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Old March 25 2012, 02:59 PM   #31
jespah
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Re: Intolerance

Medical Log, July thirtieth, 2158. Chief Medical Officer Phlox reporting. Most of Sick Bay has been cleared of patients, and I am left with treating Crewman Haddon, Crewman Delacroix, Crewman Hodgkins and Crewman Madden.

Crewman Gary Hodgkins has suffered permanent blindness in his left eye, due to an accumulation of enanthem within the sclera. I am forced to recommend that he be removed from his current position in the MACOs and that this twenty-six-year old crew member be reassigned to an area where his infirmity will be less of an issue.

The other three crew members should eventually be able to return to their regular duties. Crewman Deborah Haddon will be monitored for any lasting physical effects before returning to Security detail. Crewman Brian Delacroix will receive significant reconstructive facial surgery before returning to Food Service. Crewman Melissa Madden will need the most reconstructive surgery before returning to her duties as the night shift pilot. The Ti’Mur will be here tomorrow and will take all four of these crewmen for extensive rehabilitation, which is expected to take several months. All other crew members will undergo surgeries as needed while the Enterprise is docked with the Ti’Mur. I will be performing or assisting with most of those surgeries.

On another note, the Nereid Medical students will immediately return to Nereid on the Yahrala, which is approaching at high warp. They will be operated on later, as that ship's medical staff's time permits. I still do not have information on the cheater or cheaters.


He turned off his PADD and shook his head. T'Pol came in, “Just when I think I am understanding humans, they change again."

"How so?"

"They are, they are a rather confessional species."

"Yes, I noticed that myself,” Phlox said, “I suspect it's the near-death experience that has them so spooked. There may be confessions of love lurking out there, about to be revealed. What did you hear?"

"Chef told me the secret ingredient in the tomato sauce,” T'Pol said, “It's burgundy wine."

"Ah. Well, a crew member has even come out to me,” Phlox said, shaking his head, “I can't say as I blame them. There must have been a great deal of fear."

"Perhaps the fear was logical at the time,” T'Pol allowed, “But these confessions now are ...." she just walked away.

=/\=

Malcolm got back from shift and found Pamela up and wearing a towel, drying her hair with another one.

"Oh, you're better!" he said.

"Yes, I feel stronger,” she said.

"That's wonderful, Darling."

"Reed, we have to talk. Really."

"I, I know. You're leaving tomorrow,” he said.

"About that, yes. And about everything else."

"Can't we, uh, can't we talk tomorrow?" he asked.

=/\=

Will came into Sick Bay, “Doctor Phlox, can I speak with you? In private?"

T'Pol left.

"By all means. What can I do for you, Doctor Owen?"

"I, are the patients asleep?"

"Yes, they should be,” Phlox said, “Here, let's go over by the lab. None of them should hear us. Now, what can I do for you?"

"I know who the cheater is."

=/\=

"Tomorrow?" Pamela asked. She sat down on the bed.

"Yes,” Malcolm said, coming close and standing over her, “Let's, let's lose this,” he tugged at the towel around her torso.

"I, Reed, I am really disfigured. I looked at myself in the mirror even though Phlox had said not to."

"It's not bad."

"It is."

"I'm all right with it all."

"Now you're pitying me."

"No,” he said, “See what you still do to me?" He leaned over and kissed her.

"I don't have a lot of strength. I'm not at 100%."

"That's all right."

"But –-"

"But nothing,” he said, insistent, “You will be gone tomorrow. Let's, let's have tonight together. No matter how fast or slow it all goes. No matter how good it even is. But let's at least have it."

=/\=

"Oh?" Phlox asked, “I am listening."

"It's, it's me,” Will said.

"Have you been acting alone?"

"Yes."

"And Doctor Claymore; is she involved in any way, or did she know about it?"

"No and no. She – I did this because I've been failing. I didn't want to, didn't want to be forced to leave her. Do you, do you understand that?"

