2010-12-24: Unwrapped Gifts

Starring:

Maggie_V5icon.pngLaurie3_V5icon.png

Guest Starring:

Petunia

Date: December 24th, 2010

Summary:

Christmas Eve May Contain Nudity.


"Unwrapped Gifts"

Forrester Ranch

Echo, Wyoming

The house seems markedly empty, but it holds its cozy warmth well as its temporary residents surely get snowed in. The lights of the Christmas tree shine, adding their cheer to a living room presently empty of people to enjoy it; not the work of mysterious elves, however, but the woman who, yet again, plods up the stairs after a trip up and down. This time, she's a completely different sight — cleaner by a mile, wet, bloody clothing has been replaced by a black tank top more served for athletics than bed and the same plain, bluish drawstring pyjama bottoms as the prior evening. It's all wrapped over by an unbuttoned lilac-hued knit sweater that is the epitome of comfort and warmth; just what she needs.

Maggie is forcing herself along with the illogical drive of someone who's been tired for so long they simply exist in that state. To say she has a second wind would be quite the overstatement, but there's a certain wired gloss to her eyes where the twinkling lights them through the banister.

Coming upon the upstairs hallway, she has on an expression of distracted aggravation, but she smiles at Petunia, who has found her way up to sprawl beside the door to the guest bedroom designated to Laurie. The Labrador dozily lifts her head and lays it back down with a groan.

Idly running a hand through half-wet, wavy hair that appears as though she abandoned drying it halfway through an attempt, Maggie leans toward that same door to … hesitate. Soon, however, she gives it a little knock, one, two, three gentle knuckle raps. When there's no answer, the door gets an expectant, questioning look, which turns to concern and, ultimately, debate — a conflict which does not quite resolve before she eases the door open anyway, quietly stepping along with the inward swing enough to get a look inside.

Empty, but not barren is the first impression of the room that's been assigned the consultant, where a distinctly primary color set runs over the four walls, a primly white dresser that wouldn't even reach Maggie's shoulders, and the last remaining pieces of an old plastic castle fort shoved into the back corner — but pulled just slightly out from where its rounded feet have made lasting imprints in the carpet. What is undeniably a child's room shows signs of having been hastily outfitted for a grown man, with a more suitably lengthy afghan hanging broadly off the edges of the perfectly made bed — a phenomenon that was likely uncommon back when a kid slept there. The consultant's suitcase at the foot of the bed may also have been for his feet, though the construction of the bright bunk-beds might have made any stretching out inconceivable.

A sweep of the room — if — is all it takes for the guest resident of this chipper adobe to also appear.

Timely to the front door opening, another one follows in chorus, not out in the hallway, but there, in the room; a touch diagonal to Maggie's step — leaving it straight on to the natural slide of her gaze — the adjoining bathroom opens. It's kicked lightly ajar with a foot, bare, and then elbowed the rest of the way with an arm, also bare. The lilac and cream colored door expands this image.

Damp, fresh: water that glistens in the soft bedroom light clings to the mold of Laurie's firm shoulders, the sculpting of his chest, sleek definition mottled by a gradient of history's scabbing to the sharper, shinier bruises of the day — radiated around where fair skin is broken by several dark-encrusted holes in that cluster on his right side. For once, the left, with its tired swollen callous takes second place. These battle scars, washed free of the grime where they were born, gleam like war-paint in their new cleansing, enunciating all those natural, visible lines of male body. From where the most water lingers, roguishly mussing damp-darkened blond hair around his forehead, the stubble masking his jaw, curls amongst the muscles of his chest and… lower, where the pelvis leads in, pointing a smooth trail to— the fluffy orange of a towel.

Fabric jumps up, saddled higher onto his hips by hands just engaged in the task of looping two folded ends together to keep the towel in place. A usually simple task, made a challenge by a disagreeably beaten hand, Laurie is completely absorbed in that; that, and the no favors he's doing himself by occupying two fingers of the fully operational hand in a clutch of a cheerfully pink-clad iPod, its attached headphones drifting up his bare form to ears. That heft guards the swoop of body below his hip bone and, with it, vanishes a mark of black just inside the left. In and out the knot is made, with his prominent blue eyes fixed there, and he's eased a couple of absent steps into the room proper before a disarmed, so nearly disrobed, glance shoots to the open door.

The open door where he has a spy staring in. There ought to be zero question that she is an inadvertent one; the door has just barely stopped moving after Maggie's swing of it into the room, and if Laurie is caught off-guard, she might, by all appearances, be more shocked. Tired and unsuspecting, whatever it was, exactly, she was expecting, it wasn't this incident of colliding timing. This particular surprise completely and utterly chases away any cavalier response she's presently capable of.

Distinct features naturally prone to animation when left to their own devices come to life now; her mouth is caught wide open as if in realization as well as surprise. Oh. Her eyebrows jolt up. Eyes that, while tired and flooded with an amount of surprise and bashfulness that her expression is frozen between astonishment and alarm, are too bright to have missed a detail of the unintentional view straight ahead.

As Maggie throws a hand to her chest and clutches the top of her shirt as if to quell some manner of coronary failure, a high-voiced exclamation almost immediately sets a challenge to any earphones. "Oh my God!" she reacts hastily — perhaps overreacts with an added: "You don't have any clothes on." After this public service announcement, the actuality is expressed with a speedy — unplanned — glance up and down before she blinks quickly and blockades the towel-clad man from her sights with a modest aversion of her eyes. "Was that a t… sorry! You didn't a-answer your door— " A door which she pulls in as she steps back, almost disappearing. "I thought that I would— ask— "

Thud against the door before it can close. " — you if — " Petunia heedlessly bounds in, sending Maggie's quick work with the door flying — and Maggie, too, when she whirls abruptly to face the hallway instead; plan B. She holds a hand with splayed fingers near her temple to shield her eyes as she backs up, twisting, to hurriedly reach across her bruised body for the doorknob; a practical move half-blinded in the act by her own attempt at modesty.

Frozen where he was stopped with the realization of his glance, Laurie's a positively bewildered statue at the spectacle that unfolds, his hands at towel's edge and his face a blank slate of sorting for comprehension. Not bothered, the iPod rolls merrily on, undertoning cheerfully to the woman's exclamations — "Oh my God!" — Ain't it a shame — "You don't have any clothes on!" — Too bad. Uncharacteristically stuck for response, he finds himself not just marking her glance, but following along, dropping his chin to spy down on the evidence therein — no clothes, check. When he's raised his eyes again, Maggie has averted hers; it's in time for her to miss the springing of a hesitant, wondering smile to his previously unmarked lips. He gonna miss de girl.

