Title: Home Again, Home Again
Location: Maxwell Ranch
Synopsis: More fallout from Mike and Julie's time in the hands of Bates
Michael Donovan carries Julie into the room as per her request, much like a babe in arms, or perhaps, well... We'll just say that he probably wishes he was carrying her over the threshold under much more felicitous circumstances. As tender as his touch seems to be in holding her, the rest of him seems to be more or less on auto-pilot.
Juliet Parrish is quiet, perfectly silent. The only indication that this isn't a tender moment, besides Mike's own distant-ness and Juliet's own nakedness, is the moisture collecting against his neck. She shivers as she's carried, and after a moment, whispers, "T...I want to shower..."
Michael Donovan carefully sets her down, not letting her go, however, until she's well and truly ready to relinquish. Numb though he may be, the man's not made of stone. "I... I can get it started for you," he murmurs back. That's Mike for ya: lover, fighter, full-service bathroom attendant.
Juliet Parrish nods slightly, remaining where she's set down, staring at her toes. "Thanks," she whispers, without looking at Mike.
Michael Donovan promptly pads into the bathroom, what follows are the telltale sounds of bare feet on tile and then running water through pipes. He lets it run for a couple of minutes before finally returning to the room, leaving it to Julie to flick the mechanism that makes the water run through the showerhead rather than the spigot. The last few days have been full of too many surprises, whether she's assaulted by a downpour of water that is either too hot or too cold shouldn't be the latest in the series. "Looks ready to go, hon."
Juliet Parrish nods quietly, having pulled the blanket around the foot of the bed to surround herself. She does not look up at Mike as she moves, bare foot and nearly silent, towards the bathroom.
Michael Donovan heads over to the bureau like clockwork, perhaps channeling the need to feel useful in the wake of a long period of uselessness.
Juliet Parrish disappears into the bathroom, and it's only a minute before the sound of the water shifting to come through the showerhead is heard. And then it's muffled, as someone (no doubt Julie) climbs in.
Michael Donovan, still clad in a barely decent manner, rummages through the collection of clothes found there. He quickly puts an outfit together on hangers. Blouse, jeans, and so forth. As quietly as possible, he opens the bathroom door and hang the ensemble on the hook bolted thereupon. He closes the door again as stealthily and quickly as it was opened, leaving her with a change of clothes to get into after shower's end without her having to worry about anyone else seeing naked Julieness.
The water continues to run, and if Mike listens very carefully when he opens the door, he might hear the soft sobbing coming from within. It's quite pathetic, actually, her half-crouched form can be seen on the floor of the shower, under the water flow.
Michael Donovan leans quietly against the outside of the door, momentarily at a loss as to what to do. It's the age-old question of whether to comfort or to leave Julie to her own emotions. Frankly, lately, he's been getting the answer wrong on that one but the twinge in his heart makes his hand move back towards the doorknob.
Juliet Parrish doesn't say a word, if she hears the door open again, but the bathroom is already steamed up, indicating that it is very hot water being used.
Michael Donovan hazards the loaded and somewhat obvious question, "Julie? Are you alright?" There's not a better way to phrase it, unfortunately.
There really isn't, but at the same time, it's a rather...silly question to be asking. A slight catch in the crying, as it's attempted to be silenced is the initial response to poor Mike's question, before Julie's shadow can be seen nodding. There's some rather rapid movement, tending to indicate that, well...something is being scrubbed, and hard.
Michael Donovan goes ahead and says Stupid And Obvious Thing Number Two then, "If you need anything, I'm just on the other side of the door, Julie."
"Some bleach, maybe a file," Julie responds, her voice rising in pitch slightly, as if nearing boiling point.
- Clunk* The door shuts. The Blockheaded Boyfriend strikes again. Mike looks down at the floor for lack of anything more constructive to do. Hm. Blood. At first he's concerned that it might be Julie's but then another droplet drips down to the floor reminding him that it's him that's doing the bleedin' 'round these parts.
Not all the bleeding, but Mike might not be aware of the bleeding that's going on in Julie, and perhaps that's for the best. Bleeding from bodily orifices is not exactly 'great couple chat' material. If Mike doesn't come in, Julie will be in the bathroom, scrubbing for several hours.
