12: If I Didn't Care.
Two weeks passed since the wedding and both Rick and Lisa were too
busy with different tasks to even realized that they were actually
married. A sudden rebellious attack, 2 days past the wedding sent
both of them to full alert and spent almost every single moment
on patrols and in officers meetings.
in frustration after 11 straight hours on the bridge. Admiral Gloval
was in a meeting outside the city and she was in charge of everything
now. She sat for a second in her chair and rubbed her forehead.
alright?" asked Claudia who looked even worse than Lisa.
up to her friend and just nodded.
I'm fine, its just I didn't eat at all and I'm starting to feel
weird" she answered standing up and walking to her place.
and suddenly sneezed really hard. Lisa raised an eyebrow in her
direction and walked next to her.
all right?" asked Lisa trying to see in her eyes, and she looked
"I'm fine, I'm just ti…ti…ti…..**sneezed
again** tired" she said blowing her nose.
Lisa stood closer
and touched Claudia's forehead and gasped.
God! You are burning up! You have a fever!" she said and Claudia
waved her away.
"Nah, just a little cold, nothing important" she said
trying to look into her panel, but having difficulty to fix her
eyes on the screen.
"Not important? Are you crazy? You are sick! You need to go
home" said Lisa worried.
"I can't, you silly girl! There's a lot of work to do"
answered Claudia a little annoyed.
"Yes, there is, but you are sick and you are going to make
all of us sick. I can take care of this" offered Lisa politely.
Claudia smirked to her and nodded "Yeah, sure…you can't
stay standing straight and you are going to do your work, and mine".
Lisa was more
than tired, physically and emotionally and a sudden headache started
pumping in her head.
I'm going to say it just once. Go-Home-Now" she said walking
away from Claudia.
going to answer you again. I'm-going-to-stay" said Claudia
so predictable…" said Lisa and Claudia raised and eyebrow
in her direction "Fine, then, as your 'now' superior, I order
you to go away or I'm going to arrest you for two days, so chose"
said Lisa sitting in Gloval's chair.
her eyes wide.
do that!" she said, hands on her hips, looking at her with
"Yes I can" said Lisa standing up and mimic Claudia's
The trio looked
from their seats from each one as if they were watching a tennis
dare" said Claudia crossing her arms and Lisa copied her gesture.
"Oh yeah, I can…one minute to decide Grant, you go home
on your own will, or I will send you on a two…no, better….three
days detention in your quarters, with medical visits" said
Lisa with triumph.
in horror, and then sneezed again. The trio laughed slowly and Lisa
smirked. Claudia nodded to herself, knowing she lost this battle,
and inside, she was happy about it, because she felt really bad.
all right, I'm going home…but you are going to pay for this
one Hayes!" said Claudia trying to look angry, but failing
next to her and hugged her "Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, now
go home" said Lisa softly. Claudia nodded and just reply and
"Yes mom" with a wink.
The trio waved
her good bye and as soon as Claudia was out of the bridge, Lisa
talked to Sammie.
call Fokker and tell him that I order him to go home and take care
of his girlfriend. Tell him that I order him to cook some chicken
soup for Claudia and to be a nice man until she recovers" she
say smiling wider.
said Sammie too happy and proceeded.
to Lisa and joked. "You really like the power, don't you?"
a little and agreed "I can get used to this…"
hours past and Lisa was more than tired. She really needed Claudia
there, but she put that thought behind her. She looked to Vanessa
who was busy with last minute order patrols and had an idea.
please call to the personnel office and ask for Lt. Harrison. Tell
her that I asked for someone of her trust that can come here and
help me with Claudia's work until she's well" asked Lisa.
and made the call. After a few minutes she smiled to Lisa.
said that she has someone perfect for that job, Second Lt. Robert
Spencer. She said he's on his way up here" said Vanessa and
Lisa smiled in relief.
After a few
minutes there was a knock and then the door opened slowly. A dark
brown hair young man entered and the trio raised an eyebrow in appreciation.
