[London] this heart mocks

The good Lord wasn't ready for you, Ellie.

And neither was that body.

She didn't know how many times her grandpa had told her that before he died, invoked it like a curse.

Did she believe in curses?

She was around doctors and men of science enough to have the good sense not to, but all the same, the threat loomed. Not unlike others.

Flu season.

For some, an irritation. For others, annoying reprieve; an excuse to flake out on responsibility. For Elise, it was a war-zone. Every movement, every meal, every hour, every breath was meticulously planned and overseen. Mask on in public. Evacuate the moment you even see someone sneeze. Don't let anyone touch any of your things. Don't let them touch you. Come home as soon as possible. Shower. Thoroughly sanitize.

And yet, time after time, despite -- or perhaps even in spite of -- all the safeguards, she never failed to get sick.

They stumbled through the same, tired routine every time. First the trip to immediate care. Prescribed antibiotics that never worked. Then, emergency room when everything turned for the worse. Her father was a pro; it didn't take much time to wheedle the nurses into allowing her into her own room. Couldn't risk exposure. Nothing was too much for his baby, not even making personal enemies with every nurse on that ward with his constant haranguing.

He jostled a passing woman with his voice. "We've been waiting here close to two hours now--"

"And I apologize for that," the nurse replied, diplomatic. "We're a bit swamped today. As soon as the next doctor is available--"

"That's exactly what the last nurse said," her father accused. From behind him, a bone rattling cough punctuated his words.

Foregoing speaking with him entirely, the nurse poked her head into the room, watching as Elise coughed loudly onto her bed sheets, hunched over.

"How are we feeling?"

Her entire body shivered as she strained against the convulsions that led her to cough, her lungs crackling, gravel filled, as she breathed in. Her lips were wet and her eyes were glassy when she looked up the nurse, forcing a delirious smile. "I'm fine."

"Sure sounds it," the nurse joked.

"She sounds like she's dying," her father put in. The nurse ignored him.

"How's your breathing?"

Elise's voice was hoarse. "Difficult."

By then, the nurse had made her way over, eyes pinned to the monitor that hung off her arm. "O2's a little low," she remarked. "I could get you hooked up to some oxygen if that would help."

"Thank you, ma'am," Elise replied, the statement curtailed by a few more coughs. "Don't bother yourself if it's too much of a hassle, please--"

What was that saying about flies and honey?

The nurse smiled at her, moving to rest her back against the pillows. "None at all. Just keep yourself elevated. I'll go see what's keeping the doctor."

When she left the room, she didn't spare her father another look. The man glanced between the door and his daughter, and all the girl could offer was a hapless smile.

One that was shaken off moments later by another violent set of coughs.

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel had been given the records beforehand, and he hadn't exactly been impressed. This girl had apparently been in and out of hospitals all over the country, and now she was here to - what? - leave a bad review or take up time?He wasn't entirely sure. But what he did know was that the nurse's pursed toad-like lips were really irritating him. Who did she think she was, trying to tell him to get a move on and to go and see the patient? Pft, he was the professional!

He took a big gulp of his coffee before leaving it, half full, on top of a nearby water cooler, much to the dismay of a nearby cleaner who had just done her rounds. He hoped he could get this over with quickly, or maybe it would be better to drag it out so that he didn't need to see his next patient, Mr. Hattlebone. He was a continuous nightmare! Always swearing and yelling with that grotty texture to his tone. At least this girl was young, which likely meant she would be too shy to backchat.

Entering into the room, he saw another man stood there, clearly unimpressed. Great, just what he needed. A father to tell him how to do his job.

"Miss Baxter, back in the hospital again, I see? What is it this time? Flu? Pneumonia? The Black Plague?" He lifted a brow at her, already anticipating an angry and fatherly response incoming.
His instincts were correct. Her father's anger flashed across his face, practically frothing from him as he sputtered, "Now hold on a second, how is she--"

Elise's back straightened as the whole of her form jolted upward. "Dad!" the words whipped out of her, scandalized, horrified, panicked. It'd been bad enough with the nurses, she couldn't stomach another instance of her father picking a fight with a physician, especially one that was bringing levity to the situation. Maybe he couldn't appreciate it, but for Elise, it was a breath of fresh air.

