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“Got the morbs” was Victorian slang for a temporary melancholia — Dante
In a panic sort of reaction, she shut the door but neglected to make sure she was on the other side of it.
the thrill of the chase moves in mysterious ways

oh to be young and have ten toes
25th January, 1892 — Irvingly Infirmary
@Temperance Fairchild/@Marlena Scamander
This wasn’t stealing.

Conall needed medical supplies, that was all. That was a fair reason to be here. And he was a patient, so they would have used the bandages and ointments on him anyway. Well, he was practically a patient – the only difference was that he hadn’t gone through the Infirmary’s reception like everyone else. Or, now that he considered it, actually been seen by a healer or a nurse.

Rather, he had waited until the end of the day, when the Infirmary looked quiet, as close to deserted as it ever got, and slipped in through a back door. He’d made his way through the building largely unobserved, and ducked into an empty examination room to rifle through the supply cabinets. He was as good as a patient, anyway, because there was a three-month-old hole in his thigh that he had been treating just fine (read: mostly ignoring) himself until now – and, yes, it might have taken to oozing pus again in recent days, but that was probably because the creature-healer treatments he’d been borrowing from the zoo here were not entirely well-suited to infected bullet wounds. But he was confident he could sort this out himself, given the proper remedies. So, arguably, Conall was just saving their nursing staff time and effort by seeing to himself.

It might have been somewhat easier to be discreet about this if his leg hadn’t been a bitch to stand on all day, and protesting worse than usual; or if he had known the rhyme and reason to these store cupboards. He’d found some gauze alright, and then had gotten waylaid by the painkillers – he picked up one medicine bottle and knocked the rest of the shelf’s contents to the floor. “Damn it,” he muttered to himself, gritting his teeth as he tried to catch a loudly-rolling bottle with his foot.
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   Marlena Scamander

In Temperance’s estimation people were generally terrible and so, no matter what the lord said she ought to practice about forgiveness and tolerance, when she heard a shatter coming from a supply cabinet in the wee small hours of the morning she reacted by immediately pulling her wand from her pocket. There was no reason for anyone to be in there – she had meticulously prepared for the night shift herself, knowing several of the other nurses were ten kinds of useless – and none of the healers would bother themselves with bandages and gauze.

Theft was not uncommon. People were terrible, after all. Gentle she pushed the door open, tilting her head around the frame until she could see a figure riffing though her once perfectly organised shelves. He was not wearing a hospital gown or healer’s robes and so, with narrowed eyes Temperance aimed her wand.

Incarcerous,” she said sharply, unmoved when he – of course it was a he - was immediately wrapped in strong, black ribbons. She flicked her wand to bring up the lights and quickly crossed to the interloper.

“What on earth do you think you’re doing-” Her eyes widened, her mouth dropped open. Of course it was him: even after all this time she ought to have known he would reappear like an unfortunate fashion trend. “What are you doing here?!
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   Tilda MacFusty

Wonderful set by Lady <3
[Image: B2bgZW.jpg]
He wouldn’t have given up so fast on the idea of getting out of there, even on a bum leg, if all his plans of escape hadn’t been shattered by one bloody well-placed spell.

In the moments afterwards, all corners of the room – and his predicament – were illuminated, as indeed was the identity of his captor. Oh. He ought to have known it would be her, patrolling the corridors of the darkened infirmary like a prison guard, sweeping vengefully down the halls... but the unexpected stab of pleasure Conall might have felt at seeing her again was followed, swiftly, by a pang of irritation at her godawful timing.

And she did sound more horrified by his identity than any other part of this. “Well, not a whole lot now, am I?” Conall intoned all the same, with no shortage of sarcasm. Even shrugging his shoulders was no longer a straightforward task, trussed up like a turkey like he was.

Unfortunately – honoured as he was to be met with Fairchild’s unending wrath once more – Conall wasn’t certain he could see a graceful way out of this one yet. (Begging for mercy, he suspected, wouldn’t help in the least.)

