Snack Time

Maschenko is sitting over between two cots, one containing Novikova and the other Yevgenich. The former's head is wrapped up in thick gauze, a wound that wasn't there last night, and the doctor's satchel is still lying open on the floor nearby. He's managed to just barely doze off in the broken chair, rifle propped up against the wall.

Elise is curled up in a cot. She's been dozing fitfully off and on, but now is one of the 'off' moments. She's just quietly people-watching, face drawn with pain and weariness. Her head is pretty well bandaged, including her cheek. The ones on her chest are hidden under clothes and a blanket.

Yulia's back is against the wall, her legs drawn up against her chest. She's not asleep but in a sort of blanked out daze, staring into a darkened corner of the basement. Her shoulders roll as she takes a deep sigh. Better to try to sleep than zone out. She shifts a little bit and rests her head on her arms.

Maschenko's head starts to nod forward, slooowly. It picks up speed as his chin dips towards his chest and then snaps up again as the movement wakes him up, dry blue eyes opening and blinking. He scrubs his fingertip into the corner of his left eye and clears his throat, unfolding his other arm and sitting up straighter in his tilted chair.

The movement over in Maschenko's chair causes Elise to look in that direction, eyes focusing on the doctor. Then she frowns, noticing the figures in the cots on either side of him. Wait… is that…? She sits up in alarm, way too quickly for still-healing ribs, and ends up in an awkward hunched-over state, gasping in pain.

The noises cause Yulia's head to bob back up, and she spies Elise, sitting up in what is going to be a very uncomfortable position for someone with healing ribs. She stiffly uncurls herself and moves to Elise's cot. "Do you need something, comrade?" she whispers, gently putting a hand on the gunner's shoulder to try to ease her back down.

Maschenko drags his pinky under his eye, pulling the skin taut for a moment. Ugh, gumminess. His head turns at the sound from Elise's cot, feet pulling to the sides of the chair as though he were about to stand quickly himself. When Yulia gets there first he nods to his old co-worker, then looks at Elise. "You're going to keep it from healing if you do that, comrade." Blue eyes flicker to Novikova and back, and he shakes his head. "Fascists had scouts out south this morning. She's okay."

Elise doesn't fight Yulia making her lay back down, since the current position hurts. She does say to the nurse, through gritted teeth, "Zoyushka. She -" Maschenko comes over before she can get much further than that with her query, and her relief is apparent. "She's okay?"

Yulia is touched by Elise's concern for her cousin, even considering her state at the moment. She nods to Maschenko, giving him leeway to explain more.

"Mm, she'll be fine." Maschenko leans forward, setting his elbows on his knees. "Clipped her in the head. It could have been…" He doesn't finish that, thinning his lips instead. He doesn't need to say more than that. "But no, she's shaken but alright. She was awake a while ago, ate a little." He looks down at the side of Novikova's bed, where an open, battered tin of military-issue tushonka proves that much. "If either of you are hungry, you should have the rest."

"Fascist bastards," Elise hisses, eyes narrowing as she regards her sleeping cousin. She doesn't need to be reminded of how much worse it could have been, for sure. Not after the past few days. She lies still on the cot, letting the fire in her ribs subside to a manageable level. The question about food causes her nose to wrinkle. "I suppose," she says, without much enthusiasm.

Lately Yulia's always hungry, it seems, but she's usually staved it off by chewing on some appetizing hard tack, military-issue as well. Yum. She eyes the tin, but glances at Elise first. "Do you want it?"

"Fascist bastards indeed." Maschenko glances once more at the sleeping injured duo. He leans down and picks up the tin, about half full still with the cold. A thin layer of oil's floated to the top in a shiny sheen, and he mixes the layers together again. Standing up, he brings it over to the two women with the single spoon stuck in it. "Here. Share it if it makes you feel better. Everyone needs to keep their strength up." His hands still have traces of the scent of blood, a little bit of military antiseptic, and the acrid tang of gunpowder.

"We can share, Comrade," Elise offers readily. Her appetite is still not that great after the wounds and grueling surgery. The appearance of the food doesn't help much, either. Her nose wrinkles once more. Better than starving, she reminds herself. She doesn't try to sit back up right away to eat it, though. "Was anyone else hurt?" she asks.

