PHD #238: The Spark of Humanity
The Spark of Humanity
Summary: An injured Ximena enters a crowded Sickbay, prompting Cameron to offer her some 'unofficial' medical assistance.
Date: 22 Oct 2041 AE
Related Logs: Fresh Start
Cameron Ximena 
Sickbay - Deck 10 - Battlestar Cerberus
Being able to accommodate combat casualties requires room, and the Sickbay has it. Beds line each side of the room with privacy curtains strung up and readily available. Large vaulted lockers hold access to the supplies at the far end of the area. Nearer the front, a Petty Officer sits ready to dispense simple items like ibuprofen and aspirin. Further to the rear is an area prepped twenty-four hours a day for emergency surgery. To the side are a set of double doors that lead to the Recovery Ward where patients can recuperate.
Post-Holocaust Day: #238

Sickbay sees its usual amount of traffic, more so now that people have to be regularly checked and processed and rechecked, particularly for radiation exposure. It's almost become a fact of life, part of regular duties. But it seems the engineer now wheeling her way into Sickbay isn't here for anything routine. Ximena looks as though she's been through a bit of a patch, to be honest. Still in her coveralls, but they're touched here and there with dirt and grime. And there's a large gash on her thigh, opening up her leg nearly from hip to knee. It's been roughly tended, but there's no mistaking the blood that's darkened her clothing, or the sheer amount of bandages covering it. What is missing, is any sort of reaction to actually having her leg cut open, as she makes her way into the main receiving to get checked in.

Sitting there in the waiting area is one man who isn't a patient. He's there for, of all things, an interview. And it's driving him crazy. Watching person after person come in for some treatment or another, and unable to do anything but sit and wait with them as they sit and wait to be seen. Well, it's driving Cam crazy. Just sitting there, doing nothing when he could be helping people, it's not something he's used to, especially not in the past few years of his life where he had complete freedom being one of the only doctors available for miles around. His fingers keep flexing restlessly against his thighs, one leg jerking up and down in an impatient manner.

His attention is caught, however, as a familiar face, and figure, enters into the room. He frowns at the blood and the evident size of the injury as indicated by the bandages. And when the Petty Officer tells her to take a seat with the rest of the people waiting, well, that's kind of the last straw. "Frak this," he mutters under his breath as he shifts chairs, essentially forcing Mena to take the spot to his left before he turns, his body blocking the view of her from the front desk as he studies the blood and bandages and notes in a deceptively mild voice, "That looks pretty mean. Did the medic who bandaged you give you something for the pain?"

Typical day in a typical military medical facility. It's all sit around and wait. And so Ximena doesn't seem in the least put out by the request. At least she doesn't have to fill out any paperwork, they already know her. That's sort of like a bonus, right? None of the civvies get that one. Quick hands wheel herself around past the people already waiting and the chairs already filled, before she settles into the spot next to the doctor, about to open her mouth and complete the, "Doctor Cam—" when she hears his question, and her brows knit. If ever the man had seen a woman give someone an 'are you for real' look, he's recognize it right now. "You're joking, right?" There's actually humour in her tone, as she looks between the doctor and her leg, which, frankly, she doesn't really seem to be paying that much attention to.

His brow creases in confusion, uncertain what he just said to earn that sort of reaction. "Do I look like I'm joking?" he asks, blue eyes studying her face and taking in the fact that she is either one exceedingly stoic woman or she isn't feeling any pain. "What part, exactly, seems like a joke to you? My lame and overly obvious observation? The fact that someone wouldn't waste a painkiller on what you deem to be a minor flesh wound? The fact that I'm being all doctorly at you? Or the fact that I don't take it for granted that just because you're in that chair you can't feel anything from the waist down?" He studies her haphazard appearance before sitting back in his seat again, his leg drumming up and down again as he rumbles, "Did you get the number of the ditch that sideswiped you, or did you just run it off the road?"

"It's not actually from the waist down, but no, I don't feel much in my legs at all. All I'm feeling right now is like…" Ximena stops talking, trying to find a rough equivalent, "Like when you have a sunburn, that sort of hot feeling you get on your skin." There's a lift of her shoulders in a shrug, "I didn't even really notice it till I turned back the way I came and noticed the blood on the ground." Ximena still seems more than a little amused. "It left me its insurance information before I headed back up here." But she also seems as though she's really not trying to put the man out, "Seriously, it's fine, you know?"

"Normally I'd be saying 'I'll be the judge of that', regarding whether your leg is 'fine' or not, but in this case I don't think I will be." And then he pauses before adding, "Unless you would prefer not to wait." Hades, they wouldn't even realize he was gone he bets. No way they'll be interviewing him any time soon with this many patients waiting to be seen. Cameron manages to still his leg, but his fingers take up where that limb left off, drumming impatiently on his thigh. "I'm not used to being … hobbled like this. Normally someone gets hurt, I treat them, end of story. This whole sitting here doing nothing while people are in need.. doesn't really suit me." His gaze flickers to Ximena's thigh again as he muses aloud, "So partial subcutaneous nerve reception…" His eyes lift to hers, a hint of a smile belatedly touching his lips as he recommends, "I'd totally take it to court, if I were you. You had the right of way, after all. That ditch was totally hogging the road and cut you off."

