The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Scenes set in the "Highlander" universe.

Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Sun May 07, 2017 8:54 pm

Claire gave Adam a mock shudder as he mentioned the Japenese feelings on failure. "Christ, the state of some of the parents we get in here... A Japanese kid even scrapes his knee, and they're on about consequences, and honour, and all that bollocks," she said. She just wished some of those helicopter parents would learn to ease off a bit, let their kids just be kids. "Sounds like you're the kinda bloke who never has to stay in a hotel," she remarked. "Some of us have to content ourselves with one place to settle down and call home." She was teasing a little now. Sure, her place was small, but it was out near Karekare - her idea of heaven - and was all that she needed.

Adam backed down from her little rant with remarkably little comment, and Claire cocked her head to one side, regarding him for a moment. She really didn't know what to make of the bloke. And then he offered to let her keep ranting if she needed to, and she shot him an embarrassed smile. "Sorry, I shouldn't have... never mind." Her voice trailed off again. It wouldn't do to be heard like this in public, and, for all she knew, this bloke could be an undercover journalist or something. That would be just her luck.

Claire quirked up one corner of her mouth as Adam's eyebrow rose, and she bit back a comment that could be construed as a flirt. "So what 'time and place' would that be, then," she grinned, her eyebrows rising. "Sounds like you ought to be giving lectures if you're a hands on expert in archaic medicine." He had certainly described things in a somewhat unusual manner, and Claire's interest was piqued.

"Yes, you're a guest," she said firmly, ushering him into her exam room. "He tangata takahi manuhiri, he marae puehu - a person who mistreats his guest has a dusty Marae. And I don't want to risk not having visitors. What kind of person would that make me?" She was the one doing the teasing now, and arched an eyebrow at Adam as he skirted the issue of why he had been donating to her department over the last few months. "You know full well what I mean," said Claire, her voice husky and faintly amused. "Why here? And why loiter around waiting rooms on the day your donation is delivered? I'm surprised nobody's called security on you by now!" Her words were softened by a light chuckle and a laughing smile in her eyes. Adam Pierson was an odd one, it appeared, and Claire couldn't help but think there was more to his altruism than first met the eye. Definitely more than tax write-offs, for sure.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Mon May 08, 2017 4:53 pm

"Tiger Moms, the worst example of over parenting. I really wish somebody would run a study of the end results of that particular method vs how often it's used." He'd be curious to see what the actual success rate of tyrannical parenting was, and if it turned out to be a bad investment on average a lot of the people who committed to it would start looking for something more successful. Because that was the kind of people they were. "I like hotels, but if I'm going to stay for a while nothing beats the benefits of a privately owned home." It cut down on random Immortal encounters, though Methos was becoming increasingly aware that avoidance wasn't going to work for much longer. He was preparing accordingly, of course, but still felt it better not to press his luck. The yacht would be the best solution for the time being.

He gave a shrug and accepting smile, letting her brush the embarrassing moment aside. On to the topic he was carefully trying to avoid. So he decided to use the truth as a screen. "Why, the Territories of the United States, late 19th century of course. The old west, picture it. Me in a wagon, with my blushing bride, riding out to stake our claim in some settlement as yet to acquire themselves a doctor. It was good living, even then, especially if you were in a place small enough to be devoid of competition. Which was most places back then unless you were at a railroad junction or a gold rush town." He chuckled, laying it out like a cutaway in a television show. (wink) "I'm not above giving lectures, I just tend not to be so forward about my expertise." Because then he had to explain how he got it.

"We certainly don't want your Marae to get dusty." He grinned as he found a place to sit, happy for the opportunity. She declared he knew full well what she meant, and he nodded in deep amusement. "Because here is where I am. And I loitered because that's how I find out what folks need. I've learned a lot eavesdropping on doctors explaining how they'd helped or why they couldn't or what they wish they could do. That's how I found out about the portable machine, somebody said they wished they had one out loud while walking down the hallway with a colleague." He snorted lightly, once again in amusement, when she suggested somebody would call security on him. "I'm likable, disarming, and polite. Why would they?"
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Mon May 08, 2017 5:52 pm

Claire sighed. "Given the suicide rate in Japan, I'd say piss poor," she remarked. "Placing too much pressure on a child does nothing other than fuck them up, just the same as not talking to them, or reading with them, or playing with them." The two extremes of parenting really pissed her off, and she had seen plenty of both styles since she had started working here. Starship was one of the best paediatric hospitals in the country, if not the world, and, as such, all sorts of people came through its doors.

