What Still Hurts


kayla_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title What Still Hurts
Synopsis After spending over seven weeks asleep, Kayla Reid finally wakes up in a room unfamiliar by its specifics but all too familiar in type. That isn't a surprise. She also has unwanted company who is, by the end, perhaps not entirely unwelcome after all.
Date May 17, 2009

Primatech Research: Level One Holding

For a long, long time — seven and a half weeks — this room has been all but silent and still. The visits of medical staff, the occasional curious agent, don't count. The sound of monitors verifying that yes, the unconscious woman in the bed is still alive, doesn't count either.

Especially not when they're all turned off.

Kayla didn't want to listen to them while she was reading.

The room has no frills to speak of, its walls and ceiling painted institutional gray, the floor tiled in a very similar color. The sheets and blankets are equally bland; Kayla can't be said to have noticed. She turned off all the instruments. Removed most of the leads. Now the young woman is stretched out in the opposite direction on the bed, folder in hand, perusing her own medical chart.

She did leave the glucose drip in her arm.

Between the flat signals and the camera discreetly placed in one corner of the ceiling, there's no doubt someone knows Kayla has finally awakened.

The medical staff is busy attending to some emergency or another — a new bag and tag coming in with fairly serious injuries, the agent with some to match as it wasn't an easy take down. So it's Veronica Sawyer who's come through the area who notices first. "Um… guys?" she says, looking around for one of the medics, as the bells and whistles go off at the station. She glances at the monitors, matching the room on the monitor to the rooms indicated by the flashing lights. Kayla.

Vee tilts her head and decides, from the woman's posture and activity, that it's not an emergency, and decides to check it out herself. A few steps, and she's in the empath's room.

"Kayla. Nice to see you," says Veronica, with a little bit of amusement. She arches a brow at the file. "Interesting reading material?"

Kayla doesn't bat an eyelash as the door opens, nor even look Veronica's way. She turns a page in the folder, snorting softly at the woman's query. "Very," is the younger woman's dry response. "Your doctors made some lousy treatment choices." Not that she knows there were reasons for such…

Kayla finally looks up from the folder to regard the agent, gray eyes taking in her attire. Definitely not typical doctor or nurse garb. "Why're you the one that showed up when the machines started squawking?"

"I wouldn't know anything about your treatment choices," Vee says with a shrug of her shoulder. "I haven't read your medical chart," she says dryly. She goes to sit in the chair that puts her face to face with Kayla, so the "patient" doesn't have to turn her head awkwardly to see the agent. She crosses her legs and shrugs again. "Something else going on. No one at the desk. There's not too many patients in here so it was a skeleton crew. I'm sure they'll be in soon, though."

"Can't say I'm surprised." It's a disparaging remark, intended — though perhaps not consciously — to maintain the figurative distance between them. Gray eyes follow Veronica's progress to the chair, before the woman snorts softly, closing the folder and leaning over to replace it in its original location. "Good." Her tone suggests Kayla intends to have a word or three with said 'medical staff'.

Since she's no longer reading, the woman shifts into a sitting position, legs crossed; easier to deal with others that way. Also, an easier position to move from than flat-out on her stomach. She doesn't, however, follow through on either point; gaze distant, the woman sets one splay-fingered hand against her chest, covering where the two bullet wounds once were.

Yes, they both really did heal.

"What part are you not surprised about?" Vee says coolly. "That I hadn't read your chart? Don't think I would be able to follow it?" she says, a little edge to her voice as she wonders if she's being insulted by the seemingly-homeless woman. "By the way, Bolivar apparently passed on a message. 'Thanks for your stupidity. Get well soon.' Or something to that extent." She leans back in her chair. "So you can feel other people's injuries… and heal them… but you take the wounds unto yourself… are you usually able to heal yourself, too?" she asks.

Gray eyes lift to the woman across from her. "You're obviously not 'medical staff'," Kayla points out. She doesn't comment on whether or not that means the woman wouldn't be able to read it, but lets her draw her own conclusions.

Her gaze flickers at the mention of Bolivar, lips twisting in a small smirk.

That smirk disappears when Veronica goes into the subject of Kayla's ability, her gaze upon the other woman cool and sharp. "'Heal'," she echoes, as if the word were distasteful. "As in make them miraculously disappear? Fuck, no."

"My father was a neurosurgeon. I had gotten accepted to Cal for pre-med," Vee says quietly enough, her dark eyes narrowing a little at the other woman. "All right. So not miraculously disappearing healing. Short end of the stick on that one, girl. If you're going to be able to take people's injuries, next time opt for the touch and heal method. Much easier on the body, I think." Like anyone actually has an option on what power they get, right? "But can you heal … faster than others?" she asks, reaching for the chart, and beginning to flip through it, to see if Kayla's body has healed any faster even in a coma than it should have.