"It's not going to be forever, Doctor Cameron." Yes, it might sound a bit off, but considering Ximena only knows him by one name, that's what he gets. "It's procedure and red tape. But it has to be done, to preserve the safety of the people who come into sickbay. This isn't like it was before, they can't just pull up files and records. They're working in the dark, and it takes a lot of trust to let someone into a place where people are at their most vulnerable." A shrug, once again follows, "I don't really care one way or the other, I just have projects I need to get back to. This ship doesn't fix itself. So the sooner I can get this take care of, the better." A shake of her head in the negative, "I shouldn't have gone out so late in the night, was my own fault."

"It's just Cameron. Or Cam if you like," he corrects absently, as if it wasn't particularly important. His nose wrinkles at the words 'procedure' and 'red tape'. He was just discussing the frustration he has with those sorts of details but he nods in agreement to her words. "Then again," he notes, "people in pain just want to be treated and helped, and so long as the person helping them is knowledgeable, they don't necessarily care that it all takes place in a doctor's office with all the correct paperwork filed in triplicate." But she just said she doesn't care who tends her or how long it takes. And Cameron doesn't care if he misses his interview, which seems unlikely. And she's easily the most seriously wounded person in the room, and the fact that she can't feel the injury doesn't mean it's necessarily nothing more than a scratch. It could be quite serious, and she would be utterly oblivious to her situation. "Well then, since you don't care and I do, how about you give me an escort back down to the Hangar Deck and I'll get my medical kit and fix up that leg of yours?"

"Cameron." Full stop. "Cam." Full stop. "Cameron." As if she were trying each out for size, before she made a decision. Just like a good engineer, really. "Cameron it is then. It suits you. Although you're probably the first person I've known of outside of celebrities that only have one name." Ximena pushes back away from the spot where she was resting and nods, "We just need to let the MP know you're ready to head back." No way they can ditch that. "Procedure." But she does move out of the way so the doctor can fall in line with her, "Actually, I'll tell you a secret I learned on the battlefield. Most people don't even care if you are knowledgeable." She starts off, bumping her way over the lip of the hatch with a neatness born from a lot of practice. The MP joins them soon enough, "The doctor is finished for the day, and ready to return to the hangar." And with that, they're off, the MP looking more than happy to be quit of his civilian charge. Not many of the MPs have been too happy about doing civilian escort duty.

Being compared to a celebrity makes the doctor laugh and shake his head as he offers, "Let's try this again, shall we? Hi. I'm Dr. Cameron Adair. But you're welcome to call me Cameron. Or Cam. Besides, celebrities with single names don't have average names like "Cameron". They usually go with something a little more exotic, like Euphoria or Euthanasia." Rising up, he nods and concurs, "That's fine. I think it's obvious that I won't be getting interviewed today. I'll do it one better even and tell the petty officer as well. Be right back." Heading over to the desk, he indicates the line and makes it look like he's doing them a favor, getting out of their hair so they can see all their patients. What a nice guy. Once outside the door, he lets Ximena talk to the MP and then follows after her with a nod, the MP following just behind him. "That's true. They don't care. Until afterward, and then they try to sue the pants off you."

"Nice to meet you, Doctor Adair." It's surprising how pleasant Ximena has been through all of this. Just another day in the park. Sunny and bright as summer. She does it so well. Perfectly in fact, perhaps a bit too much so. "Euthanasia might be one for you. Though I don't find Cameron to be all that common." Silence falls, as she waits for the doctor to go and return, before she scoots out of doorway and into the hall, turning the corner to approach the freight lift. It's not long before they're inside and on their way to the hangar, "Upside to being in the military, you can't really sue anyone for bad battlefield medicine. If you're still alive, they did their job, no matter what condition you're in. Trust me, I would know."

He doesn't really know Ximena well enough yet to realize that perhaps her mood is a bit too bright and cheerful. That she is rather different than the first time they met is certain, but which is the real her? "Just Cameron," he corrects again, a little hesitantly this time. "I don't think 'Euthanasia' would be a good celebrity name for a doctor. I would likely find myself very un-famous very fast." He's quiet on the ride down, but as the lift comes to a stop, he notes, "There's a difference between battlefield medicine and treatment after. Battlefield is quick and dirty, do the best you can with what you got. Fix what you can and do your best not to make it worse. I would say that it wasn't the battlefield medicine that failed you. I would guess that there was little to no follow up."

The doors open and this time Cameron takes the lead, walking over the cot that is his, so to speak. It's a sad little thing, but someone was kind enough to supply him with an old crate, into which he's managed to stuff his belongings, tucked under his bed. Next to it is a large medical kit on wheels. Unlocking the case, Cameron quickly sanitizes his hands and dons gloves before nodding his head to the space before him. "Lets take a look, see how bad it is and go from there, kay?" He starts to delicately remove the bandages, using a saline syringe to loosen up the spots where the gauze has stuck to the wound. "Ximena is a rather unusual name. Very beautiful," though he does manage at least this time not to say something stupid such as 'like you'. Embarrassing himself once was enough, and she would likely take the compliment no better this time than before. At least with her name, there's no onus. She doesn't get to take any credit for having a beautiful name.

