(Thursday 16th, April)
She watched Tessa jog away, returning her wave, a content smile on her face. She watched her have a quick discussion with Gavin before entering Natalie Bree's. Sighing, Nyla turned and looked into the Davids children room, a sad look on her face as she watched a machine assist a six-year-old in breathing.
Gavin had said something about finding the person responsible meaning someone had most likely caused that crash. Who would ever want to see a six-year-old so alone and vulnerable? What purpose would causing a crash like that have? Her gaze moved to the now blind ten-year-old, and her heart grew heavier. The site was painfully familiar.
Memories of a call about a horrific accident flooded Nyla's mind, and she had to look away from the injured children, redirecting her gaze to the floor as she willed the memories away. A beeping noise cleared all traces of the past from her mind, and she reached into her pocket, grabbing out her pager.
She glanced at it quickly and then started making her way towards the elevator, stopping at the reception desk to remained the nurses to update her with any changes. She pressed the floor for the Burn ICU and put her hands in her pocket, watching the numbers climb. The elevator reached her floor, and she nodded at the rest of the people in the elevator as she got off. She headed straight for the reception desk, being careful to avoid an oncoming gurney.
"I was paged?" She asked a nurse at the desk. He looked up.
"Dr Correa! Yes," He grabbed a chart lying next to him and offered it to her. "Max Sky needs a once over before the nurses change his bandages." Nyla grabbed the chart and nodded her thanks, heading towards a now-familiar patient room. The chief had asked she stay on Max Sky's case until he was no longer at risk of sudden surgery so she'd asked the nurses to page her with anything regarding the injured scientist. Her eyes skimmed over the chart, taking in old and new information. She put on a pair of protective gloves as she neared his room and, grabbed a mask to be safe. He was still at high risk of infection after all.
Nyla reached the injured man's room and slid the door open, eyes still on chart. "Good morning, Mr Sky, how are you-" she cut herself off when she looked up and realised the room was occupied. By two giant policemen and a familiar handsome professor looking at her with a curious gleam. She fought down a blush. She really needed to start looking up when she entered rooms. "Oh, I didn't realise it was 'bring a cop to work' day."
The policemen frowned at her, clearly not understanding her words. She smiled kindly at them. "Can I help you, gentleman?" She inquired as she neared Max's bed. The older, greying one spoke up.
"Hello, ma'am. We were just questioning Mr Sky and Professor Lucien here about the accident at the lab two days ago." She took note of the man's lack of the word doctor and nodded. A quick glance at the expression of Max Sky told her everything she needed to know about their 'questioning session', and she instantly made up her mind.
"I see. Then please continue." She said as she stepped up towards Max's bed and started fiddling with the monitor showcasing his vitals. Silence followed her words for a few seconds before the policeman spoke up again.
"Uh ma'am, this is a private interview." Nyla looked at the two men.
"And I understand that however I am this man's doctor and he is due for his hourly check-up," The policeman opened his mouth to counter, but she didn't let him. "I'm sorry, but Mr Sky here is an ICU patient, meaning his in intensive care and check-ups cannot be skipped or delay under any circumstances." She smiled at the two men. "You're welcome to continue your interview; however, you'll have to do it with me here."
The older policeman sent a glare her way but after a couple seconds nodded. She looked down at Max and winked before turning back to the monitor, feeling a shiver run down her spine at a familiar gaze directed towards her back. "Can you tell us what happened next, Mr Sky?" The younger policeman asked, and the injured man nodded slowly.
"We continue on with the experiment as planned, and everything was going smoothly until one of the boilers got too hot," Nyla made eye contact with Lucien who nodded, confirming everything the man was saying was true, "A bit of water escaped and short-circuited everything, c-causing a s-spark," Max stopped as he began to tremble. Nyla discreetly checked his IV line as a way of comfort, and the man continued after a few seconds "A spark that started a fire." He finished, and the younger policeman nodded.
The older then spoke up. "Is that true, Professor?" He directed a mean stare at Lucien who coolly nodded, not waving under the hostile look.
"Yes." The policeman smirked.
"But you weren't in the room." Lucien smiled at the man, though it held no warmth.
"I looked at the security footage, it caught everything that happened in that room." The policeman's smirk vanished instantly, and Nyla looked down at the ground to hide her smile.
"So, this was just an accident?" Lucien nodded.
"Yes, even scientists make miscalculations sometimes." The policeman scoffed.
"You must not be outstanding scientists then." He muttered, and Nyla frowned. He was a very bitter policeman. The greying policeman directed his gaze back at Max. "Could it be that your boss just didn't care about securing your safety?" He asked, that smirk back and Lucien's eyes darkened. Nyla's frown deepened, and she interrupted Max when he went to answer.
"And this interview is over." She said, and the bitter policeman directed his glare towards her.
"You can't do that!" Nyla smiled sweetly at him, pushing down her rising anger at the man's attitude.
"Yes, I can. I am this man's doctor and responsible for his health, and it's apparent that your questions are causing him stress which can be harmful to his recovery." She said calmly, and the man scoffed.
