Healer, I'm Not


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Scene Title Healer, I'm Not
Synopsis Melissa Pierce comes to make a demand of the Miracle Doctor of St.Luke's, but makes an unexpected discovery…
Date March 25, 2010

St.Luke's Hospital

The term mad-house is often used to describe a place that is bustling with frantic activity. Such could be said for St.Luke's Hospital on the night that one Melissa Pierce braves the frigid streets of New York City to find the supposed Miracle Worker of St.Luke's. The halls of the hospital are crowded with the sick and infirm, hundreds of people donned in paper masks, some anxiously staring at others around them, some coughing in fitful, wet breaths. The H5N10 virus is spreading rapidly through the Evolved population, and judging from the sheer volume of people here, everyone who has so much as a sniffle has come to the hospital to be checked out, Evolved or Non-Evolved alike.

Nurses and orderlies buzz around like bees in an agitated hive, doctors breeze and hustle from one room to another while nurses struggle with a workload three times the normal volume they have to typically handle in this month. Everything smells of stale and sterile, everything smells of antiseptic fear.

Doctor Darren Stevens, the purported Miracle Doctor of St.Luke's has been officially on vacation for almost a month now after discovering his Evolved ability and the run around that Melissa got on attempt to track the doctor down insisted that he was not present at the hospital. A few Ferry connections in the administration at St.Luke's however, confirmed that Darren Stevens is working at the hospital, by order of the United States Government, and that he has been requested to remain on-call for any persons of interest that may become injured during the winter chaos. According to this Ferry contact, he'd already done two private assignments— they just don't know which.

On her way in to the hospital, it's hard for anyone to notice Melissa, to tell her she's not supposed to be here, because of so many people filling the halls and so many visitors and patients moving thorugh the halls she seesm to blend in to the environment. The first key to infiltrating somewhere that you don't belong — pretend that you do.

The office of Doctor Darren Stevens is on the fourth floor of St.Luke's Hospital in the administrative wing, where smooth tile floors and glass walls partition off conference rooms and windowed offices that view out to New York's snowy streets. While she isn't supposed to know he's here, Melissa Pierce soon discovers that Doctor Stevens isn't doing much to hide his presence here.

"No, look, I already told you." Rounding the corner towards Dr.Stevens' office, she can hear someone with a strong Brooklyn accent with a displeased tone of voice, "This isn't what we agreed on. I need time, I can't just keep doing this without testing anything. You don't understand how— " With the glass door to his office not muting sound properly, Doctor Stevens paces back and forth on his cell phone, head tucked down and white labcoat swishing behind him as he paces in front of his desk.

"No." He emphatically states, "You listen to me. I'm not some tool you keep in a box just so you can pull it out when you need it. I need time to recouperate, I already fixed up your girl in the accident, and the last goddamned thing I need is— " His voice halts, someone's talking over him on the other end of the phone. His sigh of frustration makes that clear as day.

Melissa has dressed for the weather, but even though she's come to the hospital she hasn't bothered with a mask. She may be around sick people, but she's decided to trust in the vaccine that Brennan got her. She has to trust someone sometime, after all. She pauses when she hears Dr. Stevens speaking, brows lifting as she shamelessly eavesdrops on him. At least it sounds like she has the right guy.

She waits a minute, before she continues towards his door, slowly, giving him time to finish his rather interesting conversation. Only when it sounds like it's over does she knock on his door.

It's never over, but Melissa's knock certainly helps get to that point. "I'm sorry miss Kershner, I'll have t'call you back, I've got someone here to see me." There's a furrow of Darren's brows, then a nod of his head, "Yes— yes I understand, of course. Now please if— Thank you, have a nice day." He doesn't mean it, and when Darren slaps the cell phone shut there's a growled sigh that slides out of his mouth, blue eyes angled over to Melissa's silhouette at the door, and then a look thorugh the glass wall left and right to try and see if there's anyone with her.

