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Lt Gard & Lt Cmdr D'Sena - Just stop...

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(( USS Conny - Corridor))

:: His shift had finally ended. The long drawing day had eaten at Jack's patience and moral. After walking around in the dark, tension and nerves on edge for so long, even the usually calm and collected had a much shorter fuse. He had snapped at her, out of line if looking at rank alone. 

That is what ran through his mind, what he argued and questioned. How much in the wrong was he? Never before was there a necessity to bicker with himself before talking with another. But this woman was different. Making him nervous when she was around, jittery like a schoolboy. 

He cared about her, her safety. She wasn't living for one anymore, her risks affected him and Tabitha greatly... He was wearing a hole in the carpet. With a hearty sigh and solidifying his stance, he fingertips reached for the door. It opened before making contact and he hardened his gaze, stepping just inside.::

Gard: ::calling out sternly.:: Akeelah?


(( Quarters D’Sena ))

:: It had been a long day, longer than anything she remembered in a long time. It wasn’t that it had been a physically challenging shift, but that entity having such an influence on her mind really had had a bad effect on her. Since she was able to sense it, its anger and fury, the loneliness and frustration had been ringing in her mind the whole time, which had been rather draining.

After she had finally finished her shift and returned to her quarters she had taken a long shower and went to her bedroom to just drop on the bed to close her eyes and get a bit of rest, though her mind didn’t stop. She was just considering to meditate, when she heard the door open and Jack call out..She pushed herself off the bed and headed to the doorway. She wore her nightgown and was barefoot as she leaned against it, looking at Jack. :: 

Gard: ::he stepped in, the hiss of the door shutting the two together.:: Can we talk?

:: The mix of emotions swooshing over her was intriguing, she was not even sure she could decipher all of them as they wafted and mingled too close to each other. She knew that if she said no he would leave, but it would break something between them. They had not been together long, but there were a few things that she could sense. Like that this talk was important to him. She gestured to the sofa and walked to the replicator. :: 

D'Sena: Would you like something to drink? 

Gard: ::he eyed her in her gown, she was a tall drink… He shook hiss head and sighed.:: No.

D’Sena: :nodding:: What would you like to talk about?

::Jack let his shoulders sag as he leaned back against the door, arms crossed loosely on his chest. The long day sinking in more in the dimmed lights that were more easy on the eyes then the pitch black or brilliant bright. He watched her, she must have been sleeping and here he was ready to… To talk about what had happened earlier. Like it should have mattered that much. His tongue licked at the back of his teeth drawing his attention.::

Gard: ::flat toned.:: Today.

:: Somehow Akeelah was not surprised. Their little meeting in between had been a little awkward. She got herself a tea and turned around to look at him, still standing at the door. :: 

D’Sena: I assume you speak about our … gathering.

Gard: ::un-moving. He took a deep breath resetting his determination.:: If I was out of line earlier by pressing the issue, I was only out of line in regards to our ranks. ::he tipped his head.:: For that I will apologize. 

D’Sena: ::She nodded slightly.:: You were, and apology accepted. ::Keeping her seemingly un-moving full black eyes on him, she raised the mug with both hands and took a sip of her hot beverage.:: 

Gard: ::locking eyes with her from afar.:: But I did not agree with your decision, either professionally or personally. ::sternly.:: I thought it reckless. ::shaking his head but never looking away from her.:: An unnecessary position to put yourself into.

D’Sena: Acknowledged, though I disagree. 

:: Her voice was still calm, she was used to people not having the same opinion, it was a part of life. She also had known that he hadn’t agreed with what she had done; going to the dark decks to search for the entity. :: 

Gard: ::he tightened his jaw.:: As I thought you would… ::he shook his head some, running his hand down his face.::

D’Sena: Jack, I am a security officer. I was in charge of the department, while Commander Sinda was on the Unity.

::He didn’t disagree with that, by no means. It wasn’t what he had a problem with. Even if it seemed unsafe even for said security officer.::

Gard: That I understand. ::he let her continue.::

D’Sena: We had an intruder and the job of the security department in the case of an intruder is to find that person - or in this case entity - and make sure it won’t harm the crew. That it was hiding out in the dark decks did not change that. 

Gard: You could have gone about it differently. Send others, larger groups. Something. ::he started to pace a little.:: Something that didn't leave you with *one* other person knowing where you were.

D’Sena: You mean like you, who was alone when we met him?

