Stitches And Slings


francois_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif

Scene Title Stitches and Slings
Synopsis Francois is called to patch up Melissa's latest injury.
Date June 20, 2010

Francois's House

Though the early afternoon light is coming in strong through the high window of the bathroom, Francois flicks on the light anyway, his fingertips smeary red although this can be washed away later and concerns him not at all. What does concern him is the amount of blood leaking out of the woman he's helping into the generous bathroom, and that his stupid boyfriend isn't home to help. Teo! had echoed up the stairwell without answer back, but fortunately, the nature of Melissa's injury means she doesn't need to be carried.

It would be nice to have someone hold things and bedside manner for him, however.

"How are you feeling?" Francois asks, helping her to sit down where he's thrown some towels to cushion the tile, hands strong despite one of them being crooked. "You know, besides the obvious."

The gunshot wound is all too visible, given that Melissa's top is a strapless corset. The scar of the previous gunshot wound is all but hidden by the blood. The corset, however, is likely ruined. Someone will pay for that, no doubt. Mel's face is a little pale, which isn't surprising, all things considered.

"Pissed off. Weak. Wishing my ability worked on myself…But mostly I'm pissed," Mel answers as she follows him into the bathroom, then leans heavily against the wall. "This is the second time I've been shot in this shoulder. I'll be shocked if I can use it normally after this," she grumbles.

"That will be decided today and how well you heal in the next couple of weeks," Francois says, and once she seems settled, he levers open the drawers beneath the sink, drags out a plastic, lidded box, its clear sides showing vague the equipment collected inside with a kind of organisaton involved. Sleeves rolled up, Francois busies himself with taking what he needs — a cathetar likely having to do with the saline bag, these things put aside for later. Silvery tools ripped from their packaging, all new, all clean. More relevant to her in a more immediate away, however, would be the analgesic he's filling a syringe with.

"Fortunately for you," he says, eyes on his task, "I still have a sling from when I got shot in the shoulder a few weeks ago. Closer to the chest," he adds, a shrug of concession, "but if you had broken the bones, you would be in a lot more trouble then you are now. You will be alright."

"I still have my sling too from the last time I was shot. I spiced it up. It's black, with this little pink skull on it," Melissa says with a tight smile. "White is just so not my color. But I'll do whatever it takes to heal this up as quick and clean as I can," she says, watching him, then glancing at her shoulder. "Hope the bullet went right on through this time. Hurts like a bitch when it's dug out."

Gently taking her arm, there's no particular warning before the hypodermic needle bites into her skin, but it goes about as easily as it will go — for all that his hands aren't symmetrical, they have some skill in them. Whether it's his skill is another question, but irrelevant, invisible to scrutiny, especially when the relief from pain is almost instantaneously, flooding it out into a dull acknowledgement of damage. "I will be careful," Francois promises, carelessly dropping the used needle into the sink just next to them before using gauze to mop away the blood. "What happened this time, anyway?" is asked as he tries to determine whether there's an exit wound, or whether the scissor-like hemostats lying within easy reach will be needed.

There's a small wince at the sting of the needle, then Melissa shrugs her good shoulder slightly. "I was out with Kendall, and we ran across all these fuckin' penguins, right? Most people were just gonna herd 'em up and call animal control or whatever, right? But this one guy, think Magnes called him Adam, decides to get out this big ass rifle. There are kids in the area, and Kendall, so I tell him to put the gun away. Twice. He ignores me, blabs to Magnes, and I was afraid he was gonna get one of the kids hurt or somethin'. So…I shoot him. Nothing fatal…" At least she doesn't think it would've been fatal. "But then he shot me, before climbin' in his SUV and driving off."

There's another grimace before Mel tilts her head against the wall, eyes closing. It's easier to zone out from the poking and proding that way. "Luckily no one else got hurt. Brennan rounded up his kids, Kendall had taken off, so Magnes went off to find him and take him home. Which left me needing to get the hell outta dodge while finding a doctor. Fun day huh?"

Francois' part in the story would be screeching his black, shiny Lincoln out to Chelsea, getting blood on the leather seats and helping drag Melissa up the stairs and into his bathroom. During the story, which doesn't so much get ignored as it does get filed away when he's concentrating, though he allows for some time for the drug to do its thing, flicking a glance to her pale face as she closes her eyes. Makes himself useful by muttering a warning before slipping the cathetar into the back of her hand, taping it down and letting saline slither through the wire, which is all he can do short of stocking his home with blood.

Which he doesn't, so. "When the children at the Den asked me about my hand," he says, picking up the hemostats, "I told them a crocodile did it. This sounds almost as fantastical, non? Brace yourself, demoiselle."

There's a soft laugh. "May sound fantastical, but I swear it's true. Every word of it," Melissa murmurs. "What did happen to your hand though, if you don't mind me asking?" It seems she's as braced as she's going to get right now.

"I believe you." Said hand squeezes her wrist, more or less reassuring, before finding somewhere more useful to set against. The slender pincers of the hemostats slide almost easily down the tunnel carved by the bullet, working about as swiftly as he dares to get a grip on the metal buried within. "I was shot," he says, voice a little drifty, providing the story almost as a distraction. "Between the fingers. It broke a few bones but it probably would have healed alright, I believe."

And just like that, the black-bloodied flattened piece of metal is withdrawn, which is its own wave of pain beneath the tide of morphine. It and hemostats both are dropped into the sink again, Francois flicking a glance back over her face and tangling his hand with her's in sympathy. "Someone with an ability got to it first and healed it wrong. Not as interesting a tale, I believe, as the one in Louisiana with the swamp creature," is added with half a smile.

