2007-08-14: Sick Days


Aileen_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Felix comes to Aileen for some off-the-record medical attention.

Date It Happened: August 14th, 2007

Sick Days

Midtown, NYC - 2601 - Prestige Midtown Apts.

It wasn't often that Aileen was off this early in the evening, but her boss, for once, decided to make sure she went home at a decent hour. So she'd decided to spend the evening relaxing. Yoga pants, tank top, glass of wine, getting ready to cook a little pasta. Turning the water on to boil, Aileen sets her glass down, moving to fish through the fridge for more supplies.

He's presumed a lot on the strength of their resurgent friendship. Enough so to beg for help privately, arguing that he doesn't dare use the normal medical system. Which is why a very nervous and obviously somewhat ill Felix shows up at her door, in his afterwork garb of slacks and white Oxford - it's his own particular secret that he doesn't actually much like wearing a suit, much as he loves his job. He's sweating despite the cool of the airconditioning, and his pupils are whorled down to pinspots even with the dimness of evening light. And he's never been particularly bulky, but his thinness has passed from wiry to merely gaunt. He knocks at her door, having been let in by a neighbor entering, rather than waiting to be buzzed up.

The call had been odd enough, but it hadn't really concerned Aileen too much. At least, not enough to cancel her dinner or comfortable outfit, and she simply figured he might have had some sort of nasty gash needing stitches or something like that and simply needed to keep it down low. So when Aileen moves to open the door, she's actually a little shocked when she sees Felix's condition. "/Shit/, Felix.." She moves, already offering him a shoulder if he's bad enough that he might have trouble walking around. "Come over onto the couch."

Felix isn't stumbling, though he's obviously a little vague. "I'm sorry to show up in this state," he says, quietly, only putting his hand on her shoulder for a moment. "I know what it looks like, but I promise, it's not as it appears. I don't have a habit - this was done to me."

Moving to assist Felix, even if he doesn't entirely need it, Aileen guides him towards the couch. "I believe you. Are you alright, though? Other than the.. obvious?" Concern is evident in her gaze as she mentally checks off what supplies she'll need for a bit of detox.

"I'm alright, otherwise," he insists, settling on the couch. "I'm….coming down for now, if that makes sense. It seems to behave like what I know of actual street drugs, though I was never in Narcotics," he says, blinking up at her. "I hate to bring this to you, but if I check in to an ER in this state, my career is over and done. No one would believe the truth," Felix adds, ruefully, looking down at tremblinghands.

Taking one of his hands, Aileen squeezes it gently. "Okay. Now.. I need to know as much as you can tell me about what was done to you. It /looks/ like heroin, just from what I can see here.. but I need some clues. Symptoms, how you're feeling, anything and everything you can tell me.. not just the side effects, even how the drug made you feel."

"The person who did this to me….this isn't a chemical. I mean, I wasn't injected or dosed. I think it was spontaneously created by an effort of will. I -know- that sounds insane. It is….."He looks back at her, searches her face. "Have you heard of a geneticist, Chandra Suresh?"

There's a blink or two as Aileen looks back over. "Yeah. He wrote a book.. Activating Evolution? I read it.. not too long ago, actually. A co-worker recommended it. I thought it'd be a good read simply cause I like all sorts of new ideas and theories of the future."

"He's right," Felix says, simply, gaze searching her face earnestly. "And the person who's doing this to me is one of those he calls Evolved."

"You're serious." Aileen continues to look back at him for a long moment. She tears her gaze away, looking for obvious puncture marks. But not finding any, she looks back. "Shit.. that's.. really something." There's another deep breath. "Alright. How did this feel? What did this person do to you, exactly, and how did it feel afterwards?"

