Not Just A Skinned Knee


chuck_icon.gif rico_icon.gif

Scene Title Not Just a Scraped Knee
Synopsis Rico Velasquez learns a lesson in humility when an unexpected individual saves his life.
Date May 12, 2009

Scraped Knee Medical Clinic, Little Italy

Chuck entering back into the main waiting room, and being guided by his assistant. She calmly takes a seat and looks down at the schedule, "Well, Doc, that is all the patients for today, unless there is a walk in." Looking up at the doctor.

Turning in his assistants general direction, "Thank you Bridget. I will be in my office then, mind guiding me to building and get getting used to where everything is." Offering her a smile. Continuing to talk to each other for a moment.

Walk ins are always a problem with tiny clinics like this, espescially given the political structure of New York City. The smaller clinics ask less questions, are less likely to test a patient's blood for the linkages that can identify Evolved, and while some of them may be pricy — it's the anonymity and peace of mind these clincs offer that draws people to them. Unfortunately, it's usually the wrong kind of clientelle.

The door to the clinic rattles when a sound weight is pressed up against it. The glass rattles and then the knob turns, sending the door slowly swinging open as a silhouette from the dimly lit afternoon streets comes staggering in, with all the jerky motions one might imagine a movie zombie would be possessed of.

It's obvious from the start that the tanned man moving in is pushing fifty, from the creases in his face and the gray in his beard. But what is more readily obvious is the drooling trail of blood drip-dropping onto the tile floor from between where fingers clutch a bleeding leg. At least it explains the limp.

"Mis apologĂ­as," comes with a thick Spanish accent as the man hastily shoulders the door closed, dark eyes sweeping across the clinic as he breathes in and out with heavy breaths, holding that seemingly fresh bleeding spot. "I ah— " his voice is gruff, dry and parched, "could per'aps use some assistance, si?"

It's always the walk-ins.

Bridget was the first to respond the opening door as the brass bell rang above the door. She looks towards the door and then at figure entering at first with a smile and then it quickly turned into a concerned look. "Oh dear…umm." Quickly walking over the the man and offering him some assistants. As she moves under his arm to help support the hobbling man she states, "Doc, looks like you have work. Looks like a gun gash or wound of some sort? I can not really tell but he is bleeding rather..oh what a mess! Come on, mister." Guiding the gentleman to the back towards the examination room trying her hardest not to get any blood on her but despite her efforts she was unsuccessful.

Chuck turning towards the smell of blood that had walked past him as Bridget assisted the man to the back examination room. Without asking any questions he placed out his arms in front of him feeling for the wall and attempting to guide himself to the examination room behind bridget. Speaking he entered, "Okay, thank you bridget, I can take it from here, please go clean yourself up and clean up the foyer.

There's a grunt as Chuck's assistant helps Rico up and across the room, leaving large crimson spots on the floor with each hobbling step. The sound of his uneven footfalls and the wheezing quality to his breathing is mixed with that scent of blood, and also the lingering, acrid stink of cigar smoke. As he's escorted into the examination Room, though, the Puerto-Rican manages a good-nautred laugh despite his predicament.

"Much appreciated, senorita." The rough, gravely soundof his voice is mixed with a hissed breath as he tries to amble up onto the examination table, one hand and a bloodied rag still pressed firmly to the wound. "Gunshot," he explains in an unusually casual manner, motioning with his nose to the wound until he finally gets a good look up at the doctor. Rico's brows furrow with a certain level of disbelief and scrutiny — blind doctor?

"Ahh— " he hesitation in his voice is palpable. Sure, he's endured his fair share of chop-shop clinics, but usually they could see what they were doing. Rico's gaze wanders in the direction Bridget left in, then flick back to Chuck. "You're— sure you can— I mean— " One dark brow rises as Rico tries to puzzle out a polite way to point out that the man is blind. A situation that Chuck himself is obviously quite well aware of.

"Nine millimeter," he finally blurts out, perhaps trying to help. "Doesn't feel like it hit th' bone, I ah— " he hisses, pulling a little bit of the pressure up from the injury as more blood flows out. "It's still in there." The bullet, that is.

