2010-01-17: Stay Here And Get Better

Starring:

Maggie_V4icon.pngLaurie_V4icon.png

Date: January 17th, 2010

Summary:

Nothing heals you better from drowning than chocolate. And not being drowning.


"Stay Here and Get Better"

The Lovebox NYC Hospital

The world comes back in a blur for the second time for Detective Maggie Powers; this time, it's to a dim room and neutral paint instead of the sky and glint of snow and ice. Warmth, instead of freezing cold, although the chill lingers like it may never actually be abolished entirely. And for the second time, she's confused, but this time she comes 'to much more quickly. She hasn't been out long; the doctor has only just left, not that she remembers. She's been largely incoherent since the lake. Now, however, as soon as she realizes where she is — a hospital bed; the medical equipment and antiseptic smell are an easy tell — she sits up fast like the shot of a gun, a hand coming to her forehead. She finds a strangled string of blonde and tucks it behind an ear, trying to figure out…

…what the hell just happened, frankly.

The next thing that happens isn't going to help her much with that.

While she's sitting there, attempting to sort facts, there's a vague suggestion of movement from her periphery. Then, a lollipop jumps into view out in front of her. Lucky for the detective's sanity, it only does so because it's being held by someone standing directly off to her side. It's white, round, with a sprinkling of chocolate flakes at the top.

Laurie seems to have done a fairly good job convincing the doctors that he should be allowed to hang out at the resting patient's side instead of minding his own business in the waiting room like a normal person. Wherever he got the lollipop is anyone's guess, but, to that end, there's a pair of them; the second dangles at the edge of his mouth more like a cigarette than a snack. Besides the addition of a towel wrapped around his shoulders, and the fact that his hair is entirely mussed, he looks much as she'll remember him in that as of yet vaguely damp blue dress shirt.

When he seems to be sure she's had time to focus on the sugary presentation: "White chocolate."

One might be hard-pressed to find a person who looks more confused than Maggie does at this moment. She stares at the sudden lollipop — what appears to be a magically appearing heart, for a moment — and, in turn, she stares at Laurie. The normally well-oiled gears in her mind are turning more sluggishly than usual, but they're well on their way to warming up.

Just when her stare starts to seem completely blank, she takes the confection, pink-tinged fingers wrapping around the stick. "…White chocolate is my favourite." A fact which prompts an ever-so-slightly suspicious stare at Laurie. Pause. Eye narrow. "You— you shot her," Maggie says slowly; questioningly. She's just making sure she's remembering correctly. Hypothermia can make one imagine things, and she was in cold water for too long.

"Lucky me," the gift-giver chirps, as Laurie stares at those narrowed eyes with an almost childlike display of casual ignorance. A smile from him tinges the innocence, however, as lollipop in his own mouth is revealed to be not white at all, but circular and dripped in a pink that is lightly some imitation of strawberry. Since she's relieved him of his offering, he goes on to grasp the towel at his neck on either end, idly scrubbing at an ear. There's little change in emotion from one subject to the other; he only sounds an ounce more matter-of-fact than cheerful when he relates back to her, "With a gun."

"I didn't expect you to be using a bow and arrow but…" Maggie leans ahead, drawing her knees up underneath the blanket that layers her hospital bed sheets, the dullest of grey-blues. She props her elbows on the amorphous shape of her bent legs and twirls the stick of the chocolate heart about between her fingers, watching it thoughtfully. Suffice to say she's not pondering the wonders of sugar, though. "…I don't remember seeing her. When I came around, I mean." Thanks to the quirky behavioural consultant with the pink lollipop heart. "She was gone. Did she get away or— "

"You know, I could've, but it takes a little more…" Laurie's hands pull away from his neck to make a brief, dying before it started, attempt to demonstrate stringing and firing such a weapon. Palms turned upwards to signify defeat, he moves back to his former pose. "I'm out of practice anyway." Evening his weight out between both legs, he stays quiet enough to let her piece it over. When she's done, he's sobered in a way that's unusual for him, yet the expression retains believability, and perhaps a little danger. "She got away," he affirms, "Posed one of her conundrums. I made a decision. I think, I say, I think it was a good decision, you'll have to agree with me." And just like that, he's regressed, tugging the strawberry confection out of his mouth to nod it at her, "Have some chocolate."

Maggie, leaning ahead a touch more, looks over at Laurie. A good decision, but her agreement will have to be postponed. Her dark, knitted countenance is at odds with the whimsical candy in her hand, which has stopped its steady twirl. At its mention, though, she looks back down to it. It spins one more time. "She's our murderer, Miles. She killed all those people. I saw her melt the ice, just like the victims were burned." She doesn't understand it and as a detective — as Maggie — it bothers her. She's been awake for minutes and already she can't stop thinking about it. "It doesn't make any sense, but I saw it with my own eyes." Bright eyes that go wide, adamant on Laurie. "She was barely touching the ground, she said she was a god."

