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Various Remedies

Posted on Sat Apr 29th, 2017 @ 1:20am by Lieutenant Commander Martha Cusack & Ensign Asher Maddison MD

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Doctor Maddison's Office
Timeline: Mission Day 80; 14:15

Martha was struggling with her sleeping pattern recently and had found herself awake at night when she usually slept and feeling the need to sleep during the day on duty. Deciding enough was enough the tired Third Officer headed to Sickbay to find Asher to hopefully resolve the issue. With nobody about Martha nervously decided to sit in the waiting area and wait for someone to hopefully notice her on their way in or out of sickbay. Martha's social anxiety was usually manageable but in her tired state she found it a lot more difficult.

Singing to herself in her office, Asher decided to take some prescriptions she had signed off to be replicated for their patients. Some were due to be administered by herself at an appointment, others were a 'take at home' dose. Holding the order list on her large PADD, Asher started to sing to herself as she left her office to pass the list to the pharmacist.

"Streets are crowded; Stores are busy..." Asher sung, stopping when she saw an attractive blonde woman who was sat in the waiting area.

Asher walked up to Martha and smiled. She was aware of Martha's autism, so she approached the woman slowly and quietly so she didn't frighten her.

"Hello, Martha." Asher said, smiling warmly. "Are you okay?"

Martha looked at Asher and nodded a bit nervously. Asher was a new person in the Vindex circle and it would take her time to adjust to the new doctor - although she hadn't actually been to visit the last Chief Medical Officer she was still present in the briefings Martha attended. On the face of it though Martha found Asher was more friendly and approachable.

"Just a bit tired - but I was hoping you'd be able to help me with that. How are you?" Martha replied.

Gently placing a shoulder on Martha's shoulder, Asher continued to smile at her warmly.

"Come on," Asher replied. "let's get you into my office and we can see what the matter is. When you're ready though, Martha, take your time."

Martha stood up and allowed Asher to lead them into her office. She didn't want to wait - she wanted this sleeping issue to stop there and then because it was affecting her concentration and emotional control. Her eagerness combined with her fast and long strides meant Martha had arrived and sat down in Asher's office before she had - almost immediately she turned to apologise.

"Oh...I'm sorry. I should I have waited for you to come in first" Martha said.

With Martha inside her office, Asher closed the door behind her and took her seat behind her desk. With a first glance at her, Asher could see Martha was very sleep deprived and quite agitated, so the first thing to tackle was addressing the deprivation of sleep. It was very likely, if not certain, the agitation was caused by the sleeping, or lack of.

"It's okay, Martha. You look a little tired to me, is that why you came to see me today?" Asher asked, sympathetically, turning to her computer to access Martha's medical records.

Martha nodded. "Yes. I can't sleep when I want to - so instead I'm finding myself wanting to sleep during the day when I'm on duty. At night I just can't settle at all - my partner sleeps fine so it isn't the bed - I really don't know what it is but I can't carry on like this doctor. I need this to stop before I get more frustrated by it"

Asher listened attentively, studying Martha's medical record at the same time. There was no previous history of sleep problems, leading Asher to believe it could be either stress or excessive intake of caffeine. Once Martha had finished, Asher turned to face her patient and smiled.

"The two most common causes of insomnia," Asher said, "in my experience, are either very high levels of caffeine in your system or high levels of stress. Now, have you found yourself more stressed than usual or drinking more caffeinated drinks than usual lately?"

Martha shrugged. "When am I never stressed? I haven't been drinking any more tea than I usually do so maybe it's something else. To be honest doctor...I just need it to stop as soon as possible because it's starting to affect my work. We're already down a number of senior crew due to sickness so I don't want to add to that list"

Asher listened and made notes on the computer console, thinking about the next step. Usually, she would suggest medication after trying other things, but Asher knew it was probably best for Martha to try a short course of medication to help her establish a regular sleeping cycle again.

"Okay," Asher said, "well normally, I don't hand out sleeping medication on the first appointment, but I think in this particular case it would help you. I'm going to sort you out a week's worth of medication, which I'll go and get for you in a few moments."

With no objections, Asher turned the computer off and headed out to the pharmaceutical cupboard to collect some medication to help Martha with her insomnia. With the correct amount, seven days' worth, Asher assembled the hypo spray with its vial, set the correct dose, then placed it into small a container. After signing off the medication, Asher left the pharmaceutical cupboard and took the box to her office, where she was going to tell Martha about it before handing it over.

"Okay," Asher said, returning to her chair. "I have seven doses in here for you, and you need to take it every night until the end of the course.
It isn't a long term solution, however I am prepared to administer another week's worth if you don't feel there is any change. What I'll do is sign you off for the rest of the day so you can rest, get yourself a good sleep and start again tomorrow."

Martha nodded - she was trying her best to stay awake at the moment and she appreciated Asher deciding to sign her off for the rest of the day. It was quite quiet at the moment had she was sure Amber could step up for the rest of her shift.

"Thank you. I will" Martha replied.

Asher smiled and placed Martha's medication on the table in front of her, hoping it was the answer to Martha's insomnia.

"Is there anything else can I do for you? Take your time, it's quiet here today and, I could use some company." Asher asked, hoping Martha would stay for a bit longer anyway, especially now Asher had inputted Martha's medical note into the system.

Martha shrugged. "I'm not sure there is. Thank you for your help - I think I'll go and get some rest as you advised. I'll come back down in a week if there's no difference"

Martha stood up from the chair and made her way over to the door. It almost seemed like Asher was pleading for her to stay - although Martha guessed Asher probably had more things to do than talk to her in her sleep deprived state.

"You're welcome," Asher replied, "and sure, come down whenever."

Dismayed, Asher slumped in her chair and let out what was best described as a wail, she felt so lonely and Martha was the only proper company she had all day, and now she was leaving again.