Melissa doesn't make a sound as he fishes out the bullet. Teeth are clenched, and her body tenses, yes, but she doesn't make so much as a whimper or a gasp. How bad would it be to have the mistress of pain crying out at the thing she's supposed to excel at? "Didn't know healers could heal wrong," she says a moment after he's done, sounding a little breathless. "Nothin' you can do to fix it?" she asks, squeezing his hand in return.

The bathroom is beginning to stink of blood and chemical, and gauze is used to mop up the first substance and apply the other to her weeping shoulder — one handedly, content to allow one to remain pressing palms with her. (This is another use Teo could have had, but oh well.) (Not that it isn't for Francois also.) "Ah non, nothing immediate. At least, not any measure of healing, because it is already, in a sense. There are some surgeries, perhaps." Perhaps.

Releasing her hand, the suture kit is brought over, tools extract, laid out. "You are familiar with these," Francois notes.

His last comment has Melissa's eyes opening and looking down at the kit and she sighs softly, nodding. "All too familiar. I swear, since I got to New York I've gotten hurt more than I had the previous twenty-six years of my life combined. At least this time I know why," she grumbles. "Thank you, by the way. Not everyone would've come and picked me up so they could spend their time digging out bullets and puttin' in stitches."

"De rien. It is nothing," is a quick translation, taking a second to splay and flex that left hand before he has to start the process of closing the wound, using it to study the ruined flesh. Shifting where he kneels, Francois goes to pick up the tools, and doesn't feel the need to ask her to be very still. There is silence, when he begins, the feeling of needle pulling thread distant to Melissa's nerves, only barely felt thanks to the prior abuse. When the first two stitches are applied, he speaks again. "The only people with excuses not to put in stitches are the ones who do not know how to. Do you think hospitals accept recommendations from former illicit patients?"

"Can't say I ever thought about it. I guess it depends on if they've got a stick up their ass or not," Melissa answers softly, watching while he stitches her back up. "But I dunno about the other. I could probably give someone stitches in a pinch, but…they wouldn't be pretty. Not even sure they'd be effective."

"In a pinch," is hesitant concession to yes maybe such circumstances would be agreeable with amateur stitching. Francois', however, are very neat, almost visibly improved since the last time she saw him handle these implements, even if he'd only been removing them the last time. Falling silent, Francois concentrates on his task, pausing only now and then to splay the crooked fingers with only a tick of annoyance visible in the line of his jaw, before continuing.

Melissa continues to watch, remaining very still even without a reminder. And after a few stitches, she can't help but compliment the artist. "Those are damn neat stitches. Though I hope you don't mind if I said I hope to never see your stitches again," she murmurs.

That gets a huff of laughter, understated and quiet — not a shocking combination, for him. "I have had practice," Francois says. "But oui, I would prefer not to need it as well — especially on those I like." Near completion, as there isn't really a lot of wound to put back together, he adds; "You remind me of Teo. The pretending like the injury is little, or the pain is minor — getting angry if anything at all. Not a bad thing," he adds.

That brings a smile to Melissa's lips. "I'm more irked that the bastard ruined one of my favorite corsets," she admits. "But with the rest…I don't like being hurt. And showing that I'm hurt can be inconvenient, annoying, or downright dangerous. Besides, I get pain. Probably the only thing on this damn planet I do understand."

"And this is what I understand," Francois states, with a nod towards his own work and one of those smiles that barely touch his mouth but make his eyes go crescent and warmer than their usual condescending patience. A few more moments has him snipping the thread, beginning to bandage up her shoulder, hands out to urge her to move as needle until the material can be taped and wrapped snug around the wound. It seems to take up more material and room than it strictly needs, but it's also designed to constrict.

Sitting back, Francois carelessly uses one of his (expensive) towels to clean off his hands somewhat, before taking out one last thing from the box — a navy blue sling, offered over with a half smile. "Until you get home," he says. "Although you are welcome to stay until you feel less woozy. I can also find something for you to borrow to wear. It will not be a corset."

Melissa is a good little patient, moving when she should, and sitting still when she shouldn't. There's not a single complaint. Well, no new complaints anyway. She smiles and shakes her head. "I appreciate it, Francois, I really do, but hopefully Kendall will be back at the house now, and probably more than a little freaked. He's never been around guns. But I promise, I'll take it easy and not neglect the sling."

With a nod, he carefully extracts the last needle from her hand, taping it over with a plainer bandaid and a final clasp that, while well-meaning, sends a small spike of ache from where the cathetar had rested. This is why he isn't a nurse. "I'll give you some painkillers to take with you, and get Kendall to look after you," Francois says. "I can drive you home, at least." Levering himself up to stand, likely to leave her alone to reckon with this new, if temporary disability in some privacy, as well as go get her the promised drugs, he adds, "And call me in a couple of weeks, or anyone else you would have look at how it is healing."

Melissa nods at the directions, then works on pushing herself to her feet with her good hand. "Pain pills and a ride home will be awesome. And definitely will get someone to look at it." She gives a soft laugh. "It's a good thing I know so many medically oriented people. I seem to need 'em a lot."

"We are also not easily offended when our company is for our trade," Francois adds, lightly, and with a wave of a clean hand that still had blood gathered up beneath his nails, he steps out of the bathroom, pulling the door only partially closed. From there, the soft sounds of his footsteps headed down the hallway can be heard, Melissa left alone with the dreaded sling and a mirror to show her exactly how chalk pale she looks from this last brush with danger and injury.

There's what almost looks like a faint flush just as Francois's leaving the bathroom, but Melissa says nothing. Instead she does look in the mirror and grimace at her reflection. "That's it. This is the last time I get myself shot," she mutters to herself, before waiting for Francois's return, and the promised pills and ride home.

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