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side - sim: Lost in the Dark

Posted Dec. 5, 2022, 1:11 p.m. by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) (Nicole Cline)

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in side - sim: Lost in the Dark

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in side - sim: Lost in the Dark

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in side - sim: Lost in the Dark
Posted by… suppressed (27) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
It was a hard night for Roman. The meds completely wore off a couple hours later. Roman no longer needed the tranq to stabilize his heart, his daily heart meds were enough for that and he was well enough to be off the booster, but it was that and the drowziness-inducing nausea meds that made it easier to get back to sleep. And the nightmare med that kept him from waking up repeatedly in terror.

It might have been longer before he started having a problem, except he’d had that issue with sickbay today, and things like that always set off his nightmares. The fact that it was still around the time of the anniversary of the attack, made it worse. It was like they came back with a vengeance. It was like the night Rand had given him the first dose of the nightmare meds. He was shaking in his sleep, occasionally crying out softly, his shirt becoming damp with his sweat. His breathing was fitful with fear. When he woke from it, he shot up, his breath catching, and it took a moment before he was calm enough to realize he wasn’t there. Then he turned to see if he had woken Rand. He hoped he hadn’t, she needed her sleep and he still felt bad he wasn’t able to go visit her in sickbay. Even now that idea made his stomach flip.

~ Roman

Rand didn’t wake. Which was abnormal, usually she did. The meds prevented her from dreaming, but it didn’t stop the intense sadness. When he sat up her hand reached for him and when she didn’t find him, she moaned sadly. Her body was simply to exhausted and deprived to let her really wake up.

Rand

Roman was glad Rand didn’t wake. When her hand reached for him he reached down and held her hand. He had a hard time going back to sleep. After he’d held her hand for a while, he rolled over and curled up and tried to sleep. He couldn’t. The image of the nightmare felt burned into the back of his eyelids. After another hour, he started to cry quietly. Finally he fell back to sleep, sometime after that. The first morning alarm woke him out of a second, intense nightmare.

~ Roman

Rand woke with the alarm, but she was groggy and sluggish. Her body still needed sleep. She rolled over feeling him startle and the ragged breathing. “Hmmm…Ro…Roman?” She pushed herself up on her elbow. “Wha…what’s wrong?”

Rand

“I’m okay.” Roman’s voice was shaky and unsteady. He reached over and squeezed her hand. His palm was sweaty. His breathing was shaky and fast and though he was trying to calm himself, it wasn’t working. He wanted her to relax and sleep but instead he ended up pulling her into a hug, pressing her against him as he started to cry again. He tried not to make it obvious he was. “Sorry. You should be sleeping…”

~ Roman

Rand blinked several times and yawned before suddenly being pulled into a tight hug. His voice was strained and his breathing was weird. She tried to sit up and look at him. But he was holding her really tight. She thought it might be his heart, but pressed tight to him she could hear it beating in his chest - fast, but not irregular, not labored. “All I do is sleep, it’s okay. What’s wrong?”

Rand

Roman didn’t answer for a long moment. He just hugged her, his head resting against hers. The break from the nightmares had made them so much worse - almost like new. It felt cruel to give him a break at all. He cried against her, and then took a deeper, shaky breath. “S-sorry…” He tried to breathe for a moment but he still couldn’t manage to calm himself. “N-nightmares.”

~ Roman

Nightmares? Rand hugged him tight and tried to look up at him, but gave up and just snuggled into him. “Didn’t you take your medications? They were helping.”

Rand

Roman shook his head against her. “No, when I found out you didn’t page me to get you from sickbay…” He paused slightly, it wasn’t like he’d have been able to get her anyway. Unless it was from the door to sickbay. “I headed straight here and went to sleep.”

~ Roman

“Oh…” it was her fault. She had made him miss so much, she didn’t want to take him away from what he loved anymore. Plus he didn’t come back, so she just assumed. “I…you had already missed so much time already. I’m sorry.” She hugged him. “Do you want me to get Randy?”

Rand

“I-I, um…” He didn’t know how to tell her about what happened in sickbay, but he did want to tell her, it would explain why he hadn’t shown up. He didn’t know what to answer about calling Randy, either. There wasn’t anything Randy could do but give him meds. He knew how the day would go if he didn’t: the not eating, the working, the memories following him everywhere. He really, really didn’t want to go back to that. But he wasn’t sure he could do the meds. Finally he sighed, “I don’t know.”

~ Roman

Rand didn’t know what to do. The last time Roman said he didn’t know what to do and Rand made a decision… Roman had been really angry with her. Just thinking about it made her want to be sick. She couldn’t do that again. She didn’t even try to convince him. She wasn’t sure she was supposed to. So she just let him hold her and she hugged him back, staying silent.

Rand

She could feel him still shaking against her. He held her quietly for several minutes. Then he loosened his grip on her a little bit so he could look down at her. “What do you think I should do?” He thought he knew what she’d say, but he wanted to hear her say it.

