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Reunion

Posted on 19 Oct 2018 @ 2:09am by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan

Mission: Fractured
Location: Deck One, Conference Room
Timeline: MD1 || 1330 hours

After the last officer left the conference room and the door closed, Joey looked to the man sitting at the head of the table with tears in her eyes. For so long, she thought him dead, but he wasn't. He was very much alive and within reach, only she didn't move toward him. At least, not yet, and that was because her eyes were locked on the crimson stained bandage taped to his head.

Joey knew she hadn't imagined his head injury just before everything went sideways. In fact, that very injury was what lead her to believe he'd perished. "I... I thought you were gone forever," she choked out, fighting back tears as she gripped the back of a chair to keep herself upright. He was in definite need of medical attention, but he was alive, and she couldn't be more grateful for it.

The need for proper medical attention did not stop Harvey from remaining stationary. He rose from his chair and crossed the room to embrace Joey. Harvey didn't care that she was sitting, or that he was now in a very awkward position. "You have no idea," he whispered, recalling all too well the horrific vision he'd been forced to endure on the bridge.

He didn't need to remain in such an awkward position long before she was on her feet and returning his embrace. The second her arms were around him, Joey knew she didn't want to let him go for fear this would be some cruel joke and he'd no longer be there, but stuck in another time with no way back. Was it irrational? Probably. Was she terrified? Absolutely.

A sob escaped her lips, pulling her back to reality. "Are you really here?" Joey asked barely above a whisper, unsure if she could trust her voice just yet. It was logical that the Intelligence Chief was about to succumb to the theta radiation at any moment, and her mind had conjured up one last sweet moment to ease her transition into death.

"I could ask you the same question," Harvey fired back, embracing her so tight that he swore he could feel the twins kicking him for smashing them together. "Oh, the twins!" he exclaimed, releasing Joey almost immediately and falling to his knees. Both of his hands brushed over her pregnant belly, searching for both of his children. His sense of fatherhood and medicine thought immediately about the radiation sickness that would have eventually claimed all of their lives. There's one, he thought, leaving his left hand alone. A panicked look commanded his face as the right hand continued to search.

Joey knew what he was doing the second he dropped to his knees, but the look on his face broke her heart. She took his right hand in her left and placed it against her abdomen where she knew the second baby to be, then applied a slight amount of pressure there. His hand was met with a firm thump in protest of the probing while the other baby continued the assault on his other hand. "They've been moving quite a bit the last few hours or so. I think that had a lot to do with my stress," she said softly, hoping some of his fears would melt away. "As for being real... I've been here since all of this started, so I think that means I am."

Her words registered in his mind, but he had to make sure the little ones were okay for now. Depending on what he could sense with his hands, which in all reality amounted to no more than a hill of beans, it would determine how long they could have their private moment before joining the hoards of crew that were likely swarming sickbay right now. He could feel the babies move and kick, and that was enough to give him solace. Heaving a sigh of relief, he kept his hands above the fetuses and rested his forehead on top of her stomach. The tears started to roll down his face, and Harvey just allowed himself to cry for a moment. "I..." he choked at last. "I saw you..."

Joey knew at that moment she needed to be strong. For him, for herself, and for their babies. She brought her hands to the back of his head and began to run her fingers along his scalp. He saw her dead in his time, as well as their children, something she didn't think she'd be able to handle if their roles were reversed. "I'm here," she said softly, continuing to rub his head. "We're all here. What you saw... it was necessary for this to work. I'm so sorry, Harvey. So, so sorry."

If he had the energy, he would have stood up to embrace her once more. Now that he'd surrendered to both his grief and his joy, Harvey found himself unusually weak. He did, however, manage to wrap his arms around her legs and draw her closer, but his head wound up moving to the left side of her abdomen, almost placing the weight of the two children she carried upon his shoulder. It had taken every fiber of his being to push through the incident, not allow himself to grieve in order to be strong for the crew. They hadn't lost children or spouses, but close friends who were practically family. As the Captain, he had no right to publicly mourn. With everyone reunited and back to work, he could finally deal with his emotions.

She'd seen her husband express various states of emotion, but this was definitely a first for her. Joey pulled back only slightly so she could kneel down in front of him, then she took him into her arms and held him. "We're really here, Harvey," she said softly, running a hand over his back. He needed her to be strong right now, and that was exactly what she was going to give him. "Me, the babies, we're never going to leave you."

