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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:20 pm 
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She had noticed. Damn... So much for rolling eyes in the wrong places. At least the doctor did not seem to take it personally, for it had not been meant that way. Why it amused the other woman, though, was beyond her.

Just another scar for the collection... Sun muttered. And, just so you know, I was not rolling my eyes at you. At least not specifically. Her back was spangled with scars already and one more or less did not really matter to her. What mattered was the scolding that expected her at home tonight. Mentally she was already ticking off the list of things her husband would throw at her. They were no different from the lecture she had just heard, but still, they always hurt more than the physical pain.

Speaking of which, Sun was surprised that she felt very little, except for an occasional sting or burn and a mild lightheadedness from the ongoing blood loss. Others would probably be sobbing or fainting at this point. But it seemed as though she was beyond that, after all the injuries her body had seen over the years. Even during childbirth, the pain had failed to rattle her all that much.

"You've managed to slice down into the muscle, which means that this needs stitching. You've probably come within a millimetre of needing surgery." This piece of news left Sun relatively unfazed as well. I assume that's still better than escaping death by an inch, is it? She commented. Lucky me, really. I am not too hot on ending up under the knife again. Briefly, Sun turned a little to study Te Atua. Judging from the fact that she was already wearing scrubs, she assumed that it would not have been her first operation of the day, either. And you look as though you could do without another surgery for now, too.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:05 pm 
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Claire glanced up as the Major mentioned more scars. She'd read her medical file, of course, and knew some of the history, so didn't need to ask what she had meant. She ignored the remark about the eye rolling, and gingerly moved the fabric around the wound. She'd need access soon, which meant the top had to go.

"Are you able to get out of your top, or do I need to cut it off," she asked. It was only courtesy to make the offer, but, from the placing of the wound, and the way that the Major was holding herself, Claire thought that it was more likely that she'd need to get a pair of shears. "If it hurts too much, don't even try. It'll only aggravate the wound and whatever other injury you're carrying."

The woman's stony faced stoicism was concerning to Claire. She didn't think that Sharpe realised the severity of her injury. Sure, she'd suffered worse, but this was bad enough that she was seriously considering surgery. At the least, it was going to take a strong local anaesthetic to get it treated.

"Don't underestimate this injury," said Claire, reaching for a pair of gloves, snapping them on in practiced fashion. "The placement of it is going to prove problematic in everyday life, you know." Shoulder injuries were always awkward, and compounded with the fact that the wound was likely deep in the muscle, the recovery time could be considerable. "You realise this is going to keep you out of training for a while? Probably three or four months, at least." The muscle would need to knit back together, and she would also need to undergo physiotherapy.

Claire gave a rueful smile at Sharpe's observation about her having already operated that day. "And will probably have a couple more," she admitted. They were short handed that day, and she needed to muck in.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:10 am 
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"Just get the shears; to save you the hassle", Sun sighed. "That shirt is beyond rescue anyway." It was not the pain that made her decline the offer of undressing herself. It was pure practicality. She had no wish to shed even more blood today, lest someone got the idea to operate on her.

"And you need not worry about my pain level too badly. I'll let you know when it gets too much", she added more quietly. And she meant it. She understood that her wound was no child's play, but it did not mean she was suffering horribly. At least not yet... and she hoped it would stay this way. "That being said... I'm a little tired of sitting."

Sun stirred, trying to settle down on her good side. At least she was feeling the dizziness from the lost blood now. The faint sensation told her that she was not made of rock after all. It also reminded her to be less foolish with her sword in future.

"Three months is a very long time", she stated wistfully after hearing Doctor Te Atua's verdict. That was what she got for skewering herself. Sun was going to miss her favorite toy a lot. But it was not the first time she had to live without it either. "Just promise me not to confiscate the jian. I will take it home and let my husband keep it. He'll not even let me touch it when hell freezes over. Not to mention the tirade of abuse I'll get to hear for all this..." By now, the prospect of it made her smirk ironically.

