((Starbase 118 Ops - Main Sickbay))
The doors to sickbay parted for the Denobulan hybrid and his Human companion and tag-along. She hadn’t been kidding when she’d said she would escort him… he tried multiple times to sway her, to leave it to him, and been properly rebuffed each time.
He couldn’t blame her… he hadn’t exactly kept his word from the day before.
So he trudged through the doors, looking very much like something a cat had tried to murder and then taken home. Despite his shower he could still smell the liquor, as if it was seeping out of his pores. His hangover was in full swing, his head pounding, dizzy and nauseous, and noticeably unsteady on his feet. He was dehydrated, likely somewhat seriously, and the dark circles beneath his eyes left no question as to his state.
Sheila wasn’t expecting to see the Denobulan counselor come into sickbay, neither was she expecting to see them with Alora. And looking at them Sheila experienced a well of sadness. She had confessed her woe to them not many days before. Since then she had dealt with the loneliness at having faced her choices alone. If by choosing to assist them one more person wouldn’t have to face that unbearable loneliness, the empty spot in the mind where no one could enter than so she would. Maybe it too would shine some more light onto her situation.
Bailey: ::walking slowly with the aid of her crutches:: How may I assist you?
Yael: ::looking and feeling dreadful:: Bit of a hangover.
Alora gave him a side eye, and he readdressed Doctor Bailey.
Yael: Umm… Hell of a hangover, actually… I… could use some help.
He tried to smile, but it was rather puny in the face of what he was feeling.
Sheila frowned, it was not at all like Ashley to come in with a hangover, and sadly there simply wasn’t much she could do to treat one. The organs of the body did their work to clear the alcohol from the bloodstream all the host, or drinker in this case, had to do was drink plenty of water and sleep. However behind Ashley’s tired eyes there was some other look, a look she recognized, a look that stared back at her in the mirror just a few days ago.
Bailey: ::Nodding:: I see...
Yael: ::more quietly:: It’s no big deal, really...
DeVeau: Come on Ashley. You’re among friends.
Bailey: If you need a friend I’m sure I can go grab her. Friend Sheila, let me tell you, is much more fun than the CMO version. ::She was trying to add humor to the situation:: Why don’t you two follow me to a bed?
Even then, it was hard to *ask* for help. But he followed where Doctor Bailey guided them, and then immediately leaned against the bio-bed, a little shaky. It took him a moment before he wrestled up the strength to push up and back onto it, sitting on the edge and leaning forward onto his hands.
The more Sheila looked at Yael the more she wished she could be that friend she had talked about. Being a medical officer meant that she would have to deliver a spot of bad news in this situation and she would rather avoid it. For a brief moment she rubbed at her arm, as if to squash the sudden itch without actually scratching at the skin. This moment, this walk in appointment was not about her, it was about Yael, a trusted counselor, a trusted friend.
Bailey: I am sorry to say that there is not much I can do for a hangover. No magic fix I’m afraid. I can however provide a saline drip, give your body some much needed hydration.
Yael: ::nodding lightly:: I understand… anything is better than nothing.
Alora frowned, but remained silent for the moment. She let Ashley talk, but she was not above speaking up if he wasn’t.
Bailey: ::Leaning heavily onto her crutches:: No rush on a choice now. I can sit and listen or I can leave for a while, let you take a nap, you might feel more refreshed after some sleep.
Yael: Let’s… ::he gripped the bridge of his nose tightly::... get the IV going.
DeVeau: What about something for the headache? Painkiller?
Bailey: Ah, for that I can give a standard does of pain med. I’ll add it to the drip.
Yael: Honestly… I could sleep, too… if that’s alright.
As a friend Sheila wished that Yael would be willing to stay and talk. He had been able to do that for her in her time of need, she wanted to return the favor. Nevertheless as a doctor she respected her patients wishes. If her friend would rather sleep for a few hours then she would let him, of course not without a close watch.
Bailey: Of course. Sleep does the body good.
He nodded, but only slightly as his head was pounding at every motion, before glancing to Alora. Surely she wouldn’t want to stick around just for him to sleep and get IV fluids.
Yael: I can let you know when I’m out…? I’m sure you have better things to do.
Alora’s green gaze turned toward Ashley and one fist thrust against her hip. Why did he do that? Did he really put so little value on himself?
