Of Nannies and Nurses (part 7 of 13)
Of Nannies and Nurses (part 7 of 13) postapocalyptic stories
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ferp2
ferp2 Old, well, old-ish.
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Tuki takes a telling off. (God, I love alliteration.)

Of Nannies and Nurses (part 7 of 13)

At first, Magrat thought it was an accident, but then she felt Jake's fingers snake between her legs and around her thigh from behind.

In shock and panic, Magrat staggered backwards across the room and crashed into a medical trolley, sending it and its contents flying into a crash of broken glass and jingling metal instruments.

Johnson sat back, grinning... Well, that was until the lights went out.

When he came too again, the pain in his side was subservient to the new pain in the middle of his face.

Magrat had gone. Maisie didn't know where and couldn't leave the clinic to find her. Right now, she was finishing applying a nose splint to Johnson's very broken nose.

With not even the hint of gentleness, Maisie fastened the knot tight behind the man's head.

Realising he was awake, she leaned down so that her own nose was barely a centimetre from the triangular splint that covered the ruin behind it.

"You son of a bitch. You take your busted ribs and your busted nose and don't you dare show your face here again unless you are on the brink of death.

" She stood up straight, staring down in disgust at the man, his bare chest covered now in the blood that had gushed from his nose after Maisie's sizeable fist had pulverised it.

"And even then, you better make an appointment, so I don't have to be the one to treat you."

Johnson climbed painfully to his feet. The world only just finishing coming back into focus.

"You broke my damn nose!"

"Damn right, I did."

"You can't do that! I'll complain to..."

Maisie got right up into the man's face again.

"To who? The Doc? Our new constable? How about the mayor? Sure, you go straight to the mayor and tell her that I punched your lights out.

" By now, Jake Johnson was backing towards the door with Maisie matching him step for step.

And while you're at it, you tell her how you put your filthy hands on a fifteen-year-old girl right in front of me.

See what she has to say about that!" Maisie stopped because she was seconds away from punching the man again.

"Get the hell out of my sight!"

Seeing any more patients now, with all the glass on the floor, was out of the question.

Maisie had no choice but to go through to the waiting room and, after jokingly checking none of the four people there was dying, she asked everyone to come back in the afternoon.

By now, very few residents of Hope did not know about Magrat. Certainly, the waiting patients did.

They also knew Jake Johnson, and they had heard what he had had to say while he was being treated.

Now, these people were pretty simple down to earth folk, but it didn't take a genius to work out what had happened.

Heck, the expression on that young girl's face as she had run past, pretty much wrote them a book.

Even so, Maisie was still surprised when, rather than going home, all four of the patients had followed her back into the treatment room and quietly set-too helping her clean up the mess.

They had almost finished when a very sheepish Magrat appeared around the doorway and stood, head down and silent, leaning back against the peeling doorframe.

The four patients and Maisie exchanged a silent conversation and just as silently agreed that they should leave Maisie and Magrat alone.

As they passed her, each one of them either whispered something or patted Magrat's arm. The sullen fifteen-year-old acknowledged each with a minuscule nod.

And then they were gone.

There were a few seconds of silence, and it didn't look like Magrat was going to be the one to break it.

"Hey."

Magrat's response was a shrug of teenage shoulders. Maisie tried again.

"I er, wasn't sure I was going to see you again."

This time, Magrat lifted her head.

"I'm sorry. I..."

But the words weren't coming, so Maisie supplied her own.

"Don't be. I would have punched his lights out."

Magrat managed a half-grin.

"Er, you kinda did."

"I did. Didn't I?"

The awkward moment disappeared, and both of them grinned like conspirators.

Then Magrat's smile disappeared in an instant to be replaced by a strange combination of anger and puzzlement.

"The bastard had no right!"

And then the anger was just as quickly gone, leaving only the puzzled expression and the lack of words to describe it.

Maisie, however, knew exactly what it was. She had felt the flash of anger burst in her chest too. The difference being she knew precisely what had caused it.

She looked towards the open treatment room door.

****

"Kom Ind!"

Tuki took a breath, put on a smile and pushed the door open. Hyle's office was sparse, clean, tidy... Efficient. Tuki's office was, well mainly it was just 'post-it' notes on the fridge.

Hyle waved a hand at the chairs in front of her desk, and Tuki dutifully sat.

"So." Hyle started, interlacing her fingers and beaming a big smile across the desk. "Magrat?"

"Oh, she's fine. Maisie is showing her around the clinic." Hyle waited for more, but all she was getting was a slightly nervous grin. She tried again.

"Good, good. I'm glad she's fine. Soooo... What's her story? Why is she here, Tuki?"

Understanding settled on Tuki like the cold nausea of that last 'just one more' drink. She had meant to tell Hyle all about Magrat, she even had a memory of having done so... No, wait... Dammit.

"She's from the northern Devil's Own camp? Longhands' camp?" The expression on her momma's face was one of slightly irritated encouragement.

"You remember I was telling you about training up three medics?" The raised eyebrows below Hyle's blond fringe suggested not. Again... Dammit.

Tuki took a deep breath.

"Longhands', well, all three of the gangs actually, are losing people to stupid things like small wounds getting infected before my next visit.

So, Mor, Longhands and I thought it would be a good idea to train up some people to look out for and treat minor things before they became serious."

Hyle listened patiently. Her daughter's dedication to and insistence on providing medical care for the Devil's Own gangs that surrounded Hope Springs was a wonderful thing in Hyle's eyes.

What she was doing went a long way to reducing attacks on the townsfolk and, with Longhand's progressive outlook helping enormously, relations with the three gangs were actually slowly improving.

Hyle tuned back in just as Tuki was getting to the immediate point.

"So, Lonely and Esme are close to getting adopted by the gang, but Magrat has this little confidence problem soooo, I thought, 'hey,

wouldn't it be a good idea if she came here for a bit and Maisie showed her how to deal with difficult patients?'"

Hyle sat back. This was so like Tuki.

"And did you, at any time, think; 'hey, wouldn't it be a good idea to run this past Momma first, hmmm?"

Tuki bit her lip.

That little action, a habit of Tuki's from what seemed like so long ago when Tuki hadn't even begun her training at Haven yet, that little action brought a lump to Hyle's throat.

"Look, honey, I think what you are doing with Magrat is a wonderful idea, I really do."

"But... You have to realise that there is going to be a certain amount of inertia, especially among the older Hope residents, about having a Devil's Own wandering about the streets.

I mean, most of our people 'get it'. They understand what I am trying to do and even the more recent arrivals really do support the town."

Tuki sat with her hands in her lap. She knew that Hyle understood and even encouraged her.

But she realised that this time, she had messed up and because of that, poor Magrat could have been beaten up or even killed by Hana and her cronies.

This was a telling off, and Tuki knew she absolutely deserved it. So, she listened to her momma's words and took in the good advice they always contained.

"Just take a moment to think things through, great ideas sometimes take a while to achieve, hmm? Folks get nervous of sudden change. Especially the more conservative... you know...

The morons?"

They shared a conspirational smirk. Tuki could put the names to those faces just as easily as Hyle could.

Hyle stood up, holding out her arms. Tuki followed suit. They hugged for a long moment before Hyle opened the door.

"Just do me a favour?" Hyle said as she escorted her daughter across the office.

"If you take her on one of your visits to the hostel, try to make her a little less 'bandit-looking' you know...? Put her in scrubs or something.

Remember some of the girls there might have a bad reaction."

The door closed behind her and Tuki let out a sigh. As tellings off from her mother went, she had had worse.

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