When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes

Posted June 2, 2023, 8:39 p.m. by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) (Lucas Foxley)

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in When Paparazzi Hide in the Bushes
Posted by… suppressed (9) by the Post Ghost! 👻

Roman smiled and nodded. “Whatever is easier for you. I just don’t want them to worry you.” He checked the time and unwillingly released her from their long hug. “I have to get back to work. I’ll see you after shift?”

~ Roman

Rand let go reluctantly. “Yes. I should actually be done on time today.” After he left Rand returned to her work, she deleted the letter, but the words haunted her.


The next morning when letters and personal data came in off comms, the Comms officer duty delivered a data disk to Rand. “Addressed to you and the Commander. From… Mr. and Mrs. Caliano?” He shrugged and handed her the disk. “Figured you could take it to him with the reports.”

~ Roman

Rand took the disk with her usual smile. “Thank you. I’ll make sure he gets it.” Caliano? That was Jay’s parents wasn’t it? Addressed to both of them? After yesterday’s mail, Rand was afraid to know what it said. That was nerves though, right? Roman had only ever had good things to say about them. They still wrote to him regularly no matter what. They cared about him.

It wasn’t exactly regular. In the time Rand had known him, he’d gotten a letter on his birthdays, both last year and this year, holidays like Christmas, and after the news that had reached Earth that he’d been attacked and was hurt. That letter had shown up while he was still unconscious in sickbay. Each time they showed up he was fairly private about it, like he liked them, but they bothered him, too. Like anything concerning Jay he refused to speak much about it.

By the time she got to the lab Rand had convinced herself they loved Roman very deeply and if the Caliano’s were concerned about her maybe they were right. She carried the reports in and took a seat on her stool. “We have a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Caliano,” she said quietly setting the disk on top.


When she sat on her stool and told him about it, he turned to look at her. “We?” Roman asked, grabbing the data disk curiously. Then he realized, “They must have seen the news.” He put the data disk into his personal PaDD and opened the letter, setting the PaDD up so they could both see it.

Dear Roman and Ms Farquharson,

Roman! Why didn’t you tell us you were engaged? When did you get engaged? When are we meeting her? The lovely Ms Farquharson is beautiful. What’s she like? Where did you meet? We hope the media isn’t giving you trouble like that last time. How are you doing? Have you recovered from that incident last June? We heard they caught the responsible party and were greatly relieved.

Ms Farquharson, we do hope Roman isn’t too stubborn to show you this letter. When we heard about the engagement, we went ahead and watched some of your old shows. You seem absolutely adorable and positively lovely and we apologize we haven’t been able to meet yet. Are you marrying on Earth? Or somewhere else? If you do come home, talk that stubborn fiance of yours into a visit, will you? We haven’t seen him since his last vacation… six years ago now, I believe. It would be simply fantastic if we had the chance to see you both. We hope the press isn’t giving you too much trouble either. They’re such pests!

Wishing both of you the best,

Henry and Maryann Caliano

Reading through the letter Roman looked increasingly embarrassed. He hadn’t told Rand he’d never responded to their previous letters. Nor that they’d not seen him in that long. At least they seemed to like her. He gave Rand a sheepish look.

~ Roman

Rand was grinning and a little pink in the cheeks. They liked her. Or at least they thought they did. It had to be Mrs. Caliano who wrote it. Only mom’s got away with teasing their sons like that. And she wrote to her. Rand wanted to write her back. Mrs Caliano seemed lovely. Rand would write to her right away. Oh…maybe she shouldn’t? Roman was very private about anything having to do with Jay. It might upset him if she did. OH! But she wanted to. They obviously loved Roman very much, unlike his family. Social protocol dictated that you must respond to a letter, in some away. Acknowledge it. Well except for the one from his family. That was rude and harassing and that fell under a totally different set of rules. Mrs Caliano had written to her specifically. She could include a response with Roman’s at least?

Rand’s thoughts came to a screeching halt, and she stared at him and his sheepish look. “Roman!” she hissed quietly. “You never wrote and told them you were okay? Deagh Mhorairean agus Mhnathan! (Good Lords and Ladies) They are probably out of their mind worried. You need to write them.”


Roman’s cheeks colored slightly as several sets of eyes turned towards them, overhearing Rand hiss the commander’s first name at him and then chew him out. He was mostly focused on Rand though. “I… I was going to, and then… Well, you were hurt and…” Yep. He was making up excuses. He had never written them back in all truthfulness.

Not because he didn’t want to. He wasn’t sure why. It just made him feel… Really, really guilty. So he quietly kept their letters, every single one, on a data disk in his violin case. That way he knew he had them, but he didn’t have to look at them.

