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Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre)

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1 Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre) on Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:17 pm

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Super Duper Angst Meme (Injury Edition)
Send me a ➴  and I will generate a number between 1 and 100 for what my muse will say to yours.
10. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."

The good doctor wiped his brow with the back of his hand, felt the coolness of his sweat collect there. The night had been a long one, but as the dark ended with the coming dawn, so did his work. He glanced down at the woman lying upon the bed, his eyes tracing the severe lines that marred her face, then to the bandages that he'd carefully wrapped around her torso a few hours prior. She'd have a few more scars to add to her collection, it would seem. 

As the soft morning light reached out with gentle fingers to touch the slumbering figure, she had begun to stir. He watched her open her eyes and look around, like most previously unconscious patients had done in the past, and when she began to sit up, he reached out to stop her. His touch was gentle, but firm. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."


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He chuckled, letting his hand fall back to his lap, his gaze remaining fixed upon the starlit heavens. "No, I'm merely musing out loud. Unless, of course, you want a history lesson; in which case, I can provide. It certainly would be a good way to pass the time, I suppose. Or we could exchange stories we've heard. Myths, legends, that sort of thing. I know plenty, and I'm sure you know your fair share, given your daytime profession."


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Lyra let out a laugh at that-- albeit a small, wheezy one.

"Ahh, yes," the woman replied with a nod. "The profession where I don't find myself in need of medical attention. Well, typically, in any case." She cleared her throat, blushing as she recalled a nasty fall from a ladder with some embarrassment.

"Well, ah," she continued, "I wouldn't at all mind the chance to discuss my favourite subject with a fellow scholar such as yourself." The smile on her face grew as several of her favourite stories came to mind; stories that she'd been told as a child, and had only come to respect more with age.

"Would you like to start us off, or shall I?"

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"Take it away, my friend." He could do with a break from talking, after all, and with a distraction from his own aches and pains. And he was curious about her, truth be told. She was not quite like anyone he'd ever met, and was a mystery begging to be unraveled. What story would she tell, he wondered. What sort of legends held her interest?


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"Take it away, my friend."

Lyra paused briefly as she looked up at him, taking a moment to process the man's choice of words. Her smile didn't fade. Indeed, she felt honoured to be referred to as such by a man who, even in such a short span of time, had captured her interest. Xiro was a fascinating individual, and Lyra still held out hope that she might consider him to be a friend eventually.

"Alright, let's see now. ." She replied, pursing her lips as her fingers toyed with an admittedly grubby lock of hair. Several stories jumped out at her, but she got the distinct impression that her companion wasn't one to be particularly impressed by Heroes' tales. So then, what. . ? Her eye was drawn to the skies once more, to the constellation Xiro was fixed upon, and her thoughts drifted to older legends, to those of faeries and other such beings that Albion hadn't seen the likes of for thousands of years. "Ahh, I know--" Lyra settled back against the wall, wetting her dry lips as she began. "Tell me, have you heard of the White Lady of Rosewood?"

~*~

The night seemed to pass by much more quickly than she'd initially expected, even as exhausted and aching as she was. The scholars exchanged tales, occasionally interjecting with added bits of knowledge or brief discussions. Hers ranged from legends from the Old Kingdom to the Northern Wastes, with the occasional Heroic story sprinkled in when she couldn't bring herself to resist the urge.

There were times when she could spy his expression briefly flash to something unreadable, (particularly when she brought up Scarlet Robe's origins,) but she was far too caught up in the good time she was having to be bothered overmuch by it. It was a nice change to be able to sit down and talk-- really talk-- with someone, and Xiro was immensely good company in that regard. It had been a long time indeed since the woman had enjoyed a conversation so much.

Before the Nightingale knew it, the sky had begun to brighten from the darkness of night to the lovely purples and oranges of dawn. She let out a great, (and slightly painful,) yawn, her eyes heavy as she lapsed into silence and watched the stars fade from the sky. Lyra longed to curl up and sleep, but Xiro had scolded her quite enough the several times she'd found herself drifting off between their stories. Besides, the sun would be up fully soon, and the two could finally be on their way; there was little point in sleeping now.

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By the time the sun had begun to rise, the two had exchanged innumerable tales, jokes, and opinions. It was refreshing to find someone with a thirst for knowledge, someone with real intelligence in a world with more than its fair share of idiots. It usually did not take long for the Jack to grow bored of people, but Miss Brighton held his attention. She was strong and interesting and peculiar, and he enjoyed her company immensely. 

