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Third Time's The Charm

Posted on Tue May 10th, 2022 @ 1:27pm by Executive Officer Jake Ford & Ka'see 'Cassie' Anderson (*)

Mission: Adrift
Location: Damage Control Lockers
Timeline: MD-03 12:00
2234 words - 4.5 OF Standard Post Measure

The peaceful respite of the Damage Control lockers was, in theory, a great place to hide oneself away. That was Jake's theory, at least. Raided of essential supplies by the rest of the crew to tide them over for the week, it was mostly cleared of useful gear. Someone had set up a hammock in the corner - probably Jeassaho, by his estimation, but it could easily have been any one of the engineering team. No wonder she'd encouraged him to hide out there.

There was no booze hidden away, which was a shame but probably for the best given it was only the middle of the day. Instead he'd opened a dull ration pack and added a single apple lifted from the main supplies, if only to add some freshness and flavour. He'd even removed his jacket and sat in just his vest. He'd probably been wearing the same outfit for nearly three days now, and it was overdue a clean.

The only downside to staying there was the periodic water cycling from the pumps in the adjacent section. Of course nobody had ever been intended to live out of a damage control locker, so the soundproofing hadn't been considered to any great depth. So every so often the room would be filled with a weird gargling noise for about thirty seconds. Then it would go back to normal. Given the intermittent timing of it, he figured spending an entire night there wasn't going to be fun for anyone.

Chomping away on the apple, he early jumped out of his skin when the door opened unexpectedly.

"Oh, uh..." he mumbled, looking for the rest of his upper body clothing unsuccessfully.

Cassie was deep in thought thinking about the conversations she had been invovled in with Delaney and Curtis that she had walked out on and then another conversation with Delaney had left her exhausted more than three hours had but she was proud that the chapel was all set for medical to move into and she had managed a shower in the chapel office. Cassie was carrying an awkward container and it was far to late my the time she had opened the door and stepped in to turn around without causing a huge scene.

“Oh… um… hi.” She murmured looking at him quickly before she looked away at the awkward container of engineering surplus parts.

Well, he figured, if anyone was going to see him half-stripped, it might as well be Cassie. "I didn't think anyone was going to be coming around here," he admitted, looking for the jacket that was still not within his eyeline. "Just trying to get some peace and quiet..."

Cassie nodded. She could appreciate the need for that. “I was just storing engineering stuff out the way. Kea suggested here. I will just put it down here and be on my way.” She dropped the container and toed it a little out of the way before turning away. “Enjoy the quiet.”

"No - don't go." He put a hand out. "I mean, don't feel like you have to. I don't mind the company. It could be nice, even."

“I… I…” she paused and shrugged. “Haven’t been inside here since me and McIntyre got stuck with safety officer duties.” Was that even a thing in Starfleet? “Seems like you have found it here.” She offered as she closed the door awkwardly as she wondered why she was staying.

"We didn't really get a chance to finish our conversation yesterday," he said, having given up on the whole outer layer of clothing idea. "As...strange as the topic of it was. I guess we should circle back to the part where we, well...for a start, we kissed each other."

Cassie kept her distance but sat down on the container and made sure her eyes stayed on his face instead of admiring him. “We did. Several times.” She said quietly. “But… I know it was just a spur of the moment… heightened emotion thing. You do not need to apologise or explain. I get it.. well I don’t but I will.” She said finding herself pressing her hands against the container to feel something solid under her hands instead of them moving and making herself more nervous.

"Just a spur of the moment thing?" he was confused. "Why would I apologise...?"

Cassie took in a deep breath. “You and that woman…” she explained quickly in a quiet voice. “You are together. Everyone is talking about it.” She added.

"Woman? What woman?" he frowned, trying his best to understand what she was talking about. There were plenty of other women on board. She surely didn't mean Liha, they'd talked about that. That just left... "Evelyn?" he frowned. "Cassie, she's here hiding out from my idiot brother - who happens to be her ex. Yes, we've known each other a long time and are reasonably close, but...we're not a thing. We never have been. Evie's more like a sister to me than anything."

Cassie felt silly in the moment and just let out a quiet. “Oh…” It was not often that she was lost for words or felt like the thickest person in the room but there she sat.

He looked at her, confused, but also a little sympathetic. "Did you think-" She clearly had, otherwise she wouldn't have made a thing about it. "Cassie - do you think I would have come and spoken to you, brought you lunch, if I was already committed to someone else?" It would be a Ford family tradition. After his conversation with Evelyn, being a dick in relationships was apparently a family trait.

“Well yes… you would not have been the first man to play those games.” The woman explained quietly. “Everyone is talking about it… I did not know.” she admitted.

He moved in behind her, his hands gently touching her waist. "Sorry. I guess you wouldn't have known." It went without saying that she'd seemed pretty hurt when she thought he was playing games like that. "We don't seem to be doing this very well, do we?" he asked, a faint hint of humour in his words.

The woman shook her head as he moved behind her. “I really did not know so many people were talking about it. It’s all I have heard since yesterday.” She said looking over her shoulder at him. “Not really.” She admitted sadly not sure what to do to fix it all.

