No One Promised Roses


gillian_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title No One Promised Roses
Synopsis … but goddamn it, no one deserves this!
Date Feb 28, 2011

Bannerman's Castle, Infirmary

The infirmary is packed. It was never intended to be a full-on sick ward, but that's exactly what it is now. Fifteen more people have come down with the flu, and with the nearly dozen who were already in the room, there is no privacy anymore. All semblance of making things "private" had to be done away with in order to squeeze more beds into the place. Megan isn't entirely sure how many more the room can take.

And worse yet, there are some who are clearly worse off than others. Dressed in hospital scrubs, she rarely leaves the ward anymore. Her one trip to the mainland reassured her as to the state of the few people she has contact with, and she brought back a half-dozen prescriptions for antivirals, but they are too late for anyone in this ward. Efficacy is best when utilized within 24-48 hours of the very first symptoms.

The redhead is sitting on the edge of Hailey's bed, gently sponging the little girl's head with a cloth. She woke from another nightmare not long ago and even now as she sleeps, the vivid dreams are plaguing her nearly as much as in her waking hours. It's almost time to make another set of rounds of the beds.

The lack of privacy in the ward seems to have adversely affected more than a few members of the group. Gillian had been one who had asked for a sheet to be pulled up to conceal her bed more than once, even if she would occassionally get up for a walk to try and see the children herself. Sometimes she walked better than others, but often she'd be mumbling to herself.

With a mostly clean robe pulled around her body, she approaches on foot toward the woman, and the sleeping blonde girl in the bed, with a dog not too far away. A few of the kids were allowed special toys and blankets, but the dog absolutely refused to leave Hailey's side, and Hailey refused too. Hazel may not be able to get sick like the kids, but she occassionally shows insight. Lifting her head up, the eyes meet Gillian's for a moment, and Gillian stops.

The kids may be comforted some by the presense of an animal— therapy animals they would be called in a hospital— but Gillian's not. The dog keeps her from getting any closer.

"Megan," she says with a voice even hoarser than usual, thanks to the coughing. "Do you know if Chandra is still in the castle— my cat? He… I want to know if Brian took him." There's a flicker of her eyes to a space beside her, higher than her, as if she sees something.

Glancing up, Megan studies the brunette on her feet. "I think I've seen the kids playing with a cat, yes," she says quietly. "I didn't catch its name." She moves to stand up, walking closer to Gillian. "How're you feeling?" It's a standard question, really.

"Oh… okay," Gillian says in those same tones, before she coughs once again into her hand. More than once there's blood and mucus that stains her hands or sleeve because of that, but this time she comes back clean. It will likely happen worse later. Her eyes shift to the side, and higher, a kind of 'see, told you' look, before she looks back. "I want out of here," she she partially whispers. "Can't we… move into different rooms— something?"

Megan takes Gillian by the arm gently and leads her back toward the 'adult' half of the room. The kids seem to want to be close together as much as possible. She keeps her voice low, as is the norm in here. With a nod toward the plastic enshrouded main door, Megan says quietly, "Quarantine sucks. I'm sorry. I know it does. But no… you can't leave this room. It's little enough protection to the others, but it's all we've got." There is genuine regret in her tone.

"I've got one of the volunteers going to move your bed back into the corner so that you can have the curtain you asked for. It'll be mighty claustrophobic in there — it'll have to literally touch the sides and top and bottom of the bed, but it's the best I can do." Megan grimaces a little. No one ever said this was going to be fun or easy.

"I should have never come back to this place," Gillian whispers hoarsely as they move back toward her specific bed, which isn't nearly as comfortable as one might like. Claustrophobia seems to be exactly what she wants, or at least privacy. Even if just so she can talk to herself without people looking at her all the time. As soon as they're away from the children's area, she has a question that people have likely been thinking a lot, "We're all going to die, aren't we?"

Most of the adults know the risks already. And it's enough to strike terror into the hardiest of souls. But Megan is gentle with the information. "I don't know, Gillian. I hope not. We're doing all that can really be done — even in a hospital, there's not much more they could do," she says softly. "Flu complications run the gamut from dehydration, which we can combat, to pneumonia and bronchitis. And there's no way to know who will be hit harder." Mala, by all rights, shouldn't be holding her own as well as she is. "We're going to lose some, yes." She doesn't want to tell the woman the projected survival rates. It just gives her something new to worry about. "What you have to focus on when you can is resting. Letting me know if you feel worse, because that's important."

"This could happen faster, you know."

Gillian winces as she glances over at the space nearby her. Cramped as this place may be, she isn't really looking at anyone. "I'm not listening to you," she growls hoarsely, as she settles down into her small bed and grabs a blanket as if to use it as a shield.

A glance is cast toward Megan again, "I don't feel worse today, but I still feel bad," is an honest answer. Though she's never admited she's seeing and hearing things, yet. Not that she really has to.

Megan's been watching Gillian for days. She knows exactly what's plaguing the younger woman. As she helps Gillian into the bed again, she moves to sit on the edge of the cot. "I don't really think anyone — even the well folks — are feeling up to par," she says softly. "Every time I wake up, there's this urge to hide my head under a blanket until all of this is over." She looks down at the bed. "I'm trained to take care of sick people — I've spent half my life doing this job, Gillian… and I feel beyond guilty that I'm going to lose people." The child they've already lost is the last thing she thinks of before she falls asleep and the dread is the first thing she is cognizant of as she wakes. "But I will tell you this much… coming here, not coming here?" She shrugs a little. "You made the only choices you could with what you had on hand."

"I didn't have to come back to the island," Gillian says in softened tones, pulling the blanket up until she can hug it against her chest. The sleeve of her shirt falls down enough to reveal an odd black imprint of a skeletal hand on her wrist— she has a second one on her upper chest, and the tattoo of a butterfly and a yin-yang symbol as well. None of which she's shy in showing off.

"I used to be a goth, you know," she says with a soft laugh, that turns into a cough. This time there is a hint of blood in her mouth and hand when she stops it. "Thought life was stupid and boring… but never was the… full of pain and death, part. Once life became less boring it became more painful…"

There's some movement from the children's area, one of the Non-Evolved who offered their services to help begins to move closer, face pale.

Megan chuckles softly. "No, really?" That she's not sure she can see. Gillian is someone she only knows in the context of the children. And she's so not a goth-chick now. She sighs and tucks Gillian in, glancing up toward the volunteer. Her smile fades and she pats Gillian gently on the leg, moving to intercept her. There is an expectation to her frank blue gaze, a hint of query as to the who.

The woman wrings her hands. Not a nurse, the closest she came to having a background was from work as a dental assistant. The woman knew a few things, but cleaning teeth doesn't do much good— how to keep things sterilized had been a big help, though.

Looking past Megan toward the woman that even the helpers know has a lot invested in the kids, she hesitates a moment. Eric's death hand marked a major downward spiral. After a moment, her eyes move back, away from Gillian. The announcement is sullen.


Christ. "Thank you, Carolyn," Megan says quietly. "I'll handle it." This is the worst part of the lack of privacy that everyone is suffering… when someone does succumb, everyone else sees them being taken out. But then again… how much more terrifying would it be to the children especially if they were enclosed in tiny spaces to have to imagine what's going on? "Can you please scrub out and let the guys know? I'll prepare the children to say goodbye."

The redhead's expression is neutral, calm. But the anguish is there in her eyes. She keeps her voice low. "Please also inform Barbara that I need to speak with her as soon as possible."

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