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More to Life

Posted on 11 Dec 2017 @ 4:48am by Lieutenant JG Ian Beckett & Lieutenant Camila Di Pasquale

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Talon's
Timeline: MD 7 || 1800 Hours

After Cooper had left, Camila tried to bury herself in work but soon found herself completely caught up despite not having an Assistant Chief. She tried to busy herself with ships specifications, weapons systems, personnel reviews that Commander Teixeira wanted down and more. Finally she looked at the chrono and realized she had worked past Alpha and was now into Beta. "What else is new?" she muttered when no one had came to relieve her.

She secured her terminal and left her office, informing the enlisted person at the desk that she'd be out of her office for the evening and to find out who was the duty officer for Beta. She made a mental note to transfer them to Gamma Shift or maybe Delta as she left Security. A quick stop at her quarters saw her changed into a baggy off the shoulder grey top, a pair of ripped black yoga pants and a pair of sneakers.

Once she was changed, she headed down to Talon's to see what was good on the menu and maybe have a drink or six if the mood was right. Thoughts of the conversation with Cooper soured her mood again and she decided that maybe she'd get a bottle of their strongest and see how fast she could down it. She entered the place and headed to the counter where she took a seat and looked at the menu. Drinking on an empty stomach was never a good thing, but she wasn't sure she wanted to stay sober for long.

Ian had been hanging out in Talon's for about thirty minutes already, a glass of soda water as his friend. At least for the time being. The night was still young, but his soda water wasn't. It was empty. Ian the got up from the table he was at with two other young officers and laughed. He would never live down this whole soda water thing. But that didn't matter to him at this point. He'd made a few friends over the weeks and that was what was important to him.

Ian, in his black tank-top, jeans, and shoes, walked up to the bar and set his glass down. "Put a couple of shots of Vodka in it this time along with a lemon wedge." He watched as the glass was taken away and then looked to his left. He saw a blonde sitting there that he hadn't met before and smiled. "Evening. Ian Beckett."

Camila sighed as she heard a voice to her right and hoped whoever it was was talking to the bartender. She cast a glance and saw a human male in a black muscle shirt and blue jeans standing there and he was looking at her. "Camila Di Pasquale, Chief of Security," she said with a nod to him, hoping that her adding her position would influence him to leave.

"Heh, seems like I missed something. Let me try that again, Ian Beckett, Chief Transporter Operator, Ops," said Ian. "Nice to meet you, Chief. Or Lieutenant, I'd imagine, being a Department Head." He nodded to the bartender as his glass was set down. He put his hand around it and moved it closer to him. He was now faced with a choice, go back to his friends or try to make a new one. Ian smiled as the challenge of trying to become friends with the curt Camila appealed to him. He took a drink and then set it back down. "If you need a recommendation, I'd be happy to help."

"A recommendation?" Camila asked as she looked at his drink. "What he's having," she told the bartender. "And a Shepherd's Pie." She looked back at the man. "Just Camila will do," she said after a moment. "No Chief, no Lieutenant. Just Camila. I'm not on duty, Mister Beckett."

"Yep, a recommendation. You were just looking at the menu weren't you?" he asked. "But that doesn't matter now...Camila. And Ian will do just fine. Same reason." He took sip of his vodka soda. "Are you new to the ship, Camila? I know there's a lot of that going around."

She had to give it to him, he was persistent. "Yes and no," she said. "I was Chief of Security on the old Black Hawk, took a break and now I'm here again."

"Well welcome home, then," he replied. Home. This was it for him, too. "I didn't get to spend that long on the old Black Hawk. But, I hope to spend more time on this one. I guess you could say I was new to both."

Home. Was it? Camila asked herself as her drink and food arrived. She raised the glass and gestured towards him as if in a toast. "People come. People go. It's life in Starfleet," she said. People die, too. she mentally added and looked at the glass in her hand.

Ian raised his glass and 'clinked' it against Camila's. "To life in Starfleet." He pulled it back and took a drink. "That they do, come and go." He looked at her food and nodded. "Don't mind me. Please, go ahead and enjoy."

