((Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon))
::She was exhausted. Not just from the minor matter of a serious head injury that was still healing, but the emotional fallout from the earlier, repeated threats to confine her to sickbay, and the twists and turns of her present conversation with Jaxton. And so he had asked him to leave, so that she might get some rest.
::Jaxton stood, making his way toward the door. His mood had taken a nosedive, but she couldn't tell if he was disappointed or angry.
Vee (Alt): Just remember one thing Quinn. That woman has had every advantage her universe has had to offer her. She was only able to accomplish things because she had help. You have survived a Dominion war by the sheer strength of your character. No starfleet command training. No extra decade of education or family to see you through the rough spots.. You survived and you made sure others survived. I say this with all the love and friendship I have to give you ::He paused.:: Give yourself some damn credit.
Reynolds (Alt): I'll try. But I still don't want to talk to her. ::She paused and offered him a soft smile.:: Thanks for trying, though. I appreciate it.
Vee (Alt): Yeah well you are still my best friend even if I'm a horrible friend to have. I'll see you tomorrow.
::He turned, stepping toward the door, and then stopped. A quick glance around the room and she saw him locate the reason for his aborted departure -- Shelby had taken the opportunity to slink onto the couch, and was in the process of resting her head in Quinn's lap.
::She smiled, gently stroking the sleek fur across Shelby's back. In other circumstances, she might think about getting a pet of her own, but she'd never been able to justify the drain on their resources. Jaxton didn't know it, but she'd thought long and hard before going to Walter to argue a case for Shelby.::
Vee (Alt): No you can not spend the night. She will never get any sleep.
::He tapped his right leg to signal the dog to heel. Shelby stared at him for a moment and then stood up on the couch, licking her face a couple of times before darting down and over to her master's side.::
Vee (Alt): Good night Quinn. ::A moment passed, and then he added,:: You know I could only bring myself to speak to you like that because you are the closest thing I have to a sister. I will always be there for you. Even if it's just to tell you what you need to hear.
::With that, he left. She smiled a little, hauling herself off the couch, and shook her head, amused at his determination to get the last word. He meant well, and that was what mattered. Now, she was going to and get some desperately needed sleep.
::Three hours later, she was pacing the floor of her quarters. She'd spent two hours in bed, staring up at the ceiling. That hadn't worked, so she'd tried hot milk, a book, relaxing music, all of the traditional remedies.
::But everything felt wrong. It was too quiet, the air was too clean, the sheets were too crisp, the mattress was too comfortable, the room was too large, nothing was what she was used to.
::She was at her wit's end, and a quiet groan of defeat, she left her quarters, heading along the corridor to another set of doors. She pressed the chime, and waited. It took a minute, and then the doors parted to revealed the dishevelled occupant in the process of pulling a charcoal t-shirt down around his torso.
Brunsig (Alt): There better be a good reason that you've woken me up.
Reynolds (Alt): There's… *a* reason?
::She stood there, her discomfort evident in her awkward posture, and her fatigue in drawn expression and the dark circles under her eyes. She suddenly realised that she was also barefoot and in her pyjamas, a plain, pale grey set made of jersey that clung to her slight frame and made her look even more skinny and washed out than usual.::
Brunsig (Alt): You can't sleep.
::Her shoulders sagged in defeat, and she nodded.::
Reynolds (Alt): I can't sleep.
::He sighed and stepped aside, gesturing melodramatically inside. Her thanks came in the form of a fleeting smile, and she stepped inside. Only a step, enough to let the doors slide shut behind her, and then she stood there, staring at the expansive VIP quarters he had been assigned.::
Reynolds (Alt): They don't do anything small on this ship, do they?
Brunsig (Alt): Nope. ::He eyed her, suspicion evident in his blue eyes.:: You haven't eaten, either, have you?
Reynolds (Alt): I… wasn't hungry.
Brunsig (Alt): Did it occur to you this is exactly why they're trying to confine you to sickbay?
::Not him as well.::
Reynolds (Alt): Or maybe it's *because* they're trying to confine me to sickbay that I've lost my appetite. ::She retorted, then frowned at him.:: You heard about that?
::He grunted, his bare feet padding softly on the carpet as he walked over to the replicator. He muttered something to the device, and after an electric hum, returned with a mug in one hand and a plate of buttered toast in the other.::
Brunsig (Alt): Eat.
