ROF #15-16 "Wounds to Heal"


[SB Ronin, Officers' Quarters]

Hannah leaned heavily against a wall. Every day since they had arrived on the Starbase, Hannah had run round the base three times, and she wasn't going to let a little thing like being abducted by Q change that. The way she saw it, she had missed two days, so she owed herself six laps. To keep things varied, she would change which deck she ran on, depending on the day. Tomorrow was the Enlisted decks, which was always fun. Hannah's running gear, like most of her clothes, covered the bare minimum of skin appropriate for the occasion, which when you're running at 0600, was not a lot. The Enlisted men seemed particularly appreciative of her sports-bra and very short shorts, and, as ever, Hannah did little to discourage the attention.

Today, however, she was on the officers deck. She looked up to see whose quarters she was standing outside, and smiled as she read the nameplate. She tapped the doorchime.

Kristiana had curled up on her couch, listening to some music. Wearing a comfy jumpsuit - having left a tired Ryylar asleep on the bed. She was still a bit blue after all that happened, a bit quiet, a bit subdued, preoccudpied, and barely noticed when the doorchime rang. As it rang another time she glanced up, uncurled from the couch with a sigh and headed to the door. Her tired look managing only a small smile when she saw Hannah. "Hey .." she spoke.

"Hey." Hannah said, and then impulsively surged forward and gave the older woman a hug. "I missed you."

Kris blinked as she was suddenly hugged, then sighed softly, closing her eyes and hugging the other woman as well, perhaps a bit longer than nessecary. "Missed you too .." She spoke, quietly, before stepping back again, looking at Hannah, her face, her features, her hair...

" you want to talk about it?" Hannah said, quietly.

Kris remained silent for a moment, brows furrowed, shoulders a bit slumped. Her long, deep red hair hung loose down her shoulders and seemed a bit messy. Then she nodded a bit. "Yeah .. Yeah, I do." As she motioned into the hallway. "But not here. Ryylar's sleeping." "My quarters are just down the hall - Jesse's not there, we were at his on the Edinburgh last night."

Kris nodded a bit again as she stepped into the hallway, letting her door close behind her. "Sounds good .." she spoke quietly. She had meant the lounge, but that was so far to walk, Hannah's quarters would do.

They walked quietly down to Hannah's quarters, and entered. Hannah looked down at her sweat-stained attire. "Should have come round after I cleaned up." She grinned wryly. "Mind if I have a shower while we talk? My shower's pretty quiet, you can probably just call through from the sitting room."

"I'll .. sit and wait." Kris nodded, first walking over to the replicator, to order a glass of milk, before making herself at home on Hannah's couch, pulling her feet up.

"Sure." Hannah said, grabbing her uniform for the next shift and a towel. She stepped into the bathroom, leaving the door open so she could still talk to Kris. "So where did you end up?" She asked as she started to pull her clothes off.

"Cachtice Castle, hungary." Kris spoke, keeping her attention away from the gorgeous - and now Very nude - redhead just a few steps away. "Do you know the story of Erszebeth Bathory ?"

"I think you explained it to me at the party." Hannah said, as she climbed into the shower, which was water-based - one of the little luxuries of living on a Star-Base. "But that all seems so long ago now. Wasn't she some sort of cannibal or a vampire or something?"

"She tortured and murdered young virgins and bathed in their blood .. She's said to have killed around 500 young women, women like you." Kristiana spoke, simply staring off into the distance. ".. And I became her."

Hannah stood in the shower, unable to think of an appropriate response. She was particularly chilled by 'women like you'. "Wow" was all she could muster.

"I became her .. I understood her, her wants, her reasons, and I - .. " she trailed off, pausing a moment. ".. I killed, too. Then I was arrested."

Hannah realised that she could take a shower later, but Kris needed her now. She stepped out of the shower, and, wrapping a towel around her, walked over to the XO. She sat down next to her on the couch. "Are you OK?"

".. I don't know." Kris spoke, then glanced over at Hannah, furrowing her brows a bit - she saw the towel, she knew Hannah was naked underneath, and in her mind she saw the young women again, nude, wounded, bleeding, chained to dungeon walls. The older redhead instantly turned away again. "Can you please put some clothes on .. ?"

"Oh!" Hannah said, worried that she'd upset Kris. "Sure...uh...sorry." She went back into the bathroom, and started to pull on her underwear.

