Posted Nov. 30, 2022, 7:48 a.m. by Major General Charles Tenkiller (Vice-Commander, Colonial Customs and Defense Agency) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Lieutenant Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Three Isn’t A Crowd If You Don’t Want It To Be
Posted by Civilian Yavia Crockett (Nurse - Sacred Heart Hospital) in Three Isn’t A Crowd If You Don’t Want It To Be
Posted by Major General Charles Tenkiller (Vice-Commander, Colonial Customs and Defense Agency) in Three Isn’t A Crowd If You Don’t Want It To Be
Posted by… suppressed (14) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Sharah had developed a routine. She got up, she worked, then she stayed out, anywhere, as long as she could, returning back to her quarters in time to fall asleep. Today was no different. In her office she hung up her lab coat and changed from her uniform to a pair black jeans and a light blue, long sleeved wrap around shirt. She clipped her combadge to her shirt, made sure all her patient files were saved and closed and then left her office.
There was a beautiful park in the center of the colony between the hospital and government building. Sharah went most weekends to the market that was there. She was in the mood for something a little less manicured. Where the plants felt a bit wilder. Yavia had told her there were a lot of parks if Sharah was willing to take the time. All she really had now was time. She should have asked Yavia about it before, but it was her day off and the woman worked too hard to intrude on her personal time. She exited the hospital and picked a random direction and went in search of something not so urban.
About thirty minutes into her journey, a familiar voice called out “Heya, Doc! What brings you out to this neck of tha’ woods?” The voice came from a part of the park that was far less traveled than most. Tall trees stood around in a seemingly endless canopy, although that randomness was absolutely planned. There was the sound of rustling grass, and then who should appear out of the trees but one Major General Charles Tenkiller. He was wearing jeans and a red and blue checkered Western shirt with pearl snaps on the front and brown boots. His long black hair was tied back in a pony tail, and his face had a freshly scrubbed look to it. He smiled a warm and genuine smile and walked up to Sharah and said “Fancy meeting you here.” and before she could protest, he gave her a small hug.
This part of the park was silent, but the world was never quiet. After getting a taste of what quiet was really like she craved it, and it was so tempting to ask to go back. But it was like a medicine that you only used when it was absolutely necessary. Use it more than that and it became a crutch, you become dependent on it and can’t function without it. The area was mostly empty, Sharah let her mind surf over the noise trying to ignore it. Aware it was there but working hard to let it pass as unnoticed background noise. She heard the voice and despite rolling her eyes, she grinned. The man was annoyingly likable. She had heard the voice often enough from across hallways and on the other side of locked security doors to recognize it easily. She paused in her walk and turned toward the voice, her other senses confirming what her ears already recognized. Then she was hugged, suddenly. She didn’t have time to back away or avoid it. “Oh.” She hugged him back a little awkwardly. “I felt the need to wander, and it’s quiet here. What about you?” It was odd to see him not in his working uniform, looking like he did on stage the other night. Yavia couldn’t stop talking about it, and the other nurses wouldn’t stop teasing her about it either.
“Meeting V, er, Yavia… for a picnic. Made some food from home like my Momma used to.” Tenkiller said with a smile. “Told Yavia to meet me here once she had a solid ten hours of sleep and to bring cocktails and beer.” and he looked back into the ‘woods’ and then his head whipped back to look at Sharah. “Hey! Why don’t ya join us? Hell yeah, c’mon Doc. I ain’t taking no fer an answer. Bring it.” and he took her by the hand and began leading her back into the trees.
Sharah liked the tone in his voice when he called Yavia ‘V’. It was endearing. She should have realized he was waiting for Yavia. She had found the nurses feelings turning in his direction many times. Yavia got teased a lot about the general but she gave as good as she got. Sharah was happy for her. Then he grabbed her hand, and was so surprised by the stillness, he was dragging her through the trees without real protest. “What? No…no really. General.” There was no use tugging her hand back or standing still. Sharah was far to petite to win that kind of tug of war.
