Notes: I just needed a Rogue One fix-it where the team lives - metaphorically, and also literally - to drive the Rebel Alliance medics insane. Written with only a casual viewer and reader's knowledge of Star Wars canon.
The thing about Rogue One, the medics quickly learn, is that they're all terrible patients. They have long experience with Cassian Andor, of course, and so they know what to expect whenever he's carried or wheeled or otherwise transported into the medbay. That's the only way he ever comes in - Praaxa swears she had to chase him down in the mess once, just to give him the standard immunizations required for every Alliance member who regularly goes offworld.
"And even then," she tells Hotchin, eyestalks trembling, "I had to corner him by the proteins and threaten to ground him. They're just hyposprays! No one's afraid of hyposprays!"
The medics are inclined to feel a little offended by this behavior, since they've saved Andor's life at least six times in the last year alone. For a medbay stocked intermittently via smuggler and staffed with medical malcontents, they do a damn good job. They even patched Andor up when he was carted in unconscious with a fractured spine after the battle at Scarif. And then, when he finally regained consciousness, his first question - after what happened to his team - was when he could leave. But Leera just shrugs at Praaxa and Hotchin from where she's reorganizing the meds. "Not everyone likes hospitals. Sometimes they have good reasons."
Jyn Erso, on the other hand, seems like a model patient, at first; not polite, precisely, but compliant provided that you give her what she wants (status reports on her team members; that one officious medical droid sent far, far away.) And her scans are such that the medics feel a bit sorry for her.
"See that?" Leera points to the bioscanner readout. "That's a closed fracture that was set and healed without bacta or bone stabilizer. It probably took 10, 12 weeks before she could use that hand again. And it'll always be a bit weaker because of it."
"Poor thing," Medin says, and looks over to where Erso is currently sleeping the peaceful sleep of the heavily sedated. "That's barbaric."
Leera shrugs. "It's not uncommon on the Outer Rim. I did some work out there, in rural clinics after I graduated."
"Huh." Medin, who grew up on Coruscant, the son of one of the planet's premiere surgeons, clearly doesn't know what to think of people not having access to basic medical care. But then a monitor droid starts beeping about oxygen levels and another starts shrieking about a catheter, and a third starts bitching about its battery levels.
And then they discover that medbay supplies left around Jyn Erso tend to disappear. Nothing contraband or dangerous - she's not squirreling away stims or sedatives, at least as far as they can tell. But: a roll of bandages. A field suture kit. A tube of burn ointment. Painkillers, the low-grade sort you'd take for cramps or a headache.
"She stole a whole pack of bacta patches!" Medin fumes to Praaxa as they watch Erso leave the medbay and head toward quarters, her arm freshly bandaged. "I don't know how she did it, but she did." '
"Should we report it?" Praaxa asks. "There's no proof, but we're short on supplies as it is."
Across the room, Hotchin adjusts an IV and shrugs. "She's not taking anything dangerous or rare, or even that expensive. If she does, we can. Until then, let's see what she does with them."
"Nothing good, I'm sure," Medin - whose opinion of Jyn Erso has been downgraded from "poor little thing" to "dirty gutter thief" - says, and bundles the grimy sheets from Erso's gurney into the 'fresher.
Bohdi Rook is another thing entirely. He's polite and quiet, but they learn very quickly that they cannot restrain him, at all, not even a little, under any circumstances. The time he needs a long slash in his forearm stitched up goes very poorly until they figure out that he'll let Chirrut, and only Chirrut, hold his arm steady. The blind not-a-Jedi cracks terrible jokes while Leera works. Rook sweats and twitches and laughs, reluctantly, and manages to wait until she ties the last knot before snatching his arm away.
"There." Leera pushes the suture kit aside and reaches for the antiseptic and gauze. "Come back tomorrow so we can take a look at it and change the bandage, all right?"
"All right," Rook agrees, and dashes for the door just as soon as the bandage adheres.
"There's gratitude," Medin snipes. Chirrut raises an eloquent eyebrow in Medin's direction. Medin flushes a little and finds something else to do in another room.
Except then Rook shows up 4 hours later. "Why are you here? You don't need your bandage changed yet," Medin tells him, aggravated, and Rook looks confused but agrees and wanders off again. And then he shows up 48 hours later, flushed, and his wound is red and seeping.
"This is infected," Praaxa scolds, even as she gives Rook a hypo of a fast-acting antibiotic. “Why didn’t you come back when you started to feel sick?”