Gard: ::waving his hand.:: Yes I was down there too. Coordinating with others to get power online. I wasn’t searching for something unknown, something living.

D’Sena: Because you are not a security officer. It is my _job_ to hunt something down. 

::He wanted to just come out and say it. Say that he had been terrified that she would get hurt. He had lost the woman he loved in a situation he couldn’t control. He wasn’t ready to let the second one do the same thing. She wasn’t just responsible for her position and duty on the ship anymore. But… Would that be too much to say? Would that scare her away?:: 

Gard: ::frustration touching the edges of his voice.:: Were you aware that after a period of time your phasers would have been drained of power?

:: Now she also got frustrated. Didn’t he understand? She raised her voice just a little. After this day she really didn’t have the strength to stay calm no matter what.:: 

D’Sena: Of course I was. Who do you think I am Jack? I have doing this job for longer than you are alive. I know that this is my job, that it can be dangerous. And it would be even more dangerous for those that are not trained for it. That is why I am here, that is why I do the hunting down. Because I am trained for exactly that. 

::That stung. More than it really should have. But the ages being called into play made him feel more like a child in her eyes. Which left the poor flavor in his mouth. It didn’t bother him that she was, but for her to call him out. Of course he wasn’t doing much better. It just felt a punch below the belt.::

Gard: ::gritting his teeth, he spoke softer.:: You could have been seriously hurt. 

D’Sena: Don’t you think I know that? The life of an officer is that, the possibility of something happening. And I chose to be a Security Officer. It is my calling. I have been a chief for 25 years, And just because I am not the chief any more does not mean that I can sit in an office and twiddle my thumbs. I still have to go out there and protect the crew from any danger. But that means that _I_ have to face that danger so they don’t have to. 

::He didn’t interrupt her, just let her continue from her standpoint. He kept his expression still but the turmoil inside was like a volcano. Everything she said should have been everything he had thought of, the more collected and reasonable side of his brain. Infact it was all things he had brought up to himself. But it fell on deaf ears. Apparently he hadn’t fully accepted her role in his life would be jerked around by her career choice.::

Gard: What if you were killed?. ::though emotions danced just behind his eyes, his voice remained ever sturdy.::

D’Sena: Why is that coming up now? You knew the whole time what my job is and the danger that comes with it! 

Gard: ::his chest weighted down his lungs as he searched for his mental footing.:: That may be your job. ::he found his footing and planted himself there, his voice sharp at the edges.:: But that wasn’t what I saw from you. Driven yes, but it didn’t look professional. It looked personal. 

:: She looked at him through those pitch black eyes, clearly sensing his turmoil. She still had no idea why this was such a big problem to him. She did what she had always done. Her job. Why was he so upset about that? She was quite close to read his mind to cut this whole thing short, but she had told him before, that she preferred to hear things from himself instead of having to dig for them. And she did not want him to have any pain, which would happen if she’d try to read his mind, other than his surface thoughts. He was right, it had not been all professional, it had been personal too, but that did not change that she had done her job. ::

D’Sena: I am not responsible for how things look to you, Jack. Even if it had been, I was on duty and that means I am committed to my job.

Gard: ::he glanced at the floor then at her.:: You have other commitments, ones that require you to stay alive. ::he took a moment to breath.:: If you don’t want to think about me, then at least consider what your actions would do to ::he punctuated the last word, the sound of pain leached out..:: Tabitha.

:: Akeelah almost winced when he said that. Did Jack think so little of her? The cup still in her hand she approached him with leisurely pace. But her insides had begun to boil and it took her a lot to hold it back with that heck of a day she’d been having. :: 

::Jack let the gap close between them, never leaving his place. He made her come to him. Two dominates with such fierce passion about nearly every aspect of life. Some would take their behavior as intimidating or stand-offish. But far from it. They tended to have such rare deep feelings about things.::

D’Sena: I _did_ think about Tabitha. 

Gard: ::he scuffed.:: Where you? ::he was equally to glare at, he too had gone off to focus on his work. But he had been in the area when the power went out. Unlike she, who had entered it. At least as far as he had seen.::

:: That was enough. She slammed the cup down on the small table next to the door and straightened her back, staring Jack deep into his eyes, feeling as if her own were made of liquid fire ready to burn him. :: 

D’Sena: You self righteous… ::She let go of a frustrated grunt.:: Who do you think I am doing all this for, Jack? Do you think I have become a Security officer to protect myself? That would be the wrongest job I could do if that is what I wanted. 