In response to that advice, Kayla gives Veronica a flat look. And as the woman continues, she folds her arms across her chest. "I've been here for — what, almost two months? Either you really don't have anything to do with medical at all or your doctors are also lousy at taking notes. Don't ask me stupid questions with obvious answers, because I'm not playing that game."

"This is the first time I've looked at your chart, kid," Vee says dryly. "But no, I can see you do heal. Maybe not miraculously and definitely not without pain and such. Bummer on that," she says. "So you do feel the pain of the person before you heal them? Can't you tell when… it's too dangerous to take their injuries, or were you just not thinking?"

She wasn't smiling to begin with; her lips press into a thin, pale line, and Kayla looks away. Looks at one of the bare, windowless walls instead of the woman who wants to know everything she's spent two and a half years trying to conceal.

Bummer is so mild a word; that, combined with Veronica's queries, really tells Kayla all she needs to know. That, and she remembers where she saw the woman the first time; her first opinion of the agent. Fractured ribs leave a distinct impression. "You don't have a bloody clue. So how about you keep your judgments to yourself."

Kayla wraps her arms around herself — and she winces, flinching away from the corridor wall.

Veronica raises a brow. "I'm not judging you. I'm asking you. Can you tell how dangerous someone's injuries are, before you take them? It's possible if you can't, it's something someone here can train you to do. So you don't do this to yourself again, Kayla." Her voice is a bit softer now, a little more sympathetic. She glances at the wall, and through the door. "Can you feel someone out there?" she asks, a little bit in wonder.

Maybe it's the hint of wonderment — something Kayla never truly associated with her ability — that makes a difference. Maybe it's because her attention is fixated on not reacting to the flare of pain rather than the actual conversation.

Her left hand slides down to cover her right forearm. "Gunshot. Nearly the length of the forearm." Kayla's fingers trace the injuries on her own skin as she speaks. "Fractured ulna, shattered radius. Four, five pieces. Lost a lot of blood. It's nearly stopped now." The woman's tone is nearly clinical, but only because she's fighting for the distance that represents. "Bruising. Fistfight, I'd guess. Painkillers. Mm…" The medications she names with less certainty; educated guesses, all of them.

Then the gurney and its escort passes beyond Kayla's range, and she lifts her head, drawing in a deep breath.

Vee glances out the door and watches, eyebrows raising in appreciation. She suspected as much, that day in the park, but still, it's fairly impressive. "How far away do they need to be for you not to feel it?" she asks. "Not just being nosy — I'll make sure they don't put anyone next door or however far away. Plenty of rooms down here," she explains, her voice a little softer, a little more compassionate. "And… now that I know, I apologize for jogging with broken ribs," she adds, her lips curving upward into a smirk.

Kayla looks sidelong at Veronica, apparently underimpressed by the apology. "Apologizing to me is fairly pointless, don't you think?" That's either self-deprecating or an indication of 'wrong answer'. The woman's sardonic tone doesn't exactly make clear which. She returns to the first question, shaking her head slightly. "I don't know. It's different for different things, but I never bothered to measure." Just to endure.

"I'll tell them to put them on the other side of the wing, just to be sure," Veronica says, ignoring the woman's other comments. "No reason for you to feel more pain than you need to. Are you still in pain, from your own … er, Bolivar's… injuries?" she asks, gesturing to her own chest, to indicate the gunshot wounds the woman incurred in healing the officer. "I should probably go grab one of the medical staff to come check on you, though you seem to be doing pretty well. I'd offer to go grab you some horrible coffee or something from the vending machine, but the doctors might not want you eating yet."

Kayla shakes her head at Veronica's inquiry. "No. Those are over and dealt with. A while ago, apparently." At least according to the file. Their tests didn't entirely characterize the rest of what she took, didn't know to look for the radiation-induced damage that required so much extra time to mend, but Kayla remembers that as well — and it is also gone. Her lips twist at the agent's following remarks. "Yeah, sure. Sooner they're here, the sooner I can jump through all the hoops to prove that I'm fine." Because she is. Just fine.

"I can tell they should be healed," she says tapping the file, then putting it in its clip on the end of the bed. "But you know. What is supposed to have been healed and what still hurts… those are two very different things." She smiles. "I guess it's a good thing I got healed yesterday. Though that injury would have been cake compared to what you've been through." She nods to the woman. "I'll go get a doctor for you. It's good to see you up." That sounds sincere, perhaps surprisingly. Vee heads to the door, to seek someone's assistance.

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