Safe and Sound


wendy_icon.gif bella_icon.gif

Scene Title Safe and Sound
Synopsis A convalescent Wendy receives a visit from Bella, who has come with more than comfort in mind, and more than catching up to talk about.
Date October 27, 2009

St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is known for its high-quality care and its contributions to medical research. Its staff place an emphasis on compassion for and sensitivity to the needs of their patients and the communities they serve. In addition to nearby Columbia University, the hospital collaborates with several community groups, churches, and programs at local high schools. The associated Roosevelt Hospital offers a special wing of rooms and suites with more amenities than the standard hospital environment; they wouldn't seem out of place in a top-rated hotel. That said, a hospital is a hospital — every corridor and room still smells faintly of antiseptic.

So it's come to this. Bella has striven to keep her personal and professional life seperate, but it's time to bring the two clanging together. It was only a matter of time, she supposes, as she mounts the front steps of St. Luke's, dressed in business casual, as befits her mission. She thinks of 'mission' in a multi-definitive sense, both as a task she is assigned, and an act of conversion. Time to bring another into the flock.
She already knows the room Wendy's in, Len having done the necessary scout work, and her appearance shouldn't be a surprise as she heads down the clean, ammonia-smelling hall, down to the recovery room where Bella's friend is being kept to, well, recover. She appears at the door, a red haired specter through the frosted glass, and presses the door open, stepping inside with the purposeful motion of someone who doesn't feel the need to ask permission. Still, the smile she wears is warm, familiar, and tinged with pre-emptive sympathy.

"Bella!" Red haired, familiar, Wendy's parked in bed with john sitting on the foot of the bed, both of them watching the TV and providing a running commentary about some really terrible movie. Len had come and gone, his business card was still on the nighstand.

Wendy's restraining herself from leaping out of the bed and beelinging for the woman. "I hear, that you have had a very tough time yourself while I have been enjoying the hospitality of the PHoenix leader and Humanis First, John, go away, leave me alone with Bella. Go get us some coffee or something. Bella, come sit. Sit!"

Bella's sporting one weird little accessory, a metal cane that she uses to help ease her limp, part of that tough time Wendy's referring to. The menacing rod contrasts with Bella's demeanor of relief at seeing her friend intact. Well, mostly intact. She moves to her bedside, nodding to John before pulling up a chair and setting herself carefully down in it, leaning the cane against the wall. She lifts her injured leg and sets it over the healthy one.
"From the looks of it, my experience was a stay in the Ritz-Carlton compared to yours," Bella says, trying to be light about their mutually unpleasant captivities. In truth, she doesn't have much ground for real comparison. Wendy can hardly be expected to be more mentally hardened than Bella herself, and Bella got to help herself to a nice healty prescription to pain killers while Wendy was hanging by a thread in intensive care. She waits until John leaves the room before indicating the card on the nightstand, "A tall, dark, handsome cowboy visited you, did he? Told you to expect me?"

"Ahhh the mysterious Len Denton." Wendy reaches over to pick up the business card and wave it back and and forth through the air. "He's offering to tuck me away from public view, protect me from another run by Humanis First, and in exchange I would help you with some pet project that apparently they are helping you with, or you are helping them with. I've had a dose of really good pain killers between then and now. He seems.. legitimate" Wendy leans back against he upraised bed and lets her eyes dip to the cane. "Niiiice Bella. I would think, you know, a swan would be more appropriate and like, some inside joke" She lifts her right hand, bending forefinger and middle finger like fangs against her top teeth. 'Can I see it?"

