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Lunacy: Zen


  06:09:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 1919 words  
Categories: Lunacy

Lunacy: Zen

Clod wanted to hit someone. Levy was half asleep on the cot in the medical bay. He was sick, getting sicker. He was trying to be stoic and tough- which was definitely him playing against type. But she was medical professional enough that she knew he was dying- if for no other reason than she wasn't really a doctor. And the medical team on Earth stopped listening to her when she told them he was injured by Rica. They heard hooves- and couldn't stop obsessing that it might have been the zebra in the room. But it wasn't that. She'd checked his bloodwork every six hours. And his hand took a normal amount of time to heal- which wasn't what you'd expect if he had what Paul did. No. It was the antibiotics they put him on to stave off infection from the attack. It was textbook. But the medical team still hadn't gotten back to her with a suggestion that didn't amount to lock him in a pod like Rica. Or maybe they were just stalling, because they knew that the usual probiotic supplement wasn't in the half a hospital of supplies the Perseus had stocked on-board. But she wanted to his someone because she wasn't a doctor. She'd patched up her share of men in her life. But she was a pilot. And a soldier. She missed having a problem she could deal with by hitting it- or metaphorically hitting it by dropping a warhead on it from the sky. But the only hittable thing in the room was Levy, and that would have only made his problems worse. To complicate things, the doughy, diarrhea-exploding simpleton had saved her- her, the hardened soldier. She hated it; it was every fucking ass who babied her in basic, in tandem with the universe, having a big old laugh at her expense. She should have noticed Rica, should have saved him. She didn't like being in his debt. And worse, she hated having to wonder if she'd been too hard on him before. Her introspection was interrupted by the comms. ?Your ad says if the pizza doesn't get here in a half hour it's free. But what if I ordered wings?? It was Paul's voice. ?I told him we should wait,? Rica's voice came over the comms, ?until we could come up with something funnier. Because that was bad. It was like... dad humor. But what he was getting at was we'd like you guys to come and let us out. Because I frigging hate dried rations.? Clod swallowed before she keyed her comms. ?This isn't a three little pigs scenario, right?? ?Well,? Rica started, ?there's only two of you, and I like both of you too much to call you pigs. And we're not frothing at the mouths wolf-people. Well... we are, kind of. If we get upset, or distressed. But I think I've got it under control. And we talked about it. If either of us starts to feel out of control, we come out here. It's like a little panic room.? ?But you're not panicked anymore?? ?Only by the prospect of having to subsist on the dry back-up foodstuffs we have in here another meal longer.? Clod shook Levy, whose eyes came open. He glared at her with anxious, animal eyes. Then he blinked, and his pupils dilated. ?I was having the craziest dream about chasing a Rabbit. Jessica Rabbit. Like the Nina Hyena scene, but the roles were reversed.? ?That sounds a little rapey.? ?So was that scene- though I'm pretty sure all I wanted was a little patty cake. But I assume you didn't just wake me up for some verbal patty cake.? He playfully raised his eyebrows at her. ?I just had a call from Paul and Rica. They're ready to come out.? ?It worked?? Levy said, grinning widely. ?That seems to be the story.? ?Then what are we waiting for?? ?Um...? she blushed a little. His pants were bunching at the crotch. ?I just woke up. It happens.? ?It does. Except that it wasn't there when I woke you up.? ?I plead Jessica Rabbit. Running.? ?Well please stop pleading that. Or at least get off the cot. Because at that angle it's like it's pointing at me judgmentally.? ?Ahem,? he said, sliding off the cot and smoothing down his pants. Then he took the lead, so there would be no more pointing at her while they walked towards the storage pod. He let Clod strike the keys to actually unlock the door. Her nose wrinkled as the door opened. It smelled like a kennel, which made a certain degree of sense. She saw Paul first, looking haggard, disheveled and scruffy, but smiling like a fool. ?How was your time up on Mt. Sinai?? Paul squinted. ?Um. We put out her bush fire? That can?t be what you were hoping I?d say.? ?Yeah, ignore that,? she said, and hugged him. He stepped to the side, and Clod saw Rica. She looked sheepishly at Clod. ?Sorry. I, I was more than a little afraid that when the door opened you'd look at me like I'm a monster, and that it would make me freak out and lose my shit and then turn I might literally into the monster you were scared I was. So I kind of hid behind Paul.? ?Come here,? Clod said, and squeezed her too tight while lifting her up into the air. ?You're not a monster,? Clod said, setting her down. ?I'm not scared of you. I just want to know you're okay.? ?Just don?t, uh, don?t bring up the, um, the dead to me, for a while. Or the fact that I put on weight since we launched.? ?That?ll change,? Paul said. ?Your metabolism is going