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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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The corners of his mouth twitched upwards in a brief, exhausted smile. "I'm fine," he lied. He wouldn't be able to do anything like that again for a long while. "Just worn out... She should be out for a good ten minutes. Plenty of time for us to get out of here." He took in a few deep gulps of air, then nodded. "Let's go."


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Lyra nodded and kept a good hold of Xiro as the two of them hobbled down the hall, passing the peacefully snoozing nurse as they went. It was difficult for her to tell where exactly they were heading-- she hadn't exactly been conscious when she arrived, and had been in bed until waking up just a bit ago-- but the man currently clinging to her seemed to know exactly where he was going. The redhead had to wonder if this was the first time he'd attempted an escape.

Probably not.

Soon, they approached a large door and Lyra could feel the air getting fresher. She felt a pang of guilt as they neared the exit of the building and thought back to the doctor and kind nurses that had tended to her, resolving to make sure she kept Xiro in one piece. She'd return to apologise for her irresponsible behaviour and explain herself when this was all over, but this was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.

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"We must beware of the guards," Xiro whispered. "Go left here, keep to the shadows and continue along the path. We shouldn't run into any trouble after we get past the gate... Then we should make for the Cable Car."

Most of the denizens of the camp were asleep, with only one or two guards keeping watch. They were easily avoided, with the two escapees moving quickly and quietly from one hiding spot to the next, and soon they were on the road to the cable car station. Xiro chuckled, glancing behind them.

"We've made it! I thought it would be harder to get by them than that..."


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Just then, the two newly-escaped patients could hear a woman crying frantically from the direction they'd just come.

"You were saying?" Lyra muttered in response to Xiro's premature celebrations. She adjusted her grip on him and, in a surprising display of strength nearly hoisted the man off the ground, assisting him as best she could as she picked up the pace considerably. There would be people searching the valley for them soon enough, and it was best if they were gone by then. Lyra panted, wincing at the considerable pain such exertion caused her, but at least her stitches and bandages were holding up. She'd have to thank Doctor Whittaker for his expert dressing of wounds when she saw him next-- if she saw him at all.

For now, she simply focused on moving toward the monorail station. It wasn't too far. They just had to keep moving. . .

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"Don't overdo it," he warned, noticing the sweat that stained her brow and the agonized expression she wore. "I am able to support some of my own weight, you know..." Even if he had to move more slowly, it wouldn't do to have her collapsing in a heap later. "Slow and steady wins the race."

He glanced back again, listening to the commotion behind them. They would search the encampment first, then the areas closest to it. "We have some time yet. Slow down, don't use all of your strength."


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Lyra's brows furrowed and for a moment there was a stubborn, proud part of her that wanted to keep going. Fortunately, her burning lungs and aching legs managed to convince her that perhaps that wasn't the best thing to do. She begrudgingly slowed her pace and loosened her grip on the poor man, stumbling slightly as she did so.

"You-- You're probably right." She admitted, taking a moment to catch her breath. "Sorry, I. . Just wanted to put some distance between us and them." She breathed, glancing back toward the Heroes' encampment, which was getting farther and farther away. They were making pretty good time for a couple of heavily injured hospital patients.

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"I understand," he chuckled. "But it's better that we get through this in one piece, aye? Come. We're not far now."

Indeed, through the trees the station could be seen. He wondered if the car would even be running this late, or if they would have to hide out and wait for morning. He frowned. That certainly would put a damper on things, wouldn't it?

"I say," he muttered to himself, turning his gaze upwards towards the heavens, "How long before sunrise?"


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The Nightingale turned her eye to the east skies and was quiet a moment. She could see the sky slowly brightening; it wouldn't be more than an hour or two before the sun rose. "Not long," she replied. "The monorail should be up and running soon." She thought a moment, catching on to Xiro's meaning. "How long do you think it'll be before they look there?"

It would be a waste for them to have come all this way only to be found waiting for their ride, after all.

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"Some time yet," he answered. "They will take a while combing the area before they reach the station. I doubt they would believe we could make it so far." To be quite honest, he had doubted it himself, but he wasn't about to mention this to his companion.

