Sometimes, it's better to let someone help you even if it means going even slower than you like.


Slow But Sure

By:  M. J. Cogburn and C. E. Krawiec

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Although Johanna tried to decline his kind offer, Lyle Conroy was very adamant and stubborn, thankfully had her arm, and wouldn't let it go.  Once she had received her food, Lyle walked her back to her quarters, while holding a very interesting conversation about his future daughter-in-law who was having twins.  It was only after he'd taken her back to her quarters and sat on her couch with a glass of tea and her food, did he bid her a farewell and leave.


Johanna sat on her couch and just looked at the door and shook her head for a moment smiled then made a mental note to write him a thank you note before she turned back to her food and ate.  It was only after she had eaten that she decided to maneuver down to the infirmary to make sure that she hadn’t reinjured herself in the fall.




Johanna slowly moved through the hall, keeping one hand on the wall as she started down the hallway.  She knew that if Lyle Conroy caught her in the hallway again unescorted after being plowed over, even after a rest, he would have marched her back to her quarters.  Just the thought of Lyle Conroy giving her a good talking to only made the brunette smile as she continued slowly down the hallway.  He had always been a gentleman and had raised his two sons to be the same way.  Trevor and Ron?  Yes, that’s it,’ she thought to herself as she made it to the elevator and pressed the call button.  She was glad that she had other friends in the complex, especially after what had happened to get her position.


As the elevator doors opened, she met the eyes of a security officer that she hadn’t seen in some time.  She smiled up at the handsome blonde gentleman before her.  “Officer Sylvane, how are you this evening?”


Quinton Sylvane smiled warmly at the woman before him and noticed how she was moving slowly into the elevator and immediately held out his hand to assist her.  “Obviously better than you are, Ms. Royden.  Are you okay?”


Johanna took his hand in assistance and continued into the elevator and was surprised when Quinton took her arm and wrapped it around his own and held her to his side.  She smiled up at him and noticed the same warm smile back.  “I…” Johanna hesitated a moment before she finally gave the whole recitation on what had happened to her.  “I broke my ribs a couple of weeks ago.  I just got out of the infirmary this afternoon and when I went to the cafeteria to get something to eat; someone ran out of the cafeteria and plowed over me.”  She read the concern in his features as she continued.  “Lyle Conroy found me down in the corridor and helped me up, helped me with my food, and walked me back to my quarters to eat.  I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t re-injure myself.  That’s why I’m back out and about.”


Quinton nodded his head with a grin.  “Make sure that you don’t have to spend another week in the infirmary eating their food, huh?”


Johanna nodded her head in agreement.  “Don’t get me wrong, it’ll sustain you, but when you have a craving – they don’t give it to you.”


Quinton chuckled.  “You don’t mind if you have an escort, do you, Ms. Royden?


“Please, call me Johanna.”


Quinton nodded and lightly patted her arm that was draped over his.  “You don’t mind then, do you, Johanna?”


“Not at all,” Johanna stated as the elevator doors opened to reveal that they were already on the infirmary level.  She hadn’t realized that he had even pressed the button or that the elevator was moving. 


Together, they left the elevator and started up to the nurse’s station.  As soon as Olivia Robinson saw who it was that was approaching, she immediately came out from behind the counter.  “Ms. Royden, why are you back down here so soon?  Did something happen?” she asked as she looked up at the security officer that was with her. 


Quinton kept a small smile on his face as he turned his head toward Johanna to let her explain what had happened.  He just felt honored to be escorting her down anywhere; especially after he had permission to call her by her first name.  He had always thought that Johanna Royden was a very classy woman and extremely beautiful. 


When he had learned of what she had to do to achieve her status within the complex, he thought it was too malicious.  It was after another security officer reminded him about the leaper’s job and its details, he changed his mind.  She had done what was needed to do to attain her position, just as he had trained for his own.  Once that thought was settled into his mind, he had the peace of mind to push it aside and treat the lovely woman as he would any other beauty in the building – with respect and dignity.  Even as he looked upon her, he couldn’t help but find himself thinking of a beautiful red-head that was somewhere within the complex.


He listened to the same recounting as she had told him earlier and gently began to unfold her arm from his when Olivia Robinson popped him on his arm lightly and he refocused his attention on her.  “Yes ma’am?” he questioned.


“Didn’t you hear me?”  Olivia asked carefully as she frowned up at the chiseled features of the officer before her.


“No ma’am.  I’m sorry.  Would you mind repeating what you said?”  Quinton asked politely. 


Olivia Robinson tilted her head slightly at the tall man before her.  “Quint, please take Ms. Royden to room 23.  Once she’s there, you may leave.”


“Yes ma’am.  Sorry Ms. Robinson, I didn’t mean to be daydreaming.  Thank you, ma’am.”


Olivia chuckled slightly as did Johanna as he slowly moved with her down the hall.  “Who were you thinking of, Mr. Sylvane?” Johanna asked considering.


