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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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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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"Goodness! Are you alright?"

Fear turned quickly to confusion and then concern as Lyra looked down at the strange man under the blanket. He was definitely another patient, and probably in about the same shape as she was, from the looks of it; though she couldn't see him in any great detail. She tilted her head as she pulled the linens off of the poor man and carefully tested her limits as she stepped off of the bed, one hand on the edge of the mattress as she swayed uneasily, her legs nearly buckling. Her body wasn't quite agreeing with her decision to stand, it seemed, and she bit back a curse at the twinge of pain that made itself known to her once again. She wasn't in any mood to let her condition prevent her from doing something, however, and extended a hand to the odd gentleman.

"Here, let me help you up." She said with as kind a smile as she could manage through her discomfort and chuckled softly, hoping to ease the awkward tension. "If you needed a blanket, I'm certain you could have just asked."

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He hesitated, eyeing the offered hand with suspicion before he carefully grabbed hold of it and let her help him to his feet. He did his best to use as much of his own strength in standing; she was, after all, seriously injured and wouldn't be able to help him up on her own without hurting herself. He managed to get up, only for his legs to give out on him again. He was lucky enough to fall sideways and land on the bed rather than the floor, though, and huffing and puffing, he struggled to sit up.

"Thank you," he muttered, shakily letting out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "I'm... I'm fine... Forgive me for disturbing you. I merely meant to escape the eye of the nurse."


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For the briefest of moments, Lyra felt a tingle and a feeling like lightning or cold fire shot up her arm as she took a hold of the man's hand. She gasped, eyes wide; it was all she could do to prevent herself from pulling away from him, and her other hand gripped the mattress behind her for dear life. As he let go of her and pulled himself up from the bed, she couldn't help but look down at her hand for a moment. Surely, it had just been her imagination acting up. She'd just awoken from a nightmare, after all. She needed to get a hold of herself!

"I-- of course." She breathed, visibly shaken as she flexed her fingers. "May I ask why? You seem like you could use a nurse." She shot him an apologetic smile. "No offense."

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The stranger raised his tired eyes to her again, and there was a darkness, a fear in them that wasn't there before. But he recovered quickly, adverting his gaze as he spoke. "I am hunted, and those who will come to seek me out will show no mercy to those who shelter me.... And they will find me. These..." He unwound the bandages on one of his wrists, baring it to her. Carved into his skin were several runes, glowing a soft blue, pulsing along with the beat of his heart. His eyes crinkled in a slight cringe at the sight of them. "...These markings are a spell... A curse, really. They serve as not only a means of control, but also as a beacon to those who would use me. So I cannot stay in one place for long, or they..." His face twisted then, and he shook his head. "I cannot stay. Besides, there is nothing these people can do for me until something is done about the curse laid upon me."

He let his hand fall, not bothering to recover the grotesque wounds again. He might have done so, had he not been pressed for time, or so tired. "I know it's asking a lot, but I must ask that you do not alert the nurse, or tell anyone that you saw me leave when they begin looking for me. Just--!!!"

There came a crackling of energy, a flash of blue light, and with a gasp, the man had doubled over. He ground his teeth together, his body rigid and shaking as he struggled with the desire to scream. One hand had instinctively grabbed hold of hers, squeezing tightly, while the other balled a fistful of the linen sheets. The markings flashed several times, burning through the bandages where they were still covered, the energy traveling visibly through his veins and up his arms, up his neck. Blood began to trail down from his nose and his face was turning red from the strain. And then all at once, it was over and he slumped against her, gasping for air, trembling from head to toe.


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"Curious. ."

The red-haired scholar looked down, examining her fellow patient's wrist as he explained his situation, brows furrowed in a mixture of confusion and curiosity. She recalled seeing symbols similar to these in some of the old texts donated to the academy by the local archaeological society, but these seemed to be much, much older. They were almost like Will lines in a way, only much more sinister. She found herself absentmindedly tracing fingers over one of the intricate scars that wrapped around her forearm.

Who was this man, anyway?

