ArchivedLogs:Specialist Care

From X-Men: rEvolution
Specialist Care
Dramatis Personae

Lucien, Matt




<NYC> Mount Sinai Hospital - Harlem

On the cutting edge of many medical technologies, Mount Sinai Hospital is often ranked as one of the nation's best hospitals. The medical school attached is one of the best in the world, meaning that even your med students know what they are doing. Chin up, then -- when you come in here badly mutilated after the latest terrible catastrophe in Times Square, you're in good hands.

The afternoon sun streaming in through vertical blinds tiger-stripes the linoleum floor with stark lines of warmth. The room has only one /proper/ bed (a collapsed folding cot leans against the wall in one corner), but a lot of monitoring equipment by way of compensation. Everything in it is one of those neutral non-colors endemic to hospitals. At least, everything that came with the room--it has by now accumulated some trappings of prolonged occupation. The bedside table is crowded with cards and flowers. One vase of beautiful glasswork snowdrops stands out from the rest, and a small plush fox armed with bow and quiver (Robin Hood, actually, from the Disney animated film of the same name) sits on top of a tall stack of books.

Though previously largely occupied with sleeping and -- more sleeping and intermittently failing at such difficult activities such as Breathing and Having A Heartbeat, today Lucien is looking almost alert again. He's sitting up in the bed, propped against several pillows, pale but awake. He has a copy of /Who Fears Death/ in his lap, though at the moment he isn't so much reading it as he is staring down at the page with a deepening frown. His fingers are pressed lightly against the bottom of the pages; in his other hand he holds the delicate step of a glass snowdrop, twirling the flower slowly back and forth. His mind is still something of a chaos, jumbled, sluggish -- but steadily piecing itself back together, gradual and with not quite the frenetic strain it had in the past week.

Matt's powers arrive before he does, stretching out ahead of him to check on Lucien's neurochemistry, and then coiling in tighter, taking over the work already in progress there. The door opens and the man himself slips inside, his steps weary and slow. He's dressed reasonably well, in a pink dress shirt, gray vest, gray corduroy trousers, and black oxford shoes, a black jacket slung over one shoulder and a black attache case over the other. His hair is still a mess, though. "{You're doing a /lot/ better,}" the words come out in a fluid spill of French before he's even reached Lucien's bedside. "{If I'd but known you only needed a break from my worrying and meddling, I'd have gone back to work earlier.}" He leans close to plant a kiss on his brother's cheek. "{How are you feeling?}" This as he produces a slim black thermos from his bag and offers it with a tempting waggle.

Lucien closes his eyes, a faint relaxation easing through him even before the door has opened. It doesn't last -- by the time his brother is at his bedside he has tensed again, fingers pressing down harder against the book. He lays the glass flower gently between its pages, reaching up -- not to take the thermos, but to slowly, carefully, straighten the mess of Matt's hair. Only once he has satisfied himself with putting its tousle into some semblance of order does he accept the tea from the elder Tessier's hand. "{A break.}" His words come slowly -- but still he manages a hint of /scoff/ to them. "{What do you call all those texts all day, then?}"

Matt holds still and submits to the tidying of his hair, then drags a chair over and drops down into it, propping his chin up in the upturned palm of one hand. "{Texts are a lot less distracting than me constantly prodding at you, reading aloud, whining about the food, and showing you puppy videos.}" He gives a crooked half-smile. "{And if you'd wanted a /real/ break, you could have silenced your phone.}"

"{And miss the puppy videos you sent?}" Lucien clicks his tongue quietly. "{That bulldog at the end made my afternoon.}" His thumb fiddles at the button of the thermos -- swipes at it, taps it again, fails three times in a row to actually /open/ the cap. "{It wasn't reprieve from your harrying alone that did it.}" This is quieter.

