Obsidian Command

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Flowers and Furnishings

Posted on 20 Mar 2021 @ 3:52pm by Commander Calliope Zahn & Lieutenant Commander Lance Quinn (*)
Edited on on 22 Mar 2021 @ 6:19pm

Mission: M2 - Sanctuary
Location: Ardeshir Sick Bay
Timeline: Backpost— following Vigil
1371 words - 2.7 OF Standard Post Measure

Calliope had dreamed that Lance had been beside her. They were awash in the morning light of an English field surrounded by sunflowers with dense stalks taller than Lance was, and she was looking for just the right ones, the “sunniest sunflowers,” she said. Lance very methodically examined the options by standing back and thinking deeply as if the row before him were a chalkboard of equations; at long last he selected one with an unbroken spiral, blemish free and mathematically ideal in its fibonacci sequence and he cut it down with a pocket knife. Calliope, having traipsed through the middle of the stalks, returned to the path with Lance holding aloft her prize selection. Beside Lance’s she proudly displayed her flower, with its head tilted at a quirky upward angle and the spiral partly broken by a defect so it had a skip in it that set off a domino effect in the pattern until it was most clearly asymmetrical and just nearly heart shaped, with three adjacent mutant petals bigger than the rest, as if to wave hello.

“I like them even better together!” Calliope approved.

“I see what you did there,” he observed, studying the shape. It was very much a product of her creativity and imagination than it was his own, which was probably why it worked. “Are you saying this is a representation of us? Which one is the broken one?”

“We’re both of them in our own way.” She laughed, elbowing Lance playfully. “And it’s not *broken* just, quirky. Unresolved. Like... in classical music—” Calliope couldn’t name any composers or symphonies or musical terms like Lance could but she loved listening along with him, and occasionally he’d light up at something on the topic and try explaining it to her; she knew it to be a passion of his, a place where art and mathematics formed their own language, an emotive expression that reached his soul through his capacities of mind. Before meeting Lance, she’d only ever really thought of music as something to move her feet to and sing along with. “—They’re each their own line, but they answer each other. Nice enough on their own, but together, they form a little epiphany.” She pushed the stray little hairs at her temple back behind her ear. “Don’t you think?”

"I suppose I can understand your perspective," he agreed. In truth he wasn't sure it was too tenuous a connection to be made, but she had a tendency to see those things better than he did. "Reminiscent of the sub-quantum harmonics of warp field theory..."

Her eyes sparkling, Calliope nodded, leaning in closer as he spoke and trying to track where he was going with his harmonics metaphor.

"...and so the resonance pattern could be mirrored in the stamen, though I suppose with the pollination it-"

Calliope gave up trying to understand and stole a kiss instead.

When she woke, sweaty and fatigued as if sleeping itself were an effort, she felt for a moment the disappointment that she had only been imagining Lance. If there were someone near, she’d likely as not open her eyes and find that Chaplain/ Counselor/ Doctor looking on quietly once again. It would be better not to give Walker the satisfaction of making eye contact. Calliope groaned audibly, frustrated, and buried her face in her pillow.

“Cali?” he asked softly. His eyes were sunken and dark, the lack of good sleep evident in his paler than usual face. “How are you doing?”

Her head shot up. “Lance?” Calliope reached for him as he leaned in and put her hands on either side of his jaw; letting her eyes focus, she searched his face. She drew her thumbs over his cheeks and her surge of joy sombered at the sight of the dark circles. “Oh, Lance,” she said, observing all of the worry and sleeplessness in his face and knowing she was the cause of it. “I’m sorry,” she whispered earnestly, “I’m so sorry.”

"No." He touched her forehead with his hand. "No." He wasn't able to coherently form an argument or even much else in the way of reassurance, other than that word. He didn't want her feeling sorry: he wanted her well again. It didn't matter what that took.

"I never meant— I didn't know— I didn't want to know—" Calliope wanted to attempt explaining, apologizing but every try seemed futile.

"I know. I know. You didn't mean it. Things just got away from us." He cupped her cheek. "I'm not mad at you. Well, that's not true - I'm mad as hell - but seeing you here, like this..."

"I'm sorry, I lost it..."


"The necklace, the rhodium necklace. I lost it."

"The-" He hesitated a fraction until it clicked in his head what she was talking about. The necklace. He stood up straight and fumbled around his pockets looking for all the world like an absent-minded professor looking for his glasses. "Ah." He landed a hand on his own breast pocket and fished out the tiny metal chain. "Not lost. Never lost." He smiled at her. "Always close to the heart, you might say."

Calliope brightened instantly. She leaned forward for him to loop it over her head and then clutched the little wire charm, relieved at the familiar form in her fingers. "You had it. I thought it had been lost. I never should have taken it off, but it got loose in my EVA suit and then I moved it to my pocket and then... I was afraid maybe it had been thrown out or lost between the deck plating! You had it all along."

"When they found you floating, it fell. I thought I'd better keep it, just in case."

She sat back, relishing his company and letting her hand fold into Lance's, holding it and just slightly swinging it back and forth lazily off the edge of the bed. "You're not still staying in the Junior officers quarters, are you? I didn't get to finish preparing our new quarters. I wanted to have it all cleared out and remodeled. I wanted us to have a home."

"Cali..." he paused, reminding himself he needed to be more delicate with her. "It's been several days. The station has been getting back up to power, and one of the things we have managed to do is restore systems for the officers' quarters." He looked down at her a little pensively, knowing that she would be laid up on the Ardeshir for another week or two at least. "I...was going to move in before the end of the week. On my own, I guess."

Disappointment reached her eyes. It wasn't how Calliope had wanted to begin this new chapter together. She tried to smile for him anyway. "Yeah, no. That makes sense... You should. You should move in. I have some things, they should be coming in from the Paracelsus soon."

"I'll make sure they get delivered to our quarters, of course," he nodded.

"It's not much, just personal effects. No furniture or anything." Half of everything she owned was from her childhood, or shopping on her trips with Lance, or gifts she particularly loved. Nothing else was really irreplaceable— all easily replicated. "Just two boxes."

"If it helps at all, I'm hardly going to be there. De Havilland has us working pretty hard to get the station back up to scratch, plus they've asked me to weigh in on this whole 'void space' thing they've got going on." In his mind it was only vague consolation. He knew she would feel sad about not being able to build their home together, but circumstances were against them once again.

"S'good," she said lazily, her eyes feeling heavy. "S'good you're working on the house."

"Goodness knows what my mother would think," he said with a wry smile. "Probably tell me that the next thing I know I'll be dusting the place in an apron. But it's honestly okay. You need the rest." He traced her forehead with the back of his fingertips. "It'll be our place soon."


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