Elise adds, nearly forgetting, "Thank you, Doctor."

Yulia goes for the spoon, takes a bite. Eeww. Her mouth puckers as she chews. But it's a far cry - and more chewable - than hard tack. She quickly finishes off about a third of what's there, and then passes it on to Elise, wishing maybe she'd eaten a little slower.

Maschenko is standing by Elise's cot, having just offered over what's left of the tinned tushonka to the AA gunner and Yulia. He folds his arms, hunching his shoulder forward to stretch a cramp out of them. He gives an idle nod to the thanks, going on. "Comrade Yevgenich got shot in the chest. Not quite as badly." He gives Yulia a vague half-smile, half-smirk as she hits up the food. "Makes you miss even the public cafeteria, doesn't it."

ZzzZZz. Novikova is happily dreaming of fresh borscht, exploding fascist tanks and all her houseplants. She looks a bit odd with the bandages on her head (She is beating everyone to the 80s headband look). Eventually though, the sounds filter through and she begins to blink. "Huh…"

"Da, indeed," Elise replies dryly to the doctor. She nods grimly to the news about Yev and takes the tin when Yulia is finished with it, murmuring her thanks. She sits up again, much more slowly and gingerly this time, though it still causes much wincing. "I don't suppose more painkillers magically appeared while I was asleep." She knows better than to expect it, given the supply situation, but still can't keep that edge of hope out of her voice.

"More than I ever thought I would," Yulia sighs. "At least the cafeteria had hot food. What I wouldn't do for pelmeni right now." She frowns. What she wouldn't do to be living her normal life a few years ago. But instead, she's got this, an odd breakfast with a makeshift family. It's not that bad. Or at least, it would be if there weren't Fascists prowling around the city. Hearing Novi stirring, she glances over to the cot holding the botanist. "Ah, comrade Zoya's awake."

"Well." Maschenko drawls that vowel out a little bit. Partly for emphasis and partly because his accent just does that sometimes. "Sergeant did ration out a little bit. It's not as potent as morphine, but at least the shit's not expired." They hope, anyway. "I can give that to you, it'll hold you a couple hours." He looks up as Yulia announces Novikova's return to wakefulness.

Novi is a bit bleary-eyed. Her brains might've rattled a bit in her skull. She takes a deep breath. It's definitely taking her awhile. All that aside, she yawns after a moment. "Huh? Good morning," Her voice is a bit of a drawl. "What'd I miss?" Blinkblink. It's almost comical to watch. She is looking around, as if she became Alice in Wonderland and just met that hookah smoking caterpillar. Blink. "… I am." Nod.

Elise's eyebrows go up, hidden slightly by the bandages but the gesture is still clear. A pleasant surprise. "Oh, Da, please." Potent, expired, whatever - sign her up. She pokes at the stuff in the tin for a moment before taking a bite. She stifles a grimace. Even chewing must be done gingerly with the gash in her cheek. "Could you hand me that canteen please, Comrade Yulia?" It's sitting on top of her stuff under her cot. She's distracted by Novi waking up. "Zoyushka," she says, clearly relieved. "I'm glad you're all right."

Yulia smiles a little at the diminutive Elise has for Novi and nods at the request. She leans down and snags the canteen. She shakes it a little to see how much is left in it, then passes it over. "Here you go, comrade. Yes, how do you feel?" she asks Novi.

"Let me find it." Maschenko tells Elise. He leaves Yulia to water the young gunner, stepping around the crooked row of cots towards the badly-stocked box of medical supplies that one of the NCOs dropped off earlier — giving Novikova a: "Welcome back" on the way. Crouching down, he rummages about until he finds a small medicine bottle with a rubber cap, and a syringe that one can only pray is clean. It's still got a cap, at least.

"Thanks," Novikova rubs her cheek. "I feel like I lost a few rounds to the boxing champion then went drinking," One eye closes. And a Zoyuska. Her head turns. She's coming around slowly but surely. Then a smile. She happily returns the diminutive to her cousin, "You're awake too. We managed to fill your canteen," A nod. She seems pleased then, "I'm glad you're alright." She's returning the sentiments. Novi smiles back at Yulia. "Been better. But I'm awake now." Kind of.
Nowakowski has connected.

