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Dec 16, 2019 8:46 AM
valentine acquires a new house
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He glances up, as they enter.

"...he'll be holding your medication?"

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"...yes. Thank you."

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Jean offers the medication to the doctor, silent.

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"...ah."

He takes it.

"This is what you took last night?"

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He nods.

"I keep it for work-related reasons. Cato has a count."

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"There were eighteen before. There should be sixteen now."

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He nods, reaches down to the floor and hands him another bottle.

"There are — twenty, now, here. Keep count of these as well."

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He nods.

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He looks back up at Jean.

"...you're the hand fracture?"

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"Yes, doctor."

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He kneels, gestures for Jean to come down with him and holds his hands out.

"Give me your hand."

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Jean complies.

(Who is this man? How much does he know? Who are all these people?)

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He holds Jean's hand carefully in his.

"This will be uncomfortable."

He turns it over, flattens out his fingers one by one, begins to examine his bleeding knuckles.

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Jean keeps his hand relaxed; doesn't react to the handling.

(Despite the small pain of it, there's something comforting about the careful touch. He savors it.)

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He blinks down at his palm.

"Have you been able to move your hand?"

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"The motion is slightly off, but yes."

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He squeezes, gently, across his hand, comes to the bone just below his little finger.

Then he presses down there, too.

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It hurts.

So does everything else. Jean doesn't bother showing any of it.

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"...boxer's fracture. And very high pain tolerance."

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Jean already knew both these things. "Thank you."

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"You'll need to come in. I need an x-ray and you may need surgery."

He glances at Valentine.

"If it matters."

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"It matters."

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Jean, reaching the end of his self-control all at once, asks "why?," and then bites his tongue.

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"...you're still alive, aren't you? And suffering."

He glances down at Jean's swollen hand.

"Besides. I haven't decided what I'll be doing with you, yet."

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