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Muppets and Marriage

Posted on 01 Oct 2017 @ 8:15pm by Lieutenant Joey Geisler & Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Captain's Quarters
Timeline: MD 6 || 2000 Hours

Joey sat on the couch with Rico on one side, while Pequeno chose to settle down on the other, the PADD she was working on only moments ago now settled on the table. It did wonders to distract her, but now that she was without it, her mind was allowed to wander. Sadly, those thoughts went straight to the things that transpired much earlier that morning.

Truth be told... now that she was off duty, Joey was feeling quite guilty for leaving like she did. She loved Harvey, and she knew he loved her, but attacking him... it was no wonder he didn't want to trust her. In fact, she was quite certain she wouldn't trust her either if she were in his shoes. He was a Captain of a starship, and it wasn't everyday that a member of his crew... future wife... mother-to-be to his children, attacked him. No, Harvey was well within his rights to be standoffish, and her selfishness was definitely not warranted.

She had to make this up to him.

The tall woman gave each canine a belly rub before she rose to her feet and began to look around (also searching for any spider-like creatures). What could she possibly do that would make it better? It didn't take long before the ideas began to pour in, and a great deal of them required him to be present.

For now, Joey moved back over to the couch to retake her seat and pet the sleeping dogs while she waited. A large part of her had to wonder if he would even be coming home after what happened, not that she'd blame him if he didn't. For now, though, all she could do was sit back and wait.

* * *

It was over. The Selubassari had finally lost their controlling interest in the planet and the Finneans were now all the more wiser about intergalactic trade and relations. Even the Federation was able to count this as a good day, having undone some of the damage caused by the Consortium.

While Harvey relished in all of these facts, he found himself most pleased on one thing.

They had the probe.

He found it all incredible how one simple device could destabilize an entire planet. The fear of danger wasn't just for the Federation, but for the entire Gamma Quadrant, if not just the Finneans and Selubassari. Harvey could also count it as a miracle that this discovery hadn't yet become rumor in this neck of the galaxy. He could only imagine the panic it would cause.

Though Harvey had just spent the last hour or so with the probe, studying its casing, looking at its fractured innards, he still learned nothing. He'd only gained two pieces of knowledge during this whole mission: the danger was real, and the Federation wasn't the only one worried. To top it off, there was still the message his future self had sent.

Trust no one.

Those three words had haunted him from the moment he read them. He'd grown to trust his command crew and those around him during the Consortium Crisis. But that message changed everything. Even now, Lieutenant Carmichael, one of the first officers Harvey had met when he took command of the Black Hawk, was still confined to quarters. As much as Harvey wanted to turn the man loose, there were still so many unanswered questions.

His mind, however, was now mush. Having given up on command and duty for the rest of the evening, he finally decided to leave the science lab and return to his quarters.

* * *

She couldn't sit still any longer... not with all the restless energy she had coursing through her. There were far too many things weighing on Joey's mind, and it seemed that the longer she sat there, the worse she felt. What she needed to do was occupy her mind somehow, but the question was how.

Looking around, their quarters were already spotless, so cleaning was not an option. She'd done quite a bit of reading, and felt if she tried to stuff anymore in her brain presently, it might decide to ooze out of her nose. Joey could go to the gym, but that would mean social interaction, and she just wasn't feeling that at the moment.

With her options limited, Joey rose to her feet and stretched her arms above her head, leaving the two dogs asleep on the couch. If they were awake, she'd play with them. That always seemed to help, but she wouldn't deny them their rest.

Joey sighed. "I wish I could sleep as easily as you two."

At that moment, the door panels parted, allowing a very drained Harvey to enter the room. He saw Joey stretching and took a moment to enjoy how much he was attracted to her. As the door closed behind him, he was reminded of the rough morning they'd had, as well as her contributions in the Selubassari conflict.

"Hey," he greeted, crossing the room to embrace her. Despite the mixed feelings he'd carried throughout the day, his love for her had not wavered, and it was up to him to embrace her first.

Joey didn't so much as tense when he embraced her. In fact, she returned it and held him as tears rolled down her cheeks. She'd seen him quite a bit throughout the day, but couldn't allow herself the chance to mention what happened between them that morning. But now... now she could let it all out. "I'm so sorry, Harvey," she said softly. "So very sorry."

He could feel her emotions on his damp shoulder. The doctor in him cautioned that this could be the pregnancy throwing her hormones out of whack. His conscience ignored those cautions. "Water under the bridge," Harvey said, hoping it would be a comfort. "What you did today more than makes up for it."

