Caleb hated hospitals. He’d never enjoyed the white coats, brights lights, and odd smells of the super sterile environment required to help people heal because in his experience most people who went into hospitals never came out again. He was already an hour late to his appointment seeing as there had been an elevator fiasco requiring a handyman to reset the zut thing before he could even arrive on the right floor of Evermore General.  Either way, being trapped in an elevator with someone else was far better than hiking it alone. It was fair to say that he wasn’t the best in enclosed spaces, but he’d be much farther on his way to a panic attack if it weren’t for a patient who introduced herself Cora Breadford. Caleb was fairly certain that was the tipsy version of a similar name.

The lobby was busy, crowded with coughing patients of many types, who barely looked up when he entered the room. Caleb forced his hands deep into his pockets, ignoring his instinct to get out of her as quickly as possible. Argent had been right in the fact that his injuries needed some care and as much as he hated to admit it, what Caleb needed the most was a safe place to rest, a lot of sleep, and people to take care of him. His head throbbed under the fluorescent lights. Grimacing as he approached the front desk, Caleb struggled to get the words out of his mouth that needed to be spoken. The nurse at the desk continued typing away, busy with the charts and patients, waiting for him to speak up. It took him several minutes, but felt like forever as he struggled to explain, half of his words turning French as they fell from his tongue.

He was late. The elevator broke down. His head hurt.

Caleb settled into a chair in the quietest corner of the room he could find, which was filled with coughing kids and a few pregnant ladies.

Je déteste les hôpitaux...

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It’s not common to find a human amidst all the troubles in Evermore despite them having a strong standing within the community, but Caleb does seem like a newcomer to the eternal city and a part of her wants to chase him out and not in a bad way, somewhat in a more hospitable manner and advising him to leave the city as soon as possible. Don’t get her wrong, Evermore is beautiful even with its flaws, much like a rose in the kingdom of flowers. It’s the thorns that she’s more worried on, things weren’t being very well these days.

Lately, they’ve received more than they could handle, what with the hospital being greatly understaffed, it’s understandable that Malva wishes the human before her good fortune if he’s going to survive in this peaceful city that’s held by a peace treaty contract, but there was also no saying if such a contract might be broken in the future. Contracts are not everlasting in any perpetual manner, after all, just like how most perceive rules to be broken. One day, that contract will break, only time tells when, and perhaps it can be next year or the next decade, or even tomorrow, if fate wills it so. Not everyone is a rule follower, and even the pessimist in Malva couldn’t say anything about it.

Staring at the CT scan that came out the second time, she reviewed it carefully before pursing her lips lightly and eyed the male who sat on his newly made bed in the ward. Making her way towards him with the chart in her hands, she gave him a thin-lipped smile. “You might go through a few amnesiac moments, but if you’re lucky, you’ll pass. I’m going to run a blood test just to be sure if there are any side effects. Sometimes, we’re not sure if cerebral bleeding is preventable when such case is vague. I’d rather be more careful than less,” Placing the chart on the desk, she took a seat on one of the chairs by the bed and bit her bottom lip. “Don’t you have any family? I mean, anyone?” Starting it off as a decent conversation was not one of Malva’s fortes but she was trying to make things comfortable. Contrary to other people’s beliefs, she’s a compassionate soul. “Just talk to me while I measure your breathing levels” With the instructions being given out, she grabbed the stethoscope and asked for permission.

Caleb had only been in Evermore a few weeks and he could already tell that there was a lot that people kept behind their closed doors and silent stares. He wasn't naturally pesky when it came to asking questions about either cultural or personal background; in his opinion, if someone wanted to open up, they would. There was very little that he'd discovered that helped the shiftiness of certain hours of the late city streets make sense — even the library had been a dead end. However, with little bad happening to him that he could compare to a plane crash, Caleb was beginning to feel at home in the obscure city tucked deep within the Colorado forest. He'd found a new place to live after graciously being taken by  the Ailwards and after his unexpected delay at the hospital was planning on finally unpacking his suitcase full of odds and ends that reflected the hasty departure that he'd taken from Paris.

Family. Mon famille? ...Ai.

