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Life At Home

Posted on 12 Jan 2020 @ 1:39am by Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: April 12, 2389

Two weeks.

Alison and Jameson were exactly two weeks old now, and that left Joey wondering where the time went. It seemed like it was only yesterday that she and the rest of the ship's crew were fighting to survive, but then the inevitable happened. She'd gone into labor right before the final leg of the battle was to take place five weeks earlier than expected. Many things led up to that moment, but luckily, both babies were born perfectly healthy with no serious issues, for which she was very grateful. Now, her life revolved around two perfect little beings that depended on her and Harvey for everything.

Joey recalled how nervous she'd been when the time came to leave sickbay. She didn't have the help of the medical staff when Harvey was seeing to his duties as the ship's Captain, but somehow, she'd managed just fine. Not to mention, the people who popped up to meet Starfleet's newest little heroes.

There was also the matter of Rico and Pequeno, and how the two canines would react to the new additions to the family. Thankfully, there wasn't much to worry about there. Both dogs took to their new tiny little humans quickly, and even slept nearby to alert Mama and Not-The-Mama if something seemed amiss, most of which happened in the wee hours of the morning when one of the babies so much as moved.

Time had certainly flown by.

The sound of a baby sighing pulled Joey out of her thoughts, and her attention turned to the babies she held on her lap. They'd only recently finished eating, had their diapers changed, and were now sound asleep, something they did quite a lot of. And something that neither she, nor Harvey, seemed to get enough of lately. That came with being parents, though, and she wouldn't change a second of it.

Not too far away, Rico and Pequeno were both curled up on the floor keeping watch.

They didn’t remain curled for long. Suddenly, both dogs shot up and ran for the door, standing, panting, and wagging their tails. The door opened a second later, and Harvey entered the cabin. He was mostly in uniform, lacking the typical uniform jacket, but wearing his vest, and had his cover on his head to hide his unkept hair. It’d been two days since he’d had a shower, and he wasn’t sure if he would have even considered taking one if it was working. Two weeks of being a working dad (not by choice, but by necessity) had been taking its toll on him.

Rico and Pequeno didn’t care, but they had learned to not do anything besides pant happily when he’d returned home. “Hey!” Harvey declared softly to the dogs. He then looked upward, noting that Joey was lounging on the couch with the twins, looking as leisurely as a new mother could. “Hi beautiful,” he whispered, trying to overcome the hurdle Rico had established with his sturdy frame which inadvertadly blocked him from the couch.

"Hi, honey," Joey said smiled, fighting back the urge to laugh as the two dogs vied for Harvey's attention. If she didn't know better, and she did, she'd swear Rico and Pequeno were half afraid that if they let Not-the-Mama out of their sight, they may never seen him again. She gave a one word command that had both canines trotting back toward the couch to settle down near her and the twins once again. "How was your day?"

Harvey made for the replicator first to produce a cup of water. "Anything to drink?" he asked Joey. He then answered her question by stating, "The last of the Guardian delegation has left the ship, and our first engineering detail is bound for Alpha Trios Three. We're going to try and barter for some materials that we can hopefully use to fix the lavatories. It's amazing how much of our replicator matter we've used throughout the last couple of months."

"Tea, please," she replied. Joey would have to wait a bit to drink it since both of her hands were currently occupied, but that was okay with her. She'd give up anything for the two perfect little beings she was holding. "What are the odds they'll be successful? And as far as the replicator matter goes, it's not too surprising all things considered. We've been on this size of the barrier for a while, and that's helped as far as that goes."

The replicator produced the two beverages, which Harvey then brought over to the sitting area. He set Joey's tea on the table and knelt beside Joey to give her a kiss on the forehead. Harvey then rested his head on hers and looked down at the two sleeping children. "I can't believe we made those."

"It all feels like a dream to me," Joey told him softly. A year ago, and perhaps even most of her adult life, she never dreamed she'd be in her current position as a wife and mother. And yet, here she was playing two very important roles aside from being the ship's Chief of Intelligence. "I keep expecting to wake up one morning only to discover myself on assignment somewhere far away from here, and have only memories of you and them to help me muddle through life."

