Day 030: Only Patients Are Allowed in Medical
Summary: One paragon of generosity and sincerity meets another, as doctor and future donor meet to extend one another a desire to help. Nothing bad can come of this.
Date: 28 June 2016
Related: None Directly
Ruth Salvador 

Infirmary & Level 3 Corridor — Mount Weather

This is a long room, accessible in various points along the level four corridor. It has an arched, buttressed ceiling like much of the compound. Circular white lights are embedded on the wall, following up the arch to create a bright, luminous space. The floors are in the same polished concrete as much of the compound, and these are well-cleaned to keep a sterile environment. Rows of beds line the walls, and there are mazes of flexible tubing running up from each bed, along the wall, and then back toward the secured medical labs.

Level 3 Corridor
This corridor is almost indistinguishable from most corridors of Mount Weather. The ceilings and corners are rounded off, focusing on stability rather than sharp lines. It is crafted primary from cement, with glossed cement floors. The number 3 is painted on the floor, indicating that this area of Mount Weather is part of Level 3. This corridor gives access to the secured medical labs, quarantine ward, and infirmary.

30 Days After Landing

It's mid-afternoon, though it's not like anyone in here can exactly be sure of that fact. Ruth herself certainly can't, because when she knocks faintly at one of the doors leading into the infirmary, she asks, "Hello? Is this a bad time?" She's sure to keep her voice hushed, perhaps thinking of those recovering from illness of their own.

Whether or not Dr. Montgomery says yes or no is another matter entirely. She doesn't wait for his answer before slipping on in and moving with as much fluidity as she can with her midsection wrapped up like some sort of bandage corset. She did request it tight — maybe a small waist makes her feel prettier. One of the nurses gets a crinkle-eyed smile and a whispered 'hi'.

Montgomery was in the other room, but hearing or being alerted somehow of Ruth's arrival, he soon emerges with an arch of his heavy yet trimmed black brows. "Ms. Mercer," he says with a tone of surprise. He is once again wearing his lab-coat and a tie, more formal than when he was sitting down to breakfast with his eldest son, Regan. "Come in, come in. How's the stomach?" He motions a hand in the air over his own, hovering above the area where the Space Girl recently took an arrow to the gut.

"Hello, Doctor Montgomery," Ruth greets with a smile, the expression a touch wan compared to what it was when they last exchanged words. She pauses a moment just within the door to straighten her top with a self-conscious twist at its lower hem, her posture rising upright so she can stand at her full height. Rarely does she put in that kind of effort. "It's healing nicely. I've been avoiding solids and making sure I'm not too active, though that's not too hard."

A split moment of hesitation allows her a quick breath before she adds, "I actually thought I'd come to ask if you…" She gestures about the room with a small flick of her wrist. To keep herself from showing any signs of nerves — no one likes being rejected, after all — she then entwines her fingers behind her back. "If I might be able to help you here. Even if not now, then at some point in the future."

Dr. Montgomery smiles beatifically at Ruth. One might wonder what it would take for him not to smile, even overwhelmed with patients both Sky-born and of his own people as he is right now. "That is very kind of you to offer, Ruth, but I'm afraid that only patients are allowed in medical." His words are a rejection. The tone is firm, but kind. "You are of course welcome to come here any time you need someone to take a look at you, but we otherwise try to keep this environment clear. I'm sure you understand." He steps forward, but with a hand is already shooing her towards the corridor. He is himself moving towards the door, to follow her out even as he dismisses her. His body-language remains open and friendly.

"Wh…" Ruth means to respond using her words, but the start of her objection kind of lapses into a bewildered huff. It's not quite a petulant sound, but she didn't expect the answer Dr. Montgomery provided and doesn't like it. "What do you mean, no?" She remains facing him even as they step into the corridor, hands fisted loosely at her sides. "I could be an invaluable resource to you and your team." She peers over his shoulder into the infirmary until it's merely a memory and all she can see is his perpetually contented face.

It's Salvador Montgomery's expression that reminds her, belatedly, to smile. The speed at which it replaces her frown of bruised ego is phenomenal. "And… I could learn so much from someone of your skill. I was a student aboard the Ark, too, you know. Blood doesn't make me squeamish."

Even as Ruth grows contentious, Montgomery only laughs softly, his clear blue eyes twinkling with mirth; charmed, evidently, by her enthusiasm and moxie.

"Well, be that as it may," he says to Ruth, closing the door of the infirmary firmly behind him as they step into the corridor. His white lab-coat dangles at his sides, loose around his old but well-fitted suit. "I would need to know more about your credentials first, and we have a due process for such things. I am aware that when you first landed, you were scraping to survive and making do with what you have…" A thick, knowing black eyebrow rises as he looks down at Ruth pointedly, for though she is tall, he is just slightly taller, and he uses that to his advantage now. "But here we have trained doctors like myself, Dr. Wolfe, and nurses like Frida Ratchet, with many years of experience under our belt."