Inside was a small clearing. The trees surrounded it and there was no noise from outside. In the middle was laid a large striped blanket on which sat a very large basket. Outside the basket was a veritable smorgasbord of various foods. There was a soft hint of herbs and meat and vegetables, and it was ridiculously mouth-watering. “Take a seat. I’m sure Yavia will be here in a minute or so. And I got some water if you want some.” Tenkiller said and sat down on one side of the blanket.
It did smell really good, and made her hungry. It was a very idyllic setting. “Oh umm…really, I don’t want to intrude. Thank you, but I think I’ll finish my walk.” She liked the general and Yavia too. It brought back memories, ones that hurt a little too much still.
The leaves rustled and Yavia stepped into the clearing. “Absolutely not. Sharah, sit down.” ‘Really, please stay. If I have to eat all that food alone I’ll be fat and lazy like a cat.‘ The words came through clearly with the equivalent of a empathic hug. “TK! That smells amazing!” She set down a small cooler. “Cocktails and beer, as requested.” She sat down on the blanket across from him and tugged Sharah’s hand until she was seated between them. “Come on stay, the day is too nice to spend alone. Besides I had 10 hours of great sleep and I have energy to burn.”
Tenkiller gave V a lecherous look and said “Oh really?” and then laughed. “Seriously, Doc… stay. My Ma didn’t know how to cook for less than twenty at a shot, so her recipes tend to linger in my kitchen when I get to make them. Besides… I doubt you’ve ever had fry bread and paw-paws before. I get ‘em sent to me from home in stasis pods, so they’re fresh. Buffalo and venison, too. You’ll wanna try that.” and he began to make plates for everyone.
Yavia gave him a quiet once over, “Yes, really.” The aroma was wonderful and after a 14 hour shift a d crashing for 10, Yavia was hungry and likely to start stealing food and scarfing it without enjoying it.
Sharah felt like she was intruding. It wasn’t their fault. She could feel the genuiness of the invitation. Maybe it was just too many years of knowing she wasn’t welcome, made her feel awkward no matter what. But there was something else about them that despite feeling awkward Sharah felt less....jumpy? Calm? She didn’t know how she felt most of the time. She needed to just accept.
Soon fry bread, Earth vegetables and fruits, meats, and bean dishes soon piled high on plates and were placed in front of everyone. Tenkiller grabbed a beer for himself and poured drinks for the ladies. He raised his glass to both and said “Here’s to me… the luckiest guy on Oed. I get the two most intelligent and beautiful women on the planet all to myself.” and he winked at both women and laughed slightly.
Yavia raised her glass and took a sip. Then she leaned over to Sharah, “He wants something. He’s buttering us up. I’m inclined to give in if this food is as good as it smells.” While she talked she moved Sharah’s untouched glass over and snagged one of Tenkiller’s waters for Sharah and gave her a smile. ‘I promise neither of us drink to excess,‘ Yavia reassured her quietly. She glanced at TK, “Sharah doesn’t drink.” The way she said it implied more that the woman couldn’t rather than it being a personal preference.
Sharah coughed and shook her head at Yavia. The woman was outragous, which made Sharah smirk slightly. “That or his mither raised him with good manners. Either way I think I have to stay. It will take two people to keep you out of trouble.” Sharah took the water, ‘Thank you, but it’s fine. Just because I don’t doesn’t mean you can’t.‘ She shrugged a bit unsure how to put it, “I don’t…handle alcohol well.”
“No worries here, and no judgement. I know a lotta folks that drink that probably shouldn’t.” and his face scrunched up in a mock thoughtful expression. “And now that ya mention it… I know a few folks that don’t drink that prolly should on occasion.” and he laughed.
Yavia picked up her plate and took a piece of fry bread and enjoyed the aroma before taking a bite. Her eyes closed for a long moment while she ate. “Mmm I don’t care what planet you are from, fresh bread is ambrosia. Did you make this? Or did your MA send it? Either way I would kill for more.”
