Scar Tissue


alexander_icon.gif sonny_icon.gif

Scene Title Scar Tissue
Synopsis Sonny makes a house call to Alex and heals scars, both old and new.
Date January 1, 2009

Abby, Alex and Teo's Apartment

Sonny's phone rings. It's not a usual number. Jesse Knight, reads the legend on the caller ID. He's calling from home, apparently.

It's his cell number that was sprawled on the back - a personal line rather than a business one. That's why Sonny answers it with a casual, "Hello?" rather than with a title.

"Doc, I don't mean to trouble you," comes that soft Southern voice, "But I somehow ended up with your card in m'pocket. I understand you do cosmetic work?"

There's a moment of silence on the other end while Sonny's brain clicks in and he matches the voice to his memory. "Oh. Alexander. Yes. Your friends were supposed to tell you. I wanted to help treat you for your blood loss. How are you feeling? And yes, cosmetic work is my specialty."

He hesitates a little. "I feel better. Still weak, but….not like I'm like to die, or pass out, constantly. Do you….do you heal?" Well, obviously doctors do. But clearly he means something a little out of the ordinary.

"Not…in the strictest sense, no. My ability involves changing the appearance of things. I can move injuries and erase scarring, but it's all purely cosmetic." A beat from Sonny's end. "Is this about your eye?"

"Somewhat, yes," Al says, quietly. "It don' - it doesn't hurt, really. And the eye was healed. The scar…..that's just vanity, really. And I imagine your rates are astronomical."

"They are, yes," says Sonny without any shame or hesitation. "And my waiting list is extremely long. But that's for socialites who want boob jobs. I'd be happy to help you, Alex."

He's trying to hide the pleasure in his voice. "Doctor, I couldn't ever repay you like you deserve," he says, gently. "Why me?"

"You're not the only one I've done this for, Alex. It's how I got involved in the Ferrymen. I started helping people who had been scarred or injured by the blast. You might not have gotten your scars from the blast, but I have no doubt they're the result of it in some way. Call it…my charity work to absolve a tiny bit of guilty conscience for living the way I do," There's a smile in Sonny's voice. "I've begged out of all of the family stuff for today for some downtime. I can come see you righ tnow if you'd like."

There's stunned silence on the other end for a heartbeat or two. "Wait, now? I….uh…sure. Name the place, doctor."

"Well, you could come here if you'd like. Or if you have a quiet space, then I could come to you." Sonny's tone is quite casual. There's almost a shrug there.

"Anywhere you name, I'll go," Al enthuses, smile audible down the phone lines.

"Mmm, probably safest for you if I come to you. I've got doormen and video cameras in my building. I don't know who might be watching who comes and goes from my apartment."

Al, perhaps foolishly, names his actual apartment. Well, it's under his name even in public, though.

"All right. I should be there within the hour. If you've got a chair that reclines, that would be ideal. But if you don't, well, it's not a major alteration, so we should be able to make due. I'll also bring you some drugs that should help you recover more quickly from your blood loss." There's the sound of shuffling as Sonny presumably moves around his apartment.

"I'll be there, Doc," Al says, sounding almost bubbly. Which is sort of wrong, really.

"I'll see you soon," and then Sonny's end hangs up.

True to his word, about 45 minutes later, there's a buzz at the enterphone.

Al's been waiting on tenterhooks, as it were, and the door clicks open immediately, once he's confirmed. It's up on the third floor - the whole neighborhood is lower middleclass, but not terrifying.

Sonny is fairly used to slinking around less than fancy neighborhoods on Ferrymen gigs. He even has a 'disguise' of sorts. That is, the doc's not in an expensive wool coat and designer clothes. Instead he's wearing an old puffy ski jacket and has a knitted toque pulled down over his head so curls stick out. The effect is of making him look younger than he actually is. When he finds the right apartment number, he raps gently.

"Enter freely and of your own will," Al says, in his best deadpan, before grinning like a fox at the doctor. It's a bare little apartment, though the various homey touches are beginning to manifest - a scented candle burning in the kitchen, a bird chirping in one of the bedrooms.