Fortunately, it's not hours. Maybe twenty, thirty minutes, but not hours. The sound of scrubbing hasn't ceased by then and that's when Mike's heart clubs his mind over the head and forces him to intervene. Opening the door again, he opens the steam-filled bathroom. Even though there's little more than silhouettes to his vision, that's really all that need be seen at this point. "Julie," he says, firmly yet tenderly, "Julie, sweetheart, that's enough..."
As she's called on it, Julie's sobbing begins to get louder. "I can't get him off," she whispers, voice hoarse. "I want him off...oh God." Julie has a lot of healing to do, both physically and mentally, Heather and Liz were right, but Mike will probably have some of his own to do.
That he does, not that he lets that show in any obvious way. He had seen things before, through the eye of a video camera lens, in other countries halfway 'round the world. Laos, El Salvador, Bosnia, Kuwait. 'Crimes Against Humanity', civil rights and the people they belonged to violated completely and utterly. Each time, the mantra that kept things in perspective, that kept him from relinquishing hope was: 'It Can't Happen Here.' It can't and yet it did and here was the gory aftermath. "Julie," he repeats, steeling his resolve a little -- so pitifully, tenuously little -- "Julie, It's alright. You're safe now..."
Juliet Parrish isn't relinquishing her grip on the poof ball soaked in lathered body wash, continuing to scrub furiously at her arm, from the appearance of her shadow, the shower curtain remaining closed. The steam continues to billow out, and from the temperature of the air alone, Mike can almost feel the near-scalding water...okay, scalding.
Time to intervene again. To be the voice of reason and sanity despite feeling anything but reasonable and sane. To pretend that he didn't die by degrees with each depravity he was forced to watch Bates inflict upon Julie. "That's enough, Julie," Mike repeats, reaching for the faucet, barely hiding the wince that comes when scalding hot water hits an openly bleeding wound, adding his own crimson contribution to that which is already spiraling down the drain.
Juliet Parrish is, indeed, crouched naked on the floor of the shower, her skin cherry red from the combination of the scalding water and the vicious scrubbing she's getting. This has the nearly-amusing result of turning her bruises a dark purple. "I have to get him off, Mike. I still feel him. I'm sorry, Mike, I'm so sorry, I never meant for it to happen. For you to see, I'm sorry," Juliet speaks quickly, quietly, trembling as she keeps scrubbing water or no. She has managed to drag all of the skin off in some places, aggravate it in others where the skin was already missing, and just turn other areas a nice shade of crimson.
Michael Donovan takes the poof ball, perhaps a bit more forcefully than initially intended. "Julie," he answers firmly, making a mental note to hide everything and anything abrasive in the house from her, "It's not your fault. It's not." His eyes seek hers out. "It's not," he says once more, a bit more softly.
Juliet Parrish lowers her hand as the poof is pulled from her, flinching slightly before she begins to simply scratch at her arm. That works as well, right? She shakes her head, not able to bring herself to meet Michael's gaze. The man she loves, the man she trusts above everyone else, she can't face him. Her shivering worsens as the water beads on her skin, dripping slowly off her hair. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Mike, I'm sorry. And Heather...God, it's all my fault."
Michael Donovan, seeing that the de-poofing has had perhaps a worse effect on Julie's well-being, acts before really thinking about it. After all, he's the expert at acting before thinking. He grabs one of Julie's wrists, then the other. "Stop it, Julie," he says firmly, just shy of shouting it.
Juliet Parrish instinctively cries, shrinking back from Mike as he grabs her wrists, her head jerking up as she's grabbed. Despite all his good intentions, it doesn't have quite the desired effect. She does quiet down, but it's not a good quiet, not a calm quiet. It's the calm before the storm. "I'm sorry," she whispers, eyes wide as she remains tense, Mike still holding her arms.
Michael Donovan lets go quickly, as though Julie's wrists were even more searing than the water she was using to wash off the unwashable. "Dammit, Julie," he says at a firm whisper, "you're stronger than this. You're stronger than this." The bathroom must have damn good acoustics since it sounds like everyone's repeating themselves.