Shooting a look of mock-longing at Adam, Claire slipped into an easy grin. "The last time I stayed in a hotel was a couple of years ago," she admitted. "A conference down in Christchurch, locked up with mostly boring arseholes for three days. Oh, what an exciting life I lead..." She wouldn't change her profession for anything, though. She adored her job.

Claire's face creased into a frown as Adam skirted around the topic of how he acquired his archaic medical skills. He told her a story, one that was utterly impossible. She wondered what he had to hide. Still, it elicited a laugh from her. "Actually, I could envisage that... just." His long, lean frame almost seemed to hearken back to another age entirely. He was neither hipster skinny nor particularly muscular in the way men seemed to be expected to be these days. "So, come on, then. How did you become an expert in late 19th century medicine? Enquiring minds wanna know..."

Splashing hot water onto instant coffee, Claire savoured the rich aroma as it teased her nostrils. She really ought to get a decent coffee machine for her exam, but she never quite got around to it. Giving an exasperated sigh, she rolled her eyes at Adam as she took a seat on the opposite side of her desk, resisting the urge to lean back and put her feet on the wooden desktop. She settled for cradling her hot mug in both hands.

"You're chock full of mysteries, aren't you, Adam Pierson," she remarked, taking a sip of the hot, black coffee. "Don't get me wrong, I'm bloody grateful for the donation, but I still don't get why. Why here? Why now? What's Starship got that a thousand other charitable causes don't have? And what do you get out of it?"
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Wed May 24, 2017 4:00 am

Methos figured there was a great deal more to the suicide rates in Japan, starting with a cultural acceptance of the act as a way to opt out while saving face. And saving face was a really big thing to that culture, to the point where sometimes he had to wonder if Duncan's experiences on the island had changed him or if he'd simply found a philosophy as rigid as his own expectations of self. Either way, he wore it like a glove and was just as lost as any upright samurai would have been when reality didn't cooperate. "I could chit chat about the underlying psychology of human behavior all day, but we'd never get anything done if we did." He really, really enjoyed philosophizing about humanity. It was so rare that he met someone who could do so without getting emotionally involved in the subject matter, though. Claire wasn't, but that was obviously for the best given her job and talents.

"Where would you like to go instead of the boring arseholes conference? Bali? Tonga? Fiji? I know of these little villas you can get that are on platforms over water so clear you can spend hours on the deck watching all manner of sea creatures swim by, crustacians scuttle by on the sandy bottom, etc. You'd think the whole thing was a giant bathtub." As casual as that, he was asking where she'd like to go on vacation, he could get her tickets and reservations in a matter of minutes.

Methos chuckled and shrugged. "The same way anyone becomes an expert at anything, schooling and study. Followed by time using said knowledge in the field, of course. You get out into the field on acheological digs, hiking the Appalachian trail, safari, aid missions, and the like... well, people get hurt and you rarely have a modern hospital at hand. Setting bones, reducing fevers, digging out bullets in the bush so that the wound doesn't go septic before you get the subject to more modern care, it's all very valuable skills to have if you're of a certain type." Best part was, bush medicine was now one of those skills that the occasional bout of reading could keep up to date. He had enough mortals in his life to find it of value to maintain.

He smiled. "I've been told my mysteries are some of my best features," not in so many words but people certainly did find the truth less palatable when it came out. Death wasn't a popular historical figure on even his best days, not even with the people who knew he was no longer that person. "Starship has me, for the moment. And a portable X-ray machine. I like going places I haven't been in a while, spending some time getting to know the place and the people, and... well, doing good deeds can be surprisingly therapeutic." Heavens knew he could use the good karma, if such a thing existed. "Hospitals are obvious choices, their needs are defined and the benefits of seeing those needs fulfilled is immediate and tangible. I help you, you help people, and I get to sit by the door and watch them leave better than when they arrived. Mother Theresa had something to say about that, shame she let zealotry get ahead of good practice. She had so much potential."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed May 24, 2017 6:44 am

Claire watched expressions play across Adam's face for a moment, or was she just imagining it? Probably. The man was ridiculously inscrutable, a quality unusual in someone his age. It amused her a little. She twitched an eyebrow upwards at his comment about discussing psychology, shrugging. "Psychology isn't my area of expertise," she said, almost a confession. "Obviously, there's aspects of it in my work, but, on the whole, I'm better at putting someone back together physically than emotionally." Of course, her natural empathy helped out with that, but, just sometimes, it could be draining for her. It was on days such as those that she treasured her little bolthole out at Karekare all the more.