Sonny's carrying a backpack. The effect is rather of a displaced college student rather than a playboy doctor, despite the fact he's nearly thirty. "Hello. You're looking better. Less apt to pass out, I hope? Staying close to home?" He steps inside and dusts a bit of snow off his jacket. He might not -look- like a doctor, but he sure sounds like one.

"Oh, hell yeah," Al enthuses, ushering him into the kitchen. "Been sittin' around, readin', watchin' TV," he explains. It's worn, with checkered linoleum, a little four person chrome dinette set in the center of the room.

Sonny drops his bag down and tugs the toque off his hair. He ruffles his fingers through it. The static makes it stand up. It's quite a switch from the put-together doc in the designer suit and silk tie. He shrugs off the jacket and then tilts his head at Alex. "Do…you mind if I ask where you got the scar?" Then he opens up his bag and pulls out a stethoscope and a blood pressure device.

Alexander can't help but grin, a little abashed. "The eye? Girl who could control birds. She got pissed off,and went all Hitchcock on me. Her pet raven did this," He shoves out the chairs at the table, and takes one. "And not to presume on your generosity, but….could you take careof these, too?" He lifts the arm Elle burned so badly - lots of little thready electrical scars twine up it.

Sonny winces. "Wow. No wonder it's not healing properly. I hope you got all your shots after that. Ravens are carrion eaters." He pulls out a small light, but doesn't flick it on. Instead he takes Alex's arm and examines the scars. "Mmm, should be able to. The worst of them I might not be able to completely erase, but I could move them to somewhere less obvious or at least diminish the look. But before I do anything, I'd like to give you a quick exam. Just check your blood pressure, things like that. See how you're doing after your blood loss." He then flashes the light in Al's eyes, the way doctors do. "Follow my finger with one eye, then the other." A beat, "Sounds like you lead quite the interesting life. Blood loss. Bird scrapes. Electrical burns." He quirks a grin.

"I have….bad luck," Al says, sounding somewhat contrite. "Hell, anything you can do would be great," he notes. "I….no. No health care, and not a lot of doctors I can explain to, y'know?" He obediently follows the light. Both eyes work - it's apparently only the lid and the muscles there that are scarred.

"Well, that's what my job is. But that young healer - it must be very handy to have her about. I wish I'd gotten something like that. Would've made more difference in my work." Sonny talks in a half-distracted tone as he feels for Al's pulse and then checks it against the face of a nice-looking watch. Not everything's disguised. "Mmm, pulse is stronger than the last time I checked. Any dizzy spells, nausea?" Then he reaches up to gently touch the area around Al's eye, to examine the damage done. "Wow. That really did a number, didn't it?"

"Dizzy, yeah, lots. I….get spells anyhow. I mean, I get vague. They say it's not real head injuries, just post traumatic whatever from Iraq," Al explains, blinking as Sonny touches him.

"PTSD?" asks Sonny as he examines the marks made by the bird. Then he goes down to his arm and examines it, then pulls out the blood pressure device and straps it around his arm. "Make a fist, please," Then he puts the stethoscope on his ears and moves aside Al's shirt to set the end over his heart. He pumps up the device. "Are you on any medication, seeing a psychologist?"

"Yes, no, and no," Al says, cracking a grin. Blood pressure low, but within normal ranges. Barely. Heartbeat is slow and even. "I got no insurance, doc."

"Well, the good news is, your blood pressure is up to a much safer level. I don't think I need to put you on an IV. Just keep resting, drink plenty of fluids." Sonny pulls the blood pressure device off Alex's upper arm and sets it aside. "If you're a veteran, you should have some coverage. I can write you a scrit. Give me the receipts and I'll make sure you're reimbursed." He's got a good bedside manner. It's professional, but gentle.

Alexander shakes his head. "No. I'm just healthy enough the VA hasn't got much for me," he says, with no bitterness to his voice. "What do you mean?"

"This is part of what I do to help the Ferrymen, Alex," Sonny grins up at the other as he scoots his chair a little closer so that he can reach across to his face comfortably. "I make sure you all have access to the medications and treatment that you need. If you need PTSD drugs, then I can get them for you. Now, just relax. This is going to feel a little strange." He sets one hand on the side of Al's face, the other on the side of his neck, just to brace himself and form another point of contact.