"Come on in." Darren motions with a wave of one hand, shaking his head idly as he does in slow turn, walking back to his desk only to settle the cell phone down on top and pick up a putty-like blue ball from his desk, squeezing it between his fingers in some form of stress relief.

The door is opened and Melissa steps inside, closing the door behind her. She smiles, nothing more than a charming woman come to see the handsome doctor. She can pull it off now, without the black streaks in her hair or flesh baring corset. "Dr. Stevens? I hope I'm not interrupting anything," she says, glancing down to his phone. Then she looks back to him and the smile turns into a look of sympathy. "You look worn ragged. I suppose the flu is keeping everyone busy. That and the weather."

"No it's— " Dr.Stevens closes his eyes briefly, giving a quick shake of his head before settling blue eyes on Melissa. "I'm sorry I don't— remember scheduling an appointment with anyone today. Are you here to see Doctor Benson?" There's a confused look on Darren's face that is very slowly sliding towards suspicious as he looks Melissa up and down, then moves a few paces from his desk to examine a wall calendar beside it, running two fingers on his hand that isn't crushing the life out of a stress ball to scan for today's date — March 25th is blank.

Stevens' eyes drift back over to Melissa, both of his brows furrowed and jaw set, chin tilted up just a touch with his eyes narrowed as he reconsiders the blonde standing in his office, but doesn't quite snap at her yet, maybe she has a legitimate reason for being here.

Melissa shakes her head. "No, I'm not here to see Doctor Benson, and I don't have an appointment. But before I explain why I'm here, I have a question for you, Doctor." She moves closer to him, studying his face, keeping her eyes firmly on him as she asks her question. "Why did you become a doctor? Was it for the money? Or do you genuinely want to help people?" Because how she approaches what comes next depends upon that answer.

"I'm— " Darren's eyes narrow, his chin tilts back and he takes a step away from Melissa towards his desk at the same pace she moves forward, eventually bumping in to the front of it. His free hand drops down to feel the top of the desk; throat tight, eyes focused on Melissa. "I— don't have to answer that question. If you don't have an appointment I recommend you leave before I call security." There's a crease of Stevens' brows, and he's regarding Melissa in the way a pop star might a fan that corners them in an alley.

"If— this is about some sick friend of yours I don't do personal calls, I'm— not on duty. So please, I'm sorry you came here looking for something but I can't help you. Now— please, just go."

Melissa shakes her head again. "I can't. I'm sorry, Dr. Stevens, but there is a man in this hospital who was nearly killed. I was the one attacked, but he was the one who nearly died. And he's…" She stops and steps back, averting her gaze and gathering her thoughts. "His brother is the president, doctor. And if you can help him, even just enough to ensure that he recovers, I'll do anything you ask."

Eyes move back to him, and there's genuine sadness there, true concern. "I'll see about getting you out of the hospital. Making it so you're not a tool for the hospital or government to bring out whenever they decide that someone deserves to be healed. Make it so that you can decide when and who you heal. All you have to do is see what you can do for one person. Just one. Even if you can't help him, I'll do what I can to help you," she says, voice soft.

Suddenly, Darren doesn't look too confused any longer, too confused either. "Peter Petrelli?" Stevens asks with a raise of one brow, looking askance at Melissa with a puzzled look. "I was already contacted by a member of his family days ago, we nearly lost him on Sunday evening but I was able to resuscitate him. He's— he was discharged on Monday morning." There's a look of scrutiny put over Melissa, and Darren's somewhat frozen in his place at the desk.

"While I appreciate your offer, I'm not entirely certain what it is you're offering me is entirely legal. It's nice to hear you're concerned, but— your friend?" There's an incredulous raise of Darren's brows. "He's not even here at this hospital anymore. So, I'm not sure exactly what you're looking to have accomplished. Maybe you could take that up with him yourself?"

