PL: Long Night

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PL: Long Night

Postby Iar Edra » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:41 pm

PL: Long Night

The doors to their quarters opened and Edra walked through, finished with this shift. Not particularly by choice, since they couldn't do much more at the moment. The bridge crew had essentially made her take the rest of the "night" to get some rest. She'd been up for more than 24 hours now, and they were still 48 hours from their mission's destination. She knew she was on the losing end when they threatened to involve Dr. Whelan. The words "Doctor's Orders" stung a lot more when one was on the receiving end. Hopefully the glaring look she gave all of them would make them think twice about pulling that stunt again.
On the plus side, she got to see the girls, even if they weren't awake. Peeking into the room, she saw both of them fast asleep. She snuck in quietly, kneeling in between their beds. With a wistful smile, she smoothed the hair back from Karina's face. They should have been focused on finally having both of her daughters here, but her world--their world--had suddenly been turned on it's head. Even though she knew it was not her doing, she felt bad. When this was all behind them--no, that would be a long time coming--maybe just when things calmed down, they would have to do something special for her.
She turned her attention to Karissa, who was, as usual, contorted into a strange sleeping position. With her legs tangled in her sheets, one arm behind her back, as if it was tied there, and her head off her pillow, Edra found her drooling as she lightly snored. She shook her head as she found a tissue to clean her up. This was her little trouble-maker. Not that she got into serious trouble, but she sure was fond of pushing the boundaries, seeing how much she could get away with. She stood and dislodged the sheets from around the girl's legs, which caused her to shift, but not wake up. Edra pulled the sheets up halfway, then leaned down to kiss her on her forehead.
When she turned back to Karina it was to find the older girl watching her. Edra smiled and knelt down next to her. She traced her finger down her daughter's lightly-defined nose ridge, which made Karina squint and grin. "Sorry to wake you up." She whispered. "You okay?"
Karina nodded, then looked across to her sister. "Does she always snore?"
Edra smiled, "Usually. Is it keeping you up?"
The girl shrugged under her covers, "Probably not much."
Edra nodded, "If it does, we can arrange to have the computer play background noise. It would help." She ran her hand comfortingly down Karina's arm.
"Is Dad back too?"
She shook her head. "No, he'll be down in Sickbay for a while."
"Is he gonna be okay?"
"I'm sure he'll be fine." She was anything but sure, but it was Karina's first night back on board. She couldn't bring herself to give her that news quite yet. "You go back to bed. I'll see you in the morning." When Karina nodded Edra leaned over and kissed her on her forehead. "I love you, Sweet Girl."
"Love you too, Mom."
Edra smiled, then stood up, leaving the room as quietly as she came in. She walked the short distance to her room, but when she stepped inside the door she stopped. Their king-size bed was just another reminder that she was alone, and, for that matter, he was too. She felt like she should be doing something to fix the situation, help him. But the answering voice in her head told her sleeping was helping.
She wondered why that voice sounded like Brie.
So she changed into her nightgown, and did her nighttime routine. Then, returning to the bed she turned the covers down and slipped in under them. She couldn't help but think that the empty side felt much bigger tonight. Sighing, she tried to put her worry behind her. It wouldn't do her any good now, and it wouldn't help her sleep. Still, when she lay down, one hand migrated to his side of the bed, as if it could somehow conjure him up by being there. When that didn't happen, she gave in and closed her eyes.
She couldn't realize how much of a mistake that would be.
With no other visual input for her mind to focus on, it played out the previous day's events, most notably Henry falling to the ground. As she watched it all happen again, her breath caught in her chest, and she darted up, opening her eyes, and just barely stopping herself from calling out as she had earlier. But now that she'd started seeing it again, she couldn't stop the rest of the events from continuing in her mind. Coming up on his body as she had finally realized it was him, and the horrible angles his extremities had been in. Watching the shuttle fire on the house and thinking her daughters were inside. It all played over again, and there was no stopping it, no matter how hard she tried...no matter how hard she tried to concentrate on other parts of that day. And in the vicious cycle, she covered her eyes against the visions, which, of course, only reinforced their clarity. She felt her breath coming in gasps, and her upper lip start to quiver until, she was unable to hold it back anymore.
In the quiet of the dark bedroom, she finally broke down.


Two hours later and having gotten no sleep, Edra reluctantly climbed back out of bed. After spending most of that time unable to control her emotions, she concluded that sleep wasn't happening. This wasn't where she wanted to be, where she felt like she needed to be. No, that place was Sickbay, by Henry's side. So she changed out of her nightgown, and into something meant to just lounge around in, something comfortable and unofficial. She left a note for the girls in case either of them got up in the middle of the night looking for her, then made her way to Deck 4.
She walked into the main triage area, but all the beds were empty. If some of the nurses hadn't been chatting and seen her, she would have had time to wonder what had happened to Henry, and for her mind to make up the worst case scenario. Instead, when Nurse Drak recognized her, she pointed her to a private room. He'd been moved.
She breathed a sigh of relief and thanked Drak for her help. Then, slipping by them, she rushed to his new room. There hadn't been any change since earlier that day when Dr. Whelan had given her his official prognosis. As she approached his bedside, her emotions threatened to wreck havoc on her again, but she didn't really want to cry again, especially with others so close by. She took a deep, cleansing breath then took hold of his hand. It was warm from the blood being pumped through him by the machines that were keeping his heart and lungs going. Normally she would have made the gesture figuring he could feel the connection and it would somehow be a comfort. This time she figured it was more of a comfort for her. She kept his hand in one of hers and with the other gently touched his face. Perhaps he could feel that? She wasn't sure.
She remained like that, though she wasn't sure for how long. She just watched him, looking for any sign of movement, wishing she could do something for him. But even the doctor had said it was a waiting game for the time being. His body needed the chance to help itself. Even though she knew that, it didn't stop her from wanting to do more. Sighing, she spoke to him, again, not knowing if it would do any good. "I'm so sorry, Sweatheart. I wish...I should've gone with you." Not that she knew what more she could have done, especially in her condition. Anyone who could do this to him, could snap her in a moment. "Or checked the validity of Nelson's claim. You shouldn't have had to go in there blind. I'm sorry." She repeated.
Continuing to stroke his cheek with the back of her hand, she went on, "You've got some trying times ahead of you, Dear. You know I'll be right here with you...whatever happens." As she said the words, she knew it was only the first of many times she would say the like. If he came out of the coma--and it pained her to say 'if'--he wouldn't take kindly to his condition at all. He relied on his ability to be mobile, to be strong for those around him. If he woke up, everything he knew would be different, and she worried how he would take that. She was going to need a lot of patience herself to help him get through this. She figured her biggest challenge would be getting him to accept help from those who cared. Letting her help him wouldn't be too hard, most of the time, but there were also the kids, and his crew cared as well. He wouldn't want to appear weak in front of any of them.
Then there was the shocking news she'd gotten. How was she going to tell him this? She had decided right away to wait to tell him when he'd recovered from all his physical injuries, and she still felt that was the best plan. To give him this information when he was already feeling incomplete would be devastating, and she didn't want to see the effects it could have. Not just that, but this information would likely raise other questions regarding his family. Questions she couldn't bear to think at the moment.
A chair had been set next to the bed, and she lowered herself into it, keeping vigil over him.
Trying times, indeed.
Cmdr Edra Crow--XO--USS Mercutio
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Ens. Aislinn Norson --Sci--USS Legacy
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Iar Edra
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