Posted Jan. 19, 2023, 5:55 p.m. by Major General Charles Tenkiller (Vice-Commander, Colonial Customs and Defense Agency) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Civilian Yavia Crockett (Nurse - Sacred Heart Hospital) in Safe Harbors
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Safe Harbors
Posted by Major General Charles Tenkiller (Vice-Commander, Colonial Customs and Defense Agency) in Safe Harbors
Posted by… suppressed (25) by the Post Ghost! 👻
Onto the center island in the kitchen he laid out various fresh vegetables, Syndasian garlic (a more potent relative of the Terran variety, but with a hint of sweet citrus flavor), Klingon Red Vinegar, and a bag of blue and purple rice. He pulled down a cutting board and a large chef’s cleaver and set them down near the food, and then he retrieved the main ingredient from the chiller: a long, thick filet of a silvery-white fish. Setting it aside to come to room temperature, TK set a large pot of water on the stove and poured in the rice. He covered it and turned on the fire below. He then began dicing the vegetables and peeling the garlic.
Yavia made a few more trips, until there was one left. This one was rather large and specialized. Packing foam was leaking out where the crate had been opened and then repacked. The logo from Turner’s gallery was stamped on it. “Oh I can guess what this is. Looks like she had trouble getting it packed back up correctly.” Yavia didn’t want to open it, but wasn’t sure it was packed safely enough not to cause damage. She lifted it carefully and set it inside, then, making sure she wouldn’t jostle it she carried it down the stairs. She was gone a bit longer as she found a spot in Sharah’s room to set it out of the way. “I’m gonna rinse off!” She called up the stairs and then took a very fast shower, rinsing off the dirt from Sharah’s plants before making her way back up the stairs. She sort of danced her way around him toward the chiller for more water. “Need any help?”
TK grinned and said “Yeah… try not to distract me by saying your taking a shower when I’m using a sharp knife.” and he laughed. He had switched the chef’s cleaver for a cutting knife. “But naw, I got this. Why don’t you go try to see where our wayward girlfriend is, though? She should’ve been back by now. Unless she got lost in the park’s plants again.” He looked at her and winked, twirling the knife in his fingers expertly and then began de-boning the fish.
Yavia laughed quietly, but refrained from teasing him about showers and distractions. She moved out of the kitchen, catching the light flicking off the knife from the corner of her eye. “Show off,” she chuckled as she stepped outside. Even of Sharah walked the whole way, she should be back by now. She moved up the walk way at the front of the house and glanced down the street. Pulling her communicator from her pocket shenflipped it open. =/\=Sharah? How are you doing? Where are you?=/\=
=/\=I’m okay, Yavia. I just took a quick detour…=/\=
=/\=Yeah, through the park? Did you stop to play with the plants?=/\=
Sharah’s laughter sounded through the comm. =/\=No, after the park, and no, I didn’t play with the plants…today. I’m almost home. I took the car.=/\= She closed the comms.
The comms went quiet and Yavia made her way back inside. “She’s almost here. She made the driver take a detour.”
The sound of the car following the drive to the back of the house came a few minutes later and then the door opened admitting their wayward girlfriend. She looked like it had been a very long day for her. Before she could set her bag down, Yavia wrapped her in a huge hug and was pulled over to the couch to sit down.
Charles smiled as she came in and he said “Hey hey hey! No fair! I get some affection too!” and set down the knife and moved to intercept them before they entered the den. He wrapped them both in his arms and kissed Sharah for a long moment. He then let them go and said “Go relax. Dinner will be ready in a while.” and he moved back into the kitchen.
Sharah smiled and changed direction to him, dragging Yavia along with her. He could have all the affection he wanted. She wrapped one arm around him and the other around Yavia and held herself close to them while he kissed her. She needed that hug more than she needed anything else....maybe, their kisses seemed to have a positive effect on her mental state.
Yavia led her into the den. They sat curled up together. Sharah was quiet for awhile. She wasn’t quite ready to discuss any of it, letting certain things stew and solidify in her head. She needed to get out of her head for a bit. “Tell me about baseball.”
Yavia laughed, “Baseball? Okay, so…” and Yavia began to explain, going back and forth between explaining the game and telling her own stories about it.
A few minutes later there was the unmistakable and incredibly strong odor of raw fish filling the den from the kitchen, followed by a coughing fit. And then, just as suddenly it vanished, replaced by the herbal fragrance of garlic, fresh dill and thyme, and of citrus. “So yeah, I forgot to say… this fish reeks when it first hits the pan, but it vanishes almost immediately. Sorry about that!” Tenkiller yelled from the kitchen.