Harvey knew that, or so he thought he did. He'd only felt this way once before, and that was on that cold shuttle escaping Betazed all those years ago. For his sake and hers, Harvey started to pull himself back together. Eventually, he removed himself from the embrace, moved his head from where it was buried to place his bandage covered forehead and placed it on hers. Both of his hands also relocated, sliding through disheveled hair before stopping as the bottom of her earlobes rested between his thumbs and forefingers. His eyes, though reddened from the sobbing and tears, finally opened, allowing his brown eyes to meet hers at last. Just when he thought he had full control over his faculties once more, his heart assumed command, declaring "I love you," before a passionate kiss began.

Joey, unable to return the declaration verbally just yet, used the kiss to display just how much she loved him as well. She didn't want the moment to end. Having him right there in front of her when she'd assumed the worst... it was a definite prayer answered. After a few moments, she pulled back to rest her forehead against his. "I love you, too, Harvey," she whispered. "And I'm so glad to have you back." There were a few times when she didn't think that would happen. "You're going to have to forgive me if I don't let you out of my sight for a few days. I... I just need to be sure you're not going to disappear again."

Harvey chuckled, albeit softly. "Likewise, Joelle," he said, managing a smile. "Likewise." Perhaps it was all of the grief evaporating from his spirit, or the affect of adrenaline lessening on his nerves, but Harvey found himself suddenly in a little bit of pain, especially coming from his forehead. Only then did he remember the fact that he had a concussion, and a severe reaction to expired medication, of which the rash remained on his neck and shoulder. "I..." he said, somewhat testing his muscles, only to find that they were failing. "I think I'm stuck."

"I'll help you up," she said softly, using the chair she once sat in to get to her feet once again. The added weight and forth at her midsection made such a simple task a bit more difficult, but she was managing. After she was upright, Joey turned back to her husband. "We need to get you to sickbay. Can you make it?" And while she spoke, his wife tucked her hands under his arms to help get him to his feet.

Harvey felt terrible. It was he that should be tending to his pregnant wife, not the other way around. "I'll make it," he said confidently. He knew he would make it not because he could, but because he had to. "I've made it this far anyway," he remarked before heaving and grabbing the table to help Joey pull his body off the floor.

Joey did more than her part to get him to his feet, then urged him to lean on her. She felt so bad for him, having to deal with what he had to with a head injury. While the Intel Chief had suffered her fair share of injuries in the past, she definitely didn't like seeing her husband go through it. In fact, if she could take it into herself, she would in a heartbeat.

"Lean on me, honey," she urged him softly, slipping her arm around his waist. "We'll get you fixed up and feeling better in no time." She knew they were both still suffering from being exposed to theta radiation, too, but her focus was completely on him and making sure their children were safe.

"I'm not the only one who needs a look," Harvey muttered, nudging them towards the door. "We'll have to make sure you and the kids are doing all right as well. I know we're barely starting to feel the effects of the theta radiation, but their bodies are smaller, less developed. They should be okay, no lasting effects." He chuckled, looking over to her. "Can we ever have a moment in our lives when either of us isn't winding up in sickbay. I guess it was my turn, eh?"

Joey couldn't help but smile. It was nice to hear his chuckle again. "Hopefully, neither of us ends up back there until it's time to welcome our little ones into the world," she said, really wishing that would be the case. " As for the three of us, we're going to get looked over once your all fixed up. Two birds and all of that. "

"Good," Harvey remarked, leading them out of the Conference Room and onto the bridge. Resisting the urge to check on the crew or anything else, he turned instantly for the nearby turbolift gangway. "I think I might actually sleep well tonight."

"We have someplace important to be," she said softly, urging him toward the turbolift. Joey knew her husband well enough to know he would put his own well being aside to check on his people, and if the situation had been different, then maybe she might have let him. However, his injury was pretty serious and could have lasting damage if not treated properly, which was exactly why she guides him to the turbolift. "You'll be able to see how everyone is doing once you've been taken care of, then we'll go home..." Suddenly, she froze, the blood draining from her face.

Harvey had tried to take a step towards the turbolift, only to find that his support system wasn't following. He turned to her, noting that her face had just turned ashen white. "What?" he asked her. "What is it?"

"Ri.. Rico and Pequeno. I... I don't know if they're okay," she choked out as new years began to form.

He didn't know what to say. He was barely holding it together as it was, and the chances of him actually making it to deck nine, and then back up to sickbay were quite slim. "We can send someone to check," Harvey offered. Then he pointed at the turbolift. "Or we can check the security feeds from the turbolift computer."

