Something for Everyone : A Challenge of Five Series for Valentine’s Day
Lieutenant Silver sighed in contentment as she leant against a railing overlooking the bay. The day was beautiful and warm, she was on vacation, and had managed to book a couple of nights in a nice seaside inn at very short notice—something she had been rather proud of considering the time of the year.
She had left Skybase the morning before and after a short flight, arrived in Newport Beach with still plenty of time to do some shopping and even go to a hairdresser to freshen up her 'do. This trip was all about girlifying and pampering herself and forgetting about the bulky, rather unflattering silver uniform and the demanding duty that came with it.
She was surprised to have been granted leave in the run-up to Valentine's Day. She thought Lieutenant Green would have requested it to have some time with Captain Blue. Perhaps they couldn't coordinate their time off? Silver gave a mental shrug. Why would they always have the best days off anyway? She had the right to be someplace nice rather than feel sorry for herself in her quarters on Skybase, didn't she?
It was unlike her to have uncharitable thoughts towards her colleagues. She was happy for them. But she couldn't help the hint of schadenfreude at the thought of them having to settle for a dinner at the canteen instead of a nice restaurant in California.
She closed her eyes to enjoy the sun on her face and the gentle wind moving the skirt of her pretty—and colorful—dress. Most people take those little joys so much for granted, she thought, beginning to walk back slowly toward the busier part of the landing, where the shops and restaurants were located.
She came to a street crossing. There were already people in the street, and the signal was on, blinking. She had the time to cross if she hurried a little... she half walked, half skipped, her skirt trailing lightly behind her. She side-stepped gracefully to avoid another person walking in the opposite direction and hopped instinctively to step onto the sidewalk.
Unfortunately, she miscalculated the height of the step she had to take and the bottom of her sandal caught on the edge of the sidewalk. Time seemed to slow down as she tipped forward, tried to regain her balance first on her own, then by grabbing instinctively onto the nearest thing she could find, and ended up falling down brutally.
Her right knee hit the sidewalk, but she was held back from fully sprawling onto the ground by what she had managed to grab…
A man's shirt. And the man it belonged to was bent forward awkwardly in an attempt to either catch her fall, or avoid tumbling over her.
She let go of the shirt and he steadied her by holding her arms. Time resumed its normal pace. "Are you all right?" he asked.
She made a sound halfway between a laugh and a groan of pain. "Nothing's broken... My ego might be a little bruised..." she replied.
He chuckled. "So is your leg, probably."
Silver stood back up, leaning briefly onto him for support. She tried to put some weight on her right leg while he bent back down to pick up what he had dropped during the incident—a book. She found she was able to stand and walk on her own, but it was quite painful. So much for the window shopping I wanted to do later on, she thought, feeling a little defeated that her outing would be cut short.
All that was left to do was to hobble pitifully back to the inn and hope that with some painkillers and rest, she could at least enjoy her remaining day of leave. The man took her arm gently and steered her toward a nearby bench. She thought of protesting that she was fine, but the attention was nice... she decided she deserved a little self-indulgence at that point.
She sat slowly, and stretched her leg forward. Dare I look? she asked herself, pulling up her skirt to inspect the damage.
"Ouch," the man said in sympathy when he saw the raw and bleeding skin.
Silver opened her purse, hoping that some tissues would be enough to stop the flow; any bandage she had in her little emergency kit was too small to cover the whole wound. "Great," she muttered, wincing when the tissue touched the injury.
"This needs to be cleaned so it doesn't get infected," he commented.
"It'll be fine. I just need to hold this for a little while..."
"That won't be enough." He looked around at the shop fronts, then back at her, and handed her the book he was carrying. "Would you hold this for a second? Wait here," he said, then left without waiting for the answer.
Silver watched him as he entered a nearby store. Where did he expect her to go anyway?
She looked down at the book on her lap. It was about painting, seascapes and lighthouses. She leafed through it using her free hand, but closed it quickly, as she felt she was prying. It was an odd choice, though. The man was tall and broad, and very masculine, and didn't look at all like he would be into painting or art. Perhaps it was a gift for someone?