“Uggghhhh,” Yavia made a face and pinched her nose. “Hey! I am all for new sensory experiences, but my nose doesn’t want to repeat that one. But that herb mix smells amazing. I’m hungry now.”
Sharah laughed at Yavia. And the herbal aroma water in to clear the air and her stomach growled. She had been so focused on finishing g and getting out of there, she skipped lunch. “No matter how bad it smells it’s better than avian egg salad dressing.”
It was about twenty minutes later when he called “Dinner!” from the dining room.
Yavia stood, grabbing Sharah’s hand, pulling her up. She slipped an arm around her waist and walked with her unto the dinning room. She kissed Sharah’s temple as they walked. Sharah felt weary to her and quiet. Not so much in a bad way, but like TK had said earlier - he wanted to go get her, but they had to wait. Now she was home, and Yavia just wanted to love on her. Let her be as quiet as she needed, but make sure she knew she was loved.
Sharah slipped her arm around Yavia and squeezed her gently. Yavia and Charles were both very demonstrative in showing affection. They had never bothered Sharah like other people did. It still unfamiliar, but welcome. Right now she knew Yavia had a need to maintain a connection, a d Sharah welcomed that.
The table had been set with candles in the middle. On each dish was a generous portion of meaty white fish with a golden-yellow sauce served on a bed of the blue and purple rice. On the side, grilled vegetables. Charles pulled out a chair for each woman, and gently pushed them forward. He took a seat and raised his glass. “Sharah… welcome home.”
Yavia inhaled the scent of the candle wax and smoke. This was nice. The food was colorful and the aroma made her mouth water. She sat and raised her glass, Watching the faint content sparkle in Sharah’s eyes. “Welcome home.”
Sharah paused long enough to set a hand on his arm and kissed him before she sat. The table was lovely. She didn’t think she would ever tell any of the nurses about this. More than Jal’na would be after him in earnest then. A lot of emotion swirled through her at his words. It was a whirlwind, not quite overwhelming, but enough to make it difficult to say anything. She smiled at them both though as she raised her glass and too a drink.
Charles waited till she had a mouthful of drink and said “V says she wants kids. Whaddya think?” and he laughed.
Sharah didn’t spit out her drink, it didn’t come out her nose with laughter, it got stuck, choking the passage of air into her lungs. She set her glass down before she dropped it. She turned pale, and slowly her drink slid past the hard knot in her throat. Kids?! No. No no, she was not ready to discuss that… she cleared her throat and took another drink. “Umm..I think if that is something you both want, it’s not my decision.” She couldn’t…Sharah loved kids, she adored her godchildren and missed them horribly, but....where were they going with this?
Charles smiled at her and the wave of amusement coming off of him made certain she knew he was teasing her.
Her brows drew together, something about it bothered Sharah. Yavia grinned feeling his amusement, and she shared that with Sharah. There was no reason for her to look so…deer in the headlights. They were just teasing.
Sharah let out the breath she was semi-holding and smiled at them. She took a bite and shook her head slightly. “You two are outrageous.” Rather than minding she sounded like she liked it.
“But even more importantly than that… I had an idea. What if we three built a greenhouse in the backyard? It’d give you place to house all your leafy cohabitation, plus give you a safer place to run to than the woods.” and he took a bite of the fish and nodded in satisfaction.
This was a much more welcome topic after her day. Sharah ate small bites, savoring it. It was very good, and he had cooked it. She smiled.after giving it thought, “I would love that. But I can’t promise I won’t wander out to the woods. The music is different.”
Charles took a bite and thought for a moment. He looked at Yavia and wiggled his eyebrows and said “I have another idea. Be right back. Keep eating, it won’t be good cold.” and he stood up and left the room, heading towards the den… and his studio.
V shared a wide eyed look with him. Yavia continued to eat and enjoy the food. When he got up she looked at Sharah, “He’s up to something, again. This can only be good for us.”
Sharah grinned and took a sip of her drink. “Mmmmm I can’t say I disagree with that statement.” She watched his retreating form and then went back to her food.
A few minutes later he came back with a large sketch pad and some pencils. He sat down, turning his chair sideways so that he could set the pad on his legs and prop it against the table slightly, and he began to draw.
As tempting as it was Yavia didn’t try to peek at what he was doing, though she watched him fascinated at his expression and the feelings coming off of him.
Sharah was quiet. Not anxious or worried, just quiet. It had been a personally emotional loud day, but also she allowed herself to sink into the noise some, to drown out what Charles was thinking. He didn’t ask for the privacy, but whatever he was working on she wanted to see it at the end.
