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Posted on 23 Oct 2017 @ 12:34am by Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale & Lieutenant Joey Geisler

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Security/Talons
Timeline: November 14, 2388

Joey made her way into the Security complex and took a look around. She had to admit... she missed it, but her new position on the ship proved to be interesting and provides her with the same kind of excitement she had before without fear that she'd be killed at every turn. That was something the Lieutenant was grateful for considering her precious cargo. It was her job to see to it that they stayed safe, and that was exactly what she planned to do.

The Intel Chief stopped outside of the Security Chief's office and took a deep breath. She hadn't seen Camila since the wedding, but that was merely to give her friend a chance to settle back in. Joey had to admit that Moreau leaving was a bit of a surprise to her, but DS15 needed him, and the Black Hawk needed Camila no matter what the ombre haired woman wanted to think. This was her home... they were her family. Nothing was ever going to change that.

With a smile, the brunette woman extended a hand and touched the sensor to activate the chime inside the office. It was more than time for her to welcome back her friend. Now, she waited to be granted entry.

"Enter," Camila called out as she replicated another cup of coffee. Ever since she had been back, the once and current Chief of Security had been running around the clock. She had to get acquainted with new personnel, determine training needs, greet old personnel, answer questions, do the duty shifts and a thousand other things. A stack of PADDs which were dangerously close to falling over rested on the edge of her deck next to a stack of isolinear chips as well as a web belt and several other items which filled her desk.

Joey walked into the office and looked around, unable to keep from ginning. The chaos before her looked just like it belonged to someone who was getting settled in for the first time. Or in this case... the second one. "Do you need any help getting settled back in?" the taller woman asked as she stepped inside to allow the door to close.

Camila looked up, ready to tell whoever it was to go see the Assistant Chief and learn what a Chain of Command was before she saw who her guest was a smiled. She came to her feet and started to gesture towards a chair, but ended up knocking the stack of PADDs over with a curse and a sigh. "Come on in, Joey," she said. "Don't mind the moving in mess. I'm still getting used to a bigger department and learning who everyone is, what they do, and why they think I can wave my hands to make things appear."

She went around the desk and swept most of the PADDs aside with a foot before she hugged her taller friend. "Getting big there, Lieutenant," she said when she felt the big bump of the other woman's stomach.

Joey smiled and returned the hug. She was so happy to have her friend back on board, and had Camila not been shanghaied, the taller woman would have found a way to make it happen. "And I'm only going to get bigger from here on out," she stated. "This came as a total surprise for both Harvey and I, but we're happy. I'm pretty excited, too. I never thought I'd be a mom, but now that it's happening, I couldn't imagine them not being on their way."

Camila stepped back and looked her over. "You're almost glowing, Joey," she said before she leaned down to pick up the PADDs she had kicked aside. She stood up again and shoved them back on the desk, knocking the belt off in the process with a sigh. "I still feel that I shouldn't be here, though."

"That must be from the morning sickness," the taller woman said with a smile, though, thanks to her visit to sickbay, it wasn't as bad as it normally was. The moment her feet hit the ground, it was a mad dash to make it to the facilities in time. Then... it was time to take her meds. This was one part of pregnancy she could do without. "This is where you belong, Camila, and while I understood your reasons for staying behind, your place is here with the rest of us."

"Morning sickness turns you green. Pregnancy makes you glow," the honey blonde said. "As for me belonging here...it's strange. Some of the names are the same, but everything else is so different from the quarters to the mess and...it just feels weird being on a ship of the same name."

"We've all had more time to get used to the new ship, and while it's going to be an adjustment, you'll get used to it, too," Joey assured her. "Oh! I owe you a face to face thank you for getting my weapons from the armory. I never had the chance to thank you for that properly. Have you eaten?"

"You would have done the same for me," the Security Chief told her. "But you're welcome. No, I haven't eaten yet. Did you happen to miss the mountain of work on my desk? I don't have time to eat or anything else."