~ Roman

Rand was totally oblivious to her little faux pas. The officers were more watching Rand than Roman because she was the one who had crossed into the familiar rather than the professional. Their relationship was no longer a secret, and Alpha shift felt a little more invested than anyone else. They didn’t spread gossip but they were certainly all willing to follow along as things unfolded. Franks grinned, finding Rand’s outburst cute and endearing, even knowing Alden wouldn’t appreciate it, so he turned and was suddenly very busy at a table on the other side of the lab.

“Well, I’m not hurt now. You have to write to her and tell her you’re okay. She seems lovely. Will I get to meet her?” Rand was excited which drew more attention. Who was the ‘she’ Rand was talking about? Alden’s mother? He never spoke of his family, they didn’t think Roman liked his family. Especially after the incident last June. Rand looked at him, her voice dropping lower, “What happened last time?” She was totally oblivious to the fact they were in the lab.


“I will, I will....” He sighed. Then Roman grinned and chuckled. “Well, yeah… I was going to take you to meet them. I mean, we are going to Earth, aren’t we?” He replied quietly. Her second question made him pause and frown. “Harassed me last time I was on earth because of one of my sisters.” Rand was being adorable with her excited questions but the subject was clearly making him uncomfortable and not because they were in the lab.

~ Roman

Rand was too excited about hearing from someone who obviously adored Roman almost as much as she did to notice he was uncomfortable. “I wonder how they found out we were engaged? The photos were all before that. Accurate speculation in one of the articles? I don’t remember reading that though.” Due to Kovan and Roman’s efforts Rand hadn’t seen all the articles that had been published, including one of Roman proposing. Rand seemed to shrug it off, the media was always spinning tales and managed to get things right part of the time.

His comment about his sister seemed to dampen her spirits a little. How many times had Randy been harrassed because of her. “Oh…I’m sorry.” She’d hated them bugging Randy because of her. She could imagine how irritating and disruptive that was for Roman. Especially since he had very little to do with his family. Her excitement wasn’t to be deterred however. “I can’t wait to meet them.” Even as she finally got to work on the reports and caring for Nibbles she was still thinking about it. They had to come to the wedding. Even if Roman didn’t invite them, she would do it. She was supposed to right? They meant something to Roman and they loved him. Yes of course that was what she was supposed to do, for him.

Roman shook his head. “It was years ago, it’s fine.”

They watched her performances and liked them. Yes Rand knew she was good, but it still always made her quietly happy to know people enjoyed it. “Saoil cò am fear as fheàrr leatha… (I wonder which was her favorite…)” she muttered to Nibbles as she fed the mouse.


Roman got to work, but he seemed out of sorts… Different out of sorts than he had been lately. Instead of grumpy and irritable, he was quiet and moody. When Rand went to play with Nibbles, Roman dropped the data disk into a desk drawer. When she left the lab to go do other duties, Roman left several minutes after her to work in his office.

~ Roman

Roman was quiet, which Rand expected. He didn’t like to talk about anything having to do with Jay. She had accepted that a long time ago. Of course she couldn’t quite grasp that Roman wouldn’t want to talk to them. That it hurt too much. Even after all this time, they still wanted to hear from him, be part of his life. They were happy for him and a positive part of his life. So, in Rand’s mind that meant everything was fine. During one of her breaks, she even had a conversation with Pipkin about what she might write.


The letters used to be more frequent, before the attack. They would write him every time they wrote Jay. Which had been just about weekly. But after the attack, when he hadn’t responded, they dropped off to just on his birthday and holidays.

On one hand, it had always made him a little happy that all this time later they were still trying. On the other, he… he just couldn’t write them back. And he knew that must hurt them. But he still kept doing it. And eventually they would stop trying, and if that happened he didn’t know what he would do.

When lunchtime came, he went to find Rand so they could eat together.

~ Roman

Rand’s morning rounds had ended a little early and so she was in their quarters, sitting on the bed - reading a script. Not out loud and certainly not in an animated fashion, but she was reading it. She was having trouble with it, remembering some of the details of her memories, but she was trying. She looked up when he entered, “Ròmanach.” She happy to see him and maybe a little surprised until she looked at the time.


Roman smiled. He loved when she called him Ròmanach. “Miranda.” When he saw she was reading a script, he smiled and sat by here. “Which one are you reading? Do you want me to do lines with you?” He asked, excited for her. She used to love her scripts. And her choosing to read one… Maybe she was starting to like them again? Having an easier time remembering?

~ Roman

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