Ardette has a few words for Dr. Tailor. Tailor stands by his actions after his surgical work on Harvey.
Preceded by Harvey's brain surgery.
...Awkward. That's what this silence feels like. Having long since removed the loudly ticking wall clock in his office, the only noise filling the deadspace was the bubbling of his fish tank. He should probably be trying to sleep. It hadn't worked the last three tries. He would just find himself back in the medbay checking on O'hannigan again. He'd still be asleep and he'd still be giving no indication he wasn't a completely retarded vegetable. Tailor heaves himself up from his desk to check on his friend's vitals anyway, but a knocking on the door cracks the atmosphere in two. Shit. Now he's wishing for the awkward silence back.
Ardette honestly was expecting the long, buzzing silence after she knocked on the door, but it still irritates her. She pictures Zach Tailor frozen at his desk, staring at the door like a deer caught in the headlights, a snapshot of the man she supplies with what she hopes is a great deal of guilt. "Tailor," she calls, rolling her eyes down to her hand on the doorknob. "May I come in?"
Dr_Tailor 's attention did snap to that door. Unknowingly proving her imaginings inaccurate, his hand freezes over the brass door handle. He breathes once in deliberately paced slowness, and opens the door without replying. "Bombaerts."
Ardette quickly takes her hand off the doorknob - she wasn't expecting him to answer that quickly, hm - and takes a slight step back. And then she really looks at him for the first time in several days. He looks paler than usual, with the purple of exhaustion brushed under his eyes... he looks like shit, frankly. She sighs shortly and glares at him because, they must agree on one thing: "I am the last person you want to see."
Dr_Tailor Yes, he is plainly aware he is being scrutinized and forever falling short of many a mark. "Care to do us both a favour and skip to the part of this conversation I haven't played over in my head a hundred times?" his voice does him no service as it falls in step with the rest of the cracks in his otherwise stubbornly maintained posture.
Ardette tilts her chin down disbelievingly. "That is the conversation. That's the only conversation." Shockingly, his attitude is less annoying than having to stand just outside his door in the bloody hallway. "Now. May. I. Come. In."
Dr_Tailor drops his head in what could be mistaken for politeness if it weren't Zach, in one good step back he opens the door wider for her. He sees no reason for her to bother asking him first given that tone she's carrying like a gun. He'd kind of prefer a gun in this scenario. Guns were predictable. Oh who was he kidding, so was Ardette. This was going to be redundant and tedious hell and he was going to rely on aspirin to get through most of it.
Ardette strides past him and stands expectantly before his desk. Let him decide whether he wants to sit or be standing for this, even though he looks as though if he sat down he might not get back up again. He's lucky she's come empty handed; she didn't need to bring both his and Harvey's files for effect. "First of all, how is he?"
Sit? Comfortable. Shorter than her. Physically cornered. In my office, cornered anyway. Stand. Shitty. Still shorter than her. Kind of more awkward. Sod it, he's taking his chair for this. The result is having a nice solid desk between the two of them. "He's recovering with medigun assistance, low settings for postoperative assessment purposes and it's brain recovery. You have a folder. The details are in his."
Ardette closes her eyes and holds a hand up to stop him there. Yes, she has his file. It's what wasn't in the file that concerns her more. "Good. How are you?"
Dr_Tailor looks up at Ardette with one slow calculated blink, following the sharp image of her through his glasses so he's looking at her blurred face over the lenses. "Wonderfully awful. I'll live." It was a nice defense to be able to escape the glares she could shoot.
Ardette nods to herself. "Good." And then she takes a step forward and plants both hands on his desk. "Now. Would you mind explaining to me, what--" She sucks in a breath and looks away, a tense gesture that is an easy substitute for a swear. "--you were thinking?"
Dr_Tailor 's patience deflates but his expression has been smeared with 'why do I have to go through this yet again' since the beginning so it doesn't show much. "He asked me to remove the headset. He asked explicitly that other medics not be involved. I chose to honour that request. There was a lot of thinking involved." As if he would just do this on the fly without a plan. The quiet eats up the space between them as soon as he stops speaking.
