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Working Lunch

Posted on 01 Apr 2020 @ 12:25am by Lieutenant Commander Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Sentience
Location: intelligence Center
Timeline: MD2 || 1300 hours

What a morning.

Harvey's hopes for an uneventful mission had been thoroughly dashed that morning. Between the incident between Commanders Di Pasquale and Tivan, and then having to suddenly deal with a change of command with the Medical department, Harvey had found himself wanting to take the rest of the day off. Alas, as the Captain, the only way for him to take a day off would be to get the hell off his ship, and he simply was not at that point yet.

He'd had the galley prepare a container of tomato soup and two roast beef paninis, which he now carried with him into the Intelligence Complex. His arrival drew a few glances, all of which were quickly dismissed. Harvey soon arrived at Joey's office door and rang the chime.

Joey sat inside her office going over a status report she'd received about half an hour ago. Things within her department seemed to be running pretty smoothly, and for that, she was grateful. Until the chime alerted her there was someone waiting to see her. She set the PADD aside and cleared her throat as she rose to her feet. "Come in," she called out, reaching down to straighten her uniform.

The door opened to reveal her husband. "I come bearing gifts," he said with a half-hearted smile. "Well... lunch. I come bearing lunch."

To say Joey was surprised was an understatement. She gestured to the couch opposite her desk as she made her way over to it to sit down herself. "How has your day been?" She asked.

Harvey was neither surprised or shocked when a hearty chuckle escaped his lungs. "My morning has made the Convergence Zone look like a cakewalk. Who would have thought that life without a mission could be so damning to the Black Hawk?" Harvey set the food he brought on a side table and then approached the replicator for dishware.

"Rough morning, I take it?" Joey asked as she smoothed her hands over her pants. Her morning had definitely been better than the day before, but she planned to keep all of that to herself. There was no sense in bothering him with such things when he was having a rough time of his own. Or so that's what she took from his statement.

"That's the understatement of the year right there." Harvey picked up the bowls and spoons and carried them over to the couch. He placed them on the coffee table and reached for the canister of soup. "For starters, I had a... situation with Di Pasquale and Tivan. Just when we finished that off, I got news that Doctor Kij got offered her dream job and warped off suddenly to parts unknown."

Joey fought the urge to twitch at the mention of Tivan, however, the news that Jayla was no longer part of their crew took over. What little appetite she had disappeared completely. "I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. It's not every day one's dream job gets offered to them. She did the right thing for her."

Harvey turned and handed her the first cup of soup. "Doctor Milo declined to advance. We're in the hands of Doctor Jennin now. With Doctor Road departing a couple of weeks ago, we're going to have to find a new pediatrician."

She accepted the soup from him and nodded her head. "We'll find someone. I'm sure there are a couple on board that would be willing to take a couple little ones on," Joey told him. "They don't need to be seen until their year old check up, so that will give us a few months to find the right person."

He passed over one of the paninis, which was wrapped in wax paper. "And, if worse comes to worse, there's always Gamma Command. We can work out appointments based on our regular stops." He unwrapped his sandwich and took a generous bite from it, realizing only then how hungry he actually was.

Joey made no move to eat just yet, but planned to soon enough. "We'll make it work," she said, leaning back against the couch after setting her wrapped panini on her lap.

And that, they always did. "That should be our motto," Harvey said after he finished chewing. "USS Black Hawk: We make it work." He leaned forward, picked up his bowl of soup and dunked the edge of the panini inside it before taking another bite of sandwich.

"Sometimes. Other times, we fake it," she said, setting her sandwich on the table next to her soup before rising to her feet and making her way toward the replicator. Joey requested a glass of cold water and took a sip of it.

Harvey finished his bite and looked up at Joey. He'd been in the room for just a few minutes and he realized that something about her seemed... off. "How's your first day underway been?"

"It's made me consider early retirement," she answered honestly. The thought had crossed her mind a couple of times over the last twenty-four hours. "We don't need to go into details, though." She takes another sip of her water and moves back over to the couch to sit down again.