There was a lot he didn't talk about, for good reason, but in general Caleb considered himself pretty lucky when it came to his household unit. There was no significant illness, at least, the lasting kind. His Mama's suffering had not lasted long, for which he was thankful. Despite the hole that her death had left in his life, he found most of it filled by his Aunt Celeste who had raised him since he was adolescent. There time together was sparse lately, which he couldn't help but feel guilty for, but sometimes it was easier to avoid the things that reminded you of memories than stare them in the eye. 

Caleb shuffled on the crinkled white sheets and gave Malva a nod of consent as she reached for her stethoscope. Taking a few deep breaths, he wondered how best to describe his parentage in plain wording. "My Mama is dead," His brow wrinkled as she told him to cough.

But, he did so. "Raised by my Grand-Tante Cellie, and uh," Caleb pursed his lips. Apart from Ava, his family tree was short and not all that impressive. He didn't know if he'd ever find the person to help him continue it without her. "C'est tout. That is all."

He shrugged, absentmindedly fiddling with the ring on his left hand. Perhaps, his first impression of Dr. Ailward had been wrong; she seemed tough on the outside, but he was beginning to see why her patients left cards on the bulletin board outside the office. Even dragons could have hearts of gold.

Evermore is not exactly the city you’d find welcoming you on their doors, but they’re not the ones who would turn you away either. It’s a little over both scales, the good and the bad. In this eternal city, rich with its own history, obviously, there would be plenty of upbringings to it. And not all of them are pleasant too. But at least the Organization and factions banding together to create a much more peaceful harmonious city to live in, it was appreciated by them. In all of their years on the earth, Malva couldn’t recall any city like Evermore. There were a few potential cities and continents alike, but neither one of them lasted longer than a few months.

Evermore, on the other hand, lasted for a while, which gave her hopes that it might continue for more years to come, but nothing gave her the indication that it would last ‘forever’. Better something than nothing, right? From the architecture and the community inhabiting the semi-busy city, everything and everyone had their own stories, interesting ones too. Even the humans had their own stand in things, whether it’s politically involving or the other way around. After all, the Organization is made up of humans too, at least a handful of people knew about their supernatural affairs. Things were still decent, though, so that brought one message; that the city is there to stay. At least, for now.

Truth to be told, Malva was a bit weirded out by Caleb because she’s never yet met someone like him in this city. A newcomer, but he doesn’t look all stark clean from other aspects, in fact, there was something looming over the French male that she just couldn’t pinpoint yet. Slowly but surely, she’s sure with enough supervision, the Aspect of Magic would be able to reach a conclusion regarding him. Hearing those words coming from him about his mother and any possible family relations, Mal halted for a quick moment before resuming her inspections. “Oh…I’m sorry to hear that,” that just went from awkward to worst, unfortunately. “Well, you’re not alone, I guess. My parents died a long time ago too. A very long time ago…” she drawled, the thought of it came back as nostalgia hit to the purple dragon, inadvertently making her reminisce those painful memories. She’s never had a good relationship with both her parents and the fact that Malva remained the only child, makes it even harder to comprehend what she did wrong.

It didn’t take her long to remember it wasn’t her, it was them; they were the ones being deceptive beings. She was just a misfortunate victim to that family, that’s all. Hearing French from Caleb made her smile, seeing as her mother was half French and Malva spent a lot of centuries in Marseilles since her close friend is situated there. French was her third language after Russian and English, though admittedly, it’s very easy to measure that up to her Portuguese. “I don’t mean to pry, but it doesn’t seem like that’s all. Don’t make it a habit to lie to people, Caleb. Especially when you’re new and that person is a doctor treating you. I need to know enough, or you’re just another John Doe, at this point” she reprimanded sternly, but still kept that soothing calm tone to her. “Your personal information won’t be disclosed to others outside this room, you know. Well, other than the ones written on the biography section.”


Caleb wasn't a hard person to get a read on: he tended to be quiet, but not as guarded with his emotions as he once had been. There had been many years after the death of his mother that it just seemed best to press on with his work and once it was finished, move on. He had a tendency for wandering and his travels had taken him fascinating places before he'd returned to Paris at the age of twenty-one and knew age was no longer an excuse for why he'd never settled down: not only in a long lasting relationship, but also physically, and career wise. Despite his many interests and array of skills, he struggled finding any job that meaning to him more than just that it provided for his needs. He'd never been much of a people person, but he still regretted the way he'd left his Aunt to run her shop alone and had only given her limited feedback the whole year he was abroad. With Celeste's age and worries about her charge, the family flower shop in the center of Paris had all but closed it's doors.

