Description: After her run-in with Skullomania and Lita, Honoka is in serious need of medical attention. Luckily, she knows a guy.
It started with a telephone call.
"Zach... I'm hurt. I need your help." Honoka's voice was weak and desperate, and almost didn't even carry over on the phone. But as soon as she'd heard Zach on the other end of the line, she'd handed the phone over to another recognizable voice: Sudo. The arrangements were terse, and no detail was given aside from the very mention that a doctor was working as hard as he could.
And that's how Zach would know that a small group of Twilight Star Circus cast and crew are currently holed up in a hotel room in Okazaki. It's a long drive from Southtown -- in fact, it's a long drive from anywhere but Nagoya, but it is at least upon one of the major thoroughfares. Sudo and three Twilight Star guards nod greetings to Zach as he approaches the second-floor hotel room. It's a blind hallway -- not easily susceptible to overhead surveillance, and thus -perfect- for someone trying to avoid the ever-present spectres of drones and high-powered sniper rifles.
As the door is opened, the scene looks... grim. Sheet plastic is all over one bed, and it's spattered in crimson. The Twilight Star staff physician -- another face which should be familiar to the American who's spent so much time with the circus -- finishes tying off the last stitch on an incision upon Honoka's right arm.
The incision is not alone; it has siblings all along Honoka's shoulders, her arms and legs, some across her face. Honoka wears a gauzy medical gown, and it seems she's even taken some stabs to the side as well.
She looks like she's lost a fight with an agricultural combine.
And yet, as she hears the door open, she slowly opens her eyes, craning her neck (at considerable pain) to look at the figure there.
"... Hey, you." Her breath may be weak, but she somehow manages to inject the warm familiarity that Zach may have come to expect from her. "Sorry for the late call..."
Zach had Takehiro drive him to the location, after advising Sudo that his cousin would be along for the ride. The reason was straight forward: Zach didn't have a driver's license. His cousin performed admirably, and Zach did not ask him where he learned to drift race like that. Zach steped through the door with a sense of purpose, the red-headed Japanese man bringing what appeared to be a professional-grade toolbox.
It turns out that the Medkit Supreme might not be necessary, as the physician finished the work. Zach frowns. "Holy hell," he breathes. "Shhhh," he says as he kneels beside the bed. He takes one of her hands and carefully smoothes back Honoka's hair with the other. Takehiro opens the kit, pulling out a smaller cooler. Takehiro gets into a quiet conversation with the physician while Zach looks between Sudo and Honoka.
The physician steps aside, communicating to Takehiro that while there were a great number of injuries, by and large Honoka had enough mobility during the attack to know how to minimize the effects of the damage. Various compliments are given about the acrobat's durability and her own knowledge of the body's limitations -- she knew how to triage her own injuries best, after having witnessed so many injuries within the circus to date.
Zach will likely have the opportunity to eavesdrop on a few of these accolades, considering that Honoka takes a few moments to work up the nerve to answer. She does smile back as her boyfriend smooths her hair back, sinking into the pillow in some modicum of relaxation. Her hair has been washed recently -- it's damp, and the pink highlights are in place, suggesting that it was necessary to get the blood rinsed out.
"... A misunderstanding." She forges on with a grin, though the blonde psion would be able to sense that she's not being intentionally vague -- she just needs to choose her words economically, given the pain.
Her responses are slow and deliberate as she labors with each phrase. "Vega... stole my yo-yo. And planted it. While a girl... my size... murdered... a yakuza boss."
She tries to shrug, but she'd forgotten the consequence of that involved pain lancing through her. Without the adrenaline of the fight to steel her nerves -- it hurts. Quite a bit. Her forehead knits together tightly, and she focuses on inhaling and exhaling to return calm to her system.
"Doc's good though... he says I should... be on stage again... six to eight weeks. If we even... have a stage." She musters another smile.
Sudo crosses his arms. He -looks- cross at Honoka. "Wouldn't have happened at all if you hadn't run off."
"What was I -supposed- to do, Sudo?" she snaps. "Go -with- you to the strip club? Bored off my ass... following you guys..."
Zach frowns, and pushes down the twin spikes of fear and anger at the mention of Vega's actions, followed by the disagreement between Honoka and Sudo. "That many cuts," Zach says softly, "I..." Zach specifically does not mention that there is a good chance this is beyond his ability to fix quickly. It'd certainly be faster than six to eight weeks, though. "There's a lot of work here." Zach takes inventory before speaking again.
