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JP: Commander Whittaker & Lt. Commander Ezo: Friends Reunited


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@Mirra Ezo @Theo Whittaker Leaving me here, wiping away a tear.

((USS Blackwell - Guest Quarters))

 

::Commander Theo Whittaker was not man given over easily to nerves. He had a steel in him that meant he could face most situations head on without hesitation or fear. It was this quality, he supposed, that had led from the engine rooms of starships to their bridges.::

 

::Which was why, as he approached the currently occupied guest quarters, it was so unusual for him to feel a sense of trepidation. A little voice in his head began to tell him to turn around and leave. As he reached forward to tap the doorbell, he could feel his body screaming to run. And yet he moved not an inch other than with his elongated finger.::

 

::The wait for a response was an eternity all of its own as seconds stretched out into infinities all of their own. He began to wonder if she would ever answer.::

 

::And then she did.::

 

Ezo: ::shakily:: Enter.

 

::The doors hissed quietly open and Theo stepped into the modestly decorated cabin that smelled fresh and clean, like a room of a hotel somewhere on Rise or Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet. Like every other space aboard the U.S.S Blackwell (that was not a medical facility), the room was rather small and ‘cosy’- which meant Theo’s eyes found Mirra Ezo immediately.::

 

Ezo: ::stuttered:: H-hello...Commander.

 

::Once upon a time on a space station a thousand light years away, Theo and Mirra had served together and had been the closest of friends. They had survived murderous tribbles, undercover operations on drug-ravaged worlds, the hidden levels of StarBase 118, scurrilous rumours spread by a disgraced Commodore (whom Mirra may or may not have punched), warmongering renegade starship captains and a sadistic pirate out for vengeance. Whatever the universe threw at them, they swatted them.away like they were Molvanian March Flies.::

 

::Then one day, out of the blue- Mirra left that space station a thousand lights from the Par’tha Expanse, with no warning other than she needed to take some time off. Theo had been bewildered and more than a little upset by his closest confidante’s abrupt departure. He had many questions and he turned detective to find her- to no avail. When Mirra Ezo did not want you to find her, then you wouldn't. He had even briefly considered employing the talents of another close friend who worked in Intelligence to find her but decided against it, knowing it would be seen as an inappropriate use of station resources.::

 

::Now, here she stood- six months later, aboard his starship. Emotion welled and surged within him, fogging his mindscape, threatening to spring tears from his eyes and causing a lump in his throat. He opened his mouth before shutting it, not knowing what to say.::

 

::Mirra Ezo was very rarely at a loss for words. Sometimes at a loss for polite words, but rarely without something to say. But standing in front of her was the one person she ran across galaxies with her proverbial tail tucked to avoid. She’d failed him. She’d failed all of them. Every bit of fire that made up her soul had slowly been burned out till nothing remained but embers. She didn’t ask for help, because she had no idea how. Everything she ever trusted to be true suddenly...wasn’t. She lost her spark, her edge. Dulled by the blade of the fearsome Chennel. She went to therapy, as required, but the physical damage to her shoulder was repaired long before the emotional damage. The one person who could understand and offer solace, she couldn’t turn to. She couldn’t let him know she failed.::

 

Ezo: ::quietly:: Please say something…

 

::A bit ironic for a telepath to beg for words, but Mirra never crossed that line intentionally with Theo and had no plans to start now. An errant thought here and there were the exception, especially when he was riled up about something, which was often. She began fidgeting nervously. Overwhelmed by her own mixed sense of elation and terror, she could barely sense his emotional state. But it was clear he was conflicted. Did he hate her? Would he send her as far away as his command would allow? Had he written her off as a moronic ginger haired Pakled with a sass problem?::

 

::Should she say something? Attempt to explain the unexplainable? They faced down monsters of every imaginable kind together, survived heartbreaks and hangovers, broken bones and broken spirits...but when she lost her faith in who she was and what she did, she just ran. The most unforgivable of offenses. He stood stoically before her. If he could just say something, even if it was “I hate you.” She fought hard against the pull of once again running away, standing her ground with knees locked, prepared to face her fate. The tears welling up and threatening over as each silent moment stretched on was the only slip of her already shaking composure.::

 

::He stepped towards her, hesitating at first. Her reappearance had opened up an old wound he had come to pretend did not exist. How could she simply leave without a parting word? Without telling a soul outside of a promptly filed leave of absence request? When Mirra vanished, he had never felt more isolated and alone- ironic when he served on a station with 300,000 souls aboard.::

 

::As he took another step, he realised none of that mattered and before he knew it he had swept her up into a fierce, tight hug, eveloping her in arms. He didn’t ever want to let her go. His best friend, the better half of the coin, his person, his reality check was back in his life. And in that moment- he didn’t want to let her go. Ever.::

 

Whittaker: ::his voice cracked with emotion as he spoke.:: Hello you.

 

::He felt a tear on his cheek and he was surprised to find that he was crying.::

::What little control she had on her emotions bolted right out the nearest airlock when his arms wrapped tightly around her. The tears began flowing like a waterfall as she buried her sopping face in the shoulder of her best friend’s uniform. It took a good few moments before Mirra was capable of intelligible speech::

 

Ezo: ::muffled:: I-I am s-so sorry Theo! ::mostly unintelligible squeaking:: P-please fo-forgive me. I am s-so happy t-to see you…

 

::Although one could argue against that considering the veritable rivers falling from her eyes at an alarming rate. Before long, she’d owe her friend a new shirt. That is, if she didn’t accidentally crack a rib from how tightly she was hugging him. Every little broken piece she’d had rattling around inside her for the better part of six months somehow began mending themselves back in their rightful places. No matter how far she’d traveled, Theo Whittaker felt just like home.::

 

Ezo: ::quietly:: How you must hate me...