A few, spare and breathless, chuckles escape from him before Petunia's bounding entrance absorb him in crouching to embrace the labrador's investigating face. His hands as much rub affection all over the dog's head and neck as stop her from ramming her own nose somewhere inconvenient. Muttering, nearly soundless, utterances of the girl's perfection drop off when the door begins to eke shut. Now's your moment. Shooting Petunia a look both apologetic and conspiratorial that she share his bemused opinions on the goings-on, he's hopping up — floating in a blue lagoon — with what's become a very expected wince — and running a hand along the dresser top beside him, trailing fingers into a few things along the way. Boy, you better do it soon, no time will— a tug releases earbuds to dangling in the air.

This time the door closing does not end with a bang, but a gentle redirection. It's easy, with a viewing impaired detective, to take a hold of the door's edge, leading it purposefully to a distance that — if she hadn't just gotten an eyefull — could be considered teasing.

What's initially very obvious is that there's a hand propped at the door frame where her eyes might open, and, draped amongst its fingers, is a fluffy orange towel. Contrary to this, the Laurie visible in the doorway is less than au naturale. The freshly bathed consultant has opted for the festive coloring of green and red plaid boxers, not as cheap as their holiday specific colors might suggest; what fabric hangs off him reads as positively silken, smooth, begging to have tangled fingers— the door's adapted position limits temptation; while his bare chest is presented quite openly to the hall, nestled close, even, to her doorknob safety hold, he's leant to keep the rest from normal public consumption.

"If," he's right there suddenly, warningless to those acting on modesty, sounding blithely inconvenienced, "… I wasn't wearing any clothes— ? Because I think you've now properly appraised both of us of the situation…"

The hall is no less privy to Maggie's range of expression through her efforts with the door, if not more. Behind the blinder of her hand, her eyes widen and offer up a dramatic roll to no one but herself — and contrarily, slipping out past her modest fluster is an amused quirk of her lips. She quells it by biting down upon the bottom. The move of the door, not to mention the sudden presence behind her, edges her gaze quickly to the side; a glimpse provides fingers clasping orange. Her assessment of the towel's reposition spells out apprehension on her face while her hands abandon their respective posts. She — very slowly — about faces.

Teeth just slipping from her lip just then, it's a purposeful straight-ahead gaze he's met with — animation still marking an otherwise pale, worn-down face. Her vow is one that falters when the combination of silky holiday hues skirt the edge of her vision, temptingly colourful. Her quick glance — down, up — is subtle, even expertly so, but likely to be made yet obvious by the lack of distance between her and the expert subject of her review. Hesitating, her mouth simply opens, moving ever-so-slightly without sound, save for an off-guard whisper from her throat.

"Yeah, I— " Maggie quickly reroutes, "I mean, no." Self-aware, she tips her head aside and gives a flat look to the doorframe — not truly meant for the figure in it. She takes to eyeing the ceiling and, finally, Laurie, with a renewed grasp on rationale. "I didn't mean to interrupt. I was going to ask for…" A delay; a hint of frustration, but she reconciles it. "Help with…"

On her trail off, she pauses and gives a determining nod… after which she looks down, following the path of her thumb as it hooks under the collar of her open sweater. She slides it off her shoulder, and gradually moves it down her arm, leaving bare a trail of skin colored here and there with small bruises. The sleeve is off; the next one follows, quicker, with a more purposeful hurry, until the slim black tank top beneath is free of the bulkier knit. She gets her hands under the hem as if to pull that off, too, right over her head — looking up, her eyes entreating his and staying there (and only there), and the hint of a smile playing, actually playful itself, at the right corner of her lips, doesn't exactly disbar that theory. It's but an instant; just as the shirt starts to lift, she turns before anything is revealed … front-wise. In fact, her sweater's held in front of her. The practical purpose of her disrobing is revealed, instead, to be less than appealing when the familiar sight of injury at her back rolls up along the curves of her sides. The zone around it is cleaner now; the wound itself is not. Its jagged edges flare with much aggravated pink threatening infection, and fair skin is a wash of smeared, fresh blood.

Looking over her shoulder, it's a sillier smile that just melts into a rather pathetic plea. "I can't see it," she says dully in honest petition about this great nuisance of a cut, "…and I'm just hurting myself more— you're my only hope."

Rocked head to the side, Laurie's curt sniff when she starts is in theme, as he brings all his weight to the arm propped on the frame instead of holding the door; it might look in pose like he's leering out, but his face couldn't dispel that illusion faster. Teasing has wandered off, leaving a bit of wry something or other to keep his mouth one-sidedly aloft. Languidly, as she finds and requests favors of his eyes, he watches her back, indulging a slow blink that separates their blues before rejoining them. In a bit more jerky impatience of moving, he pushes off his weighted elbow to rub a thumb along the side of his nose. His head tips the other way to the grip on her shirt, turning a corner that anticipates hers, getting him the fastest glimpse of her back as soon as it becomes available material. Adverse to nature, and enemy to all his gender, it's this slice of rent skin, the haggardly uncleaned condition, that piques his interest, pulling him a little straighter in posture. Again, the hand dips towards his face, but now scratching the edge of the thumb under his chin as he lifts it lightly for access.

Without a return to either her silliness or her plea, she's left to stew for a long quarter of a minute where he hovers strongly there, a pile of his own bruises becoming deceivingly comfortable with the immobility. "Yeahh… well, when you put it that way…" he finally heaves — a sigh, and off the doorframe. "All right, Detective Prude— " his arm sweeps in a wave, gesturing her in, "come in and keep your shirt up." The other hand, rolling off the door edge, also shoves with that leave, letting it float open further and, as he's stepped into the room, there's plenty for Maggie to enter through.

Plodding more lazily than with any grace, he shuffles to and then fumbles at the dresser, dragging some dark grey bundle of material that proves to be capri pants when he shakes them out with a snap of the wrist, stomping one leg than the other inside. Festive plaid is swallowed by somber darks, cradled along the curve of those busy hips as he loops an extremely messy tie out of them, leaving their hang questionable and — sure enough — a couple of seconds and then, drooping, and red and green wink out. Modesty here extends its vacation; a protective arm around his bare front proves only to be an arm smoothing along the fragments of skin and puckering under his ribcage. Testing fingers pull away tips of red, he rubs them together idly, smearing the color into the creases of his fingerprint. This discovery prompts a small detour to a drawer before the bathroom. From it he scoops up a couple of tissues, dabbing here and there around the bullet hole to alleviate the fresh stains. He doesn't bother with the exit wounds; what he can't see, well, he doesn't cure.

A vanish into and out of the bathroom is what gets the overflow of bandages given to him by the hospital volunteers, along with a towel dampened by the brief spell and sound of running water. Exiting, he seeks out Maggie's progress, his head slightly lowered and his gaze might be bashful peeking out — but it's only tired; weary, and, for it, a kind of utterly, unconcerned careless: all in all, not wholly different from what's known as his usual blaise. "So, there's the bed— " the bunks are gestured to, eyed, somewhat disparagingly with their connectedness and questionable head-room, "And there's those…" referring to the selection of fine rainbow-colored beanbags lounging near the recently disturbed castle fort.

