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Better Late

Posted on 21 May 2017 @ 5:07am by Ensign Kelly Khan & Lieutenant Joey Geisler

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Personal Quarters
Timeline: MD 3 || 1500 Hours

Kelly exited the turbolift on deck nine wearing a pair of blue jeans, black running shoes, and a black t-shirt with white letters that read 'If I'm Not On A Watchlist, Someone Isn't Doing Their Job.' She carried a medium sized box in her hands and was careful not to jostle it too much as she walked before she stopped at room 0906 and awkwardly managed to press the chime with one finger without dropping the box.

Joey hadn't been in her quarters long, and in fact, she didn't plan on staying long as there were two canines who were ready to go for a walk. She was settled on the couch tying her shoe when the chime rang. Who could that be? She hadn't been expecting anyone. "Come in," she called as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail.

Kelly entered the Captain's Quarters, which is where the computer stated that Lieutenant Corwin was located. She looked around, clearly impressed with how big the place was, but she snapped back to Joey a moment later and held out the box. "I found out that you have the same birthday as me and I missed it by two months, but I wanted you to have something."

Joey smiled as rose to her feet to accept the box from the young woman. "Thank you, Kelly. Much the same, I found out and have a few things for you as well. If you want to settle down and make yourself at home, I'll grab them."

"You did?" Kelly asked, surprised that a Lieutenant, and a Lieutenant in particular whose impressive chest she faceplanted into, would bother to look up a an Ensign's birthday. She sat down on the couch after she set the box on the coffee table. "You didn't have to, but thank you," the brunette said with a bright smile.

"I'll be right back," the taller woman said, making her way back to her bedroom.

While she waited, Kelly fidgeted and rubbernecked around the quarters a little bit, wondering if her nose was deceiving her with the scent of fresh water. The Captain had real water. He probably has a tub, too, she thought to herself as she leaned back on the soft couch and waited for Joey to come back.

It only took about five minutes before Joey returned, carrying a multicolored surfboard under one arm and a smaller box in the hand of the other. "Does it look that much different than other quarters?"

"It's huge," Kelly said with a slight blush at being caught rubbernecking and then her attention was caught on the surfboard Joey brought in. "Is that a real surfboard?" she asked.

Joey smiled. "It is a real surfboard from Hawaii," the much taller woman replied, standing it upright so Kelly could get a better look at it. She still held a bag on her free hand that had the word FRAGILE written down the side of it.

"That is awesome!" Kelly said as she came to her feet. "That's for me? I've never ridden a real surfboard before, but I know how to pilot a vectorboard. Oh!" she turned and reached into the box to pull out a small container which seemed to have several miniature Hawaiian Umbrella trees in it. "This is for you."

"Oh, Kelly... these are amazing!" Joey said in awe as she very carefully set the bag down on the coffee table so she could accept the miniature trees from her. "Thank you so much! I love them!"

"You're welcome," Kelly beamed, then looked down in the box and reached down with a dramatic flourish. "But wait, there's more!" she declared in a announcer-like voice. "That's right, coming straight from one of the oldest volcanoes in Hawaii, or so the web said, is this!" She set a wrapped package beside the bag marked Fragile and waited for the brunette officer to open it while she tried to get a peak of what was in the bag.

"Like minds. Open yours while I open mine, but be careful. It's breakable," the older woman said as she settled down on the couch and began to open the gift Kelly seemed most pleased about.

"Deal!" Kelly said before she went to open the bag and looked inside to spot a painted bowl that looked as if it had fish, fronds and other sea life in it. "This is amazing!" she exclaimed. "Thank you! I need to find a secure place for this. It'll be my new prize possession next to chocolate. Wait...I can put chocolate in it! Even better!"

Joey laughed. "It's made from Hawaiian sea glass, which is really no bigger than a grain of sand. It takes a long time to make something as intricate as that," she said as she finished opening her own and pulled the item out. Her eyes lit up. "Oh, wow... this is beautiful! How did you know I love turtles?"

"I didn't," Kelly admitted. "But it looked awesome, so I got it for you and had your name engraved. It's volcanic glass and emerald. I'm really glad you like it," she said before she got a sparkle in her eyes. "There's one more, but you have to close your eyes, please."

