Title: An Apple A Day
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 21, 2011 07:56 AM (GMT)
Mama Mays' Neon pulled up to the CAPE Medical Facility, both Flint and Caci in tow. It was a far more reliable car than the Yugo he borrowed before, with every function working relatively well, and the sounds within it were within the realm of efficient automotive operation. It was even painted a sensible shade of blue.
It was the Sylvester the Cat floor mats that did him in.
Flint hated Sylvester. He was a lazy moron who kept chasing the wrong thing that wasn't even worth the chase in the end and something about his stupid face that always set him off. Even then, his mother loved him, and she insisted putting him wherever she could. Even in this car, there were various bits of Sylvester bric-a-brac that he'd removed and put in the glove box for later replacement so he wouldn't have to stare at that stupid, useless face for much longer.
But the floor mats had to stay (his mother freaked out the last time she saw shoe marks underneath the mats, and it just. Was not. Worth. The fight), and they frustrated Flint to no end.
Even so, he needed to have it. Caci was going to CAPEcare today, and he didn't want to make her try to balance on a motorcycle when she might be medicated out of her mind.
He went plainclothes that day, in just an A&F t-shirt and jeans, hoping his relative obscurity despite his surge in visibility would cloak him. He pulled up into a parking space, and turned to his beautiful blond blind woman.
Photoia - September 21, 2011 08:10 AM (GMT)
"Okay," she said, and then didn't move. Here they were. At the doctor's office. She just had to undo her seatbelt and open the door and get out of the car and walk into the building where they would tell her she was going to be horrifically scarred for the rest of her life.
Or so she imagined.
A deep sigh, and she continued to not reach for the seatbelt or the door. Maybe she could just pretend nothing had happened and eventually Flint would turn the car around and they would go back to her place.
"What if all they have is bad news?" There was lots of bad news she could get. Caci was worried about having permanent scarring on her chest or maybe having to get skin grafts. She was most worried about the possibility of major scarring on her fingertips - she would lose all the sensitivity required for reading braille and then what? She might as well be deaf and dumb, too.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 21, 2011 08:14 AM (GMT)
"Then we go someplace that gives us good news," Flint said quickly and calmly.
Crap, he thought worriedly. She's so freaked out... that's freaking ME out. But calm down... be That Guy... you'll both get through this.
He gingerly took her hand in his. "Don't worry. CAPE does good work. You're going to be just fine in no time. But if you're not ready, we can take as much time as you need."
Photoia - September 21, 2011 08:26 AM (GMT)
She made some sort of wordless grunt in answer. Easy for him to say, he wasn't risking being cut off from the outside world to an even more exaggerated degree.
Caci sat in silence while she brooded. Things were going to be bad whether or not she actually saw the doctor. If she didn't go maybe she could pretend that nothing was wrong for a while. It hadn't worked so far but, you know, maybe she would get used to having her shirt rub against raw skin and gauze sticking to everything.
The blonde forced a smile. It looked convincing, she hoped. It was suppose to be convincing. "I'm ready." She wasn't, but it would have to be okay.
Giving his hand a gentle squeeze, she ran her other hand along the interior of the door until she found the handle, and then gave it a careful pull. "I don't understand why every car has to have handles in a different place." It was madness.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 21, 2011 02:05 PM (GMT)
"It's a conspiracy, I tells ya," Flint said jokingly as he walked with her into the building. "I'll start researching an exposť tonight."
Flint and Caci found the CAPEcare building was a bland, but serviceable affair. Its bland beige walls and dull grey desks spoke of a place concerned with function, not flair. At that point, the area was fairly busy: several costumed (and presumably un-costumed) heroes sat in the waiting area, nursing what appeared to be serious, but contained ailments.
A slightly haggard nurse, enjoying a break in the action with an Entertainment Weekly, put down the magazine and did a poor job of managing a smile. "How can I help you?"
