While she’d had to carry Tikva out of the cave system, Adelinde was relieved not to have carried her through the halls of the Atlantis thanks to a site-to-site transport as soon as they were free of the interference of the magnetite region. They’d departed with their injured and with two of the most grievously wounded members of the HLF, leaving the rest of the stunned insurgents to be rounded up by rapidly arriving police forces.
A nurse had arrived, a young man of some mixed heritages going by some of his features she was unfamiliar with, who was more focused on Tikva’s prosthetics than on any bedside manner. Which didn’t seem to matter as she finally turned on her captain to find her looking up her. “Out with it,” Tikva said gently, before wincing as the nurse made a brief apology then tugged at the prosthetic which separated at a service joint above the elbow with a slight pop.
The nurse offered just another slight apology, scanned Tikva’s leg and then departed with a warning he’d be back in a few minutes, taking the ruined prosthetic arm with him.
“Do you want my professional or personal opinion first?” she said, keeping her voice as low as possible and thankful that someone, likely Doctor Terax, knew enough to give senior officers some space and had declared the next biobed over not to be used.
And then there was that damnable smile from Tikva, the one that had hooked her. A little mischievous but from the heart, a reflection of the person. It infected Tikva’s whole face and came with a slight sideways nod of the head. “How about professional Lieutenant Gantzmann, then Adelinde after that?” She tipped her head toward sickbay as a whole. “Though the latter can wait till we get more privacy if you want.”
She wanted to respond to the latter comment first, was thinking about it when she just found herself speaking, hushed but insistent. A tone she’d heard others use when you’re trying to chastise someone in public but don’t want anyone to actually hear. “You went planetside without either a security team or a phaser. There are security protocols in place to prevent the majority of situations just like this. If you had at least your phaser this likely could have all been avoided.” She stopped and looked down, noticing her balled up fists and placed both on the biobed beside Tikva, continuing to look down at them as she continued. “I’m going to be officially noting this in my log and citing his formally with the first officer.”
There was silence between the two women for a moment, then a minute that felt like it would stretch until the heat death of the universe when Tikva finally spoke up. “Lieutenant Gantzmann you are right. I should have at a minimum been armed despite the security reassurances of the mayor’s office. I in fact encourage you to report this to Commander MacIntryre upon his return to the ship.”
Tikva’s tone had been cool and level. Flat. Controlled. Lacking her usual emotion, whatever it may be at any given time. That actually stung her as she was just so used to hearing it as her only emotional gauge into her lover’s mindset.
Just as she looked up Tikva reached out with her one good hand and set it on her right fist. “Now Lieutenant, could you give me a hand and we’ll appropriate the Doctor’s office so you speak more freely?”
It didn’t take long to help Tikva to her feet, hobble across sickbay under the withering gaze of Doctor Terax as he undertook surgery and into the office, door closed and windows frosted for privacy. Tikva had opted to perch on the edge of the desk versus one of the chairs.
“You’re pissed,” the shorter woman said and Adelinde felt the release valve of her emotions go under strain at that utterly obvious statement. Shock however slowed an outburst as Tikva went to remove her commbadge but came back empty-handed, the device yet to be replaced, then pointed at Adelinde’s own, the implication obvious.
She took it off, stepped forward and slammed it down on the desk, looked at her now empty hand for a moment and then slapped her lover. It wasn’t as hard a slap as she could have mustered, but certainly had enough weight behind it to let Tikva know just how angry she truly was.
Silence followed for a good moment before Tikva looked back at her, working her jaw. “Okay, I deserved some of that.”
“You had me fearing for your life,” she hissed, then stepped back, out of arms reach, to pace the small space. “Taken prisoner, who knew what they were doing to you! No security, no weapon! What were you thinking?”
“That it was a perfectly safe Federation world and I was going down for a goodwill visit,” Tikva defended herself. “Look, love, I’m sorry. I’ve learned my lesson about always having security or at least a phaser with me. If Maxwell and I were armed…”
“He’d not be out there getting surgery right now,” she cut Tikva off, a hand coming up to point in the direction of the surgery suite. “That’s on my record too!”
