In which there is a tiny oddity in Parvati's patient journal and Callahan tactfully investigates.
Initial Setting:Doctor's Office.
Timeline:Preceded by a tiny roleplay in Parvati's Ten Facts tegaki thread. Followed by the Wastin' Time tegaki thread.
"You wanted to see me, Doc?"
Callahan puts down the paper he was staring at in bored ennui. "Want'd to? No' really. Haveta? Sure."
"Don't get too excited, Doc. You called and I came."
Callahan rolls his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, yous a good 'girl'. Sit," he grumbles and points the ballpoint pen at the empty chair in front of the desk littered with papers.
Parvati makes a show of sitting. "Do I get a treat?" She eyes the papers that Callahan is studying.
"Here we subscribe to th' rolled-up newspaper approach, 'Lassie'." Callahan finally looks up at her. She's got her hair braided long and neatly, nails done and eyes painted. By all means, a lovely young lady to most eyes, if not a bit on the garish side. Callahan huffs and starts fishing in the mess of files.Parvati snorts. "Hey, if you get to call me Lassie, I get to call you Timmy. So, what's this about, Doc? Do I need a tetanus shot or something?"
"Rabies, maybe," Callahan shoots back, a bit fed up with the papers by now.
Parvati holds her hands up defensively, "Okay... okay, I walked into that one."Callahan "Hopefully ye kin walk outta here jus' as easily. Now... where th' bugfuck assrape is that bloody--thing."
Parvati glances at Callahan briefly before leaning forward, "Do you need some help...? I'd like to make this trip short as possible. I have things to do." Nail painty things.
"Ain't like I'm tryin' ta keep ya," Callahan snaps back. "Only thing I need ya is to--" he shoves a pile off to the side and starts thumbing through a few selected papers "--explain... this."
He turns the open patient journal around and pushes it toward Parvati with one long index finger.Parvati pulls the journal into her lap and looks to where Callahan pointed, squinting."This isn't because Imight'need some glasses, is it? What am I looking at?""Maybe th' part where that little box 'M' is crossed out, 'lass'," Callahan adds helpfully in a not-at-all helpful tone of voice."... and what about it, Doc?"It might have been more prudent to point out the hasty little scribble written by the last doctor...Parvati skims the document, a small smile playing at her lips, "Oh, you mean--" she leans in, lowering her voice, "--the part where the previous doctor says I'm a man who thinks he's a woman.""Yes," Callahan says, voice absolutely blank. "Yes it might just bloody be."
It would have quite fucking been prudent to point out the hasty little scribble written by the last doctor - a quick little note in the typical doctor-to-doctor shorthand that briefly mentions that the patient is male, yes, but seems to think it's abso-bloody-lutely necessary to wear high heels,stuff a fuckload of makeup in their face, flutter their eyelashes and in every waybut'the biological way act and pose like a god-birthed full woman.Parvati closes the file and tosses it back onto Callahan's messy desk. "What about it? Want proof?
"I'll take your fockin' word fer itan'keep my lunch down, cheers," Callahan replies calmly. "Nay, this is rather... let's call it 'preventive medicine'. I ain't so keen onnit it general - I tends to think fellas need to hurt first and learn afterwards, it just seems t'stick better tha' way... Regardless. This seem'd to warrant some sorts a... inquiry."
Parvati narrows her eyes. "In English, Doc?" she sighs and sits straight in her seat. "Are you perhaps asking if I've suffered some sort of injury to my genitals resulting in their loss?"
"Jus' tell me what th' fuck. I ain't interest'd in skippin' verbal ropes wi' ya. If yous want me t'understand your situation better aside from 'he's a perverted nutter', ye better start talkin'," Callahan continues just as calmly and folds his hand over the paper-riddled desk.
"Well lets see... I was born with a penis and testicles and so the consensus was that I was male. But I'm not. I'm a woman. That's all. I still have all my genitals I was born with, they remain intact, without injury. That's it. That's all there is to it."
Callahan arches a brow. "An' that's a conclusion ye came to all on yer lonesome, is it?"
"I wasn't aware Doctors had some sort of gender-detecting ability, Callahan. I've told you what I know to be true. I'm a woman. Is there anything else you need to know?"
"Aye. Were you plannin' on keepin' th' rod an' tackle a secret or is that somethin' you be wantin' to flaunt proudly along your self-appointed womanhood?"
"Do you whip yours out for giggles, Doc?Because that's generally viewed as pretty rude."
Callahan continues, unpertubed. "Then mind explainin' me what th' gen'ral idea wi' those goddamn harebrain'd short skirts is fer? If yous pretending ta be a woman - which is fine, whatever, I ain't paid to care - it might be a stellar idea to not strut 'round th' base in short jobbies that'll reveal ye jus' by sittin' down," he points out with unwavering, albeit tired, patience.
"I have great legs. Why hide them? Besides who here knows I have a penis besides you? /You/ didn't realize it till you read the file. I think its going pretty well."
Callahan drops his head to Parvati's eye.level, dark-circled eyes peeking out from under ill-combed hair. "You wouldthink'so, o'course you will. Because ye certainly got the dumb empty airhead o' a woman part down pat."
He folds his fingers further, and the thin, bony joints crackle like tinfoil.
