mistressmaryquitecontrary: (older - steady)
[personal profile] mistressmaryquitecontrary
Mary only very occasionally remembers that two years have passed since Mr. Tam offered her the opportunity to study medicine on a world that would not concern itself with her gender.

She's simply been far too busy to remember the passage of time -- as apprentice-assistant to the only fully-trained doctor on the small Rim planet of Aberdeen, her life is a constant round of delivering medicines, sewing up injuries, inoculating babies, and generally performing any tasks that Dr. Hamm doesn't have time for.

(The locals call him Doc. Mary never does.)

Dr. Hamm is competent but constantly harassed; Mary learns procedures by shoving time out the rounds of her duties to watch him do them, and then announcing it to him when she feels that she's learned enough to try them herself. She does not particularly like most of her patients, and they dislike her in turn for her haughty airs and her snappish temper and the fact that she clearly comes from money, though they might have forgiven a pleasanter person that. Still, when you live on Aberdeen, it's any port in a storm -- and most of them will grudgingly admit that, by now, her stitches generally look neat.

When she has time to think about it, she misses her home, and her friends, and her garden that Dickon and Colin have solemnly sworn to care for, misses them all so much that she can hardly breathe. She has gone back to Yorkshire diligently when her uncle might expect her for school vacations, and each time it's near impossible to leave. But leave she does, and goes back to Aberdeen, and once she's there, there's just so much to learn and so little time that it's only once in a very great while that she sits in her bed crying of homesickness.

She has learned Chinese, and how to cook her own (very hasty) meals, and how to apply the same principles to stitching a scratch and stitching a sock. Without quite noticing, she has turned sixteen.


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January 2012

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