Quinn stands up and stretches after checking the flight plan and autopilot for the third time to make sure they weren't tampered with somehow. Satisfied with the state of Black Cat's navigation system she looks over at Archer. "You look like Osiris when he's peering through his microscope at that virus thing we all got. Though prettier." Quinn tells her. "You let me know if any alarms go off and for some reason I ain't hearin 'em." She turns and steps down out of the cockpit and heads in the direction of the rooms of the man as mentioned.
If not finding him in his rooms, she wanders around her familiar ship looking for that unfamiliarly bald head. "Doc," she says when she finally finds him, "You looked in on my brother yet? I thought her weren't supposed to get sick for a little while yet. And it's got my head all worried to think that he's comin down with this thing already. If Nagashima don't know and he ain't expectin any of us to be sick, it might be a while before he calls Siquin again. What if it takes a long time?"
"You got it," Archer says, sitting up and stretching. "Think I might go check up on our new passenger too. Don't think we can be too careful nowadays..."
Osiris puts on his most reassuring face. "Easy there, Quinn. I already checked, and it's not Nagashima's virus - just a little stomach bug."
He can't completely hide the worry on his face. "That bein' said, I hope that virus don't activate any time soon. Nicholas is pretty dehydrated, so his body's already weaker than it was the last time, and he's doesn't exactly have your constitution to see him through. In fact, I'd say the only reason he got the flu and no one else has is his last bout with the Nagashima virus took more out of him than it did out of any of us. And if he doesn't lick this flu bug and get his strength back before the other virus activates again, things could get pretty bad."
A pause. "Okay. Really bad. If he shows symptoms in his current condition, we can't putter about until we have space in our busy schedules to get the virus shut down again. We need to fix him up and fast, or he might die before any of the rest of us get shut down by it again. I have my suspicions that it's the same with Luke, since it hit him just about as quick."
Osiris looks positively grim, now. "Nagashima's friends certainly know how to craft a deadly virus. Trouble is they couldn't've known that some of the crew would take it harder than others. As far as they know, they can hold back on the treatment for a couple days just to scare us all, 'cause it won't cause no serious long term harm if we're only sick for a couple of days a month."
Osiris sighs heavily. "Thing is, with Nicholas and Luke that might not be true so much. It's wearin' 'em down already, and it's gonna be worse every time they get sick. If we don't cure this thing for good really fast, it'll cause permanent damage that shortens their shot at a long life even after we do cure it. And if we're not really careful from here on out about gettin' 'em treated by Nagashima's medi-goons as soon as either of 'em get the sniffles, eventually their bodies'll be too weak to recover in between bouts, and they could die. The longer we let Nagashima play this game with Siqin, the greater the danger to Nicholas and Luke."
Osiris seems to realize he's maybe said too much - that he might create a panic. He tries to look confident. "I'm sure we'll find Dustin and lick this thing long before it makes serious trouble for either of them. They're weaker now than they were, but they're still mostly healthy. It'd take months for things to get really bad, I'd say - just as long as we're careful about takin' care of 'em."
As Osiris talks, the look on Quinn's face gets more and more grim. His final attempts at re-assurance don't seem to do much in the way of undoing the damage of foretelling Nicholas' future demise. In fact, she looks a little green herself now.
"Is all we can do find is Dustin? Ain't nothin' to boost him up so that he don't get so worn down from it all? Can't you use me somehow? I'm his sister, there ought to be some way you can use me like Dustin, right? At least to help Nico." Her shoulders sag as she wrestles with the ideas that are beyond her to actually form.
"Months for sure, Osiris?" She sits down on the nearest surface and puts her head in her hands. "There ain't much worse I can think of that would happen than if my brother were to die. Everything I really care about is right here on this ship. That makes my numbers pretty low when it comes to losin things."
Quinn lifts her head a little and looks up at Osiris from wet but not yet tearing eyes. "If Nagashima kills my brother..." she doesn't finish the thought but it ends on the hardest edge Quinn has ever said anything with.
Nagendra is the guy who infected you with the virus. Ridiculously similar names, I know, I'm horrible.
Osiris sits down next to Quinn and wraps his arms around her comfortingly. "Shhh. Easy now. You know I'll do everything in my power to keep anything bad from happenin' to Nicholas or anyone else. I'm just not...well...I'm a little afraid for my own self. Okay, more than a little. I haven't been this scared since I got on the Cat - and that includes all the times involvin' Reavers. Then I was just afraid I'd die in horrible pain, but this is different. This reminds me too much of the situation I can't tell anyone about - the one where I wasn't smart enough or strong enough or brave enough to save the people I cared about most."
