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Seemingly satisfied, Dr. Lensherr prepared to leave her, dismissing the nurses. But before he could leave, Charles placed himself in his path.

" Doctor, you are never to carry out such a procedure again." Staring at Charles, the fire igniting within his eyes, Lensherr pushed past him. But Charles grabbed his arm.

" You will never again use force against this patient. You will not pin her down in that way." Charles' voice had grown quiet, more forceful, and an intensity in its control that was frightening. Lensherr's eyes slowly and deliberately moved from Charles' hand to his face. The trickle of blood on Charles' palm soaked into Lensherr's white coat - a bloody blemish on the pure, white material.

" If she uses force against us, then we shall respond in kind. Perhaps it is too much for you, the violence." Eyes burning, he turned away.

The blue in Charles' eyes turned ice-cold. " Perhaps so," he said quietly. " But as of now, I am the doctor in charge of this case, and I will not stand for any usage of force in dealing with this patient."

Lensherr's posture did not change. Neither did his voice.

" Very well, then. It will not happen again." He left, walking with a careful, measured pace. But Charles could sense the lurking fires beneath the fašade.

" Thank you," he murmured, the ice in his eyes and stance melting away as he turned to his patient.

Her sleep was peaceful, but Charles remembered the images she had forced upon him, and shuddered. He understood now, the world she lived in within the enclosure of her mind. He would have to use this new understanding to help her better.

But his mind was drawn back to the conflict that had just passed. It felt strange, that he and Lensherr seemed at first to get along well enough, and yet for them to come into conflict so soon about an incident which seemed so unusual in itself. It was not the usual conflict one saw between doctors. Lensherr's reasons for what he did had seemed very peculiar indeed, as was his attitude.

And yet, Charles found himself wanting to know more about this reclusive, silent man. With a sudden sense of premonition, he realised that this would not be their only conflict. No, it would be the first of many.

And only time would reveal the relationship they would share in the future.


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