He let out a sigh of relief as they drew nearer to the entrance. "You fetch the tickets. One look at me, and I fear they won't let us ride." Spying a bench not too far off, he nodded toward it. "Drop me off there. I'll be fine."


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Lyra spied the bench he indicated and did as he asked, gently settling him into the seat before breathing a small sigh of relief, wiping her sweat-coated brow with a sleeve. "I won't be long." She said softly, limping somewhat as she made her way to the ticket station. There was a middle-aged gent she didn't recognise setting up the ticket booth and she removed her hood and face covering, not wishing to alarm him, dressed as she was.

"Excuse me, sir!" She called out.

The man started a bit, turning to look at her in some confusion. "Eh? Who's this, then?" He eyed her curiously. "Bit dangerous for a lady to be out at this hour," he said with a glance around at the valley, as if expecting bandits to swoop down upon them at any minute. The brown-eyed lass simply smiled and disregarded the comment, stepping up to the booth to lean on the counter slightly. "I apologise for being so early, but I was simply hoping to purchase two tickets to Millfields for me and my companion," she replied, pulling out a clinking coin purse and laying it out on the counter. "It's terribly urgent." The gentleman pushed up the brim of his hat and scratched his balding head, thinking her request over a moment as he sized up the redhead before him in such a state. "Well," he began hesitantly, "normally I wouldn't sell tickets at this time, but you do seem an alright sort. If a bit oddly-dressed." Lyra chuckled at that. "Well, these are odd times, sir. It never hurts to be prepared." The man fiddled with his papers and shook his head. "Too right you are. The world's gone bloody mad, it has."

The two made small talk for a few minutes as the ticketmaster finished opening up the booth until, finally, he took her payment and printed up two tickets. "Thank you; have a wonderful morning, madam!" He called as she quickly hobbled back to her companion, uttering a thanks of her own. She was grateful he hadn't asked too many questions, and hoped he wouldn't answer too many, either.

"It'll be a while still before we depart, but let's at least get out of the open." The auburn-haired woman said, extending her hand once more to the strange man she now travelled with.

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Xiro nodded, taking her hand and allowing her to help him to his feet. He grunted, wincing, but otherwise made no complaint as they made their way into the station. Luckily, the place was deserted, as most people did not bother to use the cable car so early in the morning. "At least we'll have some time to rest up," he said, hobbling towards another bench near the loading station. He had to use the railings to support himself, but he managed to make it on his own, otherwise. "Even after we reach Millfields, there are many miles to go yet."

Settling down with a heavy sigh of relief, he lay his head back, running trembling fingers through his brown hair. His own stitches had opened; he could feel the warmth of his own blood seep through the bandages that held him together. But there was nothing that he could do about that now, except sit and move as little as possible. He wrinkled his nose, gently reaching to touch his back, his fingers coming away covered in red. 

"How are your wounds holding up?" he found himself asking. "You did all the heavy lifting back there... Are you alright?"


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The equally exhausted woman sat down heavily in the bench beside her strange companion and bowed her head a moment, rubbing her aching neck before looking back up at him. Her eye fell upon the dark red substance clinging to his fingers, and she frowned.

"You did all the heavy lifting back there... Are you alright?"

It was a fair question. Still, she chuckled and parted the holes in her upper garments, gently patting the bandages wound tightly around her torso. "Everything seems to be in order here," she replied, neglecting to mention how much pain she was actually in. Getting shot really wasn't all it was cracked up to be. "Now, I think you ought to be more concerned about yourself. Here--" She took hold of the crimson and gold-patterned fencing capelet she wore and unfastened it from her shoulder. It was mostly useless in its tattered state anyway, and she could always make another one. She shifted to face Xiro and gestured to the blood seeping from his upper back; his bandages seemed to have come slightly loose and were soaked. "May I?"

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He hesitated at her request, rolling his lips inward as he gave it some thought. He couldn't very well continue on if he bled out, and yet he was loathe to allow her to help him, mostly because he did not wish for her to know how bad his condition truly was. But he sighed, turning slightly so she'd have better access to his back. 

