Rose Doctor

Started by Elena, June 14, 2018, 03:40:41 pm

Elena

In her part of the world, spring was in full swing and as such, Spring Cleaning was taking place at the Madrassa backed Companion House on Londinium. Yearly physicals had been scheduled for the Companions and trainees and the House itself was undergoing its own upkeep and tidying. Halls were swept, tapestries dusted, and new plants were being settled into the earth in the House garden. Flowering trees lines the path up to the House, petals gently floating on the wind like multicolored snow before drifting down to settle on the stone path leading to the main stairs.

After their Official House Physician had retired, Elena had called in a new doctor for an interview. This new woman was someone who'd come highly recommended to the Companion by someone whose word she trusted implicitly. To work as a physician for Companions, one had to have a good resume, yes, but it was almost more important that they had impeccable morals and come with glowing recommendations. They were working with such precious cargo, after all, they needed to be trustworthy. And so, while she did plan on hiring the newcomer, she wanted to get a good feel for her first. See if their spirits and their personality would be compatible with that of the House.

Always one to be polite and to observe the proper way of doing things, Elena stood at the top of the stairs, waiting to greet the new doctor personally. The soft breeze ruffled her perfectly waved hair, the chocolate locks framing her pale face in a lovingly purposeful way. Vivid blue eyes looked down the path, a welcoming smile blooming to life across her crimson lips. Glimmering gold silk clung to her torso before flaring out at the hip, the fabric shimmering magically in the hands of the wind. Her hands were clasped patiently in front of her lap, jewelry glimmering in the early afternoon sunlight.

Brenna Casey

Brenna had been more than a little surprised to receive the call from a Companion house to see about the physicals for those in training. It was considered a rather prestigious position and certainly not one she'd expected to have seen come her way. Her chosen attire wasn't standard scrubs, feeling that might seem like she was trying to hard to appear a professional and she'd always felt that scrubs took away a lot of the personality that doctors had. They also seemed to put people ill at ease. While they were standard wear, Brenna had never much liked them. Instead, she was wearing loose fitting pants that seemed to flow a little more like a skirt and layered tops under her medical jacket. That was the one piece of professional garb she wore.

The training house was everything it was reputed to be and more. A sense of peace and tranquility seemed to wash out from the central building reaching all the way to the outer reaches of the boundaries of the grounds. It was proving to be a bit of a relief for the tension from having had a mild relapse of her PTSD the night before. Silently, she thanked whatever power had kept it from being today of all days. Medical bag slung over her shoulder, Brenna found she had to remind herself that she wasn't here to sight see, but to work and moved herself along the path to the main stairs.

Looking up the stairs, she spotted the woman who'd contacted her. 'Elena Marseille...' Her nerves suddenly picked up a bit, knowing full well this was either a one time thing or a potential interview. Starting up the stairs, Brenna managed a smile as the breeze seemed to pick at her hair. The wavy locks were difficult to tame on a windless day and even a small breeze could pick apart the hair in its loose tie back.

"Lady Marseille," Brenna's greeting was soft as she offered her hand. "My apologies for being a little late. The training house is far more impressive in person than I expected it to be. A beautiful place."

Elena

"Lady Marseille," Brenna's greeting was soft as she offered her hand. "My apologies for being a little late. The training house is far more impressive in person than I expected it to be. A beautiful place."

"I am glad you think so," Elena returned in a warm, affectionate voice, her own hand extending to gently curl her fingers around Brenna's in a soft handshake. She wouldn't scold the doctor for being late for several reasons. One, Elena liked to give people the benefit of the doubt and scheduled her meetings in such a way that they almost always had some extra time to lose if they needed to, and two, if she'd been late because she was admiring the House, well she couldn't fault her for that. It just showed that the woman had good taste. Elena's lips quirked upward at the corners at her own thoughts before she stepped aside and gestured for Brenna to enter with her.

"I must admit," she began, leading the way deep into the House toward the in house medical facilities, "You are a little different than I imagined, from the very rough description I received," she confessed, shooting a jovial smile at Brenna over her shoulder to show that she wasn't disappointed by the differences. "But you came highly recommended, and I am quite eager to see your work for myself," she concluded.

