SIM:Nicholotti Digging Up Dreams
((Recovery Room, Sickbay, USS Victory))
::The last waking thoughts she had were of David, and the warmth he encompassed her with, as she drifted off into a state of sleep she'd rarely experienced. Something about knowing he was there, and that, in the darkness he held her, had said things to her she'd never thought she'd hear, and alluded to a life she'd never imagined, allowed her to let the walls down and simply be. In doing so, he'd become the catalyst for dreams unlike any she'd had since she was a child; dreams that were far from the nightmares she'd faced after her first heart replacement.::
::And so she welcomed the beckoning of the shimmering white that lay just beyond the veil of consciousness, finding his hand and resting one of hers on top of it gently as she drifted deeper and deeper.::
::Uninhibited by pain, pressure, or gravity, it seemed, Kali walked along a path. Clips and phrases from her life danced around her as she floated along, surrounded by the glittering white snow of Til'ahn's Quentisi Mountain Range. Out of the silence, a small voice rose to her ears, triggering a smile she had no way or will to prevent.::
Rowena: See the magic now?
::Kali looked up at the snow and the shimmering light that surrounded her. Ahead of her, the path led directly into the brightness, leaving the relative shelter of the trees where she stood now. It was out there that seemed to call for her. It was out there where something told her to dig up her buried dreams and live them. A strange thought, for a woman who generally went after what she wanted, but one she had no will to argue with as she glanced back at the Laudean girl.::
Nicholotti: It's out there.
::Pointing, Kali watched the child smile even more broadly before stepping towards her, standing on her toes, and reaching out one small pointer finger. Tapping it on Kali's chest, where she knew her new heart to be beating, the child spoke.::
Rowena: Second chances. ::Then she pointed towards the brightness.:: Follow your heart.
::Stepping back, the child reached out a hand. Taking it, Kali ran with her, laughing, through the trees and out into the brightly lit snow banks beyond. Once there, they both fell backwards into the light feather-like piles of pure white.::
::And then she was dancing. Twirling across an open floor she suddenly stopped in front of a mirror and took in a sight she'd never imagined. It was strange the way the dress looked on her; the raven darkness of her hair standing in stark contrast to the near blinding white. It glimmered brightly, just like the snow, and once again, she found herself smiling. The image burned itself into her mind as she twirled back across the empty floor, and back out into the snow.::
::Her eyes shot open and she stared into the stark blue sky of Til'ahn before her view was suddenly obscured by the small, blue rimmed face of a girl from so long ago. The girl grinned.::
Rowena: Life is.
::The snow gave out from under where she was propped up above where Kali had fallen into the snow bank. Giggling, she fell down into the shallow hole with her and instinctively Kali hugged her.::
::The girl righted herself and looked up at her.::
Rowena: And magical.
::Magical. The word echoed in her head as Kali suddenly found herself in the dark. It was as if someone had come and turned the sun off, and it took her a moment to get her bearings. David's voice suddenly echoed in the back of her mind about the time she realized that she was home, on the Starbase, in her own bed.::
oO ..when we wake up in the morning and look over at the person beside us, and know, without a shred of doubt, this is the person we want to wake up with every day for all the days we have. Oo
::Immediately, she turned over and found herself looking at the sleeping form of the man whose voice the line belonged to. Then she realized he had been right.she could wake up to this every day and always smile. Softly, she reached out to him and ran her fingertips along his skin, which faded into the ice cold snow moments later.::
::She was laying on her side now on top of the snow in the shallow hole she'd made when she fell. Her hand was still outreached, having settled on a small mound of snow next to her, which was melting from the heat of her hand on it. Suddenly, the child appeared again, this time from a different angle. Having fallen into the snow herself, she'd burrowed a hole from her trench to Kali's.::
::Rowena grinned at Kali, and Kali grinned back at her.::
Rowena: You know what you want?
::It was an innocent enough question, and Kali said nothing, but nodded in reply. As for Rowena, she descending into a fit of giggles like children her age often did. Gone were the bones protruding from the once-starved body Kali had found so long ago. Gone was the shadow from the child's eyes that had been there in the wake of the occupation of the Laudean world. Gone was the horror that had replaced the twinkle in the girls' eyes. It was all different now, in Kali's dreams.::
::It all alluded to a bright future.::
Rowena: Don't be afraid.
