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Topic: EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery (Read 82 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Ellen Fitz
  • [*][*][*]
  • Mischief and Mayhem Maker
EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery
[Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Corridor | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

It was not yet what his old mentor called "stupid o'clock" but it was damn close by the time Cross finished with his debriefings and considered himself off-duty. Logically, with the overall success of the mission, or missions, one could argue that the number of lost crewmen was acceptable. However, despite his recent "restoration" of genetics rendering him fully Vulcan, Cross would never be ready to embrace the cold comfort of logic alone. Each name on the list he'd compiled earlier, combined with the lists shared by the other department heads in their own reports, had been someone's son, someone's son, a friend, a lover.

There came a point when sheer numbers dehumanized a list of names, and after all the sacrifices that had been made in the grand scheme of stopping the Infested, Theurgy was well past that point of dehumanization. Yet, Cross felt the losses in the fatigue of his joints, the ache of his muscles, the fog of his overextended mind. They'd lost many good people, and he knew, logically, that they would lose many more before "this" could be considered over, but that didn't stop the sting of pain he felt when he pictured a friend, or a crewmate, now dead, and recalled the last words, the last moments, shared between them.

Cross paused in his footsteps when Blue's face came rapidly to mind. It was almost like a wave of nausea, the way the pain flowed through his body with the echoes of her memory. They'd survived against so many odds before this mission, coming through the other side with bumps and bruises, but quite a tale to tell. Tales shared over sweet, fizzy drinks. Cross smiled, though it was a smile that did not reach his eyes. He could easily recall her often uncouth humor, her forthright insight into the heart of a situation, and...Cross held up his prosthetic, opening and closing the fingers with great care as if he held Blue herself in the palm of it.

In so many ways, he knew he'd been her anchor, and she his, for so many things that he hadn't acknowledged until now, when there was no way he could convey his gratitude, his affection, even his grief, to her. He remembered waking up on the Savi ship with her asleep at his side and all the times after that when the lines between them, the supposed boundaries that existed between friends, grew grey and muddled until in the days before this last mission he'd been confused as hell over the status of their relationship. No longer mere friends, assuredly not lovers, yet something uniquely beautiful had existed between them. Cross would mourn the loss of it, the loss of HER, even if he had no name for what they had been to one another.

Shaking his head, Cross resumed his course, thankful that no one had seen his momentary lapse of awareness as he stood stupefied in the corridor. It would take time to resolve his thoughts and feelings regarding his lost friend, but now was not that time. He'd been taken aback and filled with dread when the wounded reports had been shared and Hathev's name was among those listed. From the report, it seemed serious. Hence why, as soon as he was freed from duty, Cross beat a direct path to sickbay instead of his quarters.

Despite the slight inebriation involved with their shared intimacy prior to the mission, Cross recalled in vivid detail the passion they'd shared. He also, now in the post-mission fatigue, recalled just as vividly the unresolved questions and concerns they'd thrown at one another both in the post-meld drama and later in his quarters before they'd exchanged arguments for lovemaking. Even as a grown man, and an accomplished Starfleet officer, Cross felt traitorous heat travel up his neck as the memory again returned to the forefront of his mind. He was not about to complain, as most men had far less pleasure with far less ravishing women their first time, and yet Cross could not help but feel there was still much to be desired about sharing such intimacy with a woman. Not so much in the performance, but in the motive.

It was with this last thought in mind that Cross steeled himself just outside his destination before crossing the threshold into the Main Sickbay. It was filled to capacity, and Cross doubted it would be anything less than busy for many hours yet. He nodded in sympathy to Elro when he passed the doctor on his way to the recovery ward. Here, at the entrance, he paused again, his eyes scanning until his heart lurched and he felt his gut tighten when he finally caught sight of her. If there was anyone in his way as Cross moved through the room to the private room where they'd placed her, he was unaware of them. If anyone tried to speak to him, he didn't hear them. His senses were entirely attuned on the woman reclining on the biobed.

Yet once he was by her side, Cross found himself at a loss for words. She seemed much diminished from the last he'd seen her and the reminder of her mortality so soon after the report of Blue's death had Cross moving before rational thought caught up to him. Stepping closer, Cross took hold of one of her hands in his real one and brought it up to his face. He placed a kiss on her wrist first, then her palm, before holding her hand against his face and willing her to feel through the touch all that he could not say in this moment.
  • Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 11:37:56 AM by Ellen Fitz
Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Commander Cross, Chief Tactical Officer

Re: EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery
Reply #1
[ Lt. Cmdr Hathev | Main Sickbay| Recovery Room 08 | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 

Hathev rested, her body centered on the bio bed, its subtle recline lifting her head a few centimeters above her feet, her eyes closed, her mind trying to find it's center.  Years ago while she was married Hathev had discovered that for all of her tolerances of Hathev's Vulcan ways, Triss's human needs often meant the Vulcan was expected to 'cuddle' with her wife while they fell asleep together.  At the time she did not fully understand the nature of 'cuddling' but she felt it logical to indulge Triss.  Doing so, however, required Hathev had to sacrifice time for proper meditative practices and so over the years she had learned how to adapt traditional Vulcan mediation techniques so that she could perform them while laying down as opposed to the much preferred meditative postures to which she had grown accustomed in her formative years on Vulcan.