Juliet Parrish doesn't move, simply staring at Mike, continuing to remain as a statue. And then the red on his wrists catches her attention. "You're...hurt," she whispers breathlessly, picking up on the fact rather quickly, though the simple fact that she scrubbed herself to the point of instigating bleeding seems to pass her by.
Michael Donovan takes a breath at that. "I've had worse," he answers in all truthfulness. The truth that he doesn't add is that the wounds were as futilely and hopelessly inflicted by himself as the abrasions covering Julie's body were by her. "It's not something I'm all that worried about right now," he adds, implying that current matters are more deserving of his attention.
Juliet Parrish shakes her head slowly, reaching a trembling hand out to lightly take Mike's, pulling it closer to her, studying the injury on the wrist. After a moment, she proclaims softly, "I can fix it in just a minute." Her voice doesn't shake so much, not now that she has something to focus on. She's not hurt...if she can focus on someone else, she's alright
Michael Donovan blinks once, ready to argue the point further until he realizes that, hey, Julie's paying attention to something other than the concept of flaying herself alive, both emotionally and literally. "No hurry," he answers.
Right, she's not paying attention to herself at all. Because if she ignores it, she can pretend it didn't happen. She straightens in the shower, before stepping out, ignoring her nakedness. Juliet pulls Mike from the bathroom without another word, leading him to the bed.
Michael Donovan, for his part, doesn't resist being led, as this seems to be the most positive activity that's come out of Julie since the whole unspeakable series of events unfolded.
Juliet Parrish points Donovan to the corner, as she releases him, turning to move to a side table. She pulls open a drawer, pulling out a small first aide kit. Yes, she keeps one in the bedside table. She moves back, before kneeling in front of Mike, and opening it. She begins to try and treat his wrists without a word.
Michael Donovan likewise remains silent, looking for a short moment like a child doing penance for some unfortunate act, sitting in the corner for his transgressions. He offers the afflicted body parts to Julie that she might better examine and treat them.
Juliet Parrish is incredibly gentle, as if pouring every ounce of everything that is the exact opposite of the ordeal they just went through into her slender hands, into the antiseptic and bandages. She makes quick work of it, the wrists wrapped in gauze within minutes before she moves to return the kit to the bedside table.
Michael Donovan tries to be good about the whole thing. While he's always been something of a baby regarding medical treatment from the very first day Julie ever met the man, somehow he's able to suck it up just this one time.
Juliet Parrish leaves Mike sitting on the edge of the bed, her and her red, bruised skin turning instead towards the dresser without a word. She pulls open a drawer, pulling out a simple nightgown.
Michael Donovan looks down at himself again, for some reason finally seeming a little self-conscious about his current state of dress.
Juliet Parrish pulls the nightgown over her head, the fabric draping lightly over her curves. The drawer is shut with a whisper of wood across wood before Juliet turns to drift towards the bed.
Michael Donovan walks over to his own dresser and promptly secures a pair of pajama bottoms. Without much in the way of fanfare, he pulls them up over his, um, cloth. He looks over to the bed and the person by it with a somewhat palpable look of uncertainty.
Juliet Parrish isn't making a sound as she pulls the blanket back on her side of the bed before crawling in. She sits on the edge before her feet swing up, and she lays back. She settles on her side, the blanket pulled around her, as her head rests on the pillow. All without more than the creak of a bedspring.
Michael Donovan crosses over to the rocking chair and takes a seat. While it's not the most comfortable in the way of sleeping accommodations, he's dealt with far, far worse. The simple fact of the matter is that the dreams Julie's been having coupled with the reality Julie's been having means sharing the bed is chancy at best.
Juliet Parrish doesn't even seem to be truly aware that Mike isn't joining her in the bed, that she will be sleeping alone. And perhaps that's for the best. Her arm, which rests on top of the blanket, is a bright red contrast to the quilt. It's been a long nearly 48 hours, and she sleeps quickly. Now, how long she remains asleep, or sleeps peacefully, is doubtful.