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Confessions of the Heart

Posted on 13 Sep 2016 @ 2:19am by Ensign Kelly Khan & Ensign Quinn Mackie

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Quinn's Quarters
Timeline: MD 7 || 1800 Hours

Once Kelly got back to the Black Hawk, she went directly to her quarters with the intent to change into a new uniform and was shocked to see the state of the room that she shared with Elisha. Everything that hadn't been bolted down looked as if it had been thrown around at random, but she was too tired to care. She made a path through the mess and wondered where her roommate was as she replicated a new Command red uniform and removed the pip that Captain Geisler had given her to put on the new one.

She set it on her bed and headed into the bathroom where she took a sonic shower while wishing it were a real one, but as long as she was clean, she was happy. She got out and ran a brush through her hair until she got the waves under control and looking like she hadn't used it to degrease an engine in a shuttle. She eyed the solitary pip on the uniform and smiled. "I need a special name for you," she told it, then smiled. "You shall be known as the HG Pip," she said decisively. "You and I are going to have a lot of adventures together and add three brothers or sisters to sit beside of you one day, too."

Kelly put the uniform on and decided to ignore the mess in the room and how tired she was; there was one young man that she wanted to see very badly after the past thirty plus hours and left the quarters to go next door where she pressed the chime to the room that her boyfriend and Cadet Grandpa Crehan shared.

In his quarters, Cadet Quinn Mackie had just sat down on his bunk. It had never before felt so comfortable. Were it not for his empty stomach, Quinn could almost guarantee that his eyes would have closed and his brain entered sleep mode the very moment he laid down on the bed.

He also very much wanted to take the night off, but with things as they were, Quinn found himself assigned to Delta shift. He'd actually volunteered for the job, as he'd been carefully monitoring the main energizers and had to know for sure they were going to be stable all the way back to Starbase Unity.

Food or sleep? his mind asked, not knowing which was more critical.

Food.

Quinn rose and approached the replicator in his quarters, only to learn that his unit was offline. He sighed, knowing that it was just his luck. He had a ration bar nearby, but he'd had enough of those. He was just about to rip off the main panel when the chime sounded. "Come!" he said, grabbing the panel and removing it.

Kelly entered his quarters and blinked when she saw her blonde haired boyfriend with his back to her looking as if he were about to get up close and personal with the replicator. "Is this a bad time, babe?" she asked him as the door closed behind her.

He didn't know why he wasn't expecting to hear Kelly's voice behind him, though the last he heard, she was still on the Chimera. "No, no," he said, taking a look inside the replicator. From what he could see, the main EPS relay had been knocked loose by everything. A firm push put it right back into place. As the replicator sprang to life, he turned to approach and embrace Kelly, but quickly stopped in his tracks.

Like the other cadets on board, he wore a standard gray uniform with the colored shoulder pads. His were engineering gold, while his roommate wore science teal. Kelly, who normally wore command red, was wearing a completely different uniform. "Uh..." he said, momentarily confused. "Were we out so long that I missed graduation?"

The expression on his face and his question pleased her for reasons she couldn't explain right away, but she closed the distance between them and gave him a huge and a kiss before she looked up at him. "Captain Geisler gave me a battlefield promotion!" she practically squealed.

"What!?" he exclaimed, his face showing every element of his surprise. He even dared to brush away a lock of hair to verify that there was a single round pip on her collar. "Wow!" he said with a chuckle before wrapping her in his arms. "Congratulations!"

"Thank you!" Kelly said, beaming with pride and the fact that he had his arms around her. "We were coming back from the Chimera after the scuttle job was finished and he said I was out of uniform. Well, I was because my cadet uniform got trashed while I was there, so I had on a red uniform of a regular officer. I asked permission to beam back to my quarters to change when we got near then ship so I wouldn't be out of uniform he brought it...and he took one of his own pips off his collar and put it on my console! I was amazed!"

The smile evaporated from his face as he took a closer look at the pip. "You're telling me, that came off the Captain's own collar? Get out..." he scoffed playfully. Of course, he knew she wouldn't lie to him, but the whole thing was a bit unbelievable. "So what does this mean for you? Cadet no more?"

