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 open hand or closed fist. (oliver)

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MessageSujet: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Mer 7 Déc - 23:25

it looks ugly, but it's clean,
oh momma don't fuss over me.

All in all, it's been a night like any other. As sad as it might seem from the outside, as insane as it sounds to those who don't really get it, who don't really know why, Toby's used to it now. He's way past caring. As a logical consequence, when he lifts his fingers to his mouth to get a taste of his cigarette, he barely registers the pain. Tiny lightning bolts, shooting up and down his arm. He doesn't wince anymore. He simply shakes the pain off, like he does virtually everything else in his life. Result of a bad cut on his back, a tear through the flesh that certainly feels deep, although he hasn't even been bothered to steal a glance above his own shoulder. Out of laziness, rather than anxiety. He can handle the sight of blood, Toby, always has, always will. Growing up in the Blackheart household, that was a necessary requirement. He has grown more than just used to it – fond of it, almost. The acrid smell, the metallic taste. In a sick way, it feels just like home. He's not sure what the main reason for his presence here is. True, he needs to get that wound checked. Like it or not, he's got to work in the afternoon and needs to make sure he'll still be able to lift his arms shoulder-high by then. That's it, really. The sole concession he'll ever make to his health is a financial matter. No surprise there – or that cigarette would have been flicked onto the pavement ages ago. But there's more to it than the stitches, the physical need to be closed back up again, to be whole instead of a bloody entity dripping every which way. There's the fact that maybe, just maybe, Toby hadn't wanted to go to bed. As silly as it sounds – baby Tobias throwing a tantrum at the very idea of closing his eyelids, of being left alone in the dark - there's truth to it. How ridiculous: a grown ass man refusing to sleep, pulling all-nighters way more often than necessary, or even reasonable. Just because he can't deal with the insomnia, can't handle lying down, eyes wide open behind shut eyelids. More uncomfortable with the idea of sleep than having blood soak through his shirt. How nuts must one be to choose fists over sheets. Toby's eyes shoot up when he hears footsteps coming his way. In one swift move, he crushes the cigarette butt against the battered trash can outside the building, barely impeded by the fact that in doing so, the fabric of his shirt rips away from the wound, where the blood had kept it in place. "Mornin', doc." His smile is sincere, if somewhat sheepish. He doesn’t have to state why he's here. It's implied. Almost expected. He doesn't have to say why he's smoking, outside the practice, one hour before the actual opening time. Why he has such large bags under the eyes, like two extra bruises someone laid down on his face. It all goes without saying, as somber as it sounds. "Some asswipe sucker punched me." You don't get injured on the back unless some jerk comes at you from behind. That's the sad, twisted truth of it: he can't even be proud of that bruise. What a fucking waste.


Dernière édition par Toby Blackheart le Ven 9 Déc - 1:14, édité 4 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Jeu 8 Déc - 20:05

One last glance at the cats’ food bowls to make sure they had enough for the day and he was off, hollering at Ava to wake up before she was late. The door slams behind him as he breathes in the fresh, crisp air, a delicious winter morning that he was eager to face head-on. The needles on his watch read seven sharp, as usual; Oliver was not the kind to stray from his habits, good or bad. He liked to get to the office early, brew some coffee, clean up after anything that he might have left behind the day before; it’s routine, it’s a mantra, one that he kept on repeating every single day like his life depended on it. It kept his spirits high and his anxiety low, like a dam for his insecurities and inevitable panic attacks.
His earbuds blast saxophone straight into his eardrums as he bikes to his workplace, a few minutes’ ride from the home he shared with Ava and their cats, his head bobbing left and right softly, lost in the bubble of serenity that he had created. The doctor parks his bicycle on the side of the building and locks it to a post, taking a minute to blow warm air into his hands, rubbing his fingers against his pants to get rid of the numbness that crept through his bones.