"It would depend on what sort of celebrity you were of course. If you were a musician, maybe something dark and metal, you could bill yourself as Dr. Evil or something. It would go over great with the kids on the club scenes. Especially if you had a demonic nurse along with you, in a short skirt." Ximena makes her way through the hangar deck, politely as possible, when she has to have some of the civilians move aside for her. Sometimes, not often, she does use The Chair to her advantage. if only to make moving around in it easier. "We were sort of lacking on medical facilities after the nukes hit. Was just me and my squad, what was left of us, and none of us were medically trained, well, not much past the sort of first aid they teach you in basic and little things you pick up watching the corpsman work in the field."

Once she settles in by the cot, she offers, "You should speak with the people who bring supplies down, see about getting a tent. They salvaged quite a few from the planet and they've been trying to jury-rig what they can to give people privacy. They might grease the wheels for you, since you're a doctor." Oh wait, he wants her to move. Alright then. She readjusts, moving close enough for him to work. "I can take the coveralls off, if it helps." The gauze takes a bit of work to take off. The job that was done on them was really not that good at all. Probably not much better than what someone might do if they'd watched it being done on television. Clearly not the work of someone with any sort of medical training beyond the most basic of first aid. No stitches underneath either, rather skin adhesive has been applied to stop the bleeding and keep the wound sealed until Ximena could get back to a medical facility. The wound itself is fairly deep, enough to require stitches, certainly, "Yes, I'm not quite sure what possessed my parents. Their own names were rather ordinary. Leto and Danae." And as they're making comments about each other personally, "You look as though the warm water did wonders for you. Or was it the meal afterwards?"

Cameron is, indeed, much improved by the efficacious use of hot water and soap. Heck, he's even clean shaven for a change! He is wearing the same clothes that she first met him in, the dreadful red plaid returned once he was able to wash his own. The only indication that there was ever anything wrong is the hole in the upper arm of his left sleeve. "Well, that's a whole 'nother universe," he grants her. "Though in truth, I don't think I have the personality to pull such a thing off." He listens to her explanation with a quiet nod as he begins to tend to her injury. The coveralls are already ruined, so he doesn't blink at simply cutting them open further noting, "No need. I'd rather get you all taken care of before you start moving around that much." He works quickly and professionally, cleaning out the wound and examining it carefully before stitching it shut with tiny delicate stitches, taking infinite care in the placement of each one and asking, "Does this hurt? Tell me if I'm hurting you." From what she said earlier, he assumes that the process will be painless, and he would rather safe the anesthetic for someone who really needs it.

"The tent is a good idea… I'll ask around, see what can be done." Fortunately the work at hand is not too revealing to be done in public, even though people do seem to give Cameron a wide berth when he's clearly working on a patient. His head lifts, hands pausing at one point to stare up into Ximena's face for a long and quiet moment, studying the color of her eyes, the curl of her hair, the pale stark beauty before him before hazarding the guess, "I would suspect that they were inspired by you…" His attention drops once more to her thigh, giving Ximena a view of the back of his head and a hint of his brow. "Gods, yes, that is the one most blessed thing. Hot water and being able to be clean again. Food is good too, of course, but we were not hurting as much as some on that front at least."

"You'd be surprised what you can pull off, if you don't have any other choice." Ximena shifts a little, using her hands more than anything else, to turn so in her chair that you can reach the wound more easily. The flesh around the wound is pale, showing no signs or traces of possible infection. The look on her face, as she watches you work is distant, as if she were looking at another person, someone else's body. As though she were a stranger in her own skin. "No, it doesn't hurt, no more than it did before. Like a mild sunburn. It's as though I'm watching you sew up someone else." But she doesn't seem keen on dwelling on that too much, as though that way might lead down a road she wouldn't be able to come back from, "It shouldn't be too difficult, most of the people on this side of the hangar have been pretty generous is sharing what has been available, but if you don't have anything by tomorrow, I'll see what I can scrounge up for you."

Having spent the better part of half of her life with little to no privacy, Ximena seems mostly oblivious to the eyes on her. And when the doctor looks up (a rarity in most times for the woman, now) it's only to find the woman he's mending staring back down at him, her expression neither guarded, as it seems to be often, or amused, which it seems to be more often still, but just quiet, something close to contemplative, as she studies him as intently as he does her, "Perhaps. Dad stayed home a whole week after I was born. Which really just means he stayed on the ship, but it was the same thing at that point. I was born on the Orion." Once he looks away, Ximena reaches down, bending over far enough to touch the hole on his shirt, "Who doctors you, Cameron?"

"Well, Cameron murmurs distractedly, "once I've managed to convince people here that I'm a doctor, maybe we can do something about that… let you inhabit your own skin a little more, take a look at what's going on with your spinal cord and nerves…" His head tilts up again, lips curling into a warm and appreciative smile as Cameron murmurs simply, "Thanks." Sometimes it feels easy to get lost amongst all of those in need. Used to being fairly self-sufficient, the good doctor is more accustomed to doing for himself than asking others for help. Seems he'll have to work on that. "Born to serve, eh?" he replies in a teasing and knowing voice. "I can relate to that. I think before I could read books I knew how to read a thermometer." She can feel the wrapping of gauze beneath the hole and her touch causes Cameron's head to lift once more in surprise, eyes wide for a moment before they crinkle with a smile. "Oh that? Thalia, one of the other survivors in my group, helped me bandage it up. Normally I'd do it myself, but it's a bit tricky to do it properly in a spot like that."