Rarely, if ever, did his hovering, his urgency, make her feel anything other than exhausted.

Prompt, his body twisted toward his daughter, eyes locking on hers within a second. It took everything in her not to shirk away on instinct, holding strong as she stared back, frowning. "Please."

For what it was worth, he backed up, arms crossed taut over his chest as he leveled the physician with a baleful glower. But with the guard down, Elise was able to take in a shuddering breath and retch up a few more coughs before addressing the other man in the room.

"I was hoping you could tell me what's wrong," she fielded his hanging question, a weak smile shimmering against her lips as she forced herself to lean back against the pillow once more.

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel glanced over the two, brows raised a little. Ah, good. She had a voice. The other nurses had said how quiet and pitiful she was; at least now he didn't have to feed everything through the father first.

"Well," He began, flicking over the page of her file, reading some of the lines. "I'm sure you're aware by now that you are extremely vulnerable to illnesses, mainly meaning that you get sick a lot. Your body gets confused and starts attacking its own immune system; for bacteria and simple illnesses, this means your body is pretty much ignoring or taking longer to recognise the intrusion. For viruses that use your cells as hosts, it can be handy but...you simply aren't producing enough red or white blood cells to fight it efficiently. You're young, so you will likely recover, as you've shown in the past, but the older you get, the harder it's going to be."

He stepped over to where she was lying, reading over the monitor and making notes without even looking at the pad.

"To be blunt, this isn't something anyone can cure. We can perhaps improve the recovery process, try to prevent illnesses from reaching you, but if I'm honest...that will likely reduce your overall quality of life. In some cases, we've had people living in human-sized bubbles. Great in theory, but doesn't exactly leave raving reviews. You can try that, but it may hold you back." He shrugged. "Either way, long term, it could benefit to have several sessions of injected white blood cells periodically. It could work, but if your body attacks them, then you can feel worse from it. Right now?"

He sighed, glancing over at her.

"I'll need to take some blood and see what's actually going on. Or try to. There's no real fix, so it's likely going to be a case of keeping you hydrated, offering man-made antibodies, and trying to flush whatever it is out of your system. We can at least try to narrow down what stem of influenza this if - providing it's flu at all."

He looked back down dully at his pad. Was her father going to chip in again? He hated these sorts of cases as there was no real way to come out as a hero or get praise; the answer was always the same.
"What'd you say your name was again?" her father pelted at his back. Elise visibly wilted.


"Because if we needed someone to read off information from her medical records, we wouldn't have come to a diagnostician, would we?"

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel, swiveled around on his heel to look at the man.

"And what is your name, sir? Are you perhaps Elise Baxter?" He lifted a brow. "I am Dr Bentley, and I am here to treat your daughter. However, I can't do that if you are going to speak over her and breath down my neck. I've seen many patients with similar diagnosis. Your daughter isn't a special case. I'm making her very aware that this is something we know about and something we have improved in the past. Now, if you'd prefer me to say she's so very unique and to go straight into treating her without ensuring her of the relevant information, then I'm afraid you have come to the wrong hospital."

He pursed his lips.

"But right now, I would prefer to speak with my patient alone without interruptions so that I can make a clear and precise evaluation; it's not necessary for a parental guardian to accompany her." He glanced at her, hoping she would agree. If not, this was going to be a loooong session.
Stepping to her bedside, her father practically reared up, his scowl prominent. "Now, wait just a second--"

He stilled suddenly, eyes darting to the hand that had reached over, weakly grasping his. This had the unnerving effect of silencing him and Elise, glancing to the door, squeezed his fingers tighter. "I'm thirsty," she announced, subdued. "Could you please get me something?"

His brow wrinkled; he wasn't stupid, he knew when he was being dismissed. His lips twitched, opening slightly, poised carefully on more words. Ones that disappeared when she squeezed his hand again, urging him. "Please."

His gaze flickered between Dr. Bentley and his daughter, but he did relent, albeit reluctantly, his palm slipping through her fingers to occupy his pocket as he went to vacate the room.