The man was probably in his early 20's and he was in a real good
shape. He had green eyes, a lovely smile and was probably as tall
as Roy. Sammie sighed aloud when he walked and fix his uniform and
Hayes, Second Lt. Robert Spencer reporting, ma'am" said the
guy saluting Lisa.
Lisa saluted him back and hid her smile for the dreaming eyes of
Sammie. She cleared her throat before talking.
for coming here with such a short notice Lt. Spencer. We really
need here your expertise in this area" said Lisa and walked
with him to Claudia's place.
captain. Don't worry, ma'am, I used to worked in this place sometimes
in the European division when I wasn't patrolling in a VF"
said Robert already looking into Claudia's screen.
Lt. Harrison spoke really high about you, I hope you don't let her
down" said Lisa smiling, knowing perfectly that Harrison was
a good officer, but surely that the looks of Spencer helped in her
answered Robert looking straight into Lisa's eyes. For some reason,
Lisa's heart pumped faster and she felt a little pain in her stomach,
like when someone was suddenly in front of danger. She composed
and called herself paranoid, but couldn't stop asking him.
we know you from somewhere, Lt. Spencer?" asked Lisa trying
to sound casual.
a little too fast and a his eyes sparked devilish for a second,
before he answered.
I didn't have the pleasure of meeting you before, but you were kind
to invite me to your wedding two weeks ago", he answered watching
how Lisa reacted to that.
and talked to herself that was probably the reason why she felt
like she knew him, but the strange feeling was still there.
from there" she said finally and then took a few map charts
and started to study them.
Two hours later,
Lisa was in her normal place, giving orders to the pilots. Being
at her job and at the admiral's one was a lot of work, and she was
glad that Lt. Spencer was a good and quiet worker. But the man made
her nervous for some reason.
Lisa saw in
her papers who was the next squadron who had to patrol the still
conflicted area of the last attack and she frown when she saw the
name and listen to the now very familiar voice.
wife" said Rick smiling to the screen and watching as Lisa
sighed, preparing herself for a new probably battle between the
Lisa was not
in the mood for teasing. She was tired, hungry and the look of her
just wake-up-husband-after-a-nap wasn't exactly helping her.
Rick" said Lisa trying to sound not so bitter.
"So! What's new?" asked Rick who was cheering and charming
in everybody else eyes, but just annoying to Lisa and the rest of
the bridge who were unbelievable tired.
well, let's see I haven't eat in 7 hours, I been working for 17
straight hours and I have to send Claudia home because she was sick.
Thank God I have the help of someone here in Claudia's place, because
other ways I will be mad by now…is that enough news for you?"
asked Lisa sarcastically.
when he saw the murdered gaze of his wife and figured it out that
it wasn't the perfect moment to tease her.
sorry Lisa" said Rick apologizing himself and looking at her
with his best puppy eyes. Lisa cursed herself for forgiving him
just for that look on his face.
said Lisa clearing her voice and trying to sound professional. Of
course, Rick knew that his 'puppy face' always worked and he smirked
before Lisa continued "You are in command of the Skull now,
because Roy is…away. Your orders are to patrol sector 15 and
looked for more survivors from the air. There are still reports
of rebellious activity in the area, but we need to evacuate the
zone of civilians first. Remember, that your primary target, rescue
the civilians there".
bridge" said Rick and after saluted on the screen he winked
at her and Lisa blushed, before the screen turned black again.
The patrol went
without any incident for the first quarter hour before Rick suddenly
saw a suspicious shape in the sky. It was 8:45 PM and the sky was
already dark when Rick tried to have a better view of the weird
1, you are changing directions" said Lisa raising an eyebrow
to him, but Rick didn't listen to her.
return to your position" said Lisa again and then noticed the
look of suspicious in Rick's eyes "Rick, what's it? What are
you looking at?" asked Lisa worried.
a strange…thing on the west, just over the mountains over
here" said Rick looking to the thing and without looking at
"I don't know…but….but looks familiar…"
said Rick when suddenly his eyes grow wider in shock and fear.
