2007-02-20: On Bitter Politicians

Starring:

Nathan_icon.gif Samantha_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan's last few days at Mt. Sinai before he's transferred to somewhere more private. He encounters Dr. Samantha Applebaum, and the two talk.

Date It Happened: February 20th, 2007(?)

On Bitter Politicians


Mt. Sinai Hospital - A Few Months Back

Sometimes, you gotta go along to get along. What that means for Samantha is that if she wanted to arrange for certain time off, sometimes you can strike deals with other attendings. Like for example tonight, where she's swapped shifts over to the burn ward for the evening while her aquaintance works in the ER. This will ennable her to get off earlier and attend a function that she really doesn't want to go to. Skippy.

First the general ward is checked - charts are reviewed, patient needs assessed, and then Samantha begins her rounds in the private rooms.

Nathan is awake, one of the few times this is true for him. The room is also empty, also a rarity, and that may or may not be his doing. When he hears the click of the door opening, he opens his eyes and turns a fraction to see who it is, almost wary. When he sees the doctor standing in the doorway, his gaze turns back up to the ceiling, almost dismissive.

Samantha walks in, noticing he's awake, and proceeds to the foot of his bed. "Good evening…" she lifts the chart and consults it, a brow arching. "…Mr. Petrelli." Her lips purse, and for a few moments she stands silent, reviewing the chart. She doesn't appear to be expecting conversation - part of her specialization is trauma wounds, and well…one can't get much more in terms of trauma then the man lying on the bed. Keeping the chart in hand, she moves to check on the machines before looking at him sidelong. "I realize your current perspective on pain is very adrift," she says solemnly, "But the drip on your painkiller isn't the usual rate of dosage I see patients with half your damage try to utilize." With that, she moves so her face is in his view. "So I'm going to ask you, are you in any pain, Mr. Petrelli?" Maybe he's fine. Maybe it's enough. Maybe it's not, and he's torturing himself out of some kind of guilt. She's seen strange things, stranger behaviors, in the critically wounded.

One doesn't have to be attentive to listen, and Nathan seems about as distant as a man awake can get. When the doctor moves so that he can see her, though, his gaze travels up to her face, then he turns his head a fraction to take a look at the drip. "Last dosage knocked me out," he says, voice rough. "I'll take pain over being asleep, thanks anyway, Doctor…?"

"Applebaum." she supplies. "Don't worry, I'm only appearing for one night only; this isn't my usual beat. I could adjust your drip to make things easier without sending you into sleepy slumber land if you like." She cocks her head and looks at him, then moves to the side table. Picking up a mug of water with a straw kept at bedside, she lifts it and cocks her head at him inquiringly.

Nathan glances at the mug of water, almost resentfully, but then nods his head. His body shifts in an aborted attempt to sit up, and just allows her bring the water to him. After taking a good long sip, Nathan relaxes back against the bed, eyes shutting again. "Nice to meet you, Doctor Applebaum," he says, his tone more ironic than welcoming. "You can do that for me. The drip, adjust it."

"Yes, I can tell you're absolutely charmed." she drawls once he's done drinking, and moves to stand by the drip control. She holds the way gently, studying the flow of liquid with a critical eye. As she starts to make the adjustments, she comments conversationally, "I voted for you."

A very reluctant, graveled chuckle is drawn from Nathan, and quickly smothered. "You did. That's good. Itt was put to good use." He opens his eyes again and watches her adjust the drip, and lets out a sigh as the flow of painkiller is changed. "You see a lotta burns like this, doctor?"

"Would you believe me if I said yes?" she asks him, moving to pull up a seat. She can spare a bit of time, and when a heavily trauma'd patient is willing to talk? It's good to listen and let them engage. Feel grounded and connected, even with a stranger.

\\It's hard to tell, but Nathan raises an eyebrow at that, then nods minutely. "Probably not. But you're the doctor." He's silent for a moment, as if trying to choose his words wisely, then clears his throat. "This isn't something that's gonna heal, is it." His eyes aren't exactly the way they were but he still manages to fix her with a demanding, expectant stare.

