A Stitch in Time
Day 2 Morning
Collaborative post with @sail3695
Good day, so far.
She slept like a babe in arms. This mornin’ she give Cap’n the news Ms. Wyman decided to stay on fer the next run. In return, Cap’n paid out her share from the fish haul, a nice lump ‘o’ coin jinglin’ in ‘er pocket. Abby promised herself she’d put some aside this time…start savin’ up…fer what, she didn’t know. Aunt Lupe weren’t no help on that’n. Jest the same, she’d git in the habit.
Mornin’ chores was done, light work since it’s just laundry an’ cleanin’ the room what the Perfessor used. She couldn’t ride the chair yet, seein’s they didn’t know where they’s goin’. Rumor said Cap’n had a line on a job. He an’ Pen was gon’ scope it out this afternoon. Perfect time fer Abby tah slip off tah find a pair ‘o’ them Wailin’ Yutes Isaac spoke well of.
Well, mebbe after she mopped the upper deck…first thing’s first. Time fer her stitches tah be pulled. Abby’s all kindsa careful with ’em, keepin’ tha area dry an’ clean, takin’ sink baths an’ only stickin’ ‘er head ‘neath the shower jets tah wash ‘er hair. She weren’t sore no more, an’ the limpin’ done ceased altogether. But them stitches give ‘er a powerful itch now and agin. She kep ‘er hands off, but sometimes when folk weren’t lookin, she’d run ‘er backside up an’ down a wall, trick she learned from a capture showin’ a bear backscratchin’ on a tree trunk.
She went by the passenger lounge on her way to medbay, an’ her orchid drawin’. Think I’ll leave it fer a spell, Abby smiled tah herself as she stopped to knock. “Mornin, Doc?” she asked. Think I can get muh stitches yanked out tahday?”
Alana peered over her shoulder with an arched brow at the unexpected visitor. She swiveled around to face Abby once the face matched the voice as she had been too distracted to recognize her initially. "Morning, Abby. Come on in and let's have a look," she added with a smile as she got to her feet to gather some supplies. Alana figured given the number of days and the size of the wound, there shouldn't be any concerns removing the stitches.
"Let's have you changed up, shall we?" She handed a paper gown to the girl, then started heading for the exit. "I'll be just outside, let me know when you're done."
Abby never conjured doctors an’ their ways. She figgered her denims an’ unders was like tah drop round her ankles as she bent over tha exam table tah get them stitches snipped. But now she’s strippin’ everthin’ off fer one ‘o’ them open backed gowns. Uncle Bob used tah say “they do all kindsa stuff tah raise tha bill,” but that didn’t make no sense now. With a shrug, the girl yanked it all off.
Somethin else she found funny was ‘er own modesty. The ‘buck nekkid’ part didn’t ruffle her a’tall. Doc already seen ‘er an they both had girl parts. But when she caught herself tuckin’ her unders away, Abby chuckled over such foolishness. After all, she’s perty certain the doc seen them afore, too.
Soon’s she got the gown on proper, Abby called out fer Alana. “All ready, Doc!”
"All ready you are," Alana announced reentering the infirmary. "Thought you might be a tinge more comfortable despite the already simple procedure. Up you go, same spot as before."
After locking the med bay doors to allow their privacy, Alana went on to ease the girl's mind in case she held any concerns for whatever reason. "You'll be in and out quick, and you'll be itching a lot less if that was bothering you before. I trust you kept warm for most of the ride?" The doctor went on to collect a suture removal kit as well as some additional gauze reserved for possible bleeding. Sometimes the wound site wasn't closed all the way despite looking otherwise. After placing the items within arm's reach near Abby, she began gloving up.
Abby hopped onta the table, lyin’ on ‘er stomach an’ propped up on ‘er elbows. “Spot did itch a might, but I kept from scratchin’ at it,” she said. The deckhand give a nod tah the doc’s next question. “Spent part ‘o’ tha night in the Skyes’ shuttle. Rest ‘o’ the time I’s down here with the passengers. Got tah help that scientist…Perfessor Marquina? Kept warm by keepin’ muhself movin’ all night.” She glanced over her shoulder. “How bout yew?”