And to think that almost happened. Harvey simply smiled before sitting on the floor next to Joey, his body parallel with hers. Rico and Pequeno followed suit, laying on their bellies one each at Joey’s and Harvey’s feet. “Instead, you get to look forward to waking up one day outside this forsaken Zone and near the comforts of life in Starfleet.”

Joey lifted Alison carefully and shifted her toward her father. Out of the two babies, she was by far the better sleeper and didn't seem to mind being shuffled from person to person like her brother did. "We're actually going to get to leave here? In the ship's current shape, I didn't think we'd be able to make it back through the barrier without things going from bad to worse."

He caught Alison, gently lowering the sleeping infant into his arms and creating a tight place for her to rest. "One way or another, we'll have to," Harvey supposed. "Lieutenant ch'Doi is taking one of our Type-11's to the barrier as we speak. If her trip is successful, then we'll be able to transport the wounded and non-essential personnel out of here, and see about getting us some repair craft."

"Are you going to be staying with the ship through all of that?" She asked, though, Joey was fairly certain she already knew the answer to that question.

"Someone needs to," he confessed. "It doesn't seem right to just abandon the crew like that, not after all we've been through. I've got to keep everyone united, and the morale up." Harvey then looked to Joey. "As soon as it's safe to cross the barrier, I do want you and the twins to cross over. It'll be safer over there."

That was the answer she expected, and the last part didn't come as a shock, either. "You know what I'm going to say to that," Joey said, looking over to him after studying Jameson for a few moments. "We should stay on board the ship with you. I can keep them safe." Not to mention she could help with repairs.

Harvey chuckled softly. Who was he to tell the woman who took down an Intrepid class starship by her lonesome that she had to stay on the Black Hawk. "Are you sure?" he simply asked her.

"Absolutely. I feel like I'd be doing these two little sweethearts an injustice as their mother if I was constantly stressing out over what was going on with you on this side of the barrier," his wife told him. "Staying is for the best, I think. We'll all be okay."

“I sure hope so,” Harvey muttered. “These Guardians, they’re so trigger happy. It’s everything we can do to keep them from trying to finish us off. I really hope O’Connell is on the other side of that zone ready to listen.”

Joey had the same hope, and ever the optimist, she chose to look on the positive side of things. "He'll be there. O'Connell is a good guy. I mean... an Admiral that gives a couple Romulan Ale as a wedding gift can't be all bad, right?" She carefully leaned forward to press a kiss to his forehead, being mindful of their son still nestled on her lap.

“I figured out what else was on that probe,” Harvey confessed. “Why that Trust No One message was encoded.” He sighed and lowered his head. “I told O’Connell not to trust us either, and if the Black Hawk escapes under her own power, then it should be stopped.”

"Well, I don't think she's getting through the barrier without some kind of assistance given her current state," she said. The probe made a whole lot of sense to her now, and the guilt Joey still felt for the role she played in everything continued to eat away at her. "Listen... I haven't had the chance to apologize to you for the part I played in everything. I really have a lot of regrets, and even more anger that's mostly directed toward the Dolmoqour. There has never been anything that's made me feel so weak in my life. That being said, I also want to thank you for bringing me back to the right side of things."

“How can I be mad at you?” Harvey asked, still shocked with how personally everyone had taken being possessed. “You didn’t grab one of those things and voluntarily stick it in your ear. And you better believe I wouldn’t have let you be lost to the other side forever, pregnant or not. I’m just glad your parasite didn’t try to do anything to them on purpose or otherwise.”

"That makes two of us. They were repulsed with how we reproduce. I fell at one point, and couldn't even put my arms out to brace myself. At the time, there was nothing I could do by sit back in my own body and let that little bastard do whatever it wanted to," she said with a frown. Joey hadn't talked about the experience much, because she felt it was better left forgotten, but it still ate away at her.