It took another few minutes, interspersed with bites of dinner and sips of his drink, be fore he was done. “What about this?” he asked, and turned the pad to face the two of them.
It was a greenhouse in thier backyard. The edge of the house was visible off to the right. The greenhouse was tall and spacious, but what made it unique was the end that faced the woods. It was built into the woods. Trellis and glass formed around tree trunks so that it appeared to flow into the woods… or maybe the woods had grown into the greenhouse. “What about sometjing like that?” he asked.
“Oh that’s beautiful.” It reminded her of the architecture on Delta, the way it was designed around, because of nature. She looked over at Sharah to see what she thought.
Sharah stared at it for a long time. Memories hit her suddenly and without warning. A deep sense of absence, grief, bitterness, and memories of joy and contentment flooded her. She hadn’t thought about that in a long while. She wiped her cheeks of tears. “That…that’s love…lovely.”
Charles’s brow furrowed and he set the pad aside. “Hey…” and he reached over and took her hand, “… hey… what is it? Is it that bad? I mean, its a rush job, hun… masterpieces take time.” and he smiled at her, but his concern was evident.
Sharah squeezed his hand. “No,” she smiled after blowing out a breath. “No. Not at all. It’s wonderful.” She took another breath. “When…” she glanced at Yavia and then back. “My dad…he built me something like that. It was more a shed really. Our farm abutted the Jalaran Jungle. It’s really dangerous, but after we got back from Vulcan I was really drawn to it. So he built this work shed for me. Dad’s an agricultural specialist. He let me have anything from his supplies to grow in there. The whole wall facing the jungle was a window with a seat. I was allowed to go whenever I wanted as long as I stayed inside.” She squeezed his hand again. “I hadn’t thought about that in awhile. I guess I miss them more than I thought I did.”
Yavia reached across the table and took her other hand. Sharah had told her about that trip. The Vulcans had done nothing to help her, but she had gotten Hope then. The shed was a happy childhood memory for Sharah, when most were very tumultuous.
Charles squeezed her hand and then leaned back. “So call ‘em. Invite ‘em here. We got the space, and you don’t even have to explain this while thing.” and he circled his finger between the three of them. “You can just say you’re our roommate if ya need to. And I’ll even make ya a deal… you invite your folks for a stay, and I’ll invite mine. How about that?”
Sharah laughed, a release of tension and amusement. “Charles, I won’t lie to them. It would be pointless, they’re telepaths, and it’s impossible not to notice feelings and connection between us. Even if I could lie to them, I won’t. Besides we all agreed we weren’t going to keep this a secret or lie about it.”
He smiled and said “I didn’t say lie… I just said ya don’t have to explain it. And you are our roommate. We share a room… and we at least practice the other half.” and he laughed out loud.
Sharah sighed and leaned back in her seat. “I will ask them. I have no doubt if they can manage it, they will come.” She ate for a moment, “What about you, Yavia?”
“Me?” She sipped her drink and then wiped her mouth with her napkin. “The only person who would come here is my grandma. And if you think I’m outrageous....well the entirety of the nursing staff will look boring in comparison. But sure I’ll invite her if you want.”
Charles grinned a mischievous grin and then said “Okay… so now the question is do we do this all at once? Or spread it out?” He looked at V and smiled and said “Although I’d bet my Ma would love your granny.”
Yavia glanced at Sharah, “Why is he looking like that? Every time he gets that look he’s up to something?”
Sharah flushed but raised a shoulder. “I don’t know what you’re going on about. That look usually means something good for us.” Or he had decided she was in need of distraction. Either way it was good for her.
“I bet they turn the whole colony upside down together.” Yavia shrugged, “Either way works for me. Though I will tell you, my grandma may not stay here. It’s not a matter of having enough room. She will claim she needs the freedom to ‘express her whims’. And will take great delight in making people think the most outrageous. Of course it’s been a few years…old age might have started by now.”
“That would be a lot of people all at once.” The house felt big now but it wouldn’t if they had all their families come at once. That wasn’t a bad thing in Sharah’s mind. She thought she would like it. “If my parents come, they will try to get my brother to come too. They haven’t seen him in awhile either. He may not be able to get leave but they will try.” Sharah shrugged, “They all may not even be able to come at the same time.”
Charles nodded and said “Okay… how about this. My family and Sharah’s stay here. V’s grandma can, but only if she wants to. It’ll probably just never my folks. My sisters will stay back at the farm… probably. But also knowing them, they’ll come and con some boys to watch the place while they’re gone.” and he laughed. “That means we have more than enough rooms, but also if folks want some privacy or a new experienc(speakin’ of my folks here), I can set ‘em up with rooms at the hotel on the Orbital Platform. Its the best place on Oed outside of the Haven.” The Haven was the hotel below the Wild Fork Restaurant. “Thoughts?”