"I named it HG," she said still beaming. "It means that I'm now Ensign Khan. He said consider it an early graduation present for everything I did while I had command of the Chimera." She paused, looking a bit upset.

Quinn wasn't at all surprised she named the pip after the Captain, after all, it seemed to have a similar habit with other items. "That's awesome!" he said as he watched her smile quickly morph into something else. "What, uh, what's the matter?"

"The Chimera was really my first Command," Kelly said softly. "I knew it had to be done because her back was broken and it wasn't really my first ship or crew, but I was working my tail off over there to make things right. It had just taken too much damage during the fight."

He was surprised she was so disappointed about it, after all, her dream was to fly, not command. "You don't blame yourself, do you?" He asked, leading her to the bed to sit down.

She walked over with him and sat down beside of him. "No, but I just wished that she could have been saved," she said. "It's not like she was mine and I know that she had a lot of damage...it's just said to know she'll never fly again. I had to authorize the self destruct codes."

"Wow..." Quinn said softly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and drawing her close in an attempt to comfort her. "You're not even four years in, and already you've lived the life of a senior officer."

Kelly wrapped an arm around his waist and laid her head against his shoulder. "Not the way I wanted to live it, though. I admit that I was terrified when that Romulan ship showed up and wanted to take the Chimera and crew to safety, but I ordered it into battle to give everything it had."

"I'm glad you did," Quinn said. "We all might have been dusted by Thalaron if you hadn't," he told her. "You sound like you had an exciting time. I got shot at by Consortium and have been doing all kinds of repairs."

"You got shot at?" Kelly asked and released him to look him over. "They didn't hurt you, did they?" She looked into his eyes and waited for him to tell her, concern in her own.

Quinn pointed at his shoulder. "Don't worry, Sickbay says I'm all right. Oh, and your fun-sized friend is the one who patched me up."

"Oh! Dani?" She had to think for a moment. "Yes, Dani. She's awesome! I would have came and visited you if I knew, but I spent so much time on the Chimera that I didn't know what was going on here, but now that I'm back, you can fill me in. Wait..have you eaten yet? I haven't, but you're my concern. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Nonsense!" Quinn quickly replied. "What kind of Acting Captain would you be if you dropped an entire ship for my benefit? Besides, Commander Bast has been keeping me pretty busy with repairs." He sighed, as his stomach answered one of her questions for him. "I think I've only had a ration bar or two in the last day. Now that the replicators are back, I could use a decent warm meal."

Kelly looked down at his stomach before her own rumbled at the thought of food and she got up. "Then it's time for you to eat," she said. "What do you feel like having?" She wondered if she had made an error when she replicated her new uniform instead of ordering something to eat when she had made it back to her quarters, but shrugged it off. She could get something from the mess hall later if it hadn't been destroyed as long as Quinn got something in his belly.

"Honestly?" Quinn replied with a question, not exactly sure how he felt about a ranking officer, much less his girlfriend, who was just as tired as she, getting his dinner in his quarters. He figured the best thing to do for now would be to go along with it. "A grilled chicken sandwich should do nicely. And a glass of water. You should get something too."

"One grilled chicken sandwich with water, seven celsius," she requested before she looked back at him. "Uh...I think I used all my replicator rations on this uniform," she admitted a bit sheepishly. "I wasn't thinking and all I have is my old cadet uniforms and needed one....so I'll eat in the mess hall later." She took his meal and water and brought it back over to him.

"Use some of mine," Quinn said, gesturing back to the replicator. "And before you argue, I insist. There's no way I'm eating alone." If she wouldn't order a meal, then he would order one for her.

Kelly thought about arguing for a moment or pointing to the pip on her collar, but her stomach rumbled again. "I'll make it up to you," she said before she went back to the replicator and ordered a venison steak with a side of potato wedges and a glass of Icoberry Juice. She took the order when it materialized and came back to sit beside of him. Before she ate, she looked at him and gave a soft smile. "And this...well, not just this...this is why I'm falling in love with you, Quinn."

He blinked and smiled. Had either of them used the word love before in this context? So much had happened over the last few days that it actually felt like an entire month had been compressed into the last forty-eight hours. "You can make it up if you want," he told her. "I don't keep tabs on replicator rations. Besides, I can always find a few extras here and there." He took a bite of his sandwich as he looked at her. "So, not just this, huh?"