Again, she stirred. But there seemed to be no way of getting comfortable on her side. So Sun distracted herself otherwise. "I should perhaps introduce you to that die-hard field medic back home. I'm sure you two would get on splendidly. That is, if you are not racing in and out of the OR. I suppose you hardly get any downtime, or do you?"

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:13 am 
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Claire shot the Major a look. Was the bloody woman deliberately being so "long suffering"? If she wanted compassion for the injury, she already had it. Thing was, though, the injury she had suffered this morning, while hardly a minor scrape, was far from the worst she had seen today. It was all Claire could do not to bite back and tell her not to feel so fucking sorry for herself. "It's no hassle for me," she replied, shaking her head. "I'm thinking about the pain you're in, that's all." She could tell just from looking at it that it would be hurting like buggery.

She twitched an eyebrow upwards. "Thing is, what you think you can take, versus what your body can actually handle... well, they're two different things," said Claire, expertly slicing up the back of the top with the shears, in one long, fluid movement. "There's no shame in admitting it hurts, Major Sharpe." Claire's voice had softened noticeably. "Admitting the level of pain is actually a good indicator to a doctor of the severity of the injury."

Keeping the dressing pressed to the wound, Claire stepped around to Sharpe's side, catching the woman's eye. Her face was serious. "Now, I need you to be honest. The cut... rate the pain out of ten, with ten being unbearable, the most painful you've ever experienced, and zero being... well, no pain at all." It would help to gauge the level of local anaesthetic to apply to the area.

Claire nodded. "Three months is likely the earliest you're going to be capable of some light training, and, even then you might not be able to wield a sword in that timeframe. It could take twelve months or more before you're back to normal." Depending on the other damage to the shoulder, too... well, it could take even longer, even with physiotherapy. "I won't confiscate the sword, no, but if I see it on base again before you're signed off..." Claire's voice held a warning note that broached no argument.

She snorted at the offer to introduce her to a field medic. "No use trying to pair me off, Major," she said, a grim smile in place. "Not interested." Besides, she would never date another doctor again. She would quite like to separate work and home, thank you very much. That was why nobody had been invited back to her apartment since she moved in. Claire shrugged. "I get as much downtime as anyone else, I suppose." She checked the dressing again, satisfied that the bloodflow was slowing enough to inject the anaesthetic and get stitching, once it had been cleaned up. "You have any problem with needles, Major?"


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:28 am 
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There's no shame in admitting it hurts... Sun had heard that line once too often. Nobody seemed to understand that it was not about some perceived humiliation when admitting pain or weakness. For her, it was about never knowing how to gauge the pain. Sure, it hurt, but was it already unbearable? Maybe it was this attitude that had gotten her through torture without breaking. She did not know.

The doctor had to think she was some cold bitch, putting on an act. And Sun was no stranger to this belief. But she was not comfortable with it in this particular situation. So she did her best to estimate the extent of her pain. The torture had probably been a 9, getting that bullet removed in the field had not been much better, so maybe a 7. And giving birth to her son without pain relief had been a 4 or 5; he had not been a very large baby after all...

"Honestly, I think it is a 6", she told Te Atua at last, thoughtfully creasing her brow. "But don't take my word for it. My frame of reference seems to be a bit screwed up."

The thought of being out of training for so long stung enough to increase the hurting by at least two points though. But Sun understood a warning when she heard one. "And I think I'll find other ways to entertain myself during recovery..."

Yet pairing the doctor off was certainly not one of them. How could she think that? The facial expression her suggestion had provoked spoke for itself. And it made her chuckle. "Besides, I think you misunderstood. The 'field medic' is already taken. I'm married to the poor sod. When he was still a Ranger, he specialised in it. And, whenever I'm unwell, that side of him comes out again. Well, either that or the Sergeant Major... I don't think I have to tell you how those make me feel."