“I… I don’t know?” Rook says, hesitant. “I lost track of time?” And the medbay staff exchange glances across gurneys and cabinets and droids, because they know what this is about -- well, not really. No one knows what Saw Gerrera’s monster did. It’s not as though they have a group of survivors to study. They have a research population of one, Bodhi Rook, and his scars and his extremely abnormal neuroscans. Everything they know suggests that Rook should be dead or staring vacantly into space, not flying ships and fleecing the other pilots blind at sabacc. The fact that he occasionally forgets what day it is seems relatively minor, in context.
"Okay,” Praaxa says. “Here’s what we’re going to do.” And she grabs Rook’s datapad, flips through to the timing screen and sets an alarm for once a day. Grabs Rook’s wrist, strips off his chrono and syncs the alarms. Labels both as “GO TO MEDBAY.” “If you’re on planet, when this alarm goes off, you come here. When we're done with you, we'll turn off the alarm until next time.”
“Next time?” Rook asks.
Praaxa rolls her eyes, one in each direction. “You’re in the Rebel Alliance - of course there's going to be a next time.”
Which isn't true, of course, but Rook seems to take it as reassurance, and leaves smiling.
And the medbay staff are not sheltered, okay? They’ve treated everyone in the Alliance for everything, from an outbreak of peckerpox among the pilots (which led to mandatory remedial sex ed classes for all flight personnel, both hilarious and horrifying) to blaster burns to a Wookie with a splinter. But the common thread among these are patients who tell you things, either with words - “I can't imagine how this happened, we’re always so careful” - or by yelling and flailing when you press in exactly the right spot.*
Baze Malbus is not that sort of patient. “What’s wrong?” Hotchin tries. Malbus stares back, impassive. He's still carrying his enormous backpack-gun-rope-thing. Hotchin has no idea what it is, which is just one reason he serves on this end of the Alliance and not the other. “Why are you here?”
“Cassian said I had to come,” Malbus says, sounding bored. Someone snorts from a screened cubicle - Medin, probably.
“Did Captain Andor happen to say why you should come to the medbay?”
Hotchin grabs a handheld bioscanner and holds it up so Malbus can see it. “Do you have any symptoms to report? Anything you'd like us to look at?”
“No,” Malbus says, and shifts so that he can cough politely into his sleeve. His cough sounds like an angry Wookiee, a sound with which Hotchin is unfortunately familiar.
“It sounds like you may have pneumonia,” Hotchin suggests, very mildly.
Malbus considers this. “I usually sound like this in the winter.”
Chronic seasonal lung issues, Hotchin notes. “Cold weather can irritate the lungs."
“We were just on Hoth,” Malbus offers grudgingly.
“It's pretty cold there,” Hotchin agrees. It sounds like Medin is choking on his own laughter. Hotchin half-hopes it kills him for real, except no one else can make the medbay caf taste better than engine cleaner. “We can probably treat it.”
“Antibiotics, maybe an anti-viral, depending on what type of infection you've got. We can find that out with a quick bioscan or blood test. It's pretty straightforward, unless you have any allergies.”
Malbus looks intently at the far wall, as though his medical history is written there for anyone to see. “No,” he says finally, which could mean anything, except then he shifts his cannon-thing off his back and slings it into a nearby chair before sitting down on a gurney, and honestly? The man looks tired. Which is not surprising if he's been going on surprise trips to Hoth with walking pneumonia.
"This would be a good opportunity for us to get a full medical history from you," Hotchin tries.
Malbus glares. "No."
So that just leaves Chirrut Imwe, and honestly? He never comes to the medbay. He shows up when one of the others is injured -- particularly Malbus, and always for Rook -- but otherwise he seems to be miraculously immune to injury or disease. Which makes no sense.
"He doesn't have a sight-droid," Leena frets over a cup of the toxically strong medbay caf. "And this place is full of stairwells, and access ports and cables. I trip over things all the time."
"He has a cane, sort of," Medin offers from where he's draped across a vacant biobed. "He seems pretty capable."
"Of course he's capable," Leena says, stirring her caf viciously. "But except for Scarif, he hasn't been in for as much as a stubbed toe."
"Well, Scarif," Hotchin says, and they all pause a moment to consider how much time Imwe spent immobilized in bacta after Scarif.
"Maybe he used up all of his bad luck," Praaxa suggests.
"Maybe he's made of good luck," Hotchin proposes instead, and that honestly seems more likely.
"He's still due for off-world hypos," Praaxa says, and grabs her medkit.
*Hotchin had an instructor at the medical academy who called this the "stratosphere sign" -- because that's what the patient jumps towards when you hit it.