Full Service Joint


jim_icon.gif luther_icon.gif

Scene Title Full Service Joint
Synopsis Luther is tended to at the hospital after getting his arm broken. Jim is a very generous and resourceful attending nurse.
Date July 20, 2018

Elmhurst Hospital, ER Room

The Safe Zone reconstruction effort is an ongoing process, but in Elmhurst at least there are enough resources devoted to the main hospital serving the zone. The emergency room is busiest at night, leaving some stereotypes untouched even in post-War times.

“Luther Bellamy,” reports the tall man, cradling his arm close to his chest with the other, to the triage person on-duty. Given that he’s not in an immediate life or death situation, his condition being that of a likely broken arm, he’s made to wait until it’s his turn to be seen. Even before he’s ushered to an available bed, he’s taken a moment to go to a bathroom and, at the very least, rinse his face off of the dirt and plant matter that had been stuck to it.

Now that he’s sitting patiently on the bed, waiting, he notices a few more bits of tomato vines and vegetation stuck to his person, like he’d decided to lie down and roll through a vegetable garden. Which, he kind of did. Not on purpose.

The triage person on duty — well, the nurse, anyway — is Jim. He enters calmly, despite what is clearly a busy night; if not quite the eye of the storm, he does at least provide a bit of respite from the chaos. That doesn’t mean he’s slow, though. His movements are purposeful as he comes up to the bed and grabs the chart from the bottom of it, removing a pen from his pocket and writing something down, before he sets it aside to start to examine the other man even as he continues the introduction. “Hi, Luther. I’m Jim. Sorry for the wait. The doctor will be here in a minute.”

He notes the various bits of things stuck to the other man with a raised eyebrow, before looking up to briefly to Luther’s face. “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Saucening?” he asks wryly, before he resumes the examination, reaching for the other man’s arm to start to manipulate it — with care, of course. “What’s your pain level?” This is said a little more seriously.

Jim might not have seen Luther in the past, but his hospital records show that he was only just in not too many months before with a gunshot wound to the shoulder in early March, treated and followed up on without issue. He has healthy enough vitals otherwise, along with an added mark of his status as SLC-Expressive within the file.

“Not a problem. It’s a busy night,” Luther observes just by the nature of hearing the ambient noise levels of the hospital. He’s glancing away to look to other visible beds or curtains drawn around other areas, then back to Nurse Jim with an arch of his brow right back for the question. “The tomatoes didn’t stand a chance,” replies the man with a wry rumble. He’s well-natured and humored by the reference, but becomes less so once Jim takes his injured arm and starts to move it. Pain becomes obvious when Luther sucks in a breath and grunts deeply, biting back any loud yelps. Still, he tries to sound like it’s not a big deal as he considers. “Maybe a thr— okay, five. Five.

“Got in a fight trying to stop a robbery at the memorial gardens,” he tries to explain around the sharp twinges and throbbing pulse of nerves. “The lady, I think she was Expressive. Kicked worse than a mule.” The immediately noticeable forearm fracture comes with added, ugly bruising.

Jim doesn’t manipulate it too much — once the cursory examination is over, he lets it go and steps away again, picking up the chart once more to make another note. “I bet they didn’t,” he replies with a little huff of his own, before he looks back up to Luther at the explanation. This time it’s both eyebrows that raise, along with a wince. “Damn,” he says, shaking his head as he looks back down to the chart. Another note for that. “Next time just walk on by,” he advises, though in a tone that suggests he’s joking. Probably, anyway.

“Well,” he says after another moment, “it’s obviously broken, but we’re gonna need to get you an x-ray. Hope you didn’t have anywhere else to be tonight because it’s gonna be a bit of a wait. We’ll get you some meds in the meantime, though. You have anyone out there waiting for you that you want me to get? Filling out forms or something?”

Luther can’t help the winces too, because, well, he’s got a broken arm. But he clearly also feels a little guilty for the destruction of the vegetable garden bed. “Once the garden’s open again, I’ll find out who the plot was for,” he remarks evenly, settling back down once he’s released. The joke to walk on by earns the nurse a rueful glance and a short snort that doesn’t quite make it to a chuckle, even though the man understands that tone. “There was a time when I would’ve,” Luther says, quieter, subdued, dry. Obviously he doesn’t feel the same way now.

