2008-09-18: Full Circle Healing


Niki_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Christa_icon.gif

Summary: Everyone's gotten a little repair these days. Niki and Peter try to soothe Christa's pain and Christa puts them back in their rightful bodies.

Date It Happened: September 18th, 2008

Full Circle Healing

Mount Sinai Hospital

Sneaking around invisible. It's just like old times… except reversed. It's Niki who holds Peter's hand — though, of course, she looks like him and vice versa — and makes the two of them unseen by hospital staff. She's using one of Peter's many abilities after advice and practice; she's alright at it, but every now and then, they shimmer semi-transparently into sight. That's why she's jogging down one of Mount Sinai's corridors. "I'm so glad to be out of there." Since their time at the Company, she's changed into new clothes; nicer clothes, made for a more upscale event than lurking around a hospital. White dress shirt, black pants. Peter's own, but not what he came in with. "By the way? Your mom is creepy. Actually, so is everyone." She stops to swerve as a nurse rushes straight at them with a cart of samples. "Is this even the right wing?"

"Hold on a moment," Peter says, in the woman's own voice. They can still see each other. That's how it works. It's difficult to figure out when they putter out, except for the fact that… people sometimes blink and double take. The blonde woman currently possessed by a man also wears pants and a loose shirt, noticably more high cut than she might have preferred. He's not willing to use her sex appeal if he can help it. And no heels for him, either. He stumbled around on his first few attempts. "Yeah, this is the right wing— I know my mom's creepy, but she's resourceful, too." They have to whisper. Invisibility doesn't mask their voices. "You're doing well. We just gotta get in, heal her, and then have her fix us. Piece of cake."

If cake was really difficult and had a chance of killing you. Or arresting you.

"It should be this room," he says, squeezing the person in his body's hand as he reaches out with his other to push the door open. Hopefully they're not walking in while a nurse is there.

Christa's been in pretty bad shape. She hasn't actually been awake much since she was stabbed, and the illness hasn't helped her heal at all. At first, the hospital staff was sure it was SARS - the lab tech that misdiagnosed that really got a talking-to, considering it had put the whole hospital on lockdown for almost a whole day. In any case, the doctor does have a rather bad case of influenza, and her condition hasn't improved much at all.

There's no one else in the room at the moment, and since she's so sick, there's no one else in the other bed, either. On a dry erase board above her bed is her name, the current doctor who's treating her, and a whole list of what's wrong - 'FLU' written in red, with (WASH HANDS AFTER TREATING) in black next to it. 'Punctured lung' is written under that, and 'CHANGE IV AT 22:00' near the bottom. Doc Morris herself doesn't look so great.

Niki can't hide the concern and doubt on her face — or rather, Peter's face. … or rather, she can't hide it from anyone but him, given that they're otherwise invisible to everyone else. "I just hope I can do it on someone who's not you." She peeks inside the room, stepping in once she's sure it's Dr. Morris. The appearance of the woman in the hospital bed isn't heartening. She tugs their hands apart and they're suddenly visible … in a 'if a tree falls in a forest' kind of way. The doctor doesn't look much like she's going to see them. Niki heads for the side of the bed.

"I'm right here. Just— just think about how you felt when you healed me, and you should be able to do it," Peter says, sticking close to the door and pushing it closed to give them a little more privacy. The notes tell them how much time they have, or at least a good idea. "I think you used a disease related ability, too…" There's a trailed off thought. "I didn't teach you that one cause honestly I'm not— triggering it is difficult." And there's something that crosses the face he's wearing that comes across very much as guilt. Maybe that's the feeling that he most associated with the woman who could fix diseases… "Just try the healing. If she can get well enough to switch us back, I can fix that."

"Yeah…" Niki starts to say. It's no coincidence that guilt flashes on the face she's wearing, too. "I could… see somethingjust coming from… I dunno, everywhere. Moving like " she struggles with the vague description. "It was before she collapsed." With a determined expression set in place, Niki shuffles closer to the bed's edge and Christa. She makes an attempt to start the unfamiliar process of healing, first hovering a hand somewhat awkwardly over the doctor until she lays it gently over the area she remembers the gruesome surgical tool stabbing through. "Okay." Deep breath. Eyes closed. "Here goes nothing."