This was all starting to become too much for Joey to handle, but she managed to compose herself a bit before she helped him into the turbolift. "We can send someone to get them. You need medical attention," she said, then requested deck six. Rico and Pequeno had to be okay, and in her heart she knew they would be, but needed to see it for herself. Soon, she would. "It's only going to be a little bit longer, then we'll be there."

Harvey could see in her face that the solution she chose was neither her favorite or one she could live with. "Computer," he said in the privacy of the turbolift, "Are there lifesigns in my quarters."

A whirr and a series of beeps followed. "Confirmed," replied the emotionless computer. "Two dogs are currently occupying the Captain's cabin."

At hearing that, Joey visibly relaxed, and because of their close proximity, he could feel it. "Thank you, Harvey," she said, pressing a kiss to his temple. "Even in pain, you know how to make me feel better."

He could smile, but the pain from his forehead quickly forced any expressions other than grimaces off his face. The turbolift came to a stop. When the doors parted, they were greeted by a very full corridor as dozens and dozens of crew were standing in line awaiting their turn in sickbay. Harvey didn't move as his gaze remained fixed on his crew, all of them severely affected, just like he was, by the whole ordeal.

Joey blinked when she saw just how long the line was, but it wasn't all that surprising. Still, her husband was in pretty bad shape, and she needed to get him to the front of the line. "Come on, my love," his wife urged him softly, keeping a firm hold on him as she moved forward again. She knew the protests at jumping the line were going to be starting very soon. "I'm taking you inside so you can sit down. You know as well as I do you can't stand out here without the risk of falling and further injuring yourself." And, if she needed to, she could pull Jayla aside to help them out, or treat her husband herself, then wait her own turn for treatment.

On multiple levels, Harvey could not argue. It was no use providing to himself and those around him why the line should be jumped. He was never one to place himself above others, but in this case, he was the Captain. Commander Teixeira could undoubtedly lead the ship for as long as it was needed, but Harvey would not allow himself to become an invalid, not like the time he'd been shot. He focused his energy on moving forward with Joey. The crew who saw them immediately stepped aside without question. In some cases, smiles appeared on faces. The Captain wasn't dead, just hurt like them. One crewman, a stocky Andorian, even stepped in to help Joey carry the Captain. His motivation was unclear, whether he took sympathy on the pregnant woman supporting their leader, or that he knew the Captain needed an extra ounce of strength to make it to their destination. Whatever the case, the reason did not matter. What was important was that the Captain was now in sickbay.

Joey gave the Andorian a grateful smile as they made their way into the medical facility. Sure looked around and immediately took note that the inside was just as bad as outside. With the entire crew requiring treatment, she could see this going on for a while to come. Sadly, her husband didn't have that kind of time given his head injury. He could, and she certainly hoped not, be suffering from a brain bleed.

With the Andorian's help, she got Harvey to a recently vacated biobed and settled the Captain in it, then looked around. Anyone that knew her, knew she was more of an take action kind of woman as opposed to sitting around and waiting. This time, things would be no different. "Captain with a head injury," she called out among the mass of people.

Alex looked up from where he was working, handed his patient off to another corspman to finish, grabbed two other corpsmen, and rushed to the captain's aid.

"Here, Lieutenant," Alex said as two junior corpsmen took the Captain from her. "We've got him. Put him on that bed over there. Lieutenant, please come with me. I'll put you in the bed next to his, I promise."

Joey arched a brow. While she allowed Harvey to be brought to the bed, she was right there with him, taking his hand in hers once he was settled. "I'm not leaving his side until I know he's okay, and even then, he doesn't leave my sight," she said. There was no way anyone was going to convince her otherwise, either. Especially not after what happened.

"I understand, Lieutenant," Alex said, his voice gentle but firm. "And I'll get to both of you, but I need to get you and those unborn babies of yours on some monitors right now. I'm sure all of you are fine, but I'd rather know that for a fact. So, please, climb up on this biobed here, now, so my colleagues can do an initial examination while I check out your husband's head wound."

"I'm not going anywhere, Joey," Harvey assured her, feeling his consciousness slip a little. He squeezed her hand a little, hoping his small, but only possible effort of comfort would be received.

Still unsure, Joey looked to Harvey and relented quietly, letting his hand go so she could settle it down next to him. "I'll be right next to you," she said softly, leaning down to press a kiss to the uninjured side of his head, then looked to Alex. "Make sure he's taken care of." It wasn't a suggestion, nor was it it an order. It was fact, and it made her feel better. And after one last look to the injured man in the biobed, she allowed herself to be escorted to a second bed to be hooked up to monitors.