"Yes, you do. I'll help you when we get done," Joey said. "My hormones are all over the place, and I'm sure I can muster up some real tears."

"Forewarned is forearmed," Camila retorted. "And I have an Assistant Chief for that. You have your own department to keep you busy enough and I wouldn't let you since you are pregnant. You don't need any added stress by trying to take on another department. The Captain would have my head."

Joey smiled. She couldn't really argue with that. He might have hers, too. "I'd like to go on record and say that I take care of myself and these two taters very well. I've been reading a book Harvey got for me. What To Expect When You're Expecting, and it's been helping quite a bit. He also answers any questions that I have, too," she spoke, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear. "Thirty minutes. That's all I'm asking for. Please?"

For a moment the shorter woman wondered if the comment about Joey taking care of herself was a dig at the obviousness of her own weight loss from her time on Deep Space Eleven and resolved to order some padding for her uniforms. "Thirty minutes, but I really do have a lot to catch up on," she said. "Captain Geisler told me that he didn't want me to let him down."

"You didn't let him down before, so I know you won't this time around, either," the Intel Chief stated. And while Camila thought it may have been a dig, it wasn't. It only meant that Joey was more aware of things when it came to her body. What she ate, how she worked out now, and a number of other things. It wasn't just her that those things affected. "You can try to argue with that, too, but I've said is the truth. Now, let's go to Talons and grab something to eat."

For a moment, Camila wanted to debate the fact that she had let the Captain down and then shoved it aside. She had to put on the face of the confident Chief of Security. "There's a Talon's on this ship, too?" she asked as she secured her terminal and grabbed her coffee mug while gesturing at the door.

"There is, and Selah runs this one as well," Joey confirmed as she made her way out the door, stopping just out of the way to wait for Camila to join her. "I haven't been yet, but I hear it's pretty nice and the food is amazing. Can't beat either on if those if you ask me."

Is it real or replicated?" the Security woman asked as she secured her door and walked across the Security Complex towards the exit with a nod at the Andorian woman who acted as a receptionist guard. "I'm going to lunch. Be back in thirty."

"It's the same as it was on the original," she replied, falling in step with Camila.

The Andorian gave a nod as they exited and returned to her duties.

"So what have you been doing in the past few months?" Camila asked her.

"Harvey and I went back to Earth for a while. We saw our parents, did some surfing, spent some time in a bungalow that was literally in the middle of the ocean. That's where we were when we got our new assignments," Joey began, preparing herself for what was to be a fairly long-winded story. She still missed home, but had every intention of getting back someday in the future. "After what happened on Deep Space Eleven, I was more than ready to turn my resignation in. Quite literally dying has a way of making on rethink their career choice."

She stepped onto a turbolift with Camila and requested deck eight before she continued. "I got orders to meet with Commander SatiƩ on the Lakota, which was the very ship that was going to be bringing us to the Black Hawk-A. That's where I found out I was going to be making the move from Security to Intelligence, and that was mostly because of how familiar I was to this area," she said.

"The move was one I was grateful for, and I think it's a good fit for me. Never thought I'd be wearing the red uniform, though," the Intel Chief commented as she smoothed a hand over her uniform. It wasn't nearly as snug as it had been, and that was all thanks to Ensign Mackie working his magic. "I found out I was pregnant the same day we were under way, and came in at eight weeks along. I knew the night we spoke, but hadn't told Harvey yet. As a matter of fact, I'm ten weeks today. Life has a way of throwing curve balls, doesn't it."

The brunette Lieutenant went on to give Camila a rundown of their last mission and where they were presently so she'd be a bit more up to speed. And to keep her from having to scour dozens of reports to get the information, all of which the old, and now new again, Chief of Security would have access to. "And now we're trying to find a way to get into the Convergence Zone as safely as possible," she concluded. "I've rambled on more than enough, though. Aside from helping on Deep Space Eleven, what have you been up to?"

