1965-02-08 - Simmering Tensions
Summary: Able and Yuliya discuss the KGB Agents new life.
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Another day in the medbay. A severe cold. A sprained ankle. Two students who got into a scrap. He's just finishing up with the last. "Stay out of Jean's sight," he advises. "I won't tell her about your little donnybrook if she doesn't ask me."

Once they're gone, he chuckles quietly and gets back to an overdue task. Field-stripping his revolver and giving it a thorough cleaning. It's a break-top model, which makes it relatively simple and is all the more reason why he has no excuse for not having done it sooner. A few small pieces have already been wiped down and oiled; now he's swabbing out the chambers.

Yuliya thankfully doesn't have a cold, a sprained ankle. Though she might have got into a fight with a punching bag after taking her anger out on one while not wearing gloves. The pain might have helped her forget, but her knuckles are raw and split in several places. She tends to time her movements to avoid most of the student body, while still blending in. Honestly, she's still somewhat scared of the mansion and those that say there.

She taps against the door with her foot, and offers a sheepish smile. "Able, are you free now?" she asks in a soft voice in Russian. "I need some advice. I mean I really need it."

There's a brief glance upward at the sounds of a new arrival, then a small smile. Able leaves off his work and goes to scrub up again. "You look none the worse for wear," he greets, also in Russian. "Please, come in. We can talk while I have a look at those hands."

Once he's thoroughly washed and gloved, he pulls a few supplies from various cupboards and drawers. Swabs. Ointments. Disinfectant. Some bandages. They're loaded onto a tray, but rather than an exam table he leads Yuliya to his desk and pulls a chair around to one side so they can share one corner of the surface while he works. It's a more comfortable and relaxing arrangement, and far more conducive to conversation.

"I have not been shot, or blown up recently," Yuliya admits with a faint smile. "Which are always good things, yes?" She glances down at her hands, and makes a bit of a face. "I was just working out some anger." When she's invited in, she takes a few moments to look around the medical bay and offers a faint laugh. "Look at you, being a real doctor," she teases, still in Russian. She follows Able to his desk, and when offered a seat beside him at the corner, she does accept it.

"I do not understand these Yankees," she remarks to him. "I am open with some, and I am suddenly treated like I am the bad guy. I got into a debate earlier with a friend, and we didn't see eye to eye." She takes a deep breath and sighs. "She acted like the Soviet Union only wanted war."

Split knuckles are hardly a mortal injury, but they're also a distinctly uncomfortable one. Healing abilities or not, Able would know. He quickly cleans and sterilizes the damage, then he takes up a fresh cotton swab and starts spreading a thin coat of topical ointment. He speaks while he works, without looking up from Yuliya's hands. "I have experienced much the same, as they consider me to be German. Old wounds run deep. Some people have difficulty seeing part where we're from to who we really are."

As fast and efficient as he is, he's wrapping her with bandages a few moments later. Once they're secure, he pushes his tools aside and removes his gloves. "We are not our country or our government. We are ourselves, nothing more. I was very proud of you when you realized that. Perhaps you can help them to realize it as well."

Yuliya does wince when Able treats her split knuckles, though she doesn't make a sound at all. She knows the pain won't last all that long, and she does distract herself by listening to Able as he speaks. "I thought being a Doctor, that you would have had a lot more people treating you with respect. And yes, I guess you are right."

She watches as her knuckles are bandaged, and takes a deep breath. "But how can I be myself? Being the perfect citizen was something I was raised to be. At times, what I am doing now just feels /wrong/." She shakes her head and frowns at the table. "I did what I did because you told me what you did. I also did not agree with what command requested." Her brow furrows. "I suppose I could always try to find another agent, kill them and deliver the body to show I do not serve the current leadership."

"That's not the answer." Able shakes his head and lets out a low, thoughtful sigh. "It will take time for you to become comfortable with this arrangement. You had good reasons, but this is different from anything you've ever known. There were bound to be…" he pauses and searches his Russian vocabulary for the right term. "Growing pains."

