Tettly sat still next to Soren's bed, petting her hand tenderly, hoping she'd wake up soon. The doctors had told him that they'd stopped dosing her with the meds that were keeping her comatose as all of the dermal and osteoregeration had been completed on her face and skull. He only hoped that she'd wake up soon and be okay. Head trauma was a scary thing, and there was a small but terrified part of him that was afraid she'd have forgotten him. Hell, before all of this had happened he was scared she'd realize what a mistake a woman like her was making falling for a simple country guy like him, but now... he just hoped the deck wasn't stacked against him.
Outside of the ICU unit door he could hear the doctor speaking with someone, low and serious. A moment later, a man in SFI black walked in, and balked. He was tall and slender with light hair and a face... very similar to his love's.
He narrowed his eyes, "What does SFI have to do with Soren," He asked, coldly.
"I'm not here on official business... not directly, anyway," The man replied looking at Soren with worry in his eyes.
"Then what are you here for? This ain't no observation gallery," Tettly said, gently putting Soren's hand at her side again and standing and planting himself between the newcomer and the bed.
"You must be Tettly," The man replied, simply, "You don't have to worry about me, I'm not hear to hurt her."
"I don't rightly know if it concerns me or not that you know who I am," Tettly replied, gruffly.
"I'm her father," Alec responded, sounding just shy of grumpy.
"You're a liar," Tettly replied, flatly. "Her father is in jail and she ain't seen him in years," He said, squaring off against the man now, ready for a fight.
Alec sighed, "That is what Soren believed, yes. And the second part is true... but I was never in jail. It was a cover. I've been working with Star Fleet Intelligence for the last several years to try and track down and apprehend a corrupt admiral who has now apparently deemed to target your ship," He said, simply. "Mr. Biggs, I assure you that I am no threat to the woman in the bed there, and I am her father," He said. "Now, if you'll permit me to introduce myself properly?"
Tettly looked the man up and down, a look on his face that indicated he was trying to process all of the information he'd just received, but he finally nodded quietly.
"Thank you," Alec replied with another sigh, "I'm Commodore Alec Floyd, Soren's father. I'm sure you've heard a lot about my long and isolated imprisonment... but that was a lie to protect my daughter and those around her," He said, offering Tettly a hand to shake. He continued as they shook, "You must be Mr. Biggs whom I apparently owe my impending grandchild to," He said.
Tettly shook his hand, someone dumbfoundedly, "Are you really her dad?" He asked, sounding right on the verge of awe.
"I am, Tettly," Alec replied, nodding.
"Oh, man is she gonna be glad to see you!" He said, seriously.
Alec chuckled at that, finally stepping past the larger man to stand at his daughter's bedside, "No likely, Tettly. I've spent over two decades indirectly lying to her... hasn't been easy on her not having either parent to help guide her... crazy though her mother may be, at least it would have been someone," He explained. "I was alive and free... I should have been there," He said, quietly, gently patting the back of her hand.
"C'mon, Commodore, you were under SFI orders... you can't just break those," Tettly replied, earnestly.
"Tell that to a broken hearted daughter," Alec said, smiling sadly.
"It'd be an interesting story," agreed a very low and warning voice from over Alec's shoulder. Standing like a glowering mountain looming over Floyd was Ebbe, nostrils flaring like a bull. "One that I'd like to hear as well. Why you abandoned your children. Why you dare to be here now. She's not yours anymore, boy. She's my child."
"Now, Ebbe, hold on a second..." Tettly said, gingerly stepping between Ebbe and the other man.
Ebbe didn't budge or raise a hand at all. He just glared as if he could melt Alec's face off.
"He's got a right to be angry," Alec replied. "I didn't abandon my daughter, Ebbe," Alec said, raising his hands in defense. "I was given an opportunity to do something about a very dangerous man... and that meant sacrificing my time with her... but it meant that I could keep her safe from him," He explained.
"Who'd you keep safe?" Ebbe all but spat. "Val will spend her life behind bars. Your son rots in a home for the infirm because he didn't recieve proper care early enough. Soren might not be okay- and if she is, then what of your grandson? Or the unborn? What good have you done, Alec? First you took my daughter- then you gave me your toys when you were done!"