He sighed. He wasn't sure if he needed to be a husband here, or a Captain. Harvey quickly brushed those thoughts aside. He couldn't use his rank in here, not now, even if he and his ship had to be inseparable. "I thought we pledged to no longer keep secrets with one another."

He was right, of course, but she knew he had his hands full with other things. Still, maybe it was best if she finally told him. "Yesterday was my first full day back on duty since the twins were born, and it was definitely a rough one. I met Commander Tivan for the first time, and was less than impressed," Joey began, taking a moment to gather her thoughts. "I met Torg's replacement, and I can already tell we aren't going to get along. And, speaking of, I found out what happened to him. I ran into Mila in the mess hall before going to the gym, and she told me."

Harvey didn't reply. He chewed his sandwich as he considered how best to reply to that revelation. "The Petty Officer did manage to get infected," Harvey confirmed. "I'm just sorry that we weren't able to get to him during the fight to retake the ship." The Black Hawk had lost more than eighty personnel that day, but he was only one of five who died while infected with the parasites.

Joey nodded. He knew Mila did what she had to do to keep herself safe, but it still bothered her that the Russian woman waited so long to say anything. She would eventually need to talk to her about it, but wasn't ready to just yet. "Mila told me you knew about it, but with something like that, I get it wasn't your place to say anything to me," she told him. "I'll talk to her about it as soon as I feel like I can." She paused for a moment and cast a glance in his direction, wondering what she should and shouldn't share with him. He carried many burdens, and didn't need to add hers onto them.

"It didn't seem appropriate to tell you," Harvey stated. Since he hadn't been there, he wouldn't have been able to answer any questions Joey might have had. Harvey didn't want to have to be the one either to bear the brunt of any undeserved rage caused by grief. He looked at her and caught her glance. "But that's not what's bothering you, is it?"

"No, it's not," she answered honestly. "What's really bothering me is the ship's new counselor. I tried to talk to her yesterday, and it didn't go well. To be quite frank, she's a condescending ass, and I hope I never have to cross paths with her again."

Harvey sighed and looked down at his soup. It was his turn for his appetite to fade. "Commander Tivan seems to have that effect on people," he admitted. "If there's one thing I know about people, it's that the higher their IQ, the more of an ass that they are. Or is that just the more inflated their ego?"

"Probably both," she said with a frown. Joey didn't want to say anything, but if she kept it bottled up inside, who knew what would happen over time. "I wasn't going to say anything about it. To anyone, really, but it's already starting to affect me. I even went to talk to Lieutenant Stuart this morning. That didn't really help."

Harvey reached over with his right hand, placed it on her knee, and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Tivan is here to assess the readiness and stability of those who had been controlled by the Dolmoqour. In her mind, it's not personal at all. Show her the Joey we all know and love. If you let her get under your skin, then the only winners are the Dolmoqour. And, it also means that the Dolmoqour did more damage than any of us are ready to admit."

Joey looked at him like he'd just grown a second head from his neck. "Show her the Joey you all know and love? That's not going to do any good, Harvey. Not when she's the type of person that she is. And, don't you think I tried that when I first met her? I was ready to rip her throat out, but opted to go down a different path. I was nothing but nice to her until she showed her true colors," Joey said. "I have no intentions of seeing her for treatment, or being part of this experiment she's got going on. Lieutenant Stuart is my counselor, and she's who I plan to continue seeing."

He sighed. Harvey turned and picked up the bowl of soup in order to take a spoonful of it. "That's... that's not what I meant, Joey. I'm not going to sit here and order you to see Tivan. I haven't met a soul yet that's gotten off with her on the right foot, but have you thought for a second that she might have thrown you off-base on purpose? Just to see how you respond? We've seen a lot of hell the last couple years, and we've made it this far."

"You're right. We have seen a lot of hell, and that woman has no clue exactly what kind of hell we've been through. To be honest, I don't even think she really cares," his wife said, trying to keep herself as calm as possible. "And to try to throw someone off-base on purpose? That doesn't say much for her or her methods. She has no respect for this ship, this crew, or you."

