(1938-01-06) A Healer's Night
Details for A Healer's Night
Summary: A novelty for Keenan, someone to come home to and hash things out after an emergency call.
Date: 6 January, 1938
Location:
Related: Directly after Trusting Healer Keenan
Characters
KeenanVeruca

It takes awhile after Keenan found his green robes and apparated out when his Mungo's charm went off, but he apparates back home, the sharp crack sounding in the entry way just past the door. He pulls his arms slowly out of the robe, and hangs it on the rack, his other hand braces on the wall next to it. He looks down to nudge his shoes off his feet next to the door, and then stands there, his head still bowed to take a few deep breaths.

Despite the lateness of the hour, Veruca didn't choose to go to bed, instead waiting up for Keenan's return. Deciding to use the time constructively, she's got some paperwork laid out on his dining room table and is pouring over some notes she's made on stock market trends lately. She's been looking for the most sound ways to invest money for the MacCurrys and several other clients she's resumed her old business relationship with; no easy decision during this turbulent time. The crack draws her attention immediately, and as Keenan stands by the entry she emerges, his robe wrapped around her slender form. Rue pads over to him, a light frown of concern on her face. "Keen." she says softly, her hand coming up to rub his arm lightly as she nears. "Bad call?"

Keenan sighs, and shifts the arm that Rue rubs to wrap it around her. "One of ma patients, she's taken a turn fer that worse, instead o'better. I hate doin' a stimulation charm on tha heart, it's a difficult one that can go wrong so easy, but it's holdin' for now. Gives us more time tae find a cure." He turns so that he can wrap both arms around his witch, and rests his chin on her shoulder. "I hope we can find one soon enough tae save her."

Stepping into the embrace, Rue's arms go around Keenan's waist and she presses warmly against him. "You have to keep that hope, love. I have every confidence that if anyone can figure this out, it's you." Her voice is soft and gentle, showing her belief in him entirely. "Come let me make you a cuppa?" She's gotten better at boiling water, although at this hour it'll be a quick warming charm, with some nice chamomile tea to help relax him.

A slow smile at Veruca's confidence in him creases dimples into his scruff. After another long moment of silence, he takes a deep breath and turns his head to kiss her temple and then exhales and nods. "Aye, mo thaisce, I could do with a cuppa before I go back tae sleep." He turns to let her lead him towards the kitchen, although he won't let her go entirely, his hand slips down to catch hers and their fingers play gently as he follows.

Veruca doesn't hurry the moment he needs, instead just holding him until he's ready to move, her hands lightly rubbing his back through his shirt. When he's ready she steps away, drawing him with her gently. "Is it something you can talk about, or is there the healer/patient confidentiality?" While she's willing always to be his sounding board, she's not one to push him to talk when he doesn't want to, or can't. Once in the kitchen she reluctantly breaks contact to move and get things for tea. She's grown comfortable in his space, knows where things are now, and doesn't hesitate to cater to him at times like this, when she feels he needs the TLC.

Keenan shakes his head as he leans forward on his elbows, clasped hands just resting under his lower lip. "Tha patient is confidential. It's just… a puzzlin' case. There was nae a thing wrong with her nervous system, until we started strengthening her heart. Her heart isn't all better, tha flow o'blood's still slow, but it was nae as life threatenin' as it had been." His head bows and he runs both hands over his head to clasp them behind his neck. "It's like we started tae cure somethin' so now somethin' else is goin' wrong. An' tha question is, why?"

As Keenan talks, Veruca heats the water with a charm and gets the tea steeping. She listens carefully, no healer, but still wanting to help him work this out in his mind and perhaps come up with something that's been hiding from him. "And it's a curse, what's doing this?" She turns, seeing his bowed head, and steps over behind him to gently unlace his fingers to let her own hands settle on his shoulders. Waiting for the tea she massages his shoulders, letting her thumbs stretch out to press at the back of his neck and rub circles there.

Keenan lets Rue massage his neck, his hands once more clasping in front of him but this time resting the table as he lets his elbows take his weight. He slumps his shoulders to let her hands soothe his neck. "Well, that would be tha assumption, but… curses nae usually switch their target once in tha body. They attack somethin' an' that's their purpose." He sighs, and then reaches up to capture her hands with his own, pulling them down in front of him as he leans back against her.

