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[ROUND 1] To Err is Human...


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(( USS Eagle -- Transporter Room ))

:: He materialized in a lurching position, a motion he completed once the transportation was complete and his legs were no longer paralyzed. Helen caught him by the upper-arms and helped him straighten out. Closing his eyes for a second, Rafael collected his thoughts as best he could. Everything seemed scattered; and his mouth was still watering. Shame seemed to cover him like a second skin.

:: He took a step off the platform. ::

LOZANO: Sorry... ::Turning back to look at her momentarily.:: Drunk mistake.

:: He crossed the room, struggling to follow a straight line. It felt as though the alcohol had hit him all over again, like it had been transported separately, and re-introduced into his bloodstream in one extremely potent dose. He didn't hear Helen scurry down the steps behind him, didn't realize she was there at all, until she took him by the arm. ::

LOZANO: Really, I'd rather you didn't--

BEAL: You need help.

LOZANO: But--

:: Helen began speaking over him. Rafael lagged in realizing that she was talking to the technician. A moment later, the transporter beams took hold of him again, and when he opened his eyes, he was in his own quarters. The cool blues were all he was able to pick up with his senses. With a loud groan, he fell, kneeling before his bed. He reached for a pillow and covered his head with it. ::

LOZANO: I... hate... transporters.

BEAL: Well, I think that's the last trip of the night.

:: Rafael pulled himself up to a seated position and allowed gravity to reclaim him. He fell sideways and pulled his knees toward his chest. The wicker-style wood bucked beneath his movements. ::

LOZANO: I can usually hold my alcohol better than this.

BEAL: I think you were probably dehydrated from the fight. Actually... ::He could hear footsteps as Helen walked to the bathroom and turned on the sink. She returned and he opened his eyes to find a glass of water inches from his face.:: Here.

LOZANO: Oh, yes. Thank you.

:: With a little necessary help, Rafael lifted his head and downed the water in one swallow. Helen refilled the glass and placed it on the night table beside them, and then, rather than excuse herself and leave for the night, she pulled over a wicker chair and took a seat by the bed. Rafael propped himself up on his elbow, his room slowly coming into focus: the little piles of clothing, the papers that should have been filed weeks ago... Helen herself was framed by the oversized chair like a figure on a deck of playing cards, slightly dwarfed by the shape. ::

LOZANO: Sorry about the mess.

BEAL: ::Shrugging.:: I like your decor. It's like a beach bungalow. A really disorganized person's vacation home.

LOZANO: ::Dropping his arm and falling back into bed.:: I have a system... ::A pause.:: Listen, I'd rather you didn't stay.

BEAL: I'll go in a minute. I want to make sure you're okay, first.

LOZANO: I've survived worse than this... but, obviously, I'm a little embarrassed right now.

BEAL: Yes, well, we'll say we're even. ::She didn't have to mention her panic attack for him to recall it. He would never have said it to her, but he was certain that haunting image would never be fully erased.::

LOZANO: ::He opened one eye and looked at her sideways.:: I don't mean about this, right now. I mean--

BEAL: Already forgotten, Doctor.

LOZANO: Like I said, drunk mistake.

:: He breathed a sigh and, slowly, his face began to soften as sleep took hold. He never reached a look of true relaxation, but a brief smile appeared. Less than a minute later, he was snoring. ::

--

Doctor Rafael Lozano

Drunk Mess

USS Eagle

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