Gard: ::growing defensive, but somehow managing to keep his voice level.:: That is *not* what I said.

D’Sena: ::She ignored what he said and her voice had become a growl.:: Shut it, it’s my turn to blast unfair words into your face. Though I have the feeling that it doesn’t matter since you were not listening to me in the first place. You see your side and nothing else matters. I am doing this job to protect the crew. If you haven’t noticed it by now, but you and Tabitha are part of that crew. 

::He didn’t dispute that, nor discredit her career. It was simply how she had went about doing it! Couldn’t she understand that. The point he so desperately tried to get across before the volcanic eruption of emotions from her. Jack had never seen Akeelah this worked up. He had listened, simply strongly felt it wasn’t handle as it should have. Every hair stood at attention, feeling on edge was not a favored feeling. But she continued, throwing back in his face the very same reason he had come here in the first place.::
 

D'Sena: I went in there out of three reasons. And if you would ask instead of attack me you would know them by now. The first is what I already told you if you have listened to me. The second is that this thing messed with my brain, and I am a pretty trained telepath and empath and if it can do that to me, then imagine what it does with everyone else, let alone children and teenagers! I wanted to see the thing that is powerful enough to do that. And I wanted to get rid of the thing that threatened us all.

::Her voice had risen and she was furious. The wide wild hair, the grinding teeth, flushed face and fire in her eyes would possibly make her look like some angel of war, but she didn’t care. He wanted to know why she had done it, and he would hear it, all of it. He had no idea how much he had insulted her by assuming that she didn’t think about Tabitha, it had hurt as if someone had rammed a spiked knife into her guts. The usual calm exterior had fallen off and showed the rawness beneath.::

::He had managed to be on the losing end of this conversation. It wasn’t her job that was the problem, but what she had done, or rather hadn’t. She didn’t try to keep herself safe and alive. That was what he saw as selfish. She had dived head first into danger to what? Protect? Who would she protect if she was dead? And how could he go on knowing that the only other woman he brought into his life he wasn’t able to protect. The man had an ego, well manicured and trimmed to not get too big, but it was still an ego. And it had been a long time since it had puffed up as big as it was. Only to have it poked at by a stick it felt like. ::

::Jack could see in her face that he went about this wrong. He had asked why it was personal, said his bit. Well he got an answer. He could feel heat rising to his own cheeks. Finally he broke eye contact. He was being a selfish jerk. It had been forever it felt like since he had let his overzealous emotions run away with him. He sucked in air through his teeth and sighed. He chanced a glance at the fire woman with his jaw locked.::

D’Sena: This thing sucked energy out of everyone on board, the crew, which includes you and Tabitha. And if anyone threatens my own… ::The next words came out yelling.:: …   they will pay for that! I will not lose someone I love again, because I didn’t do all I could to save them! 

:: Her breath was heavy and rugged, something had torn down a barrier inside of her and for the first time in a very long time tears broke out of their cage and ran down her cheeks, while she still stood there, tense and shaking, fighting to keep it together. :: 

::He looked at the photo of the two young girls. One unmistakably Akeelah, the other with similar features with a hint of her personality. There were few reasons people kept out such photos of their younger self; nostalgic and loss. Her last statement went to prove what he had already suspected. But those tears, leaving hot trails down her cheeks stabbed him hard. This wasn’t what he had wanted when he came down here.::

Gard: ::barely a whisper.:: Akeelah…. Just stop...

::He closed the gap between them completely by grabbing her hands and pulling her towards him. She might have tried to push away but he was just enough stronger and not so worn to keep her still. Long arms then reached around her, locking her in. His chin rested just atop the wild mop of curly hair. His face reddening from the flood of regret and pain. He dug his middle finger nail under his thumb, the pain putting his attention away from the heat from his face. It hurt in more than one way. A feeling of sincere loss of the mother to his child and the very real chance that he could lose the third girl to steal his heart. He had to fix this, make this right.::

Gard: We’re arguing the same fact. ::sigh.:: Both out of experience. ::he could feel his heart pound in his chest. This wasn’t how it was suppose to go. But that’s what he got for falling for someone equally strong as him.:: I wanted… Needed you to be safe, but there was nothing I could do. I know it is your career. And I accept and support,::softly teasingly.:: Not that you ever needed my approval. ::he took a breath.:: But no matter how much I tell myself that.. It doesn’t seem to make it any easier. 

