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Something To Think About

Posted on 30 Jan 2020 @ 9:59pm by Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: April 2, 2389 (Evening)

After the twins were fed and settled down for their nap, Joey took that time to clean up around the cabin a bit. Things weren't so bad to the point where she and Harvey couldn't move around comfortably, but it was definitely time to find homes for a lot of things that were left out, and most of it belonged to Alison and Jameson. Before having children, she liked to keep things neat and organized, but found that a little more difficult after the twins arrived. Her recovery played a part in that, and having everything accessible like this just made her life easier. However, now that the new mother was feeling a bit better (though, still had a little ways to go), it was time to get things back to the way they were.

"I never knew babies could have so many belongings," she commented, glancing toward the sleeping babies. As usual, Rico and Pequeno were settled on either side of the bassinet the newborns slept in keeping watch while The Mama moved about doing whatever it was she was currently doing. They perked up a bit as she approached, their tails thumping happily against the floor when she crouched down and began to scratch behind her ears. "You two make the best nanny dogs ever. Just wait until they start crawling, though. You're going to be used in ways you never thought possible."

Joey scratched the boys for a few more moments before she rose to her feet once again and went back to what she was doing. Harvey would be home soon. She wasn't sure when exactly, but guessed within the next half an hour or so. If she hustled, she'd be able to have their home looking better than it had the last couple of weeks, and that was all the encouragement she needed to make it happen.

Her guess proved to be a terrible overestimate as the door opened almost a moment later. Harvey instantly tripped over a double-seat stroller that just happened to be sitting at the front door. The off-duty Captain tumbled and rolled, managing to stop himself before meeting the glass table. "Dammit!" he muttered, starting extremely high with the D before quickly lowering his volume thinking the babies might be sleeping.

Joey, who was in the twins' bedroom putting some things away, heard the thump of something falling followed by the beginning of an expletive before it tapered off. Without wasting any time, she ran into the living room wondering what just happened. A glance toward the door told her everything she needed to know. There was the stroller she'd moved a few minutes ago tipped over on its side a couple feet from its original position, and her husband on the floor mere inches away from the coffee table. This was certainly not what she'd expected when he got home.

"I'm so sorry," she murmured, her face showing clear signs of remorse. Unable to help herself, and maybe in part to the maternal instincts that kicked in, Joey began to look him over for any kind of injuries. "I was trying to clean up a bit before you got home, but you're home earlier than I thought you might be, and now you could be hurt because I did something incredibly stupid." As she spoke, it was almost like she didn't breathe, her words running together as guilt set in completely. Tears began to well in her eyes thanks to her hormones still being imbalanced.

Harvey had already begun to pick himself up off the floor, or at least get to a sitting position, and was trying not to push Joey over in the process. "It's all right," he said, looking down at a padd he'd carried into their quarters. He had dropped it, and amazingly the screen hadn't cracked. "We have a lot of changes to get used to." Harvey looked up at her, saw her puppy dog eyes and the dragon tears that were welling up inside. "Everything's okay," he told her, trying to embrace her still tender and healing body from his awkward position on the floor.

She returned the hug, which was a little less awkward for her than it was for him, then got to her feet. Joey wiped away the moisture from her eyes, wiped that on her shirt, then extended a hand down to him. "I never knew babies required so much, and there are still gifts appearing. The latest were some teddy bears, and I'm not even sure who they're from," she told him, gesturing toward the couch with her free hand where the bears were sitting.

After using her weight, albeit gently, to pull himself up, Harvey approached the couch and picked up the bear with Vulcan ears. "Nice to see someone still has an affinity for classic uniforms. Bold colors and sharp blacks." Harvey was frankly surprised at all of the different gifts that had come from the crew at large. After all they'd been through, the creation of new life seemed to have given the ship a spark of life in the middle of its mourning of over eighty lost souls.

"I certainly wouldn't mind adopting the classic uniforms again as long as female officers didn't need to wear those dresses. However, times have changed quite a bit," she stated, moving over to the stroller to turn it upright and put it somewhere a bit safer until she could figure out exactly how to close it. It was funny, though. Joey was able to take down an entire ship and its crew on her own, but had no idea how to close a stroller. "Alison and Jameson had their two week checkups today. They've both put on just under a pound and are doing great. Jayla is pleased with their progress thus far."

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. How did one ease into a conversation like this one? The only answer... very carefully. "She even got to hold them for a little while, and for a very brief second after she had them both in her arms, there was a pained expression on her face. Had it not been for my Security background, I might have missed it," Joey said softly. "Did you know she very much wishes to be a mother?"

Harvey paused. He looked up from the bear he held. Though his gaze appeared to go straight out the viewport that he was directly in front of, his vision was somewhere else entirely. He'd gone from being clumsy to awkward in a matter of nanoseconds. Prior to his meeting, dating, and marrying Joelle, he'd been involved romantically with Jayla. Even though the relationship could simply be classified as a fling, they had several dates and other liaisons during the onset of the Consortium Crisis. He had wanted more at the time, and she didn't. Since then, Jayla had moved on and found Corpsman Rylan, and he seemed to make her happy. Maybe she was finally happy enough to change her desires.