Laughing as Adam asked where she'd rather go instead of conference, Claire shrugged. "Honestly? I don't know," she admitted. Going on holiday had never been a priority for her, and she usually spent her time off with whānau, or volunteering for a Māori children's clinic down in the Waikato. "I don't really have a list, so to speak. I'm not a 'tropical paradise' kinda person, either. I don't like just lazing around on a beach." Well, up to a point, it was okay, but, even with the distraction of a good book, there was only so long that Claire could just veg out.

Narrowing her eyes, Claire studied Adam as he tried to brush off how he learned archaic medical techniques. It all seemed a little too neat and tidy, and smacked of backtracking. Definitely a little nugget to file away for later consideration, but, for now, she said nothing. "Sounds like it was a bit of a trial by fire," she said, her tone light and almost dismissive, doing her best to sound as though it really was of no consequence. It could be a plausible explanation, but...

Maybe she was just getting suspicious in her old age.

Claire laughed. "Cocky bastard," she grinned, shaking her head as she took another sip of black-as-night coffee. "Really, thank you for the donation. I don't know where we would have dredged up the money otherwise. Our fundraising drives never seem to reach the right places, and get taken up by other 'worthy' purchases." Her voice dripped sarcasm as she made her feelings known on how the donations got eaten up by "administration" and other such expenses. That was why having the equipment donated directly had brought a lump to her throat and tears to her eyes, although she wouldn't admit that to Adam. She had no idea how to thank him, especially as he wanted to remain anonymous.

"So," she said, her voice quiet and heartfelt. "How can I thank you? This means more to me than you know."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Wed May 24, 2017 7:35 am

And Methos was better at picking people apart, emotionally and physically. It was a skill that liked to be exercised, for once you were capable of deconstucting people so swiftly you could do it even in a life and death sword fight it was nothing to do so while watching them walk across a room. The only real draw back is it made most people seem exceptionally uninteresting, though to be fair he was of the opinion that the vast majority of people were uninteresting about 90% of their lives. Everyone had interesting moments, but very few people had more than mere moments. That was why he came to hospitals and charities. He was always searching for exceptional people, people who still lived their lives in ways that he couldn't imagine doing himself. "Obviously. But we all have our predilections. I was never one for high impact sporting contests, you know the type: Rugby, American football, jousting, that sort of thing."

Oh, what a sport to watch though, jousting.

"Not a tropical paradise kind of gal, eh? Hm." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "We can mark off a cultural tour of Japan, recent subject matter considered. Though I have to say, the full service bath houses are to die for. Find a Geisha that specializes in conversation and you can spend the entire trip walking around some of the most beautiful parks or lounging in hot springs discussing life, love, liberty, and those little dough balls filled with red bean past." He smacked his lips for effect, obviously considering the food item the more important of the listed conversation topics. "So, maybe a trip to Europe, where the history comes from. Tour some English castles, hunt in the German mountains, chocolate tastings in Austria, huge detours to avoid France... Trip of a lifetime, really." The whole continent was packed full of some of the most aggresive Elder Immortals on the planet but otherwise it was a really nice place on most days. Some bad neighborhoods here and there but nothing a decent tour guide couldn't steer her clear of.

"Cocky, yes. Bastard, no. I knew my parents, but they died when I was very young." He'd been, as best he could tell, roughly 28 years old. It begged more than a few questions, given the times he'd lived in but he couldn't remember the details anymore and wasn't entirely certain there'd be any comfort to be found in doing so. At any rate, he could roughly recall his father's face and had a fairly clear image of his mother's, or at least he thought that was his mother. Close enough for the purposes of a woman 5000 years dead. "But really, no need for thanks. Don't call security on me when you see me wandering around and we can just call it even."

