Dance Lesson, Part 2
Location: Corridor/Crow Quarters
When the lift doors opened they found Edra standing there waiting to disembark. But the slight ballerina’s sounds of agony cut through whatever the First Officer had had her mind on. “Prophets! Millie, what happened?” Though she addressed the counselor, she looked to Vox for a possible answer too. She pushed back the curiosity of the two of them in a predicament together, for now.
He stared at Edra, fumbling for the words. “Commander, I um…The lieutenant was practicing ballet and requested my assistance. Then…I failed to hold her.”
Edra grimaced as she noticed Stepanova’s left foot, imagining that it was indeed, quite painful, whether she'd sprained or broke something. Although, she wondered briefly if these wracking sobs were from more than the pain of her injury. But before she could give much thought to it, she slipped into the role of doctor like a hand fits into an old glove. “I still have a medkit in my quarters from my days as CMO.” She looked at Millie. “I can help you if you like, or we can take you to Sickbay.”
“Please,” her tiny, frightened voice whispered between sobs. “Please, not sickbay.” Tears ran down Millie's face as she squeezed her eyes shut against the pain.
Edra nodded, picking up on the fearful tone she hadn't heard in the counselor's voice before now. She stepped back into the lift, making room for Vox to step in. When the doors closed, she gave the instructions before turning back to Millie, “Deck 2. I'll get you some pain medication when we get to my quarters as well. What did you do, specifically?” Maybe if she got the counselor talking it would take her mind off of the pain.
Millie opened her eyes a sliver, her teary face still buried in Vox’s chest. “I--I was teaching him h-how to do a li-lift. W-When I s-s-s-slipped, my t-t-toe hit the ground and m-my ankle popped.” She took a deep breath. “I think it’s b-b-broken. I c-can’t move it.”
By the time her explanation was finished the lift doors opened. Edra gave directions to Vox, pointing down the corridor. “To the left, and the first door on the right.” As they began the short walk, Edra continued to Millie. “We'll take a look at it with the tricorder and get it stabilized as soon as we relieve the pain. So how long have you been giving him lessons? That seems like a fairly advanced move.” Her tone and smile didn't indicate any alternative meaning.
Vox nodded to Edra and turned towards Edra's quarters. He felt really bad about Millie. He kept playing the situation in his mind as she clung to him. Luckily the good counselor could be patched up fairly quickly, he thought.
“It was his--his first lesson. But he is--he is very strong, da?” Millie's forced smile came as almost a grimace.
As soon as Vox had cleared the lift, Edra did as well, and walked around him to get to her door. She nodded in response to Millie’s comment. “I...imagine so.” She also noticed that Millie appeared to be calming down. Hopefully her idea was working. As she approached the door, it read her biosign and opened. She walked in and immediately went to find her medkit, pointing to the couch as she assumed Vox was right behind her. Put her there on the sofa, legs elevated. I’ll be right back.”
He placed her gently on the couch. His ocular implant could detect her increased heart rate but it had slowed a little since they left the holodeck. “I'm really sorry, Millie. The practice was meant to help alleviate your stress and instead I've added to it.”
“You did nothing wrong.” Millie looked up at him. “You--you were doing really well.”
He cracked a smile. “Yeah, I'm a natural.”
Millie almost attempted a smile...until her gaze caught a glimpse of Edra approaching, medkit in hand. She swallowed hard against the lump forming in her throat, and her hand reached out and grasped for his.
He detected her blood pressure rising again and he placed his hand on hers, giving it a squeeze. “Hey, it's gonna be okay. Edra will relieve the pain soon.” He leaned in close and whispered, “She saved my life once. You're in good hands.”
“Please don’t leave…” was the whispered whimper of a response.
“Never would think of it.”
Edra perched herself on the coffee table while she opened the medkit. “Sorry that took so long. It's been awhile, I suppose.” She attempted a weak smile as she dug around until she lifted a hypospray out of the satchel. “This will help alleviate the worst of the pain,” she said as she adjusted the dosage before applying it to Millie’s neck. “How's that?”