“Who?” Quinton asked back with a grin as he turned a bit pink from embarrassment that he had been caught daydreaming of Tala.  He quickly shook his head, his face aflame from the embarrassment. 


“Quinton?  What’s her name?”  Johanna asked softly as he opened the door of Room 23 and maneuvered to help her to the bed.  Johanna instantly noticed the pink of his face and his smile broadened.


“Never mind her name.  I’m just glad that I could help you to where you needed to be, Ms…. Johanna,” Quinton said as he started back toward the door.


“Quinton?” Johanna called out as he paused at the door to look back at her questioningly.  “Thank you.”


Smiling, Quinton replied, “Your welcome, Johanna.  I hope that you haven’t re-injured your ribs.”  Nodding to her as she echoed his words with “Me too,” he closed the door and went on his way.


Quinton was barely gone a few minutes before the door opened and Dr. Peter Hugen walked in, his face heated.  “What’s this about you getting plowed into?” he demanded.


Johanna blinked at his words before she once again told of her plight.  It was during her words that Dr. Hugen came to her side his heated countenance slowly ebbing away.  “Anyway, I finished my dinner then started down here when Officer Sylvane assisted me into the infirmary.”


Dr. Hugen let out a sigh as he met her eyes.  “I knew I should have left you in the infirmary.” Seeing the look she pulled with that statement, Dr. Hugen grinned.  “Well, let’s see what you did to yourself.”


Johanna rolled her eyes as she began to unbutton the shirt she had put on earlier.  “I didn’t do this to myself.  Someone else did it to me.”


Knowing that he was pushing her buttons, Dr. Hugen offered, “Oh, never mind the semantics.  Let me have a look.”


Exasperatedly, Johanna removed the shirt showing her already bruised, discolored ribs.  It was only after a thorough examination of her torso that Dr. Hugen was partly-satisfied with what he had found.  “Just to be certain, I want to run a new set of X-rays.”


Knowing how meticulous he was, Johanna only nodded in response.   Twenty minutes later, after taking the extensive X-rays ordered, Johanna sat still on the bed once again waiting on the results.  When Dr. Hugen reappeared, his face void of emotion, Johanna feared the worst.


Meeting her gaze steadily, Peter Hugen crossed his arms over his chest, let it out slowly then answered casually, “You’re either the luckiest person in the world or you’re related to a webble wobble.”  Seeing the perplexed expression adorn her face, Peter couldn’t help but grin.  “Infirmaries, as I have told you before, dear, are for the sick or injured, which you are neither.  That doesn’t mean you need to run outta here doing cartwheels and spinning madly like a top.  Your ribs are healing quite nicely and I think that within a month you’ll be able to go back to full duty.”


Johanna’s smile that had begun to light up her face quickly dimmed.  “A month?  Dr. Hugen, I… I need to be back as quickly as I can.  This… this isn’t fair.  I…”


Dr. Hugen raised his hand up to silence her.  “Johanna, I said to full duty in a month.  Within a week, you’ll be back to part time work.  I know that you think I’m joking, but when I said you’d have difficulty getting around, I proved my words true, didn’t I?”


“But I…”


“Or did you make it here to the infirmary all by yourself today?”


“That’s not fair, Dr. Hugen.  I was doing fine before Quinton Sylvane showed up,” Johanna protested.


“That may be so, but how slow was your progress from your quarters to just the elevator?  How long did it take?”


“I don’t see…”


“How long?” he persisted.


Dejected, Johanna answered, “Over five minutes.”


“Then, I’ve just proved my point, Johanna.  From your quarters to the infirmary shouldn’t even take five minutes.”  Dr. Hugen watched as Johanna slowly bowed her head dolefully.  Peter moved a bit closer to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.  “I know that you don’t think that it’s fair.  I’m not trying to keep you from working, either.  I just want you fit.  I think that you know that.”


Johanna raised her head up to look at the man who had helped her numerous times within her adult life and nodded.  “I do.  A week?  I can go back to part-duty in a week?”


Peter nodded.  “A week,” he repeated back. 


“Thank you, Dr. Hugen.”


Peter Hugen smiled at the young woman, reminded her about taking care of herself, and then headed out the door to go to his next patient.


Johanna slowly made her way off the small bed and out into the hall when she heard Olivia call her name.  Turning back to the nurse’s station, she waited for the older woman to come to her side.  “Yes ma’am?”


“Would you like for me to call for someone to help you back up to your room?”


Johanna shook her head.  “No, thank you.  I think that I’m going to go talk to Lothos before I head back up to my quarters.”


Olivia looked at her uncertainly, but when Johanna pressed the issue, she nodded.  "All right, but if you need someone, you better let Lothos know so that he can get someone to you."  Olivia shifted slightly and wagged a finger at her.  "You do understand me, don't you Johanna?"


"Yes ma'am," she replied.  After promising Olivia that she would do just as she had been told, Johanna slowly started out of the infirmary toward the bank of elevators.  Finally arriving and calling an elevator, she entered into the elevator breathing a bit heavily before she reached over and pressed the button to head deeper within the complex to Central Control.




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