She gave him a wry grin and tossed back half the liquid in the glass before she gasped and sat it down. "What's this, warp core toxins?" she managed.

He sat there, amazed for a second that she threw back half of it. Then he laughed. "It was originally just soda water tonight. The guys over there," he said, gesturing to the table he had come from, "were messing with me. Saying I couldn't take anything strong. You know how guys are. Anyway, I was just going to mess with them right back and go back with something in it. Seemed like an option at the time."

Camila looked at the glass and back to him. "So you decided to poison them with whatever this is?" she asked him.

"Hah! That's a good one. Yeah, I could really get them back with that. Pour it into what they're drinking, mhm. I like that," said Ian. "But that would leave you with no company. And no one should eat and drink alone." He smiled and lifted his glass, taking another long drink to finish it. "Yep, that would work. So, what would you like to replace the poison that you just thew back? My treat since it was my drink."

She thought about it and looked at the glass on the counter and remembered her days of drunkenness at Deep Space Eleven and how far she'd come since then. It wasn't really very far, she reminded herself. What's another drink or ten other than losing everything again.. Finally, she shook her head. "One glass of poison's enough, but thank you for the offer." She lifted her spoon and began to mix the Shepherd's Pie together idly.

"So where did you come from before here?" Camila asked if just to have the contact with another person even for a short while before going back to her quarters to cry quietly in bed.

"Sounds good, then." But at her question, he took a long, deep breath. "The USS Chimera," he said simply.

"The Chimera..." she paused as she tried to remember it. "Oh yeah. I remember it now. The Consortium had it under control and I sent over one of my people to take over. I hope you didn't need much medical treatment for your ears. That was my idea."

"Not too much, no. But it was needed. It was a good idea, though," he added. "It put the whole ship down and out. Including those...Consortium. Liars. But then, thanks to being in Ops, I had the sad duty of pulling apart what was salvageable before she was destroyed."

"It's a damn shame," Camila said as she took a bite of her food and discovered her appetite was gone. She set the spoon down in it and debated drinking more of the toxic whatever it was. "It never should have happened. Hell, it was even my fault that we got blown to that other universe."

Ian was silent for a few seconds after Camila put her spoon down and finished. "Hey, it couldn't have been any one person's fault. There's no way. I'm sure there was probably a lot factors that went in to making that happen. It's not like you said, 'Hey everyone, watch this,' and then pushed a button that blew us all there. Don't blame yourself. The Consortium was at the heart of it all anyway. Not you."

"The Consortium had been taken care of before that," she said as she reached for the glass without thinking. "That was when we had control of the Chimera and Cochrane back and were going after the Valdore that had the Thalaron radiation weapon on it. I proposed beaming a tricobalt warhead to the engine room of the Romulan ship. It interacted with the micro singularity core and opened a rip between universes. I could have killed all of us."

Ian nodded. "Just goes to show you how much information doesn't get down to the lower decks officers." That had happened several times to Ian. Most recently, and still in the back of his mind, was when his Ops Chief beamed out and left him to die on the crashing Akira class ship. Just don't tell the junior officers a thing. "But you didn't, we're still here. We survived thanks to you."

Camila started to take a drink and stopped as soon as she tasted what she had just started to put in he rmouth and set the glass down again. "No," she said. "Not thanks to me. Thanks to all the men and women who fought valiantly and even gave their lives in that battle. I was one person pushing a button. A Cadet was in charge of the Chimera and our current Chief of Flight was in charge of the Cochrane and they did more than I did."

"You know, I believe I've met that girl." Ian thought for a second. "No, I know I have. She's an Ensign now. She and I had a nice long talk in the Rec Room when things were being rationed and there was nothing to do. She told me a little about what she did. From what I gather, everyone had a part to play...including those who fought valiantly. But some of us believed lies. And that's what we fought for. But then, we learned the truth the hard way. And that goes back to your idea of injuring our ears."