Photoia - September 25, 2011 11:15 PM (GMT)
"HI," Caci greeted the woman with her own pasted on smile, following the sound of her voice to look in the proper direction. "I'm here to see Dr. Garcia. Caci Callas? 9am."
The nurse looked up her information and handed over a clipboard. Caci tried her best to hide her annoyance at having the useless paperwork shoved at her when she couldn't even fucking see it and couldn't exactly write in the first place. She would let Flint handle it. This was his job as boyfriend.
"Fill this out and just wait over there," the nurse pointed, and once again Caci decided she was just going to have to trust Flint to help her. "Someone will be with you shortly."
Caci reached for Flint. "Shall we?"
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 25, 2011 11:23 PM (GMT)
Flint put her arm in his. "Let's."
He guided her to one of the waiting room's many seats, and took the clipboard from her, dramatically clicking the pen and setting its ballpoint on the paper.
That was mostly for him.
"Okay," he said. "Let's fill out this paperwork... first, what is your name?"
She'd know there'd be a big grin on his face at that point.
Photoia - September 25, 2011 11:39 PM (GMT)
She smiled back at him. He was silly. Caci relaxed as much as she could. It was okay to be silly sometimes. Flint knew when she needed it.
"Caci Callas," she said softly. "C-a-c-i.. My middle name starts with K." She patted her wallet. "A lady never reveals her age but you can get my birthdate off my ID."
This was not the worst thing ever. She needed to keep telling herself that. In the end, she was still standing. They'd won. She would be okay.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 25, 2011 11:44 PM (GMT)
"Sure thing, babe," he said, scanning her identification for the age. He then quirked an eyebrow.
"I don't know what you're hiding your age for," he said as he jotted the birthdate down. "You're younger than I am!"
Photoia - September 26, 2011 12:43 AM (GMT)
She shrugged. "Every relationship needs a little mystery, don't you think?" Just maybe not her age.
Caci tried to helpfully suggest some other things that might be on the form. "No history of heart disease. My grandma has diabetes. I'm blind, that part's important so don't forget that..." she smiled at him again. "Um. I'm allergic to tetracycline. And mold."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 12:48 AM (GMT)
"Got it, got it, got it..." he said, scribbling away. "And um... what else, let's see... pre-existing conditions?"
Photoia - September 26, 2011 12:50 AM (GMT)
"Blindness," she repeated with a teasing grin. The she paused. "That's it though. Other than, you know, burns, which have only existed since Thursday so I don't think that counts."
Ha ha. Caci just cracked herself up sometimes. How Flint could resist her hilariousness, she was not sure.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 12:57 AM (GMT)
"I swear, you're the hottest smartass I've ever met," he quipped, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Now just sign here and we-... huh."
Flint was baffled for a moment. "I assume you have some clever way around situations like this...?"
Photoia - September 26, 2011 01:04 AM (GMT)
She took the pen from him and signed her name, which was really more of a giant C followed by a mostly straight line. "I got this."
Caci took the clipboard from him and made her way back to the reception desk, counting the steps she had taken earlier. She turned in the papers, and then made her way back to Flint in the same fashion.
The blind woman sat again. "Blind tricks," she explained sagely to her boyfriend.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 01:08 AM (GMT)
"I'll say," he said. "I keep forgetting how crafty you are. Be sure to hit me if I forget again, OK?"
He wrapped an arm around her as they both waited. "So have you done this before?"
Photoia - September 26, 2011 01:14 AM (GMT)
"Gone to the Doctor?" Caci asked, and then deadpanned. "No. This is my first time. I actually self diagnosed my blindness, before I could even talk."
She decided to reel in the sarcasm for the time being. "Actually I used to go to the doctor all the time. It's easy to injure yourself if you don't know where you're going."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 01:19 AM (GMT)
"I meant CAPEcare, but okay," he clarified. "It's pretty similar, just so you know. God, the hours I've spent here wishing my asskickings would reverse themselves... there's 118 ceiling tiles, by the way... and over 100,000 dots in there, since there's 876 dots in each one."