Maggie's progress has placed her in the room without particular direction. One arm pins the bundle of her sweater over her stomach while her shirt remains raised — Detective Prude indeed, it would seem — and the opposite elbow props upon her palm. She's biting down on her thumb, when Laurie re-emerges, and he's tracked with her eyes. Study of his form, the tattered parts of it, is interrupted by a few quick blinks away, but concern solidifies her lingering. Lingering, save for a skeptical eye of the bunk arrangement herself, though she clearly spends no time truly considering the comfort of any option for herself; then she nods with a precise look toward Laurie's gunshot wound, the blood. "Are you all right with that…" she's soft in her asking, all around the hand pressed near her mouth, "… you're taking care of it all right?" Not ignoring his indications of where to situate herself, her hand moves away to sweep a gesture around the colourful guest room, past beds and bean bags alike to tack on frankly: "Wherever you want me."

Petunia's underfoot as soon as she can be, leaving Laurie to artfully dodge her incoming swerves around his legs — which he performs slightly less than accurately, once dipping a hand onto the lab's head to preserve uprightness. "I've had worse," he rates much more precisely of the wound; of the multiple punctures, even the largest gape pales in circumference to other worn scars in sight; though none exactly promote the idea that taking care was ever on the agenda. The best that can be said is that no dirt lingers around the break; the worst is that, out of water, into movement, stretching seems inevitable eventually — bleeding never far behind that. He gives a prompt nod to her decision, in a timely fashion tossing the other choice out, "Then we'll do it on the bags." Not a slip of the mouth more than to form pragmatic words. No flinch as he strolls, timely practical pace, to retrieve something off the former orange detour sign. There, he yields to the compulsion to thread it between his uneven hands, skillfully tossing it into perfect folds.

— something off the former orange detour sign that is his towel. Jumbled around his left hand in no real order, it's rubbed fiercely over his hair, his head dipped forward to get all around the back of his neck until — damp, but not dipping — each blond piece is standing awry.

… The bags it is, then; on approaching one of the beanbags, Maggie's tactic to go from standing to seated is one with the least amount of energy expended. she basically falls onto it knees first. It crushes somewhat under the sudden weight and, with much crinkling of its insides, she hauls her legs around in front of her, her back to the other bag nearest presumably left for Laurie. "You have had worse…" she agrees slowly, well aware of the truth in the fact from first-hand experience.

While she settles, leaning ahead to make available the damaged canvas of her low back, she looks up at him. Study of his wound passes — for now; upward, her gaze nevertheless follows him as she criss-crosses her arms around herself to reach the raised hem of her shirt. It's inched up again after it's naturally slid down with movement, up past a few ribs; another small bruise, there, at the right. Action has also aggravated the cut itself, and a narrow trickle of blood from the area prevented from healing threatens to eventually reach the thin fabric barrier of her pants. "What if you needs sutures?" she asks, twisting toward Laurie— then wincing faintly on doing so when bared muscles tighten in places that cause her pain. "You're just going to keep tearing it open otherwise."

Ends going every which way, a hand runs about his hair here and there, managing the mess without really smoothing anything down — eventually, he bores with it, leaving a mussed style that will dry into his is-it-on-purpose bed-head. Survey says: no, he's just lazy. On the approach to the impromptu medical bay, he itemizes the things in his hand, pauses, as she questions, for another off to side by the bunk beds.

To the bean-bag pool, he scoops a foot around the most definitely purple one close by, lining it up with that of the exposed curve of her back. Slinging a leg around the other side of it, his fall retains an ounce more control than hers, as his arm comes forward in the dipping motion. Darkness looms over those gazing eyes of hers — obscuring her view, and her wincing expression. After a moment of eyes seeking clarity, it's more of a dark green blur than a pure dark blue, and the fact that her head is now encased in something could lead to a natural conclusion. The dangling hat-tie might also be a clue. "Shhhh," murmurs Laurie's voice out of the imitation cowboy darkness. "I might poke you." Leveled as an extremely potent threat at her, prefacing as he registers as a presence behind her.

Long and lazy, his legs stick out in front, inside the spread of hers, around her bean-bag perch. Bare feet occasionally rest against the playful material, scrunching inside with tiny energetic pieces. The squishing, rending noise is soundtrack to the choreography of him settling in, pulling up the bean-bag like a chair productively behind her, though, in the end, much of him leans anyway.

First things first, the side of his hand swoops in, tracing that dip of her lower back unprotected by the arch of pants just below. The threat is passed. A warmed, damp towel dabs the rest of it more effectively a second later. "This will sting," he mentions, absent-minded but realistic, before, outfitting the towel around the tips of a couple fingers, he sets to the borders of the torn wound, skimming the worst of the actual cut so far to clear surface dirt.

The sudden presence of the hat comes as more of a surprise than the following touch and — indeed — stinging. The hat is, more or less, left where it is; nor does she move or flinch at the beginning swipes of the towel, only breathes out a tense, prepared breath so far. Her right hand is planted atop the new imitation Western adornment on her head, adjusting it with a nudge back as she looks back at Laurie, her face half-hidden between the brim and shadow of the hat and the twining blonde waves at her left shoulder — just a window of briefly amused blue, a hint of a smile. Her glance of him is just as sparse, since she stops before a twist of her spine interferes with Laurie's work. "I could poke you," she counters … or advises, not entirely joking, "I'm sure I could find a needle…"

"I said it first; you have to up the ante, or add 'plus infinity' to the end," coaches Laurie in a suavely mature fashion belying the fact that he's referencing a child's theory of argument tactics. Focus pulled in tight on his employment with her injury adds a certain detached flavor to the sentiment, lending even more baffling sincerity to its clear not. Evidence of their woodsy trek on her back diminishes, knocked away by swipes only as gentle as will not affect efficiency. Cleaning off the dirt leaves skin, cut, and sources of blood bear for better analysis. But as the process gets down to it, Laurie's actions get clumsier — contrary to their purpose.

Commitment narrows in even more, tunneling all his attention in; his left hand takes up its own issue with her shirt, diving partially underneath, fingers on her skin and fabric, to lift higher off the upper portion of the half-arc wound for its deepest mark. Trying to come in precisely at the tear's origin with the towel goes swimmingly — for a couple of seconds; then, he botches a specific swipe; luckily, catching his own fumble, he veers off, managing to not jab Maggie for the ineptitude of motion.

"Fff…" the irritated half-breath, half-hiss filters out of his teeth-bitten lips. Annoyance ripples up him, yanking him straight, his hand falling off of her and to his own side with a light smack to his thigh as his fingers seek a oval bottle next to his bag. The bottle is brought up, balanced on his thigh as he slips off the screw cap. "Onnee… moment, sorry…" Some generic brand salve, it reads as, that will help soothe the unyielding blisters forming on his right knuckles, below where they've been completely stripped of skin, along with the patchiness of the rest of the hand. "What a pair we make…" he scoffs wryly when the ease of even that task comes into question.

