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So We Meet Again

Posted on 15 Sep 2020 @ 2:51pm by Lieutenant Commander Aoife Shields & First Sergeant Eryn Anahr

Mission: Homeport
Location: CO's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 2 at 0930

Eryn took a deep breath, tapping the PADD in his hand mindlessly as he walked through the corridor of the small ship he'd just stepped onto. He wasn't a fan of ships, his CO knew that, but here he was, being assigned to one of the smallest ships he'd seen in the fleet. At least with a larger ship, there was enough oxygen to sustain everyone for a while. If one thing went wrong on this small tin can, they were all done for. And yet, as he walked towards his destination, Eryn knew the reason for his nerves wasn't the ship or assignment. It was the Commanding Officer.

Aoife Shields. That was a name he hadn't heard in a few years, though to say he hadn't thought of her would be a complete lie. The last time they spoke, he proposed to her. And in return, she broke up with him. And while it had been 3 years, and he was sure they both dated other people since then, he wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of being around her so much. And yet, no one ever asked his opinion when handing out new assignments. It was one of the biggest drawbacks of being a marine.

Walking up to the door, he stood there for a couple moments, taking a deep breath as he rocked back on his heels. With a nod, he pressed his finger to the chime and waited.

Aoife wasn't sure who could be at her door but she was glad she'd just finished making the bed and tidying up. One of the more challenging things on the Leo for all of the senior staff was that their workspace was either directly in their workspace like in engineering control, the bridge, etc or in their quarters. Aoife was just about to sit down at her desk and check her messages when the chime had sounded.

"Enter," she said, taking her seat and swiveling toward the door of her quarters. When she saw who entered she gasped and stood up, blushing a little, she covered her mouth.

As he stepped to her desk, he snapped to attention. "First Sergeant Eryn Anahr reporting for duty, Ma'am," he said, holding out the PADD with his orders.

"First Sergeant," she said, after a moment of letting her heartbeat in her ear. She swallowed, "why don't you sit?" she said, motioning to the chair alongside her desk. "It's been a long time," she added before he could respond. Aoife grabbed the PADD and then sat back down in her chair.

"I'd rather stand, if that's alright with the Commander," he said, not allowing himself to make eye contact with her.

Aoife turned and looked up at him, "if that's what makes you more comfortable." She signed his transfer orders as arrived and put it down on her desk for now. "Should I ask how you've been or should I just get down to business?"

Eryn stood there for a moment, considering the question. "I'm doing alright, Ma'am," he said. He tried to resist it, tried to fight the urge to relax and talk to her. "It seems like the Commander has been doing well for herself. Congratulations on the promotion."

"Thank you, First Sergeant," she said, a quiet tone to her voice. "And you as well," he'd been just a Gunnery Sergeant when they last saw each other. "I'm familiar with your team setup as you know," she said, after a pause to switch gears. "I've worked with them most of my career, as you know. I just wanted to go over law enforcement details when we are not doing field operations. I'm not sure you've been on a totally shipboard team before, have you?"

"I have not," he simply replied.

"Alright well in the event of a yellow or red alert your team will respond to the armory to draw weapons and gear. Then you will report to the crew's mess where you will gear up and prepare for assignment either on or off the ship. In the event of any law enforcement operations, a Starfleet crew member must effect any official arrests. Of course, your team can detain anyone until they can make the arrest."

Eryn nodded, "As you wish, Commander."

"Laws," she said, pointedly, like it wasn't just some wish she came up with.

"Your team will have assigned barracks-style quarters on the third deck. It's the one that is forward and center it should be labeled appropriately. The computer can get you there if you need assistance... the whole team will be in the one quarters together. There should be some work stations in there for you and your senior guys. Unfortunately, we aren't really built to have you guys aboard so it'll be tight."

"It won't be the first we've been in cramped spaces, Ma'am. Shouldn't be a problem."

"I know you're not particularly a fan," Aoife offered. "I am going to attempt to arrange quarters for us when we are docked to stretch everyone's legs. But I can't promise anything."

Eryn relaxed slightly, changing into an at-east stance. "I don't want any promises," he said, looking Aoife straight in the eye.

“Fine,” she said, curtly. “You’ll be required to be at all senior staff meetings. Have your people settled in as soon as possible. I’m hoping to have clearance from the engineering teams to get underway today. If there’s nothing else you’re dismissed,” she said.

Aoife turned to face her desk, signed the padd so he was officially aboard, and then held the PADD in the air for him to take.

"Did you do this?" he asked, standing there, not taking the PADD.

“Cloud my first command with my personal history?” She asked, turning back around to face him. She chucked the padd at him to catch. “Just to fuck with you,” she said, sarcastically.

"Wouldn't be the worst thing you've done," he said, catching the PADD before he placed it back on the desk. "Someone has a sick sense of humor, then. This couldn't have been an accident."

“I couldn’t imagine who would have gone through the trouble,” she said. “Take your padd I don’t need it,” she said, picking it back up and handing it to him. “Go away I have work to do,” the amusement in her tone was reminiscent of their time dating.

"That's it? That's all you want to say?"

“You clearly dispensed with non-work talk at the beginning. I was holding up your wishes. Is there something else I’m supposed to say?” She asked, crossing her arms.

Try as he might, Eryn couldn't help the smile that began to form on his face. "You were always a business-first kind of woman. It's something I appreciated about you."

“Fair I suppose,” she said, she really wasn’t one for small talk. She was opinionated, blunt, and genuinely tried to keep nonsense to the minimum. “I have to be honest I really haven’t figured out how to deal with this.”

Eryn kicked the chair to the side, taking a seat. "I haven't either. It's bad enough I'm going to be stuck in this floating coffin in space."

"Hey, that's my ship you're talking about," she said, shaking her head. "You're a big tough marine, figure it out." Of course she wasn't actually offended her tone made that clear. She did kind of mean the figure it out part but that was just her nature. It felt like they were falling into old banter, it was weird, it shouldn't be this easy to feel so close to someone when she had rejected them. Even if she really hadn't wanted that... it was weird.

“Big tough marine...” he said, his bright green eyes sparkled as he held her gaze. ‘I haven’t been called that in a long time.”

"Going soft?" she teased.

"Hardly," he responded.

"Well that's good," she said. "I would hate to have to see that. Life doing good for you?" she asked.

Eryn looked at her, the woman he once wanted to spend the rest of his life with. "Are you asking because you care or because you feel obligated to ask?"

"I've never not cared for you, Eryn," she said, annoyed. "Our lives, at least so I thought, were destined for different places."

Doing his best not to react the way he wanted, Eryn sat there silent for a moment. "They didn't have to be," he said. "We could have done anything together. You know that. You were just too afraid to try."

"I guess I was afraid of getting busted for fraternizing with an NCO before I even got a commission," she said, with a shrug. "I made a choice to make my career happen and while I did and still care for you I prioritized myself and I don't regret doing that. And I would have supported you if it were the shoe on the other foot."

Eryn stood from the seat he was in, moving it back to where it was originally with his foot. "Just what a man loves to hear. That after three years, he's not worth trying to manage both." He walked towards the door. "No one ever asked you to give up your career, or to stop achieving whatever you wanted, Aoife. All I asked was to be a part of your life and your decisions."

“I guess I wasn’t ready to manage both,” she said, shrugging. “I don’t know what to say that will make up for it or change it. I’ve never once in our relationship pretended to be perfect or even smart.”

"But you did a great job at pretending you cared," Eryn said as he walked through the doors, letting them close behind him before he walked away.

Aoife shook her head, "assface," she muttered as he could hear through the door.


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