That earned an arched brow from the Lieutenant, but after placing the turtle on the coffee table, she closed her eyes and waited. "If it's a bug of some sort, I can't promise I won't freak out and swing."

"No bug, I promise," Kelly said but filed that piece of information away for later as she reached in the box and took the last item out. She moved it where Joey's hands here and smiled. "You can open them now!" she said.

When she felt the item be placed into her hand and was given permission, Joey opened her eyes to see the box of candy and lit up.

On the table in front of her was a box of thirty candy bars in four different kinds and an isolinear chip with a note wrapped around it.

Her inner child immediately demanded she plow through the box of chocolatey goodness and lounge on the floor while she basked in the afterglow of euphoria. Her face gave away exactly what she was thinking, too, but it was replaced when Joey spotted the chip and note. "What's this?" she asked, removing both items.

"It's an isolinear chip for the replicator," Kelly said. "It can make three hundred and sixty-five bars and you won't be charged for any of them. Happy late birthday!"

Joey grinned and leaned forward to hug Kelly. "Peanut and I thank you, Kelly. And happy late birthday to you, too."

"Thank you," Kelly said as she hugged Joey without managing to faceplant in the taller woman's chest again. "Who's Peanut?" she asked.

"Peanut is what I'm calling the baby for now since I have no idea if I'm having a boy or a girl yet," the taller brunette replied as she looked over the contents of the candy in her hands.

"Baby?" Kelly asked as she blinked. "Well, congratulations! Who's the father?"

Now it was Joey's turn to blink. "Thank you, but the answer to your question should be quite obvious. You did come see me in the Captain's quarters."

"Well," the pint sized brunette started. "Technically, you are here in the Captain's Quarters, but that could mean any of a number of things, not just that you and he are together. I'm just a new Ensign and I really don't listen to any of the gossip on the ship or pay attention to who is dating who."

"And that's greatly appreciated," Joey said, pulling a candy bar out of the box and opening it. The second they heard the wrapper, Rico and Pequeno came tearing into the living room to look at their human Mama with expectant eyes. She rose to her feet and moved over to a a blue jar to pull a couple treats out. "There's a lot of truth to what you say, but this is home. He and I have been together for months now, and will be getting married sometime in the future."

"Congratulations, again!" Kelly told her. "That's fantastic news. I owe a lot to Captain Geisler, but he's really a hard man to get a chance to talk to, and when I do get the chance, he seems sort of cold. Then again, if I'd been through even a tenth of what he has, I'd probably be that way, too."

Joey smiled as she made each dog do a few commands for their treats. Rico was tasked with speaking, whispering (a much quieter version of his bark) and retrieving a specific toy of his which he deposited at her feet. Pequeno was tasked with speaking, sit and down. Once they had their treats, they were back to the bedroom to be lazy once more. "Thank you again," she said with a smile. "He has been through quite a lot, and still is, so if he seems a bit cold, please don't take it personally. He has a lot on his mind at the moment, and has a lot of crew to get to know among other things, so trying to get a moment with him right now will be next to impossible."

"Pfft. I'm just an Ensign. Captain's don't have time for us to chat." Kelly watched her with the dogs, then back at Pequeno with a look of sadness on her face. "That was Ensign Hernandez's K-9 partner, wasn't he?"

"Yes," the Lieutenant replied softly, moving back over to the couch to settle down once more. "It made sense for me to take him in after Xavier..." She couldn't even bring herself to finish that sentence. "I was the head of the K9 unit at the time, but since I've moved to the Chief of Intelligence, he and Rico will live their lives as happy as we can make them."

"I remember him," Kelly said as she watched Pequeno. "I set him up with Elisha Cherno shortly before that happened. Then she got amnesia and don't remember him, which I guess is a good thing. I know you'll take good care of him, though." She paused and sighed. "It never gets easier, but all we can do is move forward."

Joey didn't want to reopen that can of worms again. She was still trying to cope with things that happened in the past. "How was your shore leave? Did you get to see your family?"

