"Six," I said.
"I've only got one hand up, and last time I checked, I wasn't a mutant."
I leaned back in the chair, the first time in three days I could do it without grimacing in pain. "Six fingers would really help your guitar playing. Imagine the chords you could pull off."
"Exactly how many pills are you taking for your back?" she asked, crossing her arms and frowning at me.
"Four. Two robaxin, one darvocet, one giant horse pill of ibuprofin, prescription strength. I think I'm hallucinating just a little bit."
She whistled and grinned. "If that wasn't all doctor's orders, I'd have to stage an intervention right now."
"I'm never going back, Muse. I want to be a junkie. If this is what being fucked up is like, just keep 'em coming."
She sat on the chair arm next to me. "You're sort of a lightweight, honey. Only one of those pills is a narcotic."
"I don't even take aspirin generally, Muse. Cut me a little slack."
She rubbed my head. "Oh my poor baby. You're injured. You get all the slack I have to cut."
"Just expect me to be extra hard on you when you're healed up, though. I've been saving it up, and it's just killing me that I can't let it out."
I shifted in my chair and groaned just a bit as the razors in my back slipped briefly through the haze of painkillers. "This isn't just a hint of the newer, friendlier Muse?"
"Fuck that," she said, and pinched my arm. "I like being snarky. I see no reason to change now."
"You're so good at it," I said. "Lots of practice."
She nodded. "Oh yes, yes indeed. Now hurry up and heal already, so I can punch you in the gut some more."
I sighed. "Just like old times, isn't it?"
"You only hurt the ones you love, baby."