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Nimmo Nurse


by skycrowmor

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Nellie bustled into the hospital room, pushing her loaded trolley before her. She turned her face to the single window, the flimsy, thin curtains drawn together with a small gap to let the light escape, at the far end of the long, thin ward and sighed with pleasure as the first of the dawn sunlight fell across the darkened room and onto her face. The light glinted off the tiny bottles and jars on her trolley, and gleamed on the Nimmo's smooth cloud-coloured fur, and a smile spread across her lips. She did so love the morning - it was so fresh and new, a day unspoilt, new and exciting opportunities...

     "NELLIE!" hissed the voice of Doctor Gelden, the green Gelert's head appearing from around the door of his small office, trying to keep his voice down so as not to wake the patients. Nellie nearly rolled her eyes, but caught herself just in time - it wouldn't do to be ungrateful. She was so lucky to have this job, keeping Neopets from all over the world healthy and happy, when so many others were much worse off than herself. At least she had her health - unlike those she had just been delayed from treating. Affecting her usual cheery smile, she left her trolley where it stood and slipped into her boss's office.

     It was, as always, meticulously clean, with every book in the large shelf in the corner in order of subject, every bit of paperwork filed into neat rows on his desk, and every medicine bottle and jar lining the small table carefully labelled. The doctor himself was perched on the seat behind the desk, fiddling with the stethoscope around his neck and scrutinising a piece of paper before him.

     "You called for me, Doctor?" Nellie asked, straightening her white coat and hoping that everything was in place properly. Doctor Gelden hated it when something was messy - though, of course, she should be thankful that it was she, and not some other, more deserving pet, that had managed to get the job of a nurse.

     "Yes, I did," replied the doctor in his stern tones. His eyes scanned Nellie's uniform and narrowed in annoyance. "Nellie... your hat... " The Nimmo's paws flew to the beret-like nurse's hat on her head - which was now slipping slowly off - and moved it to a more satisfactory angle. Doctor Gelden sat back, pleased. "There, now. I can't have my staff running around looking like something that crawled out of Krawk Island, now, can we?"

     "No, Doctor," agreed Nellie politely. There was a pause, during which the Gelert consulted the paper in front of him again. After a few seconds of silence, she could hear the patients begin to stir next door. It was almost time for the morning round. "...Doctor, the patients..."

     "What? Oh yes," Doctor Gelden almost looked sheepish. "There are a few minor adjustments we need to make to the patients' treatments." There was another silence, as Nellie tried to work out what he had said. Eventually the Gelert realized she hadn't understood, and heaved a great sigh. "In... oth-er... words..." he explained, speaking loudly and slowly as if talking to a rather stupid child, "...the... pa-tients... need... dif-fer-ent... med-i-cine." Nellie felt a stir of irritation, but she squashed the emotion hurriedly. Stop being so ungrateful, she scolded herself silently. "I have the instructions right here," continued the doctor, switching back to his normal brisk voice. "Make sure you follow them to the letter."

     He handed the piece of paper over to her. She scanned it and suppressed a groan - it read things like, 'One gram of powdered Flat-U-Less tablets mixed with two ounces of a Magic Cookie; must be warmed to three and a half degrees above room temperature,' and 'A single Grumble Be Gone tablet crushed into a jar of Magic Goop; must be kept inside a bucket of cold water at all times up until three seconds of administration,' and 'Apply Medicinal Soap to exactly one ear; the ear must then not be touched for up to three hours - warning: the patient will undergo extreme itches in the aforementioned ear.'

      "But Doctor..." she began. "The patients are so grouchy in the mornings and these instructions are so strict..." From the harsh stare of Doctor Gelden, she realized she was being unfair again. She shut her mouth hurriedly, and bowed her head submissively. "Yes, Doctor, I will follow them carefully."

     "Good. Make sure you do." He was already sifting through his papers, and for a moment he seemed to forget she was even there. He looked up again, frowning. "Why are you still here?" he snapped accusingly, and Nellie fled obediently.

     Returning to the peaceful main room of the hospital, she revelled in the quiet. There was not a sound save for the occasional coughing of a sleeping patient or the rustles of a sheet as someone turned in their sleep. She looked up once more at the window at the end of the room. More and more light was falling through it, as the sun rose even higher. It was time, she decided, to wake up the patients. There was a sinking feeling in her stomach - they would be so angry, as always, at being woken up. Though she shouldn't think badly of them. It wasn't their fault they were ill, after all. She shook herself from her thoughts, took hold of her trolley, and wheeled it down the aisle between the two long columns of beds, all with a sick Neopet slumbering inside it. It took her a good three minutes to get to the end of the long room. The pleasant jingling of the medicine bottles as they knocked against each other continued to raise her good spirits. It was such a nice noise. She couldn't resist doing a small twirl as she reached the window, and almost fell over. Sheepishly, she righted herself. That's what I get for being silly when I should be working, she rebuked herself, and returned to the task on hand. With a flourish, she pulled the curtains apart, and smiled as bright sun poured onto her face. Proper light came spilling onto the faces of her patients too, and they woke with a start. There was the usual pause as they tried to work out where they were and why the light was so bright... and then came the grumbles and moans and angry cries.