All throughout Joey's recital of events, Camila had been relatively silent but when the taller woman in red had stopped, she smiled. "Sounds like you've had a very exciting and adventurous time of it. I went back home to Venice on shoreleave and I was going to resign before I realized my place was here among the stars. However, when I came back, I had a minor meltdown and requested a semi leave of duty and spent all my time on Deep Space Eleven breaking my back."

"After the wedding, I had planned on going back but I got detained by Security and missed my transport," she said. "It was supposedly a mix up but the Commander of Deep Space Fifteen was apparently working with Captain Geisler because when I was supposed to be beaming to my transport, I ended up on a transporter pad here on the ship and the Captain handed me a PADD and my new orders. I quite literally been shanghaied."

"It's great that you have a chance to spread your wings in a new area that's not as dangerous as Security," Camila continued. "You were pushing yourself too hard and I was about to make a recommendation that you be reassigned to a less dangerous role on the ship. You have more than you to think about now and you look happy. I'm proud of you, Joey."

"I will admit that I'm quite glad my husband shanghaied you and got you to stay. If he hadn't, I would have," the taller woman admitted. "Your place is with us, and you're the best damn Security officer I know. Being on Deep Space Eleven would have killed you, and that's not a service I wanted to be going to."

"As for pushing myself... I wasn't pushing myself any harder than you or anyone else. Times called for long hours and giving our mission our all and then some. That's what we all signed up for whether we went through the Academy or enlisted. There's not a day that's gone by that I don't think about these two little precious beings that are depending on me, either. They drive me to be better... to be safe. And I'm proud of you as well."

"I didn't really do anything when I was the Chief before, Joey," Camila said. "You, Cooper and the others were the ones doing everything while I passed out assignments. That's going to change now, though. I deserve to face as much risk and danger as everyone else. It was selfish of me to send others out when I was capable of doing the same things."

"That doesn't mean you didn't do anything, Camila," Joey pointed out as she stepped off of the turbolift and into the corridor to wait for her friend.

"Pushing PADDs and giving orders isn't a risk or a danger," the shorter woman said as she walked beside of the Chief of Intelligence. "What I need to do is lead from the front just as much as I expect my personnel to do."

"I know you'll do just that. Look at what you accomplished on Deep Space Eleven, though. You were right there with everyone else. Had it not been for you and your team, who knows what would have happened?" the Intel Chief asked. "I was too busy being killed, which doesn't really look good."

"I had the help of an Orion female on the station and I spent most of the time arguing with Bast," Camila told her quietly. "He tried to countermand every order I gave and then acted as I weren't doing my job. That's why I dumped him and headed back to Earth and he had the nerve to respond to my letter and once again tried to make everything my fault. I'm done with relationships with officers who outrank me. You may have gotten killed, but you still managed to do more than I did."

"Camila... we can go back and forth on this all day, but we'll never get anywhere with it. Let's just agree to disagree," Joey suggested as they moved through the corridor. "At any rate, it's great to have you back again. It feels like the family is whole again."

"It does even though there's a lot more family to meet," the shorter woman said. She reminded herself that she wasn't supposed to point out every negative thing while on duty. She could do that to herself when she was off duty in the privacy of her quarters when no one was around. "I'm glad to be back, really."

"I know there are some others that are going to be glad you're back as well. When you have the chance to, you should go spring the surprise on them," she said with a grin.

"I will when I have time," Camila said as she headed into Talon's. "I've spent the last two days going over reports and seeing what changes Lieutenant Moreau had done. He seemed like a gung ho officer and had all kinds of plans laid out for training. Stuff like rapid response, high intensity holo scenarios and dozens of new protocols covering situations that I never even thought of before."

"He was efficient, though we butted heads a time or two. He wasn't you, that's for sure, but he knew what he was doing," Joey commented.

"I think I saw him at the wedding...big, muscular and bald?" the ombre haired woman asked in disbelief. "You butted heads with that giant and you still have yours?"

