Lauren Lewis looked up quickly from the tissue samples under her microscope when she heard her name being shouted frantically from the other side of the room. Coming through the doors of the Light Fae lab was a badly beaten Dyson, supporting most of the weight of his blonde partner who had one arm thrown over the shifter's shoulder and the other cradled protectively over a large, deep tear in her teal shirt which was turning maroon with the blood leaking onto it. The doctor stood immediately and rushed over to the pair, authoritatively calling out orders to the technicians for materials as fast as she could think of them.
"What happened?" she asked briskly, helping Dyson brace Tamsin's weight with an arm around her waist as they half carried her to the closest empty gurney.
"Business as usual." The shifter replied tightly, grunting slightly as they helped the blonde detective into a sitting position on the bed, though she still listed heavily to one side to avoid further injuring herself. For her part, Tamsin stared directly at the fluorescent light above her with her jaw tightly clenched as if not looking at the wound would make it not hurt. "There was a nest of underfae downtown." Dyson continued. "Full of manticore. We'd only found out about them because they were starting to make a nuisance of themselves so we were sent to clean them out. We were doing alright with just the two of us till the male came out."
"That big fucker shot tail spikes at me." Tamsin hissed, though Lauren wasn't sure if her harsh tone was more from incredulous anger or obvious pain. The valkyrie gingerly moved her arm that was covering wound in her side so Lauren could cut the fabric of her shirt away to get a better look. Imbedded in the torn and bloodied flesh of the other blonde's abdomen were four three inch greenish barbed spikes thick as concrete rebar.
Lauren frowned in concern and put on a pair of gloves, reaching over to a side tray that had been wheeled up and held several prepped needles and an IV bag full of clear fluid. "Luckily, they seem to have gone in at an angle and didn't get deep enough to hit anything vital, but they'll have to come out." She started, ignoring the Tamsin's eye roll at the statement. "It's a good thing you didn't just pull them out, though. I guess there would have been no way to tell in the field, but barbs from breeding age males are pretty poisonous."
"Told you." Dyson jibed his partner gently who only let out a huff of air and looked like she only just barely restrained herself from kicking him in the shin. "Is there anything you need me to do, Lauren?"
Lauren shook her head absentmindedly, focusing on injecting the valkyrie with numbing agents before attempting a round of sedatives. She scanned the wolf shifter for any other signs of injury besides the forming bruises on his face and arms and some small cuts that would need a few stitches and he shook his head, reading her expression.
"I'll be fine; really. You need to look after Tamsin." He assured her, smiling good-naturedly as the aforementioned blonde scowled at the mention of needing to be taken care of.
Lauren nodded her agreement and set about trying to guesstimate an age range for the manticore based on the shape and wear of the portions of the barbs above the skin. "I'd still feel better if you let someone take a look at you before you leave." She admitted, turning to look at him again after determining a round of antivenom treatments was the best course of action.
Dyson inclined his head in acknowledgement and shot a sympathetic look at his partner before heading off to find a free lab tech to close him up and send him on his way.
Lauren pulled the thin privacy curtain around the gurney shut and ordered the Dark Fae to take off her shirt, offering her assistance if the task proved too painful. She was too busy prepping the IV bag and watching the liquids progress down the clear tube as she hung it up to notice the raised eyebrow and smirk Tamsin offered in response to the suggestion. Tamsin did as she was told with minimal wincing and watched the doctor in silence, only wrinkling her nose slightly as Lauren inserted the IV needle into the crook of her elbow.
"What's the damage, doc?" she asked to break the quietude between them as the other blonde hovered over the injuries in her side.
Lauren hummed thoughtfully for a moment, gently prodding the reddened skin around the wounds and watching for the taller woman's reaction. Satisfied that the area was sufficiently numb, she straightened up and answered. "I'm pretty sure the manticore that got you was either approaching breeding age or was in its first couple of years of sexual maturity. The toxins aren't as developed as they could have been, but I'm actually surprised you're still conscious, to be honest. Do you feel tired at all, dry mouth? Having trouble with vision or focusing?"
The valkyrie shook her head. "Nah. A little nauseous is all. And it feels hot as hell in here."