He paused for a long moment, like that was the last of the matter, before suddenly getting an obvious idea. "Unless, of course, you might be interested in hearing some American Blues music..."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed May 24, 2017 9:35 pm

Claire grinned. Of course Adam Pierson wasn't a fan of the kind of sports where he would get injured. He looked like a typical aristocratic type: probably into polo, fencing, maybe swimming. He had the right kind of build for those sports, although a mischievous sparkle danced across her eyes as she twitched an eyebrow up. "And there was me, thinking you were a former lock for the England rugby team," she replied, her voice nothing but a tease. "Actually, you'd probably make a good winger. The best ones are tall and lean." Well, not as lean as he was, but close. "But jousting... that's an interesting thought. Could just see you in a suit of armour, tilting for the honour of a fair lady." The funny thing was... she could.

Rolling her eyes as Adam teased her about a holiday, Claire shrugged, befoire smiling almost wistfully. "You know, I've only ever left New Zealand once, for a year," she admitted. "I had to spend a year abroad for part of my medical training, went over to Brisbane in Aussie." She gave a mock shudder. "That was more than enough for me!" The famous Kiwi adventurous spirit hadn't manifested itself in Claire in terms of the urge to travel, like it had in so many others, but it had come out in other ways. "Honestly, though, having spent that year in hell, I realise how much we have here in En Zed. You know... tropical beaches, rainforests, mountains, glaciers, volcanoes... what else could I want?" Claire sounded a little sheepish. She knew it was a little shortsighted, but, in terms of sheer beauty, she firmly believed that New Zealand couldn't be beaten.

She laughed, the lightest of blushes staining her cheeks. "Turn of phrase," she said, shrugging once more before taking a sip of coffee. "Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you." Some people - especially non-Kiwis - took the swearing and use of words like that a little too seriously, and, with Adam being so hard to read, it was hard to tell whether he was being serious. Best to err on the side of caution.

Claire smiled, inclining her head, as he told her there was no need for thanks. "Now, why would I have security throw you out when you've been so good to us," she grinned, only half joking. She liked the bloke, and it had been good to talk, even if they had talked their way around - rather than about - various subjects. Things had to come to an end, though, as she had appointments soon. "Just promise me you'll stop by and say hi next time you're here, okay?" It would be nice to see him again.

She frowned a little, her hands cradled around her cooling mug, as he asked her about American Blues music. "Now that's an odd question, if ever I heard one," she remarked, her interest piqued, and a lopsided smile stitched onto her lips. "Enlighten me."
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Wed May 31, 2017 9:11 am

"I very well could be, it would explain why the All Blacks have been stomping the unmerciful hell out of them." Methos, nor Adam Pierson for that matter, were the type to volunteer for any activity that required or even invited full body impacts with other equally foolish individuals. It seemed a good way to make people wonder why you never had bruises, if not incline them to question your sanity. "Light chainmail is more my speed, I'm afraid, and I've always been more successful with the ladies when speaking to them than by unrelated sporting gestures. But then I've always preferred women of the type that do rather than watch silently from the sidelines..." He gave Claire a disarming wink.

Methos snorted in wry amusement. "Brisbane? That's like going to your cousin's house to meet new people." He chuckled at the comparison as it played out in his head. "You should see the countryside in Hesse, the German state that is, in Spring. It'd be like walking on a different planet by comparison. I know a butcher's shop there, they'll cut you a steak so thick you'll need to recruit an assault team to help finish it off." He then seemed to get an idea, or maybe a shift of perspective before he continued. "But then again, maybe it wasn't where you went that matter but the company you kept during the journey. I've had plenty of trips to place that were defined entirely by who shared the road with me." She could want better company.

He nodded, his expression reassuring her that he hadn't taken it personally in the slightest. He'd certainly had plenty of time to get used to the notion. "I've heard worse from less pleasant people." He went on to shrug, as if he had no earthly idea, when she asked why she would have him thrown out. She was the one who'd suggested it a possibility in the first place. "I promise."