Melissa looks shocked at that, then she closes her eyes and shakes her head. "Dammit," she whispers. Another shake of her head and she takes a step back. "I…hadn't heard." Clearly. "My offer still stands though, since you did help him. I don't care if it's legal or not. If you need out of here, then I'll see that it happens." Her business card is taken out, the one with nothing but a phone number on it, and it's set on his desk. "It's your choice. I'm…sorry to have bothered you." She works up a smile for him, then moves back to the door, slipping out as silently as she can unless he says something more.

"Wait a minute." Darren blurts out, not even looking at the card and lunging after Melissa as she heads to the door, his hand wrapping around her wrist and squeezing tightly. "Who are you?" There's a searching look in Darren's eyes, flicking back and forth, brows furrowed and a lock of blonde hair having fallen from behind one ear to frame the side of his face in the jostling lunge. "What do you mean you can get— " he yanks back on Melissa's wrist trying to get her back away from the door. "What do you mean you can get me out of here?" There's a sharp, whispering tone to Darren's voice as he says that.

Melissa stops abruptly when she's grabbed, looking surprised at his reaction. She does back away from the door though, her head tilting. "Just that. You're evolved. I do everything in my power to help the evolved." Lips curve into a wry smile. "Even, occasionally, those who are working to deny the evolved basic rights. And if you don't want to be used like you are here, I'll get you out."

"You don't know a thing about me." Doctor Stevens stresses, not realizing he's squeezing down on Melissa's wrist as tightly as he is. By now, his voice has become something more of a growl. "You don't— come in here, to my office, and make offers to a man you don't even know. I don't want to see you in here again, do you understand," his hand clamps down again at that emphasis, "me? Do I make myself absolutely clear? YOu never came up here, we never spoke, you never talked to me."

Standing breath's distance away from Melissa, Darren leans down in over her, cornering the blonde between himself and the glass door to his office. "I don't want o see you in this hospital, asking questions about me or looking for me again, do you understand?" A mixture of anger and fear is now in the blonde man's eyes, but he still doesn't realize he's hurting her.

Melissa's brow furrows and she glances down to her wrist before she looks back up to him. "I don't have to know shit about you. I don't know most of the people I help. It's an offer that stands even though it feels like you're breaking my wrist," she points out in a dry tone.

Then realization shows on her face. "What have they threatened you with? Have they played games with you? You think I'm one of them," she breathes out softly. "I'm not. All I knew about you when I walked in here is that you were a healer. That's all I needed to know," she says, pushing at his hand to try to get him to release her wrist.

Darren lets go, only after emitting a faint green spark from his hand against Melissa's sleeve, tiny crackling sparks of yellow-green electricity zapping harmlessly around his hand; all she felt was a warm tingle. "Let's keep it that way…" Darren adds with a furrow of his brows, nodding his head towards the door, blue eyes wide and lips pressed together tightly, trying not to frown or scowl or express whatever conflicting emotions are flickering around behind his eyes.

"Have a good day, I think you can show yourself out the rest of the way," Darren practically breathes the words out, swallowing noisily and reaching up to adjust his tie as he takes a slow step back from Melissa, barely regaining his composure as he does.

Melissa watches him for a moment, brow furrowing lightly. Then she nods to the card she left on his desk. "The offer still stands, Darren. It's a valid one. Let me know when you realize that I'm not playing with you," she says softly, before she once again reaches for the door, hesitating, as if expecting him to stop her again.

This time all Dr.Stevens does is move back to his desk, one hand raking thorugh his blonde hair before he rests both hands down on the desktop and slouches forward, hanging his head as the glass door opens and Melissa steps out into the hall. He stays that way for a long while, eyes closed and just sunken looking; long enough for Melissa to retreat from his office and head past a pair of white jacketed doctors towards the elevators.

Her offer stands, of course, but Doctor Darren Stevens isn't quite in the frame of mind to consider it, or even take her up on it yet. By the time he is ready, however, it might well be too late for both of them.

Because Melissa wasn't the only one to leave a calling card today.

She just doesn't realize it yet.

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