Martha turned around and looked at Asher. She looked very upset and Martha decided maybe she should stay around for a little bit - so she let the door close behind her and sat on the table next to Asher.

"What's the matter? You don't sound very happy" Martha asked.

Asher sobbed. "I just feel so lonely, and I can't even do this whole happy facade any more, I hate pretending to be happy all the time when I'm just not. I just want it to stop, I just want to be able to be happy and be who I am without bottling it up any more."

Martha looked down at Asher and felt sad to see the Chief Medical Officer was sad. Deciding to offer Asher some moral support - she decided to allow Asher to vent her feelings - if it helped then it would be worth it.

Martha spoke. "Don't bottle it up then - you can tell me whatever's bothering you because I won't tell anyone about it. I wouldn't be a very good friend or confidant if I did anyway - so please - tell me what the matter is. I won't judge you for whatever it is"

"I'm a lesbian, Martha." Asher sobbed.

Martha got down off the desk and embraced Asher tightly. Martha remembered being in the exact same position as Asher was and she felt so proud of Asher for choosing her to come out to.

"It's OK Asher. You're such a brave person and I'm proud of you" Martha reassured.

Asher returned the hug tightly and didn't want to let Martha go, she'd finally managed to admit who she was, but in the emotion of the moment, it was Martha who was the focus of her emotions and affection. Asher had kept her sexual orientation hidden for so long, with only Tabetha being the other person to know, although Tabbie wasn't there right now. Martha was.

"You're such a kind person, Martha." Asher said. "Thank you for caring, and listening to me. You're a really good friend, or rather, I'd like you to be my friend, only if you do."

Martha smiled. "I'll be your friend Asher - come on - get up out of that chair so I don't hurt my back trying to hug you"

Standing up like Martha asked, Asher started hugging her new friend again. Her office was bland, there were no windows to see out of, although Asher wondered what there would actually be to see anyway other than the triage area. She didn't know how to feel right now, emotionally, she didn't want Martha to leave her, at least not until she'd calmed down.

Asher sighed. "This is nice, I like hugs."

Martha reassuringly hugged Asher and soothed her with reassuring words of encouragement. Hugs were one of her favourite things too - although she was extremely particular about who she gave them too. Martha didn't like being touched by a lot of people - so hugs from the Tactical Officer were extremely rare.

"Me too. I give good hugs apparently" Martha replied.

Asher looked into Martha's reassuring eyes, losing herself in the beautiful deep brown irises. A long pause dragged on, with neither woman saying anything to the other. Asher wasn't really sure what to do, nervously, she tried to break the silence.

", yeah. Did I tell you about your medication?" Asher asked.

Martha tittered. "Yes Asher. You told me about that - take it every night before I go to sleep for the next seven nights. I think I'll manage"

In a spur of the moment action, Asher couldn't resist kissing Martha, and did so. A second or two after her lips touched Martha's, Asher remembered Martha had a partner, and withdrew immediately.

"I'm really sorry, Martha." Asher said. "I don't know what I was thinking of, you're taken and I should have known better. I need to go before I make an even bigger idiot out of myself."

Martha was surprised by the kiss but given the situation she didn't feel she could say 'no' to Asher - when in any other circumstances she almost certainly would refuse any affection from someone else. Asher was clearly emotional and Martha didn't feel a rejection right after coming out to her would be right or fair.

"It's cool. I don't mind - but this is a one off OK?" Martha replied.

Martha pushed Asher into the closest wall and started to kiss her slowly with a platonic love. Martha usually took a long time to bond with new friends to the point she felt any degree of platonic love for them - but with Asher coming out to her Martha felt they had something in common and it boosted that level of trust.

Pinned to the wall by Martha, Asher kissed back, resting her hands around her friend's shoulders. She did partially feel guilty, but Martha's show of affection was appreciated. The soft touch of Martha's lips against hers was as sensual as it was meaningful, at least to Asher.

Martha stopped briefly to ask how long Asher had - not knowing what shift system Asher had implemented now she was the acting Chief Medical Officer. In truth Martha wanted to just take Asher for a tea or coffee and some cake before retiring to her quarters for the night.

"When do you book off?" Martha asked.

"Another five hours yet, but, it's quiet..." Asher said, grinning cutely. "So, why don't we try another remedy to your insomnia while we're waiting?"

Martha blushed - she wasn't really sure what to do. If it helped her friend feel better then maybe she could go along with it - although it might not make her feel good about herself Martha felt right now it was Asher who needed the confidence more than she did. After pondering for another few moments she gave Asher an answer.

"Alright...but as long as it's a one-off" Martha replied.

Asher giggled and dragged Martha out of her office, heading for the storage cupboard, locking the door behind her and throwing herself at Martha again. She knew and totally accepted that this was going to be a one off, and it was clear Martha's affection for her was only platonic, but it was appreciated.

"I feel so fucking naughty right now" Martha whispered.

An hour or so later, the two women left the storage room rather sheepishly, but Asher felt a lot better in herself now she was coming to terms with who she was, and the new friendship with Martha. Asher promised it would remain between them, which Martha appreciated, especially considering her relationship status.

Martha tidied her hair and uniform up before smiling at Asher. In truth it had helped her a bit because Martha and Lucia's "couple time" had been at an all time low for a while. Nevertheless Martha had no intentions of making it a regular thing - she loved her wife and knew there still could be consequences from today's actions.

"Thanks...that...helped" Martha said - nervously.

"No, thank you, Martha." Asher said. "I know it was maybe a bit, excessive, and I'll be honest, I'm hoping I'll have someone too when I grow a pair and ask her out. You're a special friend, and I'll always be here for you, okay?"

Martha smiled. "You've got it. I'll see you around"


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