"What? WHAT?? Rick, what is it!" demanded Lisa from her
"Oh My God…it can't be? It's a Tou Redir!" said
opened wider in shocked. Like everyone else in the bridge.
Is…its not possible!" Said Lisa in disbelief.
"Well…believe it" said Rick, this time looking at
her on the screen.
Lisa was opened
mouth. She looked around and saw all the looks in her. She close
her mouth and after the first shocked moment, she remembered her
says the radar?" command Lisa.
Kim looked over and over again in her radar screen and just nodded
"Nothing Lisa! The radar just shows the Skull Squadron! Nothing
else" said Kim nervous.
again and rechecked her instruments.
"The same here…what about you Vanessa? Anything there?"
asked Lisa and Vanessa nodded in negative.
Anything on the radio?" asked Lisa one more time and Sammie
just answered "Nothing Lisa, nothing at all".
Lisa tried to
clear her mind.
"Rick, are you sure is a Tou Rider what you are looking at?"
asked her one more time.
a little red and answered a little angry "Of course I know
what I'm seeing here Lisa! This is a zentraedi Tou Redir".
in frustration "Captain Hunter, all the instruments here said
that there's nothing there, and a Tou Redir is not exactly a small
ship for not being detected for our radars" said Lisa trying
to control her headache.
Rick frown in
his seat, he was mad because she didn't believe him. "Look
Lisa, I know what I'm watching here. It's far away, but I think
I can recognized 498 m. long enemy ship!"
her eyes for second, she knew that a discussion was on sigh.
she started but then Rick cut her off.
"Don't 'captain me' Lisa, I know what I'm watching here…I'm
going to come closer for a visual confirmation" he said and
changed his VF's course to the west.
grew wider and she slapped the panel angry now "No Rick! There's
nothing there! The instruments show nothing and I rechecked it twice!,
you have a mission to complete, we need you to find those lost civilians!"
that If I'm right, there are not going to be any civilians around
to look for! I know what I'm watching Lisa! You have to believe
me!" said Rick sounding hurt.
and looked down, trying to control her breathing "Rick, this
isn't personal. And of course I believe you are watching something,
but I have to trust the instruments too. I can't let all the squadron
lose time to search something that 'probably' is not even there!
We need that time to search for survivors! And even if you are right,
one squadron, no matter how good it is, can't fight against a Tou
Redir" she said calmly and everybody on the bridge nodded their
approval at Lisa's explanation.
Rick's jaw contracted
in frustration, he just felt, in some way, betrayed. He sighed and
closed his eyes for a second from his VF, and when he opened them
again, he saw the shadow moving in a strange way. He looked back
to the screen after a while and saw the determination in Lisa's
eyes, but deep down he saw her fear too. He cleared his voice and
made a decision.
bridge, but I'm sure of what I'm seeing here and I need to have
a visual confirmation. I will go by myself".
skip a beat. She was afraid he was right, and now he planned to
go alone!, That was insane!. She wanted desperately to send someone
with him, but she knew what she checked too, she knew that the instruments
showed no movement and she knew too, that the few survivors of the
attack needed all the possible help available, and soon. She slowly
grabbed the edge of her desk and dug her fingers there. She knew
he was going to hate her for this, but she was in charge and she
had to trust her judgment. After a few seconds, she looked again
to the screen, and coldly said.
1, you are the commander of the skull squadron for tonight. You
don't have authorization for a solo mission".
and frown. He was more than angry, he was furious with her. How
she could do this to him after everything!.
then you will have to arrest me, because I'm going to see what's
in there" he said and Lisa closed her eyes, knowing that he
will answered that way to her.
2, Max, you are in charge for the rest of the mission" said
Lisa and Max worried face came onto the screen and saluted her.
that!" said Max and the processed to take Rick's place in the
squadron formation when he flew away and cut the communication with
the bridge. Max looked into Rick's direction and sighed.
