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Breakaway from Party Post - Who’d Have Thought?

Posted on Tue Jun 18, 2019 @ 11:53pm by Commander Caoimhe O'Connor M.D. & Lieutenant Commander Ronald Hawk & Lieutenant Raleigh MacKenzie

Mission: S01E02: First Unity
Location: Langley Station - Level 38 - Corridor
Timeline: MD 31 - 19.30 hours

As they became free of the claustrophobic feeling of the function room, Caoimhe moved to one side of the deserted corridor as she closed her eyes for the briefest of moments and tried to force her breathing to regulate. The woman was very aware that she had fairly certainly humiliated herself in that instance in the room, and the ramifications and rumours would be flowing in the days to come. In that instant she hated herself, for all she’d worked for, for all she’d built, for all she’d stood for; in the briefest of moments she’d knocked that down.

Ron flexed his now released hand, which had previously been tightly held by the science chief. “I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, but keep pressure on the wound. The lieutenant shouldn’t be long with that dermal regenerator.”

The alcohol still ran through Caoimhe’s system as she felt the first tear try to escape past her closed eyelashes. The awareness of what was threatening to happen caused the woman to curse out loud and resist the instinct to kick the bulkhead that she leaned against. Reality hammered on the door as she used the pain in her hand to force a focus on the situation, as increasing the pressure perhaps a little harder than intended helped to force her to focus. “I would hope that I know Basic Medical 101, Commander, given I’m a qualified M.D.”

“Naturally, ma’am,” Ron replied. “I meant no offence.” He rested a hand in her shoulder softly and began talking in empathetic tones. “I get what it’s like. No one wants to be the centre of attention like that,” he nodded back toward the room from which they came. “If it helps, I don’t think any less of you.”

Caoimhe felt the flush of heat raise to her cheeks as it felt like the words were rubbing salt into an already throbbing wound. She didn’t need reminding that she’d made an ass of herself with witnesses to the event. At the same time, part of Caoimhe didn’t move to shake away the hand on her shoulder. “You get what it’s like? To attract men because, rather than be the wall flower you’d prefer, it seems that men gravitate towards rather than away from you? I’ve been there before. It didn’t end pretty then either.”

“Here’s the medkit, sir,” Raleigh said as he jogged up. “Are you feeling better, Caoimhe?” he asked, opening the kit and pulling out the dermal regenerator and some antibacterial swabs to clean the wound. “Give me your hand.”

It took a few moments more for Caoimhe to register the presence of somebody else. As his words begun to sink in, the woman became more aware of how close Hawk stood to her and the hand still on her shoulder. Her own eyes met the Commander’s as a veil seemed to slip from the depths and momentarily give a glimpse to the vulnerability behind that she worked hard to keep locked away. “I’m fine, Lieutenant.”

“I think there might be some glass still in there,” Raleigh said, going back to the kit for the medical tricorder. “Need to have that out before we close it up.”

Ron watched on as the lieutenant treated Caoimhe. He felt uncomfortable with the use of her first name. He couldn’t help but feel that Commander O’Conner was not all that pleased about being treated by Raleigh, whether it be the fact that he had been hitting on her, or just that she was in need of treatment, he couldn’t tell. Then again, he could have been imagining it altogether.

“There we go, Caoimhe,” Raleigh said, finishing the last pass of the dermal regenerator, studying the new, pink skin. “That should be good as new.”

Caoimhe fell back on what she knew best, grabbing her hand back as she rubbed the skin and analysed the work that had been done. Instead of thanking the man who’d helped, the woman found her eyes glance to the executive officer instead, her earlier outburst still fresh in her mind. “Don’t think that this means I’m not fit for duty.”

Ron gave a grateful nod to Raleigh. “Thank you, Lieutenant. It is probably best if you were to get back to the festivities.

Raleigh looked to Caoimhe a moment and nodded. “Hope to see you again,” he told her with a smile, and then headed back to the party.

The First Officer then turned his attention back to Caoimhe. “I don’t doubt you are fit for duty, Commander.” He smiled before turning his gaze down toward the dresses, both the one she was wearing and the one she had been given as a replacement. “But I don’t think either of those dresses are fit for your speech, do you?”

Caoimhe looked down at her dress uniform, now damp from the spilled drink and splattered with blood from her hand, an explicit word leaving her lips not once, but twice before she glanced at what she had been given; still in Ron’s hands. The dark blue/green teal-like colour was where the dress's similarity to the woman's uniform stopped. "This won't d..." The officer's words were cut off as she heard a chime from the room they just left indicating that the speeches were about to begin.

