A Bad Hair Day

Title: A Bad Hair Day
Time Period: July 30, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Leonard may never have a bad hair day, but Deckard surely does; Lazar brings the bad news of this, and more than a few souvenirs with it.

It's early morning, too early, really, for all but the hardest workers of Dornie to even be out of bed. The sun's only barely poked its rays out above the horizon, shadows crawling over the stretches of land like thick molasses. One such shadow moves hunched across the northern part of town, dragging himself forward with almost equal measures of determination and reluctance.

The local cemetery groundskeeper has seen better mornings, having been up longer than he cares to admit, and having done stranger things than he cares to keep silent. But priorities are important, and right now there are more important things on his mind than going around and figuring out what the hell happened to him. Right now he needs to figure out why he's still bleeding quite profusely from what appear to be strangulation bruises and large claw marks on his neck and left forearm, and how much of his long, black coat burnt its way into his right hand, arm and shoulder. Not to mention why that arm in particular seems to sit so awkwardly on the rest of his body, swinging in a suspiciously dislocated sort of way. His face seems relatively unscathed, from what is visible under a thin coat of mud and copious amounts of dried up… drool?

The front door of the Hightower Veterinary Clinic is not treated gently by the visitor, who rattles the thing on its hinges as he pounds his bleeding arm onto it, then kicks it with the toe of a boot thrice over, assuming the clinic to be closed at this hour. "Hello!" Comes a gruff, demanding voice from the Hungarian, between laboured breaths. "If you are not open I will break in!" This is not the first place he tried to get help from, but it'll damn well be the last.

There are some mornings where Leonard manages to slump outside for work and automatically wishes that he had a stomach bug. This morning is yet again, one of those mornings where he is instantly wishing that he were somewhere else. Preferably with something tasty in one hand, and a book in the other. It is not to be, alas. When he finally saunters his way out of the house and around the walk towards the front of the clinic, Leonard finds himself stopping; heels glue to the ground when he sees the raggedy, bloody, wet man beating at the front door. He sniffs once, smelling gunpowder and presumably, burnt flesh. The sound gives him away, if footsteps didn't.

Well dressed and with an owl on his shoulder, Sage is looking particularly well-fed and half asleep until she realizes there is an incident in progress. She lets out an obtrusive scraw of noise, and neither of them seem particularly certain- at least, likely, until the groundsman turns around and shows his face. Leonard has had enough trouble with weirdos showing up at all hours, bleeding and broken. He's a vet, not a doctor, though when it came to treating a werewolf, there is- well- a middle ground.

Lazar kicks the door again, agitation showing in his every move. He is slow to turn around, seemingly not having even heard the bird's alarm call at first. When he finally steps back to turn away from the door in frustration and spots Leonard and the owl, he squints, looking straight at the pair for several seconds. He does his best to straighten up but fails somewhat. He's not a stranger to the town, but nor does he know everyone on a first name basis and when his mouth opens to utter a greeting, nothing comes out. Nevermind greetings, then. Straight to the point.

"Hello." He mutters, following it up quickly with "I won't take much time." The gravedigger grabs his right arm with his left hand, holding it up by his chest like one would a freshly caught fish before letting it drop right back down again, limp. "Need bandages. Alcohol for wounds. Needle, thread." Simple as that.

A town really only needs one man like this one, and when he speaks, at least a last name floats back to Leonard. Sage lets out another noise, clicking her beak and ruffling charcoal feathers. The cleaner, older of the two finally knits his brows and closes the slight gape of his mouth, before distinctly walking around Lazar to unlock the door, bright green eyes watching him all the while. "Mister …Vodincharkov? Forgive me, I cannot quite-" The door pops open, and they can feel the cooler air of cement floors from under the wood, sliding out into the dewy morning. "-remember your name."

"Why do all the men in this town, seem to think that I am the best choice when they get torn apart…" Bellyaching from zero-to-sixty in about five seconds. Sage flaps past silently, darting through the doorway and landing upon the perch nailed to the front desk. "Look at you. Did you crawl into a bear's mouth?"

"Maybe because you are only man with open doors when we need them." Lazar spits out the words with some amount of spite, though he seems fairly calm otherwise. His tone changes immediately after, to something that may easily be taken for an apologetic one. "Vodenicharov. I forget your name, too." He takes the liberty of proceeding into the clinic, entirely unbothered by the looks he's being given. In turn, he gives the clinic a skeptical sort of look while sharply angling his head with a forced crack of his spinal cord. His expression remains largely blank as he thinks up an explanation, and finally turns around to announce in a dry voice, "I met a wolfman my bird found. I killed him, almost."

