|Moment of Awesome - Cecilia Reyes: Accompanying Quentin Quire on a mission of mercy, Cecilia confronts the ugly face of institutional racism.
"What's the prognosis, doc?" he asked, steadying himself against the bed.
"Neglect, for one." Cecilia's brow was wrinkled as she looked at the drip. "This is — I mean, you told me, but this is worse than I'd imagined. Well." She turned around, her lips pursed. "All this is palliative. They're trying to avoid the problem, whatever it is, by keeping him comfortable with drugs. A lot of drugs." She scratched an eyebrow as she looked at his arms. The structures in them had a kind of pallid quality, and she moved to grab a pair of gloves. "It's not like I can tell what's underneath without a chart, but maybe a physical exam will give me some hints. Might need some scans."
"No," a male voice said from the door. "you won't." Cecilia, in the middle of snapping on a pair of latex gloves, looked up to find a tall man with a russet beard staring her down with a disdainful look on his face. "Because this isn't your patient." He stepped into the room, his lip curled as he looked from Cecilia to Quentin and back.
"Annie told me a surgeon from Columbia was here. But we didn't call anyone at Columbia." His focus was on Cecilia now, and he gave her the kind of once-over she associated with the beginning of her career, when the sight of an Afro-Latina surgeon was so unfamiliar to doctors of a certain age that they responded with suspicion. It made her face grow hot. "So who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"I'm here to help," Cecilia responded, her face neutral, her tone taking on a steely edge that surprised her, "because I'm a doctor. And a good one. Which, judging from what's going on here, might be more than I can say for you."
"He's barely your patient, either, the way you've treated him," Quentin piped up from beside Jax. He held so tightly onto the bed's railing that his knuckles were white. "Do your fucking job, flatscan."
"Cálmate, Quentin." Cecilia hoped Quentin could tell that her rebuke was more for show than anything else. Despite her simmering anger, she had to play good cop in order to get anywhere. "Look" Cecilia said, her voice calm as her eyes bore into him. "I've got prestigious degrees and years of experience in mutant medicine. Which makes me helpful in a patient situation in which you are clearly in over your head."
The male doctor crossed his arms and opened his mouth, but Cecilia continued. "It will also make me all the more credible when I bring several medical boards down on you and this hospital for what is an obviously severe case of patient neglect." She gave him a small smile. "And I," she nodded her head slightly, "also have a witness."
Quentin's brain felt like it had just finished a hundred weight-lifting reps just from the exertion of communicating with the comatose Jax. He probably risked actual brain damage if he pushed into the doctor's mind to make him acquiesce to their demands.
Worth the price, though.
"The sooner you let her doctor, the sooner we're all gone," Quentin said, bracing himself against the bed again as his legs threatened to give way, "and the less likely we are to generate enough media and political attention to close this place down. Yeah, all your patients would lose their care, but don't think for a second we wouldn't sacrifice the health of every human here for the life of one mutant."
The male doctor's teeth had been gritted, his jaw clenched. But the tension in his features lessened ever so slightly — slightly enough that Cecilia had a hunch Quentin had done or was doing something, even if she had no way to prove it.
"I want to treat this man," she said, the ferocity out of her voice but still in her gaze, "and I can actually help him. Which gets him out of your hands."
It wasn't the most noble coup de grace, but it was apparently what they needed. "Fine." The other doctor practically spat at Cecilia, his scowl all too present. "Just what, exactly," he cast his gaze over to the patient he'd so clearly mistreated, "do you propose?"
Cecilia couldn't help but look a little triumphant, even though their victory was besides the point. "I'm going to need labs and scans, to start. And probably surgery, if I had to guess, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Point is, this is my patient now, and I'm going to need you to not stand in my way."