(2018-11-15) Luci's Fever
Franklin brings Luci to the new doctor in town.

Uma's practice has only been open a few days and that was the most important part to get ready. This means that the rest of the house, which patients may have the pleasure to see if she hasn't closed the doors, is still full of unopened packing boxes. The front door is open. The sign advertising the practice as open is on display. The doc herself - clad in flats, slacks, and sweater - is helping an elderly patient out the door. "Remember, Missus Armstrong, take the blue pill every night before a meal. And, please, please, try to cut down on the drinking. Take care" she smiles, offering a wave to the departing woman. "Is everyone an alcoholic in this town?" she mutters sadly under her breath. No receptionist yet, she has to check the appointment book herself for the next patient.

Contrary to popular belief, CPD officers do get time-off sometimes. Today, Franklin is in civvies rather than his uniform, a winter coat over a gray sweater, with cargo pants and hiking boots with snow still clinging to them as he steps into the clinic. In his massive arms he carries his very own bundle of joy: a dark-haired 10-year-old girl whom he cradles against one shoulder.
The state of unpacking gets a lift of a brow from the big man, as well as the lack of a receptionist… or a queue of patients, for that matter. Of course, it takes time for a new doctor to build up confidence, especially in a relatively small city like Calaveras, but hey, who would object to a lack of a wait?

Giving Uma a quick once over, and deciding that yup, she must be the resident G.P., Franklin approaches the currently-disorganized front desk. "Uh, hi." That should get her attention, right? "My little girl needs to be looked at. How do you want us to register?" The big man asks, straight to the point.

Uma glances up at the new arrival…and up…and up. "Oh, hey, what seems to be the matter?" Attention quickly moving to her patient. She reaches out to feel her forehead, smiling to the girl as she does so. "Hello. I'm Doctor Campbell, but you can call me Uma. Not feeling well? Why don't we do something about that?" She gestures down the hall to the consulting room. "How about we worry about the paperwork afterwards." Uma walks briskly to the open door, ushering them inside.

The girl opens one eye to peek at the doctor, and murmurs softly "I don't feel good." It elicits a gentle pat on the back by Franklin's large mitt, as the big cop chimes in. "She's running a low-grade fever." He rumbles, already moving to follow Uma down the hall into the indicated room. "Started out with a sore throat this morning, so it might be a flu but I figure it's best to have it looked at." He further explains while carefully depositing the little girl in the patient's chair.

Uma nods to the information, maintaining a smile for the girl before offering her a thermometer. "Can you put this under your tongue, please. How long have you been feeling bad? Does your stomach hurt?" The questions are for both, but she directs them to the patient. "Can you tell me your name?" She pulls out the thermometer to check the temp before grabbing a penlight. "Can you open up and say 'Aaah'?"

The girl looks properly glum, and her cheeks rosy with temperature, but she does open her mouth to let Uma stick a thermometer under her tongue. And now that she can't speak, she just shakes her head at the lady doctor, so it's unclear which question she is shaking her head at. When the thermometer is withdrawn, she bobs her head and offers an answer to the name question at least. "My name is Luci Payne." followed by an "aaah".

Standing next to the chair, Franklin crosses her thick arms and picks up where the girl left off. "She hasn't complained about her tummy. It seems to be all up in her sinuses."

"Nice to meet you, Luci" Uma smiles, thinking that Payne is an unfortunate surname in the current context but not saying anything. That would be rude. She peers down Luci's throat, frowning a little. "Certainly some inflammation and redness. Not much fun eating, Luci? That's the kind of throat that needs ice cream" she winks to the girl before a nod to Franklin about the sinuses. "Do I detect some medical training" she asks the concerned father, offering him a warm smile for a moment before standing and giving Luci a gentle ruffle of her hair. "You're going to be fine, Luci. You're going to feel pretty horrible for a couple of days but then you'll be right as rain." Uma looks to Franklin. "Rest. Plenty of liquids, including juice. Soft foods. I'll do up a script for the infection but if she can do without them, then don't use them."

There is a moment of brightness and hope in Luci's eyes when Uma mentions ice cream, and she briefly looks up at Franklin who only squints down at the girl. Still, the large man nods in silent gratitude to Uma, but addresses the little girl first. "You hear that? Rest. Liquids. Soft foods. No candies till you get better."

"She didn't say no candies." The girl counters. "Daddy you just made that up."

"No, she just forgot to say it." Franklin shoots back and looks over at Uma expectantly. "Right, doc? No candies?" He does add in a quiet voice to answer the doctor's question though. "Not really medical training, just first aid. It's a job requirement."

"Your father is right, Luci. No candies, sorry." Uma frowns at having to relay such terrible news before crouching down to talk with Luci eye to eye. "There are tiny little things inside your body making you sick. And they /love/ sugar from candies. The more sugar you eat, the stronger they become, the sicker you get. So you don't want that, right? Once you're well, maybe…/maybe/, Daddy will let you have some candies again. Okay." A warm smile once more before she rises to write out a script.