::Kali turned to look at her just as the world around her faded for the final time. Opening her eyes, she was met with the darkness, and the feeling of David's arms, and the dull pain in her chest. The crisp winter air, the bright and glittering snow, and the images of dreams long buried, long assumed dead, diminished to quick flittering around in her mind.::
::But, strangely enough, she was alright with that. Reality, as harsh as it was, didn't see all that far from her dreams. Darker, yes, more painful, perhaps, but not entirely different in direction. It was a thought that brought a smile to her face as she gently extracted herself and rolled silently off the bed. Righting herself in the darkness, she looked back at the sleeping form she'd woken up next to and let the conversation of the night before drift through her head. They really were going to do this; the path really existed and they really were beginning their journey.::
::She couldn't help but smile at that, and lock it away in her heart as she turned towards the door. Picking up the padd he'd had the night before she tapped in a few commands before reading the latest status report and calling out into the darkness.::
Nicholotti: We're still a few hours from home, but we're on our way. ::She made a face to herself and turned around, looking back at the darkened form.:: I think tonight we should celebrate. The crew of the Mercury and the Apollo will both be there, with ships that need repairs.
::Smiling to herself, she walked back towards him and embraced him in the darkness.::
Nicholotti: I'll take it easy, but I think the crews need it. ::Lifting her hand up, she let her fingertips run across the side of his face and back into his hair.:: Besides, you'll be there and so with Doctor MacLaren. What could go wrong?
::They were famous last words that cause another grin to break out across her face as she stepped back and slowly made her way towards the door.::
Nicholotti: I'm going to go be Captain now. ::She sighed, suddenly realizing what was just outside her door.:: And thank our good doctor. ::Quickly glancing back.:: If you want, I've given you access to the Captain's quarters...
::And that was where she was going to let things lie, taking one more step down the path they had started down before finding her way back into the mask of command as the doors to her room parted before her and the light of the morning in sickbay poured into the room. Suddenly, she turned, acutely aware of the edge they each stood on, caught somewhere between life, and death. For a moment she said nothing, but she looked at him, catching his eyes in the somewhat lit room. Finally she spoke.::
Nicholotti: Thank you for last night. oOAnd for everything else..Oo ::Unable to take her eyes away at first, she fell silent, but just before turning away, she shot him a genuinely happy smile.:: I love you David Cody...::her voice got quiet again.:: remember that.
::It was something she'd have to remember too as she prepared to walk into the mess that was her ship, and her crew. At the end of the day, she knew that she'd come home, perhaps, to something new and wonderful. To..family. With that said, she turned and stepped out into the bright light again, only this time it was real.::
((Main Sickbay, USS Victory))
::Having prepared herself mentally didn't make it any easier to see the various colored uniforms laying on beds around the room. It looked far less busy than she imagined, but it was easily explained by the Apollo and Achilles, who, perhaps, had room to take on some of the patients. Those who were left in the care of the Victory medical team were mostly faces she recognized as she walked slowly through the room in the sterile garb of a patient that was far from her usual uniform.::
::She passed Livingston, and Katy, both seemingly badly hurt, but, according to the readings Kali could see, alright. Nearby, she caught a glimpse of the red headed science officer, and beside her, alive and unhurt, Kaedyn Zehn. Kali shot him a weak smile as she moved by. It was about all that she could manage in the wake of what she was seeing.::
::Her eyes showed sadness, but her voice was steady. She called him by his first name, knowing that she was far from any official capacity, but wanting to convey thanks.::
::Taking in the world around her, and how much she'd seemingly missed, she didn't ask, but only nodded.::
Nicholotti: Where is Doctor MacLaren?
::Smiling ever so slightly, she thanked him and tried to be reassuring though she did not know the true depth of the situation as of yet.::
Nicholotti: Thanks. And thanks for helping..
::The black collar stood out in the sea of teal, but she trusted him with her life. His presence there was more than welcome.::
::With one more small smile, Kali located the room he'd directed her towards and moved slowly across the room once more. It wasn't so much that walking hurt, as much as she felt stiff and, perhaps, slightly weak. Beyond that, though, she was taking in the depth of what had happened while she was out of it. It was a hard reality to come back to, but she was ever thankful that she had come back.::
::Approaching the room where she would find the CMO, Kali tried to think of something that she could say that would convey her ultimate gratitude. The woman had given her back so much more than she realized. Not only had she given her back a real heart, but she'd given her a second chance at dreams that had long been lost and long been forgotten. She'd given her back life from the very pit of death, and Kali wasn't sure there'd ever be a way to express that kind of thanks.::
::Now there were two doctors she'd never be able to repay...::
Nicholotti: ::mumbling to herself.:: What a habit to develop..
((Gavin's Recovery Room, Sickbay, USS Victory))
::Kali stepped quickly through the doors of Gavin's room and looked over towards the bed where he was laying. Nearby, her eyes fell on the doctor, who she slowly approached.::
Nicholotti: ::Quietly.:: How is he?
Captain Kalianna Nicholotti
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