"I think it's definitely clear she doesn't care about us," Harvey pointed out. "But she is fascinated by us. She needs us much more than we need her." He took a bite of his soup. "Maybe that's what we need to do. Show solidarity between all of us, show her that she can't simply railroad us. Maybe then she'll lighten up."

Joey reached for her panini and began to unwrap it. "She called me jealous and insecure. I know I have no reason to be jealous or insecure because I trust you. Clearly, I don't trust her, and I never will," she said, taking her first bite. She chewed and swallowed before speaking once again. "I love you, and I know that you love me, and maybe a small part of me is a a little jealous and insecure. You're a powerful man, and women are drawn to that."

Harvey grunted. "I'm no more powerful than you are. I run a ship, but you run our home. Power or not, I couldn't do what I do without you."

"That's part of my job as your wife... to support you, and that's what I'm going to keep doing," Joey said, leaning over to press a kiss to his cheek. "I know life with me hasn't been easy the last twenty-four hours, but I'm going to do my level best to see that that changes. I want to be a better wife and mother, and try to be a better officer."

He smiled, wrapping an arm around her to draw her close. "I just need you to be you," he told her. "I don't need you to try for me, just being there is enough. Just... don't feel like you have to hide things from me. Being a husband and a father is just as important as being a ship's Captain."

"And you're good under all three hats," she said. "And, I was only trying to keep things quiet because I didn't want to add anymore pressure on you. It just didn't seem right, or even fair."

"I can appreciate that," Harvey said, reaching now for his lukewarm bowl of soup. "Let's go ahead and pause all of that for now. How is the rest of Joey's world? You said you and your staff won't be mixing well?"

Joey shook her head. "Just Torg's replacement. Petty Officer 3rd Class Klim Sokamin. He's Zakdorn, which says a lot. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he's definitely not who I'm used to working with. I think having so much time off has affected my abilities as an officer."

Harvey chewed his panini in silence. If Commander Tivan had taught him anything, it was to not judge a person by being a member of their species. "Hopefully, he'll be thorough, and probably even more detailed and arrogant than Torg. An apt successor, perhaps."

"All I can do is hope that's the case," she spoke, taking another bite of her panini. Joey definitely appreciated her husband thinking about her, because frankly, the way she'd been feeling, she would have worked through lunch. That wouldn't have done her, or her still nursing children, any good. "You know what I think we both need?"

"An actual vacation?" Harvey mused, reaching again for his soup. "It's been more than a year, and that one ended with twins, though we didn't know it yet."

"Well, yes, an actual vacation would be nice, and we'll get there at some.point in the future, but what I had in mind does involve two very adorable little ones," Joey said, wrapping her panini back up. "I think we should take our lunch on the go, and by go, I mean head home and snuggle two sweet little babies until we have to get back to work."

He smiled. "That does sound like something we both need." He wrapped what little remained of his panini back up and then turned to pour both soup bowls back into the container he'd brought with him. "Let's promise each other something," Harvey said as he worked. "Positions and duties aside, Let's not withhold our thoughts from one another. We're. a team, and we can't move forward if we can't tell each other the truth."

Joey nodded her head. "I can agree with that. I know that you have so much going on that I didn't want to add to it."

"You not adding to it is actually the opposite," Harvey countered. He stood and picked up the dishware in order to recycle them in the replicator. "But I think we've said enough on the subject."

"We have," she agreed with a smile. Truth be told, Joey felt a lot better than she did when she woke up that morning. Maybe confiding in her husband was exactly what she needed to do all along. "I bet you anything that no matter what they're doing, Alison and Jameson forget about it and head straight for you."

"Anything, eh?" Harvey chuckled as he walked back over to the couch to pick up the soup and his sandwich. "That seems like a pretty tall order there. How about first rights to the shower tomorrow morning? Or a drink of the Romulan Ale we still have stashed away?"

Joey grabbed her own sandwich and made her way toward the door. "Or how about both?"

"Deal," Harvey said with a laugh. He extended his free hand to her as he met Joey at the door. "I could have sworn you would have pushed for a day off."

