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When in Alaska

Chapter Text

Moving to Alaska had seemed like a good idea on Paper. Eve had felt she needed to leave London and it’s crazy pulse, millions of people, her old place of work, catering to the rich and physically unhappy and most of all, her Husband who had gotten his teaching assistant pregnant. She had thought it would be a nice adventure. A Dr. she had met at Dr. without borders had told her he was leaving his home and moving to Florida for retirement, as soon as he found someone to take his practice over.
The moment she had walked into her husbands bridge club, to surprise him after a very taxing rhinoplasty surgery, and found his white naked hairy ass between his assistants legs, she perched on a table, baby bump already showing in the slutty tight dress she had chosen to seduce Eve’s husband in, had been eye opening. She needed to leave far away, call her friend and offer to take over. And she did.

Smithstowns population bordered on 500. It was situated on the lower end of Alaska in a beautiful bay, lined by dark woods and mountains. She had found a steal of a house a bit outside of town, in the woods at a lake where she even had her own dock and little boat. The house needed touching up but it was simply breathtakingly beautiful. Especially the bedroom with floor to ceiling windows letting her gaze upon the lake.The next thing she had taken care of was organize a car. The guy she had spoken to told her he had a truck that was up for sale, pretty new, barely any miles. Perfect for her.

So four weeks after hearing her husbands shaky voice saying ‘Well I can come inside you're already pregnant’, she had driven her new black truck up the bumpy forest road to her new home.

**

The house would need work and she knew ordering stuff so remote would take ages so she had gotten as much furniture shipped as she could after dissolving the money she and Niko had saved for the dream of a cottage in scotland. She had paid out his part of the funds, with interest, and then furnished her new home spartan but it would do.
The kitchen cabinets she would repaint, the stove was still top notch. All she cared about in the beginning was getting away.

Her new home town was mostly consisting of weather worn Fishers and woodworkers. The largest company was buying and selling fish. There was one large Supermarket, a Sports bar, A boat repair shop, Woodmill and her new workplace her little practice in the middle of nowhere.

“Hi my Name is Doctor...Polastri...and I am going to run the prac...what are you looking at?”

Eve was in her white coat trying to talk to the two nurse helpers she had, trying to get to know them but they were staring outside.

“Vince Buchannan and Tom Sanders are in the middle of the street throwing fists.”

Erin said, clicking her tongue annoyed and shaking her head.

Eve stopped confused and then walked over to the windows, right the moment one of the men got a fist to his eye.

“Jeez…”

She sprang to action, running out the door and towards the men, catching what was being yelled.

“I never underpaid a pound of crab you silly fuck!”

The guy with the rapidly swelling eye shouted. His adversary apparently decided one punch was enough of a punishment and stepped away. Eve stopped in front of them, a stethoscope around her neck looking non plussed.

“Whatchu doin in the middle of the road lady? You tryin’ to get killed?”

Swollen eye asked her, the other guy rolling his eyes.

“I...wanted to help. Let me look at that eye?”

“I don’t need no white coat to know it’s a shiner.”

And both men walked off like nothing had ever happened. Eve sighed and went back into her practice, Erin and the young blonde Nurse staring at her like she had grown heads.

“They come inside if they need you. The people here don’t like being babied.”

Erin, the almost 50 year old said, rolling her eyes at Eve.

“Big city kids huh? A little punch and you freak out.”

**

That first day no one stopped by so Eve checked files of patients, checked who needed constant care, checked who needed to come back so she could get blood work done and so on.

Erin and Sam, as she had learned, were...a kind of a league of their own. It was like they questioned her competence a little.

“Is it always this…”

“Slow?”

Sam asked, filing her nails.

“People here are taught to be rough up here. They also don’t like strangers. Some don’t come in at all. You need to go to them. Dr. Bill had one day a week he spend only going from house to house”

Well she certainly would have her work cut out for her here. But that was what she had wanted. New place, new Eve. She would adapt. Somehow.

“So...is there any place to get a dinner?”

Eve asked as they closed up. Erin stacking files, Sam getting the mail to the door for pick up the next morning.

“Tony’s wife cooks over at the Bar. Don’t expect fancy stuff tho.”

“Right...thanks”

Well that day was like pulling teeth. It could only get better Eve felt.

“Oh we need your address and phone number for the clinic!”

Eve pointed to the clipboard she had put on her desk and when Sam checked the Address, she stared, showing it to Erin who shook her head.

“You won't be here long then.”

And they left talking about her address. Eve locked the doors, sighed and then drove to the bar. Cars lined the parking lot, it looked more like a long shed, straight at the harbor, people milling outside smoking and music coming from inside.

Right next to the door was a sign proclaiming that it was fried fish and fries night. She went inside and the place seemed like straight out of the nineties. People actually turned and stared at her as she walked to the only open table. There was one waitress who looked like she was 40 something, make upped like a 13 year old trying the color palette of her mother.

“What can I get ya Darlin?”

She said and chewed her gum with her mouth wide open.

“Well Fish and fries and …Water.”

“Alright, will be right with you hun.”

It was actually good food, compared to what she could make. Eve was proficient at buying Salads. Niko had been the cook. But in the end he liked to stick things where they didn’t belong.
She ate, feeling eyes on her and when she went to the bar to pay, a white haired guy gruffed:

“They sayin’ you livin’ in that cabin up at the lake. Ain't nothing good coming from that part of the wood, I tell ya that.”

She frowned, having heard such bad stuff about where she lived for the second time.

“Shoulda just rented the old docs apartment.”

“They say that wolf is roaming up there.”

Another patron said, and Eve felt a shiver travel through her veins, apparently her home was horror story material to the locals.

“I haven’t seen nor heard anything the past week.”

Eve replied and shrugged.

“Ye...huntin’ season just starts. I’d look for another place if I was you. Ain’t nobody’s business to live up there...with h…”

“Shut it Manny!”

The owner of the bar hollered and then let her pay. One of the men further down shrugged.

“The Chief said a dark spirit is in that wood. He is from the Haida!”

That she had heard before. Eve had gotten informed on first nations in that region and there had been 3 or four tribes. She remembered one was called Haida.

“You old hoots sitting here like around a campfire tellin’ bullshit! Only listening to the Chief when his stories are convenient. You don’t listen to these moose fuckers. Ain’t nothing ever happen up there.”

A snort from Tony and Eve dropped a 20 in the tip jar, hurrying to get out of the place.

On her drive home she felt her hands gripping the steering wheel tightly, eyes flicking into the pitch black darkness of the wood’s around her. Had there been a reason that cabin was so cheap, besides it not having been taken care of for long? Was that the reason it hadn’t been properly looked after or was it just Smithstown’s version of an urban legend?

When she finally made it to her driveway, the land around so dark she could only see with the light beams of the car, she decided she would order special outer lights. When she got out of her truck, she yelped when a wolf's howl exploded in the woods far behind her and there, through the large tree trunks, she swore she saw a very faint light in the old cabin further up the Road. The cabin she thought had been abandoned. Eve’s heart beat a mile a minute and she almost did not get the door to open, which she locked twice behind her.

“For fucks sake.”

Eve muttered and wiped her sweaty brow. She would call the guy she had bought this from the next morning and find out what the fuck was going on. She was sure there was nothing to the stories being told. Tony had said so...well he had said nothing had ever happened. Yet.

Eve slept fitfully that night. When she tried reaching the guy that had sold her the house and property, he did not pick up his phone. She made herself some eggs and bacon and then decided to have her coffee on the porch. The lake looked beautiful in the morning light and Eve breathed in the crisp air. Her day was fully planned out, she would drive to her elder patients and get up to date with them, checking in as Bill had done. They didn’t like change, so she wouldn’t change things. Or if, then only slowly.

**

“Hello? I’m Dr. Polastri, Bills replacement? Anybody Home?”

She had driven far out along the coastal edge to a simple hut like home, smoke billowed from the chimney so she presumed someone was home. Gary Masters was almost 70 so she thought maybe he could not hear her, just as she was about to knock again, a woman came around from the garden behind the house waving.
Eve smiled.

“Hi! Dr. Polastri. Bills replacement. I am here to check up on…”

“My chíinang, yes. My name is Penelope. Bill told us someone new would come. Pops...is weary of new people.”

The young woman lead Eve inside the house, small living room and open kitchen and more rooms in the back. In the recliner sat Gary Masters, long white/greyish hair in a braid, watching TV.

“Chanáa! That’s your new Doctor!”

Penelope said and he grunted.

“I am just here to check if your Grandfather needs new prescriptions and if he is feeling well. I would like to do some bloodwork if that is okay with him.”

Eve knew she had no proper grasp of the Haida culture and hoped not to say something wrong.

Penelope nodded and Eve started her basic check up, blood pressure, eyes, ears and then some blood for the testing.

“I should have this back in a fortnight and come by and inform you. Mr. Masters is there anything else I can help you with?”

He whispered something to his granddaughter.

“He asks if it is true that you live in the Big cabin at Crows Lake.”

Eve nodded at Gary. He stood and left the room.

“Well...that seems to be the consensus on my home.”

The old man rummaged in a cupboard in the hallway and then returned, handing her a big flat stone with carved signs on it. Speaking to penelope in the native tongue.

“He says put this on your porch. It wards of Bad Spirits and attracts the good ones.”

Eve looked down at the design, having to hold the stone with both hands.

“Why is everybody so scared of the place?”

She asked Gary.

“Old tribal stories.”

He answered shortly and then left them standing in his living room, going to his garden. Penelope shrugged.

“People here still belief. They are more spiritual. It’s the roughness of the land, things here change slowly and so the beliefs about the land stayed. Up there at that lake, Legend says a Shaman lived. One that did bad things. The land is dark for Haida. We don’t like it. Your neighbour and her strange ways do the rest. Since she moved here years ago, people believe she was attracted by the darkness. That the Shaman’s ghost called her to him.”

“So I do have a neighbour! I saw the hut but there was no light...well last night there was.”

“Some kids saw her conversing with a wolf, as they said. Since then the rumor mill is wild. Doesn’t help that she barely interacts with people. Very mysterious person.”

Eve nodded. So it was all based on very old legends and a shrewd neighbour. She had those in London too. Throw in some kids making up stories and you had a witch or worse at your hands. It was the same in every part of the world. Eve remembered her childhood neighbour, the old woman always staring at her playing in the backyard through the windows, in their old Liverpool home. She had been sure as a child that her neighbour was a Jeoseung Saja, an Angel of death.

“Well if it’s all just tales and hear say. But thank your grandfather for the stone. I will do as he said and put it on the porch.”

Penelope regarded her with a sorry smile, as if she did not get the complete message.

**

When she finally made it home after a long day of driving through the deep Alaskan countryside to check on her patients, she put Gary Masters stone on her porch as he had told her, then decided to let the evening trickle out with a fire and some wine.

Grabbing the axe she went to the side of her house where the chopping block was. She had never done this before and needed some tries to actually get the hang of it. It made her hands burn and while taking a little break she felt the hair at the back of her neck stand, goosebumps rising on her skin as she felt watched. Her eyes snapped to the darkness of the woods, checking if she saw anything. But there was just an infinite darkness. She listened, trying to make out any sounds besides the sounds of the forest, telling herself not to let get stories to her after minutes of not moving.

When she had moved back inside, berating herself for her stupidity, something moved from behind a large tree, turning and moving back deeper into the woods from where it had come from, Wolf following close by at a lazy trot.

That night she had heard the wolf howling again, shuddering the first time and burying herself under the blankets to block off the sound. She slept better that night, the sheer exhaustion from the day making her sleep deeply.

When she stepped onto her porch the next morning, large mug of black coffee in her hands she found a large shaggy thing staring at her, yapping.
Coffee sloshed onto her hand hotly and she cursed, the large Wolfhound Dog wagging its tail.
Eve stared unmoving and the dog sat down, looking almost like he was smiling, grey fur all over the place. It was a male, collar around his neck suggesting he had an owner.

“Shit…okay...good boy…”

More happy tail wagging and then the large furball simply turned and laid down. As if he belonged on this porch, staring down at Crow Lake. She shook her head, finished her coffee not daring to move and slowly moved back inside. A soft whine and eyes following her, but the dog stayed put.
So that was probably the wolf the kids had seen. Eve laughed then, of course there was never a wolf. That dog was probably the one howling at night too. She saw him lick over the stone Gary Masters had given her, then roll over.

Chapter Text

The first week passed uneventful, mostly because besides the patients she visited, no one came into the practice. When friday rolled around, Eve was a bit relieved. There were things to do at the house but first she had to go stock up her food. She did not want to spend every night eating at Tony’s though his wives food was good.

The larger grocery store in town held most foods in the simplest forms. No fancy cold cuts, jams or different breads. But meats and fish you got fresh and in all variations for practically cheap. So what was usual in London, seemed outlandish here and gourmet meats where basically chucked after you in Alaska. Everywhere she went, people still stared at her and she wondered when that would stop. She guessed it would take a few years. One woman next to her at the freezer, as she was selecting salmon to take home for the weekend, could not stop staring. So at one point Eve looked back at her squarely.

“Can I help you?”

The woman seemed to debate with herself if she should say something.

“They say you are the new Doc?”

“Yes Ma’am.”

As if what would come was a secret, the woman leaned in.

“I think my husband is sick. But he’s being stupid about it. Tells me he is fine but he gets sick often lately.”

“Mrs…”

“Anderson.”

“Mrs Anderson, your husband has to come in or I will have to come by your place and take a look at him before I can do anything.”

“Well it won’t be easy, him coming in or being home. You see he is crab fishing so he is gone for weeks.”

Eve nodded and then rummaged in her purse, pulling out her business card and writing her private number on it.

“Here! Call me when he comes home if it’s the weekend, take this number and I will come by ok?”

Once she made it to the cash register with a card loaded with every basic food item plus extras, some household items and so on, the Cashier dutifully scanned every item. Just as she put the last thing back into her cart, he grabbed something from the case behind him. Her eyes widened when he put a shotgun and shells on the counter.

“You have one of these yet? Cause I heard you livin’ at Crow Lake...if I was you I would get one.”

She stared down at the shotgun and red shells.

“No...thanks...I’m fine.”

“Well...you know where to find me if you decide otherwise.”

Eve could not remember if she had nodded at least but she left feeling absolutely confused and irritated by the ongoing allegations against where she lived. It was simply ridiculous how people believed she needed a gun. So her neighbour was an old shrew but apparently she had never done anything.

She drove home and when she unloaded her car, the irish wolfhound was already walking towards the house, wagging his tail when he saw her. As soon as she put her bags down on the kitchen counter, her phone rang and Eve smiled when she saw the number.

“Hey Runaway! How are you?”

“Hey Elena. Good and you?”

While they talked, Eve unpacked groceries and stored them into the fridge and cupboards.

“Niko turned up at work hoping to catch you there.”

An eye roll and sigh from Eve, she rubbed her temples.

“Eve...divorce him.”

“I ...I will.”

“When?”

She was about to answer when she heard frantic barking from her back porch.

“Is that a dog? Do you have a dog?!”

“No...well...it’s my neighbours Dog. I think. He just spends a lot of time on my porch, lazing about, begging for my food.”

She went to the backdoor checking and found the giant wolfhound hiding from a squirrel. Laughing she opened her back door to tell him to stop it and he used that moment to dash inside to hide. She cursed watching the dog, tail between his legs hide behind her couch.

“What’s going on Eve?”

“Oh he ran inside when I opened the door to tell him to stop, now this large ass beast is hiding behind my couch. I’ll try to cajole him out with the treats.”

“Wait...wait you got him treats?!”

“Yea did you know you can buy dried pig ears in large packs of 50 pieces? It’s not even expensive.”

“Eve...that isn’t your dog.”

“He keeps begging for my breakfast...I am not cold enough to refuse.”

And Elena’s laugh made her smile in turn. She felt almost carefree here in Alaska. Yes life wasn’t as easy and glamorous as London but it made her feel better, less beat down and stressed. Waving the dried pigs ear she saw a tail starts wagging and smiled as the hound came to her and sat obediently until he received his treat instead she went to her front door and opened that, throwing the ear out and watching as he stumbled after, his long limbs all over the place. His butt slammed against the side table where she always put her keys, but she could grab it and stabilize it with a curse.

“Eve?”

“Everything is fine. He ran into the side table. He’s out now running around with the pigs ear. It is kind of…”

She had watched the hound run in circles, all happy about his treat, grinning herself because that dog was simply a klutzy mess, slipping here, stumbling a bit, almost barreling into her truck. And then there was this feeling again. Being watched. She shuddered and stopped speaking, immediately getting inside and closing her door.

 

“Are you alright? You made a strange sound.”

“Yea...just these stupid stories playing pranks on my mind.”

“Eve...what stories?”

She slumped into the couch and sighed, not having wanted to think of the bogus again. But still she told Elena.

“I mean I haven’t even seen my neighbour. Everyone is fearing someone, they all admit never interacts with them and the rest is built on old first nation legends.”

“It’s creepy. I mean...I would have taken the guy in the store up on the gun offer Eve. You are still pretty alone in the woods.”

Eve knew she probably should get some weapon for self defense. She knew everyone was right but still, she hated the thought of a gun.

“I’ll think of it, I promise. Now I need to go out and chop some wood. I want to build a better stock because quite frankly I am not doing that again in the dark. That was fucking creepy.”

That evening when she had salmons and a light salad, the salmon only burned on the skin side, she received a call by Mrs Anderson that her husband was home again. He would leave early the next morning though for another trip. So Eve grabbed her bag and with the directions, she only got lost once in Smithstowns surrounding off roads.
The cozy small Log hut was well lit when she arrived, a tall kid sitting on the front porch sipping a soda. She greeted him and he grunted:

“Old mans been on the loo since he returned.”

The house was situated at the stony coast, all rugged edges and overlooking the sea with a dock where a boat bobbed in the soft waves.

Yes, that was a sentence she had not heard since her residency. Having her own beauty clinic paid well, it stopped feeling like healing years in, so she had started going with doctors without borders, fixing cleft palates and so on for free. That felt better, but still she had often missed being a doctor that went around and healed. She still owned half of the business, the other half belonging to Carolyn. The State of Alaska paid more than well for any doctor willing to move to such remote locations too. Money wise she was good. Not much to spend it where she was anyways, besides Tony’s place eating well cooked food.

She went inside and found Mrs Anderson at the kitchen table, shaking her hand.

“He’s grumpy but he said he didn’t care if I called you...so.”

They talked about the Symptoms Mr. Anderson had, his wife admitting she did not have the full picture because he did not tell her.
When her husband emerged from the Bathroom, he sighed when he saw Eve but was apparently too weak to argue. So she had him describe what he thought the problems where, asked a few additional questions.

“Tell her about the white stuff Pa.”

His son said when he came back inside and slumped on a recliner in front of the TV.

“White stuff?”

Eve asked, looking down at the notes she had taken. They had belly cramps, occasional vomiting (sea sickness was indeed strange for someone basically living at sea), nausea and diarrhea.

The burly guy across, sighed and it seemed there was a slight flush.

“Well...ya know...In the bowl, when I am done with Number 2 there is..strange things in the bowl sometimes. White and flat, sometimes only a square but sometimes longer.”

Something dawned on Eve.

She had, on the days nothing had happened in the past week, read up on CDC news for Alaska and found an article that might explain this.

“Oy I made a picture, Pa remember!?”

The lanky, long limbed boy sprung up and got his phone out from his pants pocket and Eve steeled herself for what was to come. And sure enough she saw what she had expected.

“Mr Anderson, when you are on the boat do you guys eat raw fish?”

He shrugged.

“Sometimes we get a salmon caught up in the cages. Would be stupid to not have them for lunch. We only had one raw a few weeks back after our captain had watched a show on food in Japan.”

She nodded and then wrote down a prescription.

“You have a tapeworm, from the looks of it Japanaese broad tapeworm which has been spotted in Salmon in Alaska. It happens when we eat raw infested meat. Now even sashimi grade fish in Japan has to be frozen a week, before it is allowed to be eaten raw. Because that kills the eggs. I am going to prescribe Biltricide pills. The tapeworm will be paralyzed and then let go of where in your intestines he clamped in. You will pass him out going to the toilet.”

His wife looked horrified and shook her head annoyed.

“You shoulda known better Ben!”

“Will Pa like...pass like the whole thing like string cheese?”

Eve shrugged.

“All that matters is that it does come out! If it takes for the medicine to come here to make sure you drink and eat more the worm weakens you.”

Ben nodded and while his son still googled pictures of tapeworms to show his dad, his wife led her outside.

“He will be feeling fine again soon when that thing is out of him.”

“Thank you so much doc. Especially for coming out so late.”

Eve smiled and shook her hand.

“No worries it’s my job.”

It felt so good when she drove home, knowing she solved problem, healed someone.

**

Two weeks later, Eve had once more given up on her cooking, she sat in Tonys, the table at the back now almost her standard. When she walked in the would immediately bring her coffee and water, no questions asked, then bring out what the days food option was. Tonight she was also watching the TV. Ice Hockey was on and the guys cheered, their women playing cards in the back.

Tonight's meal was Hamburger steak, mashed potato and creamy corn.

“HEY! Hey! Doc!”

She heard yelling from the entry and looked up, seeing Ben Anderson and his wife enter. The woman waved at her and she smiled and waved back before she went to the bar where Ben was waving her over. Two little schnaps glasses in front of him.

As soon as she was at his side, Ben was telling everyone close and far, that she had cured him of a ten foot (not possible at all) tapeworm, even though she had to come to his house in the middle of the night (it was more late evening really), then clapped her on the back so hard she almost wheezed and handed her a schnaps. She was no drinker and she had to drive, but one schnaps would be ok, she had eaten well.

The stuff, Yukon Jack as the bottle proclaimed, was a pretty strong liquor and she hid the way that stuff burned down her throat. Ben thanked her one more time before she made her way back to her table, finding Marly (the waitress) had put seconds on her plate.

She was finishing her coffee (Marly always made it a little less strong for her) she was about to leave when approached by a guy, wringing his cap in his hand.

“Hey…’scuse me Doc. Ben said you helped him…”

“Hey. I did, yes.”

She said, wiping her mouth and just as she did, he pulled up his pant leg, revealing a gnarly cut that looked infected. Her eyes must have widened a lot.

“Cut myself fishing. I thought it was fine but I ...I don’t know…”

In the dim light she could barely see and it wasn’t really a place she wanted to treat a leg wound.

“Okay...let’s go to the practice I need to take a proper look.”

**

“Erin, I treated Mitch last night. I wrote everything down from what I used, anything else we need to chart for insurance?”

Eve said, pouring three cups of coffee in their little practice kitchenette.

“How the heck did you get Mitch to talk to you?!”

Erin asked from her spot at the desk.

“I guess the blood infection weakened his resolve.”

Erin nodded and Eve saw a sliver of a smile.

“Hey...Erin that neighbour of mine…”

The older woman shook her head resolutely.

“Don’t know anything about her. Don’t ask. I see her in the store sometimes, usually straight after it opens. She hunts mostly for herself, some fishing I heard. Some of the others have met her in the woods once, she had just slain a boar. She’s a shrew. I’d keep away if I was you. I think Manny from the general store knows more, she orders her hunting gear from him. I think that is the only place she goes what would be regularly for her”

Just then Sam came in with the rest of the flyers Eve asked her to put up on her way to work.

“All put up doc.”

Vaccination notice and she hoped she could get her patients up to date.

“Doc there is actually people outside waiting for the practice to open.”

Eve smiled to herself, apparently Ben’s story of how she saved him from the ten foot tapeworm of doom and her helping Mitch, had done wonders to her reputation.

“Well let’s finish our coffee and then see how we can help.”

It was her first day filled with proper work and Eve loved it. Simple surgery that needed only local anaesthesia she pushed to doing on fridays if not immediate action was needed, like from the woodworker that had hit his shin with the axe. She realized, as she sat in the forest emergency stitching up, that in these conditions she had to strive for: as sanitary as possible, and she would have to do more after care check ups to make sure there was no infection. She sure would have her work cut out for her in Alaska.

While work got better and better, fixing a house herself had been a romantic idea she quickly realized was bull. The Deck railing on the lake side was in need of renewal and she knew she simply had no knowledge. On the other hand, no one wanted to come up to the lake and do the fixing. She had asked one of the towns carpenters, that had come in with a bad back and he had said flat out no. He at least said he would make the parts she needed if she gave him measurements and she could put them together herself. She took the deal, knowing there was no other way. So on a saturday morning she had driven into the shop and had gotten all the parts prepared and cut and drilled for her, she bought the tools she would need and then drove home, unloading it all in her garage for later.

She had planned starting Saturday but then a storm hit them and went on till Monday morning. Her weekend was spent mopping up water on the porch, running into her home. She realized she had not checked the rain gutters and one was probably clogged. She needed to declutter them desperately. By monday morning, she was cranky from not sleeping and annoyed because she did not even have a ladder.
Her morning visitor was just on time and it made her smile at least as he sat next to her messy self and chewed his pig ear while she had her coffee.
She had called Erin telling her to keep the clinic closed, that she had a house emergency. And there she stood, staring at the rain gutter that was clogged, Wolfhound next to her chewing still.
Without a ladder she would never clean it.

“Seems like I have to drive to town huh?”

A yap, then a snout pushed her hand and she obediently scratched before watching the dog trot off towards a path between her and her neighbour hut. He turned to her, sat as if waiting. Her eyes tried to make out the other hut through the ever thicker growing underbrush.
A shudder ran through her and she shook her head at herself, steeling her shoulders. She would go ask her neighbour for one, as every normal person and if her neighbour had none, she would go buy one.

With resolve she followed the dog that had grown into a welcome daily visitor. When she moved here she had still been able to see through the trees, no leaves left from winter. Now it was spring and the leaves opened, saplings growing up and closing the woods, making them ever darker. She followed the little path her furry companion probably took every morning and soon she could see the hut of her neighbour, seated deep in the woods, blending in. A little pathway and stairs leading down to the lake. Before she could get closer she heard a howl and stopped dead in her tracks, staring at a happily yapping grey wolfhound, that had definitely not howled. Eve swallowed and then she saw it, yes, that was the wolf people had seen. He stared at her and growled, grey dog running towards him and playful, but the wolf was staring at Eve and Eve at the wolf who was slowly stepping towards her.
She was bathed in fear, feeling her breathing get faster. It had been a stupid idea to come here but she feared if she turned around she would be attacked.

A whistle stopped the wolf and with one angry stare, he turned around and left. She followed the sound, mouth agape, breathing harshly and found herself looking at her neighbour.
She was certainly not what Eve had pictured from all the Horror stories. A tall, lanky woman, honey blonde and long hair, high cheekbones and slim figure. She leaned on her railing, staring at Eve, drinking from a large outdoor metal mug.

“You’re trespassing.”

Her neighbour said gruffly, giving the grey dog that had ambled to her a scratch. Eve watched him sit with her, still looking at Eve friendly.

“Hi...I am...my name is Eve Polastri, I am your neighbour.”

A shrug.

“I...my rain gutter is clogged...I have no ladder and wanted to ask if I could borrow one?”

The rest of the coffee was poured off the porch by her neighbour who still looked at her without emotion. She wondered how a woman looking like that had ended up here hunting. She rather looked like she could be a Model. Which was what made her so confused. She had thought she would face some kind of old crone.

“Nope and now leave or I’ll send the dogs at you.”

Eve huffed. What reason did that woman have to be so rude to her? She watched as she grabbed a rifle, the shaggy grey dog looked at her too, huffed and left the porch walking towards her. Her neighbour stared nonplussed, shouldering her weapon.

“Shaggy come here…”

She ordered and Eve watched as ‘shaggy’ ignored his owner and came to her for scratches, whining as he was called again.

“Shaggy? Really? That’s the name you chose?”

Eve said, loud enough so the other woman heard and now it was her turn to look back with a raised eyebrow.

“You’re still trespassing Polastri.”

Eve watched the woman open her front door.

“Your dog has better manners than you!”

And with that Eve turned, shaggy following for a bit until a howl by, what Eve was sure was a hybrid not real wolf, called him back.

**

All day she thought of her neighbour and their strange meeting. She had went into town planning to go into the hardware store but as soon as her car made it down main road she was flagged down by someone. And so she was busy in town, helping the residents and forgot to get a ladder, cursing as she came home and saw more dark clouds looming. When she stepped out of the car she saw leaves and sticks on the ground in a large pile, shaggy on her porch, waiting as always.

Eve huffed absolutely confused. Apparently after threatening her this morning because of trespassing, her neighbour had done the same but to clean her gutters. But it was a worry less on her shoulders and she wondered if she would ever get the chance to thank her grumpy neighbour.

Chapter Text

“Ok open wide…”

Eve said, light in one hand, wooden tongue depressor in the other. She had a mother and her child sitting in her office, both complaining about and obstruction in their throat.

“As I had feared.”

Eve said, swiveling around on her chair and rolling herself to her desk, typing something in the system.

“You have strep throat, both of you. I will write you down two generic antibiotics. Take them 3 times a day, always at the same time. You should take them for a week then the white spots on your tonsil should be gone. I want you to come in again ok?”

Eve smiled at the toddler in her arms who looked pale.

“I will also write you something down for his fever.”

“Manny told me to tell you that your parcels arrived this morning via postal plane.”

Eve smiled and nodded.

“Thanks I will get them straight after work. Hey, I heard my neighbour is a regular in Manny’s store?”

Sarah shrugged.

“Pretty much. She comes in twice a month, we have her things prepacked always the same. Potatoes, beans, coffee beans, such things.”

“How come there is such talk about her here?”

The younger woman shrugged.

“I wouldn’t know. People like to talk, people like tales and Legends. She does not fit in here with her ways. She helped me once you know. I got stranded in a snowbank last winter she dug me out, never asked for anything as thanks.”

Eve remembered her rain gutters.

“She helped me too.”

She wanted to do something as a thanks for that. She just had no idea what. All Eve knew was that her neighbour was not the dark Spirit everyone had told her she was.
She was simply different and while Eve had wanted to adapt to her live in Alaska, her neighbour had refused. Which had turned people seemingly against her.

“You wouldn’t know her name?”

“Oh...it was...it didn’t sound American … Astankova. I don’t know her first name.”

Eve nodded and hoped she looked as if she was not too interested. That name was distinctive enough and Eve had the resources.

Once she made it to her lunch break, she went to her computer and looked up the name in the files. Nothing, she had never been treated by Bill. While she munched her sandwich she typed her name into the insurance database and found nothing either. Well that was unlucky.
Of course she would be no where in the system.

Until evening she had no idea what to do as a thanks and then her constant thinking was broken by a call to a birth. Her job was everything now. By 3 am in the morning a healthy boy was born, mother and son where doing good and the father had been alerted via radio on his ship. Eve drove home, tired as hell and knowing she would have to open the practice a bit later so she could get something close to sleep.

Sh was almost home when tiredness hit her hard and she knew she had to stop for a moment, because falling asleep behind the wheel would be bad on these streets. she drove off the road when she could, into a little bay in the Forest, once parked she set herself a timer on her phone.

Eve did not even realize she had napped off until something woke her and when she turned to her side window, a face with a skeleton on it was at her window. She jumped and yelled, heart wanting to beat out of her ribcage and then saw the skeleton tube scarf being pulled down revealing her neighbour.

Eve was breathing harshly and fumbled for the door, opening it and getting out into the crisp air as her neighbour watched while she tried to calm herself. But after waking, Eve was angry.

"Are you insane? You almost gave me a Heartattack with that stupid….ass scarf!"

Arms folded over a chest and Eve noted her neighbour was in running gear. Not far away she heard rustling in the woods, probably that hybrid dog.

"Me? You are the one parking in the middle of the forest and taking a nap at 4 am. In Alaska."

"It was either that or falling asleep while driving."

Slowly her breathing calmed.

"I just wanted to get home after that birth! I should have taken their offer and stay with them. Thanks for waking me..."

Eve mumbled and was about to get back into the car for the last 2 miles of a drive but the door was grabbed and her neighbour nodded to the passenger side.

"Get in!"

She whistled into the woods and a bark was heard. Eve simply had no power to argue. She just wanted to get home and sleep and didn't care how that happened, so she got into the passenger seat and watched as her neighbour got behind the wheel. They were home in a few minutes and before Eve could thank her for once more helping her, she was being berated.

“This isn’t the place to be stupid at. You think no one is here to prey on a woman sleeping in a car in the woods?”

Eve had no strength for this. She nodded and took the keys.

“I’m sorry.”

Eve mumbled, grabbed her doctors bag from the trunk and then went inside.

“Don’t look at me like that...stay here shaggy.”

After making sure Shaggy would stay on the porch her run was resumed.

**

“Hey Shaggy.”

Eve said, opened the door and let the Wolfhound in. She had a bowl of water prepared and watched him drink as she refilled her own cup.
Her neighbour might have a hard shell but on the inside she seemed to be a good person. Twice she had helped Eve now. She poured herself her large coffee and then got a treat for Shaggy. This time a chew bone.
He sat with her obediently until she told him she had to go to work.

Maybe Gary Masters had been right and his stone did attract good spirits. It seemed like no one saw them but her though.