"It's difficult, without records. Without being able to verify identities the way we once did. Knowing who's one of us and who isn't." But Ximena isn't going to dwell on that too much, though she does withdraw her hand, folding them comfortably back into her lap, one over the other, in the classic pose of someone holding their hands to stop their hands from moving unbidden, "I'm never going to be the woman I was, though, am I?" It's an honest question that perhaps begs an honest answer, "Even if I might have been able to, not after all this time." And no, it's not okay. But by the soft inflection in her voice, or the flicker of emotion in her eyes. Ximena, for all of the time that she'd had to 'come to terms' with it, is no different than any person newly injured. She's angry, and frustrated, and lost. But mostly angry. "Yes, my father was sure I would have a career in the Navy. I suppose he got his wish at last." As for the answer to the question about how own injury, there's a soft, 'ah' sound. "Is she your daughter's mother?" Yes, it's clear certain assumptions have been made, both about the girl's relationship to Cameron, and Cameron's relationship to, well, everyone else.

Nodding, Cameron notes, "I figure as much. One of my hopes is that one of my papers might be on record here onboard in either the library or medical research archives. I published quite a few whilst I was working at Pallas Research Hospital in Biomechactronics. If so, that will have my credentials listed in the footnotes. If not, well, some of the Marines were in Neath and knew my parents. They could possibly vouch at least in part to my identity."

He makes the final stitch and carefully ties a knot before snipping the excess thread and putting the needle aside. Ocean eyes lift to study Ximena's face as he replies, "You are every bit the woman you were before. Whether or not you'll be able to do everything you did before? I won't know until I can run some tests and determine what has been damaged and whether or not it's repairable." One bloodstained gloved finger lifts as he counters, "But. Just because there has been a lot of time between your accident and now does not mean the damage is beyond repair. In fact, you may have a better chance now that your body has begun the healing process on its own. And, even if you do not regain all of the mobility and sensation that you had before, there is every chance that your condition can be improved." He gently slathers antibiotic cream over the neatly stitched gash, as carefully as if she could feel it, before taping a long gauze pad over the length of it. "But lets start at the beginning. No false hopes, just questions that need answers, yes? Once I have the answers, then you get to decide what you do or do not want to do."

His head jerks up once again, eyes wide with surprise. The doc would make a terrible triad player. "What? Thalia?? She's 55 years old if she's a day," he counters Ximena with a laugh as he strips off and tosses the used pair of gloves into the garbage beside them. "Most definitely neither my wife or the mother of my child…. which is easy, since I don't have a child." His head tilts for a moment, eyes flickering away to find the girl in question playing quietly with another child survivor a few bunks away. "You mean Elpis? The girl you saw me with? No, Elpis isn't my daughter, though she has sort of adopted me. I found her almost dead on Aerilon, trapped beneath her mother's body. Her whole village had been slaughtered by the cylons. I nursed her back to health and she's been glued to my side ever since." Not that he sounds put-out by the fact. Quite the contrary if the small smile and soft light that has come into his eyes is any indication.

"We could certainly use a doctor, whether they can verify who you are or not. And if you are a cylon, you certainly did your homework learning how to stitch. I don't think the skin will scar so badly, if I don't force it too much." Ximena waits until she's fully bandaged and so, before she tries to move away, only a foot or two, but enough to give herself clearance in the front of her chair. "I'll change now, if you don't mind. I don't really want to answer so many questions when I head back up to the duty decks."

Now that she's properly sewn up, as was his stipulation, Ximena starts to work off the coveralls, for obvious reasons starting with the top first. Yes, she's fully clothed underneath, t-shirts and what have you, "Being able to do the things I did before sort of was the defining point of being who I was before, really. So I can't be who I was before. Truth is, I don't even know who I am now. And I'm tired of not knowing. I'm still me somewhere in here, I still want things. But it seems like they're forever just out of my reach." Something very curiously like relief, at Cameron's outrage, "Well, I'm sorry, I just assumed you'd have both. Successful doctor, well to do, I have no doubt. Isn't that supposed to be the Colonial Dream?" Ximena too looks back at the girl, "People can become your family, whether or not they were born to it. My first family died on Warday, my second family died in the months that followed. There's only me left. And Garret. I was an only child, but I imagine if I knew what it was like to have a brother, I would say he was it."

"If the rumors I'm hearing are true, I'm sure they do know how to stitch and appear every bit human. If they've been as careful and precise in the destruction of our species as I've been told, they would be just as careful and precise about everything I suspect." Studying his work, Cameron nods and notes, "I put in extra stitches so it should heal very cleanly. I would say that the scar will be quite minimal and, once it's faded, almost invisible. But scars are sexy, so maybe you should force it after all," he teases lightly, merriment in the depths of his blue eyes. He ponders offering help but simply waits instead to see if Ximena gets stuck along the way. No point in usurping her independence or making her feel any more handicapped than she already does. Pride. That's clearly a large part of her make-up, and it's the last thing that Cameron wishes to hurt any more than it already has been.

