Posted March 21, 2023, 1:07 p.m. by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay
Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Side Sim - A Much Needed Vacay
Posted by… suppressed (4) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Several hours and showers later…
“I just want you to know…” Gravel said with all sincerity and seriousness, “… that no matter where we go, no matter what we do… you, Cara Esmé O’Farrell, will always be the best plate to eat off of… ever.”
“I can agree with that, as long as I’m the only plate on the table.” She laughed, a deep sultry relaxed sound, her finger tips trailing lazily down his side. “O’course I prefer my plate colored India green.” She turned on her side, one arm propping her head up, the other gliding up and down his arm from shoulder to fingers and back. She looked at him silently for awhile, “Are you happy, Gravel?” The question hung there for a moment until she suddenly qualified. “With bein’ here? Do ya wanna go somewhere else? Parts of taday really sucked.”
He took a breath, held it, and then slowly exhaled. “Well first off, you’ll always be the only dish on my table. As for happy? I mean… I’m happy to see my Ma. And yeah… parts of today blew. And its weird. I honestly don’t know why she was gonna marry him. It was obvious she didn’t love him. But… her baggage. Not mine. And I like Frisco… but I have to admit, I’m kinda lookin’ forward to meeting your family.”
“Always huh?” She gave him this really long contemplative look. “That sounds kinda serious. Guess it’s good yer lookin’ forward ta meetin’ them. ‘Cause they are definitely looking forward ta meetin’ ya. That was the whole point of Emilia’s little appearance yesterday. In case that wasna obvious. She didna give one hoot ‘bout seein’ me.” Cara smiled. “It’s a big deal. I’ve never brought anyone home before.”
“Me either.” he said. “Of course, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been home, so thats not sayin’ much.” He chuckled and then put his hands under his head. “And I’ve never been to Ireland before. But I swear… any leprechaun jokes and I’m bound to not be welcome in Ireland again.” and he laughed. Once.
“No one will mistake ya for a leprechaun, and no jokes. I promise.” She moved over and sat next to him, looking down at his face. “Ireland is beautiful, but I’m biased. I can’t wait ta show ya.” She leaned over and kissed him, a warm intimate moment. “I love you, ya know that, right.”
Gravel looked up at her and his eyes narrowed, even as he reached up and played with the auburn tresses hanging down. “Yeaaah… why did you say it like that? What are you up to, O’Farrell?” and he sat up slightly. “I swear to every god, if you tell me your hungry you’re gonna make me puke. That was A LOT of cake.”
She leaned in closer even as she laughed quietly with a slight shudder. “Gods no! Ugh just the thought makes me sick. I donna think I’ll be able ta eat for the rest of our vacation. Cake? I don’ think I can look at it for at least a year.” Cara stretched out so she was draped across him, hands folded in his chest and rested her chin there. “I’m no up ta anythin’. Just…” She blew out a soft breath. “I almost dinna have any more days ta tell ya I love you.” Her fingers tapped briefly over his heart. “I know. I know. ya aren’t built like a tank, ya are a tank. He couldn’t hurt you even though he tried. He was nothin’....I’m just decompressin’ a bit, I guess.”
He looked at her a moment and then gave her a half-grin. “That whole Crowell thing messed with ya, huh?” and he chuckled. “Babe… I was fine. Surprised me, sure. And you know how much I enjoy being caught off guard…” and he sighed.
Cara looked confused for a moment. Crowell? No this had nothing to do with that. Not for Cara. Her comment had to do with the Atlantis and the fact she had been a very bad patient and not dealt with her own emotions over it. Which meant she was reacting to other things, but Crowell wasn’t it. She raised up a little and looked at him. “I know ya were fine. I would have followed ya if I thought otherwise.”
“Listen… what my mother does is her own business.” he began. “I left because I was in shock. I honestly thought she had better taste. But mostly… I was hurt that she hadn’t thought to tell me she was getting serious with anyone. I mean, I told her all about you and I after our first date. I guess… I guess I thought we were closer. But I get why she didn’t say anything about him. Only thing I ever told her was that he and I did not get on… personally or professionally, and that led to my transfer.”
Cara had told his mother that. That she knew something was wrong about it when she kept it secret from her son. But that was his mother’s issue, and Cara refused to be on the clock about it. For as hard as it could be to turn work off, Cara wasn’t having trouble with that right now. “I figured that out after my temper took over my mouth, and I walked out. So that’s my fault she figured out there was more than a personality clash, and I’m sorry for that.” He obviously had his reasons for not telling his mother. “You two should really talk, without me around.” She sighed and sat up. “I know you. I know why ya left. I care about ya and I love ya, but I wasna worried. I knew ya had ta walk away. But Crowell? No, that’s just more of the same bull $h!+ we deal with every day. I’m goin’ ta take a shower then go ta bed.” She kissed his cheek, slipped off the bed and into the bathroom where the water started running.