She had also finally thought of a way to thank her Neighbour and went to the general store and paid for the next stuff she had ordered.
When she came back home after dinner at Tony’s, which was a good way to keep in touch with the locals and so Eve had not even tried her hand at cooking again, she felt too tired to stay up longer and got herself ready for bed. Just as she was done with brushing her teeth and getting into her pj’s she heard a loud knocking from her front door.
She ripped the front door open annoyed and sure enough her neighbour stood there, looking annoyed once more.

“Don’t just open the door, Polastri!”

And Eve, feeling in a mood, closed the front door on her neighbour.

“Fine…”

She mumbled.

“Are you for real?”

She heard from the outside and rolled her eyes, opening the door again. They looked at each other exasperated, both annoyed with each other.

“You can’t just open the door to anyone knocking! Ask.”

“First please tell your name. Second: what do you want here?”

Eve stepped aside to allow her neighbour in but she stayed on the porch, hands clasped behind her back, back and shoulders straight.

“Fine…”

Eve grabbed a woolen cardigan and pulled it over her camisole.

“Oksana Astankova...and I am here because I heard you paid for my store stuff. I don’t want that. I can pay for my own stuff.”

“Hello Oksana. It’s not about me thinking you can’t. It’s about me saying thank you, because you helped me twice now. Which I am not taking back. You did something you did not have to do and I did the same.”

Oksana looked at Eve sternly but at some point seemed to accept it. Behind her the Hybrid dog emerged from the underbrush.

“Do you know that people think you talk to a wolf?”

The other woman turned to her dog.

“Wolf, heel.”

The dog sauntered and then came to sit on her right side, leaning against Oksana’s side.

“Wolf?...You aren’t big on names?”

“They only need to listen to them.”

And by the looks of it they did.

She reached into the side table and grabbed a pigs ear. Throwing it at wolf.

“Ah so Shaggy gets treats?”

“He gets treats because he came here always begging for my food.”

Wolf chewed and Eve called for Shaggy, sure enough he emerged from the back porch his chew bone half eaten after a day.

“Traitor…”

Eve heard Oksana mumble.

“Oksana...thanks for the help.”

Something seemed to soften in Oksana’s features.

“Don’t buy me stuff again…”

And with that her neighbour trotted off towards the path between their houses. She petted Shaggy one more time and then he followed his master, Eve’s eyes on her leaving form too.

**

“You know she kind of sounds even more mysterious now. Or can you explain to me what such a woman does living deep in Alaska hunting?”

Elena said on the phone after Eve had told her everything about finally meeting her neighbour.

“I can not make sense of her really. She gives off this cool front but then she has these moments. Like being angry with the car thing or me opening my door.”

“I mean...I am kinda massively pissed at you too for that kinda shit.”

She heard Elena rustle around and sipped her coffee.

“I know I. I know. I got to go El. I have to do some prep for surgery tomorrow. Huge Cyst. Haven’t ever seen anything this size.”

She sat on her couch, fire roaring and sipping coffee, checking over her notes of the oncoming surgery. After weeks in Alaska, people seemed to welcome Eve with them. She was invited to celebrations, when she walked through the town people greeted her, Trust was the most important thing a doctor needed and the more people she helped, the more that trust grew. Helping people here made an impact she had not made in Lodong.

Eve must have fallen asleep on her couch, because the next thing her mind registered was barking. The fire head gone out and she blinked trying to get her eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room. It was past 4 am and Eve yawned and stretched. There it was again, frantic barking at her door, howling too. She got up and unlocked her front door, finding Shaggy there.

“Shaggy? You alright bud?”

He ran away towards the end of her driveway, darted back up to her and back down.
Frowning Eve got on shoes and then followed Shaggy. And once she had made it further down her driveway

“Oksana?”

Her neighbour was hobbling laboredly up the drive, in running gear. Eve went to her side immediately, giving her something to put her weight on and leading her to her house.

“Just help me home, it will be fine.”

Oksana mumbled.

“No. I will look at this. Then I will help you home. Stop being so bullheaded. Let people help you from time to time and maybe the town would stop thinking you are either a dark spirit, called to the lake by a shaman, or a serial killer hiding in the woods.”

Her neighbours mouth clamped shut and they made it to Eve’s place, Eve helping her to the couch and pulling the coffee table close, so that Oksana could put her leg up.

“I’ll get my bag.”

While grabbing that from the hallway closet she also went to the kitchen to grab an ice pack from the cooler. When she made it into the living room her neighbour mumbled.

“I don’t care what anybody thinks I am. At least they leave me alone.”

Shaking her head, Eve sat on the couch table, taking the leg and started looking it over. Her neighbour’s lips were clamped shut and she had her arms crossed over her chest annoyed.

“Nothing broken, I could see more with an x ray. Please come into the clinic tomorrow.”

“No.”

“Oksana.”

"I have to go home.”

“You are unbelievable.”

She watched her neighbour get back into her shoe, testing her food and then she walked, only a slight limp in her step, no sign of pain on a face emptied of all emotions. It was as if Oksana simply forbid herself to feel the pain.

Eve saw her to her door telling her to keep it cooled, stay off of it for a bit.

“I’ll help you back home.”

“Goodnight Polastri.”

Eve wanted to bash her head against the door, why was talking to this woman like pulling teeth.

“You could at least say thank you?”

“Thank you for bringing me to your house against my wishes.”

And then she vanished behind tree’s, leaving Eve behind, stewing in anger.

“Asshole…”

She had no idea why she even tried. Apparently her neighbour just loved pissing people off. BUt then, there were these random moments when she helped you and there seemed to be something else behind the hard outer interior. There had to be a reason the woman was this way and Eve felt a strange kind of need to know more. To understand that Enigma that was fine with people believing she was some sort of monster. She was not, Eve simply refused to believe that.

She sighed and locked her door again, deciding to try to get a bit more sleep.

Chapter Text

Summer in Alaska was simply put, breathtakingly beautiful. Eve had never been into hiking and she knew better than to go hiking in Alaska, the chance of meeting a bear pretty high, but in her lake house, at the crystal clear lake it felt safe and she enjoyed the warm months by spending time lazing on her dock, taking in the sun.

Summer had not been all happy. Gary Masters had passed. She had been there on one of his last days, begging him to let her help. But Gary simply asked her to let him die with the dignity of a warrior. It had killed her to just let him die, she was a doctor, she was there for healing. At his funeral his granddaughter Penelope gave her another of the stones her grandfather had kept.

“My grandfather asked us to give this to you before he died. It is supposed to gather healing powers. It is the last thing...he made this for you a bit ago”

She cried because she felt she had failed her patient even though he had not wanted her help.
That had been a tough time for her. In the short time she had been in Alaska, Gary Masters had really been someone she had enjoyed visiting. He had warmed up so fast to her, she had spent so many afternoons listening to the haida myths, telling him she wanted to understand the culture so she could serve the Haida respectfully.

She had been reading on the dock in the sunlight. It did not get hot in Alaska but they had reached 69 Fahrenheit which was warm. Her head was pillowed on shaggy, who loved lazing about with her, while his owner and her wolf hybrid where out and about enjoying hunting season. By now it was so far that Oksana would simply tell him to stay with Eve until she returned.

Just as she felt absolutely relaxed , feeling her eyes droop a little, she heard the angry roar of her neighbours motorboat coming closer, the monotone sound grating on her nerves. She took a deep breath and sat up, Shaggy stretching lazily behind her and whining.

“Well don’t whine at me, she’s your Master.”

Their docks where not far apart and Eve stared as the boat was docked, Oksana in hunting gear, Wolf jumping off the boat and bolting up the stairs. Oksana grabbed her gear and Eve noticed the bloody bandage on the right hand. When Oksana turned and found her stare she stared back, as if challenging Eve and although it was itching inside of her, because she was a doctor, she simply went up to her house.

Shaggy followed her, intent to go with her and return to lazing about on the porch when he was called by his owner and huffed turning to trot after the blonde carrying her prey.

“That boor of a woman…”

Eve muttered to herself once inside. It was time to go for dinner anyways. She certainly would not miss out on Miriam’s Pork Chops with beans and cornbread. With no Game on the bar was a lot less filled and Eve enjoyed her meal, talking to Miriam after it in the kitchen.
The older woman was not a big talker, but she had taken a liking to Eve because Eve liked her food and ate there every night. It was almost like having her kids, who had moved to anchorage, back home. When she made it home that night she found Oksana sitting on her porch, bandage soaked red, playing with the frazzled edges.

Without saying anything to each other, Eve let her inside to the kitchen, disinfected her marble counter properly, then unwrapped the hand to find a deep gash that had only slowed down bleeding a little on the back of her hand. Eve sure did not go careful when examining for any further damage done but her unwilling patient also went far and beyond to not make a sound of discomfort, even though Eve could see the sweat forming on her brows.

“How did this happen?”

“Slipped when going up a hill, slid down and somewhere must have been a sharp edged stone.”

Eve knew the other woman had hoped it would stop bleeding and had only come to her for help after trying to stop it herself.
She got her bag and started numbing the hand with a local numbing agent, injecting under the skin. Her stitches were still perfect, since she got enough practice up here. Once she was done and happy with the outcome, she bandaged Oksana up and then cleaned her counter once more.

Oksana stared at Eve’s back as the other woman positively ignored her after doing her work, prepping a tea, putting her bag away and her brows were lined with annoyance as she pressed out a ‘thank you’ before leaving without another word.

When Eve turned, she saw that Oksana had, of course, not taken the painkillers with her. She told herself to ignore it, if Oksana wanted to be an idiot, she would let her.
She really would.
She ignored it for about an hour before she cursed and put on shoes. Going to Oksana’s house in her pajamas. When she was close in range she saw Oksana in track pants and sports top, that left half of her upper body revealed, in her garage, which held no car but weight racks and benches. Oksana was bench pressing and Eve stopped and watched. When her neighbour stood from the bench Eve realized just how trained the other woman was. She stared as Oksana stretched and felt like she was a peeping tom. At some point she willed her feet to move and her movement caused enough sound to alert her neighbour.

“You forgot your painkillers. And you should not Train actually…”

While she had spoken she could ignore the fact that beauty in front of her, once more reminded that her Neighbour was not what many believed.
She frowned when she saw how many scars lined the soft looking skin.

“What are you doing Polastri?”

A soft voice broke her thoughts and she found she had reached out to touch the little cluster of scars on one shoulder.

“How…”

“None of your business.”

She stepped back and looked up blushing.

“Sorry.”

Putting the Painkillers on the bench, she then left, mind completely in a jumble. Once she was back in her house she was mortified at how she had stared and then even, without realizing, touched.

Eve checked the time and called Elena.

“Hey Babe! Hows the backwoods?”

“I just totally ogled my ripped neighbour.”

There was silence, then a snort.

“Eve...what the hell is going on?!”

“El...I swear to god you don’t see she is that ripped under clothing. I am talking pecs and arms….She is...I also touched the scars on her shoulder and didn’t even...shit she probably thinks I am…”

But El did not even say anything because she was laughing so hard.

“Come on El.”

“Look Eve...just chalk it up to not getting laid in ages.”

“It’s not like I can tell her that? Like ‘Oh sorry Oksana my piece of shit husband rather fucked his assistant instead of me so I am basically starved to get off and you just looked good enough to eat.’”

“Well I don’t hear you saying anything about not liking women. Look at you, savage Alaska made you throw conservatism overboard. Good for you.”

“Thats not what…”

“Eve...tell me, if she told you she wants to get down and dirty with you...would you seriously say no?”

“Yes....because she’s still an asshole.”

“Babygirl, we both know you are lying through your teeth. Go to bed and try not to think of her too much.”

That night Eve did her damndest to not think of her neighbour when her hand crept underneath her panties.

**

The next week Eve tried to avoid her neighbour as best as possible. She kept thinking of those abs, rippling under the strain of having been trained, the way her body was bend taught with stretching, the fascinating muscles layout under scarred skin. So while she tried to avoid Oksana she was still very much on her mind.

Eve, while having married a man, had always acknowledged she liked the female form, had thought it was part of her job. But the way Oksana was suddenly on her mind, she realized there was more to it than the appreciation of the female body.

By then end of summer, when temps dropped slowly, days grew shorter and the leaves colors turned, Eve was So caught up in trying to get the house winter ready, that she had almost stopped fantasizing red faced about her neighbour.

She had gotten someone to fix her AC by paying him triple for the job and promising him her neighbour was away for the week. It was the only way to cajole someone up to the lake. So while autumn loomed Eve enjoyed the warmth of the AC knowing her worries of winter would calm now.

She had also gotten the state of Alaska to fly and anesthetist in if requested, so she could perform surgery like cleft palate repair. People came from near and far, she had hockey players with broken noses even. She threw herself into her work in the hopes of forgetting that need inside herself. Needing someone, missing touch.

She had missed being loved with her husband and now she missed it here.
Oksana thankfully had been out hunting a lot and Eve had heard stories that poor families in the region often found Meat donations on their porches. She wondered if that was Oksana.

One Saturday morning, on a very warm morning for this time of the year, Eve was on her porch, sans Shaggy, since he had not shown up that morning, having coffee and enjoying the view, when she saw Oksana step down onto her dock in a robe. The robe was dropped and Eve in sync almost let go of her coffee mug, as she realized her neighbour was nakedly jumping into the lake.
She had no idea how long she had stared before going back inside her house, groaning in disbelief.

“Am I being tried?”

She looked heavenwards besides not being religious.

That day wasn’t a good day, she spent it confused, thinking about creamy skin and those perfectly round buttocks and…

Eve swallowed hard.

That day she had a vaccination talk in the first nations center, offering anyone coming there free vaccination in a project with the Alaskan state. When she returned home it was late and she decided to have a sandwich and some wine at home instead of hoping Miriam still had some leftovers.

She had just had finished prepping, when she heard frantic knocking from her front door. She went there and ripped it open, finding Oksana with Shaggy in her arms, shirt stained red.
She stared at the pale woman, holding the large animal.

“Please...please he got hurt.”

Oksana begged and Eve let her inside, feeling scared herself. Her stricken neighbour put her dog down on the marble Island counter, hand still trying to keep over the wound and stop the bleeding.

“What happened?”

She grabbed her bag not even sure if she could help the dog. She was no vet. Her anxiety levels rose.

“He was gone this morning and by noon Wolf and I went to search. I found him bleeding.”

Shaggy had a wound in the back of his neck from being bitten, she knew had it been the front he would be dead.

“I can’t numb it. Oksana you have to hold him very still.”

She got cleaning alcohol from her back and started cleaning the wound, Shaggy stayed still as they both spoke to him, trying to relax him.

“I’m trying to be quick ok?”

Her frantic neighbour nodded, holding her dogs head and speaking to him softly and Eve quickly went to work. Sewing up bites only needed 2 to three stitches, but there was a mass of cuts and Eve had to get them all.

Shaggy was a very brave boy and stayed mostly calm, only whining from time to time. Just some stitches made him wince but Oksana calmed him down swiftly.

Once she made the last stitch Eve felt herself starting to shake hard. Gloves stained red, she pulled them off fast, throwing them into her sink and joining Oksana at Shaggy’s head, both of the woman petting him tenderly and whispering to him. He was shaking and cold from the blood loss and stress and Eve went to make a fire in her fire place.

“Oksana...carry him to the fireplace, we need to make sure he keeps warm.”

She grabbed her couch pillows and blankets and prepared a resting place, watching as Oksana lifted her 120 pound dog and carried him to the hearth, laying him down tenderly close to the warming flame. She laid a blanket over Shaggy, stroking his belly soothingly. When she heard a scratching from her porch door she opened it and found Wolf, letting him inside and watching as he laid himself down in a way which would allow shaggy to pillow his head on Wolf.
Oksana sat with her dogs, head pressed against Shaggy’s crown. She needed a few seconds to calm her shaking before she went to the pile and her hand landed on Oksana’s shoulder.
She squeezed and then pulled her up, leading her upstairs.

Eve rummaged through her clothing and found a very large shirt she had won at the town fair.

“I’ll wash your shirt.”

Mumbled Eve and somehow both ladies thoughts where only on the situation, pain radiating from the other woman, scared for her beloved animal. Oksana’s face was so filled with emotions for once. Pain and fear and she was absolutely not complaining as Eve pulled her into her large bathroom, wetting a washcloth and first cleaning Oksana’s neck, then pulling the shirt off the other woman and cleaning the blood that had soaked through her clothing.

There was nothing sexual about it, Eve was helping her neighbour who looked shook and scared to lose her companion. Eve was scared too, Shaggy had become and constant in her life. Once Oksana was in the shirt, Eve grabbed her bedding and carried it down, laying it on the ground behind Shaggy. Oksana had followed her, bloody shirt in her hands and Eve took that from her, going to the basement were the washer was.
When she returned up stairs, she took her stethoscope and phone, looking up what Shaggy’s heartbeat should be and then listening, petting the gentle giant. Once she was half satisfied with it she went to the couch to rest there, no pillows or blankets left, she curled into herself.

“Eve…”

She had not heard her first name yet from Oksana and turned, finding Oksana at the couch.

“Eve...you have no bed left.”

“It’s fine.”

“No...come on.”

And she was pulled with her neighbour and Oksana had her lay down with Shaggy, then she felt the other body wrap around them both securely. She swallowed thickly, feeling she shouldn’t let this happen. It crossed a line within herself.

“I can’t...I don’t know…thank you Eve.”

There was so much raw emotion in that voice, something Oksana had never shown before.

“It’s ok…”

It was because she would always help.

Chapter Text

When Eve woke the next morning, she was confused before she remembered what had happened the night before, how her neighbour had come to her to save Shaggy. Her hand went to his ribcage, feeling it expand as he breathed, relief washing over her. He was alive. She softly pet his belly, reaching over and grabbing the stethoscope she had left in close range and checking his heartbeat.

"is he...ok?"

Oksana whispered behind her and Eve handed the listening part of the instrument over, showing with her hand the way a dog's heart needed to sound.

"Its slow, but it is beating. he needs to eat and drink."

If he ate and drank soon, Shaggy would probably make it. If he refused, they would have a problem. As she tried to get up, she realized how tangled she and Oksana had become, blushing because the other woman was still listening to Shaggy’ s heart beat, so she tapped the hand on her midriff, biting the inside of her cheek. Why was fate doing this to her?

“Sorry!”

Oksana whispered and let her get up, closing the space between her and shaggy, that Eve had left.

“I’ll let Wolf out…”

“Just give me a sec. I need to feed him and get something for Shag.”

Eve went to the kitchen and started on coffee, her back aching some from sleeping on the ground. She tried to stretch out her shoulders and felt a tap on one, turning to find Oksana standing behind her, still looking so sad.

“Thank you Eve.”

“You don’t have to thank me for that.”

“Yea I kind of do...I haven’t really earned your friendliness.”

They stood so close and Eve was back in that turmoil state, looking up at the taller woman and it felt like they were caught in time, as if Oksana wanted to move towards her but was stopped by something. Before Oksana could do whatever went through her mind, Wolf whined from the door.

“I’ll...be right back.”

Once her neighbour had left, Eve cursed under her breath. Whatever had happened last night, something seemed different with them. Eve made sure the coffee was extra strong, then got eggs and bacon from the fridge. When Oksana returned, Eve had already gotten out bowls for Shaggy, so the other woman could try to get him to eat. Oksana prepared the dry food, mixing in water so he could eat without chewing too much. She placed it so that Shaggy could reach it and then went back to the kitchen and without saying anything, helping Eve who was frying bacon, by whisking eggs for them.

It was so strange really. They had barely talked half of the summer and now here they stood, making breakfast, Oksana in her shirt and an air of confusion between them. So Eve stayed silent and her companion seemed not opposed to it. They ate and the smell of Bacon roused shaggy who got up shakily and dragged himself to where they sat at the Island counter eating.

“Nonono Shaggy. Too much salt. You can have some egg here.”

Eve said and fed him some of her eggs.

“That’s good he is eating.”

Eve mumbled and suddenly felt arms around her, a hard, muscled body pressing into her in all the right places, making her cheeks and neck flush.

“Thank you! Thank you so, so much Eve! I don’t know what I would do without...thank you!”

Her throat went dry and she croaked something back as long arms held her tightly and Eve felt herself melt into the embrace against her will because she had missed being touched so much! She shouldn’t, she should step away and break the contact but it felt so damn good to be held by Oksana, the other woman's happiness at her hurt dog eating washing over her. Her hands landed on Oksana’s sides, biting her lip as she stopped her itching hands from squeezing.
Her companion took a step back and smiled down at her and Eve wanted to melt into a puddle.
She wondered if Oksana could see what was going on inside of her, wondered if she realized the effect she had.

Her train of thought was broken by her phone ringing and Eve stepped away, relieved by the distraction, because she felt the tension could be cut with a knife.

It was Erin telling her she had to come in, they had received a call from out of town with a severely sick child.

“I need to go in…”

Oksana looked at her and nodded and there was something behind her eyes.

“I’ll be seeing you…”

The other woman said and grabbed her things so Eve could get ready.

**

After that very confusing morning Eve tried to keep some distance. Elena had booed her for it, telling her to take a chance, try something new. But Eve could not. She was not even divorced yet, she had simply vanished from London. Two weeks later though she had to go to Oksanas, needing to check Shaggy's stitches and pull them if they had healed well.
She used the little path and was greeted by Wolf, the ever watchful checking if it was only her, she scratched behind his ears and smiled at Oksana, as the other woman came from behind her house with Shaggy at her side.

“Hey…”

Eve said feeling awkward with her bag in her hand.

“I just wanted to check on Shaggy’s stitching?”

A nod and it seemed like Oksana had closed herself off again. Eve sighed to herself and went to the porch where Shaggy sat, greeting him with scratches before she started taking out the threads.

“It looks really well healed.”

She commented, looking up at Oksana.

“Good.”

“How have you been Oksana?”

“Pretty ok.”

It was like pulling teeth and Eve wanted to yell out that they had been over this. But instead she watched Oksana pet Shaggy before grabbing her rucksack and Rifle, calling Wolf to her.

“Hey tonight is the Northern lights watch in town down at Tony’s with music and...will you be there?”

“No. See you around here, though.”

She said to Eve and vanished into the woods.

“Oh…”

Eve mumbled and stared down at Shaggy.

“Yea well at least I tried…”

It stung. Eve admitted it but then again, she had basically ignored Oksana since that day they hugged. Still, maybe she had hoped they would at least meet somewhere. Or that if she asked, Oksana would say yes and she could spend time with her. Eve realized she was probably the only one having thoughts about the other and felt mortified, hoping she had not seemed like she had thrown herself at the other woman.

Her day in the clinic was mostly calm, someone from a ship crew came in with the flu, the typical check ups of the elders and she did go out to visit some of the other patients. By evening, when she made it to Tony’s, she saw her table was taken but the women always playing cards had a spot saved for her.

Of course they hoped for gossip, especially since Eve had not yet moved away from the lake. She did not speak about Oksana other than that she had two dogs and they had seen each other from time to time. Oksana was a private person and Eve respected that.
Tony’s was packed and there was a rowdy atmosphere at the place.

“Three Trawlers are here because the weather the next few days looks bad. Ben and the boys aren’t happy, these guys are unfriendly.”

Ben’s wife said and everyone nodded.

“The hubby is on high alert with his boys, everytime storms hit and these guys stay here, there is trouble. Mike tried talking to their captains but well.”

Mike was the local Police chief with a bad sleep Apnea. Eve liked him, he was as wide as tall, a bear of a guy but the most gentle ever.

“It’s always the same June, before the night is over there will be arrests.”

Eve looked around, seeing the local men watch the guests wearily, always checking to see if someone dared walk up to the wife's. Trouble was in the air and she ordered one last coffee, deciding she could see the northern lights above the lake too, without the smell of trouble.
Another 30 minutes later with a mood as thick as pudding in the place, Eve decided it was time.

“Ladies, it has been a pleasure. Thank you for saving a spot for me.”

“Always Doc. Oh and will you be there at the women’s health meeting next month?”

She nodded and said her goodbyes, going up to Tony and paying her meal.

“Tell Miriam her roast was delicious.”

“You be careful darlin’, bad crowd tonight. Don’t like it one bit. Let me get one of the boys to bring you out.”

“It’s fine Tony, I am parked close.”

She made her way through the crowd and as she left the Bar she felt trouble, two guys standing close to her car and blocking her.

“Excuse me.”

She said and tried to get them to let her through but the tallest of the guys just leered at her.

“Hey pretty! I am new in town, how about you show me the beauty spots around town mhh hun?”

His buddy laughed and whistled.

“Not interested. May I?”

Eve said and tried to shoulder past them, but the guy wanted to hear nothing of it, laughing as he blocked her, stinking of fish, sweat, smoke and alcohol.

“Come on Baby don’t be a prude huh? Show a hard workin’ guy a good time.”

“I said no! Let me through or I am calling the police.”

“Well baby that wasn’t what I wanted to hear.”

He said and grabbed her upper arms roughly, squeezing so hard she whimpered from the pain knowing he would leave bruises. Eve tried to wriggle free, but the guy was too strong, forcing her up against her car and trying to lean in to kiss her while Eve yelled loudly, hoping to attract anyone but fearing the Music in Tony’s too loud.
Before the guy could close the distance between them she heard him yell out,, then go to his knee’s cursing and Eve watched as someone grabbed his face and then slammed their knee against his nose, the nose breaking with a sickening crunch.
She was grabbed again and Eve yelled once more.

“Eve it's me! Are you ok?”

It was Oksana’s voice and Eve couldn’t even answer before her attackers buddy had grabbed Oksana by the neck, slamming her head into the Metal railing at the side of the parking spot. The sound made Eve want to vomit and she watched in horror, as Oksana stumbled, the short guy trying to pick up his cursing buddy. Oksana seemed to snap, kicking him down from behind and then letting her fists rain down on the side of his face. By then, the taller tried to get back into the fight, kicking out at Oksana who had seen the move come, grabbing his friend and pushing him into the foot. Oksana flew at the tall guy and they fell to the ground, grappling and punching at each other and Eve watched horrified as the smaller fisherman opened a spring knife. She yelled out but her yell was drowned out by Tony’s door opening behind them, townspeople spilling out, and a police car switching on the sirens in front.

The fighting stopped immediately Townspeople barely held back by their wife’s as they tried to get their Doc out of the situation.
They gasped when the fighters were pulled apart revealing their resident hermit.

“The bitch started it!”

The fisher said and spat out teeth pointing at Oksana.

“She attacked us!”

His buddy said, face looking nothing human from swelling and bleeding.

“That’s not true!”

Eve said and watched as the police got out handcuffs, Oksana the only one with hands in the air, head lolling about on her shoulders. Eve realized because of her reputation Police was about to arrest her too, guns trained at the bleeding woman.

“Okay calm now...let’s get you to the station for a statement.”

Mike said and turned Oksana, pressing her up against his car to search her.

“Mike! I swear they started!”

She yelled but he did not want to listen. After all, the town thought Oksana was a bad person.

“Mike! Son! Stop I saw it, Miriam too. We called you. They attacked the Doc and ...she came to help Eve. She stopped as soon as she had them off Eve but they attacked her from behind.”

Tony yelled and Mike let go off Oksana, who slumped against the car. Eve went to her side straight away and ignored the commotion behind as Tony and the police had to calm down the Villagers who wanted to avenge wrongdoing against their Doc and her saviour.

“Get her out of here Eve! I will come by for a statement.”

Mike said as a commotion broke out.

“Come on Oksana.”

She got the other woman into the car and left the scene, stopping not far away and switching on the interior light. Oksana head her head rested back, fingers pinching her bleeding nose closed, cut over her eyebrow and a large bump from where her head connected to the railing.
She was breathing deeply and steadily.

“Please let me take you to the clinic…”

Eve begged.

“Take me home! I am fine, just a nosebleed ok.”

“You need stitches Oksana.”

“You can do these at home. Please just...just get me home I have had worse I promise!”

Eve asked what day it was and Oksana answered correctly, then she asked some more questions and Oksana did not hesitate once.

“Thank you for helping me.”

“Eve...I swear to god...you need to be more fucking careful with yourself.”

Oksana mumbled hotly.

“I can’t always be there!”

Eve felt tears welling up in her eyes, sniffling as she grabbed the first aid kit from under her seat and getting a bandage from it, turning to press it against the cut above Oksana’s eye.

“It’s not like I did anything to make them do this you know.”

And the tears fell and Oksana felt like shit.

“Eve...I know that it’s not what I meant…”

She said apologetically.

“Don’t …”

Her emotions were bubbling inside, adrenalin wearing off and Eve felt weak, wiping her eyes with her sleeves as she drove them towards the lake.

Chapter Text

The silence in the car was deafening, there was only Eve’s occasional sniffles and Oksana was trying her hardest to not say anything, knowing it would not be helpful right now. Oksana had used the bandage in the car to cover the cut in her eyebrow, so she would not bleed everywhere. Once they made it to Eve’s place she watched, slumped at the Island counter, as Eve got the needles and thread out, eyes still watery.

The Blonde stilled Eve’s hands, which were shaking, clasping them between her larger hands and pulling Eve towards her.

“I am sorry.”

She whispered and then hugged Eve, holding her close.

“I know what happened was really scary for you. I didn’t mean it as blaming you Eve. I was just really...really scared for you too.”

She whispered and held the other woman, who clutched her back tightly. Eve felt herself break down in tears as she felt the absolute fear wash over her, knowing had Oksana not shown up, things could have gone really wrong. She clutched the other woman tightly and felt hands softly rubbing her back. Oksana said nothing more, simply held her. When Eve felt better she stepped away and went to wash her face and hands.

The cut needed just a few stitches and Eve then checked Oksana over, cleaning the bruises on her knuckles, a minor gash on her upper lip, which had already stopped bleeding, checking ribs and so on.

“We need to stop meeting like this. I do have office times.”

Eve mumbled, making Oksana chuckle tiredly. Then Eve took her time and looked closely at the bump on Oksana’s forehead, which she was icing by now.

“I don’t like the look of this Oksana.”

She checked eye movement again. Reaction time seemed sluggish to Eve and balance too but it was also late night by now and Oksana had been out all day, claiming she was fatigued.

“I’ll be fine, I’ll keep cooling.”

“I will give you Tylenol against the pain. You can not take anything else.”

Eve said, still biting her lip in worry.

“It will be fine Eve.”

The taller woman tried to soothe.

“I’ll come over tomorrow morning.”

Although Eve did not want to let Oksana go like this, the woman clearly was tired and wanted to go to bed. Realizing Eves discomfort, she pulled Eve in one more time, hugging her and promising to be over first thing in the morning.

Once Eve was in bed the night came crashing down on her again and she realized how lucky she had been. She could barely sleep and thus when the dogs started making a howling ruckus on the close by property, Eve felt something was off immediately. She was out of bed and in her robe straight away, hurrying to the other house, and opening the door, relieved Oksana did not lock it. Inside were Wolf and Shaggy, frantic.

“Oksana?”

She called out worried and then hurried up the stairs in the darkness, seeing a little light coming from there. She found a door leading into a bathroom and Oksana inside, bend over the toilet bowl.

“I think...I do have a concussion after all…God why...do you even look good in a damn old robe…?”

Eve was confused and rubbed her back as she retched more.

“I really tried hating you. But I can’t stop thinking of you.”

Oksana mumbled weakly. Then she groaned miserably, holding her head and explaining her headache was splitting her head open, making her sick and Eve went to her sink to get a washcloth and dampen it, laying it against the other woman’s neck. The next hour was spent getting Oksana back into bed and finding out the bullheaded woman had not taken the tylenol. So Eve went downstairs trying to find them in the cabinet Oksana had described. She pulled a few things out and laid them on the counter blindly until she finally found the pills. She also took another Ice pack from the freezer and tried to calm the dogs, letting them into the bedroom too. She held the ice pack, stroking Oksana’s back soothingly. Once most of the Ice had melted and the Tylenol finally worked, Eve laid down with Oksana and the woman nestled into her weakly.

The words the other woman had said kept in Eve’s mind, she mulled them over and over knowing Oksana had spoken half delirious from pain. It still made her feel something she had not felt in a long time, butterflies in her belly.

**

When she woke the next morning, feeling she had gotten at least a little rest, she blushed, Oksana’s arm thrown over her middle, face pressed into the side of her’s.
She slowly disentangled herself wanting to get them something to drink since Oksana had to take another painkiller. She had made a mess of the kitchen drawer downstairs ind her hurry to find the Tylenol and she cursed when she saw the things she had pulled out of the drawer, quickly trying to put them back inside but stopping dead in her tracks when she found a picture of younger Oksana, and a beautiful woman, Oksana hugging her from behind, kissing the other woman’s neck who was grinning into the camera widely.

She stared mesmerized at the two. They looked so happy, but that woman was not here with Oksana. Was she an ex? Was she like Niko and the reason the other woman had found solitude in Alaska?

“Put it back…”

Oksana stood in the entry of the kitchen, staring at the photo in Eve’s hand.

“Oksana…”

“Put it back...please.”

Eve did as she was told, handling the picture with care.

“I must have pulled it out when I tried to find the pills last night. I wanted to clean the mess I made…”

The other woman was silent but Eve saw the muscles in her jaw work.

“I am so..”

“It’s fine.”

Oksana went past her and grabbed a glass from the drying rack next to the sink, filling it with tap water. It was not fine. Eve could see the other woman was agitated. Eve stayed unmoving and after the other woman had her drink she made her sit at the dining table, going back up to grab pen light and Tylenol.