“Made it myself, but its my Momma’s recipie.” Tenkiller replied as he tore piece of the bread off and ate it.
What was it about men who could cook? And sing country music? The four gods help her if they could dance.
Tenkiller set a plate down heaped with everything. It would take her forever to eat all that. “Thank you.” She tried something, she had no idea what it was other than some sort of bean and one of the meats he mentioned. “Your mother cooked for a large family?”
Tenkiller nodded around a mouth of food. Swallowing and washing it down with some beer, he said “Yep. Growin’ up I had five brothers and sisters, and we always had folks over for dinner and such.” and then he shrugged and a sense of long-accepted loss came from him for a brief moment. “But… we had a really bad year my senior year of high school. Streptococcus, bad strain… real bad, hit the town I grew up in. We didn’t have access to a lot, being a small rural town in the middle of nowhere. Lost three of my siblings. Both brothers and my younger sister. But still have my older sister and my baby sister. They still live in town and help my folks out. In fact, that buffalo you’re eating my baby sister butchered herself.” he said with pride.
They happy feeling with the memories were easant making the sudden sense of loss and sadness hit the two empathic women hard. They looked at each other briefly, ‘Streptococcus?‘ There was no reason for anyone to die of that now. Especially not on Earth. And it was always hard when it was children. Yavia always had a hard time when it was children and it hit her in the gut hard. Then something happened quite suddenly and without warning. Perhaps not surprising from Yavia but certainly from Sharah. Tenkiller was suddenly wrapped up in two bear hugs at the same time and, again both women being empathic, he was surrounded by a warm bubble if acceptance and compassion.
The sudden embrace(s) made Tenkiller almost spill the plate of food that he was holding, but he managed to save it before he did. Setting it aside, he wrapped an arm around each woman and pulled them in tight, laughing softly. “Well hell… if I had known this was the reaction I was gonna get, I’d ‘a played that card a lot sooner!” and he laughed again as the press of the two women pushed him slowly backwards and he pulled them down with him, laughing the entire way.
Yavia hughed him tighter as he slipped his arm around her. His comment had her eyeing him with mock suspicion before she smacked his arm gently. “You’re awful.” She didn’t sound too concerned though, and the kiss she placed on his cheek proved it. Then she was laughing as she tried to keep herself up right and failed. Landing on her side, one arm pinned under his shoulders. She glanced at the food, it would be a shame if they had knocked it over and wasted all that amazing food.
Sharah turned rather red for a moment. Their close proximity, the contact of the shared hug and the feelings behind the words rushed over her. Then, like Yavia, she was being pulled down into a shared head and a small bubble of laughter came out. It was a carefree comfortable moment for her, until it suddenly made her sad. It wasn’t so long ago she had turned down dinner with this man. Not that she hadn’t been flattered but she had been with someone else. She didn’t want him back, but she wasn’t ready to flirt, even a little.
She reached over for the back of Sharah’s hand and hesitated. Yavia wanted to comfort her but didn’t want to push too hard. “We have him right where we want him.” And she waggled her elegant brows.
Sharah understood what Yavia was trying to convey, she just…Sharah felt unstable about a lot of things. She didn’t want to hurt Yavia’s feelings though. Sharah shook her head and flopped on her side and laughed softly. “Yavia, you’re crazy. My arm is pinned and so is yours.” Not to mention Tenkiller had an arm tightly around them both. “We don’t have him anywhere, but points for optimism.”
Charles fell silent for a moment and then looked at Yavia. His face had a perplexed look on it, like he had just seen a solution to a problem he hadn’t realized he had. He looked at Sharah, then back at Yavia. He then laid his head back and just looked up at the sky for a long time in silence, not moving and keeping both women tight against him. “This is… weirdly nice. And I don’t mean that in a creep kinda way. Its just… comfortable.” and he looked at Yavia and said “Is that weird?” and then mooked at Sharah and said “Right? Or did I hit my head on something?” and he laughed.