"Definitely the toxins, but I'll bring you an icepack. It might get worse before it gets better as it works its way out of your system. Let me know if you start feeling anything else right away, okay?" she waited for Tamsin to nod before continuing. "Lucky for you, it's policy to keep a plethora of underfae attack treatments on premises, so we have the antivenom on hand already. Unluckily, even though I've numbed the area as best I could, the extraction process will still be…painful, to put it mildly. Manticore lancets have little multidirectional spurs near the tips." She moved towards the slit opening in the curtain. "I'll be as gentle as I can, but I think it's a good idea to throw in a good analgesic in your IV. An opioid isn't entirely out of the question for the pain levels I'm anticipating. " She rolled her eyes playfully. "Try to contain your thrill about it this time."
"Just make sure it's the good shit, and I'll play like I'm at a funeral just for you, doc." Tamsin called after Lauren as she stepped out of the curtain to retrieve the antidote and whatever painkiller she'd mentally settled on.
The blonde fae sighed and twisted her body gently to get a better look at the spikes jammed into her side. She cautiously wiggled the tip of one back and forth, flinching as a jolt of pain and a fresh wave of nausea rolled through her for her efforts. That stupid wolf had better be kissing her ass next time she saw him. If she hadn't pushed him out of the way, he would have gotten those barbs straight to the chest. Still, she couldn't bring herself to be truly annoyed. She'd never minded any of the numerous other times she'd wound up doped up, in some stage of undress, and under the care of Dr. Lewis either and could certainly think of much less pleasant places to be than where she was right now.
Tamsin eased herself back so she was in a semi reclining position to force herself to look someplace other than her wounds and to think. She'd always considered the doctor attractive, even when she hadn't actually liked Lauren. It wasn't as if that had been the first time her eyes or her libido didn't care one iota about synching with her immediate dislike for literally everyone on first meeting them and once they were on better terms, what was the point in getting worked up over having hot friends?
In the last several months however, that aesthetic admiration and occasional errant daydream had turned into another animal entirely. Tamsin had taken it upon herself to be the liaison between the doctor and the police station on fae related cases so often that Dyson had stopped giving her that irritating questioning look every time she volunteered ages ago and now just handed her files without comment. She often found herself scanning the faces at the Dal for Lauren and finding (or making up) excuses to talk to her when she did spot her. Somehow, much to her annoyed surprise, Tamsin realized she had developed feelings for Lauren that went beyond simple friendship. She rolled her eyes at herself and let out a frustrated huff of air. She had a crush on a human of all things. How trite. She'd been hanging around Bo too long. Tamsin looked up as the subject of her thoughts came back through the curtained barrier with a small tray.
"Get me anything that'll let me taste music or put me down till next Thursday?" she asked hopefully, watching the other woman set the tray down on a nearby stand and remembering whatever wonder drug the good doctor had given her when she'd had to have her arm reset not that long ago. Babies didn't sleep even half as well as she had that week.
Lauren smiled but shook her head. "You need to be awake for the next twenty-four hours. I'm not sure of your exact toxin exposure without a body to examine, so I need you awake and monitored to make sure the antivenom is working at the doses I'm starting at and so you don't slip into a coma in case it isn't."
Tamsin sucked her teeth in half-serious disappointment. "What a buzz kill. I guess I'm here overnight then?"
The other blonde nodded and pressed the promised icepack to Tamsin's forehead before taking a full syringe from the tray and injecting its contents into the IV tube. "Some of the techs don't feel comfortable with a Dark Fae here overnight, despite how often you seem to be here," Lauren continued though her last comment was teasing. "So I'm sending everyone home tonight and I'll be staying to keep an eye on you since there's no one else."
"Gee," Tamsin replied sarcastically. "I didn't know you cared so much."
Lauren looked up as she removed the needle from the tube to meet the valkyrie's gaze. "I do care, Tamsin." She said earnestly. "You should know that by now."
"I know…I was just fuckin around." Tamsin mumbled in response, breaking eye contact when she suddenly felt vulnerable. She lifted a hand to add weight to the cold compress on her forehead and rolled her head side to side briefly. "I'm startin to feel real spacey or some shit, doc."
"That'll be the remifentanil based compound kicking in." The doctor replied casually while nodding. "You did say you wanted the good stuff, didn't you?"
"You're the best kind of person." Tamsin said dreamily, letting her arm flop uselessly back from her head.
Lauren laughed and tossed the empty syringe into the biohazard trash, picking up pair of bent-nosed pliers. "Remember you said that after those spikes are out."