"I slapped him, too, but that was after he made a comment about my ankles and ears. I'm sure I don't need to explain what he meant by that, though," the Intel Chief said as they made it into Talons. She found a quiet table to the back and settled down. "There was also the time he kissed the floor, too. In a senior briefing, no less."

Camila's eyes went wide and she shook her head. "I'm surprised you didn't phaser him," she said as she sat down at the table. "That's definitely not good conduct and if he kissed the floor, he deserved it. Oaf."

"We moved past it pretty quickly, and at the end of the day, I wish him nothing but the best."

"That's good to hear," the shorter woman said before she ordered a cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate milkshake. "What do you want to get?"

Joey found herself looking over the selection before her, and while a great deal of it appealed to her, her stomach disagreed. The last thing she wanted to do was choose something, eat it and get sick, only to develop and aversion to it. "I think I'm going to go with a grilled chicken salad and peppermint tea. Maybe that will be safe enough," she said.

"The kids not letting you each what you want?" Camila asked as the waitress took their orders and headed to the back to place them. A moment later, she set Joey's peppermint tea in front of her and gave Camila her chocolate milkshake.

"I haven't tried a whole lot to be honest. Rabbit food seems tone okay. I'm on medication for it, but I'm not taking any chances," the taller woman explained. "And coffee is a trigger. It makes me nauseous."

"Remind me not to offer you coffee when you come to my office," the Security Chief said. "I've been living on the stuff for about three months now."

"Harvey drinks it, and I did up until this started. Now I have to think of other ways to keep myself going," Joey said before taking a sip of her tea.

"Try an herbal drink with ginseng and honey," Camila suggested. "It's supposed to give energy and help with focus. The CMO on Deep Space Eleven kept yelling at me about it."

"I'll have to give it a try," Corwin said, eyeing the woman across from her. "So... how do you really feel about being back?"

"It's good to be back," the ombre hair woman lied and hated herself for it. She wanted to find a dark cargo bay to hide in, but pushed forward. She didn't have a choice. "I was a bit upset at first, but I'm starting to get back into a regular routine. How's life as a spook?"

"Harvey had his reasons for wanting you back," Joey stated, taking another sip of her tea.

Camila took a drink of her shake and set it down. "I'm sure he did, but shanghaiing me threw me off," she said. "He handed me a PADD with all the information on it and started to walk away before I could even say anything. I had to run to catch up and play twenty questions."

"Let's be realistic. If you were asked to stay, which I recall doing, you would have said no. Which I also recall hearing. Shanghaiing you was the only way that would have achieved the ultimate goal, and it did," Joey pointed out. "Otherwise, you wouldn't be here right now. This is where you belong, Camila. No matter what you might think, it is. I may not be Security any longer, but I know it as well as I know the back of my hand. If you need any help, or want to bounce ideas off of someone, you know where you can find me. Just... call ahead of time. Not everyone has access to the Intel complex."

"I know, I know," she said with a sigh. "It's just going to take time. I have a lot on my mind and it's going to be there for some time to come and being back here...it's bringing a lot of it to the front of my thoughts when I should be focused on other things. Like Security."

"It's going to be an adjustment, Camila, and that's not something that's going to happen over night," Joey said as their food was brought out and placed in front of them. She thanked the waitress with a smile before she left, then looked back to her friend. "You aren't the only one who is still coping with what happened, and the worst thing you can do is try to deal with it on your own. Everyone needs to have someone they can lean on for support, and you are no different."

"I'll get it together and be ready for when I'm needed," the honey blonde said. "For now, I'm starving. This looks amazing, doesn't it?"

"It does," Joey agreed, picking up her fork. "Even with the meds, I'm still paranoid."

Camila picked up a fry and ate it as she contemplated the stars outside the window before she looked at her friend. "Just don't be sick on me," she half joked. "I don't want to join you if you do."

"In theory, I shouldn't be," the taller woman explained as she speared some of the salad with her fork. "I wanted to tell you I was pregnant that night we spoke, but I hadn't told Harvey yet. That wouldn't have been right. I have no idea what we're going to do as far as space goes."

