(2018-11-28) Everything is Fine
Everything is fine. Except for that ruined car and..the other stuff.

Katherine's cellular suddenly begins to ring!!

Katherine winces as she gazes at Anthony. "It..was a popular culture thing, and I already feel silly about it, don't rub it in." She wrinkles her nose and settles back, her knitting needles picking up a rhythm again. She sets aside her knitting, blinks and picks up the phone, motioning for the others to hold on a moment.

Katherine removes her cellular, flipping it open to answer the call.

<Phone> You hear a click as the line is established.

(Quietly into the phone) You say "Hello?"

<Phone> Xavier's voice on the other end is unlike him - slow, halting, almost drunken sounding. But still recognizable. "Katherine? My apologies, for disturbing you. Could I ask a favor?"

(Quietly into the phone) You say "Of course you can." Katherine gets to her feet, moving away from the conversation going on around her. "Are you inebriated somewhere?"

<Phone> Xavier says "Drunk? No. Not…not drunk. Sorry. I've had a bit of an accident. Slippery roads. I'm fine. But it's a bit far to walk."

(Directed into the phone) Katherine gathers her coat, offering mouthed apologies to Anthony and Vyv. "I understand, where are you?" She pulls her hat from her pocket and stuffs it on her head. "Do I need to call a towing service for your vehicle?"

<Phone> Xavier laughs, softly. It sounds pained. "No. I'll call the rental company, eventually. I just need to run it through a compactor a couple of times, first." There's a long pause, as if he might have forgotten her question, before he says, "Somewhere on 10 East. I think I was about half an hour out from the Edisto ranch. Somewhere around there. Sorry, Kate. Don't mean to make it difficult."

(Quietly into the phone) Katherine pauses, her keys jingling in the background. "Did you get injured when this car thing happened?" She sighs and the sound of the door shutting can be heard. "I'm on my way, I know where that is, and you really don't need to apologize."

<Phone> Xavier doesn't answer directly, although he does say, "If you know any doctors who make house calls and are discreet, I wouldn't mind a referral."

(Quietly into the phone) Katherine frowns, not saying anything for a moment or two. "I.. I'm on my way, just hang tight."

Katherine clicks her cellular to disconnect the call and hangs up.

It's not hard to find where Xavier went off the road - the asphalt is marked with black tire marks in both directions, as if there was a sudden but enthusiastic bout of vehicular jousting that happened, and then a set of tire marks go off the side of the road. And down a long, dangerous looking slope, there's what's left of a luxury sedan at the bottom. It is crumpled in ways that suggest it flipped at LEAST once. Xavier is also there, sprawled against the car, his eyes closed, his breathing shallow. Blood has started to freeze to one side of his face from a gash on his head, and one of his arms lays limp. In his other hand, he's holding his phone. His skin, the parts not covered with blood or darkening bruises, is very pale.

It's even odds if Katherine will notice the bullet holes in the mangled wreck of the luxury sedan.

Katherine pulls up, chains on her tires as the roads are a little slick. She gets out, bundled up against the cold and squints around. She walks up to the edge of the slope, gazing down at the wreck of the vehicle, a frown forming on her lips. "You called me, and not the police and an ambulance?" She shakes her head, looking faintly stunned. She doesn't stay that way for long, moving over to the van to pull out some bungee cords, securing one to the door of the van. Her running muttering commentary as she works can clearly be heard. "I should call the police, they would want to know that there was an accident out here, and how I'm going to get you up the bloody hill is a mystery to me." She keeps one hand wrapped around the cord that is also tied around her waist and slowly makes her way down the slope.

She is almost to the car when she does notice the bullet holes, and she is startled enough to slip and almost loose her footing, going still for a moment. "This wasn't an accident, was it?" She asks quietly, pulling her lead over as she kneels next to Xavier. She gingerly touches the side of his face, looking at the gash there. "We're going to have to work together to get up the slope." She informs him quietly, pulling her coat off in anticipation of needing to wrap it around him.

Xavier rouses at the sound of her voice, and offers a faint smile. "Kiss me, Kate. Have you seen that show? It's very…amusing." He focuses enough to hear her words. "No police. No press. No police. Definitely an accident - /I/ certainly didn't intend for it to happen." He makes a sound of protest at the gentle touch - the gash is high above his temple, disappearing into his hair, and will probably need a stitch or two, but the cold has actually helped keep it from bleeding too badly. "I never got high marks on working with others," he rambles, but obediently begins pushing himself to his feet.

