Percival tried to wait patiently, chivalrously, for the elevators, but he had traveled too far to bear waiting well. Up the stairs he ran then, clattering past oncology fellows who stood aside, shielding their styrofoam coffee cups against the risk of being jostled.
In the ICU, a nurse waylaid him and insisted that he wash his hands.
"Milady, there is a bit of a hurry."
She stared him down and said in a thick Staten Island accent, "When you're done washing, the antibacterial lotion is in this dispenser right here."
Properly purified, Sir Percival gently drew aside the curtain and entered the sanctum where the Fisher King lay. He lifted the sheet and marveled at the wound. "My lord," Percival said, "I have carried the Grail to many Fisher Kings these thousand years, but your wound is like none I have ever seen. How did you last long enough for me to reach you?"
"My thoracic surgeon is a fucking genius," said the Fisher King, and he clicked the morphine button. "Sir Peredur?"
"Peredur is fine," said the knight. "I have been Peredur. I can call you Bran, if you prefer."
"Bran's good. King Bran."
The Grail was full. The Grail was always full. Sir Peredur poured it out until the wound knit clean together under his pouring. Bran the Blessed slept with breaths deep and even, and in the morning woke rested and content.