lesliethompkins: (young)
[One decision can make all the difference. You are who you've become because of it. It set everything in motion. It helped shape the individual you are today. It landed you that job. It put you in the right place at the right time. It caused you no end of grief. Right or wrong, it had an enormous impact. Now imagine...

You made a different decision.]


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many letters have been written over the years. Some she's even had the courage to send. More often than not, they're interrupted half way through and later abandoned. From one day to the next, so much could change. She'd pick up the pen to continue her correspondence only to discover what she'd already written was largely irrelevant. She couldn't bring herself to throw them away so she tucked them into a journal. Inside the same journal were pictures of friends and family, people she hadn't seen in over a decade. Occasionally she would pull them out and wonder what they were doing right that moment. Wondered if they missed her as much as she missed them. Then an emergency would arise and she would tuck them away as before, safe for later. It was as close as she came to ritual.

Tonight she picked up her pen again. This time it would be the last. The letter opened with its usual greeting.

My dear Alfred,

I can close my eyes and imagine the turning of the leaves. The temperatures are beginning to fall. The wind is beginning to bite. I haven't seen or felt Fall in Gotham in twelve years. Here it's humid and hot. It rains constantly. Pours and pours, like there's no end in sight. Not at all like what Fall should be. I promised myself I would see the leaves this year. I've been away too long, allowed myself to be swept into one tragedy after another. I don't regret my work. I've never regretted my work. I just wish it hadn't taken me so far away. I'll be on a plane next week. I don't expect to see you when I land. You or Bruce. That would be too much to ask. Too much to expect after all this time. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. For not being there when you needed me the most. I'll see the leaves and then I'll be gone again. Know that I think of you always.

With love,
Leslie



[x-posted: Barbican]
lesliethompkins: (diagnose)
Several days later, a walk through the neighborhood proved fruitful. With varying degrees of hesitancy, a handful of local business owners admitted to similar misfortunes. One had reported the incident to the police but no action had been forthcoming. The others had cleaned up and returned themselves to work, knowing there was nothing that could really be done. Those who'd lived and worked in the East End for decades weren't about to let a little spray paint and a few broken windows drive them away.

The day ended on a sad and unsettling note. Leslie stepped into the corner store to buy herself something to drink. The face behind the counter was unfamiliar.

"Is Anthony finally taking a day off?" She placed a five dollar bill between them.

The teenager took the money and started to make change. "Didn't you hear?"

Leslie's heart sank. "Hear what?"

"The old man died of a heart attack the day before yesterday. I guess his daughter is going to run the place now. I haven't met her yet. I hear she's --- You alright, lady?"

Stunned, Leslie couldn't find the words to reply.

[x-posted: Barbican]
lesliethompkins: (clinic)
When it all began, Leslie didn't think anything of it. The exterior of the clinic is often tagged with graffiti of some sort or another. It's an inevitability in the East End. It's always painted over in the first 12 hours. It seems to discourage others, albeit briefly. Several days later, someone chucked a brick through her office window. She happened to be in it at the time. She wondered if her heart would ever stop racing. It turned out to be a brick chiseled out of the cornerstone. Then the lobby was vandalized on a rare night when she'd actually slept at home for a change. Overturned chairs. Computers smashed. Office supplies scattered everywhere. There was also more graffiti on the walls. In a chaos of colors and unrecognizable symbols, there was a single word neatly sprayed in white.

Leave.

[x-posted: Barbican]

Raining

Oct. 13th, 2014 08:53 pm
lesliethompkins: (tired)
Everything about the spare room is conducive to rest. The covers are warm and tucked in around her. The heavy drapes block out most of the morning light. Silence is only interrupted by the sound of rain gently hitting the window. She's not sure how long she's slept or how long she's been awake. She's not sure she cares. Lying there and listening to the patter is a luxury she can afford.

Fever

Sep. 29th, 2014 09:10 pm
lesliethompkins: (damn)
Yelling penetrated her sleep in the early hours of the morning. She listened for a moment with her eyes closed, not entirely sure she was awake. Two voices continued to volley, a man and a woman. A crash came next, the sound of something breakable colliding with the wall and shattering. Another brief exchange was followed by the slamming of a door. Before Leslie could muster up enough brain power to realize she could and should intervene, the dispute was over.

Work often required her to be in full command of her faculties with little to no warning, with no regard for the time of day. She awoke quickly and hit the ground running. Even when work didn't require it, this was still largely the case. This night however unfolded in a less than routine manner.

Under several layers of blankets, she realized she was warm. It was a pleasant, comforting feeling at first, one she wanted to just linger in. It didn't remain that way for long. Soon it became oppressive and the urge to escape its constraining confines was undeniable. Several things donned on her all at once. She had a wicked headache, her body ached, and she desperately needed food and water. On top of all these insults, she needed to use the restroom.

It wasn't until she'd risen to her feet that she found herself in serious doubt. She looked across her bedroom and wondered if she'd make it. Her head swam as her blood pressure changed. Shuffling at a painstaking pace, she reached the door frame. She stopped there and reached out to steady herself as her head throbbed and her heart beat in her ears. She flipped on the light switch and an odd thing occurred. Her vision was still partially dark and it slowly encroached.

A second of panic overcame her. She was going to pass out.

No.

One more step brought her to the counter. On instinct, she pivoted and planted her weight against the surface.