At first, nothing happens. It takes awhile to build up, and a couple of minutes before anything really starts to happen — the slow healing of cells and knitting together of tissue. It's at a snail's pace and, for Niki, it seems like hard work to focus. Sweat starts to glisten on the borrowed brow. "I— "

Is that what he looks like when he overtaxes his abilities? Peter can understand why people rush to his side like he's going to faint, now— because he does the same thing. Hands touch his own shoulders, offering physical support as he says, "It'll be okay. You can do this." Sometimes when healing people, he'd pass out. But the healing always worked when that happened, and he never passed out for long. Get the doctor upright first, worry about what happens next later.

But he's not about to let the woman in his body crumple unsupported, if he can help it.

The first indication that something is actually happening is the distressed look on Christa's face. She's still sleeping, but only for a moment, until her eyes flutter open, an she's looking at the two visitors with an almost placid expression. As the healing continues, she becomes slightly more aware, the memory of what happened returning quite quickly as she pushes herself up on her elbows. "Wh—hck," she says. Her throat is dry. It's hard to speak.

To some extent, she understands abilities, but she's never seen anyone like Peter before, who — It's hard to say what he did, and in her current level of cognizance, she can't even begin to rationalise it. Christa does, however, remember being stabbed, and her hand automatically goes to where the retractor went through her ribs.

As her arms continue to support her, they start to tremble. It's to much exertion, and she lowers herself back down to her pillow, eyes looking between the two of them. Eventually, she clears her throat, so she can speak. "What're you doing here?"

Niki is unsteady for a moment, especially when Christa stirs, but seems boosted by the presence of the familiar man in the especially familiar body. She manages to stay strong, shifting the healing hands slightly on the doctor. She doesn't try to answer for fear of screwing up the flow— she barely even comprehends what Christa is saying. The healing hastens and becomes more concentrated. She might not be able to heal everything, but it's a healthy start.

Bolstered though she was, the glisten of sweat only worsens on Peter's face and the woman in his body can't help but stumble back— or at least go weak, as though dizzy, once she looks at the hospital room again.

With hands firmly on his shoulders, Peter takes a few steps back to accommodate, but there's a distinct feeling of… body against body for a moment. The hands on shoulders lower, to arms, squeezing at the elbows. "You're going to be okay."

The blonde woman had been almost as tall as him, so this makes her very much visible over the shoulder as she looks toward the woman in the hospital bed. "We came back to heal you, after we got— things under control. But we need your help to change us back, then I can fix the rest of what was done to you." Or— he hopes he can. "I might need a few minutes, but— Are you okay, Niki?" The person she's addressing does not look like a Niki.

But hopefully Christa is less confused by this situation than some could be.

Think. Think. "Oh, I remember you," she says, eyes squeezing shut against the headache brought on by the fever. Where is she? Hospital. Right, she knows that. There's also a burning need to apologise right away. "I didn't— That's never happened before, I didn't think…" She didn't think. "I didn't think." That seems like the right answer. Grunting, she relaxes. She can still feel pain in her side, but it's not that bad. Was she healed? Has she been out for weeks? Is she just too dosed up on pain medication. "But I can fix it. I can, just — just give me a second."

Christa feels like crap. For several minutes, she just continues to lay there, but, she thinks, if she doesn't do something soon, she's just going to fall asleep again. "Help me sit up," she says as she struggles a bit to do so on her own.

It takes a second for "Niki" to respond, but she comes 'round, Peter's voice a little cracked and feeble when she uses it. "I think so. I just… need a second." A dizzying look around finds a chair and Niki scrambles to collapse the tiring body on it. Not much help as Christa struggles, she sits there looking a little helpless. "I— " she changes routes at the last second. "We… healed you. I don't know … how much.
"I'm kind of a special case," Peter admits quietly, moving closer to assist in the sitting up while his body collapses into a chair. She's not limping, so that should indicate a lot of things. That healing is possible. A bullet in the knee should not recover that quickly. "My abilities are difficult at best to contain, so someone suddenly having them— it was confusing for her, dangerous. It's as much my fault for not asking what you were doing before you did it."