Harvey gave her a weak smile. “At least it’s didn’t do more. It definitely sounds to me like the most dangerous Dolmoqour are the ones not trapped on the planet. I still can’t believe they’d been on the ship since Deep Space Fifteen.”

Given the fact they'd been infiltrated well before they'd even made it to their current side of the barrier, she had to know. "Are we sure we got them all?" Joey asked. She hated to be that person, but could there be the slightest chance one of them slipped between the cracks somehow? Maybe. Did she want that to be the case. Absolutely not. And, she was willing to bet no one else wanted that, either.

“Lieutenant Rhula and the medical staff have developed a method to detect the Dolmoqour, thanks to our unfortunate adventure. The runabout has the new scanning protocols, and we are sharing those with the Guardians. We did find one parasite hiding in the arboretum, but I think we can finally rest easy knowing the Black Hawk is clean.”

"That makes me feel a bit better," she said. "How are you doing? Honestly."

He flashed his weak smile. “Tired,” he confessed. “It’s been the story of my life the last few months, and will likely be that for the next few months as well.”

"Why don't you go lay down for a bit? There's nothing that requires your immediate attention right now," Joey pointed out. "And, if there is, everyone knows how to reach you. I can hold down the fort for a while."

“You mean Alison doesn’t need me?” Harvey asked, looking down at his sleeping daughter. “I know she can sleep through klaxons, but maybe I need her for a little bit. It’s amazing... her ability to relax me.”

Joey smiled. "Of course she needs you. Just like me and little man here need you, too. We're always going to need you, but there's no denying the special bond a father has with a daughter, and Alison is definitely Daddy's girl," she told him. And she spoke from experience given her relationship with her own father. "Seeing you with them has to be my new favorite thing ever."

“I know you all need me,” Harvey explained. “I meant as in right now. I know I can’t really do the food thing, but I am pretty handy for the rest. Well, I guess fixing showers aren’t on the list either.”

She knew what he meant, and was very glad their little girl had such a relaxing effect on her father. Considering his role on the ship as Captain, he definitely needed it. "You're in luck there, because I can handle the food thing, and the showers..." Joey paused, lifting an arm to give her armpit a sniff. Mostly for comedic relief considering she didn't smell. Despite not having showers, there were other ways to keep clean, though, the new mother was definitely anxious to have those back up and running. And, it was still a lot more livable than her time field training for SAR. "I don't think we smell too ripe yet, so, there's that bright side."

Harvey chuckled at that. "Ripe is certainly not a word I would use, but I guess it works. Though, I heard a couple bridge officers remark today that I smelled like baby. Are our senses already dulled to what the twins smell like? I guess I could be thankful that we don't smell like their diapers."

"I'm thankful we don't smell like their diapers, either. As for our senses being dulled, I don't know. I spend most of my time with them, so I think baby is all I'm capable of smelling anymore," she told him before bending down to press a soft kiss to Jameson's forehead. "They don't spit up too often, so I would say you definitely don't smell like sour milk, which is also something to be thankful for."

"Kinda hard for me to smell like milk when you're handling most of that feeding." Harvey leaned against the couch and just stared down at Alison. "You did good work making these two despite all we've been through. It's so nice having these bright lights amidst all the darkness we've lived in this last year."

Joey smiled and lifted Jameson carefully to hold him against her chest. They were still quite small, but were steadily putting on weight like they were supposed to. "I'm just glad I was able to carry them as long as I did considering all the stress everyone has been under," she said, nuzzling her son's bald head. "I never knew something so perfect could exist until they were born. Without scales and glowing red eyes."

"So if they had green scales, skin, and glowing eyes, they still would have been perfect?" Harvey was joking, of course, but he couldn't stop himself from capitalizing on the moment.

"They might have been as long as they weren't trying to eat us. I can guarantee one thing for sure, though," she began, looking over to her husband. "Had they been born like that, they'd be bottle fed."