"Be my guest," Bella says. She's prepared a lie to explain the lurid cane, a lie that still fails to make it clear to /herself/ why she's carting it around instead of using an ergonomically, medically viable walk-aid instead. But she has quite enough to confession to already, without building up a new layer of deceit. "It's a memento from my little Ritz Carlton experience. Keeps me on my figural toes and literal feet." This said as she leans over and tips the cane in Wendy's direction. "Mr. Denton's right, I do need some help. And 'they' are behind it, my benefactors and employers. I'm not sure whatall he's told you, but it's one of those 'need to know' type situations where I think, in the beginning, it's best to keep things simple. In a nutshell, I'm doing clinical trials and research on a certain substance you yourself first told me about. A substance recently and prematurely scheduled before anything could do any rigorous invesigations into its content and properties. Well, /professional/ investigations. There have been plenty of /recreational/ investigations." This said with a sardonic smile. "I need help with this research. Discreet, intelligent, trustworthy help."

"Discreet" That brings a laugh from wendy as her hand closes around the cane, hefting it in her hand and studying the head, the wolf at it's tip with an artists touch. Gauze wrapped hand gingerly used around it's width, while good finger runs over the wolf's snout. "SOme would argue that i'm no where near discreet. Trustworthy, yes. Intelligent? My brothers often have had that up for debate"

The cane is hefted in hand a frown at the weight. "pretty heavy, but, it's interesting. Your new toy." It's passed back to Bella. "So long story short, you need someone to take refraid, so you can study it's effect and why not involve a good friend, who's already taking it, so that you don't need to find too many others who aren't on it and addict them to it"

Bella shakes her head, not suddenly or emphatically, because it's not a crazy thing to suggest, but still it's apparently not what she had in mind. "I'm certainly willing to learn from your experiences, to benefit from your first hand perspective. But no… I need to be objective about this and I don't think I could do that if you were one of my subjects," she says, taking the cane back and resting both her hands on it, "I am looking for a lent hand, not an open vein. Not that we can't do some sideline studies, psychological explorations, with you as a psychic explorer. But your gift, Wendy… that's much more valuable to me and mine, and to this study."

Wendy's puzzled. Not as the subject but as literally, the helping hand that Denton had told her. "Really? Listen, Bella, I don't have any medical school or even scientific training. I'm a board room brat, who's.. missing an ear and chunks of her fingers and I will confess, off the narcotics bandwagon. My ability is just in discerning if a person is evolved and what they generally do. Not, whether they're really on Refrain or not."

The gauze laden brunette in her blue button front pajama's chews on the corner of her lower lip. "How long do you think, this could be? I have a house guest, he's uh, he was gonna help me get off the refrain. Not that my house guest couldn't you know, still enjoy my hospitality while gone"

"That you can tell if someone is Evolved or not is crucial, since Refrain only works on the Evolved," Bella says, and there's a certain focus in her voice, a gleam of intensity that seems unlike her, or at least unlike the her that Wendy's familiar with, "We need to have that kind of litmus test, to screen potential subjects, to separate the clinical wheat from the chaff." Her eyes flick down, suddenly realizing how urgent her affect had become, embarrassed as one might be after admitting a crush, "You'd have to come in and help out a few times a week at first. Just to rubber stamp our inductees. Nothing you can't explain to your houseguest. Call it volunteer work, for the Suresh Center."

"Suresh center? Agent Denton had said it would be some remote facility" Which she was fine with. Really. She'd just tell her houseguest that her parents were absconding with her or that they were carting her off to try detoxing their way first. "listen, Bella. This means a great deal to you, and Agent Denton sounded… well he sounded real worried and unlike some other guy who came in, he's from Homeland and not some private corporation. And you're my friend and what I can do, can help you. I'm okay with that, i'm good with that. I'll do it. If it means I gotta be away from my condo for a few weeks or more, oh well. I'll be safe and it'll make you happy, Agent Denton happy. My parents will be happy long as i'm safe and it's called a cellphone, to keep in contact with friends." Wendy rolls her eye partially a lift of both hands turned outwards. "Sign me up okay. I mean, I just gotta deal with this plastic surgeon first and… Just dont' go jabbering my left ear off, cause it's already off and I wouldn't be able to hear you in the first anyways"

Bella smiles. Remote facility, indeed. "He's not wrong, but I'm talking cover story, here. One step at a time," she says, "I'm not about to ask my friend to jump into the deep end head first. We'll start in the shallow end. Me, I've still got my own water wings on most of the time. Aaand I've officially killed /that/ metaphor." Much as she wants to be serious, Wendy's presence puts her at ease. She reaches out to touch the edge of Wendy's bedspread. "Thanks for doing this. You can't know exactly why or how much, but this will be a weight of my chest. There's a lot I've had to keep from you, and I'm looking forward to being a lot more forthcoming, as time and circumstance permit."