DeVeau: No, not really. The most important thing I have to do is to make sure I’m here for a friend. That would be you.
And she would do the same for any friend. Ashley, however, was one of her closest, and she'd move the entire Starbase for him if it were necessary.
Bailey: Let me get everything set up. The sooner it’s done the better.
Ashley had chosen comfortable clothing for this trudge to sickbay in the early morning hours, so he didn’t have to pull up any sleeves or remove his shirt. He wore a simple grey short sleeved v-neck shirt and off-black pants. More pajamas than his usual fare, but it was clean and fast. It meant Bailey could apply the drip easily to his arm. He tried not to flinch when she had to grip his arm… he tensed up slightly, turning his view away until she released him.
She was quick to get everything set up. All the supplies had been lucky to be set nearby. Thank the universe for that. Here Sheila carefully took out a bad of saline, a drip and a small hollow needle. First she made sure the line of the IV was prepared, as to have no air in the line, then clamped everything off so as to have no leakage. Once the line was prepared Sheila gave little warning before taking hold of Yael’s arm. Here she poked ‘round for a bit of vein before sticking the needle and tapping it down. The bag of IV fluid was held up on a little pole near the front of the bed, unclamped, full of hydrating liquid, and pain medications.
Leaning against a wall, Alora crossed her arms, resolved to wait. Whether or not Ashley thought she had better things to do, she wasn’t leaving. She would see this through. That’s what friends were for.
That’s what family was for.
Bailey: There you go, all set.
Yael: ::touching his arm gently near the drip:: Thank you...
DeVeau: I have no plans to leave. I can crash on another bed or on the floor if need be. Or make myself useful around Sickbay. ::She gave a crooked smile.:: I served as a medical officer for a brief stint, so I’m not totally hopeless.
Bailey: I don’t think we need much assistance today. Most inpatients are sleeping at this hour. However I can grab you a chair before I leave.
Thankfully it was quiet in Sickbay, being so early. There were few patients, and it was calm and quiet. Quite unlike the last time they were all there, after the Gratitude Festival.
Calm, quiet, dim lighting, the perfect environment to get some much needed sleep. Sheila would have retired to sleep herself if flashes of Yael’s chart hadn’t come racing to the forefront of her mind. Perhaps the counselor had listed her new habit in her chart now that it had been discovered. What Yael had was very much like that. A smudge. Something the patient wished to erase. Red in the ledger.
Bailey: I must inform you however that I will come back in an hour or two at which point I’d like to talk. I may not be a counselor but I know that sort of look when I see it.
The Denobulans amethyst eyes widened slightly at that. Did he really look that bad off? He was feeling a bit self-conscious about it now, but knew that wasn’t quite the look Sheila was talking about. He glanced downward, and couldn’t refuse. If he didn’t talk to the doctor, the doctor could escalate things. He didn’t expect Sheila *would*, but he didn’t want this going anywhere. In fact, what he wanted to do was forget entirely that it ever happened.
Yael: ::a little embarrassed to be called out:: Right...
DeVeau: To talk?
Bailey: I’m a friend and your doctor. I’ll do everything I can to make sure you’re free from suffering.
Yael: ::not able to blame her for worrying:: I’m…
But he clamped down his protest before saying it, and simply nodded instead. Mostly he just wanted to close his eyes and hoped the throbbing in his temples would subside.
DeVeau: You should just lie down for a bit.
Ashley had been unkind to his body, and now his body was retaliating. Still, she understood that it wasn’t always easy. She struggled with her own demons, and she knew they could rise up from the shadows just when you thought you had conquered them.
Laying back, he slid his legs up onto the bio bed and gingerly lowered himself, slowly. He still cringed, and set a hand over his eyes, rubbing them and then leaving his fingers to cover them. The lightest of groans escaped him. All he could do was take responsibility for his own suffering.
At that, Sheila quietly slipped off to grab Alora a chair. Once the task had been done she slipped off back to her office. She was dealing, it seemed, told through just one look, her own situation but in reverse. And even if she hardly knew anything about she could see the way Yael, someone she considered a friend, had looked over to Alora. It made her heart skink. He wasn’t in this alone. Sheila was in her struggle alone. Yet. Maybe the three of them could band together. Join forces and become stronger so to speak.
Yael: I shouldn’t complain… I did this to myself.