Katherine laughs despite herself. "No kisses until I have you in the van." She looks like she might want to scold him, but out in the cold while he's injured isn't the place for it. She puts her coat around him and then her arm, glancing up the slope dubiously. "Well you're going to have to work with me here, because if you don't, we're both going to be coming back down that slope." She aims a look at his legs to see how well he's going to be able to walk, frowning. "You going to tell me what happened or am I going to have to guess?" She pulls the line around her waist taut, wrapping it around her gloved hand.

Xavier wraps his good arm around her, and gives her a rather ghoulish smile, thanks to all the blood. "Van, and then kisses. Got it." He doesn't seem to have trouble standing, at least, and there's no bones protruding or anything concerning like that. "We don't want to come down the slope," he informs her, solemnly. "Already did that. Would be boring the second time. And I'd need a new car." At her last question, he just says, "Shhh. An accident, Kate." And starts staggering forward.

Katherine starts up the slope, the cords helping her stay upright. She winces as a particularly nasty gust of wind whips down the hillside, shivering enough to make her teeth chatter. "You already need a new car, I'm afraid to tell you, that one looks done in." She gives another yank on the cord when she slips slightly, digging in the cleats attached to her boots. "We had a talk about lying, don't think I didn't get a look at your car." Halfway up the slope now, she keeps her arm tight around Xavier's waist.

"You're cold," Xavier says, with a sudden frown. He tries to cuddle her closer, which is not a thing that works when trying to walk up a slope. They stagger drunkenly for a bit before he recognizes this and starts moving forward again. "The rental company will not be pleased." He smiles at her as they continue up. "Met a truck. A woman IN a truck. We played the game, and I seem to have lost this round. Unfortunate."

"You've got my coat." Katherine reminds Xavier, frowning at him as they stumble a bit. She manages to keep upright thanks to the bungee cord, but she'll have a bruise on her hand now. They crest the slope and she huffs out a breath that shows in the darkness. "You'll be lucky to get another car off of them, to be honest." She rolls her eyes and then adds. "Though you probably could just buy one, so I'm not sure if that's a worry or not." She aims a look at Xavier and scowls, unwrapping the cord from her waist. She walks him to the van and opens the passenger door. "Buckle up." She says absently, shutting the door and moving to pull the cord free from the sliding door, stowing it in the back of the van.

"That's not how it's supposed to work, Kate," Xavier chides her, gently. "I give my coat to you. Traditional. But not the puddle thing; this blazer cost five hundred dollars." He at least seems guidable, now - he gets himself into the passenger side with only one arm, and immediately puts his head back against the seat and closes his eyes. "Money solves many problems, my dear Kate. Insurance won't be happy, though." He turns his head a little, although he doesn't open his eyes. Still, even from the back she might hear him say, "Thank you. For coming."

Katherine gets into the van, starting it with a frown. "In this case, you needed the coat more." She pulls out onto the road, driving towards the city. "You should go to the hospital." She mutters, glancing over at Xavier, looking concerned. "You don't have to thank me, honestly, but…" She just looks worried, driving carefully so she doesn't slide on the roads.

"No hospital, if you please," Xavier says. The warmth inside the van seems to be helping him regain some of his coherence. "I'll be fine. May need a couple of stitches; do you know a doctor?" He reaches over his body to clumsily pat her with his good hand. "I do. Have to thank you. I don't think anyone else I could have called would have come."

"They would call the police." Katherine affirms, frowning as she turns off the highway and into the city. "I know Abby, but she'll insist on you going to the hospital. If you want a doctor who is going to keep it quiet? No, I don't know someone like that. Where are you injured besides your head?" She asks, turning to survey him briefly. "Someone would have come to help you, Xavier, people here don't hate you." She remarks, sighing softly.

"No police." That's very firm. Xavier's brow furrows. "I don't know Abby. But that's fine. I'll be fine. You've got a first aid kit and a needle. Nothing to it, really." He offers her a reassuring smile. "I'm fine. Just a little bump on my head. And I think my shoulder's dislocated, but that just needs a bit of…pushing. Pops right back in, as good as new." To the last, he just laughs, softly.

Katherine slows down, turning to drive up into Oak Ridge. "You want me to give you stitches?" She asks, the reassuring smile not working at the moment. The roads are slippery and she is shivering, despite the heat being on. "Just pops right back in." She repeats, her breathing picking up a bit as she goes pale. "You'll be fine. Fine. Jesus."