But alas, it could only last for so long before they had no choice but to take their leave. Xiro did not relish the idea of standing up, but he forced himself to his feet, using the wall for support, before extending a dirty hand to his companion. "Come. We should get going," he grunted, trying not to let the pain show on his face or in his voice. "If we make good time, we could be back before nightfall."


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"Come. We should get going. If we make good time, we could be back before nightfall."

Lyra accepted the man's hand, gripping it as she stood up shakily, her other hand against the wall as she steadied herself. "Oh yes," she managed with a small chuckle despite the clear wince of pain straining her features, the exhaustion that made itself known in her voice. "It'll be lovely to get a good night's rest after all this."

The scarred woman sighed, starting to dust herself before she seemed to realise how pointless that task was at this point. She wasn't looking forward to the journey back, or the talking-to they'd surely be getting, but they couldn't very well remain here. "Well then. . Shall we?"



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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He nodded. "Do you need help walking?" He certainly hoped not. It was a long way back to the valley, and walking even just to these ruins last night had been hard on them both. This was going to be a hard journey, and he was looking forward to it about as much as she was.


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"I. . I think I can manage," she replied, tentatively testing her steps. "My leg isn't broken, at least, just--" she bit back a curse as she put her weight down upon said limb. "--Tender."

Slowly, carefully, she made her way out into the sunlight beside her amber-eyed friend, putting aside her fatigue as best as she could. When all was said and done, the swelling of her injuries at least seemed to have gone down a bit, but it still hurt like hell to move around. And then there were the plethora of other aches and pains making themselves known in her body. There was little point in dwelling on them, however; the sooner they returned to the good doctor's care, the sooner the both of them would be able to heal in relative comfort.

Lyra looked up to the sky, grimacing visibly as she noted storm clouds in the distance. It was nice enough for now, but there was no telling what to expect from the weather these days. "Well, I certainly don't like the look of that."

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He followed her gaze and grimaced. "Aw, hell," he groaned, his shoulders slumping forward in defeat. "First bandits and now a magical storm? We can't catch a break, can we?" And here he'd hoped for a leisurely walk back. At least he had a protection charm. These storms usually messed with whatever evil magic was used to bind him to his masters, causing him intense physical harm. That was one less thing to worry about.

"Well, we'd better get to it, then. Using the Cullis Gate should put some distance between us and that storm. Maybe we can make it back to the Valley, or at least the station before it hits." He began to limp from their shelter towards the circular dais just a few yards away, an arm wrapped around his middle to hold himself together. "Come on, then. There's no time to waste."


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Ah, yes. . The Cullis Gate. She'd nearly forgotten.

Lyra's stomach turned again as she recalled how disorienting that particular trip had been the first time around. And that had been without the concussion; she wasn't sure how well she would handle it the second time around, but it wasn't as if either of them had any choices in the matter.

She sighed, hobbling alongside her companion as they both lapsed into silence that was broken only by their laboured breaths. Avo, these past few days had been absolutely dreadful. And yet, oddly enough, she was glad to have crossed paths with both the Heroes-- or, their doctor, at the very least-- and this man. She couldn't explain it, but she couldn't shake the feeling that something about this all was meant to be, that she'd been given this chance to finally do something truly important in her life.

Or perhaps she was just very unfortunate.

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Going through the Gate took hardly any effort on his part this time around, for which he was ever so grateful, and in mere moments, they had crossed the forests and stood upon the Hero Hill overlooking all of Millfields. It was a welcome sight, peaceful in the morning breeze. But the storm still loomed on the horizon, and that breeze would turn into a full-on gale 'ere long. There wasn't time to enjoy the view.

The next few hours were filled with traveling on foot. But they were slow, and half the time, they needed to lean on each other for support, while another quarter was spent taking breaks when the pain and exhaustion became too much to bear. The storm caught up to them easily, and soon bright blue bolts of lightning flashed overhead and the wind wailed like a thousand despondent banshees. 

But the station was just there, over that last ridge. They could make it, if they just kept going. Xiro turned to Lyra, face twisted as he shouted above all the noise, "We can't stop! We're almost there!"