"Hiro," he asks softly. "Two packs of O-neg coming up," his cousin informs. Takehiro moves to the other side of the bed, quietly apologizing to Honoka as he prepares the IV.
"I can close these up a bit better," Zach explains, "But I can't replace any blood you've lost. Takehiro's got blood packs and antibiotics." Zach takes a deep breath before glancing at Sudo with a slight frown.
"Sudo, I need you to step outside. Keep an eye out for trouble," Zach says, his eyes never leaving Sudo. "This... It's going to take a lot of focus, and it'll be easier for me to concentrate on this if I know you are out there with the others."
With that, Zach looks away from the other man, and starts to align his thoughts and will with what he wants to do.
"... They... caught me by surprise. One jackass... even... used a /sword/, can you believe that..." She chuckles mirthlessly -- because a mirthful laugh would hurt a hell of a lot more.
She nods quietly in response to Zach, but when he makes the simple -suggestion- of needing blood, only to have it answered so quickly, Honoka's eyes widen. "... You just... carry bags of the rarest blood type around? I have to beg these jokers to bring -water- when they go out and about..." She smirks faintly, winking back at the doctor -- who doesn't laugh.
Sudo's frown intensifies as Zach basically shoos him away with the cold disregard reserved for a subordinate -- not the respect of an equal. The Twilight Star chief of security does -not- recognize Zach's authority, and looks instead to the one person whose opinion does matter to him. It takes a rather insistent look from Honoka to convince him to step back.
"Y'all g'wan 'head. Ah'll be fine," is delivered in Honoka's reassuring Hokkaido drawl.
A moment later, the door will make a click to signify that he's followed Zach's order.
<< I believe in you, Zach. More than I trust anyone else in the world... >>
To be fair, Zach worded the request as best he could, given the circumstances. Every word of it was also /true/. He trusted Sudo's competence in these kinds of things. Also, in a way, this is a medical procedure, and Sudo was not strictly speaking medical personnel. "Takehiro does when he knows he's about to double as a combat medic," Zach replies lightly. "It's... a work thing, and it works out for us in this case." Zach takes his hands away from Honoka, placing them together almost as if he's about to pray. Honoka's seen him do this before; maybe it's part of some ritual or mental preparations. The hands take on a faint golden glow.
"This is going to take some time if I am going to do it right," Zach repeats. "If I do it right, it won't even scar." Zach gently places one hand on Honoka's forehead, the other over her heart. "Just rest," he says. "I've got you."
With that, Zach takes another deep breath, and goes to work.
Honoka nods quietly, closing her eyes as she relaxes, trusting in the warm sensations suffusing throughout her. "Okay."
One anomaly about Honoka, though, is that she rarely if ever truly -sleeps-. Her mind enters a low-activity state -- that much is certain -- but yet, she's always analyzing. Always thinking. And in this case, she lets her mind wander about, paying attention to what Zach's doing in minute, exacting detail.
The placement of his hands.
The ebb and flow of his psychic energies.
The thoughts going through his head.
And of course, their resultant effect on Honoka's physical form.
It may become apparent to Zach that Honoka -had- been been injured internally, in places that seem to have already healed over. They seem like old wounds -- and yet, at the same time, they don't.
Zach's thoughts are fairly simple at this point, and focused solely on helping Honoka heal herself. He's not so much directing the energy past the placement of his hands so much as allowing Honoka to direct the energies where they are most needed. It's very much as if Zach were simply a battery pack for Honoka's own systems. He probably could have placed his hands anywhere, but it's probably not a coincidence that he places them on major chakra points.
His concern is likely the first thing she picks up on; Zach's seen enough fighting to know that this batch of injuries is not trivial. There are other thoughts flitting about, but they are mere background noise, aside from one thought to remember to buy Sudo a beer after this is over. He got the feeling he had insulted the man and had not at all meant to.
Whatever had caused those yakuza to go after her, they must have thought she really had done the deed. That seems unlikely, but it might also explain the attack on the circus itself.
Zach forces that thought to the back of his mind for now; the work in front of his is fairly significant.
The truth of the matter is -- Honoka -did- possess some ability to knit together her own wounds, allowing her to mitigate the bad hand dealt to her. But that ability has, largely, been limited to what she was able to sustain in the heat of the fight -- critical wounds knitted back into less severe states.
