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An Outing

Posted on 09 Feb 2020 @ 2:48am by Ensign Kelly Khan & Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler

Mission: Sentience
Location: Arboretum
Timeline: MD 1 || 1800 Hours

Her first day back on duty, and it was a doozy.

First, Joey encountered the counselor from hell. She tried really hard to be polite and kind to the Vulcan woman, but it was painfully clear by the end of that impromptu meeting that the witch wanting nothing to do with that. Of course, that wasn't her problem, but there was one thing she had a very strong feeling about. Tivan wasn't going to last very long on the ship. Not when she was going out of her way to make so many enemies. At least, that's what Joey assumed. Her, Camila... there at to be others on that list. Maybe, in time, she'd find out for sure.

Then, there was Petty Officer Third Class Klim Sokamin. He was Torg's replacement, and while she and the Tellarite didn't see eye to eye sometimes, there was some kind of mutual respect there. That wasn't the case with the Zakdorn, though, and Joey doubted that would ever happen.

A little while later, once her shift had completely ended, she'd decided to head to the gym, but opted to make a pit stop in the enlisted mess hall along the way to grab a quick snack since it was on her way. What she didn't plan on was bumping into Mila in the state she'd been in. It wasn't long into the conversation, and after some gentle prodding, did Joey find out exactly what was bothering her friend. She'd killed Torg, and her husband knew about it. How long Harvey knew was beyond her.

What was it with people feeling like they couldn't tell her things? And, it wasn't just anybody, but those she was closest to. Did she give off some kind of vibe that she couldn't be trusted with certain information? Were they trying to spare her feelings? Was it a combination of both? Whatever the case, it didn't make her feel all that great.

Truth be told, she wasn't even angry at Mila for what she'd done. Like she told the Senior Chief, had their roles been reversed, Joey was certain she would have done the same thing without hesitation. What did bother her was how long it took for her friend... her sister... to come clean about it. There wasn't much that could be done about it now. As the saying went... what was done, was done. This was no different.

To top everything off, Joey went to go see to Camila for what she hoped would be a chance to vent. What greeted her was something even she never expected from the Chief of Security. Instead of venting, she walked into Camila's quarters and found her sitting in that dark living in conditions no one was fit for. Not even a Targ.

It didn't take long for her maternal side to kick in, nor did the need to save her friend from a total path of self-destruction. If it actually worked or not, well, that remained to be seen.

Now, here she was, sitting in the living room of the quarters she shared with her husband, children and dogs. Joey watched as both babies sat not too far away from her playing with one of the many toys they'd accumulated over the months. Their innocence still amazed her. They had no cares in the world and no real problems. As long as Alison and Jameson had clean diapers, food and lots of love, they were both happy. And, those were things they got in abundance.

Not too far away from the two little ones were Rico and Pequeno, both curled up by their babies. Over the months, Joey began to notice that the German Shepherd seemed to favor Jameson, while the Chow Chow flocked more toward Alison. He was a bit more high energy than his furry older brother, which was perfect for her daughter. Like the fluffy black dog, she had energy for days and seemed to be more outgoing, while her twin brother would rather sit back and observe what was going on around him much like Rico. Unless, it came to socks.

"What do you guys think? Think we should go roam the ship for a little while?" Joey asked.

Alison was the first to turn her attention toward her mother, lighting up like a little Christmas tree before she was on all fours and crawling toward her mother. Jameson, who hadn't yet learned how to crawl just yet, flopped over onto his belly and began to scoot his way toward her. It wouldn't be much longer before he'd be more mobile like his sister, Joey was sure, but he did what he needed to to get around, and Joey was proud of him for it.

She scooped each baby up in an arm and pressed a kiss to one cheek, then the other, earning smiles from both babies. "You two have no idea what I'm talking about, but I guess if Mommy is there, then it's got to be okay, huh?" Their mother asked as she maneuvered herself to her feet. "Let's go play in the Arboretum for a while." With that, she placed the babies into their stroller and secured them, then reached for the diaper bag she kept packed in case of an emergency. Once the two dogs were leashed, the five of them made their way out with a destination in mind.

===[Arboretum]===


In the Arboretum, Ensign Kelly Khan hung upside down from a low hanging tree limb with just her legs on the branch. She wore a one piece body stocking that had a print of the galaxy on it, her hair tied in a ponytail that hung towards the ground, and her eyes were closed.

It didn't take long for Joey to wheel the stroller into the Arboretum, both dogs keeping pace with her. She wanted to be as alone as she could, which meant choosing the bench farthest away from the entrance, but with their being four entrances, it limited her options. She chose the bench just up ahead and against the bulkhead to the left with a grassy around it.

An excited squeal came from inside the stroller as the got to the bench. She unhooked the dogs leashes, not too worried about them wandering off, then placed a blanket on the grass with a few of Alison and Jameson's more favored toys. "You're ready, I know," Joey said as she pulled her son out first, placing him on the blanket, then did the same with his sister. "Is that better?" A genuine smile formed as she watched the two children play.