“How’s the headache on a pain scale 1 to 10?”

Eve asked as she watched Oksana’s eyes follow the pen light.

“5...ish.”

“Swelling in your bump is down a little.”

Oksana flinched away when Eve touched the part of her head, grabbing thin wrists to hold her back. That nagging feeling was back in Eve’s brain.

“Who’s the woman in the picture?”

Hazel eyes shot up to hers, still holding Eve’s hands which she dropped, averting her eyes from Eve.

“She’s dead.”

It felt like ice water being doused over her and Eve hung her head as Oksana let go of her wrists and stood.

“Her name was Nadia. I really liked her.”

And with that Oksana shuffled back upstairs, grabbing her pills on the way past the kitchen counter. Eve stood in Oksana’s kitchen rubbing her forehead feeling shitty for having pressured out the answer. She always did this, kept pushing for answers she wanted.

**

“I need her statement too Eve.”

“I know Mike. She’s got a concussion though.”

Mike leaned back in his chair and nodded.

“How are you Eve?”

“A bit shaken up. Did you...let them go?”

Fear settled in her belly at the thought of these two men going free.

“Don’t worry they were transported to Anchorage this morning. Your friend did a number on them. Eve...I know she doesn’t like coming down here but we need pictures of the both of you for the case. Not tomorrow, not when you feel better.”

Eve nodded and stood from the chair across Mike’s desk.

“Come by in the afternoon when she has gotten some rest.”

She went to Manny’s after her meeting with Mike, other people in the store staring at her. She knew the story must have made the rounds the night before so Eve was fast in getting bread, eggs and bacon so she could make them some food. She also went to the clinic to grab some more Tylenol, Erin and Sam asking worried questions. She calmed them and told them to call her when some emergency came up.

When she returned to the lake, the first thing she did was feed the two dogs, before she went inside, Finding Oksana waiting at the Dining table, head on the wooden surface. She barely looked up.

“Hey..why are you out of bed?”

Eve asked, rubbing the other woman’s back, squatting down next to her.

“Are you feeling sick again?”

A shake off her head and then she looked up at Eve.

“Worried ‘bout you.”

It melted her again and she remembered the things Oksana had said last night.

“I got some things for breakfast and went by the Station. Mike needs pictures. The men were transported to Anchorage.”

Softly Eve stroked a cheek, marred by bruises.

“Not hungry.”

“You will eat. You need to, no discussion.”

Oksana frowned and pouted. And refused to go back upstairs while Eve prepared breakfast, she got the blonde to eat some before helping her back upstairs. Eve saw the exhaustion on Oksana’s face, knew her whole body must be achy. As she was about to go back down to clean the kitchen, a hand clasped her wrist softly.

“Stay…”

There was an honest to go blush on the bruise mottled skin and Eve melted like she always did for Oksana, getting into the woman’s bed and blushing herself. As soon as she was back under the covers, she was pulled against that body she had tried not fantasizing about, failing miserably.

“Why were you in town?”

Eve heard her taking a deep breath.

“Why are you asking?”

Of course she had to ask a counter question. Nothing with Oksana was ever easy.

“Because you said you tried to hate me.”

Leaning back Oksana stared at Eve confused, wrecking her brain before the memory came back.

“Oh…”

“Yea…”

It was as if she could make out the exact moment Oksana bit the bullet and decided to just go for it.

“Because I am an idiot since you are here and I thought...I tried really, really hard not to notice you or that stupidly perfect hair of yours, no matter if you have just gotten out of bed at 4am. Because I thought...I would not feel again, I did not want to feel again and I did my damnedest to stay cool but I can’t. When I came home I thought you asked me, so maybe you wanted to see me, besides at your house getting stitched up. And I possibly got it all wrong and I don’t want you to think I expect anything from you…”

It was whispered, as if Oksana was afraid of anyone hearing and before she could talk more, Eve leaned in and stopped Oksana right there with a kiss. It was like the first kiss you gave your teenage school crush, all lips firmly pressed together, both women too shocked at the move to do anything.

When Eve pulled away both sets of eyes were wide.

“I really wanted to go with you… and then I thought, when you said no, that I made a fool of myself and I really don’t want you to try to hate me anymore and maybe when all of this...has blown over you would have dinner with me?”

The nod was enthusiastic and then Oksana seemed to turn sheepish again.

“Will you stay?”

“Yes.”
And Eve tugged Oksana against her, careful not to hurt.

**

The phone ringing on the nightstand next to her, woke Eve and she groaned, reaching blindly. As she hit her hand painfully she realized this was not her bed, opening her eyes and finding herself on her side, facing the door way, Oksana wrapped around her from behind like a protective shell.

She bit back a groan at the contact, grasping the still ringing phone as Oksana tightened her arms refusing to let go of the last dregs of sleep.

“Hello?”

“Eve….shit I can’t get out of my fucking patrol car because there is a fucking Wolf at my door.”

“SHIT.”

Eve cursed and realized they had slept most of the damned day. Oksana groaned when she pulled out of the hold, blinking and starting to protest as Eve stopped her and told her Mike was here.

While Oksana complained and cursed at having to get up Eve rushed down, pulling on a hoodie that was hanging over a dining room chair and rushing out, finding shaggy at the passenger door, wagging his tail excitedly and Wolf at the driver side door growling.

She called Shaggy first and told him to go to his spot in the garage, then made Wolf heel, the Hybrid grumbling like his owner but following her orders, whining as Eve send him to his shed behind the house. She gave him a look and he followed the order.

Once he was gone she motioned Mike that he could get out and he did, red faced.

“SHE CAN’T KEEP A WOLF EVE!”

“Mike...calm down. It’s not a Wolf. he just looks like one.”

She said calmly. She waved at the female cop and then asked them inside, finding Oksana had thrown on some old clothes and started on coffee. Mike had certainly not thought to find a well kept home up here, that was sure from his look around the house.

“Officers…”

Oksana greeted and poured them all a cup, Eve taking hers from her hand and shaking her head. She saw the argument building in Oksana and shook her head again shutting the other woman up, officers staring at the exchange. Oksana was notorious in town and no one expected her to be...so soft for the Doc.

“Mrs...Astankova...I am sure Eve has told you that we need a statement if you feel up to it. We also need to make photos of the injuries for the prosecution in Anchorage.”

**

“Thanks Ladies...I hope you both recover fast.”

Was the last thing Mike had said before getting into his car fast, seeing Wolf come around the house, and driving off again.

“Why didn’t you tell me you are bruised Eve?!”

Oksana asked hotly.

“Because I simply forgot. I was kind of worried about you.”

“Your back is black from where that …”

Oksana had been shocked when the female officer had Asked Eve to take off her shirt so she could document her arms and the bruise on her back from being slammed into the car. She had thought they were there for her, that Eve had gotten away with a shock.

She went past Oksana and inside feeling the other woman following hot on her heels.

“Really...I swear...I barely feel it. Only the one the back is annoying but it’s nothing close to what you must feel.”

“Why did you look like you wanted to murder the female cop then if it doesn’t hurt?!”

Eve blushed heavily and pretended to be busy with washing the dishes.

“Did she hurt you when she took the pictures?”

She heard Oksana get agitated and turned, barely able to look into the taller woman’s eyes.

“No…She...”

Oksana was completely confused and Eve knew she would not drop it, thinking she had been hurt.

“She ogled you ok? It was absolutely unprofessional and unneeded no matter how...how you look without a shirt on. She was out of line and it was really disrespectful!”

Oksana bit her lip, trying to hold back a laugh and Eve rolled her eyes at her.

“You mean like you ogled me all those weeks back, when I forgot the painkillers at your house?”

Eve blushed a deeper red, horrified that Oksana had noticed that, the woman, chest puffed from the compliment, walked towards her and bend her head down so she could look into Eve’s averted eyes. Her hands took Eve’s and she put them on her sides, the tightly fitting undershirt she had thrown on after the pictures, not hiding any of her physique. Oksana was being playful as she made Eve look into her eyes, grinning roguishly down at her.

“Want me to take off my shirt again so you can check me over.”

“You are horrible!”

Eve pressed out, cheeks red, hands twitching. She wanted it so much and Oksana knew that, it was not fair.

Long arms wrapped around Eve and her hands went from taught sides to shoulderblades as Oksana swayed them to a tune in her head.

“I didn’t want to make you feel ashamed Eve…”

“I am not. I just realized I am a horrible Doctor.”

“How’s that?”

Oksana mumbled into the unruly black locks.

“Because I am having not so professional thoughts…about...you.”

Chapter Text

With the grade 2 concussion Eve had suspected in Oksana, the healing time would be a few days and Eve stayed with Oksana another day before she could not play hooky from work any longer and had to go back in. She had watched over Oksana making sure she did not get worse, as they also tried navigating whatever was between them.
The night before her day back at work, she stayed at her place having had a long conversation with Elena, who wasn’t too happy about what had happened until she heard about how Eve was saved.

“Oh my god! That is so fucking romantic Eve!”

She gushed and Eve rolled her eyes.

“Oksana in a Bar fight? I’d rather not see that again.”

“Come on Eve, she went full Hulk on them. Look, let me think of it that way or I will be terrified because of what has happened and demand you are coming back. Oh by the way...Niko was in again and Carolyn had to call the coppers on him because of the divorce Papers that were served two weeks ago.”

Eve rolled her eyes.

“That’s not all. He broke up with the floozy, she is suing him for child support.”

There was not just anger inside of Eve when she heard it. There was absolute heartbreak too. Because he had not honored their marriage. Because instead of seeking divorce he cheated as if Eve was not even worth the base respect. She had never thought him to be like that. And now he even left the girl he had gotten pregnant?

“I will call Carolyn later today and apologize for his behaviour.”

“Oh don’t! She completely took him apart while he was being arrested. Telling him how she had never understood a classy woman like you ended up with a walking mustache. She was full blown aristocrat on his ass. You should have seen it.”

Eve chuckled and yes, she kinda wished she could have seen Niko being eviscerated.

“So come on now...tell me what she kisses like.”

A heavy blush colored Eve’s skin.

“Well we kinda haven’t really kissed...besides the one peck I gave her to shut her up.”

“You seriously want to tell me you got that woman lying in the same bed, all cuddled up, but you don’t do anything...Eve are you a saint?”

She had to hold the phone away from her ear as Elena was yelling.

“El...she is bruised all over, She had a concussion of course I am not jumping her.”

There was mumbling and muffled voices.

“Carolyn says you have more control than she would have had!”

“Oh god seriously you told her?!”

“We live our lesbian fantasies vicariously through you.”

Eve groaned and told her she had to go to bed since she was back to work the next day.

“Sweet dreams of that cute Hotstuff next door Eve.”

**

The next morning when Eve got ready and stepped onto the porch Shaggy was there, getting his morning scratches and it felt like that last days had been a dream.

“So no ruckus from you boys tonight means your owner slept well huh?”

“She did indeed.”

Eve yelled out, lucky that she had put her coffee mug on the table between her deck chairs.

“OH MY GOD!”

Oksana flinched too and immediately started apologizing as Eve jumped up and down in terror.
Arms snuck around her and held her.

“Sorry! Sorry!”

“You need to stop sneaking like a hunter around me!”

And she laughed as the adrenalin wore off.

“Shit, sorry Eve. I just wanted to ask if you have some eggs left. I couldn’t get my stuff at Manny’s.”
She nodded feeling her heart calm down slowly.

“Yes there should be some in the fridge. I can bring your order tonight?”

“Nah, I can hike out.”

Eve’s eyes widened and she stared as if Oksana had grown a second head.

 

“Eve...I feel fine.”

No change in face from Eve.

“Okay...fine…”

“Perfect! I’ll get the eggs.”

Oksana followed her behind and watched Eve rummage through her fridge, adding bacon and some spinach, smiling at the way Eve put together breakfast, looking out for her.

“When do you think can I get back hunting?”

Oksana asked, leaning casually against the counter next to Eve, taking her in. Eve wore dark tight jeans, a dark button down and a fleece vest on top. Eve turned to her and found Oksana smirking at her.

“As soon as that bump is gone from your head.What?”

She asked giggling and felt a hand on her hip, Oksana moving her closer while also stepping in.

“I want to give you a real kiss.”

“Oh.”

Eve’s eyes widened, cheeks blushing delicately and before she could overthink she felt gentle lips press against hers, hands framing her face and holding her in place as Oksana kissed her, lips moving against hers, softly plying hers open, until a tongue pressed into her mouth and Eve’s knees buckled, making her press up against that hard body. Eve moaned into the taller woman’s mouth, feeling hunger creep up her spine in shudders.
When it ended, Eve’s head followed Oksana’s lips, then her eyes opened and Eve blinked at her, lips swollen.

“I am married..”

Eve suddenly blurted out, eyes widening as she watched Oksana almost jump back from her. She reached for her, stuttering as she tried to explain what she meant by it.
But Oksana had recoiled hard.

“What the fuck Eve…”

She was out of the house so fast, Eve only hearing a brutally slamming.

She had meant to explain to Oksana that she was in divorce but her brain had stopped when she was kissed and she had blurted something out.

“Fuck…”

She was about to follow Oksana when she got a call from Erin that they had a profusely bleeding fisher in their clinic. She cursed as she got into her car and raced to the Practice after putting her emergency sign onto her dash.

She went to work in a daze but pulled herself together when she came into the clinic to screaming, finding the fisher with a large bleeding wound on his arm after slipping with a crab cage hitting him.
Stitching the man up took time and they had called the Heli from Anchorage anyways, Eve wanting the man checked over for blood loss.

By noon the commotion in the town had died down but Eve was frazzled. Erin and Sam noticed too, thinking it was still because of the Bar fight.
She was about to go into her break, stepping into the waiting area and noticing all eyes on the door. If a thorn bush had rolled by, it would have perfectly underlined the scene. There stood Oksana, face still showing the fight she had been in, bruised blue and cutes angry red. People stared, Oksana only looked at her.

“Do...do you have a moment Doc?”

She asked and Eve nodded almost frantic, leading the other woman into her office.
Oksana made sure the door was closed, stepping really close so they did not have to speak loudly, fearing being listened to.

“Oksana...please I can explain!”

“Being married? Telling me after I kissed you and admitted I wanted ...to date you?”

“No, yes...in a way...what I meant to say was..I am in divorce right now. I came here after I found out my Ex ...had sex with his assistant and gotten her pregnant. I actually found them after coming home early and wanting to surprise him. On a Bridgetable. Them, not me. But I wasn’t thinking right and said the first thing my brain could get to.”

Oksana looked at Eve, confused at first, then bemusement.

“I am sorry I...I don’t think I have a very good filter when you kiss me and maybe it would be better if anything afterwards would not be taken serious. I just really let everything go in one word jumble when I am nervous…”

She listened to the shorter woman, watching her explain agitated before chocolate brown eyes met hers, confusion lining her brows. Eve realized she had done it again.

“I studied at very good british universities but I am unable to hold a proper conversation.”

Eve grumped and looked helplessly at Oksana who was stunned at the word jumble.

“So, you said I should not take things you say serious, in the future, after kissing you…”

Eve’s eyes widened and she watched as Oksana prowled closer with confidence Eve wished she had.

“Yes, that was implicated.”

Eve mumbled, walking backwards as the other woman walked towards her, until she hit the gurney, Oksana steadying herself with hands on each side of Eve on the fake leather.
Eve shuddered. Oksana was a predator and she was they easy and willing prey. Warm breath fanned over her lips and she knew her pupils were blown wide with arousal, arms shaking as she tried to hold herself upright.
Just as Oksana was about to close the distance between them, a knock from the door ended the moment, Erin saying that she only had 10 more minutes in her break.

“Dinner at my place tonight?”

Oksana husked and Eve nodded.

“Wait...I thought we talked about you walking here…”

“I have to go. Thanks Doc!”

She watched as Oksana bolted from the room and shook her head, having a feeling Oksana would not easily listen to Dr. orders. Her knees where still shaking as she went to the little kitchenette, Sam pouring her coffee and handing her a sandwich with a wink which made her blush heavily.

“Is it true that she fought a whole crew for you Doc?”

Sam asked and Erin rolled her eyes.

“Two men.”

“She must be so strong! They said she has a wolf.”

“His name is Wolf, but he is a dog.”

Eve answered, Erin chuckling at her plight. Once Sam left Erin regarded her softly.

“You were lucky Doc. The rest of the night was not fun in the bar. People are talking now about the mysterious woman from the lake saving you.”

“She’s not mysterious. She’s just very private.”

“Makes you wonder why. What does she work anyways. It’s not like she sells meat or furs for the money she uses.”

Erin mumbled and then went back to the waiting room. Leaving Eve with food for thought. Did Oksana work?

Before she went home that evening she went to Tony’s thanking him and his wife for calling the police, looking out for her and telling the truth about what had happened so Oksana would not be arrested. She talked to Miriam watching as she cooked.

“She is quite protective of you darl.”

Miriam commented and Eve blushed.

“I am ...rather taken with her.”

Miriam nodded.

“Someone willing to take such a beating for you should be a good choice. And don’t listen to anyone else but your heart, even though that sounds corny. My parents hated Tony. We are still married and very much in love.”

When she finally made it home that evening just before six, she checked herself in the mirror, and then grabbed the mini dessert cakes Miriam had given her, going over to Oksana’s and finding the two dogs play with a pull rope while Oksana stood at the side of the house at the BBQ.
A large smile broke out over her face when she saw Oksana grilling Salmon while Listening to a football match on the radio.

“Hey! I almost wanted to call Tony’s and make sure you don’t accidentally eat there.”

The blonde joked, pecking her cheek impishly.

“Oh I was there, thanking the two for their help. Miriam gave me these desserts.”

“Table is set inside.”

Oksana checked the fish again and Eve put the desserts on the table, before going out and playing fetch with Wolf and Shaggy while waiting for Oksana. She had actually prepared two Moose steaks for her boys, serving them up first so that they could eat ion peace without shaggy begging Eve for food constantly. She knew Eve would never be able to not sneak him a treat. Once the two idiots where chowing down their food, Oksana led Eve inside, plating their fish, rosemary potatoes and salad.

“How was your day?”

“Besides the emergency this morning, rather dull.”

“Right I heard a heli was called?”

They talked about their day and it felt natural. It felt like something Eve could do every evening, like watching Oksana try to peak at the TV while they ate for the score of the College football matches going on. Eve realized that thought was stupid, they were still getting to know each other and she knew it was because she had missed this in her marriage.

“What is your job by the way.”

Eve asked and watched the spork hover over the plate, Oksana looking a bit confused.

“Does it matter?”

“Just because Erin asked. Have...was it wrong to ask? I feel like you know so much about me but I just know nothing about you.”

There was a nod of understanding and Oksana leaned back in her chair.

“I hunt.”

“Do you sell the meat and fur somewhere?”

Eve asked clearing their plates.

“I think if I did that I would be arrested…”

“Huh?”

“Eve...this is not something I tell people and the reason I keep to myself...I work for the Government. I hunt poachers. No one can know and it’s not really lied when I say I hunt.”

It made sense to her.

“So when you return with meat…”

“Sometimes I do hunt for myself. The boys outside eat a lot. But if the meat is given to me after the poachers have been arrested I usually just give it to people who can use it.”

It was true then, the meat donations where from Oksana.

“But as I said it’s hush hush. So just say I am hunting. Come on let’s just watch a movie or something.”

She dropped it, feeling satisfied with the answer anyways and following Oksana to the sofa. Soon she was leaned against the taller woman as they picked a movie. Oksana nestled her in comfortably, as if they had always sat like this together, throwing the blanket over her and just letting her be. It was so relaxing that Eve dozed off unashamed, feeling warm and secure.

Fingertips softly stroking her cheek woke her and she blinked, finding Oksana crouching next to the couch.

“Hey sleeping beauty. Movie is over.”

She stretched adorably, leaning into the hand cupping her cheek.

“Sorry for falling asleep on you.”

Oksana laughed and shrugged.

“Doesn’t happen often that I have a date fall asleep on me.”

She whispered and Eve laughed and Oksana’s tenderness as she stroked her cheek made her lick her lips in anticipation of a motion that was not missed.
Slowly Oksana leaned in, exploring the other woman's lips with such thoroughness, such softness that Eve felt worshipped. There was no scratching mustache and male grunts. There was no dominance. It was a soft dance they were both equally involved in. It was deep and at some point Oksana had sat down on the couch, pulling Eve onto her lap, the Korean never breaking their lip lock as she felt emboldened and pulled Oksana’s tight Stones shirt over her heard, leaving her only in a bra.
Eve sighed, pulling away slightly so she could look down as her fingertips danced over a taut belly, watching the muscles jump and skin line with goosebumps.

“Eve…”

Oksana whispered shudderingly

“Let’s go upstairs...this doesn’t have to go further but I don’t want to end up on a couch that will kill both our backs.”

“Would...it be okay if it doesn’t end with Sex?”

Eve asked, feeling strange asking but she had never done this with a woman before and she felt she needed to enjoy this without pressure. Pressure she had felt in her marriage. Once a week her husband demanded sex. No asking how her days nothing. It had taken a lot of the pleasure from her and feeling this excitement again and so much of this felt like it was overwhelming her.

“Eve...I would spend a night just kissing you if it meant I could.”

Oksana stood, holding her easily, The motion so erotic to Eve. to be lifted like this and carried, that she claimed the blonde’s lips, making Oksana groan in turn, senso of coordination gone as she tried not to stumble. One moment they ended up against the wall, Eve moaning as she felt that lithe body between her legs, barely able to breathe at the feeling, her body’s reaction instantaneous. Somehow they made it up the stairs without breaking their necks and Eve landed on the large bed laughing, Oksana laying down beside her and watching her, tucking a strand of her behind her ear.
Eve pulled her towards her, the lithe body half covering hers as their lips found the other like a magnet, needy moans soon filling them room as Oksana’s fingertips under her shirt ghosted over her ribcage, to her lower back, simply caressing without pressure. Her own hand found a very shapely rear and she squeezed. That woman was so well formed, Eve had no words for it. Would a woman like Oksana come to her old clinic in London, she felt she would refuse service. She was perfect in her eyes, all the right curves to her.

They kissed and stroked and at some point, knowing it would go further if she did not stop herself, eve whispered she should go.

“Stay here. No funny business. I just want to keep holding you.”

And whereas Eve would have refused with anyone else, she watched Oksana take off her pants, then let herself be undressed and as promised, Oksana did not turn that sexual, before simply getting into bed behind Eve and tucking the smaller body against herself securely.

Chapter Text

Going slow was, on paper, always a good idea. Knowing your partner thoroughly made it easier to deal with all day troubles, Eve believed so. But taking it slow with Oksana turned out to be akin to torture.
The woman that people had believed to be an evil spirit was playful and loving. She caused endless laughter in Eve and time spent with her was time well spent. The most amazing thing was that there was never any pressure. Oksana did not expect Eve to fill their comfortable silences with talk. They could be on the couch together, simply cuddled up watching a movie, they could have meals together or Eve would sit with Oksana while she watched Football, reading a book.
It was serene and there was no force to make worth the time spent with words, because it was already worth it simply being.

After the first autumn storms Eve actually got someone to come and check her chimney over, the news that the lady up on the lake was not really scary had spread and Eve was relieved she finally got some work done on her home.
Oksana had been gone on another of her ‘hunting’ trips for two days and Eve missed her, terribly.

Nights she did not spent with Oksana, were spent trying to get the other woman out of her system, the constant thrum of pleasure in her veins driving her crazy. She didn’t even need to do much to get herself off. Eve simply closed her eyes and thought Oksana working out in her training pants and bustier, abs rippling. She would imagine watching before Oksana would saunter over to her, pants hanging low. By then Eve would already be breathing heavily, her fingers finding their goal easily.
Thoughts of Oksana would merge then, the way her kisses felt, the way she wrapped around Eve. In her mind her own fingers where Oksana’s and when she came, she whimpered from the intensity of it. There was some shame at using Oksana to get off like this and Eve pressed her heated face into her pillow, groaning in frustration.

She was an idiot for wanting to go slow. But then she just wanted this to go right. It was the first time she fell for a woman and Oksana had been nothing but understanding as Eve wrapped her mind around the change in her sexuality.

While she was still coming down, breathing harshly, she heard familiar barking and smiled. Oksana and the boys where back. She knew it was stupid, but she threw on the Michigan hoodie, which she had nicked from Oksana, and hurried out and to her house, seeing Oksana putting her stuff into the garage, filling the dog bowls.

As soon as Shaggy heard her, he turned from his bowl and sprinted to her, flopping onto the ground and begging for belly scratches. She greeted him and rubbed his belly, then went to Oksana, cheeks still flushed and fire coursing through her again.

“Hey…”

She whispered and the Blonde smiled at her brightly, engulfing her in a hug.

“Hey Eve...I missed you.”

Oksana whispered and pressed her face into Eve’s neck, nuzzling her nose against the tender skin.

“Hey you ok babe? You feel like you are getting a fever?”

Eve had the grace to blush a deep red.

“No..no I’m fine.”

A hand went to her forehead, then neck and Oksana frowned as Eve tried to get away from that touch.

“I ran here…”

Oksana was not fooled and pulled her towards her entry door, the light there illuminating that Eve was flushed. She had just come hard a few minutes ago.
Thumbs stroked her cheek and Eve saw how worried Oksana was, biting her lip trying to figure out how to explain that.
Something in the other woman clicked as she looked Eve up and down and there was that cocky smirk.

“Evie...did you have naughty thoughts?”

She honest to god whimpered and then Oksana’s hungry lips crashed down onto hers, claiming her with tongue and teeth as they stumbled into Oksana’s house. She had no idea how, but they made it inside and up the bedroom, her mind completely emptied as they ripped at their clothing until they crashed together nakedly, a mess of limbs and lips. The next thing clear in Eve’s mind was Oksana’s head between her thighs and then her screams filled the night.

**

When she woke in the morning and stretched her whole body ached, but in a way that made her smile, knowing why she ached like this, the memory brought a blush to her cheeks. She rolled out of Bed and went to the en suite bathroom, her guest toothbrush already laid out, as well as underpants. She smiled and showered quickly before going downstairs, the smell telling her Oksana had prepared breakfast. She found Oksana standing between the kitchen and living room, staring at the TV and shaking her head and frowning. As soon as Oksana noticed Eve she grabbed the remote and switched it off, Eve hearing the last drags of a middle east report.

“Morning.”

Eve said with a soft blush and watched as the Blonde looked at her up and down before smiling happily.

“Good morning…”

She pulled the smaller woman into her arms, pecking her lips.

“Do I need to get more Varsity Hoodies.”

She joked, looking down at Eve in only panties and hoodie. Playful hands played with the hem of the hoodie which was about high thigh for Eve, then pushed under the fabric smirking. Eve bit her lip and let herself be pulled into a languid kiss, fingers playing over lace clad buttocks.

“Mhhh I think I have a thing for you in my clothes.”

Oksana mumbled against her lips and just as her hands traveled further up, the phone rang in the living room, making Oksana sigh.

“Just ignore it.”

Eve said, looking at Oksana with renewed heat in her eyes.

“I can’t. Not many have this number. It’s usually important. Table is set. I’ll be right with you.”

Eve watched as her lover went to the living room taking the call with a changed mood. She did not hear much of the conversation. Clipped Yes’, a question when and where and Eve thought it was another poaching thing.

When Oksana made it to the table she looked a bit annoyed.

"Everything ok?"

"Friend needs my help with something out of state. might be gone for two weeks."

The Blonde explained.

"Could you watch the boys for me?"

"Sure Oksana."

They ate but Eve felt Oksana was not happy having to go somewhere.

"When are you leaving?"

"He booked me a flight tonight."

"Want me to drive you to the airport?"

Oksana nodded and smiled.

"That would be great. I...I really don't want to leave right now. I'd rather spend my weekend with you."

Eve grinned and sipped her coffee.

"We'll have other weekends."

**

"Manny should have a new sack of dog food by tomorrow and I am not telling you not to spoil them because we know that wont do much ...Ouch!"

Eve pinched Oksana.

"Meanie.."

"I'll miss you."

Eve blurted and blushed, feeling herself being pulled against her lover, tucked securely under her chin.

"I'll hurry to finish whatever he needs me for and hurry home."

Home. Alaska was home now. Eve realized suddenly that she considered this where she belonged. She was not an outsider any longer, just there to help.
Eve drove Oksana to the small airfield from where she would travel to Anchorage and then to her friend.

“Don’t spoil the two idiots too much.”

Oksana said and grinned, before kissing Eve one last time and then hurrying into the Airfield building.

She really tried not to spoil the Dogs but Shaggy was his usually klutzy cute self and Wolf simply went along with it. So when she allowed Shaggy into her house over night, the Wolfhound immediately decided he had bed privileges. Wolf stayed in front of the fireplace but in the middle of the night, when Eve woke thirsty, she found Wolf on the couch.

It felt so strange to always wonder what Oksana was up to right now, She had not said anything about who her friend was, or what he needed from her. But Eve was used to that by now. Oksana simply did not share things.

It would just be two weeks but still and they had basically just started being more, still Eve felt she missed Oksana terribly.
At least when she got back to work her mind was busy with that.
She was just trying to get the head of a lego figure out of Vince Buchanans 3 year olds nose, when her office phone rang, and she would have ignored that but Erin peeked in and told her she better get that.

“YOU CAN’T JUST LET HER DOGS ROAM FREE EVE!”

Mike yelled down the line and she heard him curse.

“Mike calm down I left them home.”

“Really cause that Hairy thing is barking at the Seals Portside and the Wolf is blocking the dock and nobody dare walk past him.”

“I’m sorry Mike I’ll be right there.”

She hung up and then told the Father of the toddler to hold the unobstructed nostril close and then strongly blow into his sons Mouth, the Lego head shooting out of a giggling 3 year olds nostril.

“No more Lego Vince! The parts are too small.”

She said as he grabbed the snotty part off her floor, then she hurried out and told Erin she would be right back. The Dock was not far and she went by foot. Sure enough Wolf stood staring at Shaggy who was barking at seals on the rocks.
Wolf immediately went to her while she needed to call for Shaggy, who stumbled over his legs a few times as he ran towards her.

“Sorry Mike...they usually don’t leave their home.”

He simply sighed at her.

“Just be more mindful Doc.”

He could not stay angry at her and nothing had really happened.

Once back at the clinic, Shaggy was the hit with the children while Wolf decided he was elevated to Admin position and laid down under the desk behind Erin.

Every day she would, from then on, take them to work in the back of her truck, there was food and treats at the clinic and even Tony allowed them in, because the one night she had left them outside no one was allowed to get inside until they sat under Eve’s table.

Their antics made Eve apologize a hundred times a day but she simply could not be mad at them. When she took them out driving to her patients, people of the first nations were wary of Wolf at first but a few days into Oksana’s leave everyone was used to the Doc and her two companions. It kind of took her mind off of missing Oksana.

In the middle of week two, just as Eve was sitting and having dinner at Tony’s the boys under her table each chewing on some cut off meat Miriam had kept for them she found everyone’s attention in the bar shift to the news being played on the big TV screen.

“Three US aid workers have been successfully freed in Yemen by a US Marine Force Recon Team. We are switching Over to Michael our live reporter in Yemen.”

The picture changed showing a reporter with vest and helmet, standing in the burning sun, explaining the aid workers had been kidnapped by insurgents, one of them being the son of a politician. Their pictures where shown, then night sight shots of a team of 6 Marine’s infiltrating a set of houses apparently taken with a drone.

”One Marine was hurt while the group of insurgents was killed and the hostages freed mostly unscathed.”

Another cut and they showed a Black hawk landing at an airfield, aid workers being helped out by the Force Recon Team, all in Balaclava and without name tags as it was top secret who these Soldiers were. As the cameras filmed the Team leading the freed hostages towards medical Eve was about to keep ignoring the news again when she noticed one soldier was missing a glove and showing a scar on the back of a hand. She did a double take but the scene switched over to the live reporter again.

She was being paranoid.

“My daughter just finished her Basic she wants to try for Force Recon or Delta Force. These Soldiers are badasses, absolutely top secret and best that the Marines offer. Seen the Team Leader? Captain rank and female...I bet my daughter can get there too.”
Some guy at the Bar said.

Had the soldier really been female? Had the female Soldier been the one with the scar? Eve suddenly had a strange feeling. That evening she hurried home, switching on her laptop and searching for news Broadcasts all over YouTube. Until she found the one she had seen, stopped the Video and stared at the scar. Just a few months old, not yet faded. She stared at the soldier and knew it.

**

“Hey Eve.”

Oksana said and grinned as she saw Eve waiting at the airfield parking, Eve hugging her tightly as soon as she was in range.

“Hey. How was your trip?”

“Pretty boring. Did the boys behave?”

Eve laughed.

“Boring huh? Oh yea Shaggy and Wolf are the hit with my patients.”

Oksana stared at her from the passenger seat once she had gotten inside.

“I’ll explain at home. Miriam packed me Dinner so we can eat straight away. You must be hungry.”

The drive was spent mostly silent, Eve concentrating on driving because it was Moose season and she did not want to hit one with her car.
Once back at her place she let Oksana take a quick shower while she heated the bangers and mash with peas that Miriam had packed.