     "It's the crack of dawn-"

     "Why did you wake me so early?"

     "I need my rest, you know-"

     Nellie let the mutterings wash over her. She was well practised at keeping her anger suppressed - not that she should be angry at all, of course, it wasn't her place to grumble. "It's a lovely morning," she said pleasantly. "And I've brought you all your medicine." Her voice was drowned amongst the cacophony of the patients', but she didn't dwell upon it. She seized her trolley once more and began the morning round.

     The first patient she had to treat was an elderly blue Chomby with a chronic case of Shaky Flakys, where the victim starts to tremble uncontrollably, and the skin becomes dry and, predictably, flaky. In this instance, the flaking was so bad that the Chomby's spikes had begun to soften. Luckily, they had caught it in time, and he was now on a strong course of Shaky Flaky Cream. Usually Nellie would have an easy time treating a patient with Shaky Flakys, but unfortunately the Chomby in question was particularly bad-tempered.

     "Come on, child, hurry up with that cream," snapped the Neopet as Nellie began to apply the cream to his spikes. "I feel like my spikes are going to drop off at any moment." Nellie nodded agreeably. At that moment, he chose to tremble particularly violently, and Nellie's paw slipped - the cream went all over her arm. Doing her best not to grimace, she wiped it off with a damp cloth, and told herself off for groaning when she got it on her uniform - Doctor Gelden wouldn't be very happy about the mess.

     Next on her list was a Wocky with Shock-A-Lots, where electric sparks shoot out from the patient's fur. Again, this might not have been too much trouble, but the Wocky was painted electric - the sparks that emitted from her fur were increased in power tenfold. The poor patient was in understandable discomfort. "Oooooh... " she groaned as Nellie approached with her little trolley. "Quickly... quickly... " Nellie brought out the Ultra Rubber Gloves that had to be worn to decrease the sparks, and tried to fit them over the Wocky's chunky paws. Of course, the gloves were made for pets with human-like hands, and it was terribly difficult to fit them over her paws. Each time Nellie touched her fur, sparks shot through her body and made her eyes water with pain. She tried not to squeal with each electric charge. The Wocky was too busy sighing with relief when the gloves were finally on to thank Nellie as she staggered, static making her fur stand on end, away to the next patient.

     This time, Nellie padded up to the patient considerably less cheerfully - which was understandable, considering that it was a large mutant Jetsam with Chickaroo... the dreaded disease during which the victim believes he or she is a chicken. This was an extremely developed form - the poor Jetsam had rubbed his skin raw trying to peck at the ground for corn. It had got so bad that she and the Doctor had had to pin him down to the bed to stop him. Nellie couldn't help shuddering at the memory - she still had bruises from where his many tentacles had flailed madly around in an attempt to search for more corn, and it had taken almost two hours to get all eight of them secured safely. The Doctor had only managed one tentacle, but quickly retired to his office after it had hit him in the face. He could've helped a little bit more...

     No, stop thinking so negatively. Trying to think of nice things, she turned her mind to the matter at hand - trying to force Herbal Scrambled Eggs into the Jetsam's mouth. Approaching the bed, she suppressed a grimace as the fearsome yellow eyes turned blankly onto hers. "Feeling any better?" she asked hopefully, but the Jetsam just opened his mouth and attempted a squawk. What came out was a half-strangled croak. "Just a few more weeks of Herbal Scrambled Eggs, then," she said, attempting brightness.

     Edging closer, she picked up the dish containing the scrambled eggs, and tentatively neared the massive jaws. The tentacles twitched underneath their binds, and she gave another shudder as she carefully prised open the massive jaws. She avoided looking at the sharp teeth, perfect for chomping on the flexible, soft flesh of a Nimmo, and hurriedly poured the contents of the dish into his mouth. Instantly, she leapt back...

     ...But, as usual, not quick enough. Choking on the food, the Jetsam spat it back out, all over Nellie's uniform.

     Several minutes later, a dishevelled and egg-spattered Nellie trudged wearily away from the Jetsam's bed, and to the next one. She tried not to look disgusted.

     Next was the young starry Kyrii with NeoPhobia - a terror of leaving the Neohome. The child was quivering under his sheets, grasping a plushie. To his many visitors, he was an adorable little angel with a penchant for plushies and sweets. To everyone else, he was a vicious little brat who would make a good career out of acting. Though I shouldn't think like that; children are the future, Nellie rebuked herself. "Zebbie?" she cooed, trying to sound upbeat. "Do you want some breakfast? Its morning!"

     The small lump where he was huddled under shook from side to side. "Don't want to come out," grumbled the little Kyrii. His bed was surrounded with plushies and Get Well Cards from his adoring family.

     "But your owner said you loved bacon in the morning," urged Nellie.

