Friday, 30 January 2009 - 2:20 pm

Patching up

It took a while to assess all the damage yesterday. There were a few slashes from the knives – they’re the most tricky to deal with, I think.  Mostly because they’re open and we can’t wash them easily.  Or cheaply.  The rest of the injuries were from the bats – bruises, a couple of possible cracked bones.  Nothing broken, luckily. I think the only one who got away without any damage was Nugget. 

It was lucky that we had just come from the hospital; we had enough dressings for everyone.  Enough bandages to wrap up the sore parts.  I’d do anything for an icepack, though.

When we got inside the apartment, I went to Masterson and shook him – I think I was a little bit hysterical.  He was smiling, the stupid, vague bastard, and the rest of us were trying not to go into shock.  But he was a doctor, and I was damned determined that he was going to be a doctor for us.  We needed him to.  I had to shepherd him around each and every person, and I had to watch him closely with all of them.  When I could be, I was his hands.  I didn’t trust him not to poke at them the way he did with me, that first time.

First, though, I had to peel him away from Sally.  She was a mess, crying and shaking as if she was going to tremble into bits on the floor.  She begged him for some relief, said she needed something so badly.  Then Masterson started to crumple under the knowledge that there weren’t any drugs for them to escape from all this.

I didn’t know what to do.  Thorpe made a snide comment about the doctor being useless to us, and that made me more determined to get him to do something helpful.  I couldn’t deal with him right then, so I turned and shouted at Masterson again, told him that he damned well better be a doctor today, because there are patients here who need him.  It turns out that if you shove and pull and bully him enough, he’ll do as he’s told.


Dillon was mostly all right – he was the first one I made Masterson check.  Some awful bruises, flushing violently dark under his skin.  He and I have matching bruises on our cheekbones.  He was so clearly trying not to cry that I put an arm around him and told him he did really well out there.

He asked me if I thought it was his fault that the fight started, because he’s the one that was grabbed first.  The poor kid was terrified that we would all blame him, that we’d think the blood and purpling marks on us were all because of him.  It had never even occurred to me to think of it like that, and I don’t think anyone else here would blame him either, and I told him that.  I’m not sure if he believed me.

I wanted to stay there, to sit with him and reassure him.  It seemed like he needs someone to do that, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fond of him.  I like having him around, and I’d like to be that person for him.  But there were others who needed seeing to, so I did the only thing I could think of: I sent him to look after Nugget and keep an eye on her.  I don’t know if that was the right thing to do or not.


Ben all-but collapsed when we had got inside the apartment.  His burns had taken some punishment and he has a couple of cracked ribs.  I dressed and bandaged him as best I could, but there’s nothing I can do about the pain.  I wish I could do more for him.  He’s always ready with a supportive word or a helping hand, but I feel like I can’t return the favour now he needs it.

Sax has a nasty lump on his bald, shiny head and a limp now.  The doctor didn’t think he had a concussion, but the injured knee is a worry.  Masterson showed me how to strap it properly; hopefully that’ll help.


Thorpe was the most difficult to deal with, of course.  I had left him until last because I knew it would be hard.  But by then I was exhausted from trying to chivvy and push the doctor into doing what I needed him to.  Look here, what’s wrong with this, how should we deal with that, is this going to be enough.  No, look here.  I got shorter and shorter with him as we moved from one to the next, and by the time we got to Thorpe I had no temper left at all.  I had to clench my hands to stop them shaking.

He didn’t want Masterson anywhere near him, let alone touching him somewhere tender.  He had tasted the blade of the spikey-haired wolf’s knife a few times, though, and I wasn’t in the mood to mollycoddle his feelings.

The big fella got told very shortly to sit still and shut the fuck up so that we could deal with him.  He stared at me and I glared back – I might have the imprint of his hand on my cheek, but I’m not scared of him.  I probably should be; I saw him whaling on that guy, and he would’ve kept going until someone was dead if I hadn’t stopped him.  And there was that shocked second after he hit me when I thought that he might just keep going.  But he didn’t, and I refuse to be scared of him.

He still refused to have Masterson touch him, so I had to be the doctor’s hands.  It made it harder to get him to focus, but we muddled through.  I had to glue a couple of gashes together – he really needs stitches, but no-one wants to do that if we can avoid it.  My right hand isn’t strong enough to do it; it would have to be the doctor.  Hopefully the glue will hold and we can skip that headache.


It was such a relief to send the doctor back to Sally and be able to sit down.  That was when things really hit me, and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking.  Ben asked if I was okay and I had no idea what to tell him.  All of a sudden, everything hurt and it was hard to breathe, like the whole fight had hit my nerves all at once.  I guess that’s what happens in an adrenaline crash.

He held my hand until I was feeling better.  We talked about nothing until the rain came and it was time to eat.  Dillon came to sit next to me, and it felt good to curl an arm around him and let him lean on me.  I think we all needed that.


Today, I’m so stiff that I don’t want to move.  My right arm vibrates like a plucked harp string every time I move it, singing all the way through me, and my back muscles are locked up the battering I took.  I’m not the only one feeling stiff and sore, and it was a silent consensus that let us stay here today.  I feel like we’re wasting so much time sitting and resting, but I don’t want to walk anywhere today, let alone carry my pack.

Ben seems to be up and about, which is surprising, considering.  I should go help him.  And check on everyone.  I don’t know why, but it feels like I’m the only one who can do that.  Who will do that.  It’s better than sitting here feeling sorry for myself.