After taking his hand, Joey shook her head as she led the way out of her office. Since his initial arrival, no one seemed to pay them much attention, for which she was grateful for. "I had enough time off, and though I miss spending every waking second with the babies, it was time for me to get back to work again," she pointed out. "If anyone could use a proper day off, it's you."

"And with me breaking in a new XO and practically half the senior staff, now's not the time for a vacation, let alone a day off." Both of them stepped out into the corridor where Harvey steered the duo to their left.

"We have it better than a lot of others on the ship do," she said as she walked with him. "You and I get to go home to the sweetest faces ever, and even on the roughest days, they just make everything seem so much better."

Harvey couldn't argue with that. "You. The twins. A starship heading out to the vast unknown. Honestly, it really can't get any better than this. Well, except when the crew gets along."

"Do you ever feel like you're the father of more than two?" She asked, hoping for an honest answer, even if she had a feeling she knew what it would be.

He only laughed. "There are days I wish it was only two. But that's all right. I recall that I was quite the handful back in the day. But that's neither here nor there."

Joey continued on her journey with him. She'd taken this particular route many times in the past and didn't have to pay much attention to where she was going. "We're definitely going to have our hands full in the coming years," she told him. "Between our biological children, and your uniformed ones, life will never be dull."

"Just as long as they let me stay on a starship." Harvey stopped at a turbolift and pressed the call button. "Besides, I've already a lived a dull life. I sure as hell don't want to go back there."

"I don't think you're going to have to worry about that. Excitement seems to find us in some way, shape or form no matter where we go. And sometimes, said excitement isn't always good." Joey stepped onto the turbolift when it presented itself and stepped aside for him to join her. "The twins are a bit older now. We should introduce them to the holodeck at some point."

"Deck Nine," Harvey instructed as he stepped inside. "I suppose it's not a bad idea. We could start with a grassy field and see how it goes. Maybe a picnic lunch. Could even bring your cousin along too. I'm sure she could use a bit of fresh, circulated air."

"We can do that. I've taken them to the Arboretum a few times, and while they don't like the feel of the grass for some reason, a blanket fixes that right up," she said. "I think Eden might like to join us, too. As soon as we can set a date for it, I'll ask her."

Harvey paused to think as the turbolift climbed the shaft. "Tomorrow, we're supposed to be holding those war games, so I need to be present for that. Maybe Thursday when we hit the nebula. That should work well."

Joey smiled. "Perfect. I'll make sure everything is ready to go. War games sounds interesting. I'd like to observe if it's possible."

"I was hoping you'd do more than just observe," Harvey suggested as the short turbolift ride came to a stop. "Commanders Walsh, Di Pasquale, and Alexander have collectively been preparing for this. I'm expecting you to not just watch and take notes as to our capabilities, but to also throw a few monkey wrenches in along the way."

Nothing surprised her more than hearing that, and she planned to do her best. "Is there anything in particular you'd like to see thrown their way? Or anything you wouldn't?"

"The only thing I don't want to see is friendly fire." Harvey stepped out of the turbolift and looked beside himself to make sure Joey was still in step with him. "But, there's nothing wrong with sensor ghosts or anything of that variety."

A smile formed on her lips as they moved toward their quarters. "I can provide sensor ghosts and other things to make things interesting."

"Good," Harvey confirmed with a smile. A moment later, they'd arrived at the door to their quarters. The doors swished open, and both of them were simply greeted with silence. Harvey entered, looked around, and noticed that the cabin was empty. Even the dogs were gone. "They must be out for a walk."

The smile Joey displayed only seconds ago was replaced with a frown. She'd been looking forward to seeing the family, but they weren't even home. "Well, that's disappointing."

Harvey slapped on an expression of mock disgust. "You mean a few minutes alone with your husband in a room pre-Jameson and Alison is disappointing? I thought we'd have to wait at least five years for a moment like this."

Why hadn't she thought of that? "You know what that means we should do? We still have a little time before we have to get back to our duties."

He replaced his mock disgust with a sly smile. "Lead the way, my love."

She didn't need to be told twice. Joey took her husband's hand and led the way.

 

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