"What I did was what any good officer would have done," Joey said, though his words did comfort her a great deal. She pulled back, but only slightly so she could press a kiss to his cheek. The love she felt for him was unlike anything she'd ever felt before. "It's been a rough day, but that seems to be normal lately."

Harvey sighed. "I feel every day is going to feel like this until we get to the bottom of it all," he said, still holding her. His mind shot elsewhere, feeling how firm her stomach was pressed against his. "And, I have a feeling we've got a couple kiddos that are going to be coming between us for a while."

Joey couldn't help but smile as she brought his hand to rest against her stomach where their children were safely nestled. "That just means we'll have to get creative, and once they're here with us, we'll make time for one another," she said. "As for what's going on, we will get to the bottom of it, I promise. I'll do whatever I can to help, too."

"It's hard to believe," Harvey said with a sigh, letting her go, but only so he could go to the bedroom and finally rid himself of the uniform he'd worn since 0500. "That we're going to be parents. Just a couple of days ago, we were just talking about marriage."

"Life has a way of throwing curve balls, doesn't it?" Joey asked as she made her way into the bedroom to settle down on the bed. "We can wait to get married until there's a bit more stability in our lives. You don't need the added stress of a wedding on top of everything else."

Stability, Harvey's mind repeated. Was there such a thing in Starfleet? If anything, his career as a Captain was anything but stable. "Who ever said a wedding was stressful?" Harvey asked, unzipping his uniform jacket and tossing his combadge on the nightstand.

"I assume the planning has some kind of stress involved," she said, attempting to straighten the bed a bit after her nightmare. "I would be happy to marry you tomorrow if it was doable."

As he removed his uniform and started to put on his pajamas, Harvey couldn't help but think about his wedding on Starbase 211. It was forever etched in his memory, even though he'd rarely revisited it in recent years. In reverence to Alison, he had no desire to repeat such an elegant wedding. By doing so, he felt that it would tamper with the memory.

Then again, he could never deny Joey the chance to have something that she wanted. Though, that was something likely to be held back on Earth with both of their families present. After all of the healing he just went through with his parents, he certainly could not afford to push them away again.

"Anything is possible," Harvey told Joey. "But, I have a feeling having twins is going to be far more stressful than a single day. We've just committed the next seven months and eighteen years to their upbringing."

"Life is full of challenges," Joey said as she finished straightening the bed. "But this is one challenge I'm very excited to take on. When I was still in Security, I never would have dreamed of becoming a mother. But now... now that I have these two little lives growing inside of me, I want them more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. That is aside from my life with you. I know we didn't plan on this happening so soon, but I couldn't be happier. You've given me two of the greatest gifts in all of the galaxy, and I can't thank you enough."

Harvey smiled, sitting on the bed. "I can't wait either," he said. What he didn't say was that he truly hoped that their children would be able to have a full, happy life. No one had any idea what awaited them on the other side of the zone. All Harvey knew was that it was dangerous. Yet, as a wise Captain once said, Risk is a part of the game, sitting in that chair. "What if we did something simple?" Harvey asked. "Something for just us and the crew? We can do something with our families when we're back."

Joey smiled and nodded her head. "Simple is good. In fact, that's kind of what I was hoping for," she replied. Sure, many women dreamed of the huge wedding with hundreds of guests, the big dress with no expense spared, but that wasn't her. All she really wanted was sand beneath her feet, a simple dress, and the man she loved. "I don't need all the pomp and circumstance for our special day to be perfect."

"The trouble is finding someone to officiate," Harvey then said. "As a Captain, it would have to be an admiral or a dignitary. Both are presently in short supply, seeing how I'm the ranking officer in this cluster of ships."

"I've thought about that, too. Most of them left this area of space when I did months ago," Joey told him. She was disappointed, but she did her best to hide it. "If we need to hold off until we can get back to DS11 or Unity, that wouldn't be a problem. Maybe even Zach would be willing to officiate for us."

Harvey looked off towards the dresser, considering the idea. Until a few months ago, Zach O'Connell had been a career-long foil for Harvey. He supposed that there was at least one good thing that came from the Consortium Crisis, it was them finally being able to bury the hatchet. "I can reach out and see," he said. "It's worth a shot."

