Rebecca was the last off the ship. Already Starbase repair crews were swarming the ship, and yet it still felt empty to her.
She walked over to the captain’s chair and stood there in silence. “We got her home captain,” she said suddenly. “We lost some good people, but we got her home. I keep half expecting you to walk out of your ready room. You were…”
She wiped tears from her cheeks and she looked around feeling vaguely ridiculous talking to a chair, but she was alone on the bridge. “You were a good man, and an even better mentor. Thank you sir. May you have fair winds and following seas.”
She nodded, patted the seat back and walked to the turbolift. A few minutes later she was passing through the gangway and into the station proper with a small duffel bag slung over her shoulder.
“Mama!” A pair of high pitched voices screamed as Aimee and Livvy ran to the mother wrapping their arms around her legs.
Rebecca fought back tears as she kneeled before them and her arms wrapped around the twins. “What are you doing here?”
“Daddy got a job here,” Aimee said.
“Daddy?” Rebecca looked up to see Milo standing there with a grin on his face and his son Ethan next to him. Milo was wearing a gold lieutenant’s uniform.
She extricated herself from her twin daughters and went to Milo wrapping her arms around him. “What are you doing here?”
“Assistant Chief of Security,” he said with pride.
“I can see that… or rather I can see that you are back in uniform. I thought you were done with Starfleet. So did I, and for that matter I thought you were too.”
“I didn’t exactly have a choice.”
“No, I suppose you didn’t, but since you were going to be based out of here and Starfleet needed officers I reinstated my commission so I could see you when you came in, and the girls need their mother, and Ethan’s rather fond of you too. Ain’t that right son?” Milo asked ruffling the teen’s hair.
“Dad!” He exclaimed as his hands went to his hair and he attempted to comb the now mess of sandy blonde hair.
Rebecca smiled with sympathy and kissed her husband, “Either way this is a pleasant surprise, and a very nice one indeed. “
“You being here is a bit of a surprise. When the remnants of the Seventh arrived and said you had fallen out of formation they assumed you had been destroyed. It wasn’t until the Los Angeles notified us that they had found Cheon and Mr. Stephens that we even knew you were alive. I didn’t know what was worse.”
“Thinking she was dead dad,” Ethan said simply.
Milo shrugged, “Yeah, I reckon so, but we knew the Denver was badly damaged and we didn’t know for sure what was happening in that nebula.”
“Well I’m here.”
Milo couldn’t stop grinning like a complete loon, “Yes you are.”
The Starbase was packed with civilians and Starfleet personnel. The Fifth Fleet had taken over the Seventh’s duties and SB75 seemed busier than usual because of that.
The family turned down the main promenade and made their way to a turbolift. The ride to the residual levels was quick and they were soon deposited at the end of a long sweeping corridor line with doors. Milo lead them to the apex of the arch and thumbed the security panel and the doors parted to reveal a large apartment with three separate bedrooms, a lavatory, and a small but adequate common room with five floor to ceiling windows providing a spectacular view of Betazed slowly turning below.
“Well, station living has it’s perks,” Rebecca observed.
Milo chuckled, “I reckon so. Though, I have the family edition. Most officers get much smaller accommodations.”
“Mama?” Livvy asked looking up at her mother.
“Ethan said you had to resort to cannibalism like the Donner Party because your replicstors were down.”
Rebecca scowled at Ethan and he sheepishly slinked off to his room knowing that he had been wrong. “No, honey we had emergency rations. They weren’t very good, but they were completely healthy. “
“See! I told you Ethan was messing with you,” Aimee gloated to her twin.
“Girls! There’s no need to gloat. Desperate people have done desperate things, but we try not to make bad situations worse by not preparing. Now run along, I want to talk to your dad.”
“Okay,” the replied in unison and ran off to their room where you could hear them playing with their dolls. By the sounds of it one was making tea and the other was giving them a medical checkup.
“Remind me not to go to tea with them when we’re old and grey,” Rebecca laughed. “I don’t need a reminder of all the things that are broken down on me.”
Milo laughed, “I’m not going anyway. I ain’t British…”
“…and you drink coffee,” Rebecca finished. “I know. I drink coffee too.”
He smoothed his mustache with a thumb and forefinger and sighed, “Yeah, but you will at least drink tea.”
“My mother was Irish. It’s part of my heritage. She was born in County Cork before her parents took a water reclamation job in Santa Fe. Oh, that reminds me. My cousin Órlaith got accepted into Starfleet Academy.”
“Didn’t you say your grandparents were against Starfleet?”
Rebecca shrugged, “Nor that they were going to stop me. I guess you can say I was a bad influence on Òrlaith.”
“You do tend to have the effect on folk,” Milo teased.
She responded with a playful slap across the chest. He trapped her arm and pulled her close into her and the two kissed.
She responded by running her hands over his chest feeling the bumps of well toned abs and pecks. He was a country boy through and through having grown up on a ranch. Milo was a powerful man, broad shouldered and narrow hipped.
Ethan still had the boyish youth, but at fourteen you could already see the features that would be behind the man he would become, and he was every bit his father.
Milo rolled out of bed and pulled on his pants while Rebecca lay with only a sheet covering her. She looked up at her husband smiled and stretched her back. She was sore, but sore in all the good ways. It had been far too long.
Milo chuckled at her as if he had read her mind, “Yes, my love it had been too long.”
“How did you know that was what I was thinking?”
Milo shrugged as he zipped up the front of his mustard yellow under tunic. “Dear, we’ve been together far to long for either of us to have much difficulty at reading each other’s thoughts. Besides, you would make a terrible gambler. I can read your face like a book.”
” You cannot!”
He nodded and grunted, “I can.”
She sighed and curled into the comforter completely content and too tired to continue the playful banter. She loved Milo like no one else and their playful sparring sessions were a source of unending amusement, but the weeks of hard work trying to survive and the wild romp they had just had left her too tired to deal.
He leaned in and slapped her hind end through the blankets. “Let’s get dinner going. The kiddos are certain to be hungry.”
She sighed and looked at him over the comforter. She was trying her “if looks could kill” expression on him. Obviously he could see right through her. Damn him. “Fine!” She muttered and kicked off the blankets.