:"She never mentioned it before," Harvey simply replied to Joey, unaware of the awkward silence that had followed her question. "She'd been a parent before, well, the symbiont has."

Joey knew this conversation was going to be a bit awkward, but despite the past, they were all adults and Jayla was their friend. While she talked to her husband, the new mother continued with her cleaning. "Maybe it's something that has only manifested within her recently, but while we were talking, she told me she can't have children. Well, that's not entirely true. She said she could, but would likely lose a baby within a couple of weeks," she spoke, stopping what she was doing to give him her full attention. "I didn't realize how bad I wanted to be a mom until it was happening, and now that Alison and Jameson are here, I can't imagine how I managed to live as long as I did without them."

Maybe it was hormones, but she found herself moving over to the bassinet the two tiny babies slept in and carefully reached inside to scoop up their sleeping daughter. Joey lowered a kiss to her tiny little forehead before cradling the baby against her chest. "Those who wish to be parents should have the opportunity to do so when the time is right," the new mother said barely above a whisper. "I offered to be a surrogate for her depending on how you felt about it." Now, she waited for the true awkwardness to set in. And, Joey could only imagine what would be going through his mind. His wife... carrying the child of a former romantic partner. Yep, this had all the makings of something as awkward as noticing someone else's zipper was down and an internal struggle beginning about whether to tell them or not because you just couldn't explain why you were even looking in the first place.

It took Harvey a moment to realize that the bear was no longer in his hands. This conversation had veered into awkward territory several moments ago, and now it had plunged deeper into it at warp nine. "A... surrogate?" he stammered. Harvey seemed to be unable to collect his composure, at least for a second. It wasn't that he was uncomfortable with the idea. He and Jayla had always been close, and he knew Joey cared about a great many people on the ship. "How exactly... when exactly... would you be doing this?" His medical knowledge began to slowly come back to him. It would be at least six weeks after birth before her body could even handle a new impregnation, artificial or not. Harvey had enjoyed her larger size. While they had yet to share a bed together, he knew it was going to take some getting used to having a thinner wife. He very much enjoyed the thought of her being pregnant again, but he wasn't sure how he felt about the bump in her stomach not belonging to him.

Joey could see how clearly shaken her husband was, especially since he'd just dropped the teddy bear he'd been holding only moments before. It was time to attempt to do some damage control, but first... She moved over to a cabinet that the twins would never be able to reach and produced a clear cylindrical bottle with gradually smaller concentric rings leading to the top where it leveled off. It was the Romulan lettering on the front of it in gold that gave its identity away. Such a thing should have been saved for a special occasion, but Admiral O'Connell had gifted them with this over a year ago at their wedding, and they never had the chance to crack it open. Now seemed like as good a time as any.

After reaching back into the cabinet for a shot glass, she poured a small amount of the blue liquid into it, then returned the bottle before walking over to Harvey with it. "Here, drink this," Joey urged softly. "I still have four weeks left to recover, and I'm nursing, so that plays a factor. All that being said... I don't know. Yes, Jayla wishes to be a mother, but I don't think she's quite ready to take her relationship with Alex to that level just yet. It's an option. And one that won't happen if any part of you feels uncomfortable about it. Nothing about this is set in stone, but how you feel about all of this matters to me. We're a team, honey, and no decision has ever been made without the other one having input."

Harvey had had Romulan Ale only one three occasions in his life, the last one being shortly before confirming his vows to Joey in front of a vast majority of the Black Hawk's crew. In each of those occasions, he had slowly sipped the strong elixir, allowing his body to gradually process it. This time, however, Harvey threw his head back, ingesting the entire glass in one fell swoop. The ale burned as it slid down his throat and landed in his stomach. Harvey grimaced, but he didn't care. The pain and the following buzz did little to dissuade the awkwardness.

"Do you think you can do this?" Harvey asked. "I mean I know you just had two in there." Harvey pointed at her abdomen, still swollen from the recent births. His questions weren't coming as someone who wanted to talk her out of it, but to help Joey realize the gravity of the situation. He had yet to decide whether or not he supported the idea.

"I... I'd like to think I could do it," she answered softly, but then so many different scenarios began to play in her mind. Life in space was stressful, the early birth of her own children was a testament to that. Could she do it? And what about emotional attachment? Joey definitely became emotionally attached during her pregnancy with Alison and Jameson. And even if she knew the baby wouldn't actually be hers, there would be some sort of bond and attachment there. "I... I don't know." She sank down on the couch wishing to have one of those shots now, her voice dropping to barely above a whisper. "I don't know."

Harvey sat down next to Joey and placed his empty glass on the coffee table. Then, he turned and placed one hand on knee, and the other he wrapped around Joey to draw her close to him. "Tell you what," Harvey said gently. "This isn't something we have to decide right now. Right now, we have two infants, two dogs, and a whole lot of life to get used to. Let's table the idea for now. If Jayla ever asks, we can discuss it then. Okay?"

