A/N: This is written in response to the all dialogue challenge presented by MessengerOfDreams in The Challenge Thread at The Reviews Lounge, Too: Have you ever read a story that has absolutely no dialogue in it whatsoever? Well, this time, I want a story that has nothing but dialogue in it! Here's the rules: 1) It must be in present time. No flashbacks can be used! 2) It must be at least 727 words! Why 727? Because I like 27. 3) There must be two people in this story as a minimum. Dialogue, not monologue!
This is a missing scene from Hide and Seek, set just a short time after the last scene between Kristin and Nathan in the galley; this is a PAL conversation between the two.
Disclaimer: SeaQuest DSV and its characters are not my creation. They are the creation of Rockne S. O'Bannon as a 1990's television series. This work of fanfiction is for entertainment purposes only and is not for financial gain. I am just borrowing the characters for a bit and promise to return them unharmed and in their original condition, maybe just a bit happier.
Laying It All Out There
"Kristin, did I wake you?"
"Oh, no, Doctor…you can relax. Nothing's wrong…well, nothing medical anyway. I was still having trouble sleeping, and I was wondering if you were in the same boat, no pun intended."
"Good. I mean, I'm sorry you can't sleep, but I'd like to talk, if that's all right."
"I could do that. Just give me a minute to get dressed and I'll meet you…somewhere. Where would you like to meet?"
"No, we don't need to meet. I mean, we're talking right now, aren't we?"
"Yes…but the PAL unit isn't exactly the most ideal situation for-"
"Oh, I think it is. We definitely have some things to talk about, and you can't deny that. I think we both hold back a bit when we see one another face to face. Don't you agree?"
"Neither one of us wants to compromise our positions, but this isn't a conversation between the captain and the doctor. This is a conversation between you and me. It'll be like the old days before vid-phones existed. And since we're on patrol, I'm sure there won't be any emergencies. No interruptions. Just you…and me being honest with one another. I think that's what we both need. What do you say?"
"Very well. Where would you like to start?"
"Yes…I need a straight answer. Are you going to see him again or not?"
"Nathan, I think you're being a little-"
"Kristin, please…you promised you'd be honest."
"If I do see him again, it will be strictly professional. But for now, my work with him is over. I think that he and Caesar need time to bond without me in the picture. I'm not really sure how much I was in the picture before that anyway."
"You weren't happy with him?"
"I don't know. I… Do you really want to hear about all this?"
"Yes, I do."
"Malcolm is very sweet and kind and terribly funny. And he is quite the charmer."
"There'd better be a but coming."
"Yes, there is a but coming; don't worry. But there isn't much more to him. He's terribly unorganized, and I don't know if he can be serious about anything. And that's why I told him that there can't be anything more than friendship between us."
"Are you happy?"
"Should I be?"
"You didn't like seeing me with Malcolm."
"Seeing you and Malcolm wasn't the trouble; it was seeing Malcolm put his hands on you that bothered me. I really didn't realize until then how important you were to me."
"Shh…just listen, please. After Carol died, I never thought I could love anyone again. I didn't think I wanted to. But then I met you…and you can't deny we had a connection right from the start."
"I…Nathan, I'm not sure…"
"Not sure of what, Kristin? I thought this is what you wanted. You did say that if I had a problem with you seeing Malcolm, we should talk about it."
"I did say that, yes. And I've already told you I'm not seeing him anymore. So what else is there to talk about?"
"You know full well what. What's wrong?"
"Nathan…you're afraid of committing to me because you're still in mourning. And I certainly don't want to stand in the way of…whatever you're dealing with emotionally."
"There's something else."
"Yes, there is. I can hear it in your voice. Why are you holding back now? I thought you wanted to talk things through…get it all out on the table, as it were. Tell me, please?"
"Kristin, are you crying?"
"Yes, you are. I can hear your voice trembling. Look, I'm hanging up and coming over there right now."
"No…please, I don't think that's a very good idea at the moment."
"Because I'm feeling vulnerable…I'm not sure I could resist if... Things need to stay professional for the moment."
"Just…please stop crying then. I didn't know this conversation was going to upset you."
"I…I know. I didn't either. I'm fine; I promise."
"So, what's wrong?"
"I…no one ever questioned why I got divorced in the first place."
"It's really not anyone's place to say. You had told me it was because some men have trouble accepting a strong woman."
"And you believed me?"
"Shouldn't I have? You practically swallowed Commander Ford whole, and you might have, too, if I hadn't intervened."
"Yes…well, I learned a long time ago not to let myself get pushed around. After you get hurt, you find yourself overcompensating."
"Eighteen years of marriage, and he found someone else. It had apparently been going on for the last three years we were married, but I was too blind to notice. I was away at a conference; I was able to come home early. I didn't tell him; I wanted it to be a surprise. It was very much so…only I was the one who found herself surprised."
"Kristin, I am so sorry. He didn't know what he had."
"Our marriage was probably over long before that, but I didn't want to admit it. I'm just as much to blame as he was."
"How can you say that?"
"I don't know…I have to blame someone. There must be a reason he went looking for someone else."
"Or maybe you didn't do anything. It just happened."
"It's in the past now. I don't have any feelings for him anymore. I mean, yes, there is a love because he is Cynthia's father…but nothing more."
"You don't need to explain anything."
"Yes, I do. I'm frightened."
"I'd never hurt you, Kristin."
"I…I'm not afraid of that exactly. I'm afraid that…there's something wrong…with me."
"Yes…what if the problem is me and I'm incapable of…maintaining a proper relationship?"
"I refuse to believe that."
"I can't help but worry about it, though."
"And you're worried I'd go off looking for someone else."
"In the back of my mind, yes. I have… some trust issues."
"I'm not that kind of man."
"In my heart, I know that, but…"
"Look, I'm not quite ready to jump into anything yet, and I think it's obvious you're not either. But I am quite fond of you, Kristin."
"The feeling is mutual."
"So what should we do about that?"
"I don't want to lose our friendship."
"We won't. I think we can remain friends…and perhaps pursue something more eventually…if we just let it happen naturally. That is, if that's what you want?"
"I think I could handle that…as long as you don't suddenly get angry with me for working with another scientist who happens to be male."
"I suppose I wasn't being very fair to you."
"I had hoped there was something between you and me; don't think I didn't notice the subtle flirting. But when it didn't go beyond that, I thought I was wrong."
"You mean you wanted more?"
"I…maybe. I thought I did. I think I do…but I knew you weren't ready, so I…"
"Accepted Malcolm's offer?"
"Yes. Nothing happened between us, though. I mean…we only shared a few kisses."
"Kristin, you don't need to justify anything to me."
"No, I think I do. I couldn't…because he isn't you."
"I'm never been one for casual relationships, you know."
"Neither am I."
"And I don't like rushing into anything; I like to take things slow."
"I understand that as well. I'll be patient with you, as long as you are with me."
"I'll do that. You can trust me."
"I know… And discretion is key as well. I don't want to…compromise anything."
"I know…and I feel the same way. Are you…feeling better about things now?"
"I think so. You?"
"Enough where you can finally sleep?"
"Then I should probably let you go."
"How about I meet you for breakfast? 0730 or so?"
"That sounds lovely. I'll be waiting."
"Sleep well, Kristin."
"You, too, Nathan."