"I'm really sorry." And Christa sounds as sincere as possible under the circumstances. "I just— Never get a chance to… And you seemed to … " There's no real use explaining it. What she did was stupid. "Whoo-boy, I've never been in a hospital bed before. Think I'll try to avoid it from now on." The back of her arm drags against her forehead. She's sick. Feels like she's going to throw up. And her voice sounds like someone took sandpaper to it.

"It's just— Something that's fun…" she mutters as the blonde woman helps her sit up. Peter. Christa remembers that much, at least. "And if…" She starts coughing, and decides that the explanation is too difficult to attempt at the moment. One hand waves as she leans against the back of the bed. "Fixing it works the same way. I need you both close enough to touch."

The man on the chair is still looking more than a little drained. Two abilities in a row — both stretching out to someone else — is a lot to handle when Niki isn't a natural and has… limited practice. That doesn't stop her from getting Peter's body up and over to that bed, though. Anything to fix this. Leaning against the bedrail, she looks across at Peter, worried, before focusing down on Christa. "Whatever you have to do."

"It's fine. You'd be surprised how many times I've messed up with my own abilities," Peter says quietly, looking over at Niki as if she'll understand better than anyone just how… clumsy his ability can be at times. It took him years to get as comfortable with his ability as he is, and that includes all the time spent drugged and powerless and also in comas. When he really couldn't do much with his ability. Reaching out, the woman's fingers move around her hand and help her make contact. He just hopes he'll be able to use Erin's ability and persuasion when this is all over.

"S'gotta be the back of the neck," Christa says with a smile. "Only place it works." Giving Peter's hand a squeeze, she lets go of it, then reaches up to place her fingers behind blonde hair. Looking over at Peter's rightful body, she reaches toward Niki, too. Her hand is hot, dry.

At first, nothing happens. Maybe Christa's ability isn't working! But then, she gives them the same warning she gave them last time: "It's easier if you close your eyes."

And a moment later, they'll find themselves back in their normal bodies. Disorienting? Yes. But hopefully not as bad as before.

The change is both wildly disorienting and comforting all at once. The blonde woman reels, eyes squeezing shut hard before they venture open — hopefully. "…Oh thank God," Niki breathes out, instinctively hugging herself as if to make sure all the curves are where they're supposed to be. "I never want to do that again."

Eyes close. The transition is felt pretty heavily by him. The weakness comes over him, knees buckle and down he goes. Peter catches himself on the side of the bed, but the beading sweat and other such things make him shake a bit. "You'd think my body would be used to this," he mutters softly, searching around for an ability that may help him recover. Elena's power is not a quick fix, really, but it masks things some. It'd be easier if he got some rest… But— they know when the nurse is coming. "I'm going to need to sleep after this, but for now…"

Pushing himself back up, he likes the feel of his own body. No offense, Niki. And he could do that again. He doesn't intend to if he can help it, but he's pretty sure he could mimic her perfectly now… Another day.

"I need to fix your flu first." A hand reaches out, calling on the ability he learned… in a very bad way, until he can find the little viruses and break them down. The ones inside her, the ones hanging around. More sweat and more strain, but he doesn't stop.

Christa's ability isn't as exhausting as some others are, but with as sick as she is, she still feels drained. Her hands fall back to the bed, dark eyes watching Peter carefully, skeptically, until she starts to feel better. She looks quite surprised by this as the congestion breaks up, and the aches and pains that come with the flu just vanish as if she's been well on the road to recovery for a long time.

She appears much more alert now than she was before, and the back of her hand comes up to feel her forehead. It's much cooler now - she thinks, since it's hard to determine whether or not your own skin feels warm. At least she doesn't feel half delirious anymore, but she is very thirsty.

"You look like you need this bed more than I do now," she says to Peter. "You can stop now - I feel okay. I'll just rest at home. But thanks." Taking Peter's wrist, she pushes it away until it's no longer in contact. The doctor sounds a lot better, even though her voice is a little gravelly still. "Unfortunately, I have no idea how I'm going to explain…" Carefully, she pulls the hospital gown away from her side so that nothing embarrassing shows, and looks at the stab wound, which is now really just a mostly-healed scar. It should still look really bad at this point.