It wasn't until he was completely out of sight that Elise's form drooped sightly, her hands reaching up to cover her face as she leaned forward, sighing.

"I'm sorry," her meek apology peeked out from under her hands as her fingers raked gently down her face, going to rest behind her neck, her eyes anchored to her bed.

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel sighed, watching the man leave out the door. When he was out of viewing distance, he followed in the same direction and shut the door. No need for nurses to start coming in and irritating him too.

"You shouldn't let him speak over you like that." He said suddenly, stepping back toward her and looking over the systems again. "Not any of my business, but you know your body and how you feel. You don't need him to speak for you like this. Look at you - you're sat up somewhat in bed, you can speak even if it's quiet, you can move, and you don't need help breathing. There are people a lot worse off than you, so the faster I can figure out the best way to treat you, the faster I can get to people who can't do any of those things."

He looked down his nose at her, lifting a brow.

"How do you really feel? And don't just say fine, tell me how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally. Describe it to me."
Her head bowed against his chastisement, but she couldn't fault in it, could she? To a series of degrees, he was correct. Her illness didn't warrant such panic, if anything, it was utterly run of the mill, certainly nothing serious enough to warrant a private hospital room.

But she hadn't wanted it. Her father had. She was happy to stay in the emergency room, with everyone else. Another round of coughs sputtered out of her lungs, and she was so humiliated by the outburst that she covered her mouth immediately.

Her shoulders slumped and when she spoke, she couldn't force herself to look at him. "It's difficult to breathe and it h-hurts, but it just... it just feels like how bronchitis did when I had it a year ago. That's all."

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel glanced down at her. She seemed shy and unsure - he presumed her father liked to speak up for her the majority of the time, which likely meant she didn't have a voice of her own. Such a shame. Pretty girl with no voice. Her father would likely not even be so grateful, especially since he knew this problem was never really going to go away.

"I see. Not exactly good, but I suppose you can relate it to something similar." She spoke blandly, finally putting the file down and clicking his neck to the side briefly. "You've really been suffering with sort of thing for a long time now, haven't you? In and out of hospital all the time. I can help you to a certain extent..."

He glanced back over his shoulder. Just how unprofessional could he be? Hell, what did he care?

"But you're going to have to start making your own decisions. You're an adult - the best way for me to help you involves you telling me your feelings, not your father's."
Elise's brow furrowed. Help her? Help her with what? She couldn't exactly understand what her hospital visits had to do with anything, much less what he could do to assist in that...

"I'm sorry," she apologized, glancing up at him, sheepish. "I'm not sure I understand."

Played By: Clytemnestra

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

Daniel blinked, looking down at her. She was...sorry? Why did the idea of her apologising to him make him pause? Did she look at him like some real authority? Was she afraid?

"I'm saying that you should say what you think. The first thing that comes to your head. For example," He placed his hands on his hips. "What do you think of me?"

Re: [London] this heart mocks

Daniel Bentley,

"And that's where you're wrong." He smirked, standing up straight and pacing around to the other side of the bed. "I am not a doctor. I am the doctor. The doctor to make you feel better. Now, all these other hospitals may have fobbed you off or adhered to what your father says, but I can do much better than that."

He leaned forward, placing a hand on the headboard and looking down at her.

"Do you realise how lucky you are to have come into my hands? I have helped hundreds of people without even a thank you. I work tirelessly for very little gratitude. The least you can say right now is a compliment, or a thank you, or something."

He sighed, pulling away and looking in the direction of the door, pursing his lips. What was the point. It didn't feel good when he had to ask for a compliment. So much effort just to feel appreciated. He moved away, picking up the book again, sifting through to start writing up a request for bloods to be taken.
The absolute and drastic shift in mood gave her whiplash. Had she sounded ungrateful? She hadn't meant to, she was just... genuinely...

Elise's entire body lurched toward him in anxiety, her hands gripping the side of the bed in earnest. "No, I just-- I didn't know--" her expression contorted in distress. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be insulting at all. I feel very grateful and-- and I don't doubt that you're very accomplished."

Played By: Clytemnestra