Over an hour later, the final twisted spur from the final spike had been removed from the valkyrie's side and Lauren had sent the lancets out with the last lab tech going home for the night to be incinerated. She was finishing up stitching the wounds and paused for a moment to look at Tamsin who had a frown on her face. "How are you feeling?" she asked the Valkyrie.
"You weren't kiddin about the pain part, doc." The fae replied, her voice hoarse from the constant stream of inventive and incredibly loud swearing that had been tumbling past her lips. It would figure that the barbs had to be pushed and finagled further into her muscles in order to unhook the flesh from the hooked spines covering the tips. "I know I'm not exactly the best patient anyways, but still; sorry about the…"
Tamsin absently tapped her fingers against the metal railing of the raised side of the gurney, looking for the right turn of phrase. She wasn't apologetic over her language, she didn't care much what anyone thought of her language in all honesty and Lauren had known her long enough that she'd heard Tamsin casually utter any number of things that would make a pit demon make a distasteful face let alone when she was in pain. "Volume." She settled on.
The younger woman shrugged and snipped the thread away from the last stitch. "It's fine, I've heard worse."
"Yeah, huh? You been pulling shit outta people a while now."
"Longer than you'd think." Lauren replied absentmindedly, dressing the wound with gauze.
"Lotta thrilling pre-fae adventures doctoring a couple rungs down on the evolutionary ladder?" Tamsin asked with a grin, her tone teasing.
"Nothing quite as glamorous as pulling toxic tail spikes from a manticore out of a mercurial valkyrie, but I…" she trailed off with a pensive expression like she was considering whether or not to continue. "Was in Afghanistan with MSF for…" she shook her head dismissively. "For a while, so I'd say a lot is an understatement, but I don't know if 'thrilling' is the word I'd use."
Tamsin watched Lauren thoughtfully. She'd pieced together long ago that the doctor had seen battlefields. There had been enough hints in things she said, knowledge she had, ways she did things, and that kind of experience left a type of energy that clung to people heavily no matter how far removed they were from it. Tamsin wouldn't be worth the mud on the bottom of Sleipnir's back hooves she'd hadn't been able to at least sense that. But Lauren had never spoken about it directly before. Tamsin certainly wasn't going to press the doctor for details; she recognized the admission wasn't an invitation for that particular conversation but a show of trust. The valkyrie nodded to indicate she'd seen the gesture for what it was, returning the barest hint of a smile Lauren gave with ease.
"So," Tamsin drawled in a more upbeat tone, trying to shake the unintentional heaviness of the previous moment while sitting up as much as she was able. "How d'ya plan on keeping me awake for the next," she casually grabbed the doctor's wrist to check the thin watch cuffed around it. "Twenty-one and a half hours?" she asked, unable to keep the flirtatious tone out of her voice but managing to resist the urge to indulge in a self-satisfied smirk when Lauren blushed slightly and looked away.
"I don't know, honestly." The human replied, standing up from the high chair she'd been sitting in to work on the valkyrie and stretching slightly. "I'll start by getting some food in you so I can get you on another round of antivenom." Lauren pulled off her lab coat, draped it on the back of her vacated seat and pulled open a camouflaged drawer against the wall behind the gurney, taking out a scrub top to replace Tamsin's ruined shirt that had found a new home in the biowaste bin. "So I'm going to go get something and you'll just have to do the best you can on your own for forty minutes." She glanced around at the various accouterments in the curtained cubicle like they held any ideas. "You weren't due for another emergency until next week, so I'm afraid all I have around here to read while you wait are lab notes that I won't bother subjecting you to."
"Cause I wouldn't understand it, right? What, you think I'm stupid now, doc?" Tamsin scoffed, crossing her arms and faking her indignity, knowing Lauren was well aware she'd rather count cracks in the ceiling than read boring lab reports.
"Hardly." Lauren replied drolly and tossing the scrub top at her to put on. "It's just my unconscious need to live up to the stereotype of doctors and handwriting." She played along amiably. "It doesn't seem fair to make you work so hard while you're injured." While Lauren's scrawls all over the lab reports were small and in hurried shorthand, it was hardly indecipherable and the valkyrie had seen it often enough she read it even better than Dyson did, but the Dark Fae had her pride.
Tamsin rolled her eyes, but smiled at the doctor's back as she stepped outside the curtained off area and left her alone in the lab.