. Don't bogart it."

No bogarting. Possibly ignorant of the fact that he's still holding her ~doobie~ at all, Flint offers it back without a whole lot of hurry, but without resistance either. His hand falls back to his side once relieved, chest rising and falling flat over a breath contaminated only by what's already drifting warm around the room. Done.

Brows tipped up at her lack of things to do, he listens without judgment. Without any that manages to overcome worn down dejection and intoxication, anyway. It's been years since he's held down any kind of job for more than a few months and none of them have been morally ambiguous. Nothing dubious about frying donuts at a bakery. Nothing redeemable about shooting people and cutting out their kidneys.

He has gone quiet again, though, eery eyes finding true color long enough to blink blearily closed against the light. "I dunno either."

The first purveyors of the so-called 'talking cure' were purposefully taciturn. Their quiet was meant to make them blank, screens upon which the analysand could project themselves, their thoughts, their fears, their fantasies. It also tended to keep the analysand talking, and encouraged introspection - less dialogue, more soliloquy. Deckard's reticence tips a stone Bella into a introspective mood, something she was already inclined towards. She takes another hit, then gestures with the smoking joint, drawing lines in smoke through the air.

"Who could? People who think they do, they're lying. To themselves. And that's a cardinal sin," Bella fixes Deckard with a bloodshot look, as if this last point really needs to get through to him, "Self deception is dangerous. Really fucking dangerous," he focus fades, her eyes wander, "Of course, if it's deep enough, how do you know? I guess that's what therapy is for," she offers the joint back, "I don't know. Neither do you. What can we do?"

Flint tries to hold the Look, bloodshot as it is, but it doesn't last. Towards the end of that same beat he's already turning his eyes and tilting his face away, ill-suppressed upset crumpling slow into the lines around his brow. The fuzzier ones around his mouth are subject to the same miserable influence.

Fortunately for his dignity, it's easier to smother than it was to stay entirely and he's quick to swallow it conspicuously away, ignoring the joint. Doesn't want it anymore. Also, he's strained to turn away enough that he probably hasn't seen it hovering there, lean tension etched out into his twisted neck like twine.

"I dunno," he says again after a while, right arm lifted automatically for something and relaxed again near instantly at the dull pulse of pain that rides up his shoulder as a result, "keep running. Don't trip."

Bella isn't totally oblivious. Deckard's suppressed discomfort draws her attention with suddenness and sharpness. "What?" she asks, "With a drip like this," she reaches up and flicks the clear bag of fluid, "That can't just be a twinge. What is it?" She catches herself being dogged, pinches her brow. "Okay. Enough of that," she decides, extracting the tub again and dropping the remainder of the joint inside, closing the tube and smothering the cinder. The tube disappears into her inner pocket, along with the lighter. "What was that face about? Don't make me feel like an ass for talking at you. Spill."

"I like your ass." In no condition to deflect and wit thoroughly disembodied, Flint scrubs a hand numbly over his mouth, pushing at the loose skin there with the idle fascination of a thoroughly doped up human being. His eyes are red around the bloodless slate of his irises when he looks back at her and her cylinder, but they've been smoking. Guilt and cornered unease are, unfortunately, more difficult to attribute to cannibis alone. "Your legs," he tries anyway. "I don't think you can help me."

Squinty eyed and blinking, Bella lips purse as she tries to parse this particular confession. Let's be honest: it's not new information, nor is it very complicated. Normally she could employ a smile and a deflective 'thank you', before moving right along with the next topic for the session. But this is no session, and her delay had rendered normal deflections ineffective. So, after the intense, circular thinking that weed produces in her, Bella adopts a rather different tactic.

"Why?" Bella says, head tilting, tone probing, "And what do my ass and/or legs have to do with it?"

"I hurt someone again." She's likely to find out anyway, even if it wasn't in the official report. Evidently he's expecting her to get elaboration from whatever other source would have leaked, because he sits himself up at a lopsided slant and looks off the other side of the cot like he's thinking of rolling himself off it to escape interrogation. One of his monitors beeps at him irritably when a plug tugs out've its plug hole.

"No, no, no, none of that," Bella says, standing up and grabbing for the wire, trying to fumble it back into place. "You'll call the fucking scrub-wearing hoard on us. And shit, it reeks in here." It does, as a joint tends to do, filling the air with a dense acrid odor. Paranoia hits, but not without a certain mischievous pleasure to go along with it. The nurse outside is already opening the door, and Bella has to shove the wire back into haphazardly while waving him off. "It's fine! Nothing I can't handle, thank you!" The nurse's nostrils dilate as he sniffs the air. He knows that smell, from his days of college debauchery. "Dr. Sheridan…" he begins, uncertain but gathering certainty. He's getting his own ideas as to what might have occasioned her suspension. Letting her in seems like a worse and worse idea.

Bony knees drawn up towards his middle one after the other under rumpled sheets and back hunched, Flint finds the progress of a hand he had aimed to brace on the side rail stayed by the retrieval of the wire Bella's reappropriated. Slogging, automatic irritation nearly has him on his way to jerking his arm more stiffly away to freedom.

Then the nurse's arrival registers and he blanks gradually back into a less agitated sit. Last time he tried to wrestle they wrestled back and things split and he had one of those pain blackouts. Or something.

Details are understandably hazy.

"Not what it looks like…" muttered ineffectually after a pause, he glances sideways after Bella and then down at his shoulder. Good thing she has an experienced used car salesman, arms dealer and black market organ dealer to help her lie effectively.

Bella's usually okay at fast talk - it's part of what got her into the room to see Deckard in the first place. But the excuse she concocted - while sober, mind you - is too stupid to repeat even while under the influence of her 'prescription'. She instead adopts an upright 'no-nonsense' posture and mien, giving the nurse an imperious look that mirrors her attitude previously, when she had the upper hand. "Everything is under control," she says, "I would like to be informed, though, if the patient should need me for anything. Consider me on call for this case for the remainder of my stay." As if nothing is weird or against regulations, as if she called the nurse in herself because she was just getting ready to leave. Bella, despite her bloodshot eyes and the acrid odor that surrounds her and Deckard in a wholesome if bitter cloud, manages to seem -crisp-. She gets to her feet, leaning forward to touch Deckard's forearm with the very tips of her fingers. "Let them know, all right? I'll check in on you later, Flint." She turns towards the door, and marches right past the nurse, right out of the situation. It's a ploy, and a practiced one.

Occasionally easier led by the right tone of voice or touch than he cares to admit, Flint can do little more than nod dumbly after Bella's departure. Past that, the nurse takes up his hand to examine the IV insert and then reaches to ply at the gauze taped over his opposite arm, checking and re-checking that no leaks have been sprung.

Deckard tolerates it because he has to. Also because he's stoned.

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