"I'm going to find it difficult to give them to myself, Kate," Xavier points out, in a maddeningly reasonable voice. "I'll try if you like, but I'm going to insist on alcohol." There's a thoughtful pause. "Actually, alcohol either way." He blinks at her, slowly. In the darkness, his pupils have pushed hard against his irises, reducing them to bright rings of blue. "Kate. Are you okay?"

"Slight panic attack, it's fine. Alcohol is probably a good idea, we're almost at the house." Katherine focuses on her breathing as they pull up in the driveway, clutching the steering wheel firmly. "No, I'm not going to make you give yourself stitches, but.." She turns to blink back at Xavier, reaching out to wipe blood from his cheek. "We're going to have to sneak in, or there will be a lot of people asking a lot of questions. Think you can walk softly?" Her breath is still hitching, but she's holding it together.

"Walk softly," Xavier agrees, leaning into her touch a little. "I don't have a big enough stick, though. And I don't think the lightsaber will help here. Unless I can make her laugh herself to death." Despite the rambles, when they do reach the house and the van pulls to a stop, he's able to get himself out with minimal help. "Kate. Katherine. It will all be fine." Another attempt at the reassuring smile. "We'll look back on this night and laugh. You'll see."

"This is not something to joke about." Katherine mutters, quietly helping Xavier into the house and up the stairs. She shoulder checks the door to the chocolate room and leads him in, helping him to settle on the bed before she runs her fingers through her hair. "Yes, this will all be fine." She hiccups, grimacing before she walks to the closet, pulling it open. She fetches a sewing kit from the top shelf and holds up a finger. "I'm going to go get the whiskey downstairs. Just…sit there and don't move." She walks back out the door, closing it gently.

"You have to joke about it," Xavier says. "What else are you going to do?" He holds up a finger when she does, and says, "Shhh. Quietly." then smiles at her. Then winces because that hurts. He leans back on the bed as she turns to go, and looks down at his torn and bloody suit. "Fuck," he says, quietly. "What has this damned city got against my good clothes?"

When Katherine returns, she has a large bottle of whiskey with her, and a candle. She doesn't comment on joking, she just eyes Xavier, setting the sewing kit down on the dresser. "First things first." She holds out the alcohol, waiting for him to take a sip. "I saw something on one of those silly television shows about not letting a shoulder stay dislocated or else it will swell and then is more difficult to put back in place. So that would be first, right?" She still looks pale, shaking as if she might still be cold, despite how warm it is in the room.

Xavier reaches for the bottle with his good hand and - having had a dislocated shoulder before - gently takes it from her hold so that he can tip a lot more than a sip into his mouth. Besides, everything hurts anyway. He drinks until breathing needs to happen, then puts it aside on the dresser, but still in easy reach. "Shoulder first. And, who knows? I might pass out. That'll make the next part easier. But you'll have to wake me up. Might be concussed. A little." He smiles at her. "It'll be okay, Kate. If you don't want to hurt me now, you probably will at some point, so just think of this as a…preemptive strike."

Katherine nods along with Xavier's words, swallowing visibly. "Tell me what to do, and ..I'll wake you up." She takes a deep breath and gives the whiskey a look as if she wants a swig of it, her hands twitching. "That's not how I operate, I don't hurt people I care about, but thank you for the bolstering words."

Xavier slides himself down flat on his back on the bed, his feet dangling off the very end. "You'll need to grab my arm, and pull it, slow and steady, away from my body until it snaps back into place. You'll know when that happens. You might need to brace yourself. It takes a lot of…effort." He smiles at her. "But you can do it. I believe in you."

Katherine looks like the panic attack is coming back, but she doesn't run from the room so it looks like she's committed. She takes the aforementioned arm, and she begins to pull slowly and steadily as instructed. She's wincing already, waiting for the shoulder to pop back into its socket, her eyes squinted so that they're almost closed. "I can't believe I'm doing this." She whimpers at some point, exhaling in a gust every time she takes a deep breath.