"And now you're expecting twins....that's going to be weird, I'll bet," the shorter woman said. "I couldn't imagine two life forms growing inside of me." She picked up her burger and took a bite.

"It is a bit weird, to be honest, and it's been an adjustment. I've had to cut things out of my diet and cut back on what I do when I workout for their well-being, which is fine by me," Joey said. "It's just weird knowing I'll get to a point where I won't be able to see my feet. Not that I can see them much now." She shook her head and refrained from laughing. "I'm probably going to need help getting my shoes and socks on."

"You need your own Yeoman," Camila said. "One that helps you get dressed and undressed. You should ask the Captain if you can borrow his."

Joey smiled. "I know Mila would help me if I needed it, but I'm married now. If I actually needed help, I know he would. He's just so busy, and when he comes home, I don't like to ask him to do things."

"What if he's gone by the time you get up?" the other woman asked as she ate another bite of her burger and a deep drink of the chocolate shake.

"I'll just have to do the best I can in that case," the brunette haired woman said, looking to the food she had yet to start eating. Even the bite she had ready to go remained on her fork. "Women have been having babies since the dawn of time, and they managed. I'll manage, too."

Camila looked over at her. "Not hungry or you don't think it'll agree with you?" she asked her friend. It felt odd to call someone a friend after so many months of isolation and she wasn't sure if she was worthy of being anyone's friend.

"I'm afraid it's going to fight back. It's silly, I know," Joey sighed. "It's now or never." With that, she took the bite on her fork and started to chew. So far, so good. Maybe her paranoia was for nothing.

The Security woman watched Joey intently and half scooted off of her chair in the event that the food did fight back. She pushed her plate a little to the side as she picked up a fry and casually munched on it. "If you need a doctor, I can have one on standby," she offered.

Joey eyed the woman sitting across from her. "Really?"

"You said it yourself," Camila pointed out. "Rabbit food."

"It's less likely to make me sick," the taller woman pointed out. "Or maybe it isn't. I should probably read up on that."

"In the meantime, give it a try and see what happens," the honey blonde woman replied as she ate more of her hamburger and washed it down with the shake.

Joey took a sip of her tea and ate a bit more of her salad. She didn't actually realize how hungry she was until she'd taken that first bite. "Trust me... I plan to. I'm starving. All I had last night was popcorn and chocolate cake."

"Have you started getting strange cravings yet?" Camila asked her as she took a fry and dipped it in her milkshake.

"Not yet, no. I think that happens sometime in the second trimester. I'm not quite there just yet," she replied.

"Want one of these?" the shorter woman asked as she offered her a fry dipped in the shake. "They're amazing!"

"Thanks, but I better not. We might witness the Exorcist in here," Joey said quickly, hoping Camila knew what she was talking about.

Camila gave her a strange look, then nodded and ate the fry. "I'll take your word for it," she said as she wiped her hands on a napkin and picked up her shake. "You need to eat, though. You're eating for three."

"I am eating," Joey said, gesturing down to the salad settled in front of her. It was loaded with lettuce, tomato, cheese, egg, bacon bits, croutons and chicken with ranch dressing on top. "It's got a lot of what I need in it, too."

"How much of what you want, though?" the ombre haired woman asked with a tilt of her head in the direction of the salad.

"I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that," the Intel Chief admitted.

"I'm talking about wouldn't you like to have a triple decker bacon cheeseburger smothered in onions and dripping with goodness and stacked with lettuce, tomato and pickles," Camila clarified.

Joey groaned. That did sound really good, and she found herself flagging down a server. She was absolutely starving, and when the server got to the table, she spoke. "Can I get a double bacon cheeseburger, with grilled onions and mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, pickles, a double order of onion rings and loaded chili cheese fries?"

The server blinked, but said nothing as she put the order in, then reached to take the salad from in front of Joey. That was until her wrist was grabbed.

"Leave this. I'm going to eat it, too," she clarified.

