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Part of USS Odyssey: This Far, How Further? and Bravo Fleet: Frontier Day

This Far, How Further? – 5

Ottawa, Canada, Earth, Sol System
Stardate: 78250.7
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“Professor Court, all of this is amazing,” Max Duncan stated as they all made their way to sit down at the large circular dining table.

“Max, how many times have I told you, do not call me professor. Please call me Alexandra,” Alexandra Court told the younger man. 

Duncan apologised for his mishap as he took his chair to have dinner with his in-laws. 

“Max, you know you and our grandsons are always welcome here,” His father-in-law, Winston Court, added.

Appreciating the sentiment, Odyssey’s first officer thanked them both. For in-laws, he was lucky at how welcoming and warm his husband’s parents were, especially when they agreed to have William stay with them. Tobias’ mother had automatically said yes to William staying with her and her husband. As William and Jordan were their first and only grandchildren, spending quality time with them was a godsend in her eyes. 

Professor Alexandra Court was an amazing woman and an extraordinary human being. She taught Sociology at the University of Ontario. Her age-defying looks were a testament to her healthy lifestyle and positive outlook on life. Her short, cropped silver hair looked stunning on her and perfectly complemented her bright, sparkling blue faded eyes. She had a warm, welcoming smile that made everyone feel at ease around her. Despite her busy schedule as a professor, she always made time for her family and husband. She was a role model to many, and her kindness and generosity knew no bounds.

Doctor Winston Court, like his wife, was an impressive figure too. It was no surprise that Tobias got his looks from his father. Despite being in his early seventies, Doctor Court could easily pass for someone a decade younger. As Chief of Neurosurgery at Ottawa General Hospital, he was a very successful doctor who had undoubtedly saved countless lives over the years. Doctor Court had sharp features and a piercing gaze that made him memorable. He had quite an enigmatic air about him, but his warm and approachable manner complimented with a reassuring smile and a kind word, made him likeable. 

Like them, Tobias’ parents had a warm and welcoming home. It was a tall townhouse that was situated on the outskirts of Ottawa. It was decorated to a high standard but showed that a family lived there. Pictures of Tobias as a child adorned many walls, along with other family members. Most recently, in the living room were pictures of Max and Tobias’ wedding and images of both Jordan and Wiliam.

The dining area situated in the contemporary abode was tasteful and exquisitely adorned. The rounded dining table was spacious enough to accommodate at least eight individuals comfortably. The room’s interior design boasted a modern aesthetic with streamlined contours and sharp edges. The walls were coated in a striking shade of dark blue, lending the space an air of sophistication. A magnificent chandelier hung overhead, providing a warm and inviting ambience that enveloped the entire table. The overall effect was one of grace and refinement, making it the ideal setting for hosting guests or indulging in intimate family meals.

Tonight would certainly be an intimate affair. It was the first time in a long time that Tobias had properly returned home, especially since he and Max had gotten married and shared with his folks that they were also grandparents. It would also be a reunion for the two Starfleet officers to see their adopted sons. William was already there and was enjoying being spoiled by his grandparents. Jordan was on his way after disembarking from the Guildford a few hours ago. For Max, it was an opportunity to get to know his in-laws more on their home turf and hopefully hear a few embarrassing stories about his husband from his early years. That said, the awkwardness of how they felt about Tobias’ choices with his career had always hung in the air. Though his parents had come to terms with Tobias not following in their footsteps, Tobias had prewarned Max a number of times that they would most likely make a few comments about Starfleet, especially his mother. 

“When did Jordan say he would be here?” William asked for the fifth time.

“Anytime now,” Tobias answered.

“I take it he is also turning up in his cadet uniform?” Alexandra asked as she brought out a pile of plates, ready to serve dinner. 

“I’d imagine so, Mom,” Tobias replied. “I’m sure he has a change of clothes he can use when he arrives.”

Knowing that his parents weren’t too keen on the career that their son had taken, Tobias never went out of his way to rub it in their faces. In fact, before they arrived, Max and he had changed out of their uniforms and into civilian attire. Max and Tobias were both dressed in sophisticated yet comfortable attire. Max wore a sharp chequered blazer over a crisp white shirt paired with tailored grey trousers and polished black leather shoes. Meanwhile, Tobias had opted for a more relaxed look, with a navy blue sweater layered over a light blue dress shirt and khaki chinos. His brown leather loafers completed the ensemble, giving off an air of effortless style. Both men looked polished and put-together, ready for whatever the day may have brought. Automatically, after answering the door to them, Tobias’ mother commented on how smart and handsome they both looked as she welcomed them into her home. 

Tobias had forewarned his husband that if they got through dinner without his mother or father commenting on him missing his calling in the sciences, he was confident they had been assimilated and replaced by the Borg Collective. 

Alexandra waved her son’s comment off. “Don’t be silly; I won’t have my grandson miss dinner as he was changing. He can do that after dinner.”

“So William, what do you think of Ottawa?” Tobias asked his youngest as he continued to help his parents bring more food and drink onto the dining table. 

William shrugged, “I miss the Odyssey, but it’s nice.”

“Nice?” Winston repeated. “Oh, William, come on, we’ve shown you Downton Ottawa, the Château Laurier, the National Gallery of Canada, and we even took a boat trip down the Rideau Canal.”

“Sounds like you’ve been busy!” Max commented, trying to make it sound positive. 

“Yeah, non-stop,” William remarked in a less than excited tone. 

“Maybe, we can go see a real ice hockey game?” Tobias suggested.

“Already done that, Dad,” William said.

“A football game, then?” Tobias offered.