"Which looking back is something that shouldn't have been done," she said. "Some crew were affected so badly that they had to be put on medical leave and sent to medical facilities for rehabilitation."

"And they got taken care of." Ian turned around in his seat and looked straight into Camila's eyes. "Look, we could keep going back and forth about what might have been for the rest of the night. But I'm not going to let that happen. What are you going to do about it all, Camila? Sit here and talk about what you could have done? What happened, happened. You can't change the past. So you learn from it. Change the future."

"Just change the future," Camila said and raised her hand to snap her fingers together. "Just like that. Done! Gee, that was easier than I thought. I never thought to try that before, but you've opened my eyes."

Ian smirked. "You know what I mean, change the future through your actions now." His thoughts went back to the conversation he and Kelly had. "Choose to heal rather than keep hurting. It's like Kelly told me, 'We'll heal, but it'll take time, one person at a time.' And that one person to start with, is you. So what will you choose to do? Heal or hurt?"

"What do you know about hurt?" she asked him as she grabbed the drink on the counter and tossed the rest of it back with a grimace. She needed it in order to keep from punching the guy in the throat and Captain Geisler would frown on that and regret bringing her back to the ship.

Ian noticed that she threw back the rest of the 'poison'. And that she was trying to turn it back to him. "Well I see you've chosen 'hurt' this time. That's okay, there's plenty of time. What do you do when you start thinking about it?"

"I go out in public and talk to personnel who aren't counselors to solve all my problems," Camila said. "Like you. I feel so much better, too."

"You know, you can't make too many friends like that," replied Ian. He glanced down at her food and decided to go another route. "Dinner's cold. But then, maybe that's fitting, Lieutenant." He looked over at the bartender and motioned that he wanted another glass. Without turning back to Camila, he said, "I just hope you don't get assigned to an away team I'm on." He took a drink of what the bartender brought over.

She came to her feet and looked at the man. "I never asked you to come over here and try to play counselor, Lieutenant Junior Grade Beckett, and I certainly do not appreciate the track that you've just taken. Consider yourself on report for lack of respect to a senior officer."

Ian took a drink and stood, too. "No surprise there. 'Hey, its the naive little Operations guy who worked for the Consortium. Lets put him on report. Lets give him the crap jobs. Consotium consort!' You and the Ops Chief on the old Black Hawk would have gotten along well. We were transporting people off while the ship was crashing through the planet's atmosphere. I come back from another console only to find that he had transported off to safety and left me there to die without a second thought. Trill...can't work with them, can't phaser them." He threw back the rest of his drink. "Welcome to the new and improved Black Hawk." Ian set the glass on the bar and turned.

At the mention of the former Ops Chief and comparison, Camila felt her blood boil and her temper rocketed. She grabbed the man by the arm and jerked him around. "Never compare me to that sonofabitch," she hissed and started to draw back her other arm before the rest of what he said filtered into her brain and her face paled. "He did what?!"

"Hey, if you can't be civil, I'm going to have to ask you both to leave. This is a friendly place and I don't care who you are or what your ranks are," the bartender said. "Behave or leave."

A lot had just happened in those few seconds. A lot that Ian had to quickly process as Camila jerked him around and he saw her arm draw back. She hated the man. She was ready to punch his lights out. And the bartender had to calm them down. He looked over, "No problem. We'll behave." He looked back to Camila, who still had hold of his arm. "The ship was crashing. Everyone was evacuating either via escape pod or transporters. I was in the Ops office with a guy named Burke. The Chief was gone as far as I knew. He wasn't around in all the commotion transporting people off. Crap jobs, like I said. I came around the corner from having activated the last of the mass transporters in the Cargo Bay. Burke was gone. The Chief was gone. It was just me. I ran over and tried a site to site with the last coordinates. That's when the console sparked and shut down. That's when I had resigned myself to death. But then the Cochrane beamed me out and straight into Sickbay."

