Lounge - Neighbors... Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)

Posted July 22, 2021, 8:20 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) (James Sinclair)

Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Lounge - Neighbors… Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Lounge - Neighbors… Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)

Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Lounge - Neighbors… Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Two days.

It had been two full days since Gravel had left her in the Lounge after their first dinner. In those two days several things had happened of note:

First. His mom had called. She was being transferred. Federation Presidential Star Fleet Advisor. Not too shabby.

Second. He had finally heard from Mike, who was now the Chief of his Clan and the co-head of another and… and Mardusk had started thinking of something (actually someone) else and wasn’t really paying attention.

Third. He had seen Cara a few times in passing, always giving her a smile and trying to make sure he breathed right as he waved or said hello and reminded her of dinner.


She had gotten lost a record nineteen times in two days. And that’s just the times he knew about. The times a Security patrol had found her wandering. He figured the real number was in the mid-30’s. Each time he told the patrol to get her to her room or her office, but he didn’t talk to her… as much as he wanted to.

Tonight that changed. Tonight he pulled on jeans, a blue t-shirt that said ‘Old Punks Never Die, We Just Stand In Back’, a dark gray sport coat, and his combat boots. His green skin was freshly scrubbed, and he walked out of his door and to the next door on the left. He pressed the chime and waited.


Two days that seemed like only hours. Settling to a new duty station was always interesting. She’d had her boarding physical and Dr. Evrilla was amazing. The new meds made her feel normal and none of the side effects of what she usually used. The three hours between ending one and starting the other had been miserable. But she managed and a lot of ginger candies and the new hypo later she was fine.

She had heard from her sister who was starting a new post as chief surgeon at Star Fleet Medical. Mom was doing much better but Dad was making an annoyance of himself. So everything was normal. She’d met the captain…boy was that interesting. Eng had been by her office…to bring a desk and generally got in the way of her working. Interrupted a pediatric session to give her advice on decorating.

She’d seen Gravel a few times in passing and each time she had to wait for him to go around a corner. One so she could chuckle because he was trying so hard to be chill. And two so she could reactivate the LCARS panel and the directions she had been following. Oh! And she’d gotten to know a good portion of the security department because apparently they were on the look out for the poor lost counselor. That was annoying because her lack of direction was annoying, but it was great too because they were so busy doing their jobs they forgot to worry about her being the counselor. But she had gotten lost so many more times than they were aware.

Her first full day on duty was…she was glad it was over. She was cranky. The door chimed and then it opened. GG Allin, I Hate People was blaring over the speakers. Her quarters were different. The furniture was gone, replaced by floor pillows, a long foam pad that folded at one end to provide a back, and a thick giant futon mattress, and a very low table. Cara, hair down, curls bouncing, was wearing black low cut jeans and green leather sandals. She was pulling on a jean jacket over a green t-shirt with burnt orange writing…”Don’t Make This Ginger Snap.”

She gave him a once over and grinned. “Hey neighbor, don’t you like nice.”

Mardusk smiled and said “Thanks. You as well.” and he looked around the room. “Like what you’ve done with the place. The decor… early Treehouse-meets-playroom, right?” and he grinned. “But I can’t fault your taste in music.” and he winked.

“Computer cancel playback” and the room went suddenly quiet. “Thank you, Gravel,” and she grinned. “Achk, I spend all day with folks sittin’ on my couch pourin their hearts and souls out. I set in stiff stuffy chairs too. When I get home, I donna want to be at work, and I donna want anyone comin’ here wonderin’ if they have to sit on my couch.” She shrugged. “I’ll probably change it in a month or so.”

“So… how are you settling in? Manage to find your way around yet?” and the grin widened.


She gave a frustrated shrug. “Settlin’ take time.” She looked up at him all innocence. “I haven’t been late anywhere. What are you talkin’ about?” Oh she was sure those security patrols gave him all kinds of reports about her, despite her attempts to get them not to do so.


“Oh nothing.” he replied with a grin. “Nothing at all. Just… making conversation and such.” and he smiled with a hint of nervousness. “Oh, and before I forget, there are two places we could go for dinner. But which one we go to depends entirely up to you and how much you want to be around people. But either way… you get to lead the way.” and he smiled at her.


“Okay only work related question, ‘cause I’ve had enough work for a month. How was your shift? Ya have ta lock anyone up today?” He was nervous. Well that was okay, nerves weren’t always bad, for either of them. “Honestly I’ve had enough of people today. So if those people are gonna leave me be, I donna mind them. If they’re likely ta be chatty, I’m liable ta take my cranky out of them.” She mock glared at him and raised a finger and shook it at him. “I ain’t got the whole ship memorized yet. Ya could say arboretum 3 and I know we got one but that don’t mean I know what deck and section it’s ‘sposed ta be on.” She stepped out the door, grinning, into the corridor waiting for him to tell her where she was supposed to go so she could get herself horribly lost and he could laugh at her.