"Right now, you're a survivor. Like the rest of us. We're all pretty much lost, Ximena. Some more than others, granted, but we're all in the same boat and we're all irrevocably changed from who we were before. But inside we're still all the same. You're the same. You haven't changed. Only what you do has changed. Doesn't make you any less valid, any less important, any less you than you were before." He laughs again as she apologizes, noting, "No apologies required. It was just funny is all, the idea of Thalia and I being married. She's more like my mother than my wife!" Chuckling softly again, his shoulders shrug as he starts to pack up his medical supplies. "Elpis is definitely family now. But I don't want to say she's my daughter… not when there's a chance that she has other relatives that might be alive and looking for her. Not my place. But maybe," he murmurs, his gaze lifting to watch the little girl passing complicated patterns made out of a circle of twine back and forth between her and her friend, "maybe in time, if there's no one else, I'll officially adopt her if that's what she wants." Well to do? Cameron never really thought about the money so much. As long as he had enough to get by, well, he was content. And it's all moot now anyways. His head tilts as he asks, "Who's Garret?"

"Maybe they can, I don't know. I don't know that I have ever met any, knowingly or unknowingly, but I would like to think that no machine could replicate the spark of humanity in your hands, in your eyes. That that's something unique. That's ours and ours alone." Ximena seems to have gotten the routine of getting dressed and undressed down to a science, and she sheds the top of her coveralls easily enough, though rather than shift out of the rest in her chair, she commandeers the closest available space, which happens to be your cot. It's somewhere between practiced and awkward, as she levers herself out of the chair and onto the edge of the cot, before turning her attention to the rest of the coveralls. The boots take the most time, effort and patience, as she has to do a bit of odd bending and arranging herself, but she manages, "Going to have to wash and sew these up, I think. Still clothed, thankfully, t-shirts and running shorts. "I have a change of clothes in my backpack, don't worry." Which is strapped to the back of her chair, "I probably will the next time I go walking."

There's a grimace, of either remembered or anticipated pain, "I try to walk every day. Even if it's just for a few minutes." Slow and steady, with only the barest hints of frustration touching her expression. "Would you feel any less who you are if you couldn't be a doctor anymore? Would you feel as if you were still Cameron Adair, late of Caprica, Born of Aerilon?" She reaches over far enough to pull the chair towards her, reaching into the backpack for a pair of sweats, "I wish more military clothes came with zippers." A shrug, before she sets the clothes down beside her, "I hope that, however it turns out, that she'll be in your life for a long time to come."

"I'm not worried," Cameron counters, taking this opportunity to surreptiously study Ximena while she is wearing less clothing rather than more. Slim and pale, as he expected she would be, but strong. Lovely. Still he doesn't offer his assistance, simply makes room for her on the cot, though he doesn't move over by much, her arm brushing him on occasion as she struggles with her clothes. "It's not as if you're going to catch a cold. It's perfectly warm in here, though I'd lend you a sweater if you were chilled." He ponders her question thoughtfully before answering, "If something happened to my hands, and I could no longer be a surgeon and operate, or even a doctor, yes, that would be difficult and painful for me. It would be like a hole that I could not fill. But in the end, what I crave most is to help people. My skill is being a doctor, but that doesn't preclude me from being able to help in other ways. I could teach medicine. I could do research, as I did before. There are other things within my skill range that I could still do, even if I lost the use of my hands. It wouldn't be the same, no, but I would learn to adjust over time. It's not precisely what one does that makes life meaningful. It's honoring that goal and desire within oneself, by whatever means necessary and available."

His eyes turn once again to Elpis as he murmurs, "I just want what's best for her. I'm concerned, once I start working full-time again, that I won't be able to give her the attention that she needs. That I won't be enough." His smiles softly as Ximena complains about the lack of zippers in her life and offers, "Swimming." What? "I noticed there's a swimming pool in the Athletics area. Try walking in the water and swimming. If you can move your legs, it will be easier to do so and you can maintain and build muscle mass that way. It will be less hard on your body as well if you don't have to bear your weight when you walk." She can walk apparently. She can walk, even if for only a few minutes. Clearly she has no idea just how huge that fact is. Already Cameron's mind is racing. So, some nerve damage, clearly not a complete severing of the nerves if she can make herself walk. Misfiring signals? Loss of sensation and some muscle control. Perhaps a balance issue. Probably some misalignment of the spine, a tilted pelvis perhaps, or complicating soft tissue damage. And bones? Maybe a break, a crushed vertebrae, something throwing her off physically as well as neurologically? Possibilities, possibilities, Gods, his hands actively itch for some proper diagnostic equipment!

"Maybe that's because a lot of what you know is in your head." Ximena takes a moment to tap her temple, before she goes back to the tedious process of putting clothes on, when half of your body doesn't want to do what the other half is telling it to do, "Most of what I did was with these," she lifts her hand, turning them to highlight them, "And with these," she reaches out to touch her legs, "Sure I still remember how to do things, and I can still finds things that need to be done, but most of what I needed to do when I was on the ground, I can't do anymore. But it's so close, it's like being given a taste of a food you love, and then having the bite taken away from you."