Lyra took stock of him once more now that he was in the light. He had a defeated and world-weary look about him, it was true, but there was something more that she couldn't quite put her finger on. His eyes, however. . Those strange amber eyes held her attention. There was more to this stranger than his appearance would suggest, but it was clear that he was truly afraid of something, and she meant to find out. She wasn't sure whether that was compassion talking or her usual inquisitive mind.

"I don't understand--" she said after a few moments of silence, "Who did this to you, and-- what in the--?!" She gasped, bringing a hand to her mouth in an effort to stifle her cry of alarm as the strange man began to pulse with light, clearly in great pain. Again, a horrid feeling washed over her; she could feel her teeth tingling and was only vaguely aware that the stranger gripped her hand, more concerned with the white-hot sensation it caused. This definitely wasn't just a dream. After what seemed like forever, it ended. Lyra unscrewed her face and gasped for air. She pulled her hand away from her mouth, seeing that she'd bitten into her skin and left marks. She swallowed hard. Her mouth was dry.

A strangely warm feeling brought her back to reality and she looked down to find the amber-eyed man slumped against her shoulder, his hand still gripping hers, head pressed in against the crook of her neck. She froze, unsure of what to do or how to respond to the situation. "A-- Ah. ." She stammered and cleared her throat, a light pink tinge in her cheeks.

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The man was quick to scramble off of her once he'd recovered his senses, apologizing profusely. "I--I'm sorry--Forgive me--Shit--" Air hissed between his teeth, eyes squeezing shut as the runes flashed and crackled again, though it was an echo of what it had been before. With a few deep breaths, he started again, his voice sounding a little more shaky than at the start, "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean..."

He had to take a few moments more to catch his breath, and simply gave up. He hung his head, his limp, brown hair falling into his eyes, sticking to his sweat-covered forehead.


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"N-- no, it's quite alright. I--!" Lyra flinched at the bright glow of the magical brands, fearing a repeat of what had only just ended. It was then that she remembered yesterday. The man who'd been in such pain. . It was him. It had to have been. She reached a hand out to him, hesitating a moment before gently touching his shoulder.

"Don't worry yourself about me; I know you didn't mean to." She bit her lip, unsure of what to do, and simply let him recover for a moment. Goodness, was she in over her head.

". . . Who are you?"

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"My... name is Xiro," he managed to grind out, peering up at her through a curtain of sweat-logged bangs. "...'Nd you?"


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"Lyra." The brown-eyed woman replied softly. "Lyra Brighton."

She looked over to the table nearby where she'd seen Dr. Whittaker store some smaller supplies and spied some clean rags. She stood up from the mattress, taking care not to overdo it. Her legs wobbled, but she righted herself easily and hobbled over to lean on the table as she retrieved a handful of the rough cloth. She was pleased to note that her injuries were bothering her less, now. Or perhaps she was simply used to the pain. "Here." She said, offering him one of the rags as she returned to Xiro's side. Once more, she settled down next to him-- perhaps not quite as close this time-- and tried to get a read on him. A difficult task, to be sure.

"So. . Xiro." Lyra tested the stranger's name as she tried to think of where to start. "Who or. . Or what is it that's after you? And why?"



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Sun Nov 29, 2015 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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He took the rag with an utterance of thanks, wiping down his face and neck. It took several passes to clear his skin of the sweat that clung there, and by the end of it, the cloth was quite damp. He gave a grunt, tossing it rather expertly onto the table for an injured man.

"Creatures of Darkness and Corruption," he answered, his timber stronger now that he was recovering. "And I managed to piss their leader off... I'd rather not divulge the details, if you don't mind. Suffice it to say that they are very dangerous and very evil, and they don't like me much."


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"I see." Lyra replied, patting herself down as well.

Her mind returned to her nightmare and she gently touched the gnarled scar that marred her features. She shifted uncomfortably as she recalled the Darkness that had come to Albion all those years ago. The monster that had taken her sight-- partially, anyway-- and very nearly killed her. There had been so much death that day, and it was as much a miracle then that she'd survived as it was now.

Could Darkness really be returning?

The redhead tried to wet her dry lips and drew her arms in close to her chest, shivering slightly; she didn't like to think back to that time. After a moment, she cleared her throat, pulling herself out of her memories. "So," she began, smoothing a few loose strands of auburn hair back out of her face, "what do you plan to do?" She had so many more questions, but it was clear he wasn't in any mood to answer them. He'd danced around the issue enough as it was.

