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JP LtCmdr T'Lea & Lt Kendrick - The Gift, Parts 1 & 2


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@TLea and @John Kendrick wrote such a bittersweet, beautiful JP between these two, and it's just so lovely. I love the spicy, but surprisingly heartfelt relationship they have going on can't wait to see where that goes in the end. This is both parts 1 and two together for proper reading delight.

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((Kendrick’s Quarters, Level 40, Soldotna))

 

John’s apartment hadn’t changed much since he moved in two months ago.

 

Actually… it didn’t look any different from the moment he’d stepped through the door now almost two months ago. Running both the Security and Tactical Department on a newly established Federation outpost had proven to be very time consuming, with little or no room left for a personal life.

 

Not that he’d spent much time at his own apartment these last few weeks, he practically lived at Katrina’s place. After a long, stressful day it felt good to come home to someone, to feel the warmth of a loving embrace. She loved him. He was absolutely sure of it. He felt it with every kiss. But deep down in his own heart, he knew his love for her didn’t nearly run as deep. And it felt wrong, like a part of him was cheating on her. 

 

He often wondered why. Why couldn’t he get over her? 

 

The question lingered in his mind as he held a small mahogany box in his hands with an imprint of Starfleet’s delta sign with underneath it the words Denali Station in gold letters.

 

As he placed the wooden box on the table and flipped it open, he took out a Type II phaser. Not just a Type II phaser - it was a blast from the past. Built in 2293. An antique, but one that still functioned. It had been recalibrated and certified by his team at the Armory. To make sure it didn’t stand out too much from the phasers that were currently in use, they gave it a little paint job, metallic gray.

 

After they brought him the phaser, he had a little something extra added on the handle. He smiled as his fingers touched the lettering in Vulcan hieroglyphs. 

 

He looked up as he heard the door chime. He placed the phaser back in the box and closed it.

 

Kendrick: Come in.

 

Nothing happened. 

 

He rolled his eyes. Of course. This place wasn’t equipped with a voice command system. 

 

He walked over to the door and pressed the small key panel next to it. As the door slid open, he found him suddenly staring into T’Lea’s blue eyes. 

T’Lea:  Hi.

Kendrick: ::surprised:: Uh- ::finding him staring down at her big slippers:: Hi.

T’Lea:  This is yours.

He shook his head, confused by what she just said and frowned. “This is yours?” What the hell was she talking about?

Apparently T’Lea noticed his confusion and took a step aside, revealing a rectangular container parked up against the wall.

Kendrick: Oh.

He glanced back over at T’Lea in her robe and a part of him couldn’t help but feel a tad bit disappointed.

Kendrick: ::shaking his head:: Ah. Thank you. ::frowns:: I wasn’t expecting anything. Any idea what’s in it? 

T’Lea:  I have no idea.  It was delivered to my quarters by mistake.  Or the transporter Chief is a lazy bastard. Same floor and all that. ::shrug, beat::  I didn’t know you were on this floor. 

Kendrick: ::smiles:: The best view, right?

That smile.  It was a boyish, charming smile.  It was the kind smile that could disarm her, and make her go all gooey inside.

Don’t.  Just don’t. 

She looked away.

T’Lea: Yes, it is. The best.

That sounded a little more melancholy than she had intended, but it answered the question and kept her mind off his adorable ‘friendly’ smile.

A second of silence passed and it felt like she should say something more, or leave, or find an excuse to get invited in.  But would he invite her in if Pelley was there?

She saw him shift to the side, while she searched the room behind him with eyes, looking for the other woman.

Kendrick: Where are my manners, right? Please, come in.

And there it was the invitation to snoop that she had been waiting for.  A little voice in her head kept telling her to “Just say no. This was none of her business.”  But she didn’t listen.

T’Lea: Thank you.

She slipped past him, and while he stepped out to retrieve the shipping crate, T’Lea took the opportunity to sniff and search for his hidden girlfriend. 

The apartment smelled a little like Kendrick, but mostly appeared to be an unoccupied space.  The lack of ‘things’ was a big clue.  Did he even live here, really?

T’Lea: I love what you haven’t done with the place.

She was still looking for the nurse that very assuredly wasn’t there.

Kendrick: Yeah, I know. I still haven’t found the time to decorate the place. How’s your apartment?

Turning toward him, she answered with a quirky Vulcan eyebrow.

T’Lea: Better than yours, but that is understandable.  You’ve been busy with security issues around the city, and belligerent officers on the phaser range.

He didn’t laugh or react to that in the least little bit.  Perhaps he was still holding a grudge for all the trouble she’d caused him, she wondered and watched closely.