"Just... try not to panic, alright? It's not as bad as it looks." Another blatant lie. But the last thing he needed was for her to demand that they return to the safety of the encampment. Nowhere in the world was safe, not for him.


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"I promise." Lyra replied, unwrapping the soiled bandages to reveal a ghastly sight that she frankly hadn't been quite prepared for.

"Avo, what have they done to you. . ?" She breathed, her eye taking in the gnarled flesh and bleeding wounds that covered every inch of his back. She gently traced a finger over a scar that looked almost as old as hers was, and she felt. . Angry. There was only one thing that explained injuries such as these, and such a thing was abominable to even think of! She was quiet a moment, expression dark as her hands went to work saving all the dry gauze that she could.

"How long?" She asked softly.

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He flinched at her words. He could feel the anger rolling off of her in waves. She wasn't angry at him, no, but rather for him, something he had not expected.

"...To be honest... I'm not even sure." He hadn't stopped to ask anyone what year it was, come to think of it. "Too long. Far, far too long..." He took a breath to calm the fear that bubbled in his chest, the memories that threatened to boil over and send him flying into a mad panic. "I told you they were not to be trifled with..."


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"Hmph." The Nightingale grunted, scowling slightly as she cleaned up his open wound and wrapped what remained of his dry bandages back around him, cutting away the excess with her parrying dagger before she tied them off again. She may have barely known this man, but she felt strangely protective of him. Perhaps it was because she'd aided him in escaping the relative safety of a hospital on a whim, but there was something about him that drew her in. Fascinated her. "Yes, well," she said, bristling, "when we free you of those. . those brands, we'll just have to give them what they deserve, won't we?" Harsh words, maybe, but creatures willing to cause this much pain to a single man didn't deserve her sympathy.

"You always were a mother hen, sister."

Lyra smiled wryly to herself at the memory. It never failed to be true, no matter how much she hated to admit it. She half-expected her hair to be ruffled just then. But of course, that was a foolish thing to hope for. She shook herself out of her thoughts and returned to reality, tearing her capelet up a bit to make it more manageable. She wrapped the crimson and gold fabric tightly around him, binding his wound as best she could. She sighed and leaned back to admire her work; she may not have been an expert like Dr. Whittaker, but it wasn't a bad patch-up, if she said so herself!

"You know, red really does suit you," she said after a moment, hoping to lighten the mood. "When it's not, well, coming out of you."

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"We'll just have to give them what they deserve, won't we?"

Her words shocked and confused him, and he sat in stunned silence as she worked. This woman, who had known him for all of maybe two hours, was willing to go out of her way to help him get his revenge? That didn't make any sense!

"...How do you know I didn't deserve it?" he asked, ignoring her joke. "You are willing to help me, but you don't even know the full story. For all you know, I could be the villain here... I'm no Hero. I'm not even a good person. Why are you so keen on helping me? Why are you so angry for my sake? I can't make sense of it."


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Lyra scooted away from Xiro and gave him his space again as she leaned over to drop the soiled bandages in the rubbish bin conveniently placed next to the station benches before wiping her hands clean of blood with a small handkerchief. She simply listened to what he had to say, mulling over his words.

"You know," she said, breaking the silence after a moment, "you're absolutely right." Her brown eye turned upward to meet his golden ones and she rested her elbow on the armrest beside her. "I don't know a thing about you. Call it foolishness or naivety, but I suppose I just. ." She paused, gesturing vaguely as she tried to think of the right word. "I just have a feeling that I can trust you. And until I'm proven wrong, I see no point in treating you unkindly." She glanced down to the blood that now stained her handkerchief. He'd seen enough pain to last a lifetime, she reckoned. It would do no good to treat him with suspicion, and in her eyes, everyone was innocent until proven guilty; not the other way around. She sighed. Now would be as good a time as any to actually get to know her new comrade.

"So, why don't you tell me about yourself? We've plenty of time to spare."