"Job requirement?" Uma looks him over for a moment. "Police? Fire?" He certainly looks like he could do either. She tears off a page from the pad and hands it over. "Only if required, okay. No need to make any more resistant diseases then we already have. I suppose we should get that registration sorted out."

It's a universal truth that kids will always listen to a stranger, but never to their parents. Luci may look unhappy at Uma's confirmation of 'no candies', but she is attentive and reluctantly agrees to follow the doctor's words, along with a quietly muttered "Okay".

Franklin, in turn, looks quite satisfied with the outcome, even wagging a finger at Luci while Uma writes the prescription. The father-daughter communication doesn't require any words, but the meaning is clearly transmitted. "Police, actually. Sergeant Franklin Payne, ma'am." The big guy's attention turns back to Uma as he accepts the slip and takes a quick look. "I take it you're new in town, Doctor Campbell? Where're you from?"

The large policeman's name is Payne? There must be catchphrases in this. "Nice to meet you, Sergeant Payne. I'm from Denver, and, yes, very new. I will unpack one day" she laughs softly. "Now, where did I put those forms" she grumbles, checking her, very empty, filing cabinet and pulling out some registration forms. "Here we are. You probably get more than enough paperwork at your work so I apologise in advance. Luci, do you like to read? I have some books you can look at while your father fills these out."

"Do you have Waldo books?" Luci asks, like any discriminating 10-year-old would, with an expectant tone that reminds the grown-ups that she is no longer a kid, but heading into tween territory.

At least Franklin finds it amusing. He grins lopsidedly but lets Uma answer Luci's question, while he accepts the forms and glances over them quickly. "We should probably do this outside, huh?" He jerks a thumb back towards the waiting room area, in case there are other patients waiting. "And welcome to Calaveras. Listen, if you are planning on sticking around, I'd love to have you as our family doctor. The doctor we usually go to is retiring next year… in fact, he's down in Mexico right now scoping out some beachfront property. That's why I was driving around looking for a clinic."

Uma furrows her brow at Luci in exaggerated shock. "Who /doesn't/ have Waldo books. I even have 'Where's Chewbacca' and 'Where's Harry Potter' books. Unless they're too young for you." A nod to Franklin's suggestion to relocate. "They're in the waiting room" she smiles to her patient before leading her way to the empty room, offering her hand if she wants it…and Daddy doesn't mind.

"Thank you" Uma replies to the welcome. "It's a nice little town. Please don't tell me it is rife with crime as I was hoping to stick around" she giggles before looking rather touched. "I would love to be your family doctor, thank you. Do you and your wife have other children? Make sure to list everyone on the form." Her medical certificates on the wall include ones obtained during her time in the Army.

There is another exchange of glances, before Luci takes Uma's hand and pulls herself out of the chair, then follows the doctor out to the waiting room. "I like Harry Potter, I don't really like Star Wars. That's for little kids." She opines, which brings an eye-roll to the trailing Franklin.

"Luci, you're going to be eleven in March, not thirty." Dear ol' dad grumbles, but he peels off towards the receptionist counter so he can start filling in the forms. Although… Uma's comment about crime gives him a brief pause. He just opens his mouth, but fails to find any words, so he just moves right along. "No, it's just Luci here. And I'm a single parent; her mom took off when she was a baby…"

"That was very irresponsible of her." Luci suddenly chimes in, nodding at Uma sagely.
Franklin clears his throat. "Yes, well, thank you pumpkin." He lifts his pen to scratch at his forehead, while he peers briefly at the certificates. "You were in the Army M.C.?"

"I did some of my residence in the Army. And a tour once I qualified. Can't say I miss it" Uma explains. "Things got hectic" she adds with a dismissive wave of her hand before nodding solemnly to Luci. "It may have been." She is referring to the irresponsibility of Luci's mother. "But I don't know all the details." An apologetic smile for Franklin that this has even come up. But at least Luci has her books now.

Fortunately for the adults, Luci's interest turns fully on the books once they are handed over to her, and despite her not feeling well, the girl is interested enough to go sit on one of the chairs to search for Harry Potter. That leaves Franklin to continue filling out the forms, but not before the big cop makes a face at Uma. "Kids, always in a hurry to grow up." He mutters, then proceeds to take his wallet where his medical insurance cards are stored. While he scribbles, Franklin glances at Uma and continues conversationally. "Where were you stationed, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Fort Carson in Colorado" Uma replies, watching Luci, a smile on her face, before turning her attention fully to Franklin. "And then I was up near Mosul." She likes to gloss over the Iraq part. "She is gorgeous, you must be very proud." Uma is talking of Luci. "Sorry about bringing up her mother. Were you born and raised here?"