“Oh you know, just looking after our patient. The shuttle was warm so I was warm,” she smiled, working her hand into each latex glove and flexing her fingers in to get the comfortable, tight fit. “Ain’t done much other than that, but the warm clothes sure worked wonders.” Alana then shone a light over Abby’s behind, examining the stitches. “This is looking good, I say we can proceed with no issue. The captain didn’t work you too hard, right? I’ll get on his case if he didn’t let you get the proper amount of rest."
The girl shook ‘er head. “Cap’n always treats me right,” she said. “Got plenty rest….’cept fer tha cold run. Made up fer it last night…I’s out like a light afore twenty-one hunnerd.”
"Happy to hear, looks like I won't have to chastise him after all..." As Alana went on, she reached for the solution to clean the wound prior to the suture removal. "But ya know, I did hear from a little birdie—and it wasn't Rex's—that you snuck off on one of those nights you were supposed to be resting." Despite no distinctive tone behind the statement, Alana was smiling slightly as she was going about teasing Abby.
When she might ruminate on this sometime later, Abby’d conjure it was good she’s layin’ on ‘er stomach so the Doc couldn’t see her face go all flushy. “Um….uh,” she stammered, her mouth hung open. Who’s the birdie? Pen? Most like, no. She conjured the pilot’s a good one fer keepin’ secrets. The Cap’n? Yeah, that one had a ring. Word’s floatin’ ‘round that the Cap’n an’ the Doc was thick as thieves of late. Pillow talk? she pondered. Didn’t matter now. Her super spy sensei said perty much same’s she’s thinkin’.
”Honesty is the best policy, but only when served in bite sized chunks.”
Cap’n knew ever’thin’, and he knocked her house ‘o’ cards right down. Question was, how much did ‘e tell the doc? She’s gon’ have tah white knuckle ‘er way through this’un…
Abby took a breath, tryin’ tah stop herself from tensin’ up. “Wouldn’t call it…well…um…yes, ma’am,” she finally give in.
The poor girl...Abby was all but shaking right where she lay, stuttering her words as if she'd been caught red-handed, which in a way she had. Alana opened the package containing the smaller pair of forceps and scissors, setting those up to remove the first suture.
"The way I conjured, you either went out for business or pleasure. Seeing as the mighty captain refrained from assigning you any labor as to not disturb the most critical phase of your recovery, then it's safe to assume you were out for pleasure..."
Alana was mostly speaking the truth with her statement, though Abby could have been out for any one number of reasons. Of course, the fun was in dragging a confession out of her.
“It sorta become both,” the teenager ‘fessed up. “But I’s off muh feet jest ‘bout tha whole night…’cept fer when I’s puttin’ on clothes…” She stopped. Don’t think that coulda sounded no worse, Abby chided ‘erself. “Needed new denims…an’ unders…” she stammered. This is why Cap’n makes air quotes when he says I’m goin’ clothes shoppin’, she thought.
The sharp edges practically hugged either side of the suture prior to her actually cutting it. Alana turned to stare at Abby, mildly shocked by her bold statement. Of course, the excuse which followed was none the better. “Hey, I’m no one to question how you spend your time off. We all get the same urge...that’s what makes us human.” Alana resumed her work, pulling the thread aside before moving on the next. “I took some courses in women’s health, if ya ever have one of those questions...”
Alana went about the conversation casually, but inside she was beaming with pride as if Abby was her own blood. No girl at such a young age as hers should work away their youth without a little bit of fun here and there.
Questions was all Abby had. She’s positive ‘er face had tah be beat red jest now. Girl near bit ‘er tongue tah keep from blurtin’ out the truth she ain’ never done…it. Now they’s more folk think she’s out sewin’ oats ain’t yet growed…but wait. Mebbe…mebbe…
”Let them leap to their own conclusions. When you’re a spy, the misperceptions of those around you can be your greatest asset.”