She shrugged and lifted the tissue to look at her injury. It was still oozing blood. That'll be terrific with the field boots, it's right where the top part rests, she thought gloomily.
He came back shortly with a small bag in his hand. "Okay, we should be all set," he said, kneeling down in front of her. "Let me have a look.”
"You don't have to do this," she began, but he waved her argument away. "Thank you, then."
He smiled. He had an attractive, contagious smile. "My pleasure. Besides, it's in my nature to rescue people. Can't just leave you like that."
She laughed. "Being a little strong on words here, aren't you? Rescuing?"
"Can't help it, whether I'm on duty or not."
"You're an EMT, then?"
"Not quite," he replied somewhat cryptically, but didn't explain further; she didn't press the point.
She watched as he produced a small antiseptic packet from the bag. "I'm impressed, considering you came out of a souvenir shop," she commented.
"The shop owner saw you fall. She was more than happy to let me take things from her first aid kit," he said.
"Rub it in, why don't you." .
"Sorry, I'm just about to," he replied.
They both chuckled at the bad pun until Silver hissed in pain at the contact of the antiseptic with her wound. The man repeated "sorry!" a few times, then fanned her leg with his hand to try and alleviate the sting.
"Hopefully, you're not too upset I grabbed your shirt for help?" she asked.
He took a gauze pad from the bag and proceeded to set it in place with medical tape. "That's okay. Besides, some rescues are nicer to do than others."
His dark eyes darted up from what he was doing to look at her face, and she felt herself blush. "I bet you say that to every girl who can't remember the height of her own shoes and nearly faceplants in front of you."
"No. You're my first shoe mishap case, actually." He looked in the bag again. "Now, the shop owner didn't have a bandage big enough to cover this in her kit, so I had to improvise... if you have to limp back home, might as well do it in style."
He pulled a scarf out of the bag. Silver was surprised to find that the color actually coordinated with her dress and wondered if he had chosen it on purpose. He leant over to wrap and fasten the cloth on her leg. "Let me know if it's too tight," he said.
"It's fine," she replied, trying to ignore the effect his gentle hands had on her despite the pain.
He stood up when he was done, and went to throw the wrappings for the first aid items in the trash bin. She handed him his book. "How much do I owe you for that?" she asked, tilting her chin towards the scarf and going for her purse.
He shrugged. "Keep it as a souvenir. I was glad to help."
With another charming smile, he gestured farewell with his hand, turned around and left. Silver watched him go, unsure of what to think. It seemed to her that something had passed between them... Probably wishful thinking because of what today is, she reasoned, feeling a little dejected despite herself.
She saw him wait for the signal at the street crossing that had given her all this trouble in the first place. He was easy to spot amongst the crowd, with his dark hair and red and black plaid shirt.
The signal changed, and the crowd began to move. He remained where he was. Then turned around. Then came back to where she was still sitting. "Are you hungry?" he asked hesitantly.
Silver gaped, still surprised that he’d returned. "I... I could go for a bite," she finally replied, wishing her heart would stop doing the silly little dance it was currently doing.
He held out his hand to help her up. "Unless you prefer not to walk?"
"If you don't mind a tortoise's pace, we can be fashionably slow to get to a restaurant," she chuckled, accepting his hand. "I'm Bethany, by the way."
"Virgil," he replied, and they began to walk slowly away from the intersection.
~ The End ~
Author’s Notes and Disclaimer:
Lucky for me, there was a fifth line to that couplet! I have searched for a while to find the appropriate gentleman for this story. I wanted to think outside of Skybase and Virgil Tracy appeared to be a fitting choice. The ages would make sense, and the chance meeting could be possible. Now, whether their relationship stands the test of distance and their respective professions or not, that’s another story, but everything is possible at this point!
Thank you Skybase Girl for yet another super beta-reading job on this challenge story. Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Another thank you to Chris—or should I say five thank you’s considering this is the last story in a challenge of five—for the beautiful setups, and, in the case of this story, for being the first person to read it and reassure me that my idea for it wasn’t so crazy after all.
Disclaimer: Thank you Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and the CGI team for creating such a beautiful playground! The characters are not mine, I'm borrowing them and playing with them, and having loads of fun writing the stories. No profit is intended from this.
Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site