My Own Fault


graeme_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title My Own Fault
Synopsis Graeme visits his sister in the hospital.
Date May 14, 2018

Elmhurst Hospital

Keira normally keeps in touch, for the most part — she’ll usually call or send a text every few days. Which is why it was strange and concerning when there was a stretch of a few days where Graeme heard absolutely nothing from his sister, not so much as a text or a phone call or anything else.

When the call finally comes, it’s not from Keira’s number. It’s a nurse from Elmhurst hospital; they weren’t able to find any family until she came to, and then, Keira asked them to call her brother. Not her mom — no, that bitch would probably try and pilfer her drugs somehow. No, just her big brother.

She’s in awful shape. She no longer has a left eye, a bandage covering her face to catch any leakage from the weeping wound; her back is badly damaged, a combination of surgery and Sasha’s healing ability in effect there; one leg is okay, but the other is just…gone. Numb. No feeling.

She’s been in and out, the Fentanyl working its magic and keeping her from feeling too much pain. She’s asked that she be weaned down to something less potent (and less dangerous) before she goes, and they’ve already started lowering her doses.

Her remaining eyelid flutters, blue eye turning up toward the ceiling as she stirs from her opioid-induced slumber, lips smacking as she joins the world of the living. She lets out a small groan, raising one hand to rub at her right eye, before gently touching the bandage over the left side of her face, frowning.

This fucking sucks.

Graeme's been there for a few hours at this point, mostly answering questions outside, and then sitting on the chair they've found him, pulled up next to her bed. His own texts and phone calls have gone out, canceling anything else he had planned. Family comes first.

Dogs aren't usually allowed in hospitals. But service dogs are, and a combination of that and the teacher's quiet insistence gets through any red tape there might be, and Thor today is working, sitting across Graeme's feet chewing quietly on a toy. When she stirs, Graeme is right there, and he reaches up to take her hand, gently.

The question he asks is also gentle, in tone if not in wording. "What the fuck happened to you, Keira?" The words carry concern, a long breath let out. "All they told me was that you're in crap shape and a friend of yours brought you in. Who, what…" It trails off, followed by, "Easy now," as he grabs the glass of water from the table and holds it where she can guide it if she wants any. "Who did this?" he does ask. Because she's his little sister, and regardless of what he usually thinks of her line of work, he's protective.

Fortunately, she’s still negated right now — she needs to make sure she gets a prescription for some negation drugs before she leaves, too, as she’s sure that shifting in her state might not be the most comfortable thing in the world right now. So, thankfully, she doesn’t briefly turn into her brother when he touches her hand.

That remaining blue eye first travel to Graeme’s face, the discontent in her features softening for a moment. Then, she turns her single-eyed gaze toward Thor, and a warm smile replaces the frown, if only for a moment.

She takes the water, bringing it to her lips and taking a few swigs, before offering it back to Graeme, carefully shifting in the bed as much as she can. Finally, after clearing her throat, she speaks. “Hey there, big brother.”

After a moment, she takes a breath. “Looooong story. To summarise, Richard Cardinal…Ray? Whatever. He told me that Emile Danko was alive.” She doesn’t need to explain to Graeme the significance of that name, or why she took an interest in its owner. “So I looked for him, and found him.”

She adjusts a little, turning her gaze to the Great Dane. Oh, to be a dog. Why couldn’t she get something cool like canine telepathy? It’d make her a cool counterpart to her BFF, in any case. “And Richard’s out of town, so I took matters into my own hands.” A pause. “My own fault I’m in this mess. Should’ve just brought him straight to SESA, but…I wanted to talk to th’fucker.”

She purses her lips. “So I did, and found out he’s a fuckin’ Evo. And then I found out that he has… I dunno how they found me, I was fuckin’ quiet about it and I was sure I wasn’t bein’ followed, but some piece of shit in some FRONTLINE power armor came and killed my boys, and did…well, this.” She gestures to herself.

“I’ve got an interview with SESA set up, and I’ll be givin’ them his personal effects and any info I can.” And maybe seeing if she can get a second job, or at least help in some way. “I also have some of my people out there lookin’ for someone who can do any better than this shit.” She gestures to herself again.

Graeme grimaces a little and his own bright blue eyes find her remaining one, and then sighs. "I'd have helped," Graeme eventually says, after a long pause. "I appreciate you tryin'a keep me out of it, but that's bigger than the usual business and frankly. You need to plan that stuff. Have backup, have more than just being careful on your own." There's a set in his shoulders that suggests that won't continue to be the case. "Next time…" He pauses, and switches tracks, but before he says anything else there's a small white noise generator removed from his pocket, and placed on the table, and turned on.

"If he has a power," brow furrows more, "then maybe, did you consider that whoever found you also does?" He sighs again, shakes his head, and with a few gesture, Thor moves to sit next to the bedside where Keira can pet him.

Keira almost eagerly reaches out, rubbing at the Great Dane’s ears. Something about petting a giant dog is comforting. All that science stuff is right, dogs are good for people who are ailing. It makes her miss Kaang, though she knows he’s in good hands. She’s going to snuggle her ball of muscles so hard when she gets home.