Niki has a heightened sense of understanding for what Peter's going through now, and as she watches him from the other side of Christa's hospital bed, dark blonde brows frown with concern. She moves around to his side, not touching him, but— she's there, if he needs help. As for the doctor's terrible-wound-that's-not, she looks at it, her eyes widening as she realizes she did that… but as for how to explain it, she's got nothin'.

"I can take care of that," Peter says, though he doesn't look like he's in much shape to be taking care of anything, yet. "I'll just need to see all the nurses and doctors that saw you and— convince them you've been here longer than they think you have, I guess." It sounds crazy, now that he thinks about it. "Do you think maybe they'd believe that you're just a fast healer?" he asks, sheepish in his glance up at her. He's still looking quite weak, but he's on his feet. For the moment.

Looking at Niki - who was the one who healed the wound - Christa says, "Thank you. Very much. You have no idea the nightmares this thing caused." There's a pause, and a glance down at the woman's knee. That seems to be doing pretty well. "Or maybe you do. I dunno. I just didn't know there was anyone out there who could heal." Little does she know that the person Peter got that ability from works right here at the hospital.

She drops the gown back into place. "Maybe, but not this fast," she says to Peter. Looking back at the board gives her an idea of just how bad the damage was. Now that she's better and breathing normally again, she pulls the oxygen tube out of her nose. "I can probably deal with that, though. I mean, if they get close enough, and they probably will. They won't buy it forever, though. That's not how this thing I can do works."

"It's the least I could do. I wasn't even sure if I could." Niki manages a small smile down toward Dr. Morris, sympathetic. It's hard to be mad at someone for doing something that landed them in a hospital bed. Christa seems like she's learned her lesson. There's a hasty glance to the door — someone's bound to come in soon — before she turns adamant blue eyes on the doctor. Adamant, but her voice is kept soft. "This thing you can do… you know how dangerous it is now, right? Even— besides what you did to us. You're messing with people's minds." …Like Peter is about to, but that doesn't mean Niki has to like that idea either.

"I've been able to do this for awhile. Trust me, I know all about what it can do. Usually I just use it to make my patients feel better - like I did with you.

It's either going to be him, or the Haitian… That much Peter knows. A few deep breaths and he walks over to the clipboard, glancing through the files to squint and see which doctor is written up. "I'll just convince the doctor overseeing you that you're well enough to check yourself out. That you weren't as bad as he thought you were. You can take care of the rest and take a few days off, too." He doesn't look like he's in any shape to be wandering around, but once he has the name, he nods. "Think you can fake it for a couple hours and stay in bed, then I can go in and see your doctor once I'm… sure I won't pass out after I do it."

"I've been able to do this for awhile. Trust me, I know all about what it can do. Usually I just use it to make my patients feel better - like I did with you." And for years, that's really all she's done with it. She doesn't mess with peoples' minds to hurt them. "I just made a bad judgment call."

She might do it again. She hasn't decided yet - it's just something she'll have to be a little more careful with.

With a deep breath, she nods. "Yeah, I think I can sleep for a couple more hours. S'long as no one checks me too closely."

Glancing at Peter, Niki half-suppresses a wince. Half (or more of) the reason he's so tired is that she must've worn his body out trying to use those crazy powers of his. She frowns at Dr. Morris, but she's not going to pretend she's personally better than bad judgment calls. Eventually, her gaze softens and she nods. Niki gets it. She starts for the door, slow, waiting at the door, barely opening it. Waiting for Peter. "I… really have to go home, but— can I talk to you for a minute?" A change from not wanting to talk to him at all.

"I'll do what I can as soon as I can. I don't want you to become some kind of science experiment," Peter says to Christa in an attempt to reassure. "I think I can manage one teleport, though it may be best I go to my apartment. Do you think you can head to your place from there?" He's not even completely sure where her place is, these days… But he says this as he moves toward the door that's barely opened. "Yeah, we can talk. We've been talking these days, but — yeah. I can talk for a bit."

Niki looks understandably skeptical when Peter says he can teleport, but — somewhat reluctantly — nods. "This… isn't really something I wanna say while I look like you." So glad that's over. Knowing the teleport drill, she grabs onto Peter's arm. She looks across the room at Dr. Morris and says softly, "Take care, doctor."

(Continued: Scarred Reflection)

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