<FS3> Xavier rolls Mind: Failure. (3 4 3 5)
<FS3> Katherine rolls Firstaid: Success. (5 8 4)

"It'll be fine, Kate," Xavier says, his voice soothing. His every intention is to tough this out without a noise, but that's not how it works out. Instead, as the arm moves, he turns even paler than he was before, his good hand grabbing the covers. "Keep going," he says, voice strained. Then as the pressure increases, he can't help the groan of pain, his eyes squeezing shut. "Fuck. Fuck fuck /fuck/." A couple of tears squeeze out of the corner of his eyes, mingling with the blood still there. Then, there's a meaty CLUNK that's more felt than anything, and Xavier gasps, "That! That's got it, Kate."

Katherine looks stunned, her mouth dropping open when his shoulder pops back into place. Then she looks like she might throw up, but that at least passes quickly. She holds her chest as she tries to slow her breathing, opening the first aid kit that she fetched from downstairs. "Do.." She closes her eyes and has a few stern words with herself in her head before she opens them again. "Do..you think that this liquid skin stuff will work?" She glances at Xavier, her composure failing. "Shit, are you okay?"

"Christ. I haven't done that in years. Forgot how much it hurts," Xavier says. He reaches for the whiskey bottle again, and downs a good chunk of it. Then he smiles at her. "Better, now. You did good, Kate. Perfect. A doctor couldn't have done it better. And we can try the liquid skin. It'll probably be fine." 'Fine' is definitely the word of the evening, but he reaches out with his good hand to try and lightly pat her arm.

Her hands are shaking as she picks up the liquid skin, kneeling on the bed beside him to gently brush her fingers over the cut. "Going to have to clean it first." Katherine turns to pull antiseptic and bandages from the kit. "How are you going to explain how you look?" She asks quietly, swallowing as she leans in to clean the cut. "Here, let me see that?" She reaches for the whiskey, taking a long swallow from it before she hands it back, going back to work with steadier hands. "You look like someone beat the shit out of you."

Xavier laughs. "I was in a car accident, Kate. Just a car accident," he emphasizes, carefully. "The roads are slippery, and I'm not local. I'll go back to the car tomorrow and make sure the bullet holes can't be easily found. Then I'll report it like a good little boy, and just say that I was too dazed to do so immediately." His eyes drift closed as she starts to clean the cut; it's not soothing by any means, but his face is drawn and exhausted. "If anyone asks, I don't remember anything around the accident except crawling out of the car and calling you. Peri-traumatic amnesia is both common, and difficult to disprove."

Katherine doesn't laugh with him, focusing on making sure the cut is clean. She then carefully applies the liquid skin, muttering quietly when her fingers get tacky. "You scared the shit out of me." She says after a few minutes of silence, running her fingers over the now sealed cut with a sigh. "I don't like to lie either, but I suppose if I'm in for a penny then I'm in for a pound." She gets to her feet, her finger curling at Xavier. "Sit up, I'll help you get undressed. Then you're going to have to think of interesting stories to tell me, because you're not supposed to sleep right away if you do have a concussion."

"Just say that's what I told you. That's not a lie - I told you that just now," Xavier says. He obediently sits up, and lets her get his blazer and waistcoat off - both utterly ruined, of course. But when they're gone, he reaches out with his good arm and tries to pull her gently into a hug. "I'm sorry, Kate. I didn't want to worry you. If I knew a doctor I could trust, I would have called them and just come back once I was presentable. You don't deserve to be scared." His blue eyes are mournful, but more clear and focused than they had been. "I can tell you about Hong Kong? It's a beautiful city, with some most interesting people."

"Mhm." Katherine murmurs, sighing when he pulls her in for a hug. She's standing so his face is just below breast level and she wraps her arms around him for a moment and then helps him get out of the rest of the ruined suit. "I would have been worried either way, we both know that, if you had come home bruised and like this from an automobile accident or ..whatever you want to call what happened." She picks a wet nap out of the kit and wipes the blood off of his forehead. "You can talk about anything you want, Xavier. I'll listen." Once he looks more or less comfortable, she sits down on one side of the bed while he lies down.

Xavier doesn't need much prompting to lie back down. Bruises can be seen starting to form pretty much everywhere he has skin, but a truly impressive belt of them follows the path of his seatbelt across his chest. "You worry a great deal, my dear. It is one of the things that I like, but don't understand, about you. You take on everyone's pain." He sidles sideways a little, to lean against her. "But tonight, I'll just tell you stories. Until you beg me to stop." He chuckles, softly, and then starts. He's not really a story teller - they start out more like business reports, really, and only get fleshed out about the people and the places in more vibrant details as she inquires.

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