Adjustments - (Day 5 - Morning)

Memo to myself Dorian thought as he stretched his aching back, buy a new couch for the medbay lounge. The cushions and underpadding of the current furniture had proven so worn that he spent the night tossing and turning to find some escape from the hard wooden slats.

He couldn’t entirely blame the couch for a poor night’s sleep. Memories of Riley, and a stolen moment in her arms had set his thinking onto an altogether different path. Their relationship had moved to the next level, and he’d spent the night immersed in a heady anticipation of a future that included her. “Like a gorram teenager,” he muttered to himself as his excitement over the coming night seemed to bring a swelling to his chest.

“I’ll say.” Kate stood in the doorway, her face set in a knowing smirk. “Finally got somewhere with Riley, did you?”

Adler turned, his brow furrowed. “Now, how did yah…..Serena.”

She smiled. “Oh yes…twice. You and the Lieutenant are front page news,” she quipped. “Wouldn’t be surprised if she’s standing on a chair in the galley right now, shouting headlines.”

“From tha mouths of babes,” he groaned, pressing a hand to the small of his back.

She stepped inside, sliding the door shut as she came. “Bend over,” Kate ordered. “Elbows on the counter.” Her fingers were firm as she kneaded the muscles of his lower back. “Oh, there’s a knot,” she proclaimed.

“One of….unh… of many, Ah’m afraid,” the medic winced. “How did Gill weathah tha night?”

Kate pressed the heels of both palms along either side of Dorian’s spine, then vigorously drove them down. He gasped, his eyes squeezing shut as the pain soon broke into dawning relief. “Mostly quiet,” she replied. “Had to chase Haddie and Serena out twice for the bedpan, but he slept quite a bit. Pain med once, about Two AM.”

“Goo…..oh! OH!!! “Good,” Adler finally managed under her persistent massage. “We’ll set up tha next Rheumone application when tha Sistah arrives. Ah’ll let yah both delivah, and then yah can get tah bed. Oh…..mah stars…..OW! Ah hope she’s not squeamish about sponge baths.”

“Actually,” Kate said, “I think Gill wants me to do that part.”

“Did he tell yah?”

“Not in words,” she chuckled, slipping into the Widow’s heavy accent. “Meester Gee-eel….is time for sponge bath…I make you all clean, yes?”

Adler laughed quietly into the crook of his elbow. “Point taken, point taken.”

“So,” Kate said as she worked between his shoulder blades, “Gill and Haddie …who do you think they crossed?”

“Not certain,” his voice became a strangled gasp. “Yah hit a big one….uuugh!”

“Six,” Kate whispered. “Six henchmen. Two at the snowman. Blood trails looked like both left the field with wounds…and the four that Vas and Marisol stacked up on the logging road? That’s serious attention…especially for two kids.”

“Haven’t really had time tah think about it.”

“I have. Two muscle….then four muscle. By that arithmetic, we’d best plan for at least eight, the next time around.”

“Yah right, of course,” Dorian nodded. “Let tha boy rest tahday. Ah’ll take it up with him tom….” He paused as the infirmary door slid open. Sister Lyen stood there. She blinked, then turned. “No no, Sistah!” Dorian chuckled. “C’mon in! Yeva’s tryin’ tah fix mah back…bad night on tha couch.”

“Good morning, Seester!” Yeva bubbled as she placed her left elbow onto the small of Dorian’s back. “No, we are make pop!”

As she thrust her elbow into his back, Dorian felt, rather than heard, the sudden crunch. “Ah swear,” he grunted, “yah gonna kill me.”

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