Karrod Niac Posted April 23, 2021 Share Posted April 23, 2021 An eloquently written intimate scene between two characters that just survived a near death experience and discovered a little something more along the way. Well done @Wes Greaves & @Alora DeVeau! ============================================ ((Main Sickbay, Deck 9, USS Thor)) It was never completely quiet on a ship. Everything was still, all the people around had left, and she was alone in the darkness. Surgery had been successful, and after a brief stay in ICU, Peri had been moved to a regular biobed for monitoring. In all honesty, she would have preferred her own quarters. Despite the presence of a roommate, the surroundings were more familiar, more comfortable. Those sounds, the ones that crept through the stillness of the night, were more appealing to her there. The deep, steady hum of the ship held an even lower pitch in her quarters, and thrummed a well known lullaby to her every night. The soft breathing of Saja had, over the course of the week they’d been together, already harmonised readily. There, in that bio bed, the almost imperceptible crackle of the privacy field and slightly higher pitched hum were a harsh antithesis to what she was used to. Fatigue had settled in, even though she’d spent at least a day in the clutches of the slumber that had claimed her down on the icy would-be tomb of a planet. There, she had no qualms about meeting her fate, if only the man with her could be spared. Her fervent prayer had been lifted up, the last vestiges of her strength poured into it, her desperate plea to the Prophets. They had answered. That answer had been coupled with her own salvation, a request she had not made specifically, though she had no desire to die. It had just been more important to her that he live. And they had graciously granted his life, and hers. When she had awoken, the soft beeps of the computer, the gentle and somehow not quite monotone voice of Alieth greeting her, she had barely been able to remain conscious to listen to her explain what had occurred and what had to be done to her on the operating table. It hadn’t mattered. Wes was alive. She was alive. Only moments later, she had slipped back into the realm of unconsciousness, her body desperate for rest. For all the technology they had, healing wasn’t instant. Regenerators seemed to do so instantly, healing and closing up minor wounds with ease, but there would always be soreness associated with it. They didn’t actually heal, simply promoted healing by increasing the body’s own natural cellular regeneration. It was still the body working, and the consequences of it could still be felt. So, she slept, her body losing sense of its circadian rhythm and simply listening to its own internal needs. At some point, however, sleep became a ghost, a spirit that wandered, haunting her for a time, only to leave and keep her guessing as to when it might return. In the middle of the night, she found herself wide awake, alone, still exhausted, but unable to crawl back into that healing trance. **** Four days in sickbay. That was the price to pay for the shuttle crash. Who knows how much physical therapy would follow. Who knew how much therapy would follow. Each time Wes closed his eyes he could see the ice peak filling with the screen of the shuttle, powerless to stop it’s collision course. All he could do for now was to lay there in the bed, stare at the ceiling, and contemplate their disaster. He replayed the events over and over in his head. What he’d missed. How the shuttle’s warning systems could have failed. Should he have caught it earlier? Could he have? Was a lapse in judgment the cause of his near death? Of Peri’s? And what had happened to them on the planet together? They both saw the end in sight. He’d never given up the fight for survival but for a time, just before the transporter beam took them away, he didn’t think he’d make it. When he thought Peri was gone, all had seemed lost. The thought scared him. In that moment, he’d been broken in a way that he hadn’t experienced since young adulthood. He was still working through that event, and now his mind was filled with new terrible thoughts. For a time he lay there, disaster replaying over and over in his mind. Finally he couldn’t take it any longer. It was late, and the medical staff weren’t paying particularly close attention. He needed to talk to someone. Someone who could understand. He needed to talk to Peri. Cautiously Wes crept from the bed, unhooking a monitor from his arm. His bare feet pressed against the cool metal of the floor and he was thankful the loose fitting medical clothes did not include shoes. He could move much more quietly without the resounding footfalls on deck plating. Carefully the Marine moved around his bed, ducking when nurses looked his way, until he reached Peri’s bed in an adjacent ward. No one was immediately nearby so Wes chanced a whisper. Greaves: Peri, are you awake? She heard him before she saw him, the gentle tap of feet against the floor, the rustle of fabric. Turning her head, the shadowy form was familiar enough that even if she couldn’t see him properly, she knew exactly who it was. A smile attempted to appear, and appear it did, small, but sincere. Katsim: Wes. Her voice was soft, partially from fatigue, partially from the knowledge that though Sickbay was less populous at night, there were still doctors and nurses about. Peri suspected he had set out on his journey without permission, and while she was one to generally follow the rules, the relief at seeing him, to put a visual to the reassurance from the medical personnel that he was just fine, was far too potent for her to protest. Greaves: (Approaching her bedside and smiling) Man, you look awful. Katsim: So do you. He stifled a small laugh, and the pressure on his ribs flared in pain. He’d been hurt worse during the crash than he initially had thought, and the doctors had assured him that healing would take some time. Greaves: (A little more serious) I can’t say how good it is to see you awake Peri. How’re you holding up? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. What should she say? Go into the gory details of her injuries? The consequences that would linger? How she was exhausted though she’d done nothing but lie there? Staring at him for a moment, she decided not to delve into specific aspects, and really, that wasn’t the question he had asked. Even so, she shied away from giving too much information. Katsim: I’ll survive. That was it. And maybe, for now, that was enough. He nodded, just glad that she was still alive. The moment that she’d passed out on the shuttle Wes had thought she was dead. It was foolish. No one dies like that in real life. A dramatic closing of the eyes was how it worked in the holo-flicks. Still, it had felt like she’d slipped away from him in that moment, and Wes had realized something when he thought she was gone. Slowly he reached out and clutched the woman’s hand in his own. Her skin felt cool and soft. Greaves: I’m sorry Peri. He was apologising, though she couldn’t fathom why. That brow furrowed, the ridges standing out more with the expression and she turned her head a little, as if trying to see him better. Katsim: For what? Greaves: I messed up. I should have spotted the issue with the warp coils before we even left. Katsim: Oh. So he blamed himself. That hurt her more than any of her physical injuries, the idea that he was dealing with guilt in regards to their accident. Peri shook her head slightly, and the hand that he held tightened its hold, hoping somehow to reassure him with more than just words. Even though she knew they would likely fall upon deaf ears, she spoke them anyway. Katsim: It wasn’t your fault. Greaves: (Frustration creeping in his voice) Of course it was. I was the pilot. That shuttle was my responsibility. Katsim: It was an accident. And you weren’t the only one who looked at that shuttle. Likely it was an issue before, one that had somehow slipped under the radar. They had just been the lucky ones to be in it when it had become a bigger problem. He took her hand again, gave it a gentle squeeze and forced a smile in acknowledgement. She believed her own words, but Wes knew better than to fall into that trap. He’d made a mistake somewhere, and it nearly had cost them their lives. That was simply something else he’d have to learn to deal with. Greaves: It doesn’t matter. What happened, happened. I’m still sorry, and you’re just gonna have to accept that (smile softening into something more genuine). Peri didn’t respond right away, but her hand tightened in response to his. Her eyes regarded him, a silence settling between them, words, waiting to be spoken, yet not uttered. Those words ran over and over again in her mind, thoughts returning to those moments where they had clung together, to the words that she’d managed just before she’d passed out from everything. Yet, in that moment, what she wanted to say remained captive and instead she spoke words that had nothing to do with what roiled around inside her. Katsim: You need to let it go. It wasn’t your fault. The man looked into Peri’s eyes for a moment before responding. Greaves: I’m just glad you’re alright. Maybe we stick to the holodeck for our outings? He wasn’t going to let it go. Peri hoped he wouldn’t sit on it and let it fester, wouldn’t let the guilt linger. She sighed softly, then managed a half smile. Katsim: That might be best. Greaves: Good… speaking of which. You feeling up for a springball match tomorrow? (Winking) For a second, Peri couldn’t only stare at him. Springball? Tomorrow? After all that? Peri wasn’t even going to be released for another day or two! Then it dawned on her. A joke. He was always joking, and she was always falling for it. Once more, she relaxed, and the smile that appeared was brighter than the previous. Katsim: I feel like you’d have an unfair advantage. Greaves: Hey! I have to get in the wins where I can! Katsim: Maybe give me a week or two. If not more. Peri had been told the extent of her injuries, and despite the technology that was vastly superior to what they’d had even fifty years ago, her body was going to take time to get over everything that had happened. Greaves: Deal. But only one week. I don’t stand for slackers, and there’s no way I’m gonna let you live down laying around for two whole weeks. Besides, I might not be able to whip you if you get that much rest. Katsim: We could race again if you prefer. Greaves: (Raising hands defensively and taking a step back) Oh no, I’m not falling for that again missy. Let’s make it a light jog and we can relax at the water’s edge after. (Voice softening) I liked that last time. Peri couldn’t help herself. The smile grew a little wider at his insistent joking. He was intent on making her feel better, and she had to admit, his demeanor was uplifting. For a moment, she almost laughed, but her body’s aching reminded her that might not be the best course of action. Still, there was weight that lifted from her shoulders. His presence, his smile, the tease of his voice, they all seem to lighten her mood, lift her spirits. Around his hand, her fingers curled, his warmth soothing and she sighed softly, settling further down into her bed. She didn’t want him to let go, didn’t want him to leave. For a moment, her pain wasn’t quite so acute, could be pushed aside and ignored because all she had to do was concentrate on him and it seemed to simply fade away. Katsim: I liked that too. And there was more that she could show him. While not the real place, it was a replica, a replica of where she had run and visited on Bajor. It had been a sanctuary, a place to rest and get away from what lay behind. To forget the world and simply be. There, she could