Felix's expression is a little sardonic. "I can take my shirt off, if you want to inspect me for tracks," he offers, but his tone is gentle. He rolls up his sleeves - there are old sabre scars, but none of an addict's punctures. "Euphoric, vague. I lost consciousness for a while, more than once. There were later incidents that were closer to hallucinogens- god knows I had visions. But mostly it felt much like what I've experienced the few times I've been given prescription opioids, only much stronger. But it fades after a few hours….then there's pain, craving, fever. She didn't even need to touch me - it just happened at her whim."

Aileen winces as if struck as he rolls up his sleeves. "Sorry, I promise I believe you, I just.." She sighs. "Just the sort of procedure I'm used to when I've had to deal with something like this." She reaches a hand up, feeling his forehead. Sure, she could get a thermometer, but there's something to be said about being able to feel for the temperature without having to use devices.. and there's a lot less that Aileen has to use other than her well-equipped first aid kit. "Alright. So you're feeling pain, fever, cravings.. any sort of extreme hunger.. either for food or sex? Any nausea or abdominal pain?"

He's already a bit warm, though not drastically so. "No nausea yet, though I've had spates already," he says, trying not to grin at that oddly maternal gesture. "It seems to behave like opiate withdrawal when I go sufficiently long without her repeating it. No cravings. If anything, food seems abhorrent - no appetite." Which would explain the thinness.

"Okay, well, that's good. Cravings like that would mean that the drug's still in effect." Aileen removes her hand, getting up for a moment to fish through her first aid kit. "Okay." She returns with a pill bottle. "This is Clonidine. It's basically used for helping smokers quit, also to lower blood pressure. However, it acts similar to an opiate. So your body will think you're getting it, only you aren't. Should curb the symptoms. I want you to take one of these every time you get one of the cravings.. but only for a few days. After that, go to the store and pick up some patches.. probably in with the smokers patches, but look for Clonidine specifically. Use those, it'll slowly wean you off the feeling and the worst symptom you'll really have is probably a bit of dry mouth." She hands him the pills and moves to go grab a glass of water. "You aren't leaving yet, though." She insists. "Hungry or not, you need to eat. So you're going to sit here and eat if I have to feed you myself."

Felix favors her with one of those immense grins, though it's a bit shaky. "You're a lifesaver," he says, quietly. "I had no idea what to do, and if I'd checked into a clinic, that'd've been that." He takes the pills without hesitation, and nods at her scolding tone, unable to keep from smirking. "So, you can get this stuff at a nonprescription strength?"

"Yeah. It's not as commonly used for smokers, but they have it over the counter. Hense the patches for smokers. They tend to use it for extreme detox for heroin users, but usually they sedate you." Aileen states, returning from the kitchen, complete with two plates of pasta and sauce.

Felix all but sags in relief, and accepts the plate. Without much enthusiasm, really, but he's happy enough not to fuss like a toddler about it. "I'll owe you," he says, taking a tentative bite. "More than I can say. I think you just saved my career."

"You mean your marriage." Aileen teases, moving to sit down with her own pasta.

Felix rolls his eyes. "I know. It's sad. What can I say?" he says, wryly. "My last actual long-term relationship was a cop. We drove each other crazy with shop talk."

"Oh, god." Aileen moves to sip from her glass of wine, which she fetched from the kitchen previously. "I can imagine that was a fufilling relationship. Once you're done talking about work stuff, you have nothing to talk about and the relationship's over."

"Well, it worked. We had our respective hobbies," he says, patiently working his way through the pasta. "We only broke it off 'cause I got stationed somewhere else. Moved up to Seattle. But there was no attempt to keep it going long distance," he admits, though he doesn't sound all that upset. A little wistful.

"I had something like that. Someone in med school. Always studied together, even when we didn't feel like studying. Ended up somewhere on the west coast, I think, for his internship and I never heard from him again." Aileen murmurs, swirling the wine in her glass.

Felix gives her a look that's both fond and amused. "Look at you. Therapist as well as neurologist. I'm surprised you didn't bounce me out on my ass, the way I showed up. You believe me."

