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Tea for Two

Posted on Sun Jul 10th, 2016 @ 4:03am by

Mission: Divided and Conquered
Location: NFO Headquarters :: Personal Quarters
Timeline: Early December 2392


"Let me go!" Lauren yelled at the guards. Two were escorting her out of the labs yet again, after she tried confronting Arvix. This time, M'Gann had been dragged into a separate room, and the brunette heard something about electricity before she stormed over to Walters to give him a piece of her mind. The end result was him getting angry and having her escorted out. The two guards shoved her out of the labs, making her fall and catch herself painfully on her hands, and she scrambled to her feet as they shut the door on her. Rushing toward the door, she put her hands flat on it before yelling, "Arvix, you bastard!" Wedging her fingers as much as she could into the seam of the door, she tried her best to pry it open before taking a step back. "Computer, open these doors!"

Unable to comply. Doors have been sealed.

"Medical override then!" The response was an angry chirp from the computer, and with frustration she pounded her fists against the door. "Arvix, open this door or I swear to God-!"

"Any more interference from you, Miss West, will result in termination," came the angered response.

Lauren leaned against the door, giving it one more solid whack before giving up, her frustration making her eyes well up with tears. Clamping her eyes shut, she slid onto the ground in front of the door, one hand still on the door, as if she could reach through and grab her M'Gann away from him. On the other side she heard a faint scream, the shrill sound muted by the doors that stood between them, and the tears started to flow freely down Lauren's cheeks as she started to sob. "M'Gann..." she whimpered.

Samantha had been in a slump since the night Lauren had brought M'Gann in to sickbay. She'd managed to save the woman but then had to immediately deliver her to Arvix. Looking Lauren in the eyes after that, it was heart breaking. Almost as heart braking as not getting to visit her daughters, she did have a chance to call them but that was it's own kind of torture; to be able to speak to them but not actually touch them, hold them and her grandchildren in her arms. Arvix truly was an evil son of a bitch.

She hadn't been able to secure more time to speak with them or visitation since that night... So she'd tried to carry on and do her job, but seeing Lauren in sickbay everyday, it was hard to say the least. So Sam had decided to do something about it, if she couldn't see her family she could at least try and patch things up with Lauren. Querying the computer for her location she was worried to find out she was at Arvix's lab. There was no way this could end well and rushed down there.

Turning the corridor and seeing the woman slumped down in front of the door, tears flowing down her face, it made Sam's heart ache. Rushing to her side, Sam wrapped an arm around Lauren's shoulder and pulled her up and away from the door. She could hear the faint screams from the other side and had to blink back her own tears of shame. In a way it was her fault M'Gann was going though such torture.

At first Lauren shrugged the arm off her shoulder, but she recognized the touch and allowed Sam to pull her away. "H-he c-can’t..." she sputtered, barely able to form words as she clung to the woman. It hurt her to see M’Gann go through this, and it lit a fire inside the brunette. She could never go against her Oath, but Arvix... he just may be the exception. There was no humanity left in that man, just whatever demon the Order left inside him.

"I, I know he shouldn't...I wish there was someway to stop him..." Sam's voice trailed off, unable to complete her sentence. Both women were powerless to stop Arvix from continuing with his research. The best Sam could do was to support Lauren through all this. It was bad enough being separated from the people she loved, Sam couldn't imagine how it felt to have them in that evil man's clutches.

Another scream whispered through the door, making Lauren cringe and hold on tighter to the other woman. "Please... I-I c-can’t bear this..." It felt like Arvix was torturing her by hurting her M'Gann, and she knew if she heard the blonde’s pain for much longer Lauren might snap and get herself killed. She knew her hands were tied, she couldn’t do anything from her position... but it still hurt. What could a lowly nurse like her do?

Samantha wasn't sure how much more she could take either. While she'd never gotten a chance to meet the blonde, that didn't matter she was a person in pain and Sam was a Doctor. "You shouldn't have to." Sam said pulling Lauren farther down the corridor, back toward the residential wing and her quarters.

Lauren followed, knowing it was better than the alternative. There was nothing she could do, and as much as she hated leaving the blonde behind, it was better for both of them because it kept them alive. Sniffling, she wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her uniform and looked around after a couple minutes of walking. They were in the residential wing, but in an area she wasn’t familiar with. "W-where are we going?" She asked, her voice a little hoarse.

