Trojan Horse - #143&144 - "Just visiting"

-=[On]=-

[USS Pegasus, Sickbay]

It had been several days in sickbay for Ronald Evans, and it was even more boring than being at his station. There wasn't even a console to play Solitaire on. Luckily for him, the highlight of the day was soon approaching! No, not the revalidation sessions with Dr. Floyd, not even the revalidation sessions with that very attractive, yet already taken nurse B'inca...

No, it was the visit from his own girlfriend... He was really looking forward to it... So much actually, that time had crawled to a dead stop. In short, he was BOOOORED!

And as he was just about getting to the OOO of the BOOOORED, the Sickbay door opened.. and... In came another nurse, headed for a different bed, on business. Another long wait, and the door opened again! To admit a crewmember wandering in with a minor injury.

Evans looked up for the tenth time, and yet again, it was not who he hoped it was... <Darn... What's keeping her so long? > There was nothing that Evans could do but wait... and wait... and wait... <Aaaargh... OW! My back!> The revalidation was really taking things out of him...

The door opened again.. and it was another nurse coming in. Behind her, though, came the long-awaited girlfriend... Kitty was actually wearing something other than the borrowed tanktop-and-shorts of a uniform. It was a simple, forest-green dress, long and slightly flowing, casual but very pretty on her slender frame. She glanced around and stepped lightly towards Evans, looking cheered... more cheered than the past couple of days for certain. Still tired, still a bit strained, but she smiled as she approached him.

"Finally! There you are. What took you so long?" came out of Evans, a bit more exasperated than he intended. His expression turned from a frown into slight shock, as he realised what he just said. "...Eh, I mean... I'm really glad you finally decided to show up... Eh... I mean... Oh blast..."

Kitty blinked and smiled. Another time she might have been put off by Evans' attempts to express his relief at seeing her. By now, though, she knew him. "Well, will this make up for it?" she asked, standing right in front of him.. she withdrew one hand from behind her back, waving a chocolate bar slowly right in front of his nose.

Evans' eyes grew even wider, and focused entirely on the bar of chocolate. "...Ooh... Eh... A bit, a bit..." Evans said, not able to hide that he was downplaying it quite a bit. He took the bar from his girlfriend, looked around to see there was no nurse or doctor to say he couldn't have any, and broke off two chunks. The largest one was, without any doubt, offered to Kitty... "Love the dress, by the way... You're joining the marines?" he said jokingly, referring to the color.

Kitty chuckled at that. "No. Nooooooo. I don't think I could even be Security on this ship, never mind Marines. It's just a good color on me, or at least that's what the tailor told me ages ago." She sat up on his bed with him and shook her head slightly, picking the smaller piece neatly out of his fingers. "I'm probably going to have ice cream tonight. I'm gonna get fat. How are you feeling?"

"Bored stiff, really..." Evans added. "There is absolutely nothing to do, between revalidation sessions. The little bit of paperwork that has to be filled out is even worse... And I'm still not completely healed. I can walk short distances unattended now, but one wrong move, and my back *will* send in a formal protest... Owie... How are you holding up, under all this, ..." he paused, looked around and motioned around with his hand, "... this?"

"How much do you want to know?" Kitty asked slowly. "It's been pretty rough. But I want you to rest up, to be calm and heal properly."

Evans looked around a bit, as of sizing things up. "Well, I dunno... I guess just telling me all, won't break my back, just the boredom... Which is a good thing, I think. And if you can let off some steam in the meantime, sounds like a win-win situation to me..."

Kitty smiled shyly at that. "Well.. Hannah.. You know, Chief Tactical, is bunking with me in your room for a little while. She, uh, broke up with Sulan, the security chief. Sulan told me that she left a secret organization without their permission and she thinks they're going to send someone to kill her, probably on the starbase. The captain asked me to shut down secondary systems, and I think it's at least partly to keep Sulan from training the Security crews to attack changelings who pretend to be crewmembers. The new regulator is acting up, but we've got it under control so far. And I _still_ can't get to my quarters... or my cello." She let out a big sigh. "I think that's the gist of it."

Evans looked at her for a moment, letting it sink in for a while. "Ok, I was wrong... What did this ship do in a former life to deserve all this?" he mused. "Hey, wait a second. There's only two beds in my room. Where's Russell going to sleep?" Evans asked. "Or are you two sharing a bunk together?" he added, without realising his insinuation immediately. "...Eh..."

Kitty snickered at his response. "Dr. Russell doesn't sleep in his own bed half the time, haven't you noticed?"

"Oh, so that's where the snoring comes from..." he mused... It took a while before the absurdity of his comment actually reached the other side of his brain, and a snicker resulted. "Very likely..."

Kitty chuckled, taking a bite of her chocolate piece and closing her eyes.. she let the flavor sink through her and smiled. "And I finally had a talk with the captain that didn't involve him scolding me. That's a plus, right? He gave me a big compliment, too. I think maybe he does like me, after all."

"Oh, that's always nice... To be honest, I was getting the same signals from our XO too. I haven't seen her in a while, though... She used to be a regular customer to sickbay, with a plethora of cuts and bruises..." Evans responded.

"She went home," Kitty said, "to deal with her father's estate. I've been kind of trying to be, well, 'XO-ish', but I don't know if I'm up to it!"