Down. Before you fall.

The descent was controlled but not gentle. She landed on her rear with her legs tucked half underneath her. The cry she let out turned into hyperventilation. The black continued to travel.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

She listened. Obeyed. Sat quietly and breathed. Willing the dark and heat to pass. Time also passed. She was mostly unaware it.
lesliethompkins: (clinic)
Seem to have finally caught the flu that's going around.
lesliethompkins: (Default)
I don't like being reminded that I'm an addict. Not that I have any plans to change.
lesliethompkins: (Default)
A corner patio table is her reward for being early. She orders herself an iced tea and takes a moment to people watch. It's good to feel the breeze on her face.
lesliethompkins: (tired)
The breeze that blew in through her window was warm. It swept past her face as she peered out from the second story of the clinic. As she'd done many times before, she leaned a hip on the old sill and clutched her coffee cup in both hands. Her eyes roamed the street below, taking stock of the neighborhood she called home, before they swung upward toward the evening sky. Dick, Tim, and Selina were out there somewhere she knew. Her thoughts naturally fell to Bruce.

With a heavy and mournful heart, she turned her back on the cityscape.
lesliethompkins: (Default)
Every resident of this great estate has shared a common love for knowledge. There are books everywhere. In the main library downstairs, the number is seemingly immeasurable. Finer collections of historical manuscripts can only be found at universities. One can't wander the halls of Wayne Manor and not be struck by the hideaways on the second floor. It is one particular hideaway Leslie seeks. It adjoins a bedroom, once occupied by a small boy.

The morning sun shines in through the window against the far wall. At its base is a window seat, large enough to accommodate two adults. Or one adult and a child. Sitting there on the cushion is a book, never shelved and never forgotten.

Without apprehension or fear of intrusion, she picks it up and takes a seat. So many times before she's opened the cover and read aloud. She does so now, if only for herself.

"Alice was beginning to get very tired..."
lesliethompkins: (Default)
Despite the glorious day outside, Leslie remains inside as she waits. There is always a chance when she arrives unannounced that there will be a delay. The Master of the House does not keep a regular schedule. With a content heart, she elects to wander. The manor is full of rich history, of sparks that ignite her memory.

In the ballroom, she can hear the sound of music. The trombones sing boldly amidst the soft clarinets as Glenn Miller's "A String of Pearls" plays. She shares a dance with Thomas Wayne. Then... years later, she shares a dance with his son. Martha is concerned about the number of potential participants in this years charity auction. She's received fewer responses than expected. Leslie reassures her. The auction will take care of itself. Alfred places a tray of drinks on the nearby table. For a moment, their eyes meet. She smiles.

The music fades. The guests vanish as they dance. The ballroom is empty. It is not as it once was.

She weeps not.

The future is bright.
lesliethompkins: (Default)
Thousands of decisions are made in the course of an average day. Major decisions however should and do take considerably longer. Three months after initially pondering, Leslie has come to her decision. It's time to resign.

The months of consideration have provided her with a concrete degree of confidence. Decades of work won't be forgotten. A more intense focus awaits her. The position will be handed down to someone younger, someone with more stamina. The decision will not be held in judgment against her. She'll look back with no regrets. The time is in fact right.

The letter has been composed and signed. All that remains is delivery. On a bright, beautiful day in September, Dr. Thompkins travels to Bristol. It's a duty that must be done in person, out of respect and affection.
lesliethompkins: (Default)
"Let no man, woman, or child be deprived of health care. Relieve those who suffer. Tend the wounded. Cure the diseased. Treat the disadvantaged. Turn no one away."

- From the mission statement, The Thomas Wayne Foundation
lesliethompkins: (clinic)
Hope for the best, expect the worst. It's one of the many valuable lessons Leslie has learned over the years. Taught by her father, reinforced by experience. She had hoped the bomb delivered maliciously to the clinic would not be an indication of things to come. Somehow she knew that wouldn't be the case.

A week later, there are three patients in residence. Black Mask has had his revenge. Leslie and a select few are left to pick up the pieces.
lesliethompkins: (damn)
The year has a particular cycle. Birthdays come and go. As do anniversaries, both joyful and sorrowful. Leslie remembers them all. For they are the glue that binds the days together. One might think with a schedule as chaotic as hers that she would forget to mark the passing of days important. The unpredictable however makes her more cognizant of events past, moments etched in history and commemorated with regularity.

Instead of making her usual trip to the manor, she steers the car elsewhere. It isn't a distant drive but the memories make it lengthy. She parks and steps out into the warm breeze. Summer is just around the corner and the flowers that have erupted in spurts around the cemetery are proof.

One year ago today, she lost a patient on the operating table. She watched with a heart heavy as last words were exchanged between older and younger, between teacher and student, between experienced and inexperienced. In the end, those words did not save her. Nothing could have saved her, nothing short of a miracle. That miracle didn't come.

Leslie didn't know the girl all that well. Perhaps that is part of the tragedy. Opportunities lost are mourned just as easily as relationships that never were. She should have taken the time. Those chances are long since gone now. All that is left is a marker, a name, and images of a life taken before its time.

Stephanie Brown.

Bruce would be here if he were able, standing in the very spot Leslie now occupies. She finds herself decidedly thankful that he isn't.

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Dr. Leslie Thompkins

February 2017

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