SFR Flash Fiction / Command Decision Part 3
Writing Prompt: No Writing Prompt
A Note from Kit: Again, we are doing the story morphing thing today. If you’d like to read parts 1 & 2, please click on the links below.
Kate studied the calm lines of her XO’s face as she walked over to where he sat. If you didn’t know the man was in full-blown rut you’d have thought he was sleeping she mused, as blankets and water clutched against her chest, she turned round and bracing her back against the wall, let it support her weight as she slid to the ground beside him. She was careful, though she came to rest within easy touching distance, not to touch him. Like her people, Recs were touch sensitive and although he was only half Rec and she didn’t know if he was sensitive in that way, she didn’t want to risk potentially overloading him in his current state.
“Are you here to monitor me Vadaesz?” Junnet asked her after a moment. His eyes remained closed and she got the impression that the closed eyes, and crossed arms were his way of holding himself together by holding the outside world at bay.
She also noted that he had recognized her sight unseen and tucked that interesting piece of information away for later contemplation. Along with the fact that he’d used her Elven rank of Hunter rather than his more usual Captain. Had she come to monitor him? To monitor him as one would a threat to security? “No.” She decided aloud. “I come bearing provisions.” She shrugged. “And whatever other help I may.” She told him matter-of-factly.
He opened his eyes at that. They were, she noted, beneath the heavy ridge of his forehead, a beautiful liquid brown tinged with hostility. “Help.” His tone while cool contained a faint edge of hostility if you were listening and Kate was. “How can you help?” Now there was disbelief. Hostility and disbelief. You are on a roll girl.
“That’s for you to decide.” She kept her voice calm and unperturbed she offered him one of the blankets she’d brought with her.
He stared at her so she raised an eyebrow at him in return. “Yes?”
He said nothing, took the blanket without unwrapping his arms. “Thanks.” He said a little grimly. And without unclenching his body he spread the blanket over his knees, drew it up to his chin and under the cover provided by the blanket tightened his arms around his torso.
She offered a bottle of water next.
He shook his head. “No thank you.”
Giving him a curious glance, she set the water aside and spread the other blanket over her own knees before once again picking up the bottle of water and opening it. Considering the situation, she took a long sip. “We haven’t been working together very long so you are probably not aware that I am a touch healer of sorts.” She began careful to keep her face casual and friendly for the benefit of their audience; just two regular people having a chat. “There are things I can do to take your pain~help you get more comfortable.”
Junnet turned to look at her then. Like her his face was a study in neutrality but his eyes and tone were disbelieving. “I’m not in pain. I am in rut.” Harsh intensity indicating that he doubted very much that she could prove useful in such a situation. “Can you take that?” Kate noted this and unsure what to say she remained silent. The disbelief faded first into contempt, and then hopelessness she thought and this was confirmed when when closing his eyes he tilted his head back against the wall once more. “No? I didn’t think so.”
“You disregard me so very easily Commander.” Kate said after a moment. “I am not your enemy.”
“Aren’t you?” More contempt, but tired this time, as though the conversation wore at him.
“No.” She said firmly though she wasn’t actually certain what to think. No one had ever questioned her skills before.
“You are not my friend.” He said quietly but with absolute conviction.
“We’ve only just met” She replied neutrally. “We hardly know each other-“ she began.
“Know?!” He interrupted biting the word off savagely. “You don’t want to know me.”
“How can you be so certain?” She asked. She wondered what was behind that savage tone.
He laughed; a sharp unhappy sound.
“Try me commander.” She suggested. Internally she reminded herself as she felt her temper begin to fray a little that she would be pretty cranky too if there situations were reversed and massive quantities of hormones were being pumped through her body.
“Try you?” He barked disbelievingly. “And get court martialed? No thanks.”
“Off the record.” She suggested quietly.