"I'm the ship medic. I'm supposed to keep everyone patched up and in good health. If I'm not smart enough or strong enough to lick this virus, and someone dies, it'll mean that nothing's really changed in my whole life. It'll mean I've failed everyone all over again - and you most of all. Quinn, life ain't been at all fair to you, and you deserve so much better than you've got from this 'Verse. I don't want what happened to me to happen to you. Hell, I wouldn't wish what happened to me on anyone - Nagendra included."
"But I don't want you to think I'd hide a thing like this from you. It's terrifyin', but you have the right to know that I might fail you. I might not be smart enough to do what you think I can do. As embarrassin' as it is for me to admit it, I'm not really a very good doctor. My schoolin's in dentistry. I can pull a tooth quick and painless and replace it good as new with a prosthetic, but I'm so out of my depth with this virus. I'm tryin' anyway because I know you're countin' on me and Nicholas is countin' on me and the whole crew is countin' on me, and I'm just hoping that this time everyone's faith in me doesn't turn out to be misplaced."
"Maybe I can use some blood transfusions and antibiotics to keep Nicholas and Luke healthy between Nagendra's bouts. I really should've seen the risk before Nicholas got the flu. I didn't realize how much more weakened he was than the rest of the crew, but I won't make that mistake again. He's not in danger right away. We have at least six months to cure this thing before Nicholas is in trouble - much longer if Nagendra holds off on letting us get sick."
"If I were a real Core doctor with all the best labs and drugs available to me, I might be able to muddle my way into curing this virus from scratch. It wouldn't be easy, and it'd probably take months of research more intense than anything I've done in fifteen years, but I might be able to lick it without a solid starting point. Birgitta can keep the Cat running, but I don't know that she'd be so keen on assembling a Firefly from scratch. In the same way, I'm really not going to be able to cure this virus without Dustin."
Quinn leans in to Osiris and puts her head on his shoulder. As he continues to talk she moves her hand up to the other side of his neck, resting her arm on his chest. While she doesn't sniffle, Osiris feels the drop of a tear on his collar bone. When he is done talking she says, "Sorry. I ain't bein fair to you. My life ain't been that hard. Lost my brother, lost my best friend, lost my lover and my mom and my baby all at once, but I got some of them back. And I found some new ones. There's somethin aweful worse out there in this Verse. For a spacer, I got it easy Osiris, I really do.
"I'm glad you're wantin to tell me the truth and I don't want you to ever feel like you should keep it from me, to protect me or keep from makin me sad, or anything like that. Keepin somethin inside ya can eat ya from the inside out. And I did ask ya what you know about it.
"Ain't your fault I didn't like the answer." She sighs. "I ain't expectin you to steer your way to Hudson without a star chart and not run into reavers or go out beyond the known Black. I don't care if you figure it out or if that fancy core doctor does- as long as someone does. I forget that you ain't got all that 'quipment and ain't been taught all that extra stuff. You're amazin. You kin do things that ain't no one should be able to do. You kept me from dyin more'n enough times."
She runs the nail of her index finger along the little hairs on the back of his neck absentmindedly as she talks, there is no longer any indication in her voice that she feels like crying. "I ain't gonna tell you that you have to do it again. I know you'll try. I know you can keep my brother and the rest of us safe for a while. If the rest of us move fast enough we can get what you need to try and make the fix more permanent. We're a team. It ain't you against the virus, or the bad guy or the 'verse. We'll work together to figure this one out. You let me know what I can do if I ain't doin' it already. I ain't the smartest person in the 'verse but I can fly and I can use my hands and sometimes I can be of use to a person."
Osiris nods an acknowledgment against Quinn's shoulder but says nothing, holding her a little tighter - as if he's afraid that if he lets her go he'll lose everything and everyone all over again.
"Listen, Osiris." Quinn says, running her hand up over his stubbly head and back down to rest on his chest. "Ain't there no reason for you to be scared. It'll turn out right- things do. Sometimes it might take a little time, but things do turn out right. Luck wilin. And I ain't never had my luck run out on me, so now that you're with me, my damn luck's gonna get your back to." She pushes off of him a little with quiet insistence against his tight arms so that she can look him in the face.
"I'll be at your back, or your front; where ever you want me, just say the word." She smiles and looks to see if he appears any less worried.
The space between Osiris and Quinn seems charged and her hand is tingling as it rests against his chest. She slides it back around the side of his neck again and leans in to kiss him with her eyes open- completely aware that she is breaking her brother's rules. When she pulls away she is blushing. She blinks.
"Sorry, I should really go check on my brother," she says a bit breathlessly. She slides out of Osiris's grasp and heads quickly for the exit. "I'll talk to you later."