Her humour returns, as she glances over at the man sitting next to her, "Yes, that would really go over well towards your credibility, a patient parading through the ship wearing only her undies and your sweater. You'd never hear the end of it." Ximena finally manages to get the bottoms on, and the boots, though she's now struggling to retie them, "Every parent worries about whether or not they have time. But I can tell you from my own experience, I don't think I turned out that badly, and I only ever saw my Dad in pictures, most times, and my mother through the glass she was drinking out of." There's a thoughtful pause, midway through tightening the laces on her left boot, "I don't think the water would help. Not enough for me to give up the crutches. I can't stand on my own, not without holding myself up with something, and I wouldn't have anything in the water, except perhaps the edge of the pool."

Shaking his head, Cameron argues, "Teaching is nothing like doing. If I were unable to work with patients, unable to perform surgery, it would be no different than you losing your legs and being unable to be a Marine any more. But you have other skills and knowledge. And I can take my skills and knowledge and apply them elsewhere. But it's not the same and we both know it. So the question becomes, how can it give us what we need? And if it cannot, what can?" His lips curl into a broad smile at her comment about wearing his sweater and mildly he notes, "You have shorts on. It's step up from undies. But fine, I can lend you a pair of pants as well if you like, though they'll probably be a tad large on you." Pressing his elbow to his knee, Cam places his chin in his palm as he watches Ximena struggle, noting, "That's the sort of reputation I could live with, but it would be more fun if it were reality," his eyebrows waggling suggestively in response. But he reaches out and places a hand on her knee, completely serious now as he offers, "You have me. Next time you want to work out, drop by and fetch me and I'll help you practice in the pool. Problem solved."

"I don't know the answer to that question. I've never been anything but a Marine. I didn't even have an after school job when I was old enough to work. I lived on the base, I went to the base school, I was a model child to bolster my father's reputation. I didn't go to parties, or have boyfriends. And that didn't change once I became a marine. You can't afford a family on the front line, or even relationships. You fall in love with someone, the next thing you know, you turn around and half their face is blown off. You forget what it's like to be a woman, because you're not supposed to be a woman. You're supposed to be a Marine. And now I can't be the only thing I've ever been." She finishes with her boots, before she shimmies enough to be able to pull up the top of her coveralls, MUCH easier than the rest, since the top half works just fine, "I'm not that much smaller than you are, only six inches, maybe seven." But quite a few pounds, regardless, so yes, baggy pants, "I'm sure you'd get more questions than accolades about your reputation. I'm not too sure that sort of thing works anymore." Ximena looks down at the hand on her knee, the sight of it making it a reality, as the feeling of it is absent. "But if you insist, I will take that sweater."

His smile is wry, thoughtful, as Cameron notes, "We're a bit alike… I was the same way while studying for college and being in university. I didn't go to parties or have girlfriends. I didn't have the time. I owed it to my parents to succeed after all they put on the line for me and to keep my scholarship grant. Afterward, well, was different. I've never met so many soldiers before in my life, and I honestly can't say that I am capable of understanding where you come from on that ground. Every Marine that I've talked to… has a mindset beyond my ken." He chuckles and notes, "No, I'm not a big man. Not like Sergeant Crowe. But then you would be swimming in the clothes, not just rolling them up." His hands drop to the hem of his sweater before Cameron hesitates and asks, "To borrow or to keep?"

"I did the best I could to succeed just to spite my father. He had my career in the Navy all planned out. Academy, commission, probably ship captain by the time I was forty. I was determined to do everything well, but in exactly the opposite of what he wanted. That's why I went enlisted." Ximena turns, dressed now, hands settled behind herself, supporting her weight, "And what about after? Did you let your hair down and make up for all the years you spent in school?" She does shake her head, at the mention of the marine, "I'm afraid I don't know him. I only go down to see…oh, you had asked me who he was, didn't you? He was another survivor on Sagittaron. He found me after the rest of my squadron died or left. He had a small group with him, but eventually it was just the two of us. You'll probably meet him sooner or later, the ship's not that big, Sergeant Garret Lysander. I guess he's the closest thing I have left to family, like you and Elpis." She takes a pause at the question regarding the sweater, "Does it make a difference?" But of course it does. It's not like he can go down to a store and buy another one, "If you can't spare one, it's fine, you need everything you can get."

Shaking his head, Cam confesses, "Not so much. Once you're in that mode of working hard, it's difficult to break out of it. And being a doctor, working in a hospital, well, it doesn't give you much time for anything else." His fingers rub idly at the hem of the heather gray knitted material, a small nod given as he knows what it's like to lose people. They started with twelve in his group, but only eight made it in the end. Not bad, comparatively, but still unacceptable. "I look forward to meeting him." Pulling off the sweater Cameron passes it to her slowly and rumbles, "Well, my mother knitted it for me, so it's kind of the only piece of her I have left." He's willing to lend it, but clearly he's not so certain he can just give it away. Explains why he's almost always wearing it. His eyes lift as he points out, "You never said if you would take me up on my offer. To help out in the swimming pool…"

Ximena remains quiet, hands still behind her, as Cameron takes off the sweater, and explains its provenance, finally shaking her head, lifting a hand to stop him from taking it all of the way off, but as she fails that, she moves her hand back behind her, making no movement to accept it, "No, you keep it. I couldn't take something that important, even to borrow it for a little while." There's a shake of her head, and a blush, perhaps not of embarrassment, but of shame coloring her cheeks, "It was just something stupid anyway. Me wanting to borrow it. Not important." Thankfully, with his next statement, she can easily change the subject. "Sure, I'd like that. I haven't done any swimming in a long time, even before all of this, so I don't know how able I'll be."