While he speaks, he stands and returns the unused supplies to their proper places. Like his clinic, the medbay is extremely tidy and organized. "Don't change who you are or who you want to become. Not for anyone. It will be difficult. That's what makes it worth it."

"Different from anything I've ever known is an understatement," Yuliya comments, as she runs a finger over her bandaged knuckles. "I feel like, as the Yankees say, a fish out of water." She raises a hand up to the bridge of her nose and rubs it. "I kind of miss the structure, the commands and orders. I know I have not always toed the line, but I guess it had stability there."

She continues to stare at the same spot on the table, like it's the most interesting thing in the world. "It is difficult. I got a lecture for calling her soft, too. Killing and maiming is the 'easy' way she claimed. It does work well in detering people." She slowly shakes her head. "I honestly do not understand how they think. You think. I am trying, but it is very hard."

Once the doctor has retaken his seat he resumes his work on the Webley, now scrubbing out the big revolver's barrel. "They don't have the perspective we do. They never had to endure what we have. I have come to agree in some ways; now I only kill when I must. And when it comes to my family, of course." His smile is mirthless, even fierce. "But in many other ways we will always disagree. Some problems do require permanent solutions. Compared to us, they grew up in a near-idyllic world. We can't expect them to understand us, not right away. Don't give up yet. If they can begin to accept me, you stand a fighting chance."

Yuliya glances up from that apparently interesting spot on the table, and cants her head to one side as she considers Able. "I never thought about it like that," she admits. "They do not understand what we have been through, and I guess we do not understand how sheltered they are from everything." It seems that's actually bolstered her spirits a considerable amount. "Maybe some day they will understand that their ideals are not perfect, and sometimes a kill is worth more than feeling good about things." She settles back into the chair for a moment. "I was actually close to giving up. I just felt lost. I… I have never felt like that before."

Able softens. He's wearing an expression that's extremely uncommon for him. Sadness. He looks Yuliya in the eye squarely. "I'm sorry, Katyusha. I never thought of how difficult this would be for you. I thought this would be good. And it still can be. They can learn from you and you can learn from them, just as I have." He reaches up to rake a hand through his short, neat hair, tousling it into spikes. As much as he cares for his appearance, this is a sure sign he's got thoughts flying through his head. "But if you decide that you don't want to be here, I won't blame you for that."

While Able's expression might soften, Yuliya's seems to harden. "No, you do not have to apologise at all," she replies. "I have made my choices, and I must adapt to the new circumstances." She takes a deep breath, and her shoulders slump. "I am not going to walk away from this. This is the chance for me to be me." She looks worried and she shakes her head. "I just have to figure out who I am. I've always put up mask to hide everything, and I cook because I can escape and no one can take that away. This is a chance for me to be me, and I just keep on falling back into who I was raised to be."

This seems to please Able. "Good. You deserve the chance. Like me, I think you likely never had the childhood you deserved. The time when you would figure that out." He steeples his fingers into a pensive triangle, a common gesture for him. "Chin up. Though some people don't understand us, this is still a safe place to begin understanding yourself. I'll help you work through it. You should speak with Erik, as well. He's very insightful."

Yuliya arches a brow at Able, and she gives him a curious look. "You are right, I never did have a childhood," she admits. "I never figured out a lot of things." She winces a little bit when she rests her hands in herlap for a moment. "I am trying my hardest to keep my chin up. It is just a bit depressing at times. You would know what it is like." She then offers one of her few sincere smiles. "Thank you Able. I am glad to be able to speak with you about it. I will try to speak with Erik, too." She takes a deep breath again. "Well later. I feel like I need a good run again. When I see Dizzy again, I will apologise to her and explain that I do not understand her." She slowly stands and that smile remains. "Thank you Able, I really appreciate it."

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