"Oh! Cover story!" Right. And Bella called her intelligent? Wendy's hand creeps forward to catch Bella's and hold it. "Your a shrink, and you apparently do some side work for Homeland. I can surely understand why some things have to be hush hush. Not like I tell you everything that goes on with Hunter Communications and the board meetings Bella" Pat pat pat. Wendy just smiles at her friend and now, likely, co-worker. "Be nice to … use it, for more than just a scavenger hunt. The leader of Phoenix? Atmokinetic. God, good handful of those in this city. In the world. Her dad, the guy who kidnapped me. Empath. Projective. He made us so mad, and then so fucking scared, and it was all us mirroring him. Abhored the very thing that he is. So surreal Bella. That any of that happened. That w eek ago I was in some open to the elements building in midtown being smacked around by a rifle stock and sure i'm gonna die of some sort of infection in my face and now i'm here and they've tamed everything with drugs and… And i'm not gonna cry. Done enough of that frankly"

Bella's hand turns and her fingers curl around Wendy's. "We're going to keep you safe and sound. If you suffer so much as an unkind look in the next few months, heads will roll, I promise." She is surprised at her own protectiveness, Bella is. These are words that, as soon as they are spoken, seem true. Curious. "We're ladies of refinement, Wendy. We deserve cushy positions where we can develop our talents, not our calluses." That a certain amount of mental callousness might be required eventually isn't something Bella mentions at this juncture. Need to know. "Things are still in the formative stage, but do you have any questions for me? Any requests? As I'm heading up this project, I have a certain say on how things will go down… though I don't control the purse strings."

"I like my callouses thank you very much. They're a badge of an artists work" But she clings hadn in hand with the red head, smile softening, thin features watching her. "I have my own purse strings Bella, you know that. Suppose I should get my friend to help me off Refrain first, before I join you or is it safe for me to go straight from here, to wherever this remote location is?"
She shifts in the bed, sliding legs over the side in their blue PJ coverings. "Or are things not set up yet and I have like some time, before I do all this. I still got the ear and the hand.. thing… to deal with"

Bella gives Wendy a gentle squeeze. "Take the time you need. Like I said, this project is in its infancy, and while I definitely need you when things get rolling, I'm still applying the initial rotary force. Get clean, get healthy, because I'll want you at your best, plus able to resist temptation since we'll be dealing with aforementioned substance fairly regularly. Not hands on, hopefully, but we'll have proximity"
Get clean. Those words make Logans offer that much more necessary. "Back on the narco wagon for me. Funny, because the one who accidentally trigged me falling off, isn't doing anything since her own ability manifested." Clean, healthy. "Say the word and I'll pack my stuff for wherever we are going to go. Now, do you have time to stay? There's this really hot male nurse that you gotta meet, brings my drugs around and it's getting to be that time. You look like you could use a good romp through the sheets and I've been telling him about you"

Bella's cheeks pink. After her personal ad debacle she had bitterly resigned herself to a life of presumed celibacy, a very extreme case of sour grapes. "Oh, Jesus. Because I really want his first impression of me to be 'that limping chick with not enough makeup on'," a pause, "Promise you'll be my wingman here?" Hope springs eternal.

"Honey, Bella, it's the limping woman, or the earless, fingerless wonder… We can help with the makeup though" There's a lean, a pop open of the vanity table within the rolling table and voila, the basics of makeup. "QuicK! You have about five minutes! and he's a nurse, so I mean, hey, you have medical stuff in common, you can kiss each others ucipital mapillary" There's a wink from the brunette.

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