#25141
Location: St. Mungo's Hospital, Artefact Accidents floor • Date: Thursday, 3 April 2003

'He's asking for you again.'

"Tell him my shift ended. Tell him I went home."

'He's refusing to take his medication.'

"Let him."

'Villiers!'

The entire way from her office to the first-class wards, her hideous lime-green uniform robes swished and grazed against the heels of her black leather boots as they clicked a staccato rhythm on the stark, clean floors of mostly vacated hallways. The entire way from her office to the first-class wards, Healer Villiers fantasised of all the methods she might employ to dispose of a living, breathing human being.

Poison, naturally, although that might be a touch dull.

Strangling, though it required too much physical effort.

Perhaps she might drug him, and then strangle him. His own bedsheets would be a good start, though she would feel sorry for the matrons who were in charge of laundering the linens. Death by asphyxiation was a much messier affair than most might think.

Tamsin unceremoniously pushed open the door to what was the most expensive ward that was ever built on this floor of the hospital, trying her damn hardest to restrain a scowl as she strode into the room. An entire sea of flowers and fruit baskets accompanied by a wall of cloying scent greeted her, as did the male perched comfortably in the patient's bed that she halted before.

She folded her arms at the athlete who had been her patient only a day ago.

"What do you want?"

Played By: Everevna
#25142
"Villiers!" Francis grinned widely. Shouting her surname, this time, had not been nearly as demanding and violent as it had over the past day, since he had acquired the healer's name.

"Took you long enough, doctor! How am I to take my medication without you? Really could use something to take the edge off."

Francis was picking up right where their last encounter had left off, albeit with a tad more enthusiasm than he'd had midway through their last meeting. It was nice that his bones were back in the proper place.

"What is it about a woman?" he began musing aloud, reaching for a cup of shaved iced from his bedside table and munching at it belligerently. He went on, not pausing to swallow, "They leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, drifting off into a cozy slumber." He took his time now, enjoying a few mouthfuls and shaking his cup around absentmindedly. "Then, suddenly, you awake in the night, bones twisting. Could've sworn I saw your ghost. But maybe you just aught to work on your potion brewing a bit? Hmm? Couldn't hurt."

Francis was riding quite high after some recovery time. He'd received plenty of gifts and friendly visits, but for some reason he just wanted to see Miss Tamsin Villiers, the healer. There was something unfinished.

"They gave me hell trying to get your name, you know? Wasn't until I happened to run into your boy, in the toilets," he munched again, "that I was able to put a name to the face."

Played By: Kael
#25149
Tamsin resisted the urge to cringe as the American athlete bellowed her name as if it were a national flag and he were marching at the head of an army. Clearly the syllables were well practiced on his tongue, though she did not remember introducing herself to him yesterday and wondered how he might have managed to get his hands on her identity.

She did not have to wonder for long.

That dastardly boy! Perhaps she should reconsider who she should be sending to an early grave.

"He's too dimwitted to be my boy," she remarked dryly as she levitated aside a cluster of flower bouquets to make room on the leather couch for herself. Tamsin plonked herself down into the cushions without so much as waiting for an invitation. If she was going to have to deal with Friis, she may as well be comfortable whilst doing it.

"Also, it's Healer Villiers to you. I didn't toil for the past seven years to not be called by my proper title."

Played By: Everevna
#25163
"Healing, huh? That's what you call what you did? Your work was more painful than the crash!"

Of course, Francis wasn't a total idiot. He knew how the healing process worked, sort of. But this conversation wasn't about being logical. It was about bantering with his new acquaintance and basking in the pleasure of her inevitable, crippling defeat at the foot of his silver tongue. Thank Merlin the press wasn't around, although it was undeniable that scandal could be just as much of a career-maker as a breaker, these days.

"Anyway," he trailed off, tipping his cup upward and letting the remnants of its contents slide into his mouth, "you know I'm all you've thought of for the past twenty-four hours."

Played By: Kael
#25165
Deciding that the bouquets did nothing to deserve her kicking it off the couch, Tamsin deigned to levitate them to the floor before she stretched out her legs comfortably on the couch. It was technically after hours for her. She only wished she was stretching her legs out on her own couch, in her own apartment.

Even though there were memories she was just as eager to avoid at home.

Perhaps this wasn't such a terrible thing.

"One of us has been wailing 'Villiers' twenty-three times over the past six hours, and I can assure you with utter confidence that it was not me. Did you honestly think the hospital staff do not gossip about the patients?"

Played By: Everevna
#25166
"I counted on it," he chuckled. "Careful with the flowers!"

Francis absentmindedly tossed his empty cup over his shoulder into the nearby waste bin. Of course it went right in. He was a talented athlete, but skilled or not, being sure of yourself went a long way. Surely, healer Villiers could see the entire process upon Francis's face - the subtle confirmation of landing at the sound of a swishing waste bag was the check mark of another small victory for Francis, even with this most trivial of things. As arrogant as he could be, he was confident, and that was appealing. Francis was far too aware of this reality for anyone's good.