She released his arm and sat down heavily as she listened to him. "The Chief was on Deep Space Eleven with my group when we were trying to get the message out to everyone about the Consortium," she said while repressing a grimace at the mere thought of defending Bast in any way. "I never really knew Burke when I served as the Chief of Security on the old Black Hawk, but it's not right that you were left behind." She sighed. "I'm sorry that we got off on the wrong foot, Mister Becket and I want to formally apologize. Things got very hectic at that time, but we don't leave people behind." Her voice went even quieter. "Or we shouldn't. I'll contact Starfleet about this and see if anything can be done."

Ian sat back down. "We did get started off wrong, Miss Di Pasquale. But please, stick with Ian. Official apology officially accepted and please accept mine for trying to be a counselor. As far as Burke, there's no need for you to do that. There would be an investigation and statements and I'd probably have to leave the ship for a long time during it all. I'm finally beginning to make some friends here. To fit in. I don't want to lose that. Besides, not moving past getting left behind keeps the anger up so that the next time I see Burke out of uniform, I can put him in Sickbay."

Camila held up a hand. "Don't ever tell Security you're going to put someone in Sickbay, Ian. I'm bound by my oath to take steps about such things. I'll let the matter slide, but I'll have to enter it in my report. In the meantime, what made you decide to come over here and be talkative other than ordering poison to drink?"

"Heh, of course. I'll keep that in mind." He relaxed a little. But just a little. The woman had a grip that didn't fit her appearance. "To answer your question, no one should eat or drink alone. It's just not right. Those guys," he said, gesturing to the table where his friends were now snickering, "they could handle themselves for a while. And it looks like they enjoyed the show anyway." He shook his head and laughed. "I'll never live this one down."

She looked over at the group of men and recognized one of her personnel from Security. "I wasn't aware that you had so much free time, Hartog," she commented. "Especially with the duty drills which are being run. Remind me to schedule you for an extra one."

Hartog gulped when he heard her, then gave a nod. "Of course, Lieutenant," he said and looked at his buddies. "Looks like I have to go, fellas," he said before he headed towards the door.

Ian kept as straight a face as he could in the midst of it all. A slight smile crept alongside one corner of his mouth as he watched Hartog leave. He wasn't going to a say word now to Camila or later to Hartog. "Well, what do you know. Anyway, you were alone and I thought you might want some company. Big ship and all. If you don't mind, I'm all for staying. But I'd have to have a recommendation on a drink seeing as how my choice didn't settle well."

"You can, but my company really isn't the best," Camila said as she poked at her Shepherd's Pie. "I'd suggest a nice Andorian Ale or maybe a Aldebaran Whiskey if you're serious."

"That's okay. My company is pretty good. Or so I'm told," said Ian. He waved the bartender over. "A glass of Andorian Ale. My friend here recommends it." He turned back to Camila. "You want anything serious?"

The bartender provided the ale to the human and turned to look at the female. "Anything for you?"

"No, thank you," she said. "I make it a point never to chase poison with something alcoholic if I can help it. So what makes your company good..." She glanced back at the table with his friends and back at him. "Or is it that you're a good source of humor for others?"

"Well...I'm a lot of fun, comfortable to be around, and easy to get along with. Despite our first introduction," said Ian. "Which is probably why people say, 'Don't worry about it. Once you get to know him, he's not that bad.' And yeah, there is the occasional laugh that I can provide."

"I'm not sure what people say about me," Camila admitted. "But I probably don't want to know given my current mood. I'd probably be in the Brig or Medical."

"But you're not. You're here, toying with cold shepherd's pie. Something else maybe? If you're hungry that is," said Ian. At this point, he was trying to stay away from 'counseling' so he didn't end up with an amazonian grip on his arm. "So what do you say about you? What does Camila like to do other than hanging out in here and waiting for complete strangers to come up to you?"

"I wouldn't have came here if I hadn't needed to get out of my office for a while," she said. "I also didn't feel like going back to my quarters and waiting until the next shift started, so I decided to get something to eat. That's where you came in."