~ Roman

Rand knew what she wanted him to do, but that wasn’t the same thing as what he should do. She didn’t know. She felt ill-qualified to suggest anything. He was expecting an answer though. “I…I think you nnneed to decide what you wwwwant your life to be like. Then d…d…ddo whatever you have to to have that life.” So much meaning in those statements.

Rand

Roman gave her a look. He was still too stressed and scared to think very clearly. “I want your opinion, not a riddle.” His voice was soft, still shaking, and his look was something between confusion, questioning, and love for her.

~ Roman

Rand sighed, her shoulders lifting high and then dropping quickly within his hug. “If th…th…there was medicine to hhhelp me not be sssso anxious, and still per…perform my duties, I would ttttake them. The meds Rrrrandy gave you help and you get to ccccontinue your duties.”

Rand

Roman sighed and then nodded. “I… Yeah. You would, wouldn’t you?” It wasn’t a question so much as a resigned statement. “Let’s… Let’s call him.” He hadn’t let her go, he seemed reluctant to do so. He just liked holding on to her.

~ Roman

What had she said wrong? This was why she didn’t want to say, she always said the wrong thing. Now he was mad again. She knew he hated meds, but even if she didn’t want them, Roman made her take them. Was she not supposed to be willing? She didn’t understand what he wanted. Should she ask? No, no she needed to stop talking.

He said to call Randy, but she wasn’t sure that was the right thing. He was mad at her. Was he being sarcastic? He hadn’t let her go either. She didn’t know! Finally, she reached across him and tapped the comm to page Randy because that was what Roman had said to do.

Roman hugged her tighter again. He seemed almost afraid to lay back down or let his eyes close for too long. “Thank you.”

When Randy arrived he only needed a glance to know what had happened. “Is everything okay?” Rand wouldn’t answer. Randy would tell her it was better for Roman to do this for himself, but Rand just didn’t want Roman even more mad at her.

Rand

Roman didn’t know what to say or how. He squeezed Rand’s hand gently. “I… Uhm, I had a nightmare.” He glanced at Rand, then back to Randy, “Multiple, really.” It was awkward. He hated doing this. But he had to, unless he wanted to go back to every single night being like this. The thought made him shudder. It was obvious he hadn’t slept well, or much at all. And when they were bad like that it would bother him for the rest of the day. He still hadn’t completely calmed down.

~ Roman

Randy nodded slowly. The dosage had been working fine, so he had to conclude that Roman hadn’t used the meds, but he needed to make sure. “Did you take your hypo last night?”

Roman shook his head. “I… felt bad I wasn’t able to stay with Rand in sickbay, so when I came back and found her asleep, I just went to sleep, too.” And he hated giving himself hypos.

Randy pulled a chair over and sat. “How are you feeling about their effectiveness? Do you like their effect? How you feel when taking them?”

Randy

Roman didn’t know how to answer that. He still wasn’t very good at answering these kinds of questions. “I sleep, I can eat, I…” He noticed now how queasy his stomach felt. It was the reason he hadn’t been eating much before Randy put him on those meds. He was, though he had never realized it, nearly constantly stressed to the point of illness, at least during hard times like now. The fear and stress the nightmares caused made his stomach upset, too. But he didn’t have or know the words to describe it. He squeezed Rand’s hand again. “I can… relax, I guess. Not have to keep hiding behind work from… from things. I could go to sleep, and stay that way, and then I knew I wasn’t waking Rand up all the time to deal with my problems.” He squeezed her hand again gently when he said her name.

Rand squeezed his hand back both times, but she didn’t say anything. He still hadn’t really let go of her, so she just stayed where she was since it seemed to be what he wanted.

Randy listened, able to fill in the details that Roman had a hard time expressing, he didn’t say anything either, letting Roman finish.

“I can get away from the…” The memories. He couldn’t make himself say it, not even so vaguely. It made the image of his nightmare come back to the front of his mind. He went on anyway, assuming Randy knew what he meant. “Even… Even the other day, it was nice, I didn’t have to think about it all the time.

~ Roman

“So let me ask you, do you want things to stay nice? To be able to eat, fall asleep, stay asleep, enjoy your work, to not have to hyper focus on the stuff you don’t want to.”

Roman nodded. He didn’t want it to end, didn’t want to go back to how it was. The not sleeping, the constant stress and sadness and grief.... Not to mention how ill he could get from not eating. It was all just… tiring.

“Are you willing to take the meds so it can stay that way?”

Randy

He looked down at Rand, loosening his grip on her. He knew what she wanted him to say. He wasn’t sure he could do it. “I… I want to. I don’t want to go back to how it was.”

~ Roman

Randy nodded. “I know it’s hard for you. So let me ask you, would it make a difference, would it be easier for you to take them in pill form rather than a hypo?”

Randy

Roman hesitated, then nodded. “I think it would.” He wasn’t sure why it was easier. Perhaps because pills were more… Removed from sickbay than hypos. He still had regular, over the counter meds in pill form, like mild pain relievers and things. He didn’t use them frequently but he could, he wasn’t afraid of them like he was hypos.