Matt's smile brightens. "{Oh, and on the way here I found an excellent compilation of every time Steve's been caught punching someone on video, set to 'The Star Spangled Man'.}" He reaches for the thermos, but stops short. Just rests his hand on his brother's, steadying. His eyebrows lift up slightly. "{Did Mirror come by with a new bag of tricks?}"

Lucien has tried the thermos once more -- failed once more, though the unsteadiness of his hand this time has perhaps more to do with mounting frustration than any inherent lack of motor control. He pulls in a slow breath when Matt's hand rests on his, takes a moment to set the thermos down against his chest. "No." His hand tightens, then eases. He manages this time to unlatch the lock on the thermos lid and pop the button open. "{I've had a new team take over my care. They changed my treatment regimen quite thoroughly. To great effect, it would seem.}" Despite this, his jaw is tight -- his /voice/ is tight, with this explanation. He slowly lifts the thermos to take a small sip.

Matt blinks, surprise plainly written on his face. "Oh!" He settles back down into his chair a little, watching Lucien. The tea is a clean and light Tie Guan Yin oolong. "That's good, if...unexpected." His brows gather faintly. "{Not that I thought all that poorly of your erstwhile team, but they really didn't understand what they were dealing with. If the new team is doing better...}"

"{The new team understands what they are dealing with.}" Lucien is slightly clipped, here. Internally his mind is tightening, coiling inward, clenching harder in on itself. He takes another sip of the tea, then tips the thermos in indication toward the end of the bed. "{My chart is there. My new specialist has signed off on all the changes.}"

Matt frowns deeper and looks toward the foot of the bed. He rises, hesitates, but finally does pluck the clipboard from its frame. His eyes scan the chart in one rapid sweep and stop on the name "Rasheed Toure." For a moment he doesn't move at all--doesn't even breathe. His grip of his powers on Lucien's grows tighter. For a split second he begins to expand its reach; he reins it back with a firm and abrupt will, but not quickly enough to keep Lucien from sensing the jagged violence of his fury and terror. He returns the chart and lets out the breath he had been holding. "Ah," is all he can manage aloud, leaning heavily against the side of the bed.

Lucien's breath stops when Matt's does. His muscles clench harder at the tightening grip of his brother's mental hold, teeth briefly grinding. When Matt breathes again, so does he, breath exhaled in sync with the other man. A rising wash of nausea floods through him when he breathes back in. He clenches his jaw harder, and silently offers the thermos out to Matt.

Matt reaches out to take the thermos, kind of automatically. His power shifts, its grip easing, coaxing Lucien's biokinesis into quelling the nausea. There's a fine but noticeable tremor in his hand as he raises the thermos to his lips, and he passes it back after (also somewhat automatically). He hops up to sit on the edge of the bed beside Lucien, toeing off his shoes and resting his feet on the chair. "{I don't suppose he's been to see you?}" His voice is oddly calm.

"{He's not come. I doubt he will.}" Lucien's voice is calm, as well, though his clenched mental landscape (at first it resists Matt's coaxing, pulling against it, though this intransigence is short-lived) shows far more strain. His fingers press against Matt's when he takes the thermos back -- though it only aggravates the strain in his mind, a gentle flush of calm eases outward, soft and soothing over the other man. "{And the new course of treatment --}" This sounds tired, now, more than anything. His teeth clench harder, then relax. "{Perhaps I will not be here much longer.}" His hand drops back to the book he's been reading, with its wrought-flower bookmark. Picking it up, he offers it out to Matt. Almost plaintive.

Matt nods, the gesture small and perfunctory. "{Good. That's...good.}" His eyes flutter shut at the wave of calm. The change in his posture is minute yet somehow dramatic, a kind of slow uncoiling. "{Then you can come home.}" His smile is thin, but hopeful. He takes the book from his brother carefully, tracing the curve of the glass snowdrop marking his place before returning it to its fellows. "However, I'd grown up in the desert," he reads from the page, his voice soft and clear. "I was used to extreme hot and cold. I cautiously watched the sparks burst from the metal he pounded. Then as respectfully as I could, I said, '/Oga/, I have water for you...'"