Ardette "I beg to differ," she snaps on the heels of his words. "That was not his call, Tailor. That was not your call." Her voice raises a hair. "He doesn't even have any preoperative forms on record! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't report you for malpractice!"
Dr_Tailor doesn't flinch. "You're wrong, stop telling me things I already know. It was my call, I chose to go through with it." he faces her volume with a bitter edge, "Consider how O'hannigan behaves. He's wasting his life here avoiding every problem he can by failing to pretend it doesn't exist. To tell him 'no' would condemn him so far into the same denial, I doubt he'd ever ask again."
Ardette turns her cheek in frustration and throws a hand in the air. "Damn it, Tailor, this isn't about yes or no. If he wanted that thing gone, that's his right. I respect that. I agree, even. I would want the same! But the issue here," she points in his face, "is how you conduct yourself as a bloody physician and employee of this company."
Dr_Tailor sighs hard enough you can almost hear the little mantra in his head counting backwards from ten. Followed by more of that damn fish tank as his wits gather themselves together, hands clasping together on his desk. He rocks gently in his chair with a condescendingly amicable little smile on his face. "Show me a legitimate neurosurgeon who works for RED and I'll show you a man who's better at faking paperwork than most spies. Where am I supposed to find the proper resources to do this without sending a likely-confidental lab experiment off-base?"
Ardette leans into her hands, hunching her shoulders, feeling the corner of the desk cut into her palms. Maybe it's some subconscious effort to make sure she knows exactly what both her hands are doing when he's smiling at her like that. "You go to Ballard. You come to me. If we can give you a medigun to make you think you know how to do your job, we can find you a bloody surgical staff!"
Dr_Tailor "And then Harvey would say 'Nevermind, I can't face this any more,'" he adopts a very not-Harvey 'no shit sherlock' tone at the line, ungloved fingers clenching a little tighter, "and I am not about to force someone in his situation into complying."
Ardette shakes her head, making her bangs whip across her forehead. "Don't you dare think I don't have his best interests in mind, Tailor. You had no team, no insurance," she scoffs derisively, "minimal preparation, to say the least, and you decide to, oh, scrape a piece of machinery off of the boy's temporal lobe. Alone. Yes, this is an improvement to his situation."
Dr_Tailor closer to occipital lobe but he does not pick that fight. Time-wasting and misdirection would serve him little function in this discussion. "Yes."
Ardette stares at him, pink in the cheeks, a comeback half-formed stopped in her throat. She searches his face, what he thinks he's hiding behind his glasses, and finds nothing he doesn't actually, truly believe there. God damn it. She sighs gustily and rubs her forehead under her bangs.
Dr_Tailor mutters "Good choice" in a lot more acid than audibility. "I know what I did was ethically wrong. I have done a lot of ethically wrong things, not by choice. I have done things that were morally wrong. Never by choice. I do not believe this was morally wrong. Morals are more important to me at this point. See to it that I am stripped of my medical license if you must." With any luck that frustrated red in her face would prove a good distraction from how much of an oncoming migraine he's trying to stave off.
Ardette straightens up to her full height, but keeps on hand on his desk, a reminder that, no, they are not done here. Not yet. "Not unless you admit what exactly made you qualified to perform that kind of surgery alone."
Dr_Tailor glances at the hand, either it was easier than looking at her unforgiving face any longer or gestures had a funny habit of leading one's eyes away. Said eyes were struggling with a surprisingly uncomfortable amount of pain sitting behind them. As if he needed yet another reminder that life is hard and he's done wrong. "I am underqualified to perform neurosurgery. I am trained as a general surgeon, and was working to specialize in trauma surgery. I broke the rules. Harvey could have died. I am a bad man. What the hell do you want me to say Ardette." this was pointless.