Lisa stood there
and everybody on the bridge was in deathly silence. The girls looked
straight into their screen, trying to disappear and leave some space
for Lisa. Robert was checking his own instruments one more time,
even when wasn't necessary.
and stood up straight after a few minutes, she fix her uniform and
hid her tears. With a pain in her chest, she turned around and looked
to Vanessa and she waited for her inevitable order.
assign a two days arrest for Captain Hunter for insubordination.
The technicians will take his VF as soon as he come backs, and he
will not be able to fly until Admiral Gloval makes a decision about
this" said Lisa calmly, but with a sad tone in her voice.
Rick felt betrayed,
angry and hurt from Lisa's actions. Why she didn't believe him?
Or at least give him the benefit of the doubt. He changed his course
to the mountains and sighed. He needed to check what he was watching,
even if he knew what was waiting for him on his way back home.
When Rick landed,
the technicians waited, and a little afraid, asked him to give up
everything he had in the VF. Rick seriously waited for them to do
their job and walked straight to the conference room.
on the door and opened it when he heard Lisa's voice saying that
he can came in. Inside the big room she was alone, looking outside
from the window to the lights of the city.
Hunter reporting ma'am" he said coldly and saluted to her.
Lisa felt like her heart was falling apart when she saw him being
so cold and with a visible hurt look all over his face.
Lisa coming closer to him and tried to find the words, but his usually
beautiful baby blue eyes now were cold and looking at her like she
was the worst person in the planet "I…I ordered your
arrest for two days. You will have to answer to Admiral Gloval when
he comes back" she spoke quietly.
Rick stood there
looking to a point on the wall and refusing to look at her eyes.
He just answered a plain "Yes Ma'am" and waited for her
to dismiss him.
Lisa was hurt
too, more than he would ever know, but she was master at hiding
it. She sighed and turned around to the window one more time and
said "You are dismissed".
around and walked to the door when Lisa's words stop him.
it?" she asked quietly touching her painful forehead against
the cold glass of the window.
Rick stood there
and looking to the floor he answered "It was a mass chemical
cloud formed for the rest of one the zentraedi's ship that we destroyed
during the attack." He answered ashamed.
her eyes. She stood in silence for a while.
had that fight and you have a two days arrest just for a cloud?"
around and watched her. All the angriness came back again to him
and he walked next to Lisa.
give a damn if was a fu**ing cloud or not. You didn't believe me!
How could you do that to me?!" he asked looking at her, and
this time, it was Lisa the one who faced him angry.
you! But I have to trust my instruments and what all the crew said
to me! You were the only one who saw it! Even Max thought it wasn't
a Tou Redir!" said Lisa, very angry.
care! You were the one who was supposed to believe me Lisa!"
said Rick sounding hurt.
"You didn't want me to believe you! You wanted me to authorize
what you wanted to do! You want me to just...just forget what I
am supposed to do here because now you are my husband!".
his mouth in disbelief.
never EVER ask you to do anything like that!" he defended himself.
"Yes? Are you sure? Because you suddenly forgot that you were
supposed to rescue survivors! Did you know that for your little
show almost two people died out there? I wasn't kidding when I said
those people needed transportation and medical attention as soon
as possible! But no, Oh No, you have to be the hero and fly over
there and make sure that one of the biggest ships of the zentraedi
fleet was on earth, without us knowing it!!" shouted Lisa to
him, and she shook for the effort.
one who was out there!" answered Rick back.
"And I was in charge!" she replied back.
"You just like the power, you don't give a damn about us"
murmured Rick and regretted it as soon as the words were out.
opened wider and felt like all her energy was ending. There she
was, after 22 hours of work, fighting with Rick and he was hurting
her one more time, but even though she felt tired, she step closer,
was in charge and I am still in charge. But I do give more than
a damn for you and everybody else. I am not just in charge of you!
I'm in charge of the whole damn city right now, and I was in charge
of all those people who luckily didn't die for your stupidity. I
was the one responsible for their lives. And THAT'S why I have to
trust years and years of training from all those people with me
who were telling me that it wasn't ANYTHING where you were looking.