Surprisingly, the flinch from Millie came right before the hypospray made contact, not after. She didn't make eye contact with Edra, but silently nodded.
The timing of the young girl's movement was not lost on Edra, but her immediate concern was on the injuries, so she grabbed the tricorder and scanned Millie, starting at her feet. Even though the obvious injuries were in her lower extremities, Edra had not played the part of medic in a long time, and was not familiar with the counselor in a medical sense, so she took a full-body scan.
Sure enough, a broken ankle and some overstretched tendons and ligaments were the reasons Millie was in so much excruciating pain. Edra sympathized. Then, something else caught her eye, remnants of old injuries. There were other leg injuries, which was probably normal for a dancer; however, there were others spread out over the rest of her body that hadn't healed properly. She started reading between the lines and looked up, speaking softly. “Vox, I want to prop her legs up more. Can you grab a couple pillows from our room?” She pointed in a direction behind Millie's head.
He nodded and walked into the bedroom, grabbing two pillows off the bed.
When he was gone, Edra turned back to Millie. “I can only assume you know what my scans have found,” she said quietly. “Anything you’d like to tell me?”
Millie averted her gaze. “Please don't…”
Edra sighed. “You don't have to talk about it now, but if you don't, we will talk eventually.”
Millie shook her head. “There's nothing to talk about. Please, just...just let it go?”
Edra nodded, for the time being, as Vox returned a few moments later, raising Millie's legs with one arm and then sliding both pillows under her feet one at a time before gently lowering her legs again.
“Maybe we could inject her with my Borg nanoprobes. That might help repair the damage… or it might assimilate her leg. In either case, it'd be helpful.” He looked at both of them in turn before offering a faint smile to let them know that he was joking.
Edra returned a smile, though perhaps not as much as she might have had she not just found it what she had. Instead she turned her attention to repairing Millie’s ankle. “If we could be sure we could remove them all safely, it would, indeed, be helpful. Unless I've been further out of touch with Medical than I realized, that hasn't happened yet.”
Millie didn't respond to either comment. She kept her gaze averted. So far, she had managed to keep her past from all but a few of the crew. But with a senior officer now having knowledge--
Vox looked from Millie to Edra and back again. He furrowed his brow, clearly missing something while he was in the other room.
As the ankle repair began, Millie flinched. It wasn't that it hurt, but the repairing of bone and tissue was slightly uncomfortable. She hated this part.
Edra continued to work on the repair, switching instruments when the bone was fixed to focus on the softer tissues. She could feel the tension drawn out across Millie's body. Given all of the previous, untreated injuries, Edra was sure that Millie's frantic reaction since she'd crossed paths with them a short while ago must have had a base in memories of sustaining and suffering through those injuries years ago. Who would have made her do that? In response, the former CMO worked as fast as she could to make the needed repairs. When she was done, she sat back. “How does that feel?”
Millie gave the faintest of nods. “It’s fine.” To be honest, she wanted it to be all done, and she wanted to leave as quickly as possible.
Edra shook her head. “Move it around to see how it feels.” But she could see the woman’s itch to get away. She considered something Millie had said earlier. “Millie, stop and take a breath. Look around you. Where are you?”
“Your quarters,” Millie muttered, not making eye contact, and certainly not actually looking around.
Edra nodded, noting how stiff Millie was. “Not Sickbay. Millie, look at me.” She waited until the younger woman did so. “You're with friends,” she said softly.
The face that looked up at Edra was not that of the confident counselor, but that of a frightened child. Millie averted her gaze again. “Can I...go back to my quarters now?”
Edra was still surprised by the drastic change in Millie, but she didn’t have the heart to prolong her obvious fear, so she nodded. “I’ll make sure your schedule is clear for the next 48 hours.” She looked up at Vox. “Can you escort her back to her quarters?”
He nodded, “Yeah, absolutely.” He helped her to her feet and guided her to the door. He shared Edra's surprise at Millie's fear. He reminded himself to reassure her. “Just a short walk and you'll be home. Then you can rest.”