Eve was on her laptop when Oksana came back downstairs just a few minutes later. The Blonde woman heard she was looking at some news and started setting the table, until Eve turned the screen to her, grasping her hand on the counter and holding it there. Looking confused at Eve until she saw the paused Video scene, her scar showing as she saluted her commanding officer with an ungloved hand, having lost her glove in battle.

The mood in the room was unreadable to Oksana. Eve did not seem angry at all but she was not happy either as she served a large Plate of dinner and quibbed:

“Well at least now I know why you could not call. Phone reception in Yemen must be shit, right Captain?”

Chapter Text

The whole meal Oksana had no idea what to say. Eve was, calm, talking about how Shaggy and Wolf had decided they would be with her all day, but there was this undercurrent of tension.
She ate with gusto having had 2 weeks of cantina food on metal trays. Eve even gave her one of her sausages and mash since she could not finish her plate.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

Eve asked calmly as she put the plates away after Oksana had finished her plate.

“Eve...half my file is blackened out. I am not even really in the corps anymore. My team only gets called for the really secret stuff. The thing I do regularly is my 6 month check up and stamina test down at Camp Pendleton.”

“So what would this have been like? You leave once in a while telling me some bogus story and if I am lucky you return alive and if not I might not even be told something happened to you?”

Eve tried to take a calming breath, rubbing her temples.

“You went into a combat mission in Yemen...something could have gone wrong. One of your team was hurt they said on TV. What if that had been you? I started a relationship with you and realize nothing I know of you is...is real.”

Oksana watched Eve pace as she ranted unsure just what to say. She never had a plan for this.

“I fell for you Oksana. Really hard and I am standing in front of you wondering who the hell you are. Because I just don’t know. What are we?”

Eve asked agitated, staring at the blond that found her kitchen tile interesting.

“Just say something...for gods sake Oksana!”

“I don’t know what to say ok? I didn’t think. I don’t think because I...I am used to being alone. I got the call with the orders and in my head, I never thought further than that. I never had to answer to anyone but my commanding officers and myself. When I am here Eve I am not Captain Astankova. I don’t think of the warzones I have seen, I don’t think of the next mission. I am Oksana, I work to find poachers, I live in a cabin in the woods and don’t want contact with anyone because I am not really good with relationships. For a very long time of my life, all my purpose was the corps Eve. You get up and you are a marine. You go to bed and you are a marine. Rinse and repeat. Here I can at least just ...I don’t know, be. I feel almost normal. And I want normal so much but there is this Jarhead inside of me and as soon as I am in my Uniform normal seems so fucking far away, that when you offered the normalcy of a relationship I simply did not think further.”

 

She sat back down after that bubbled out of her, feeling all talked out. She never said so many things at once. Her head hung and she rubbed her neck not sure what she said was really anything Eve wanted or needed to hear. The arms slinging around her middle from behind, smaller body pressed against her back relieved her.

“I am sorry that you had the feeling I am keeping things from you.”

Eve pressed a kiss onto the back of her neck and Oksana sighed.

“I want you to know me.”

Oksana turned looking down at eve and stroking her cheeks, pulling her against her.

“I have to go down to Pendleton in a few weeks. I didn’t plan on staying long but... come with me. I’ll take you to the Birthday Ball. I can show you the Base. Because I want to, not because I think I need to. I want to take you and I want to show you that part of my life.”

“What is the Birthday Ball?”

Eve asked cautiously.

“It’s on the tenth of November were the Marine’s celebrate the Birth of the Corps with a Ball at a local Hotel. Full evening attire and you’ll meet my Step Dad and my halfsister.”

**

Eve felt she had never been this nervous in her life as stepping out of the plan, Oksana holding her hand and leading her towards the exit, knowing her family was waiting there.
Since finding out about Oksana’s other side, being asked to go with her they had tried finding someone for the dogs and thankfully Tony and Miriam had agreed immediately when asked, and preparing Eve’s place for her first Alaskan Winter. Then all of a sudden it was time to head down to Cali and since Oksana had to do all her physicals and some trainings they went first week of October.

“You think Shaggy and Wolf will be fine?”

“Oh they will be spoilt rotten by Miriam and Tony.”

Oksana laughed and pulled her against her side as they walked with their luggage towards the exit.

She had seen pictures Oksana had of her family. Her stepfather a tall man, highly decorated Colonel, her sister a redhead, that had not gone with the military route and instead wanted to be a Doctor so she and Eve would have something in common.

As they exited the security area she saw them already, both waving at them, the Colonel in Uniform and with a duffel at his side.
There was no need to be nervous, she realized as the Colonel greeted his stepdaughter hugging her tightly and smiling brightly at Eve. He handed Oksana her bag and she went to change, since they lived on Base. While Oksana changed she stayed with her family, talking to Irina about studies.

“I am really happy Oksana met someone! She has always tried getting out of the Ball but now she has no excuse.”

Konstantin said and grinned at Eve who was about to reply but then snapped to attention and Saluted. Eve turned around and her knees almost gave out as she saw Oksana in her MCCUU Uniform, sleeves folded up, cover on her head and saluting.

Once back at the base Eve slowly got used to everybody saluting all the time, but she surely was not used to seeing Oksana in a Uniform. They would stay in a visitor Apartment close to her father's place.

“I booked a table tonight outside of Base for dinner at 7, Also I spoke to the Head Doctor at the Naval Hospital and they said they would love to show Eve around”

He informed them as they parked outside of the apartment building. Eve took everything in with interest, the world on this base so different from what she was used to. They unloaded the bags and apparently there was some more bags that Konstantin had brought, with Oksana’s Uniforms since Konstantin kept them for Oksana on base. As Oksana grabbed the first bags and Eve reached for the others, two Marines, that had been passing, stopped Eve, saluted Oksana and then carried the rest up with her. Once they had thanked the two men and were left alone, Oksana stood before her, arms held out and looking down at herself, then to Eve.

“So...that’s...me Captain Astankova. What do you think?”

It was meant as playful but Eve was still staring.

“I am...insanely turned on right now.”

She blurted out and Oksana laughed, barely getting off her cover of her head, before she felt the smaller body crash into her, Eve’s lips on hers.

“Do we have time?”

Eve asked and Oksana moaned, checked her watch and nodded.

“If...I had known...what a Uniform does...to you...I would have gotten one...mailed to me.”

The Blonde mumbled between kisses, as she also tried to navigate them to the bedroom.

“And you...haven’t even seen me in my Evening Dress Uniform yet.”

Hearing the giggle, grinning widely as Eve bit her lip and staring her up and down hungrily.

“Jesus Eve…”

The look her lover gave was downright dirty and Oksana had never seen Eve leer like that, smaller hands already on her belt buckle. They fell onto the bed together, lips swollen from their kisses, Eve moaning as she grabbed Oksana’s hand and pushed it under her waistband, making her need clear.

“Please….”

The moan was returned as Oksana found her panties soaked through.

**

“These will kill you…”

Oksana mumbled as she watched her father light a Cigar out on his back porch, having stepped out with his eldest for fresh air as an excuse to speak with her. Irina and Eve were inside talking Medical studies and Eve’s job. Dinner had been great, it was her and her father’s favorite steakhouse and Eve loved hearing her father talk about Oksana and her childhood. She understood better now, that some things from Oksana’s life could not be told, that there would always be some secrecy, so the things they could tell, she cherished.

“You sound like your mother. May she rest in peace. Eve is a nice woman Oksana.”

She nodded, leaning on the railing.

“Didn’t think I’d meet someone again...didn’t think I would feel this once more..”

“I am really happy for you.”

Sometimes when Eve slept, Oksana watched her, wondering how a woman like that every considered being with her.

“I sometimes can’t really believe it. I mean...Pa she is out of my league.”

“You need to stop beating yourself down all the time. You are someone.”

Her Pa smiled and blew out smoke.

“Not when she met me. She had no idea. I also wasn’t really nice.”

And Eve still somehow liked her back. She stared through the windows inside, seeing Eve talk animatedly to her sister and she felt like a love sick fool.

“She looks at you like your mother looked at me.”

Her father said and then killed the last of the cigar.

“I am not good with words like she was, but you make me proud. I was not even sure if I could be a good father to you, when your Mother passed. She always told me I was too strict with you girls. She wasn’t happy when you joined the Military.”

Oksana and her father never spoke much about feelings. They were Marines and often kept such things to themselves. So hearing these things from him was so strange.

“Hell I was caught between proud and scared when you did. When the thing...with Nadia happened she cursed the military up and down. And when you made officer she cried with pride and I always felt the same, but I think I never properly told you just how proud you make me.”

There was a lump in her throat and she nodded before she hugged her father.

“Have you told Eve...about Nadia?”

“She knows I was with her and that she has passed away. I have no idea how to tell her the full story. I don’t even want to think…”

“You should Oksana.”

Her father was right but Nadia was not something she liked talking about. The memory weighed heavy on her and when they finally came back to their apartment Eve had noticed the change in Oksana.

“Are you okay?”

“I need to tell you about what happened to Nadia…”

Oksana explained and sat with Eve on the couch.

They had been a couple since Oksana had finished highschool, hiding the fact that she was gay because of the military. But when Don’t ask, Don’t tell was abolished, she could finally openly say she was with Nadia. It was the same year that the language teachers husband suspected that Oksana was sleeping with his wife, which was bogus but apparently the teacher, Anna, had a fixation on her, her husband noticing it.

“I was with Nadia at the weekend, he broke into her apartment at night, shot her point blank, as we laid in bed, with a shotgun. I was hit in the shoulder but could fight him off, we fought for the gun and after I had it...it was too late for Nadia.”

She heard Eve gasp, saw the tears in her eyes. Oksana remembered her girlfriends body, blood everywhere, the pain in her shoulder blocked out as she fought with the Attacker. She remembered bleeding herself, holding a dead Nadia as she waited for the police to show up, neighbours screaming at the grisly scene.Her own screams bursting out of her as she cried and cried.

“The scars...on my shoulder that you once asked about…”

Eve did not speak, she simply pulled Oksana, tears flowing down the blonde’s cheeks at the memory of her girlfriend, into her arms.

“When they found him hiding in his car not far away, he said he wanted to punish me for taking his wife away…so he took my girlfriend. For a long time, all I wanted was to kill him.”

Oksana muttered against Eve's shoulder, her girlfriend softly stroking her back and she let herself cry. She loved someone else now, but Nadia's memory haunted her and she would always miss her.

Maxi had gotten life in prison, Anna had killed herself after the attack.

"I really never thought i would meet someone again Eve. I was an ass to you and I count myself lucky you didn't treat me how I deserved."

Eve kissed her softly and that night she was the one being held, curled up against the smaller woman, needing the support.

Chapter Text

The days in Camp passed swiftly.
Though they had tried going to bed early, so Oksana could get proper rest, they had spoken long about what had happened to Oksana and Nadia, after Eve just being informed of it a few days ago. She had held the taller woman, who had seemed so weak in these moments, so vulnerable, each night.
Usually Oksana seemed larger than life. She was not haughty on the contrary, she was humble and simple. But whatever life threw at her she was above it, tackled it with her skills and knowledge. She had not been able to do that when attacked in sleep, watching her girlfriend die in a pool of blood, because a deranged man had seen ghosts and his equally deranged woman had build lies around herself.

While Oksana was at her tests and trainings, she was often taken somewhere by Konstantin who showed her around in Camp. Once he brought her to the watch stands around a training area, pointing out Oksana and her Team training situations. She watched as they equipped themselves, then they were explained the mission and goal. It looked like in a movie and in the end the hostage walked out with two marines.
Konstantin then took her to the Naval Hospital and she took a tour that ended with her promising to lend her teaching services while she was on base. She did not want to sit in an apartment all day while Oksana worked.

“Hey Babe.”

Oksana greeted her as she came home from her training day, Eve already changing for their evening out with her team.
Her father had told her to show Eve her team, so she knew that no matter what, they would always do their best for each other. Konstantin believed that it would take some fears off Eve if Oksana needed to go on a mission.

“Hey, had a good day?”

Oksana’s lips landed on hers as she passed Eve on the way to shower quickly.

“Pretty much standard. Heard you offered teaching stitching in the Hospital?”

“They asked. Got called by Erin today my stand in in Smithstown is apparently a pompous ass. Now go shower.”

Domestic bliss was what they probably called this. And Eve had not thought she would feel like this again, being completely at ease with another person, moving around each other as if they had never done anything else. She had lost that with her husband at some point.

When she had met Niko she had loved him and he had loved her. But a marriage was like a plant. You had to nurture it to grow and stay healthy. And Niko and her had not nurtured it. Their plant had gone weak and then died. She accepted that. She knew she had given up too, had accepted that the love had faded and held on to something because she was used to it.

When she left for Alaska it was to lick her wounds. Not because her marriage was over. But because Niko had cheated on her. Eve had not planned on finding anyone new. She had not looked for anyone new and here she was, laying out clothes for Oksana so she could get dressed quickly after her shower. Oksana whom she had followed to Camp Pendleton to.
They were domestic even though they had not looked for something like this. It had just happened.
After Oksana had told her about Nadia she understood a lot more about the other woman.
It had pained her to see Oksana like this, so vulnerable and aching. She saw the way her lover still suffered from the loss, the way her girlfriend was killed. The brutality of it and knowing that Oksana had suffered so and still went on. That was a kind of strength that Eve admired, knowing it was Oksana’s way to deal with it all.

She was packing her purse checking if her phone had enough battery when Oksana emerged from the bedroom dressed. She wore the dark blue v-neck jumper and beige chinos, looking absolutely stunning in anything she put on. She had this classic look and dressed like this you would never think she was a Marine. High cheekbones and large eyes she could have been a model. They just stared at each other, each taking the other in and smiling softly.

Oksana sauntered to her, one hand in a pocket, leaning down and tenderly kissing Eve.

“Hey pretty.”

She said against Eve’s lips, which made the shorter woman giggle. Oksana reached for the pony tail, pulled out the hair tie and then fluffed her hands through Eve’s hair.

“Keep it open...you look so amazing with it.”

Oksana mumbled and then claimed Eve’s lips once more, sucking in her lower lip, giving it a soft bite and then soothing the sting with her tongue. She knew Eve kept her hair close as a doctor but she loved those amazing dark locks. Eve sighed deeply, hands on Oksana’s sides, Holding her but not pulling her close.

“Lets not get started Oksana.”

She said knowing them both too well.

“I am not spending dinner with your team in soaked panties.”

A very satisfied smirk lined the Blondes features as she stepped away from Eve.

“Don’t be nervous they’ll love you.”

 

Eve had been surprised to see Oksana with her team. They were like siblings, ribbing each other, but they also talked about their families, two of the men had kids, another was divorced. The team accepted Eve with open arms, they told some funny stories about Oksana, as much as they could tell and in general it was a nice evening. Eve felt these men had Oksana’s back and she had theirs.
They also laughed at her for finally being forced to the Birthday ball, having to wear the monkey suit uniform. Having googled the Uniform Eve could barely wait seeing Oksana in it. The Bar and Grill they went to was frequented by personal, so the atmosphere was light, Eve had felt immediately at ease as she answered the mens questions about her job.

**

Eve checked herself in the mirror once more, her evening dress fit well, the make up was not too flashy and her hair was open as Oksana liked, with a pearl hairclip holding back one side from her face.
Eve had promised Irina she would help her with getting dressed and make up on and Oksana and her father would get ready and then pick them up at the Apartment.

“Irina do you need help with the dress?”

“No ready for makeup now though.”

The young woman said and stepped out into the bedroom. Eve smiled and nodded.

“That is a very beautiful dress Irina.”

Irina was always taken to the ball by her father and was a pro by now. She had schooled Eve on the etiquette and different stages of the evening.
She did Irina’s makeup and just as she finished a knock came and Eve felt nerves again because she knew Oksana would look breathtaking.

When the door opened and Konstantin and Oksana stood there, smiling at Eve and Irina, Eve blushed heavily, looking her girlfriend up and down.
Oksana stepped up to her, took off her hat and pecked both of Eve’s cheeks and handing her a bouquet of roses. Eve heart threatened to beat out her chest with all the emotions as she quickly put the flowers into water.

“We’ll wait in the car.”

Konstantin said with a smile and led his younger daughter downstairs to grand his daughter and her partner some privacy.

“You look breathtaking Eve.”

Oksana’s voice was husky and Eve could see it in her eyes that she liked the dress she had chosen quite a lot.

“You are so so handsome Oksana.”

She fingered the lapels and golden buttons, then framed her face, the Blonde stepping up to her and smiling down, as their foreheads pressed together and Oksana’s hands went to her hips.

“I wish I could stay here like this forever without the outside world prying in.”

Eve nodded in understanding, she felt the same. She just wanted this moment to not end, just she and Oksana. She kissed her lovers tip of the nose and grinned.
A soft kiss on the lips later as not to smudge Eve’s lipstick and they went downstairs.

Eve had been to functions before but all these men and women in their best uniforms was something else entirely. She had been a little afraid of being a lesbian couple but thankfully there was another gay couple and nobody looked at them strangely or anyhting. Oksana’s Teammates were a riot again, their spouses and girlfriends with them soon standing together and talking amongst themselves, asking Eve about her job and what it was like to live so remote. She felt welcome and the time flew by.

After the cutting of the cake and Dinner Oksana’s Team already pressed to go drink elsewhere, they were all commissioned officers and Oksana had explained, they would not drink or get drunk openly not liking doing that in front of lower ranks.
They danced to a few songs and then Ben waved them over and they drove to his place for a little backyard party.

“Let me tell ya, we’re just too old to go bar hopping.”

“Who you calling old Ben?”

His wife asked back, pinching him and they laughed as they sat around a fire in his garden.

“So...promotions will be in just before you leave Oksana. After the last mission I am sure we can all hope for one.”

Eve felt her lover stiffen. They had sat on a lounger, Oksana behind Eve’ holding her.

“Ben…”

“Come on, you can’t tell me you want to spend the rest of your days in nowhere hunting.”

Behind her, the woman fought for words it was something she felt made Oksana unsure and Eve wondered about that.

“I don’t think they will consider me. My several attempts to resign…”

Everytime she tried she ended up in a mission they needed her for and no one else and every time her letter of resignation was pushed away. She was unsure what she wanted. Being in Pendleton for weeks now, the feeling of camaraderie and belonging. In Smithstown she only had Eve. Maybe Tony and Miriam but they were only for Eve really and just accepted her as Eve’s lover.

After that they dropped the talk but Eve felt something bubble in her. Worry and she hated it. She was sure it was unfounded and tried to push it to the back of her mind.
They left Ben’s just before midnight and Eve felt her girlfriends mind was in turmoil so as soon as they stepped into the apartment she vowed she would take Oksana’s mind off anything else.

“That was quite the night Captain!”

Eve said, arms slinging over the taller woman's shoulders, pulling her down for a kiss.

“Did you have fun Eve?”

“I loved it. I am happy though we left and spend more time privately.”

Oksana was so different here. Still very professional but around here team, who were like brothers to her she seemed much less closed off.

“Now once you are done overthinking whatever you are overthinking right now...I would very much like you to take me to the bedroom Captain Astankova.”

Eve husked, dropping a kiss against Oksana’s neck, adding a bit of teeth. The Blonde shuddered and watched her lover saunter off, losing her dress in the hallway, leaving her only in black lace thong and push up, smiling over her shoulder at Oksana who stared at her hungrily.

“I am sure you can show me what an officer is made off.”

“Tease…”

She followed, losing her white cap, and once in the bedroom she found Eve sitting on the edge of the bed and stepped between those silken legs, staring down, hand carding through Eve’s amazing hair. Biting her lip she kneeled so her girlfriend could slowly unbutton the top part of her uniform, simply dropping the garments behind them one by one. After her shirt was off and Oksana left in her bra, she was made to stand by Eve, the other woman, licking her lips as she unbuttoned and unzipped her dress slacks.
Her breathing turned faster, skin lining with sweat at the eroticism of watching Eve like this. Her pants dropped and hands squeezed her ass.

“Eve...baby…”

Swift fingers pulled down her panties, thoroughly soaked and before Oksana could think further, Eve’s head moved forward and her hands were back in Eve’s hair, never forcing her, just holding her as her lovers mouth explored her, bringing her to a knee shaking orgasm in a matter of minutes.

Still breathing harshly, she fell to bed and pulled Eve with her, laying on their sides, facing each other. As Her fingers moved under Eve’s thong, pushing the garment aside and then pressing into her lovers body she heard Eve mumble:

“Semper Fi marine…”

**

“Good morning you two.”

Konstantin greeted them as they were lead to the table for brunch at the country club where he golfed, Irina waving at them.

“Eve how did you like your first Marine Birthday Ball?”

He asked after Oksana had pulled the chair out for her.

“It was an amazing experience Konstantin.”

He smiled and nodded and when his eldest finally sat down he pushed an envelope towards her.

“Well you will see much more if you want because I am very proud to announce that Oksana will be promoted to Major tomorrow.”

Eve was unsure if she was supposed to be happy or not, looking at her girlfriend for guidance and finding her just as confused.

“I...didn't think…”

“They are impressed with your performance for your country.”

Eve looked at her lover, holding her commission like she expected it to burst into flames any minute.

“Dad…”

“Oksana...this is an honor.”

She looked up at her father and felt caught.

“I want you to use your potential Oksana…”

Her fingers moved over the envelope and her eyes went back and forth between Eve and her father.

“Where are they sending me if I accept?”

And suddenly something dropped in Eve. Oksana held a special service state right now, she had once said she was not really in the corpse any longer.

“Either here or Camp Lejeune. Leadership position away from combat, mostly training new force recon recruits.”

Away from combat. Eve knew that was exactly what Oksana wanted. She hated being called into combat zones. Something in her belly felt like lead as she realized her lover could leave Alaska. Her head lowered. Eve had no right to make a decision for Oksana. But she felt like she was losing something.

Chapter Text

Oksana paced back and forth in the living room, the envelope on the couch table in front of her.
Eve sat on the couch and watched knowing that while it could deeply hurt her, she would never stop the other woman from making a decision that could mean them not seeing each other any longer.

“Oksana...you are wearing the carpet down baby.”

She said and then stood. Standing in front of her lover and rubbing her arms.

“Do it if you want it.”

“Eve…They would still call me in with my specials team but as an instructor I won’t be called in for another tour.”

Maybe, because if war was called nothing was sure. But first and foremost she would be training the new guys. It was also more pay and a better pension.

“If I do this...they move me.”

“I know.”

“What about us?”

There was a sting in her chest at the question.

“I am being honest here Oksana. I don’t know how this will work for us. But I want you to do this if you want it. I followed my dreams. I became a doctor. Please if this is what you want Oksana, then follow that dream.”

**

The ceremony was beautiful and Eve saw the emotion in Fathers and daughters eyes, as he pinned her Major Insignia on her, saluting her with pride.
Eve had understood how torn Oksana had been. She felt torn too, because she knew their relationship had just gotten very difficult. They had only been seeing each other for a few months though and no matter how deeply Eve thought she felt right now, she knew she had no rights to sway a decision.

“I admire you Eve, for letting her do this.”

Konstantins voice was soft, but with understanding.
“Seeing her here...she loves this Konstantin. And I feel for her deeply, this makes her happy.”

They would have holidays and vacation time. They could call. They could, maybe.

“Eve, go with her. A doctor like you will easily find a spot anywhere she goes.”

“There is people that need me. I made a promise to them too.”

He nodded and Eve knew Oksana’s father understood duty. She watched Oksana standing with her team after the ceremony, and she seemed so happy, so in her element. That was what Eve wanted for her. That she could feel like this always.

**

2 Months later

Winter was harsh in Alaska, but people up here seemed harsher. She had a few bouts of flu. A cough here and there. One patient that needed care in Anchorage for a lung infection, but other than that, Eve’s life was calm.

Christmas had come and gone, same with new Years. She celebrated with the townsfolk at Tonys and it felt less lonely than she had feared. Just as the Ball dropped in New York, her phone rang and she smiled when she saw the number while also feeling sad.

“Hey…”

“Hey Eve...I...I am not sure if you can hear me…”

There was a party going on in the background and she heard Oksana walking and then the sounds grew distant.

“It’s better now. Happy New Year Oksana.”

She said and smiled, having left the busy bar herself.

“Happy New year! I am sorry I couldn’t make it back. But I got a house now, a real nice one with a large garden for the boys. Wolf is bored because he can’t roam free all day, but he has fun running with the recruits. We miss you”

Something bubbled up in Eve and made her eyes well up.

“I miss you guys too. I am happy to hear you got a place now.”

“Look I thought...I am up for vacation time around easter…”

Pulling the jacket tighter around herself Eve did the math in her head of how many more months that would be and it made her ache.

“I...can’t. I have to get back to London around that time to finalize my divorce Oksana.”

“Oh...look...we’ll find something. I will see if I can shuffle things. I miss you…”

‘Major come inside! We want to cut the cake!’

“You should better get inside Oksana. Say hi to the boys from me!”

“Eve...yea I will.”

When she went back inside the bar Miriam hugged her tightly, seeing the sadness in Eve’s eyes.

End of January and there was still no letting up with the snow and Eve marveled at the Winter Wonderland at the lake. Oksana called as often as she could but she was busy with training and her duties. Eve was proud of all the things she heard of Oksana’s new job and she was happy at the contentedness she heard in the other woman’s voice. She suddenly felt alone in Alaska. And the calls grew farther apart as Oksana was slumped with work.

It was just before easter when she got the letter from the Alaskan health department, telling her they were not renewing her contract, since they had decided to give the job to an Alaskan doctor. She had sat in her office, staring at the paper and when Erin came in she put on a smile and asked for her next Patient.

She called Oksana, when she closed up the clinic, but only reached the secretary the officers shared who told her Oksana was on a two week hike trip with her teams, more could not be told. So Eve called her cell, which was turned off of course and spoke to the answering machine.

“Hey listen, they told me you are gone for a while and can’t be reached. I am going back to London for the divorce and...the state just told me I won’t be renewed in Alaska. I’ll use my time in London to see what...I’ll probably have to go back to my job there Oksana. Can you call me when you get this?”

She hung up and tears fell freely.

That night at Tony’s, the atmosphere was glum. She had told Tony and Miriam and Miriams and Tony’s angry cursing had alerted Ben. Ben had alerted the rest of the Patrons.

“This is Bullshit Doc! We’ll write them!”

She had to smile tearily at Ben.

“Ben...it’s fair to give an Alaskan doctor a chance.”

She understood it in a way. It just meant she had no visa and she could not simply go to Oksana and figure something out there. She had to leave the states.

**

“Welcome Home Eve!”

Elena, Kenny and Hugo yelled, Carolyn simply nodding at her with a smile as she stepped into the familiar rooms of her clinic in London.

It was bitter sweet to be here. It felt like home and she saw the smiles of her old co workers. But she missed Alaska and the people she had met there already. Elena jumped up and down as she hugged her, Kenny was more held back, but still hugged her tightly. Hugo shook her hand and Carolyn asked her into her office.

She had just made it back to London and her world was taken over again by responsibilities. She cleared everything at work, then went to her old house, which was now empty of her soon ex husbands belongings.

She checked her cell and her shoulders hung as she realized there was still no message from Oksana. Her hiking time was done and Eve wondered what training camp she was on now.
But to be honest to herself, Eve had known this could happen. Their lives had moved apart and the moment Eve told Oksana to follow that dream of hers, she had known she had given her up to the Marines, accepting whatever would happen. Because Oksana deserved it. She deserved happiness after all that had happened to her.

While Eve had reached the pinnacle of her career, Oksana was just a few years younger and still had somewhere to go. Elena had filled her fridge and she poured herself a wine, feeling emotional, the city around her bustling. Eve was not used to this any longer, she was used to the silence of nature, she was used to looking out of her window at the serene Crows Lake.
The bath she took helped nothing. Eve felt like she did not belong and she wondered how long that feeling would stay.

Niko of course fought her tooth and nails at mediation, he wanted spousal support saying he deserved it for always being there for her while she worked long hours. She did not even want to fight him and settled for a large one time payout, which her lawyer had said would be cheaper than waiting for him to remarry so spousal was dropped. Carolyn had dropped by that evening and they had shared a bottle of champagne that night, celebrating the end of that failure of a marriage. She wished someone else was here doing that with her. No call, no messages and when she told Carolyn she still had her american phone, the older woman simply squeezed her shoulder.

“Eve don’t chase someone that does not want to be chased. You did all you could.”

It hurt but as she went to bed she switched off the phone and took out the sim, canceling her contract the next morning.

**
Oksana groaned as she returned to base, feeling her back aching from sleeping in tents for weeks before being sent to another training course for officers without a break in her schedule. She had thankfully a few recruits that loved taking care of her dogs whenever she had to go somewhere. When she stepped into her office papers lined her desk and she groaned, knowing this would take ages.

“Any messages Karen?”

“No Major. I think someone called a few weeks ago. Let me find the message log…”

But Oksana was already rifling through her files, trying to put order into them.

“Who was it?”

“Uhm...it was pretty crazy in here...I think a woman Ma’am.”

“Was her Name Eve?”

“Possible.”

Oksana cursed under her breath.

“Here is the message log..she called at the first day of your training camp and simply asked to be called back Ma’am.”

“Shit…”

Grabbing her cell she cursed at herself for never checking her answering machine, because who really did? And who used them? Well apparently Eve had and with a lump in her throat Oksana listened to Eve’s message, feeling like the world stopped around her as she realized what Eve was saying.

With shaking hands she called Eve’s cell and listened as the friendly operator told her the number was not active.

“Ma’am...the general is waiting for the debrief.”

She stood, head hung, fists at her side. She had not been there for Eve and Eve had disconnected her phone. Eve had returned to her old life and Oksana had not even been there to help her. She had been supposed to be on vacation when the training camp was sprung on her. And she had thought she would see Eve after the divorce, go to Alaska and celebrate with her, maybe go hiking with her. She had pushed Eve away for her work and Eve had not complained once about Oksana making this job her priority.

’Please if this is what you want Oksana, then follow that dream.’

Eve had been supportive, had let her do this, never once complaining and Oksana had not been there when Eve had needed her.

“Ma’am?”

“Sorry, tell him I am on my way.”

That Evening Oksana called her father, and he heard straight away something was wrong with his daughter. She had never cried in front of him, but now Konstantin could clearly hear the sadness.

“They did not renew her contract. She called but I was gone for weeks. She went back to England. I…”

**

“Eve...Oksana called the clinic…I took a message for you.”

She had just returned from a surgery that had taken hours and felt at the end of her rope.

“What message El?”

“She asked if you could call her.”

Eve nodded and then went to her office, ignoring the note on her desk.
She had no idea if she wanted to speak to Oksana yet. But maybe she should.
Sighing, she grabbed the note with the number, she knew the number by heart and did not need it written down.

Once she returned home and had eaten her take out dinner, she sighed and grabbed her phone, steeling herself as she dialed the well known number.

“Hello?”

“You asked me to call you back.”

Eve said in greeting.

“Eve…”

Closing her eyes she let that voice wash over her.

“I...I am sorry for not being there.”

“It’s okay. You have a job.”

A job that was her dream, that was important.

“I wanted to come see you after your divorce…”

“Ok.”

“Eve...I can come to London.”

“Lets not make plans Oksana.”

Both knew what that sentence meant, Eve’s heart aching as she tried not to cry.

“Eve what are you...I can make it. I promise.”

There was desperation in Oksana’s voice.

“It’s not easy I know. But I can do it for us. I’ll have to be more flexible and the flight is longer but I will travel for you.”

“Oksana you have a duty. And we both knew it might not work. I want you to concentrate on your job. This is your dream and I told you I want you to follow it. I have to live my life too.”

She had to at some point live again and not always wait for someone to have time for her. They said if you loved someone, sometimes you had to let them go.

“I’m very proud of you Oksana. Please be safe.”

Chapter Text

“You just came back to London Eve…”

Caroyln said over Lunch.

“I know but...I swear If I have to do one more boob job I’ll have a mental breakdown. They asked and you know I volunteer.”

The older woman across raised her eyes at Eve.

“Yemen Eve?”

“Aden needs help and I have already offered.”

She knew her decision would not be well received but Eve felt she needed to get out.

“This is a reaction to you and your Major breaking up I presume?”

Eve bristled at the mention of it.

“Don’t do this Carolyn. I have always offered my services to MSF.”

“I don’t like it one bit Eve. But I know there won’t be any stopping you.”

Two weeks later Eve found herself en route to Aden Hospital in Yemen, going there to help families anything she could do and hoping it would give her new perspective because all she could think of was a certain Major.

Meanwhile said Major had neither been able to stop thinking of Eve and when the first opportunity arose to travel to Rammstein for a weekend of training the marines there, she took it and booked her return flight via London.
As soon as she left the cab in front of the clinic in her green Uniform, she was nervous beyond believe. It was such a posh building and she tried to imagine Eve in it. Eve who loved to wear her worn Varsity stuff, dwarfed in it but unbelievably cute.
She had seen Eve in scrubs at the clinic in Alaska or her white coat the only time she had seen the class that Eve actually had here in London was the marine Ball where you could easily see that Eve was very much at home at posh functions.
She rang the Bell and was admitted in, coming to a stiff halt in front of the front desk being gaped at by the woman there who quickly placed a call to a Carolyn and from Eve’s stories she remembered that name as well as the name of the woman placing the call.

