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( Special thanks to Marielle Deniaud for writing Nurse Cana Graves. )
His hand constantly lifted to the side of his face to see that he was still bleeding. Gideon growled at the sight of bright red on his fingers and he became increasingly aware of the sting in the wounds. The half-Bajoran glowered at any officer he passed on the way to Sickbay as his mood continued to deteriorate. He replayed the short fight in his mind and chastised himself for not being ready. He’d all but forgotten the slice in his palm and fingers. ‘Of all the women I had to fall for. The most popular one on the ship. I wonder who she’s sleeping around with.’ His shoulders tensed with the thought and he turned to enter Sickbay. He lifted his gaze from the carpet to look over the medical bay and frowned at seeing how full it was. “Dannazione,” he muttered. It would be forever before he could be seen.
Nurse Cana Graves didn’t look up from her PADD as she waved for the next person to sit in front of her biobed. She heard the door open and assumed it was another exhausted officer looking for something for the pounding headache or the bout of insomnia that the last three weeks had caused. “Take a seat,” she muttered as she saw a body move at the corner of her eye. “Just finishing up a report.” Her attention was focused on the tray as she recorded the dose of metroapan. The medical bay had gone through quite a bit of the ship’s supply of analgesics.
He continued to mutter as he approached the biobed and lifted to sit on it. “That’s all right,” Gideon grumbled. “I’ll just bleed to death.” The security chief knew better. He was far from danger, just in pain and still irritated. His fingers lifted to pull the zipper of his uniform jacket down and make himself more comfortable on the bed. There was some hope that Cana Graves would make it an easy trip so he could get back home to Marielle. Physical altercations had a way of getting the blood going.
The tenor was familiar and the nurse tensed instantly. She turned her chin and stared at her former friend, Gideon Salieri. Chocolate brown eyes continued to simply stare at him, though she did take some time to note the injuries. Gashes to the side of his face, bleeding hand. It looked like he’d gotten into a fight, though she couldn’t understand why. The Dumoe were off the ship and there was no reason to get into an altercation with anyone. “What happened to you?” There was no warmth in her voice, no friendly tone. Once, they had been friends. It felt like those days were a distant memory. He’d changed and she blamed him for Marielle’s isolation.
A soft grunt slipped from his throat when he raised his brows, the ache from his temple radiating from the movement. “Cracked a bottle of rum with my face,” Gideon grumbled in response. He motioned up to the gashes. “You mind?” There were shards left in his skin, and there were many smaller cuts from the broken glass. Muddled cobalt drifted over her form and he silently lamented the uniform that got in the way of his scan.
She did mind. The last person she wanted to treat was Gideon. Fingers were rough on his chin as she directed him to turn his head to the left, to the right, then back to the left. The stretch of alcohol seemed to cling to him. Nails bit into his skin. She was well aware of his wandering eye - her instincts were always good about knowing when someone appreciated her body. It only reminded her of the rumours that she’d heard, whispers that she couldn’t confirm quite yet. There would be no way to do so until the ship had calmed after their weird confrontation with the Dumoe. “Took you to be a whiskey guy,” she muttered as she slammed the PADD onto the tray beside her.
“Easy,” he grunted with a wince. Gideon nearly leaned back and out of her grasp, but her nails nearly pierced his jaw. “Not like I had a choice what the guy picked to swing at me.” His brows would have furrowed more, but it hurt to move his facial features in such a way. He continued to stare up at her, surprised that she was being so callous with him.
Using surgical tweezers, she began to rip glass from the gaping wound. She let the ends dig into the cut, nearly pushing the flesh further apart. “Yeah? What did you do to deserve it?” Cana’s tone was cool and detached. Her boyfriend, Ryan Winnetka, told her to stay away from the half-Bajoran. It set off silent alarms when the Chicago native refused to explain himself and simply declared that ‘Gideon Salieri was the biggest asshole amongst assholes in the face of the universe’ and that ‘Vaeros was right to call him a frakking walking venereal disease.’ As if that didn’t give her a clue. Men. Men were stupid. The thought made her scoff and she harshly yanked a small piece of broken glass from the biggest cut in his forehead.
“If you’re gonna treat me like a pin cushion, give me a pain suppressant.” The emotion that rolled from her was negative and he felt there would be more hurt in his future if Cana continued to treat him. He tried to lean back and was kept him place by her vice-like grip. “Cosa dà? (What gives?)”
“Can’t. All out of analgesics,” she told him flatly. The lie was uttered without hesitation, and she didn’t even care if he knew. The knuckles of her fingers turned white to keep his face still. “Besides.” Yank. “You’re a.” Yank. “Grown.” Yank. “Man.” Yank. Glass and bits of flesh dropped into the small silver dish on the tray. “When you make stupid choices, you deal with the consequences.”
He reached up and gripped her wrist with his sliced hand so he could pull back from her hold. “That’s a damn lie, what the Hell, Cana?” Gideon couldn’t believe that she was treating him like he’d done something wrong. ‘Here I am, cuts all over my face and she’s being a bitch about it.’ The half-Bajoran furrowed his brows, not even caring that it made his face ache more.
“And you’re the king of liars, aren’t ya?” she hissed softly as she leaned slightly to glare at him, eyes narrowing with her accusation. “Giddy.” She let his old nickname roll from her tongue with ease and let it sit between them as she watched realization move through his eyes. “What did you do? Sleep with some guy’s girlfriend?” She and Gideon had once been lovers, but that was a distant memory. Whenever she thought back on her time with him, it only made her feel embarrassed for her lack of self-respect. Bedding Giddy ‘The Italian Stallion’ Salieri had once been considered a prize worth chasing. Considering how much he enjoyed himself with so many different women, Graves couldn’t understand why she ever felt that way. Why think of it as a prize when he so easily fell between the sheets? Finding love had a way of doing that to a woman.
