Mission: Dazed and Confused
Brett entered Sickbay and saw his new doctor working diligently on a patient. The beds were all full, as the report had shown, but there was an air of order to the place that Brett appreciated, given the doctor had only been aboard a short time.
Addison was just finishing up with a laceration on someone's cheek. The wound closing as she ran the auto suture over it. Once the wound was closed, she took at look at the patient and smiled, "There you go."
"Thank you." the patient said, and she rose from the bio bed, pausing to acknowledge the Captain's presence. "Hello Sir."
Addison's attention was turned to Brett. "Evening Captain. Or is it morning." She having had lost count of whom she saw.
"It is just after 1300. It's understandable that you can't keep it straight. I have to ask the computer for the time constantly." Her weariness was evident, and he felt her fatigue in his own bones. "How are things down here?"
"We have gained a foothold and proceeding forward in a good way." Addison replied. She returned the auto suture in it's proper place, and cleaned her hands. "You look as tired as I feel" trying to make a joke. Then her face sobered. "We had three losses." her face looking even more tired, after her last statement. She just didn't like losing patients. And she fought hard for them.
"I am very sorry for that." Addison murmured, leaning against the bio bed. "I tried, I really tried."
"Doctor," Brett said, "I have no doubt you did all you could. It is the unfortunate reality we signed up for in space. It is inherently dangerous. You are a doctor, not a god. Sometimes, all we can do is all we can do."
Addie nodded, "That is very true, Captain. How are things going on your end? How are you holding up and have you eaten anything yet?" It had been in her own experience that both doctors and captains, tend to forget to take care of themselves during times of emergencies.
Brett thought for a moment, "I have snacked. No real meals. I spent some time with my daughter and ate something small with her, but I know it will catch up to me eventually."
"Well you are just in luck, I'm getting ready to get something to eat. A real meal, care to join me? And how is your daughter? " Addison asked, as she put away the instruments she'd been using, and taking off her smock.
"Sure, I'll grab some food." Leading her to the door he replied, "She is doing well. Nothing seems to phase her any more. She has been through more as a kid aboard this ship than most officers see in their entire careers."
At his statement, Addie had a look of concern, as she followed Brett out the door. "I do not know the in's and outs of those here, please tell me about what has happened." she paused then said, "If you don't mind I can cook us a meal in my quarters and we can talk about this a bit more privately."
"That would be fine, Doctor," Brett replied. "Please, lead the way."
Once inside her quarters, Addison programmed up a meal something she had worked on her own, "Hope you like Lasagna." giving a chuckle. "Plus some garlic bread. And... Lemonade." she added. "Anything you would like for dessert?"
While she waited for his answer, Addison quickly set the small table. "Tell me about you and your family and what happened to your wife?"
"Let me get through the main course before I worry about dessert," Brett replied kindly. Leaning back in his chair he took a deep breath and slowly let it out as he said, "Alanna....that was her name." He paused again, "It's been a very long time since I've really spoken about her."
"I would like to hear about her, if you wish to talk about her that is." She went over and retrieved the meal and set it down in front of Brett, then placed her own plate down, then brought over the pitcher of lemonade and the plate of garlic toast. Addison then sat down, and picked up her fork.
Brett collected his thoughts for a moment. "Alanna was a strong-willed, headstrong, vibrant woman. She was a joined Trill, which made things rather interesting at times given the many lifetimes she had memories of. Sometimes," he said cracking a small smile, "I wasn't sure if I was married to a Starfleet Diplomatic Officer or an old general."
Addison chuckled, "Sounds like you had quite the married life. Kept things interesting, right?" giving a quick wink then started eating. After her second bite she stopped and asked, "What are your most fondest memories of her?"
"Interesting is the tamest term you could use. She got me kidnapped, shot, and eventually even put in command of this ship," he said shaking his head with a smile. "My fondest memories of her are not spectacular. It is us reading together on a sofa. It's running my hands through her hair as she talked about one diplomatic issue or another. It's the look she would give me when I apologized for something, but the diplomat in her couldn't give in without bargaining some advantage."
