Jamie sidled up to Lucy Harrison near the transporter, a sly smile on his face. He needed to thank her; they’d been busy in the aftermath of the Sides incident and then a following bit of R&R that he hadn’t had a chance. Every day that he saw her, he kicked himself for not pursing her. Them. Whatever. “Hey, Luce. How are you?” She was clutching a cup of coffee and a stack of papers-likely Roger’s-and he reached out to take the papers. Tired. Thanks for asking. She had dropped Minnie off at the school for the day, went by the sickbay to talk to her husband for awhile about personal issues, and then was going to go back “home” to clean up a bit and nap before picking up their daughter and doing dinner and family time. She missed working full time, but her and Roger were working on that, and if they decided for a second child soon, she might not be able to, anyway. She gratefully handed the stack of papers to Jamie. “What is this?” Roger’s sister sent their parents’ will and stuff. Plus some paperwork that Roger needs to file. He was explaining what, but you know how long-winded he can be. Jamie laughed. “Yeah, I do.” He followed the blonde towards their suite. These Raven class cruisers were much smaller than other ships in the Fleet but he gladly hosted families if it meant he could hand-pick his crew. And had been able to, so far. He followed her inside, and placed the stack of papers carefully on an accent table. He recognized it; it was one that Lucy had had for years, and it went through various incarnations of color and style through the years. “This old thing is still standing, huh?” She smiled, and nodded. Yeah. That’s the nice thing about these old Terran antiques. They were made to last. What do you WANT?? He laughed. She’d never been one to beat around the bush, was she? “I just came by to thank you. With the Devoran. And everything.” She had settled into an armchair across from him, long legs crossed, brown eyes trained on him. She smiled, though, again, and sighed. I only charge $55 quarks an hour! It was his turn to laugh. “I’ll see what we can do! But seriously. Thank you. You always seem to know the right answers. I don’t know how you do it.” Roger says I see the world in a different way. Rose colored glasses, he says. Maybe that’s true. I just try to do what is right, ya know? Trust your gut, Jamie. It won’t let you down. Suddenly, he was transported, three galaxies away, to the party. THE PARTY. ~It was late evening, about 8 pm. He’d just returned that morning from a…mission. That’s what he’d preferred to call the work he did with The Academie. This time had been stealing some dilithium from Vissians to “sell” to (bribe) the Breen, for passage through their airspace for other “missions” later that month. His buddy from work, a Jem’hadar called Vada’sed had the good idea to meet his Terran friends. He’d been game, mostly because it was an excuse to get as stupidly drunk as possible without dying, and he was DYING for his male friends to meet Alex. He’d made the mathematical error of inviting Lucy, too, though-his motivations purely selfish, as he wanted her to be jealous, a little-and SHE had invited a few of her friends. In turn, those friends invited one each, as it goes. Finally, about twenty people were piled into his makeshift “house”-really, a safe house that Mac had arranged for the Acadamie employees-and drinks were flowing, music was on, and someone had thought to procure a hologram machine for movies. Things were going well, until about ten minutes into the party, when the doorbell rang once. One of Lucy’s girl friends, a Betazoid girl called Nalla, had invited Roger. It seemed an odd choice of people to invite to a party, in hindsight, but Jamie didn’t know it then. He’d asked Lucy to answer the door, his dumb plan of pitting current flame against former one not going how he thought, and she had. THAT was the biggest mistake-for some reason, as soon as she’d opened it, and spotted Roger, the air had shifted and you could FEEL the connection they had. The immediacy of it, and the sheer…rightness of it still stung. If only HE had opened that door! Damn it. The entire night had been hours of them just talking, and by early morning, ROGER was walking her home. Jamie? I am going to go now…~He came back to present and blinked once. Lucy was staring at him. “Sorry!! What did you say?? I was just…distracted. Is that incense?” Lucy rolled her eyes but sighed. I asked if you wanted to come by for dinner. What ARE you thinking about? And no, but that’s a cute save. He shook his head. “No, I am having dinner with…someone else. But thanks. Maybe tomorrow? I DID promise Minnie, I guess…” He trailed off. “Do you remember that party?” Lucy just nodded. Yeah, I do. And Minnie will understand. It’s the teacher, right?! Who you’re having dinner with? She’ll love that; Minnie adores Molly. Of course Lucy remembered that party. She had been keen to go; she had missed Jamie, and had looked forward to reconnecting. While she was over the romance of it, she HADN’T been over the excitement of his stories. But that was a long time ago, and she was so glad it had happened. She watched Jamie stand, and awkwardly make an excuse to leave. Men were weird.