Oksana took off her cover and stood at ease.

“Ma’am, I am here for Dr. Polastri...if that is still her name. Can you tell her Major Astankova is here to see her?”

Elena was still staring at her.

“Her name has changed to her maiden name Park and I fear Major, you have missed her by just a few days.”

A voice from a door to the left said and Oksana turned and looked at the elder woman who must have been Carolyn, Eve’s partner here in the clinic.

“Missed her? Is she on vacation? How long.”

“Major...to my office please?”

A short nod and Oksana followed stiffly, not liking this at all. Once inside the office with the door closed Carolyn sat and motioned for her to sit too.

“Eve has left with Médecins Sans Frontières last week friday. She is in Aden, Yemen now and helps there as a surgeon in Aden Hospital.”

Oksana wrung her cap as she listened, head bowed.

“Yemen. That isn’t…”

“I tried to talk her out of it. But she would not listen. I can relay a message to her if you wish. She calls here sometimes if she gets a connection.”

Oksana felt lost, sitting here, no Eve in London.

“I don’t think she wants to hear from me.”

A mirthless chuckle.

“Let me be frank with you Major. She waited a lot to hear from you. She always respected your service as your priority. Leave her a message. Show her that you were here.”

Oksana felt there was no love for her with the elder woman and still she gave this advice.

“Why are you helping me?”

“Because when she spoke about you, she was really happy and I have not seen her like this in a very long time Major.”
“Is...there an address I can send letters to?”

It was the first time Carolyn smiled at her and then wrote down an address while Oksana wrote down a message for Eve.

She left London heavy hearted but swore to herself she would write Eve letters and show her, while Eve may have stopped chasing her, Oksana had not.

The first letter she wrote on the way home and every few days after she sat in the office, in her house, staring at the picture of the two of them at the Birthday Ball, that was on her desk and writing about what was going on.
She knew she had not done her best for Eve but she would show her that as a Marine Major she would not simply give up on her now.
In the second letter she attached a picture of her and Wolf and Shaggy, kneeling between them and her arms around her dogs, writing on the back: Me and the boys are missing you!

Oksana had no idea when the letters would reach Eve. Carolyn had called her with more info she had promised to get for her, Eve was on a 3 month tour, then back to London before she would maybe take another tour to Indonesia for cleft palate repairs.

She just hoped they would reach her and maybe make her smile, give her hope because Oksana knew you could never have enough hope in the regions Eve was at.

In her letters Oksana told Eve that she understood she had done things wrong. That she would learn to balance her work and real life. She told Eve that she wanted her with her, that once Eve was back she wanted to speak to her about the possibility of applying as a doctor in LeJeune, they always needed medical personal and Oksana wanted Eve back with her. And if that did not work she would see if she could get stationed maybe in Rammstein, then at least it would not be as far as the US to Eve. But Oksana was willing to do this for them, if Eve just gave her a chance to prove it.

“You miss her huh?”

Her father asked on the phone as she sat in her office having a whisky.

“I can’t even say how much. I feel like I have made a huge mistake.”

Oksana said feeling like shit.

“I spoke to her after the ceremony I think she would have come with you had she not still had that job in Alaska. She wanted this for you because it made you happy Oksana. And I know fate played you both a bad hand or she would have gone to Lejeune with you. So don’t give up on that thought.”

He felt for his daughter and after speaking with Eve at the ceremony, he had feared this could happen. Service was never easy on the ones you loved, that were not in service themselves.

“I have been writing her letters.”

She heard him make a sound.

“Did that for you and your mum when I was around the world. Send a postcard from wherever I was. I know you guys can make it. I saw the way you looked at each other. But you can not let her go again.”

“I know Pa. Not planning on it if she takes me back.”

**

Eve was swamped with work in Aden and she loved that it kept her mind from overthinking other stuff or… well certain other people. Of course Carolyn had to see right through her and realize this was because of her breakup. But there was also this feeling of London not being her home any longer.

She was 3 weeks in Aden, when 3 letters reached her, placed on her cot by mail services. Her hands were shaking as she held the envelopes, seeing the US postage stamp. The letters were dated and only a few days between. She opened the first and when she had finished reading it, sitting on her cot after dinner, she felt tears run down her cheeks. Oksana wrote about being sorry , apologized for getting things wrong and saying she is not giving up on them. The second letter was more about her days at Lejeune, funny stories she could speak about, telling her about the house she had gotten with the nice large backyard the boys enjoyed, a BBQ grill at the back, saying she would love just sitting on the deck with Eve after work having dinner. The thought made Eve’s heart ache for the days they had spent together like this.
The letters made that yearning come back.
From the envelope fell a picture and Eve could not stop the sob as she saw it and read the back.
The third letter did not make it easier and that feeling of need in her chest was so strong. Reading from Oksana and how she promised she would not give up on them, that she would find a way to be with Eve and even thought of moving to Rammstein just to be closer, made Eve realize that Oksana would fight for them. After all her waiting for the Major she had finally started chasing back, fighting for them. She wished she had done that before Eve had decided to go with MSF to Yemen. But in the end at least Oksana was fighting now.
Eve still felt for her so deeply that there was no denying it. She would return home and talk to Oksana and they would figure something out.

Eve fell asleep with the picture of Oksana and the dogs under her pillow hoping for more letters as she went on to the next two months. It was the first time she could not wait to return home, usually she felt she did not have enough time on these mission but now she wanted to be back home.

There was so much to do in Aden, so many people needed help, that once it was time to go to bed, Eve was so knackered she fell asleep immediately. She received more mail and even wrote a letter back, hoping it would somehow reach Oksana and reassure her. Eve had written that when she returned they would talk about the future, see how they could make it work, that she missed Oksana and the boys so terribly but she had wanted the other woman to have the career she deserved and wanted. That she had not stopped feeling for Oksana.

Just a few more weeks and she would be home.

She had just started her last month and making her rounds, checking on their patients, when a commotion at the entry caught her ears and annoyed at the ruckus she stomped towards the sounds, willing to reprimand whoever behaved so loudly and disturbed her patients rest, even though they would barely understand her.

**

Oksana had had the worst training day of her life with a handful of teams not pulling of their mission goals and having to stay past 9pm until they finally completed the trials, vowing to write the reports at home that night. She just wanted to have a swift dinner of left overs and then do her paperwork before falling into bed. She stepped into her house finding her dogs on the couch, Quickly feeding them before letting them run around in the garden until she made it to bed.

Sifting through her mail, Oksana almost yelled out as s letter, pretty beat up, from Yemen fell out between magazines. She ripped the envelope open and read the two pages of delicate handwriting like it was gospel. Over and over again as happiness burst in her chest. There was hope again. Eve’s words were hopeful.

When her phone rang and she saw her father's number, she felt giddy.

“Pa...Pa she wrote back. I think she wants to try again. I think it’s gonna work out! God I was so tired a few minutes ago but now I feel all over the place.”

“Oksana. I need you to go switch on the news and sit down. I need you to stay very calm.”

“Huh? Is everything alright at Pendleton Pa? Are you and Irina ok?”

She felt like an icy fist clenched around her heart as she feared something had happened to her father or sister, horror scenarios in her head.

“Oksana…”

She went to her living room and switched on the TV to the next available News station and Watched the images float by. There was a building being panned over and there were bullet holes in the facade, bleeding people running from it, bandaged up.

Oksana frowned at the scene’s, turning up the volume.

“News reports from Al Jazeera Newsstation have reached us about an attack on the Aden Hospital in Yemen. Several people have been reported killed as a group of men stormed the building, apparently asking for Doctors. Médecins Sans Frontières was helping out in the hospital and is reporting several casualties. Authorities in Aden have called it a heinous attack and promised to work closely together with embassies. The president of Yemen has offered his condolences to the families of the victims.”

Her breathing was shallow and eyes wide, there was a rushing in her ears and Oksana for moment thought she would pass out. Casualties, they had spoken of, not wounded. Tears kept falling and she heard her father yell. The phone had dropped from her hand as she had listened to the news report.

“Oksana...was she there?”

“Yes...I have to...I have to call...I need to find out…”

She had no idea what to do. Who did she call?

“I know someone down there! Oksana I will reach out and hope he can find out more. You need to stay calm until we know more. I know that’s almost impossible.”

She had no idea what else her father had said. She dialed Carolyn Martens in London next, did not even check the time. A tired voice mumbled and Oksana told her what had happened, holding back the sobs as she heard the other woman get up and to the TV.

“Oksana, I’ll call the embassy and Médecins Sans Frontières and try to find out more.”

After she had ended the call she sat there on her couch, staring at the images still running on tv. The leaders world wide promised aid, offered condolences and Oksana felt panic.
What if Eve...no she did not want to think like that!

She could not. Did simply not want to believe that fate had played another joke on them.
’Several people have been reported killed’

Over and over the news report ran, each hour facts were added and it got worse and worse.
At some point at 2 am in the morning it was clear that some nurses and Dr. had been killed and a doctor and two nurses had been kidnapped.
By 5 am in the morning Médecins Sans Frontières named the dead and Oksana sobbed pitifully as she did not find Eve’s name amongst them. And then she yelled out in anger, tipping over her couch table, as Eve’s picture was shown together with the picture of two nurses, as the personal kidnapped by a local group of insurgents.

She stood breathing harshly, table in shambles at her feet. Anger flowing through her and her whole being felt like it was eating her up. Like a fire licking at dry wood and kindling. She burned bright with the pure hatred inside of her. She knew what would happen to the hostages. She hated and she felt the deep rooted lust to kill whoever had order this.

When her phone rang and jolted her out of her inner ramblings.

“I don’t care how Pa...I’m going down there...I don’t care what strings I have to pull...my Team goes and we will get Eve out.”

“Oksana…”

“I’ll kill them all. This time I’ll kill them all.”

Chapter Text

You did not go into a hostage situation when the hostage was someone close to you. But her father had pulled so many strings, arguing they had to send two or three teams and Oksana and Eve were not together by any means. In the end her team was called in and they got the go. They would travel to Ramstein Airbase, collect a drone special team and then head to Yemen.
Technically the recon Team from Pendleton would lead the mission, her team being second in line to them. She knew the leader, had served some missions with him and trusted him completely. Oksana knew these were all good men and women but she was thinking about Eve and how scared she must be.

While on flight to Yemen, the Leader of the Recon Team one sat with her, whispering.

“Major, we served together, I have the utmost trust and respect for you. But I need to know that when push comes to shove, you will follow my lead even though one of the hostages is close to you.”

“Allegedly..”

“Oksana...we understand you. We would all feel the same and quite frankly I never want to go through what you are going through right now. We are on your side. But you need to be on ours too. I will never jeopardize Dr. Parks live. My goal is to get her and the two other hostages out alive. Do you trust me with her life?”

Oksana nodded.

“I do Mike.”

“Good. As soon as we are at Camp they will give us all they know. The drone team will look at some possible areas. We have some local informants that are being contacted as we speak. The General has requested full cover, no name tags. No one can ever know you were part of this mission we all know it goes against rules. When we have the intel we need we will see what tactical possibilities we have.”

“Sounds good Mike.”

“Now get some rest. We need to be alert.”

The group that had apparently taken Eve and her nurses were not heard of before. There seemed to be no association with any group that was known for extremism, which baffled intelligence even more.

Oksana closed her eyes, trying to rest, knowing that Mike was right. Eve needed her to be alert.
Unbidden she thought of Eve, her smile and the ways her eyes sparkled. She thought of having dinner with Eve again, of taking her into her arms, kissing her. Of feeling her breathe. She feared what Eve was going through and before her thoughts could wander to that she forced herself to a memory from Alaska, Eve and her in bed sunday morning, simply lazing about, Oksana’s fingertips tracing the nubs of Eve’s spine, the laughter of Eve as Oksana stroked a ticklish part of skin, the way that body fit perfectly against hers, like they had been made with each other in mind.

She fell asleep with her heart yearning.

**

She was blindfolded and wrists bound, dragged along uneven ground, there was yelling in a local dialect she did not understand. They had been in a room before, sitting next to each other but then a metal sounding door had been opened and Eve had been dragged out.

At the hospital when she heard the commotion, she had thought it had been an argument but soon had heard gunshots, trying to run back and get security, trying to save her patients. She had taken the one’s awake and able to walk and lead them towards a backdoor into what used to be an orchard. Gun shots had kept ringing out, people screaming. As she went back for more patients, Jean a male Dr. from France stopped her.

“You need to hide Eve! Leave! They are searching for you.”

She paled, but in her mind she only thought of her patients. Why would anyone search for her? Of all the people in Aden.

She was with a young woman, trying to wake her up and get her to leave with her when the door to the room crashed open, two men with guns trained staring at her.
They saw the name sign on her chest and before she could react, she was beaten down with the barrel of the rifle. Her head felt like a ripe melon exploding, pain radiating but thankfully darkness took her under soon.

When she woke, she was blindfolded and heard whimpers with her. Two of the surgery nurses had been taken too. She could hear people speaking and it sounded urgent and angry. When they came for her, she first had refused to get up, trying to push down her body weight so they could not lift her, but one of the captors kicked her in the stomach and she felt instant sick, the pain making it impossible for her to fight.

Then she was dragged out.

At some point, a door was opened and she was thrown to the ground, grunting as the landing made her land on her ribs, head swimming from the headwound she probably had from being butted in the head with a gun.

Her blindfold was taken off and then she was lifted in a kneeling position, head being forced back by someone pulling on her hair which made her yell out in pain.

She faced a man sitting on the ground on pillows, bearded. Definitely local.

“Dr. Park?”

She stared back not replying. They had security briefings at MSF but nothing, Eve felt, really had prepared her for this. She was backhanded, her lip splitting as the ring of the man who had hit her caught on it.

“Dr. Park? Yes?”

She flinched as the guy that was apparently there to get her to talk stepped closer. So she nodded.
Some words in Arabic were exchanged and a woman in a Yemeni dress entered the room stepping to the man and handing him a squirming bundle, a baby swaddled. By the size of it this was a baby a few months old. The cloth was lifted from his face and a bag put down next to Eve as another man unbound her hands.

“My son.”

The man said and Eve looked at a baby boy with a cleft Palate. She looked around the room, constantly licking the blood from her cut lip.

“You fix this.”

The child was put down in front of her, squirming and crying. Her eyes were glued to the people surrounding her.

“They say you are best. Doctor from England that makes people pretty.”

His english was thick but good for the region. Eve simply put the cloth around the crying baby boy again.

“No.”

She saw his face turn red with anger.

“I give you time to think. I can't let men beat you. You need hands. But they have missed thighs of women. Think well.”

The threat or rape made her pale and the men were ordered to leave the room, only Eve, the baby and the other woman left behind. She was sure guards were left at the doors, so standing up and bolting out would be a stupid move. The black leather bag next to her was opened by the other woman, a bandage gotten out and dabbed against her bleeding lip.

“Please Dr.. Ahmad just baby. My baby. He must heal. Husband said Ahmad has to go if not. He just baby.”

Eve wondered what go meant. But then she shuddered as she thought of the possibilities.
Checking the bag she pulled out a pen light.

“Hold him…”

She said and waited till the woman had picked up her baby. Eve moved closer and softly manipulated the jaw of the child, so she could look inside and see the palate. It wasn’t one of the worst cases she had seen, on the contrary, it would be a straightforward surgery.

There was just 2 problems. She could certainly not perform the surgery in any of the rooms here and she was sure had she completed the surgery she and the others would die.

“I can’t...if I help...I am dead.”

The woman seemed desperate.

“I talk to Akil. I beg. I make sure you live. The men will do bad with you.”

Eve whimpered her head hanging.

**

When they finally arrived at base camp the drone team immediately went to work, CIA had provided info on movement around the incident, locals had been asked about what they had seen. The survivors of MSF where interviewed. Mike had asked Oksana to stay in the back and only listen in and she did. She needed Mike to trust her. If he did not trust her he would kick her off the team. Oksana was standing in the back as she was tapped on the shoulder she was handed a box.

“Ma’am...the hostages belongings from her cot. I was told to bring them to you.”

Oksana grabbed the box and willed her hands not to shake.

“Thanks”

She mumbled and then slinked out of the room, walking up to the waiting area with table and chairs and going through the box. There was personal items and toiletries and Oksana knew everything after that would be painful to look at. She pulled out a Varsity pullover she knew rather well, pulling it towards her face and taking in Eve’s smell, before she could start crying she put it away. There was a novel and a journal book which she just flipped through but did not read, feeling it would be an intrusion to Eve’s privacy. A photo fell from the book, and Oksana stared as she saw herself and the dogs. She put the picture back inside and then pulled another from the Box. She had the same one on her home office desk. Them happily smiling at the Birthday Ball.

“You are one lucky son of a gun Major.”

Mike said behind her, peering over her shoulder at the picture.

“You look good together. But hide this one.”

She nodded, knowing Mike was watching out for her.

“Take a walk with me.”

She did as he said. Mike and her were the same rank, but he held the major longer.
They walked between the buildings, passing the cantina tent.

“We have good intel and a few positions. There was a lot of movement away from the city straight after the attack, but we are also looking at some movement a bit later. There is, right now, 5 positions we are checking out, two farther away. Our resources here spoke of unrest amongst some groups when MSF arrived. We are trying to find out which groups talked negative. Some witnesses say they asked specifically for Dr. Park. So right now we are trying to find out why she was targeted.”

“Why would Eve ever be the target Mike?”

He shrugged.

“Right now we focus on following the movement, checking the spots. We hope to find something soon. Oksana...I want you to lay very low. We are teetering on a line here. Clear?”

“Clear.”

She would do anything to get Eve home safely.

“Go to mess. Get some chow. You haven't eaten at Ramstein.”

“There was no Pretzels and Weisswurst! I was miffed Mike.”

He made a sound and nodded in the direction of it.

“You go to mess, get some mystery meat, if anyone asks you are here as a training observator for my team.”

She nodded and followed his orders, thankful that Mike was not treating her like an outsider.

He understood, he cared. Oksana knew his wife was in the Navy, guessed he understood the fear of a loved one in combat. And that was what Eve was right now. Just that she did not have the proper training for such a situation. Oksana ate what was offered, sitting alone as to ward off stupid questions. Then she went into the tent they all shared, laying in her bunk and pulling out the letter Eve had written her. She read it again, word by word. She did not allow herself to cry.

**

Samia, as the woman was named, had left her alone in the room, apparently going to talk to her husband Akil. She held her bruised ribs, trying not to cry as she realized her chances of surviving this were slim.

She had no idea how much time had passed when Akil and Samia came back in with an older man, this time without Baby Ahmad. Akil spoke to the older man in arabic and the man translated to her in good english.

“Akil wants you to fix his son. He promises to let you and the other women go if you help his child look normal.”

Eve held herself up with one arm, the other around herself, holding her ribs.

“Why not come to Aden with Ahmad? I could have fixed him at the hospital.”

Eve said.

There was mumbling between them, then agitated talk from Akil.

“Akil can not pay for surgery in time it needs to be done. He is still considered rich enough to not need the Doctors without Borders. He was refused by the hospital.”

“Tell him I can not operate on his child here. The boy will die of sepsis. Babies have no natural defences yet. It’s not a tonsil removal. I need a team, I need anesthesia and then surgery takes two to Six hours.”

She watched the older man lean in translating.

“Akil says he will find a place. If you do it he will let you and the nurses free in a remote location so you can not lead anyone back here.”

She looked at Samia, who was begging with her eyes. Eve knew she either promised or she and the nurses would face horrific abuse. There was nothing she could do. Eve was sure they would be dead either way, but she could at least buy time and hope they would be found by their troops. There was no way Akil could get all she needed.

Chapter Text

Sleeping meant dreaming and for Oksana dreaming was either a nightmare or made her wake and almost cry, realizing her dreams were not true. It had been a week since Eve had been taken. A week of being unsure if she was alive, the nagging fear in the back of her head making Oksana almost go crazy.

She sat on her cot, leg jumping nervously, head in her hands, trying to empty her head of bad thoughts. Ben and her boys left her mostly alone, they knew Eve themselves and the situation was hard on them too, trying to be supportive but also professional.

“Major Astankova?”

She looked up to the Tent flap and saw a young man stand and Salute. She saluted back and motioned for him to stand at ease.

“Lance Corporal?”

“Major Benson asked me to get you.”

She nodded and stood, straightening her uniform and following the young man.
She was lead into the main building to an interrogation room and got nervous as soon as she stepped into the observation room with Mike. In the interrogation room sat an older man, speaking good english and facing Mike’s Gunny.

“What’s going on Mike?”

“One of our patrols a bit further out was flagged down by him. Apparently a few days ago he was dragged from his bed to an estate outside of his town, to translate between a man and a Doctor.”

Her eyes widened and before she could move Mike grabbed her arm.

“My Gunny’s got it, ok?”

Oksana nodded feeling shaky, knowing she must have paled. She stepped closer to the glass, not wanting to miss a second of this. She watched as water was brought in, the man drinking greedily and then telling his story.

“The farm is usually empty, the family that owned it killed by DAESH. I was dragged there, don’t know the man now living there. The doctor did not look right. She had a head wound and her lip bled. She looked scared. They told her to perform surgery and she told them she could not because she had no team, no place. After translating they brought me into the dessert.”

Probably in the hopes he would die before anyone found him.

“Can you point out where that farm is?”

The Gunny asked, pouring more water and opening a map of the region.

The man drank more and studied the map, then pointed to a place.

“Around here…”

Mike looked at Oksana worried.

“So they kidnapped Dr. Park for surgery? Why her?”

Oksana rubbed her neck and wrecked her brain.

“She works in a private clinic in London. Beauty surgery. Shit I don’t know Mike, ask him if they spoke about what surgery.”

Major Benson went inside himself to ask the question and the man seemed genuinely trying to remember.

“They spoke about a child and making him look good. The Dr. asked about why they did not come to the hospital and the man said he was refused because they think he is too rich..”

Once they had gotten the man to the med tent to have him checked over, Oksana and Mike went to one of the surviving Doctors from MSF, recovering from a bullet wound.

Again, even though Oksana was itching to get info fast, she stood in the back, watching as Mike spoke to the man.

“You told us they asked for Dr. Park specifically?”

Dr. Jean nodded.

“When they came in, they rounded up all Doctors they could find and checked our names, saying if we got them Dr. Park no one would die. I ran when I got the chance and found Eve trying to rescue as many patients as possible, I warned her.”

Mike nodded and handed the man some coffee.

“Did anyone before ever ask for her and get turned down? Or did someone get turned down in general?”

“I don’t know...wait...there was a man with a Baby boy and a cleft Palate. He heard we are doing surgery for it but we told him first we helped the poor and that if he could afford a Yemeni Hospital he had to try there. We were informed he was a rather well to do Khat farm owner.”

It just fit too well to be nothing. Eve was a specialist with cleft palates, she did that surgery all around the world with MSF.

“Thank you Doc. We’ll let you rest now.”

Once back in the recon tent they checked the information over and the drone team was sent to scout out the farm.

“Let’s stay in Operative Mode so we can get into action fast if needed. The way it looks Dr. Park was taken to perform surgery on a baby. She has bought herself time saying she needs a place and anesthesia so we think her captors might now be searching…”

“SIR!”

Mike swished around and looked at the Lance Corporal on the radio.

“Brennan?”

“Sir! We have reports of a hostage situation in a smaller town, an hour from the farm. There is a UN medical help base there.”

“Shit...they found the med bay and staff they need. EVERYBODY GET READY!”

Mike yelled and the teams scrambled and started their dash to their tent.

“Full anonymity, name tags off, dog tags off, Celer, Silens, Mortalis!”

Mike yelled.

“Celer, Silens, Mortalis!”

His teams replied and Oksana’s heart was hammering in her chest as she pulled on her full Uniform, listening as Mike ordered the drone team to get them air support, trying to tell herself all would be fine. She was scared shitless. She had never been so scared in her life.

“Get to the chopper!”

Mike yelled but stayed behind, hand on Oksana’s shoulder.

“Look at me and tell me you can do this. There is no shame if you can’t Oksana. Tell me straight out, can you keep your cool even if there is a gun on Eve?”

She steeled herself and nodded.

“I’ll walk through the pits of hell for her Mike.”

He nodded and then let her go, both jogging to the waiting chopper.

**

Eve had lost all sense of time in their little cell. After her talk with Akil they were unbound, and given food three times a day. This and the little light coming from a small air hole in the wall was their only way to know if it was day or night.

On the third day, one of the guys watching the door, had taken Eve out of the cell and tried leading her in another empty room. As soon as he was through the door she heard a zipper and she yelled herself raw hoping someone would be alerted, the man unsure of how to react pulled his pants back up and started kicking her ribs to shut her up and she was sure what was bruised before now broke.
At one point she could not make noise any longer, vision blurry from blood, her lip re-splitting after a boot had landed in her face and broken ribs making it impossible to breathe. She told her mind to close off, trying to get herself to hide inside her own mind as a shot rang out and a heavy body landed half on her.
When she opened her eyes again, whimpering in pain, she was face to face with the man, his eyes empty and hole in his forehead leaking blood and brain.

She was taken back to her cell and the nurses where handed medical supplies to help Eve.

From then on she stayed on the bunk in the room and Akil checked on them everyday, yelling at his men every time he saw her.

“I told men if they touch you they die.”

He had said one morning after Samia had brought them food and water to wash themselves.

Had she not had the two nurses with her, Eve was sure she would have gone crazy. Every night Eve prayed for someone to come free them. Every morning she woke in her cell sobbing. They tried to support each other mentally, knowing from their training, they had to keep their mindset positive.

Days after her beating, the cell was opened again, they were bound and taken out to one of three waiting cars. She had no idea where they were taken, only that the drive seemed longer. She feared they had finally found the provision she needed, seeing that fear reflected with the nurses.

When they were dragged from the car at gunpoint Eve realized they were in a town, being led towards a UN Medic tent or the larger variety. Akil stepped up to her, sneering down.

“You make my boy nice, you survive.”

They were dragged into the surgical tent were a team was held at gunpoint already, they all looked at each other scared then Samia placed the child on the surgical table and Akil pressed a gun to Eve’s head.

“Tell them.”

Eve swallowed thickly.

“My...My name is Dr. Park...we... are supposed to do a cleft Palate repair on this boy. I need an Anesthesiologist to prep the child. Anyone able to assist ...please suit up.”

People stared, she begged with her eyes.

“Please...he won’t let us go until we do it.”

Somehow they sprung into action and Eve tried to explain to Akil that prepping would need some time. He threatened her once more, then stationed men at each entry point.
She was shaking so much as she washed and was helped into surgical scrubs, feeling sick already.

“I...need a stool to sit...I have a few broken ribs.”

She wheezed and then watched as the Anesthesiologist weighted and measured Ahmad, the baby crying, feeling the stress of the situation. She tried busying herself by getting all the tools they would need. Some needed to be disinfected first so they had to wait for the machine to run through its cycle. All the while Eve explained what she did because Akil was in the back, watching like a hawk. After some discussing she got him to wear some sterile clothing fearing contamination by him.

She watched as Ahmad was hooked up to all the surveillance and then he slowly calmed as the anesthesia was submitted into a port.

Eve kept explaining what they would have to do, trying not to let pain overcome her, so she could properly do this.

**

They landed close to the observation point the Drone team had scouted and the prep phase went straight past Oksana as she tried to settle her nerves by checking her weapons over again.

Once Mike had a plan he drew into the sand,outlining positions, things to cover.

“They are in surgery we have made out 6 scouts that we have to take out first inside the tent is the UN team and our hostages possibly with more insurgents. Stealthy and steady, take out scouts, then storm the tent. Oksana you and your team will give sideline support, subdue anyone trying to get to us. Clear?”

“Clear.”

She turned to her Team and they stepped together in a ritual that was theirs before combat. A simple circle.

“We’ll get her out Major. We’ll get your Doc back.”

Ben and the men swore.

“Let’s go give Mike support boys.”

She said and they broke their circle, getting to their positions. Oksana itched to be down there with Mike but she understood why she had to stay further back. She watched as the recon Team snuck to the scouts, getting in position before getting rid of three simultaneously. It had worked perfectly for half the scouts but just as the scout closest to the tent dropped to his knee’s dead, a guard from inside the tent had stepped out and seen it, yelling out. All hell broke loose and something inside Oksana clicked, as if a switch was turned. She watched as a battle broke out, gunshots ringing through the air, More men stormed from the tent and Oksana dropped one, then two.

**
Eve adjusted the overhead light over the baby, making sure she had enough light.

“Okay...Scalpel please...I need suction the whole time.”

She shook so hard as she held the scalpel, taking in shallow breaths as not so hurt her ribs further. Another Dr. had bound her quickly, so she could stand better.

“Dr. Park?”

She shook her hands.

“I’m ok. Just...don’t like working with guns around me.”

Eve mumbled and had a nurse wipe the sweat off her face.

The cuts were made swiftly and eve pulled back the gums, with each step losing herself in the surgery she had done so many times. She ached all over, could barely keep standing and had to be propped a few times. She was stretching the inner nasal palate when she smelled a cigarette, turning and finding one of Akil’s men smoking.

“OUT! NOW!”

She yelled and watched as Akil pointed to the man to leave. She turned back around to Ahmad and grabbed thread and needle from a nurse, when she heard the man yell out, then a shot and Akil and his men sprung up, all but Akil ran out and all hell broke loose. She heard shots and soon the tent was being shot at, People screaming around her as she saw Samia run up to the table, Eve already trying to cover the baby with her body. It was instinct to protect her patient.

More shots ripped through the tent lining and Eve looked up yelling for everyone to get on the ground, watching as they scrambled and seeing Samia lean over her boy protectively and stroking a little cheek.
The scene played out in slow motion to her and she watched as people threw themselves down, bullets hitting the supplies, glass containers exploding. Eve was still standing over Ahmad shielding him, when she felt her side being ripped open and looking down confused, she saw her white coat turning red, vision going dark as the adrenaline coursing through her dampened the pain of her wound. The sound of metal being hit by a bullet and then a short sharp pain in her head, a gasp of breath erupting from her chest, eyes rolling back in her head as Eve fell to the floor.

**

Screams erupted from the tent, that was perforated with bullet holes by the insurgents blindly firing at anything that moved. Oksana felt sick as she went towards the scene on Mike’s order, his team edging forward and into the tent. Once they were inside she could hear Mike over the comms, in the background there was crying as he spoke to the kidnapper trying to stop him from something. A single shot later, Mike yelled suicide then frantically called for immediate med support, his voice frantic.

Oksana knew. She just knew from the tone in his voice, from the yelling and crying in the tent, that there were casualties from the spray of bullets the kidnappers had let go. The teams had tried taking as many out before they could fire too much but the tent showed some shots had made it inside.
She was running towards the tent, a good hundred out from it. Oksana was running like she had never run before but before she could get closer, Mike spoke the order that made her whole world stop and shatter.

“Keep Astankova away! WHERE IS THAT MED CHOPPER FOR FUCKS SAKE?!”

She was held back by two Soldiers, 30 Meters from the tent, She screamed on the top of her lungs, until her throat was raw, as she fought to be let go. A chopper was heard in the distance. Nothing registered to Oksana as she felt tears blurred her vision, still struggling, Ben ran to the tent and was stopped, the comms shut off and Oksana watched as Mike talked to Ben. He turned and ran back towards her, a chopper landing next to the tent in the free area.
His arms engulfed her in a strong hold and she felt herself sag into him. They had shut of comms so she could not hear whatever Mike had told Ben.
Over his shoulder she watched the med team run in and a few later they carried out a transport stretcher, another Soldier with hanging shoulders unrolling body bags. She tried to see who was on the stretcher, but Ben turned her with the other soldiers and she was dragged away from the scene.

They stopped when they reached their own chopper which had flown in for them, behind it Oksana ripped off her helmet and balaclava and retched, tears streaming down her face. After she had lost her lunch she looked at Ben, who was holding her upright against the metal hull by both her shoulders. Her hand went to her chest as an anguished scream ripped from her.

“Please...please...let me to her. Ben please…”

“I can’t O.”

“Tell me who died...please tell me who died.”

Chapter Text

Ben shook her from her stupor and Oksana realized that he had been speaking to her, shaking her to get her attention.

“Get it together O!”

She frowned and saw Mike walk up to them.

“Major…”

She hung her head, not ready to hear it. She felt like she wanted to die and emptiness inside of her as she tried to stay upright.

“Please I can’t Mike...I can’t. Not like this.”

Mike’s hand landed on her shoulder and she braced herself. She couldn#t do it. She couldn’t do this again.

“Maj….Oksana, listen...she was hit at least twice, I think in the head once. It doesn’t look good but she was somehow hanging on. They are still trying to stabilize her before leaving. Go with them.”

She grasped his shoulders desperately, wanting to shake him for making her think Eve was dead.

“She’s...she’s not dead?”

“We thought she was...the boy, his mother and the kidnapper are dead. We barely found a pulse in Dr. Park. Major you have to go.”

Mike pulled her from leaning against the chopper, half dragging her around and signing to the pilot of the Medevac, then pushing her. Oksana’s wobbly legs barely got her there, and someone pulled her into the medevac, closing the door behind her. She sat in a tiny seat, on the ground in front of her was Eve, a Doctor hovering over her and putting ports into her veins. Time in the medevac seemed to pass so fast but she knew the flight would be 30 minutes, direct airline.