When Jim goes on to describe that Luther’s arm is broken and it’ll take a while to get the x-ray, Luther heaves a sigh but nods slowly in understanding. To answer the question whether there’s someone waiting, he starts to shake his head, then pauses at a flash of a thought. “Ducky— I mean. There was a woman I was with at the gardens, a friend. Eve Mas.” A beat. Eve’s name carries a vague amount of celebrity, especially known as the “Metaphor Lady”. Luther exhales roughly, recalling the brief skirmish from the garden as he reaches over to pluck a stuck vine off his pant leg. “She was probably getting looked at too, but didn’t seem bad off. Might’ve been sent back home already, though.”

He glances back over to the nurse with a roll of a shoulder, a short shrug that has him wincing again. “Pretty sure,” he muses, “the hospital’s got all the info for my medicals from the last time I was in here.” The note is accompanied by sheepish admittance. “But no, I… it’s just me. I’ll fill out the forms.” At least the arm that’s broken isn’t his dominant hand. And the likelihood of contacting people via phone outside of the couple districts within the Safe Zone will prove difficult.

“Man, I hear that.” Jim hangs the chart back on the end of the bed as he continues, “It’d be easier.” Though clearly he’s not taking the easy route, either, or he wouldn’t be where he is, would he? His eyebrows raise at the name — though it’s not immediately clear whether it’s because of the nickname, or because of the reveal of precisely who that nickname belongs to. It becomes clear, though. “Eve Mas, huh?” he repeats. “You’ve got some powerful friends.” He nods, though, and says, “I’ll check on her status for you.”

A little snort escapes him at the ‘last time’ bit, though after a moment, his expression turns thoughtful, and he glances up at the clock. That might, of course, seem rude, but for the words that follow after. “I get off in fifteen minutes,” he says as he turns back to Luther. “If your friend’s gone, you want some company while you wait?”

“Easier? Debatable,” Luther counters, a smirk of amusement for the thought, for the memory of times when he could have just turned away from trying to be an impromptu vigilante. “Powerful?” he further echoes as he considers, then nods his thanks. “Yeah you could say. She’s pulled my ass out of a pickle more times than I could remember, back during the war.” There, his expression falters as he recalls a few of those times. And the tragedies that came with, the survivor’s guilt that blankets his features. Luther issues a soft sigh as he recognizes the feeling, though, and shakes his head to clear it.

He doesn’t appear to mind Jim’s glance to the clock, in fact realizing that he’s maybe keeping the nurse from other patients. Luther thus is surprised by hearing Jim’s offer to come back after getting off shift. Angled brows lifting, he rumbles noncommittally, “If… that’s what you want to spend your downtime doing.” His expression seems to doublecheck Jim’s offer too, like ‘do you really want to hang out with this old dog’? Still, he’s not saying no, either. After a beat, he adds, “How much trouble would you get in if you snuck in with a couple of beers?” He asks even though it’s a joke, given that this is a hospital and Luther’s about to get painkillers too.

“Let me tell you, brother, I don’t do a lot else with my downtime, and I’d rather have company than hang out by myself in my apartment.” Jim flashes Luther a grin, before it turns into a real laugh at the request for beers. “I’ll see what I can do,” he says. “But first, let me see about those meds.”

Luther gets drugged up good by another nurse, as is necessary and right for his situation, and it’s a little bit longer than fifteen minutes before he’s back, and actually with beer in tow! Though it’s of the root variety, but still. He sets the 6-pack on the counter, grabbing one and opening it up before he puts it on the end table next to the bed. “I checked in with Radiology,” he says, “and we might get lucky. We’ll see. How’s the pain?” Ever the nurse, apparently, even when he’s off-duty. He has brought another bag as well, and when he unwraps the contents, it contains two meatball subs, one of which he sets up next to the root beer, presumably for Luther as well. One hopes, anyway. If not, that would just be cruel.

"Yeah? Same," Luther admits to being the boring sort when it comes to free time, casting a brief downward glance to his cradled arm that clearly gives evidence otherwise. He twists a wry, but genuine smile at the other man's laugh, nodding once Jim heads off to check on the status of the painkillers.

By the time of Jim's return, Luther has moved himself to a chair rather than the softer hospital bed, but his head is leaned back against the corner of the bed, good arm resting on the end table. His eyes unfocused, aimed up at a point in the ceiling tiles but his mind further away.

Up until there's movement along the drawn hospital green curtain, and he comes back to the present with a few blinks. Luther arches a brow in hopeful surprise at first, the root beer bottles look quite like the alcoholic variety. When they turn out to be not, said brow furrows. But then, he's still impressed by Jim's resourcefulness. "Got the good stuff," he says both of the painkiller's effects, and of the 6-pack. "Where did you manage to find root beer?"