:: Akeelah’s hands landed flat on his chest as if to fight him off, but he didn’t let her, pulled her closer and made sure, that she wouldn’t pull away, which in all honesty was what she was trying right now. She felt hurt, angry and shattered. A turmoil of emotions like a tornado on her insides, that she hadn’t let out for such a long time, she had forgotten it was there. And then he and his daughter had come into her life and she started to crack, flurries of wind slipping through the gaps and ready to break out at any time. :: 

:: Her feelings were too strong to feel his, somewhere suppressed under her load. She barely heard his words, but he made her listen, didn’t let her go, kept his mouth at her ear to make sure she didn’t miss a word. She remained quiet for a while even after he had finished, tried to make sense of what he had said. She could barely muster a whisper as she finally replied. :: 

D’Sena: You need … to trust me... Jack. 

Gard: I do trust you.

:: It was scary for her how deeply she felt. They hadn’t started dating that long ago, but had spent so much time over the last couple of months. She had been closed up so long, didn’t let people in for so many years, that it was a little overwhelming. She wasn’t even sure how to put into words what she felt, so she didn’t say anything. Instead the bent her head back and tiptoed. Her hands still on Jack’s chest grabbed his uniform shirt and pulled him down, just to lay her lips onto his. :: 

::The weight resting on his chest seemed to have such deep ties to his heart. The movement under him made him pull back some and look into those dark pools. He did trust her, it was never a question about that. At least not that he thought. He let himself be pulled down to her level and let hot lips meet his. But the moment was spoiled by the sound of the buzzer to her quarters. He pulled away letting his forehead rest on hers for a second more.::

Gard: We had better get that.

:: She first hadn’t realized that the strange sound had been the door buzzer and when his lips left hers a gentle whimper came over her lips, wanting to return to his, wishing to get lost in them and forget everything else, to make up for the fight they had. :: 

D’Sena: Do we really have to?

Gard: ::hearing the slight whimper.:: We can continue this part of the conversation later.

:: Akeelah still had her eyes closed, feeling his forehead against hers and brushed her hands over his chest before she leaned her head back and looked up into his eyes. :: 

D’Sena: I’ll hold you to that. :: Turning to the door, she remained standing next to him.:: Come in. 

:: The doors opened and revealed a female officer in a yellow collared uniform, long black hair and a red dot on her forehead. Dark brown eyes looked at them both and Akeelah knew she wanted to speak when a blur headed towards them. :: 

Tabitha: Papa!!! ::tabby giggled as she ran and wrapped her arms around Jack’s leg.::

Kapoor: My apologies for interrupting, but the computer informed me that you are here, Lieutenant. ::She looked to Jack. :: I thought you’d like your daughter back before her bedtime. 

::Jack felt suddenly lightheaded as his breath caught in his throat, eyes darting from the small form clinging giddily to his leg, to the woman standing in the door to the woman standing next to him. His face flushed slightly red around his cheeks and the tips of his ears. Here he was arguing with Akeelah and under the impression that Tabby was safe and sound. He had only just gotten released from duty and came straight here. It was more than a little embarrassing, more like little. Like a little but a lot.::

Gard: Uh- ::His voice caught but only for a second. He was good at covering up and recovering. He cleared his throat.:: Thank you, she wasn't trouble? ::He couldn't help how the woman seemed *light*, like the air around her. Did she know what was going on when taking Tabby around?::

Kapoor: ::Smiling:: She was a very well behaved angiras and enjoyed the best view on the ship. We’ve spent all day watching the stars and nebula through the shuttle bay hatch.

:: In fact they had spent the whole time there, Tabitha never getting tired of it, pointing out shapes and swirls, asking questions and telling stories, a never ending well of talking. So as hard as it might have been to believe, both of them had missed everything that had been going on. The only thing they did experience was the short power outage as they had been in the lift but everything afterwards had been far away enough to not be noticed. So Chandni would not have gotten the idea that Gard or D’Sena could have been worried. :: 

Gard: ::curt nod.:: that's good. Thank you again. ::he said barely flushed, egging Kapoor back out. She had no idea just what she had done.::

Kapoor: No problem at all, Lieutenant, anytime again. 

:: She smiled at both of them, meaning every word. Tabby spent time with her boys sometimes and the boys liked her and Danzia’s daughter. Maybe one day they should have a group play date or something. Well now that she had delivered Tabby at her father, she felt it was time to leave again and give them back their privacy. :: 

Kapoor: I wish you a good evening. Namaste. 

