Red Flag

Chapter 2

A knock sounded at her door, and she stopped abruptly, unable to step forward for a moment. Taking a ragged breath, she moved to the door, pulling it open.

He stood outside her door, re-dressed in his customary Navy fatigues, his wounds cleaned, his greyish blonde hair neatly combed, hands clasped behind his back. She met his eyes briefly before looking away. She didn't have much to say. She stepped aside and allowed him entry.

He pushed the door shut a bit behind him, not all the way, but enough to make it more of a private conversation. She wrapped her arms around herself in defense. Per their last conversation about her trip off the ship uninvited, she knew she was most likely in for a reprimand, not to mention her actions on board the ship. She swallowed, glancing up at him. She noted the way his skin was still red from the sun after being at sea, the way it actually complimented his features. She begged her mind to think of anything else.

"You created the vaccine?" He watched her fidget, staying calm and reserved on purpose. She often got worked up in a way he never did. She paced a bit, a small smile breaking across her pretty mouth.

"Yes, I was able to make a vaccine, though I haven't successfully tried it on a human yet," she replied, catching his eye again. She noted the way he watched her calmly, hands still behind his back, shoulders broad and squared. He was every bit the captain he held the title of.

"That's the next step, I imagine," he spoke quietly, as she continued to pace in her small area. She nodded.

"Yes," her voice was small, he could sense her apprehension.

"You didn't leave anything you needed on that ship, right?" He needed to make sure. She shook her head. "Good. Now, you need to get some rest before you do anything else. Have you eaten?"

"No, I'm not really much for eating after killing people," her remark was dark, and she chuckled a little to add light to it. He cocked his head to the side and studied her.

"You did what you had to do. Don't question your actions," She looked up again and caught his eyes. Was he talking about killing the Russian or the kiss, she questioned for a brief moment. She pushed the thought away. "You need to rest then. You have a lot of work ahead of you," his soft encouragement was appreciated, but she was too wound up to rest.

"With all do respect, Captain Chandler, I can take care of myself. Haven't I proven that more than once in the last 24 hours?" She could have swore a smirk crossed his face, but it was gone before she was sure.

"Dr. Scott, if I recall, I told you not to take yourself off the ship again without my consent. It's my job to protect you, keep you doing what you need to do to save the world," his words were said so casually, but she knew the depth he spoke of, "I'm going to tell you once more, don't do it again. Now get some rest." His words were crystal clear, as she clenched her jaw, throwing a glare in his direction. He turned for the door, and she stopped pacing then, aggravated for reasons she couldn't verbally or consciously describe.

"Not so much as a thank you, huh?" The words were out of her mouth before she could rein them back in. He stopped, as she stared into his broad back. He slowly turned, as she stood defiantly with her hands on her hips. She had a point, he realized. He admired her sass, her straightness with him. He dropped his head in acknowledgment, his long strides bringing him close to her within moments. She could smell the standard issued soap mixed with some sort of masculine scent, found herself sucking in her breath quicker than she'd intended. He was all man, all commanding, and being so close to him hadn't seemed so unnerving until now. She searched his handsome face, standing her ground. He kept his hands behind his back, the force drawing him to her formidable, and willing him to ask her why him, why kiss him and not Tex? Was she even interested in Tex? And why did he even care to think these thoughts? He set his jaw, and she watched the muscles clench.

"My apologies. Thank you for coming to our rescue. Mike shouldn't have sent you, but I..we appreciate what you did. You were very brave," He spoke softly, but professionally, searching her eyes. He could feel the heat radiating from her once more, wanted to know all the whys. He bowed his head for a moment, taking in the scent of vanilla that engulfed him from what he suspected was soap or lotion. He swallowed. She hung on his every word, and she shunned herself for it. She could almost feel the front of his fatigues against her button down, they were standing close, almost too close. She raised her head as he spoke suddenly, and rather gruffly, "Now, get some rest. That's an order."

She scoffed at his words, "Last I checked you couldn't order me around, Captain Chandler," again came another defiant remark from her. She was strong-willed, he'd give her that. He raised an eyebrow and this time the smirk stayed on his lips.

"Try me, Dr. Scott," He taunted, with a last look, before turning and leaving her state room. She wasn't sure if she was more frustrated or if she felt better about everything. Either way, the scent of him lingered in her room, and as she collapsed on her small bed, she couldn't help but wonder what kind of rest he was getting, and if he carried the same wonders she did. Why had she kissed him? What good had that done anyone?

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