Addison's dark blond eyebrows raised, "Okay I will take interesting back and call your life rather adventurous." she chuckled, "I will agree the peaceful moments of married life, those are wondrous to remember. I have fond memories of my husband, us cuddling in front of a campfire, watching the stars above, making a wish upon a falling star. Him accidentally dropping me in huge mud puddle." she giggled. "Both of us quietly reading our favorite books, on the same couch having a companionable moment, just enjoying the fact of us being there, together. Then sharing what we had read and what we liked and didn't like."
"Funny how the things people would think of as 'big' moments are not the things that we build our impressions and memories on," Brett replied. "What happened to your husband? If you don't mind me asking."
"Well, he died in a stampede, it wasn't a useless death, he had run to save a little girl, barely was able to get her to safety at a high point and then, well, he was swept away by the frightened cattle. In essence he died a hero. I wasn't there when it happened, but the town folk certainly told me all about it, when they brought him to me. And the little girl he saved was so adorable, she was about two years old. I couldn't fault him doing what he did, he was that sort of man. And i would have run to rescue the little girl myself if I had been there." She got misty eyed at that memory. She wiped away a tear that trickled down her cheek, with the back of her hand. "Dang still makes me get all weepy." she cleared her throat. "What happened to Alanna, you've not told me why she isn't with you now." Addison's voice soft and gentle.
"I'm sorry that you had to experience such sadness. I know that pain." He sighed, "It was shortly after Elisabeth was born. I had been taken prisoner by a Cardassian faction hellbent on terrorism. She was part of the team that came to rescue me despite my standing orders that at no time was she to be on any sort of mission to rescue me is things went south." Brett's eyes glazed over as he relived it in his mind.
"There was an intense firefight and she was hit, but not mortally wounded. However, she was combat ineffective. As the team continued to press she was stabbed in the abdomen, severing the connection between Alanna and Torlaan, her symbiont. When it was all over all I could do was hold her as we made our way back to the ship via shuttle. When we were within range, we beamed directly to sickbay and set a course for Trill. We were twenty-nine hours out." A tear fell.
"I knew it was too long; we all did, but we tried. We pushed the warp drive to emergency limits but....she died, right there in my arms three hours later," Brett took a breath, blinked the tears away and composed himself.
Her eyes, filled with compassion, Addison reached out and placed one hand upon his. "I am truly sorry. That is something that one wouldn't wish on anyone; seeing the death of a loved one," giving his hand a light squeeze. "I am glad that you did try though," giving a gentle smile.
Brett nodded, "Thank you, Doctor. It truly is terrible. The worst part is that over time, as a Captain aboard a ship that has seen as much as we have, you have to really fight not to be jaded to all of it. You have to force yourself to feel things and not lose yourself in all of it. The days I struggle the most are when I feel almost nothing when I think about her death, or the deaths of others I have cared for. It is not a good place to be."
Addison gave a nod in understanding. "I do get that. And this last part, losing my ship, the one I've had as a home for quite sometime. That was heart wrenching to lose it but- I now have you, your crew and your ship to feel a part of a community. Along with what is left of my crew. And please for heavens sake call me Addy or Talbert, you can call me doctor when I am on duty," a twinkle in her eyes. "We are sort of off duty right? At least for dinner," giving his hand another squeeze before moving her hand away.
Brett nodded, "Yes, we are off duty, Addy." He stared, without realizing it, at his hand for a moment. It had been a long time since someone truly comforted him in such a way that he needed a moment to process it. Looking up at Talbert, "Thank you for the talk. Was it Lasagna you said?" He then smiled. "I am suddenly very hungry."
Addy smiled at Brett, and his returning appetite."Then lets not waste anymore time and enjoy this meal." with that she proceeded to dig into her meal as well, feeling her own appetite return and liking having someone keeping her company across the table from her.