The Letters to be Written

Brief Title:
The Lettes to be Written

Characters:
Ms. Marvel, American Dream

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
06/25/12 21:00

Location:
Medbay beneath Avengers' Mansion

Summary:
Shannon is still in medbay due to inability to sleep. Carol checks on her, and takes a step towards her rocky recovery.

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
Shannon has slept since coming in. Eventually, the weariness overwhelmed the nightmares. Yesterday, Shannon insisted on getting out of bed. Helping out with clean-up. The medical staff had to get Carol. Carol had to order her to stay put. Shannon didn't like it but she's a soldier. She listened. Right now, she's resting again, eyes shut. Breathing steady. The monitors indicate she's not in full on sleep. Just dozing.

The doors to the medbay hiss open, and Ms. Marvel walks in, dressed not as Ms. Marvel but simply as Carol Danvers, wrapped in soft grey cotton sweats - shorts and a shirt, both stamped with USAF. Go figure. She walks in and lets the door hiss closed behind her, looking around the room. Then she walks over towards Shannon's bed, standing there to watch her sleep, realizing of course that she isn't /really/ sleeping. Bah. "Well, Doc? What's the verdict? I don't want her hooked, but she needs to sleep. Real sleep, or the best we can manage." She sighs, shaking her head. She'd do almost anything to take this burden from Shannon. But she can't.

The medical staff hired by the Maria Stark Foundation have made their diagnosis. PTSD of a sorts. Interupting sleep. Nightmares. Extreme guilt. Most of it psychological. Except for the exhaustion, there's no reason Shannon can't get up and walk out right now. The cuts are healing and the concussion is no longer a factor. Shannon stirs, eyes opening. She glances up at Carol. "Hi."

Carol walks closer to the bed, reaching out to lay a hand lightly on one of Shannon's. Human contact. "Hi. Still not getting much sleep? I don't really want to have them hopping you up on drugs just so you can sleep." She cares. She has had her fights with addiction. The last thing she wants to do is do that to someone else.

"Don't want that either." Shannon admits. "Tired of this room. Hate hospitals. Spent enough time in them for a life. Two. Three." She rubs at her face. "Just... can't sleep well." She inhales and exhales. "Can I get their names? Not just the men who died at the Chrystler Building. Everyone who died in the attack. Names. Addresses of their next of kin."

Carol sighs softly and nods. "I can imagine, given what you've told me. But I'm worried about you, and I don't know any other way to help." She keeps trying, though. "I have the list. The entire detachment, less those who made it home. And the names of everyone else lost." Go figure. Of course Carol would get that. Probably a similar reason to Shannon. "You sure you're ready for that?"

"Someone should write a letter to their families." Shannon says, though she doesn't look up at Carol. "Explain what happened. Why their loved ones died. I'll doit."

"You really want to take that on?" Carol questions. But she knows Shannon. It isn't a case of want. It's a question of need. "You know it's not your fault. The blame doesn't lie with you. None of it." Carol sure as Hell knows who she blames for this. For all of these deaths. And for the terrible pain in her friend's heart. "I can write the letters, Shannon."

"They were so glad when I showed up." Shannon says. She isn't crying. She's just... staring at nothing. A spot on the wall. "They were so out of their depth. Businessmen and carpenters and dishwashers. Ordinary men and women who had lives and families but still gave their time to their country as best they could. They followed my orders because of I'm an Avenger. Because of my shield."

And Carol's hand slides around Shannon's, squeezing gently as she nods. "Yep. Just like the cops and Guardsmen did all over the City, all over the island. I know." And she knows the weight that places on Shannon's shoulders. And her own. "They placed themselves under your command. They trusted you. They fought, for you. And then most of them died." Not all. Has Shannon realized that part yet? That quite a few of them survived aboard Carol's makeshift superbus, along with all of those civilians they rescued?

Shannon tries to smile. To show that she knows Carol is there. Helping. Trying to help, anyway. "Thank you. If you'll get me the names and addresses and some pen and paper and envelopes I'll try to sleep until you do."

"You mind if I start with a different list of names?" Carol inquires, smiling to match that watery, flimsy excuse for a smile Shannon offered. "I'll give you the one you asked for. Of course I will. Yours won't be the only letters going to them, but if you want to send to them, I'll definitely assist." Because she understands. "But first, I want you to see this list." Carol walks over and picks up one of the datapads, keying it in, logging into her account, and pulls up the list. Then she hands it to Shannon. Several hundred names and addresses. Including quite a few names with military ranks.

"Those are the people we managed to save. The ones /you/ managed to save and lead to safety. It won't balance the scale entirely. It can't." Carol knows that. "But if you're going to write all of those letters to those we lost, I think you should first read each and every one of the names of those we saved. Because we didn't do it alone. Those we lost gave their lives to save the people on that list."

Shannon glances down at the list. She doesn't take the datapad from Carol but she does look at it. "After." She says. "This is more important to me right now. Please, Carol. Please."

"Both are important, Shannon. Because when you write those letters, you need to tell their families about what they did. About who they were, at the end. About the precious lives they saved with their heroic actions." She leaves the pad. "I gave my word, and you know I'm good for it. You'll get the stationary, pen, ink, envelopes. And the list. But you also get this one. Because /both/ are important. And I will personally see that every last one of yours is delivered with mine. And with the Governor's. The Mayor's. And the President's."

"Thank you." Shannon leans back in her chair and closes her eyes. Its something. Progress. Something she can do instead of just sitting on her hands. Something tangible to help lay to rest the ghosts that are haunting her. Exhausted, she drifts quickly into real sleep.

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