"I cannot say that I am fully confused by your motivations. But I will still recommend – in fact, insist – that you be expelled."

"I, I know. You won't, uh, you won't tell her, right?"

"Dr. Owen, she is bound to find out. No, I will not inform her myself. But you should."

They didn't hear the door open.

"I can't tell Blair this,” Will said.

"Tell me what?" she asked, standing in the doorway to Sick Bay.

=/\=

"I feel so hideous,” Pamela complained.

"You are as lovely as you always have been,” Malcolm said, “Did you think that your beauty was only confined to your skin?"

"I, you're not serious."

"I am,” he said, more forcefully grabbing at the towel until it was off her. She had redness on her chest and belly. There were bumps on her legs, including over her scar. Her feet were riddled with them. Her hands were pebbly. Her face had some, mostly on her forehead but a few by her temples as well.

"This is a lot for you to tolerate. Are you sorry you did that?"

"No,” he said, “I still want you. I cannot, cannot stop wanting you. All of this is temp'rary anyway. This is just a bump –" he smiled " – in the road."

"We have to talk."

"Tomorrow."

He got into bed next to her and kissed her neck, then moved his mouth down, his lips tracing down over her stomach. He looked up at her for a second, “Tell me if, if anything hurts."

She laughed at that, louder than he'd ever heard her laugh before. When she'd composed herself, she said, "Thank you for, for this. For not being spooked by it."

"Well, you know what they say. You're supposed to get right back on the horse."

"Good metaphor,” she said.

=/\=

"Well? I am waiting,” Blair said.

"You can, um, there is the Decontamination Chamber if you wish to speak truly privately,” Phlox offered.

"Uh, no. Whatever this is, let's keep it out in the open,” Blair said sharply.

"Blair ..."

"Don't you Blair me, Will Owen. We aren't supposed to be keeping secrets. So what's the big secret?"

"I, huh,...."

"And ...?"

Will sighed, “I, I did it. I'm the, the cheater,” he said slowly, then his voice sped up considerably, "But I only did it to be with you. If I'd failed, we'd be separated! I love you!"

"So we all almost died – not to mention the captain and the entire human crew?!" she yelled.

"Please, there are patients resting,” Phlox said.

"My apologies to them,” Blair spat out, “Did you know that crewman over there was blinded?"

"Yes, I do know that,” Will admitted.

"And that's your fault!" she exclaimed.

"My fault? I wiped a quiz and then the unit, uh, twice. Plus a bit of, of Orthopedics. But that's it. The rest of it wasn't me."

"I don't believe you!" she yelled, then saw Phlox and brought her voice back down again, “And I don't care anyway. Even if, even if the rest of this isn't you – no one told you to jeopardize all of our careers now, did they?"

"N-no."

"So who cares what else happened. You were gonna just let everyone else take the fall for you. And you'd've killed Stoney's career, and An's, and Pamela's, and mine rather than own up to it?"

"Don't worry about Pamela. She could always turn tricks."

Blair slapped him, “It's a good thing we're leaving, and you'll be expelled. Right, he'll be expelled?" she asked Phlox.

"Yes. I will be recommending that the Nereid Medical Academy take that course of action."

"Good,” she spat, “Then this will be easier."

"Wh-what?"

"I never have to see you again, and I never have to talk to you."

"But, Blair! We love each other! I would marry you tomorrow."

"It'll be an awfully funny wedding, you exchanging vows with yourself. I'm gone. Doctor Phlox, a pleasure."

She stormed out.

=/\=

Malcolm mainly just held her. Pamela didn't have her usual stamina, not even close, but it was close enough. He kissed her repeatedly, until it was obvious that she was just too tired to do even that. He held her close as she slept, arms around her, never leaving her.
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Old March 26 2012, 03:35 PM   #32
jespah
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Re: Intolerance

Pamela woke first, but didn't move. She was still kind of tired, but that wasn't the reason. It just ... it felt good.

She did stir enough, though, that Malcolm woke. He kissed her ear, “How are you feeling?"