Shaking his head, Cameron lifts the sweater, still warm from his body, and slips it over her head, smiling softly as he notes, "No… you borrow it. That way I'll be sure to see you again, cause you'll have to bring it back to me, right?" It seems he isn't going to take no for an answer. He had a tank top beneath it, grey in color, his left arm bandaged up beneath where the hole had been. But otherwise he seems reasonably well and intact, though his hands are rough with calluses and cuts from living off the land for so long, his skin tanned. He's certainly stronger and more muscular than he was eight months ago, but she wouldn't be in a position to notice the change. "As for the swimming, well, we'll just see how it goes, yes? It'll be good exercise for your body in general and the water will feel good to move around in. In a pinch, you'll still float," he teases lightly. The sweater was slightly large on Cameron, his frame thinner now, so it's that much larger on Ximena, which makes the man sitting next to her smile, oddly pleased at the sight.

Ximena was just about to respond, when a wave of cashmere wool suddenly obscures her face, temporarily muffling her words, but she manages a sentence or two once her head pops back out, "There aren't so many places in the galaxy left to go, you know. I don't think I could avoid seeing you again, even if I wanted to." And from her tone of voice, that isn't terribly likely. Once the sweater is fully on, and yes, she does look a bit like she's swimming in the sweater, she continues, "You are my doctor now and all, at least until the stitches have to come out." And likely beyond, but she seems oddly reluctant to consider the implications of that. "I can give you my schedule, when I have to work and when I'm normally free, if it would make things easier. I know you have responsibilities here. And soon you'll have a work schedule of your own." Ximena looks away for a moment, tugging an shifting the sweater, settling into it, despite the fact that the cuffs keep slipping over her hands. She too seems oddly pleased at the sight. "I have a sewing kit that will fix the hole right up."

"It's a big ship," Cameron notes with a shrug, "and once the civilian population is removed to the freighter, well, it's likely it would be quite easy to avoid someone if one wanted to." His eyes lift to hers though, a crooked smile gracing his lips as he notes, "I'm glad that you don't want to though." He chuckles a little and notes, "At the moment, I have very few obligations or responsibilities beyond those that I choose. Later, perhaps, I will have more once and if the Fleet chooses to make use of me. But yes, let me know when it's convenient for you and we'll set up times to meet in the Athletics area for a swim. Though," he notes belatedly, glancing down at her thigh, "We should let that heal up first before we hit the water. Just to be safe." He chuckles softly as her hands vanish into the sweater, noting, "I have a sewing kit too," as he pats his medical kit, "but not quite the right sort of thread. I was hoping to find someone who knits perhaps, who could replace the lost section and keep it from unraveling, but in the meanwhile sewing it up should do the trick to keep it in one piece rather than one very looooooooong piece."

"I'm fairly certain there's some sort of knitting going on on the ship. I heard something about it a few weeks ago. Or maybe it was quilting, I'm not quite sure. I imagine any of the woman in this section of the hangar might be able to point you in the right direction. They've seemed to have gotten together to work things out and help each other as they need." Laughter, full, and rich, darker, perhaps than might be a woman's want, but then, so is her voice, "I think I can manage to patch it up to keep it safe until a real seamstress can look at it." As for the swimming, there's a sniff, "Doesn't have to heal. Just stick some of that liquid bandage on it to keep the water out and away we go." It's surprising how seemingly cavalier Ximena can be about herself, sometimes, and at others, she's almost obsessively vigilant about policing her body.

"I'm sure there's something of the like," Cameron concurs with a nod. "Still settling in, meeting people. One step at a time." He smiles as she offers to sew up his sweater. He could do it himself, but she's offering like she'd like to, so with a nod, Cameron agrees, "That would be great. A trade of sorts." Liquid bandage. Of course. Cameron's become accustomed to thinking in terms of what he has, but all of that has technically changed now. He doesn't have access to the stuff, but Ximena certainly can get some. "Sure. The people in medical can probably set you up with some if you like." Personally he prefers it when the wound can breathe a little, but the stuff is perfectly safe and some swear by it as the only way to patch wounds. But it all depends on what you're dealing with and what you have at hand.

"Though you might not want it patched. Repaired, maybe, but not fixed, you know? I mean, it's a scar, isn't it? A reminder of the things you went through to survive up to this point? Like your hands." Yes, she does notice little things like that. By sight, if not by feel, well, not by much feel anyway, "Those aren't just the hands of a doctor anymore, are they?" There's a thoughtfulness, in her reply, when she answers, "It wouldn't be for all the time, just for when I'm in the water. I could try to get a bit extra, so that you could add it to your supplies, until you're fully situated." A hand rises, the back covering her mouth as she yawns. It's been a long, long day, especially when there hasn't been a night as you've been trying to make it back to the ship in one piece. "You sure you didn't put anything in those stitches?"