Ardette bites hard on the inside of her cheek, but all a trained eye would notice is a certain shifting of her jaw in an otherwise stony face. He's just said everything she both wanted and didn't need to hear from him, and it leaves her still dissatisfied. She summons the image of Harvey in the gurney, bandaged and inert. After a long silence, she says quietly. "I haven't forgotten about that wild bloody Aperture goose chase you sent me on." She looks at him sharply. "But I'm hoping now maybe you can. Because that's what this is about, isn't it? Well..." She sneers, less at him than at the sour taste in her mouth that comes with the memory. "I don't care about Aperture. That boy is a RED. He is RED's responsibility, he is my responsibility, and what you did was negligent, risky, stupid and selfish." And the words hang there with no place to go, really, so she shakes her head and chuckles bitterly. "But you already know that."
Dr_Tailor does not like being told he is being selfish when the only thing driving him to do any of this has been this tiny little hope that maybe on the offchance harvey didnt die out here, he could actually go home and live some semblance of a life. "Don't project your substitutions for my thoughts onto me." his words bite with that anger, and he gets up too sharply and storms out of his office. It will quickly be out of the entire medbay if Ardette fails to get in his way.
Ardette 's gone toe to toe with a raging Eberhardt, so this doesn't faze her one bit. "Tailor." She storms after him into the med bay proper, speeding to a trot, to a long-strided one, two, three runs to catch up with him and cut in front of him. "I'm not telling you what you're thinking, I'm telling you what you did," she hisses, because she knows Harvey is in one of those beds. "But it's done, and we are all very lucky he is alive."
Dr_Tailor has to stutter his steps to halt before bumping right into her, not that he was surprised when the ominous click-click curtly chased him out of his own office. He just wanted some small hole he could crawl into and be left alone to pick his own brain apart, he didn't need her to do it for him. His expression is so wound up with stress it leaves him looking vicious, the way a cornered animal might. Something in the way he fails to make eye contact lets on just how guilty he is about this whole debacle.
Ardette is glad she didn't have to grab him, seeing the look on his face. She's never witnessed Zach Tailor like this, and so she must take a step back and respect it. She puts her hands on her hips and looks hard at the row of beds, clean tile, stark lights. In that same quiet, forced tone: "Does his family know?" Or was he planning on letting them just... find out for themselves like the rest of his team.
Dr_Tailor pulls a faint tensed motion, swallowing back the cognitive bitterness that particular complication posed. "No. And it needs to be handled so they don't know about Aperture. They have every right to sue the company and Harvey is certain they would. Aperture would crush them. Or worse." a snarl of flashed teeth at the last few words almost makes it sound like a personal threat.
Ardette feels a momentary, greedy thrill, like a flash, and she's glad she stopped him. She's glad she's witnessing this from him, she's glad she's getting somewhere with him, she's glad he's talking about Aperture with such a candid bitterness that implies it's something they share. "Well, at this point, they either attack Aperture, or they attack RED." Ardette She mutters under her breath. "They both enjoy their 'work related injuries,' don't they."
Dr_Tailor does not appreciate the look shes giving him. Ardette should not be allowed to think she's enjoying some kind of one-up against him in this conversation. He's still fighting back vomit and he's not about to admit that the stress is getting to him /that/ much. "We were thinking on how to explain it with... something..." a word hitches in his throat, "A little less likely to accrue pointing fingers." He needs this conversation to be over.
Ardette nods slowly, and once more her eyes are drawn to that row of beds. "I'll see what I can do," she says, and it's automatic. Harvey O'hannigan is her responsibility, somehow, and she's quick to assume that responsibility. "We have time. If you haven't told them anything, we're not working on a deadline, assuming he recovers."
Dr_Tailor nods, short and sweet, lips pursed and face a little grey. She was offering to help. He assumes it's some obligation she feels to spare Harvey any more of Tailor's unscrupulous methods for accomplishing what has to be done. "I have not."