There was a moment, however brief, when Temperance contemplated leaving the binds in place for the purposes of their conversation. Perhaps without his ability to move around in quite such a louche manner he wouldn’t be quite so adept at getting under her skin? It was certainly a possibility and he seemed more annoyed at having being stalled in his theft than being caught in the act itself, so she really ought to report him.

However, one look at his leg immediately compelled her to flick her wand and remove the cords as neatly as she had sent them. She was, after all, still a nurse and took that as seriously as she took everything else.

“What happened?” She asked briskly, taking his arm to keep him upright. He seemed to be managing so far but one never knew with leg wounds when they might go from being a nuisance to a crippling blow. This one looked like it was veering towards the latter – and as much as Mr MacKay might irk he she certainly didn’t want him to die.

(At the moment he seemed headed towards a light infection at worst but it was always best to err on the side of caution.)

“Get on the bed.” She instructed, manoeuvring him towards the small, musty gurney in the corner of the room.

Wonderful set by Lady <3
[Image: B2bgZW.jpg]
He huffed in relief when she released him from the binds. Pity, that relief didn’t last: now she was looking at him and asking questions and already fussing, and that was precisely what he’d been attempting to avoid by breaking in, damn it.

So – “I am not getting on the bed,” Conall said flatly, turning towards her and putting his hand on Fairchild’s arm to try and hold her back, stop her from making any progress getting them there if he could help it.

In spite of his resistance, her taking his arm had perhaps been timely, because even standing up was feeling like a monumental task at the present moment. “I just – need a couple things, and I’ll sort myself out,” Conall protested – but teetered suddenly on the spot and, in a new wave of panic, had to clutch at her more tightly to steady himself. Christ.

For whatever reason – be it the smell of sterile gauze and the permeating odour of illness, or else the aggressively white-washed walls around them – Temperance felt far more at ease in Mr MacKay’s company than she ever had before. Perhaps it was because they were in her domain? Or perhaps it was because he was the one at a disadvantage? Either way she didn’t flinch when he tried to push her away and instead doubled her grip; which was just as well when he began to teeter.

“I ought to have known you’d be a difficult patient,” she said, her voice full of the tut she felt building within her. “I’m not proposing you admit yourself as a patient, just –” she shook her head, exasperated and genuinely concerned he might fall and pull her down with him. “Just let me take a look and I’ll let you go after that. You clearly don’t know what you’re doing or else you’d have done it by now,” she said pointedly.

Wonderful set by Lady <3
[Image: B2bgZW.jpg]
It was lucky she knew him well enough to correct herself at once, because at calling him a difficult patient, Conall’s eyes had already widened in affront. Hell if he was going to be anyone’s patient. “I know what I’m doing,” Conall ground out... but even he had to admit that perhaps she had a point. Because if he let go of her, shook her off now – even grabbing some painkillers on his way – how far exactly was he going to make it down the hall before he passed out or fell on his face?

Conall glanced at the door once more, as if he could see all his escape routes closing up on him in real time. He glanced at Fairchild again. (Somehow it was worse that it was her offering to help, and not just some stranger he could scare off. She was too unrelenting to shake.)

“Oh, fine, he conceded bitterly, teeth gritted as he changed tack and propped himself against the edge of the gurney. If he was going to do this, his mantra had already become hurry up and get this bloody over with; he reached down and tugged off his trousers entirely – ignoring the rush of dizziness from the unbalancing movement of it – and rolled one leg of his drawers up his thigh so she could see the bullet wound in its full unpleasant glory.

At least she would keep her word about not admitting him, he was sure, which was better than he might have gotten with a strange nurse. Fairchild still owed him one after nearly drowning on him. “It’s not new,” Conall pointed out, because he’d survived since October on this leg, however shabby his treatment of it had been. (The pus and his increasing inability to put weight on it now were not much helping his case.) “And I’m still alive.”

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