:: She placed her hands onto each other in front of her bowing her head slightly before she stepped back, so the doors could close and headed to her own quarters and family. :: 

:: Akeelah hadn’t said a word the whole time. She had been able to feel Jack’s surprise and fear when he realized that he hadn’t had an idea that his daughter wasn’t safe tucked away as he thought she was. She reached out with her hand, that was so close to his that only a slight movement was necessary to wrap one of her fingers around his pinky. She raised her eyes from the little girl still holding onto his legs, to his eyes exchanging a look. ::

Gard: ::setting his hand on Tabby’s head, willing his frustration down. He sucked air through his teeth.:: I think we should go. It's been a long day.

:: Of course Akeelah did not want him to leave, but with having his daughter back, after just realizing that she had not been where she was supposed to be, the Rodulan understood the need to be alone with her. She was not sure because he had to speak words with her, or because he just needed time alone, but it was not her place to ask. And after their fight Akeelah was still a bit shaken up, and while she would have preferred to not be alone, she could use that time for meditation and some good sleep. :: 

D’Sena: I understand. ::She squeezed his finger with hers.:: 

::The smallest of gestures had the strongest of meanings. He let the slim agile finger wrap around his own finger, it only went to further stabilize his sound thought. She was able to take care of herself, but she would always be small and fragile in his eyes. It was just his way. He moved slowly and planted a quick kiss on Akeelah’s high cheek before pulling his hand away to pick Tabby up and cradle her close, she tucked her head into the crook of his neck..::

Gard: ::looking back at her.:: So, you do love me. ::a coy smile.::

:: Akeelah’s gaze jumped to his. What had he just said? How did he … oh. She remembered what she had said during heer outbreak and she had meant every word of it. Her dark face took a slight reddish tint right where he had placed his kiss. She surely hadn’t planned to blurt it out like that during a fight. They were seeing each other for a few months by now, even if they had just started dating a few days ago. In that time Jack and Tabby both had sneaked into her heart and had gotten really comfy in there. There was no denying and her people really didn’t. They embraced the meeting of souls. A gentle smile danced over her lips. :: 

D’Sena: Looks like I do. 

::Jack eyed the woman, letting what she had just announced sink in. He knew it already though, not through some telepathy or anything. Just Human intuition and his own personal determination to go after what he felt he couldn’t live without. For her to actually admit it though, had an almost surreal feeling, boosting his pride. He opened his mouth, wanting her to actually say those words, only to be cut off by the ever sleepy child in his arms. Perhaps later he would get you to say it. ::

Tabitha: I love you papa! ::pulling back.:: and you too Ah-key-la!

:: Akeelah looked at the little girl, remembering the disappointment and doubt when she had not answered these words in the same way a few months ago. Tabby had believed that Akeelah did not like her and did not want to be her friend, because Akeelah had trouble saying these words so early on. But time had passed. The Rodulan stepped slightly forward and placed a kiss on her forehead. :: 

D’Sena: ::whispering:: And I you. ::She looked to Jack:: Breakfast tomorrow? 

Gard: ::he bowed his head slightly.:: That sounds… ::he looked at Tabby, then Akeelah.:: very nice.

::There was hesitation in his steps as he took Tabby out of the room. They had fought, just to be wrong. It wasn't the worst but surely didn't go to strengthen his argument. At least his daughter had been safe with an officer instead of alone. The day had obviously been long even for the little girl as she laid her head back out, waving to Akeelah as they left her room.::

:: She smiled, she had felt that he had wanted to say it just to be interrupted by his daughter. Just the knowledge made her cheeks flush slightly. As she was alone again, she looked to the raw block of Basotile, considering to meditate. It was possibly a good idea, so she walked over and sat on the floor in front of the Rodulan metal and closed her eyes. But she couldn’t stop smiling. That fight had took a really good turn, and she couldn’t wait for the proper reconciliation. :: 

-------

JP by

Lt Jack Gard
Engineering Officer

Simmed by
Lieutenant Rustyy Hael
Chief Engineer
USS Constitution-B
A239202RH0

&

LtCmdr Akeelah D'Sena
Security Officer

simmed by
Captain Jalana Rajel
Commanding Officer
USS Constitution B
Image Team Facilitator
A238906JL0

 

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