Joe finally concedes to accepting Ahim's offer to help tend to Sid when the ex-princess manages to catch him by the shoulders to keep him from pitching forward from lack of sleep and overfatigue. It takes him about a full minute to register her commands for him to lie down and sleep his worries off, but when he does he nods mutely and meekly obeys.
It's been about two weeks since they captured Barizorg, a little shy of one since they finally recovered Sid to rush home to the galleon. It has been surprisingly quiet; Earth has remained free of any attacks from Zangyak and while this kind of delay is usually just the calm before the storm, Joe cannot bring himself to care about anything other than what happens (or has not happened yet) in this room.
He watches as Ahim fusses about, her hair twisted up and away from her face. He knows that Don cooks and Luka runs errands; and that Marvelous occassionally darkens the do or, Navi fluttering about in that clunky clockwork way of hers just over the captain's shoulder.
Not one of them enter the room though, and Joe makes a mental note to tell them 'Thank you, for understanding,' even if they don't and are just keeping their distance. Because the fact of the matter is, as much as it is Sid who lies battered (and quite possibly broken beyond repair) on that cot, it is Joe who feels the most vulnerable at this very moment, having found himself disarmed in the light of his own relief.
"Joe-san, please. You need to eat."
He looks up to see Ahim peering down at him, one hand lifting a cool, damp towel to press against his forehead. He hasn't been much use to her in here, but she never seems to mind that she'd doing most of the nursing -- to both him and Sid.
"I hardly think that Sid-san will approve of you looking worse for wear when he wakes up."
She turns away to reach for the tray on the food cart that has been disappearing first with emptied plates and glasses and trays only to return with more food and water and medicine and whatever else is needed.
Joe reaches out then, his fingers curling over Ahim's wrist, prompting her to turn a surprised look over her shoulder.
"I can get that," he manages to say, heart in his throat for reasons he can't list down right then and there. "You should sit down for awhile and get off your feet. I'm sorry if I've been a burden."
Her smile is warm, "Nonsense, Joe-san. Isn't this what comrades do? Support each other when it is most necessary. Now eat, or Hakase will think you let his good food go cold."