"Very good,” she said, “You, um, I can tell. I'm not so sure I can perform again, or if we have the time. We have to talk."

"I suppose there's no getting 'round it,” he said, breaking away and sitting up, “Pity there isn't more time."

"Yes,” she said, eying him, “But, ugh, as little as I love it, the talk's gotta happen. Instead. Sorry."

"It's all right, Darling."

"Reed, I'm not the one,” she said.

"But –"

"No. I'm not. And you're not the one, either."

"P–"

"No. Malcolm, I never get a chance to say or do anything noble,” she said, “So just, just be quiet for a little bit and, and let me be noble for once. Okay?"

"All right,” he said, getting up. He would listen without distraction.

"Like I said, I'm, I'm not. And you're not. And this is fun and all, but it's ..."

"Just fun?" he asked.

"No. More than that. But we gotta be fair to each other. This will be distance and apart- uh, -ness, and there will be other people and temptations and you can't expect me to wait. I can't expect you to, either. You don't have to."

"Darling ..."

"Please don't."

"No. Let me speak a little now,” he said, “You're, you're right,” He paused for a moment.

"I am?"

"Yes. It feels a bit freeing, to say that aloud. But, I want you to know what this has all, what it has all meant to me. Can I tell you that?"

"Yes, of course,” she slipped on her shoes.

"Throughout my life, my life as a lover, that is, I have either pined for the unattainable or held back with the ones I could have, and never truly got close to any of them. With you, though, it is, it has been, well, about testing my limits. About knowing what I could, could tolerate. Do you recall the first time I kissed you?"

"Of course."

"And I was being as careful as I could be, because I was afraid it would all shatter. My feelings, your interest, the moment, everything. That it would simply become pulverized if I pressed on it more than by the slightest amount. And you showed me – that you, and me, and what we could, what we have had, that it's all, it's all made from, from sterner stuff. None of it shattered. And I learned that I could do more, and be more, and feel more. The very limits of my intolerance have been stretched."

"You've seen how much you can take,” she said, fixing her hair in the mirror's reflection.

"Yes. And I've determined that I can take a lot. I suppose that's a part of why I was able to consent to the Klingon doctor coming aboard. The old Malcolm would have been mortified, would have found every possible way to get out of that. I'm not saying that we became friends but I got to see him as a, well, as a person."

"I confess I was a bit alarmed when that lumm – the Klingon – picked me up. He did have one hand under my butt the entire time."

Malcolm smiled to himself a little, “I can't say as I totally blame him. You do have a rather nice one."

"Did you know that there's a new unit in my class?"

"Oh?"

"Yes. It's about the RVV."

"What's the RVV?"

"The Reed Variant Vaccinia. How you saved all our lives with a bit of improvisation like they did on the Apollo Thirteen mission, where an air filter was made out of an old sock or something like that."

"Well, it wasn't just me,” he said.

She smiled, then came over and kissed him, running her fingers along his chest before he put a tee shirt on, “I don't know if kissing makes it better or worse."

"I feel," he said, arms around her, "like we have unfinished business, you and I."

"We do,” she admitted, “But I have to, I have to do things."

"Will you be back at the Academy?"

"I don't think so, at least not for now,” she said, “I need to work on my, on myself."

"Oh?"

"You know why. I've been using you as a therapist, and it's about time I talked to a real therapist instead. You know what they say? Physician, heal thyself. And I have to."

"Do you imagine you'll take one of those pharmaceutical cures?"

"Definitely not. I don't want to lose who I am, even though that’s not necessarily that wonderful. It's Freud's old talking cure. It takes a lot longer, and it doesn't always work. But at least, at the end of it, I'll still be myself."

"You are a worthwhile person,” he said, kissing her cheek, “With or without imperfections."

"With,” she said, “I, I know my father has died. So there is now only one person I never want to speak with again. I don't think this will ever get me to forgive my mother. But, in time, I think I need to make peace with Lisa."

