Summary: My response to the 5 minute profession challenge. Now betaread by Iona and Fanwoman :) Would love any feedback on it, just to know how everyone thought it turned out.
“I *knew* I should've been a gynecologist!"
That's what she would have liked to say right now, and she would have liked to complain about their situation, rant at Kavanagh's social ineptness and general pettiness causing their science team to be sent here, probably because of McKay's dislike of him. It had put them on the mainland, in a cave, just in time for an unanticipated seismic shift to cause a cave-in; it was all his fault.
Sometimes she hated Kavanagh, but right now, she hated fate more, especially the kind that seemed like dumb luck. While they were fortunate no one was hurt, they just happened to be stuck in a cave with limited oxygen, dysfunctional radios and, as far as they knew, an hour before anyone even realised they were missing. Considering the lax security at their makeshift science camp near the Athosian settlement, the others might not even worry until well after that. As if that wasn't bad enough, their knowledgeable guide to the area they were exploring was pregnant and, thanks to all the fuss, in labour.
Everyone had just watched Marashi's waters break and, none too subtly, had shifted backwards; no one wanting to be caught responsible for the task someone would have to attend to if rescue didn't come in time. Which it wouldn't, short of a miracle or a solution from their side. They were on their own.
She got the feeling the rest of the team would probably debate who was best qualified until it was too late, unless someone stood up and volunteered. Here was the irony - she'd once wished to be a gynecologist, or rather, a midwife, something in that area anyway. But somewhere along the line, she'd opted for the hard sciences rather than biology and medicine. She still had a Doctor to her name, but it wasn't exactly the right kind. Everyone in the room, apart from the scared Athosian, was a doctor by name - but unfortunately not by profession.
She took a step forward, anticipating that, despite her lack of knowledge on the matter, the debate behind her would inevitably come to the conclusion that she was best to deal with it anyway. After all, she was the only other woman in the room. However, she found herself shoved rather bluntly to one side.
“Move it, Simpson; we don't have all day.”
It took a few seconds for her to work out that Kavanagh wasn't, for once, chiding her on her inability to do something but had actually pushed her out of the way and was moving towards Marashi himself!
She held her breath, waiting for the outrageous string of words that would no doubt come from the man. He probably thought you could hold babies in or something, and she anticipated him telling the girl that this 'wasn't the time' and to 'wait until later'. They were just the kind of sentiments she could imagine coming from him.
But the words that came out his mouth hushed the whole of the team, not for their controversy or brittleness but because of the absence of the derisive tone they expected. To her surprise, his voice was gentle and quiet, barely audible to the rest of them, with Kavanagh's hand on the girl's shoulder as he talked. After a moment’s instruction, Marashi was calm and sitting back against the wall. Only then did he give anyone else a thought, head whipping round to glare at them in the way that was characteristic, barking out orders at them to fetch supplies and to try to reestablish contact with base.
One by one, each member of the team was set to task, until only she, Kavanagh and Marashi remained together. At a small whimper from the girl, he turned back once more, and she watched the quick switch from the man everyone knew to the person they'd never seen before. This time, she listened carefully, trying to catch the words over the background noise of activity going on elsewhere in the cave.
“Just keep breathing like Dr. Jones taught you and count the time between contractions. It'll be fine; we're going to get you out of here. And, er, I have to go but... I'll be back soon.”
The last comment was tacked on rather awkwardly, but everything was said with a firm, reassuring confidence. She wasn't even sure how he knew Maria Jones was the doctor who'd been assigned as resident gynecologist, but she was grateful. Marashi was clearly much calmer after his chat with her, and he gave her one final comforting pat on the shoulder before he stood up from his crouching position beside her.
“Simpson? You're with her... I've got stuff to do.”
It was an order, for sure, but it lacked the same bite she was used to, and as he walked away, she thought she could almost see his face change, features taking on the hard mask of Kavanagh, the sneer and the glare set into his face as he went off to make things happen, things to set Marashi free. Not them, he said he'd get *her*, Marashi, out of here, and for the first time ever, Simpson felt she really didn’t know Kavanagh at all.
It wasn’t long before they did get out, and since then, he'd been his usual stuck up self, firing off blame for the incident in almost every direction. To be honest, Simpson didn't know if he could have helped with the delivery if it had come to it, but she knew they'd gotten Marashi out of there like he'd promised. Maybe that was how he'd intended to help all along - act like everything would be fine and then make it fine.
Either way, when she looked at him now, she thought twice and wondered briefly what went on inside his head before he sniped at her for staring or not paying enough attention. Then she decided it didn’t really matter. In time, it would wear off, and she wouldn't care at all, not even for that split second. Kavanagh would be just the same old Kavanagh whom nearly nobody liked or respected, and not William Kavanagh, the man who had a little boy named after him on the mainland. She thought, quite possibly, that was another one of his plans. She wasn't sure why, but she knew she would eventually not bother to wonder about that, either.
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