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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - Slipping Under [Complete]

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Continued from The Cynic's Celebration

Going to Declan in her state of mind would be a terrible mistake. She’d do the exact same thing she’d done when Caine had rejected her - seek the wrong kind of comfort. But what to do? Sitting in her room would just be a pity-spiral of anger and shame – anger that she’d almost let him do that to her again, and shame that she’d almost let him do that to her again. Not to mention the fact that he didn’t even seem to remember her, which was a larger blow to her ego than she’d imagined it could be. How could he not remember her? She’d been a bigger game to him than she’d thought.

She went back to her room and changed into her swim suit, pulling her robe on for a bit of modesty until she reached the pool. Despite the decent crowd at the party, the hallways were still pretty full, and Olivia received her share of nods as she walked. She was known by sight, but that wasn’t good. It was only, as far as she was concerned, because she was a specialist, and probably one of the less frightening ones. Worse, she could hear the whispers in her wake, including the ones she wasn’t supposed to hear. Especially the ones she wasn’t supposed to hear.

She stopped and walked back to a group of Airmen; most of the flushed as she, the recent topic of their conversation, approached. “I can hear what you say,” she said, her eyes locking onto the front of their uniforms. She couldn’t look them in the eyes, but she was at the end of her rope and she had to do something. “I can hear everything you say. And it hurts. Please stop talking about me like that.”

There was awkward silence; she waited to see if they would acknowledge her. Finally, one of them mumbled an apology, followed by the rest. “Thank you,” she said, knowing that she probably hadn’t helped her cause long-term, but today, she’d needed that.

She still felt better as she entered the pool area and took a quick shower. It always amused her to have to shower before she entered the pool – it was water, and it was there to get you clean, but you had to be clean to get in it. Still, with her Japanese father and brother, she understood the concept. When she was ‘clean’ she stepped up on the board and jumped into the warm water.

Olivia had no real reason to swim; she’d already done her exercises today, but she needed to be exhausted, for her body to drag her mind into the oblivion of sleep. She kicked hard and began to stroke, mindlessly driving herself across the pool. Every time her mind tried to think about what she was avoiding, she steered it relentlessly to being in the moment of swimming, to focus on the feel of her arms stroking and her legs kicking. She swam until her breath burned in her lungs and her arms felt like putty.

Groaning, the specialist grabbed the wall, hanging on tightly. Her arms were still shaking at rest, and she wondered if she’d overdone it. Attempting to pull herself out of the water only got her partway before she splashed back into the pool. “This isn’t good,” she muttered, resting her head on the side of the wall.

It’d be easy to slip under. The thought was empty and cold, yet comforting. Olivia had been through a lot of stress since she first began to write about Dr. Jackson’s work, since she’d been drawn into the world of the StarGate. “No,” she muttered softly, but it was a tired protest rather than a firm negative.

This thing with Vinny was painful, but there were reasons to stay here, too. She hadn’t gotten enough of the knowledge of the StarGate, of finding the answers out there. She had too much to do: heal Declan, finding a cure for AIDS for Sherman and finding a way to undo her mistake in 1975.

There would be no slipping away from the pain.

With a determined growl, Olivia pulled herself out of the water and went to shower. She needed to rest for now, but then she had to get to work. The only way out was forward, but then, she’d known that for a while.

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