"And we both know how that turned out," he said with a laugh. "Off to work and back to quarters and all over again the next day...with the occasional detour. Sounds like you have a lot of work. But then again, Department Heads seem to. You should still try to find some 'you' time that doesn't involve the Security offices or home, though. I'm sure there's lots of holodeck programs to explore. Besides the other stuff this ship has to offer that I don't know about."

"I have one holodeck program I use and as for the rest, I'm probably newer here than you are," Camila said. "So you should know more than I do about this ship."

"Okay, I'll give you that, Camila," said Ian. "As far as Ops goes, I probably do know more about it. But I was talking about the fun and games parts. I've been to the recreation area but that's about it. The guys I normally hang out with tend to prefer hanging out in here then anything else."

What's fun and games? she wondered. "I used to play violin, but I ran out of time to play. It was one thing after another and just became a daily struggle to survive."

"I'm sorry to hear that," he said. "Sounds like all those things need to fit into your schedule instead of you into them. No one should be struggling to just survive. Have you tried purposely scheduling some time for you and your violin?"

"Time?" Camila asked with a chuckle that didn't hold much amusement. "Who has time for that when there's no time for anything except trying to survive?"

"Have you tried?" he asked. "I'm not being a jerk, just...have you given it a shot?"

"For the past several months, I've been doing double and triple shifts on Deep Space Eleven. Then I came for Captain Geisler's wedding and ended up getting shanghaied back here. After that, the Assistant Chief of Security decided to transfer, so I'm running an entire department by myself with no help. Do you really think that I feel like doing anything at the end of a day?"

"No, I can't imagine that you do," he said quietly. "That's a lot of work. But, you're doing something right now at the end of the day that really doesn't involve doing anything. You're sitting in Talon's and talking. First steps and all."

"Yes," she said before she indicated her now cold dinner. "I came here to eat and even failed at that. If you'll excuse me, I need to get some rest before the next shift starts."

Now it was his turn to grab her arm, but much more gently. "Hey, you're not a failure, Camila. You wouldn't have been shanghaied back here otherwise. And I'd be happy to let you go get your rest, but you need to eat something for dinner. At least, take something back. How do you feel about seafood? A five ounce honey smoked salmon is one of my favorites."

"I've never been partial to salmon, but if you can make it trout or tilapia, I'd be more inclined to take you up on your offer," Camila said with a glance at his hand on her arm. "Provided you don't end up with a broken hand."

Ian took his hand off her arm and smiled. "I'm sure you would. My apologies. And I can easily make that trout," he said as he waved the bartender over. "A five ounce honey smoked trout for my friend. And put it in a container for her to take back to her quarters." The bartender nodded and took the order back to have it filled.

Ian turned back to Camila. "One small honey smoked trout coming right up."

"I think I'd rather eat it here," she said. "It can be lonely back in my quarters and I think I may have found some good company."

Ian grinned. And if he'd been younger, he probably would've ducked his head a bit. "Well then, I'm glad you're staying. I mean, we really can't have you being lonely in your quarters. And thanks. The more you get to know me, the more you'll find I'm good company."

"Don't push it, Ian," Camila said. "Or I may end up going back to my quarters after all."

"No more pushing then." Ian glanced over as the container was placed on the counter along with some utensils. "Dinner is served. I hope it's okay. I've never had trout in place of the salmon."

"Thank you," she said as she looked at the bartender. "And a glass of strawberry kiwi, please," she requested and the bartender got it for her. She opened the container and sampled a bite of it, then nodded. "It's not roasted over a fire after being caught from a lake, but civilized beings don't do that. Maybe we can do a holodeck cookout once."

"Ohh, that would have to taste delicious," he said. "Seafood is my favorite, but it's all been replicated or cooked in a galley. Nothing cooked out. I like that idea, Camila. Maybe we'll do that when things settle down a bit."

"If they settle down," Camila said, knowing what was lying ahead of them and not being able to tell anyone other than other department heads. "If there's one thing I've learned from serving on this ship, it's to not make long range plans."