"So what? Stress is good." He said, and Nyla furrowed her eyebrows, directing her 'doctor glare', as Tessa called it, towards the policeman.
"Too much stress can cause death. Especially in critical patients," She said bluntly, and the man's glare lessened in intensity slightly "And you're not even technically supposed to be here." The man's eyes widened. "This is an intensive care unit meaning that every patient on this floor is in dire condition. Had you read the rules of this hospital you would know that you can't question this man without permission from his doctor which you didn't get." She looked at the ashamed man.
"Sorry, ma'am. We weren't aware." Nyla knew he was lying but didn't feel like pushing the issue. She sighed
"I understand, and please it's, doctor." She clarified, and the policeman nodded. He bowed towards Max and Lucien.
"I apologise for my unprofessional behaviour. It was an injustice to ask such questions." Nyla smiled at the man with forgiving warmness.
"It's already forgotten." She said, and the man nodded. The policemen began to leave, and Nyla escorted them out. "Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions." The older policeman nodded.
"Will do. Thank you, Doctor." Nyla nodded and watched the two men leave. She then gestured for a nurse to come over.
"Those two policemen, did you see them come in?" Nyla asked quietly, and the nurse shook her head.
"No, but can I have a look at the visitors' log and get back to you?" Nyla nodded her head, and the nurse walked away. Nyla gently closed the door to Max's room and sighed. She had not expected to have to deal with the police twice in one day.
"Are you okay?" A velvety voice asked, and Nyla turned her head to see Lucien standing behind her, looking at her with concern. She smiled at him.
"Of course. Nothing I can't handle." Lucien nodded and followed behind Nyla as she walked over to Max "Now that their gone, I'll continue where I left off. How are you today?" She asked the man, and he smiled.
"Okay. Pains not as bad today but that's probably because I'm filled with morphine, right?" Nyla nodded her head and took off her stethoscope.
"Yes, a nurse is coming to change your bandages in about 10 minutes, and it's better if you're a little," She made a loopy gesture and Max let out a chuckle. She smiled and put the stethoscope to his chest "Now take in a deep breath." Max obeyed, and Nyla listened to his heart.
"Is that why you're here?" Lucien asked, once again sitting down in his seat and staring at her curiously. Nyla directed her smile at him.
"I'm his doctor meaning I do all his check-ups," She stood up straighter, putting the stethoscope around her neck once again "Unless of course, I'm in surgery, stuck with another patient or not working, in which case another doctor will examination him, but I'll still sign off on it later though." Lucien leaned his head on his hand, his curiously turning to amusement.
"But you're a trauma surgeon? Not a plastic surgeon. Aren't there other patients more suited for your talents?" Nyla felt herself flush at his teasing words even though there was nothing embarrassing about them. She coughed.
"Mr Sky may be a burn patient, but his also a trauma patient. Besides," She looked down at the ground, the red dusting her cheeks deepening a little. "I'm very well trained in the treatment of burns." She felt Lucien's happiness increase at her reaction, and she pointedly ignored his gaze for the rest of the examination.
"Will I always look like this?" Max muttered a few minutes later, and Nyla looked up from writing in his chart, slightly surprised "Like some damaged monster?"
She glanced at Lucien to see him frowning at Max, having also heard his question. Nyla smiled down at Max "You do not look like a damaged monster, Max." She said gently, and he scoffed
"How would you know?" He asked, and Nyla's smile turned sorrowful.
"Because I've seen monsters and often they look like everyone else." She felt Lucien's gaze turn to her and quickly glanced at him, seeing his eyes filled with worry and curiosity but no pity. "And scars only look ugly if you believe that they are." Max looked at her with hesitation but nodded. She went back to writing in her chart. "And the skin grafts needed to help heal your 3rd-degree burns will help hide any of the really bad scarrings." She felt Max's spirits rise at that, and she looked up, smiling at him.
Her pager went off, and she fished it out of her pocket, glancing at it. "Duty calls?" Lucien asked, a strange emotion in his voice. She looked up at him to see he was smiling warmly at her. She nodded, smiling back.
"Duty calls." She flipped shut Max's chart and put it back in its carrier on the end of the bed, stuffing her pen and pager back in her pocket. "I'll be back to check on you later though," She said before giving them one last smile and making her way out the room. She started heading towards the elevator when someone called her name.
"Dr Correa." She stopped and saw the nurse from earlier walking up to her. "I looked at the visitors' logs and saw there was no trace of the two policemen signing in." She handed Nyla a copy of the check-in sheet, and the doctor frowned at the lack of names. That would explain why she wasn't paged earlier. But how did they get into Max's room? Surely the nurse at the desk would have stopped them. She looked at the male nurse currently typing away on a computer. She'll talk to him about it later.