Even so, the counselor found it difficult to find that place of calm in her mind.  From the emotional turbulence of the days following the news of Triss's death that had made it difficult for her to meditate in the first place, to the volatile conversation she had had with Cross the previous night and it's surprising and emotional conclusion to the dull throbbing of her internal injuries as they continued to heal, to the casualty list she had seen and the names on it.  It was understandable if not logical to conclude that no attempt at meditation would be successful.

Thus, she dipped into her own therapeutic techniques and, as she had encouraged many a patient in the past, she closed her eyes, and allowed her mind to take her where it wished to go.  Lieutenant Foster had arranged for her to be moved into the recovery room and to receive a copy of the casualty report.  Many of the names belonged to patients she had seen and counseled over the past month.  A few of the names she recognized only as members of the crew she had not yet encountered and now never would.  Other names were far more personal- names of people she saw and worked with nearly every day.  Names of Theurgy senior staff.

Names like Lieutenant Commander Blue Tiran.

Her name, more than any other, stood out.  Not only her patient, but her colleague across from whom she sat at every senior staff briefing.  Not only her shipmate, but a dear friend to her own lover.  Not only a brilliant, if not broken, mind, but a romantic rival.  Less than a day ago, she had been sitting in Cross's quarters resenting Tiran for the place she held in Cross's mind, resenting Cross for seeming to pull away from her romantically and implying he might prefer her company, resenting herself for allowing herself to become jealous and see Tiran not for her talents and contribution to the ship and it's mission, but as someone who might be a threat to her...happiness.

But now Tiran was gone and gone too was the opportunity to rectify that, to strengthen her relationship with the engineer and to find a way to move past her own needs, and put the needs of the two of them ahead of her own.

She was dimly aware of the opening and closing of the door to her room, dimly aware of the quiet steps approaching.  The familiar feel of his fingers on her hand pulled her back and as the familiar feel of his lips caressed her hand once...twice... her conscious mind began to reassert itself, bringing her out of her meditative state.

The warmth of his skin radiated into her hand, heralding the pending arrival of an empathic sense of him through their physical contact. 

She was still much too weak for a proper mind meld.  Even so, she did not need to open her eyes to sense his pain, his grief, his confusion and yes... his relief.  They echoed her own thoughts.  Thoughts of lost colleagues, lost bonds.  Uncertainty and confusion over what came next, and what impact their past actions might have on any potential future.  It was almost too much to bear...

Turning her head she opened her eyes to look at him and felt the wetness of tears sliding down her cheek.

"Cross," she said, her voice firm but little more than a whisper. "I am so sorry..."

  • Ellen Fitz
  • [*][*][*]
  • Mischief and Mayhem Maker
Re: EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery
Reply #2
[Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Corridor | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Straightening his spine, Cross watched the tears trace lines down Hathev's cheeks. Through their touch, he thought he felt something, a shared pain perhaps, but he'd never been interested in training that part of his mind before. He'd had no reason to. But now, with so much changed about himself and those around him, Cross wondered if perhaps it was time he explored the more controlled and precise methods for emotional control and decision-making that could be found in his Vulcan heritage.

"I..." Cross interrupted himself by abruptly taking a seat in the chair stationed next to her biobed. He kept a hold of her hand, and his eyes remained upon her features, and yet he struggled to maintain a mental presence in the room.

His mind and heart were in so many places at once, past, present, future, imagined could-have-beens and should-have-dones. Cross remembered keenly Hathev's frustration and critique against him just the night before when she'd sought him out in her own pain, how he'd fallen back on sharing stories of his friends, of Blue primarily, instead of listening to her and comforting her. A part of him shied away from opening up to Hathev about his grief now, maliciously believing that she was satisfied and thankful for Blue's death. For now, her romantic rival was gone from the physical realm. Another part of him condemned the first for cruelly shoveling onto Hathev feelings and thoughts he had no right to attribute to her even if in the conversation last night she had expressed jealousy. Jealousy did not immediately dictate a relishing of another's death. And another part desired her and wanted to bury his grief under the throes of passion, and when rational thought returned, to have her once more until both his emotional pain and physical lust were gone and he was but a husk of flesh remaining.

Cross came back to his sense then, centering his focus and his gaze back on Hathev. He was not ready to speak of Blue, not with her. Perhaps not with anyone who hadn't served with Blue and knew her almost to the degree he had. He didn't have the emotional energy to try to explain her soul to someone and didn't know how to inaudibly share the essence of her with anyone who hadn't already known her. Maybe, one day, he could talk of her with Hathev, or others, but not today. Not now.

