Everything runs on money- especially charity. This is nowhere more evident than the clinic – equipment, drugs, rent…
Mrs. Scruggs is a tough old woman, who runs a tight business- but she gives back to the community in several ways. Funding the clinic is one of them. But even that has it’s limits.
And that’s where Monk finds herself- at Mrs. Scruggs’ limits.
“I’m sorry, Monk,” she says, and Monk can see that it’s heartfelt. “You do good work. And it helps the community. But, though my largesse doesn’t have limits, my accountant tells me that my bank account does. And I can’t carry this place alone. If we can’t get some other funding, I’m going to have to sell the building.”
But even at the worst of time, her luck shines through, in a manner of speaking. Killian – a P.I. for hire has just come in with a proposition for the good doctor. And his propositions pay. Of course, there’s always risk associated with anything he doesn’t want to take on.
Coarsely handsome, and with a manner that plays like something out of a pulp novel, he leans against the doorjamb, tapping his watch as he watches the exchange almost idly. She knows he’ll wait to discuss further- unless he already has a backup in mind.
But first to get Mrs. Scruggs satisfied…
Monk’s clinic was invaluable to David, especially since an incident at a local hospital involving testing his blood type some years back had led to a lot of awkward questions, and a rather hasty exit. Minute clinics could only go so far, of course, especially when his field-bound shoulder from the claws of—what WAS that thing, anyway? Something magical and dangerous and with claws that were way too sharp.
“There seems to be a queue.” David said idly to Killian as he stepped into the space and regarded the private investigator. His eyes narrowed as he looked at Mary Scruggs. Monk was at her economic limits. Again.
“Looks like you could use a paying customer, Monk.” he said idly. “And I could sure use your aid.”
Monk sighs inwardly, licking her too-dry lips. She needs a drink. Bad. She should have known someone would drop a steaming load through her sunroof today. After all, the signs were there. She woke up sober, for example.
She manages to keep her cool, “Yeah, I get it. But, I swear. Been looking at Foundations. Lots of money out there, but it takes time. You know how it is.” And writing applications. And, well, mailing them. But she keeps those little facts close to the chest.
“But see?” she jerks a thumb in the direction of the doorway. “Investors. And they’re loaded.” A pause, and then she expounds. “With money.”
Monk, not one for signs of affection, smiles at the men. It’s sort of creepy, to be honest.
Nick enters, clutching a bleeding left arm. “Hey, Monk,” he says, “Did you know that if a gunman thinks he’s surrounded by bats, he’ll fire wildly in all directions? What a surprise, right?”
He sees the other occupants of the room and stops. “Ooo. Didn’t realize you had other patients. Or visitors? Ah, Mister Killian, good to see again. You appear to be uninjured. Are you in need then of some other sort of, shall we say, unconventional assistance?”
Mrs. Scruggs sighs. “I think you’re in the wrong business Monk,” she says, looking at the younger woman with a mock aggravated expression. “One month,” she adds crisply, and as she turns, Monk can see the ghost of a smile flit across her face.
“And watch out for your clientele,” she says, looking at Nick as she brushes past him out of the door.
Mrs. Scruggs gone, Killian straightens, moving from the doorjamb towards Monk. “Like you said… a queue,” he tosses off in David’s direction.
“So, you need work, and I have need to hire someone to take one of my less interesting cases,” he says without preamble, his gravelly voice pitched not to carry. “I’d not take it at all- most likely it’s nothing,” he shrugs.
“But I’ve done business with the client when he was paying well, so now that he’s on less solvent terms, I still don’t want to leave him high and dry.”
He reaches into his coat, pulling out a folder with the photo of an attractive young lady paper clipped to the front of it. The name on the folder reads‘Trish W.’.
“Her father is a bit skittish- it appears that some bad business happened, and she was kidnapped during it.”
It clicks suddenly for the three of them- after all the supernatural world of Charlottesville isn’t so large that the goings on remain secret. Some kind of disturbance- said to have required the intervention of the Warden- involving some powerful hitters.
“They’re not on the best of terms,” Killian interjects, almost as if to ward off the thoughts that have come to mind. “So, like I said- overprotective father, daughter with daddy issues…”
“So do you want the job?”
David winced as he found a chair to sit down. Killian’s patter was a distraction, at first, an obstacle to getting treatment for his shoulder from Monk. As he talked and pulled out the folder, the Knight reached for it.
“This sort of thing is not entirely within Monk’s skill set.” David said. He got a chill down his spine, something was winding up. He had to see to its satisfaction, one way or the other.
“I still need the patching up.” David said to Monk. “But I will help you take a look into this. If you are interested in the case, of course.”