"Well, I might have subsidized the opening of a... we'll be kind and call it a venue. The aptly named Joe's Place, just a couple of blocks from here in fact. I enjoyed it so much, in Seacouver, that I just couldn't stand to be parted so soon. So I brought it with me after a manner of speaking." Rich was a great way to be sometimes, especially when you were eccentric anyway. Being eccentric and poor just made you seem odd.
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Claire Ihi » Wed May 31, 2017 7:30 pm

Claire couldn't help laughing out loud at that. The mere thought of Adam Pierson on a rugby pitch was so incongruous as to be almost impossible. "Sounds like you know at least a little about our national obsession, though," remarked Claire. And it was true: rugby was an obsession in New Zealand. Hell, it was almost a religion for some, and you could barely manage a day without the All Blacks making headlines. The light chainmail comment made Claire snort lightly, and she shook her head. "And what activity goes with light chainmail," she teased. The tiniest of blushes stained her cheeks again, before she looked challengingly at the man across her desk. "And which do you think I am? Someone who does, or someone who watches?" There was that teasing note again. That teasing note which could almost be construed as flirting.

Almost.

Reining herself in, Claire became painfully aware of how ill-travelled she was, but the desire to roam the globe just wasn't in her. She was happy at home in New Zealand, but maybe Adam was right. Maybe a holiday overseas would be nice, broaden her horizons, but... why? Where? When? And did she really fancy going away on her own? Not really. She wasn't really the solo holiday kind of person. "Sounds good, if steak is your thing," she replied, her voice non-committal. "And maybe it was because it wasn't a holiday, or because Brissie kinda sucks, but I don't think I'd want to go back there. I wasn't exactly on my own at the time, but I might as well have been." In fact, she'd been dating someone she'd later gotten engaged to, before realising - almost too late - that he was a total cock, and getting out of there fast.

Claire relaxed a little as Adam reassured her that she hadn't offended him. She was almost surprised to realise that she did care about whether or not she had offended him. "I'll try not to mortally wound you with my words in future," she replied, a slight chuckle lacing her words. The chuckle grew into a genuine smile as Adam promised he'd stop by to say hi when he was at the hospital. "I'll hold you to that, you know."

She gave Adam an amused frown. "So let me get this straight," she said, her voice a little confused. "Your idea of how I can thank you is coming to your... venue to listen to blues. That's a bloody odd kind of thank you!" Claire was almost laughing again now, mulling things over. "It sounds like it could be fun, though. When were you thinking?" She surprised herself by pretty much saying yes to the invitation, before glancing at the clock on the wall. Her first patient was due in a few minutes, and, much as she didn't want to, she needed to be wrapping things up with Adam. "Don't suppose you'd at least let me pay, though?"
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Re: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Postby Methos » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:23 pm

"You guys literally put it in the welcome pamphlet that's handed out at immigration services. It's just a big explanation of Rugby. Useful, given the aforementioned national obsession, if a little startling to those fresh off the boat." He gave her a wink to show he was being hyperbolic for effect. "Dodging, preferably. Victory through greater mobility, survival of what can't be avoided through moderate protection. Or at least that's the theory. Came from the observation that no matter how strong your armor a man with a spiked hammer is going to beat you to death if you can't avoid the hits in the first place. Medieval warfare is another hobby of mine." If you could call something your life might well depend on later that same day a hobby, but he tried not to quibble about exact definitions of words unless he was on trial at least metaphorically. "Well, I can only guess, but going by the degrees on the wall, the prefix of Dr. before your name, and the fact that you don't have the term 'advising physician' anywhere in your office... I'm really hoping you're someone who does." There was a flirt in there, somewhere.

"Get hungry, you'll make an exception," he responded to her suggesting, at least passively, that steak was not in fact her thing. "Oh, that's the worst kind of alone." He said it in a very non-suggestive nor playful way. As if he knew from experience exactly what kind of ordeal she'd been facing at the time just by the way she referenced it. No details needed.

Adam Pierson made a face like even the effort wasn't necessary. "Mortally wounding me is difficult on the best of days, and even if you do I'll turn up again after awhile all the same." He carefully didn't let it show outwardly, letting his demeanor indicate he was speaking specifically in the metaphorical just like she had, but it greatly amused him to say that to somebody he'd just met. "You'll never need to," he responded when she declared she intended to hold him to his promise to pop by from time to time.

He looked a little apologetic, as if he was going to explain he wasn't being clear enough, but he went with the correction instead. "Well... come listen to blues... with me, to be exact. Call it a date and I'll even buy you dinner, maybe some drinks. New Zealanders have some form of alcohol, right?" He was obviously poking for a reaction with that last bit, taking the pressure off the rest of it so she could turn it down and then change subject with both of them being the least embarrassed by it all they needed to be.
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