"When do they say you'll be able to leave?" Cross not-so-subtly changed the focus from his own grief to her recovery, hoping she took the hint and left things well enough alone.
Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Commander Cross, Chief Tactical Officer

Re: EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery
Reply #3
[ Lt. Cmdr Hathev| Main Sickbay| Recovery Room 08 | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 

Hathev did not need to have been physical with him to sense his evasion.   He did not wish to talk about Ms. Tiran.  Instead he preferred to make small talk for now.   Despite it's illogic and predictable nature, she chose to indulge, and not press the issue.  Hathev had been jealous and her jealousy had been misplaced.  For all of her flaws and imperfections, the late Engineer did not deserve to be memorialized through the haze of jealousy.   They would need to discuss her passing and clear some air...eventually.

The Vulcan shifted herself in the bed, attempting to sit up straighter, but her abdominal muscles protested the treatment and all she got for her efforts but the blanket she had been using falling off her shoulders and leaving her upper body.  She wore no top other than the padded tube top Theurgy medical staff had dressed her in to preserve some level of modesty while still leaving her injuries accessible to be checked and treated.  White dermaplastic bandages ran across her chest and over her left breast.  Another encircled her injured arm.  But the worst of it showed on her waist and the very belly on which he had kissed her not even a full day ago.  Her midsection had been ravaged by the Gorn's claws, a she had been told, the wounds cutting deep, causing internal damage.  Now four strips of bandages ran across her belly where the Gorn had raked her open.  A final patch had been placed on her waist, where the Klingon had stabbed her.

She groaned as she moved and when she came to rest, she remained in pain, but it was a discomfort she was willing to bear so that she could see Cross better.  

"If my recovery remains on track, they will release me to my quarters tomorrow morning.  Under other circumstances I would be here for a few days still, but demand for beds is high and resources are low.  Case in point, the bandages.  There are insufficient resources for a proper dermal regeneration sequence at the moment."

She started pulling at a pillow, intent on providing herself additional support as she lay on her side.

"What of you," she asked.  "Were you injured," she paused knowing his emotional injuries albeit not their extent.  "Physically, I mean."

  • Ellen Fitz
  • [*][*][*]
  • Mischief and Mayhem Maker
Re: EPI: S [D03 | 2320]: Reconciliation and Recovery
Reply #4
[Lt. Cmdr. Cross | Corridor | Deck 11 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @P.C. Haring

Cross sucked a breath in through his teeth when Hathev's efforts to sit up straighter in the bed did nothing but exacerbate her pain and expose her injuries to his view. For a moment, the sight filled him with an irrational fury, the desire to rip apart whoever or whatever it had been who'd done this damage to Hathev. But then rational thought returned, and Cross was reminded that Hathev had obviously taken care of herself and survived and would continue to survive into the following days so long as they didn't hit another shit storm before she was cleared for duty.

Standing just long enough to take hold of the fallen blanket to replace it against her skin and to assist in her efforts regarding her pillow--to prevent further injury--Cross resumed his seat and even scooted it marginally closer so he could lean his forearms on the bed while he kept his flesh hand touching the skin of her arm. He needed physical reassurance right now, for as silly as it seemed to be even to him.

"I would ask about the other guy, but knowing you, it would be illogical of me to assume he fared any better." He forced an attempt at humor, for both their sake's, and accompanied his words with a wink.

At mentioning the high demand for beds, Cross glanced over his shoulder back towards the main recovery room area. He hadn't noticed much of anyone or anything on his way in, but knowing what he did of the various missions survivors had all returned from, Cross wasn't surprised at the high need. If anything, he was impressed that their casualty list wasn't higher.

"We lost a few on the mission," he spoke over his shoulder first, his eyes still studying the comings and goings outside the private room, before returning his gaze to Hathev's face. "But we gained one as well. Temporal shenanigans again." Cross gave a half shrug along with a sigh. Sometimes the temporal antics gave him a headache. Okay, more than sometimes. "Praxis doesn't look any the worse for wear, though our efforts to survive the mission in one piece and prevent the moon's obliteration left the Allegiant with a few more scratches than she had to begin with." He again tried for lightheartedness, and while he managed to achieve a portion of the correct tone of voice, the attempt didn't reach his fatigue-ridden gaze. "But to answer your precise question, no, I was not injured physically."

Neither needed to speak of the emotional injuries they were dealing with and would continue to be haunted by until they found a more opportune time to process through it, be it individually or together. Cross already dreaded that conversation, and Hathev hadn't even suggested it.

"If I'm not on duty," Cross pulled himself out of his own ass-headed thoughts, "would you like me to help you to your quarters when you're released?"

He hadn't noticed until just then that his fingers had taken to tracing a repetitive pattern almost reminiscent of the IDIC symbol on her arm. Once he noticed, however, Cross stopped the pattern and forced his fingers to remain still as they maintained a constant presence against her flesh.
Lieutenant Enyd Isolde Madsen, Assistant Chief Diplomatic Officer

Lieutenant Commander Cross, Chief Tactical Officer