He only notices the man standing by the entrance as he goes around the corner, fishing for his keys in his pocket. His earphones strung upon his shoulders get silent as he cuts the music short, his gaze taking in every detail about what he thought, at first, to be a stranger. “Jesus Christ, Toby,” he whispers as if it was a proper greeting. Swearing was generally ill-advised in a small, traditional town such as Redcliff, but he knew he could get away with it in front of his guest. Oliver’s tone is as exasperated as it is genuinely concerned. It wasn’t the first time that the brown-haired, belligerent young man had come to the clinic. He usually had the decency to come during the operating hours, however. “Come on in, I’ll fix whatever you’ve broken this time.” He couldn’t, in all good conscience, shoo the man away, knowing that his arms and hands were his livelihood. He points to the exam room – always the same, with clean, white walls plastered with educational posters and the doctor’s diplomas – and starts the coffee machine in the hallway. “How you manage to always end up in this office, always with worse wounds, I cannot fathom,” he admits, a half-smile cracking his bearded face. Toby was an adult and was free to do whatever he wanted to, even if that meant beating up some poor lad who’d looked at him the wrong way. Oliver was not about to encourage him, but the least he could do was patch him up whenever he showed up; also, maybe, a cavil or two. “You’re grown as shit. How old are you, thirty?” Oliver ogles at the file he had pulled from the cabinet in his office. Almost. “Get a hold of yourself before we’ve all got to unplug you from life support ‘cause you’ll have gone and done something at the apex of the dumbassery spectrum.” His language had always been colourful, yet he reserved his best idioms – those he brought along with him from Vermont – for those patients whom he considered friends. Being in a small town, he didn’t have the privilege of segregating those under his care and his acquaintances.

Toby was special in the way that he always had the chance to hear the best of Oliver’s less than professional sermons. The doctor pours two cups of coffee, one of which he hands over to the young man.
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MessageSujet: Re: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Jeu 8 Déc - 23:13

He doesn't expect anyone to understand. Let alone his GP who, by definition, should know one thing or two about survival instinct. To be fair, he wouldn't trust Oliver with his skin for one second if he thought the guy understood. He doesn't expect Oliver to grasp the meaning behind the constellation of bruises on his arms, the tiny scars over his ribs, the large range of bloody memories. Nor his friends. Anyone, really. And thank fuck for that. You have to be a particular brand of fucked-up to need (crave, even) painful rainbows on your skin, and he most definitely wouldn't wish that on any of them. Even if it means feeling lonely, even if it means keeping his mouth shut about the whys and the hows, being thought of as the reckless one, the moronic white trash type. If that didn't risk being fairly painful on account of that big fat tear on his back, Toby would shrug off the thought. But instead, he follows Oliver inside, simply mumbling a half-hearted "I can wait outside," as he does so, knowing fully well that Oliver would never let that happen. Hippocrates and all that shit, he assumes. The place is as he remembers it. No surprise, considering, that the place has become somewhat familiar. "It's not so much a matter of broken than… hm, gaping." What Oliver says next is nothing surprising and, to Toby's ears, sounds pleasantly positive. He doesn't want him to be able to fathom. Let's keep it that way. He likes Oliver. He doesn't know why, can't quite put a finger on it, but he does. He's definitely a stand-up guy, and you can never have too many of those. They're quite a rarity, even, in Redcliff, and Toby would know as he wouldn't have punched so many dudes square in the jaw if there had been less assholes roaming the streets to begin with. And then it comes, just like clockwork. The lecture. Only slightly patronizing, mostly amusing. To spare what he's got left of skin, Toby takes off his jacket very carefully, as he replies "Yup, thirty, give or take. What's that supposed to mean? You'd rather have that kind of stuff happen to a kid than a grown man?" He dramatically fake gasps as he adds: "Appalling, doc. But if you stitch me back up all nice and pretty, I won't go spreading that around town." There's straight-up adoration in his eyes as he accepts the cup of shitty, watery, perfect coffee from Oliver's hand. He doesn't even blow on it before taking a large gulp that burns his throat with this very particular, wonderful caffeine warmth. "And please, if you have to unplug me, that'd be the most exciting thing to happen to your career in this dump, and we both know it."  The million-dollar question, the one Toby has never dared asking because it felt slightly too close to prying: why the hell did Oliver Hayes choose to settle on Nowheresville, Arizona to set up a practice? Sentenced to patch up belligerent, though endearing, assholes and convince kooky grandmas that no, they do not have hair cancer. That's what Toby cannot fathom. For the time being, he sets his coffee down and starts unbuttoning his shirt, because he'll have to do it at some point and his motto in all things happens to be 'let's fucking get this over with'. "When that happens, whatever you do, please don't let my friends get my body stuffed to set it on the mantelpiece. That's all I ask." It's almost uncharacteristic, this sudden need to lighten the mood, to play down whatever had resulted in the almost gory state of his back. At least, he's keeping doc entertained, sharp. For fuck's sake, the man didn't study for a gazillion years to end up with teen pregnancy scares and ingrown toenails. Toby's basically doing him a favour by showing up all beaten, battered and bruised. You're welcome.
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MessageSujet: Re: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Ven 9 Déc - 16:20

He clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth but says nothing as his newest patient sets himself in the exam room. “No, it means I’d rather it didn’t happen at all,” he sighs. Oliver brews his diluted, disgusting coffee – the taste of which was more akin to dishwater – as he wonders how Toby can stay so… oblivious about what’s wrong with his behaviour, about his very own thought process. That is some next-level self-destructing shit-thinking right there he wants to rant, yet he remains silent as he shoves the scalding caffeine in his friend’s bruised fingers. “Careful about blackmailing your doctor Tobias,” he starts, an eyebrow raised, “I might just forget the part about doing no harm from the Oath.” He snickers, knowing that Toby would never buy it. Not that he did not usually take him seriously, or so he thought; otherwise, he wondered if the young man would bother coming over to his clinic specifically to get sewn back up.

The doctor slides his white lab coat over his clean, well-pressed shirt, then lays his instruments on a small tray to make his inevitable task easier. Toby is right about one thing, however, although Oliver generally disagrees with much of what the younger man can say: Redcliff is not as exciting as New York, not as exotic as San Diego – these were fast-paced cities and they called for fast-paced patient care, which was far from Oliver’s ideals in practical terms. “What are you insinuating? Diabetes follow-ups and allergy tests are fascinating, I swear!” It’s his turn to mock, faking some kind of disdain, of indignation for Toby’s perception of the quiet town that they called home. Oliver snaps on a pair of gloves and grabs a pen on his desk – a promotional pen-flashlight-highlighter abomination that he’d received in a box of samples from Big Pharma – and sidestepped towards the brown-haired man, pen raised up to his eye level. “No promises there, I know your friends. Follow the pen with– you know the drill,” he says, diligently checking if Toby could have been hit hard enough to have inherited a concussion. Without warning, he stretches the eyelid upwards, checks for pupil reaction – normal. He had been lucky.

The smell of rubbing alcohol fills the air as the doctor puts his task into motion. He raises an eyebrow when he witnesses the gaping wound for the first time – that had to have hurt really fucking bad. Blood had dried around what was way past a nick, and he wiped it off clean before actually starting his lacemaker’s work. As much as he feels Toby might actually learn a lesson or two if the procedure hurt worse than the fistfight, Oliver takes great care in every movement, carefully punching the broken skin with the threaded needle. “I think I should get you a special rewards card. Get five stitches and receive one free kind of thing.” He pauses to think, eyes up. “Scratch that. You’d probably put me out of business.” He measures the wound approximately with his finger. That would need at least ten stitches, maybe twelve. “Chicks dig scars, don’t they? I bet you make up all kinds of twisted stories to impress them.” He laughs softly. He realizes that his patient wants to lighten up the mood and he complies, humours the young man as he stitches him back up like an old piece of saddle leather.
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MessageSujet: Re: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Sam 10 Déc - 23:16

Tongue-in-cheek quips, snorts, shrugs – these are the only ways in which Toby is ever going to address the "problem". With Oliver, at least. He reserves his most affable reactions for doc: the poor chap is merely doing his job. If it were Dee doing the lecturing, or Grey, or Iggy, anyone else, really, he would be long gone by now, possibly after giving them the most intense eye-roll known to mankind. They haven't dared broach the subject in a while. None of them. Learned their lessons, Toby assumes. They never venture a comment, a question. Not even when he shows up with a bruised cheekbone or a split lip. Daisy gets a tube of foundation cream from the bathroom and Iggy slips a plate of pancakes in front of him. That's what they stick to and what they excel at – damage control. And he's goddamn grateful for that. As it happens, even Oliver ends up dropping the subject before Toby's had to make up a story, a reason, a motive. All of a sudden, he's reminded of why the minute Doctor Hayes set foot in town, Toby abandoned his old childhood GP - the insufferable and perversely Christian Doctor Banks. He never looked back. He certainly didn't need that witch snooping around his injuries, literally getting under his skin. Oliver's of a totally different kind of doctor - different species almost. He makes Toby feel, if not exactly normal, at least safe. Therefore, when doc brings the oath, he lets out an audible snort. "And, obviously, I'm really scared of harm." Blackheart trademark: humour used both as a weapon and a shield, a shelter and a battle field.