John placed the rectangular shaped case on the dining table. It didn’t feel heavy at all.

She briefly cast a smile in his direction as she circled around the mysterious crate.

T’Lea: Are you going to open it?

He let his fingers glide across the cold metal surface until he spotted the emblem. He immediately retracted his hand as if he’d just burned it and took a step back from the table.

Kendrick: ::shaking his head, whispering to himself:: No. This can’t be.

T’Lea cinched her robe a little tighter.  His reaction to the crate was odd.  Was he upset?

T’Lea: Problem?

Though he heard her voice, the words got lost as if they were blown away by the wind. He just stood there, as if he was hypnotized into an catatonic state by the emblem.

The emblem was circular in shape with at the center white stars on a purple background and a red arrow running through the letters UTC. Around it, the outer band spelled it out: Universal Trading Company.

The UTC was run by John’s family. The family he hadn’t spoken to in years. The family that had expected  him to one day take over the trading business. The family who had been deeply disappointed when he told them he was joining Starfleet instead.

Their silence had been the price he had to pay to pursue his dreams.

But in the end, was his dream worth the price?

His career so far could definitely be called a success. No one would dispute that. Chief of Security and Tactical on one of Starfleet’s furthest outposts? If anyone had told him that twenty months ago when he left San Francisco, he’d probably just laughed at them. But here he was.

But what did success matter when there wasn’t anyone around to share it with?

He made friends along the way, sure. And then there was Katrina… Poor, sweet Katrina. But it wasn’t until now, seeing the symbol that represented his life before Starfleet, that he realized how much he actually missed his family.

The only person who knew about the rift between him and his family was Counselor Tierney. It was brought up during a counseling session after their mission to Aturn VII. John was suffering from nightmares back then and as it turned out, they had their roots in the conflict with his father.

Suddenly he felt a hand landing on his shoulder.

T’Lea:  John, what is it?

Whatever was going on was more serious than she’d thought.  His vacant stare at the emblem on the crate stirred T’Lea in a way that she wasn’t prepared for.  And then when she touched him everything became even more pronounced, and clear.  This isn’t right.

Kendrick: ::putting on a smile:: Oh, nothing. Nothing important. ::pauses:: I'm alright. Really.

But he wasn’t alright. He fought against the tears that were welling up in his eyes.

Why now? Why her. Whenever T’Lea was around, he found himself raising his shields - to protect his true feelings from her. But right now he had no energy left to fight. His shoulders slumped. He quickly wiped away the lonely tear from the corner of his eye with the back of his hand.

T’Lea: You’re not very good at that, you know.  But I’ll pretend if you want me to.

Suddenly she took her hand away as if a thorn had stuck her in the palm.  The bond between them was still alive and breathing heavily.  The realization that they were still connected had shocked her.  She’d felt his emotions flying down the telepathic freeway, and her instant reaction was a desire to comfort him.

It was too much.

And it was wrong.

Wrong to keep the bond intact when he was with another woman.  And wrong not to tell him about it.  And yet she just couldn’t bring herself to make it right.  At least not right now.  It was bad timing to bring it up to him when he was clearly suffering something personal.  

Did he even know that they were still bonded, she wondered.

Kendrick: It’s a long story. I won’t bother you with it.

She thoughtfully ran the same hand over the crest on the crate, and then lifted her eyes to his from the safe distance of the other side.  Her expression was soft, and something she had reserved for her ex-bondmate Vetri in quiet moments together.

T’Lea:  Is it family?  Because, sweetheart, I have you beat on so many levels.

The smile that tagged the gentle teasing was endearing.  It was the only way to let him know that if he ever wanted to talk, he could trust her, and she was there.

Like he needs me, when he’s got a perfectly good Nurse to tell all his secrets to.

No, the bond had to go.  She’d made up her mind that it must be done for both their sakes, but it would have to wait.

Kendrick: ::nodding:: Family. ::chuckles, teary eyes:: The black hole none of us  can escape from, right? 

T’Lea:  Well, if you’re not going to open it, and you don’t want to talk about it, then I have a morning that needs finishing.  ::beat, smirk:: How would it look if people saw me exiting your quarters in my nightgown?

Kendrick: That you have a bad taste when it comes to flippers?

For a moment he forgot his pain, his worries and though he couldn't tell why, he felt relieved that of all the people on Denali, it was T'Lea who was with him here this morning.

T’Lea glanced down at her fuzzy snarling Sehlat slippers and she smiled inwardly at his playfulness.  Her response sounded serious, but it wasn’t.   

T'Lea: How dare you insult V’Leth and Stos.  I’ll have you know they are trained to attack on command. 