He's fully prepared to illustrate how one puts candy to mouth, bites down, and swallows — in case she forgot, being all frozen and such — but Laurie pauses right before the exaggerated biting part. "I know. I saw, too. Also, I was rudely eavesdropping on your conversation." Not that you'll catch him sounding all that apologetic about it, considering. The edge of his mouth quirks briefly, teasing some expression that never quite makes it as his own narrow eyes meet hers right on. After a thoughtful hum, he recites, "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness… but as a man," he allows gracefully, "she was especially fleet of foot." This time, a bit more intently, "Have some chocolate."

The slightest hint of a smile is brought around, reflective at the quotation. Maggie shivers, though it may or may not have to do with the lasting physical effects of the lake. She draws the blanket up either way, sneaking an arm underneath to tuck it up under her chin even as she's almost curled into a ball sitting there. She doesn't look much like she wants chocolate, though she definitely looks like she needs it. "If it'd been anything but a lake…" And on that disturbed look of hers, chomp. The chocolate disappears into her mouth, save the stick. "How'd you know where to be anyway?" she says around it, not exactly ladylike.

Aha. Much satisfied, Laurie makes a few rounds for his own lollipop, clearly unable to judge on the matter of if you should or shouldn't take with one in your mouth. "Then it wouldn't have been much of a lake," he muses speculatively, though it's hard to not say he's noted the nature of her look off of it. "Her regard isn't for the killing," is the answer after a moment, "Not entirely. There's a game to it, a test. You choose, somebody lives or dies. But really it's about her own power making you make that choice." A light sniff, he gestures out to suggest that the conclusion is obvious from this but, just incase, there's a verbal confirmation. "I suspected she'd try and insert herself into the investigation somehow… or, I just like following you around." Eyebrow-waggle. Imagine the possibilities.

Maggie, over the lollipop, now minus most of its chocolatey flakes, gives Laurie a lift of her own eyebrows. "…I'm going to pretend you only said the first part. And yeah — she likes the games. She likes that people are afraid of her. With what she can do, it's no wonder that they are," she says, resentful anger finding its way into her words. She whips the warm blanket to one side. "I wanna get out of here, I have to go back to the station. She's shot, she won't be able to hide so easy." Then again, the woman could practicallly walk on water.

The grin that engulfs him clearly describes that Laurie's aware of his own silliness, and he's gracious enough to stop making those same eyes at her. For now. He doesn't exactly stop her from trying to get up, either; it's more he remains planted in that same spot she'd have to be in order to stand. There's only a careful, downward gaze along his nose for sounds of anger, but at the last he raises his chin helpfully. "Also, I got her to take her clothes off." This hangs in the air just as long as that kind of announcement demands. Off-handedly, "So we have a sketch."

"You— " What does one say to that? How did he even— ? "You what?" The question is even more piqued in confusion with her slightly raw voice. "What about blood, did we get a sample?" Maggie, to her half-hearted satisfaction, isn't hooked up to anything so harbouring as an IV — only a heart monitor. She tears off the electrodes wherever she finds them, confident that her heart isn't going to stop and that she's not going to belatedly drown (it happens; true fact!). She moves as if to swing her legs over the side of the bed, but Laurie is there, so she moves to the other side.

Really, Maggie shouldn't leave. She knows it, but she's more than willing to put her own well-being (physically and mentally) if there's a sliver of a chance she can finish the job. It's only once her legs have emerged bare from the sheets that she encounters a problem. Maybe her brain is still a little sluggish after all. "Speaking of clothes." Hospital gown: not the best attire in January. Especially in Maggie's particular post-drowning circumstance. "I don't suppose they sell pants in the hospital gift shop."

It's a skill— more so than he even realizes, though not so much that he didn't craft a career out of it before that insanely timed retirement. That's what it says on paper, at least. "I gamely asked her to follow her own rules," he supplies, simple as that. Some detail therein, stuck in his head, persuades him to take a glance around the room at what may have been set aside by the doctors. Through the ride to the hospital, the detective had been wearing his own jacket, but there doesn't seem to be a hint of its long black shape here. "They took one, but it's yet to be seen if the cells lysed…" He trails off, gnawing at the strawberry treat and curiously watching her realize her predicament.

"I don't suppose," he echoes in disappointment for her, still holding his ground though she's found other to tread on. "They don't even sell white chocolate lollipops." Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw.

Turned away from Laurie, Maggie looks down at the mysterious white chocolate lollipop and gives it a bewildered, dimpled smile. She sobers up quickly, though, because there's the pressing matter of pants to be dealt with. Determined as she is to leave, against her better judgment, she has sense enough not to waltz out of the hospital this way. Into the cold. The thought of the cold makes her shiver not-so-suddenly as she wishes winter didn't exist. The normal thing to do would be to wait and send someone to get her clothes from her apartment, but— "I bet there's pyjamas in one of those cupboards," she points out — literally, with a light air jab using the lollipop. Remembering who she's talking to, she adds, "Could you … check?"

