Welcome back to the next installment of Once Upon a Time… in Mutant Land! In this segment we follow Dr. Munroe (a.k.a. Storm) as she goes to visit her only patient. We also introduce you to two new characters:
Jane Steel, better known as Jean Grey and Scott Winters, better known as Cyclops.
If you want to go back a step to read first what I’m talking about, go HERE first.
Otherwise read on, titled – Doctor’s Duties
It had been a really weird day. First, Dr. Hailey Munroe had saved a life – a rare occurrence in Unity, N.H. because no one ever needed saving. During the towns semiquincentennial Curt Wander had had a heart attack. As exciting as that was, in a morbid sort of way, Hailey did have a job to do and she had patients to look in on – well ‘patient’ anyway.
Scott Winters had been the only inpatient resident of the town clinic – since you couldn’t call it a hospital really – for as long as she could remember. Scott had been blinded in freak chemical accident many years ago and the mix of toxins left his eye sockets so be rattled that they couldn’t bear to come in contact with normal air. So, he had to remain bandaged up and bed bound. They couldn’t risk something happening to his bandages so he was not allowed to go outside. Seemed his insurance wouldn’t approve transport for an “experimental” procedure to transport him to Concord for any further attempts at stabilizing him.
He’d gone through many rough days over the years, had to be sedated more than once and handcuffed to his bed, but he’d come to accept his fate. This was made tremendously easier by the constant care he received from Nurse Jane Steel. A nice, young woman with an amazing bedside manner – she was also beautiful, though Scott would never be able to see it. She babied him night and day since there was little else to do at the clinic.
But Dr. Munroe had her duties and thought she should see to them. She made it a habit of coughing a bit before entering Scott’s room – just in case – and by the slightly embarrassed look on Jane’s face she was sure the two had been up to something. She’d seen them get closer and closer over the recent weeks and felt bad Scott couldn’t leave the clinic with her. He’d be in great hands, but they couldn’t risk his condition. Hailey wasn’t sure if that was stopping them from pursuing things further – she knew Jane spent some nights “off duty” at the clinic. It seemed to make both of them happy so she didn’t raise a fuss about it.
“Oh, Dr. Munroe,” Jane said sheepishly, “I was… was just checking his… vitals…”
“No need to explain, Nurse. I’m sure he’s been in good hands and spirits while I was away, weren’t you Mr. Winters?” she asked coyly.
“Uh, *cough* yeah,” he said, a big grin on his face.
Jane left the room to see the desk and Hailey stepped over to the bed to actually check his vital signs. “And how are we feeling today, Scott?” she asked.
“Well Doc, in truth, not so well. But please don’t let Jane know, I’d hate to worry her,” he said, his tone changing.
“Really? What’s wrong?” she asked, jumping at his concern.
“It’s my eyes, feels like they’re burning,” he said.
“Odd, you haven’t had any sensations in them until now, have you?”
“None,” he replied.
This was when she hated his prognosis most – she couldn’t even undo the bandages to inspect the wound. “Let me see,” she said taking his head in her hands. She checked his neck and jaw line. She looked in his ears. Something wasn’t right. “Let’s take your temperature,” she said. She placed the thermometer in his mouth and was startled to see the reading – 137.4 degrees. “This thing must be broken, you couldn’t be this hot – you’d be dead. But you do feel quite warm to me. Let’s put you on a course of anti-inflammatory just to be safe. Nurse Steel, would you please come in here?”
She must have been standing just outside the door – imagine that – because she popped back in. “Yes, Doctor?”
“Can you get me 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen for Mr. Summers, he’s running a bit of a temperature?” she said, professionally.
“Oh, Scott, are you okay?” she asked forgetting the request.
“I’m fine, Ja…” Scott began, then twinged in pain. “Ah, it’s getting worse now, somehow. It really burns.”
“Scott!” Jane yelled running to his bedside.
“JANE, go get me 2 liquid doses of Vicodin HP and an ice bath, NOW!”
Jane was wide-eyed and staring at Scott, panicked. “NURSE! NOW!”
“Hailey, look,” she said pointing at Scott.
Dr. Munroe turned to look at what had Jane so stuck in her tracks. The bandage on Scott’s face was smoking and looked like it might burst into flames at any moment. Hailey was stuck in her tracks too. What in the world was going on?
“Candy Striper!” came the voice of Marie Smith. She rounded the corner in the classic pink garb. “Oh my, what’s going on here?” she asked oddly calm.
Dr. Munroe tried to shoo her away, this was no time for someone with no medical training, especially a teenager. Nurse Steel had her the command but her feelings overtook her duties and she clung to Scott’s hand, watching in agony and uncertainty. Dr. Munroe mumbled something about this being the wrong time and place. Jane protested slightly as Marie budged her way to the bedside. She placed a hand on Scott’s wrist and in an instant, he relaxed.
“You’re alright,” she said soothingly. The smoke ceased. “Nurse Steel should really be more careful, nail polish remover is highly flammable and really has no place being used in an environment like this. Wouldn’t you agree Dr. Munroe?” Marie asked plainly.
Dr. Munroe turned to face her, “Yes, Nurse Steel, that was quite dangerous,” she said robotically.
“I wasn’t doing my nails in here,” she protested.
“Then why does he smell of acetone?” Marie asked wafting the air.
“That’s smoke,” Jane said standing to take a whiff. Then she smelled it. It did smell like nail polish remover. How? Why?
“Jane?” Scott asked in a very confused tone.
“Scott, I don’t know how… I didn’t… I wouldn’t have been so careless. I didn’t mean to…” she said, tears welling in her eyes.
“I don’t think it’s safe for her to work here anymore, but that’s just my opinion,” Marie said.
“Yes, I have to agree. Nurse Steel, please gather your things and leave your security badge. From this moment on, you no longer work at Unity Town Clinic,” Dr. Munroe said in a strange tone, her eyes not meeting anyone else’s.
“Hailey, you can’t mean that?” Jane said between the tears.
“Yes, I do. And for Scott’s sake, you best not come to visit him either. Now please, leave,” Hailey said.
Jane stood, mouth agape. Sobbing, she ran from the room.
Marie grinned. “You probably have some paperwork to do for her termination, Dr. Munroe, I’ll stay by Scott.”
“Thank you, Marie. I don’t know what we’d of done without you,” Dr. Munroe replied and left the room.
“It’s okay Scott, you just sleep, sleep…” she said soothingly. He relaxed even more and was asleep in moments. Marie looked around and certain they were alone, removed the bandage. Scott’s eyes were clearly glowing red. She took a thoughtful gaze, went to the drawer of supplies, and got a fresh bandage, and wrapped him back up.
She left immediately. She had to find out what was happening…
[End of Installment]
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