A faint squirm from an otherwise still workspace likely doesn't help Laurie's most recent, delayed effort. On the cease of his ministrations, Maggie does twist around to aim glance to his troubled hand, her face a kinder sight than the angry skin in front of him — hers and his. "Can't take us anywhere," she says lightly on a small smile, sympathetic instead of wry.

Much delayed from Laurie's argument tactics, she goes on to point out: "And … I don't want to stab you with a needle times infinity," Easy facts, no quarrel as Maggie turns back around and lets her arms hang between far set knees; a straddle that doesn't go awry with her present cowboy image. "I'm… well, I'm no seamstress but I'm at least at the same level as you are with this," a tip of her head, hat and all, behind her. "It's a fair trade…"

She barely has time to resettle; she can't seem to — her attention immediately aims back at Laurie's hand. It's a twist to reach, but she does regardless of any complaints given by her back. Her two hands hover gently over his around the bottle, and the aiding touch she then brings is so light it barely contacts the skin. "So," she says as fingers sneak around his — hers still retain some cold, as if they've never quite warmed from their adventure out in the elements — and dismiss the salve's cap. The remain, afterward, over the open bottle and Laurie in a fragile grasp. "What do you say?"

"I never asked for a trade," pointed out as even and easy as hers, his head down to what he's doing — off of smiles and glances, "You asked for help. Which I promise I'll be right— " Balancing act of bottle on thigh, cap in hand, fingers for salve: all interrupted. Just insignificant touch and his chin springs up, lifting his eyes to hers; his fingers curling in as to guard from some questionable fate. Trapped on two sides, that left hand hovers in a light fist. "You don't have to— " Though it's much too late. There goes the cap, her hands again encircling. His fingers flex minutely in and out while the right rests in waiting over his other leg, inflexible and itching.

Prickly, his back's become, rising him not only upwards on the bean bag but retreating from her with a physical lean. His wary hesitation plays with other emotions behind his eyes, but none move forefront to be identified. Only, he stares ponderously at her for a drawn out second. With a quiet breath, he then deflates, body molding into the curve of his slouch, the hand escaping away to the side from hers, disguised as a needed propping support. "Fair's fair," is the pronouncement as he frees reins of the salve bottle to her, with a shrug and bored toss of his head.

"Alright." And yet Maggie's pose remains for a few moments, the bottle in hand, turned toward him in that way that makes a curve of her spine; static, save for the quiet regard she gives him — continues to give him — under the shade of the hat. It's a wondering study similarly layered, a wondering, overtop other emotions behind her eyes that stay back; if only because she turns ahead to address the bottle and her gaze disappears.

A rightward leaning knee precedes her turn, shifting a bit atop the colorful seat to angle herself slightly that way, and she reaches for the weatherworn hand. Again Maggie's touch hovers, and she looks up in innocent question, as if double-checking that it's okay before one hand then lays atop his, tacky with the curative substance. It's on that tone that she says — a light, offhand, almost upbeat critique of his hesitance, "You're very slippery, Miles." But there's a more serious sentiment, there again wondering, not so light, in her eyes; they then fall to her task.

Salve over his skin, gentle as can be over the broken, irritated landscape; she's chary of any tells of discomfort. Her other slides underneath, knuckles against his thigh, to hold and curl his hand this way and that on her remedial whims. Hand, fingers, near those knuckles; she makes efficient work of the little restoration where needed, but in gentleness, the undertaking is not hasty, interspersed with light soothing gestures and glances up.

"My ribs might disagree with you," Laurie remarks, mostly droll, but drained of much of the negativity of sarcasm; it's fact, and it's bemusedly funny. He doesn't bait to further enormity in her, his eyes blinking free and clear when next they flicker to the detective. Neither does he indulge a flinch or exercise her caution with a reaction to play from. A smooth study of his own scourged hand, tempered with an edgy restlessness to have its function returned. There'll be no tolerance for weakness.

Amid her work, his steady, helpful sitting is broken only once: as her other hand skims the surface of his leg, he pitches the arm down, dropping his elbow onto that same thigh and jutting the hand out towards her — helpful, right. And also purging her knuckles off him. With the affected hand now lifted between them, barrier, he creates a double one by crossing his left arm leisurely over his lap, fingers braced and tucked in front of that propped elbow.

"Weeelll." Maggie holds Laurie's salved hand up higher between hers, brandished like a prize that's just been unveiled. "There," she announces with light triumph. Her hands unfurl to leave his free; she remains half-turned for a moment, however, in regard of the impromptu doctor turned even more impromptu patient before the tables are to turn again. There's a quick flash of something — a bit of bother; it hangs on a few seconds before tired eyes are assaulted by a bout of blinking that washes it out, and she smiles a bit just as tiredly as she turns away, scrubbing against her pants to free them of lingering salve. For no other reason than to twine fidgeting fingers into it, she swipes the length of her half-damp, curling hair over her left shoulder toward her, leaving free her upper back so markedly unmarked by anything — except freckles. "As you were! If you're all right." Pause. "You know. Relatively speaking."

A few test clenches of that salved up hand follow, flexing in and out, critically appraising swells that seek to stop his fingers from bending. He's there with her when she turns, though, scooting to the boundaries of his beany seat to make up for lost space as though it were time. Wasting no more, he hooks the left thumb underneath the hang of her shirt, looping beneath and then pulling up to wrap fabric over her shoulder to help in holding it there. Smooth, fair, skin but for the scythed notch below her spine, those bruises: her back, a bare canvas. One that he exploits firmly; not keeping a sentinel on her shirt, that hand cups the air just hovering below her ribs, stretching his thumb towards her curvaceous center where it presses almost possessively, planting down then gradually easing towards her side, spreading the wound, exposing its depth, and particles trapped, preventing healing.

Infused with new mobility, he dips in now with a less bulky instrument than the original towel, prickling her most sensitive areas — of the injury — to carefully scrape it clear of infection-risking foreigners. There's no foreplay about it; he gets right to, humming a kind of preliminary warning only; the touch of his thumb her singular countdown. But, in a way, with that initial sting shock-starting the mind, it distracts the mind and, fading, reveals that there's suddenly no more sensation — but a duller throbbing born of irritation in being prodded at, due to fade.

Pushing elbows off his knees, Laurie traces along his seat to find the bag, the bandages nearby. With the accustomed movements of much familiarity, he layers on the gauze, crinkles bandage from cover and then positions it on. "Have you had any soup yet," he pipes up out of a silence as throbbing as the numerous injuries between them; meanwhile, palms to her bare skin, he smoothes the bandage down — a massaging, lingering application that lends her taut back some repose from tension. Steady, soft on— quick off — though it wouldn't have seemed so, during. "Or are you collecting after this?— don't move one more second."