Ardette is helping because Harvey is a RED lying in a hospital bed after a high-risk surgery. One could say she's familiar with the subject. She presses her hand to her mouth and sighs. "This is going to be a legal nightmare."
Dr_Tailor is getting to that awful point where he's swimming in needle-y stress induced headache and has to abandon the conversation entirely in favour of getting his head over the sink. Not exactly what he needed at the moment. It'll be funny if she hasn't found out he's legally written down as deceased, is all he thinks. That and fuck fuck fuckity fuck piss damn shit does he hate being sick.
Ardette trails after him the first few steps on pure reflex, assuming he's just being avoidant agai-- Oh. She stares helplessly at his back, hunched over the sink, and-- yes, there it goes, the queasy, retching sound of sick. Brilliant. She darts to one of the adjacent stations and yanks several paper towels free. "This is why we don't do surgery alone."
Dr_Tailor just takes the towels without making the mistake of opening his stupid mouth so soon. The dull stare he gives the wall is so witheringly jaded it refuses any pity a sick person might deserve. He knew she'd do the right thing and reserve that emotion for Harvey anyway.
Ardette leans back against the counter, feeling a strange, probably completely unhelpful obligation to wait until he's done. And when he is, she seems to deflate a bit, finally. She asks the stupid but only question. "...Are you alright?"
Dr_Tailor gives the obvious but asked for answer. "...No." but if she thinks for a moment he's also stupid enough to perform surgery with a stomach bug, he's going to scream.
Ardette nods once, shortly, like no, no, of course you aren't. "Am I going to have to carry you to a bed, here?"
Oh you'd love that wouldn't you. "Hhh, no, I can manage that much." he runs the tap before he makes himself sick again looking at a sink full of failure. "I'll - we'll." His lip curls into a fff but he waves dismissively. "IT will get dealt with when we know where Harvey is at for mental health." that drains his face of what little colour he had on reserve. He's going to take that suggestion and go lie down now please. He's had enough assaulting on his nerves and ego for a while. If Harvey survives. If. He hates that word the more he has to use it.
Ardette glares at his back dully. Like he's going to try to make his escape now. Hah. She gets a glass from the cabinet and pours a cold glass of water for him, and brings it over. "So. Now, we wait."
Dr_Tailor takes the glass too. Autonomous behaviour, clean sink, walk away, take glass, say word. Beg the nothingness you believe in that somehow in all the random awful in the world, your friend pulls through. "Yea." he's exhausted and still can't find the will to let himself sleep. At least, now, the quiet that filled in the time not talking was more comfortable. "...I'm not sure you want to wait here specifically, but you're welcome to."
Ardette leans against the endboard of the gurney and studies the ground, her crossed arms, the dry skin on the knuckles of her hands. Not watching him is the only privacy she can give him right now when she doesn't feel comfortable leaving and equally as uncomfortable staying. "Are you well enough to be left alone?" In general, with Harvey, whatever.
Dr_Tailor is not going to pull any new surprise stunts with Harvey. He'll let his vision cross and look at nothing while he tries to enjoy the water. "Uhff, I don't know." he grabs a couple aspirin from a bottle in his labcoat and takes those. "...are you actually going to get me written up for malpractice?" it's not something he should have asked. There's no fire to his words.
Ardette chews her lip thoughtfully. If that was meant to put the fear in him, clearly it was either unnecessary, or redundant. "Me? No." And at the very least, she owed him for not writing her up for the Ace incident just because he could. "Ballard? Well-- that's ultimately his decision." She sighs and leans her elbows on the endboard, linking her fingers, and shakes her head at him. "But if the stilts are going to be next, get another medic involved. Those must be harmless enough." Please tell me they're harmless enough.
Dr_Tailor the noise he makes, he saw that one coming. "I think I'm going to not think about that until I absolutely have to, but you can put it on record I won't be trying anything this insane again." He was pretty damn certain he was done being a surgeon.