Joey carefully shifted Alison around a bit, then laid her head against his chest. How did she get so lucky? Harvey seemed to be doing better now, which meant that Romulan Ale had certainly kicked in. "Okay," she agreed softly. "For now, we focus on the present and worry about the future when it gets here. And, maybe throw a little worry into figuring out how to close that dang stroller." And just like that, there was a smile on her face.

He kissed her head, not minding how oily her unwashed head was. "Agreed," he confirmed. "As for the stroller, if we can't figure it out, we can always give it to Mila and have her stroll around Chow."

"Do you miss it?" Joey found herself asking.

“Miss what, exactly?” Harvey asked. She could be referring to half a dozen things, and he didn’t want to get it wrong.

"The big belly," she answered, gesturing down to her abdomen. It was by no means back to her pre-pregnancy size, but Joey planned to get it back eventually. Her biggest concern right now was taking care of the babies and healing. Once healing was complete, then trips to the gym would begin.

Harvey halfway wondered if she'd had a transfusion of Betazoid blood in her system that had made her partially telepathic. He'd forgotten for a moment that she was his Intelligence Officer and has had a long history of reading people. "I miss a lot of things," he told her. "Or, I missed, rather. I was so focused on the mission that I didn't get... I didn't take the opportunity to enjoy the pregnancy. The probe, the zone, the Dolmoqour... I've spent the last several months focused on them, and not on you and about the change that was about to take place in our lives. And now that it's all here, while I do plan to savor every minute of it, I find that I haven't prepared myself properly. I wish I could take it all back, just for one more day of just you and I."

Rico, who had snuck up on both of them, raised a paw and put it on Harvey's knee. "Well, you and I, and the dogs."

Pequeno, who refused to be left out, made his way over to his humans and climbed up onto the couch with them to settle his fluffy head on Harvey's lap. And, perhaps he thought he was missing out something, Jameson chose that moment to cry.

Joey carefully passed Alison over to her father and got to her feet, being mindful of Rico, then moved over to the bassinet where their son was beginning to stir. She bent down to scoop him up and pressed a kiss to his forehead before she settled him against her chest. "To be perfectly honest, I didn't really get to enjoy it, either. I was too worried about being in the Zone and all the things that could go horribly wrong. Not to mention I was concerned about you, too," she told him as she prepared to change the baby's diaper. "Most of all, though, I was doing my level best to make sure I kept these two little angels where they needed to be. We did the best we could with what was going on around us, and for that reason, neither of us should have any regrets." Though, the new mother had a lot of them.

Harvey had quite a few regrets of his own, but there wasn't anything more to voice. He adjusted his hold on Alison, who had also begun to stir, but didn't cry like her brother. She opened her eyes slowly, looked around for a few seconds, and then closed her eyes once again. "Promise me something," he said, looking up to Joey who was very clearly in the middle of mothering. "If I ever get like that again, slap me... hit me... whatever you have to do, snap me out of it."

Once the baby's diaper was changed, she fixed his little blue onesie and moved back over to the couch to settle back down. It just so happened, his sister was wearing an identical one in pink. "I don't think I can promise you that," Joey told him. Even if she were to be extremely angry, there was no way she could ever hit him. Although, there was that time she'd put him into a sleeper hold some time back. At the time, though, there were just too many things going on that made her quite paranoid. "I will do what I can to snap you out of it, though."

Harvey chuckled at the onesie, wondering how long it would be before those little items of clothing would become the talk of the ship. "Whatever it takes," he simply replied to Joey.

She'd do what she could, but physical harm was definitely not going to be on that list. "I don't hold anything against you, Harvey. In fact, I think you handled things very well all things considered," Joey stated. She couldn't even begin to fathom how it all made him feel. His crew, those who were infected, wanted to kill him. Her included. "We'll just have to make sure we enjoy it more next time."

This time, Harvey chuckled louder, wondering how he could have enjoyed the last mission. "Let's just agree to enjoy the life we've created. We've got at least eighteen years of this."

Joey, not realizing he'd misunderstood what she was referring to, looked over to him with a slight shocked look on her face. "You want to have another one?" she found herself asking. And, there would be no trouble when it came to enjoying her time with their two little ones. The new mother spent every moment with them, and found she was actually dreading the moment she'd have to return to her duties.

"I don't think we should rule it out," Harvey simply replied. "Two are definitely more than we expected when we first found out, so I think we should just see how everything goes first of all." There was also the matter of schooling, and whatever their lives required once they hit eighteen, whether or not the kids remained at home (wherever home was), and so on.

"Not only that, but I plan to enjoy every single second I have with these two little ones before I have to get back into my uniform again, and that's going to happen before I know it," she said, looking over to him. "What do you say we eat something, then we all curl up and watch a movie?"

"That sounds like a decent plan," Harvey said with a smile, adjusting his hold on Alison. "After all we've been through, I could go for a relaxing evening."

Joey couldn't agree with that more. Far too much had happened, and if she could help her husband relax for a little while, that was exactly what she planned to do.

 

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