"You think I have a crush or something." He laughed. "You're far too young, Villiers. Though I do understand. There's no blame."

Played By: Kael
#25167
She observed his little athletic theatric through a corner of her eye, having mastered the ability to people-watch without appearing to be people-watching. His confidence was infuriating, but even Tamsin could not deny that there was a certain appeal in it.

Not that she would reward him the satisfaction of acknowledging it.

Instead, somewhat petulantly, she swung a foot off of the arm of the couch and nudged at a bouquet of flowers with the tip of her Chelsea boot.

"Age is only a number. I know you're trying to get under my skin. It's not working, but I appreciate the effort."

Played By: Everevna
#25168
Francis shook a finger at her, but it wasn't disciplinary. Instead, it was more of a pleasant acknowledgement.

"You're still here. Looks like the end of the day for you, even. You're not getting paid! But here you are fulfilling my demands. Sneak me in something strong and you might be able to convince me one way or another."

Of course, there was already a plethora of liquor-gifts hidden among the various get-well gift baskets he'd received.

Played By: Kael
#25169
Tamsin scoffed slightly. As if she was going to oblige. Surely he knew that there was no conceivable universe in which he was going to successfully incite her to offer him alcoholic drinks at her own workplace.

"So eager to keep me around."

She folded her arms behind her head and raised her eyes to the stark, white ceiling of his ward, almost surprised to find that there were no get-well balloons floating about.

"He doesn't have a crush, he said."

Played By: Everevna
#25170
Francis did a sort of shrug to himself as if to say, 'suit yourself,' then leaned over and pulled open the drawer to his bedside table. He still wasn't able to pull the motion off without a few groans, but it seemed his goal was worth the pain. He reclined back into his original position with a bottle of scotch whiskey in hand. A man or woman of fine tastes might note that it was of notable age, which naturally meant that it was also of notable value and, more importantly, quality.

"You won't alert security, I trust?" he toyed as he popped off the bottle's seal and cap, then took a swig. He visibly relished the liquor's burn before he went on, "Healer-patient confidentiality - that's a thing this side of the Atlantic, right? Surely, it will be if you have any appreciation for the finer things in life."

Francis extended his arm, bottle in hand, in offering, before suddenly retracting halfway.

"You are old enough, right?" he grinned.

Played By: Kael
#25171
Fissure cracks yawned open in Tamsin's composure which had up till now remained relatively equanimous even if somewhat marred with a surface level exasperation. Her head with its slightly messy blonde braid jerked upright as pale green eyes narrowed at the bottle he produced.

What idiot had gotten that past the reception checkpoint?

And, was he trying to get her fired?

More importantly, was that Ogden's limited edition 75th-year anniversary release?

She squinted hard, tuning out the athlete's endless chattering. It was Ogden's anniversary release, wasn't it? Merlin be damned. With a brother who would sooner request to be embalmed in whiskey (always single-malt, never blend) in the event of his death, Tamsin could recognise that packaging whilst blindfolded. Without any announcement, the healer summoned the bottle into her own outstretched hand.

"Old enough to confiscate this. And anyway, why are you so hung up on my age? Something about youth appeals to you, eh?"

She clucked her tongue interestedly as she inspected closer at the label.

Played By: Everevna
#25172
"Ahh, there's the bite."

Francis happily let Tamsin snatch the bottle away from him. He could tell by the look in her eye that it was only a matter of time before that sweet nectar was loosening her up.

"Who doesn't enjoy the youth. So pleasantly naive while you're in it! C'mon, Villiers! Have a taste. What could possibly go wrong?"

Played By: Kael
#25173
She continued to ignore his encouragement as she read the label.

"Do you get some kick out of coming off as the seasoned, jaded old man?"

Played By: Everevna
#25174
"Well, ten years ago I would've already been out of this hospital. It comes quick, girl. Now stop reading that label already. You're not biding your time on the toilet at the annual family reunion. That's a bottle of Ogden's! Limited edition!"

As much as he was goading her, Francis really had a hard time processing her discretion when it came to this beautiful amber liquid. It was of such rarity, he could probably trade the bottle to employ half of the hospital's staff for a year and still keep his top-tier room.

"If you aren't having any then give it back already."

Played By: Kael
#25176
"Patience is a virtue, old man. Have you never heard?"

She turned her head momentarily toward the the tall, glass panel to one side of the door. The hallway was empty, and as she strained her ears, she heard no approaching footsteps.

Tamsin tipped her head back and took a swig comparable to his. She lowered the bottle with a sigh of contentment. "Phenomenal," the young woman remarked, decidedly glossing over the part where she was presumably supposed to return the bottle.

"So. What is it going to take for you to take your medication?"

Played By: Everevna