There was no sound in the world - or universe - like that of an excited baby. Kelly would know it anywhere; after all, she had enough younger siblings. Her eyes opened and she looked around, then grunted as everything was upside down, but so was she. She bent at the waist, grabbed the branch, unhooked her legs and let herself fall to the ground to land on her feet.

She straightened up and headed out to seek out the source of the squeal and came upon the scene of Joey taking the babies out of their stroller, with Rico and Pequeno near them. "Babies!" she cried happily and came from behind a tree.

Joey recognized that voice anywhere, and despite wishing to be alone, she found she didn't mind Kelly was there. There was just something about the young woman's nearly constant positive and happy attitude that was contagious, and she could definitely use a bit of that at the moment. "Kelly," she greeted with a smile, her attention going toward the off duty Flight officer. "I didn't see you when we came in. We're you hiding in a tree somewhere?"

"Not hiding, but I was in a tree, Missus G," the young brunette said as she nearly skipped up and then knelt to where the babies were on the blanket. "Oh wow...they've really grown!"

"They have. Jameson even has a little hair now," she told Kel, gesturing to the little boy who had some peach fuzz growing on the top of his head that was dark like his sister's. "How've you been?"

"I'm groovy like gravy, dontcha know?" Kelly asked as she teased a wisp of hair on Jameson's head. "How about you? Are you living the Mom Life?"

"I'm okay," Joey answered, moving down to sit next to the babies. She scooped Jameson up when he leaned toward her and pressed a kiss to the top of his head. Alison kept her attention on Kelly as if sizing her up for the moment. "I have been living the Mom Life for the last nine months, and now it's mixed in with the Starfleet Life."

"Considering you're Intel, does that mean you're hiding them all the time?" the perky brunette joked with a giggle. "Or hiding from them?" She met and made eye contact with Alison and smiled from ear to ear. "I come in peace."

"Neither. I try to spend as much time with them as I can," the taller woman answered as she watched her daughter. Alison, with a block in hand, stared at Kelly for a few more moments before offering the block to her. "Looks like you made a new friend."

Kelly accepted the block and turned it over and over slowly in her hands close so Alison could easily get it if she wanted to. "Why thank you, Alicat...er, Alison." She glanced at Joey. "Sorry, Missus G, I like giving nicknames."

Joey shook her head, but she was smiling. "It's okay, Kelly. You don't need to be sorry for giving her a nickname," she stated. "I'm curious, though. When we last spoke, you mentioned some troubles you were having. How are things going on that front?"

"All's well as can be expected," the young woman said with a smile. "We have lots of upgrades, new stuff to play with, and I might even get a chance to get more practice in a Gryphon fighter if Roc...er, Commander Walsh sees fit."

"That's great, Kel," Joey began with a genuine smile. "But, I was referring more to things with Quinn."

"They're good," Kelly said honestly, and she hoped she was right. "We spent time together on shore leave and talked, and he knows that I love him and I know he loves me. That's the important thing."

"It is. Like I told you then, communication is key. Without it, you both suffer."

"True," the petite woman said. "Then there's times when you open you mouth and can't seem to stop it, and say nothing good."

Joey couldn't really relate to that statement, but she could definitely see Kelly letting her mouth get away from her. There had to be a story there, and if the young woman wanted to tell her, she figured she would without her prying into matters. "I suppose that's true, but there are also instances where some don't open their mouths enough," she spoke, but opted to steer the conversation in a different direction. "So, where did you go on your down time?"

"Back to Earth," Kelly said. "Probably should have stayed there, too. Came back and got to meet the new Chief of Flight..and sort of said a thing or ten to demean, ridicule, insult and act like he was a still wet behind the ears freshman cadet."

"Kelly..." Joey sighed. Now she knew what Flight officer was talking about before. "You know you need to apologize to him, right? And maybe, instead of demeaning, ridiculing, insulting and insinuating he's a wet behind the ears cadet, you work with him and, dare I say, help him. He's new aboard the ship, and might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with his new position. He needs support. But, there's always the alternative. He could write you up for insubordination, which goes into your permanent record, and potentially affects all of these amazing goals you set out for yourself."

'Already apologized and offered him my experience...but he looks twelve and he's some wonder boy or some such. Only spent two years at the Academy," the brunette groused. "Still, I'll help him however I can. I strongly encouraged him to read the mission reports."

"How he looks doesn't matter, but I'm glad you apologized to him. Helping out is what's best for the crew and the ship."

"He was all about dotting the i's and crossing the t's and doing everything by the book, and I told him that this ship doesn't work like that. We work at warp and make shit up on the fly. He didn't like that too much."

Joey nodded. "That's when you let him do things his way, then learn the way things actually work on the ship. As I mentioned before, he's new to the Black Hawk. You should give him the opportunity to do things his way before you tell him it's wrong."

"You're kidding, right?" Kelly asked in disbelief. "If I do that, he may try to fly us into a black hole. Okay, that wasn't fair. But still..."

"I seriously doubt he would do that, but he needs his own experiences to figure out how things work on the ship. Everyone who comes aboard needs that. Even you needed that."