"It's like that Vulcan thing," Al says, apropos of nearly nothing, really. It feels weird, indeed. "How do you get away with all of it? I mean, I know you got money, but…" He goes silent, to let Sonny do his work.

"I'm not going into your mind, Alex," says Sonny with a chuckle. "Just messing with the elastics in your skin and the composition of facial muscles. Now take a deep breath. Close your eyes if you like." And then, a strange, slack sensation around his eye and a faint tingle. This kind of thing is relatively easy, as he has the other side of the other man's face as a template. It's about three minutes later that he draws back. "There. I'm afraid that's the best I can do. You'll feel a bit of a bump under the skin. That's scar tissue I couldn't rearrange into healthy tissue, but I did my best to cover it up." And when Al looks in a mirror, he'll see that the doc's done a very good job. There is however, still a small hint of the injury below the surface of the skin. Hardly noticeable unless one is looking for it, however.

Alexander swallows once, while Sonny is working, but is otherwise utterly still. Strangely so, really, as if he were trying to vanish. But once he's done, and Al is up to peer at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, there's incredulous laughter. "Oh, man, thanks," he says, rushing back out and looking tempted to hug the doctor.

Sonny smiles in return. Too-white, too-straight Hollywood teeth. But that's to be expected. "Well, I'm glad you're happy. Want to sit down again and I'll see what I can do about that arm?"

Exactly. And who can fault him, when beauty is his stock in trade. "Sure," Al says, touching the mostly healed eye with reverent fingertips, before he sits down again.

A lot of people can, is the truth of it. But that's a whole discussion, right there. Sonny reaches out and takes Al's wrist. He turns it out, then tugs out the arm towards himself and pushes up the other's sleeve. The other hand goes to his elbow to brace the arm. He watches as the burns slowly go from red, to a dull brown, then blend into Al's skintone. He takes a deep breath through his nose and does what he can to smooth out the damaged skin, though like his face, there's still trace amounts. Nothing that a bit of a tan in the summer wouldn't cover though. "There. How's that?"

Alexander watches with reverence, and something that is -almost- horror. It's just so -weird'. "I….uh. Damn. I've never seen anything like it, save….someone else I know who can heal," he says, nearly tripping over his tongue.

"It isn't healing," says Sonny with a small smile. He releases Al's wrist. "It's cosmetic. I didn't heal your scar tissue. I just rearranged it, smoothed it out and changed your cell pigments. That's relatively minor compared to the other things that I do. I've been asked to change peoples' entire faces if they're being persecuted. The backlash makes me sick as a dog, but I even changed a patient's gender once."

Alexander blinks. "You mean, like, witness protection. Like that?" he says, oh so eloquently, even as he turns his arm this way and that, to ponder the relative lack of scars.

"Sort of," Sonny shrugs. "Can't get into specifics, for obvious reasons." He scoots his chair back to give Al his personal space again. "Feel better, then?"

Alexander stands up fully, and stretches like a dog, fore and aft. "Great," he says. "Wonderful, in fact. I'd not realized how much it all bothered me…"

"It's amazing how much a little face-lift can make people feel better. It's an image thing. We may be healthy, but if we look unhealthy, well, that manifests in psychological ways. Especially if it's a battle injury. It keeps bringing you back to that moment whenever you see it," Sonny looks a little bit tired, but not much. "Now what about those PTSD symptoms? Insomnia? Depression?"

Alexander lifts his shirt a fraction, to expose red shrapnel scars along one flank. "I'll keep these, though, for now," he says, letting the cotton fall again. "Yes, and yes," he adds. Apparently it's okay to tell him, since he's a doctor.

Trust him, he's a doctor. Sonny arches his brows as the other scars are revealed. "I understand the attachment to certain scars. I…almost regret getting rid of the one I got playing baseball in sixth grade. Half the time I hated it, the other half I…well, it triggered fond memories," He smiles a little. His doctorly attitude seems to be relaxing a little bit. "Well, I can prescribe for you some sleep-aids and antidepressants. Unless you feel they're under control?"