Veruca frowns lightly, sliding her hands down Keenan's chest at his gentle tug, bending to nuzzle his hair softly. "A compound curse?" she muses softly. "If one is stopped, another is set to kick in and continue it's harm?" It's likely all things that have been thought of, by Keenan or his colleagues, but it's still a means to get him saying things out loud. She often finds that helps her, rather than just running things over in her head until she can't think straight.

Keenan shakes his head. "It's more than that… a compound curse would have, or should have, triggered a long time ago." He sighs. "It's… new. An' someone very creative came up with it, the really wanted tae make sure it didnae fail. Takes someone with a real deep focus, even deeper than normal hatred or revenge tae come up with somethin' so complicated. Takes a person with a purpose tae make a spell with such single-minded purpose. It puts me at a disadvantage… I nae have such a single-minded purpose tae take a life."

This brings a thoughtful 'Hmm' from Veruca as she ponders over Keenan's words. "Do you mean 'new' as in just something you haven't seen before? Or 'new' as in it's a more recent curse cast?" If it's the latter, that means someone has a current vendetta, and lends a whole new light to the subject. Even though the tea has had ample time to steep, she doesn't move to disentangle herself from Keenan, remaining leaned with her arms around him, hands light on his chest. Her words remain soft, since she is so near his ear.

Keenan shakes his head. "Nae, no one's been castin' more, ye can tell if a spell is recent if ye know what ye're lookin' fer." He turns to kiss her cheek. "I think tha tea is probably ready," he tells her softly, a knowing glow in the green eyes shading out his concerned talk for the moment. Then he lifts her hands to kiss them before letting her go to get the tea and leaning on the table again. "It's still connected, but fer it tae switch 'targets' so tae speak, it's either a travelin' thing, or it's not based in her bloodstream as we originally thought…" now he's muttering, almost to himself. "If in a day or two it's moved out o'her blood an' completely inta tha nervous system, then it'd be travelin', if not… we have tae scrap almost everythin' an' look for a new source for it… one that can effect both tha blood an' nerves."

A kiss is returned to Keenan's cheek, and Veruca is clearly reluctant to draw away, but she does to fetch his tea. Her hands rub over his chest as she withdraws then steps away to the counter, letting him talk it out. She fixes his tea as he prefers it, making a cup for herself as well, and brings them to the table. His is set in front of him, her own by the nearest chair as she settles into it. "So you have to wait and see?"

Lifting his cup to his lips, Keenan blows gently on the liquid, then takes a sip. He nods. "Worst part about bein' a healer sometimes. Tha waitin' tae see if a cure's goin'tae work, or if ye need tae look for more, start over, what have ye." He takes another sip and sets his cup down.

Veruca's dark eyes hold steadily on Keenan, a gaze that once held much more hardness in general softened by love. She reaches out to touch his hand lightly, stroking the back and his fingers. "Patience isn't always easy. I can only imagine how difficult it must be when a life hangs in the balance, love."

There's silence from the healer for a moment, not used to having someone around when he comes home from such late night calls. Then he half smiles and turns his hand over to capture hers. He takes another sip of tea, but then he puts it down once more and pushes it away. He doesn't say anythin as he tightens his fingers around hers, pulling her with him as he stands and walks down the short hallway to his bedroom.

Veruca offers no protest to being led, leaving the tea things to clean up in the morning. When they reach his bedroom she detaches her hand from his to give a tug to the belt of his robe and let it slide off her, catching it in her hands as she moves to the closet to hang it. Typically, she wears nothing beneath. Moving to 'her side' of the bed, she slides in, waiting for him to undress and join her.

Keenan lets his clothes fall to the ground, undressing as he watches Rue put away his robe. There's a tiny smile, one of appreciation rather than desire, perhaps something of wonder that this beautiful woman stays with him. He slides into his side, pulling her warm curves close to him, and tucking her head in his shoulder. He kisses the top of her head, and his body starts to settle into the pillows and mattress, letting his worries go as he takes comfort from the presence of another human being.

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