In Sickness (2/2): Soul Eater (manga), Stein/Marie, PG-13, prompt - "stitches"
Canon note: takes place between the seizing of "Brew" and the storming of Baba Yaga Castle.
Stein's foot paused in mid tap. His fingers rested in a crooked angle against his collar. The silence that followed was off-putting. "Yes?" At least he was back to full words and sentences, short as that was. No more grunting, thank goodness.
"It's time to get back in bed, okay? You need your rest." Marie offered up a tired smile, as if she’d been more than happy to play nurse to his sick self.
Marie sighed. "Yes. Stein, please. You're not feeling well. If you get back into bed, I can give you your medicine. Okay?" She knew there was a bottle of extra strength bismuth subsalicylate in one of Stein's cabinets, the bottle with the cartoon stomach on the label because Stein did better with symbols than words at a moment's notice. It should be enough to treat Stein's upset stomach. Everything else—well, that was for another day. His madness couldn't be cured by an antacid.
"You'll still be here?"
The weakness in Stein's voice left Marie lost for a moment. "Y-yes, of course, Stein, I won't be going anywhere." Not again, she thought. Not again.
With that, Stein allowed himself to be carried into the bed and under the thick blanket, the fabric crossed over and over with long elaborately placed stitches, like on Stein's body. His eyes followed Marie out of the room as she went to fetch the medicine. She came back with the appropriate dose in a coffee cup to find Stein with the blankets pulled up to his chin, eyes rolling around in their sockets. In the moonlight, they looked as if they were glowing
"Stein!" Her hands instantly tightened around the coffee cup, not wanting to let drop the one thing Marie had to offer Stein in his moment of need.
|Source: Doctor Frank / Gaia Online|
Stein's eyes rolled back into their proper place. "I was trying to look at my own brain," he said, half-apologetic, words slightly slurred by no sleep. "It didn't work," he added with a small shrug.
Marie crossed over to Stein's bedside and sat down on the duvet. She watched carefully as Stein downed the cup's contents, following the slug of medicine drop through his gullet with an audible gulp, and it satisfied her. She took the cup from Stein's outreached hands and placed it on the bedside table, far enough that it couldn't be knocked over in his sleep.
"Feeling any better?" she asked, knowing full well the medicine would take longer than a second to go into effect.
"No," Stein said, voice flat. "But I will. Some day." He laughed but it had none of the insanity or life that it did from the Brew incident.
Marie's hands covered Stein's without thinking. They felt cold. "Stein, I know you don't feel like it's possible, but you have to stay strong. Medusa can't hurt you anymore. We're going to help you."
"You can't, can you?" Stein looked at Marie, his eyes suddenly sharp. "That witch has put her claws in me completely. I'm mad. I'm gone. I'm lost. I am. I am. I am?"
"Marie." For a second, Stein looked like the man Marie first met. He looked normal. Then he slowly crept back into his current state of mind. "What's happening to me?"
Marie's hands began to glow. "I'm sorry." Stein blinked then slumped forward, unconscious. She quickly withdrew her hands, no longer glowing, and set him back into his bed with eyes closed. She had reached out with her wavelength and quietly tapped him into a state of slumber. The medicine would do its work while Stein slept, although she knew it would not be the full restful sleep that the doctor deserved.
She stood and watched Stein's chest rise and fall with each breath. The moonlight lit every remaining drop of sweat on his face, the strands of silver hair fallen against his cheek. Even her healing wavelength wasn't enough to cure Stein, but at least it could alleviate some of the pain for the night. That would have to be enough.
Damn you, Medusa. Give me back my Stein.
Marie quietly closed the bedroom door behind her and returned to the kitchen to brew another pot of coffee, with the special beans that Joe Buttataki had mailed her. The paperwork would not take care of itself.
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