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Time to be Real

Posted on 15 May 2017 @ 5:18pm by Commander Thiago Teixeira & Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij
Edited on on 18 May 2017 @ 12:57am

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Sick Bay
Timeline: MD2 : 1300

Jayla rubbed her temples. She still couldn't figure why Starfleet wanted everyone to have physicals right now. It made a certain amount of sense for those just coming off leave, but for the rest...

Well, what Starfleet wants, Starfleet gets. She'd perform the physicals, but it was going to be hell in a year's time when the physicals of the entire crew came due again. She only hoped a lot of people tried to put them off as usual.

She checked her schedule and saw the Executive Officer's name next on the list. Her stomach flip flopped. She didn't know how she felt about that. One on hand, he was a really nice guy and seemed like he cared. After all, he'd let her cry and talked to her when he'd found her in a stairwell in a hospital on New Bajor. She would just have to wait and hope for the best.

Though he found the seemingly frequent physicals to be cumbersome, Thiago was eager to see Jayla. The Trill physician hadn't been doing that well back on New Bajor, and hadn't seemed herself at O'Connell's briefing.

Stepping into the main entry to the medical complex, he saw that the front desk was unattended. He continued on into the main chamber. "Jayla?" he called out.

Jayla whirled around, feeling irrationally panicked. Calm down, she told herself. Calm down. It's just Commander Teixiera. She plastered on a strained smile and started towards him. "Good afternoon, sir," she said as she approached.

"How are you?" he asked, flashing a smile. He could see signs on her face that she still wasn't feeling....normal. "And you can call me Thiago. I think we're friendly enough for first names, yes?"

“I- yes, sir. Thiago,” she quickly corrected. She offered him a more natural smile this time. “I'm… well, I guess I'm still just trying to get used to being back on a ship,” she replied. “I think I got too used to being Planetside during leave. How about you?”

He chuckled. “I didn’t spend much time planetside. I voluntarily forfeited most of my leave to oversee the final stages of construction of the ship. I had about a week of freedom, after the debriefs.” In his mind, he saw the woman he’d befriended during his abbreviated R&R. They’d had a lot of fun together, exploring wilderness trails, swimming in the lake just outside the Starfleet compound on New Bajor, dinners on the lakeshore…. All time he’d enjoyed. But, throughout, he thought of Jayla. When he’d first come onboard the previous Black Hawk, they had quickly made a connection, something that neither had furthered thus far. But Thiago was interested in seeing where things went.

“As much as I love being in nature when I do get to be planetside, I feel much more at home on a ship.”

“I think I can honestly feel at home anywhere,” she replied. “I think I just missed my family more that I'd realized and being back with them reminded me of that. Anyway,” she added, shaking her head as if to clear it. “I take it you're here for your physical?”

“I am,” he answered. “You know the routine with a new pull out.” He flashed a quick grin. “You have a great opportunity, getting to meet and interact with so many of the crew.” He looked around the room. “Where do you want me?”

“Right over here,” she said, indicating a nearby biobed. “As there are so many crew, most of the doctors are doing these, so I only get to meet about five percent of them.”

Thiago hopped up on the biobed. “But still,” he said, sitting up straight, “I’m sure you’ll get to meet some of the new folks. Looking at the roster, there are a lot of names I don’t recognize. Including in your department. Have you met many of your new staff yet?”

“Most of them, yeah,” she replied, opening her tricorder and starting preliminary scans. “I may have to come in on gamma and delta shifts to meet the rest of them, though. I try to do that every so often, just to get to know everyone.”

He remained silent and watched her movements as she ran her scans. Even the simplest of hand gesture took on a level of elegance he didn’t find often. Though he wanted to ask about her mental state, he didn’t want to push the issue. Hopefully she knows she can talk to me about anything, he thought.

“How about you?” she asked after a moment of silence. “Get a chance to meet many new people?”

“Not many. Not yet at least. I’ll need to sit down and go over shift rotations soon, so I’ll probably use that to better familiarize myself with some of them.” His eyes moved over her, taking in the details: the gentle lines of her cheekbones, the curl of her hair, the way she tucked that lock of her hair behind her ear.