“Forget your ma, your sisters sound like the kind to cause the fun kind of trouble.” Yavia seemed to think about it. “Oh! I know. If anyone wants they could stay in my old apartment. It hasn’t been assigned yet. Oh maybe your brother, Sharah.” She winked at her chuckling micheviously.
TK laughed and looked at V. “You realize that’s luke throwing raw meat to a pack a’ wolves, right?”
Sharah almost spit out her drink that time. “Noooo....if my brother makes it, I want to see him. I love my brother, I am not leaving him to the mercies of the nurses. Besides the stories he could tell about me....no wait let him have your apartment.” Sharah laughed quietly then looked at Charles, “That sounds fine to me. All we have to do is ask what they would like to do.”
Charles smiled at her and said “Well… finish eating and go call ‘em! Let’s get this party started, already!” He slid the sketch aside and then began eating his dinner, excitement and a bit of trepidation radiating off of him.
Yavia grinned, “I like parties, and TK keeps saying he had some great ones before us. I can’t wait to see him live up to the hype.” She winked at him. Yavia finished her last bite and sat back. “TK that was amazing. Be sure to tell your ma you listened and are quite skilled at using food to get to a woman’s heart.” She wiggled her brows at him. “Seriously though, before we all go running off to call our families, are we certain we want to do this now? I know they aren’t arriving tomorrow, but I don’t want anyone to feel rushed. We…us…is still pretty new. I can’t wait to meet your families or for you both to meet my grandma, but we have time.”
TK shrugged and said “Well, I figure we can send the invites now. My family I know won’t be able to just drop everything and come. Figure… probably a couple three months, maybe four, before they could get here.” He looked at Sharah. “Betazed is only a week-and-a-half away. How long would they take to come, do ya think?”
Sharah made a face, uncertain and worried. “That is a hard question. The political climate in Betazed is a chaotic fluid thing. About 5 years after the Dominion Occupation the EMM, Enlightened Mind Movement, formed. Based off an old idealist group from our history. Their goal was to forcibly remove us from the Federation, to kick aliens off the planet and force all Betazoids to return home and stay there. They were the perpetrators behind several terrorist attacks at home and abroad. They even attempted and failed to assassinate Ambassador Lwaxana Troi. They went dormant for many years but they have resurfaced.” Sharah shrugged a little. “So, if my parents can make easy arrangements to come, they will leave as soon as they can get passage. Sometimes Betazed is very open, and other times its boarders are closed.”
Tenkiller smiled and said “Oh, I can get ‘em a ship. Easy. Openwork closed borders or not. And no, nothing illegal. But regardless of what the EMM says or who is in charge, Betazed is a Federation world. And right to travel is a baseline right granted to all citizens. I doubt that the EMM, and yeah… I know ‘em, would put up too much of a fuss. They talk a big game, and they are quick to attack their own, but they don’t mess around with Star Fleet. They don’t have that kinda stroke.”
“Perhaps. I am not as current as I should be. My brother is concerned because they are finding a welcome ear in the great houses and those houses control our government. Right now Betazed is a member world and we have rights, but should the government choose to withdraw, it is an internal matter. You’re probably right. I only have bits of information though. But before you go sending a ship, I need to find out if they will come.” Charles would certainly understand more than she did, she had disconnected from her culture for awhile and wasn’t as informed as she should be. But something about it made her uneasy.
Yavia listened to the back and forth and wondered if this EMM was part of the reason Sharah’s childhood had been so difficult, if they were turning their own society against itself. Obviously they hadn’t had too much pull because Betazoids were still joining Star Fleet and serving the Federation in multiple ways. Sharah had also traveled a lot as a child.
But before more could be said there was a beeping from her pocket. She pulled out a small PaDD and looked at it. “Crap!” She got up quickly kissed him, kissed Yavia, and grabbed her bag heading down the stairs. “I do not want to be late for Korczak.”
Yavia looked a bit amused at Sharah’s hasty exit. Turning to TK shebasked, “Who is Korczak?”
Charles smiled at the retreating form of Sharah and then looked at V and shrugged. “For her to say. I doubt it’d be a thing, but that’s a privacy subject. He’s nothing to be concerned about, though.” TK had no doubt there would be a computer search for the name sometime soon. Fortunately for him, he had used the CCDA computers on the platform. “Help me clear?” he asked and stood up and started gathering dishes.
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