Because I was in charge of thousands of civilians and military lives
I couldn't risk to lose a complete squadron just for a guess! Not
even if it was YOUR guess! Have 'the power' as you said is more
than ordering around, it's an enormous responsibility on my hands
Rick. MY hands!, so don't say to me that I don't give a damn for
you!!" finished Lisa too overwhelmed for everything now. Her
tears were falling freely from her eyes and her body was visible
shaking for the effort.
Rick was speechless
and just looked at her. He didn't know what to say or do. He didn't
notice when he step back from her and Lisa felt even worst. She
just walked through the door and past him when Rick called her name.
She stood there, head down, her back to him and just murmured, trying
to get her control back.
have things to do on the bridge….I…I have to go"
she said and disappear through the door, before he could see the
new tears coming down.
Rick stood there
and felt pretty bad. He didn't want to say those things to her,
they just came out. He still felt hurt for her actions, but he realized
she have a point, and a good point. He saw the now, closed door
and felt the emptiness of that big room. He sighed and then went
Rick came home
at midnight. He was tired and sad for everything. He kicked his
shoes away and turned on the light of the living room and sit on
the couch, putting his face in his hands and prayed for some sake
from the skies, sadly looked like the big guy was busy with more
important things that night, because no sake came for him.
He stood up
and went to the bathroom. He took his uniform off and was walking
to the shower when he saw the bathtub.
next to it, he turned on the hot water and leave it open. He looked
around and saw all those little colored bottles of Lisa's and picked
one and read 'marine bath salt'. He opened and smelled it. He read
the instructions and threw the blue pieces of salt in the hot water.
Then he looked around and found a yellow bottle that said 'natural
bubble bath" he smelled it too and liked it, because it was
vanilla. He put it in the water and smile a little when the bubbles
started to fill the tub.
When the water
was done, he got inside. He let the water do the magic against his
sore muscles for a while. The mix of smells and the softness of
the salt were unreal. He closed his eyes and the first thing that
came to his mind was Lisa angry at him and crying. He hate himself
for a moment. After some time he realized she acted how she was
supposed to do, to be the responsible one. He wasn't mad anymore
because she wasn't on 'his side' because she couldn't be. She had
to be on everybodys side, on the people's side and not on just one.
and looked around. The bathroom was beautiful and welcoming. It
was bigger than the bathroom of Lisa's old home, but had the same
welcoming air, like the rest of their house. He wondered how much
she must enjoy her bathtub sessions because she had the bathroom
filled with nice aromas, candles and soft towels. It wasn't an expensive
thing, but it have enough to make it look like a SPA.
He put his hands
on his forehead and murmured to himself 'stupid'.
He stayed there
until the water started to get cold. All the time there he felt
like Lisa was around. Maybe it was because everything there smelled
like her, but he remembered her every single second. Rick stood
up and put a tower around his waist. He knew Lisa wasn't home, so
he walked like that to the kitchen for some food and froze when
he opened the fridge door.
There was an
apple pie, his favorite, and a little note on the top. Rick took
out the pie and read the note, knowing perfectly well who left it
'I know we were
working a lot these past weeks, but I'm not going to let work come
between my 'duties' of being a wife. Hehehehe, I can't let my husband
starve to death, can I? So even if you don't do your 'husband duties'
**Lisa laugh again** I'm going to leave this pie I made when you
weren't here last night. I hope you have the courtesy of leaving
a piece for me!
Rick stood there
feeling even worse with himself. He took the pie out and cut a piece.
It wasn't exactly amazing, but it was sweet and good. He smiled
sadly and realized how stupid he was. The fact that Lisa was his
wife didn't mean she had to do what he wanted. He knew that Lisa
was right when she said that before, but listening to it from her
mouth sound so…bad. He couldn't believe that she actually
was right about it.
He was eating
another piece of pie when the doorbell rang. Rick wondered who could
be so late and shouted a "I'm coming" and run to put some
Hunter" said Private Green, saluting to him and holding a note
for him "Captain Sterling left this note for you when he came
early to check his new house. He was hoping to count on your help
and your wife's help with the moving this saturday".