“And that!”

Tobias deflated as he sat down next to William. “So you have been busy!”

“You honestly believe we wouldn’t show this amazing city to our amazing grandson?” Alexandra remarked to her son.

Tobias turned to his mother, “Well, no, of course not; I was just hoping to show him some things myself.”

“You can, once Jordan arrives,” Alexandra stated as she returned to the kitchen to grab more food.  

Tobias looked at his husband once his mother and father left the room. His expression showed he wasn’t pleased with that idea. Max chuckled slightly and quietly replied to him.

“Did you not expect this, not even a little?” 

Tobias rolled his eyes just as the front doorbell went off. His mother dashed to answer it with William close behind. As the door was opened, standing there with a massive grin on his face was Jordan, in his cadet uniform. 

“Hey, Grandma,” He said in a cheerful tone.

“Welcome home, Cadet!” She said, greeting her eldest grandson with a huge warm welcome hug.

Tobias and Max had followed suit along with Tobias’ father. Once everyone had hugged Jordan, Max took hold of his bags and said he would take him upstairs to one of the guest rooms to get changed. As they went up the stairs, Alexandra insisted the rest of them return to the dining room to finish preparing their meal. 

“So, son, when are you planning to apply to become an officer?” Winston asked.

“Actually, soon,” Tobias answered. “Now I’ve reached Master Chief; I’ve been considering what’s next.”

“Would you have to leave the Odyssey, Dad?” William asked as he brought a bowl of food out and placed it in the centre with the rest of it.

“Leave the Odyssey? Never!” Tobias replied. “Fleet Captain McCallister wouldn’t know what to do without me!”

“So what role would you assume and at what rank, son?” Winston asked as he started to put out the cutlery. 

“Well, I’ve only briefly discussed it with Max and James, but I will probably start as a lieutenant commander, carry on in my administrative role and become an Officer of the Watch,” Tobias answered. “I’m considering taking the bridge officer’s test, and I’ve been training with the Hazard Team too.”

“Keeping your options open, then?” Winston checked.

Tobias nodded, pleased his dad was coming around with the idea of his son finally being in Starfleet. “Something like that, yeah.”

 At that point, Max returned with Jordan in tow. “Did I hear you talking about Tobias’ career?”

“We were,” Winston said. “I suppose you can’t use your new rank as a captain to bump him up to a full commander?”

“Maybe, but I’m sure Starfleet has a regulation or two around nepotism. Unless we were in a serious situation and the chain of command on the Odyssey broke down, I might be able to get around it.” Max said with a smirk. “I’m proud that Tobias is considering officership.”

“As am I, Dad,” William agreed.

“Me too!” Jordan added. “And anyway, if you take the bridge officer’s exam, you’ll surely be made a commander straight away?” 

“Let me take one step at a time!” Tobias stated just as his mother entered the room.

“Take one step at a time for what?” She asked.

“Tobias is considering applying to become an officer. Isn’t that great, darling?” Winston said, trying to remain positive.

“Well, it’s about time he did something more than just being a servant to some non-famous captain!” She retorted as she went back to the kitchen,

Annoyed at her remarks, Tobias followed her in her wake. “Actually, for the record, mother, James Preston McCallister is a somebody, and he isn’t the only captain I serve.” He indicated towards his husband behind him.

Turning around to look at her son and son-in-law, Alexandra sighed. “I didn’t mean any offence by it, Max,” she looked back at Tobias, “at least Max comes from a family that is known by Starfleet. His father was a Fleet Admiral, and his mother is a respected captain. What has McCallister done besides follow in the footsteps laid by Admiral Janeway?”

“Wow, Mom, I never knew you could be so close-minded,” Tobias replied, starting to hold back his annoyance over her comment.

“For the record, my birth father was a Starfleet captain, and my birth mother was a Starfleet science officer. Fleet Admiral Luke Duncan and his wife, Captain Nicola Duncan, were my godparents who adopted me,” Max remarked. “They served under my father on the Roehampton.” 

“Max, you don’t need to defend your family,” Tobias said, assuring his husband before looking back at his mother. “And also, for the record, I didn’t marry Max because his father was a fleet admiral or his mother was a captain; I married him because I love him. Furthermore, James McCallister isn’t following in the footsteps of Admiral Janeway. He commands the prototype of Starfleet’s largest vessel; he has rescued thousands of Romulan refugees, protected over a billion Federation lives, and advanced the Federation’s interests on many distant worlds. Worlds that you’ve never heard of or will ever hear, so don’t you ever ridicule the uniform I am proud to wear, the same uniform your son-in-law wears and the one your eldest grandson now wears. If it wasn’t for the opportunities that Fleet Captain McCallister has encouraged me with, then I wouldn’t be married to the man I love or have the grandsons you adore.”

Alexandra took a moment to consider what her son had just said and took a deep breath in. “I’m sorry, Tobias.”

Surprised to hear his mother say all that, Tobias nodded with appreciation. “Thank you.” He took a second. “I know I never took the direction you wanted me to take, but I am happy.”

“I can see that,” Alexandra said calmly. “And I am proud you have Max, Jordan and William in your life.”

“We love him too,” Max interjected with a smirk.

“Hell yeah!” William added.

“Without him, Dad wouldn’t know what to do with himself, and the ship wouldn’t keep running.” Jordan included.

Winston chuckled. “Then hopefully, you’ll make captain in no time then!”

“Captian Tobias Duncan-Court does have a good ring to it!” Tobias said, which received a few chuckles from his family, besides his mother, who just smiled sweetly at it. He ignored her as he returned to sit down to eat.