“No it isn’t,” Tikva insisted, even so much as to stand, which was an abortive attempt. “It’s on me. I took him down there, I insisted we didn’t need escorts or weapons. This is all my fault.”
“Damn right it is,” she blurted out. The passions that had been building in the room seemed to melt with the venting and with Tikva’s acceptance of the blame and fault in this situation.
Tikva was just nodding her head in agreement before she tried to stand again on just one good leg. Seeing a fall coming, she stepped in and caught Tikva, who just looked up at her with a smile. That damned disarming smile from before, the one that had hooked her in and did every other time.
“I deserved all of that and more. You’re pissed at me professionally for endangering the crew and myself. You’re pissed at me personally because, well,” she paused for a moment, “you love me and were worried. I’m sorry.”
“You a counsellor now?”
“No, just half-betazoid and a little crazy for my personal amazon. And someone who can admit when fucked up.” Tikva grinned at her, eyebrows rising momentarily. “Damn you looked good out there, kicking ass and saving my backside,” Tikva joked. There was that positivity she was so used to from her.
“Don’t make a habit of it,” she said, then leaned down to kiss Tikva.
Said kiss however was interrupted by a chime at the door, or more precisely the third chime at the door followed by the door hissing open after a short override code had been inputted and Doctor Terax stood in the doorway to his own office.
“Both of you sit,” he commanded as he walked, not caring for the scene in front of him and around to his stool, perching himself on it just as both women were sitting down in the visitor’s chairs. The door thankfully had sealed once more so no one could see Tikva’s blush outside of the Edosian doctor.
“You,” he said pointing directly at Adelinde, “good job. Always have a medic on your team. Maxwell’s injuries could have been worse, but the medic kept things from getting worse. He’ll be back on light duty tomorrow but will still need regenerative work and physio for a few weeks.”
“That’s good news,” Tikva offered, which wasn’t the smartest thing as it drew Terax’s attention to her.
“You Captain,” he said in his most unamused, annoyed, ‘I’m the doctor and this is my domain’ voice. “Nurse Bendi will see to giving minimal charge back to your leg’s power systems. Then I’m recommending a particular diet for a few days which will help with the built-in charging systems getting back to speed.” He pulled something up on his computer terminal. “You’ll be dismissed within the hour.”
“Well, that’s better news than I expected.”
“I said dismissed, not returned to duty.”
“Pardon?” Tikva asked incredulously.
“Not until Counsellor Hu gives you the all-clear. Reckless endangerment, serious injury, unexplained facial discolouration,” he pointed to her cheek, the one Adelinde had slapped. “Counsellor Hu has the final say.”
Protest, counter-protest, plea-bargaining, threats of medical relief all resulted in Adelinde helping Tikva out of Sickbay an hour later. She was short an arm but on her own two feet at least. “Let me see that diet,” she ordered, then scrolled through the padd that Tikva handed over. Then a few taps and by the time they hit the turbolift she had used it to filter viable recipes that fit.
“Deck 6,” Tikva ordered with a sigh. “Best go see Gav now and get this counselling session over.”
“Computer halt,” Adelinde commanded, then turned to Tikva. “Take this seriously, please?” she asked, somewhat pleading and could see her tone had the right impact on Tikva. That or her emotional state of worry had.
Her response was Tikva popping up on her tiptoes and kissing her on the cheek briefly. “I promise,” she responded sincerely.
“Thank you. Computer resume.”
The rest of the short trip was in silence save for the beeping of the padd as she flicked through the recipes on screen and stopped at one just before the doors opened.
“Dinner later?” Tikva asked.
“My quarters.” She waved the padd as an explanation. “I’m cooking.”
Tikva held her hand over her heart and smiled. “She saves my butt and cooks. What else does she do?”
“Kicks your butt if you don’t go.”