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The woman could hardly hear Xiro's voice even as he shouted over the raging winds of the Willstorm, but she managed a heavy nod in response.

Every last inch of her body felt both numb and in agony all at once, and every movement seemed to take all the effort she could muster. But even still, that pain paled in comparison to the fear the storm brought her as terrible flashes of lightning streaked overhead. The air was thick with magic raw and primal, and she could feel its power bearing down upon her even now. It was a terrifying feeling, and she couldn't help but feel very small and insignificant under that heavy weight. But there was something else, too. . Though she couldn't quite put her finger on what that something was. It seemed very much like she'd been having a lot of those feelings as of late.

Lyra clutched her side as she made an effort to pick up the pace, trying to ignore the burning in her chest, the dizziness clouding her thoughts as she soldiered on, her footsteps clumsy in her thoroughly sleep-deprived state. Their destination was so close, now. . She only needed to keep moving.

Had she been more rested, more alert, she might have noticed the jagged rock that stuck out before her, but she was so focused on beating the storm and getting to safety that she overlooked it. She gasped, her toe catching on the nasty thing as she rushed so carelessly along, and soon found herself landing heavily in the dirt and stones beneath their feet, the air knocked briefly from her lungs as a sharp, agonising pain shot through her body.

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Xiro cursed as Lyra was suddenly ripped from his grip by gravity's pull, trying in vain to catch hold of her before she collided with the ground. He hissed. That looked like it hurt...

Quickly kneeling beside her, he tried to coax her to stand, though most of his words were lost to the wind. His hands, however, were gentle as he helped her to her feet. He hoped the fall hadn't damaged her further, but they'd have to worry about that later. Right now, all that mattered was that they reach that station.

His lungs were burning, his skin slick with sweat. He could feel the magical energies within him churn and boil with each flash of lightning, could smell the dank, earthy stench that always came with old, primal power. It was akin to his own, raw and writhing and wild. It shouldn't have frightened him so, but this much magic, untamed and without rhyme or reason, was a danger even to him. His own magic was reacting, becoming sick and violent. He needed out of this storm yesterday.

Each step brought them closer to shelter, though it felt a million miles away with the wind beating down upon them and pushing them back with fists made of air. It seemed forever before they finally made it inside, and there Xiro allowed himself to sink to his knees with a long, drawn-out groan.


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There were tears streaking down Lyra's dirty cheeks as the two of them collapsed in the station, and she let out a small cry, cradling her side as she felt something shift sickly beneath her skin. Her breaths were shallow as she gasped for air. Her whole torso felt as if it was on fire.

"Ngh--! Are. . Are we. . ?" she breathed, the question dying almost as soon as she managed to get it out of her mouth. She raised her head wearily, glancing back toward the station's entrance. The storm still raged outside, and the woman feared it might somehow bring the whole place down around them. No one else seemed to be here-- not that she could see, anyway. Though she shouldn't have been surprised; any sane individual would likely be far away from here by now.

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He didn't answer her, too busy calming himself and the roaring within him. Had he been well, he would have been able to control the flow of magic, could handle the sudden rush of power without fear of being overwhelmed. Damn his weakness...

Once he'd caught his breath, he turned his eyes to her, though it was a few moments more before he spoke. "Y... You alright...?"


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"I don't know, I. . I think so," she lied, her voice hoarse, breath rattling in her throat. She avoided his eyes and attempted to swallow the agony as a wave of embarrassment passed over her. These past few days had been one slip-up after another, and the Nightingale was loathe to admit she'd managed to injure herself further.

Lyra reached up with a bloody, scraped hand to wipe sweat and tears away from her cheeks, leaving streaks of grime across them. She didn't look dissimilar to a child with skinned knees, too stubborn and proud to admit how much pain she was truly in.

"What about you. . ?"

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He could tell she was lying. The tears that streaked down her cheeks and the twisting of her features told the truth of it. Still, he didn't want to compound the embarrassment she was no doubt already feeling. 

"I've been better. Perhaps we should rest some..." This was said more for her benefit than his own, but it was no lie. He was struggling as she was, but she had suffered more in these past two days than he.


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The woman nodded, a weak but grateful smile her only reply for a few moments.

"Rest would be welcome, yes," she said softly, her voice a coarse whisper. She took in their surroundings once more; how long would it be before the monorail was operational again? She hoped it wouldn't be long. The both of them were in desperate need of rest and proper medical attention.

