Lauderhill puzzle of flesh
#1
He cracked open his emergency money reserve as well as a stash of vicodin. The freshly broken leg stabilized with tightly wrapped bandages and two pieces of wood... a make-shift thing, but better than nothing. Loose pants managed to hide it from prying eyes and if he needed to let his healer touch the skin, he could easily roll the fabric up...

The basic field medicine he learned as he served in MI5 paid off. And painkillers made Samiel feel a bit better.

He smoked a cigarette as he waited near the library entrance. Nicotine calmed him down a little bit, but the old psychic still couldn't help but think of everything that transpired the last night. Tempest haven't answered his calls, neither her nor Monty didn't came home before sunrise... The back-ups of his phone revealed absolutely fucking nothing... all he could do was retreading his steps. Tempest got him into her car, he told her what happened to him and then things became blurry. She ran, apparently begging to bloodlust and then he suddenly woke up in the backseat as if he teleported... maybe he moved there in fear...? Maybe he was paranoid.

Samiel sighed. He came here too early. Still had at least fifteen minutes to enjoy his smoke.
#2
Ashley had prepared her usual way. A small meal, lots of water. Iron supplements. Checking that the hand towel she'd inevitably bleed into was clean.

A broken arm and leg and knee injury was more than she could manage all at once, and this was something she told herself on repeat. It was okay not to do it all. She had to watch her own limits.

She routinely arrived about fifteen minutes early herself, wanting to make sure the study room had been properly booked and was accessible. As she scurried her way into the building, she saw someone definitely fitting Samiel's description.

But he was smoking a cigarette, and she was early! So instead she bustled in. Double checked the room. Set her bag down, then decided to pick it back up. Paced and mumbled to herself before deciding five minutes early was an appropriate time to fetch him.

So she stepped outside, spoke with a polite, knowing tone:

"Samiel?"
#3
Snapped out of his weird tornado of equally weird thoughts, Samiel almost jumped a little. Ah, there was his healer then... He finished his cigarette anyway, so it was perfect timing.

"That would be me, thank you for coming." He politely bowed his head and managed to offer her a handshake, crutch awkwardly tucked under his broken arm.
#4
Oh, gosh, handshakes right after cigarettes. She tried not to think of the smoke smell, though her nose wasn't very good anyway. She smiled, hurried to meet his hand with hers, fingers a little cold like always.

"I'm happy to help," she said, and she meant it. "I got us a room right inside. Sorry to make you walk."

This as she made sure to grab the door and open it wide for him, knowing she wouldn't be much help offering to support him, given their height difference.
#5
Samiel noted the coldness of her fingers, but said nothing of it.

"Thank you..." He said as he limped through the opened door. "And don't worry, I've managed to get this far, few more steps won't kill me."

The fact he managed to finally get some painkillers helped a lot. The older psychic mostly remained silent as he was lead to the prepared room, didn't really felt like being chatty... Well, who could really blame him after everything that happened.
#6
In they went. Ashley smiled apologetically, was thankful their study room wasn't far back. The space itself was ordinary and library-y: a conference table, a few chairs. She definitely didn't want to ask him to stretch his leg across two chairs, but working half bent forward from her own chair would also be uncomfortable.

So the answer was obvious: She'd be working from the floor!

Ashley turned the chair to face him after slinging her bag on to the table.

"I think I should be able to make a lot of progress on your leg today," she said. "But, um. It will be about two weeks before I can work on anything else. I know of some other healers I could direct you to, and they could maybe do the rest."

And for free. Because. It didn't tire them out the same. And they were better people than Ashley. Because they didn't charge money. She tried not to spiral about that right now.
#7
Two weeks? Did he had two weeks...? When was the last new moon...? Ahhh, dammit... He thought he had this much time.

"No worries, one thing at the time." Samiel said with a nod. He managed to painfully sit down at the chair, wincing. "The leg injury is the most... annoying one..."
#8
"I can imagine," she commented with a soft frown. "If you'd like to roll up your pant leg as best you can, that would make it easier for me to reach. Or I'm happy to do it for you. Just always like to ask."

A mousy smile, grabbing her black hand towel from her bag, slinging it over her shoulder as she cracked open a new bottle of Walmart brand water.

As always, she wondered how the injuries came about. But it wasn't her job or place to ask, just to do the work she was being paid for.
#9
Samiel just nodded and rolled up the fabric. The way he dealt with his injury was rather crude, but it worked. Four pieces of wood forming a bit of a cage, strung together with bandages. The fracture area was swollen, bruised but stabilized. Veteran of psychic warfare, back in the days always on his own, forced to improvise...

"Should I remove the... uh... stabilizer...?" he asked. That's going to be a bit painful.
#10
Oh, gosh. That was certainly something he'd built. Ashley considered it for a moment, then shook her head.

"I can work around it," she said. She settled with her towel and water on the floor, hoping that the healing process wouldn't be made more painful by this contraption. They'd find a way to make it work.

"Um. Bone healing can be uncomfortable, but shouldn't be more painful than what you're already experiencing. If you need a break at any point, it's always okay to ask. Do you have any questions before I get started?"
#11
"Don't worry if you need to take a break as well..." Samiel hummed quietly. Despite his sorry state, he couldn't help but be his usual dad-like self. "Ah, I think everything is clear..."