enjoy the beauty of nature, be at peace with all creation. Only one person had shared that with her. She was gone, but Peri knew that she could share that with him. Suddenly, she wanted to share that with him, to take him there, but they were in no position to do so. Not yet. Katsim: I...like running with you. Greaves: I… She’d caught him off guard and suddenly there was a bump in the road, a hiccup in the peace that had for a brief time had settled between them. An awkwardness developed, and though he still held on to her hand, she could sense his uncertainty. His hesitancy. Had she said too much? Revealed too much? Was it not returned? Peri chided herself. Why would it be? Just because they had lived through a frozen hell didn’t mean anything had changed. His invitation had been given to a friend, nothing more. Peri’s dark eyes settled upon him and silence invaded, a distance seemed to stretch out between them, one that could not be seen but could certainly be felt. Leveling her gaze at him, she pined for that fleeting moment of closeness they’d had just seconds before and she struggled to bring them back there. How would he handle it? What would he do? Katsim: I especially like beating you. Greaves: Oh man, look who’s got the jokester now. The levity had helped, and though Peri’s smile returned, her heart twisted a little in disappointment. She had expected too much. Of course she had. Katsim: You’re rubbing off I guess. Greaves: What can I say? We’ve been spending a lot of time together lately. It was bound to happen. (Jokingly) Good thing I invited you to Earth, right? Now we get to spend some real quality time together in sickbay. Katsim: I’m glad you did. Her eyes shifted to the opening that would allow someone to walk in if they so desired, the privacy afforded her easily intruded upon. That was as it was in sickbay, though those who trespassed were simply medical officers doing their duty. Her eyes returned to him and studied the man a little more closely. Wes followed the woman’s gaze as he heard the sound of voices approaching. For a moment, he thought that his escapade had been discovered, but the voices passed without pause. Katsim: What did the doctors say? Greaves: (Nonchalantly) Oh, you heard Alieth. Nothing else new really. I’m gonna be here another day or two for observation, and then light duty with regular treatments for the next couple of weeks. You? For a moment, Peri didn’t answer. Alieth had listed out all the injuries, the procedures, the subsequent consequences and she knew Wes had been there to hear it. Not that she had minded that so much, but that she still hadn’t really taken the time to process it all. Katsim: At least a couple of days beyond that. He winced at the thought. It made sense, Peri had died after all. Still, Wes couldn’t help but feel responsible for what would likely be a very unpleasant stay in sickbay. It darkened his mood again and brought the man’s thoughts back to the crash. Greaves: Look, I know you don’t want to hear it anymore, but I’m so sorry this all happened. It’s just, when I thought you died down there… when I thought you were gone… (trailing off) He paused, not sure of what to say. The Marine had been concussed and probably suffering from blood loss and shock at the time. Still, he remembered the moment clear as day. When Peri’s eyes had closed and her body went limp, when he kissed her goodbye, something inside him broke. Greaves: ... I’m just glad you’re okay. Really glad. Katsim: I’m grateful that you are all right. Her prayer, it had been spoken with all of the will, all of the strength that she’d had left, and she would have said the same, even if she knew the outcome had been different. But it hadn’t been. They had been rescued, they were there, and the conversation waned into stillness. Their eyes met again, and a small smile formed on Wes’s lips. In that moment something unspoken passed between the two. He wasn’t exactly sure what it was, or what it meant, but Wes felt the connection. He felt the warmth in that look, the calmness it brought on, and the comfort. Still, they lingered, his hand still furled around hers, their warmth joining together. The silence that fell between them was gentle, filled with unuttered phrases, unspoken words, murmurings kept close to their chests and inside their hearts, perhaps desire present, but afraid to manifest itself. She held his gaze, her dark brown against his lighter blue, shadows of hope whispering behind the coloured windows, but nothing was voice. That silence reigned, but it was pleasant, each one basking in their presence, hesitant to break it, but finally practicality won out in the mind of the marine who hovered at her bedside, her hand still gently clasped in his. Greaves: I really should get back to my bed, before they catch me up and about. Peri almost said no. She almost requested that he stay, that he linger a little longer, maybe even remain until she was safely tucked away into slumber, the last thing seen was his smiling face. But once more, the words shied away from actual speech and she merely nodded. It was Wes who had to break the hold, his hand releasing her own and she let it fall back to her side, the chill of the room stark in comparison to his warmth and she couldn’t help but shiver a little. He cast her one last smile and she returned it with a small one of her own. Though he was not present when Peri finally did return to the realm of slumber, she had, at least, that to ponder upon, the vision of his face and the gentleness of that departing expression carrying her into sleep. ********** ========================= Captain (SFMC) Wes Greaves Marine Detachment Commander Chief of Security & Tactical USS Thor - NCC 82607 E239702WG0 ========================= & Ensign Katsim Peri Science Officer USS Thor M239008AD0 1 1 Quote Link to comment
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