The security chief shoved her back, mirroring her glare as he glowered at her. “Why the Hell are you perpetuating these rumors, Cana? I haven’t slept with anyone other than El and there’s not one shred of evidence that you, Morgensen, Nazir, or anyone else can come up with. I don’t know what the frak your game is, but it’d better stop.” Gideon moved to slide off the biobed. He’d just have Marielle treat him.
Cana stumbled back before she pushed forward. Her hands reached for his chin and yanked him back into position. “Morgensen, eh?” she snickered. “Thanks for telling me who to ask.” The brunette was surprisingly strong. “And just for the record,” she began as she lifted the tweezers to return to her work, the pointed ends dangerously level with his eyes, “I don’t start or spread rumours. I just listen. I’ve been busy, but I won’t be busy soon. And you know how the rumour mill always reveals the truth.”
His fingers wrapped around her wrist again, this time with a precise grip. His thumb pressed between the bones in her forearm to make her loosen her fingers on his jaw. “You say, listen, repeat, hear anything about me and I will be sure you never see Starfleet Medical,” he growled low under his breath. Once smooth tenor became dangerous with his threat. “Capiscimi?”
The ache in her arm had her releasing him and she stared at him with a hint of surprise. He’d never hurt her before, nor had he ever threatened her in the past. She was silent as she stared at him. It was clear that he meant his warning. Though he didn’t admit to anything, it was confirmation of her worst fears. “You seem to think that I care more about my career than I do about my friends,” she replied without a beat of fear.
He tugged lightly on her arm, just to be sure she was still paying attention to him. “If your friends are worth brig time, you go right ahead. Until then, frakking treat my injuries.” Gideon’s glare didn’t once leave her chocolate irises as he released her forearm with a shove. “And just keep your mouth shut. Solo una cosa per cui le tue labbra sono buone. (Only one thing your lips are good for.)
She tossed the tweezers onto the tray and she grabbed the dermal regenerator. There was still glass in the cut, but since he was so insistent that she treat him, Cana saw no qualms in making him less than pretty for a few days. Her fingers reached out for his chin again and the hum of the device filled the tension between them. Though, she wasn’t going to keep quiet. If he dared to hurt her again, the nurse had every intention of screaming for security. “You touch me again, and I’ll make sure everyone knows you hurt me,” she hissed under her breath.
“I was overcome with pain because you wouldn’t frakking give me a suppressant,” he hissed in retort.
“And I’ll make sure Ellie knows exactly what sort of asshole you really are,” she snapped back. “Who are you going to be when she’s gone? Nobody. You’re nobody. Just a frakking dick everyone’s used.”
Gideon held his hand in her direction, his palm and fingers sliced from where he gripped the knife. “El is never leaving me.” A smug but bitter smirk tugged at his features. “She chooses me, not you, not Erik, not Cassius, or Morgensen, or Nazir, or Thiross. None of you.” He lifted his other hand and tapped his chest. “Me.”
With the cuts on his face healed - if one could even call it that, glass remained under his skin to leave it bumpy - she turned her attention to his hand. She gripped him by the fingers and pulled back to force the digits into an uncomfortable and near unnatural position. The nurse could easily argue that it was all for the sake of pulling his palm open for the regenerator, which she ran over his skin. “That’s because she thinks you’re not a cheating asshole.” Cana’s eyes met his as she pulled even farther. The conversation had confirmed the rumours. All she had to do was find the evidence and she had every intention of doing so once the Aldrin was back to normal. “Once she finds out, she’ll leave your sorry ass. You and I both know that that’s one thing she won’t accept. No matter what happens, you’ll lose her and she’ll have you transferred. Everyone knows Nazir likes her more than he likes your ugly mug.”
His features contorted with the pain that moved up his arm and he shifted his body in an attempt to alleviate his discomfort. “Cagna senza cuore. Togliti di dosso! (Heartless woman. Get off me!)” Gideon shoved the nurse away and pulled his hand from her fingers. He howled in pain when her grip remained tight and his forefinger snapped. “What kind of medical professional are you?!” he roared as he cradled his hand, glaring at Cana. “Non me ne frega un cazzo se Nazir o qualcuno di voi come me! Ho lei a prendersi cura di me e questo è tutto ciò di cui ho bisogno! (I don’t give a frak if Nazir or anyone likes me! I have her to take care of me and that’s all I need!)”
Graves held up her hands as all eyes turned to her. “I need a sedative! I’ve got a difficult patient! Help me restrain him!” Bodies rushed to her aid and hands were on the half-Bajoran to keep him in place. Amongst the bodies, someone found a hypospray with a sedative. The hiss filled their ears as the device was pressed against his neck.
He fought to break away from the nurses that converged on him. “I’m not being difficult! She needs to be restrained! Get that thing away from me!” His struggle against their hands lasted for several seconds after the hypospray was administered. In that time, his glare turned to Cana Graves and he silently promised her that she would pay for hurting him. The hate in his features slowly dissipated as his body relaxed and he slumped back onto the biobed.
The nurse sighed with relief and she nodded to her peers. “Thanks,” she muttered. “I don’t know what got into him.” Cana shook her head and waited until the other nurses moved away to tend to their patients. She turned to stare at the slumbering half-Bajoran. “Asshole.”