to go apeshit. You might put on mass- but it will be all extraordinarily, inhumanly lean muscle.? ?Am I going to look like a female bodybuilder? Because I have trouble pulling off adult female. If I lose my cuteness?? ?You?ll just be a very toned cute.? ?This all kind of sucks.? ?Yeah,? Paul said. ?And for the record I?m not- I?m cute. I?ve been adult cute since I hit twelve and went through over-the-summer puberty. And I was little girl cute before that. I was even a cute baby- and I don't mean in the parents fawning over their weirdly football-headed baby kind, but even people like me who are pretty meh about baby cuteness could objectively see it. I know I won?t be young and cute forever, but? I?m not ready to stop being cute. Crap, does that sound as incredibly shallow to you as it does to me?? Clod smirked. ?Nope. You?ve been through a lot of crap. And lost a lot. Wanting some normal touchstones isn?t shallow. Worst case, you?re exhibiting the bargaining aspect of grief, which makes you a total cliché-slash human being- but it doesn't make you shallow. And even if you were a shallow, cute little girl, you'd be our shallow, cute little girl.? Clod wrapped her arm around Rica's torso and laid her head on her shoulder. ?Aw. You're going to make me cry. Or blush. Or maybe turn into a big hairy monster.? ?You'll be fine,? Clod said. Levy collapsed. ?Has he taken to swooning?? Paul asked Clod, kneeling down to examine him. ?He's been sick,? Clod said, rushing over beside him. ?Let me,? Paul said, and lifted him up ease. Clod followed him down the hall. ?I've been trying to consult with Ground Control, but they want to assume he's been infected. I'm pretty sure it's pseudomembranous colitis.? ?Vancomycin?? he asked. ?Nonresponsive.? ?Shit,? Paul said grimly, but just as quickly, his expression turned into a grin. ?Do you know what they did for pseudomembranous colitis before artificial bacteriotherapy? Crap. But not as in they did nothing. As in they used healthy human feces, and fed it into the patient's rectum. Well, not fed, obviously. No matter how many airplane sounds you make a patient's colon isn't going to open wide. You liquefy it, then pass it into the colon.? ?Enema?? Clod asked. Paul carried Levy into the medical bay, unintentionally humming the Bridal Chorus. ?He's going to wish it were just going in his pooper.? ?That is where poop usually goes,? Levy said sleepily as Paul laid him down onto the cot. ?Nasoduedenal?? Clod asked. ?Probably beats dumping it into the stomach- if only for no other reason than he's sick, and we don't want him to be vomiting and having diarrhea out of the same hole.? ?Uck,? Clod said. ?I don't think I'm going to be eating anything else this week. Maybe next week, either.? ?Naso?? Levy asked. ?So you two want to shit in my nose?? ?Want has nothing to do with it,? Paul told him. ?Believe me. And it beats the alternatives.? ?Wait. What are the alternatives?? He thought a moment. ?Never mind. I think I might be happier not knowing.? ?You are,? Clod said, then turned to Paul. ?But thank God you guys came out when you did. Knowing the purpose of it I'm fairly certain I'm going to be suddenly very poopshy.? Paul grinned. ?I don't like the way you're smiling at me.? ?I know. But we also can't help you. We're infected with something far more virulent than C. Difficile.? ?Right. Crap.? ?Yep,? Paul said. ?And while you're doing that, I'll start feeding a tube into Levy's nose, into his sinus, through his stomach and into his duodenum.? ?Um,? Rica said. ?Could I have a moment with him?? ?Sure,? Paul said, and he left the room with Clod. ?I'm... a little mortified that you're going through all of this crap because of me,? she said. ?Don't be, Ric,? he said gently. ?I mean, it's about the strangest thing a medical profressional's wanted to do to mean since- well, actually, it's about on par with what they did to us during our astronaut candidacy. But I know you didn't mean to hurt me. You wouldn't. You weren't yourself.? ?You sound like a battered spouse.? ?Yeah, except that most abusers aren't suffering from a hairying hulk disease. If they were, or you know, had something vaguely similar, like rabies, maybe I'd be more sympathetic. But we're just glad you're okay- as odd as okay seems to be for all of us in this situation.? She didn't look up at him. ?You are okay, aren't you?? he asked. ?I'm not going to lose control,? she said bitterly. ?That's not what I asked. You lost someone really close to you. I can't even begin to know what that must have been like. But,? he paused as he planned out carefully how to put it, ?I wasn't pressuring you to say you're okay to make me feel better. I want you to be okay. But I don't know if you should be. And it's okay if you're not. But whatever you might need from me- from us- we're here for you. We'll help you if we can- if you want. We've been cloistered together long enough- and been through enough horrible, mentally scarring shit- that we are family- closer than, maybe. And we want to be able to there for you.? ?Thanks,? she said. ?I think I'll need time for myself. But thanks.? She turned to leave. ?You don't have to go,? he said. ?Oh, I do,? she said, with a bit of an evil grin. ?I don't want to watch the next part.?

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