Which was kind of true.  They were on her feet and she could kick them into action any time she wanted.

Kendrick: ::realizing:: Oh- That reminds me.

He picked up the wooden box and handed it over to her.

Kendrick: A small gift. And before you ask, it won't explode upon opening. 

As the small mahogany box rested in her hands she eyed it suspiciously even though he made it perfectly clear that it wasn’t a threat.  The lid bore Starfleet’s delta sign and the words Denali Station were scribed in gold.

The box itself was a work of art, and it left her wondering what could be inside if the outside was so beautiful.  She was almost scared to look. 

In thoughtful curiosity she looked up at John and his blue eyes shimmered back at hers.  Was it her anticipation or his that she was feeling? 

T'Lea: What is this?

He nervously placed his arms behind his back, waiting to see her reaction.

Left with no alternative, she carefully popped the gold latch and slowly crept back the lid just in case something jumped out at her.

T'Lea: Oh.

It was gorgeous.  Better than jewelry in her eyes, (not that she had expected that).  Inside the box was the weapon she had been trying to hunt down at auctions for days.  And here it was an antique Type II phaser dressed in a new metallic gray coat of paint to match the current issued weapons. 

She ran her finger tips over the elegant lines, enjoying the old-style artistry.  The finish was flawless, and the cool metal sent a chill of excitement across her skin.

In love, she glanced up at John with eyes full of appreciation.

T’Lea:  It’s been restored?

Of course it had, but she was so taken aback that it was all she could think of to say for the moment.

Kendrick: ::with pride:: Absolutely. It wouldn’t make much sense if I gave you a phaser that wasn’t functioning, right? Of course… You could always throw it at your opponent. ::smiling:: I’ve witnessed firsthand you’re pretty good at that actually.  

As he spoke she lifted the phaser from the box with one hand to get a feel for it.  Heaven.  It was the equivalent of whatever T’Lea believed heaven should be. 

The phaser sat in her palm like a fitted glove.  The design of its sweeping back nested perfectly along the natural flow of her hand, and the sight picture was easy to find.  This was amazing in so many ways, not just the restoration of the weapon, or the rarity of it, but that John would…

She turned her eyes from the weapon and to the man standing in front of her as a feeling of emotion swelled up inside.  In that second she very nearly tackled him to the ground with what she felt for him.  Instead she simply stepped to him in a controlled and dignified manner and leaned her body toward his.  The embrace that followed was careful, and reserved – not revealing her true emotions to the man, but just enough to let him know how grateful she was to him.

T’Lea:  ::whisper:: Thank you.  I meant it.

It all happened so fast but as he wrapped his arms around her, ever so gently, it felt like the world had suddenly come to a stop. The tears started to well up again. There was so much he wanted to tell her, ask her, but the words didn’t follow. All he could say was: 

Kendrick: You’re welcome.

As she let go, and since her hands were full, (one held the box, the other with the phaser), she tended to notice more where his hands lay on her as they moved to release her.  As she had come to expect, his touch sent an invisible quiver stirring inside her.

She stepped back to assist in breaking the contact sooner.

Why did he feel so good?

T’Lea:  I will make you proud.  ::tension breaker initiated:: And not accidentally kill anyone with it.

Kendrick: ::biting away his tears:: Now don’t make a promise you can’t keep. 

She gave him a lopsided grin, and then paused in thought, which was followed by an inhale and a regretful sigh.

T’Lea:  I should be going.  

She placed the phaser back in the depression that it snuggly fit into. Next to it was the space that housed the power cell.  She closed the lid and looked at him once more.  A smirk started to pull at the corner of her mouth indicating that she was about to say something not quite eloquent.

T’Lea:  Unless you want to show me yours?

She nodded her chin at his mystery box.

Kendrick: ::hesitant:: I don’t know. ::placing one hand on the box:: I’m not even sure if I want to open it. 

T’Lea: ::a very Vulcan nod:: I understand.

Some personal things needed to remain personal.  She was very good at that.  But it was nice to leave an open door.

T’Lea:  You know where to find me…

Kendrick: ::nodding:: Maybe. When the time is right.

T’Lea: Maybe indeed.

He nodded again and watched her as she shuffled out of his apartment on her fluffy slippers. 

As he turned back to the rectangular box resting on the table, his hand touched the UTC emblem on top. 

Kendrick: Home sweet home. 

END

 

 

===

 

Lieutenant John Kendrick

Chief Security and Tactical

DENALI STATION

J239801JK3

 

&

 

Lieutenant Commander T’Lea

Historian and Archaeological Officer

Denali Station

Author ID I238301T10

 

 

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