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Xiro stared at her for several seconds, his face blank as a slate. For a moment, it seemed as though he had not registered her words, when suddenly he gave an amused snort and burst into a fit of laughter. It ended in a terrible coughing fit, but he was still smiling, wiping tears from his eyes. She had a feeling she could trust him? Him?! Of all people? What a delightful little fool! She truly had no idea... None at all! And yet he could not bring himself to fault her for it. She was too genuine in her kindness, in her naivety. 

"You... You're something else," he chuckled. "But I thank you for your kindness. It is... not something I'm used to. 'Tis refreshing, truly.

"But to answer your question, there's only so much I am comfortable sharing. In truth, my past is rather muddy, and I'd like to avoid bringing it up as much as possible. But I can answer some questions, I suppose. Go ahead, ask away." They had plenty of time, considering they'd be waiting here for a few hours. Might as well make conversation and get to know the person he was running away with, right? "But I have a few questions of my own when you're through. You've been warned."


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"What? What's so funny?" The Nightingale squeaked softly, feeling heat creep up into her face. She looked up in alarm, brows quirked at Xiro as he let out the first real laugh she'd heard from him, nearly coughing up a lung in the process. She couldn't help the pout that briefly crossed her features, wrinkling her nose.

"You certainly have a strange way of expressing that sentiment," the red-haired woman muttered, absentmindedly fiddling with the end of her braid. She cleared her throat after a moment of sullen silence. "Well, I'll not be asking for your life's story, so you can rest easily there."

She kept things simple, asking about his interests, his profession. Just little things to help get to know him as a person. There would be time to ask more personal questions later-- such as the one very specific question that had been gnawing at her since she'd found him lying on the hospital floor.

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Her questions were easily answered: He enjoyed reading and travel, was a fan of a variety of musics, and was formerly a teacher, "Though I was not always such." He failed to elaborate further on any other professions he supposedly had before, and by the finality of his tone, it was clear that he did not intend to ever do so. Or at least, not any time soon. Instead, he decided to delve more into details about his career as an instructor.

"I would travel from town to town, you see, teaching children and adults alike. I mostly favored the sciences and languages, but I also taught philosophy, which was my true passion." A small chuckle came out of him and he shook his head. "It was a much simpler time, for me. I would have started opening up schools too, had I not... Well..."


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Lyra listened intently, a small smile returning to her lips as she found that the two of them did, indeed, have some common interests. Though teaching wasn't her regular profession, she did tutor some of Brightwall's children from time to time when it was asked of her, and she also shared a love for the arts.

She quickly changed the subject as Xiro trailed off, fully understanding his silence; she didn't want to cause him to dwell on his traumatic experiences any more than necessary. "It's odd that I've never seen you at Brightwall Academy, then." She said, brushing a loose lock of hair back behind her ear. "One would assume such a place would be right up your alley, so to speak."

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Xiro merely smiled glumly, giving no answer. There wasn't one that he could give that would not confuse her, or give away the truth of his immortality. Not one that was a straight-up lie, anyway, and he did not wish to do that to her. She had been kind to him; she did not deserve such treatment.

"I'm sure you have more questions than just those," he mused, changing the subject.


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"Well," Lyra replied, looking up at the evasive gentleman beside her, "one does wonder how a simple teacher puts someone to sleep with a wave of their hand; doesn't that part usually come after the lecture?" She raised a brow and smiled, crossing her arms; she was curious to see how he'd explain that away.

More than likely, he'd simply ignore her question again.

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He fought it, he did, but the smile beat him, clawing its way past the frown he so vehemently tried to wear and onto his face. "I find it's better to put the troublesome students to sleep first so that I don't have to deal with them," he joked lamely. "But really, I wasn't always a teacher. I've got quite a few tricks up my sleeve." It wasn't an answer, he knew, but it was all he was willing to give at the moment. She may have felt she could trust him, but he wasn't so sure he could say the same for her.

"Alright, Miss Brighton, I think it's safe to say it's my turn." He thought for a moment, tapping a long finger upon his chin. "What is your profession?"


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