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Authors: Sternchen2102
Categories: John/Helena
Show Year: Y2
Rating: PG
Date: 2002
Helena is unable to sleep and John is getting increasingly worried.
Average Rating: No reviews.

She walked out of Medical Centre. The only thought that was in her mind was to get to bed quickly. She needed to sleep she knew. Not only had she to keep the Medical Centre running throughout any shift, Dr. Helena Russell was also responsible for the health of aproximately 300 people on Moonbase Alpha who, in first place, needed councelling more than anything else in long time run. It was a burden very similar to the one the base's Commander had to bear.

Helena entered her quarters. Not having the strength to get out of her clothes and to take a shower she fell on her bed wishing for sleep to come but knewing it was hopeless. She hadn't slept in days. Not that she hadn't tried. But sleep simply refused to come. But at least she was dozing a bit. Unfortunately her doze was interrupted by the Commander's voice who ordered her to Command Centre.

Arriving in the Command Office Helena noticed that everyone was already seated. Apparently they were waiting for her. Slightly uncomfortable she took her seat. That moment the doctor remembered that this conference had been set for this evening a few days earlier.

It was a weekly report on the happenings around the base. Nothing serious had been going on in that time. So Commander Koenig closed the meeting soon and dismissed everyone except Helena.

He waited for the others to leave and close the door. John looked at his Chief Medical Officer.

'So, what's wrong?', he asked without any introduction.

'What do you mean?'

'Oh, come on. You know exactly what I mean!'

She didn't answer. Instead she held his gaze. That was all Helena did - sitting there just watching him. John noticed how exhausted and very much pale she looked.

'When did you sleep the last time?', he asked in a soft voice.

'Helena!', he raised his voice only a bit.

That seemed to be enough to wake the doctor. She looked aside.

'I don't know!', Helena confessed uncertain and hardly audible. She could imagine what was to come now, so she didn't go on.

'Then tell me what's wrong.', John repeated his first question.

'Nothing's wrong.', she gave back in the same barely audible voice as before.

After a short pause the Commander continued, 'Did you talk to Ben?'.


'Why not?'

'Because there isn't anything to be talked about!', Helena gave back in a more audible voice now.

She seem to come to life again. At least a bit. John watched her from his place. Against his usual habit of walking around in a crisis he hold himself back. Although this was a real crisis - not only was he concerned for his Medical Officer, he also was in concern for the person he cared most for on this base. He knew, if he now got up from his chair Helena would only retreat even more. So the commander stayed where he was and just watched the woman in front of him. John saw her writhing as if in pain. He tried another way. Slowly he began,

'Well, you remember what you always tell me ...'

That did it. Helena shot out of her chair and interrupted John midsentence,

'Don't dare end this sentence. And don't dare give me medical advice. ... And first of all, don't you dare tell me to take those damned pills!'

John was as surprised as was Helena herself. *So, that's it!*, John thought to himself and couldn't help but smile. Seeing the Commander smile was more than she could take. Helena turned away and left the Command Office quickly.

'Oh God, oh God ...'. Helena was talking to herself now realizing what she had just done. She made her way back to her quarters passing a young technician, who looked up when he saw the murmuring doctor. Arriving at her room she tried to open the door quickly. When it didn't work the first time she got frantic. *Open up, dammit, open up!* she thought. Finally Helena succeeded and entered her quarters. The door hadn't completely close yet when she threw herself on the bed wishing even more desperately for sleep to come. But instead she felt tears well up. Helena did everything to prevent them from falling. For now she won once more.

The moment Helena had made her exit John grabbed his comlock.

'Medical Centre, come in.'

'Yes, Sir.'

'Come to my office, right now.'

He closed to connection without waiting for a reply.

Only a few minutes later, Dr. Vincent entered the Command Centre heading for the Commander's office.

'Hey, what are you doing up here. You aren't in trouble, are you?', asked a grinning Verdeshi.

'I'm not sure. I guess, the Commander will tell me in a minute.', Vincent smiled back. He, of course, also wondered why Commander Koenig had ordered him to come up. Vincent entered the office and met an unpatiently pacing Commander, who he was glad not to have to meet too often.