Pulling himself from his admiration, he brought up another subject. “I am curious about one of your new people. Doctor Jennin Rhula. His service record is short, but he had a decent career behind him as a civilian. Have you met him yet?”

“Yes,” said Jayla, keeping carefully neutral. “He's… difficult, but he seems competent. I can forgive curt answers and a frank manner as long as a person does his job. Of course, I've only actually talked to him once, so perhaps he's just shy.”

His curiosity piqued, he pressed, “Difficult how?”

“Just hard to talk to,” she replied. “A bit curt. You know. But, not rude. Just…” she shrugged. “I don't really know how to describe it. Maybe it's just a personality clash. As I said, he's competent, so I can overlook it.”

Though he’d been hoping for more detail, Thiago decided not to pursue that avenue. “As you probably know, not only is he assigned to head up your Laboratory section, but also to Science. My primary concern is whether he’ll be able to give adequate attention to both his positions. Any thoughts?”

“As the labs aren't used regularly, I don't see why not,” she replied. “Although, perhaps with proper lab techs, they will be used more. I suppose we'll have to see. But my initial reaction is that it shouldn't be a problem.”

“Good to hear,” Teixeira stated simply. “However, as Executive Officer, I recommend making use of your resources. A functional medical lab and staff can be very useful. These folks are trained and are here to work. Utilize them. Especially in Jennin’s case. His Bajoran medical training has been certified by the Surgeon-General’s Office of Professional Practice, so he’s fully rated as a general practitioner. If you need him to cover shifts, on occasion, he can do it.”

“Of course,” he continued, “you’ll need to work with Commander Djinx to figure out shift assignments for him.”

Jayla nodded. Now that she'd met Djinx, she was sure that wouldn't be a problem. “I'm sure we'll be able to figure it out,” she replied. Satisfied with the scans so far, she switched to the secondary, more in-depth scans. “How are things on the bridge?” she asked as she hadn't had a chance to get up there, yet. “Are there as many upgrades as down here?”

“It’s going to take a little getting used to not sitting right at the Captain’s side,” he offered, “but not much in the way of upgrades so much as more consoles. Having an Intelligence contingent onboard, for example, has meant some changes for bridge operations.”

He went quiet again, letting the Trill physician conduct her scans. After a few minutes, unable to stop himself, he blurted out, “How are you doing? I’ve been concerned since New Bajor.”

“I'm all right,” she replied, smile fading a bit. “To be honest, I feel like I'm still working through some things. But I'm okay.”

“You don’t have to force a smile with me. Be yourself. Be honest.” He craned his neck so his eyes could look directly at hers. “How are you doing?”

Her smile faultered and then slid off her face. “Terrified. Of my friends,” she said somberly. “And I don't know why. It's not like any of them turned out to be consortium or anything.”

Thaigo slid off the table to his feet and put an arm around Jayla. “It’s okay to be scared, you know. We all live with some level of fear. From different things. We’re products of our experiences.” He gave her a squeeze. “Have you been talking to a counselor?”

“Not yet,” she replied. “I've got an appointment with Counselor Stuart. It's just… I've never been afraid to talk to people before. It's completely foreign to me. I mean you know. You've seen me around people.”

She is rather gregarious, he reminded himself, thinking back to their first encounters. “As your friend, and I hope that you see me as your friend, I encourage you to open up to someone.” He released her and, standing in front of her again, looked her in the eyes. “As the Executive Officer, I need to know that you are able to perform your job adequately.”

“I can handle the work,” she assured him. “It's the socializing I'm not sure about.”

“You can have a horrible bedside manner. Doesn’t matter to me,” he replied. “Outside of duty shifts, well, that is something you’ll just have to work on. Remember that I’m always here if you want to talk. Or you just need someone to sit quietly with.”

She smiled. She didn't think she'd ever sat quietly a day in her life, except possibly while reading. An image of her and Thiago, seated on opposite ends of a sofa, each reading their own books rose unbidden in her mind and she let out a short laugh. “Thanks,” she said. “I'll remember that.”

This time, Thiago was glad to see, her smile seemed genuine.

 

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