Yes, he does know the drill and complies half-heartedly, proud enough to believe that he would know it if he had a concussion. Toby knows what comes next is not going to be pleasant. The subtle itch of thread sliding through skin, barely there but so much present at the same time. If he might logically appear from the outside as the kind of guy to get off on pain, it's a mere assumption. Truth is, he can roll with the punches, handle rough, ugly, bloody – but he's always dreaded the stitching. He hates every second of it, loathes every minute of sitting there, vulnerable as a slab of meat. Shirtless, exhausted, cold. On the wall, right in front of his weary eyes, hang the diplomas. Framed in silver metal, shiny and impressive, he can't help but feel like they're looking down on him. All things considered, perhaps doc should check for brain injury again. Even though he's trying his best not to think about the lacework being done on his back, Toby only manages to force his teeth to unclench long enough for him to emit a light chortle. A rewards card seems about right, as long as it's the other way around. Two stitch-free weeks, and you get a sticker. He can't help but hiss as he feels the length of the thread navigate through the skin, not caring about appearing brave in the slightest. "Nah, what chicks dig is truth," he counters, struggling to keep his thoughts far away from the needle. "But who am I telling this to? This lab coat has to be a chick magnet." That's how it works, in the microcosm of small towns: education is a luxury, not a right. Something to be admired from afar, like the neighbor's new Cadillac. If you're lucky enough, he might take you for a ride, but you'll never get to drive it. It'll never be yours. Heaven knows even Toby gets freaking butterflies just looking at the diplomas. Finances and responsibilities hadn't let him go to college, and even though he's made his peace with the fact long ago, faced with framed evidence of Oliver's accomplishment, it still stings.  
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MessageSujet: Re: open hand or closed fist. (oliver)   Lun 19 Déc - 19:01

“At least I could make it look like a really convincing accident,” the doctor replies with an amused shrug, exhaling a nasal laughter. His work is precise, yet swift enough that he’d be done well before the clinic’s actual opening hours. Oliver did not mind in the slightest being silently, emotionally coerced into donning his coat earlier than expected – where some doctors, with age, started feeling jaded about their jobs, he was still young and thoroughly driven by his vocation. It was obvious by the only fact that he chose a quiet town to open his practice, that he refused high-paid internships, prestigious doctor’s offers of mentorship, that he opted for the simplicity of rural life. He’d never regretted his choice and wasn’t about to.

The long silence helps him work quickly and efficiently. He wonders what is racing through Toby’s mind, although he is somewhat assured that it’s not soul-shattering regret or a life-changing realization that a change in his behaviour was long overdue. Oliver wasn’t a psychologist, and while he was sympathetic enough to his patients’ pain, he generally avoided prodding into their minds too much unless necessary. Others were better equipped to deal with the ailments of the psyche. He was content with being the fixer of broken bones. Toby’s repartee once again hits the bull’s eye; Oliver laugh softly as he snips the nylon thread right under the surgical knot that he had just tied. “You’d be surprised,” he sighs, amused, as he turns around to pick up a box of suture strips. Carefully, he applies a handful of them at regular intervals along the stitched-up wound to reduce the stress on the thread and skin. “Most of the time, girls – even just people in general – feel like asking for medical advice is a good way to start a conversation. What happens is, I usually know more about their health than anything else, which isn’t… well, you know, I’d rather know a girl’s favourite pizza place rather than the brand of contraceptive she’s using first, or her family history of pancreatic cancer.”

He chuckles as he makes his latex gloves snap, throwing them in the waste bin Jordan-style. He knew it wasn’t only the coat denying him a fair chance at getting to know a girl. Maybe he also didn’t care that much; he had a lot of girls in his life, including an insane sister and an overprotective mother as well as a lineup of dearest friends, chief among which, Ava. Maybe he didn’t need another one. Or maybe he’d realize he should make an effort when everyone around him would end up married and too busy with kids and mortgages to care about their single doctor friend. He sits at his desk, signalling Toby to dress up and do the same. “Sooo let’s see,” he hums as he searches his drawers for a working pen. “Come back whenever you want in seven to ten days so I can remove the stitches.” He scribbles neatly upon his prescription pad, glancing at the young man. “Also, get these at the pharmacy to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Twice a day with food, no alcohol for the whole thing.” He anchors his gaze in Toby’s, arching his eyebrows. “I’m being serious. Not a drop. It’s only five days, you’ll manage.”
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