"Open doors, perhaps. Missus Rowntree has enough trouble lately, what with her second being out of sorts." Leonard knocks one knuckle against the door before he closes it, and tilts around the sign that says he is 'in'. Incidentally, it has his name- the name of the clinic- on both sides. "Hightower." Of which there are a great many, either by blood or marriage. Lazar has probably buried a couple by terms of old burials or cairns, rather than the recently revived act of immolation on the lochs. After stepping towards the rear and beckoning Lazar with a jerk of his head, Leon halts abruptly when he tells the vet how he ended up like this. The gravedigger can plainly see the rankling emotion that bristles up the other man's spine. Like a prod from a piece of frigid metal.

"A- wolfman?" Leonard half-turns, wringing his palms together, voice nervous. "Who …started the altercation? Can you remember?"

Right. A Hightower. Lazar should really remember those, but he'll blame having been nearly murdered for his head's poor state for now.

He looks antsy to be standing still, clenching both his jaw and left fist. To his credit, he's holding up fairly well for having walked all this way with flesh exposed in several areas. But whether it is the multitude of pain or the fact that a gun's just recently gone and got itself violently blown apart right next to his head, the question goes unanswered for a while. Or perhaps it's just because he's not all too familiar with the word 'altercation'. The frown that slowly crawls over his face would suggest it's that last one.

"He was in my cemetery." Lazar clarifies matter-of-factly, as if that should explain everything. "Eating corpse. I talked, it did not listen. So I try to take the body part back, and then he tried to take this." He nods toward his lesser functioning arm, blood now warmly trickling past broken fingers onto the cool floor.

"I applaud your defense of desecration, sir, but have you no sense of self-preservation?" Leonard does not seemed to have picked up on the man's inability to catch harder words; he motions Lazar into one of the exam rooms and puts his hand out to attempt to begin prying the man's coat from his shoulders. This is one reason, always apparent, that he is not a people doctor. Too grabby. Some do not mind, if he is helping them- but some might. Then again, if they are desperate, beggars cannot be choosers. "The Lady Ross will not like it when she finds out about this…" Whatever she has to do with this, it sounds dire.

When he turns to snatch a broad, thick leather apron from the wall, Sage's eyes catch his expression from the doorway, having heard it all. There is a silence, but even then they do not actually communicate with one another. She turns her fathomless, dark almond eyes towards Lazar, and promptly turns around, and hops away. Leonard hesitates nervously again, pushing hair from his forehead- Sage is more like to fetch Aislinn or Cordelia, than she is to fetch Dina.

"You will have to help me pry everything off, unless you'd rather I get a knife." And cut things off. It sounds more sinister than he intended.

Fortunately for both of the men, Lazar's coat is pulled from his shoulders voluntarily and without fuss. It does manage to pull a few winces out of him that leave him ever so slightly less upright. In a search for something to lean on, he manages to catch sight of Sage's departure, and scoffs for reasons yet unknown.

"It stole what did not belong to it." He adds curtly, then, turning to look back toward Leonard, strained and tired. And definitely not happy about something. "If I had a better gun, it would be dead now, and my arm would not be burning. I don't care who does not like what. I will find it." And do very not-nice things to it, from the tone of his voice.

"And the dead belong to you, do they?" There is something incredulous in Leonard's voice, at first. "Unless you mean the town. Though I suspect you are not a community man." Why else would someone choose to live and work where this man does? Assumptions are a-plenty. "Eugh." The vet does not keep his grimacing to himself, once he is able to see the extent of things, and the burn most of all. "Well, my good man, you can try. We've been having trouble keeping him well-behaved." We. As in he may- or may not- have some social stock in this.

"I'm going to have to push your shoulder back together. It's going to hurt like hell." Leon smiles, though soon realizes that this moment of truth is not quite something to be smiling about, and it fades quickly. It was an attempt to be disarming. No pun intended.

"The dead can not defend themselves." This is the only thing Lazar says for a good while, eyes trailing Leonard around the room as he speaks, presumably listening as well as he can. Assumptions are just that, and he leaves them for what they are, right or wrong. He's not terribly looking forward to the arm being back where it's supposed to, but he knows what it involves, and nods immediately. Leonard's smile is almost instinctively met with a wry, painful sort of grin in return, though it lasts but an awkward second.

"Do what needs doing. And tell me what you know of this beast." It's clear enough he's curious to know more, but at least it will give him something other than the pain to focus on, in lieu of a swig of something strong.

"I see. What I know? He is a man with a terrible curse, and he has been having trouble… fitting in." Leonard gives absolutely no warning before he jerks the arm back into the socket. It takes a moment of painful pressure, not to mention the fact that he has to grab onto other wounds to do so. The sound it makes is just a bit grisly for Leonard's tastes. It is always best that he keeps in mind that people are bipedal mammals, not humans, when he is treating them. It's helpful in the long run.

"The beast is a bad hair day."

It's a good thing Leonard does not make a show of doing these things. The gravedigger likes it when people just do what they're supposed to. That's not to say the pain doesn't still catch him off guard, and it is less of a good thing that his first instinct is - after an angry shout in pain to accompany the pop - to swing the newly popped arm in Leonard's direction with quite a bit of force as if in an act of yet more self-preservation. Maybe the veterinary post was just right for Lazar today, what with his reflexes having apparently taken over for his brain for now. Hungarian curses spill out of his mouth soon after.