"No. It'd be fine. And I'd be even more grateful, if that's possible," Alex says, quietly. "It couldn't hurt. God knows I don't sleep well."

Sonny starts to write a prescription, but stops. "Mmm. Might not be safe for you to have your name directly attached to mine. Do you uh, do…" he looks a bit awkward. "…do you have a fake ID?"

Alexander eyes him. "I do, as a matter of fact," he says, simply, reaching for a spare wallet in a pocket. And producing an ID that declares him to be Samuel Wilkins.

The ID produces a wry grin from Sonny. "Mmm, not surprised, not surprised. Sam, is it?" He chuckles, then writes out a prescription for low-dose sleep aids and a weak antidepressant. "Make sure you read all the literature they give you with these and I'll come check on you to see if they're helping. Be careful with the sleep-aids. Use them only rarely. They're easy to get hooked on." He tears off the paper and hands it to Al. "And please do call me if you need anything else. It's what I'm here for."

Alexander pulls a face. "Last thing I need is an addiction. Thanks, Doc. You don't know what a help you've been," he says, simply, putting a hand on the other man's arm. "IF there's anything I can do for you, just tell me."

Sonny shakes his head. "This isn't a favours game, Alex. I do this because I can't do what you're doing. Not without destroying my father's career. And believe me when I tell you that his opponents would take a much harder line on the Evolved."

"That's right. You've got a political in," Al says, musingly. "Listen. You want a beer, or somethin, if you're not in a hurry to go?"

"Sure, I can stay for a beer. I'm glad I could be useful today. I forgot that begging out of family things pretty much means you're in for a quiet New Years Day," Sonny smiles a little. "Not that I didn't need to sleep in a bit this morning."

Alexander motions him to sit in one of the worn vinyl chairs. "I had a quiet New Year's, myself. You? Stayed out too late?" he wonders, even as he tugs open the fridge.

"Not too late, not really. I was home by two. Was at the big Mayoral shindig. It was the kind of party that winds down quickly after midnight. Lots of the older folks aren't up for late nights. Some people closed the place, no doubt. Some probably went to trendier after-parties." Sonny moves towards the motioned chair.

Alexander smirks. "The glittering throng, the madding crowd," he says, putting the bottle down before Sonny, easily.

"Glittering thongs too," Sonny cracks a wry grin. "There's rhinestones on everything the girls wear these days, it seems." He pops open the beer. Slowly, he's easing out of his professional mode and back into something closer to his real self.

Alexander actually blushes at the idea. "I…would think that'd be uncomfortable," he says, as if more than a little bemused.

"Comfort and socialites don't go together. Have you -seen- the shoes?" Sonny rolls his eyes skyward. "It's quite amazing, actually. I've seen girls spend two hours getting ready to go to the newstands for a magazine."

"Can't say I have," Al points out, in his slow drawl. "I can imagine it might be. Beyond me, really."

"It really is foolish. But," Sonny shrugs. "Keeps me in business. These girls will pay me massive amounts of money to fix minor defects in their faces. The scary thing is, they're all turning into clones of one another. And it's my doing." He rolls his eyes skyward and sips the beer.

Alexander spreads his hands. "Can't keep a fool from her folly. And it makes you lots of money, right? You do no harm, and some good ,even if you gotta do it on the sly…"

"I suppose." Sonny shrugs. "Never thought I'd get bored with beauty, though." He spins the cap of his beer on the table.

"And are you? Bored with it, and in search of transcendent ugliness?" Al wonders, eyeing him from under his brows, amused. He stretches back, making the vinyl of the chair creak, and takes a lazy pull from his own beer.

Sonny chuckles and lolls his head back, beer held with both hands in front of him. "Not -ugliness- so much as craving few flaws. I guess it's not beauty I'm bored with so much as perfection. Seeing and experiencing perfection all the time is like always eating…creme brule. Sure, it's delicious and sweet and indulgent. But after awhile you just…want some…potato chips."