Elise takes the canteen from Yulia with murmured thanks. It's full thanks to Novi. This surprises Elise a little, until Novi explains. It hurts to smile, so what starts out as a slight smile ends as a grimace. "That was kind of you. I'm sorry it put you both in danger though." She takes a sip to wash down that… food… and then offers the canteen to Yulia in case she wants some.

Yulia accepts with a small nod of thanks, and only takes a very tiny sip. Anything more would make her feel greedy. Finished, she tucks it under the cot again. "Comrade Zoya," she says with a hint of playful reproach in her voice, "surely you wouldn't lose to the boxing champion, much less a German one?" Novi's one of the most resilient of them all, it seems.

Maschenko slides the needle in through the rubber cap, drawing back the plunger. The amount he can spare of it will barely take the edge off Elise's pain. The rubber squeaks softly as he withdraws the syringe tip, and he stands once he's dislodged the air bubbles inside. Back over to Elise's cot with the precious prize, pulling up a chair next to her. "Let me have your arm for a minute here, comrade…"

That, or Novikova was gifted with a thick skull. Nature protects its slower creations that way after all. Novikova smiles at Elisa. "Existing puts you in danger here, but I do not think any of us would like to stop that," She points out. "So don't think anything of it," She offers. She grins at Yulia, "Oh … no. He'd punch me until he gets tired, then I tip him over. Like a bear kind of," She makes her hands in a little tipping over gesture. "I wouldn't get too used to water being brought each day, but it was quiet for awhile." And one takes what quiet moments one can. She decides not to look at that needle though. "Are you feeling any better?" A look between the group members.

Elise holds out her arm obligingly. "Thank you, Doctor." Even an edge off would be a welcome relief at this point. The young woman looks quite miserable. She also looks away from the shot, to Novi. "Da, so you would, Cousin. The botanist bear." There's a subdued flicker of amusement there. She takes another sip of water when Yulia gives the canteen back, and then asks, "Did you get some for yourself? And you, Doctor?" She's ready to share.

Yulia's smile widens. "Maybe your strategy would help us. We've certainly taken a beating. Now it's up to us to topple the Fascists over." Sooner rather than later, she'd prefer. The nurse shifts her gaze with mild interest to Maschenko as he prepares the shot.

"Oh, I'm fine." Maschenko shakes his head as the water's offered. He pushes Elise's sleeve up, pressing his thumb carefully into the back of her arm in spots. Eyes flicker to Yulia and he makes a motion with his head for her to come nearer if she wants to see what to do. Slightly gruesome to give a demonstration on the fly, but this is war. The spot found that he wants, he murmurs to Elise. "Just a sting, now." In goes needle.

It's relief by proxy that her cousin is getting some painkillers. Novi's still got dazedness going for her to a point. "Hah… Maybe I'm a tree instead. Just tip right over," Her nose wrinkles.. "I did. I filled mine too. If I had more arms, I'd carry more but those're the breaks I guess." She shrugs. Her eyes aren't as bright or wide as usual, but she's at least alert and lucid. She smiles at Maschenko, but she chooses not to watch the shot. "Hopefully." She agrees with Yulia. "You're braver than me, I don't like to even see the needles. They just launch them at me or have the doctor who sprints get me."

Elise winces just a little at the sting from the needle. It's barely a blip on the pain radar just now. She nods her thanks once more to the doctor. Novi's joking around earns another half-smile. "It's not something I'd care to get used to." Since she was out of it for most of the day, she asks, "Any news of the city?"

"Hmm, not braver," Yulia chides the botanist. Not by far, considering she's not the one who went out to get water and ended up getting wounded for it. "I will just have to do this if our doctor is uhm - busy," or hurt himself, or worse. Neither thought she allows herself to pursue right now. She's used needles before, but not too often, so Yulia does take advantage of the demonstration and comes over to watch. It's good to move around regardless.