"I also have a favor I can call in to a friend of mine if he isn't available," Joey stated as she moved to settle down behind him. Without giving him a heads up, she brought her hands to his shoulders and began to massage the tension from his muscles there. She'd move down his back soon enough, but one thing at a time. "Are we seriously going to do this tomorrow, or wait a couple days?"

He closed his eyes, attempting to enjoy the massage. "I doubt this is happening tomorrow. It's going to take a few days, possibly a couple of weeks, to settle the issues with the planet. I've reached out to Task Force Command for reinforcements. Even though we have the probe, we can't just walk away. Not yet."

Joey continued to moved her hands over his shoulders, running her thumbs over the back of his neck to ease the tension there as well. "No, we can't leave. The Finneans have been left with a hell of a mess to clean up, and they're going to need our help doing it," she said. "As much as I can't wait to marry you, what's happened here has to come first. Restoring order and normalcy is a priority."

"We can plan for the wedding to take place when things look like they're starting to stabilize a bit," she said. "When we have a little free time, though, I think we should hit DS15 and do a little shopping."

"Shopping?" Harvey asked, still enjoying what Joey was doing.

"For the babies. Yes, it might still be a bit early, but given how busy we get, there might not be a lot of time in the future," Joey explained as her hands moved down his back. "I think this is going to go a bit quicker than we think it will."

His eyes shot open. Just a couple days ago he was warming up to the idea of fatherhood, but actually going out and purchasing items... That was turning this into reality. "Where are we going to even put this stuff?" Harvey asked. He started looking around the room. "Do we have bassinets in here to start, or do we need to put them in their own room?"

"I think bassinets in here to start might not be a bad idea," she agreed, taking a look around the room to check out the space they were working with. Then an idea struck her. "What if we expanded into the quarters next to these. Technically, they should belong to me since I'm the last senior officer on board the ship, and you are the Captain, so we should be able to make it happen."

Now the wheels in her head were turning trying to figure out how to make everything work. "We could turn the main living area into their bedroom, turn the bedroom into a playroom... it could be entirely for them," she said, though now she was pretty sure she sounded completely ridiculous. It did make sense, though. "We could even have the door taken out so they can't wander out on us."

"We're still more than a year away from having to worry about them escaping," Harvey cautioned. "Seven more months in utero, then at least six before they can roll or crawl. We've got time."

"You're right. I'm getting way ahead of myself," she relented, though she did want to be a bit prepared in some ways. "I still want to go shopping, and I'd love for you to go with me." She fell silent for a moment, then spoke once more. "Harvey, we're going to have two babies."

They were indeed. Harvey was still coming to terms with the idea of fatherhood, and the more he thought about it, the more comfortable he was. "I'll certainly go," he told her. "But, just know that we don't have to get everything in one stop. Heaven forbid that our children wear items exclusively sold by Ferengi."

Joey couldn't help but laugh at that. "Not a chance. Have you had a chance to tell your parents yet?"

Harvey shook his head. "Between crew dossiers and preparing for all of this mess here at Finnea Prime, I haven't had a chance at all."

"I haven't told mine, either. Things have been too busy lately. Soon, though," Joey said as she wrapped her arms around him from behind. She laid her head against his back and closed her eyes with a content sigh. "We're going to get through all of this. Especially since we have each other to lean on."

"Indeed we do," he said gently, grabbing her arms with his hands, his attempt at an embrace from this angle. "How was it?" he asked. "The first away mission with precious cargo?"

"It wasn't so bad, though I've never been more aware of needing to keep myself safe before," she replied, smiling when he held her arms. "I know there will come a point when I'll need to stay on the ship, but I don't want that to come just yet. Hopefully, the Captain will give me a little more field work."

He chuckled. "We've got to figure out where we're going first." Harvey then sighed. "I know the last couple of days have been insane, but this whole thing feels too easy. Don't you think?"

"Easy?" Joey repeated. She pulled away from him and moved to sit next to him with a shake of her head. "From my side of things, none of this was easy. Infiltrating The Net and downloading all of their data without detection. Going down to the surface and trying not to beat the hell out of the Selubassari for the condition those people in the pits were in. Talking down an angry Finnean that was ready to wage war because nearly his entire race was wronged in ways that would make the nastiest species out there cringe. Sitting across from the asshole who was responsible for it all and trying not to spit in his face. Then sure, it felt too easy."