Caleb bit his lip. Perhaps, it was time to confront Ava's dea — disappearance. If it was true that his secrets never left the door, maybe, he could find a respite.

His history was threatening to collide with his future, once again. 

It had taken several years of rebuilding customers and Caleb moving home to finally get his only family left in a safe place. Despite all he did to repay his Aunt, there was a lack of connection between them that made personal days hard. He knew it wasn't her fault, but it still seemed there wasn't a lot for him at home. Happier than he'd ever been on a plane, he was tempted to travel further to see if he could find the one person that he'd always looked up to, but never truly known. His father. The story was short enough; after twenty years, Spencer Segal had no interest in being even a friend to his son. Feeling lost, he only had once place to return to that he truly knew was home and that was in France. His Aunt had warned him about not confronting his past and, perhaps, she was right. It was time to lay his mother to rest, just as she'd been buried ten years ago. With his regrets finally behind him, it only took mere months for his interest in life began to bleed back. New hobbies led him new places, only this time, it was close to home.

He nodded. It seemed that perhaps she would keep him here long enough that he'd end up revealing something anyway. The Ailward house had been comfortable and provided him privacy, but hospitals were a stark opposite. Nurses, doctors, code blues and beeping machines were far from restful. He may as well stay up and talk to someone. Malva seemed an interesting mix of both reserved and direct, prudent in her field, certainly. The nice part about the idea was never having to see her again, unless ai ai ai, a branch fell on his head for a second time. It seemed to Caleb that perhaps in that way, lightening didn't strike the same spot twice. 

He struggled for a place to start, so finally, shrugged. "What would you like to know?"

Her curiosity never changed, it stayed at the same spot. Malva was the type who wouldn’t bother to get up from her seat until she is assured that she has received the thing she came there for. Much like her occupation, as a doctor, Malva knew better than to keep her mouth closed shut, especially when she’s supposed to be the one to use the intricacies and delicate arts of prying into her patients’ problems. Their personal lives were no interest in hers, no. But if it affects their progress and health, right after she was just responsible over it, then that’s going to be a problem. No patient of her is leaving the hospital without feeling better. Contrary to people’s beliefs, Mal may not have the best bedside manner when dealing with such situations that required them, but she is exceptionally brilliant in her field.

When she’s good at something, then she’s good at it. The first thing that comes into her head when she knew about being a healer or a medical practitioner was that she was only there to aid them, not comfort nor console them. They have nurses to do that. Sadly, as harsh as it is, it was the way the Aspect of Magic operates on a daily basis. Being unattached makes her work easier, in so many ways. Caleb wasn’t the first patient that tried to distance himself from her, perhaps it was due to her intimidating stature, but really, Mal only wanted to help. If there was anything she could do to make things better, then she’ll try her best. Though it’s hard when the other party would not allow her to do the same thing, which reminded her so much of what her siblings tried to do to her when she refused to open up. But unlike her siblings who’s known her for a millennium, Caleb is just one of her many patients that she would probably forget after a week or so.

Still, it didn’t mean that she would refuse and neglect her own responsibilities since she quite deliberately placed herself in charge of the male until he could finally be discharged from the hospital. “I know the hospital may not be an ideal place. I can understand the sentiment, it smells like medicine and sometimes a place too clean can make you anxious and jittery too” she started, making sure that she’s sending him a smoke signal of a message that says she’s here to help, not to judge. “I work here, almost 24 hours a day, despite my extra shift or not. If not here, I’ll be occupied in the laboratory. I hope that you won’t see me any differently. I believe we started off on the wrong foot, so I’ll start again”

With that, she cleared her throat a few times before offering him a small smile. “Treat me as if I’m a friend, someone you just met, rather than a civil servant like a doctor or anything. Hi Caleb, my name is Malva Arguarde or Ailward, surnames are difficult to keep in nowadays” she chuckled softly before resuming. “Do you mind disclosing to me on what’s currently going on in your life? It’s not every day we find people randomly stumbling to Evermore, there must be a reason why you were headed this way. Can you tell me why? Your injury will worsen the more you try to keep a ledge over it. I need you to loosen up. If you feel that the question is too sensitive, it’s okay, just let me know.”

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