On the way they passed several class rooms, a vast and sprawling garden, and a few meditation spaces. The corridors were very open aired, columns lining the path but both sides open to the outside so visitors and residents could see and access the grounds and gardens easily. It was a part of the relaxing atmosphere.

Brenna Casey

The Companion put her at ease almost immediately, which was highly unusual for Brenna. As they moved through the House, green eyes wandered over the surroundings feeling as if she'd stepped into something replicated from the country of Japan of Earth-That-Was. It was incredibly stunning, but in a way that soothed anyone who walked the halls. She could see why someone would stay here for long periods of time. Not only were the grounds immaculate, but they were clearly set up for a variety of immersive views that left the viewer feeling as if they were on a lush planet, devoid of any major city.

Quote from: Elena on June 14, 2018, 07:42:47 pm
"I must admit, You are a little different than I imagined, from the very rough description I received. But you came highly recommended, and I am quite eager to see your work for myself."


A faint tinge of the nervousness returned as she glanced down at her attire. The truth was, she couldn't bring herself to dress like a 'normal' doctor. Not after the war. Briefly, her lips pressed together and used a breathing technique she'd learned from the therapist she'd been seeing in the last couple of years. Letting Elena lead, Brenna did all she could to keep the calm demeanor in place. The mention of a recommendation piqued her interest and she latched onto it as a new line of thought to distract her mind from the oncoming onslaught of memories. "I'm curious who would have recommended me and given only a very rough description. It's not a very narrow field of choice to be honest."

Maybe it wasn't as safe a venue of conversation as she'd hoped. Idly, one hand held onto the strap of her bag as the other brushed back a couple of stray strands of hair that had escaped and brushed against her fair skinned face. Mentally, she made a note to redo her hair, maybe going so far as a putting it up in a bun or a braid to keep it under control. A faint tickle on the back of her neck only confirmed she would need to redo her hair before seeing any patients.

Elena

"I'm curious who would have recommended me and given only a very rough description. It's not a very narrow field of choice to be honest."

Elena glanced over at the doctor again, one brow raising before she changed her course and headed between two pillars into the gardens. With her hands still clasped in front of her lap, the Companion walked with the doctor to a bench overlooking a water fountain that led into a koi pond. The fish swam about languidly, occasionally rising to the surface to swallow a bubble or an unlucky water-glider. She sat down and patted the seat beside her. She could almost feel the tension in the doctor and Elena wagered some time out by the water might soothe her.

Only once they'd both been seated did she respond to the question, her legs crossed at the ankle and a sweet smile touching her lips. "An associate of the House by the name of Damien Riggs," she told Brenna. "I believe you may have worked in the field together," Elena gathered. However, that was all the said of the war itself, instead falling silent and looking out toward the pond.

There was a little stone structure built like a tiny shrine atop a waist high pillar by the bench. Inside were what looked like wafer rectangles. Taking one out, Elena snapped it in half to reveal that inside were little spherical pellets, likely fish food. She held one half out to Brenna and smiled again.

Brenna Casey

With brow furrowed, Brenna took the indicated seat on the bench and then the proffered half wafer. If this was an interview, it had to be one of the more unique ones she'd ever experienced. Peeking inside the wafer, Brenna confirmed there was in fact food for the koi in the pond before them. Carefully, she shed her bag and set it down, pushing it under the bench with her feet. Then, with fingers clearly used to both delicate and difficult work, she picked out a single piece of the food before tossing it onto the surface of the water where it was nearly instantly swallowed by one of the brighter colored koi.

"Damien Riggs..." she mused softly. The name didn't immediately summon up a face, but she knew it would if she let the memories come. It was getting easier to control the memories so they didn't flood her all at once, but there was the rare occasion where they still overwhelmed her. Not every face summoned a name, but given that she had a name to start with, the memory seemed to surface from the jumble of pieces. A faint smile eased away the lines across her forehead. "I hadn't thought of him in a while. There were so many. And it wasn't that I worked with him, but on him. After... it was after Serenity Valley."