Sun stirred, wincing a little as the edge of the dressing scraped against the edge of her wound. "Certainly worse than needles." Growing up, she had seen enough of those, with her adoptive mother's knack for acupuncture. That was another memory to make her smile quietly to herself.

"By the way, should you ever have too much downtime on your hands, you're still more than welcome to drop by for a coffee. Thomas and you would definitely get on well. Romantically, however, you probably have a much better taste than I do", she added with a wink. Somehow, she was slowly warming up to Doctor Te Atua.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:38 am 
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Claire had the feeling that the Major would play down the pain levels - most soldiers did. She'd seen grown men insisting the pain was a four, and then turn into gibbering wrecks the moment she went near the injury. When she proclaimed the pain was a six, Claire raised an eyebrow. "So that'll be at least a seven or eight, then," she replied, her tone laconic. "What about the other injury? Rate that for me, please."

Claire gave the Major a stern look. "Make sure you follow the advice, though, otherwise your shoulder is going to be even more munted than it already is." She raised her eyebrows. "And you'll be given a physio regime once the wound is healed, so you'd better stick to that, too." Sure, it was a little bit of a lecture, but she got the impression that the Major would do what she liked regardless.

She almost breathed a sigh of relief as Sharpe explained that the field medic she had referred to was her husband. Claire gave a small smile. "Thank god for that," she muttered. "I've never been fond of people trying to fix me up." It had happened far too often since she had left Tama. "Can you keep the dressing pressed on, please?"

Claire reached into a drawer beside the bed, extracting a sterile pack: tweezers, saline, cleaning pads, a small disposable bowl. She ripped open the pack, squirting the saline into the bowl. "Okay, you can let go now," she said, waiting for the Major to let go of the dressing before peeling it away. "This is going to sting, okay?" Claire swirled one of the cleaning pads in the saline, before picking it up with the tweezers and cleaning the wound with the utmost care.

"Thanks for the offer of a coffee, I'll consider it," she said, not really having any intention of going to the Major's house. Her socialising was largely restricted to the occasional night out at O'Malley's, the odd dinner in town, and that was about it. She tended to keep herself to herself.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:53 pm 
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Sun was actually glad the doctor knew what she was dealing with. Perhaps, in the real world, her pain amounted to something more serious. There was no harm in making a more generous estimation, to prevent passing out from the stitches. As she kept the dressing pressed to the wound, she awarded Te Atua a quick smile of gratitude. "The other wound should be about half of whatever the gash is. Judging from what I felt, it is more bruised than anything else... hopefully."

Despite her misunderstood callousness towards bigger injuries, she had a good sense of her body from years of training. If her muscles had suffered more than some bad bruising, she would usually sense it. Very gently, Sun tried to tense the shoulder muscles. Except for some aching and protesting, they did what they were supposed to do.

"But physio does sound like a damn good idea", she commented after a moment, knowing that she would not get bored after all. "If I may, some careful qigong would help the muscles to ease a bit better. I can't go about pretending to spear people all the time..."

When the saline touched her wound, Sun winced. Somehow she controlled it by biting her lip. Thank god this was only saline, and not rubbing alcohol. The last time that had happened to her, she had drawn blood with her teeth, eventually asking to be knocked out. Since it had been in the field and they had been pressed for time, that knockout had been a literal one. It had not been an elegant solution and she had not fully forgiven Thomas for it until this day.

Eventually, her thoughts distracted her from the sting, making it a little more bearable. "And you should know that I'd never fix you up with that guy. I'm not a total asshole after all; despite what some people here believe. Lord knows what you thought of me when I waltzed in here earlier. Nothing good I presume..." she sighed, feeling some actual guilt. When she was grouchy, she could be a royal pain in the ass. And it was not always as intentional as others thought. "If so, I hope you will accept my apology. Tact has never been my strong point."

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:07 pm 
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"Should."

