2007-08-04: No More Excuses


DFMcAlister_icon.gif DFCass_icon.gif


Cass and Ali have a heart to heart through masks in a biohazard room. SARS is fun!

August 4th, 2009:

No More Excuses

Bat Country Labs

The clinic is, thankfully, largely unpopulated with patients, this early afternoon. There's one bedraggled young girl with her mother getting a once over from one of the nurse-attendants; vaccinations and general check-up from the look of things. It's leasurely. Non-emergency. Relaxed. A respite from the usual.

The labs aren't meant for long occupancy, no, but they do have that back room; a brand-new, handlettered "BIOHAZARD - SERIOUSLY!" sign has been stuck on the door, and the one way lock is from outside in. The employees and volunteers here have taken the protocols that were hurriedly put in place the evening before very seriously.

Inside, a certain DJ has finally shed her boots, and is simply cocooned in blankets. Despite doctor's orders, she's gotten rid of the plasticky mask and its O2 delivery; a moment's defiance that has her coughing miserably and as feverish as the case studies say. 102 and rising, the nurses say.

Unfortunately, last report? She didn't eat dinner, for whatever reason. She has, apparently, been digesting a textbook on simple biology; the first thing someone grabbed when she asked for something to read. A few pages at a time, when opportunity strikes.

Ali may have gotten rid of the mask for now, but that will be subject to change. Slowly, Cass is wading through the test results and making sure that everyone who had the slightest contact with Ali is feeling alright and not contracting any symptoms. So far, they're alright. It seems they really dodged a bullet. Pulling on the proper equipment to go visiting, the clinic head gets the proper shot and a tray with a sandwich and some water on it. Not high dining fare, but you take what you can get in a medical facility. It's better than hospital food!

Past the biohazard signs and into Ali's room, Cass sets the tray down on a nearby surface and frowns. "If you don't eat this and put your mask back on, I'm going to tell Jack on you." A fate worse than death.

".. Hey." Ali looks up, blearily. Coughing once. "Huh? Oh. no. Don't. He's already gonna be pissed enough." she reaches out to fumble with that mask, voice very hoarse and rough; the food isn't paid much attention to. Besides. Hard to eat through a mask, right?

But she /does/ move to sit up, "What time izzit? I need to get Gene to run the tapes." One track mind, this one. And.. perhaps not /quite/ as focused as she seems. "Is Elena okay? She was comin' home. I got a .. you know. Thing for her." She makes an absent gesture. "Fruit. Figured she'd like it."

It may be hard, but Cass will expect it of Ali. Food is needed for a speedy recovery. Snagging a chair, she drags that over so that she can sit comfortably to talk with the DJ. "Take a few breaths and then take a bite," she explains to the woman. She'll sit here and watch to make sure the woman does it. "We've been running some tests and you're dangerously malnourished."

Quickly, she pushes the woman back so that she doesn't sit up. "I don't know. We're on lockdown at the moment. I'll radio later to check in on them. But, we have to have a /very/ serious talk about what you're doing to yourself." Frowning through her mask, she watches the DJ. "You're killing yourself, Ali. And if you think that helps Jack and the Saints, then you're crazy."

And the move to sit up is definitely abortive. Ali sighs, "m' not that sick." But the notion of /killing herself/, well. That causes protest. "m' not." The sandwich is eyed, and eventually started in on - a bite's worth. It's something.

"Gotta make sure they're alright, s' all. Not jus' them." It's defensive - "S' a lot of people that need 't more than me. Homeland's gonna catch me anyway, one day. What difference 's it make?"

A random thought occurs, in that. "M' really sorry. Prime was s'pposed ta take me to one of the safehouses. Wasn't s'pposed to get around you and the kid."

"Are you done with the excuses now?" Cass waited patiently until Ali was spoken what she has needed to say until the doctor speaks up. "You know, I've noticed you've been sort of thin lately and I haven't said anything because we're all getting leaner. But you're lacking in just about all the vitamins and protein that you need to just keep going. You're lucky that Prime got you to me this quickly so we could get you oxygen or treatment because the way your body is, your immune system is not strong enough to fight back anything. Even in this early stage, the virus would have killed you if they'd have taken you to a safehouse. They don't have what they need to treat something like this." Bat Country, however, is ready for everything, even apocalypse.

"You know what, you may be able to tell that crap to Jack and Prime, because they can't see the test results, but you're not about to be able to fool me. If you do not eat, Ali, you will die. You aren't just /sick/ you're /starved/. I take that very seriously and if I hear you say other people need to eat more than you, I will not be responsible for my actions. I've lost enough people in this war to lose another because she was too blind to see what she was doing to herself."