The very name threatened to unleash the flood, but she fought it back even as she plucked a couple more pieces of food and tossed them into the water. A long, slow breath in was followed by a long, slow exhale as she forced back the crippling onslaught. "I'm glad to know he survived the war. There were too many that didn't." Shaking her head, she looked down at the wafer between her fingers. "I'm sorry. I didn't come here to go on about the war, but it is a huge part of my past and my present. I suppose you could say I'm still trying to figure out who I am after all of that."

Elena

The Companion let the doctor speak, her hands on her own lap and the wafer balanced on her palms. She watched Brenna with a soft smile, letting her get out what she could while feeding the koi. Elena didn't ask for more information, didn't press her to say more or request she share less. When she'd said her piece, Elena nodded a little and looked out toward the pond, watching the fish moving to the surface now that they realized food was a thing that was happening.

"I would imagine so," she murmured reassuringly, "It is not shameful to feel the way you do," Elena continued, turning to look at the doctor again before settling a soft hand atop one of Brenna's, "You have seen your share of chaos and pain, more than I think one person should have."

Taking her hand back, Elena looked around at the gardens, "But there is peace to be had, and I hope you can find it here," she added, "If you decide to stay with us," she concluded. Of course, she'd want to watch the woman and see how she handled the physicals, but perhaps this was just where she was meant to be. Sometimes the universe had a way of knowing what someone needed before they did and working in a way that got them to where they needed to go.

Brenna Casey

Her hands stilled, eyes on the water before her as a sudden catch in her chest seemed to draw the entire world to a pause. While the sounds around them were truly soft, they sounded sharper in Brenna's ears. It was a stark contrast to the voice of the Companion beside her. While seeing a therapist had certainly helped to quiet the waking nightmares of reliving the aftermath of battle after battle, she'd yet to divulge the sheer depth of guilt and shame to the man. Guilt for those she couldn't save and shame for not trying harder. Shame at no longer being able to cry for the dead or wounded. Not even years later.

Looking up at the surrounding garden landscape, her eyes took in everything as if trying to burn a new memory into place. At last her head turned fully to look at the woman next to her. "I was on the verge of retiring actually. The hospital was starting to feel like mechanical work. The silly personal drama just seems ridiculous and never ending there too. I don't know what I was going to do, but it just isn't the place I felt I was doing any good. And I was, for the patients, but I guess it was still too close to being on a hospital ship."

Slim shoulders lifted beneath the jacket in a shrug as her eyes moved back to the gardens. "I certainly won't argue against trying to find a little peace, but there are days I wonder if that's even possible for people like me. Though, I have to admit, a place like this certainly does give a whisper of hope that it might be."

Elena

Elena watched her, listening intently, her head tilted to the side ever so slightly. Again, the Companion looked out toward the water, picking up some of the fish pellets in between her thumb and forefinger before she gently tossed it out onto the pond. A couple koi fought for the food before one won out over the other. Of course, Elena tossed in one more pellet for the defeated fish to snap up.

"You would be on call," she began, watching as a couple little cardinals landed near the pond and hopped about, peeing around curiously. To show the doctor what to so, the woman peeled a bit of the wafer off and let it fall onto the grass where the birds happily began to peck at it.

"There are yearly physicals, however, aside from that, you would be called upon sparsely. In the mean time, you would be able to live in the House or you could chose to live off the grounds," she continued, nodding a little and turning to smile at Brenna once more, "But peace is here for you, if you want it." The official decision would be made after this years physicals would be completed, but Elena had already made her unofficial decision. This place would be good for Brenna and her spirit seemed perfectly compitable with this House.

Brenna Casey

Three years later

The gardens had become one of Brenna's favorite places and today was no different. Settled on the ground beneath a tree, she had her guitar in hand and was easily playing a waltz. Having been asked once or twice to play for the trainees so they could practice the dance, the extra practice wasn't hurting. It was also nice to just play once in a while, though Brenna preferred not to have a large crowd. However, there had developed a quiet understanding that she would sit with her back to the House and those inside could easily sit on the porches nearest her and listen in, provided there was no applause after.