The brief mention of Mosul brings a quirk to Franklin's brow, but all he follows up with is a slow bob of his head, and a somewhat offhanded "Makes you appreciate the mountains and forests around here, doesn't it? All that sand gets into everything. I can't even go to Vegas anymore." There is a pause while Franklin copies some information from the card on to the form, before he glances over to Luci on Uma's cue. "She's the love of my life." He admits, and in that moment, there is no doubt of his sincerity. Turning back to Uma, Franklin makes a face and shakes his head. "It's been so long since her mother took off, it don't faze me no more, so don't sweat it. And yeah, I'm technically a local, born and grew up here, but I ran off to join the Marines after high school. In the old days, the Marines had this catchy recruitment motto: Travel the world, meet interesting people, and kill them." He deadpans, adding a brief grin at the end.

"I remember that motto" Uma smirks. "So you were over there too? I came back about…two years ago? Denver…which is home…but didn't want to end up in a private practice for rich people. So, came down here." She rolls her eyes. "Wow, Uma, do you really think he wants to hear your life story after meeting you thirty minutes ago. So, what can a person do in this town to enjoy themselves? Other than working twenty-four seven, of course."

"Two tours." Franklin nods to the question about Iraq, but further clarifies things. "I was there in '03 and drove right up to Baghdad. Went back there after 18 months and it was even more of a hellhole than in '03." He grunts a bit, sounding displeased, before shaking his head to dismiss the thoughts. "There's not much entertainment in town, aside from a few bars. But if you like the outdoors, you can beat the sights around Calaveras; the canyon and park are really something else. In fact, I try to take Luci out there as much as I can find the time." He pauses to consider something, peering over at Luci then lowering his voice. "Listen, Doc, I don't want to alarm you, but things' been a bit crazy around town lately. I'd strongly suggest staying home after dark… just in case."

"Cold time of the year to be heading outside, isn't it?" Uma replies with a wry smile. "Two tours? Respect. I could barely handle one." A few bars were probably what she was expecting. It's not like there would be a Disneyland here. But then things get alarming. "Are you serious?" she asks about what sounds like a curfew. "Serves me right for not taking an interest in the news" she frowns, sucking on her lower lip for a moment. "Don't worry, I'm not really a night person" she admits with a wry smile.

"Totally serious." Franklin confirms and continues with the form until it's finished. The sheets are then offered to Uma. "Here, forms' all done. Anyway, Calaveras isn't what it used to be, so just keep an eye open. I make it my personal business to know what's going on around town; if you ever run into a sticky spot, feel free to call me up. I mean, if you're going to be looking after my baby, I should be looking out for you, y'know?"

Uma takes the forms, looking them over briefly - everything seems to be in order. "I should have talked to you /before/ moving down here" she snorts before nodding to Franklin's words. "I even have you number. 911, right?" Old police phone number joke…which is she is immediately embarrassed about. "It will be my pleasure to look after Luci. I'll do that for nothing."

Hey, the old 911 joke always gets a cop smiling! "Oh I wouldn't ask that, Doc Campbell. Everyone's gotta make a living, and we do have medical insurance." Straightening to his full height, Franklin looks past Uma at Luci, waiting for the girl to flip a page before calling out. "Ready to go, pumpkin? Doctor said you need to rest, and we gotta swing by the groceries to get some juice."

Luci does look up from her book, sniffing a bit and blinking her bleary eyes. "Are we leaving right now? I haven't found Hermione yet."

Franklin steals a glance over at Uma. "The Doctor's busy. She has other patients to look after and unpacking to do. C'mon." He reiterates, holding out a big hand to beckon at the girl.

"Luci, why don't you take the book? You can bring it back when you've found everyone" Uma smiles to the dear child before looking back to Franklin. "Great to meet you, Officer Payne. I would say I hope to see you again but that's not what a doctor should say" she smiles. "Let me know if Luci doesn't improve after about…three days. Or if you're concerned at any time, don't hesitate to drop by. You know where I live."

Luci looks positively surprised at Uma's offer, and glances at daddy to confirm it's okay to accept the book. With a silent quirk of his brow, Franklin prompts Luci to turn her grateful look to the doctor. "Thank you, Doctor." She tells Uma, while clutching the book to her chest as she gets to her feet, and moves to join her daddy at the counter.

Crouching down, Franklin carefully adjusts Luci's coat and zips her up; it's almost odd how delicate his giant mitts are as they handle the little girl. "There, you have to keep you neck warm." He tells her, before getting back to his feet and turning to Uma. "The pleasure's definitely ours, Doc. I'll keep that in mind, but I'm really glad we found you today." The big guy will even offer a hand.

A hand that is taken and shaken firmly. "I'm glad you found me too." The warmth between father and daughter enriches Uma's soul. "Bye, Luci. Take care of yourself." Once she has seen them off, it is time to do some unpacking until the next patient arrives.

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