08.28.3013: She Talks To Angels
Summary: Nitrim pays Rook a visit in Volkan's barracks infirmary and tries to help her cope with the weaning off Red Eye.
Date: 28 August 2013
Related: Weaning
Ithaca Nitrim 

Infirmary — Volkan, The Crescent
The Infirmary of the Volkan Barracks is bright, clean, and sterile; the complete antithesis of the world above. There is a general care ward, with moveable beds in small alcoves, only granted privacy by curtains on cuved metal rods. Equipment sits in each unit for emergency treatment, and some long care treatment.

There is a surgical unit down the western hall, with three bays, for handling urgent care of soldiers severely wounded. A recovery area is at the end of the hall. Down the eastern hallway are several dogs, each leading to one of a dozen long-term care rooms. Every room is furnished with two beds and a few chairs, a bathroom, nightstands, and connections for specific equipment depending on the needs of the patient.

28 August 3013

The last forty-eight hours have been a trial and tribulation for Lord Nitrim Khournas, who on the eve of relapsing back into his old love affair with Red Eye nearly suffered the death of Ithaca "Rook" Black. It has been forty eight hours of twitching fingertips, shuddering eyelids, and half-smoked cigarettes with two inch long ashes forgotten in the deep thoughts.

With a blanketed air of silence and self-imposed exile weighing heavily on his shoulders, Nitrim finally decides to grab his coat and slink down to the infirmary at the Blackspyre to visit her. They all know he was there and the questions unasked are left with his face all over them. He avoids eye contact, choosing to go where he pleases as he guides his way into Rook's room, tapping quietly on the door's frame to announce his arrival.

Rook is lying wrapped in white sheets, her rest never easy as the weaning off the Red Eye has begun. She is pale, and shivering despite the air in her room not being chilly at all. It’s better than seizures and cardiac arrest, but withdrawl is never fun. She turns her head at the tapping on the door frame and manages a weak smile and a croaky, “Hi..”

"Hey," Nitrim offers back as he slinks inside as if the room will eat him. With one conspirator's glance back to the door, he nudges it half-closed and moves to sit on the corner of Rook's bed near the mound of sheets that resembles her hip. His claw-ringed hand reaches out, palm offered to her. "How are you feeling, Rook? I waited a day to give you some space."

Rook’s shaky hand slides into his. It’s clammy and feels fragile, like if he squeezes too hard the bones might shatter. “You know,” she quips back at him. She feels like he did some months back when he was kicking the habit. “Like I’ve been airlocked.”

"It passes. For a while it's going to be tough but Devon will take care of you," Nitrim offers, lacing his fingers through hers as he shifts, getting comfortable. "When it's done, everything is brighter, feels better, nothing gets forgotten. I think you're gonna like it better."

“Be able to pay off debt faster,” Rook notes. If she’s not hung up on drugs and going from dose to dose, she can focus better on taking care of her more pressing problems. “Can I get datapad? Can call in sick or forge vacation.” She needs to keep them off her back for a bit.

"I can find it and bring it down, sure. I've also let Lincoln know and have a room set up for him. Your brother's going to fucking hate my ass for this." Nitrim replies with a smirk, hooking the leg of a chair with the toe of his boot. He drags it closer as a foot rest. "Security is tight, though, no one will be able to get in to you. About this debt, though, do you even know the number you owe?"

Rook shakes her head. It changes so often, with the interest and all. “A lot,” is the best she can offer. She clings to his hand like it’s a lifeline, clutching to the familiar in an unfamiliar place. “Just tell Linc I quit it cold. Stupid. But not your fault.”

"I - okay I can do that but if he finds out I'll take the blame. I don't think he likes me a hell of a lot. I think he's just being protective of you, seeing you and I so close." Nitrim rubs at the side of his face, pressing the length of his fingertip over his eyelid to stop the twitching. He'll always be addicted, but he's not currently in the habit. Still, he is feeling the urges again. "Maybe I could get these guys off of your back, give you and Linc some breathing room."