Claire had noticed how the Major was holding her arm in an awkward position, avoiding moving it as much as possible. She'd bet it wasn't down to the cut, though. "So, aside from slicing your shoulderblade open, why don't you tell me how you landed? What angle, how did you fall, what were you doing when you fell?" The more that Claire knew, the more effective her treatment could be.

Shaking her head, Claire gave the Major a stern look. "No qigong unless your assigned physio agrees to it, no matter how 'gently' you're intending to go," she stated, her voice flat and broaching little argument. "This isn't an inconsequential injury. It's compounded by other damage to your shoulder, or the musculature surrounding it. This isn't something to take lightly, Major. As I explained, the recovery period is likely to be lengthy, and you're going to have to do as you're told." Buggered if Claire would sign the woman off for active duty if she wasn't satisfied that she was fully recovered.

She felt the woman wince as she cleaned the wound, and Claire bit down on her bottom lip, concentrating on making sure that the wound was clean, and its edges matched up. There would be a thin, fine scar, that was for sure, but it would fade in time. It was nothing on the other scars that the Major carried, though.

"Hold this, please, Major," said Claire, pressing another clean dressing to the wound. I'm going to get some local anaesthetic in the area, let it numb, then stitch it up, okay? There'll have to be a few internal stitches as well, it's too deep to get away without it." As the Major pressed on the pad, Claire prepped a syringe with the anaesthetic. She inserted the fine needle into a number of locations around the edges of the cut, squeezing a little anaesthetic in at each location. "Thirty seconds or so should do it," she said, putting the syringe on the trolley.

Claire twitched an eyebrow up. "What? You're admitting you're married to someone you think is an arsehole," she said, her voice dubious. "Rather you than me." She could never stay with someone she didn't respect, and that, ultimately, was why she had left Tama. She had stopped respecting him the moment she discovered he couldn't keep his dick in his pants. "This is going to feel a little weird, okay?" Claire threaded the needle with an expert eye, before making the first stitch - it was an internal stitch, tiny and perfectly placed, knitting the muscle back together. She repeated these stitches along the length of the wound, until the layer of muscle was pulled back into place.

Pausing for a moment, Claire gave a tiny shrug, almost imperceptible. "Major, you have a certain reputation on base, and, to be frank, it's not a great one," she said, deciding that honesty was the best policy. "The phrase 'abuse of rank' has been used more than once, and you've been described as having a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle. If I'm honest? You were true to your reputation." She paused for a moment, to let the words sink in. "But I appreciate your apology." Quietly, Claire returned to her stitching. It stopped her from being as blunt as she wanted to be, at least.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:00 am 
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Weird was perhaps not the best word, but Sun was no stranger to the sensation of stitches. The tingling of the anesthetic, followed by the tug of flesh being moved and tacked back together again by the needle. It was no pleasant feeling whatsoever. But it was tolerable and she knew she was in good hands.

There were more painful things, like the unexpected scolding she received. Clearly, someone had been listening to the wrong end of the base's grapevine. But these accusations were not new to Sun, especially not coming from civilians. Thinking of it, these views had probably blighted the doctor's opinion of her from the moment she had walked into the infirmary today.

And neither was Thomas a bad man. But he, too, was not always greeted with open arms. "And I'm actually married to a good man. But a few think he is an ass; mostly those who do not know his story. Since his first wife died, he has had a hard time with love. Pairing him up with someone was considered a dare in our old regiment. And I would never put him through it, nor you or anyone else."

She paused to collect herself a little. Going against prejudice and misconceptions was always hard, and she wondered if she even stood a chance. If it went wrong, she was in no condition to run from the consequences.

"As to myself: Yes, I'm aware of my reputation. Yet there is a line between that, and the gossip you have heard. And honestly, if I abused my rank, I would never be in the position I am holding now." She had heard the accusation before and had a feeling that it had been started by a very frustrated person. "I know my place in the hierarchy and don't order people around at my pleasure." She sighed.

