Why Aren't You Suppressing The Pain?

March 14, 2016:

Following the events of 'Triggered', Betsy patches Rachel up and teaches her telepathic pain management… after the second staple goes in.

Medical Bay - X-Men Bunker

The X-Men's on-site medical facility.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Laura Kinney, Rose Wilson, Scott Summers, Jean Grey


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Right after Laura lacerated Rachel in the Danger Room, Betsy had dragged the redhead to the medical bay— conveniently (or thoughtfully) nearby. The wound probably wouldn't be fatal unless left untreated, at least.

Unfortunately for the Summers scion, Betsy's bedside behaviour needs some polishing. There's not much in the way of reassurances, and there's even less empathy.

"This is going to hurt a bit," Betsy advises Rachel, helping her ease onto a surgical table. "Thankfully, it's quite a clean cut. Can you keep pressure?" she asks, gesturing at the wound. For the moment, it's held shut by Rachel's force of will, a method that's neither easy nor painless.

Betsy hands her a thick wad of sterile white cloth, just in case, and moves to the sink to scrub up. She does it thoroughly— takes about a minute, and uses a brush to boot. Then she gloves up and starts tossing tools into an aluminum tray, going through the drawers in a fashion that's sure to cause whoever organizes them so neatly a fit.

Rachel hadn't been entirely keen on letting Laura out of her sight. She wasn't entirely convinced that the remarkably deadly young woman wouldn't take it into her head to begin her hunt immediately, her agreement to wait notwithstanding. In the end it came down to the simple fact that if Laura did decide to take off, Rachel was in no condition to stop her, and getting less so by the minute.

"No kidding." Rachel hisses out as she's maneuvered onto the table. Once she's lying down she takes a couple of quick breaths while the pain eases, then rolls her head to the side so that she can nod to Betsy. "I can keep pressure. Just don't ask me to do anything else." Multitasking with her telekinesis is a bit beyond her right now.

Left to her own devices as Betsy prepares, Rachel looks around the medical bay. She hasn't ventured into this area of the X-Men's underground complex previously, and the last time she was somewhere this clean and clinical… Rachel's mind skitters away from the comparison, and she concentrates on holding herself together. "Do you think she'll wait?" Rachel asks, mostly to distract herself.

"I give it better than even odds," Betsy tells Rachel, moving back to the table. "She's not particularly headstrong. Jean I would have hugged and reassured until she calmed down." She holds up something that looks like a grease gun with a long, tapered nozzle, and spurts some thick pinkish foam into the air. "Hold your breath."

She pushes the slender tip into the wound site and starts spraying the clotting agent inside the injury, backing the syringe out to fill it completely.

"Laura is efficient and rational, so I appealed to her rationality. She'll hold fast until we have more intelligence on the matter." Betsy gets out a medical staplegun and tests it with a *clack* of steel against the tray, and then with a no-nonsense attitude, starts stapling shut the edges of Rachel's wound.

Rachel purses her lips, then shrugs slightly, the motion looking a bit odd since she's lying down. At the mention of Jean, and despite the situation, Rachel's eyes get a spark of impish curiosity. She almost asks 'and what would you have done if it was me?'… but Betsy tells her to hold her breath. And honestly, her eyes are focused on the pink foam spurting from whatever the implement is that Betsy's holding. Rachel's brows come together dubiously, but by then Betsy's already going to work.

Rachel's hands find the edges of the table and grip hard. It's not the least pleasant thing that she's had to endure, but it's not fun.

Rachel focuses on Betsy and what she's saying. Efficient and rational. Rachel guesses so. And then the staplegun comes out and Rachel has to let out a strangled noise of pain as the first staples go in. Her hands grasp spasmodically against the edges of the table again, and her whole body goes rigid with the effort of keeping herself in place and not pulling away from Betsy's ministrations.

Betsy peers at Rachel, pausing after the second staple. "…why aren't you suppressing the pain?" she asks, with an upticked eyebrow. "Hasn't anyone taught you how to do that?"

"Pay attention," Betsy instructs the redhead. She pushes her palm against Rachel's bare ribs, above where she's cut away her shirt, and focuses. A glimmer of amethyst flickers about her brow as she sends energy into Rachel's torso. ~Here, here, and… here. Apply psionic pressure.~ Her thoughts echo in Rachel's mind, showing the woman where and how to dampen the nerve clusters.

"Is that better?" she asks, stapler hovering near Rachel's ribs but not continuing until she gives assent.

Rachel draws in a breath with a bit of a gasp. "I was… the only telepath left. No-one to teach me. And if I could block my own pain, my handlers couldn't have… I wouldn't have…" Rachel's only too happy to shut up and pay attention. She's also a quick study. « That's so obvious. Why didn't I… » Rachel's mental voice cuts off as abruptly as her physical voice did. She knows the answer to that question, too.

Instead, Rachel concentrates on putting what she just learned into action. There's a flicker of fire in her eyes, and then Rachel sags against the table. "Better." She confirms.

"Mhm." Betsy focuses on the work at hand. All told, it's about ten gleaming new staples before the wound's properly sealed shut. "There, that should do it," she says, stepping back and admiring her handiwork. It won't win any door prizes, but it does the job adequately enough.

