Obsidian Command
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The Price of Victory

Posted on 12 Sep 2018 @ 7:05am by Commander Amaya Lance

Mission: The Admiral's Daughter
Location: In front of the Infirmary
Timeline: MD-03

Paul paced back and forth in front of the Infirmary. Sharpe had been taken directly into surgery and with the chaos of the casualties being brought in Paul remained outside and received any and all injury updates while leaving the medical crew to their duties. The other half of him was desperate to see Archie, the woman that kept him alive and breathing. There was a minute there where he didn’t know if he was going to make it back home and feel her in his arms again. His heart was in overdrive and practically beating out of his chest as it felt an emotional split: it was anxious to see Archie but worried about losing his best friend at the same time. Right now, he needed to focus on one thing he was guaranteed at the moment: his wife’s warm arms around him and soft lips against his.

Archie’s tears wouldn’t stop flowing as she walked as quickly as she could from her office to the Infirmary. She wanted to blame the pregnancy for her response but she knew she would be lying to herself and everyone around her. “Paul!” The woman called out as she saw her man in the distance. Desperately wanting to run and jump in his arms, she decided her baby was already strained enough from the stress of everything.

Paul turned at the faint calling of his name. His mouth widened and his stomach flip-flopped around. He could recognize that voice anywhere, no matter how faint it was against the loudest of sounds. Pushing himself through the seemingly never-ending flow of crowds around the Infirmary. His feet picked up their pace the closer he got. He couldn’t waste another second of his time with her. The closer he got to her the more he noticed her tear-stained red-hot cheeks below her swollen reddened eyes. She loved him so much that she was willing to show the world her deepest insecurity of showing her tears.

“Paul!” Archie called out again as he opened his arms and swept her off of his feet. His lips landed on hers in a sweet, passionate, and hungry kiss. It was as if they had kissed for the first time, much like their first kiss on the cold dark deserted San Francisco street six years before. Archie wrapped her legs around his waist and secured her arms around his neck. She felt his heart pound against hers as they got lost in each other.

Paul pulled himself back, kissed her cheek, then brought her in closer in a secure embrace and dug his head into her shoulder. “I told you I’d be back.”

Archie let out everything that was still inside of her. Her tears fell onto his shirt as she tried to catch her breath in order to at least say something. “You smell terrible,” she chuckled in between her sobs.

Paul pulled his head back as he let out his own laughter. “Smells like victory.” He wiped the tears from her cheeks as he gently placed her down on to her feet. He moved his free hand down to her belly and gently ran his fingertips over it. “I couldn’t leave you and Cooper to be swept up by some Joe Schmoe wanting to take my place.”

Archie let out her own laugh as she placed her hand on top of his and spread his palm over her stomach. “No one will ever replace you.” She locked eyes with him. “Unless they have a lot of money.”

Paul couldn’t help but smile and kiss her firmly on her lips. She was the most amazing woman and he couldn’t imagine how he had gone through his life without her.

Archie looked behind Paul towards the Infirmary. “How’s Richard? Is he...?” Her voice shook a bit from the thought of losing him. She had heard everything on the comm, including his challenge to that Nausicaan and her husband’s command for medics and words of encouragement to him.

Paul’s face fell at the question. He shook his head slowly as he brought Archie in close to him. “He’s in surgery...”

"How bad is it?" Amaya asked quietly from nearby. She'd approached with Archie but let her friend have a moment with her husband all the same.

Paul looked at Amaya and gave her a shrug. “He materialized his sword and got a chest wound during the fight that should’ve never happened...” Paul was beating himself up for letting Sharpe go through with the challenge. “They put him under straight away, not sure how long it’s gonna be.” He then put his arm on her shoulder. “I don’t know if it would be a good idea for you to go in there...”

"You think you're going to stop me?" she asked. It was a light-hearted remark, probably a little too off-hand. Her face faltered a fraction. "By now he knows how I feel. And he knows that I know that he knows...it's complicated." She shook her head. "I'm fine. So long as he's still breathing, that's enough for me right now."

Archie reached over and put her arm around Amaya’s shoulder and gave her a firm squeeze against her. “He’s Richard. He’s not going anywhere.”

Paul nodded. “He was walking, though not on his own, when they brought him to the transport. So that’s a good sign.” He let out a sigh. “The guy he fought is in there too. Sharpe chopped the asshole’s arm off. Quite a beautiful sight if I should say so myself. He’d be dead if Sharpe let me at him.”

"You saw his reaction," Amaya said. "Was he...as bad as before? Was it the stress again?"

Shaking his head, Paul placed a hand on her shoulder. “He used his sword against the guy. So the physical stress from that on top of the chest wound... he’s got a long recovery ahead of him.”

She tried to hold back any reaction she might have had to that, but she could tell by their faces that she hadn't done a great job. "He's seemed like he had it all under control since he got back. I guess I'm just worried he might crack."

“If anything that guy deserved it, Amaya.” Paul was very straightforward with her knowing she was always going to worry about any repercussions of Sharpe’s actions. He was under a lot of unfair scrutinies. “Richard didn’t react out of stress. He brought the sword out after the Nausicaan challenged him with his own. And seeing how the Nausicaan was able to get in a pretty good swipe on him shows that Richard is still human. He’s not some genetically engineered soldier that Starfleet was trying to make him out to be. If the Nausicaan didn’t challenge him Richard wouldn’t have used his augmentation.”

"I suppose you're right," she shuffled her feet a little. "I guess I've just got to trust him to look after himself. He has a lot of reasons to take fewer risks now, with the girls and everything."

Paul let out a heavy sigh as he glanced over at the Infirmary entrance that was still crawling with citizens and uniformed officers. “This better be his goddamn wake-up call...” He stated it mostly to himself but out loud enough for Archie and Amaya to hear. Paul nearly let his best friend get himself killed while he just stood back and did nothing. Intel or not having Richard still alive and unharmed gave him enough reason to have shot Blaise during the middle of their fight.

“Did you want to go get some coffee or food or something?” Archie reached over and grabbed Amaya’s hand. She just had her happy ending but she knew Amaya would be reeling like she had been earlier listening to the comm.

The entrance to the infirmary slid open nearby, interrupting before Amaya could answer. A nurse appeared, catching their eye and calmly approaching.

"He's awake," she explained.

Paul leaned his head back and let out a long and very excitable sigh of relief. He looked down at Archie, who had an equally wide smile as his, and kissed her quickly on the lips in celebration.

"I will, but let me go speak to him first, okay?" Amaya gave a grateful smile back to Archie. "Someone's gotta give him the ass kicking he needs right now."

“Be nice, ok?” Archie jested to her. “He’s the reason why we’re able to solve this whole hotel thing instead of having a million loose ends. He may be certifiably insane but he’s one hell of a Marine.”

Paul chuckled at Archie’s comment then looked back at Amaya. “We’ll see you in there... let you lovebirds have a moment before we kill the mood for you two.”


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