Height games are sometimes subconscious and sometimes they're not. Right now, Ruth is likely regretting her choice in footwear; they have exactly zero heel, and appearing professional and adult requires at least two to three inches to establish the proper authority. She works with what she has, squaring her shoulders and making direct eye contact. She wears the facial expression version of a textbook firm interview handshake.

"If it would be more convenient to your methods here in Mount Weather, I could study for a while as a…" The word escapes her, and her mouth thins while she tries to recall it. "Volunteer. Assistant. Intern." She can't decide. She just wants a job. "How am I supposed to gain those years of experience if I don't start now?"

"Interesting," says Dr. S. C. Montgomery, per the shiny golden label on his upper coat-pocket. He raises a hand to rub his chin, drawing attention to just how pale he is; even this doctor, health-conscious and disciplined as he is, likely enjoying excellent nutrition and exercise, has notably bloodless fingers, sallow and drained-looking around religiously-clipped nails and redder around the knuckles.

"Well of course, at some point I am sure you will want to earn your keep. For now all we really want is for you to recover from your time around the Outsiders and get back into ship-shape. There is really no use in training you to treat the wounds of others when you're at risk of bleeding out yourself, is there?"

He chuckles again, clapping a hand to her shoulder. "I am joking of course. With a few days of rest and the course of antibiotics I've put you on, you will be just fine."

"I know I'll be fine, because I'm being helped by an amazing team." If anything, this compliment is a bit angry. She hasn't had a tone similar to that since the night of the battle. She raises a hand to pat at her hair, though is given pause when the doctor's hand is set on her shoulder. Her expression softens with a rueful half-smile.

"I don't like taking, taking, taking." Oh, really? This is an entirely new Ruth, then. "I want to give back… though you're right, if I don't rest, then I'll just be wasting the resources you've allocated to my care. Thank you, Doctor Montgomery." She offers her appreciation with the utmost sincerity, her smile widening. "You've been nothing but generous."

Salvador, who knows no other Ruth, is nothing if not enchanted by this paragon of generosity and sincerity that stands before him. Granted, he seems unconditionally enchanted by everything about the Skaikru, which may cheapen the effect somewhat; are they complex and feeling things, or are they mere objects?

His hand on her shoulder doesn't linger; a clap is all it is. "It is my pleasure," he says. "I am sure that eventually we will have some task we can put you to, though it would really be above my pay-grade to assign you to anything. If President Wallace sees fit to integrate you into apprenticeships, I don't see why not. We could always use more helping hands, or…" He pauses, lifting his clear-eyed gaze and considering.

"I don't want to be a bother," Ruth says with particular delicacy, measuring his expression with eyes that should blink at least twice in the duration of her stare but fail to. At least she keeps her smile this time, though it's small and thin as though she's self-conscious about something or another. "But it's all I can do to be idle. This place is fascinating. You being here… wasn't expected. I can't say I'm disappointed."

Despite his often unwavering attention, for a moment Salvador seems distracted. His gaze wanders before he alights it once again on Ruth's, remaining deep in thought even now. "It may be that we could use some help with upcoming medical trials," he admits, continuing the sentence he trailed off before she expressed her frustration. "For now things are all rather up in air, but if you were looking for a way to be useful, I am sure that we could offer you a small research position in times to come. Of course;" he raises up his palms and spreads his fingers, smiling once again to broaden his tall, deeply angled cheekbones. "I would not want to impose. The most important thing is for you to take time to recover from your injuries first."

Oh, how smug Ruth looks when she finally gets what she asked for. Even if it's not a real position in the infirmary itself, she made a 'no' into something resembling a 'yes'. This is what she lives for, probably.

"Will you let me know when this becomes relevant, Doctor Montgomery?" she wonders with a small, controlled tilt of her head. "I'm eager to be of help to Mount Weather." She's also eager to obtain a position of importance. In her eyes, her fellow delinquents are all too busy grieving to see the bigger picture and keep to their ambitions… but not Ruth. "For now, I should go rest like you mentioned. Thank you, again."

Montgomery sends a glance towards Ruth's wounded gut, before he's meeting her gaze intently once more. This smile is different to the others he's offered her, less beatific and more genuinely intrigued. "My pleasure," he replies. "Do pass my regards onto the rest of your friends when you see them." He rests a hand on the door of the infirmary, but waits for her to turn away before he opens it anew.

"I'll be sure to do that," Ruth replies with a solemn dip of her head, her eyes crinkling slightly. "Have a nice evening, Doctor Montgomery." Only when she turns stiffly to depart and is facing away from him does she allow herself to clench her teeth in a contained bout of glee. Hell yeah. She's loving it here already. As it is, the man likely notices a subtle bounce to her step that wasn't there before as she rounds the corridor and slips out of sight.

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