"Of course," Alex said. One of the first things you learned after you enlisted, was that officers liked to throw their weight around. One of the first things you learned after you'd advanced through the ranks a bit was that even though you wore insignia that at least implied that you had eared the benefit of the doubt, officers still enjoyed throwing their weight around. But this was a bit of a different case. Alex wasn't offended because he knew that Joey was just worried about her husband and that family members sometimes needed to insist that you do your best, or even that you succeed in helping their loved one. It made them feel like they were doing something to help. Alex supposed that sometimes it did, but Alex didn't need extra motivation to do his job. The Captain was injured and his pregnant wife might be in need of medical attention. Alex would do everything he could for both of them, regardless of any external motivation. None of these internal musing were visible or audible outside of his head, and in fact ran in the background so he didn't skip a beat getting to work. Alex turned to his injured commanding officer and ran a hand scanner over his body and then specifically his head. He put the scanner down and pulled out a pen light and check Harvey's eyes. "Okay, Skip," he said. "I am going to go out on a limb and say that either you hit your head on something, or someone hit you in the head with something. Can you tell me which one?"

Harvey could not help but offer a sound that was both a grunt and a chuckle. "Very astute, Chief," he said in a voice which carried very low energy. "At the beginning of this whole ordeal, I was sitting at the conference table. We hit the turbulence, and my head hit the conference table. Pretty sure I left a dent in it too. Doctor Abrams did this," Harvey pointed to the bloodied temporary bandage, "and gave me a couple hypos of medication that happened to be expired. Gotta love the future. Adrenaline carried me until now."

Alex nodded and made a note on a PaDD he was using.

"Okay," he said. "Next big question. Did you lose consciousness?"

Harvey thought for a moment. His memory for the last few hours was more or less clear, but there were parts that he simply could not remember. "It's... possible."

"Okay," Alex said. "I'm going to take some scans of your skull and brain, and I'm going to ask you some questions while I do it."

Alex touched some controls on the biobed to begin the scans.

"Can you tell me your name and rank?" he asked while he worked.

"Harvey Geisler," Harvey answered, fighting the urge to sigh. He knew these questions were important; he just hated that he had to answer them. "And my rank is Captain."

"Good," Alex said. "Do you know what year it is? Or, considering what we've just been through, do you know what year it's supposed to be?"

"Twenty-three eighty-nine," the Captain replied. He almost said 2388 out of habit since it was only just the second month out of the new year.

"Great," Alex said. "What's your wife's name and rank?"

Harvey glanced over to his wife, only to discover that he couldn't see more than her boots. "Joelle Corwin Geisler, Lieutenant."

"Okay, so," Alex said. "Since your wife and that other gentleman had to help you walk, can I rightly assume you are experiencing some dizziness? How bad is it, on a scale of one to ten?"

Harvey took a moment to assess himself. "I'd say six or seven."

Alex nodded.

"Headache?" he asked next. "Pain or maybe a feeling of pressure in your head?"

The Captain couldn't help himself with this one. He pointed at the bloodied bandage and declared, "This not proof of that? Definitely hurts, yes."

Alex chuckled.

"Yes, sir," he said. "But you know the drill. Okay, next question. Any nausea or vomiting? I know these questions are annoying, Skip, but that's mainly because you already know the answers to them. I don't and you know I really shouldn't be guessing."

Finally he could give a negative answer. "Nope," the Captain replied. "That's to both counts."

"Well, that's good," Alex said. "Last question, and I know it's kind of dumb, considering, so I'm going to phrase it a little differently. Instead of telling me if you feel fatigued, because I think we're all feeling fatigued, can you tell me whether you're feeling more fatigued than the current situation merits?"

Harvey took a moment before answering that question as he conducted another self assessment. "I really can't tell," Harvey said. "This happened a few hours ago, and I pushed through to make sure the crew all got back home. I could be extra tired because of what I put myself through after the injury."

"Okay," Alex said, removing the bandage on Harvey's head as he spoke. "Well, here's the bad news. Your pupils are dilated more than I'd like, and, in addition to this nasty head lac, you've got a hairline skull fracture. That's the bad news. The good news is that your brain looks fine. So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to use a boneknitter on the skull fracture, and I'm going to clean the head lac up again, just for good measure, and use a dermal regenerator to close it up. Now, normally, if we weren't in this situation, and you weren't the CO, I'd tell you to take a few days to a week and let your body heal itself. But this isn't a normal situation and you are the Captain and you're not going to rest no matter how much I insist, so I have another solution. There's a medication I can give you that will speed up your recovery. If you rest here overnight, you should be back on your feet by breakfast tomorrow. You won't be 100%, so you'll need to be careful about how hard you push yourself for the next few days, but you'll be able to function."