"She did? Well, that explains that... So, you're the XO now? Wow... I never even considered that... I guess you are. You're not going to put a note on my record when we meet for the first time, too, I hope?" Evans said, crypticly, referring to his disasterous first meeting with the XO.

"The first time we met," Kitty said contemplatively, "we were shooting alien hatches across the cargo bay. So.... no. And I'm not the XO... I'm still third in command... but with her gone, I can't help kind of trying to, you know, fill the spot."

"...Correction, YOU were shooting hatches through the cargobay... I was ducking for cover, remember?" Evans said jonkingly. "About you filling that job, I guess there should be an XO... You could just treat it as you treated being a chief for the first time. Just take the job, and do it to the best of your ability... That's what I always do."

"Except I'll try to stay out of sickbay," Kitty said, smiling. Then she frowned. "What do you think of the other bit I told you about? Sulan saying that someone was going to come after her to kill her?"

Yet again, Evans thought for a while, forming the sentences in his mind, before blurting them out. "I dunno... I actually never had a chance to speak to her. I've seen her in sickbay shortly, I guess... If the rumours about that section 13 or 31 or whatever are true, I guess it's quite possible. I still find it hard to believe that the Federation would have such a 'service'... I mean, we're not the romulans, or the cardassians, for deity's sake..." He thought some more. "However, the Rommies and Cardies are just the reasons why a hush-hush dark-ops section would come in handy..."

"There are plenty of human civilizations thoughout history that have had their own secret sections of government," Kitty said slowly. "They keep saying.. in Academy classes and such.. that we've 'evolved'. Do you think we have?"

"I've had quite a while to let our last adventure sink in, for a while... You know, me being a casino boss, praying on the weak... Well, not preying, per sť... Using them... The realisation, that in the right circumstances I would turn into that... Well... Pimp. I find that quite disturbing. And it shows that we can fall down hard, from our enlightened sockle..." The last two words were spoken with just the right hint of sarcasm.

Kitty smiled weakly. "It was kind of a shock, seeing how close I might've come to not existing at all. Is that progress?"

"It just shows how lucky our universe is..." Ronald answered shortly, looking at her intently. He motioned for her to come sit next to him, so he could hold her in a tight hug.

Kitty shifted closer and leaned into the hug, resting her head on his shoulder. "Thanks, Ronald." She sighed softly and then smiled. "We'll be at the starbase soon... and we've got four weeks of leave, both of us."

"Heh, so we can finally... Oh no..." Evans' expression turned from content to extremely worried again.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Kitty shifted position. "I'm not leaning too hard, am I?"

"Nonono, that's not it..." Ronald said hastily, releasing the hug. "My car... All this time, I haven't had a chance to check on my car... I have no idea in what state it is... Finally I have it finished, and then a crossbeam falls on it's roof, or it's completely blown out into space... With my luck, it's probably completely flattened..." Evans said worriedly. He actually had now idea what the state of his car was, completely making up the worst case scenarios, and assuming them to be the case.

"Uh..." Kitty said hesitantly. She hadn't been sure how to say this. "Uh, I checked. The cargo bay was damaged.. a lot.. I couldn't get to the car... but there wasn't a hull breach. So, well... it's not blown out into space."

"Oh, damn..." Evans said, as he slumped. He was thinking pancake. Strawberry red, with black quarterpanel mousse. "...Just my luck..."

"I'm sorry..." Kitty frowned. "Are you... going... to want to... dig it out... yourself... over vacation?"

Evans sighed heavily. "I guess so... I was just hoping we could drive it.. I guess it can be fixed in time, if I'm lucky... Oh, please allow me to be lucky this one time..."

"Oh." That 'oh' had a surprisingly large amount of 'droop' in it.

"...Indeed..." Evans just said, hugging his girfriend again, looking for some comfort . Then his body twitched, as a slight jolt of pain crossed his back again. <Owie...>

Kitty frowned and shifted, rubbing his back. "Oh, I'm sorry... I shouldn't have been.. I mean... I'd been thinking... but... it was silly... and... relax, ok?"

"Thinking that you might want to come with me to my grandparents' house," Kitty admitted quietly and sheepishly. "Meet them.. maybe even sail a little. But... you'd rather help unearth your car, and... I know that's important to you." Her voice trailed off into silence.

"...Are you sure?" asked Kitty, but the bright look in her eyes probably told him all he needed to know... this meant a lot to her. "I mean, he IS Letek.... but.... he did rescue us."

"Yeah, and I never even properly thanked him for that..." Evans mused. "Perhaps if I ask very nicely? You don't suppose Russell would... Nah..."

"Letek favors you," Kitty said, eyes sparkling with amusement. "I bet he'd be more than willing to help out."

Evans looked at her with a very odd look, all of a sudden... "What do you mean by that? No, wait, I think I know what you mean by that... Scratch that... I'm pretty sure what you mean by that, and that's a positive 'nopers' from this side, for sure..." he said, with a mix of amusement, disbelieve and disgust. "Well, looks like there is no other alternative, then to check out the sickbay, one of these days, before we go on shoreleave..."

Kitty burst into a gigglefit at his odd look and reply. "It's no sweat, really. Williams is staying on board... he's one of my engineers. He said he wanted to oversee the refit. He'll take care of your car."

"That's the spirit!" Kitty smiled and snuggled close. She had a million things to deal with once she left sickbay, but for now, everything could be alright.

-=[Off]=-

Planning a vacation:

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus

Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer USS Pegasus