Kelly beamed and seemed happy to talk about anything else. "I did," she said. "Me and my boyfriend went to Las Vegas on Earth and he won two hundred eighty-five thousand credits playing the slot machines and then we went to Oregon to see my folks and went camping, then we went to see his folks. Oh, we also got into a steak challenge dinner in Vegas and let me tell you something...if you're not a fast eater, the meat will start to lose its flavor before you get anywhere near four pounds of it done. We have up trying, then went to get drunk and I ended up tying him up and shaving his head. Not completely bald, just on the sides and back to a point. How about yours?"

The older woman did her best to keep up with Kelly. Her energizers were definitely on full. "My shore leave was pretty amazing. Harvey and I went to Hawaii to visit my family. After almost twenty nine years, I have a baby brother, and he is the cutest thing I have ever seen," she answered with a smile, pausing to take a breath. "From there we went to Colorado to see his parents... who are absolutely amazing by the way. I adore them. We ended our trip in Bora Bora with a bungalow over the ocean."

"Congrats on the little brother!" Kelly exclaimed. "And completely awesome on the rest. You have a really nice tan, too. A shame it'll fade soon, but that's the price of life in space. We become...dun dun dun! vampires!"

"Space vampires?" Joey repeated. "That's a new one."

"We'll be pale again soon and sucking orders from senior officers, hence, space vampires," Kelly elaborated. "Simple."

"I'm a senior officer now," the taller woman pointed out.

"But...but...I brought chocolate!" the petite brunette said while pointing at the candy bars. She got down on her knees and looked imploringly looked up at Joey with her hands pressed together. "Please don't make a poor Ensign space vampire suck orders already, Lieutenant! I'm too young. I think I saw a nice, juicy Junior Grade officer in the corridor. Would you like me to get him for you?"

Is this for real? she wondered as her eyes focused on the young woman kneeling in front of her. "Kelly... honestly... get up. I don't think you need to worry about me giving you orders. You aren't in my department."

Kelly stood up immediately. "No, but you are a senior officer now," she said. "So I'll take you at your word."

"I'm also off duty now," Joey said, looking at the chocolate in her hand like it was a long lost love. "Besides... giving your orders would interrupt this long overdue love affair."

"Then I'll leave you to it," Kelly said. "I have a ton of organizing of my own chocolate to do. Thank you again for the gifts, Lieutenant," she said. "Tell the Captain I said hi."

"Kelly... like I said... I'm off duty... call me Joey," she said, offering the young woman a smile. "I'll see you around, though, since you have to go. Don't be a stranger. Oh, and Peanut is only known by a few others."

"Joey, then," Kelly said with a smile. "It's a darn shame that you're no longer in Security. You could have cameras mounted above all the common area dorms and carry a PADD so more more shorties like me run face first into your chest. It's going to get a lot bigger when your Peanut is born, and that secret is safe with me. About Peanut. Your chest,'s going to be huge."

"Yeah... I read that," Joey said, wrinkling her nose. "So not looking forward to it even a little bit."

"Well, we do have a top notch medical facility, so if you go in for a reduction now, by the time your little Peanut is born, they'll be the same size they are now," Kelly said. "Problem solved."

"That requires medications to put me under, and I have no idea what kind of effects that will have on the baby, so that's not even an option," Joey said with a shake of her head. "I'm going to take Harvey's suggestion and have something... more supportive made to help me out."

"I have a holodeck program for how to make corsets out of metal tabs and fabric," she suggested. "That would be supportive and fit under your uniform."

The taller woman smiled. "Thanks, Kelly. I'll definitely keep that in mind."

"I think I better call it a night...evening..whatever it is," Kelly said as she moved for the surfboard. "Delta shift leaves me so discombobulated, but they warned me at the Academy that new bloods get Gamma and Delta until they get seasoned."

"That definitely depends on who you ask," the Lieutenant said, taking a bite of her candy bar. She closed her eyes and savored it, then remembered she still had company. "Sorry..." Joey looked a bit sheepish. "Like I said... don't be a stranger. And thank you again."

Kelly laughed at the expression on Joey's face while she ate the candy bar. "I'll leave you two alone," she said. "I won't and you're welcome." She gathered up the surfboard under one arm and picked up the vase with the other hand. "Take care of yourself and Peanut." With that, she was gone.


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