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"First... I plan to neutralize these... shackles of mine," he raised his hands, gazing at his wrists, frowning as he traced a finger over the burned bandages. "And then I will rest and heal in relative safety. After that, I must get to Oakfield, and put my plans for revenge into motion." He balled his hands into fists at that, his pale, chapped lips pressing into a thin line. He remained like that for a moment before he let his hands drop into his lap again. "But I must get out of here without being seen before any of that can happen. They'll not let me leave in my condition."

In truth, he shouldn't have been trying to go anywhere as wounded as he was, but it was clear that he either had no choice, or was too stubborn to admit that he was wrong. Or possibly both.

It was probably both.

"I may need your help," he admitted, though it was obvious that it pained him to say as much. "If you could distract the nurse, or keep a look out, I'd be in your debt."


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The injured woman pondered her fellow patient's request a moment. It simply wasn't like her to be dishonest with those that only meant to help. As such, she wasn't a reliable liar. On the other hand, if Xiro was to be believed, there really wasn't any reason to keep him detained here in his current state.

"Say I do help you escape," Lyra began, her brown eye glancing up to meet Xiro's amber ones, "Where do you plan to go? Surely you're not going to travel far in your condition."

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He hesitated at that, his expression changing from realization to anger to frustration to acceptance in a matter of seconds. She had a point; he wouldn't be able to get there on his own. With a groan, he ran his hand down the length of his face. "The item I need is hidden within the ruins of the Heroes Guild. That is... many miles from here. I am not so sure I'll be able to make it, if I'm honest, but... I have to try. I cannot be taken again..."

A shudder rippled through him, unbidden. Knowing what would happen to him if he should fail, if he should be captured again, filled him with the same chilling, mind-numbing fear that he'd become so well acquainted with these many years. It showed briefly upon his face, in his body language, but then he shook it off, as though he suddenly remembered he was not alone.

"I cannot."


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There was a sparkle in Lyra's caramel-coloured eye just then and she couldn't help a small quirk at the edge of her lips. He couldn't mean--

"The Heroes' Guild." She said flatly, turning back toward Xiro, her excitement evident, even if she couldn't quite believe what she'd heard. "The Heroes' Guild?" The scholar's mind raced with possibilities, her fingers wringing together. She wasn't keen on lying to the good folks here, but maybe. . .

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"Aye," he responded, turning a cautious eye to her. "Just past Brightwood. I'll have to pass through Millfields, Silverpines, and what was once Bowerstone to reach it. It's rather far..." No matter how determined he was, it was becoming rapidly clear that he would not be able to make it, at least not on his own. He heaved a heavy sigh. "Why? Would you like to accompany me there?"


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Lyra stood up from the bed and carefully ambled over to the window to take in their surroundings. Truly, this was the opportunity of a lifetime! Plenty had seen the ruins of the fallen guild around Bower Lake, but the entrance to the underground chamber had been sealed for decades; another "good deed" from Reaver, no doubt. It was still a long time before sunrise. If they were careful, they could get out of here fairly easily with each other's help; she could spy a viable route out of the encampment from here, and she could already feel her strength returning to her, slowly but surely.

"Would it be strange to you," she said, trying to contain a smile as she looked back to the battered man on the bed, "if I said yes?" Her eyes pleaded with him, hoping that he would allow her to tag along.

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He sighed again. "Well... I don't have much of a choice, do I?" he chuckled. "It would be unrealistic of me to think I could make it so far on my own, but make it I must. And clearly, you wish to go anyway, so we might as well make the journey in each other's company." He shrugged, then cringed, hissing at the movement. He struggled to stand, using the bed frame for support. "If we are to leave, we must do so now, before sunrise."


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The brown-eyed woman let out a small squeal of delight and beamed, her nose wrinkling slightly.

After a moment, she regained her composure and blushed slightly, running a hand over her hair again. "Ah, yes, well. . Excellent, just give me a moment to make myself a little more decent." She gestured to the tattered clothing at her bedside as she quietly stepped back over, eyeing the door. Wandering out and about in little more than bandages and a hospital gown wouldn't be wise-- not that leaving the hospital in their state was wise to begin with.