“I’m in,” Nick added. “Rescuing a damsel in distress always makes for a lovely story.”
“I am not certain” David said. “That Monk considers herself a damsel. And…” he straightened his back. “if anyone is rescuing damsels, it should be me, yes?” he smiled.
“Monk?” Nick laughed. “Indeed, she is no damsel. I was referring to the mysterious and alluring Trish W. And certainly I don’t need to do the rescuing myself. I prefer to watch from a safe distance. You go right ahead.”
Monk glanced at Killian’s file briefly, and then headed to fetch a trauma cart. While the boys bantered, she scrubbed up and put on some clean gloves – snapping them against her wrist loudly.
“I ain’t much of a flat-foot, John,” she admited. “But if the green is right, I’ll put my ear to the ground.” She narrowed her eyes, as if daring anyone to make a crack about her ears.
She pointed to David and Nick, “You two. Shirts off, unless the holes are somewhere lower. In which case, you’d better be wearing clean undies.”
Monk nodded Nick’s way, “Bullet go in, or graze you? John? Give him a once over? Tell me if he’s bleeding still?”
She began examining David’s shoulder, seeing if it was her first priority. “These from a mundy or something else?”
David felt the cool air of the room hit his skin and raise goosebumps, even on the parts of his shoulder that had been clawed.
“No, definitely not a mundane. I had to say an invocation to my Queen upon Rhimiel to make sure the thing stayed dead.” David resisted the urge to produce his blade, upon naming it. If he named it twice more, it would have to be drawn, though.
“The creature kept wanting to get up” The gouges looked nasty, possibly ripe for infection if untreated. David’s normal healing was working—but slowly.
“Not sure what it was. Lots of fur on it, as if it were from some place colder. And you’ve noticed the claws, from their marks on me.”
Nick looked over David’s injury with some level of admiration. “Oh, those should scar nicely. That’s great material when you’re recounting your heroic escapades.” He pulled off his own shirt, revealing a physique that wasn’t as developed as the knight’s. “I’m hoping mine won’t quite be as interesting. It’s just a graze—which stings like a mother, I assure you—but obviously a bullet wound nonetheless, and would have aroused uncomfortable questions at County. Thus my arrival here. Obviously you should attend to Sir David’s festering injuries first.”
It’s obvious that Killian is a bit annoyed- whether by the time as he looks at his watch as Monk tends to her patients, or the circumstances of Nick and David’s slide into the case, it’s not sure. But he quickly comes to some conclusion.
“Drexl Wallace is the client’s name- he’ll be expecting your call to go over the particulars.”
He pulls a black card with the man’s name and the non-descriptive title of consultant on the front. He starts to hand the card to Monk, but seeing the impracticality of doing so, drops the card on the trauma cart. It rings out with the sound of metal on metal as it settles to rest on the sterile surface.
“I have to run, but I’ll be in touch,” he says as he ducks out of the clinic’s door.
As Killian left, Monk gave a wry snort. “And people say I lack social skills,” she said, pouring some alcohol into David’s open wounds – flooding them with cleansing agony. Satisfied, she gave him a local to kill the pain.
“Oo-kay,” she said. “I’m all out of thread, so super-glue, work for you, David? I know Summers don’t get that frugality thing, but there it is… right?”
With a wink to Nick, she began sewing David’s wounds closed… with thread and needle. But the Hero didn’t need to know that.
“Superglue? I’m not crazy for it.” David said. He recalled a weird commercial involving a man with a hardhat superglued to an i-beam, supposedly dangling hundreds of feet in the air.
He recomposed himself. He had plenty of questions, but quizzing Monk while she wielded a needle on him was foolish…
He’d wait until Nick was under her care. No, he corrected. Nick wasn’t a hero, but didn’t need any more discomfort, than usual.
Nick watched the operation intently: but apparently he always watched everything intently. “You’re really quite good at this,” he told her. “There may not be any scarring at all. Too bad.”
When she was done with David, he willingly submitted himself to her care, though he wasn’t as stoic about it as the knight, and requested a local before his injury was cleaned.
At his words, Monk glared at Nick for a moment – ear twitching beneath her hair. But when she realized he was being sincere, she relaxed and smiled again. “Thank you,” she said, the words tasting foreign in her mouth.
With David sewn up, she moved to Nick. “It’s superficial,” she said. “You’re lucky.” She went to work, cleaning and bandaging the wound. It didn’t take long, and required only bandages and gauze to cover up. “You’ll need to get yourself a topical ointment of some kind. Treat that every day until it heals over, K?”
She washed her hands and started cleaning up, “So. Nachos and beer. You two are buying. And we can yammer about this chickie-po with the daddy issues. Plan?”