DeVeau: That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cared for. We just need to make sure that you don’t fall off the wagon again. Which is where I come in, right?
Yael: I’m not sure you know what you’re signing up for… ::he dared to smile at that::
Alora shifted, turning so she faced Ashley completely.
DeVeau: Addiction is hard to beat. And it’s even harder when you’re trying to deal with stuff that’s coming at you unexpectedly. So wouldn’t it be worthwhile to have someone you come to when you start feeling that urge? You need someone to make sure you don’t go that far.
Yael: ::uncovering his eyes and turning his head to look at her:: You mean, like a sponsor.
He’d had one on Earth, and wasn’t new to the whole concept. But this would probably be less formal. It was a big deal though, not some small thing you easily asked of someone. And Alora was *busy*, almost constantly engaged. To steal her time would seem shameful. He turned his eyes back up to the ceiling, letting his free hand rest on the bio-bed next to his head.
Yael: It was once. Just once. I can control this.
DeVeau: Not on your own.
Yael: I *can* fix it. I’ll talk to Anthony. Grovel, if I have to. It won’t happen again.
Alora started to reach out, started to take his hands, then stopped her fingers stretched toward him before she caught herself and slowly pulled back.
DeVeau: And if the tides were turned? What if this was me in this situation, Ash? What would you say to me? If I said I could fix it. That it wouldn’t happen again?
Yael: I would… keep a close eye on you anyway. ::then, more quietly:: Because you can’t trust an addict.
He turned his head slightly away now, closing his eyes, but his eyebrows knit together with the pain and frustration he felt.
Alora stared at him for a moment. Then she lifted a hand again. Suddenly, it flew through the air, smacking Ashley upside the head. She’d done something similar to another friend not that long ago, and he’d deserved it then too.
Yael: OW!! ::his hand came up to hold the side of his head where she’d swatted him:: What the he-... ::stopping himself:: What was that for?
DeVeau: Because you’re being stupid.
The strike hadn’t actually hurt that much, but with his hang-over headache it was enough to get his attention. Now, instead of frustrated, he was more confused.
DeVeau: Stop putting yourself down. Stop acting like you’re worthless. You’re not worthless, and you’re my friend. I trust you with my life. Just because you have something you struggle with doesn’t mean that you can’t beat it - but you have to realise you can’t beat it alone. Just like….just like…
Yael: ::softly:: I know. ::pausing:: How about we watch out for each other, then? That way it’s even.
As if you could gauge or measure something like that. But he’d feel better relying on her if he knew she was relying on him too.
Yael: But… I’m gunna try to sleep a bit. You don’t *have* to stay. But… you can, if you want.
DeVeau: I want. I’m staying. Cause like you said, we have to watch out for each other.
It was the only way to deal with everything life threw at you. Especially what life in Starfleet threw at you.
Ashley turned onto his side, avoiding the IV drip and curling up, his free arm curled up almost over his face.
Yael: ::softly:: We’ll be alright.
DeVeau: Yeah. We will. Together.
The Denobulan hybrid slipped into a merciful sleep rather easily, lacking any blankets and still wearing his shoes. He hadn’t bothered, they were comfortable enough and he didn’t want to move around any more than he had to until the painkillers kicked in.
A couple of hours passed. Ashley slept peacefully, while Alora, exhausted as she was, took up a position in the offer chair. Instead of forward, she had turned within it, her legs hanging over the side rather than the front. Her arm rest over the edge of the back of the chair and her head had rest upon it. Though it had taken a while, she did fall into something of a slumber, a light doze that allowed her to rest a little, if not as well if she had been in her bed.
When Sheila returned, that sleep was shallow enough that her arrival stirred Alora from her slumber. Lifting her head, she offered a sleepy smile to the Elaysian, then blinked over at Ashley. The diminutive Denobulan was still in the land of nod.
Now as the hour had passed, signalling high tide for the CMO’s arrival once again, she was almost angry. However a few deep breaths keeped her under control. Neither Alora or even Yael had gotten mad at her when she talked to them. It must have hurt them just as much as herself to be in a similar situation or even to watch one of their friends and crewmates go through it. Now though Sheila had something to say about it; as a friend.
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops
Ensign Ashley Yael
Starbase 118 Ops
Lieutenant Sheila Bailey
Chief Medical Officer
Starbase 118 Ops
"The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm." - Florence Nightingale