Taking the newly-perforated fabric in her hands, it was clear that she'd have to get it mended when she returned to Brightwall; it offered little protection to her now. Still, it was better than being half-naked. She shot a look at Xiro and cleared her throat, making a motion for him to turn around.



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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"Ah, yes." And with that, he turned his back to her. It took effort to move, but he managed. "Erm... I didn't think about clothes for myself," he commented, rubbing the back of his neck as he stared at a painting of a calm scene of a ship at sea. "I was found in rags. I don't have any clothes of my own... Something will have to be done about that, I suppose." But with no money, he'd no doubt have to steal clothing from off someone's clothes line. Not the most dignified way to acquire something to wear...


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The red-haired woman unbuttoned the plain gown and let it fall around her feet, baring her scarred body to the cool air. She shivered, grateful that her clothes had at least been washed at some point, no longer crusted with her blood, and sat down at the edge of the bed opposite Xiro as she clumsily pulled her trousers up over her legs. Luckily, her lower garments had been relatively unscathed in the battle; the bandits had been more interested in gutting her than anything else.

"If you like," she grunted as she fiddled with her belt buckle, "there are some spare clothes at my old family home that may fit you when all this is over with." Xiro seemed to be similar in size to her brother, and Avo knew his old clothes were doing nothing but gathering dust after all these years.

After a few moments of fighting with all her buttons, buckles and laces, the wounded Nightingale was ready to make her flight, though she looked a bit worse for wear. She looked down at her mask and tutted as she turned it over in her hands; it had taken too much damage and was in no shape to be worn in its current state. She placed it on her pillow for now, hoping the good people here would take it as a sign that she meant to return.

"Alright," she sighed, attaching her sabre once more to her hip, "I'm ready."

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Xiro nodded, glancing in her direction. "If my prior attempts at walking are any indication, I'm going to need to lean on you, I think," he grumbled. He hated having to rely on someone at all, much less so much. "I hope you don't mind..." Even standing was a chore, and he still gripped the bed frame with both hands, his knuckles already turning white. He hated feeling so weak.

He glanced towards the door. "We'd better hurry. The nurse is on her way back to her station."


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Lyra nodded in understanding and drew the crimson scarf attached under her cowled hood up over the lower half of her face. Quick and quiet as she could, she stepped around the bed and stood beside Xiro to offer her assistance; she was certainly short enough for him to easily lean on her! Lyra hadn't quite realised just how tall he was until now.

"We'll have to pace ourselves." She muttered, bracing herself as she felt his weight on her. Slowly, she walked toward the door, helping Xiro along as he found his feet again. She chuckled at his last comment and carefully cracked open the door, glancing around the hall. "You know, If I didn't know any better, I'd say you've been memorising her rounds."

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"Something like that," he muttered, glancing up and down the hall. Sure enough, the nurse was settling down in her chair, returning to the book she'd been reading. He cursed softly. "If we walk by, she will definitely see us..." He scowled, pain lacing his features. "There is... something I can do."

Lifting a hand and drawing in a hissing breath, he exerted a magical force, the word "sleep" echoing softly, though it was never spoken. The nurse's eyes drooped. Then she yawned, and finally, she nodded off, slumping forward in her chair. A loud snore escaped her, and Xiro groaned and stumbled, nearly falling if it weren't for Lyra's hold on him. He huffed and puffed from the exertion, clinging to her like a cat stuck in a tree.


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The Nightingale's eyes widened slightly as she watched Xiro in silent fascination. A shiver ran down her spine; she could have sworn she heard someone speak. And then, incredibly, the nurse slumped over in her chair. Lyra shot the amber-eyed man a quizzical look, opening her mouth to speak before the much taller individual nearly fell over on top of her. She winced slightly as his grip tightened on her and she swayed a bit herself as she held him up. There'd be time for questions later; for now, she needed to focus on keeping her newfound companion upright.

"Easy there," she whispered to him as he recovered, "don't give out on me just yet." This was going to be a long night, indeed.

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