Elbow connects with the side of Leonard's ribcage, but it isn't enough to do some real damage, it just punts some of the wind from his lungs. A word comes out in a wheeze, indistinguishable from the cough that follows. In the meantime, the vet is more than used to wrangling the unruly. Children or animals. Siblings. You know. And so he gathers his wits and tugs Lazar into order again.

"Hhh- hold still, you'll- skin off or something…" Leonard coughs into his forearm as he stumbles a step away to pull over the iron water bucket he set out the night before, whipping some linens from the wooden cupboard and tossing them in. The cold wells make for much better cleaning when you allow water to sit out. Another step takes him to grab up wrappings. "Your hand." But again, there is no waiting. He simply grabs Lazar's burned hand to wrap it loosely. He'd like Aislinn to handle the more terrible burns, he hasn't the experience.

At least, unlike most animals, Lazar has the smarts to calm down again soon after he's been told off. "Sorry." He is quick to blurt this word out, though any apologetic look that might have been there is quickly wiped off of his face when his hand is grabbed, teeth gritting as tension pulls at the broken fingers and tightened, broken skin.

"It does not have to look pretty. Only healed." His gaze is locked on his own hand when he clarifies the obvious, watching with both utter interest and mild annoyance. Like a cat waiting for a tangled toy to be unwound from its paws so it can play with it again. But that doesn't distract him from the other matter at hand. "Does the beast have a name?"

"I'm wrapping this so that Aislinn can see to the burns. If one doesn't treat them right, you will end up with stiff, thick scars." Leonard is paitient with his wrapping, moving up the forearm before ripping and tying it snugly. "Sage will return and let me know if she can come here, or if I'll need to show you to her instead." While he has less experience with burns, gashes and wounds are much easier. Once the wrap is set over most of the worse burns, Leonard takes up the wet cloth from the bucket to clean off blood, drool, and dirt from neck and arms.

"He does. But I do not think it is my place to give it to you." The man swallows when he glances up, green eyes shaded by the fall of his hair and the steep of his brow. "Aislinn will want to tell Duncan Rowntree about this, I am sure. I will have to tell Sage to visit the Rosses after she returns. I prefer to keep the field- ah- open, and fair." It is obvious that he hates politics, yet somehow he has gotten himself stuck in this particular web. It is quite sticky.

"I will feel bad if I kill it without knowing its name." Lazar does not object, patiently cooperating, having at one point been used to being waited on. It did not previously involve cleaning blood and drool off of him, but he can live with that. This is a much different time.

But he is getting tired, and now every touch of the wet cloth on torn skin makes him cringe and wish to be at home. To have this over with. But something prompts a thoughtful glance in Leonard's direction, and a few sullenly spoken words. "Thank you. For the open door." He looks to makes sure it's heard. This is an 'I owe you' thank-you rather than anything else, and it has to be understood.

Wringing out a bloody cloth is as simple as a motion can get, yet Leonard has a similarly resigned amount of energy for it. His mouth quirks into a half-frown, and back into a faint, neutral smile. Polite.

"My door is open as long as it isn't knocked down." Lucky guy. "I'm not used to treating men, but I will if I need to. I'm not cruel enough to turn someone desperate away from my front stoop. Bad for business, you know." He laughs, amidst his sopping up. "I suppose people intrinsically know all of this…" Hence why they always show up. As clean as they will get, Leonard shifts away to find needle and thread. On the way back, he grabs up an unlabeled bottle of something amber, all but shoving it into Lazar's good hand.

The gravedigger decides not to question this particular strategy, accepting the bottle and immediately straightening up a little. He doesn't often drink for pleasure, but if this isn't a good enough reason, then he doesn't know what is. A mouthful of the stuff is downed within seconds, and coincidentally also seconds before he starts wondering whether it's a good icea to accept these sort of drinks from near-strangers. He gives the bottle another look, then his arm, then— takes one more swig, giving his head a shake as the drink's on its way down.

"… I will try not to hit you again." Probably a joke, though his complete lack of facial expression on Lazar's mug as he reaches to hand the bottle back over suggests otherwise.

"Good for you, that I'm not very skilled at hitting back." Eyebrows go up, and Leonard retrieves the bottle to set aside, for now. "I'm not my son, my brothers, or uncles. Which is to say, they are a lot better at it than I am." Even though he is tall and has a decent build, grace and injury do not go hand in hand. He's still been fussing to his children about the gash he got from the dragon in the harbour. Enough that he also fusses about his fiddling going downhill. In his son's words, 'stop being such a baby'.

The hook shape at the end of the needle seems more to fish with than to stitch, but at least it has no barb upon it. Leonard soon begins wordlessly taking the line through the deeper wounds, and his sewing skills are considerably better than his ability to take a hit. It's going to be a short visit.