Sharah wasn’t sure what to make of the feelings coming off of Tenkiller. Perplexed was a really good way to describe how she was feeling. Sharah was oddly comfortable. It wasn’t quiet but there was a strange…differentness. Yavia was not calm at all, she could be, but she wasn’t naturally that way. She was a storm, wild and crazy but also beautiful. It was like the storms that raged around Sharah saw Yavia coming and decided it didn’t want to have an ego contest and just let her have the right of way. Yavia was like a raging thunderstorm that cleansed everything along the way, and it was impossible to not get caught up in it. Tenkiller was…he was not stillness and immovable. He was more like a lake that the surface could be whipped into huge waves but beneath was calm and stable. Sharah realized she could be more than just okay around them if she could let herself.
At the same time it was…heart aching. She didn’t realize how much she needed something as simple as a hug. She avoided physical contact when not necessary as a small form of self preservation, but it was also exceedingly lonely to be like that. That single arm around her was going to make her cry if she thought about it too much.
Yavia grinned at him when he looked at her. She just gave him this look that said, ‘What?’ both teasing and curious as to what he was thinking. Yavia was comfortable, it was a lovely day, she didn’t have to go into work, and she was well aware that she wouldn’t want to spend the day with anyone other than the two people she was currently with. Her head was resting on his arm and she glanced between the two before staring up at the sky. “Weirdly nice?” Yavia laughed, “I’m adding that to annoyingly likable.” She shook her head, “Nope not weird. I’m totally comfortable.” Then he asked if he hit his head, and the look she exchanged with Sharah was absolutely wicked.
Sharah was never going to live down describing Tenkiller that way. She laughed though, “Oh let’s not forget Yavia that young Sgt who said you were ‘scary sexy’ when he saw you with the baseball bat.” Yavia’s mood was catching though and Sharah went along.
“Do you have ringing in your ears?” Yavia pulled her arm free and kneeled up lifting his head and feeling the ground for rocks. “Nope, no rocks or roots to hit his head on.”
“No, no ringing.” Tenkiller said with a grin.
“Is your vision blurry?”
“Nope. I can see both of you quite clearly… and I like it.” he replied with a wink to both.
“Are you nauseated?”
“Far from it. I’m actually hungry.” Whether he was referring to the food or… something else… was another matter entirely.
“Does your head or neck hurt anywhere?” Sharah too managed to extract herself, leaning over him to look in his eyes. “Eyes reacting to light and dialating appropriately.”
Tenkiller looked her in the eyes. He didn’t say a word, but his hand found hers and he gave it a soft squeeze that said Everything will be ok.
“Is your vision blurry?”
“Ha! Asked and answered,so I know you two are messing with me.”
Sharah felt around the back of his head and neck. “I don’t feel any bumps, bruises, or contusions. You didn’t hit your head. So you can be comfortable and okay with it, or weirdly comfortable, or both.” Sharah was caught up in Yavia’s good mood and was not quite flirting but close to it. She suddenly wasn’t sure if she was okay with being weirdly comfortable. She sat back and for lack of anything else, moved the discarded plate to a safer spot.
With burst of sudden speed and moves based on a lifetime of wrestling animals, siblings, and training in hand-to-hand combat, Charles sat up and put an arm around both women, lifted them up with a strength that seemed oddly significant coming from a frame like his, and he twisted his torso and was soon on his k eyes between both of them while they were flat on their backs. He grinned at each, his long hair falling down past his shoulders and framing his face as he smiled at them. “So no head injury, nothing physical to explain it… must be an emotional response to two such amazing ladies, then.” He leaned forward and kissed Yavia on the cheek, a lingering kiss accompanied by a squeeze around her waist. He turned to Sharah and smiled, and pulled her into a tight embrace that held for a long moment before letting her go slightly. He grinned and said “Or maybe we’re all just hungry.” and he laughed and leaned back and grabbed his plate.
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