“My shift was fine. And much like your job, my ‘clients’ get their privacy… even the Bajoran I had to lock up for ‘accidentally’ walking into the female refresher in the gym… three times.” he said and then gestured for her to go to the right from her doorway. As they walked kind of slowly down the passageway, Mardusk said “And I kinda figured you might be peopled out, so if you are okay with the idea…” and the door to his quarters opened.

Cara pinched the bridge of her nose....okay no more asking about work. Period. Either the women he walked in on or the man himself were going to end up in her office, or both. She followed him to the right and nodded. Yeah peopled out was exactly how she felt.

There, in the middle of the room, stood a small table with two silver domes on it. Two chairs, one larger than the other, sat on either side. There were no flowers, no candles… nothing overtly romantic, although some music was playing lightly in the background. “I thought if you wanted to just eat and talk, we could do that here without you having to see people you saw all day. If that’s too much, we can go to the Lounge. Your call.”


It took Cara only a moment to take it all in, so it was a bit more than just dinner, and that made her nervous. But it was down played and respectful and not presumptuous. She grinned and then laughed, relief and nerves all in one, setting a hand against his arm and looked up at him, eye dancing. “Nay not too much, and I donna have to try and not get lost on the way to the lounge.” After a moment of just standing there awkwardly she finally stepped through the door and to the side so she was out of the door way.


Mardusk smiled and ducked in behind her. “And don’t worry… this is just new friends having dinner. Getting to know each other, okay? I just thought… maybe… you’d like some down time. So please… make yourself at home.”

Dinner with a friend. That was amazing, and he’d listened when they’d talked the other day. That didn’t surprise her, just proved her right about Gravel. “Down time is great.” She grinned at him over her shoulder as she made her further into the room. She didn’t say anything, all talked out for the moment. She craved silence after a day full of sessions, or days like today where she put out fires that weren’t really fires. The quiet let her head stop worrying about everyone else’s problems and transition out of work. Now if she hadn’t got lost on the way back to her quarters then she’d have had plenty of quiet before he rang her chime, but not paying attention…she got off on the wrong deck.

The room was standard for a Department Head, but the furniture was different to accommodate the frame of the massive Orion. A large, overstuffed couch set under the window that made up the wall opposite the door; and matching chairs surrounded a small-ish low table. There were several items of note in the room: A large bass guitar leaned against an amp that was set by the couch. A well-worn but still very intimidating bat’leth hung over the door, points up. Old music records encased in some kind of transparent medium hung on the walls; an eclectic collection of punk, rock, blues, funk, and metal from Earth’s 20th century onwards. A rugby jersey in a framed glass display hung on the far right wall as she came in. And in the far right corner where the window and the wall met… a full suit of Klingon ceremonial armor, complete with House crest on the chest plate and robes denoting a position of high honor.

She moved around the room looking being nosey in a polite way. The armor was impressive and the bat’leth was intimidating. She could half picture Gravel in the armor wielding that thing and she was sure it scared more than the wolves away. The records looked old, she loved the sound of records on an old record player, but that was an outdated way to enjoy music.

There was a soft pop and then a hiss. As she looked around, Gravel had pulled a pint glass from under the table and opened an actual Guinness. He poured it as if he had done so more than once in the past, and set it on the table to settle. “You said Guinness the other day, so I took a chance.”


She laughed, “Oh boy…I’m glad the doc gave me new meds. I can actually drink that now.” The previous one reacted unpleasantly with alcohol. The one did not. She left in on the table to settle. She stood, not because she wasn’t sure where to sit, but because she’d sat all day. “What’s the story behind the rugby jersey?”


Marrdusk smiled and said “You know… you are the only person who has ever come in my quarters and asked about that first…” he said as he poured himself a pint as well. Looking up and at the back of her head, red hair seemingly on fire as it fell in curls and rings down across her shoulders and down her back, a sudden low-grade electric shock went from the base of his head to the bottom of his spine. He coughed slightly and shook his head. What the hell was THAT?! he thought and then shook it off and said “So that is the jersey my dad played in in his last match. Just so happened to be the same day he met my mom. He always said it brought him luck.”


Cara smiled, she loved stories like that. “I take it they won the match too?” She heard him cough and glanced over at him, but he was apparently fine. “You ever play?” He had said that his father died when he was young and so it was just him and his mom. Cara would hazard a guess that out of everything in here that shirt meant the most. Maybe not the hardest won, but it connected him to his past, to his family. The shrub or moss, as he put it. And no one asked about it first? How strange. After glancing at the records she moved over to the table to sit.


Mardusk chuckled as he looked at the jersey. “They actually lost. My dad said it was the last time he lost… after that he had my mom.” He stared at the jersey for a moment and then looked at Cara.

“You know… I never got to talk to my dad. Not a word.”


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