Honoka flinches with the realization that Zach is helping her in such a fashion -- that he's actually -enabling- her to heal herself. It's largely due to his own guidance that she'd consulted her grandmother's archives -- and it's through this session of healing that she's able to connect some of the teachings with the actual sensations she's feeling. And with Zach's psionic presence guiding her own energies...
<< ... This is... amazing... I never thought... >>
The words spill out unbidden, a simple afterthought. She hadn't meant to interrupt him, and realizing that she's -projected- the thoughts brings a slight blush to her cheeks.
Suffice to say, she's not as attuned with everyone so well as Zach.
She instead focuses her intentions upon remedying the wounds she didn't have -time- to address in the middle of her combat. Deep wounds -- more consistent with a katana, like she'd suggested.
A chill races down her spine as the IV is added, its lifegiving blood a few degrees colder than her own. It's comforting, all the same, and she flashes a brief smile in the direction of Takehiro without quite opening her eyes.
Zach takes in a sharp breath as Honoka... reacts to certain realizations. The sudden communication did not metaphorically jar his elbow so much as make him take a moment to recenter. <<A lot of people don't realize how much they actually do on their own,>> Zach admits. <<You're the one doing all the work. I'm just providing you the energy to do it.>> Zach takes a shuddering breath at the realization of just how badly she had been injured. Zach may not be directing any of the work, but that doesn't mean he's not paying attention to how the energy is being used.
<<It's a miracle you made it back here,>> Zach thinks. <<Thank God,>> he says more as an expression of relief than any direction to Honoka.
<< Huh. >> Honoka smiles faintly, taking pains to ensure that she doesn't sap more of her boyfriend's energy than absolutely necessary. Yes... she's been injured quite a bit -- but, as he's said, there's wounds she was able to heal, and some wounds that still bear the mark of the doctor's scalpel that need to be addressed more thoroughly.
Honoka smiles, still with her eyes closed -- though she is pivoting her head towards Zach now, rather than his cousin.
<< ... It looks like someone's gonna need a trip to Denny's, then. >>
<<Denny's is always good,>> Zach agrees. He looks over at Takehiro, a slight wrinkle crossing his brow. Honoka likely doesn't notice it, doesn't know what to look for, but Zach realizes his cousin is getting a bit uncomfortable.
"Hiro," he says softly. "Do me a favor? Go get a six pack of Sapporo Premium? In bottles?" Takehiro stands with a slight bow. "Make sure Mister Sudo gets the first bottle," Zach adds before turning back to Honoka. The physician can change IV bags if needed while Takehiro is out.
<<Use what you need,>> Zach says as Honoka eases off of the throttle. <<If the food doesn't get me back to right, a nap afterwards will. It's better if we don't stop if we can help it.>> Zach takes another deep breath.
Honoka's brow furrows slightly as Zach asks his cousin for assistance -- it seems a little odd, but then she begins to understand why -- judging from the sensations she is starting to pick up from Takehiro.
It's only then that she realizes how much warmer the room is. All that energy had to go -somewhere-, and judging from the growing level of discomfort, it's got to be stifling for the other two. She keeps herself from saying anything -- Zach's already said anything that needs to be said, after all.
<< Okay... >> she responds, taking the energy as bidden and using it as she needs to mend her body. << Once we get this plastic up, there'll be plenty of places to sleep. The guys've got the room next door, too, so we don't have to worry about sharing... >>
Six to eight weeks? Pff. There's things she needs to do in the meantime.
Zach's used to it, really. He knew Takehiro was not, however. Which is why the cousin was sent on the beer run. <<Do you want me to stay,>> Zach asks as he takes another deep breath. <<Otherwise, Takehiro can drive me home.>>
Honoka winces as she works through a particularly tender snarl in her lower leg -- her toes twitch as she untangles the improperly-mended muscle fibers back into their proper order. << Nnf... Well, unless you've got better plans for the evening, I want you right here with me, mister. >>
After some delay, Honoka cracks one eye open to look up at the Twilight Star doctor. "You did great work, Doc -- I'd probably be dead without you. But I think we got it from here, if you wanna take a break...?"
Gratefully, the doctor -- already pulling his collar away from his neck from how much warmer it seems to have gotten, bows his head to the performer. "I'll be back to check on your IVs in a moment, then..."
Honoka nods drowsily as the doctor excuses himself, stepping outside for a bit of fresh air.
And then the juggler places her hand on Zach's, closing her eyes once again with a peaceful smile.
Log created on 21:47:55 02/28/2016 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 11:36:41 02/29/2016.