     "DON'T WANT TO COME OUT," thundered the child, and for a moment forbidden annoyance flickered across her face.

     "You've got to come out," she said, trying to keep the strain out of her voice. "You have to wear your Step Out Shoes for ten minutes a day."

     "Those shoes are for GIRLS," Zebbie said plaintively. Not for the first time, Nellie got the distinct impression he wasn't actually ill at all, but she put these thoughts out of her head. It wouldn't do to be suspicious of perfectly innocent children.

     "No one will know," she pleaded - she never had been good with kids.

     "Don't WANT to."

     "I'll give you a Raspberry Sweetie," Nellie finally said in desperation, holding out the peace offering. The lump which was Zebbie contemplated this offer for a moment, and then a starry paw emerged, grabbed the sweetie, and withdrew. Slurping noises ensued. "...Zebbie, the Step Out Shoes?"

     "Oh yeah." Two midnight-blue feet poked out of the end of the bed. She struggled to control a sigh as she wrestled with the shoes. She could've sworn she heard a scornful giggle. When finally the shoes were on, the Kyrii's head appeared cautiously from the other end of the sheets. "You have weird fur. Why is your fur all static? Why is there cream all over your arms? And," here the child wrinkled his nose in disgust, "And why is there egg all over your uniform?"

     "Why indeed?" Nellie shot back, losing her temper, and Zebbie hid beneath the sheets once more, giggling. Without thinking any thoughts of retribution, she stalked off, jerking her trolley ahead.

     Breathing heavily, anger flooding her mind, she stomped over to her next patient, a rainbow Lupe suffering from Jitters - where the victim is incapable of keeping still. Nellie didn't even bother to quieten her groan as she saw that the patient was still not better.

     The Lupe in question was bouncing around her bed, executing little leaps and chattering away to the neighbouring patients nineteen to the dozen.

     "Will you shut that moron up?" barked a Lutari from somewhere behind her. "I'm trying to sleep!"

     She ignored the Lutari and approached the Lupe, holding the medicine in her, the red bottle named the Potion of Containment.

     "Hi!" chirped the Lupe breathlessly. "Are you the nurse? Have you come to give me my medicine? Sorry, but I don't need any! I feel GREAT! Better than ever, actually! I feel like I could run a marathon! In fact, I might go and run one right now! I wonder if I could run in the Poogle Race? Do you think they'd let a Lupe run? I bet they would if they saw-"

     The relentlessly cheery voice was beginning to grate on her frayed nerves.

     "-my owner once said I was faster than a Kougra! I said that what she was saying was like saying that a-"

     A muscle in Nellie's jaw began to pulse.

     "-but my friend laughed and then she couldn't stop! And so I laughed too and then we both started giggling and then everyone else started giggling and we all giggled so much that we-"

     She began to twitch violently.

     "-and then I gave her a couple of Neopoints and she said to me that I was like the Soup Faerie! And so I told her-"

     "SHUT UP!"

     Nellie's voice rang through the ward. Silence descended upon the hospital, as every pair of eyes turned in shock to the Nimmo, who was rooted to the spot. Even the rainbow Lupe stopped talking. Fury flooded through every part of her, and she felt like she was going to explode from anger.

     "I put up with your MOANS, and your COMPLAINTS, and your CONSTANT GRUMBLING, EVERY SINGLE DAY, and you never even have the DECENCY to even THANK me! You don't even give me the slightest BIT of an APOLOGY when you send ELECTRIC through me, spit EGGS on me, and just generally TRY my PATIENCE!"

     The words dried up in her throat, and she stood, chest heaving as she struggled for breath. She felt that she needed to finish it with something else.

     "I just want you to say thank you... " she ended weakly, and held the Potion of Containment out to the Lupe, who took it without a word and scurried into her bed meekly.

     Stunned by the strength of her own passion, Nellie began to walk back down the room, when suddenly someone tugged at her splattered uniform. She whipped around, her anger flooding back once more. "What now?!"

     A small baby Cybunny stood before her, a humble look on her chubby features. She bore the signs of Neggitus, where the victim suffers an allergic reaction to Neggs. "I just wanted to say... thank you," she said quietly, and then walked away.

     Nellie was thrown. She wanted to call the Cybunny back, to say she was welcome, but the words wouldn't come. All the anger drained out of her, as if someone had pulled a plug out of her emotions.

     "HELLO? I need my medicine over here-"

     "I want some breakfast-"

     "These sheets are itchy-"

     The hospital erupted in noise again, but the complaints didn't seem to bother her any more. As she slowly strolled back to refill her trolley, Dr Gelden poked his head out of his office. He surveyed her uniform in shock. "What have you done to yourself?" he asked in horror, and then retreated to the safety of his office. Nellie bit her lip in anger, but then she caught sight of the baby Cybunny, who was hopping back into her bed. She winked, and Nellie smiled. Perhaps the morning round wasn't so bad after all.

The End

 
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