"I.." And Ali pulls that sandwich in close, her eyes closing. She huddles into those blankets, there - hard truths, perhaps, are the worst when they're thrown at you directly. It's perhaps predictable, how small she gets, as Cass's words strike home.

"I can't fight. I tried learning - guns scare the crap out of me." Very quiet, around a cough. "I'm no doc. I mean.. I talk. And I keep hoping they'll come after me instead of everybody else. A target. About the only thing I /can/ be." She takes another bite of sandwich, chewing. "I .. don't.. Just." She offers, softly. "I'll try to remember? I just don't think about it."

After having done her scary doctor routine, Cass softens slightly. Because this isn't just a patient, it's her friend. "You don't have to fight to be of use. I still can't do much, either." Sure, she can shoot Peter in the leg at close range. But, any other sort of fighting still has her at a loss. She just sort of wings and makes sure that she's out of the way when necessary. "And you /better/ stop talking like that. You're not just a target. You're the voice of the Resistance. And that's extremely important. We can't let them rule the air. Other people have to know that there are others out there fighting and helping people. It's not hopeless. You saw Good Morning Vietnam, right?"

"You'll remember. I'll make sure that you eat while you're here and I'm certainly going to make sure that you eat once you leave." How she'll do that is up to speculation. "We don't have time for people to feel sorry for themselves any more. Everyone's useful just by being alive and fighting back however they can. If you're a target, I can't let you be my babysitter any more."

"Hey.. now that's not fair." Ali protests, giving Cass a /look/. "That's the best part of my week, most of the time. And you guys deserve the day off." But she frowns - "Sorry. I just.. I know."

Wryly, she goes to sit up again, coughing once - and yes, another bite of that sandwich fortifies the trip. "Sometimes I whine. One day I'll kinda figure out how not to. I promise. No bringin' the blue lights here. Just - I keep wishing I could /do/ somethin'. More."

Good, she's eating. That is enough of a kick start for now. "Just keeping you in perspective." Honestly, she is. When Ali attempts to sit up again, she raises an eyebrow but doesn't say anything just yet. She shouldn't be exerting herself too much what with her low nutrition and SARS. "There's no harm in whining every now and then. I just had a kid, so I'm kind of steeling myself for the time when she can do that all day. Just, as long as the whining doesn't get in the way of what needs to be done. There's a lot you could do, Ali, and already do. If you're feeling like you need to do more, well, what you need to do is eat, get better, regain your strength, and then talk to Jack so something can be tailor suited to you. Your powers /certainly/ could be useful in getting everyone in and out of a situation safely. You wouldn't even have to shoot a gun."

She does it. Whether it's raw willpower or just a desperate /need/ to get upright, well. There are reasons to accomplish anything.

"I will. I guess. When he's not slammed. Seems like there's always, you know. Something." Nom. Sammich. Odd. It's as though a couple of bites in, those bites change to /wolfing/, as though remembering that, yes, she /is/ hungry. That sammich? Not lasting long.

"Cass? What happens if he does it? Peter. I know you know - Jack … well. What happens if he pulls it off? To us? To everybody?" She coughs into that mask, for a moment, barely breathing. It makes the question take a bit longer than it perhaps should - her eyes closing. "Ow."

When Ali starts to cough and have trouble breathing, Cass quickly takes up the needle and takes the DJs arm to inject the medicine that she needs to start getting better. The sandwich will be replaced in a little while, but not so much that Ali could completely stuff herself. That'd be bad for her stomach. "There'll always be something, so just take a minute or two to talk to him." Or Cass will do it for Ali. Even after all these years, she's still a meddler.

As for Peter, well, she's been trying not to think about it. Trying not to figure out what that might mean for all of them. "Then this all becomes a bad dream." That's all she can figure out.

"Yeah?" Ali doesn't even wince at the stick. She just … well. Call her a good patient, at least.

"It's not, you know. All bad - yeah, it's not /good/, but.." She pauses. "I mean. Look. Pop threw me out after I told him I didn't believe in God anymore." She smiles, faintly - "You guys - the Saints. You're family. maybe it's not perfect. Hell, I know it's not perfect. I keep hoping you'll let us drag you and Lach and the little one off out of here. But.. I wouldn't trade it. For what it's worth."

The woman coughs again - not quite as bad. "I still get to babysit, right?" That's awful important to her, for some reason.

It's all for Ali's best interest, but Cass tries to make the injection as quick and painless as possible. "No, it's not all bad at all." There's Abby and Lachlan and the Saints. However, that doesn't mean that everything is good. As soon as the needle is out, she quickly puts a thumb down on the spot to quell any bleeding. There's a bit of a wry smile. "Sometimes, I wonder why we're still here, too." It's no place to raise Abigail. "But, I can't just leave you all here. And Lachlan won't go without me." So, it's a Catch 22. "You get better and start eating right, and you'll be babysitting Abby in no time." Not only is it important for Ali, sometimes the parents need a night on their own. Or to just know that Abby is safe while they go out to try and save the world they're in.