"Your sister, yes?"

"Yes, that's right. It's not her fault. My parents pretty much just had a dartboard, with two equal halves. One was me, and the other was her. They threw a dart, and I was hit, so I was the one they did it all to. The only thing Lisa's guilty of is not being hit with the dart. But it's our parents who set up the board and who threw the dart, and then acted on that. Not her. So she should be, I don't know if the word is forgiven. But at least tolerated by me."

"This, this unfinished business," Malcolm said, "I would like the opportunity to, to act upon it at some point. In the future."

"I think that could happen,” she said tentatively.

"I'm not in the Solar System often,” he said, “But I would like for you to be the first person I contact when I am."

"I will answer. And I will clear my schedule,” she smiled, “There will be other, other courtiers, you know. But I will always make time to see the knave."

"And I will make sure that I spend time with you, my Queen,” he said, “But there may be a few Princesses here and there,” he smiled.

"That's all right,” she said, “And as it should be. And there's going to be a time, someday, I bet, when you get to the Solar System and you don't think of contacting me. And that's going to be all right, too, because it will mean that you really did find the Queen. Oh, and when you do – be Alpha once in a while. Don't let her push you around."

He kissed her deeply, “Until then, Sweetheart."

There was a communications chime.

"Looks like it's time to go,” she said.

"I'll see you out,” he said.

=/\=

Once the Somraw was within range, Keleth had the Communications Officer patch him through to Kronos.

L'Kor answered at once, lying in their bed.

"Did I wake you?" he asked.

"No. I was just lying here, thinking about you."

"I, I want to come home,” he said.

"But your work is important."

"Not as important."

"I cannot do what I used to be able to,” she said, “I cannot be fixed. So much of me is useless now."

"No,” he said, fingering the lavaliere charm. It flashed a little, “You are the iron. You have always been the iron, and you still are. All I am, all I can ever offer you, is tin."

"That has always been more than enough,” she said, “And it still is."

=/\=

Captain Archer cleared his throat. Then Tripp did. Then Travis. Hoshi finally jogged Malcolm's arm. He was kissing Pamela in front of everyone, they were not letting go, and it had gone on for a while.

"Ahem. We have to go,” Dr. Keating-Fong said.

Pamela and Malcolm finally broke apart.

"I will write to you,” he said.

"I'll answer when I can,” she breathed.

He put his hand on her face and smiled.

"This will, uh, the bumps will be gone the next time you see me,” she promised.

"Doesn't matter either way,” he said.

=/\=

Tripp, Travis and Malcolm walked down the halls after the Nereid party had departed.

"You wanna talk about any of it?" Tripp asked tentatively.

"Uh, not right now,” Malcolm said.

"Big winner,” Travis said.

"Yes,” Malcolm said, “I suppose I am,” He smiled tightly and entered his quarters, alone.

Once the door had shut, he had one more thing to do, one more sonnet to write. He composed it, checked it over carefully, and hit Send.

The knave's reward was a broader smile,
a thing that rarely had been seen
It was not eternity, it was only for a little while
Could the knave help to heal the Queen?

The damage done, outside and within
and both needed the other's care
There were hearts, underneath, yet to win
but they needed, and still need, much repair

And so the Queen departs this place
and leaves the knave, who broods and misses
and hopes they can, one day, again share space,
of not just their bodies, not just their kisses

We knew we could not be each other's last
All we can hope is not to merely be in each other's past


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Old April 2 2012, 05:34 AM   #33
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Re: Intolerance

You got me with the poetry. I've always thought that it would be so appropriate for Reed to express himself in a sonnet, its rhyming pattern so formal but its scansion so flexible. He'd see it as a boxer sees his gloves & tapes: a confinement that allows him the freedom not to hold back.

A complex man is our Mister Reed.

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Old April 2 2012, 03:07 PM   #34
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Re: Intolerance

Thank you! He is so underdeveloped in canon. And why not have someone who could do that? I love underestimated people. Thank you.
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