Nyla thanked the nurse and continued towards the elevator, pressing the bottom floor once she got on. Hopefully, the policeman really did forget to sign in, and the male nurse just failed to stop them, making it just a small misunderstanding and this bad feeling she had was unwarranted. Nyla sighed and put her hands in her pockets, gaze directed towards the ground. Unfortunately, her gut had yet to be wrong about these kinds of things.
Nyla let out a relieved sigh as she stepped off the elevator and into the unfamiliar hallway that led to her apartment. A place she hadn't seen since she'd rushed off to the E.R to help with the car crash victims. Sometimes being a caring surgeon was hard. But it also earned her a couples days off to officially move in. She started walking towards her door, thinking over the day's events.
She'd talk to the male nurse, and he'd told her that he hadn't been present when the policemen had arrived at the ICU. He'd appeared genuinely honest, and she'd forgiven him. Unfortunately, that meant that someone else had let the policemen into Max Sky's room since all visitors have to get cleared to go into a burn patient room and the policemen hadn't been wearing gloves.
She'd considered asking Lucien about it and had even begun to text him but then thought against. Why would he question two policemen walking into his colleague's room to ask questions about the accident? His lab was funded by the government after all, and such an accident would require an investigation to make sure no wrongdoing took place. And Max Sky was in the same boat so she couldn't ask them. In the end, she'd called Tessa about it who'd promised to look into.
Nyla reached her door and took out her key, unlocking it. She took in a deep breath and leaned her head against it, eyes closed. She really hoped she was being paranoid for no reason. The last thing she needed was a government conspiracy to blow up in her face or something similar.
"Someone looks very tried." A voice said, and Nyla tensed, quickly spinning around only to see Lucien smiling at her with a teasing gleam in his eyes. She relaxed and let out a sigh.
"Oh, Professor Lucien, it's you." He tilted his head curiously, eyes scanning over her body.
"Of course, I'm the only other resident on this floor. Why, were you expecting someone else?" He asked that teasing tone back. Nyla smiled a tired smile.
"A friend of ours?" She said, throwing back to their first conversation. Lucien smiled at the reference and took a step closer.
"You do look very tried, though. Just got home?" He inquired, and Nyla nodded, leaning back against her door.
"Yeah," She closed her eyes and chuckled quietly "I never seem to realise how tired I am until I'm standing out front of my door." Lucien hummed in agreement.
"I want to thank you for today," Nyla blinked her eyes open, staring at the professor before her with confusion "For chasing away those policemen." Nyla smiled at him.
"No need. No one should have to answer questions like that, even if they do help with an investigation." Lucien looked at her with some sort of fascination, as if he'd never heard that belief before. "Besides, it's kind of my job." She added on as an afterthought.
"Regardless, I'd still like to thank you." She titled her head curiously.
"How so?" She asked, and he leaned forward, an amused glint in his eyes.
"Can I borrow you for the weekend?" He asked, and Nyla blinked, a little confused. He wanted to 'borrow' her?
"To do what?" She asked, and he smiled happily
"Go on walks together, share meals, while away the time..." He trailed off before leaning in even closer. "In conventional terminology, I believe that's called dating."
Nyla felt herself flush at his words and proximity "D-dating?" She stuttered, and Lucien chuckled.
"Don't read too much into it. We're just pursuing interesting activities together." Nyla nodded, a bit absent-minded. "Is that a yes?" He inquired, and Nyla broke out of whatever daze she'd been caught in. She smiled brightly at him.
"Yeah, okay. Sounds great!" She said, and Lucien leaned back, smiling.
"Excellent." He said, and Nyla felt her curiosity swell.
"So where are we going?" She asked, and he winked at her.
"It's a secret." He said, and Nyla nodded.
"Well, I don't have work for the next few days so that shouldn't be a problem." Lucien's eyes widened.
"Oh, really?" He asked, and she nodded.
"Yeah, my boss gave me a few days off to make up for the ones I lost by coming in to help with the car crash victims." Lucien's eyes flooded with sorrow.
"I heard about the crash on the news. Was it really as bad as they said?" Nyla nodded, the happy buzz she'd gotten from Lucien's request fading. "Then you must be exhausted. Go and get some rest. I'll call you on Friday once I get off work."
She nodded again and got up off the door, opening it up. She turned back to look at the professor "Goodnight, Lucien" She smiled and offered little wave before heading into her apartment and closing the door.
He stood there watching the door for a little while before heading back into his apartment, that small smile still present. He hadn't expected to run into Nyla at all that day. He'd assumed she was no longer Max's doctor since he wasn't an E.R patient anymore and she hadn't come in to check on him the day before, but it appeared he was wrong. He remembered the look of shock and confusion that had passed over her face when she'd seen the two policemen. But that was quickly replaced with that glowing smile.
She'd surprised him again when she'd refused to leave the room because of the interview and then she'd stood up for herself when the older policeman had been trying to subtly ridicule her. She'd been angry for him when he'd been insulted and had forgiven for him when he'd planned not to. She'd treated both men with kindness even after they'd taken advantage of her trust. His confusion increased after she'd admitted to knowing monsters. She was a mystery, and he was determined to figure her out...