"I... uh... sorry. I'll be out with your order soon," the young woman said before she made her escape.

"She tried to take my food..."

Camila blinked at the huge order of food, then had to laugh. "Okay, then," she said. "Remind me not to reach for your food when it's in front of you. I wouldn't want a fork in my arm or a bite taken out of it."

"The fork is more likely. I tend not to eat people... they're far too fattening," the brunette woman stated as she took another sip of her tea. Joey knew she was taking a gamble with her new order, but she was starving, and if she was starving, then that had to mean her little ones were, too. Mama couldn't have that. After all, since she started suffering from morning sickness, her diet consisted of fruit, popcorn, chocolate cake and salads. Not exactly filling or nourishing. That was all about to change.

The ombre haired woman hesitated and wasn't sure if Joey was joking or not about people being too fattening and decided to steer clear of that topic, glad that she had lost more weight while on Deep Space Eleven. "I'd take my time if I were you," she suggested. "Small bites with a rest between them and switching to something else. I wouldn't want you to get sick."

It was the hesitation that had Joey laughing. "Relax, Camila. It was just a joke. I have never, and will never, eat another person as long as there is breath in my body," she said, spearing a piece of chicken. "And I plan to take my time, too. If you need to head back to Security, I understand. I'm likely going to be here for a while."

"I have a little time," Camila said. "And the rest of this delicious milkshake. I just haven't had much of an appetite lately and when you're used to not eating much, you tend to eat even less."

"You could definitely stand to eat more," Joey observed. "You're not doing yourself any favors there."

"My stomach shrank a bit when I was on Deep Space Eleven," the other woman said. "So I don't eat as much as I used to. It's no big deal."

"You need to fix that," the Intel Chief commented. There was concern in her tone, as well as on her face. This wasn't the Camila she knew, but then people did change when faced with trauma. "Slowly, of course. I don't want to see it turn into something bigger that will get out of control. I'm not trying to harp on you, but I am worried."

"It'll come back," Camila said. "I can't force myself to eat more than my stomach will hold. If I try that, I may end up hurting myself." She reminded herself that she also had to have the will to eat and that the hamburger and fries she had just consumed were sitting like an unwanted brick in her stomach.

"I know, but I worry," Joey said softly as their server brought out Joey's new order. As she looked at it, it was all she could do to keep from drooling all over herself. And even though she wanted to snatch it up and eat it by the fistful, she forced herself to use company manners. Once she thanked their server again, she grabbed an onion ring and started to eat it.

The Security woman looked at the plates of food and wanted to excuse herself from the scents that were assailing her, but she was determined to spend time with her friend. "So what's it like being married to the most powerful man on the ship, Joey?" she asked.

"It doesn't feel much different than it did before we got married really. Things are just official now," she replied, popping another onion ring into her mouth. "Even though we are married, I don't expect any special treatment or favors pulled on my behalf. He never did it before, and I'm fairly certain that's not going to change."

"That's as it should be, then," Camila said, but then again, Joey was no longer under her department. A department I'm not fit to run she though as she took another sip of her milkshake and wondered if it had soured or merely her taste of the chocolate treat. "He's a good man, but I've never interacted with him off duty more than once."

"He is a good man, and I'm very lucky to have him in my life like I do," Joey stated, reaching for one of her fries. She held it to her mouth as she studied the woman settled across from her. Something wasn't right, but should she pry? Sure, they were friends, but she didn't want to do or say anything that would put a rift between them. "Are you okay?"

"I am," the shorter woman responded. "I was just wondering how you're going to manage all of that food. It looks like you challenged yourself a bit."

"This isn't a challenge. I haven't actually eaten in weeks, and this appeals to me right now. I'm going to eat what I can, then I'll stop," Joey said with a grin, finally popping the chili and cheese drenched fry into her mouth. Oh... that hit the spot, and she was back to trying not to hoover the food into her mouth.

"Then enjoy," Camila said with a smile. "You are eating for three, after all. Speaking of that, have you started thinking of names and getting everything together that you'll need?"