Maschenko's thumb depresses plunger and withdraws the needle, once Yulia's had a chance to see exactly where to inject the stuff. He uses Elise's sleeve to push against the pinprick, using gauze for such a tiny operation being out of the question. "Don't worry, Zoyenka," he comments, mostly to Elise's arm. "I hate needles too. Dr. Dontsova at the hospital used to threaten to gas me to sleep when I had to have one." He lifts his thumb off the firm pressing on Elise's arm. "Done." Cap back on needle. "I was telling them earlier, Comrade Elise, there's a few lines of the 64th still holding in the south against the Panzers…thin lines. The Fascists have been pushing to get to the Volga. Whether they've reached it, I can't seem to find a straight answer."

Poor Elise. Novikova nods in agreement, "Me either." She rubs her cheek again. For better or worse, Novi is as brave as a bear wielding a flaming blank and has a skull thick enough to match. Either way. "Bah… you're being modest," She smiles at Yulia. A shrug at that. She prefers not to watch for now, and hms softly. "Really?" She peers at Maschenko. "I have a hard time seeing that," She admits. "But we all have things that make us squiry." Shiver. Needles. She nods at the news. "I don't think anyone really knows, even the Fascists. They just run run run."

Elise nods slightly to Yulia. "If ever there was a time to learn.." she agrees softly. She nods to the news. "Only a few lines, eh. That is not promising." She sighs and takes a few more bites of whatever's in the tin.

Yulia nods to Novi's statement. "I, for one, do not like cats," she says flatly. Surely there's a story behind that. Instead of elaborating, Yulia rubs her forehead, the tanks and trenches from a few days ago fresh in her mind. She sighs at Elise's comment. "Promising no, but it's better than them stomping through unhindered."

Maschenko gives Yulia a slightly amused look. He stands up from Elise's cot, taking the used needle with him. It'll go back into its cap and marked, because one day they may have to use it again. "We'll deal with whatever happens," he tells Elise. "If they get this far, they will." He exhales, tensely. "The important thing is they don't get past. And we will put the whole of Stalingrad in its way." What's left of Stalingrad, anyway.

"Some lines are better than none, and with those Panzers - well, it's kind of their thing. Like France can't make up her mind and flips over, Austria gets confused and America is late to the party," A shrug. Just one of those truths. Novikova thinks at least. It's a wry, flippant outlook. She blinks at Yulia's cats comment. She seems confused. Opens her mouth and closes it. "I am sure we'll hold. Too many people hold this place dear just to give up," She agrees quietly with Maschenko. "Just mind the pointy ends of things."

Elise nods to them all. "Da." The agreement is without enthusiasm, the young woman's spirits a bit battered after the trouncing and wounding. Yulia's statement is a safer topic. "Cats? Really?"

Yulia has started rebraiding her hair again as the others were talking, staring at some odd shaped rubble in a corner. She blinks and looks up at Elise's query. "Er, yes," she confirms and shifts slightly. "Cats, they're a little…. spooky." Her eyes dart up to the ceiling.

Maschenko frowns a little at Novikova's assessment of international warfare. But there's no comment; between killing a man and sewing up two others today he's about as tired as the rest of this basement. Syringe replaced, the circuit of the room's complete and he sits back down on the edge of that broken, battered chair. Cigarettes retrieved and one lit off one of his precious matches, he raises an eyebrow at Yulia through the haze of smoke that goes up. "This is a very strange conversation," he notes, wryly amused.

A headtilt at Maschenko's frown. This immediately draws her commentary to a dead stop. Apparently a tank won't stop Novikova but Maschenko brand Frowns(TM) do. She lifts her eyebrows, "Eh… that was kind of bad. That's why I am not a writer. They'd find me, throw my books at me and wander off. Or use the newspapers for their puppies," She wrinkles her nose. "Cats are spooky? I liked the one we fed on campus. He was everyone's cat and he had a little moustache that was curled around his cheeks." Kitteh with a bicycle moustache! She looks to Maschenko and nods. It's true.

"I wouldn't say /bad/, Cousin," Elise points out. She seems a bit perplexed by the summary though. "We had a cat at home," she tosses in, apropos of nothing. She hands what remains in the tin back to Yulia. "You can finish this if you like, or pass it on. I think I'm going to lie down for awhile." The medicine may do little for the actual pain, but it makes her sleepy nonetheless. Maybe she'll actually get some rest this time. She carefully lowers herself back onto the cot.

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