“Someone call MSF and find out her blood type.”

“0 neg.”

Oksana said and he looked up at her.

“Major?”

“I read her file for the mission.”

She said, remembering Mike had asked her to keep her head low.

He moved away to get something from a storage compartment and Oksana saw Eve for the first time, trying to keep her emotions in check at the sight. She had never seen Eve’s skin so pale, she was grey, lip split, face bruised. She did not look like she was alive. She had seen many dead people in her time in the military. Oksana felt sick watching as the doctor tried to stem the blood flow from the bullet wound in Eve’s side. She heard him curse and he grabbed more gauze, minute after minute he pulled bloody gauzes from Eve and added new one’s.

“I need blood at camp, 0 neg!”

The second med on flight got the heart monitor attached and started giving Eve air. Everything was a blur as Oksana watched Eve barely hanging on to life. In her mind she was screaming out for Eve, begging her to hold on.

“ETA 5 minutes we need immediate assistance, Patient needs infusion…”

Oksana understood nothing of what was being said all she saw was Eve getting even paler and she felt herself grow cold.

“Patient is Coding!”

Machines beeping angrily. Doctors yells, and Oksana closed her eyes hoping to wake from this endless nightmare as she sat strapped in her seat, Eve dying at her feet. She had failed her. She had failed to protect Eve from this and now Eve was dying and she had to watch. She was forced to watch as punishment as the doctors tried to keep her to hang on. Her face was hidden in her hands as she prayed to whatever deity might listen to let Eve live, begging for this to end, for Eve to open these eyes and smile at her.

“Major you need to get out!”

Her head shot up. They had landed and she watched as Eve was wheeled away, 6 people surrounding her gurney.

“Major come on we need to check you over. Major you’re going into shock!”

She was pulled from the chopper and felt herself trying to follow Eve but was pulled away by another doctor. She was dragged into a medbay and as she still fought the nurses to get to Eve, she felt a needle prick and everything started to get blurry.

Ben came into the medbay, yelling her name and Oksana reached for him He took her arms.

“Ben...Ben don’t leave her alone...I need to be there…”

**

”We are reporting from Yemen were the Medecins sans frontieres hostage situation has come to a shocking End. Our Correspondent Michael Summers live from Aden, Yemen:

“Thank you Monica. After a week of waiting for news, it was reported today that a UN medical site had been taken Hostage. What seemed like a second attack towards medical aid has turned out to be something else entirely.
Sources have told us that the Kidnappers had taken Dr. Park and two nurses hostage, to force them to perform a surgery on a Baby. They were kept on a remote farm. This morning the same kidnappers attacked the UN medical bay in a small village 2 hours from here, brought the hostages and had them and the UN team operate on the child.
During surgery, fights broke out between kidnappers and a force Recon team, sent to free the hostages. During the fighting the kidnappers shot into the med tent and killed mother and child, wounding Dr. Park gravely. Another man shot himself as he was being arrested. UN doctors have said that Dr. Park was wounded while shielding her little patient and yelling orders to get on the ground. There has been no news as of yet about her status but we were informed that it did not look good. Michael Summers from Aden Yemen.”

Thank you Michael. What a shocking end to this situation. We are still gathering information about the Kidnappers and will keep viewers informed about this situation and the hero Dr., that tried to save her young patient and got gravely injured as she did so. Our thoughts are with her and her family.”

Konstantin switched off the TV, feeling his heart sink in his chest. It was a mess. He had been informed by the Base commanding officer of Aden as soon as they had the news why Eve was Kidnapped. He had not seen it play out like this.

His phone rang and he took the call without checking.

“Pa…”

Closing his eyes Konstantin heard the pain in his child's voice.

“Oksana...how is..”

“She is still being ...they keep telling me it doesn’t look good. They sedated me and I woke but they are still trying to stabilize her 4 hours later. As soon as she is stable, she is being flown to Ramstein. Dad...I am scared. She was hit by a stray in the head, she was shot in the back. She coded on flight...I don’t know what to do.”

His heart broke at the words.

“Just be there Oksana. Be at her side. If You need anything you call me.”

Konstantin knew if Eve did not pull through, Oksana would break apart. She had barely made it through Nadia being killed but if she lost Eve too…
He didn't even wish to think this way. He had only met Eve once and had admired her, an instant liking between them. His admiration for her had grown, when she had stepped away to let his daughter follow her dreams in the military, knowing it would maybe end their relationship. When they did break up, Konstantin had a feeling they wouldn’t easily forget about each other. His daughter was single minded in tasks. If she started something, she tended to lose herself in it and she learned with Eve that life did not work this way, realized that if she wanted to have a private life she had to be there in both worlds.

Fate though, fate kept punishing her, and Konstantin wondered what his step daughter had ever done to deserve this.

“I’m scared Papa.”

Oksana whispered.

“It’s okay to be Oksana. There is no shame in being scared. I know it sounds stupid but you have to try to be positive.”

**

Hours passed. The clock ticking in the hallway grating on her nerves with it’s monotony. While she had been sedated, her Team had sat in this hallway, holding vigil over Eve. Behind the door she waited in front of, was Eve fighting for her life for hours now. Oksana knew the doctors here knew these kinds of wounds best, you could probably not get any better for combat wounds.

She stood, feeling light headed from the fast movement, the sedation still making her feel groggy. Just a few feet away was a desk with hot water and instant coffee powder, MRE standard, not coffee by any means but she was used to it. Quickly, she made herself a cup. The stale taste somehow comforting as she frowned up at the clock still ticking away. A steel door opened around the corner and booted steps carried someone through the hall.

It was Chris her Gunny. He smiled at her bravely, grimacing at how wrong it felt.

“Hey O! Any news?”

Oksana shook her head softly feeling her shoulders sag. Around her men she did not need to pretend she was the tough Major.

“I brought you some food from mess. I even nicked an apple AND a snickers.”
A grateful smile tried to pull the corner of her lips up and after checking no one else came down the hall, Chriss hugged her. Before putting the food tray down on one of the chairs.

“If you need us to sit here and wait if something comes up, we’re in our tent.”

“Thanks Chris.”

As he left the staccato of his steps almost killed the sound of the clock.

6 Hours now.

How easy everything had seemed two weeks ago. Hoping that Eve’s time in Aden came to an end and they could fix what Oksana had broken. She sat back down, the back of her head against the wall, food nervously jumping up and down. At some point she ate the by then cold Chili, putting the tray on the table with the coffee to get rid off later. When it neared hour 7 the door to the surgery rooms opened and she must have visibly paled in fear of bad news. The female Dr. sat with her and Oksana swallowed around the lump that had formed in her throat.

“Is..has she..?

The words did not want to leave her mouth.

“We got her through for now Major. The list of her wounds is...extensive. She has broken ribs, and that with the split lip is probably the smallest problem. She was shot in the back, through and through, and lost a huge amount of blood, but the bullet hit mostly her flank so that it missed major organs. Thankfully a few men here heard we needed 0neg donors and went to donate. What has us worried is her head. She was hit by a ricochet bullet. She was lucky it had lost a lot of its power but there is still damage. She had brain swelling and internal bleeding. We are monitoring her closely to see if there is more. Major if she makes it through the night...we would consider it very lucky.”

Her eyes had closed as she listened, trying to hold back the tears which leaked out of her eyes anyways.

“She is fighting though Major. Right now we are setting her up in her room, so that will need a while until she is hooked to all the machines and tubes. Go shower, change and then we will let you sit with her for a while. If she makes it through the next few days we can get her to Ramstein.”

Oksana nodded and stood, shaking the hands of the Doctor.

“Thank you.”

She went to the tent first, telling the waiting teams the news. They looked relieved, Ben and Mike clapping her on the back.

“She’s a fighter O. She’ll pull through.”

Then Oksana allowed herself some time showering, letting the grime wash off her skin, head hanging as she let the water run down her back, trying to empty her mind.
Tears mixed with the water and she let them run, no energy left to stop it. It had not been supposed to be this way. Eve, of all people, had not deserved any of this.

As soon as she was in her clean Uniform she went back to the med station and waited to be allowed to see Eve.

“Major follow me please.”

The same doctor from before picked her up.

“Now there is a lot of machinery on Dr. Park. She has a tube aiding her to breath which we hope to get rid off tomorrow. It looks scary. You can stay for a bit, here.”

The woman opened the door and stepped aside to let Oksana in. Eve’s bed was in the middle of the dimly lit room and there was more machinery than there was Eve, heart monitor beeping in rhythm, Tube pumping air. Bags of Fluid and blood going in, bags hanging at the bag for fluids having to come out. Eve was ghastly pale, the only color added by bruises. One side of her head was shaved, a scar above her ear showing where she had been hit by the bullet.

The Doctor checked the machines and wrote something down before leaving them alone.

It was her fault Eve laid here. She should have done better by her. She had let the calls twindle out, had spent more time with her work on base even after hours, apologizing for being tired instead of ...anything. Oksana believed that had she just done better Eve would have never gone on this stupid thing. She would have gotten Eve’s message about being terminated. Would have told her to go back to London until she could get another Visa and apply for Lejeune or Wilmingto at the Hospitals. Instead hr head had been solely on her work teaching other soldiers.

She stepped closer to the bed, her feet feeling like lead, reaching a shaking hand out to stroke a cold, pale cheek. Oksana leaned over her, making sure she was not touching any of the tubes.

“Hey Eve. You made it. I need you to keep fighting ok? You’re safe now. Just keep fighting, you can do it. You have been so, so brave through all of this. I need you to get better ok?”

It felt like her chest was being torn apart with all of these emotions. The sadness and fear making her almost sick.

There was no answer. Only the beeping of the machine’s fighting to keep Eve alive.

Chapter Text

“Major...Major you have to wake up. General Adamson was asking for you.”

Oksana jolted awake in her wooden chair in the corner of the room, standing quickly.

“It’s not the nurses fault I am still here, I told her I wouldn’t leave!”

She explained quickly.

They had wanted her to leave overnight but some nurse had taken pity on her and told her if she stayed out of the way and left the room if ordered her she could stay.

“It’s 6 am and we need to change bandages and wash Dr. Park. So some privacy please.”

She nodded and grabbed her cover, hoping she looked halfway presentable for the General.

“Major...she made it through the night ok? That’s a good thing.”

Nodding, Oksana stepped up to the bed, the doctor busying herself with charts.

“I’ll be back ok Evie? You hang in there.”

She whispered and then left the room as ordered.

She felt a bit lighter knowing Eve had made it through the night. She also knew to not hope too much. Things could go wrong. The little happiness she had at Eve getting through the night, vanished at that thought. She swiftly made her way to the Generals office, waiting in front until the secretary told her to get in.

Once inside she stood at rigid attention, saluting sharply.

“At ease Major.”

She widened her stance put her hands behind her back.

“Your Commanding officer at LeJeune has called, asking for a situation update. Your team is being recalled and flying home tonight.”

She bristled as she realized they wanted her home and as she was about to say something General Adamson held his hand up to stop her.

“We have both agreed you should stay behind and use some of these vacation days you have amassed Major. But he wishes to be in the loop as soon as you know a timeframe. Understood?”

“Understood, Sir!”

Relieve and gratefulness washed over Oksana as she was excused again. Since she was sure Eve was still being washed and her bandages changed she went to shower herself, then the mess tent, grabbing a hearty breakfast so she would not get hungry again too soon.

Her men sat with her and talked about being recalled. She got they were happy to go back home and they understood why she was staying behind.

“You’ll keep us updated right O?”

She nodded.

“I will.”

She hoped they could get to transport Eve out of Aden soon. If she reached that, the chances of her living were really good. She had a coffee, mess coffee was slightly better than the instant stuff, and took another cup with her, as well as grabbing a newspaper from the US.

Before she went back to the medbay she went to place a call with Eve’s friends by reaching Carolyn.

“Major ...is…”

“Hello Dr. Martens. Eve survived the Surgery and got through the night, they said that was good news. She...she got shot in the back and a ricochet lodged in her head. But she pulled through. She isn’t out of the bad spot yet but Eve is doing better than yesterday. I think she is on every machine they could find.”

She heard Martens take a deep breath.

“I told her this wasn’t a good idea.”

“Look...as soon as she is stable enough she’s being flown to Ramstein and from there we will see how she recovers. Once we are en route, I will call you and get you a visitor badge.”

“Thank you Major. And thank you for being there.”

She did not need to wait long to be allowed back with Eve, handing the nurse the fresh hot coffee with a smile and a wink.

“I brought a newspaper Eve. I almost got sent home. But my General at home said I should use up some of my vacay time. I called Martens and my Pa to keep them updated. They both hope you get better soon.”

Oksana got her chair closer to the bed and then started on the first page of the newspaper. When she had finished world news she was asked to stop out so that a team of doctors could look Eve over, deciding if she could be taken off the vent.

She used her time to get lunch and call her father.

“Oksana...I already talked to Adamson, someone on base leaked info to the news about Eve. She is on all news stations right now.”

“Shit.”

“At least they are calling her a hero.”

Her father said worried and she heard him flick through channels.

“For how long until they drag up other stuff Pa?”

“Adamson is on it, don’t want to be in the skin of that person once he is done.”

She just wanted this all to be over so she, they really could concentrate on Eve getting well again. When she returned to Eve’s room, the tube was still in Eve’s mouth and she looked at the doctor confused.

“She was not breathing well alone yet. Right now it is really important, with the brain swelling, that the oxygen saturation stays high. So we decided to keep her on the vent for now.”

She rubbed her forehead and sighed.

“Look Major, it’s a precaution, it’s better for Dr. Park. She was breathing but weakly. Keep faith. She is a tough one.”

Oksana nodded and the female doctor smiled at her.

**

They found the nurse that had been speaking to the press, she was reprimanded and taken of her post, Adamson ripping her a new one in his office, Oksana present.

Day after day she sat with Eve until she was sent to her bunk to get some proper sleep, her back aching from the chair.
A week passed and Eve was finally off the ventilation, breathing strongly enough on her own.
But she would not wake. 7 days in and it was decided that Eve was stable enough to be flown into Ramstein.

“Don’t worry Major. They have specialists there. She just needs time to wake. Her body has too many things to heal.”

One Doctor explained to her. She called her Commanding officer and then everyone else she could think of, promising Carolyn and Elena visitors badges.
The flight back was uneventful, Oksana reading the news and ignoring the news story about Eve and her heroics in the face of danger. No one at these papers really gave a shit anyways. It was all just a story and in 2 days the next hero would come along.

In Ramstein Oksana felt safe. No war zone around them, a Hospital with everything Eve could need. The Doctors in Aden were top notch, but here the facility was too. As soon as Eve was in Hospital she was whisked away, Oksana told to wait as they did a check over. She used the time to Call her father, then Carolyn and then went to the proper office to get the visitor badges readied. Carolyn and Elena would arrive the next day. She also called her commanding officer who had spoken to his counterpart at Ramstein and they were happy to let Oksana stay but asked her to train the troops stationed in exchange. She would do anything if it allowed her to stay with Eve.

The tests took all day and by evening Oksana had moved into her barracks room. A simply small bed, one dresser and a desk. She would not spend much time there anyways.
She was allowed to see Eve finding her back on all machines, being watched by a nurse that only watched her and another patient.

She sat with her like before, holding a frail seeming hand carefully.

“Evie we made it to Ramstein. You did really well. I am so proud of how hard you fought. They say you are stable now. You are doing good. You just need to wake now ok?”

The Nurse had told her to speak, make sure Eve knew she was there, that sometimes patients said they heard people talking to them. That it made them feel better knowing they were not alone. The bruises on her face had turned yellow, lip healing well. Her ribs need time as well as the bullet wounds.

“Carolyn and Elena are coming to visit. They are arriving tomorrow and I will bring them here. I have to leave tonight, still trying to bribe a nurse to let me stay longer.”

Oksana joked, just as she said it the IC nurse came in, smiling but pointing on her watch. She stood and leaned over Eve, stroking her cheek as she always did, kissing her own fingertips and pressing them against Eve’s cheek.

“See you tomorrow ok Evie?”

She hated leaving Eve alone.

“Will you call me if she wakes?”

The nurses nodded and Oksana forced herself to leave.

 

**

“They say they don’t know when she will wake from this Coma.”

“She just needs time to heal. She went through a lot.”

“Major...she is comatose, I spoke to the specialists while we visited. The head wound could have caused more damage than can be assessed. It could be days only but it could also be weeks, months if it goes badly years until she wakes up. We need to talk about care for her.”

Oksana’s fists clenched under the table of the cafeteria.

“Now MSF insurance has her covered at least, that is good news but they need the proper papers to align care for Eve.”

Oksana stared at her.

“What do you mean care?”

Carolyn made a soothing hand motion seeing the confusion and misunderstanding in the Major.

“Have you thought about what happens after your time in Ramstein runs out and she has not woken?”

Panic rose in her mind. Eve had to wake! She scrambled to understand the possibility of her not waking.

“Ok...okay we’ll figure something out for the worst case scenario Major. But we need to talk about it even though it hurts you. Now You can’t stay here in Ramstein indefinitely?”

She fiddled with her cover in her lap, biting her lip as she thought about how long they would grant her, then shook her head.

“I am here right now under the premiss of also teaching troops. But I need to go back home at some point.”

Carolyn nodded.

“Let’s say you can stay another two weeks and I have to leave in a few days. If Eve comes back to London I will have to apply for a care facility. MSF will cover that.”

She stared, the subject making her feel uneasy. Thinking of Eve in that situation hurt her.

“London? No...I…”

“Major...she is a british citizen she wanted to take up dual citizenship but has not completed that as far as I know. Tell me what is the optimal care for her in your mind and then lets think of a way to get there.”

When Martens spoke like this, Oksana realized she was used to dealing with people not sure what steps to take. Oksana had never been this confused but all her mind did was scream at her that Eve was comatose and what if she never woke again.

“I want her with me.”

“So in Lejeune.”

“Yes...I want to be with her.”

“Call your camp’s Naval Hospital and ask if they take on foreign care patients covered by insurance and which forms you need.”

She nodded and her eyes had glassed over as she looked up again at Carolyn Martens.

“What if she never wakes?”

Carolyn Martens leaned back in her chair.

“You can not think like that Major. Eve doesn’t need a pity party. She needs a strong partner. Can you be that this time?”

The accusation was clear and it shamed Oksana to no end.

“I won’t let her out of my sight again. No matter what I will have to do.”

She stood stiffly and put her cover back on.

“Thank you for your Help Dr. Martens. I have to place some phone calls.”

**

“There is no way I am leaving her in London in some care facility Sir.”

She listened to what her Commanding officer said. He was a good man, a family guy.

“MSF insurgence is giving full coverage yes...Thank you.”

She hung up the phone and then went to Mess, all forms in her hands. Carolyn had said she would fill out whatever Oksana could not and hand her medical files over to where ever Eve would stay. While she ate she filled out all she knew and just as she finished lunch ready to take on teaching after, her commanding officer called that Eve would be allowed at the Naval facility. Oksana knew he had understood her threat of resigning for good this time to make sure she was with Eve and she was sure he had spoken with her father, the two had served together. Konstantin had spoken to his child and knew there was no discussion for her. She went where Eve would go.

By evening, when she could not fill her mind with tasks of any form, the reality of Eves status crashed on her. She was beyond scared of what might happen. she had sat with Eve, reading the news to her, trying to be positive as Martens had told her to be. But once back in the barracks she let herself cry, face hiding under the covers.

She had no power over this, Oksana could simply do nothing. She had to wait and see if Eve would ever wake again and it killed her. Why would his nightmare just not end?

Chapter Text

It took her two weeks to get Eve transported from Ramstein to Lejeune, two weeks and there were no signs on Eve waking. She was slowly healing while she slept. Oksana did not call it Coma. She said Eve was asleep. It soothed her and did not break her heart as much as the word Coma did.
It was childish and Martens had sighed at her when she called it sleep.

The first day back was the same as in Ramstein, endless tests of Eve’s status and verifying her state. Oksana meanwhile had gone home and greeted her dogs that had missed her terribly. She held them tightly and told them that Eve was back home. She just needed some time to be able to see them again.
Eve’s things had already arrived from Aden and London and Oksana put the boxes in her bedroom. She would use the time when she could not be with Eve to unpack.
Oksana was overtired after that long flight but she wanted to see Eve and say good night, set up a meeting with the doctors to see what the next steps would be in Eve’s therapy, if she needed to get her things for the hospital.
As a last thought before she left she grabbed their picture from her desk before she left to go see if Eve had been put in her room yet.

“You were all over the news Evie. They called you hero. They are right you know. You are a hero. You tried saving a life. I just...i feel so bad for it, but I wish you had not. Because then I think we would be sitting on the porch, watching the two idiots play, having dinner and some wine. I would tell you about my troops and you would tell me about a tough surgery. But we will get there baby. You just got to wake up.”

Oksana whispered.

“I brought the picture. I’ll put it on your night stand. They say you have healed just fine. The ribs might still be tender but other than that...I just want you to wake up ok?”

She leaned down and kissed Eve’s forehead, most of the machine’s gone now. She stroked her cheek lovingly and then put the picture on Eve’s nightstand before leaving the room.
She felt so heavy hearted seeing Eve like this, she did not want to give up hope though. She could not.

The next day she had a meeting with Eve’s Doctors and wrote everything down thy suggested she pack. Like proper pj’s, some body lotion. They suggested reading from Books Eve liked and it felt so surreal, preparing for the possibility of Eve staying in that room for a long time. She was told about the manual training Eve would receive to stop some of the muscle deterioration.

Soon Oksana settled into a routine, she went on her 4 am run with the boys, had a shower and breakfast, went to Eve to say good morning, went to the classes she taught, had lunch in Eve’s room, did her administrative work and paperwork, took Wolf and Shaggy for a walk before she had Dinner and went to say goodnight to Eve.

Each day she woke with the hope that it would be the day Eve woke. Each day she would go say goodnight to her, kiss her forehead and stroke her cheek, wishing her a goodnight.

Her Dad and Irina visited her at her Birthday in autumn, visiting Eve with her.

“I am very proud of you Oksana...of how you care for Eve.”

His large hand covered hers on the kitchen counter as they sat and enjoyed a whisky together, Irina outside playing with the dogs.

“I just want her to wake up Pa. It’s been months.”

He saw the anguish in her and pulled her in, hugging her to his side.

“She will Oksana. She just needs time.”

“It’s so hard thinking positive when …”

Of course he knew though, he had lost his wife in a car accident, had seen her lose her battle. Eve remembered the day in Training when she got that call.

“I thought if I just got her home all would be fine.”

“I admire you for your strength Oksana.”

She felt like crying because what strength was it really? It felt more like a stupor.

“No matter what happens, Irina and I want to come celebrate Christmas here with you.”

She felt grateful that they supported her like this.

**

“Good morning Major!”

Oksana blinked, sitting on her porch with the boys, sipping her coffee after breakfast and watching as a brunette jogged by, greeting her with a big smile. She remembered her from the vet office, she was Vet in training and had given the boys there shots.

Oksana had no time to wave back while she thought of who the woman was. She was not with Eve this morning because Eve was visited by a specialist, not to help, just to review the case.
She sighed, hating a break in her routine. Well at least she could get the little radio ready she had gotten Eve, so when she was not there she would let news play.

It was getting cold in LeJeune now and for the weekend they had predicted snow. They were taking big steps towards Christmas. Oksana was relieved her Dad and Irina would fly in, She felt so alone sometimes. She still talked regularly to Tony and Miriam from Alaska, they had called her when they heard from Eve, who people still adored and missed in Smithstown. She talked to Carolyn every week to tell her about Eve, She had formed a close bond to Elena whom she talked with all the time, quickly understanding why her and Eve had been such close friends. Elena was a firecracker.
It was the feeling of being alone in her house, in her bed. Missing someone that was there, but not really.

In the Evenings Oksana would have her last tea alone on the porch, Thinking of her days, thinking of the things she had done. Soon the Vet would stop sometimes to talk and Oksana replied friendly. Apparently the woman, Emma, was a neighbour. Shaggy loved the extra attention, Wolf stayed steadily rooted to her side, ignoring the Vet and even leaving sometimes.
Oksana was not talkative by any means but she kept it friendly.

“So do you live here all alone?”

Oksana had finished her coffee, was about to go inside, she had freed her driveway of the days snow and felt tired. Shaggy was still bringing a ball to the Vet...Emma. She kept reminding herself that was Emma.

“I...uh? No. Not really.”

“Oh really? I have never seen someone else here.”

Her jaw muscles flexed as she was dragged into a conversation she did not want to have.

“My...partner...is in the hospital.”

Emma’s eyes widened.

“I am sorry I didn’t know you lived her for so long and I never once…”

“She’s in a coma.”

Oksana watched something dawn on the Vets face. Emma, she reminded herself once more.

“Oh...Dr. Park...yes of course. Everyone has heard of that. I am sorry you guys have to go through this. It must be tough after all these months. If you ever just want to speak you know..”

She nodded dumbly, mind taken over by Eve again.

“I gotta go in. Bye.”

Oksana said stiffly and basically fled her porch, mind heavy with thoughts of Eve. Inside she had not even started festive decorations like all the other houses in the street that screamed merry christmas in your face. Her neighbour Rob, a Lance Corporal with children, even had one of these light up Snowmans in his front garden. She frowned at it every time she went by.

How had this year passed so fast? It felt like it had just been...then she remembered her last Christmas. The one she had fucked up by staying in LeJeune instead of seeing Eve in Alaska. She felt a headache coming and took tylenol before heading to bed early.

“Hey Evie, it snowed again last night. Wolf loves it, you know how he prefers the winters. I slipped jogging this morning on Robs driveway. I mean seriously he cares more about Christmas decorations than actually putting some salt on the damn walkway. I know I am being a grump but seriously, then as I tried getting up, Shaggy thought we were playing and bowled me back over. That Vet saw of course, came out of her house to help me up. Made me feel like a fool. My right butt cheek is black. Troops are in winter break so all I do is sit, well trying to sit I reckon with the black buttcheek. You’d have a good laugh at me.”

Oksana said to Eve as she watered the plants that had amassed in the room. Everytime friends or her family had visited they had added something. She had just gotten Eve a poinsettia and a little LED Christmas tree that wasn’t too gaudy. She switched it on too and then went to Eve to lotion her skin and then brush her hair, something she had taken up as her tasks.

“Your hair has nicely grown back. The scar is invisible. I don’t think an undercut works for you.”

She joked, laughing at it alone and sobering up quickly.

“Dad and Irina will be here tonight. It’s Christmas Eve….you know. And I miss you more than ever.”

She felt the well of tears and cursed at herself.

“I brought you new Pj’s. Like the once I had in Alaska. You nicked them sometimes. The nurse said they will put you in them. I don’t really trust myself doing that yet.”

She got the wash cloth and wet it in the bowl of warm water she had prepared, slowly washing Eve’s face, then putting lip balm on her lips.

“You lost a lot of weight and muscles even though they are trying. So I had to get you knew clothes. A news station has asked if I wanted to comment on your status. Just imagine they want to know...idiots.”

A deep breath and Oksana leaned down to Eve. back of her fingers softly stroking Eve’s cheek.

“We will visit you everyday Evie.”

She said and kissed Eve’s cheek. Then she heard music from outside the window, the Marine carolers. She stepped up to the window and saw they had stopped in front of the side of the building to bring some festive mood to the poor souls still in the Hospital.
She Checked if Eve was properly covered and then opened the window, allowing the festive tunes in. After three songs, the singers moved on further down and Oksana closed the window again.

“I will switch on the radio. Maybe I can find a station with Christmas songs.”

One last kiss to Eve’s forehead, a prayer to whoever listened to make her wake up and then she left, trying to be brave for Eve.

**

“Can you turn on the Radio? Station is already on? Dad how is the roast?”

She yelled to the kitchen.

“Looking good Oksana. No TV?”

She thanked Irina as the music filled the room.

“I have ...it on the same station that is on in Eve’s room.”

Her father nodded in understanding, his daughter looking sad again. After dinner they sat on the couch, in front of the fire, Irina reading and her and her father having coffee and listening to the radio. The Radio started playing Armed forces favorites, greeting all the troops stationed abroad with Bob and Dolores’ Hopes ~ I’ll be home for Christmas.

Oksana herself had spend a christmas stationed in the middle east, sitting in the mess eating turkey and solemnly listening to this tune. Now she did not think of home. She thought of Eve, in her hospital bed on Christmas. A tear rolled down her cheek as Dolores’ voice softly sung:

“Christmas Eve will find me
With a love like me
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams”

Her father pulled her into him, holding her tight against him and letting her cry her tears. He dropped a kiss on the top of her crown as she tried to wipe the tears.

“I’ll let the dogs out…I need some air.”

He watched broken hearted as Oksana pulled on a scarf and head and stepped out the back with the dogs. His daughter tried to be so strong but he saw how she ached and each time he saw her again it seemed worse.

He went and poured them another cup when Oksana’s phone rang. He looked out and saw she had stepped deeper into the woods behind her house and sighed, picking up the land line.

“Major Astankova’s Home, General Vasilliev on the Phone.”

“Sir! This is Doctor Everett from the Naval Hospital, Sir. Tell Major Astankova she needs to come immediately, Dr. Park woke up!”

He almost dropped the phone, a strange feeling in him, like it wasn’t real.
He went to the porch and saw her Just come back out of the woods.
Was it a christmas miracle? He swore if this was a sick joke he would carry whoever thought this was funny to the brick himself.

As his child was almost back at the porch, he saw she had fresh tear streaks on her cheeks, staring at her.

“Oksana...do you know a Dr. Everett?”

She nodded, wiping her cheeks.

“Yea he is once of the doctors in the neurological wing where Eve is. Why?”

He grabbed both her shoulders.

“He called...they said...they said Eve woke. I thought it was a bad joke…”

Everything was a blur from then on. She fell into her father's arms sobbing and then they got dressed hurrying to the hospital. She was in a funk, everything happened but nothing registered as her heart hammered in her chest.
When they entered the private wing the nurses where in a state, hurrying back and forth, one was smiling at her widely, stopping them.

“The Doctor is still with her. She...when Mary walked in to get her bedready she opened her eyes. Wait here ok and Dr. Everett should be out soon.”

“Oksana...sit..”

Her father sat and she went down slowly, white as a sheet.

They were not joking. Eve had woken. She was finally awake.

They waited and minutes seemed to stretch into eternity until Everett finally stepped back out, all three Standing abruptly. He made a calming motion.

“She is very groggy and confused, she can’t move about much with the muscle deterioration, so don’t worry about that. For now we will just monitor her and tomorrow we will do all our testing. Let’s go in.”

They followed him inside and Eve had been out upright, eyes closed again and Oksana had that pang of fear.

“Dr. Park...you have visitors.”

She opened her eyes, blinking tiredly and then looking confused, staring really at Oksana, then noticing the other two and helplessly looking at Everett.

“Eve...do you recognize her?”

Everett had picked up on the confusion and pointed to Oksana.The floor was pulled from under oksana, she felt her limbs tingle from breathing too harshly.

“Her...yes, she’s my grumpy neighbour. What the hell happened to me?!”

Chapter Text

They stared at each other for long moments and Oksana felt like her whole world had been taken and put upside down.
It felt like a white hot knife had been pushed into her and twisted, the happiness of Eve awake suddenly dampened.
Oksana blinked, not wanting Eve to see tears because right now this was not about her. It was about Eve.

“Excuse me for a second…”

Oksana mumbled and before her father could stop her, she had stepped out.
He smiled friendly at Eve who had stared after Oksana, Irina next to him staring at her feet.

“Would you step out for another minute or so General? I need to do some more testing.”

Konstantin nodded, leading Irina out.

Oksana was pacing the hallway like a lion caged, rubbing her forehead tiredly. Her father imply stepped up to her and engulfed her in a hug.

“She is awake. Everything else doesn’t matter right now.”

“Pa! She...she doesn’t remember me, us. Anything.”

He stroked her back soothingly.

“She just woke from a month long coma. She had a bullet in her head Oksana.”

She let herself lean in and hugged her father back.

“It’s just...in my head I thought when she woke we could finally just go on living.”

“Focus on her being alive. On getting her better.”

Her father was right of course. It just broke her heart because she had always dreamed of Eve smiling at her and them finally being happy once she woke.
Doctor Everett emerged from the room, looking understanding.

“We had feared some form of damage from the bullet and the trauma it caused. Dr. Park had a slight panic attack and I gave her something to sleep. I think we are looking at traumatic amnesia which usually is overcome. Dr. Park just needs time to remember. Now, there are a lot of things we need to speak about so we will start tests after the holidays when all the specialists are back. Until then we will focus on her muscles. She won't be able to eat much, she won't be able to sit long nor does she have the muscle right now to walk or move her arms properly. We tackle that straight away but she will need extensive physio.”

Oksana took it all in and nodded.

“When can I visit tomorrow?”

“Make it after breakfast Major.”

After they made it back home, Oksana poured herself a big whiskey, gulping half down straight away. Irina and Konstantin were talking and after they were done her sister hugged her tightly and went to bed.

“Oksana...I know you usually get up at 4. But you will need rest. I want you to sleep in. Let me and Irina take care of breakfast. Just get your rest in.”