There's a sly grin. "Don't have enough friends to risk losing a good one to something like an odd drug addiction and something that sounds like it came out of a sci-fi novel." Aileen looks back over to him. "I once thought of being a therapist. I think I gave up, though, mostly because I knew that I'm kind of a hard person to deal with."

"I'm grateful," he says, taking a last bite and setting the remainder of the pasta aside. Well, he did eat most of it. "Yeah. It seems more nebulous and less concrete than most medical fields. Though I don't know - I'd never have the patience to be a doctor at all."

"Well.. I wanted to make my family proud.. and being a lawyer.. that just felt cheap and unfufilling. So I figured.. I'd be a doctor. I'd be doing something where I could support my parents later, if I needed to, where I'd make a difference to people and live happily ever after." She scratches her head. "I'm still working on that happily ever after part. Though I've saved lives, I still don't know that I've ever.. made a difference."

Felix snorts in disbelief. "What exactly are you expecting? I mean, what'll meet your standards? When you can resurrect the dead? Saving lives isn't sufficient? Since there are people walking around alive today because you exist. I can't claim the same, not so directly. Arguably I've put away bad, bad men and people are better off because of that, but it's not the same," He settles more comfortably on the couch.

"I just want to change someone's life. I've lot a lot of people who didn't deserve it live. No one changes. Not even because their life was hanging in the balance. It's like.. they survive, they're happy, it doesn't mean a damn thing. I just want to see something."

"Change how?" he asks, smile fading. "And it's amazing how hard it is for people to change. If it wasn't, I imagine we'd all be better."

"I don't know. I just want it to /mean/ something to someone." Aileen murmurs. "I think I'm a bit too much of an idealist."

"It does. If I can come off this, and keep away from my tormentor, you've saved me. It's a chain of events. Look. Think of it this way - you can't know. The docs who operated on me at Mt. Sinai when I got shot, how many of them think of me today? Maybe one, who's a friend. The rest have gone on about their lives. But say I put away some fool who beats his wife, and he doesn't kill her in a domestic dispute - they obliquely saved her, not just me," Felix is watching her, patiently, as if willing her to believe.

"Just be lucky I don't find out who this chick is. I'd beat her face in. No one messes with my friends." Aileen looks at her hands. "Well, I think I'm all talk, though."

Felix reaches out to take her hands, chuckling. "Nah. That's reserved for legbreakers like me. You won't wanna mess with her, her being what she is. I think she could bring anyone to his knees."

"Yeah, you're right. But it'd make me feel better. Besides, who would I have coffee with if it weren't for you?" Aileen grins. "Speaking of which.. we should do that more often. I kind of like ranting about the evils of the world with you."

"Sure. If you can deal with me talking shop. I'm dismayingly boring outside of my job," he admits, without any particular sign of shame.

"You talk shop, I talk shop, we pretend to know what the other is talking about.." Aileen grins. "It's all good."

Felix makes a lazy little gesture with one hand. "We can explain it. If you're smart enough to be a neuroscientist, you're sure as hell smart enough to understand being an Agent."

"But I don't know what it's like. Being shot." Aileen states.

He just laughs for a moment, before it turns into a cough. "It's not worth doing," he explains. "And happily, not generally something that happens to cops, even in somewhere like New York, no matter how TV makes it look. It hurt. Perversely, because what they used were armor piercing rounds, it didn't do as much damage as it might've had I been unarmored and the perps using ordinary bullets."

"Bastards." Aileen finishes off her pasta before she scoops up both plates and moves to take them into the kitchen. "How are you feeling now?"

"Well, the guy who did it is sitting in jail, and will be until the day he dies," Felix says, with a touch of smugness. "I still feel like I've been wrung out, but I'm hopeful," He eyes the bottle of Clonidine thoughtfully.

"Good. Cause otherwise I'd say the system is fucked." Aileen returns, bottle of wine in hand. She moves to refill her glass. "You'll be alright." She eyes the bottle. "Does this girl know where you live?"