Harvey could certainly understand her point of view. "An entire planet was turned upside down over the course of two weeks," he pointed out. "We show up, and it's all fixed in less than twenty-four hours. Sure, the damage itself will take a while to reverse, but this time yesterday, we were looking for a needle in a haystack. Now the needle is locked away in the lab, but we're none the wiser."

"No, but maybe we're not supposed to be yet," she said softly, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. Joey didn't understand any of it, and that was driving her crazy, but the answers would be revealed in time. They just needed to know where to look. "Maybe once we get through the Convergence Zone things will be a bit more clearer. We will find the answers we're looking for, though. You just have to believe that we will."

She frowned. "Knowing that our own personnel was helping them is a hard pill to swallow, and I just can't wrap my head around it. Sure, with the Consortium, our personnel were playing the wrong side of the field, but this is different."

He couldn't argue with her there. "We're going to have to keep that probe on total lockdown," Harvey said, sighing. "If its presence turned our own people... there's definitely more to this story."

"I know it isn't really my place, but if I were you, I would limit those who have access to it as well," Joey told him with a frown. "If it has anything to do with what Akagi and Yuki did, then there's nothing keeping it from doing it to any member of our own crew. This puts us in a rather dangerous position, and I don't like that."

"We can't assume it was the probe," Harvey countered. "Charles was in the same room as the probe and he turned out fine. Yuki was nowhere near it until its theft."

"Yet, you must have had the same thought at some point, otherwise Carmichael wouldn't still be confined to quarters," she pointed out as she rose to her feet and began to pace the floor. "I think I should go to my office and see if I can't find something. There's all that data from The Net to go through still without using keywords. Maybe that will reveal something. A clue... anything."

"The data will be there tomorrow," Harvey said, rising from the bed as well, planning to catch her on the next pace. "You've had a full day, and you've got a more important job to perform now. And that's resting. Don't make me order it as a captain or a doctor."

Joey was easily caught as she turned to change course and sighed. She fully believed he would order her to rest, and she'd comply readily enough. "I'm not tired, though," she said with a frown. "I slept for a while earlier, but ended up dreaming about donuts and a half chipmunk, half spider creature that stole one. Rico munched on it, then brought it to me as an offering of love." She gave a full body shudder.

"Resting is not sleeping," he countered. "Resting involves a book, hobby, relaxing." Harvey paused, thinking about the creature she described. "A... spidermunk?" he mused. "I think I saw a couple of those running about Deep Space 15 when I met with Couric for the first time."

Joey went white as a sheet and jumped onto the bed in sheer panic mode with a squeal. "They're real!?"

Harvey merely blinked at her, surprised by the outburst. "They're not on the ship!" he tried to assure her. "Besides, we've got two K-9's. They'll take care of any pests."

Joey shook her head and grabbed her pillow, then pulled the blanket off of the bed to wrap around herself. There wasn't much the creeper her out, but those did. "They're real!" she squealed, looking down at the floor on each side of the bed. When she was sure the coast was clear, she leapt toward the door. "I'll be sleeping in a workbee on the hull of the ship if you need me!"

Harvey dove in front of her, as did Rico and Pequeno, both of whom awakened by the unnaturally high pitched sound from a moment earlier. "They're not here," Harvey assured, gently embracing her.

"But they're real," she protested, succumbing to the embrace in an effort to calm herself. Knowing they were real didn't do anything to make her feel any better, and now she didn't want to go back to DS15 again. "How do you know they aren't here? They could be hiding anywhere right now waiting to steal my donuts."

He couldn't help but look around to see if there were indeed any donuts around the room. Naturally, there wasn't one to be found. "I'm the Captain," he told her. "I know every inch of this ship, and I had six days to memorize them in. There's no spidermunks on board."

That did make her feel a little better, but she was going to have a hard time falling asleep now. "Okay," she relented softly, looking at the two dogs as they trudged back off to sleep now that she seemed to be calmer. "Why don't you get some sleep, and I'll rest?"

"And give you the chance to run off?" Harvey quipped. "I think not. Besides, I think I want to pick up a book. Gotta do something to get this probe business out of my mind."

"Why not skip the book tonight?" Joey suggested, slipping her arms around his waist. "I can help take your mind off of it."

"Only if I get to keep your mind away from things that go bump in the night as well," he countered.

"Does that mean you're going to tell me a story, too?" she asked unable to keep from smiling.

"Is that how you planned on taking my mind off of it all?" Harvey asked, leading her over to the couch. Rico and Pequeno had already beat them there as soon as they'd verified the mama had been calmed.