While he hadn't responded in kind, she smiled. "Actually, this shouldn't have factored into how I feel at all," she said. "You're a sweet, kind, caring young man, Quinn Mackie. You may be a bit naive in your own way, but you put others before yourself. I find you to be very refreshing and not like other men and I don't regret setting my sights on you for a second."

Quinn consumed another bite of his sandwich. "And you, Kelly Khan, are not at all afraid to go after what you want, which is, I think, I find myself attracted to you. No fear or hesitation, you just jump right in, something I've always been afraid to do. I respect you a lot for that. I don't even think James T. Kirk as a cadet could have jumped in and stabilized the Chimera."

Kelly raised an eyebrow. "Are we talking about the same James T. Kirk who beat the Kobayashi Maru?" she asked him before she took a bite of her venison. As yet, he hadn't admitted to the same feelings that she had for him, but she knew there was time.

"He cheated," Quinn countered quickly. "Plain and simple. Of course, these days if you try to pull something like that, they'll usher you out the airlock."

"Okay, you have a point on that, but he's a legend and I'm just a cad...an Ensign now...who did what I had to do," she said. "I have a two degrees and I went to Command School. I was trained to react and act in situations where others may falter. I'm not saying it was easy, but it's what had to be done. As for Kirk, he probably would have gotten the Chimera fixed, warp capable and did a daring maneuver that would get named after him. No one is going to remember a cadet who had command of a broken ship for under thirty hours."

He shook his head and a finger as she finished her statement. "There were dozens of people on that ship who just got whipped into shape by a cadet. I'm sure there's a lieutenant or two from there who are beating themselves for not standing up when they had a chance." He placed his half eaten sandwich on his plate and reached over to her with his now free hand. "Ensign Kelly Khan is someone who's impossible to forget, and just as impossible to predict. And that's why I think I'm falling for you. No, I know it is."

Kelly set her plate down and leaned against him. "You're sweet, Quinn," she said before she gave him a soft kiss. "I knew I was making the right choice when I decided to make you mine. Not that I'm not yours," she clarified. "I could have done better on the Chimera but I can honestly say I did my best." She paused and giggled. "Although there was one moment with a Lieutenant JG when I had to make myself be understood....but you have to promise not to say anything to her if you see her."

"Oh?" Quinn asked. "Did the JG wind up here or on the Cochrane." He closed his eyes, realizing that wasn't the question he should have asked. "Forget that one. What'd you do?"

"It was Doctor Road," she said. "She had been knocked out with the rest of us and I gave her a few cc's of Tricordrazine and she started to say how I needed a medical refresher. I had to remind her that I had fifty other things to do and that she needed to get to helping the people on the ship who needed her. She did what I needed her to do and I never had a problem with her after that."

"See, that right there," he said, gently squeezing her hand, "just goes to prove that you're a natural at this. And, as much as you love to fly, you might still wind up in the Captain's chair one day. I'll be happy to be your Chief Engineer, and whatever else you need."

"I appreciate the thought of being in the big chair again," Kelly said. "But it's a lot of responsibility and I don't know if I'll be ready for that again for a very long time. Flying is my first love, Quinn. Well, my first obsession after chocolate. I can't fly if I'm sitting in the Captain's chair and ordering other people to do it for me. I just wouldn't trust them no matter how qualified their may be."

"And there's nothing wrong with that," he told her with a smile. "I'll still follow you to the edge of hell and back again. Though, I hope hell isn't any worse than what we've been going through the last few months. Consortium, diseases, superweapons... They certainly don't prepare you for this at the Academy."

"No, they don't," she agreed as she took a bite of her steak. "But you have to admit that they try to pack as much as they can in our heads so we'll have options in dealing with a wide variety of situations. Regardless, we find a way and we persevere."

"That they do," he confirmed, taking a bite of his sandwich. "And, when we stick together... two can go a lot further than one."

Kelly laughed and she gave him a sly look. "Stick together...that sounds like fun, Quinn," she said and waggled her eyebrows at him.

He chuckled. "Metaphorically, of course. All of the adhesive I can get my hands on will tear off flesh if you get it..." Quinn's voice trailed off, realizing what the waggles meant. He blushed, shook his head, and finished his sandwich.