He braced himself for pain. Already was healed once, it hurt, sure... but he was doped on painkillers now and not in a hurry not to die.
#12
It was kind of him to remind her of breaks. Truthfully, the faster she was through it, the better. Gave her less time to feel the exhaustion and other associated symptoms settling in.

Blanket spread open in her lap, she dampened the fingers of her right hand, then reached with utmost gentleness out toward his leg, toward the bruising was darkest and the wound likely nearest the surface.

Immediately, blood began to flow from her nose, and she lifted the towel from where she sat crosslegged, pressing it predictably against her nostrils. The bruising would heal first, her power always sinking from the outside in.

Except, it also began to heal the bruising at his arm, not that she had the slightest chance of noticing. Ashley was quiet, oblivious to her own power's overreach, and waited for some likely display of discomfort whenever the bone itself began to adjust. (Or, more accurately, the bones, in both his arm and his leg. She simply didn't know it yet.)
#13
The nosebleed came right away and it worried Samiel deeply.

"You're bleeding... Is it okay?" He asked quietly, not knowing that Ashley was healing two things at the same time. The broken arm just felt numb under the plaster, he haven't noticed anything unusual yet.
#14
That, at least, came with an easy answer. Ashley laughed, snuffling with her nostrils covered by a towel.

"It happens as soon as I start healing," she said. There was the taste of blood in her mouth, though stronger than usual. Not just nasal passage leftover, but gum bleeding. Ugh. Ashley.

"But don't let yourself worry about it. I'm good in minding my limits."
#15
Well, she knew her powers better than he ever could. Samiel trusted her, nodded softly and tried to remain still, hoping it would help somehow. He thought he probably wouldn't be able to use her services once he... well...

Sigh.

It was still rather difficult to think about the recent events and rather unsure future. He had to find Tempest.
#16
Quiet settled in, as was often the case with these sessions. Ashley was okay with it. Healing made no sound; flesh and bone mending wasn't an assortment of squish noises like in a sci-fi movie.

But it didn't take long for the silence to break, if only for her. Ears ringing. A sense that she was drifting. Samiel's bones adjusted themselves at a tiny crawl, the beginnings of mending starting to hold them in place.

Ashley, however, hadn't accounted for trying to fix both injuries at once. Her head drooped, and she blinked. Wake up, Ash. Time's up. She pulled her hand away gently, feeling embarrassed that so little time had passed. Her mouth was sticky with blood, grosser even than a nose bleed. For now it was shielded with the towel, and she swallowed it away as best she could, smearing the fabric against her nostrils.

"I'm not sure how much I managed," she said, burdened with a sense that she'd let him down. She blew her nose unceremoniously into the towel, though her irises remained red, and her... nose was still bleeding. "I'm sorry."

Not again. :(
#17
Oh. Oh, well, something clearly went wrong here. It was obvious she wanted to stop and was overexerting herself, but her eye color remained unchanged and the bleeding didn't stop...

Samiel didn't wanted her to get hurt. Damn, it indeed felt as if he had a... blast radius.

"It's quite alright, don't worry... if I walk away, will it sever the connection?" he asked.
#18
She was so... mad at herself. So mad at this power. So mad at every new ability she picked up. The bug power wasted her blood. This wasted her blood. She fumbled the water bottle beside her closed, dunked it into her backpack.

"It's all me. Still figuring things out," she said, voice high in a not especially convincing show of being just fine.

"I can, um. Do the walking. I don't think I healed very much. But. I could text you some other healers?"

Stood up too fast but it was fine!!
#19
"It's not your fault..." Samiel said quietly, reassuring. Full on dad mode activated. "I had my primary power for fifty years, it still sometimes sets off without any warning or reason..."

He readied the money, as promised. Maybe if she didn't heal much, she deserved to be compensated for the effort.

"I would appreciate if you forwarded me to your colleagues... It is rather urgent."
#20
She couldn't put the towel in the bag because her stupid nose was still bleeding. Why couldn't things just stay the way they were? Why did she have to develop new things that just made her less capable?

It was frustration she didn't have time to work through here. He offered money her way, and she shook her head, smiling politely, though inevitably it was hidden behind the towel. She flung the bag over her shoulder.

"You are so, so generous, but no need. Consider this free practice for me. I'll text you the other healers."

This as she began a graceless reverse exit, recognizing her need to be physically away.
#21
Samiel stayed away, but... dammit, he just felt bad.

"I'm sorry it went like this." he said quietly, just slightly worried about her. Was it his fault? Ah, blast radius indeed. "I'll still venmo you something for all the effort."

He'd wait for her to leave, to keep the distance.
#22
"Not your fault!" she chirped, because now he felt bad, and she felt bad he felt bad. "It's- the second time it's happened lately. All me!"

Still healing. It was fine. Stupid stupid stupid it was fine it was fine it was fine.

"Feelbetterhaveaniceday!"

And then she was letting the study room door close behind her, fleeing with a few stumbles to her car to feel like an absolute fool.

Once, healing had been her element. And now there was... just. This.
#23
Well, maybe she didn't succeed but it was a start of something. If Samiel had more time, he'd just book another session in two weeks, but he didn't had time.

Still, yes, this poor girl really had to be compensated for all the effort and train she put on her body. Once he was sure Ashley was away, within the safe distance, he got up and limped away as well, towards his car.

Smoked another cigarette as he went.
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