stock: typewriter

fic:we were wealth/btvs,walking dead/gen

Title: we were wealth
Series: We Find Ourselves
Word Count: 2415
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Walking Dead
Prompt: #356 drusy quartz @ tamingthemuse
Warning: none
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. The Walking Dead and all related characters are copyright of Robert Kirkman, Image Comics and AMC. No infringement intended.

A light sheen of sweat gathered on her brow and Dr. Lora Garcia could feel the loose tank top she wore sticking to her back as she kept her palms and feet flat against the concrete floor and held the Downward Facing Dog pose for five inhalations. On the fifth exhale she lifted her right leg up, balancing her weight on her palms and feeling the exertion in her arms, as she pivoted her right hip over her left. She felt the stretch in her groin before gently pushing down on her left heel and taking some of the weight from her upper body.

Holding the pose for a fifteen count, too tired from her late night to hold for a thirty, Lora then lowered her right leg and repeated the process with her left. Brown eyes focused on her necklace, which had slipped free from her sports bra, and she watched the pendent sway with her movements. The diluted early morning light that spilled through the windows set up high on walls of the barracks caught the sugar-like appearance of the quartz causing the grey stone to glitter.

Lora smiled as she lowered her left leg and placed herself back into Downward Facing Dog before rising and feeling the slight weight of the pendent settle against her chest. It had been a gift from her parents when she’d been accepted into medical school and while they hadn’t the money to purchase truly precious stones Lora treasured it nonetheless. Even more so now that her parents were no longer living but, thankfully, they’d passed before the world turned into the hell her mother had prayed daily for salvation from.

Spreading her legs hip-width apart, she raised her arms to cross her forearms over her head and grasp her elbows before beginning Sundial Salutation. The pendent tumbled with her sideways movements, but rather than pause to tuck it away she simply allowed the weight and memory of it to remain with her as she completed her morning yoga routine. A routine she’d incorporated into her life while still in college and had continued it on through her time at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

She’d remained in Texas, her family in Laredo, through all of her education and it wasn’t until she’d graduated and her parents passing that she’d accepted a job in Florida. The car accident had killed them both on impact and Lora had remained in the state long enough to witness the drunk driver receive a slap on the wrist, at least in her opinion five to ten years in prison for taking the life of two people was a slap, before accepting a job elsewhere. Most of her family had remained in Mexico City when her parents had immigrated to the United States leaving her alone in a country she’d grown to love and so she had arranged to leave the state as soon as possible and Florida, with similar weather to Texas, seemed the most welcoming.

The job she’d accepted had little to do with contagious diseases, but the outbreak at Blount a few months prior had left her as head of what remained of the CDC since she was the only person with a PhD left still alive. Lora moved back towards her cot with a sigh and slowly rolled her neck forward, stretching the last of her late night away, before snagging the water bottle she kept beside it and the towel she kept draped over the metal frame. She headed toward the community bathrooms with one last longing glance at her pillow and the sad knowledge that it wasn’t her day to shower.

Lora would have to settle for an inadequate wipe down in one of the sinks, regardless of the fact that having a head position in the compound allowed her some privileges. Privileges that she felt were an abuse of power so she refrained from taking extra portions at meal time and kept her washing allowance, for both her clothing and her person, to the same strict regulations as everyone else. It wasn’t always the easiest of tasks, but she felt better for doing so and it allowed her to continue meeting her staff on even ground.

The narrow hallway was still cool from the relatively free humid night that had brought with it a chill to the morning air, but Lora knew it was only a matter of time before the temperature within the barracks rose towards unpleasant. She found the bathroom as quiet as the sleeping quarters she shared with the rest of the single women, woman’s lib was far from most military compounds, and she stepped inside and welcomed that silence before turning towards one of the sinks.

She took a swig from her water bottle before crouching down to turn the water on for the sink closet to the door. She refrained from hitting the lights since similar to the barracks there were windows set high in walls and they allowed in light well enough and Lora tried her best to conserve energy where she could. Rising from her crouched position she draped her towel across the sink next to her and took one last pull from the water bottle before putting it down.