"At some point, them other colleague's o' mine are goin' tapull their fingers out their asses an' actually skim o'er the sad slobs of new arrivals. An' then I won't be th' only one who's wonderin' whether they should hold th' door fer ya or slam it in yer face. You're not jus' riskin' the other medics not acceptin' this 'imma woman' shtick, there are people here on base you certainly do not want findin' out. Because e'en if youwerea woman they'd not be thinking two seconds before punchin' that lovingly powdered nose a yours into th' back of your skull."
Parvati laughs bitterly, "I'm not sure why you assume that because I am a woman and wear high heels that I can't defend myself? I appreciate the concern, Doctor, but I have come from India to the United States as a woman and anyone here who would attack me for it would not be the first.I have long since learned to defend myself. I do not hesitate to do so."
Callahan leans back with a sharp look at Parvati. "I wou'd rather not see anyone break faces thanks a fucking lot. Yoursor'you breakin' somebody else's. Neither is a bloody fockin' option, jus' so's we are crystal clear.""I have no intention of attacking anyone. I stated clearly though that I will not hesitate to defend myself. That means physically or verbally."
Callahan sniffs in disdain. "You jus' see to it that ye keep away from this Zach Creedon bloke in particular. Musta seen him around. Big as a barnyard. Don' think no amount of words're likely t'make him step back."
"I'm not afraid of anyone here or what they think they can do to me. I'll steer clear though."
There's a moment when Callahan's just frowning at Parvati. She's looking prideful, self-assured, and it's in a moment like this he thinks he can see the young man underneath it all, buried well. Because she... he... is a man and no amount of posturing and loose wrists and haughty hairflicks is going to change that. But RED obviously doesn't care aslong as their meat can walk and talk and shoot, it doesn't matter what their meat thinks it is, or what they think they should dress like. It's not about being afraid, Callahan thinks, or about doing or believing what you think is right. For him it's about the meat, only thing he needs to do is make sure it's ready and able to go on the battlefield, walking, talking and shooting.
Callahan rubs his face lightly. "Listen, Mr. Bhartla--uh, Bat... wossname. Parvati. I ain't tellin' to be afraid. Or tryin' t'lecture to tell you the heels an' the dresses aren't fer you. All I'm askin' is tha' ye be a li'l more... covert. Subtle. The short skirts, the... short everything. It ain't fer my fuckin' sense o' prudishness. 's jus' askin' fer trouble."
Parvati frowns deeply. "You listen, Doctor--I told you that I'm a woman. I don't care what the previous Doctor said or what you think about that but you'll call me Ms. Bhatlacharya or Parvati but you will not refer to me as a man. Ever. As for anything else, I'm not ashamed of who I am or what I do or do not have between my legs. I'll dress as I want to and not you, Doctor Clark or anyone else onthis planet will tell me otherwise.You worry about my ability to shoot a sticky bomb launcher or swing a sword to do my job. Nothing else. I'll take care of myself just like I have done my entire life."
Callahan 's frown goes blank. He narrows his eyes at Parvati. "Miss--" he stops a moment. "--Bhatlacharya. That's fine. My jobisprecisely t'make sure you are fit for battle. An' one way is to ensure that you ain't takin' up space in the medbay because you got yer daft ass handed to you in stockings an' finery. I will also kindly remind youthat this is a military base and not a fucking escort service and youwill'dress accordingly, regardless of yer ideas o' pers'nal freedom. There is a difference in embracin' who ye are--" he sends her a poignant look, trying to make sure that she's seeing that he... well, doesn't understand, how the hell could he? But that he's trying. Pathetically trying. "--an' outright temptin' fate."
Parvati crosses her arms, "Most of the time, I'm forced to wear my uniform. I only rarely get to wear my civilian clothes, anyway." She looks stung, upset and angry at the unfairness of the situation, "The other women dress as they like. No one complains about the shortness of their skirts."
Callahan looks a little tired. The whole conversation just seems to be replaying the same five minutes over and over. "They don't have t'worry about Prince James peekin' out when they bend o'er to impress th' soldiers," he deadpans. "You're battlin' yer psyche against yer biology. An' only one of them is horrifyingly tangible fer all t'see."
"Stop assuming that I'm some kind of pervert that lets everything hang out all over the place! I don't walk around in- in a bikini or a thong, my god. I already take precautions, I have since before I came here, since before I came to the United States! I don't need you to remind me over and over!Next you'll be reminding me not to rape the women on the team!"
Callahan pinches the bridge of his nose. He's already wishing he never fucking started this conversation. "That would be assumin' ye e'en fancy women. I don't e'en know anymore at this point," he grumbles. "I'm sure, that if this were just and fair world -- which we both know it isn't -- ye woulda been born lookin' much differently. But you weren't. An' you don't. Ye'll have to accept that it ain't fair. An' that means dealing with assholes like me who's jus' tryin' to fockin'do their jobs."
"I fully understand you're doing your job. You've told me what you think you need to tell me. Is that all?"Parvati fights to maintain an even tone of voice. She blinks rapidly, however, thinking of how it'd be a waste of mascara to allow it to run in a fit of over-emotion.
"I have th' feeling it ain't... but fer my part yer free t'go," Callahan says calmly. "This ain't an ideal situation fer anyone. Shit, I don't think nobody here is in an ideal situation. See, just try t'keep outta trouble, lass," he adds with a shrug and starts shifting through the papers again.
Parvati stands up and moves towards the door. "Yes, well, I guess I'll just have to try extra hard not to go completely insane." She slams the door behind her.
Callahan clicks his tongue at the closed door. "Certainly got the PMS right."