Felix admits, with some visible reluctance, "Yes. She does."

"You're lucky I have a guest room, then." Aileen insists, and promptly offers him a glare. "And no protesting or saying no for an answer, because I'm not going to let you go back when she could easily just walk in the door and get you hooked again."

Felix gives her an owlish look. "You…you're expecting me to sleep here?" he says, surprised. "I can hardly….you've already given me more than enough help."

Aileen looks stern. "Look at it this way. I don't have a cat. I don't like to come home to an empty apartment at night. You can't stay at yours cause this crazy bitch might get her claws into you again. So.. you be my cat for as long as you need to stick around and promise not to shed on the furnature and claw at things and we call it even."

He does not, perhaps to his credit, ask if that means he gets to sleep on her feet. Or get his chin scratched. But Felix is visibly mulling this over. "I don't think she'd suspect I ended up here. And even with the meds you've given me, this is gonna take some detoxing, and I don't dare check in anywhere. I can call in sick for a day or two…." He raises his gaze to her face. "If you're sure. I can grab what I need from my apartment tomorrow."

"The hospital's practically forcing me to take some time off. They swear if I get any more overtime this pay period they're going to have to lock me in my bathroom or something and leave me in there." Aileen glances back over at him. "It'll be a good plan. I need to keep a close eye on your blood pressure, anyways. The danger of Clonidine is that it's also for lowering blood pressure so there's a chance it might have an adverse effect. Not likely, but.. I'd feel safer being able to monitor you. I promise I'm a good cook. We can rent a lot of movies or something?" She grins sheepishly. She actually looks rather excited to have someone over, mostly because the poor doctor probably hasn't had someone over for that long since she was a kid.

"Likely I'll be sufficiently feline that I end up sleeping a lot. And my blood pressure's generally low - I….This stuff doesn't interact with lithium, does it?" He asks, frowning a little, and reaching in to a pocket to produce a keychain with a pillbox on it.

"Shouldn't, but it'll definitely mean I need to keep an eye on you if you're taking both." Aileen murmurs, glancing at the pillbox. "Depression?" That's her first guess as to what he's taking lithium for.

Felix nods, lips thinning out. "Bipolar I. Pretty textbook, though I'm happily not a rapid-cycler," he explains. "We're in summer, so it's not usually as bad."

"Ah hah. That would have been my second guess. Yeah.. you shouldn't have a problem with the meds, but lithium's one of those drugs you really need to monitor, especially if there's a chance it /might/ interfere." She replies.

He eyes her for a moment, and there's something impish in his gaze. "What'm I going to do to repay you?"

"I have no idea." Aileen sips her wine, laughing a little. "You don't need to repay me. Really, I like the company. Don't get this kind of opportunity to do something like this anyways."

"What do you mean?" Now he's slightly more serious, still regarding her patiently.

Aileen grins. "I mean, I get to do life-saving stuff that means nothing to people who don't deserve it every day.. now I get to do something that's not even a burden and is actually rather enjoyable and it actually means something to someone I consider a friend and care about."

"Not even a burden," he echoes. "You may not say that in a day or two, depending on how well the Clonidine works. I hope it's as easy as you think."

"If the Clonidine doesn't work? Then I get to figure out what does and nurse you back to health." Aileen chuckles. "I hate to tell you Felix, but you came to the wrong girl to help you. I actually like this kind of stuff."

Felix disagrees. "More like the right one," he says, pulling himself up, and looking off towards the spare bedroom. "Let's hope you don't want to kill me, by the time this is all done. At the moment, though, I'll take advantage of the spare bed?"

"Fine by me. But I doubt I'll want to kill you." Aileen grins, getting to her feet. "If you need anything and I'm not up.. I'm serious. Just knock on the door. I'm a light enough sleeper that I'm sure I'll hear it."

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