Okay. Stifling the impulse to make a drastically stupid offer, because signs that Sonny goes for boys are pretty much nil. But after Teo's little morning bombshell, Al's still simmering angrily. "I can…, I can't imagine, actually," he says, wryly, before stifling any further comment with more beer.

Sonny chuckles. "It's…duller than you'd think. Believe it or not. Or maybe I'm just a spoiled bastard," he grins over to Al. He's either oblivious to the signs of the other man's possible discomfort, or his politeness is just far too ingrained.

"I can. The human brain can get used to and bored with the most amazing things," he concedes, tipping the neck of his bottle towards Sonny, as if making a point.

Sonny grins. "Everything in moderation, huh? Even beauty and perfection." He seems to like that idea. There's a bit of a glimmer in his eye, something playful. Ah, now the playboy's coming out. He takes a swallow of the beer.

Alexander muses, as he sets aside his now empty bottle, "Isn't that what the ancients advised? And even moderation itself in moderation, which meant that occasional excess might be excused?"

The doc shifts his posture and laughs at Al's statement. "I like the way you think, my friend." He lifts the bottle in a salute and takes a pull from it. "The truth of it is, part of why I do this Ferrymen thing is to keep me from going stir-crazy. Otherwise it'd be off to work, boob and nose jobs. Then home, out to parties with people who pretend to like me so they can either get procedures or curry favor with my dad. At least you people are more real, more honest. Anything I give, I give because I want to. No demands are made on me. It's…refreshing."

"True. We come begging and we're grateful. Especially since you're one of the ones who can pass. And who has money and position to protect him. I'm glad Rickham got elected. But I fear bitter days ahead, even with him in office," Al confesses, picking at the label of the beer bottle with a fingernail, and glancing up.

"That's the problem with leaders who take strong stances. You're almost guaranteed someone is going to stand opposed with equal conviction," Sonny grimaces and unconsciously mirrors the label-picking. "At least with more moderate leaders, everyone can pretend their voice is being heard. But…let's not talk politics." He finishes off the rest of his beer.

Alexander lifts his hands. "Whatever you say, doc," he says, innocently, eyes wide and clearly.

"I shouldn't impose on you too much longer, anyway. You're still recovering. You need your rest. And you -shouldn't- be drinking, but I know that suggestion never flies," Sonny grins a somewhat goofy grin. He stands, then goes towards Al and has another look at his work. He touches the side of his face, around his eye. "Mmm. I don't know. I feel like I should be able to make that look better. Maybe with a fresh perspective."

"If you wanna be a picky artist about it, be my guest. But, you've already done so much for me," Al says, cheerfully. "But yeah, I should be lying down again."

"You might not notice it now, but there's going to be a strange shadow here," Sonny touches a spot by Alex's eye and traces a crescent shape, "…in certain light. Because of the distribution of scar tissue. I'm sure I could hide it elsewhere on your body. But that's not the best trial and error thing. I'll think on it."

Alexander makes one of those graceful, dismissive gestures. "Boss, you too much of a perfectionist, really. It's all good."

"I can't help it," Sonny straightens up, grins, then puts both arms behind his head and stretches out his back. He rolls his neck. "It's a job that requires perfection and detail. But I wouldn't want to get carried away and start making you over. Then I'd just turn you into a boring clone too. And who wants that, mm?" This from a guy who, over the years, made himself look like a movie star.

Alexander shakes his head. "I'm not knockin' your work. But I don't need to be beautiful. I never have been, really. If you got me there, I'd not be -me- anymore, right?"

"You'd be surprised how few people care about that," says Sonny pensively. He drops his arms to his sides and looks distant for a moment. But then he flashes a smile to Alex. "That's again, why I like all of you. Most of you wouldn't ask me for a makeover, for exactly that reason. Individuality. Where the world I come from is all about conformity."

"Man, it's way too late for me to fit in now, no matter what you did to my face," Al drawls, amused. "I got bigger things on my mind."

"Well, the biggest thing on your mind right now should be getting -rest-." Sonny grins and claps Al on the shoulder. "Call me if you need anything, all right? And let me know how those drugs work out for you."

January 1st: Lab Rats
January 1st: All You Need Is Loyalty
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License