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Calloway's Quarters- Always Time for Dinner

Posted May 11, 2021, 11:06 a.m. by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) (Lindsay Bayes)

Posted by Lieutenant Kiama Naim (Chief Science Officer) in Calloway’s Quarters- Always Time for Dinner

Posted by Lieutenant Faye Calloway (Mission Specialist) in Calloway’s Quarters- Always Time for Dinner

Posted by Lieutenant Kiama Naim (Chief Science Officer) in Calloway’s Quarters- Always Time for Dinner
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)

“Oh good! You and I have a date with the replicator later. I don’t need to do this just now but I’m working some long days leading up to my leave to try and have everything in order so the systems more or less maintain themselves. The last thing I want to worry about later is packing,” Faye said with a grin and set about delving into her salad.

“Deal,” Kiama laughed softly, “And I don’t blame you for wanting to get the packing out of the way. It’s a pain in the behind even when you know what to pack. Or at least that’s how I’ve always felt about it.”

“I’ve never gone on vacation,” Faye said with a lopsided frown. “And I’ve certainly never gone with someone. So I’m doing a whole lot of firsts right now.”

“You’ll be fine,” Kiama replied reassuringly and with quite some confidence. “From what you have told me about Daggum, he is a wonderful person. Kind and caring. And he gets you. So he won’t rush you into or ask you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. I’m certain of that. And yet I understand that and why you are nervous. It’s normal and to be expected.”

“How are you? Any plans for leave?” Faye asked before ripping off a hunk of bread.

~Faye Calloway

“I’m doing pretty well. I feel like I’m finally really settling in. In the science department, as Chief Science Officer. On the ship in general. Leading up to and including our last mission there was too much … back and forth and … uncertainty. But things have calmed down now, which is nice,” Kiama replied thoughtfully. “As for plans for leave? None, actually,” she continued with a small shrug and the hint of a frown. “Well, that’s not true. My plan is to stay on the ship, but explore the station a little as well. But that’s it.” Reaching for her glass of water, she took a sip and then helped herself to another forkful of her risotto.

~Kiama Naim

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with just taking the time off and letting yourself have that space,” Faye said. “And the interesting part about the ship being at base is that you can go back and forth as you like. It’s what I realized and it means that I can also show Daggum the garden and stuff. I want him to see the mushroom house he designed for me for himself,” she said softly, unable to hide the giddiness beneath the soft smile.

~Faye Calloway

“Oh, that’s a wonderful idea!” Kiama beamed. “I’m sure he’d love to see what you have done with the Arboretum and how his gift to you turned out.” Faye’s happiness and giddiness were contagious and Kiama couldn’t help but laugh softly. “I’m so happy for you Faye.”

~Kiama Naim

Calloway beamed. “I told Alex awhile ago that for the first time since I fled Tracken Two I’m happy. Here on the Manhattan. But this?” She gestured to herself with rolling hands. “I never thought I’d feel this way. I didn’t know it was possible. Others, yes, but not me. I told myself I was too messed up, to difficult for someone to love the way I deserve to be. And then I went out and got involved with men who proved my point,” she said, shaking her head sadly. “But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and a lot of therapy, and I think I just wasn’t ready for him. And I don’t fully know if I am now, but for the first time I want to try. And for me.... that’s everything.”

“And that’s all that matters,” Kiama replied gently.

They continued their chit chat as they finished their dinner and about twenty minutes later, the chime rang. Faye frowned and turned towards the door. “It’s open,” she called out, not expecting anyone.

Shara stepped in, took in the scene and Kiama and paused. “Oh! Sorry, I should have checked if you had company. If it’s a bad time we can come back later?”

“We?” Faye said, rising from her chair.

Rising to her feet as well, Kiama slightly bowed her head and smiled warmly at Shara. “It’s good to see you again Commander,” she greeted her warmly.

“Hello, Kiama,” Shara said with equal warmth. She had been very honest before about being glad to meet Faye’s friends and it made her feel at ease to know there were such lovely people in her daughter’s life.

Stepping in just behind Shara was a petite woman with dark eyes and long blond hair swept up in a twist. She was carrying a soft shelled carrier and a ‘mew’ sounded from it.

Eyes wide, Faye inhaled sharply as she stared at the case. “Is that? Is that… her?”

“Yes is it”, the woman said gently, everything about her demeanour calm and soothing.

Faye turned to Kiama. “Want to meet Tess with me?” She felt uncertain about the whole thing even as she knew it was a good idea to have a therapy animal, but it was still a lot to take in.

~Faye Calloway

With one hand resting on the back of her chair, Kiama had been watching Faye closely and out of a protective instinct also kept a close tap on her friend’s emotions. She was certain that Faye would benefit from a therapy cat. And yet her uncertainty was very evident. Taking a step forward, she said gently, “I’d love to.” While she was smiling at Faye, her expression clearly asked, ‘Are you okay?’

~Kiama Naim

Inhaling deeply, Faye gave Kiama a smile and moved over to the open space of her quarters and settled cross-legged on the floor.

Shara gestured to her friend. “This is Bethany Davin. She’s a veterinarian who has been breeding therapy animals for years.”

Bethany moved in and sat about a metre from Faye on the floor, with the carrier in front of her. “I work with different mental health professionals to make sure we’re doing the right kind of training and that we make good matches based on a person’s needs. And out of the cats that we had that suited your needs Faye, this is the one you picked.”

Faye looked at Kiama. “Tess is six months old and is a cross between a Terran rag-doll and a Betazoid emzui cat. She’s empathic and been trained to be able to summon help under particular conditions.” Her dissociation was the most pressing one because despite all the work she had been doing, and the ways she could trigger herself to stay present it was still happening and she wasn’t sure why. She was anxious about having Tess in her life but she was more terrified of not being present in her life.

Bethany tilted her head to meet Faye’s gaze. “It’s okay, Faye. We’re going to take this really slow. Tess naturally will bond with you but it will take time for her to get to know all the nuances. Give yourselves both time.” It was clear that Bethany was at least empathic herself.

Shara also sat on the floor to be less intrusive but she kept her space knowing that Faye needed to navigate this in her own way.

Faye nodded. “Okay. I’m ready.” Or as ready as she could be under the circumstances.

Bethany opened the door to the carrier and simply scooted back a little to give Tess space. The feline that emerged was petite with a long haired off-white coat with a pale grey face, tail and legs. Tess shook herself out and looked about curiously. Faye sat very still with her hands resting on her knees.

Later Faye would swear her emotions had been a beacon and Tess knew exactly who she was here for, because the cat sauntered over and rubbed her head on Faye’s hand. Slowly, Faye moved her hand and petted the Tess’ head. “Hi,” she whispered, tears suddenly slipping down her face. Tess began to purr.

~Faye Calloway


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