"My quarters, you shouldn't be alone right now and I don't know where your quarters are." Samantha said as they reached the plain door to her small quarters. Keying in her code she waited for Lauren to enter herself rather than dragging her inside. Her room was pretty plain; Sam hadn't thought she'd be here long enough to get comfortable. There were a few plants and pictures of her family but that was it besides a gaudy painting of a forest that came with the room.

The brunette took a breath and nodded before stepping across the threshold. "Thank you... to be honest, I don't want to be alone," she admitted, wrapping her arms around herself. Good lord, she could practically feel her heart pounding into her fingertips. "C-could I get some chamomile t-tea, please?" She asked. Lauren took a couple deep breaths, in through her nose and out through her mouth, and she felt it help calm her nerves a little. Something warm and soothing would help, and seeing as her primary source of comfort was unavailable the tea would have to do.

"Of course, um please take make yourself comfortable." Samantha said gesturing around the room. There wasn't much there of course, a couch and a couple of chairs in the main room and of course a small coffee table setup. Making her way to the replicator, Samantha replicated two camomile teas. She hoped it would help settle Lauren a bit, it wouldn't be enough...but she hoped it would be something.

As Lauren took a seat in a chair she looked around the room, her eyes falling on the painting. "They gave you that forest painting too?" She asked with a weak chuckle. She took hers down and replaced it with one that was less of an eyesore, a bouquet of red tulips. They were her favorite flower. Spotting a picture propped on he coffee table, Lauren picked it up and looked at the faces. She recognized her mentor, and guessed that the younger woman next to her was her daughter, judging by the resemblance. There were a couple other figures she didn't recognize but they all bore some similarity to each other so she concluded that they must be family. She had a picture of her own family in her quarters, but she had yet to get an image of her and M'Gann. Perhaps she was waiting until Arvix would allow her to fully heal so she would have an image of her healthy and happy.

Walking over to where Lauren sat, Samantha handed her the warm mug of tea. "Yeah I hate it, but I've been resisting replacing it with anything, I guess I didn't want to admit I'd be here long enough for it to matter..." Samantha said with a frown, that had been months ago, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to make the place a little more homely. If for no other reason than her own sanity. Maybe later...looking back over at Lauren she noticed the photo in her hand. "My family; Helena my eldest, her wife Arija, Amita my youngest next to them and in front Helena's kids."

Samantha smiled as she looked at the framed photo, Helena's kids to settle long enough for them to take the photo. Still Samantha had enjoyed every moment of it...and wished every night she could do it all again, be back in that moment. One of the last she'd been happy... oh yes, tonight was going to be another night where she went to bed cradling that photo and the one of her husband tightly until she simply passed out.

Looking up, Lauren accepted the mug with a nod of thanks before turning back to the picture in her hand. "It's a beautiful family," she commented, placin the frame back onto the coffee table. She then held the tea with two hands and brought it to her lips, allowing the steam to waft into her nose before taking a sip. It was a little hot, but the slight burning of her tongue helped distract her, and once the liquid was cool enough she swallowed it.

Her own family had been killed in the initial takeover, caught in the crossfire. Lauren herself had been assigned to DS7 at the time, and she didn’t hear the news until about two weeks later. When it hit her that they were gone, it was like she went numb. She couldn’t even cry. By then the brunette had seen so much death on the broadcasts that it hardly phased her anymore.

"Thank you...I miss them. They're why I'm here." Sam said taking a deep breath to keep from beginning to cry herself; now wasn't the time. "They're also the only thing keeping me going, well and my team. Can't exactly leave you all hanging." Samantha was fine talking about herself and her family if that's what Lauren wanted, whatever she needed to take her mind off M'Gann if only for a few minutes. Honestly Lauren was one of the few people here she'd be willing to speak to about anything the environment like the order it was hard to know who you could trust.

Lauren reached over and gently placed a hand on hers. "I think you are doing everything you can, considering the situation. The best we can do is keep going for them, right?"