"They weren't my toys, and I've done the best that I can, you old bastard!" Alec spat back, angrily. "But don't act like your daughter was some delicate flower, full of grace and care for her family. Her recklessness is what put us all where we are today, and don't you ever forget it. She cared more about her damn protests and activism than she ever did her family," Alex hissed. "I was going to lose my children, all of them, anyway. I had two options, Ebbe. Rot in a prison, never knowing what this man that I've been pursuing might do to them, or go with SFI while they thought I was rotting in a prison, and keep an eye on them, make sure that I knew they were safe and that LeMars kept his distance," He told the man, his passion growing.
"Don't act like I walked away, don't act like I didn't care. You. Don't. Know. You want to say I'm scum? Huh? That I'm filth on the bottom of your boot? Fine. You always hated me, so what the hell do I care. It takes one to know one, Ebbe Aalto," He said, risking a step closer into Ebbe's face.
"I may not have a right to be here right now, but I'm here, and god dammit I'm going to make what I can of it, whether you like it or not," He said, unwavering.
Tettly stood quietly, ready to break up a fight he was pretty sure was about to happen, and staring like a deer in headlights.
"Just tell me one thing," the old finn hissed through gritted teeth as he looked down at Alec. "After today will it be another twenty years until she sees you? Say no and I'll back down. If the answer's yes, I'll toss you out on your ear my damned self."
"Not a chance in hell," Alec replied through gritted teeth of his own, unconsciously raising up on the balls of his feet a little to be closer to eye level with the massive old man in front of him.
Ebbe couldn't help but frown- more like snarl in all actuality- though he did step back. "We need to have a long talk once you're done visiting with her. Family business.." he rumbled.
"I'm sure we do," Alec replied, flatly, turning back to Tettly, "Do you have anything you need to say to me as well?" He asked, pulling the Commodore pips from his neck and sticking them in his pocket. "Off the record." He said.
Tettly swallowed hard, and shook his head, "Not really, sir. Just that... if you hurt my fiance ... I'll hurt you too. And I do mean every word of that," He said, simply. There was no indication of anger or bravado to his words. Just a cool, cold truth.
Ebbe made a soft chuffing noise from the end of the bed. Crossing both arms over his chest, he saw himself out of the ward.
Alec ignored Ebbe, already expecting much worse than he got from the man, and regarded Tettly intently for a long moment, before nodding, "An admirable bluntness to be desired in a son-in-law," He said, seriously, before giving a faint smile and turning back to look at his daughter, worriedly.
"She oughta be waking up in the next little bit here," Tettly offered, leaning on the edge of the bio bed and regarding her as well.
"Doesn't seem right, does it... seeing her like this," Alec said, hurt to his core at the sight of his daughter beaten so badly.
"It was worse when they brought her in," Tettly replied, honestly. "She was real bad off... docs did a great job fixing her up," He replied. "Don't make me want to beat the hell out of whoever did this to her none less, but at least she won't be too messed up once she comes too," He explained.
"Off duty for a while, I'd wager," Alec replied. "That'll wear on her," He said.
"You talk like you know her, sir," Tettly replied, bluntly, then cleared his throat a bit, "I didn't mean that like it sounded..."
"No, you're right," Alec replied, nodding. "I suppose in a way, I do... I've watched her, Tettly. Carefully. I've pulled strings where I could, I called in favors, I've made sure that she was cared for... I've been proud... but... like I was on the outside of a snow globe, looking in. So close to my daughter, but lightyears away. Even when I wasn't," He said.
"You were... close?" He asked, narrowing his eyes.
"Several times," Alec replied, "Much to the chagrin of SFI. I 'accidentally' wound up on a few worlds and stations where she was. Kept myself hidden away, watched her grow... I felt like some sort of monster, hiding in the shadows from his beautiful child... but... it was all I had," He said, shrugging. "I know it was hard on her... but despite what Ebbe may believe... It was hard on me, too. I've lost decades with my daughter, Tettly. And I simply can't get those back..."
Tettly nodded quietly, letting the man's words sinking in and settle, sadly, into his gut. He couldn't imagine what it was like, and hoped he never could.
Soren groaned and curled her hands into fists. her head turned to the side in a fitful bit of dream that hinted at breaching lucidity.
"Soren?" Tettly ventured, cautiously.
"I need to go," Alec said, stepping slowly back toward the door.
"Wait... but she's just waking up," Tettly said, confused.
"It'll be too much, Tettly. I'll be back, but I need to not be here now," He explained.
"Uhm..." Tettly intended to protest more, but the Commodore had already left the room. He turned his attention back to Soren's stirring form and clasped her hand, "You comin' back to me, darlin?" He asked, smiling hopefully.
"Doc! Get in here! She's wakin' up!" He called.