It was few moments later when a pair of hands landed lightly on her shoulders and started to massage them. “Ok. So I guess I missed something. Whats on your mind?” and then he whispered in her ear “I have ways of making you talk, you know.” and he chuckled.
There was no laugh as Cara tipped her face up into the water. What was on her mind? When she let herself be still, the image came immediately to mind. The last few days it was much more vivid. She knew why. She’d been so focused on everyone else who had been there, on getting away from the Atlantis. Cara hadn’t taken the time to deal with her own feelings and reactions.
She turned around and looked up at him. “What’s on my mind…is every time I close my eyes all I see is yer body flying across the promenade and you don’t get up right away. The sound of yer ribs crackin’ and that d@mn forcefield we canna get through, and no one is helpin’ you. And the last thing I said ta ya that morning was teasin’ ya that if ya got in a fight that day donna come home unless you won.”
He picked up her wet body and cradled her against his chest. “But I did win.” he said with a soft chuckle.
Cara stared up into his eyes, “Life would be utterly joyless without ya. And I don’t like being bossed around either and told what ta do with my life. And since I’m a bit off kilter anyway, I really donna like it. So I’m tryin’ ta decompress some and no react.”
He smiled at her and said “Go ahead and react, Doc. You know as well as I do that sometimes? Sometimes you just gotta break some shit and make some noise. So come on. We’re gonna go do that.” He set her down… after putting her face under the water of course… and stepping out turned off the hot water only. He laughed and went to get dressed.
Oh no. Cara didn’t even wait. As soon as her feet roughed the tile she followed him right out of the water. She wasn’t in the mood. She also didn’t feel like going out ans breaking things, and they had made more than enough noise already. She wanted to go to bed, but she grabbed a towel and towel dried her hair before getting dressed. She grabbed her jacket off the chair. “Alright, where are we goin’?”
“C’mon.” was all he said. He led her out of the room and then out of the hotel. They got a cab, and they took it to, of all places, a music store. “Wait here.” Gravel said and he got out. He came back fifteen minutes later with a black bag. Then they drove towards the Bay Bridge. Gravel gave the driver directions, and soon they were driving down an unlit street by the bay. The ground car crested a rise and they came to a wrought iron gate. “C’mon”. The sun was low in the sky, but it was clear where they were…
Gravel led Cara through the gate and past row upon row of headstones and mausoleums. Soon they came to a section that overlooked the bay. One headstone stood out from the rest. It wasn’t marble or stone. It was a dark green substance that Cara would know immediately.
Cara muttered very quietly, under her breath in Irish. “Dia duit conas a rachaidh mé isteach sna cásanna seo? Níl mé ag glaoch air sin arís. Conas is féidir liom a leithéid de roghanna léirsteanach, tuairimí, srl a dhéanamh gan iarracht a dhéanamh?!?!?!?! (Aww hell how do I get myself into these situations? I am never calling him that again. How do I make such damn insightful choices, comments, etc without trying?!?!?!?!)” She shook her head, “Why didna ya tell me ta knock it off?”
He smiled at her and said “Because I like it. It’s like my Da likes you.” and he smiled at her and then looked at the headstone.
“Cara, I’d like you to meet Donoak Sarensen… my dad. Dad, this Cara. I’m in love with her.”
Cara sat on the ground facing the stone, and spoke like she talked to the dead every day. “Nice ta meet ye. Yer son talks about ya a lot, and I’m crazy in love with him.”
On the headstone in gold letters it read: ‘Donoak Sarensen, Beloved husband of Serchena and Father of Gravel. Let the music play.’ Gravel set the bag down and opened it. “I had this headstone made about ten years ago. I took a lot of my dad’s old vidss and now, when you play music here…” he pulled out a potable audio player and inserted a optical chip in the front. A song started playing, ‘When The Angels Sing by Social Distortion, and a shimmering figure appeared in a holo above the headstone. It was a an Orion male, but he was slimmer than most. He had a guitar and he was playing along with the music silently, smiling. His smile and eyes were identical to Gravel.
Oh that was very cool and a beautiful tribute. Cara tucked her hand into his as she stared up at the hologram, studying it intently while the music played. What a bittersweet song. “Ya look like him.”
Gravel smiled as he looked at his father. “He would always tell the story of when I was born. The doctor set me on moms stomach and said ‘Aren’t you glad you’re here so you know he’s yours?’ as a joke. He looked at me and then at my dad and said to Dad ‘You don’t have to worry about that.’” and he laughed. “He thought that was the funniest damn thing he had ever heard.”
“We all look for those similarities, that connect us ta future and past generations. That connect us ta our place in the universe. Some parents spend weeks or months lookin’ for those signs, it’s no always immediately apparent.” Cara watched the hologram and then chuckled. “Ya hold yer guitar the same way, too.”
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