Photoia - September 26, 2011 01:29 AM (GMT)
She laughed and kissed his cheek. "Yes, I've been to CAPEcare before. I've got this handled, hon, don't worry."
Besides, Caci was doing enough worrying for the both of them
The nurse came into the room and called Caci's name. She stood, and turned to glance at Flint. "You want to come with me and see if I'm going to be horribly disfigured?"
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 01:33 AM (GMT)
"Yes. I'm going to watch the mutilation," he agreed. "Or just hold your hand so you're not scared. Either works."
Flint rose and offered her his hand. "Shall we go?"
Photoia - September 26, 2011 01:55 AM (GMT)
Caci swung her arm out and caught his hand. "It's a deal."
They were led back to another room where Caci was carefully un-bandaged. She winced, but tried not to make a fuss. It could be worse. It could always be worse.
She ignored Dr. Garcia and her assistant for the time being and addressed Flint. She tilted her head in his direction so he would at least know he was being talked to. "How's it look? Better than yesterday? Worse?"
It was worse than yesterday.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 26, 2011 02:00 AM (GMT)
"Mmm..." Flint said. "Maybe... about the same? A bit... worse, maybe? I'm no expert..."
Flint's tone said more than his words. There was worry and fear and trepidation in it, But, contained there, there was hope too.
"It looks like it WILL get better," he finally said. "I'm sure you'll be back at it in no time."
Photoia - September 28, 2011 07:33 AM (GMT)
Her expression darkened. Tone mattered, tone always mattered. People could control their words but it was harder to control how you felt. Well. That was not all entirely the positive response she had hoped for.
Dr. Garcia interrupted before Caci could respond. "Caci, I'm going to need you to to tilt your head up." The doctor was a petite middle-aged woman who was already going gray the temples. She had a serious face but a soft voice.
She did, and Garcia gently placed two fingers on Caci's chin, carefully positioning her head upwards, first to the left and then the right. "Well, it's not the worst I've seen, and if we're careful you won't scar. However," she paused, "You're going to blister and it's going to be painful." She pulled her hand back and took Caci's hands to examine her fingers. "The gloves were a good choice. You got lucky, over all."
The doctor glanced at Flint and then turned her attention back to Caci. "You're going to need more help than I know you like to ask for. Between your fingers and the prescription I'm going to give you for the pain, you're not going to feel 100% for a while."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 28, 2011 03:34 PM (GMT)
"Well, that's okay, doc," Flint interjected. "I'll give her any help she needs. There anything I'll need to do?"
Just name it, doc... just name it.
Photoia - September 28, 2011 08:20 PM (GMT)
"Convince her it's okay to ask for help." Dr. Garcia smiled at Caci, who looked guilty as charged. "It'll be good to have someone else be able to monitor the healing. Unless you want to come back in every other day."
Caci shook her head. "No. I know." She could accept help but it didn't mean she'd have to like it. "I'll try and take it easy."
Caci smiled at Flint. "I guess you'll be driving home instead of me."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 28, 2011 08:45 PM (GMT)
Flint could not help but grin. "This girl is great! Is she not great?" he said to the doctor. "Yeah, I'll see what I can do, Doc. Thanks so much."
He held his girlfriend by the shoulders to let her know he was looking her in the eye. "Shall we go, my dear?"
Photoia - September 30, 2011 04:29 AM (GMT)
She hesitated, and then answered him. "Yeah. Let's go."
Dr Garcia nodded her agreement. "You can pick your prescription up on the 4rd floor. No alcohol, no heavy machinery. You know the drill."
Caci grinned. "Shit, but who will drive my bulldozer?"
"And," Dr. Garcia continued, "Think about redesigning your costume. For your own benefit."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 30, 2011 04:33 AM (GMT)
Flint got the door for her. "Thanks, Doc. I'll try to drive the bulldozer myself, but no guarantees on the forklift."