A bath and a nice hot meal wouldn't be unwelcome, either.

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He returned the nod, leaning against the wall to his right, his head reading upon its surface, his eyes sliding closed. Gods, everything hurt. But, at least for now, their journey was on hold. 

He must have fallen asleep, for the next time he opened his eyes, Dr. Thomas Whittaker was glaring down at him, shaking his head.

"What...?" 

"That's my question," Tom growled. "Followed swiftly by 'the' and 'hell'."

Xiro took a moment to take in where he was. At some point, they had migrated from the entrance to the station into the rail car itself. There were three other men alongside the doctor, armed and grim. Lyra was beside him, but it was he who seemed to have earned Tom's wrath.

"Er," he returned his gaze to the waiting doctor. "I had to, um, get something?"

"You had to get something."

"Yes, it was very important."

"And this very important item would be?"

Xiro's fingers found the ocarina that hung from his neck. "Protection."

Tom's brow furrowed. "Protection? From what?"



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Oh, for pity's sake, was it too much to ask that the world stay still?

Lyra groaned, roused by the sound of voices somewhere nearby. Her stomach was uneasy, her dizziness made all the worse by an unexpected sensation of movement. It was difficult to pull herself from the grip of unconsciousness, and her body was aching in just about every way physically possible.

After a few moments of battling with the urge to lapse back into slumber, she managed to pry open her eyes. She didn't expect to see the blurred shapes of several men greeting her as she awoke. The Nightingale panicked for a brief moment, her fingers clumsily reaching toward her belt before her eye focused on the familiar face of Doctor Whittaker. She blinked, brows knitting together. It took a few more moments to realise her surroundings, the warmth of another body on her blind side, which she assumed must have been Xiro's.

"Wh--whuzzappening?" She croaked faintly, fatigue and confusion etched deeply into her grimy, bruised face. "How did you. . ?"

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"Ah, Miss Brighton. So good of you to join us. We received a call for help from a startled rail car operator discovered two 'half-dead' individuals collapsed in the middle of the station entry hall. You were both out cold, and were very easy to carry," Tom answered her, his tone scathing. He then returned his attention to Xiro in order to repeat his question. "Protection from what?"

The injured man ran his fingers through his loose hair. "It is as I told you before, doctor. The markings that were causing me so much grief yesterday were of magical origin, and could not be cured by your medicine, no matter your skill. I needed something that would keep that magic at bay, and that meant finding this." He held the bone instrument up for the other man to see. "This charm serves as a shield."

Tom scoffed. It wasn't that he didn't believe in magic; it was that he believed magic could be scientifically explained, and that it too would surrender to science and reason. After all, man had discovered how to heal magical burns and such in the past. If they could just understand the mechanics of how spells weave and work, they could better understand how to combat their effects. But, as it was, he knew very little about the strange markings carved in Xiro's skin, and he did not know how to stop the pulsing blue light, nor did he have a pain killer strong enough to fight off the agony they had caused his patient. If the teacher's small trinket really did as he said, then at least that was one less thing he'd have to worry about.

"But why drag a gunshot victim along on your mad dash across Albion, hm?" he pointed an accusing finger towards Lyra. He was quite upset that she had not only been taken, but also found in a much worse state than she'd left in. And after all that hard work in patching her up, too... "Your adventure nearly killed her!"

"That was mostly by accident," Xiro muttered, looking down as a hand rubbed at the back of his neck. He didn't really have a decent explanation for it. He really should have left her quite alone, but he'd known from the start he wouldn't have gotten far without help.


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Lyra winced, the doctor's words cold and biting as he directed them toward the pair. She averted her gaze and chewed her lip, hands clenching the seat beneath her as the cable car continued on its way. Every tiny bump and jolt sent stabs of pain through the woman's body and caused her stomach to toss; if anything, she was thankful for the lack of food or drink in her system now.

Her eye was drawn to the other men that accompanied Dr. Whittaker. They were still slightly fuzzy, but it was easy for her to tell they were clearly from the Heroes' encampment armed as they were, though she didn't recognise any of them. Waves of guilt washed over the Nightingale; how much trouble had her impulsive and irresponsible decision caused these people? The people who had saved her life and cared for her, however briefly. And for what? To see some ruins? To keep watch over some stranger that had snuck into her room in the dead of night?