 

::Despite the better angels of his nature, he broke the hug and looked at her with a smile despite his tears. He was not a man given over to overt displays of emotions- one of the lasting lessons his father had imparted- but none of that mattered. He had never been more happy to see another living being in the whole of his life. Mirra Ezo, somebody he was not sure he would ever see again, had fallen in to his world again.::

 

::There was nothing but happiness and tears.::

 

Whittaker: ::he shook his head, wiping the salty tear from his cheek before it rolled into his mouth.:: Not one iota. None of it matters. Not right now. ::he took her hand in his.:: I’m just happy to see you in one piece.

 

::If something had happened to her on Arndall… whatever was she doing there?... he would never have been able to forgive himself. He would have cracked the whole world in two to avenge her. Caraadians, Valcarians and Kam’Jahtae be damned. He would have hunted those responsible to through space and time with a fury like no other.::

 

::He didn’t hate her. Not one bit. He was clearly a far better person than she was. Not that this wasn’t already a known fact, but it still nearly took her breath with shock. Her red, blotchy face and swollen eyes did very little to hide the relief that washed through her.::

 

Ezo: ::small wry smile:: You’re a commander of a Federation Starship. ::squeezing his hands tightly:: I knew you were destined for greatness.

 

::He made a tutting sound with his mouth and rolled his eyes in a display of mock annoyance. It was an old and familiar routine, one that they had perfected between them over the course of three years. How quickly, after months apart and seismic changes in both of their lives- both personally and professionally- they slipped back into old habits.::

 

Whittaker: ::he rolled his eyes for emphasis as he spoke.:: You know how much I loathe you being correct.

 

Ezo: ::grinning broadly:: How many times must I tell you, I am always correct and you should stop doubting me…? ::Suddenly her face fell. She realized that her entire plan over the last few months had been nothing but doubt.:: Theo...I…

 

::He held up a hand and shook his head. There would, of course, have to be difficult questions answered in the coming days, weeks or maybe even months- about her sudden flight from StarBase 118, about her silence for so many months…- but he did not want to tackle them now. Not when the storm of conflicted emotion had- for him at least- subsided. All he wanted in that moment was to be with his friend.::

 

Whittaker: Not now, Mirra. Not today. ::despite his interjection, he was smiling warmly at her.:: I just want to be here with you. All the difficult conversations can wait. We all make mistakes.

 

::And he should know better than anyone. He had taken the assignment to the Blackwell without discussing it first with Taelon, the Chief Science Officer of StarBase 118 with whom he had been in a complicated…. something with. He had effectively ended their burgeoning relationship without warning. All because he had been fleeing from the return of Baylen Anders. Theo might have prided himself on his professionalism as a Starfleet officer, but he could take no such satisfaction from his personal life.::

 

Ezo: ::raising an eyebrow:: Not that I am not...elated at your forgiveness...I must say I am a bit…::shuddered breath:: I mean...

 

Whittaker: People in glass houses should never throw stones. At least that was what my mother used to say to my father when I was younger. ::he reached out and wiped a tear from Mirra’s cheek. A soft chuckle escaped his lips.:: Come on now, let's not cry anymore. ::he said as his voice threatened to crack under the emotions palpable in the room.::::he nodded, approvingly.:: I'm descended from British aristocracy- we don't do emotion.

 

::Despite the wellspring of emotion that had engulfed the room, Theo had an idea- one that made him smirk as he looked at the Betazoid.::

 

Whittaker: But we do one thing very well.

 

::At that point, the weight of a neutron star smack dab in the middle of her thoracic cavity seemed to lighten significantly. She had been truly terrified. And now…? Well now she was home. In a sense. Something she hadn’t felt in well over 8 months. Forgoing any lingering dignity, she used the shoulder of her ill-fitting uniform to ebb the tide of her sobbing face.::

 

Ezo: And that would be….?

 

::His eyes shimmered mischievously as he stepped across the guest quarters towards the replicator. He looked at Mirra with a matching grin before he turned to the invaluable device and spoke.::

 

Whittaker: Two Manhattan Cosmopolitans with orange peel twists in stemmed martini glasses.

 

::Mirra nearly felt the tears returning in full force, but instead, she snorted in a failed attempt to stifle her laughter.::

 

Ezo: ::smirking playfully:: Did the executive council know of your addiction to cosmopolitans before they handed you the reigns of this Starship…?

 

::The device whirred to life, materialising the classic beverage on the small pad. He lifted the crystal cut glassware by the stem. Returning to Mirra, he handed her one and raised his glass in a traditional gesture. Though she would have to face some difficult questions about her activities on Arndall in time, Theo wanted her to know that he would stay by her side as much as he could for as long as he could. They shared many hardships in the three years they had been friends and they had always come through to the other side and shared a drink together. This would be no different.::

 

Whittaker: To our friendship, Mirra. May it never, ever end.

 

Ezo: ::raising her glass in return:: And, if it should ever end, may we haunt the ship together! ::grinning::

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