She did just that, after letting her father finish the other half of her whisky. She knew her sleep would be fitful so the few hours extra helped. Oksana woke to the smell of Cinnamon rolls and coffee and the thought of breakfast made her belly grumble. She showered swiftly and then packed a bag of Eve’s clothing, which would hang on her but she needed something real now. She noted down that she needed to get Eve training clothing. With a bag ready, present also in there, she went down, putting the back in the hallway and greeting ehr family and dogs. They hugged and exchanged Christmas gifts. Breakfast was had together before Konstantin said he and irina would take care of lunch and she could go and be with Eve.

Oksana was nervous because she had no idea if Eve wanted to see her. She remembered her as the grumpy neighbour after all.

She went to the hospital hoping she believed she just needed to be herself. Eve had liked her after all. She met with the head nurse first who told her Eve had woken and been washed, Everett would come in too but for now it was just her and Eve. It seemed like she had stood in front of the door, unable to go in for a long time until she finally dared knock, waiting until she heard a come in.

Slowly Oksana stepped in, straightening her shoulders and trying to...well look confident. She walked around the corner and then tried to muster a brave smile.

“Good morning Eve. Merry Christmas.”

She said and Eve stared at her curiously.

“Good morning...Oksana right? Merry Christmas.”
The reality hit her and she sunk down on the chair, jumping back up as she had sat on her bruised rear.

“Are...you ok?”

“Yea..no...kinda slipped and fell two days ago. Rear end is the color of the night sky. Ah...sorry over sharing.”

Shit she was nervous and it showed. Eve seemed absolutely bewildered.

“I brought...you some of your things. They’ll be a bit loose. I will get you some training clothes for physio too, so if you have any preference color wise or something.”

She unpacked the bag into Eve’s dresser that only held pajamas as of now and then reach the simple wrapped present. She felt Eve’s eyes on her and knew there was a million questions in her head.

“I got your something for Christmas.”

She said and put the little box in front of Eve on her little tray desk .

Eve had been propped up in bed, table of the night table over her lap, the other woman was staring at the parcel.

“They said I need to remember myself. That no one should jog my memory but...I am really confused about all of this. About…”

“Us?”

Oksana said, rubbing her neck.

“I would be too I guess. What is the last you remember?”

Eve worried her lip as she thought back, frowning.

“You woke me in my car after a home birth. I was over tired. You drove me home.”

Oksana nodded and sat, slowly this time, wincing a little.

“I told Shaggy to stay with you. I still can’t believe you thought that was a good idea. Did you know Bears open doors?”

“They do?”
“Yeap, learned to do so since there is always food left in cars.”

“Oh.”

Silence fell over them and Eve stared at the present, her arms very slowly trying to move where it was.

“They said you need a lot of training. They tried to do daily movement to keep your muscles going but I don’t think it did much.”

Eve finally reached the wrapped little box and slowly opened the paper. Her eyes widened as she saw the box was from a jewelry store.

“I saw it and had to think of you.”

Blushing heavily Oksana watched as Eve opened the lit, revealing a Aesculap pendant made from silver with the fitting chain.

“Oh, Oksana it’s beautiful. Thank you!”

“Here let me…”

With nimble Fingers Oksana fastened the chain around Eve’s neck.

“There you go.”

She smiled and Eve smiled back a little and it was a good start.

“I don’t understand how...how I got into a military Hospital. How I...we ended up, well wherever we were apparently and I don't understand how to react and behave around you.”

Eve mumbled, staring at her hands in her lap.

Oksana, scratching her forehead, paced a little, looking at the plants to busy herself, then turned after she decided what to say.

“Eve...believe me, I would love to just blurt it all out and explain, but that won’t help you and all I want is for you to gain your memory back properly. All I ...I am here for you. No matter what or I will leave. However you need me Eve.”

She saw tears in Eve’s eyes and went to her side, reaching out her hand, just so eve could grab it, and she did, weakly.

“Everything will be fine Eve. All I care about is you woke up again. Now...how about we ask the nurse to get you dressed and I’ll take you out, get you some of that fresh air outside?”

**

They asked her what it was like, being comatose. They asked questions like: where you conscious, did you hear things? Feel them? And Eve had no idea how to answer about something she could not put into words. She had been something else than sleeping she knew that. But she could not grasp the state, nor the words for it. It felt like she remembered voices and someone speaking, music sometimes. But it was only a feeling, no hard memory.
When she woke that morning she had known she had been asleep all night, had been able to understand she had dreamed, even tho the snippets she had dreamed off, had not made sense.

She had laid in bed, eyes closed and had taken this feeling in. Her body was weak, she could move but only struggling and every move tired her out. So she had just laid in that hospital bed and listened to the world around her. At least the room that had been her world for months apparently. Sometimes her eyes would open and she would take it in, all the plants in the room, the little LED Christmas tree, a radio on a desk with a chair, books on that desk too.

When the door opened Eve felt she did not want to start the day, keeping her eyes firmly closed.

’That Poor Major. I saw her last night in the hallway. She was holding back tears. It must be so taxing for her.’

’We don’t have many officers like her any longer. What a hero really. Comes here three times a day for months. Who does that?’

’Well I certainly would not say no to that.’

Eve blushed in her fake sleep and pretended to slowly wake, needing this conversation about her neighbour to end. She remembered when she had first seen her, as she had asked for a ladder, remembering that she had thought how beautiful that woman was. She could picture Oksana as a grumpy hunter, but as a marine?

The morning had been stressful and Eve was relieved that there was no one visiting yet, As the nurses tried to explain bladder training to her, Eve had smiled graciously and explained she did remember that. Not adding that even though she had been comatose, did not mean she was not a Doctor any longer. Breakfast was something very light and a small portion, she would slowly be led back to eating solids. The worst part was being helped with breakfast by the nurse that had spoken about Oksana as if she was some prized mare.

“Thats a beautiful necklace.”

The nurse that helped her into her outside clothing said as she pulled Eve’s arms through a warm pullover she practically swam in.

“Thank you. It was a gift…”

She looked down at herself trying to remember the pullower she wore, dark bluish with a golden M on it. There was a tingling memory in the back of her head and she tried to grasp it and hold on to it. It was like smoke slipping through her fingers and traveling on as she was rooted to the spot, desperately reaching. Eve closed her eyes and there was the smell of coffee and bacon, the feeling of contentedness, being held. She let go of it, heart having done a little jump in her chest, cheeks blushing.

“Hey I am back. Got you a hat and scarf. Sorry for not thinking of that.”

Oksana said from the doorway. She was so changed from what she remembered. She talked as she waltzed in, smiling and holding up the hat and scarf she remembered owning. She was already in the wheelchair and Oksana grabbed a blanket and tugged it around, that smile of her so infectious. Hat and scarf were quickly put on and Oksana grinned.

“There’s a little surprise waiting outside.”

She whispered and winked before taking the wheelchair over and pushing her out of her room.
They past military personal in Uniforms and without, other patients and nurses. It seemed so calm though. Eve let it all pass and as they stepped out she almost choked on the crisp winter air, eyes going wide at all the snow.

“Breath slowly it’s pretty cold.”

Oksana advised and pushed the chair, Eve taking all in. Once they made it from the entrance and around the building, they faced a large white field.
On it stood the man and redhead young woman from the night before and something that made her heart beat faster in joy. The grey shaggy dog from Alaska. She felt tears because she did remember something, grinning from ear to ear and feeling the motion hurt her cheeks.
The dog meanwhile saw her, pulling on the leash, jumping, tail wagging and then rolling in the snow from sheer happiness. The older man held the wolf hybrid, who did wag his tail but he looked stoically calm.
Oksana, parked the wheelchair and then went to get the dogs.They were so well behaved, even though Shaggy was almost exploding with happy energy. Oksana cautioned him though and led him slowly towards Eve, who wished she could properly move to hug and pet.

“Eve, you already know Shaggy.”

Slowly Shaggy approached her, , laying his head on her lap and whining. Her hand pushed from under the blanket, slowly moving so she could pet him. Oksana called him back after a while.

“And this would be Wolf.”

The large wolf looking animal sat regally at Oksana’s side, waiting for the allowance. Eve frowned.

“You aren’t really good with the name thing…”

“They just have to listen.”

A pang of deja Vu, her on her porch, Oksana in her driveway with Wolf. It was gone in a second. Wolf regarded her and then pressed his snout into her hand, then his cold nose nuzzled under her ear and she squeaked and laughed as she felt him breathe her on, tail wagging harder.

The other two people walked with them and she learned the older gent was Oksana’s father and the girl her sister. Everywhere they went people stopped to wish a Merry Christmas, expressing they were happy to see Eve awake. She knew no one but apparently she was known.

“Oksana...how do they all know me?”

She asked as Oksana lifted her easily back into the hospital bed, Eve not surprised she was so strong.

“The way you ended up in Coma...You’ll remember at some point. I know you can’t eat much yet but we would really like to have Christmas dinner here with you tonight?”

“Oksana...please don’t let me ruin your…”

“You don’t ruin it. You make it better. But if you want to be alone…”

Eve knew whatever she said, Oksana would do. She would not force herself on her.

“I would like company.”

“Good. We’ll bring Dinner for you. Dad makes an amazing roast.”

She watched the other woman put away the jacket and hat. There was such a familiarity in all she did.

“Thank you for everything Oksana.”

“You don’t ever have to thank me Eve. What I do, I do because I Lo…”

Oksana stopped herself and clamped her lips shut and they stared at each other, the moment broken by a nurse coming in to help Eve with going to the bathroom and then taking her to physio.

Chapter Text

Christmas Evening, with a lot of tupper boxes and a bit of help from an MP guy Oksana was friends with, they actually got a fake tree into Eve’s room. Oksana had gone in alone first as her father gave the staff a cake to share for christmas as thanks.

The room was dimmed as Oksana slowly creeped in, stepping up to the bed and seeing Eve laid there asleep. Her heart stopped each time she saw her like this, fear bubbling up in her.

“Eve?”

She asked softly, heart starting to beat faster as she kept telling herself: it’s fine, she was awake.

The other woman slowly, groaning and blinking her eyes open.

“Hey there…”

“Hey...you ok? You look like you’ve seen a ghost?”

Oksana shrugged helplessly.

“It’s fine. I just thought for a second… that you…”

Eve nodded, understanding suddenly. Oksana propped her bed up and then switched on the light.

“Ok Eve close your eyes.”

Laughing Eve did as she was asked and heard many feet shuffling, cutlery rattling. After what seemed like minutes Oksana wold her to open her eyes, and there Oksana and her family stood, in ugly sweaters, a tree even in the room, Santa hats on and beaming.

“Merry Christmas!”

They said together and Eve smiled widely.

Oksana pulled her table up over her lap and then placed a plate there. It was not too much food, nodded off by the nurses, a bit of meat already cut up, some sides and a small rosemary potato. In a plastic cup was a red fluid.

“No wine. It’s cherry juice.”

Oksana explained. Next they carried the table to the bed, putting it against the side and thus able to sit with Eve. That someone would go to such lengths for her warmed her heart and made her feel very happy.
After her swimming physio she had been left weak and tired. Barely made it through talks with Everett before she had fallen deeply asleep. The aches in her body were forgotten as she ate with these people that she barely knew, treating her like family.

“It’s so good Konstantin!”

Eve gushed. She needed time to eat and drink and felt this way she at least savored the food she was given. And Konstantin’s cooking was amazing.

“Thank you Eve. The girls of course helped.”

After she had finished her plate, feeling full to burst, Oksana whipped out cards and they played a few rounds as they listening to Christmas music on the radio.
As it turned 9 Eve was barely awake and they cleaned up and then said their goodnights.

“See you tomorrow?”

Eve asked and Oksana nodded.

“Sleep tight Eve.”

**

"How is she?"

Carolyn Martens clipped question could not hide her relief.

"Getting better everyday."

Oksana answered happily.

"When can you come and see her?"

"I'll check my calendar but I will mail you. Elena is beyond ecstatic besides being heartbroken that she can't travel due to her pregnancy."

While they spoke, Oksana was packing more things for Eve. She had gotten some proper training clothing, body wash and so on.

"I know I got Eve a tablet so they can Video call."

The Christmas holiday shad been good, Oksana still so mesmerized at their own little Christmas miracle.

“If you send your contact she can Video call with you too.”

“I will major. Now I have to go but tell her I said hi.”

Her father and Irina had gone up to see New York for a few days until New Year which they would spend with her again. She would talk to the Dr. to actually be allowed to take Eve home at least for New Years, test how Eve would do at home. She was on no machines any longer and all she was in the hospital for was because of her physio and trying to get her muscles back and working. They said it would take it’s time, it was a gradual process especially with fine motorics.

As she stepped out onto her driveway, and up to her SUV she heard someone on the sidewalk walking towards her. She put the duffel in the trunk and as she closed it found Emma, coming close.

“Hey Major! Merry Christmas!”

She said and grinned.

“Oh hey...yea Merry Christmas.”

“Is it true that your partner woke up?`”

She nodded, hands shoving into her jeans pockets.

“Yea on Christmas Eve.”

She felt so awkward like this. She just wanted to go to the hospital, spend time with Eve. But She did not want to be rude, Emma had never been to her.

“Oh god you must be ecstatic.”

Oksana did not want to share her overwhelming emotions with anyone. They were hers and Eve’s if anyone at all.

“Yea...relieved really.”

“Well i hope to meet your partner soon, have a good one Major.”

And she left Oksana staring after her. What a bubbly being that woman was.

**

“Hey Eve.”

She said as she walked into the room, finding Eve just over lunch. That morning she had an early physio and Oksana knew she had a little nap after. Eve smiled and as usual Oksana put her things in her dresser.

“I got you a tablet set up so you can talk to your friends in London. Carolyn wants to visit soon. Elena would love to but she can’t she told me she would tell you why though.”

Eve watched as Oksana put the table on her night table and then pulled the chair in.

“How are you Oksana?”

The question stopped her short, bobbing back and forth on her feet, hands deep in her pockets again. She wore washed out jeans and a wider jumper, just wanting to be comfy. Eve noted how she looked. The faded jeans certainly suited Oksana and she felt anything the woman wore fit her in a way, Eve had never made clothing fit.

“I mean good, I guess.”

Being asked how she was doing was, well people had usually asked for Eve. Oksana never stopped to wonder how she felt.

“Tell me about yourself. It feels like you know everything about me but...I know nothing about you. Have I said this before?”

Oksana watched her look in confusion.

“I get deja vu’s sometimes when i say something.”

The Blonde nodded.

“You did.”

Finally Oksana sat down.

“There isn’t much to tell.”

“Yes there is because apparently you're not a hunter in Alaska as I thought.”

And then Oksana saw that someone had pulled out the picture of her and Eve from the night table, where she had put it to make way for the plants.

She grabbed it and looked at it, smiling softly.

“When was that?”

“Marine birthday Ball last year.”

Eve had accepted by now that she would often only get short and not full answers, as Oksana was committed to Dr. orders.

“I am a Major in the US Marine Corps. I used to be a more in Action Operative for Force Recon. But lived mostly in Alaska working for the state by hunting Poachers. Nowadays I train new operatives. That’s what brought me here to Lejeune.”

They sat in silence as Eve finished her jello.

“You would think they would actually stop and think of giving me jello with my muscles shaking from exertion.”

Eve frowned trying to keep the jiggly stuff on her spoon.

“Eve I wanna see if I can take you home at least for New Years.”

Oksana said, then helped with the last jello, knowing Eve hated being fed but she was getting tired out from all the moving.

“Home?”

“Oh...well yea my House.”

She saw Oksana slump as she realized what she had just insinuated to the other woman, who had been nothing but good to her.

“It’s not how I meant..”

“No I get it...you don’t...I forget sometimes... Your things are all there.”

It must be so hard for Oksana, Eve realized. They had been a couple and Eve sat here trying to remember how she even ended up bisexual. Not that she couldn’t imagine falling for the other woman. She was beautiful really and Eve felt a memory inside herself of the feelings. A recognition as soon as Oksana came close or spoke. Familiarity, security and warmth.

“I would love that really. Will your father and Irina be there too?”

Oksana nodded, putting their picture back in the nightstand.

“Light dinner, some movies. The next morning is the Mess party. We all have breakfast together in the main mess. It’s for those having stayed behind. They asked if we would be there but I was not sure if you would be comfy with that.”

Eve nodded gratefully.

“Let’s agree to: depends on how I feel? I have been doing a lot of the water physio and they cautioned me about muscle aches.”

Oksana breamed at her and nodded.

“It will just be great to have you hom...with us.”

**

“Shaggy! Stop! For god sakes calm down!”

She heard Eve laugh and wanted to laugh too but that would not help with Shaggy who was, ball of energy like, jumping up and down against her trying to get to Eve who was still inside the car. Konstantin had pity on them and called Shaggy, the dog slinking away tail between his legs.

“Aww...now he is sad!”

Eve proclaimed but Oksana rolled her eyes.

“He will be happy again once you are inside but I just have to get you in safely and he wasn't helping.”

“Shush I know.”

Eve said and smiled at ever worried Oksana. She held her arms out and the blonde scooped her up, Eve’s arms around her neck. The house was warm and simply decorated.

“Not much in here I never really got around to it.”

“It’s fine.”

“Irina can you please take the coffee’s off the couch table, the dogs will wag up a storm as soon as I sit Eve down.”

“Will do. Hi Eve.”

Eve grinned back at Irina. As Oksana had predicted, as soon as she had put down Eve on the couch, shaggy had done what he was usually forbidden to do and jumped up, head in Eve’s lap straight away.

“Seriously now Shaggy? Since when are you allowed on the couch? Down!”

But not only the wolfhound looked at her with puppy eyes but Eve too so she left it and sighed.

“Oh fine...I’ll get your stuff…”

“Softy…”

Irina said to her as she passed her on the way out, laughing at her older sisters defeated shrug.

Oksana knew she was a big fat softy where Eve was concerned and she did not even try.
She got the wheelchair in, keeping it folded up in the hallway. She wanted to take a walk with Eve later to get her, her daily dose of fresh air.
When she made it back in, she stood in the doorway gazing into the living room. There was suddenly life in her home.
Eve and Irina were talking, some of Irina’s book between them like in the past, Konstantin watched TV, Wolf diligently at his side, Shaggy had moved off the couch, sitting in front of Eve, head in her lap and being pet.

After letting everyone just settle, Oksana showed Eve the house, carrying her through the rooms.

“Ok this is your room, it has a bathroom attached.”

Next was the office, then the kitchen, dining room.

“Okay hold on little monkey.”

Oksana joked, changing the hold on Eve so she was holding her like you would a little kid, Eve pressed against her front, legs around her middle arms over Oksana’s shoulders, the more secure way to carry her up the stairs, Eve giggling as she thought of the way they must be looking.

“Oksana...can I try walking. I you help me?”

She had been shown how the nurses would let her take some steps to get her muscles back up and nodded, repeating what she had been shown. Eve did well, needing breaks and to be helped but she felt good walking on her own.

“You are doing good Eve.”

“It just tires me so.”

“They told me to make sure you take magnesium supplements should you get any muscle spasms. Now...I don't want you to overdo it and fall or anything Eve.”

“I won’t. I promise.”

They went back down and Eve finished her coffee, before she let Oksana take her out for a walk.

“This is a nice neighbourhood.”

Oksana grunted. Eve chuckled.

“I can just imagine all American you, mowing your lawn, greeting your BBQ’ing neighbours.”

“It’s...okay. Not what I usually prefer. Now if Rob would salt his damn sidewalk.”

They strolled and Eve looked around, greeted neighbours and so on, kids played in the snow. It was just a normal day. Nothing screamed military.
The fresh, crisp air felt great and once they returned they found a simple lunch had been prepared by Konstantin and Irina, Sandwiches and soup.

After that, Oksana helped Eve to bed, letting her change herself and then rolling her eyes at the whining from the hallway, opening the door and revealing Shaggy. The large dog thought if he robbed into the room, Oksana would not notice.

“Oh seriously…”

“Come here boy.”

Eve said and with a jump the large god laid nestled against Eve.

“Right that’s how we always sleep when your mummy isn’t home!”

Eve said to the dog, cuddling him in, then her eyes going wide as she realized that memory had just come to her.

“Oh so now this makes more sense. You did spoil him.”

Oksana said and laughed, realizing Eve just had had a memory.

“Get some rest Eve. And remember Everett said not to force a memory.”

**

"10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1….Happy new Year!"

They cheered, watching the ball drop in new York and enjoying a large snack spread, playing cards.

Eve liked the calmness of it instead of the big parties that were had in Europe.

They hugged and exchanged well wishes and when it was Oksana.'s turn she held Eve as tightly as she dared.

"I am really happy you woke up."

She heard her whisper and in that short moment, in these few words laid all the pain and happiness combined. Oksana had gone through things others would not have done just to be at her side.

Chapter Text

When Eve woke she felt disoriented. She slowly gathered her wits and felt a warm fluffy thing she had cuddled into, smiling at the way Shaggy kept so close to her. She had figured they must have been close in the past from the memory she had had. While Wolf liked her clearly and had been happy to see her again, he orbited around Oksana and her father, shaggy on the other hand was always close to her. She remembered how he had shown up on her porch.

“Well Mr Masters stone was supposed to attract good spirit’s mhh?”

Shaggy stretched and then buried back into her and she smiled.

“I feel like I shouldn’t always be tired. After all I slept for months.”

Rubbing his neck, she tried to rouse him, her hand carding through his fur and fingertips catching on something.

“What’s that boy huh?”

No reaction, of course not, she would look at it closely in the light later.

She sat up slowly, cursing her weak muscles and staring at the night table clock.
Just before 7. Sitting alone took strength of her, she waited a bit and watched Shaggy get off the bed, sitting next to her. By using furniture to hold on, she made it through the bathroom.
Oksana had placed a shower chair in the shower for her, another chair in front of the sink so she could sit if needed.

She had not showered since she woke, the nurses always washing her. Taking her top off she suddenly startled, eyes going wide and hand going to her side. Her usually unmarred skin held a scar. Her breathing hitched and suddenly she heard noises around her, yelling, shooting. It smelled like dry sand and blood, she heard bullets hit things.

Her hands clutched the sink as the memories washed over her, brutally raw and unfiltered. She looked down on herself and saw her clothing being soaked red.

“Eve? Are you in the bathroom?”

She stared, mouth open, breathing heavily. Slowly the sounds of fighting faded.

“Eve?!”

“I...I am fine…”

She stuttered weakly.

“Do you need help?”

“No...no I’ll…just take a shower.”

She emerged minutes later, wrapped in a fluffy robe. When Shaggy saw her he left through the open door and seconds later Oksana peaked in.

“Hey you alright?”

Eve blinked, scared of the memory she had had, scared that it would return.

“Oksana...I have a scar.”

The blonde blinked then nodded and went inside the room.

“Eve…”

“Was I shot? It looks like a shot wound.”

“Yes. Look, there will be specialists here with you tomorrow. I am scared to tell you too much and hurt you or your healing in the process.”

Oksana explained.

“I know it must be so frustrating for you.”

Eve understood and she had that deep rooted need to just get out of this and forget.

“Can we go to the mess breakfast?”

She asked.

“Are you sure you are up for it?”

“Yes.”

She got dressed then, meeting the rest of the family once she had wrangled herself into her things. Oksana stopped her in the hallway and readjusted her button down, making sure the tank top underneath was properly tugged. The familiarity of the touch was such a strange feeling.

“I want to walk.”

Oksana shook her head.

“The mess is too large Eve.”

“I feel like a cripple.”

Her head dropped onto Oksana’s shoulder, who was still standing close after helping her with her clothing.

“You're Not. You are someone that has gone through a lot and fought to make it out alive. You should be proud of yourself Eve. No one here on this base would ever see anything else but a hero in you.”

Oksana rubbed her back softly.

The mess was indeed large and there were many of the staff in Uniforms, some not.
Nobody stared at her. Eve felt relieved.

“Oh hi you must be the Majors Partner!”

Eve turned her head to look at the Blonde with the ponytail that had walked up to the table, holding out her hand for Eve. Irina had frowned too but eve took the hand and shook.

“I am Emma! I am the Majors dogs Vet.”

“Oh..hi.”

“It’s so good to see you up and about.”

Irina was making faces behind Emma and Eve was just confused about what was going on.

“Uhm...hi. Eve I got you the mushrooms too and toast.”

Putting the plate down for Eve, Oksana looked at Emma.

“Hi Major! It’s good to see you guys here. Oh and don’t forget the dogs check up this month.”

The woman left again and Irina rolled her eyes.

“She’s...the Vet.”

Oksana said, looking after her and then solely concentrating on Eve again.

“There is New years cake, I’ll get some and you can have a few bites.”

**

“Hey Dr. Park. I am here to pick you up for a bit of a stroll.”

The young nurse said and Eve smiled sitting at her desk and trying to write a bit. After News Years Oksana had to get back to work and Eve kind of missed all the time they had spent together. She missed the boys too but the Doctors had wanted her to stay in hospital for a bit longer for assessment.

“You must be happy to be out of here soon.”

“I just wish i would remember more.”

She sat in her wheelchair and sighed. She was making progress in her physio but long walks were out of the question still. But she would get there, Eve worked hard. She could even eat more now.

“Don’t push yourself Dr. Park.”

It had been 2 weeks since New Years and she simply wanted to be allowed out of the hospital. Her psychologist had asked her if she felt she wanted to have her own place while she tried to regain her memory and something inside of her had balked immediately at the thought of not staying with Oksana. She had said she had her own room and bathroom at home and that oksana was very diligent in not giving away memories, letting her experience her themselves and that must have been enough since it was not suggested again she get a room in the visitors boarding.

They walked and took a different Route than she usually took, they went straight into the heart of the base. Recruits in Base training jogged possed them. They passed Schooling rooms and barracks.

“That building is where Major Astankovas office is.”

A red brick building, white trims. Standard office building.

They went further and could hear yelling. Below the sideway down a hill with stands to sit on, was a Training court.

“Oh...like in Pendleton..”

She muttered.

“Have you been Dr.?”

“I thi...yes. I was. We went to the Birthday Ball. Oksana...I think she trained there with her Team. Yes I remember watching them.”

“Good. She is down there, see?”

The nurse was right, there was Oksana in a green Combat Uniform, hat on, yelling at passing recruits with a clipboard in her hand. She did not notice them as she went to another group doing the same set of exercises. She seemed to check their times and nod. Then she turned back to the first group watching sharply. Something made her look up and she saw them watching.

 

“That her Major?”

“Yes.”

“She getting to leave the hospital soon?”

“Jordan if I see you drop the mag one more time you will give me 50!...we hope. We just need to set up someone to get her to the physio and then bring her home.”

Oksana answered her Gunny.

Behind her another from her team yelled ‘DONE’ and Oksana sighed.

“Gunny...would you show Team A how to complete the challenge like a marine? They are excused as soon as their time is right. Team B hit the showers and Mess.”

“Yes, Major!”

“Sarge I’ll be right back!”

She ran up the hill and then smiled at Eve.

“Hey you!”

Eve smiled at her pointing down.

“We did not want to disturb.”

“You aren’t. Just lost a bet with the Sarge. Owe him a Beer.”

Oksana said and grinned and the boyish look on her made Eve chuckle.

“I remembered something.”

“Really? That’s great, tell me.”

“I remembered Pendleton. You training with your team.”

Oksana categorized that as a good memory. She had spoken to specialists, talking about getting Eve home and they had given her hints about how to deal with the rougher part of her memories, namely the time in Yemen.
Oksana grabbed her hand and squeezed it and even rubbed her thumb over the back, turning it to get a look at it as she had felt the puckering of skin. A sca, going over the back of it. Oksana sitting on her porch with a bandage on her hand, the bandage blood speckled and dirty.

“You got caught on a stone you said, sliding down a hill.”

“Yes.”

“It’s how I found out you are in the military right? I saw the scar. I remember looking at news.”

“That’s how it happened, yes.”

She crouched next to Eve.

“You patched me up. As always. Now I need to go down and kick some rear.”

**

“Come on Henry. Got to celebrate a bit tonight.”

“How come O?”

The Sarge asked, grabbing the pitcher of beer and following the Major to their booth.

“Eve is coming home. Got the go today after they realized she actually regains memory around me.”

“That shrink still riding your ass about the living situation?”

Oksana poured the Beers.
“He knows the file. We were broken up. We were trying to reconcile but basically we…”

“You scared he’ll tell her O?”

Manny Santana her Gunny asked, pulling one of the beers close.

“No he won’t. I am scared cause at some point she might remember that first. What if instead of remembering that we were trying to work it out, she only remembers the reasons...you know how I fucked up.”

She said and shrugged, sipping at the cold beer.

“It ain’t like you been cheatin’ on her. You had a lot on your plate coming here.”

Still, Oksana was scared of the bad part of the memories. The break up, Yemen.

“It’ll be tough once she remembers Yemen.”

“We’re here for you guys O.”

“Thanks.”

She knew she could count on her men. Carolyn would visit in a few weeks, Eve and Elena were video calling each night and she also still had regular contact to Elena.

“I’ll ask her about having a little evening get together.”

“Man O, I wish I was a hit with the ladies like you. That blonde bird’s been eyeballin’ you for a few minutes.”

Manny said and whistled. Oksana turned and saw Emma.

“Oh...she’s a junior Vet. Been giving the docs their check ups. She’s just being friendly.”

“Hey Major, How are you?”

As soon as Manny and Henry had left her to sit alone Emma had walked over.

“Hey Emma. Good, good and you?”

The Beer had certainly made her uncaring for the bounciness of the woman.

“Good. I haven’t seen you here much?”
“Just been busy lately.”

“It’s good to see you out living a bit. It must be stressy to care for someone like you do. It’s so admirable.”

She blushed which was her standard at praise.

“I love her. I would do anything for Eve.”

A hand landed on hers and she looked at it confused.

“You are a really amazing woman Major.”

“I...thanks…”

**

“Salmon?”

Eve asked as she threw the tennis ball for shaggy and Wolf.

“Yeap.”

Oksana answered, checking the salmon on the BBQ. Eve very slowly ambled over.

“There is a memory but I can’t grasp it.”

“Don’t force it Eve.”

“We did this before. You made salmon. I played with the dogs. At your place in Alaska?”

Oksana just smiled and shrugged. She was about to lean in to peck Eve’s cheek but stopped herself, averting her eyes ashamed.

“Sorry.”

Eve was about to say something but instead leaned in and pecked Oksana’s cheek.

“Thank you for dinner. It smells really good.”

And she turned before she could see Oksana smile relieved.
More and more Eve’s memory came back in snippets but that mostly happened around Oksana. She realized at some point how close they must have been if her memory was so locked onto the other woman.
She had spoken to Carolyn and chatted daily with Elena. But both had not revealed anything about her past. But Elena was a big Fan of Oksana.

“She cares about you so much Eve.”

“I know. There is something inside of me whenever I look at her. I just want to know how I suddenly ended up into women.”

“Eve I rather think it’s just that woman you are into.”

Elena had chuckled.

“I dreamed of her.”

“Oh?”

“We were dancing to some song, in her living room. Like, tight dancing.”

Elena giggled.

“Oh I can see why you would dream such stuff about her. Eve...you were absolutely into her.”

“I get that. But I can’t remember.”

 

“Eve? More salad?”

She shook herself and shook her head.

“No thanks.”

Oksana chuckled and added some on her plate.

“Where were you just now?”

“Just remembering a talk I had with Elena. Oksana did we ever dance in your living room in Alaska?”

The way the other woman's cheeks blushed she guessed she had her answer.

**

“Oh hi Eve! Taking in that nice Spring sun?”

Eve was indeed on the porch, leaned back and enjoying the warmth on her skin when she had heard that voice. She had gotten used to it by now. Almost each evening when Oksana had her last tea outside she would hear it.

“Oh...hi Emma, yes.”

“How is it being back here with the Major?”

She smiled at the mention of Oksana.

“It’s good. I feel right at home.”

“Oh that is good. I was kind of wondering what it would feel like for you. I mean this is basically never been your home. It’s amazing what the Major does, even though you two had been separated. I mean I don’t know why you guys broke up but she moved here without you and I think you lived in London so you guys sticking together like this even after, is really inspiring. Well got to finish my run, say hi to the Major for me.”

Eve was left staring on the porch.

They had not been together?

She went inside shaking, feeling like her blood pressure had given out. She tried so hard to remember anything on it that she gave herself a splitting headache, feeling sick from it and crying as she went into her bed and under the covers.

Was it all a lie?

Chapter Text

It was just after 6 pm when Oksana finally parked the SUV in front of her garage, rolling her shoulders after a long afternoon in tactical talks per Video conference. She got out, grabbed the grocery’s she had gotten to make a nice dinner for Eve and her and frowned as she was not greeted by dogs at the fence. When she went inside and there was still no sign of the two idiots and the house was all silent she felt worry wash over her.

“Eve?”

She asked and went towards her room downstairs, sure enough finding the door ajar and Wolf laying in the doorway.

There was no sound from Eve besides a groan and Oksana was at her side immediately, touching her shoulder.

“Eve what's going on?”

Shaggy whined, cuddling in closer and nudging Eve’s jaw. She blinked her eyes open and closed them immediately as Oksana had switched on the light. Eve whimpered as more pain exploded behind her eyelids.

“Head?”