Head dipping forward and to the side to obligingly follow her point, Laurie finally shifts off his invisible marker, one foot towards the intended drawers. After a quizzical 'are you sure?' in her direction, he takes up the stride to the cupboard. A yank opens the first one, revealing extra blankets and pillows. The next has a selection of plastic-wrapped things the patients are probably not supposed to be touching. So he rifles through them a bit on principle. In the third, and last, he leans in to identify its contents and voices a triumphant, "Aha." However, when he grabs this discovery and turns around to her, he's only unfolding his own jacket.

"Your jacket," Maggie announces the obvious — neutral, even though she's still stuck in a hospital gown stasis. "Well." She'll just have to take matters into her own hands, then. After a ponderous look at the undoubtedly cold floor below her dangling feet, she grabs the hospital blanket, wraps it around her like a long cape (of warmth and modesty) and hops down. Instantly cold toes flex against the hospital floor before she gets her bearings and heads in a faintly irregular line to Laurie and the drawers, which she rifles through herself. "You're good at saving lives," she says, "but not so good at directions."

All the rifling around and moving around of patients that ought to be stationary eventually flags the attention of the doctor doing rounds; the same young doctor who saw Detective Powers admitted. He pauses at the door and steps just inside. "De… tective?"

"I like this jacket," Laurie informs her with upmost seriousness, once again planted in his spot in front of the cupboards when she attends the school of done right, doing it yourself. A thumb rubs idly over the fabric of the thick black trenchcoat before he sets the length of it over the opposite arm, leaving the one on Maggie's side free. He only keeps watch on her until there's the sound of steps outside the door. Then, he reaches over and, pressing a palm against the front of the drawer she's on, navigates it closed again. He keeps the pace slow so as not to catch her fingers, but persistent enough that he'll eventually trap them should she not get out of the way. "I may," he expresses low and conspiratorial under the sound of the inquiring doctor, "have been directed to make sure you rest."

But— ! Laurie is met with an expression that can only be described as childish obstinacy, wide-eyed, furrow-browed, opening her mouth to protest. "I— " Maggie, holding the blanket around her shoulders, bedraggled and not looking much like the moniker she's greeted with — "Detective" — looks to the doctor and back again. "But I have to go back to work, I was there, I have to make reports," she insists with resolute seriousness.

The doctor interjects. "We're monitoring you for lingering signs of hypothermia and complications, Detective Powers, you need to lie down."

But—!

Good-natured patience butts right up against that childishness; what Laurie does can't quite be described as forceful, but has its own sort of push. An arm wraps around behind her blanketed form without really resting against her. With only three fingers he sets their tips on her far shoulder and uses these pressure-points to merely suggest she about-face towards the bed again. "I can assure you from personal experience," he describes meanwhile, "that not only will the paperwork wait for you to come back, but leaping out of hospitals early will, in fact, earn you more of it." Says the man who leapt without pause into a freezing lake. And doesn't look like he had a doctor even glance his way afterward.

"You know complications," he continues, upping the amount of push on her back incrementally as he talks, "They complicate things."

Maggie makes her way back to the bed at the behest of the doctor, but mostly due to Laurie's manner of urging. Guided, she shuffles all the way. She sits on the edge, feet once more dangling. It's with an almost wistful frown that she watches Laurie, resigned to her temporary fate. "I know, I'll stay here and get better, but…" The forced off-duty detective dips her head down amidst a mess of blonde waves. "I don't want to do nothing while she's still out there somewhere. If I have to stay here, you shouldn't. Go back to finding that psychopath."

"Stay here and get better?" Laurie pipes up after her, "That's a brilliant idea." So good you thought of it, detective. What a smart woman. There we go. Her seated, he unravels his coat from his arm and swings it out with a flourish to get into the sleeves. It may also be retaining some dampness from the lake, and the dripping Maggie hugging it, but he shows no reaction if it is. "Anyway, you're not doing nothing," he adds absently, tugging a bit to get the coat into place around him, the collar straightened out. "I've already had them send the preliminary test results here, and that officer who wanted to interview you will probably be back from the goose chase I sent him on soon. He'll probably get here," he spins his arm to regard the bright face of a watch. His shaking of it might suggest it didn't agree with the underwater dive earlier. Oh well. "… around the same time as the cookies."

He spouts all this off then turns distractedly on his heel and strolls towards the open door. Spinning briefly to smile at her, there's a parting, "Remember, Powers— To preserve health is a moral and religious duty, for health is the basis of all social virtues. We can no longer be useful when we are not well." Throwing up his arms in a celebratory 'there it is!', it's then back to leaving.

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