“Might make it worse,” Rook points out. Telling the Syndicate what to do usually goes poorly. “You ok?” she asks quietly, her thumb rubbing against his hand as if trying to generate warmth. “Shouldn’t have brought it with me,” she murmurs.

"I'll be fine, at least until Devon and my family start asking me questions. When that happens we will just have to see. No one has asked me to take a drug test, yet, so we will see." Holding up a hand to try to stave off a reply, he shakes his head. "I don't want you to worry about me. This is your time."

“I worry. Friend.” Rook protests quietly. “Being around me, made you stumble,” she admits with a grimace. “So I get clean. You stay clean.” She seems determined to see this through. It is not going to be easy. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be off drugs. She never has been and never thought she would be.

"Don't worry, I always bounce." Nitrim turns their connected hands over and reaches with his free hand for her wrist, rubbing it softly. "I don't want to go back it's just sometimes it's harder than others, but if I try to dose again you have my full permission to put your elbow into my face." He winks down to her. "Deal?"

Rook smiles wanly at him, and he can feel her erratic pulse through the thin skin of her wrist. “Don’t need elbows. Send my drake.” The one on her back, which she sometimes channels her hermetic psychometry through. That’s a thought. What will her awakened powers do without the drugs? Subdue, or get stronger? Likely the latter, without the dampening effects of the Red Eye. She’s strong now, she may be crazy strong when she’s whole again. “But deal.” She looks around. “This place. Reminds me of Ring.” Cold and sterile.

"It's just a hospital room, nothing too fancy. When Devon clears you for getting up and out you should ask to go down to the bath house. I know how you are about baths alone, these will be like…the best bath you've ever had. They'll have to carry you out." Breaking eye contact, Nitrim starts to scan her room and the distinct lack of personalization. The side of his cheek bunches into a half duck-lip. "You want me to bring down some paintings or photography? Liven this place up a little?"

“Something,” Rook replies with a nod. “Baths? Ok. I like baths.” She isn’t quite aware they don’t usually happen alone down there though. “Dying for a cigarette.” But with the oxygen tubes in her nose that would be a distinctly bad idea. “Beer, coffee, pizza.” She clutches the sheet with her other hand as the chills hit again, and her teeth chatter a little. “PJs.” Hospital gowns blow chunks.

"Give it time, when you're out of here we will go get some beers and I'll have some cash set aside so that you can go shopping and get some new clothes." His fingers lift from her wrist to her side, rubbing softly to try to help her warm up. He knows it won't help, but the gesture is sympathetic. "Your clothes the staff washed have your size, I'll send the staff out to get you something comfy to wear. You don't want me to make the choices but I'll tell them black is the color. You really don't want me shopping for you, Rook."

That gets a snort of a laugh out of her, the idea of Nitrim shopping for her. “Black, grey, all good. Something warm,” she murmurs. She curls into the hand on her side as if trying to leech the warmth out of him. Red-Eye makes you feverish, with it being reduced her brain thinks she’s cold, even if she isn’t. “What’s wrong with old clothes?” she protests. Besides the fact they are used, and don’t fit her, and she tries to wear all the layers at once in case she needs to disappear for a while from the Syndicate.

"Nothing's wrong with them, they're your clothes, you can have them whenever you want them." Leaning in, Nitrim scoots up so that he's sitting alongside her waist where she can get an arm around him to cling for warmth. "I just figure if I did the shopping is get what I think you should wear which wouldn't work out well for you in the end. You don't do skirts. But that's beside the point—" He quickly cuts off the train of thought with a quick poke to her abdomen. "You can reach me through the staff whenever you need me and I will always be close by. Close enough for you to reach with your mind if you don't want to bother with asking for someone to find me."