She burst out laughing again. "You're cute when you blush, Tiger," she said and ate a potato wedge and a sip of her drink which stained her lips and tongue blue. "I need to see if I can make you do that more often."

He was about to retort when he saw her lips had changed color. Maybe it was the fatigue, or maybe it was the fact that it was just so humorous, but Quinn suddenly broke out into uncontrollable laughter.

"What?" Kelly asked. "Did I say something funny?" She set her plate aside and looked at him where he was laughing like he'd heard the best joke in the quadrant.

If there was one thing Quinn lacked right now, it was a mirror or other reflective surface. And, in true Quinn fashion, rather than verbalize the source of his laughter, or attempt to direct Kelly to the bathroom, he picked up her drink and sampled it himself. He then smiled brightly and looked at Kelly with a waggle of his own eyebrows.

She blinked when he took her drink and took a drink, then started to laugh when she saw that it had stained his lips a shade of blue. "Holy Bolian," she exclaimed as she laughed. "Why so blue, Quinn?"

Ever the technical, he replied, "It seems there's something up with the replicator's pattern infuser. It overcalculated the amount of coloring this drink needed." Smiling, he added, "Besides, you look more Bolian than I."

"You only took a sip, though. If you had drank as much as I did, you'd be as blue as I am," Kelly said before she stuck her tongue out and crossed her eyes to try to look at it.

"That is why we have mirrors, you know!" He exclaimed with a chuckle, rising and pulling her towards the bathroom so she could see without hurting herself.

She got up at his urging and headed to the bathroom with him and looked at herself in the mirror, then started laughing again. "I look like a Smurf!" She laughed and then looked at him. "You need more Icoberry juice, then we can be matched."

"Isn't it Smurfette?" Quinn asked, struggling a bit with his ancient pop culture references. "I always thought Smurfs were the guys," he joked.

Kelly looked at him and batted her eyelashes. "Does that make you my Papa Smurf?" she asked innocently as she could while trying not to laugh. She truly enjoyed teasing him, but she was also determined to get him out of his studious shell that he had been encased in for the past four years.

He chuckled and shook his head. "Wouldn't that make me your father? And if so, I couldn't do this!" Without warning, he lunged forward and met her blue lips with his.

She managed half an eep when he lunged for her, then wrapped her arms around him and tried to keep from falling backwards, her lips meeting his with no resistance. She held him as much to be closer to him as to keep from falling, but the beating of her heart said that it was the closeness and the growing feelings she had for the young man. Finally, she came up for air and looked at him. "I think I like you not being my father," she said breathlessly.

Quinn looked into her eyes for a moment as his arms wrapped around her body. If it were possible, he would draw her closer. He could feel her heartbeat and breaths like he never could before, and they had experienced quite a bit on Yolvanda II. He was about to say something about how much he enjoyed not being her father, but something else came out entirely. "I love you, Ensign Kelly Khan."

Kelly didn't think it was possible for her heart to beat any faster and while she had admitted to falling in love with him, she hadn't expected him to actually say it so soon. She responded by clinging to him as if he were a life preserver in a storm tossed sea as her emotions and body stirred up a chemical soup that was better than chocolate could ever hope to be. She looked into his eyes and gave him a shy smile. "I love you, too, Quinn Mackie," she said softly.

A grin appeared on his face to match her smile. "I think we can say," he said, confidence building inside of him now, "that something good came out of all of this. I still can't believe you don't have to take those exams now."

"I don't know if I'll have to take them or not, but I know what would make it even better," she said as she took both of his hands and pulled him back towards the living room.

His grin enlarged, knowing exactly what she meant. "Computer," he said as he was led out of the bathroom, "Privacy mode Alpha." Instantly, the door was locked and all combadge traffic was blocked, save for those from a supervising officer. As soon as they were near the couch, he drew her close again and kissed her.

Kelly melted against him and gave herself entirely to him as his lips met hers, her hands sliding over his body and tugging at his clothes. "Now..." she managed when the need for air forced her to break the kiss. Whatever had been on her mind fled as a different soup of chemicals boiled over in her body with a different need and she could care less what it was.

 

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