With a frown at her flushed cheeks and a wrinkle of her nose at the state of her lopsided pony tail Lora pulled off her tank top. It too was placed at the sink next to her before she turned on the water, keeping the faucet turned to cold, and welcomed the first splash against her face before snagging some of the soap from the dispenser nearest her and cleaning off a night and morning worth of sweat.

In a few minutes and several splashes of cool, never cold during the summer in Florida, water later Lora found herself feeling somewhat refreshed and she finished rinsing the rest of the soap from under her arms before she grabbed her towel. She dried herself with the abrading cloth before crouching down once more to turn off the water to the sink and grab the rest of her things. She took another long swig of the water bottle before leaving the bathroom and made her way down the still quiet hallway, it was barely past six in the morning and most of the other women in her barrack volunteered in the school and for kitchen duties.

Duties that usually consisted of cleaning rather than cooking since the compound’s cook was still active and rarely let anyone he didn’t trust near his meals. Since the meals ranged from decent to delicious Lora wasn’t one to complain and that allowed the others in her barrack to sleep in when they could and this early morning only saw her awake and moving about. She wasn’t scheduled in at the lab until seven so she still had enough time to change and bribe the cook for a batch of coffee grinds.

Lora was willing to trade most things for coffee—perhaps even sexual favors if the grinds were fresh enough.

A stained coffee cup sat empty on the corner of her desk as Lora continued making her notes about the most recent batch of survivors that had come to Blount. The days of entering patient information into a computer for easy access had faded away and rudimentary alphabetical filing had made a comeback, at least at their compound, and the cabinets that housed those files currently lined the back wall of the room Lora had arranged as her office and exam room. The last leader of the CDC had claimed the space as their office and their office alone, but Lora couldn’t rationalize having the exam room double as an operating room.

Operating rooms needed to be as sterile as possible and with the lack of antibiotics that need was more prevalent than ever before. Though, she supposed, the lax view on sterilization might have been a factor in why an outbreak happened within the walls of the compound to begin with and why the infection was localized to the area the CDC was housed. Lora sighed and lifted her head, giving her eyes a break from the scrawled notes of the nurse that had administered the physical to the females of the newest group and made a mental note to speak with Alice about her penmanship—or lack thereof.

The symbols chickens scratched into the dirt held more meaning than some of the markings Alice had made when she put pen to paper. If Lora’s mother had taught her anything it was to take pride in ones work, whether it was cleaning banks during off hours or working as a doctor, and haphazard and incomplete notes weren’t a help to anyone and spoke more of the volunteer’s laziness than anything else. The CDC’s section tended to have the most downtime for their volunteers since only those trained to use the equipment were allowed to do so which meant the nurses and EMTs on her staff tended to sit and wait for the next medical emergency to arise or physical to administer. It was both refreshing to have so few people in need of help and frustrating to see so few survivors rolling up to the gate as of late.

The opening of her office door was preceded with a knock and Lora inclined her head at Russell, her second in command, and the near excitement in his face had her smiling. He made his way forward, mindless of the fact that she hadn’t invited him to do so, and hovered in front of her desk rather than taking a seat. His thin mouth was stretched into a wide smile which helped offset the narrow length of his nose, it was shame he didn’t smile more often since it suited him, and Lora watched his hands come forward, long fingers slipping together and wringing themselves.

“Dr. Garcia—”

“Russell,” she interrupted with a faint smile, “What did we just talk about.”

He bounced, honest to God bounced, on the balls of his feet a moment before a frown stole away that smile and he offered, “Formality and the lack of need for it?” She nodded with his statement and then the smile was back as he corrected himself with, “Lora, I think I’ve got something you’d like to see.”

A brow rose as she questioned, “You can’t just tell me?”

“No,” his smile stretched wider, “I think you’ll want to see it for yourself.”

Intrigued, Lora rose and while Russell dwarfed her small frame he still backed up a step as she freed herself from behind her desk and motioned him to lead. His brows pulled together, they were slightly bushy and always reminded Lora unflatteringly of caterpillars, before he spun and the second year med student made his way from her office.