Sitting through the various sensations focsed on her back, Maggie burns metaphoric holes in the wall ahead of her with her eyes throughout. A hitched breath and tensing muscles here and there — not always coinciding with direct contact with the wound itself — are otherwise her only responses to the renewed ministrations. She's turned her ankles in, knees tilted out as she wraps one light, idle hand around a calf left half-bare by the cut of pyjamas not vastly different from Laurie's.

"Uh," comes the hazy reply as Maggie is jarred out of silence like it was a daze; her back ripples here and there on an instinct to sit up straight that's quashed. Her hand falls from where it stayed wrapped in blonde onto, instead, the crumpled barrier that is her shed sweater. "I had a cookie," she announces; no, in other words, although she sounds quite upbeat about it. "On my way past the kitchen. I'll have some after. Don't forget, yourself. I wouldn't want you to pass out on me." Respectful of instruction, she doesn't move any further, though the break causes a near imperceptible hang of her head in vague relaxation.

"Just for you," he replies with similar buoyancy; suddenly, hands are back — "I'll make sure to step out of the way if I feel the urge coming on." — the curve of the insides of his hands touch base with her sides, flirting with the way they could fit so shapely against her, curve to curve — but vibrating away before touch can really become. "This is cold." Warnings have returned, and their accuracy is no less. Thumbs of both hands implant on the bruised beaches around the inland of the wound proper, ruminating now beneath the bandage.

A chill at his touch, sparking like a lightning of sensation, before the balm's properties set in — that, and Laurie's begun to run his thumbs in caressing circles, pressure increasing by increments to a kneading that, along with the ointment's terms, encourages blood away from the swelling. This massage spreads, seeking out any discoloration of her back, and setting the ointment in with the same, circular stimulation. Round and round, they're all attended to. And, finished, his pressure vanishes from everywhere off her, tuning in the crinkling of him moving around on the beanbag. "Okie dokie, detective…" Twisting; he's stood up, rubbing his hands together to gather the excess lotion.

The time is spent in a drowsy-looking repose by Maggie, eyes almost closed, seeming more peaceful through the unexpected tending save for the tiny muscle responses that divulge a definite awareness. "Thanks," she expresses by the end, a touch discomfited but no less sincere. "That feels better." She's pushing up in the same breath, causing an uproar from the beanbag. The salve is left atop a nearby low-lying kids' table, the sweater on the beanbag, and turned away, she tugs and slides her black shirt down over both curves and the newly mended injury. This all takes only seconds, and she's quickly spun about with another goal.

"Hey," she says straight to Laurie. "Fair is— " Fair is interrupted by an untimely yawn that has her bringing both hands over her face, steepled until it passes. Undeterred, her hands fall naturally into pistol-like mimicry to point at Laurie, and, specifically, his wounded side. " — still fair," she finishes, blinking past the effects of tiredness. "So not so fast, we're not quite through. You're still bleeding. You can sit down, while I try to find some more, questionable supplies." Heartening. As she reaches down to retrieve her sweater, then, Maggie tips the silly cowboy hat at him. "Careful," she warns in a serious tone unmatched to the much sillier smirk and arch of an eyebrow upward at him just before it disappears under shadow. "We're on a ranch. If you try to get away…" The particular threat might be joking, but there's a certain matter-of-fact… "I'll have to bring in the lasso, and I know how to use it."

He's snagged by that interjection, paused halfway stepped around the beanbag, and it's along, and a little, his left shoulder that his eyes have to pass to meet— her yawn. Eyebrows write dubiousness as to her ability, jumping 'hands in the air' in surrender at her finger-esque weaponry. What starts as a suggestion of rumbling becomes a full-fledged, complaining groan when he follows her point to its target. "Mmmmm," the whine completes, naturally, with him flinging himself down upon the purple bag in a tantrum-worthy drear. The drop is sudden, boneless, and uncontrolled — his weight crashing lazily is enough to snap the beanbag to bloated attention that threatens to explode it beneath him. It doesn't. "That was supposed to be for the hand."

Nearly reclining right off the seat, his arms flung unattended to either side, his glance up from a lowered head, crisply shadowed by reproachfully lowered eyebrows, is even more wary on her. "You've really embraced the role the hat has given you," he speculates heedfully; but, even then, indignation signs are lightening everywhere — somewhere, beneath, if dug into, is esteem. His head lifts idly off the bag, the same energy expounded to lift a demonstrating finger as his eyes fall forward. "Now, see," scolded as a lesson, "Tempting me to make you prove that will only make things take longer." Hand dropping, tap tap tap, crunch, all fingers pitter patter out a bored rhythm on colorful patches of textile. Suddenly, he bolts straighter with energy his whole body likely resents, followed by a inquisitive twist to look for the gunshot exit wounds to similar physical effect. He spies on the array of half a dozen holes of varying sizes, from mere speckles, more bruise than penetration, to that leader, raggedly circular, gaping into his abused insides. Even now, a third of them distort, pinching and swelling with threat of agitation under his turn to see. A solemner beat to absorb… then, cheerily, "I might still have some drug warehouse thread in my shoulder if you're looking for some…"

"Are you saying you want to get l— never mind. Just stay there." Shaking her head, an amused glint finds Maggie's eyes, and a smile spreads both rebellious to Laurie's scolding and her tiredness — perhaps, in fact, easier to appear because of it. Even as she replies to his offer and casts a skeptical glance to his shoulder. "…That's… alright," she says, sliding into her sweater's cozy sleeves. The smile only starts to shift away as she steps around to lean in slightly — a hand planting on her knee, every movement gradual — to critique his assaulted side. She looks right into it as if trying to formulate a game plan — that's exactly what she's doing. Her assessment turns out to be less than favorable; she won't be dissuaded, but she nevertheless grimaces.

Petunia is suddenly beside her, seeming to copy her intent pose of peering at Laurie, although she seems much more optimistic; it's contagious, as Maggie's smile returns and she ruffles the dog on the head. "Keep an eye on him, Petunia. I'll be right back." She leaves the dog, and the dog's new friend, to head with slower than usual strides for the door on her mission for questionable supplies. On her way, she informs Laurie — cheerful, herself: "It's not just the hat." She pauses astride bedroom and hallway, a hand on the frame to glance back inside, both lips and eyebrows curving up in amusement, "This is where I'm from. You should see me ride a horse."

Things are a little less amusing when two other faces decide to steal your gig; eyeballing the attending physician and her dubious assistant, Laurie's arms fold over his chest, in a high pattern graciously not shielding their view — but almost not. Throwing his head back, he rolls it along the beanbag to find her when she parts, speaking. "Well then, why haven't I!" Shock and horror; how could this opportunity have slipped them by. But he doesn't press it, lifting his head off the bag — he couldn't see her by the door at that point, anyway, only some mysteriously managed sticker placement on the ceiling.