"It's a technique I developed on my own while I was in Southeast Asia," Betsy explains, removing her gloves to dispose of them. "Jean can affect something like it. She's got a remarkable tolerance for pain. It's essentially chi blocking, except done psychokinetically instead of with fingertips. It's much more effective, and doesn't require me to punch you in the ribs," Betsy says, a wry undercurrent in her tones. "I will give you some regular painkillers, though— you'll have a hard time maintaining it when you sleep tonight."

Now that the pain's gone, Rachel's actually a less compliant patient because she's trying to get a look at what Betsy's doing while she's still doing it. Eventually she gives up and just lets the other woman work. When Betsy announces that she's finished, Rachel carefully raises herself up on her elbows and finally gets that good look that she wanted. Seeing the line of staples without the corresponding pain is odd. "Thanks." She says after a couple of moments' further inspection.

Carefully, Rachel raises herself to a sitting position and shifts around so that her legs are dangling off the edge of the table. "I think I prefer the hands-off method." Rachel says, her tone matching Betsy's. "I'm pretty good at keeping my telepathy running when I sleep." Rachel says, finding something interesting to look at on the far wall as she says that, but then she comes to some internal decision and looks back at Betsy again. "But I'll take them. Thanks."

Rachel looks down at herself and sighs. Still damp, and she's ruined an entire set of her very limited supply of clothes. It's easier to think about that for a while than what's really bothering her. "So Rose was half right. People do want me. They just want me dead, not alive." The new note in Rachel's voice isn't self-pity, it's anger. "And they'd use Laura to get to me." Rachel's tone changes and she sighs. "Good thing I didn't know how to block my own pain. You'd have had to stop both of us, not just one."

It doesn't take long to get Rachel patched up, but the cleanup afterwards is a bit more time consuming. The clothes are indeed ruined, and Betsy Rachel cut them away using surgical shears. She then uses liberal amounts of rubbing alcohol and sterile wipes to help Rachel clean up the blood. Movies never really convey just how much a person can bleed from a knife wound.

"I'm somewhat surprised that things went as badly as they did," Betsy points out, with an upticked eyebrow. Crisis averted— now time for a scolding. "Last I checked, you could upend a passenger car with a thought. How did she even get close enough to slash you so badly?"

"As for Rose being half right, that's an accurate enough statement," Betsy agrees. "It's a fairly serious problem, I imagine. We shall have to investigate some means of getting you publically exonerated. I am not sure -how-," she admits. "My brother no doubt would have a million theories on how to prove you are from a different part of the timestream than before. A million very, very boring theories."

"I still can." Rachel replies, the raised eyebrow and, well, the tone Betsy's using telling her what's coming. Rachel holds Betsy's gaze, a bit of defiance in her eyes, before she lets out a breath and looks away. "I made some bad tactical choices." Someone has apparently taken their first training session with Scott to heart. "I knocked her down but I didn't make sure she was going to STAY down before I went for her mind. I thought I could shut her down without hurting her." Rachel shakes her head. "Stupid, I know. I wasn't prepared for… you felt it. That rage… I couldn't get through it, couldn't get to her, and then she had a claw in my side. Stupid." Rachel sighs in frustration. "After that, my plan was to isolate us so I could try again without risking anyone else." Rachel looks up and shrugs. "I'm glad you arrived when you did."

"I have a feeling that these people aren't going to care about technicalities." Rachel replies, grimly. "Killing me so I can't go for a repeat performance is probably worth it anyway." Rachel narrows her eyes a bit, worrying at her lower lip without realising she's doing it. "So much for a low profile. Scott is going to be pissed. I thought lunch with Nate was safe enough." Her lips twist into an approximation of a smile. "More socialisation." She adds, as if to explain herself.

Betsy's reprimanding expression softens a bit. "You are not used to working with a team," she corrects Rachel. "You could have restrained her and called for assistance. I was less than a minute away. And while your choice to distance yourself is… very noble, it was not tactically sound. Laura was after you, not after anyone else. Piotr could have sat upon her until help arrived," she says with another wry, fleeting smile.

"Just bear in mind the assets you have around you," she tells Rachel, patting the redhead's leg once, reassuringly. "But as far as mistakes go, you'll recover nicely from this one. And, as I said, this is a strategic moment, not a tactical one. They reveal their hand, and in doing so, reveal a part of their identity."

"I wanted to stop her, not crush her." Rachel complains when Piotr is mentioned, but she appreciates Betsy's attempt to lighten the tone. "Anyway, I didn't realise I was her only target at the time. The sight of me set her off." Rachel slides a sidelong look at Betsy, as if daring her to comment. "But I didn't know she was fixated on me. I… didn't want to take the chance that she wasn't." That's not all of it, of course. For all her faults, Rachel's meant what she's said all along: She doesn't want anyone else getting hurt because of her.

It's a decision she's going to have to take a good hard look at before it gets her killed.

"Point taken." Rachel says, giving in for the time being. "Next time I'll yell." Whether she will or not remains to be seen. Rachel braces her hands on the edge of the bed and slips down to her feet - with a distinct squish as her sneakers hit the floor. "All right. I'll get cleaned up and then we'll go over who has a good reason to want Rachel Grey dead?" She suggests, moving to the door and pausing with her hand on the frame to look back at Betsy. "Next time I'll yell." She promises, after a moment's hesitation, and smiles. "Thanks for patching me up."

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