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Iris Lark The rain last night seems to have cleared the air, in more ways than one. One might find Iris in the clinic, sweeping the floor with a broom as she daydreams. Every so often, sure of her privacy, she twirls around the broomstick as if she's dancing. Bacon trots after his mistress, the piglet loves chasing after that broom. It's a beautiful day, for once, in the Wasteland. They shouldn't be squandered.
Theodore     Some muffled scolding can be heard outside, delivered with the tone if anger born of concern. A few moments later, a rather chastised young man enters the clinic with shame on his face and an awkward hold to his left arm. He looks around from the doorway, blinking long lashes a couple times at what he sees. The dancing beauty. The piglet. It is an unbalancing surprise. "Uh... Miss?" He removes his militia hat and holds it in both hands, casting his eyes downward.
Iris Lark Iris blinks and turns to see someone at the door. For some reason the silly Healer tries to hide the broom behind her back, her eyes a little wide. "Oh, uhm..goodness, please come in." She says, walking towards Theodore. "Come sit..your arm.." She takes a deep breath and tries to make sense. "I'm Iris Lark, and I work here, look injured, may I?" She asks, already reaching towards his left arm.
Theodore     There is just a touch of a grin that touches Theodore's lips when the young woman tries to hide the broom. It eases some of his own shyness. Giving a polite nod, he removes just duster-careful as he pulls his left arm through the sleeve-and folds it in half. Placing the duster and the hat in a neat pile to the side of the door, he stands upright and still. He attempts to look stoic, and that seems a little silly given his youth and frame. An ugly bruise is already forming along his forearm, and some swelling is easily seen and more easily felt. He almost manages to hide the bit of wince that squints his eyes. "Nothing serious, miss. I'm only here because I was ordered to get it checked out. Apologies for taking up your time." His voice is soft, sweet, and entirely sincere. Too kind for this world.
Iris Lark That slender hand that is reaching out makes tentitive contact, the fingertips running over the bruise on Theodore's arm gently. Iris shakes her head as she speaks, her voice just as quiet as Theodore's, "Anytime you get injured you should come by. If you let these things go, they just get worse." Her head turns slightly and she's close enough that she's gazing at Theodore, her green eyes meeting his. "It looks as if you took quite a shot to the arm, what hit you..if I can ask?" Her fingers gently feel around the bruise and the swelling, trying not to cause more pain but also trying to see if the bone is broken.
Theodore     "Alright, miss. I'll be certain to come by if..." He trails off at the eye contact; eyes sliding to the side in evasive maneuver as the slightest blush of color touches his pale cheeks. "I, well, I overstepped my bounds, miss." He sucks in a slow breath and eases it out as if to calm or steel himself. It reveals his breath to be strangely sweet. "I got involved in a dispute I had no place in, and took a crack for it. No one's fault but my own." The bone is not broken, but clearly the arm hurts. Even though he attempts to hide his pain, that is clear.
Iris Lark Iris clears her throat as she steps back and walks toward a cupboard. "Please, have a seat on one of the exam tables, I'll find something for pain." She says, glancing briefly over her shoulder, almost as if she expects Theodore to disappear when her back is turned. Bacon quietly hoofs up to the tall man, sniffing at his pant leg before he makes a snorting noise and trots off after his mistress. "You're lucky that didn't break, you know." She says, her back still to him.
Theodore     He does not bolt as she turns, but she does not miss the enormous smile that spreads on his face as the piglet sniffs him. He looks back at Iris-indirectly to avoid eye contact-and politely disagrees. "Actually, miss, it wasn't luck. Given the degree of impact, the velocity of the swing, the mass of the attacking object, the energy absorption of my combat duster, and the counter-movement of my arm, a break should only be expected of someone with bone density below four and a half percent. Uh. Roughly." He clears his throat as he realizes the tangent he just went on and then very meekly adds, "So, uh, it wasn't luck so much as proper nutrition and use of personal protective equipment." His right hand reaches up to pull at his color as he adds. "Miss."