Left to his own devices, Laurie engages in Petunia's company, rifling fingers in the air temptingly before they smack to the bag, indulging, instead, this slumping posture. "Well, then, Nurse Four-Paws…" There's no conclusion; he trails off, eventually, sniffing and leaning his head towards one shoulder without quite letting it tip all the way. Left hand captures right, interrogating all those brittle angles given brief reprieve by salve and massage. Breathing in, deep — heavy — he's… tired in exact frame to the beating a single glimpse of his body produces. His hand pulls back, catching his temple before his head completes the fall. Tossing one leg, then the other atop of it, he transitions into needing two beanbags for himself.

Tick, tick… time goes by; blood begins to crest the major hole. Tick, bored… tick, tap a finger… tick… "Mmm!" Not a groan, but an excitable exclamation of realization. "Powers!" Head speedily redoing that roll to the side — is she at the door? He can't see the door. It's questionable, even, if she can hear his call. To this purpose, his hand plants, thrusting not dependably enough against the fluid chair, and nearly tipping him to the floor instead of his goal of twisting to his untangling feet. "A cookie— "

Maggie's absence is filled with only the faint, distant sounds of rummaging through various unknown downstairs corners, telling only of the fact that she hasn't the first clue where anything is in the house, a beeping noise, and footsteps too tired to be quiet. It's the latter that approach a minute after Laurie's call.

"Well," she says from the hall, sounding unconvinced of her own pending announcement. Her hands are full from her mission: the first-aid kit acts as a tray for a small sewing kit, a mysterious plastic box, a mug — it features an old-fashioned Father Christmas — and, set atop the drink, a cookie. Her glimpse to the doorway gives her a faint start at seeing him — and Petunia! — closer than before, and she rebalances her things precariously. "You're in luck," she says of the items she tips her head down toward. "Sort of. You'd be luckier if you were a horse."

This goes unexplained for the time being, as Maggie is quite distracted with all she has in her hands; it's a task to keep it all steady as she moves toward the room. The kit is held against her and she manages to loop a hand in the mug's handle deftly enough and offer it — and thus the cookie — toward Laurie. "It's cocoa. It's not soup, but…"

Oooo forms Laurie's mouth, eagerly removing the object of his upmost desire from off its hot and chocolate-ly perch — which Maggie is not relieved of so quickly; instead, he uses a free hand to dive into her tray space and pluck up the mystery box. She already gave away the contents of the mug; this box could be anything — it could even be another cookie! "Strictly speaking," is mused distractedly as he espies his stolen treasure, "then I wouldn't exactly be seeing it…" Turned over in his hand, the box seems to be being evaluated for its potential to vanish easily into the voluminous pockets of the green hoodie he's added to his repertoire since last she laid eyes on him — a sight barer than he appears in the hallway. The cookie is being raised, blindly but accurately, to his mouth, but stops just before, his lips moving against its crumbling edges as he evaluates generously, "I've had the proper ketamine dosage for a large animal on this adventure already; I'm sure with a little imagination, we could keep the theme going with other things meant for a horse."

Alert, bright, eyes and a face that's been flashed blank with imperative of thought jump to attention on her, snack food hovering in front. "Be gentle, though," back down, his absence of voice and eyes returning; same time, he pivots around her, brushing into the child's bedroom with his little box and cookie absorbing his gaze, "It's supposed to be more risky bare-back…"

"Wha— " At the door, Maggie remains blinking and poised mid-word, her mouth open as she spends a moment piecing together two lines of conversation that were, in her mind, completely unrelated. "Th— no," she blithely defies, following Laurie and gesturing around the kit at his mystery item; not, in fact, another cookie. "The box. The box, it's actual sutures." Good news. Bad news — or, as it turns out, fitting news: "They're for horses. So sure. There's a theme." A smile travels along with the sideways nod of her head, cowboy hat and all, and a pointed glance toward their colorful medical bay. Through this, an easy, matter-of-fact advisement: "For starters, you'll have to take your shirt off." Upon this instruction, however, Maggie suddenly turns and picks her way around the beanbags — and Petunia — to set the other items upon the small table. "I'll try to be gentle— " A quick pause interferes; she turns around, cocoa in hand. "With the stitches."

"Oh, I know." Whipped out with almost insulting cool, Laurie balances the box with the tips of thumb and finger, "That's… why there'd be a theme, see, detective." See; or not, when he ends the delivery glancing forlornly to the hallway of near escape. The cookie is pulled a few inches away and eyed. Tricky treat; it lured him back in with distractions. Striding after her, he plants himself in a loosened, gangly heap on the beanbag again, easily enough. Cookie, traitorous as it is, gets set aside somewhere — not thoughtfully enough to be out of Petunia's realm of reach. "I'd already been shirtless," remarks the hoodie-adorned consultant, stuffing his hands into new convenient pockets like it's a luxury, "Thought I'd try something new." Regardless of Maggie's return, up and over go his legs, replacing one, then its crossed companion, onto the second bean chair. "Buuuut, if the lady insists— " Zippp shht! The front zipper is undone with a flourish, and he sits forward a touch to tuck the right flap underneath his body, exposing only as much as there's wound, but doing that fully.

Maggie only raises eyebrows at Laurie's commentary, lending little more. She veers away from her task-to-be in order to tug of Petunia's collar and mindfully wheel her away from the cookie she'd already begun to eye. She spends a quick moment tugging the entirety of the small table around to Laurie's right side; it's plastic, and takes barely an effort even tired. The mug is set on a corner within reach of Laurie should he choose to take it, and she folds herself onto the floor by him. The cowboy hat must then take its journey off her head, and so she places it on the nearest hat-rack: Laurie's knee.

"Okay," she prefaces, "I'm going to make sure everything is clean first." Her hands included: a pair of handy white disposable gloves are familiarly slid on, and she presses a few fingers near, but not on the shot area of Laurie's side. She makes quick work of splashing over the already bathed wounds; more time is spent by gentle fingers smoothing across bruised skin, searching for any stray bits of shrapnel.

"Since this isn't your first time, you'll have to tell me if I do something terribly wrong once I get there," Maggie says levelly — but turns a smile upward. "I've seen it been done before, but I don't have your memory." Still; she doesn't sound particularly nervous about the task thus far. She goes on to retrieve a tube of medicine from the first aid kit that was not there before; it's numbing gel — for teeth. She's improvising; it's at least as good as horse sutures. "Tell me now if you have an allergy to topical anesthetics or…" she squints at the tube and raises her eyebrows, "…bubblegum. How is your memory— " she starts to ask, an idle sort of conversation track as she gets ever closer to the sharp part of the mending, reaching for needles, alcohol; casual, but she pausing only briefly to glance up with curiosity. " — after the ketamine?"