"Not exactly," she answered, looking around the main living area to see if there were any spidermunks around. With Rico sleeping, she knew there wouldn't be one dropped at her feet, but there was still a little paranoia there. "I had other plans, but was trying to be silly."

Harvey chuckled. "Good. All of my stories involve hundred year old probes. They're not very interesting." That wasn't entirely true. They were just speculative and distracting.

"No more talk about probes, Mister," she said as she leaned in to kiss him softly. Joey hated seeing him like this, but the only thing she could do was support him and offer comfort when it was needed. And those were two things, among many, she would give him without question. "Now... you get the popcorn. I'm going to see what kind of old cheesy movies the computer has in its database. And chocolate cake, too. We definitely need cake."

Smiling, he replied, "Deal." With that, he moved over to the replicator and requested a large bowl of popcorn, dripping with butter. He also replicated a slice of triple chocolate cake, made with the finest chocolate the computer could produce.

Joey got the movie set up and looked toward him. "I'm not so sure it's classified as cheesy, but tonight, we're going to watch The Muppet Movie from the year nineteen seventy-nine," she said as she urged the dogs from the couch to go sleep in their beds. They complied, rather reluctantly as she settled down in a spot they just vacated. "And if you're extra good, I'll get you a Kermit for your desk."

"Muppets?" Harvey asked, bringing the snacks to the couch. "I think I've heard of them." As he sat down, a memory came to his mind, causing him to simply shake his head. "You know, several months ago, Lieutenant Di Pasquale actually suggested in a mission briefing to give the Starfleet ships Muppet code names to keep the Consortium from figuring things out. I thought she was crazy."

"I don't think she was crazy. In fact, that was pretty smart. The Consortium would have been scratching their heads if they heard Beaker contacting Gonzo," Joey said with a grin. And the only reason she knew those names was because she looked over the cast list briefly. "We would have definitely been Kermit, though. No question about it."

"That's exactly what she suggested," Harvey said, getting comfortable on the couch and kicking his feet up onto the coffee table. "But I don't know what a laboratory beaker and a... what was it... a gondola have to do with the Muppets."

Joey couldn't help but giggle as she reached for the PADD she'd left on the coffee table. It didn't take long before she pulled up an image of the Muppets, pointing to one with a long, curved nose. "This is Gonzo, and this one is Beaker," she explained, pointing toward a second Muppet that was orange in color.

"So..." Harvey said, looking up from the PADD to her. "These are puppets. We're going to watch... puppets."

"Nope. We're going to watch Muppets. Who knows? You might like it," she commented as she got comfortable next to him. "Besides... I wouldn't be doing my job right if I didn't continue to introduce you to things you might never have been exposed to before. Right?"

Harvey chuckled. "That is certainly true." It wouldn't be like her to not continue pushing him out of his shell. "But this isn't like hula or surfing."

"It isn't, and it's new to both of us," Joey said with a smile as she shifted around just a bit to snuggle against him. Yes, there was chocolate cake to be had, but he'd always win out over that any day. "What do you think of getting married in six days?"

He considered it for a moment. "November 12th?" he asked, mulling the date around in his mind. It seemed sudden, but then again, he was starting a family. And, he had to be careful that he didn't push her away in all of this. Joey was likely his last chance at happiness, and despite his feelings regarding the current circumstances surrounding the ship, he couldn't afford to drop it.

"Yes. It seems like a good date to me," she answered. "Who knows if we'll ever get the chance again before the babies are born?"

"Time will tell," Harvey muttered, leaning back on the couch. And he wasn't wrong. Only the future knew what the future held, that is, if the probe now stowed safely away aboard wouldn't yield any clues.

Joey frowned. She knew what he was thinking about. It didn't take a genius to figure that out. "Do you want to wait then? It's okay if you do."

Harvey shook his head. "We'll always find a way to put it off," he confessed. "Either we do it now, or we'll have to wait a couple years before the kids will be physically able to sit through the ceremony."

"Like I said earlier... I would marry you tomorrow if it was even possible," she pointed out, pressing a kiss to his cheek. "November 12th will be our day. Something positive to look forward to... maybe even give those on the crew who wish to attend something positive to focus on."

That, Harvey could not argue with. He smirked as she kissed his cheek and he lifted his arm to lay it across her shoulders and hold her close during the movie. "Computer," he said, looking back to the screen. "Roll film."

 

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