"Assuming they'd let the hand get close enough period." Harvey fought to contain a chuckle, but found limited success. The sound was so strange, Rico could only give Harvey a surprised look. For a second, Harvey swore Rico saw something else sitting on the floor. Rico remained erect for another moment before settling back down. "Maybe rest is just what we all need," he supposed.

Joey was on her feet, forgetting about the tea that sat on the coffee table. The thought of being able to close her eyes for a couple of hours while the twins slept was far too tempting to resist. "Who am I to turn down such an offer?"

It amazed Harvey how quickly and gracefully Joey could move whilst holding an infant. Clearly, she had much more practice than he, dating back several months when the children were the size of peanuts, gestating inside her womb. "It's a rare chance," he remarked, trying his best to use the couch as a means by which to stand.

If she had both babies, getting to her feet would have looked much different. Instead of being quick and graceful, it would have looked more like a chubby little puppy trying to get back on its feet again. Joey moved over to her husband as she shifted Jameson to the crook of her arm and extended a hand in his direction. "Let's get you all tucked in," she said. Of course, she was going to be laying down once that was done, but had to make sure everyone else was taken care of first.

With his free hand, Harvey grasped Joey, using her weight to counter his own in order to stand. "Clearly, I need more practice," he remarked, leading the way to the bedroom to deposit Alison in her bassinet. While they did have a separate room for the twins, the little ones weren't yet ready to be that far from their parents.

"You're doing just fine, and you're already an amazing father," she said, settling Jameson into the bassinet next to his sister. At two weeks old, they were still small enough that they both fit inside together with room to spare, and she didn't want to put them in their own beds just yet and force separation issues for her children. After all, they did share a womb for quite a while, and were used to the others presence. "Not to mention, you'll have a bit more time with them while the ship undergoes repairs."

They refused to be left out. Rico and Pequeno were on their feet and following their humans into the bedroom, but it was the eldest dog that took position by the bassinet, leaving his younger companion to curl up by the bed. They were extremely protective of their humans, especially now, and didn't wish to let them out of their sight for very long.

“I have a feeling there is going to me more time than we’re used to having very soon,” Harvey remarked, pulling away the covers. “If there’s one thing we haven’t done on either Black Hawk is sit still.”

Joey pulled back the covers on her own side of the bed. "I think you're right about that," she agreed as she settled down. "Maybe we can go back to earth for a little bit of that and see our families. I know our parents would love to meet their grandchildren."

Harvey chuckled, sliding into the comfortable sheets. "Oh, I'm already planning that. It all depends on how long it takes to get this ship out of here, but a trip to Earth is definitely happening this year. Maybe this time, we'll skip the surprise visits from Starfleet Intelligence."

"I think we might be able to," she said, moving over to slip an arm around him. Joey planted a kiss to his cheek and smiled. "I'm just looking forward to leaving this part of space behind us forever. Starfleet can come in and clean things up."

He slid an arm under her, and wrapped it around her back to hold her close. He kissed the top of her head and heaved a sigh. "Clean things up. Hopefully our next assignment won't be as messy. Or involve time travel. Just once, it'd be nice to just take a stroll around the block."

"Considering everything this ship and her crew have been through, maybe Starfleet will take pity on us. No one deserves it more than we do."

He chuckled, relishing in her word choice for a moment. That small, four letter word had triggered both Consortium agents, and most recently was used to manipulate himself by being plucked out of a mind by the Dolmoqour. "Pity. Mercy. Whatever you call it. One can only hope."

Joey pressed another kiss to his cheek. Ever the optimist, she had a feeling they'd have an easier time once the ship was back in top shape. "I love you, Harvey," she said.

“I love you too,” Harvey shared. “We should sleep,” he said, closing his eyes. There was no telling how long they would get before a baby stirred.

She was way ahead of him, her eyes already closed and her breathing indicating she was asleep.

He joined her in slumber soon enough. A year ago, he couldn’t have ever imagined having such a wonderful life, much less having a family. Here was hoping this was a start of a new beginning.

 

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