"In Columbia." she says quietly. Nathan's not the only one with demons. "Some of the soldiers - guerilla, government - it didn't matter really - they used flame throwers. Very few survived getting caught in the way of one." She doesn't look like the sort of doctor who'd have been in Columbia. She looks like the sort of doctor who got into it for the salary and buys Jimmy Choos and only drinks expensive chais and possibly owns a yap dog. She looks back at him, meeting his eyes. "You might not be quite the same roguishly handsome fellow," she says, her tone a touch wry, "And your percentage odds are not high. But it's not impossible. It would be a long hard road, and years of reconstructive surgery, not to mention a boatload of physical therapy. They're remarkable things in skin regeneration these days, and given your family you'd probably have an excellent chance of being a candidate for some fairly cutting edge procedures if you so chose." She leans back, folding her arms in front of her. "So there you go. I'm not going to lie to you, but if you're banking on my depriving you of any hope because it's safer to have none then to have some, sorry - that's not in my job description."

"Just asking you your opinion, doctor," Nathan says shortly, and he takes a short, quick intake of breath as a tremor of pain makes itself noticed before the drugs and his own resolve slip it back under consciousness. "I'm not in the business of asking people to lie to me, doc. Just for me." Bitter bitter. He doesn't seem to regret his tone, though, and continues with, "So thanks for the profession opinion."

Samantha looks amused. "You trying to tell me that I should be shocked at the prospect of there being lies in politics?" She doesn't sound bitter, just wry.

"Nah." Nathan's mouth curls into something between a scowl and a smirk. "Just saying. Listen. You're on this once-off shift and that's why we're still talking." His voice seems to soften, but only due to the occasional slur as the higher dosage kicks in proper. "Haven't done it this much since I got here."

Samantha's expression turns thoughtful. "For you, it's easier right now to talk to someone who's a stranger you likely won't see again." No mincing words there. "As for me, well - it's you, or the gent in Ward 7 who keeps asking me what my cup size is. I'm thinking bitter politician is the win in this situation. So I suppose you're right, I'm using you for my own selfish ends. But if you'd rather sleep, or be alone…" she trails off, though makes it clear she's willing to grant what space he requires.

"Staying awake, not sure about the alone part," Nathan says with a slow, careful nod, then slants her an almost suspicious look, though it seems a little mocking. "You're not a shrink, are you? 'course you're not," he dismisses. "You seem enough like a real doctor."

Samantha laughs a little at that. "I considered psychology as a secondary specialty for a while." she admits. "I'm actually an ER and Trauma Unit attending." She studies him thoughtfully, apparently not ashamed or sheepish of regarding him in his current condition. Eye averting doesn't seem to be in her makeup. "And you have been through a fairly traumatic experience, and I know the ropes of that, a little bit. I wouldn't presume to be inside your head, though."

Eye averting seems to be in his, at least for now, and his gaze travels back up to that ceiling when he sees and feels her regard him. "Maybe some other time," he agrees, wry. "My head's not a good place for anyone to be in right now. Thanks again, Doctor Applebaum," his body shifts a little in an effort for comfort, "but I think I'm going to opt for being alone right now. Tell Mr. Ward 7 I say 'hi'."

"It's a true thing; chivalry is dead, you leaving me to the overly inquisitive Ward 7." She tsks and rises to her feet. "I'm on this floor for another," she checks her watch, "Two and a half hours, so if you decide you want another bit of monkey dancing for the organ grinder, tell the nurse's station to page me." With that, she gives him a smile that seems more about the upward quirk at the corner of her lip then a flash of teeth before she starts to stride away.

"They don't sue you for slapping, do they?" Nathan says sarcastically, in response to the topic of Ward 7, but nods his acknowledgment at her offer. He then turns to look at the curtained window and drift away again.

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