'Well, Sir, how ...'

'What's going on in Medical?', Koenig interrupted the young doctor.

Vincent wasn't sure how to react to that.'I thought, Dr. Russell had already filled you in ...'

Again, he was cut off.

'Helena hasn't slept in ... well, I think, in the last days. Don't tell me, you didn't notice that!'

'Of course, I noticed that.', he gave back slightly offended by the Commander's harsh tone. Then, he continued,

'I know that she's exhausted. I asked her to get some rest. I even tried to get her to drop a shift. But, come on, Commander, you know her as well es I do. And we both know what will happen when she's tried to be overruled!'

John had to smile on that. Actually, he can't remember when anyone had ever dared try to do that. Vincent interrupted John's thoughts,

'Honestly, Commander, I wanted to come after my shift's end and ask you to talk to her. I think you have the greatest chance to get her to talk ... I mean, it isn't only the lack of sleep. There is something else. I know it. At least get her to take some tranquillizers.'


For some time neither of the men talked. Both absorbed in their own thoughts. After that pause, John went on,

'Well, just in case she will not be cooperating I want you to declare her not fit for duty.'

Vincent looked at him. He was surprised. Although the possibility had occurred to him he never saw it as a real option.

'Ok, let's get moving. Go down to Medical and come to her quarters with whatever you want me to get her to take.'

Both men left the office. Commander Koenig heading for Dr. Russell's quarters, Dr. Vincent heading for the Medical Centre.

Arriving at Helena's quarters John was aware that she would most likely not let him in. He tried anyway and contacted her with his comlock,

'Helena, open the door.'

For a moment John thought she might have fallen asleep after all. But he wasn't surprised to hear Helena's reply,

'Go away.'

'No, I won't. Let me in, come on. Open the door.'

'No. Leave me alone.'

'I can't. Helena!Please.'

When she didn't answer he decided to open the door himself. She was anything but pleased to see him inside her quarters.

'What do you think you're doing?', helena yelled at him.

Unimpressed by her outburst, that seemed to cost her all the strength she could gather, he closed the door and walked up to her.

'I think we're going to have another talk.'

'I already told you I don't want to talk.'

'You won't have another choice, 'cause I'm not leaving until you tell me what's wrong with you.'

'I also told you that nothing's ...'

'... wrong with you. Yeah, I remember what you said. But, tell you what, I don't believe it.'

Expecting her to continue yelling at him he was surprised to find her falling on her bed again. She didn't say a word to that. John stood in the middle of the room not knowing how to go on. After a while, he decided to get a bit closer to Helena. He sat beside her touching her shoulder.

'Don't touch me. Just get out of my room. Please.' Once more she was barely audible.

'You really want me to go?', he ask in a very soft voice, hoping she'd say no.

But instead Helena didn't say anything. *That's a start ... I guess*, John thought to himself. But not wanting to startle her he took his hand from her shoulder. He watched her again. Helena just sat there looking down on her hands. Several minutes went by. Neither of them spoke. Suddenly Helena said,

'I'm sorry.'

'What for?'

'For what happened in your office. I'm sorry. I didn't want to ...', she didn't go on.

Now he took one of her hands noticing how cold it was.

'I can assure you I wasn't done any harm.' He smiled although she still didn't look at him. John didn't want to press her. Nevertheless, he gave it another try.

'What's bothering you, Helena?'

'I don't want to talk about it.'

'Well, maybe you don't want to talk. But honestly that doesn't matter. What really matters is that you need to talk about whatever's troubling you.'

On that Helena started to move. She turned toward John and layed her head against his shoulder. He felt the tension leave her body. She wasn't relaxed yet. Still, Helena wasn't talking, until he noticed that she was sobbing. John let go of her hand and took her in his arms holding her tight against him rocking her gently. Finally he got through to her. Slowly her sobs subsided.

'I'm tired.'

'Yes, I know. That's why ...'

'No. I mean I'm tired of this damned rock we're living on. I want to be free from the constant feeling of being captured within the base's rooms. I don't want to fear what's going to happen the next day or even the next week. I don't even have a feeling for weeks or months anymore.'