The string of the cowboy hat dangling in-between his legs becomes a convenient thing to toy with, while the other arm extends high over the bean-bag, keeping his side stretched and open to her. His lips roll into each other, drawing his mouth into a line. It's Laurie's miniscule sign that he isn't immune to feeling. Even shaded by nearby hoodie, it's obvious when his muscles tense — more at her initial touch, as if in anticipation, than her actual cleaning and rooting; it's also as clear that his breathing remains normal. "But only terribly— I wouldn't ever recommend doing everything right," he remarks, taking this time to glance down at her preparing handiwork, for the first time. She's not nervous; he's not interested. The look down becomes a look away. "It's not very interesting, and people will start to make excuses not to hang out with you."

A spare eye over at her instruction, but not an ounce of response out of him — in face, or voice. He waits until the question, fiddling the hat cord into looping designs around fingertips. Somberly, the corners of his mouth swerve down, and he's out to avoid her eye, and all that curiosity. Lower lip is gnawed gingerly before it cracks open on a mournful note, "A bit traumatized, to be honest…" Sigh; maybe too much of a sigh… "Afraid to trust anyone again…— put itself out there like that. But!— " Sucking in a hopeful breath that inflates his mouth, curling a nervous smile as he rests his cheek on his shoulder to gaze at her, "With time, and a good therapist, I think it's going to pull through."

Eyebrows raise as Maggie humours Laurie's answer; amusement mingled with a small shake of her head. "Well good," she says good-naturedly, "I wouldn't want your memory to stay so traumatized." She sets to dabbing the gel on him, around the edges of the wounds — entry, exit — and liberally around. The playful scent of bubblegum fills the air, hearkening up images of bright pink candy. It's not out of place in the youngster-oriented room they're in, but it certainly acts as an odd contrast to the buckshot wounds. Hands leave, she settles down cross-legged, and alcohol mixes strangely with bubblegum; she's cleaning a needle.

"Are you sure— " Only one curved eyebrow hints up at Laurie this time, and only for a split second; the rest of her focus is on his side. Her every feature presses into a steeling, focused determination, lined deeper for her tiredness, focus that much more of a hurdle because of it; but her voice remains its good-natured casual— even for its probing. "You're only talking about your memory, there, Miles?— sutures," she interrupts herself, reaching an expectant hand out for the box that is no longer a mystery, the very tips of her gloved fingers smeared with red.

"I'll give it your regards." Numbness setting in coaxes the muscles into relaxing — and ignites the opposite side to tense in compensation, or jealousy. In a way, detrimental, as relaxation causes him to sink deeper into purple textile, bubbling beads up around where she would work at the exit wounds. Squishy bits of bag bloat up into ragged blown holes, tinged black even when clean, their skin seared. Blood, quickened to the surface by interaction, gurgles out of the largest in a single, growing droplet threatening to flow.

Laurie'll trade her: an eyebrow for an eyebrow; his regard lasts longer, holding before drifting, aligning to some distant corner same as his mind when his lips pucker in thoughtfulness. "I'm not even sure I'm talking about my memory," he admits guiltlessly, batting aside that — and, absorbed in it; inward curiosity deflects from him spotting her hand, or hearing its purpose. "I wouldn't send my worst enemy to a therapist— unless my worst enemy was a therapist… which," mouth opening in a grimace, not born of her ministrations, but a twinge of unfortunate realization, "actually, is probably true… No." Faraway qualities vanish into straight-forward fact, light, but unarguable. "I think it's safe to say, memory's intact." The firm hold of his eyes drops, only slightly, his eyelashes fluttering a touch lower, wearier. Not surprising in their state, what with bruises, the cuts — ones even on his cheek, trading skin for red under the same eye.

That said, he releases all those hints of underlying emotion with a brief, casual sniff, shifting his lower arm from stretched behind him to snub his nose along with. "Now, what are you talking about, sutures," Piped up, after a pause — a punch-line's timer — "I thought you had them."

Maggie has drifted out of her focus by the time Laurie rolls around to the topic of the sutures that her hand still waits for; that is, it's shifted from his injury to his face. It's there, watching him in a much less critical, but no less intense study, that her gaze stays — through his wearier look down, through his play about sutures she doesn't have — and through her own answer, light and airy compared to her expression, though tinged with a hint of good-natured scolding. "I did. Before you— " Cold metal touches to the skin of Laurie's (relatively) unmarred, and not numbed, side for a brief instant. The tip of a needle. It's a harmless pinprick, but a pinprick nevertheless —you — before it trails quickly down a few inches, as light and potentially as bothersome as a tickling fly. " — stole them," she ends pointedly, and the needle is safely gone.

The sensation has barely had time to fizzle out before there's a different one, at the puncture bleeding the most: the swipe of first aid material meant to clean, as it does now by Maggie's reaching, ready hand. Not dissuaded is her gaze; she's barely at her task before she's glancing over, as pensive as a moment prior, seeming on the verge of commentary unrelated to the oh-so-mysteriously missing medical supplies.

"Hey!" Called like foul as Laurie sidles his side those same few inches further from reach, his hand checking the obviously slacking hoodie for chinks in the armor that leave him bare. It's more a move of simulating hurt pride than affectation by the needle; he scoffs at her accusation. "Don't you think I would remember?" Asked boastfully, resettling into comfort at this less convenient — for her — position. "Besides— if I had done something like that… they weren't stolen; they were offered me as if on a white to silver-esque platter right next to the edibles." He concludes as significantly, using heightened eyebrows as punctuation — then distracted; he sorts about for where he's left the cookie, and the Petunia who has been separated from it. "Maybe the nurse has them," he deliberates as if this were the most logical thing in the world. Meanwhile, his hand nearest her flexes in and out, sliding down the beanbag its own few inches, pining for an action he denies.

Maggie's thoughtful stare wavers only beneath the arch of her brows and a smile, an expression that is both amused and disbelieving. "Oh I completely believe you'd remember," she states matter-of-factly, waylaid. She goes along, offering a more lively raise of her brows as she suggests, "But maybe, she planted them on you." Maggie is not so effortless with the faulty logic — and conspiratorial eyeing of Laurie's sweater — but she's humoured about it nevertheless, even as her open hand nears with increasing expectancy. They do need those sutures. "So naturally, you could help me look," she says, encouraging, her other hand reaching as though to grab for the hoodie at his back, "come on."

"What," he only half-heartedly snaps, keeping things reasonably casual around his playful offense, "are you accusing the good nurse Four-Paws of?" The accused has situated herself nearby, basking in their nearness, her lying body a barrier between them and anything that could crashing through the door to take them away. Laurie's look over the shoulder of the side Maggie grabs towards simultaneously avoids his noticing her reach, and drags the hoodie along his body with the move, edging that side and pocket further towards falling off him entirely. It slips with a certain weight to it, inching off his permanently unsettled skin at that infamous rib. "I dunno, detective," his voice comes distantly, with his head turned opposite her, "She seems pretty cool. Maybe she's— "

Maggie's twist is something of an awkward, left-handed one, that hand being the least bloody, reaching across him— and when he doesn't notice, she almost aborts a mission not truly meant to grab anyway… but she gives in to seizing this unexpected opportunity. It comes as a surprise to her when she gets a gloved finger around the fabric, at the very same second that her sweater brushes past his bared skin. She tugs the sweater back toward her, back over that infamous rib, to go ahead and sneak a hand in to grip around something… " — totally innocent?" she finishes for him; her expression, looking up, exemplifies the same — smiling, totally innocent, not that of a thief — until she quickly pulls a procured item from his pocket and the expression suddenly turns more quizzical.