Chuck nodding at the man, "Rest assured sure, I can get it out. Trust this blind man, you were referring to me being blind right?" Offering a reassuring smile at the man. "The only thing is I will need to touch your wound, I can see any damage in my mind once I touch your wound." Leaving the mans side for a moment and running his hands across the front of the drawers as he was quickly reading the brail labels and looking for some long hemostats. Finding the correct drawer, opening it and handling them fora moment to make sure they were the right ones. "I hope needles do not bother you." Again running hand across now the upper cabinets as he was looking for a needle. Finding it and then locating the anesthesia. Pressing the needle into the small bottle and pulling out 6 cc amazingly. Then placing the locking hemostats onto a try as he placed his hand out in front to find his patient. "Okay, you seem like a tough guy so this won't hurt a bit, at least no more then it already does." Pausing a moment, "Bridget you can leave if you would like or stay here, but if you are going to stay here then please make yourself useful and place my hand on the man's wound."

Bridget reluctantly unsure what to do at this point, but giving into her curiosity, since she had never actually watch the Chuck work. Guiding his hand over the wound. "There Doc is right below your hand." Then stepping back.

Chuck lowering his hand slowly as he now was touching the wound. A smirk coming to his face. "Well, you are lucky the bullet didn't hit the bone and missed anything vital. Okay, hold still while I numb the pain a bit before I reach in there to dig the bullet, this stuff takes affect in about 30 seconds." Quickly poking the man with the needle near the wound in a few places and each time pressing the plunger down just a little. Then began rubbing the wound gently, "There now it should be pretty close to numb." Keeping one hand next to the wound and then reaching for the locking hemostats and guiding them into the hole. "This won't hurt, I can see exactly where the bullet is and don't move in anticipation."

Bridge is now standing a few steps back watching her boss work and not believing what he was doing for a blind man.

See the injury. Rico has to let this mull over in his mind for a time, the sheer irony in a life-threatening wound being treated in a streetside clinic by an Evolved doctor. There's a press of a sigh out of his nose from the pike of the needle, eyes averting away from where he's about to have the slug wrenched out. This part, at least, he's used to, and under Chuck's hand the blind doctor can not only see and feel the presence of the bullet, but so many other old injuries that never healed properly.

Three additional bullets are still present in Rico's body, these tiny metallic souveniers of past encounters are foreign bodies and dead spots in Chuck's perception of Rico's health. The doctor can feel the bones that have set poorly, feel all of the strained joints and sense the presence of so much scar tissue. It writes a story that he doesn't need eyes to read, one of a life of violence.

The irony comes in that it was a life of violence hunting the Evolved down like dogs.

Rico, however, keeps that to himself. "So you— " struggling to make mild conversation to draw his mind off of that fact, Rico stares up at the ceiling with a vacant stare. "You're… you know," his head bobs from side to side, "one of… uh, them?" It's as easy of an implication of his human nature as could be made. The idea of being delicate about the subject is new. "I bet you must make a killing here— " he winces, "— uh, perhaps I chose poor words. Mis apologĂ­as."

Chuck offering a soft chuckle, "Well, honestly no just enough to survive..I tend to do a lot of free services for the children of the community that can not afford proper insurance..say, do you want these other bullets in your leg out, I see that this 9mm bullet is not the only one in this area. Obviously, I don't have to point it out to. Just let me know. I can heal up some of those old scares too, but can't do it all at once, this bullet wound is going to take a while, since we will have to rebuild the tissue and have to have your body speed up the process to replace all the blood you lost."

Without waiting for a response he pulls the newly placed bullet in his thigh out and dropping it expertly on the metal tray next to him and then reaching in and grabbing another one. "Huh, I wonder how old this guy is." Dropping that bullet as well. "Okay give me a few minutes, actually just lay back and we reset some of those bones are not quite aligned right. Should take about 30 minutes to reset those old misaligned bones and heal up your gun shot wound. Honsetly, I do not do this for the money, I do it to help people. All I ask if you give Bridget what you can afford to give for the work. Nothing more nothing less, if you feel that you your service here wasn't worth it then don't leave anything."

As he speaks the man he continues to read throughout his body to check for anything that maybe needing attention as well as the misaligned bones. "My name is Dr. Pepper." Offering a smirk, "I know, life is cruel sometimes… but what I really ask is that you keep it down low that I am one of those evolved folks. I am licensed to practice here in this state as a blind general practitioner M.D., so normally I do not need to use my powers as people call it but in special cases like yours, it required it. You have lost a lot of blood but you body is making it faster so the few pints you had lost will be replenished here in another 15 minutes." Now Chuck feeling the wound slowly close up, but keeping it hidden from his patients eyes. "I won't leave a scare unless you want a scare." Smiling again. Then without turning, "Bridget please go finish cleaning up out in the foyer please."