Elena had been right. The training house had provided a great deal of peace and allowed for a lot of healing. Now three years on, there had been the stray thought of moving on. Stepping back into the busy Verse that spun onward outside. She'd yet to speak to anyone of it. They were only stray thoughts, like idle whispers of sound on the breeze moving through the trees. A smile played at her lips at how the trainees might respond. They'd seemed to grow fond of her in their time at the House. Some that had moved on to being full Companions still kept in touch.

"And where else would I go," she murmured to herself. Certainly not back to Osiris. The relationship with her father had become strained during the war and only more so when she'd told him why she'd left the hospital in Londinium. While he'd later apologized, it had seemed forced and there was still anger behind his eyes. Not even that had swayed her enough to leave, and so thoughts of leaving seemed strange. Her fingers played on, the vibrations of sound moving through her as she let her eyes half close.

Elena

"Where, indeed?" came Elena's response to the doctor's question, although she knew it hadn't been directed at her. The Companion made her way across the grass toward Brenna's chosen spot, a bright smile blooming to life across her lips. The soft cream chiffon dress draped prettily over her body rustled and waved in the breeze as the woman made her way closer, her dark tresses held up in an intricate up do, one stray curl left to coil against her back invitingly.

Nestled against Elena's chest was a small square of fabric which she unfolded and laid across the ground next to the doctor. Sitting, her hands sliding over the fabric of her dress, the Companion tucked her feet beneath her and smiled lovingly at the other woman.

"Are you thinking of escaping?" she asked with a sly wink, obviously joking with her. She'd grown quite fond of the other woman during their time together and considered her one of her few real friends.

Brenna Casey

Were it anyone else, Brenna would have paused her playing and let her mask come down a little. With Elena, there wasn't much need for the professional mask and the Companion had always managed to work past it anyway. Not many could. Green eyes opened and the smile on her lips grew a little larger as she watched as Elena joined her. "Idle thoughts, Lena. Curiosity at whether or not venturing out into the wide Verse again is in my future. Nothing I've considered very seriously, so you've no need to worry there."

Turning her head had allowed the breeze to push a couple of locks against her cheek. With her hands occupied, she let them stay, but her attention turned back to the view in front of them. Next to Elena, Brenna always felt slightly under dressed. That twinge never ceased to happen, but it was decidedly less now than it had been before. It didn't linger like it had before. "It wouldn't be much of an escape either. I doubt there are many places like this out there and I'd imagine positions in such places require high recommendations from the right people."

Her smile became wry, returning Elena's joke with one of her own. "You don't often come out when I play out here, so there must be something brewing in your head." While there were times Elena did join her, it was more often she led her trainees by example.

Elena

Reaching forward, the Companion tucked a few stray curls back behind Brenna's ear for her before leaning back against the tree trunk and closing her eyes. For a moment, she simply let herself enjoy the music and the soft breeze before replying. With a deep breath, Elena opened her eyes and grinned in the woman's direction. She'd been caught.

"You're right," she confirmed, folding her hands in her lap and making eye contact with the doctor. A leaf drifted down from the canopy above them, its soft green settling gently down upon the cream of her dress. Elena reached forward to pick it up, idly spinning it between her thumb and forefinger. "Perhaps it is in your future," she murmured cryptically, her lips quirking upward with silent laughter.

Deciding she shouldn't torment her friend much longer, Elena straightened her posture and set the leaf down in the grass. "I've been offered a position as Captain on a ship," she began, tilting her head a bit, "It's to be backed by the Guild and the House," Elena added, watching Brenna curiously.

Brenna Casey

Quote from: Elena on June 16, 2018, 04:27:04 pm
"Perhaps it is in your future. I've been offered a position as Captain on a ship. It's to be backed by the Guild and the House."


Confusion and curiosity mixed on Brenna's features as she looked back to Elena. Her friend was serious. That was certainly going to change things around the House and threw her position within it into some question. Granted, Elena could speak to the incoming Companion and see that Brenna stayed on. "That's not going to go over well with your trainees, Lena. They do adore you."

Leaving it unspoken, she knew the Companion understood that the feeling was also shared by her. Perhaps it was time she looked beyond the walls of the House. While the House itself wouldn't change all that much, the atmosphere would. Each Companion had their own nuances and the subtle rhythm of each one could alter even the simplest setting. Slowly, Brenna brought the song to a close and then gently laid the guitar across her lap.