But she weren’t no spy. Might never cross paths with Browncoats agin’. And the only fella she conjured bein’ with in that way was back on New Melbourne with jest one ‘o’ her kisses on his lips. Could make a body right frustrated, it could.
“Um…” she swallowed. “Thank yew, doc.” Best not tah keep runnin’ her mouth, afore she talks ‘erself right inta trouble.
"Anytime, Abby. I'm only looking out for you is all...us girls gotta stick together in the big nothingness out there." She cut another suture, and was just about done clearing them out at that point. Of course, the most critical lesson had yet to be communicated, despite it piling on to her patient's embarrassment. "Just remember next time you've got an itch to scratch, don't go sneaking out of the Doll while you've been given the order to rest. Promise?"
“Promise,” Abby nodded. She turned ‘er head tah look back over her shoulder. “An’ I’m powerful sorry. Truly I am.”
“No need to go feeling sorry for a thing...I was simply making sure you’d heal up nicely. Judging by how easy these are coming off, I’d say the mission was achieved.”
Alana cut and removed the last small piece, pausing for a second to look at the result. Sure, her bum was a bit red, but that was normal.
No pain. Abby felt the doc’s touch. Her fingers was warm enough, but the snippers she used raised goosebumps as they worked. A few tugs, an’ suddenly it was all over. “I feel fine,” she agreed. “Stopped limpin’ an’ feelin’ sore that night in tha black.”
It’s then tha question come. She pondered askin’ it. Ain’t never one tah tip ‘er hat tah vanity afore, but…things changed since New Melbourne. Still, with folk thinkin’ she’s out tomcattin’ ever’ Thomas, Dick’ an’ Harry while they’s in port, she worried that just askin’ might spark more knowin’ smiles an’ air quotes ‘bout her doin’s. The spy game was fun, but now she’s…
”Sometimes, a bad reputation can be a good thing.”
That give ‘er somethin’ new tah chew on, not tah mention conjurin’ jest how silly she’s bein’ over such a little worry. A smile crept onta her face as a song she liked just kinda locked ruth inta part ‘o’ her brain.
With them two votes behind ‘er, Abby cleared ‘er throat an’ spoke up. “Hey doc,” she said. “Cap’n says I might have a scar. Will it stop me wearin’ a bikini?”
She let escape an involuntarily chuckle at the girl’s question. “The captain says a lot of things...” Alana added with a subtle eye roll and head shake, that which was accompanied with a half-smile knowing Cal was the type to say such things. “You’ll be fine wearing a bikini... In fact, a scar will draw the attention of the boys to your pi gu, and now you have an awesome story to tell!”
Her enthusiasm carried over into giving Abby's cheek one last wipe to make it free of sutures or debris. "You're all set... Now you're ready to finally get that tan."
Abby thought on that fer a spell. She ain’t ever wore a bikini. Never had much call to. But she never knew when Cap’n might land ‘em a run back tah New Melbourne. Thomas…she didn’t even know if he’d wanna see her done up like that. But it weren’t til she commenced thinkin’ ‘bout him that she ever give much thought tah her looks. “Shiny,” the girl furrowed ‘er brow as new thoughts crossed. “Thank yew, Doc. Might git out an’ get tha tan right while we’re here.” She sat up on tha table afore droppin’ tah her feet. “But first? I’m takin’ a long, hot shower!”
Looks like Abby wasn't all work and no play after all. Alana was glad for the girl, getting herself a little R & R would do her good, whenever that was to happen. Maybe she would tag along too and keep her company. "Well, go on and wash up now, I'll leave you to change then come back and tidy up later. See you around!"
And with that, she left Abby to her own devices as she went off to the galley to grab a snack, tossing the gloves on the way out and closing the door behind her.