Iris Lark Iris stops and when she turns around to regard Theodore, there is a slight smile on her face. "I see." She says, the simple comment softened with a smile. She has a jar with her and she sets it next to him. She gestures for him to extend his arm and Bacon comes back in view, bowl in mouth as he dances from hoof to hoof behind Iris. She hasn't spotted the piglet yet, she's giving her attention to Theodore's arm, spreading a numbling salve across the bruise.
Theodore     "Forgive my ignorance, miss, but I'm still fairly new here and haven't had time to pick up on all the cultural norms and such. What's your title? Doctor? Ma'am? I seem to keep being either, well, too formal or too familiar with people and am consistently missing the mark if polite young man that doesn't want to get run out of town." He, for a moment, dares a glance at her eyes at the end of his confession; looking for some sign there. "Also, your adorable swine seems to be hungry." Despite his sudden burst of many words, he is very still during her treatment.
Iris Lark "My title is Iris, because my name is Iris Lark." Iris says, a grin on her face as she continues to treat his wound. "I'm a healer, and I haven't had any formal teaching so calling me just doesn't seem right." When he meets her eyes, it causes her to pause with what she's doing and she stares a bit until Theodore mentions Bacon. Iris turns slightly and a soft laugh sounds as she gazes down at the piglet with amused eyes. "I just fed you, glutton, go play." Bacon's tail wags back and forth when he's addressed and he turns and trots towards the back room.
Theodore     "Intelligent creatures," Theodore says. Thinking this vague, he tacks on, "Swine. Your pet." He sucks in a quick little breath. "I'm being so rude. Iris, I am Theodore Roosevelt Gespard III, and it is an absolute pleasure to meet you. You can call me Theodore, Theo, Ted, or Teddy." He looks guilty as soon as he says that. "Or whatever else you would like, of course. Should I have made an analogy between your name and your pulchritudinous nature? Perhaps along the lines of a beautiful flower growing in the desert? This being, of course, because iridoideae typically struggle in these climes." He has a hint of a nerdy grin as he says that. "Would that be expected reception or, perhaps, overly forward?"
Iris Lark Iris is wrapping Theodore's arm when he mentions Bacon and that makes her glance briefly back towards the door the piglet went into. When he introduces herself she pauses in her ministrations to gaze at him again. "Teddy." She tries this out and after a few moments a soft giggle escapes her lips. He starts to talk about the flower that she's named after and her mouth drops open slightly and she just gapes at him, her cheeks growing pink. "I..have struggled, but not so much anymore now that I am in El Dorado." She finally says, closing her mouth. "It's a bit forward, Teddy, but I don't mind it. You're a delight."
Theodore     Relief is clearly seen on Theodore's face at Iris's words. He looks down at his arm and then back to her face. He is far from bold, but seems to have shaken off another layer of shyness. "I struggled from the moment I left home to the step that brought me to this sanctuary. It was serendipitous, to be certain." He stares at her without realizing how intently he examines her features. "This place, and it constituents, give me food and shelter-even caps-for fighting for what I believe in. I find that to be a true miracle, and I hope to build upon it." He forces his eyes back towards his arm. "It seems we have that in common," he softly assumes from some evidence he has seen.
Iris Lark "It seems we do." Iris agrees, her attention going back to his arm, her hands moving to finish wrapping the swollen and bruised flesh with a poulticed bandage. "Someone told me, not too long ago, that struggle and pain builds character. That might be true, but I also feel that it can break it." She pauses then and as she secures Theodore's bandage she gazes back up into his face. "So you're staying in El Dorado, Teddy?" She asks, and it might be noticed that her bottom lip all but disappears as her teeth tug at it a bit.
Theodore     The young visionary's answer is halted, for a moment, by her expression as he catches it. His inhalation is infinitesimally deeper than the one that preceded it. "Yes. I will be staying here." His right hand feels along the bandage on his left arm. "And if my staying makes you in any way pleased, Iris, then that would be, with all certainty, the most wonderful thing I have ever heard." He barely manages to finish his quiet confession before his face has gone from its untouched pale to a lively pink through the cheeks, and his blue eyes are filled with such clear hope and fragility as he awaits her response without realizing he holds his breath.