She barely managed a nod without puking and Oksana jumped up and into action, switching off the light first, then went to Eve’s bathroom grabbing the pills she had gotten for bouts of migraine and a glass of tap water.

“Shhhh I know...I know…”

Oksana soothed as she sat on the bed, lifting Eve’s upper body with an arm under her shoulders into a more upright position.

“Here take this.”

Eve easily swallowed the pill. The doctors had warned her of this painkiller. It would conk Eve straight out for a few hours. Eve drank some more water and then Oksana placed her back down, wiping her sweaty face with a cool washcloth before making sure she was covered well by the blankets. She let the dogs out, fed them and then allowed shaggy back with Eve before she made dinner, eating alone in the kitchen.

The whole evening she kept checking on Eve. Wiping her brow each time she did, barely sleeping herself from worry.

Once morning rolled around Oksana softly woke the other woman.

“Eve...hey, how’s the head?”

Eve blinked her eyes open slowly.

“Better.”

She croaked.

“Can you tell me what happened to cause this?”

The worry in Oksana’s voice wanted to melt her, but she remembered clearly what had been said by Emma. But then it was said by someone she never knew, so Eve was cautious. She had to talk to Elena or Carolyn. Would they have allowed Oksana to take her to Lejeune if it was true?

“Trying to remember too hard.”

She mumbled.

“Eve...I know it’s tough for you but the memories need time to come back.”

“I know.”

A hand squeezed her shoulder softly.

“I’ll make breakfast before I have to go in. Someone will pick you up for your treatments today.”

She saw Eve’s frown and sighed. SHe was probably still aching.

“Want me to cancel?”

“I shouldn’t Oksana. I’ll manage and if I feel bad I will tell them.”

Oksana nodded and then gave her privacy to go to the bathroom and shower.

 

Eve had no strength that day to stand in the shower, using the chair the hospital had provided, leaning heavily into the wall. Her mind was still sluggish from the painkiller and all she could think off anyways was the things Emma had told her. Oksana had no bad bone in her, Eve believed that thoroughly. But she was also very much in love with Eve. Would she have used this situation to gain Eve back? Elena was also friends with O, would she keep such things from her to help Oksana? Had Eve kept something from Carolyn maybe and thus the other woman had not told her anything? Nothing seemed to make sense and before she could overthink again, Eve forced herself to stop. She would talk to the other two women and find out.

“I put leftovers from last night in the fridge for you for lunch. I should be home before you today. Do you want anything special for dinner?”

Oksana asked, reaching out to grab Eve’s hand on the counter, frowning and swallowing thickly as Eve pulled her hand away.

“No...no it’s fine. I thought you wanted to go out with Henry and Manny.”

“Eve...I don’t want to be away when you are not feeling well.”

She watched the smaller woman shook her head, avoiding her eyes.

“Oksana it’s fine. I am a big girl. I don’t always need you to hover over me like this ok? You got to give me some space.”

Eve said and Oksana blanched.

“Eve...I’m just trying to be there for you.”

“You are stifling me Oksana. You’re always there...I just need some space to do things on my own.”

Eve said, feeling like shit when she saw the look on Oksana’s face.

“Oh...ok. I’m sorry ok? I didn’t want to make you feel like this. I’ll try better Eve.”

And Oksana stood, grabbing her MCCUU blouse and cover.

“Just...if anything happens you know…”

Oksana sighed.

“I’ll be out of your hair tonight then.”

And as she left Eve looked after her frowning she just had to get some distance between them to think clearly. To make sure the feelings inside of her weren’t because Oksana was the only person there for her.

**

“Come on O...stop moping.”

Henry said, bumping her shoulder.

“I dunno what brought this on so suddenly.”

She said, sipping on her third beer for the night.

“Who knows. I mean she didn’t kick ya to the curb Major. Just said she needed some time to herself. It ain’t the end of the world.”

Manny said and then they stared silently at the people in the bar.

“It just feels off and sudden. I wonder if she had a memory.”

She was grabbed by her collar and pulled.

“That’s it. Come on! It’s Saturday tomorrow lets get hammered and play some pool. I have a feeling tonight is the night I can beat yo ass.”

“You wish!”

She said, feeling up for the challenge.

It was the second game in that Emma and her friends joined them. Her friends hanging onto Manny and Henry while Oksana and Emma just made small talk. There was the wayward hand on her thigh once to which she responded by getting up and getting more drinks. Then a hand on her shoulder. She kept her distance from the Vet, they talked about the dogs, Oksana’s time in Alaska and the wildlife there.

“Ah shit it’s almost twelve. I should go home.”

O said, checking her watch.

“I didn’t drink I can drive you home?”

“Uhm…”

“My friends want to stay longer but I want to go home too.”

Oksana worried her lip and then shrugged. It would save her walking home.

“I guess yea. Thanks Emma.”

She was not drunk by any means. She was maybe tipsy and the offer of a ride home was good.

They kept talking while Emma drove. Just essentials, nothing deep.

“It was cool hanging out Oksana. I would love to hang again?”

Oksana was already looking over the house seeing if there were still lights on.

“Huh? Sure...sure. Hey Emma, thanks for giving me a ride.”

Oksana said and since she was looking at the dark house she did not see Emma lean in as she opened the door and got out, the Vet frowning at the swift out the other woman had taken.
Alcohol made Oksana sleep deeply but the next morning she was awake by 6:30 am, made breakfast and left some on the counter for Eve before going grocery shopping.

Their distance kept up for the week and Oksana was just unsure how to or if to approach Eve at all. She was timid around the other woman, feeling she had done something to push her away. Everyday she felt that ache to just be with Eve, the worry in her. She felt so alone she even accepted that Emma apparently stopped by each night to small talk. By the third evening she offered her coffee and O sat in her chair and offered the second chair as they had coffee.

Eve meanwhile was trying to make sense of herself and the strange confusing feelings inside of her. She was all over the place. When Oksana had not been home by dinner on friday not by ten, she had gone to bed worried, then reminded herself she had wanted this. She had basically ordered Oksana to stay away. And Oksana knew how to follow orders.

She had felt ashamed at the way she handled things that she had not even spoke to her friends in England. By Sunday she felt she missed the closeness she had shared with Oksana, but still she worried this was some kind of need because she felt weak. There was one benefit of Oksana giving her space, she actually had to get around the house herself. Her muscles ached but she felt the challenge and was up to it. Playtime with the dogs was what tired her out most but she felt all this moving without anyone catering to her needs was helping her build up strength again.

The most annoying thing was that grating voice every evening, greeting Oksana sugary sweet. Usually Oksana had ignored the other woman but at some point she invited her to sit on the porch and even offered coffee to the other woman.

She had no right to say anything but it annoyed her that Emma was always around.
Friday exactly one week later she finally grabbed the tablet and went to her room as Oksana stood in the kitchen, making coffee for herself and Emma. Checking the time to make sure that it would not be too early she called Carolyn. Elena she felt would only play cheerleader. Carolyn didn't do that. She spoke her mind and that was what Eve needed.

"Eve, hello! What brings the honor of this unscheduled call."

She suddenly remembered that Carolyn hated unexpected calls., shoulders sagging.

"I can't call anyone else I need your unbiased advice."

She must have looked rather pitiful and Carolyn softened a little.

"I just did not think you would call me so soon after my visit Eve. So… what's going on?"

Eve fidgeted unsure were to start but spoke when she saw Carolyn roll her eyes.

“I know no one will tell me anything as not to ruin me regaining my memory. But I have a very important question...is…is it possible that Oksana and I had not been a couple any longer?”

Carolyn leaned back in her office chair, folding her hands and raising her brow.

“May I ask how you came to that conclusion?”

“Someone told me. Said It was admirable that we stuck together like this even after separating.”

Carolyn nodded, looking suspicious.

“You were indeed. But let me say something about it. I have never seen anyone pine for the other like you two have. Your separation from Oksana was a multitude of bad timing. She took on the Job in Lejeune and apparently could not properly handle her time management. If you think you and her had a huge fallout, you are wrong Eve. On the contrary. You only left the states because Alaska did not renew your contract and your visa ended. Had you properly taken care of your papers as I had warned you to do, you, and I believe this without doubt, would have stayed with Oksana. Alas you had to return to London. I advised you here, after your successful divorce to stop running after the Major. Eve...you loved this woman. You ached and watching you with that pouty face was torture. You ended it because you felt Oksana needed to concentrate on her career. But the both of you suffered from it.”

Eve felt tears burn her eyes and wiped them angrily with the sleeve of her shirt.

“You were on the verge of getting back together and it’s not something I am making up or did you think I would ever let you stay with someone I thought you did not like? There should be a box somewhere amongst your things labeled Y. You might find some explanation in there. I caution you not to take anything besides 4 letters from the box. This Box is Pandoras box elsewise. Promise me.”

She nodded, then stood. She knew that box. It was on the top shelf in Oksana’s office closet. She grabbed it and rifled through it, grabbing four letters and then putting the box back before she went back to her room, frowning at the laughter coming from the porch. It was Emma, sounding sugary sweet as always.

“Here…”

She showed the letters, put them in front of her.

“Eve...tell me what you feel around Oksana.”

She shrugged and blushed.

“Confusion. What I remember of her and who she seems to be is different. I mean she threatened me with her dogs for trespassing. The first time. But...when I let go of that. I feel safe, contend and warm. I can’t place why. Besides that she helps me. But I felt...maybe sh does all this to get back together.”

“Eve, she does this because she loves you. As soon as she heard you got in trouble she moved heaven and hell and has not left your side since. She made a mistake and paid dearly for it. Just read the letters. Now ask yourself why would anyone tell you only this. If it was just some random person they clearly have neither knowledge nor understanding of you and Oksana so why listen to them? If it was someone close to you guys, ask yourself why someone supposed your friend would feed you such information.”

Carolyn said, then looked to her door.

“I need to go Eve. Tread carefully. This info was not given to you in supportive spirit.”

Eve frowned and waved goodbye.The letters were in her lap, heavy as lead. There were three from Oksana to Yemen, one pack to the states from her.

“Yemen…”

Why the hell had she been in Yemen?

“Oh...Medicine sans frontieres…”

Yes it suddenly made sense. She remembered that she had gone to Yemen to do surgery.

She read the first letter, hands shaking as she read the desperate words. Oksana was apologizing for not being attentive, for letting work bury her. That she regretted not being there and she understood why Eve felt the way she did. She would not let them go though, she said she would fight and make things up to Eve.
The Second letter was more telling of her time in Lejeune and reading it she remembered these letters. She knew them by heart actually without realizing. In the envelope was the picture still, Oksana and the dogs. She put that against the lamp on her nightstand, a tear catching on her upper lip before rolling into her mouth, spreading the taste of salt.
She did not have to read the third letter. She knew what was in it. She closed her eyes and remembered keeping the letters under her pillow. She remembered yearning for Oksana, for their time together after Yemen, and yes she did remember she wanted to fix them.

Her letter told exactly that. Explained her side but said she would be really happy to see O and hoped they could meet at the airport the day she came home.
It was an invitation for Oksana to come and show her she wanted to fight for Eve.

Something went wrong though in Yemen and she had gotten shot. But Oksana had been there. The whole time Oksana had been at her side. She had fought.

She almost choked on the tears and went to her bathroom to wash her face. From outside she heard a perky laugh and bristled, from the living room she could see a hand on Oksana’s upper arm, Emma leaning in to speak to her. Emma, little preppy Emma who suddenly seemed very much infatuated with Oksana.

She frowned and pulled on her robe over her pajama pants and camisole, then tried to clear her face as not to show her anger. Carolyn was right, the info had not been given to her with good intentions. It had almost played out nicely too. But why would Emma caution her about Oksana’s intentions, then be like this with the woman herself. Wolf stared at her as she made her way to the front door. He did not seem to like Emma and she understood the sentiment.
Opening the door softly, she stepped out, Wolf at her side, then placing his body between her and the two others on the porch, protective. As soon as she was out, Shaggy from standing with his front paws on emma’s lap for scratches, jumped off and went to her, pressing his head against her belly and nuzzling her lovingly. Eve actually smiled at him.

“Hey boys.”

She mumbled scratching them both. Oksana put the cup back on the table between the chairs and watched the scene, while Emma tried to get Shaggy’s attention with a tennis ball.

“Hey Eve, are you alright?”

Oksana asked, from zero to worried as soon as she stepped out.

“Hi Eve!”

“Dr. Park…”

Eve said back coldly, making Oksana blink.

“Dr...Park. I was just asking Oksana out to the bar...to hang out and not disturb you from getting the rest you surely need.”

Eve knew Oksana had felt a shift in the mood, the blonde looking at her confused. Eve had never been unfriendly or cold.

“I appreciate your surely heartfelt concern. Don’t worry I will not disturb your little chat for long, I merely wished to ask Oksana when she would come inside.”

“Oh as I said we were about to head to…”

“Yea I don’t think I’ll be going to the bar Emma. Eve is right, it's time to head back inside.”

Emma faltered for a second.

“I am sure Eve understands you might need a break for caring for someone 24/7…”

The accusation was clear and something changed in Oksana that moment and she was about to say something, when Eve reached for her hand, softly stroking with her thumb over the scar on the back of it to soothe her. Oksana’s mouth snapped close suddenly.

“I don’t appreciate the tone. You are a guest in our home.”

“Oksana’s home…”

Oksana put herself between them as Wolf was doing, staring down at Eve concerned.

“Eve...it’s fine let’s just go inside ok?”

“I have no idea where the hostility is coming from Eve. I simply try to be friendly.”

Emma said, hand landing on Oksana’s elbow.

“Friendly by telling me Oksana and I had been separated before I was hurt. Friendly by insinuating Oksana had ulterior motives to bring me here?”

“What?!”
Oksana whipped around and stared down at Emma.

“That’s not what I insinuated at all…”

“I think you overstayed your welcome.”

Oksana muttered darkly.

“Oksana let me explain…!”

But Oksana had already turned back to Eve, opening the door for her and the dogs and simply leaving Emma behind as she got Eve back into the warmth.

Chapter Text

The door closed behind them, closing the women off to the outside world and Oksana was left staring, angry and confused as Eve stood with her head hanging for some reason. So Eve had reacted strangely this week because she had wondered about why Oksana did what she did. It suddenly all made sense to the Blond.

“Eve…”

She heard a sniffle and melted immediately, engulfing the shorter woman in a tight hold, arms around lower back and shoulders and tugging Eve against her body.

“Shhhh...please don’t cry ok? I don’t deal well with you crying.”

Oksana muttered.

“I’ve...ve...been such...a...an asshole.”

She hiccupped with tears and it was the most adorable but also painful thing ever.

“She kinda deserved it Eve and I thought you were rather held back.”

“N..o I mea...mean to ..to you. I...do...dont care..’bout...preppy Emma.”

Oksana laughed, the deep belly kind of laugh, tightening her hold. Eve melted into her and Oksana easily hoisted her up, walking into the living room and going to the couch, sitting down with Eve in her lap and, after pushing her hands under Eve’s fluffy robe, stroking her back. She was still so thin that Oksana felt each rib and vertebrae. It reminded her how close Eve had come to dying. Nothing else thrown at them, she felt could take this from them.

Eve slowly calmed down, her body not being wrecked by hiccups and sobs, slowly the last tears subsided.

“What happened?”

Oksana kept her voice down to a whisper.

“I was out in the sun...and she came by and commended us for sticking together even though we had separated before ...when things happened to me. I was so confused because I don’t remember that and I tried to…I thought I should get some space to be able to assess what I feel because all my emotions are confusing. Like...I know i feel different towards you. I know there...is deep feelings. But I have no memory and so…”

Oksana nodded, understanding.

“So I called Carolyn and...and she told me about the letters.”

Oksana stiffened.

“They were in the…”

“I only took the letters. I had to promise her. And after reading the first I remembered them and I understood. And Carolyn told me to think of the motivation of the person who told me. And I realized how horrible I thought of you.”

New tears made her voice waver.

“Eve...I am not angry. Part of it is right. I was hovering. I was smothering you. You are a grown up woman and if I want you to get better I need to let you go. I am here for you because I never stopped loving you. That is true. Thinking of you staying in London in some care facility killed me and if Carolyn had not let me take you with me I would have resigned my commission and found something in London. Because yes, I love you and yes I did promise to fight for us. I made the mistake of not fighting once.”

Eve leaned back and Oksana, when she looked at her, felt her heart swell. She tucked the wild locks beck behind Eve’s ears, looking tenderly at the other woman.

“I know I made it difficult for you with all the feelings involved. I want you to understand that I would never force you into anything Eve.”

She nodded and wiped her cheeks with the sleeves of her robe.

“I know. I feel even more shitty because you never forced anything on me. I’m, a horrible person!”

“You’re not. I am not angry Eve. Not at you at least.”

“Would…would you have gone out with her?”

“As friends, before this revelation yes.”

Eve scoffed and Oksana wondered if Eve felt what Oksana thought she did.

“She was always flirty with you that would not have been as friends.”

Holding the chuckle back, Oksana watched as the tiny Korean on her lap played with the hem of her sleeve.

“Eve...I don’t care who flirts with me. I don’t care about anyone but you.”

She squeezed Eve’s sides and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“Tell you what Eve, go get dressed. I’ll take you out to dinner and maybe the Bar after if you feel up for it. Manny and Henry want to meet you.”

Eve thought about it for a second then nodded. It was a good idea. She had not really been out amongst people. They got up and as soon as Oksana went up to her bedroom, Eve felt she missed the contact. The taller woman was an expert hugger with her long and strong limbs. How easily she had carried Eve around. Eve blushed. There was no denying that being close to Oksana did things to her.

“Ready?”

Oksana asked as Eve emerged from her room in dark pants and a deep green v neck pullover.

“I guess.”

She saw the insecurity in Eve, how she looked down at herself, her clothing still so loose on her.

“Eve...you’ll gain your weight back. You look good ok?”

They went to an Italian place that oksana remembered she had heard good things off and Eve loved Pizza.

“Want me to order a pizza and share?”

“You don’t like pizza. I am sure we can just take the rest and I’ll have it for lunch.”

Eve answered back, not giving it a second thought. She just knew.

“I don’t like greasy American pizza. I like Nea…”

“Neapolitan...I know.”

Eve looked up and smiled.

“Here I am trying to be a bit mysterious.”

Oksana joked back and reached for Eve’s hand, squeezing.

“I’ll share some of my Spaghetti with you.”

It was lovely to eat together like this, talking softly amongst them. Meeting Henry and Manny was a blast, the two apparently made it their job to make sure Eve laughed and smiled a lot and the evening made Eve feel refreshed in a way. She knew Oksana watched her closely for any sign of fatigue and when she yawned for the first time she paid immediately.

Once back home Eve prepared some tea while O let the dogs out.

"Did you enjoy yourself?"

"Yes! The bar reminds me of Tony's. Just more modern. I… I miss Alaska sometimes."

"Well we could go there in summer. I kept my place and as far as I am informed you kept yours too. I'll see how much vacation I can lign up for it."

It mad Eve beam happily, Oksana grinning back.

"Would you kiss me?"

The suddenness of the question almost had Oksana spit her tea out and she stared at Eve, unsure where this had come from.

“Where does this come from?”

A shrug and Eve looked at her vulnerable.

“Eve...is this because of Emma?”

“I am sorry for asking…”

Holding out her hand, the Blonde pulled Eve to her. She did not want to make EVe feel any pressure for anything.

“I have so many memories I can’t piece together. Like everything was put in a sack and shaken and then poured out. With missing context I just don’t get them. My feelings inside...I know what I feel, I just need context. I want to know what our first kiss was like.”

“Ok.”

“Just ok?”

Eve shot back frowning and all of a sudden, Oksana leaned in and pecked her on the lips. Just a prolonged press, nothing else. When she pulled back from Eve the shorter woman was frowning.

“I dated you after that?!”

And Oksana belted out a laugh.

“No, I dated you after that.”

“No way...I don’t kiss like that!”

Oksana was still laughing as she grabbed her mug, winking at Eve and going to the living room.

“You did, it was adorable.”

And then she remembered. Oksana being beaten by the men that had gotten rough with her, Eve driving her home, Oksana having a concussion and admitting she liked Eve and the very awkward kiss that made them both realize they really liked each other.
Eve followed Oksana and sat next to her on the couch.

“You missed them game because we went to dinner.”

From the back of the couch Oksana grabbed their comforter, draping it over Eve and pulling her into her side, the smaller woman cuddling in like she had never done anything else.

“I can watch the best off. I would rather spend time with you.”

A tap on her shoulder made Oksana’s head turn and when she feels lips against hers, she startled for a second before groaning, pulling Eve on her lap again, the other woman simply made to fit into her arms. Feelings exploded in Eve’s chest, her hands high on Oksana’s back of the neck, holding her against her as she whimpered at the feeling. When the taller woman added a nip of teeth, Eve shuddered deeply. It was all so overwhelming.

“Eve…”

She felt tears, felt Oksana pull back as she felt them.

“You have...no...no idea O...just how much this did. How much I feel. How much I miss you even though I lack memories.”

Thumbs wiped her cheeks tenderly and Oksana leaned in once more, Eve feeling as if she wanted to be completely surrounded by the other woman, engulfed, protected.

“Eve...we have to stop..”

But the only reply she got was another very insistent kiss, which made her chuckle.

“I don’t want to.”

“I know…but you need rest. This has been a long day.”

Eve harumped but moved off of Oksana sheepishly.

Oksana was right of course, as soon as she hit her pillow she felt all the energy she had left, leaving her body. The next morning she woke to the sound of music playing, softly nothing loud. She showered quickly and left her room, finding Oksana in the kitchen, dancing as she set the table for them. Eve watched, grinning to herself at the exuberance of the often so stoic Major. Then the song changed and Eve blushed as she heard the first notes of the song, memories of how Oksana and her had danced to it in her cabin, which had ended with them on her marble kitchen counter. Oksana turned to her and smiled.

“Good morning you.”

“I remember…This...I remember things Oksana.”

She had no idea how it happened but the jumbled mess of memories seemed to make sense. It was muddled and some connections still seemed to be missing but there was memory.

“Eve..."

She cried. She simply sunk to her knees and cried. Feeling as if something dear to you that you had lost had been returned. That deep yearning for a memory she had not had any longer gone as she realized it was all there. Up until she went to Yemen.

“You...you remember?”

And Eve found Oksana was with her, holding her.

“I do...I do…Most of it...not Yemen. I remember I went there.”

She was caught between laughing from sheer happiness and crying a rollercoaster of emotions as her mind tested the memories, as if needing to reassure itself that everything was back.
They stood, Oksana holding her tightly and kissing her over, both shedding tears of happiness.

**
“Hey Pa.”

“Oksana is everything all right?”

Her father asked.

“More than. Pa she remembered this morning. Most of it anyway Yemen is still a bit blurry she’s with the psychologist now about that.”

A laugh from Konstantin and Oksana felt the relief in herself, the bubbly happiness.

“Oh Oksana I am so happy! You must be relieved.”

“it’s like a weight has been lifted off of me.”

The fear of Eve never remembering had been so big.

“I’ll keep you updated Pa.”

“Do that Oksana. Tell Eve hi from me.”

She heard the door to the Dr. Office open and a smiling Eve came out.

“Hi…”

She said and grinned at O who grinned right back, blinking as she felt more happy tears form.

“Dad says Hi. He’s happy to hear the news. Same for Carolyn and Elena.”

Eve fell into her arms and held Oksana tightly.

“Can we go home now?”

Once they made it home, they warmed up leftovers, Eve telling her about what was said between her and the doctors.

"They said the whole Yemen thing is probably still muddled because of the mental trauma from it. Like...my brain trying to protect me from it"

Oksana was staring at her across the counter as she finished her pizza.

"Say something O."

"I love you. More than anything. I never used the chance to say it, I thought we had so much fucking time. I was an idiot and I don't deserve you for leaving you behind in Alaska as I did. I almost lost you Eve..."

Eve laid the fork and knife down, slowly turned sideways and held her hand out for Oksana. Once the taller woman had rounded the counter, she pulled her ine, arms and legs around her.

“I knew you love me. Because you showed me you do. London is long past us O. You were there when I needed you the most. I love you too!”

Eve mumbled against a soft neck and Oksana held her silently. But the way her shoulders shuddered, Eve knew she was crying. She knew, because she remembered how O cried, from holding her that night after she told her about Nadia.
It left her weak and spend once the tears subsided and Eve took her hand and led her upstairs, getting out of her clothing to her underwear and then getting under the covers, Oksana following suit.

They uttered no words as their bodies met under the blanket, limbs entangling like they had never been parted. Curling up against each other.

Chapter Text

The end of this story came sudden to me too but I realized that 22 would be it.

I want to thank all of you who liked the story, spend time reading it and commented on it.
You made me very content with how the story progressed, even though it strayed very far from
it's own roadmap and had a sense of it's own in a way.

Maybe I'll come up with something new soon, maybe I'll need some time longer since I have written 3 long stories straigth after each other now.

Thank you again all you amazing people!

Chapter Text

“So I have just spoken to Elena and Kenny and let me tell you that is one adorable Baby girl.”

It had been weeks since Eve’s sudden memory return. She still sometimes found a memory that felt new but other than that she was on a good track. She had spoken to the base commander of taking over the GP position on base for the non military staff and people living on base and they happily accepted, So now Eve was trying to get her physical strength and endurance back to be able to get through the day.

Eve said as she walked down the stairs to the basement, where Oksana had set up her weights and benches. She had gotten more and more secure with walking and by now was not in need of her lunch naps. The day before they had gone out to take a longer walk and Eve had had no troubles with it, besides the muscle ache the next day.

“Anyways did you get the steaks from the butcher or are we go...oh.”

She stood rooted to the spot staring at Oksana in her bustier and those damn sport shorts that revealed her hip bones when they hung low.

“I got the steaks, Still missing stuff for the salad.”

Oksana said, straining as she did arm curls with the EZ bar.

“Can you hand me a towel Evie? Behind you on the dryer babe.”

Oksana said and grinned, finishing her set and putting down the bar, as she realized there was no reaction from the other woman besides her still staring at her abs. She stepped in close, hot breath fanning over Eve’s blush stained neck and shoulders. She heard Eve’s breathing hitch as she grabbed the towel, almost pressed flush against the other woman.

“You ok? You look flushed.”

Oksana whispered against Eve’s ear, nipping on the spot below Eve’s earlobe. Knees buckled but Oksana had Eve, one arm slinging around the small of her back as she licked her lips, Eve’s hands grabbing her biceps. Eve’s nails left half moon welts on her skin as Oksana needed little strength to hoist her onto the dryer, loose Marinecorps shirt being pulled up over Eve’s head, leaving her hair messy. Hands pulled a bra down and soon covered them again, thumb pads softly teasing hardening nipples, as Eve felt her world tilt in arousal.

“Oksana…”

Shaking hands pulled her up and into a fiery kiss and as soon as she was her full height, she felt slim legs snake around her hips, calves crossing over her ass and pulling her flush. It was Oksana’s turn to groan. Eve’s almost naked upper torso pressed against Oksana’s, slick with sweat, as they kissed. The Major knew exactly what Eve liked, adding teeth and sharp little nips into the play, making Eve shudder and jolt each time. Blindly, hands tugged down the sweatpants Eve had thrown on to play with the dogs earlier in the garden, thankful now for the choice. Just enough so that Oksana’s questing hand could find it’s goal as they kissed needily.

Eve had the grace to blush as the cold air of the basement hit her, knowing her panties were thoroughly soaked just from this. She did not dwell on this thought for long, could not as her brain was wiped off those thoughts as she felt teeth graze her nipple and fingers teasingly press into her, making her back bend like a bow, hands on Oksana’s head and eyes heavenwards as all that was left in her world was her quickly building orgasm.

**

“How is it, being a doctor again.”

The gentle a deep voice of Konstantin said via the phone and Eve grinned, checking her purse if she had everything she needed.

“Really really good. It tires me out endlessly and in the past week I have made it barely through dinner before dozing off, but I feel really good.”

Pulling on her sneakers and checking in the hallway mirror that she looked presentable, she smiled at herself. That was the woman she remembered. Dr. Park.

“How are you...dealing with your Yemen memory?”

Involuntarily, Eve’s hand went to the scar hidden under her hair. She took a steadying breath.

“I am in therapy dealing with it. The nightmares have lessened. I think I am dealing as well as can be expected.”

“Good. Well I will let you get to work. Have a good day Eve.”

“Thank you Konstantin!”

The man had taken up a father spot in her heart, always there to help her, especially when the memories of Yemen had started. He had send books about PTSD and how to deal with memories of combat zones, had listened to her when she had called him late at night, sneaking out of the bedroom so Oksana could keep sleeping while she tossed and turned.

She had taken up walking to work, it was not that far and it gave her time to relax some before.

“GOOOOOD MORNING DR.PARK!”
She heard, smiling at the group of joggers coming towards her, Oksana running at their side, Wolf and Shaggy behind her.

“Good morning Men!”

She greeted back and then called to the dogs. Every morning they would meet on this road. The men jogging would greet her, she would take the dogs off Oksana and take them to work with her.

Taking over the general practice had been her best decision. Sometimes she helped out on a surgery in the hospital but other than that, she decided general medicine was enough for her now. With working as a GP she also had normal work times. It was a rare case of assisting surgery that Eve stayed away from home longer into the day.

Life, besides her memory of Yemen, was normal. Eve was contend and loved. She had not thought she would find normalcy like this. Certainly not in a military setting but by now, here she was.

“Doc The General called his wife isn’t feeling well and he asks if you could come by?”

Eve checked her watch and then the waiting room.

“I’ll go real quick”

**

Softly the boat bobbed on the calm surface of the lake. The sun shone down, warming Eve’s face as she rested, laying against Oksana’s front in a half sitting, half laying position, book in her hand. Oksana was absolutely still behind her, arms around Eve’s middle and watching the swimmer on her fishing lure for any sign of movement.
It wasn’t hot like down at Lejeune. The temperature was moderate but just enough to not feel cold.

As Oksana had promised they had taken two weeks of vacation and went back to Alaska, cherishing the place where they met and where it all began. The Doctor that had been given the Job had had a hard time at first, but she had fought hard and earned her respect.
The people, her friends were still happy to see them back and see Eve healthy and with memory.

“What do you want to eat tonight Evie?”

Smiling she puit the book down on her belly.

“I want to go to Tony’s”

Oksana chuckled.

“Again?”

“I like Miriam's food.”

Oksana nodded and squeezed her in her arms.

“I can’t believe it’s already almost over.”

They had spent a lot of their time in bed, simply enjoying each other. When they weren’t the had visited their friends in town and they had mostly eaten at Tony’s, sitting at Eve’s old table.

“We can come here again and again Eve.”

“I’d like that.”

Soft lips pressed against her forehead and she closed her eyes, smiling softly to herself and feeling absolutely relaxed.
She still sometimes had a nightmare about Yemen, but she had worked long and hard with her therapist on it and she was feeling good.

That evening when they sat at their table at Tonys’ they enjoyed the meal and listening to the crowd in the bar, Ben and his boys celebrating a big catch, their women making jokes. Oksana’s hand reached over the table grasping hers and winking once, loving smile on her lips and Eve returned that smile.

“I love you.”

Oksana said.

“I love you too.”

“2 years ago to this day, you stitched my hand up, then came to my house later ogling me. It was the moment I realized I felt too many things for you. I never wanted to feel like this again because it terrified me. And then you came into my life of solitude and just turned my life around Eve. I almost lost you and I never want to feel like this again. Ever. I was never super smart...but I know one thing Eve...I want you to be my wife.”

The speech was the sweetest thing that had ever been said to her, Oksana’s voice shaking as much as her hands as she pulled out a ring box from her pants and then sank to one knee’s next to her chair. The crowd in the bar went silent, staring and when Eve said yes and O put her mother's engagement ring on her finger, cheers and whistles erupted and Tony poured everyone a schnaps to cheer on the couple, kissing tenderly.

**

“Oksana?!”

Eve yelled up the stairs.

“Come on! We will be late!”

She heard footsteps stomping down the stairs at a fast pace.

“What happened?!”

Eve said exasperated, then laughed at the hassled look on her wife’s face.

“Shirt troubles…”

“I wanted paw patrol.”

Eve took the toddler from Oksana’s arms, grinning at her because she was a big old softy with their boy, unable to simply say no.

“Well Jamie...next time you tell us a bit earlier ok? Oksana, can you grab the basket by the door, we should really get going.”

The Generals Birthday BBQ was not something you missed nor went late too. Even though he would probably not be able to be mad at them. Their son had turned a hard as steel, battle proofed General into basic mush. Since the General and his wife never had kids themselves, Jamie was rather welcome with him and his wife.

‘Breathing fresh air into this old house.’

He had said one day, when offering to watch Jamie so eve could help in the hospital while Oksana was away on a training trip.

“He wanted Paw patrol?”

Eve asked laughing after having strapped Jamie into his car seat and closing his door, Oksana putting the things they would bring into the back of their car.

“Look...I tried ok.”

“He’s 5, O.”

Oksana pulled her in chuckling herself, pecking her lips.

“He used the look.”

“You are a Major in the Marine Corps and want to tell me puppy eyes work on you?”

Keeping Eve against her, hugging her tightly and kissing her once more, Oksana shrugged.

“Only for my two favourite people.”