He's quiet for a long moment. A reminder. Does he want a reminder of this? Of any of this? His gaze strays to Elpis again who is braiding the other girl's hair now, the piece to twine abandoned on the blanket of the cot. His eyes return to his hands, studying them in turn as if he hadn't really looked at them in a long while. Rough hands. Work hands. Far far from the soft gentle hands he remembered having. They hardly look like his hands at all. Lifting his gaze, Cameron confesses, "I honestly don't know. I guess patching it is something of a lie, isn't it? Pretending that it never happened? Or am I just holding onto something that is already gone?" He hasn't dwelled much on what's happened. He hasn't had the time. That's one of the problems of being rescued. Too much time on his hands and in his mind. He turns to look at the kit, his supplies getting woefully low as he gives Ximena a smile and a nod. "That would be great. I don't know if medical is will to spare anything much, but if they are, that would be great." He smiles when she yawns, a mischievous light in his eyes as he notes, "Maaaaaaybe? No, it's probably just that you need sleep. I'm sure you don't get much around here. Though, if you like, you can blame the sweater."

"It's not a lie, or an attempt to pretend that any of the things that happened to you happened to you. As you said, Cameron, we're survivors. And part of being a survivor is having survived. Against the odds, against the thousands if not millions of enemies that would have liked nothing more than to kill us. Survived losing every bit of creature comfort we've had centuries to become accustomed to. That's no small thing, to have made it for so long on your own, to have come out of it with your sanity intact, to have brought people out with you through nearly impossible odds. I at least had my military training. You were a doctor. What did you know about survival, about living off of a land no longer able or willing to support you? You took an oath to do no harm, and yet I am quite sure you learned a new oath, 'kill or be killed'. That's not something to be forgotten, that's something to be proud of. You survived." But she doesn't dwell on that overlong either, "I will try to get as many supplies for you as I can. we have to be careful, but no one in medical would begrudge you supplies to tend to the injured, I think." That would be against their oaths, wouldn't it? "Is anyone using that one there?" She points to the cot next to Cameron's. It does look mostly empty.

"We helped each other survive. We each had something to offer and together we made it. Those who could hunt, hunted. Those who could forage, foraged. Those who could plant and grow, well, you get the idea. I don't think any one of us on our own would have made it, but together we did." His smile is crooked, ironic as he muses, "I was just thinking the other day, while talking to Lt. Vandenberg, that I had never even held a gun, let alone fired one. The latter is still true. I've never killed anything or anyone. Not by choice, at least. Plenty have died in my hands, but not for the lack of trying to keep them alive." His gaze snaps up as he notes with sudden worry tingeing his voice, "Don't steal on my account. I don't want you to get into trouble. I'm sure if I put in a request I can get some more first aid supplies brought down for the civilian population." As she points, Cameron glances over and informs her, "That's Elpis' cot, but more often than not she sleeps with me. You're welcome to it if you like?"

"And you had to do many things you never would have had to otherwise. There's strength in that, and something to be admired." Ximena begins to shift herself around, leaving the chair for the time being, simply moving towards the other side of the cot she's sitting on. "Don't be too broken up about that. I've killed enough people for the both of us. Believe me, it's nothing to write home about. But we should see about getting you trained to fire a weapon when we can. You are going to need that skill, I have no doubt." She leans forward pulling the cot closer, to make it easier for her to transition herself from one to the other. "I would never steal. I have a hard enough time getting around the ship, the brig is even less handicapped-friendly." She continues to push and scoot, until she's on the other cot entirely, the two now close enough that there's barely a gap between them, and she moves to lay herself down, "I meant, that I don't think they would begrudge allowing me to refill your supply kit so that you could tend to the people down here. They are all healers, just like you." Ximena settles in, shifting to that she can lie on her uninjured side, facing Cameron, which takes a bit of work but is manageable. "I'll go up after I've napped a bit." She seems comfortably snuggled into the sweater and doesn't look around for anything else. "Wake me if you need me."

By the look on his face, Cameron is more uncomfortable with the idea of possibly having to kill someone than the fact that he hasn't done so yet. But he nods in assent. Learning to shoot is going to be a requirement now. He would have learned back on Aerilon except for the fact that they didn't dare waste any ammunition on lessons. "No doubt," he echoes, though his voice is tinged with doubt and uncertainty. The cot is already fairly close, so getting it closer isn't too much of a hassle. Cameron watches quietly as she tugs and yanks and then deposits herself over on the opposite cot. A wry smile touches his lips at her assertion as Cameron counters, "Pity. I mean, you already have a get-away car. What could be more perfect?" He watches as she settles herself in, offering her a pillow to brace in front of her and hug so she doesn't accidentally roll over onto her injured leg. Tucking his legs up before him, Cameron nods and replies, "Will do," though in truth likely nothing but a fire or some other disaster would make him wake Ximena up. Sleep is a precious and rare commodity these days. He waits quietly till her breathing slows and her body goes lax before he lifts up a blanket and gently tucks it in about the sleeping woman. Lying down himself, Cameron pulls up his own blanket, but he doesn't sleep. He can't sleep. So instead he takes quiet comfort and a measure of peace in watching someone else do so.

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