"They're talking about us?" he noted. "Ah. Jeassaho and Cami...I'll give you three guesses which one of those two spilled the beans first." He chuckled. "Forget about it; with everyone being in tight quarters at the moment, it's to be expected there might be gossip." He felt comfort, her body leaning back into his. It was a welcome respite from everything else, and just having someone he felt comfortable with was an island amid the chaos.

He paused his moment of relaxation, in spite of himself. "If people talking bothers you, then you know that we can wait; the last thing I want is for you to feel like people are saying things that might upset you. If this is too much too fast...I'll understand."

“I did not mean us. I mean you are Evelyn which is obviously not a thing but is a thing to the crew.” Cassie explained shaking her head at the rest of what he said. “Jeassaho and Cami interrogated me and got no where. I think the phrase snitches get stitches is the correct human expression there and I suspect Jeassaho has bound Cami up in some type of bargain or she might actually like me more than I thought.” She said thinking back to the midnight snack they are shared.

The woman slowly turned and looked at him trying to not fall over the container and shook her head. “It’s not fast.” She promised quickly trying to not look so embarrassed about the misunderstandings.

"Are you sure?" he whispered, drawing her close. It wasn't a question he needed her to answer. His lips pressed against hers before she would have anyway. Two-and-a-half days of stress had mounted to the point where he was ready to shed it all with her. Maybe it was the chaotic emotions deep inside that Kali had warned him about, but his feelings were strangely strong, to the point where he was on the verge of losing control, practically bursting to get out. Consciously, he pulled himself back half a step, not uncertain, but rather more deliberately careful. He knew her recent past, and the level to which those she had been with in the past had almost forced themselves upon her, emotionally. "Sorry, I'm not normally so intense with these things. Maybe slowly...?"

The kiss was intense but it felt like how it might have been how they would have been in her quarters if the ship had not broke on them. She chased his lips for a moment before she saw the look on his face. Cassie could see the deliberation of everything he did from the way he pulled back to the words he spoke like there was something bubbling under the surface. Maybe it was what they had shared yesterday or maybe it was everything that was pent up from the last two days. “Slowly works.” She whispered. “Are you okay?” She wondered trying to get him to say something that would reveal what was going on.

He held himself a fraction. Not moving away, but simply holding. "It's difficult to describe; these feelings feel more intense than I've known before. They're the same feelings, just stronger?" He wasn't doing a good job of explaining himself. And he didn't want to keep talking about the issues he had going on lately, despite them being the context for a lot of it. "It sounds crazy to say we've only really talked about this the last few days. With the weight of everything going on, perhaps things literally are just more intense."

“Maybe. Everything does feel more intense not got much privacy and we have been interrupted twice.” She said moving out of his arms to press the lock on the locker door. “Cannot be disturbed this time. I know for a fact once that is locked only armoury chief or a command team member can get in. He already is inside and Gregnol is wandering around the universe. Nothing you say can sound crazy to me after being held 150 in a transporter buffer.” She reminded him leaning back against the wall.

The smile on his face broadened as he watched her lock the door. He hadn't expected Cassie to be quite so playful. "No chance we're getting interrupted this time then, hmm?" he said, feeling like he was finally ready to shake off the stresses and uncertainties. If he'd had any doubts about what she wanted before, those were put to rest by the way she looked at him. He closed the distance, pushing her back against the wall as they embraced again.

“No chance.” She mumbled.

"I wonder if there's room in the hammock for two..." he whispered between kisses.

Cassie turned her head so his next kiss landed on her cheek as she looked at the hammock swinging in the corner. She raised an eyebrow and laughed softly resting her head against his shoulder for a moment before she nodded. “Shall we find out. I highly suspect that as Jeassaho created it, it will support a lot.” She decided as she returned to kissing him trying to keep the intensity in check.

Grinning, Jake pulled her towards the makeshift hammock and shifted around trying to figure out the best way to maneuver them both into it.

“Go.” She whispered breathless and watched as he climbed in and she followed cuddling close to him. There was a moment where she thought that they would both tip out but she found herself relaxing against him as she realised it was safe and not going to rip them out.

On his back, swaying somewhat in the unusual 'bed', Jake smiled as he went back to cuddling with her. He was about to tell himself to remember to thank Jeassaho for making it so sturdy, but then figured she might ask how he knew it supported two people at once. "You know how we can really test how sturdy it is..." he whispered suggestively, a little twinkle in his eye as he pulled her close.

Cassie was surprised as she was pulled closer and smiled as she looked down at him being careful to not injure him accidentally as the they were so close. It was a different feeling to having been like this with Johnathan. It was like Tevir and what they had experienced on Vulcan. She did not want to keep comparing but being there with him was less pressure and she did not have to be perfect and scared to make a wrong move or say the wrong thing. “You do huh?” She challenged.

Grinning, Jake let his hands roam as their passion ignited again and the hammock swung sharply. This feeling, after everything else, was welcome relief from the strains of the rest of the universe. It seemed as though both of them deserved something good, after all.


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