Joey nodded. "Yes and no. We have a few things we're going to need, but we don't want to get everything in one place. Diversity is necessary. As far as names, though, I think we'll decided more once we know what we're having for sure. The only thing that has been decided is if we have a little girl, her middle name will be Alison."

"Alison..." the ombre haired woman repeated. "Where have I heard that name before?"

"Harvey's first wife. I want to honor her, and he agreed to it."

"That's right!" the other woman responded. "I knew that I had read it somewhere. It's been a few months since I last looked through any personnel files and I didn't look at the Captain's when I got back."

"When I first came aboard, I made a point to look over his file, though I didn't really dig into anything regarding his personal life. I didn't want to be nosy that way, but I did want to know more about the man I was serving under," Joey stated.

"I did, but the recent months have blurred my memory," Camila said as she looked at the dredges of her milkshake and pushed it aside. "Everything's a blur for the most part and that's for the best."

"That might not be such a bad thing," the taller woman said softly as she continued packing the food in front of her away. "Things will get better, Camila."

"If they do, they do," the shorter woman said with a shrug. "I've become kind of indifferent to most of it. One day blurs into another. Good things happen. Bad things happen. Things get fixed. Things get broken. It repeats in one way or another."

Joey was worried for her friend, and found herself wondering if bringing her back to active duty was a good idea. She didn't doubt Camila's abilities in the least, but her concern had everything to do with the shorter woman's head being in the right place. "Have you thought about talking to a counselor? I think it could help you," she commented softly, wanting to shovel more of the food into her mouth, but that wasn't as much a concern for her now as Camila was. "Sometimes, getting things out in the open can help. Even if you don't want to talk to a counselor, maybe you can talk to someone else. Someone who will offer an ear like I have been. I'm worried about you Camila. You're not the same woman you once were, and all I can wonder is why, then I ask myself what I can do to help."

"The last counselor I talked to ended up getting drunk while talking to me," Camila responded as she thought about the last time she had talked to Avery on New Bajor. "that doesn't inspire me to want to talk to them again. All they ever do is blather on about how people need to stop judging themselves or what's happened in the past. I'll be fine, Joey. It's just been a rough few months."

"If you say so, Camila, but just know that I'm here if you do need to talk. Day or night," she told her. "I mean that."

"Thanks," the Security Chief said. "I mean that, too. I just need to sort through what happened and deal with it."

"Yes, well, you need to remember that you're not alone anymore," Joey stated as she rose to her feet and moved over to Camila to hug her.

Camila returned the hug a bit awkwardly and smiled. "I know and I appreciate it," she said. "Bast isn't around anymore, which is a good thing, and I wouldn't want to talk to him, anyway."

"It's all going to be okay," Joey assured her. "For now, though, I think we should both get back to work. I really wanted to finish this, too." She looked down at her uneaten cheeseburger and frowned.

"Get it to go," the shorter woman suggested. "It'll keep until you get off duty and then you can eat it."

"I will. How about I check on you later?" the taller woman suggested.

"That sounds good," Camila said as she resigned herself to having others actually care about her when she didn't care about herself all that much. "Just give me a buzz before you come around."

"I will," Joey said. "And I hope you'll answer when I do."

"I will," the other woman assured her. Even if I don't want to she mentally added. "I wouldn't pass up a visit from a friend. You know that."

Did she? Joey wasn't so sure about that. The woman standing in front of her now wasn't the same one that she knew all those months ago. She rose to her feet after getting the burger put into a box to take with her, then put a smile on her face. "I do. I'll see you soon." With that, she made her way out of Talons to get back to work again.

"I'll be looking forward to it," Camila called after her before she settled up her tab. With a weary sigh, she turned and headed back to her quarters. She had to check her makeup to make sure it was still hiding the truth of her features and try to make it look like someone actually lived there. She gave a snort as she exited. Live? she asked herself for the ten thousandth time. I exist there.

 

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