The second bag garners further interest. Hang on now. "Meatball sandwiches?" Luther's interest perks significantly, and he sits up straighter in the chair, sniffing slightly with the aromatic scent of the food. It's been awhile since he'd eaten, for sure. "You're a good man, Jim," he grins back. As long as one of those sandwiches is meant for him too. Hopefully!

“Don’t ask,” Jim warns, though jokingly, and he moves to sit down in another chair, taking his own sandwich and unwrapping it. “Don’t ask what’s in the meatballs, either. I never do, and I’m probably happier for it.” You’re welcome, Luther. He opens a bottle for himself, too, and he takes a drink from it, enjoying the now-rare flavor. Hard to come by root beer these days, that’s for sure. But special occasions call for special beverages, and surviving attack by fruiting is definitely a special occasion.

He settles back as though he’s in it for the long haul. “So,” he says. “What do you do when you’re not rolling through gardens and breaking limbs?”

Luther opens his mouth as if he’s actually about to ask, but it’s not a smart move to ask what’s in a meatball in a New York sub on a good day in the Safe Zone, let alone one found in the night. “Good point,” he utters as he looks down into the sauced sandwich and gives it a testing sniff. “Doesn’t smell like the long pig,” he comments half-jokingly. As if he would know what cooked human smells like. Don’t ask…

Luckily there’s the corner of the end table that he can use to help open the root beer, no doubt a party trick he’s done several times in his life. And he toasts the nurse with a lift of the bottle before taking a short swig. “I’m actually not a gopher, would you believe,” he responds with a low chuckle, “I work security at Raytech Industries, out in Jackson Heights. Head of Security, in fact.” He would shrug but the action might interrupt his eating. Which is fairly quick, much of the man’s methodology being the kind that tells of a life lived where food is more valued commodity than given necessity. Old habits die hard. The reminder of his broken arm gets a wince, though not one of pain. “Shit… I got to get a message to my second,” remembers the man.

Jim takes another bite with a decisive nod — and whatever the meat is, it doesn’t stop him from eating it! And hey, he doesn’t judge the quick consumption. He probably gets it on some level. A little snort of amusement escapes him at the other man’s ‘joke,’ though, and he looks up, eyeing Luther skeptically as though he’s trying to figure out the answer to that unspoken question. Very unspoken. We will not be asking, Luther. Of course, mindreading is not in Jim’s wheelhouse — alas — and so he does not glean any information about Luther’s knowledge or not of Soylent Green.

What he says instead is, “Oh, yeah? Head of Security, huh, that’s impressive.” Whether or not Luther thinks it’s impressive, Jim is clearly sincere. However, his eyebrows raise at the last words, and he says, “You want to use a phone? Or if you want I can relay something. Though I’d prefer to know if you’ll have to kill me after you tell me.” A little smile pulls up the corners of his mouth as he makes as if to stand, so that he can carry out whatever mission he’s sent on. This is a full service joint, Luther. …Well, assuming you actually get X-rayed.

“The secret’s in the sauce,” Luther continues the joke, taking it maybe one step too far, or one step not enough as he chomps into the sandwich with fervor and savors whatever combination of meats it happens to be. We’ll say turkey. We’ll also blame the painkillers.

Given the man’s one handedness he’s a touch slower in the consumption of edibles, but it gives him a chance for conversation that, while he’s normally not the talkative sort, he’s grateful to have. So it’s a good thing Jim is off shift. At the other man’s offer to pass a message along, Luther lifts a brow at his latter assumption and laughs, a short and deep sound. “Not that sort of security, promise,” he notes as he crumples the remnants of the sandwich paper in his good fist. “If you’re willing, though, to call the security desk and leave a message for Bob - let him know to tell Miss Ray-Sumter, I’ll be late for training in the morning.” He seems convinced he’ll still be fine enough for work the following day. Luther casts a grateful look up at the off-duty nurse, a sweep of deeper thanks welling in the way his brow furrows lightly and his serious eyes stay upon the man. “Appreciate all your help, Jim.”

The joke gets a little disgusted face — but that doesn’t mean that Jim doesn’t laugh, too. Hey, there’s certainly a place for black humor in this day and age, right? And if it’s a little closer to home in some instances than some people realize, well…that’s par for the course nowadays, too.

The request, though, gets a nod, and Jim sets down his own sandwich, even as he eyes Luther when he says he’ll ‘be late.’ Time enough to convince the man to take a full day off when he gets back. “Do I need a password?” he asks jokingly, though at the thanks, he turns a little more serious, and nods once. “You’re welcome,” he replies, the words carrying a little more weight than the others. With that, he turns to start out the door.

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