Operations picked up the secure phone after informing Birkoff that he was not to be disturbed. He dialed the number he had long ago memorized but had hoped he would never have to use.
"Yes, Paul," was the immediate reply.
"We have a situation," he stated.
"So it would appear. Am I to take it that you can't handle it? You need my intervention?" the voice questioned him.
"I'm simply alerting you to the fact that she may need your help. We have ordered sessions with Dr. McAllister. I think you should give him a couple of days to see if he can make any progress."
The voice remained silent at the other end. It was unnerving to Operations. He didn't like dealing with someone that had this much control over him and Section, not to mention the entire intelligence community. He didn't like feeling incompetent, and that's exactly what this situation was doing to him. Finally, the voice answered.
"Two days. It will take that long for one of my people to get there. Do not tell her I'm sending someone, or even that we've had this conversation. We will find her. If you learn anything in the meantime, I will expect a call immediately."
"Of course," Operations answered and the phone went dead.
Sherry walked into Travis' office without knocking. Roarke and Travis were deep in discussion about something. They both looked up as the door opened.
"Doc, I understand you want to finish what we started last night," she teased seductively. "Are you sure your office is the best place to do that?"
Roarke's eyebrows shot up at her comments. He could also see that Travis was upset.
"Stop it." Travis ordered. "I'll be with you in a minute. You can wait outside until Roarke and I are finished."
Her headache worsening, she was in no mood for pleasantries. "Travis, I don't have time for this. If you want to see me, I'm here. If not, I'm leaving."
Travis stood up. "Sit. I'm just going to walk Roarke out." Sherry glared at him. Roarke gave Travis a questioning look as Travis pointed to the door and they headed out.
"You can keep the door open fellas. I want to hear what you say about me," she mocked. Travis deliberately closed the door behind them.
"Wow. I haven't talked to her for a while. I had no idea," Roarke whistled. "If I didn't know better, I'd say she was tipsy," he continued.
Travis sighed. "She probably is." "She's drinking?" At Travis' nod, Roarke shook his head. "Any idea what the problem is?"
Travis shook his head. He had talked to Michael last night about his thoughts because of what had happened at the bar, but he wasn't going to break patient confidentiality any further. He was going to have to walk a fine line with this one. He needed her to trust him. In order to do so, he would have to keep her confidences. However, Section would demand to know what the problem was. His dilemma would be to let them know what was wrong while not breaking her trust. It was going to be difficult.
"And what was that crack about finishing what you started last night? Is there something happening with you two that I should know about?" Roarke asked. "After all, you're still my material. I don't want to find out after the fact that you've stepped on his toes."
Travis explained what had happened the night before. "She only did it because she was drunk. I think she wants to push Michael away. Me too, for that matter."
Roarke laughed. "Funny way to push you away, wouldn't you say?"
"Not really. You know she would never be involved with more than one man at a time. She's involved with Michael. I've tried to accept that. She knows that and I would never presume anything other than our friendship. She's trying to make me angry by using my feelings for her against me."
"I don't envy you, buddy. If you need my help with anything, or just need to blow off steam, call me. I'll do whatever I can." Travis thanked him and then went back into his office.
Sitting down at his desk, he watched her for a few moments before he spoke.
"How much have you had to drink?" he finally asked.
Sherry stared at him. "Apparently not enough."
"Why's that?" he prompted.
"Because I'm still coherent enough to be sitting here getting the third degree from you," she answered.
Travis nodded. "You can cut the sarcasm. It's not going to change my mind or get you out of these sessions. We are going to work until you get through this. But the first thing you need to do is get some sleep." She didn't say anything. She simply sat there waiting.
"I'm taking you to Medlab. I'll give you a strong sedative so that you can get some sleep. Once you've gotten some rest, we can better assess where to go," he explained.
Sherry began shaking her head as soon as the word Medlab was out of his mouth. "No. I'm not going to Medlab. And I am NOT going to sleep."
Travis walked around his desk and propped on the edge of it. "You need sleep. It's obvious you haven't been getting much, if any. You're on edge all the time. You snap at everyone. You're drinking. I can't allow that to go on. You know that alcohol is not a solution to anything."
She looked at him with the saddest, most frightened looked he had ever seen on her face. "Please, Doc, don't make me go to sleep. Please," she pleaded. He almost gave in when he realized how terrified she was. He would do anything for her if he could, but this time he had to be strong.
"You know I only want to help you," he said soothingly, trying to calm her. "But you need rest. You've been pushing yourself for too long without sleep. You soon won't be able to function at all. We have to do this."
"NO!" she yelled and jumped up. "I thought you cared about me. Why are you torturing me like this?" Travis stood up. "You know I care about you, more than I should. But that's why I'm doing this. Once you've had some rest, you will see things more clearly."
"No, no, no. I can't go back to sleep. They'll come back. I can't take it any more. Please, Doc, I'm begging you," she pleaded as a few stray tears ran down her cheek.
Travis could see the near hysteria zapping her strength. "Who will come back? Why are you so afraid to sleep, honey?" he asked, the endearment slipping out without him noticing.
"The dreams. I can't take the dreams anymore. Please, Doc, just give me something to make me forget. I don't want to remember anymore. It's too painful."
Finally, Travis felt a hint of relief. He was getting somewhere. At least now he knew why she wasn't sleeping. "Tell me about the dreams."
"I have them every time I fall asleep. I can't go back to sleep. They'll come back. I don't want to relive it again. I can't do this anymore. Maybe I should just ..."
Travis was afraid of what she had been about to say before she cut herself off. "Maybe you should what?"
Sherry simply shook her head. She was exhausted. She didn't want to fight anymore. Maybe if she played along and went to Medlab with him, she could find a way to get her hands on some sleeping pills. After all, that's what they all wanted. They wanted her to sleep. And if she took enough pills, she could sleep forever. Then the dreams would stop.
Travis watched the resignation take over her face. He was relieved that she was either giving in, or just too tired to fight him any longer, but he also knew it could be a bad sign. She was giving up and he couldn't let her. But he needed to find out about the dreams first. "Tell me about your dreams. Why do they frighten you?" he asked gently.
She looked up at him with tears in her eyes. "Because they are true. They are my life played back for me. I can't do this anymore."
Travis took her hand and helped her up. "Come on. We're going to Medlab now. Don't worry about the dreams. I'll stay with you. If you get scared, talk to me. We'll get through it," he promised. She leaned heavily on him and rested her head on his shoulder as they made their way down the hall to medical. Jace was there to meet them.