With the order from her boss, Bridget leaves quietly to go clean up the mess that the man left as he came into the clinic.

It's a lot for Rico to take in, more that the doctor can feel the presence of those injuries, than the other odds and ends of information fed out to him in large bites. It ends up with Rico laying on his back on the examination table after he hears the tell-tale plink of a bullet landing in that surgical steel tray. "So— you're a regular Good Samaritan?" There's a half-snorted laugh, "I thought maybe they were all dead," he notes with a crooked smile, wincing at the sensation in his leg.

Though, at the topic of those other injuries, Rico seems hesitant. However with all the blood he's lost it's pretty obvious he's in no condition to put up a fight. Rico can't help but find the humor in the fact that a blind evolved man is getting the upper hand on him. "The ah— be careful what you're re-arranging inside of there?" He swallows dryly, nervously, "some of those bullets— they have been there for a while." Only one more of them is located in his leg, two are set between some of his ribs, with another at his hip and one at his right shoulder.

"I ah— how much is all of this— " He hesitates asking a question he's already gotten an answer to. "The ah— I only have a few hundred dollars on me, senior. I— don't go out of your way." It'll just make him feel worse about this.

Chuck smiling, "I have a good feeling about you sir. Please keep your money. Just don't turn me in. The rest of the bullets can come out another time and then maybe you can consider paying me, how does that sound?" Well, rest here a few more minutes and you should be feeling your normal self. Reaching out his blood covers hands as he blindly reaches for the sink and begins to wash his hands. After drying off his hand he walks back over to the man "Yeh, those two bullets in your chest probably gives you some breathing problems at times, since it looks like the body pretty much cocooned them up so they wouldn't cause anymore harm. "Now hold still while I work the third bullet out of your leg, even though you are healed over …I can tell your body to push out that last bullet since I doubt you want to reopen the hole we just healed up."

Placing his hand over the healed wound and his hand shaking a little as you begin to feel something in your leg moving up towards the man's hand. "I bet it feel a bit strange doesn't it."

Continuing to smile. "Yeh, I know us charity case people don't really exist but i am subsidized by the government as well, since I am running a clinic, the government helps keep me in stock with supplies and with a little financial assistants since it's cheaper to help me out then to help subsidize a bigger hospital." Turning his head towards the man's general direction of his face, "So what do you do for a …" Pausing a moment as he was asking his question. "Ah you know never mind, if you know of any hard luck cases send them my way."

Finally, you feel something reach the surface of your skin and feel it suddenly leave. Holding out the bullet to the man as he lay there on the examination table, "A keep sake for you." Chuckling a moment. "I do believe you are all healed up sir. "Your leg is nice and straight and you have regained all your lost blood, and your fractured ribs are now healed too." Running his fingers over your area where your bullet wound used to exist to make sure it was smooth. Taking a step back as to let the man then get up.

Rico is silent, though tense as the bullet squirms its way out between layers of muscle fiber and beneath his skin, until it finds that same opening the previous shot had entered from. He only exhales once the procedure is done, letting his head fall back against the table, fingers ceasing their gripping of the table's sides. Swallowing dryly again, Rico looks over to the doctor, thankful that there's no way he can see how guilty Rico looks about getting this sort of treatment.

"I— " he stumbles over his own words, eyes turning to look at the other bullet. There's a grimace replacing his otherwise guilty expression, "I— feel…" one hand presses down over where the wound on his leg was. The clothing is torn, skin is damp and tacky with the blood that was there, but the wound has disappeared entirely. The amazement on his face is equally felt in his words.

"Thank you," he says as emphatically as possible in English, looking down to the bullets in the tray, reaching out to take one between thick, grimy fingers, rolling it around as his brow furrows. "I feel like a new man." Shakily moving up to his feet, the numbness from the anesthetic in his right leg makes his balance a bit wobbly. "I ah— if I see anyone… Doc, count on me sending them your way."

There's a tight swallow, and Rico reaches into the pocket of his jacket, removing a small handful of folded bills, not offering them out as much as laying them down on the examination table. His assistant can find them, make some difference at least.

"You ah— I owe you, doc." Rico murmurs, looking down to the bullet in his hand. "I— should run. I really need to give this back to who it belongs to."

At least it's a polite way of saying it.

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