"You can. You won't, but you can. I.. I get it. I do. But I keep hoping." Ali leans herself into that corner there - easier to stay upright. "Rumor has it homeland's been around." Even sick. Even now, she's worrying. "Is that the lockdown?"

"I know I can if I need to." Cass drops the needle into a make-shift bio-hazard trash can. It's not safe to just dispose of those things in the regular trash can. "But…" she frowns. "If anything happens to me, you make sure Lachlan gets across with Abby. Knock him out if you have to. I'm not letting Abby be an orphan." And she's already seen what may happen in her future. "Homeland talked to Lachlan about that bug attack on the White House. It's stretching, but we're just trying to take precautions so they don't dig up anything else. That's not the lockdown. Lockdowns to make sure no one spreads the disease to the outside world. The last thing New York needs is a SARS outbreak."

"Yeah. And Erin's still out there." Ali stifles a cough, looking tired. "I'll convince him to go." And.. she will. Too. Give her time. "The hard way, if I have to." She pulls the blankets closer around her, "But nothin's gonna happen to you, Cass. I won't let it. Not to you."

"Jack was picking Elena up last night - " A change of subject seems in order - she supplies it, hoarsely. "Not that I figure there was any, but did you hear anything on the news? They'd be screaming if they caught him, anyway. I was s'pposed to help.." Wry, "You see how that turned out. So now I worry."

"I have a feeling that Prime and his posse are going to take an interest in her." In fact, Cass is almost positive of that. "No, I mean, nothing will. Just in case. We're in a dangerous business." Defying the government and fighting and all that.

"We didn't get any distress frequencies." And if they had picked them up, there certainly would be. Coded, uncoded, something. They'd have heard chatter. "It's better that you're here, though. Don't want to get Elena sick after she just got back. Plus, you certainly need to rest up."

"Yeah. good excuse for that." Ali lets her head go back against the wall - eliciting a quiet *thump*. "Only so much resting I can do before I start fidgeting, though. Hey. That /reminds/ me." Of coughing, apparently, but that passes soon enough. "Do you know a priest?" She pauses. "Not for me. Jack and Trina. I was thinking about seeing, you know, if he had an /excuse/, if he'd ask her." She flashes a wry smile. "Or am I meddlin' too much?"

"Well, we'll bring you some things to take your mind off of it all." Cass smiles, because she knows just how boring it can be to just sit and do nothing. "If I knew a priest, do you think Lachlan and I would still be unmarried?" There's a wry grin through her mask and then she just laughs. "Not personally, but I can ask around. You're talking to a meddler, so, there's no worries there."

"… hey. If you guys need one? Then.. I'll see what I can do. Double wedding works - saves on the cake." Ali smiles behind that mask - a distorted thing, but.. her eyes are warm, even excited. "If I can find a cake. I can find a cake. That'll be the easy part. Tuxes might be harder. I know Candy, though - she'll come /up/ with dresses. Magically, if she's gotta."

The .. Dj. Uh. May be serious.

"Gene's pretty serious about the church thing. Maybe he'll have some clue. Hell, he might /be/ one by now - isn't there that internet site you can do the priest thing on?" But she..abruptly - starts the laborious process of crawling to lay down again. "mmmph. Dizzy."

"Lach and I'll get married once this is over. We'll have a big celebratory wedding right on the White House lawn." Bravado, perhaps, but waiting until the war is over to get married just always seemed like the thing to do. Even after Abby. They're already committed - the wedding will just be a big party for them all to celebrate at.

"I'll talk to him about that," Cass is still smiling through her protective gear. Allowing Ali to lie back down, she does her motherly thing and pulls up the blanket so that it's covering the DJ. "Lay down, nap for a bit. When you wake up, we'll get you some more food." Because she definitely needs to eat some more.

"Yeah. I.. cass?" Ali snuggles into that blanket - yeah. The fever's still there, and high. "thanks. For everything. I mean. Not just this. I owe ya a lot. More n'.." A faint shrug, and she coughs, once, miserably. "Thanks isn't enough to say."

Hence the blanket. Sweating diseases out is still one of the best ways to get them to leave. Oxygen, plus medicine, plus blankets will beat SARS. Cass is sure of it. "Of course. You're welcome." Because the Saints are family, and you help out your family. Even if Ali can't say it all, Cass can pretty much guess what she needs to say. As soon as she's sure that the woman is settled down, she starts for the door.

"… hey. And tell that nurse to quit lookin' at my butt." The blonde lump under the blankets mutters. If there was any doubt she's been hanging around Jack too long? That may lay it to rest.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License