The sweep of the sweater on her skin, or natural intent, twists Laurie straight as the hand claims its unmeant prize. Again, a blurt of unfulfilled action from a left hand that darts up, pushing off the elbow— and falls back down, indenting crumbling beanbag. "Ah— " the sigh is similarly cut off before fruition, as the futility comes into play, watching as her fingers make off with something of his. "… hiding… something, was the answer to the puzzle," he quips, mild poise unaffected by brief reaction. "Maybe she's hiding something…" He doesn't appear horrifically upset that she's fondling the little blue item — in fact, very box-like, itself — but not the one. Underneath, his stomach sinks down, shying from sweater contact and Maggie's breach across his body; the beanbag is not exactly willing, but accepts him after a second. The clenching of muscles, even on the numbed side, procures the awakening of blood-flow.

"Sorry," Maggie apologizes regardless of Laurie's apparent unaffected reaction. She sits back fully upon her heels. Her arm easily withdraws only to reach ahead as if to hand the item back — but it's caught her eye, and she finds her quizzical study of it lingering, enough, in fact, to momentarily delay her care of Laurie's bleeding. Her head tilts, amused, curious, fascinated by its patterning, a little apologetic for her inadvertent thieving… "What is this? Ahh, I know— " Not what it is; rather, she sweeps a look to both Laurie and Petunia, pointing a finger around the strange little box and declares: "Whoever finds and gives me the sutures back can have this… mystery… box." An over-expectant look goes to the dog, who perks with interest as she's addressed, "Petunia?"

Investigating her while she affords the same to the box, Laurie's posture eases upwards, gaining a firmness out of his slouch in a subtle, small touch of, perhaps, pride. Even so, he deepens his casualness by rocking his head onto the raised, and purposeless, left hand. Nothing, though, can be done for the filter of smugness tainting the corners of his mouth, tugging one side just that bit higher than the other. Though he performs a near same mistake as lost him the treasure box — a glance, rotating around his knuckles, towards to Petunia — his eyes are soon on Maggie without a ripple of change, urge, or bother. All in all, he looks pretty darn pleased with events.

When neither Laurie nor Petunia — naturally — speak up, Maggie spends a moment regarding the former's expression and gives a roll of her eyes so tremendous her whole body sways to the right. A dimpled smile appears at the end, but it curls down with a hint of frustration, too. "I could shake you." She sets the box down on the little table, not seeming to actually care that it's within reach. Petunia cares, hefting herself up to wander over to the pair to, sniffing around, try to get between them. She's affectionately but firmly elbowed out of the way after several tries— for now. "Miles," Maggie implores, good humour intermingling with her very intent focus on getting these wounds dealt with. She cleans stray blood around his aggravated wounds even as she goes on. "They are here somewhere. Do you want me to resort to frisking you? Come on, out with them."

Amusement at everything else finally firms at her latest threat. Laurie pushes up even more on the unreliable chair, smearing her last strike of cleaning into a trail towards his hip. In completely contradiction to this new attentiveness, therefore pure instinct, his hand branches out behind him to offer Petunia a few pettings beneath her ears, teasing the dog's naturally unreachable areas with refreshing scratches. But, too absent, in the end, when the effort reached dies before really working up relief for the animal. "Detective," he insists, emphasizing her title's purpose in this suture-vanishing mystery. "While I agree they are here somewhere — barring aliens, they are not here— " a broad sweeping of his hand to indicate his entire person, from head to unprotected chest, to cowboy'd knees, and outstretched but less relaxed bare feet. "Somewhere. And if I get up right now and find them, then I will be forced to take your present back and that is just wrong."

Maggie considers Laurie much more flatly for a moment, and gives a cursory eye to the surrounding floorspace — a skeptical just-in-case — before tipping her head once more to the side. At long last — and a sigh — a smirk just plays at the corners of her lips, almost smug herself— stopping just short. "Welllll. You wouldn't ever recommend doing everything right," she points out in pleased repetition of his own words; and so, upon that note, moves a hand to his shoulder to urge him to sit up and find them, wounds and all.

"No…" Laurie is ready, willing, and pleased to admit on the utterance of a familiar word pattern, "But I feel pretty good about this one." Wounds and all, he's already swinging his legs off their secondary post and heaving out of the bag — well, after a firm nudging of his shoulder causes him to slump forward. It makes him tip his stance to the left to follow his lazy one-sided fall in, but he performs it naturally enough, twisting at the same time as straightening. Before he's completely at his feet, he detours a swoop aside to pick up the several left-over bandages from his work on Maggie. Upright, his hands dive to the hanging zipper ends at either side, yanking on them preemptively. "I have a better plan— Merry Christmas," the announcement is highly chipper, and he nods, not looking, towards the mysterious blue box, "It's yours. I'm going to slap these on and discover the make-up of Karen Forrester's soul…" And, he steps off towards the door to do so.

Maggie swings her head toward the box, blinks at it as though bewildered— she doesn't form any words to Laurie's Merry Christmas. She shifts purposefully as if to get up herself, but her what energy has reroutes. She only turns slightly there on the floor. Laurie is still there in the corner of her eye, along with the wagging tail of Petunia following him; behind his trek to the door, the noise of crumpling and whoosh of air is obvious, along with a much quieter "mmmmhhhh" under Maggie's breath, along with something that vaguely sounds like her own version of "I have a better plan," tired and— in at least equal parts— frustrated. She's collapsed against the beanbag she once claimed, her wrists criss-crossed atop her forehead, free from her hands.

"Miles," she calls out, sounding briefly annoyed but, most, sleepier just for having laid down. She moves an arm up to peek toward the door. Annoyance gone; a disconnected thought, soft— "The Forresters are going to miss doing Christmas things tomorrow," she murmurs, "we should do something for them. Bring it to them. The kitchen is full…"

Laurie holds the door for Petunia first, managing to hold him at the door when his name beckons his attention to the detective sprawled on the abandoned medbay. "A charming idea," he approves gently, checking the labrador's tail thumping against his leg in an unfortunate spot that could use a bandage of its own. Coming off a wince, it doesn't affect his pleasant instruction to her, "If you fall asleep there, you may regret it in the morning…" Yet, that said, it's: "Goodnight, detective," before he slips from sight… but not quite from sound: "Try not to steal anymore of your stuff."

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