"But I admit that I sometimes rule by fear, although only when I see no better way. If someone below my rank acts inconsiderately I do give out verbal lashings. I know this may rub some people the wrong way, but I can't help it. As much as you can't help being honest with me."

Again Sun paused, distracted by the ongoing stitching. This really was a sizeable sword wound, ironically suitable for this unfortunate day. "I don't scowl without reason either. By god, there is enough reason for me to pull a face today. As you know, SG-13 went through hell. And even though I was not directly involved in their mission, I feel responsible." She did not know why she told the doctor this. Now that the words were bursting out of her, she realized that this was exactly why she had been unconcentrated to the point of stumbling and hurting her shoulder. "Even though I am certain you are moving heaven and hell to make sure nobody dies in the aftermath, I will be praying for them tonight because I'm not sure what else I can do. So forgive me if that notion makes me scowl."

Shuddering a little, Sun concentrated on the shoulder again, reconstructing the fall. As she thought, she realized there was a tear in her eye and it was not from the pain. She blinked it away, hoping it would go unnoticed. "And, if it helps, I fell on my side and rolled off over the shoulder in a full one-eighty, as not to hurt myself even more. But we see how well that came out..."

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:30 pm 
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Claire arched her eyebrows, concentrating on her stitching. She wanted to minimise the scarring if she could, but with a wound of this depth, no matter how clean the cut, it was a gamble. "So... a good man, but an arsehole. Not quite sure I understand the mixture, but whatever floats your boat..." She shrugged again, cutting off the thread after another stitch. The excuses that some people gave for their bad behaviour really pissed Claire off. She wished some people would admit their failings, and just get the fuck on with things.

Listening impassively as the Major seemed to try to make excuses for her bad temper and her worse reputation, Claire bit her tongue. For now, at least. Some of the things she had heard were more than mere rumour, and there was enough hard evidence behind the words for the Major's reputation to hold more than just a modicum of truth.

"I prefer to observe actions," Claire stated, her voice a study in subtle simplicity. She paused in her stitching for a moment. "And, if I were to go on what I've observed of your behaviour over the last year since I've been here... I'd have to say that the rumours seem pretty bloody accurate." She may not have worked side by side with the other woman, but what Claire had watched from the other side of the room on many occasions... well, there had been more than once that she'd wanted to give Sharpe a piece of her mind.

"And ruling by fear... well, that's just a bloody cop out," she said, her voice more than a little blunt. "You ever hear the phrase 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar'?" Claire paused for a second, letting the words sink in. "Inspirational leadership will get you far better results than scaring the shit out of some poor Lieutenant. It'll also stop that 'nasty bitch' reputation in its tracks. I'm much happier to work for someone I respect. If I'm just in fear of someone... well, it's human nature to dig your heels in, shove two fingers up behind their back, and do shit just because you have to. You'll get a much better outcome, and a far more coherent team, if people actually want to work for you." Maybe the US military didn't teach that common sense approach. Maybe they just bred arseholes. That being said, she had one hell of a lot of respect for Jake, and a few other officers. It was just those who thought they were owed respect, and didn't have to earn it, who really pissed her off.

"In my opinion, if you can't see a better way that scaring the shit out of someone, Major... then you're in the wrong job."

Claire snorted as the Major said she felt "responsible" for what happened with SG-13. "Oh, get the fuck over yourself," she said, shaking her head as she placed another stitch, making it as small and neat as possible. "You're not god - that rank comes with Major General. This is a big part of your problem, Major! Credit, responsibility, blame... you take it all on, and act like a martyr. Shit happens, and sometimes, there is fuck all you can do about it. Accept it, deal with it, move on." Claire wondered whether or not the Major had truly gotten over the torture, because it certainly appeared as though she was carrying more than a little baggage.

Placing the last stitch, and tying it off, Claire degloved her hands and discarded the sharps in the designated bin. "Sounds like you could have done some damage to the rotator cuff, but you'd need some scans to make sure. I can get those arranged for a little later, if you have the time?"


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