Grasping Lauren's hand tightly, Sam nodded a couple of times drawing some strength from the younger woman. "Right, yes we keep on going." Sam said with a slight smile. "God, here I am going to pieces when I was trying to be supportive for you."

The brunette chuckled, a gentle sound as she ran her thumb gently over the back of the woman’s hand. She was still hurting inside, but talking to Sam was helping. "It's alright. We can support each other." She then lowered her gaze a little. "I heard from the other nurses what he said to you... I'm so sorry."

"It's not your fault, but thanks." The contact was really helping, the way they were able to share the burden of the other's pain. "He's been holding that over my head for months now, I don't know when I'll actually get to see my girls in person."

"I don't know when I'll see M’Gann again," Lauren admitted, taking another sip of her tea. "I think the best we can do is hope. Don't let him get to you." She then sheepishly chuckled, whatever smile she had fading. "Guess I should follow that advice too, huh?"

"We both could be better at that, because you're right...all we can do is hope and push on." Despite her words Sam wasn't entirely sure how much more she or Lauren could take. Arvix was a master manipulator as well as being a complete and total bastard. He was able to push both their buttons so well and make their lives completely miserable without even breaking a sweat. "I guess what they say about Doctors applies to Nurses too, we make the worst patients."

"No kidding," the brunette replied. She leaned forward and sighed, staring at the tea in her hands. "I think the worst part is the waiting. When she was living with me, I knew that I would go back to my quarters and see her. He's kept her for six weeks now, doing God knows what to her, and this waiting, it..." Lauren shook her head, unable to put her thoughts into words.

"It's eating you up from the inside..." Sam replied, almost more to herself than to Lauren. It was the same way she felt between contact with her girls. Sam would spend night after night staring out the windows wondering how they were doing. She could only imagine how much worse it was for Lauren; knowing that M'Gann was so close and that she was suffering.

Lauren nodded, taking a sip of her tea. "There are some days," she began, starting at the liquid in her cup, "where it's been tempting to give that man a piece of what he does to M'Gann... but what would she think of that? Could I even live with myself if I did even one of the things Arvix does?" She then shook her head, "I've worked for years to get where I am today... sometimes I have to remind myself that he isn't worth losing everything over. Sam, how do you do it?"

"I...ah, I guess I think about Helena and Amita." Sam said with a small sigh even as a small smile appeared on her lips. "As cheesy as it sounds, I knew from the first moment I held my girls I would do anything for them, endure anything. So even though it's difficult I know that when I get to see them again I'll be able to look them in the eye. I won't have failed them..."

That was pretty sound advice. Lauren nodded again, keeping her eyes cast downward as she let Sam's words sink in. She found herself fiddling with the locket that hung around her neck, the necklace lightly clicking as the metal rubbed against itself. If anything, keep going for her. Do it for M'Gann. "I think both of us have thought about running away and finding a place where the Order would never find us... but they'd kill us for that." She knew that they'd more likely kill her for 'disrupting research' while keeping the blonde as their specimen.

"They would...and probably much worse." Sam confirmed quickly, she'd thought of running away before. Hell Sam would do it in a heart beat even if it meant her death if it kept her family safe. But she knew that wouldn't be enough, they'd go after her family out of spite and as a warning to anyone else who thought of disobeying them.

Lauren shivered, remembering what the Order did to many of its victims. The beatings, the public humiliation, the hangings... imagining M'Gann having to watch that while she was helpless made the brunette start to tear up again. "He's breaking her, Sam... I have to get her out of there, but I don't know how." She had sent a plea for help to the Rebellion, but they never responded. They had a lot on their hands with their raids and attack runs, but usually a distress call is one that should be taken seriously.

"I know," The older woman said, taking her turn to provide Lauren with some comfort, grabbing her hand tightly. "I wish I had an answer for that one...M'Gann is strong, she's had to be to hold out this long. I don't know what to say except to say take comfort in that."

Lauren squeezed the hand holding hers, shutting her eyes against the tears as she accepted it. Perhaps with the prototype the blonde had started building it might offer an escape, but until then they just had to hold on. It did make Lauren proud that M'Gann held on for this long, and hoped that she'd stay strong through whatever Arvix put her through.


Ooc: Samantha played by Neydani Edeen


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