The young woman cocked her head and gave the older, more experienced woman a long look. "Missus G, I would have done nearly anything to have someone tell me what I had to look forward to when I joined this ship."

Joey stood Jameson up when he put his legs down. Even when he started bouncing, Joey kept her attention on the young officer sitting with them. "Perhaps," she agreed, looking thoughtful. "But... if someone were to have told you what to expect, you probably wouldn't have stuck around. That's something we'll never truly know an answer to, though, so we can go back and forth hypothetically all day long."

"Cadets and Ensigns don't get a choice where they're going," Kelly pointed out. "So I would have at least the knowledge to know that I'd be screaming a lot."

"Okay," the older woman conceded. She already had quite a bit on her mind and didn't want to add anything else to it at the moment. In fact, she was beginning to wonder if the Arboretum was the right choice for a visit. Based on how happy the twins and dogs looked, it clearly was, just not for her personally.

"Anyhoo, how's these two angels been? I haven't seen them in months. Rico and Pequeno seem to have really taken to them."

"They've been great. Growing like little weeds and developing their own little personalities. Rico and Pequeno took to them almost since the second we brought them home from sickbay. They all love one another unconditionally."

"They're just so cute," Kelly gushed as she handed the block back to Alison and leaned in to touch foreheads with her.

Alison brought the block to her mouth so she could gnaw on the corner of it. She, and her brother, were both teething, and though each baby had already cut a couple teeth, more were coming. The baby gnawed on the corner for a few more seconds before she pushed it against Kelly's mouth.

Joey laughed as she settled Jameson back on the blanket. "Thank you. They've definitely brought a light to my life."

The Ensign started to say something before she found a corner of slobbered on wood pressed to her mouth. Having younger siblings prepared her for such things and she bit down on it and gave her head a little shake before she released it. "Thanks. I needed that, Ailicat."

The baby watched Kelly. She looked shocked, but then out of nowhere, she gave a sweet little baby laugh.

Kelly beamed and looked at Joey. "When I have one, I hope she's just like her," she said softly.

"And you will, though, I can't guarantee your little one will be anything like Alison. No matter what, you'll come to realize you didn't know you could ever come to love another person as much as you will your children," she said softly. "Take what you feel for Quinn, multiply that by a thousand, and you still don't come anywhere close to what it actually feels like."

"I can only imagine," the young woman said. "The love I have for my younger brothers and sisters when they were still teeny couldn't even compare to what you must feel."

Joey looked at Alison, then over to Jameson. "You'll know that feeling when the time is right, Kel, and when you do, I think you'll be an amazing Mom."

"I'll know when and if the time comes," Kelly said. "In the meantime, I'd be more than happy to watch little Alicat and Jimbo. Hmm. Jimbug?" She looked at Jameson. "Jimbo or Jimbug?" she asked him.

"Jimbo or Jimbug..." the taller woman asked with an arched brow. She didn't mind Alicat much, but those two potential nicknames just didn't sound right to her. Joey wasn't going to explain why, either. "I think you need to go back to the drawing board for that one." There was a pause briefly before she continued. "As for watching them, my cousin Eden came back with Harvey and I. She'll have them while we're on duty, but that doesn't mean you'll never get the chance to watch them."

"Oh," the younger woman said when Joey mentioned that her cousin came to babysit. "That's no problem at all, MIssus G," she said. "There's bound to be times when I couldn't. What about JayJay?"

"JayJay is interesting," Joey said. And much better than Jimbo or Jimbug.

"I'll work on it," Kelly said. "He's a quiet one."

Joey had to agree. Her son was pretty quiet most of the time unless he needed to be changed, was hungry or something was seriously bothering him. "He wasn't always quiet, though," she started, looking to Jameson, who was happily gumming one of his teething rings. "When he was first born, the slightest noise would startle him and he'd start crying. I broke him of that by playing music while he was sleeping. Now, I think he can sleep through a plasma storm."

"My parents used nature sounds to calm my siblings," the Ensign said. "Except for Signy. She liked nature, but preferred thunderstorm sounds."

"I can understand doing that, but I wanted to get him used to louder things while he was sleeping. Having to tiptoe around was becoming a pain in the neck."

"I was the opposite," Kelly said. "You could make all the noise in the galaxy around me and I'd sleep right through it. But tiptoe past me and I was up bellowing the baby red alert."

"How I sleep usually depends on the kind of day I had," Joey explained. "Tonight, I'm not sure I'm going to be sleeping so great."

"Mind if I ask why?" the shorter woman asked.

"It's just been a long day," the taller woman shrugged.

"I hear that," Kelly said, knowing an 'adult' response when she heard one. "I should let you and them get some alone time together. It probably doesn't happen often." She gave the babies a smile and came to her feet. "It was nice talking to you, Missus G."

Joey offered the young woman a smile. She was glad Kelly wasn't going to pry any further. "It was nice talking to you, too, Kel. Don't be a stranger. And if you'd like to just hang out with the babies one day, just let me know," she said. "In the meantime, take care of yourself."

"Will do and you do the same," Kelly said with a smile before she turned and sauntered off towards an exit.

 

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