She glances to the white noise machine for a moment, before turning to peer back at Graeme. “Oh, I wouldn’t doubt it for a second,” she replies. “S’the only way I can think of, unless he’s got some fuckin’ tracking device on him, that I coulda been found.” She frowns. “Don’t think he’d be able to keep a tracking device in him, though. Stuff that gets stuck in that piece of shit doesn’t stay in.” She would know.

As to his offers…she frowns. “You don’t want to be involved in my shit, Graeme.” She shakes her head. “You’re a good guy. You don’t need t’get involved in any of my business.” She frowns, pausing a moment. “…But if it doesn’t involve crime, I’ll call you.” He fought in the war, after all. It’s not like he’s incompetent.

“I jus’ don’t want you gettin’ hurt like this on my account.” She frowns at her big brother.

Graeme sets his hand atop hers for a moment, again. Thor's tail thumps against the floor happily, and there's silence for a time. "I bounce back," he retorts, and continues, "There's a difference between… your business type of commerce and such, and whatever circle of hell Danko belongs in, though. Just… I may be all legit but that doesn't mean I don't have your back."

"And if you go do something stupid without me and get yourself killed I will never forgive you." The smile on his face makes the words more teasing than they would otherwise be. "So," he continues, and then pauses. "And maybe wait until Richard's back in town too, alright?"

"Is there a chance Danko knows you were behind what you did?" Serious questions interspersed here, along with a slight bit of his gaze always on the door to the room in case of interruption.

The one-eyed shapeshifter smirks. “You wouldn’t’ve liked the stupid shit I did that got me into trouble.” But then, he probably would have talked her out of the stupid shit if he had been with her.

This is all just a really big lesson with some really harsh consequences. Keira needs to stop being as much of a lone wolf, and perhaps stop showboating so much. She got cocky, and it’s left her with one eye and some pretty awful back problems. She won’t be able to walk normally again, likely, unless she can find someone to repair the damage better than it already has been.

“It’s possible. I cover my tracks pretty good, but there’s always a possibility. Who th’fuck knows what that motherfucker who did this to me can do? A blade came outta their wrist and they cut my boys into pieces.” She frowns. “Tim had a little girl. He was just tryin’ to give her a good life. I’ve made arrangements for his wife, I’m makin’ sure she gets the salary Tim woulda had workin’ with me for as long as I’m able.” She shakes her head, obviously pretty torn up over the loss of her employees.

She shakes her head, gently rubbing at Thor’s cheeks and snout. “In any case, I’m plannin’ on goin’ more legit with this kinda stuff. I realize that I’m not alone in my hatred of Humanis First, despite my rather…unique circumstances.” She frowns. “I hate that about myself. I hate that I let myself get sucked into that bullshit.”

"Hate," Graeme says, gently, "is a thing that eats at us. Turns dark and claws until it has all the space where everything good was." He chuckles, and ruffles the puppy's head, which is resting on the bed, and he shrugs.

"Maybe not, but maybe with some backup you'd have gotten into slightly less trouble." He shakes his head. "Let's go with that he knows it was you, for a moment. That means that, whether you like it or not I'm involved, Kei." The shorter form of her name is used, and Graeme glances again at the door before continuing. "Or at least, it wouldn't be the biggest stretch of the imagination to figure out that they could use me to get to you, use you to get to me, and 'm not gonna let that happen." He sighs. "I testified at the trials, which means that my identification, just like the rest of it, is publicly available knowledge, including my adoption."

He pauses, then continues, shifting topics. "Let me know if there's anything Liberty can do t' help them, too. At least let me help on that." Because he knows that she won't let him near the rest, regardless of how good his arguments might be.

The woman gently runs her fingers over Thor’s snout, tracing the line down to his nose fondly. She then gently boops the dog’s snout — really, the only time anyone can see pure Keira underneath all of those tough layers she’s put up is when she’s with a dog.

“I know,” she grumbles, shaking her head. “I’ll keep you in on anythin’ involving Danko. I’m gonna talk to SESA. Get them in on the whole thing.” She pauses, gently playing with the Great Dane’s ears. “I promise, if it’s legit…I’ll at least talk to you about it.” She turns that blue eye toward her brother.

He’s right, though. She’s not going to let him near any of the dangerous stuff. She’s just plain not good at including other people in the violent whirlwind that is her life. Especially when she actually cares about those other people.

There's a quiet sigh and a nod. "I'm here the rest of today," Graeme says. "All I have today is office hours."

Unspoken, the part where family is more important. "Let's see if I can't find you something better than hospital food," is the next offer. "I saw what they were serving in the cafeteria and it looked terrible." He sets his hand on top of his sister's for just a brief moment, and offers a quick grin. "Anyway."

For now, Keira just lets herself drop into sick little sister mode — at least, as much as she can, not having had the experience of being a little sister while growing up. “Thanks,” she replies, squeezing his hand.

“God, could you? I hate hospital food. Prison food tastes better,” she replies, rolling her eyes.

For now, it’s nice to just…have a family that cares about her.

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