Russell might have had the least amount of training, but he was the last surviving member of the original CDC members. He’d been volunteering at the center when the pandemic occurred and the doctors had brought him with them when they relocated. Russell was familiar with the tests and the equipment the group had been able to pack up with them and as far as Lora was concerned he was the most experienced person on her staff which was why she’d promoted him to second rather than one of the nurses. Field medical knowledge and disease control and prevention were two entirely different beasts and Lora spent most nights in her office reading and rereading Russell’s notes and the books and medical journals he’d brought with him to the compound.

He made his way to the far wall, leading her past the portable exam rooms which consisted of fold away screens, and stopped at the first microscope. The generator was humming outside, allowing them the power to use the machines and keep their samples refrigerated. Lora took the seat in front of the scope and leaned forward to take a look. The blood smear on the slide was a thin one and she studied the stained culture as Russell hovered patiently beside her.

A few silent moments passed before she frowned and pulled back, brown eyes narrowing as they looked up at Russell and questioned, “There’s an overabundance of leukocytes in this culture.”

“There’s an overabundance in all the cultures from this subject,” Russell’s correction raised her brows, but before she could comment further he added, “There’s also no trace of the pathogen.”

“Excuse me?”

“Dr. Garcia,” he added, forgetting their conversation once again as he added, “I used the electron microscope and those leukocytes are cytotoxic lymphocyte and those are usually an indicator of a viral infection—”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” Lora rose, frowning as she asked, “How many samples were taken yesterday?”

“Ah,” Russell turned away from and moved towards the desk that dominated the center of the room. He passed, retrieving a stack of manila folders from the edge and flipped through them, his shoulders dropping before his gaze rose and he stated, “Twenty-five. It was the routine physical for the officers yesterday and the five newest editions.”

“Alright,” Lora nodded, “I want all twenty officers back in here by this afternoon and we draw new samples.”

“Dr. Garcia,” Russell shook his head, “The subject is one of the new—”

“Don’t finish that statement Russell unless it is an absolute certainty.” She watched his mouth close before sighing. “I like Alice as much as the next person, but you and I both know that she doesn’t always pay attention to the little details. It’s an easy thing for a blood sample to get mislabeled.”

His mouth thinned as if he wanted to argue and he held her a gaze a moment before the tension in his shoulders melted and he nodded. “You’re right, Doctor.”

“Lora,” she corrected.

His mouth curved inward just a bit and he continued, “Lora, I’ll make arrangements for the officers. What about the newest editions?”

She smiled. “That’s what the officers will be here for. They can track them down for us and we’ll arrange for them to come in tomorrow morning.”

His head inclined. “You do think it’s one of them. Don’t you?”

“I do,” she agreed, “But caution has served us well this long. Let’s hold onto it.”

“Ma’am, yes, ma’am.”

Her mouth curved inward before she shook her head. “Make the arrangements.”

The end.
What I love most about your O/Cs is that you pay attention to the details to create a full world for them and make them 3D. You find a way to integrate them seamlessly into pre-built worlds and I have a feeling that if I really watched this show I'd find myself disappointed that these people weren't in the storytelling. :D

Looking forward to how Buffy and Hank handle the call for more blood draws and what they learn about her blood.
*blushes* Thank you! I figure if I'm going to give a character their own ficlet they deserve to be more than just a caricature or a plot device. ;) Though at times it's a harder to do than you'd think. You can't make them too perfect without the accusations of them being a self-insert or Mary/Gary Stu. I think you'd be more disheartened by the lack of hope as the series progresses. ;)

Hopefully they take it in stride. A little blood drawn seems like a small price to pay for a decent nights sleep.
So if Faith is still alive would she have the same advantages? Would the potentials be more resistant to the virus?
Curious mix of fandoms, I keep waiting to see someone from the show. I know you're not in Georgia but Tyrese and his group travelled alone as did the people who left Rick and Shane when they headed for the CDC in Atlanta.
Can't wait for more
If was Faith still alive there's a chance she would have some of Buffy's advantages since when she was a child Buffy didn't catch the same illness as her cousin Celia did when she was killed by the Der Kindestod. Though we won't learn any of this since I've no intention of bringing in another Slayer at any point in the series. People from the show are coming, but Tyreese and his group are based out of Atlanta (I'm a fan of the comics as well as the show) so I don't think they'd be making their way through Florida.

Thank you for reading!

Edited at 2013-05-27 01:12 am (UTC)