War and Peacekeeping
Location: VIP Quarters - Deck Whatevra
=/\= Several Hours Later
Exhausted, but thoroughly pleased with his work, Aleksi walked with a small amount of triumph into the sitting room. It had taken longer than he had initially assessed, but art demanded sacrifice and his was apparently sleep. As he collapsed on the couch the realization hit him that he couldn't remember the last time he got a full eight hours. Laughing a little he took of drink of his now room temperature martini.
Resting there for a few moments he stood up to check on his guest. It had been a long time since he'd done anything like that And he developed aches in places he had forgotten you could get them. He was going to need a long hot shower after this. Leaning against the door jam he saw that she was peacefully sleeping. Not wanting to disturb her he decided that it was time to go to the couch, that was until he noticed her stir.
She wasn't sleeping, she was acutely awake and acutely aware of his presence, her hand resting on the disruptor against her side under the safety of the covers. Stirring slightly so she could pull the disruptor up, she held her finger firmly on the trigger. "Aleksi?" her voice was barely above the merest whisper as she spoke, narrowing her eyes, trying to see through the darkness.
"It's me kotyonok," Slowly raising his hands up, he took a step into the room. The fact the weapon was aimed at him brought him surprisingly little bother, it was a position he had been in more times than he cared to remember, "I'm sorry for not announcing myself, I didn't want to wake you."
She set the disruptor aside, exhaling slowly before she slid out from the covers and moved across the room to him, her arms around his waist, her head against his chest as she drew in a deep breath. "You smell like chemicals," she said quietly.
He wrapped his arms around her, smiling at her comment, "I do," He felt like was going to melt into her arms right there, happy in that moment, "You'll be safe."
"But will you?" she asked, almost hesitantly, as she looked up at him. "How much trouble will you get in for trying to rescue me?"
"If I did my job right, none at all," Looking her in the eyes he smiled, "And even if I didn't, you're worth the sacrifice."
Rising up on her toes, she brushed a soft kiss across the corner of his mouth. "Take a shower?" she suggested softly. "Then come to bed? We can get a little more sleep before we need to be awake again."
"Excellent idea," After Ashe's comment he became distinctly aware that he smelled like a janitors closet. And he was finding it increasingly difficult to say no to her. Kissing her forehead, he slowly let her go "I'll see you in a bit then."
Digging into the closet he grabbed some gym clothes, because why would he as a bachelor invest in proper pajamas, and a towel. Once in the bathroom he swallowed some pain killers, smirking a moment at the man on the other side of the mirror. He was a mess, both outside and in. Scars dotted his body, he looked like he hadn’t slept in days, and his five o’clock shadow was working overtime. Internally he didn’t feel much better, exhaustion was taking its toll and the self-destruction of his body had seemed to increase several fold. At least he wasn’t bothered by his morally questionable actions he had taken as of late, so at least he felt normal there.
Entering the shower, almost wincing at the heat, he stood there for a long moment as the steam built up. He realized what he was feeling was guilt, something that hadn’t felt in many years. It wasn’t for the act he’d just committed, that had been an act of mercy and in the long line of terrible things he had done that was barely a blip on the scope. It was why he had to do it, who it happened to, that was the source. As dark as the universe was a Starfleet Vessel was supposed to be the beacon of civilization, what happened to her wasn’t supposed to happen here. They failed her. He failed her.
After toweling off he once more looked himself in the eyes, this time a pain in them, “You are a piece of shit Aleksi, you always have been,” He chuckled softly, the words not surprising him in the slightest. He looked to the door then back to his own reflection, “But maybe for her you can try to redeem yourself, at least in her mind.”
Donning his sleep attire he walked back into the bedroom, trying to avoid looking at the clock. It was late, incredibly so, and he no longer had the luxury of sleeping to whatever hour he so desired. Quietly he moved to the bed, “Still awake?”
"I'm awake," she said quietly, lapsing back into silence as she slid between the covers next to her. Almost as soon as he was laying down, Ashe moved across to him, her head resting in the crook of his shoulder, her hand on his chest. "You aren't... you know..." she said softly in the darkness. "And you don't need to redeem yourself to me."
"Thank you," His voice was quiet, deciding not to fight it, the fact she believed it was good enough for him. Wrapping an arm around her he closed his eyes, finally giving his body the one thing it had been craving: Sleep.