Kristiana remained silent now, simply waiting. She didn't want to speak against thin air, she needed someone to talk with, and so she waited. Finishing her drink, setting the empty glass on the table.

Hannah emerged from the bathroom, fully clothed. "I'm so sorry about that...I didn't think..."

"It's ok .." Kris sighed, waiting till Hannah had sat down next to her, then shifting a bit, leaning against the younger redhead, closing her eyes. "I just .. " and she trailed off again, not knowing what to say. She furrowed her brows and sighed deeply.

"Hey, hey..." Hannah said, stroking Kris's hair. "Sssh..."

The older russian woman sniffled a bit, as she simply continued to talk. "I .. they .. arrested me .. I stood trial, was sentenced to life .. They walled me in. And I .. three years, Hannah. After three years, I just - .. gave up .."

<Three years?> Hannah blanched. <I was only there for a matter of days...>

Hannah just stayed silent, holding the woman close, unable to find any words.

Petrova didn't say anything either. She sniffled softly, shoulders shaking a bit, and she shivered lightly, as if on the verge of tears, but drawing some comfort - a guilty sense of comfort - from the other woman, her subordinate.

Hannah drew her in closer, and kissed the top of her head. "It'll be'll be ok..."

Kris nodded a bit, sniffling softly again, then wiping her eyes some. "Eh .. I'm sorry .. It's just .. Three years, Hannah - without shower or bath, no running water, no change of clothes .. " she sighed a bit again. ".. No bathroom .."

"Bet it smelled a bit." Hannah said, trying to lighten the mood.

Kris smirked, shaking her head a bit. "Yeah .. A bit." Then remaining silent for a moment, before speaking again. "So, where did you go ?" "Nowhere as bad as that." She smiled. "Me and Jesse were Romeo and Juliet at the guess where we went." She smirked. "It was too bad, although there are disadvantages to being a teenager again. At one point I was pretty sure Juliet's mother was about to take me over her knee and spank me."

A soft smirk from Kristiana "I've always thought you liked that sort of thing, Hannah .." she spoke, softly - slowly regaining some of her old self again.

Hannah flushed red, for the first time in a long time. "Commander Petrova, just what are you suggesting?"

".. Nothing, really .." Kristiana yielded. "It was a joke .. I didn't mean anything bad by it." ~Though your reaction speaks volumes .. ~ the redheaded russian woman added in quiet thought.

"Oh...well...I..." Hannah was a little lost for words. She grinned. "Guess I should have seen that one coming."

"Yeah, well .. I've learned to read those things." Kristiana spoke. "I saw that in you the day we first met." the russian woman added, still cuddled against the younger redhead. ".. So, I know the story of Romeo and Juliet .. Did you play it out the way it was supposed to go ?" Sandy Radford: "Well, it had a happier ending." Hannah said. "We got married in a church outside Verona...guess Q felt we'd learned whatever lesson he had in mind."

Kris nodded a bit. "Well, that's good, then .. Not everyone died." She smirked a bit, quietly, still subdued, still very much affected. <tag> Sandy Radford: "Yeah, kind of the opposite." Hannah said, a little troubled. "Never mind." She said, shaking her head dismissively. "You planning on turning up for work today?"

"Yeah .. Guess I should, and set an example." Petrova nodded. "Though I hope it'll be a quiet, uneventful day. The kind in which nothing happens."

"If I have anything to say about, it will be." Hannah smiled. "I figure the universe had to do without me for two days - it can show its appreciation by giving me an easy time my first day back."

Kris chuckled a bit, then sighed softly. "Thinking you're all that, hm? But you're not." She paused. ".. I am."

"Huh?" Hannah said, not following.

".. Nevermind." Kristiana sighed, as she extricated herself from Hannah's comfortable warmth, shaking her head a bit. "Another joke. Bad one, too."

"Do Command Staff have any other kind?" Hannah cracked. "I missed you, Kris."

"I missed you a lot.

"Yeah, every once in a while we'll make a joke that's actually somewhat funny." Kristiana spoke, as she rose to her feet. Glancing at Hannah after the younger woman's comment, she sighed softly, glancing away. ".. I know." as she hesitated a moment, then started for the door.

"Kris..." Hannah said, as the older woman walked away. "You OK?"

"No." Petrova answered, pausing a moment. ".. But a bit better than I was." she added, before exiting Hannah's quarters again.


Lieutenant Commander Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer Starbase Ronin

Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Strategic Operations Officer Starbase Ronin