"But why drag a gunshot victim along on your mad dash across Albion, hm? Your adventure nearly killed her!"

Lyra was snapped out of her thoughts then as the doctor pointed her out, rising anger evident in his voice as he spoke to her companion.

"It was my own fault, doctor!" Lyra managed to interject above a whisper, doing her best to make herself heard, though it was apparent by the way her voice strained, the way her face twisted, that it pained her to do so. "This man happened upon my room during his escape, and I convinced him to let me go with him," she lied-- well, perhaps it wasn't a complete lie, but she certainly hadn't had to do much convincing on her part. "He was in pain and needed help, so I. . I just thought I could. ." She wheezed, her voice lost in an agonising fit of coughing that made her chest tighten and brought the faintest trace of blood to her lips.

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The doctor was at her side in an instant, ignoring her words as he grumbled quietly under his breath and looked over her injuries for what he was sure was the seventeenth time. He had managed to bind most of their injuries while the two had been unconscious, but the worst of it would have to wait until they returned to the hospital in the Valley. That included Lyra's broken ribs. 

"Enough," he sighed, rising. "You both need to rest, and I've made my displeasure known. I'm sure we won't have to worry about you two running off again, hm? Will has already made it clear that he can't spare the manpower to rescue you again, should you slip away. So next time, you'll be on your own." He'd already been gone for too long trying to find these two; the rest of his patients were luckily stable enough to survive under the nurses' care in his absence, but should more sick or injured arrive, they'd be in trouble. He needed to get home, and soon.

He snapped his finger at Xiro, and pointed to the adjacent row of seats. "You. Lay down over there, give the Nightingale some room." The other man frowned, clearly not happy at being ordered about like a dog, but he did as he was told, likely only for Lyra's sake and not because he'd been told to do so. Tom then directed his attention again towards the woman, helping her to lie down comfortably. "Sleep. You need it. Both of you."


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Lyra laid down with no further fussing on her part, thankful for the chance to properly do so for the first time since they'd left the clinic. Avo, everything hurt in one way or another; but at least it had all been worth it. She glanced at Xiro a moment as he moved to lay down opposite her, eye drawn to the ivory flute he held in his hand, and her lips managed a faint smile. The Nightingale was glad to know that her actions had at least done someone some good.

Her attention shifted back to the good doctor, and she gently laid her hand upon his for a moment. "I'm sorry," she whispered, her eyes sincere despite the fatigue that lay so heavily upon them. "I didn't mean to cause you all so much trouble. I hope you can forgive me. And him. ."

If he had an answer for her, she didn't hear it; sleep was quick to claim her.

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The next time Xiro woke, he once again found that he had been transported from the spot he'd fallen asleep in. The uncomfortable bench of the rail car had been replaced with a much comfier bed, and his surroundings were thankfully the familiar hospital room he'd been in at the start of this horrible adventure. He tried to sit up, only to find that he could not. Looking down, he found that his hands and feet were bound to the bed with leather straps, and an arrow of fear found its way into his heart.

Instantly, he was brought back to that terrible cell, surrounded by tools of torment, bound and chained to a table    No. He shook himself. He was safe, he was safe. Not free, maybe, but safe. He glanced down at his chest to make sure the flute still hung from his neck. He'd never been more relieved to see such a tiny trinket.

Doing his best to calm himself and regain control of his scattered, fearful breaths, he settled back onto his plethora of pillows. These restraints were merely here to keep him from running off again, a doctor's precaution to ensure that he did not lose his patient again, even if it was a tad over the top and bordering on unnecessary. It wasn't anything to fear, or fly into a panic over. He was safe. No one here was going to hurt him.

Are you so sure? his paranoia whispered in his ear, and he swallowed the lump that formed in his throat. The fear was still there, scratching at his mind like a thousand cockroaches, and a part of him knew that it always would be. He felt his skin begin to crawl.

"How are you feeling?"

Xiro jumped, looking up to the doctor, taking in his grim and curious expression. His fear must have shown on his face, for Tom softened visibly. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine," the injured man lied. "How's Lyra?"

"Why don't you ask her yourself?" the doctor replied, nodding at something past Xiro's bed. The former teacher turned to see that the woman in question had been placed in the bed beside his. She looked better, with some color returning to her cheeks. He felt himself relaxing.

"Oh."


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