"Were you turning it down, you wouldn't have come out here." The opportunity was an excellent one for Elena and the Guild as a whole. She couldn't see why it would be passed up and she was happy it had been given to the woman beside her. "So when does this new adventure begin for you?" Her head turned, the smile broadening into one of her rarer smiles.

Elena

"And I adore them," she returned, the expression on her face clearly indicating Brenna was included as well. With a gentle sigh, Elena looked back toward the way she'd come, her gaze trailing over the House lovingly. It was a great opportunity, but she would have been lying if she said she wouldn't miss her home here. Still, she was confident the Companion taking her place would carry on her ideals and take care of the trainees the way they deserved.

"So when does this new adventure begin for you?" Brenna asked.

Elena turned her torso a bit to better face the doctor. She reached out to take Brenna's hands in both of hers, holding them warmly, her skin silk to the touch. "For us," she corrected. "I've recommended you to the Guild. If you want to, I'd be more than happy if you'd come with me on this adventure," she offered softly, her brows knit with worry in a rare moment of vulnerability. Only Brenna and one other person had seen past her profession to the person she was and she was far more free to be open with the other woman.

Brenna Casey

So this was the hidden message in Elena's words. She'd gone so far as to ask for Brenna to be allowed to come aboard this ship. The idea initially gave her a shock, causing her to shake her head more from disbelief than an outright no. Watching Elena's face, the worry normally hidden from the entire Verse played across delicate and beautiful features. It was a look Brenna hated to see, despite mirroring the look as her smile faded. "It wasn't something I hadn't had cross my mind, joining a ship. Though this wasn't exactly what I'd pictured in my mind."

Certainly the opportunity wasn't one to be sneezed at, especially if the Guild was taking the recommendation seriously. Somehow, the idea of the training house without Elena seemed chilly and empty. They'd grown close, so much so that Brenna considered the woman as near to a best friend as she'd ever had. Looking down at their clasped hands, she squeezed gently.

"It might not be a very easy transition for me at first. You know the last ship I was on..." A brief flash of memory put her back on the Alliance ship where she had first met Damien Riggs. A myriad of faces, bloodied and some no longer breathing, flashed in her minds eye and then... they were gone. Slowly, she breathed in through her nose and looked back up. "But it might be time to try and put some of those old memories to rest. I'm not sure I can think of another way to do it."

Elena

Elena's smile returned, her expression soft and warm. She reached out to very gently tap the side of her index finger's knuckle against the underside of Brenna's chin. "There are no ghosts on this ship," she murmured reassuringly, "And if any follow you there, I'll keep them away," she added, tilting her head a little and squeezing Brenna's hands in return.

The Companion took a deep breath and her confident demeanor built itself back up across her features. She knew how much Brenna had suffered, particularly when she'd first come to the training house. Over time, Elena had found herself becoming more and more protective over the doctor and she'd do her darndest to ensure the ship was a safe space for her. "So you'll come?" she asked, her eyes alight with the idea of them together on this new ship, sharing in a new frontier together.

The breeze slipped past them, the curl left free of her updo sliding forward to rest over her shoulder. Back inside, the trainees were beginning to sweep the porches, attending to their daily duties, although they did glance out toward the women, perhaps hoping Brenna would play her guitar some more.

Brenna Casey

Quote from: Elena on June 16, 2018, 05:13:34 pm
"So you'll come?"


"If I don't, I'll likely be chasing you down shortly after you leave." Brenna's lips curled softly as she settled back against the tree. Her eyes went back out to the grounds, her head even turning so far as to see the trainees. There was a little surprise at how many were actually lingering on the porches. The faint smile grew a little and she turned away, eyes settling on the view in front of her. "Just understand that if it becomes too much all at once, I may need to step back."

A faint pain at failing her friend in this endeavor flickered across her face, but it was a real possibility. No doubt there would be ghosts, no matter what Elena might hope. They lived in Brenna's thoughts and memories and made up the very fabric of who she was now. It wasn't something she could outrun. Lifting the guitar again, she began to play softly. "I'll do what I can to keep that from happening. So to answer, yes, I'll go with you."

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