Tree Frogs


Where: A Hospital Room

When: May 20, 2012; Night

What: A doctor comes to check on Jake's condition. All of his conditions.

The nurses have been complaining. While his initial treatment in the ambulance went okay, when the hospital tried to remove a piece of debris in his arm and couldn't break through the skin no matter how sharp the scalpel— well, the word fit was thrown around. And the patient's behavior has many of the nurses upset.

And since Doctor Abrams had been asked to over see his treatment, it is a tall, tan, blonde man that pushes open the door and comes striding into the room with clipboard in hand. He's handsome in a classic Hollywood way, but a few giveaways may hint to Jake just whose father this is.

"Been a rough night, as I understand it, Mister… Eriksen," he finishes after a glance at his chart, which he picks up and takes with him as he stops beside the bed.

Jake's decidedly /not/ smiling now. The area around his bed is a little messy, his covers have been kicked off and tossed off the bed, trays lay where they were knocked to the floor. Right now, however, Jake's anger has subsided to the point where he's just sullen. Sitting up in his bed in just his hospital gown, Jake's dark pout and folded arms make him look more like a stubborn five-year-old than a grown man.

When the doctor comes in, he gets just a small glance from Jake who goes quickly back to staring at the far wall. "Hey doc," he mutters, not blinking as the doctor takes his chart. Well, at least he won't be throwing any fits.

"Doctor Abrams," the man says, although he doesn't hold his hand out. Probably because the other man has some injuries. "The nurses have been telling me there was some problems with the IV earlier. I keep telling them to practice more," he says, his voice serious, but there's a telltale tilt to his smile that gives away the joke.

"I'll be seeing to your care and the follow up appointments you'll need. My daughter explained the situation to me." The whole situation. "But before we delve into how your next few weeks are going to go, is there anything you'd like to discuss?"

Jake snorts derisively when Abrams mentions the IVs, face screwing up for a moment like he wants to spit, though he schools it when his anger threatens to bring a less…manly response. He blinks heavily, glancing up at the doctor. "Daughter? Oh hey, are you Rylie's dad?"

The pout is pushed away, and a weak smile pushes up his lips as Jake offers a hand to Doctor Abrams. "Sorry, didn't recognize the family resemblance at first. Is she doin' okay?" At his last question, Jake blanches, looking to the side in a way that just screams a big YES. "Uhhh…"

"Yes, that would be my girl. She… knows how to make an impression," the doctor says, small smirk returning for a brief flash. "She'll be okay. A few aches here and there." He pulls a chair over to sit down, setting the chart off to the side for the moment.

He doesn't miss the look.

"Doctor-patient confidentiality and all that. As off the record as you'd like it to be." Must be why the door is closed. "You must have some thoughts on your mind."

"I think I was the one who made an impression on the hood of her car," Jake says with a wince. His lips quirk upwards a little when he hears the good news, and he lets out a breath, wincing just slightly with his hand to his side.
"Well… doc, something kinda weird's been going on. I haven't gone in to get tested, though cause I don't have any health insurance. Can't really afford anything expensive, so…" He shrugs his shoulders. That's the end of that, then. He frowns deeply. "How much is this ER thing gonna cost, anyways?"

"What sort of thing, Mister Eriksen?" His hands prop up on his knees, bringing his shoulders up. Interested, perhaps. "This is probably the best opportunity for you to get tests done, if they're needed." The question has both of his eyebrows lifting, a note of surprise in the expression. "I do understand from the police report that there's some debate about where the fault lies, since you were out in the street? And while I can't weigh in on the legal matters, I can assure you that medical expenses won't be a problem." His daughter did hit him with a car, after all.

"You sure?" Jake asks, eyeing Abrams dubiously. He knows how much doctors love to do expensive tests. "Kay, just…long as you know I won't be able to pay for any tests y'do. So…best to just kick my ass out before you put me in one of those big MRI things. Y'see it's…"

He raises his hands up, like he's trying to hold onto some nebulous concept. "My skin is like… hard? Except it's not really hard." Not at all, it looks plenty supple from where the doctor is sitting. "But it /gets/ hard. I dunno, some kinda cancer thing? Is there a cancer that does that to you?" His eyes widen a little. Oh shit, he hadn't thought of cancer before!

"I don't tease about medical costs, Mister Eriksen." That is serious. Who knows how many people he sees who can't actually afford it. But as Jake starts to explain, his brow furrows a bit. "It isn't a cancer thing. But I have to ask, if your skin can harden." He doesn't actually ask, but he does nod toward where a bandage sits over his road rash.

"Uh, yeah…. I dunno about that," Jake says, rubbing at that bandage self-consciously. "I thought today, after Ry—your daughter, uh, ran into me… That it had gone away." He raises his hands in a weak cheer. "Yayyy, cured, yayyyy! Buuut then it came back. And I kinda lost it." He rubs at the back of his neck, sheepishly.

"The fit, yes, I heard." Doctor Abrams sits back to listen, arms folding across his chest. It might be worrisome that he doesn't seem disbelieving.

"We're going to take some blood. I'll over see the tests myself. But you must know, somewhere in you mind whether you're admitting it or not, that this isn't a medical condition." And since he seems to know what he's talking about, it comes out firm and maybe a little blunt. But he stands up to get a new set of needles and vials.