~ Roman

Randy nodded, “We can do that. However, if your nausea gets really bad a hypo will be better so you don’t have to put that and water or what have you on a rebelious stomach. But if it is mild we can still do a pill. Your rescue hypo will stay the same.”

Roman nodded. “I just can’t do a daily hypo. I can’t… give it to myself.” In an emergency it was different. Dying of heart trouble was a heck of a motivator to use the rescue hypo… If he could find it. He never had found it after the jiu jitsu incident. Otherwise… Hypos were a no thanks from him whenever possible. Pills also had a slower onset time, typically about 30 minutes, but variable based on med.

“Alright let’s talk which meds. You have to stay on your heart meds. You also have been taking something for your stomach for a little while, the nightmare meds, and a tranquilizer.”

Randy

Roman nodded. “I have to do the nightmare meds.” He didn’t need to be waking Rand up all the time. It wasn’t fair to her. Especially with the concussion. The other meds must have been helping, too, but he wasn’t sure exactly which did what, save for the stomach meds keeping his stomach settled enough to eat regularly. He just, as Randy put it, wanted things to stay nice.

~ Roman

“Alright so this is what we are going to do. Since you missed last night, I am going to give you a small booster hypo of your heart meds, and the tranquilizer to get you through today. You will start the pills tonight. 30 minutes minimum before you go to bed.”

Roman squeezed Rand’s hand again and nodded.

“Now pills metabolize in your system differently than a hypo so we may have to adjust dosage and time a bit after a few days.”

He didn’t want to overwhelm Roman, but better to mention it now. Randy had told him they had to discuss meds. “Tranquilizers are not a good long term option. They are meant to be taken for a few days, a week at most, otherwise the body adjust to the effects and the medication is no longer effective. So I am going to look at alternatives, that will give you the same ability to relax and focus without the strain, but without the side effects of a tranquilizer. I will get you some options.”

Randy

It was a lot for Roman. Adjusting this and that, changing meds… No, he just needed to let Randy handle it. He had to do this, for Rand if nothing else. He felt… bad about it, in a way he couldn’t place. Like he was failing something, maybe. He didn’t know. He was trying to ignore it.

~ Roman

“Alright. So don’t go in early today. Usually you take the tranq at night so it has several hours to work through your system and settle the light headed effects. So just give yourself a little extra time. A good breakfast will help with that. So, one more question. Do you need something for your nausea?” It was Roman’s choice, Randy knew this was a lot, it was huge, and Roman probably felt like he had very little control right now.

Randy

Another moment of hesitation and then another little nod. Roman wouldn’t be able to eat anything the way he was feeling, let alone a ‘good breakfast’. He wanted to be able to go to work and he couldn’t be in the lab too lightheaded.

~ Roman

Randy nodded and got up, spinning the chair back around to the table and left. He returned a minute later with the adjusted hypo. Which he then administered very quickly. Better not to drag it out and have Roman stress over it.

Rand hadn’t said a word at all, she just stayed there like a large teddy bear having the stuffing hugged out of her. Randy looked at her like he was a bit desperate for her attention of any kind. He was obviously worried about her. Despite her treatments and tests the day before she still didn’t look good to him. “How are you feeling Rand? Did you sleep okay? Do you need something to help you eat?”

Rand didn’t want to eat. Her stomach was in knots, but she knew it was because of her anxiety and stress. “I sssslept a lot.” Her voice sounded better even though she stuttered. “Tha,” was all she said to the meds. Maybe it would make Roman feel better if she needed it too. Randy gave her the hypo and then hugged her tightly. Something was wrong and he didn’t know what it was. “I’ll get breakfast.”

Randy was gone at least half an hour, collecting reports while Gorshin prepped a tray.

Randy

It did make Roman feel a little better. He let her go so Randy could give her the hypo and then waited, trying to relax, for his own meds to take effect. It was clear when they did because all of a sudden he looked like he was struggling not to fall back to sleep. He didn’t want to fall asleep, he hadn’t had the nightmare med and he didn’t want to have another one. Instead he put his focus on Rand, quietly starting to play gently with her hair, combing it with his fingers.

~ Roman

It had such a profound effect on Rand. It was comfort. Each stroke of his fingers sent a warm chill through her. Unlike rubbing her back that calmed her, this seemed to break what little composure she had. Her chest felt tight, her throat ached, and her eyes burned, until tears quietly slipped out of the corners of her eyes. She was silent though, just pressing in close, hiding her face. It would be awhile before Roman would notice, if he did at all. She made herself breath evenly, he might think she had fallen back asleep. She felt like crying all the time, but she didn’t want to because it made her head hurt.

Rand

Roman set one arm around her when she cuddled in closer, the other one still playing with her hair. His breaths were deep and slow, not like earlier. The dose of the meds had not been high enough to cause so much drowsiness, rather it was the effect of poor sleep and the sudden relaxation. He didn’t notice she was crying, her face wasn’t against him and her breathing felt calm.

~ Roman


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