Jekyll or Hyde
Timeline: Morning after aftermath
Between Nexi and Enalia last night, Cato was already feeling the pain of all the booze they consumed. Cracking his eyes open, he felt like hammered shit. Normally he'd PT the booze out of his system after some hair of the dog, but that leg of his was going to keep him in this bio bed until he got better. Sickbay had kept a zero-visitor policy for the first 18 hours since Cato had been in and out of surgery to repair his leg. So, technically this was the first chance anyone normal had to visit him. It was so early, the lights were still kept dim like they were during the evening hours.
T'Pral entered sickbay. "Where is Chief Petty Officer West?" she asked one of the nurses.
"He's right over there, ma'am." the nurse pointed in West's direction.
T'Pral nodded. "Thank you." She then made her way in the direction that the nurse pointed. Soon, she caught West's name on the side of the door to the small room. Entering, she grinned at seeing West well and awake. "It's good to see that you are well," she commented, moving to the side of his bed.
"Well, that's a word..." he said, "Computer dim lights to 10% of normal" the lights in the room fell even lower. No doubt his eyes would take a minute to adjust. "Alive is closer to it..." he eye locked with T'Pral "Couldn't save your men, I tried..." His voice trailed "O'Shea is the reason we all made it back, good man." he got quiet, not being able to speak about specifics. "How was your end of our 'survey'?" he smirked.
T'Pral nodded as she thought about O'Shea, DeA'th, and Dover--she would have to begin training her department better. "Nothing we couldn't handle. Destroyed a total of thirty heavy weapons platforms." She just hoped the data that was retrieved was worth all of this.
He sat up a little in the biobed and straightened up "Don't be hard on yourself, they performed to the best of their ability. Believe me when I say that what happened could've happened to any one of us on that run." He stated firmly before before somewhat noticing something else was off... "We do need to talk, though. Things got... Rough, on my end..." he was being ominous "I did what I had to do, but I made a questionable call during the course." he continued as he sighed "Best case scenario, no big deal and you'll be getting to know me professionally. Worst case scenario brig time."
"What happened?" T'Pral asked, wondering what West could have done.
"I survived." he said through his teeth. A darker side of him had suddenly shown. "Basic instinct kicked in and reverted to what I used to be." he paused, his energy had become darker than it was before he had left. As if a switch had been thrown and a whole different person returned in his place. "I'm glad that thing blew, fuck that station."
"I've read the after action reports. You did what you had to, Cato," she placed her hand on his chest. "The station sounded like it was awful and I am glad it's gone too...and you still owe me dinner," she smiled, hoping to lighten the mood.
He nodded silently "Sorry, that's going to have to wait. My report is due and I'm stuck in here." he took a deep breath and grimaced from the sharp pain still in his ribs. "Then we'll see what Commander Eneas and Captain Telvan want to do with me. If I somehow get through this without brig time, then we can." he placed his hand on top of hers while still on his chest.
"Well, I'll still get to see you in the Brig as that's my department," she winked and leaned down and kissed him.
He smiled "Yeah, that is true." When she leaned in to kiss him, he returned it just as passionately. "So, what's your post-operation plan? for your department?"
"To better train them with melee weapons and hand to hand. They're too reliant on technology and energy-based weapons," she stated.
"You should talk to Nexi, I won't be on my feet for at least a month." His voice trailed off "Also, I'd like to bring some old teammates of mine aboard to fulfill future additional personnel requirements on the more demanding away missions. I don't want to see your people get killed again."
"My people realize the risk," T'Pral said. "I was thinking of something similar with Security personnel but I am open to your idea. Who are you thinking of bringing aboard?"
"A few MACO's that were Special Warfare, served under me. Good men, rough - but good." he added before continuing. "There's three of them, they transferred to a Spectre Team after MACO went down. I tried to better my life by going through OCS, finding a better path." he continued.
"Don't put yourself down, Cato. You are a good man," she replied with a grin.
He laughed "Yeah. Honestly, I'm a piece of shit... But that's sweet. You've known me all of a few weeks." he perked up a bit, shifting a bit in the bio bed. "Do you know how I got my nickname, ares?... I was on Tamora Prime in a bar, working counter-terrorism. Killed my mark with a metal tea cup." he perked a brow.
"Sounds like an interesting story. However, killing does not make you a bad person," T'Pral replied, wondering why Cato seemed to be trying to push her away. Perhaps this was why he had so many problems with women, she surmised.
He shrugged and nodded "Eh, you're right." he paused "Anyway, I need an official statement entered in that you've approved additional personnel for Intel." he continued "As soon as I'm on my feet, I want to hunt them down and get them aboard."
T'Pral nodded. "You will have it when I get back to my office...and I am trusting your word on the quality of these men," she said as she held his hand.
"Thank you." Cato said, holding her hand. "So, talk to Nexi about training your people?" he smiled.
"I will. I suppose I should let you get some sleep," she said with a smile as she leaned over and gave him one last kiss.
Cato returned the kiss passionately before giving a kiss to her hand that we was still holding. "As soon as my meeting with Captain Telvan is over with and that away mission debrief is over with, I'll make dinner up to you."
"I look forward to it," she said with a smile before turning and walking out of the room.