She stopped but John suspected there was more to come. So he waited for Helena to continue.

'Here on Alpha ... there's no room for changes. We all have our functions. And although we all wanted to serve on Alpha there is no chance of ...' she stopped again. This time she was searching the correct words. 'I worked hard to become Alpha's Chief Medical Officer. But I didn't intent to stay here the rest of my life. I don't know what I expected for my future. But definately not dying on the moon. We are not even free in having families ... ', after a short pause she went on, 'I only want to be free from any obligation and responsibility for some time.'

'Then take some time off. I assure you Ben would be happy if you only let him run things in Medical.'

That made her smile, 'He'd be more than happy knowing me in deep sleep. But this isn't what I mean. I'm the first to be called the moment a crisis occurs and a medical officer is needed on hand. I go to bed with the wish not to be wakened up in the middle of sleep that recently refuses to come at all. I don't want to wonder all the time when my shift might end this day. And first of all, I don't want to be responsible for the wellbeing of over 300 people all the time ... You know how I mean it, don't you? Tell me that you understand what I mean!'

It was the first time that Helena addressed him directly since he entered her quarters against her will. Of course, John understood her. He guessed there wasn't anyone who could see it clearer than he did. But he also realized that he never saw it with Helena's eyes. Her duty was more alike his than he thought it to be. If she hadn't been so exhausted she would have known that he understood her completely.

'I know what you mean.' Her confession made him embracing her even tighter.

The next step was not as easy as what was done by now. *As if this was easy*, he thought. Reluctantly he let go of her and went to her closet to get her pajamas.

'Come on. Put these on. Before you, again, tell me that you can't sleep ...', he told her in expectation of her protest, '... Ben is waiting outside.', he ended with a slight smile that he hoped would encourage her to let them help her.

'No, John, please ..., she begged under tears again, cautiously taking a step back.

'We are not discussing that matter anymore. You are to take what Ben thinks to be the right medication for you. Or do you prefer to be taken to your own department?' His smile had faded. He wasn't kidding now Helena could tell by the tone in his voice. John hated to do that but wasn't up to another discussion.*Besides think of all the times YOU knocked ME out!* He thought dryly, knowing better than to tell her that right now.'I will stay here until you're asleep, promise.'

'I think I can sleep without ...', she tried it one last time but stopped midsentence when John only gave her the pajamas and guided her towards to bathroom. 'Was he standing outside all the time? He didn't come to you to ...'

'No, I ordered him to my office the moment you had left. He only confirmed what I had suspected. So, hurry, he had to wait long enough.'

After only a couple of minutes Helena left the bathroom. She put her uniform over the chair next to her desk. Apparently John had already talked to Ben.

'Well, Ben and I, we decided you're off duty the next two shifts.'

'It should be my decision not yours. I'm still Alpha's Chief ...'

'Not right now. Right now you're only supposed to get into your bed and take this.', he gave her small cup with a milky liquid and a glass of water. 'Ben told me it's only a few minutes 'til you'll be asleep. But I guess, I don't have to tell you.'

Helena took the beaker from John's extended hand and swallowed the liquid, but not without showing clearly her dislike. Than she drank some of the water. John took both the beaker and the glass of water from her hand and set them aside. Helena got into bed covering herself with her blanket. John sat on her bedside as he promised.

'Helena, the next time, please, don't wait so long to come to me. Alright?'


'Now, close your eyes and relax.', John told her when he saw her beginning to fight against the coming sleep. He took her hand and kissed it lightly. She smiled up at him blinking a few more times and then closing her eyes. He saw her relax more and more. Finally she was asleep. Not thinking of all the responsibilities and obligations she had toward Alpha's crew for at least the duration of her sleep.

*That was a battle I don't want to have to fight again*, he thought as he left Helena's room heading for his own quarters ... and his own sleeplessness.

I'm still unexperienced in writing fan fiction. So, I'd be happy if you let me know what you think of this - my very first - short story *:-)

Copyright (c) 2002. Reprinted with permission.
Space:1999 is (c) 1976 by Carlton International Media.
All stories are the property of their respective authors.

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