Iris Lark Iris lets out a breathless chuckle before she gazes at Theodore again to make sure he's not playing a game with her. She sees the sincerity shining through his words and his face and her cheeks go pink as well. "Why Teddy, you can turn a girl's head with that kind of talk." She says, slightly breathless, her hands locked on the hem of her shirt. "I am pleased, that you'll be here..and..I uhm.." Her breathing picks up, she looks nervous and suddenly she's backing away slowly. "I should..there is..I have to check.." Then she is still, nervous eyes gazing at everything but the man on the examination table.
Theodore     Her initial response causes a big, beautiful grin to spread on Theodore's flushed face. His teeth are so well maintained that most would assume them fake. When she grows nervous, however, that whiteness vanishes as his expression grows concerned. Regretful even. "Oh. I, uh, I didn't mean to be too forward, Iris. I-." He stands up and pats his bandaged arm. "I think I may have mistaken your bedside manner-willfully so given my obvious interest-as something more. I'm- I-" He pats his arm again. "It doesn't hurt at all now. You're splendid." He winces at his words. "Your ministrations were expertly and kindly delivered. I-" His flush is fading rapidly as color is draining from already fair skin. "Surely I owe you some caps for this service."
Iris Lark Iris isn't sure what to say when he starts to explain and even apologize, so she just eyes him as he rambles, nodding occasionally. "I..uhm..I'm sorry. I didn't mean to .." She gazes down at her feet as she takes a breath, slow and full, and then releases it. "Teddy..we just met, and I want to get to know you better. I..didn't mean to seem skittish but, I *am*." She looks up from her feet and offers him a smile, apologetic and wary. "I didn't mean don't owe me anything, on the caveat that I can see you again. Sometime soon?"
Theodore     "Skittish?" Theodore looks confused even as a smile spreads. He laughs. It is a short laugh of nerves boiled over, and so brief, but it cuts through his tension like a knife. "I read too many novels. I... I was expecting you to tell me you were going to be wed tomorrow, or that you were chosen as this solstice's sacrifice to some dark and terrible deity that gives equal parts protection and horror to this City of Gold." He shakes his head with grin still in place. "I understand, Iris. The moment you turned those emerald eyes upon me, I nearly ran out the door. Skittish and I are long friends and enemies." He reaches into the pocket of his uniform to pull out some caps before stepping forward and attempting to take Iris's right wrist in his left hand with a touch as gentle as a butterfly's landing upon a flower. "A humble donation, then." He looks at her, perhaps forgetting their proximity, "Consider me charmed, Iris Lark. If I am hurt tomorrow, I will be carried here with a smile on my face. A fool you have made of me." He steps back and watches her for a moment longer before he begins to turn for his hat and coat.
Iris Lark Iris nearly sinks as words pour from Theodore's mouth, the relief is evident on her face, especially when she can see that he understands. He reaches for her hand, trying to press caps into it and she shakes her head, pulling her hand back. "No Teddy, I really must insist. You keep your caps, and you keep safe, and that will be all the payment I'll need, you understand?"

She watches him go to pick up his hat and coat and she fights with herself, willing her body to step forward and lay a hand on his shoulder or uninjured arm, to show him the best that she can what his words meant to her. Her traitorous body stands still though, and she simply watches as he prepared to go back to work, back to life. Bacon trots back in, and sensing something wrong with his Mistress he rubs against her ankle, squealing softly.
Theodore     There is something appropriately dramatic about the way the duster's material wooshes through the air as Theodore whirls it onto his shoulders. It is the badge that seems to embody his passion for doing what is right. He turns back to look at Iris from the door and presses his hat down over his blond, swept-back hair and smiles. "Then I shall have to make excuses to meet with you sans injury." He kneels down and looks at Bacon. "I trust you'll keep her safe until then, mister. Counting on you." The gaze is jokingly sincere for a moment before he grins, rises, tips his hat to the lovely healer and walks out with a boyish bounce in his step.