Ian chuckled. "Sounds like something I should make a note about, no long range plans. That's going to make life aboard this ship a lot more interesting. I'll get to do a lot of spur-of-the-moment things. Spontaneity sounds interesting for a change."

"I'd take dull and boring for a change," she countered as she took another bite of her trout. "Definitely better than salmon. Thank you again, Ian."

Ian nodded, "You're quite welcome, Camila. I'm glad you like it. Seafood is my favorite dish. No matter what cuisine, I usually give anything a try at first. Usually. And it's always nice to find someone who knows what they want when it comes to indulging."

"I haven't really indulged in anything in the past few months," Camila responded. Other than alcohol and trying to work myself to death she mentally added. "There just hasn't been time. Starfleet is still rebuilding and every available person has been assigned to multiple things if they're qualified."

"Rebuilding Starfleet does take a lot out of a person," replied Ian. "Especially with multiple assignments. That sort of thing wears you down. I'm glad to see that you're taking the time now, though, to indulge in the honey smoked trout. You could have gone back to your quarters, but you didn't. Thanks for hanging out, Camila."

"Thanks for talking me into staying," she said with a smile. She hoped she'd make it back to her quarters before her makeup wore off and revealed the ravages that her worries and guilt had caused on her face.

"No problem. So, is this something that's going on your 'regular' list or does it have quite a ways to go to work it's way up there?" Ian asked.

"Oh, it's definitely going on my regular list," Camila said. "It's rare that I find myself liking something replicated like this often, but this is really good. I'm going to have to interrogate you for more suggestions."

"Oh I don't think you'd have to interrogate very long for suggestions," said Ian. "I'd give 'em up pretty easily. So you don't eat much replicated food? Do you cook in your quarters?"

"No, I replicate most of the time," she said. "I just don't replicate stuff like this." She indicated her trout as she took another bite. "I guess I'm boring that way."

"Heh, it is pretty good. I'll have to try it with the trout, though," he said. "Never had it like that." He paused to take a drink before continuing. "Nah, boring is just a state of mind. You're not boring, you just need to find the right thing that'll bring some level of excitement or newness into your day. Like honey smoked trout." He smiled and tossed back another sip.

"If you really like seafood, I have a replicator recipe for Venetian fish soup from back home," Camila offered. "It's not quite like my Mama makes, but it's very good."

Ian nodded as he listened. "Yeah, I'd like to try that. Sounds interesting. Venetian, huh...like Italy on Earth. Is that home for you?"

"You're a quick study," she said after taking a sip of her drink. "I grew up in Venice on Earth. What about you?"

"If I weren't, I might hurt myself in Ops," replied Ian. "I grew up in the city of Rixx on Betazed. Beautiful place."

"So I've heard," Camila responded and took another bite of her food. She didn't want to like it or enjoy the company, but she found herself doing both. "It had to have been hard growing up in a society that knew your every thought."

"It had it's ups and downs. Mainly downs, though," said Ian. "They have that code they live by. But kids are kids, they're going to push the boundaries wherever they can. I eventually learned how to put up mental shields or fill my mind with something innocuous. It drove them crazy."

"Now that's clever thinking," she said as she finished her trout. "Of course, it had to be a pain doing it all the time until they stopped. I've never been around a lot of telepaths, but I'd have to find a way to stop them from getting in my mind, too."

"Oh man, it was ridiculous. I couldn't keep it up all the time and had to just let them in sometimes," said Ian. He noticed that she'd finished and smiled. "Cleaned it all up...glad you liked it so well, Camila."

"I did," Camila said as she finished her drink. "Thank you again, Ian. It was nice to meet you and I'll take some time to think on what you said."

"You're welcome, Camila," Ian said, getting up from the bar. "It was nice meeting you, too. And that's all I ask, think about it. See you around the ship." He added that last bit with a smile.

"See you around," she returned the smile as she got up and headed out. It hasn't been a bad night after all she thought as she exited. Maybe there is more to life than hiding in your quarters..

 

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