"Now hold on, Doc! I told you, I can't afford any tests!" Jake shifts farther up in his bed, his voice rising. The last comment earns a baffled look from the bed-ridden man, who cocks his head at Doctor Abrams. "…huh?"

"And I told you the medical expenses wouldn't be a concern," the doctor replies with. When he returns to Jake's bedside, he pulls on a pair of gloves, an eyebrow ticked upwards. It's a nurse's job, but he's making an exception this time. "Arm?" He holds a hand out, expectant.

"Skin hardening. Have you ever heard of that as a symptom of very many things before?" A casual question. "You haven't. You're something different."

Jake doesn't look convinced, but he only hesitates a moment before giving Abrams his arm. "I'm not exactly a doctor, Doc. I figured it was just one of those things that has a long, unpronounceable name that not many people have heard of. Like that family what with all the blue skin and stuff."

He's looking VERY incredulous now, and even snorts. "C'mon, Doc. I'm nobody special. I'm a construction worker, for God's sake! Can't get much less special than that. I can't even carry a tune."

"Now, that isn't fair at all. I see a lot of people through these doors, Mister Eriksen, and I've never seen one who wasn't special in one fashion or another." It is possible that this one got into medicine because of his compassion, rather than for the money. The money's nice, though.

The needle slides into his arm, the vial starting to fill up with his blood. "Aside from this run in with Rylie, what usually happens when you get battered like this? I'm assuming something similar has happened before for you to reach this conclusion about your skin hardening."

Jake's look turns exasperated. "You're startin' to sound a little After School Special, doc," Jake says sardonically. He watches the vial fill, apparently not the type to shy away from needles. "Well…if you give me the scalpel, I can show you." He gestures to one on a tray nearby.

"Cheesy, you mean? I'll accept that." When he pulls the needle out, he seals off the vial and stands to slide the needle into the disposal. "Give you a scalpel." The doctor repeats, an eyebrow arched up. But when he returns, he plucks up the instrument to pass over to the man. "Don't make a mess."

"It'll be fine," Jake says, taking the scalpel from the doctor. Without ceremony, he grabs it in his fist, point down like a dagger, and jabs it hard into his arm, right next to where Doctor Abrams had just drawn blood. When he pulls the scalpel away, there's a small welling of blood, and a tinge of red on the blade of the scalpel. Only, the scalpel now has a pretty nasty bend to it. "See?"

The doctor leans over to pluck up the scalpel again, giving it a look over. Then he picks up Jake's arm again to have a look at it. "Hmm." It's a curious noise, as opposed to frightened or freaked out.

He sets Jake's are back down and disposes of the scalpel as well. He sits down again, pulling off his gloves as he looks over at Jake. "I have to caution you, Mister Eriksen, about how often you show this particular… gift to others. I want to be very clear about that first and foremost. Most people don't understand how fascinating the animal kingdom is, can't really accept that humanity is just another animal. And science shows us that animals have adapted these almost fantastical sounding abilities. Are you following me?"

"Uh, I think so, yeah…" Jake says, starting to look worried. "It's like…don't show your rash to people, right? Or they might think you've got leprosy or something." He narrows his eyes as the Doctor goes on. "Wait…how did we get on animals?"

Doctor Abrams frowns at that analogy, shaking his head briefly, "It's more like showing your stash of diamonds around and expecting no one to take them." He shifts to rest his ankle on his opposite knee, eyes crinkling in a modest display of amusement. "Well, you're an animal, Mister Eriksen. As am I. Some creatures can see four primary colors. Tetrachromacy. Ultra violet vision. Hammerhead sharks can detect a ridiculously miniscule of electricity at a distance. Heighten smell, mindblowing camouflage abilities. They exist in nature. And I tell you this so you don't ever feel like you're something unnatural, Mister Eriksen. It's just humanity's turn to start developing such things. Like your rather amazing defense mechanism there."

Jake's bafflement goes up a notch. Diamonds? But he falls silent now, keeping his comments to himself, all attention on Doctor Abrams. "Defense mechanism? Like … on the discovery channel, they were calling those colorful tree frogs that. That kinda thing? You're saying I'm like one of those tree frogs, or something like that?" He raises his arm, eyeing it dubiously, like maybe he catch a glint of bright orange under the hospital's fluorescent light.

"Something like that. Your body has developed a way to keep you from getting hurt. Mostly. And it is a gift, as double edged as it may feel to you. At present, this is an… unknown effect. I study it, but frankly, most people have never noticed. You're something different, as I said. Something new." Doctor Abrams stands up then, to move to replace the chart at its spot at the end of the bed. Without writing on it, Jake might notice. "You will have to discover the subtleties of this… ability you have, but you do have one. You're special."

"Wait, you study this kind of thing? Meaning… you've seen something like this happen before?" Jake's attention is grabbed, and he sits up in the bed, only to wince and grab at his ribs, settling back again. "Are there other Special people?"

That last question gets a crooked smile from the doctor, and he steps back over, pulling a card out of his pocket to press against the little table the nurses try to bring him food on. But, instead of giving him a full answer, he gives him one, simple reply.

"You are not alone."

There's a moment to let that sink in before he starts heading for the door. "I'm leaving a prescription for painkillers when you leave here. Make sure you make an appointment at my office in the next few days, we'll discuss your recovery. Listen to the nurses when they come to give you your instructions, Mister Eriksen. And smile. Or we'll have to send you a mean one." And with that, the man slips out. A vial of Jake's blood with him and a business card with his office and personal line left behind.

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