Rook grunts at the poke. She puts her free arm around him, and presses her cheek to his hip like a child might cling to it’s mother’s skirts. “I can do skirts,” she retorts. She just usually doesn’t. It’s less like armor, and she feels less secure in them. “Close is good. Too many strangers. Lady was nice though,” she admits in regards to Devon.

Placing his hand down to the other side of her, Nitrim looks above her while she cuddles into his lap. He shifts his knuckles against hers, balancing her hand on his hip. "Yeah, that's Devon." Nitrim sighs, staring at Rook's headboard. "She's one of the people I lost and gained back when squaring things out with Victor. I don't know how mad she is at me or not, but she's one of the best. I told her you were a good one. She's powerful and trained me to think better."

“Nice,” Rook murmurs back, seeming to shiver a bit less in his close proximity. It’s likely all in her mind, the cold, more than anything. “Feel foggy. Scattered,” she murmurs. After so long on a depressant, that is not surprising. Her mathematical mind runs at such an alarming speed sometimes, it’s no wonder she was almost normal on the drug.

"That's the medication, Rook." Knowing well Ithaca isn't accustomed to being foggy, instead normally quick and sharp, the sight of her dulled springs and unfamiliar emotion in the man. Should he be happy for her. "Is it nice, everything slowing down for just a bit? No maths, no worried, just a warm bed and a friend?"

"Yes," Rook murmurs groggily. "No. Don't know," she confesses. She sighs against his hip and her grip tightens for a moment as a shudder courses through her. "Be better soon, right?" She asks. She looks truly vulnerable for the first time since he has known her.

"Yeah, you're going to be better soon, girl, all you have to do is wait it out and Devon and the other nurses are gonna take care of the rest." Reaching down, Nitrim takes his fingers through her hair, watching her closely. "The food here is going to be amazing by comparison. For however long you're staying here, you're gonna love it."

“Everything better here,” Rook grunts and she sighs. She looks sleepy and not herself. It’ll be a rough first few days of weaning. “Datapad. Movies. Distractions.” The things she needs.

"Alright. I will start with the movies and distractions first and see about the datapad as soon as possible. Do you know how long you have until they start looking at your apartment? Do you want me to move and hide things?" Nitrim whispers, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "Maybe I should go and let you sleep?"

“Like it when you’re here,” Rook admits. He is the familiar in a giant world of unfamiliar. “Missed two days work. Probably already been there,” she murmurs. “Nothing to hide there. Need message sent that I had medical emergency.” In other words, she needs to call in sick. A heart attack is grounds for calling in sick, right?

"Can you spoof the message from mine?" Peeling his hand away from her cheek, he reaches into his coat and produces his small, personal-sized data-tablet, which he offers to her. "I also think Devon will limit how long I stay down here, she suspects that I dosed again. I will see what I can do about pulling a late night horror movie hang-out with my own cot, though."

Rook takes his datapad in hand and she slowly, very unlike herself, begins tapping at it. She grimaces, forces herself to focus, and then it comes quicker. She connects to her own computer system back in her apartment and sends her message post-date to the day before, and puts it in their spam at corporate. Then she sends a second dated today that asks if her mail went to spam, and then explains she is hospitalized after a cardiac incident and will be gone a while. “Movie night. Nice.” She hands the tablet back and eases back onto her pillows again, looking sleepy. “Stay til I’m out.” she pleads. It looks like that won’t take very long as her IV doses her again.

Taking the datapad back, Nitrim slips it into his coat and shifts closer. He takes her blankets into his only free hand and helps her back onto her pillow. "Let's get you back here, though, so when I leave your head isn't dropping down like a brick." He laughs. It is a soft laugh, the quiet laugh reserved for hospitals and funerals. "You gave me a scare, Rook. I'm really happy you're gonna be okay."

“Thanks,” Rook murmurs. She holds his hand until she drifts off to sleep, looking younger without all the makeup and strange clothes and hoodies.

After Rook drifts off, Nitrim sits in silence until he's sure she's entered a deep sleep. He gingerly untangles their fingers and slips out the door.

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