PHD #305: Presence and A Gift
Presence and A Gift
Summary: Captain Vakos visits Vandenberg in the makeshift Sickbay.
Date: 28 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: Van getting shot?
Khloe Vandenberg 
Hangar Deck - Starboard
Cots still fill the area formerly occupied by the Fleet's civilians, but with Sickbay out of commission they now serve as beds for patients with minor and moderate injuries. Medical staff have taken over the place and tend to those here at all hours, aided by volunteers who perform simple caretaker tasks, bring food down from the galley for patients, or simply lend an ear to those cooped up here for the duration.
Post-Holocaust Day: #305

It has not been long. Just over thirty-six hours since Vandenberg got shot to hell on Tauron. After she came back there was some kind of fuss about her refusing treatment of some fairly critical wounds to her upper body. Supposedly the Colonel had to get involved. Whatever the case, the scrappy Lieutenant is still lying in a quiet corner of the make-shift Sickbay and finally out of the ICU. No obvious attempts at escape can be seen if there are any. She's even had the head immobilizer removed. The woman just stares at the ceiling from her cot looking bored out of her mind. There's a pad of paper under her right hand that looks like it was either stabbed or shot multiple times.

Khloe steps into the makeshift sickbay, peering this way and that - she's never in the real infirmary unless it's her regular check-ups and even then they have to track her down and practically drag her here. Tucked into the crook of her arm is a plain-paper wrapped box. Eventually, she finds her mark, and quietly approaches Vandenberg's bed. She can't quite find her voice when she wants to speak, so she clears her throat gently, before, "Uh, hey."

Of all the people Natalie might never expect to see standing over her bed, this one tops the list. She blinks a few times and rubs at an eye to make sure its actually Captain Vakos. She mouthes a 'Hello, sir,' back to the Viper pilot. There's a hesitation before she looks back to the pad and painfully lifts her neck a bit to see it better. She's getting quick with the handwriting. The pad is lifted to show her: 'Wasn't expecting..Viper visits? How goes sir?'

Khloe frowns darkly. "You can't talk? Oh, sweet gods," she murmurs, the concern reaching her eyes. She shakes her head. "Don't strain yourself, Lieutenant. I had heard you were pretty shot up on Tauron. I… wanted to see how you were recovering. You are recovering, right?" Her off hand goes to idly touch the corners of the box with thumb and forefinger, tracing an edge. It's a nervous gesture, as if she's not sure what to do with it.

Vandenberg has to suppress a small laugh and settles it at a smirk. Laughing would probably rip the stitches right out of her neck. She scribbles quickly on the pad, glancing to the box with a pointed quirk of her brow. The expression then gets aimed up at Khloe for the briefiest second before she looks back to the pad. Doobie do, one more seconnnnd and she turns it back to the Captain: 'Figured u might b happier! ha! j/k Shot up bad. Nothing new. Not the first. Not last. Be out in week or so to beat more butt.'

It's almost as if Khloe is about to reach out with her free hand, but her hand clenches up into a fist; she thinks better of that. Instead, she offers the wrapped box. It's not much larger than a shoe box, and in fact it probably is. "For you."

Van see's the aborted movement and scribbles on the pad. 'Joking. No malice. Visits mean a lot.' The Lieutenant turns the pad to show Khloe and effectively trade for the box. While she does there is an honest smile for the Viper Captain. Natalie isn't trying to go for a Hallmark Moment. That would be a bridge too far. She just wants to convey that she really does appreciate the gesture. But Natalie saw the box but genuinely figured it was for someone else. Does it tick? Smell like chemical weapons? She looks it over without moving her head much and keeping it off her chest. She's obviously been bandaged from her neck and going much farther down. Finally the top is lifted off carefully.

More of the same recycled, old report paper is crumpled up inside, providing a bed for, of all things, a plastic rose, and a folded up piece of sketch paper, The sketch paper is a quick penciling of Vandenberg in full black dress garb, with her rifle to bear. She's a little taller than she should be, and her hair a little longer, and some of the dimensions aren't quite right, but it's not a bad drawing altogether. "The picture will remind you of what your fighting form used to look like so you have a goal to set with your PT," advises the Captain, just to make sure that there's absolutely no sentimental value to it whatsoever. But the rose?

Wow. That was definitely not what Vandenberg was expecting when she opened the box. What she was expecting is probably not so much something specific but more an idea but that was not it. She unfolds the paper and looks at it. She stares at it for a moment, letting all that wash over her before she tries to respond. This is probably a good experience for her. Wetting her lips, the woman picks up the pad and scribbles quickly: 'Motivation taken, sir. Thank you.' When the words are shown to Khloe, there is a solemn nod given with them. The rose is taken up and fingered but she doesn't comment on it right away. She just looks it over, running her fingers along the shape.

"I'm told you're supposed to bring flowers to people in the hospital. So there you are." Khloe nods to the plastic flower in Natalie's hands. There's a bit of downward-gazing and foot-scuffing, and then finally, "Well, I should let you rest. If you need assistance with your PT, let me know. Elf can attest that I'm real mean as a spotter with a punching bag."

Natalie lifts her eyes back to Khloe as the Viper pilot explains the rose. The Marine barely nods her head, but the movement is there. Its as much of a movement as she can make. The rose is set gently on her chest and she takes up the pad to write once more. 'I will do that. Lazy ass will need xercise after this vacation.' The Lieutenant shows it up to Khloe with a smile before setting the pad down. Her fingers open up the paper once more to look at the picture before she turns her attention back up. The sound is craggy and coarse. It probably hurts but she says it anyway. "Thank you, sir." Natalie's right hand lifts to her temple in salute.

There's a sudden softness to Khloe's gaze when she makes the effort to speak, and then actually salute. She returns the salute, but it's not a crisp gesture; it's mirrored with kindness. "They're going to chase me out of here, Lieutenant. Get well soon." Her off hand reaches out to touch the side of the cot that Natalie is stretched out on, apparently as much breach of personal space the Captain is willing or able to allow herself. And with that, she turns and heads off.

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