Alex reached into a drawer and pull out the boneknitter and went to work on the hairline fracture. When he was done with that, he cleaned the the head wound, then closed it with the dermal regenerator. Finally, he used a hypospray to give Harvey two injections: hyronalin and the medicine to speed his recovery from the concussion.

"All done," he said. "That medication usually reduces the headache after about five or ten minutes, but if you need something more, let me know. In the meantime, just lay back and rest. I wouldn't suggest reading, but if you'd like some music and a headset, I think we could arrange that. If you're good here, I'd like to take a look at your wife."

Harvey nodded to the Corpsman. As much as he didn't want to rest, he knew the medication needed time to work. He'd remain in the biobed until Rylan had finished with his wife, or an orderly came by to demand the bed. Whichever came first.

Alex went over to where Joey was resting. He looked at the monitors on the biobed and smiled.

"Well, Lieutenant," he said. "It looks like both you and your babies are doing fine. There is one hitch though. I'm hesitant to give hyronalin to a pregnant woman this far along. I've got another drug I can use, a newer one, one that is considered safe to use on pregnant women and will better treat the babies you're carrying. You're going to have to stay here for a few hours while the medication does its magic. It's safer for you and the babies, but it takes longer to work. You may even need a second injection. So, can I go ahead and give you the first injection?"

Joey turned her attention to Alex when he approached her. She didn't really fancy the idea of staying in sickbay, even if it was only for a few hours, but the safety of her unborn children were a bigger priority for her. "Go ahead," she said with a nod. "I'm not willing to jeopardize the lives of the babies more than they have been already."

"Great," Alex said, getting the medication he wanted and loading it into a hypospray. "Don't take this wrong, Lieutenant, but that was easier than I thought it was going to be."

Alex injected Joey in the neck gently with the hypospray. "This medication might make you feel drowsy. That's totally normal, and if you want to just close your eyes and rest or even sleep, that's absolutely fine. The rest would do both you and your babies good. I can get you something to read or some music or both, if you'd like."

Sleep... that was something she would welcome right about now, but could they really spare the beds right now? Wouldn't it be selfish of her to take up the room? "Can you have someone get my dogs for me?" Joey asked. Her eyes were pleading and selling with tears at the thought of them being stuck alone for longer than they needed to be. "They need to be treated, too. Please?"

Alex smiled warmly.

"Of course," he said. "I'll have someone bring them in and I'll treat them myself. Believe it or not, they give us some veterinary training. Don't worry yourself. I'll see to this."

Joey visibly relaxed. "Thank you," she said softly, wiping the moisture from beneath her eyes before glancing in her husband's direction. "How is he doing? Is he doing to be okay?"

Alex took a moment to ask a corpsman to go and retrieve Joey's dogs before responding, then turned back to Joey.

"He's going to be fine," he said. "He's got a concussion, but it's not that bad. It would heal on its own, given a little time and rest, but as we both know, starship captains don't always have the luxury of time to recover naturally. I've given him hyronalin and a medication to help speed his recovery from the concussion. I'll discharge him in the morning, most likely. He won't be 100%, but he'll be able to work if he doesn't push himself too hard. In a day, maybe two, he'll be completely recovered."

"Did you hear that?" Joey called over to the bed her husband was lying on. "If you don't push yourself too hard." She looked back to Alex and offered him a smile. "Thank you."

"My pleasure," Alex said. "Now, get some rest. Your dogs will be here soon and I'll check them out myself and they can camp out here next to your bed. I'm sure they're worried sick about you."

Harvey didn't verbally reply to Joey, but he just kept his eyes closed and smiled. His drive only had two settings: STOP or FULL ON. He had heard everything that had gone on, and while he was feeling guilty for lying still when there were crewmembers standing in the hall who needed medical attention still. But, just resting felt so good...

Joey knew her husband, and knew he was smiling right about now though she couldn't see it. "Is there a private room you can put us in for the time being so we can clear these beds up for the crew that still need to be treated?" she asked Alex. "I'm here for a few hours, and my husband... who seems to run at energizes on full when he's not sleeping... will be here a little longer, so it just makes more sense."

"Of course," Alex said. "I'll get one ready and we'll move the two of you in there. For now, just relax."

As instructed, Joey closed her eyes and relaxed. It wouldn't be much longer before she and Harvey were in a private room, freeing up their current spot to others who needed to be in them. And not long after that, the entire family would be together again when Rico and Pequeno joined them. Things looked as though they were going to be okay.

 

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