Looking between the dress in her hand and the clothes she wore, Caoimhe felt a sudden moment of panic before forcing herself to swallow as her fingers moved to start to undo her jacket, seemingly taking no notice of her company. "You need to have a word with your staff surrounding their perceptions of what is suitable wear for an officer.”

Ron immediately averted his eyes and began awkwardly examining the ceiling. “Trust me, they know!” he answered in a complaining tone. “Would you, ermm, like me to find you somewhere more private to change?”

Focused on just getting changed with the urgency of needing to get back into the room, Caoimhe peeled away each layer of her clothes until she stood in just here bra and pants and held out her hand to the officer. She was lucky that nobody passed, all seemed to be present and mostly accounted for at the ceremony, but it didn't even cross the woman's mind that she might be seen. "Please?"

Ron unconsciously took his eyes away from the spot he had been inspecting in the ceiling and his eyes met the science chief’s body briefly before his eyes went back to the ceiling again. “Eh...yes, of course.” He held out the dress in his hands without moving his eyes again.

As she took the dress, Caoimhe couldn't help the small smile as Ron's eyes moved away from hers again. The discomfort in the depths of his orbs had been evident, but as her own eyes had lingered for the briefest of moments she couldn't help the sudden feeling of normality that poked at her mind. A feeling she hadn't felt in a very long time.

Pulling the material over her head, causing her hair to loosen from it's bun and settle in an unruly mess across her shoulders, the woman attempted to lengthen the above the knee length to something a little more suitable for a commander. The adrenaline from the accident and the earlier consumed alcohol still pumped through Caoimhe's veins at this point, but the situation didn't escape her attention. "It's easy to see why you veered away from medical, Commander. The sight of semi naked bodies makes you uncomfortable?" The woman might have managed humor, but there was still a bluntness in her words people would have been far more used to.

Ron once again returned his gaze toward Caoimhe. “It’s more about being respectful toward you, Commander. Nothing to do with whether or not I mind looking at half naked women... I mean...” It was immediately obvious that Hawk had put his foot in it, and he once again turned his gaze away, now to look at the floor and avoid Commander O’Conners gaze.

Caoimhe watched the other man, speechless for a moment as she realised she was experiencing some shock to his words. In her entire career she was used to the glances, the stares, the Lieutenant MacKenzie’s of the Federation that thought it okay to hit on her just because she looked a little pretty. Even with Barry it had been the same, the trophy wife to show off when the opportunity presented itself.

At the thought of Barry a moment of fear flashed back through Caoimhe’s mind as her fingers moved to fumble an attempt to pull up the zip of the back of her dress, causing the woman to swear again as her hair threaded to tangle in the metal, and each attempt seemed more clumsy than the last.

As Ron slowly lifted his head back up he saw Caoimhe’s fight with her zip. Awkwardly he stepped forward to an almost uncomfortably close distance from her. “Would you like me to ermm...” he didn’t finish the sentence but instead signalled a twirling motion with his hand, that said ‘turn around’.

Caoimhe took a moment as she took in the man's motion, irritation and frustration still tugged at her mind as she continued to tug at the zip to the near point of ripping it. "I...." The woman's words trailed off as she looked up at Ron and caught his eye. "I...sorry..." The word felt strange on her own tongue as the Commander took a shallow against the dry mouth she interrupted as having resulted from her feelings. "Ok."

Still with an ever so slight hesitation, Caoimhe turned so as the zip was within Ron's reach.

Ron gently pulled the zip up the commanders back. He couldn’t help but wonder how many men would be able to get this close to Caoimhe, and live to tell the tale. As the zip reached the end of its track he spoke, in softer tones than was usual for him, “there.”

Caoimhe had felt a shiver run through her spine as Ron’s hand brushed against her bare skin before he broke the contact. Anger built but for the first time in awhile it was directed at nobody but herself. If she hadn’t had so much to drink, none of this would ever have happened. She wouldn’t have found herself in a deserted corridor with a man, the first officer of this station’s, who....

The woman forced short that train of though as she spun on her heel and took a big step back. Anger caused her cheeks to flush red but in her eyes was something more. “We had better get back. Before we are missed.”

Ron’s eyes met with Caoimhe’s. What ever it was that was in her eyes seemed to reflect back from his. As she spoke the Ron’s glance was broken as if shaken back into reality. “Absolutely, after you.” He held out his hand toward the door leading back to the gathering.

Caoimhe hesitated, the slowest second of her life, before straightening her shoulders and nodding her head in an attempt at assertiveness. The alcohol had to blame for the last few minutes. No other explanation would do. She should have known to not let her guard down but as she brushed within centimeters of Ron before entering the door, a second shiver moved through her spine.




Commander Caoimhe O’Connor M.D.
Director of Research
Langley station

Lieutenant Commander Ronald Hawk
Executive Officer
Langley Station

 

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