::She gave him a long look, tired of being told what she could and couldn't do, and she was on the verge of telling him as much when he scowled at her.:::
Brunsig (Alt): You hauled me out of a very comfortable bed in the middle of the night, Quinn. The least you can do is humour me and eat some damned toast.
::A fair point. She reached for the mug -- cocoa, now she had got a whiff of it -- and the plate, and settled into the nearby soft armchair, balancing the plate on her legs after tucking them up alongside her.
::Walter dropped himself indelicately into the couch, scratching at his stubbled jaw and not bothering to hide his yawn. When she had first known him, he'd been fastidious about his appearance, but that was years long past.::
Brunsig (Alt): Yes, I heard about it. Who's "they"?
Reynolds (Alt): Vess. And Kellan.
Brunsig (Alt): They're trying to do their job, Quinn.
Reynolds (Alt): Do you know what it's like to have no say over what someone's doing to you? Tests and treatments performed on you, even if you're saying no, you don't want them? All because someone has decided that they have more rights over your body than you do, just because of what they studied at school.
((Personal Quarters, USS Gorkon))
::He gave her a long look, devoid of his usual exasperation or irritation.::
Brunsig (Alt): If we're going to have a conversation like this, I need a drink.
Reynolds (Alt): No-- ::She shook her head.:: No, it's fine. I don't really want to talk about it anyway.
::He nodded, and they sat there in comfortable silence as she nibbled her way through the toast, taking the odd sip of cocoa. Once she'd finished the first slice, and started on the second, he broke the quiet with a question.::
Brunsig (Alt): Is that why you can't sleep?
Reynolds (Alt): Maybe. No. No, I don't think so. My quarters just feel weird, it's all wrong. I'm used to curling up in the corner of my office. This ship's too big, it makes me uncomfortable.
Brunsig (Alt): Cupcake, you have more neuroses than I've had hot dinners.
::She frowned at him, taking another bite of toast before she answered.::
Reynolds (Alt): ::Sourly,:: You're not much of a comfort.
Brunsig (Alt): Realism I can do. You know I'm not much of one for comfort.
Reynolds (Alt): Could you at least… try?
Brunsig (Alt): Certainly. ::He leaned forward and contorted his face into an exaggerated expression of sympathy, patting her knee.:: Poor Quinn. Would you like a lollipop for your boo-boo?
::She scowled at him, despite finding the humour in it. Theirs was an odd friendship, she'd be the first to admit, but it was one she treasured.::
Reynolds (Alt): I really hate you sometimes.
::He grinned at her, an expression as rare as diamonds, and sat back. He really was quite handsome when he wasn't scowling.::
Brunsig (Alt): That's a very large club that you're a member of, there. ::He stood, taking a step toward the separate bedroom.:: Finish your toast.
Reynolds (Alt): What--
Brunsig (Alt): Eat.
::She complied with another frown. It really was quite delicious -- another case of "when was the last time, I can't remember?". Chief Ro'Vaz had tried baking some bread aboard the Triumphant, but the attempt had not been… successful.
::He returned short few minutes later as she polished off the last of the toast and cocoa, a set of pillows, a sheet and a quilt in his arms.::
Reynolds (Alt): Oh, I-- That's not-- ::She paused to let herself form a full sentence, rather than keep stumbling over the beginnings of one.:: I can't sleep on your couch.
Brunsig (Alt): I know. You're in the bed.
Reynolds (Alt): What? No, I--
::He interrupted her with a stubborn stare. It was clear from his face that his mind was made up.::
Brunsig (Alt): You'll sleep in the bed, because I find your whining about it a lot more palatable than listening to numerous doctors whinge at me that I let a woman with a serious head injury sleep on my couch.
Reynolds (Alt): I could just go back to my quarters.
::He flicked a long finger at the door without looking at her, while he tucked the sheet in underneath the cushions. Once, his fingertips had been calloused from his viola, but it had long time since he'd touched an instrument. Since either of them had. Music had been the foundations of their friendship, and she missed it.::
Brunsig (Alt): There's the door.
::She sighed her defeat, and he dropped the pillows onto the couch, followed by himself a moment later. Taking it for what it was, an indication that he was saying good night, she stood up as well, putting the cup and plate down on the coffee table and heading toward the bedroom.
::As she stepped past the threshold into the bedroom, she heard him call sleepily out to her.::
Brunsig (Alt): Quinn? If you snore, I'm smothering you with a pillow.