Rick took the
little white envelope and salute to him when he left. He entered
his house and opened the little envelope and took out a little piece
of paper, not bigger than a card, he read it.
AND today almost admiral is a big front against one man. No matter
if she is your wife, she is always going to win. Welcome to the
married man's world.
PS. Sorry buddy,
but she was right this time…you screwed it up. Say sorry.
Your pride is not going to warm you at night, and we are in winter!'
aloud with Max's note. That was a good friend. He was sure that
if Roy was there, he probably kick his ass for real, because even
when Roy was a grown up rebel, he always know how to act with responsibility.
He gulped and put Max's note in his pocket. He knew what he had
At 2 AM Lisa
left the main building of the base. She walked with her shoulders
down from physical and emotional stress. She sighed and walked slowly
into the garden of the base on her way outside when a shadow moved
around with tired eyes and saw how the shadow moved into her direction.
"Who's there?" asked Lisa stepping back.
"Your silly husband" said Rick coming out into the light.
Lisa sighed in relief.
"You scared me to death" she murmured and then remembered
their previous fight and felt the pain again.
"Sorry" answered Rick looking into her eyes "are
you going home?"
"Yes" she said looking to the floor and walking again,
but all the stress and now Rick's presence was too much. Lisa felt
dizzy and almost hit the floor if it weren't for Rick who caught
"Lisa, are you all right?" asked Rick looking into her
eyes. Now from this short distance he could see her tired eyes and
pale skin. Lisa opened her eyes slowly and nodded weakly.
"I'm…just…tired" she said and tried to stand
up but couldn't. All Lisa felt then was when Rick held her in his
arms and walked outside. She felt asleep smelling his neck…it
When Lisa woke
up, she was on the couch of her home. She didn't know how she was
there and tried to sit up.
she asked still sleepy trying to fix her tired eyes to the light
of the room.
"Here" he said coming from the kitchen holding a tray
and putting it in front of Lisa. She looked at it and there was
chicken soup, a big cheese, meat and tomatoes sandwich, a glass
with apple juice, a banana, an a piece of the pie she made.
at him gratefully and he smiled to her. She started to eat eagerly.
Rick watched her and felt even worse with himself. There she was,
the big captain, the responsible one, his wife, almost fainting
of tiredness and hunger and he was a self absorbed bastard.
When she ate
it all, she fell into the coach tired and looked at him.
she said with gratitude.
"It's ok…I have 'husband's duties' too, you know? I can't
let my wife die of hunger" he said trying to sound casual,
but his voice was obviously sad.
"No, Lisa, please" he interrupted her and held her hands
in his and wondered how tiny they were "I'm sorry for what
happened before. I was a jerk, and I know it. I felt betrayed at
first but I didn't realized how much you had on your hands. And
I acted like a brat. I'm sorry for what I said, I truly don't believe
that you like power in a bad way, you can handle that kind of power
with humility and wisdom. You are a natural leader, and I proud
of you for that" he said.
at him and sighed in relief, she slowly put her right hand in his
hair and played with his unruly and rebel hair between her fingers.
you find that out, and I'm sorry if I couldn't give you a chance.
If we weren't in that emergency state, believe me, I would send
you the complete squadron to check it out. But there were lives
in danger, and I have to make a choice based on what I had…"
she replied slowly and her eyes shinned a little again. Rick looked
at them and kiss the back of her hand.
let's go to bed" said Rick standing up and holding her hand.
Lisa stood up but Rick put her on his arms again and left her in
After a few
minutes, Lisa came into the bedroom and found Rick on the bed waiting
for her. She smiled slowly and felt all the tiredness coming again.
Rick held her closer and kissed her forehead.
worry Lisa, everything is fine, I know I can count on you when I
need it" he said and Lisa put her arms around his waist. With
the last strength she had, she kiss him on the lips, making him
sure he was right, that she was going to be there for him when he
really needed her. Rick looked at her after that, not so chaste
kiss, and smile widely when he saw how she position herself against
his neck, probably her favorite place in all the world, and felt