Photoia - September 30, 2011 04:40 AM (GMT)
"You can't drive my forklift," Caci sighed at him. "It's a pretty big responsibility."
She let him lead her down the hall and towards the elevator. "So. That was good news. Mostly. I guess."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 30, 2011 04:45 AM (GMT)
"Totally," Flint agreed. "And you are getting my help, babe. I'll stay out of the whole 'suit redesign' thing, but other than that, say jump and I'll ask how high. Though, uh... you'll have to take my word for it."
Photoia - September 30, 2011 04:54 AM (GMT)
Had he really just done that? Had Flint made a blind joke?
Caci laughed. Holy shit. Flint had made a blind joke. He hadn't done that before. She almost didn't know how to react. "Touche, hon. Touche."
But asking for help, that was a whole new ballgame. She was going to have to work on that. Caci made no promises.
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 30, 2011 04:59 AM (GMT)
Flint grinned. He hadn't planned that, but he was glad it was such a rousing success. "I do my best. ... and I mean it. I don't want you hurting yourself because you're too crazy to let me lend you a hand when you need it, okay? There's no shame in it."
Photoia - September 30, 2011 05:04 AM (GMT)
She frowned. "Crazy."
Flint would probably realize at this moment that he'd made a very poor word choice indeed. Crazy.
"You think I'm crazy because I like my independence?" Caci wasn't sure how to really approach this situation. "You can't be serious, Flint."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 30, 2011 05:07 AM (GMT)
His eyes went wide. "I'm not. Sorry, I... I didn't mean it that way, I swear. Just let me help you, okay?"
... shit. That didn't come out right at all. Why do I talk?
Photoia - September 30, 2011 05:10 AM (GMT)
She sighed and looked away from Flint, though not entirely purposefully.
"I just don't think you understand how much my independence means to me, Flint." Caci put a hand on her hip. "People see me and they think I can't do anything myself."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - September 30, 2011 05:17 AM (GMT)
"Well, when it's just your eyes, I get that," he defended. "I mean, you're great at stuff I'm terrible at, and I don't want to take that away from you. BUT..."
He put his hand on her shoulder. "The situation has changed. It's no different than some sighted person in the same mess..."
Photoia - October 1, 2011 05:36 AM (GMT)
"It is different, Flint. But you." She sighed in frustration. "It's not something I expect a sighted person to understand."
The elevator binged, and the door slid open. "I really appreciate that you want to help me, Flint. I'll ask if I need it. But let me at least try first."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - October 1, 2011 05:41 AM (GMT)
"... that's fair," he said. "I mean, yeah. That's... that's a good solution. I don't need to, y'know... DIVE into helping you until we know, for a fact, that you NEED it, right? I... I just..."
He sighed. "I worry. Especially now. But, I will give you a chance to put those worries to rest, independent lady. ... so that you don't drive over me with a bulldozer."
Photoia - October 1, 2011 05:48 AM (GMT)
Inside the elevator, Caci hurried and placed her own hand on the panel before he could get to it. She'd show him, ha! "I know that it's easy to assume I need lots of help, and trust me my parents used to worry plenty too. But I went to college by myself and I live alone. I think I can handle a few burns."
She smiled. "What, you can't get out of the way of a bulldozer? I thought I was the blind one."
Sodak, the Man of Corn - October 1, 2011 05:53 AM (GMT)
"True. I mean, It's not like you can aim," Flint said, hoping that would go over as well as the last one. "I just hope you're as concerned if I come home hurt."
Photoia - October 1, 2011 05:59 AM (GMT)
She pushed him playfully. "I'll just follow the sounds of your girlish screams."
Was he going to be fussy? Apparently so. "It's not that I don't care if you get hurt. Of course I care and I prefer you non-hurt. But you're an adult and you're a hero, for fuck's sake. I have faith that you can handle your own."