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Why Am I Here?

Posted on 18 Jan 2022 @ 8:56pm by Ensign Harper Matthews & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Higgins

Mission: Picking up the pieces
Location: Counselling Offices, USS Andromeda
1507 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

After the calming of the kitty MD and the discussions had there it seemed like she couldn't back out of it now. They had all lost someone to the kidnapping albeit no one knew of the Captain and Harper's relationship at this stage, but it made her nervous to open up to someone about it.

It made sense though, the talking of it. If this was to be an ongoing thing with Jon then having someone on the inside who knew of them and could help her would probably be a good idea.

She found her hand hovering over the bell. There was hesitance in her that made her unsure even now if she needed to truly open up.

"I'm not in there Ensign but I'm guessing by the way your hand is hovering over the chime you are a bit reticent to see me... Should I head in and pretend I've not seen you so you can finish the inner turmoil or do you want to come in, I'll replicate a nice big caramel hot chocolate for you and we can have a chat about whatever it is you are here to see me about?"

Cassy was leaning against the bulkhead, a playful smile tugging at her lips and a twinkle in her eye. Why did the younger officer always find it so hard to come and see Counsellors?

Harper's eyes still clung to the doorbell as Cassandra spoke. The lure of a caramel hot chocolate almost made her melt standing right there and that did make her give the woman a glance. "Do you lure all officers into your office with sweet drinks? Like the witch from Hansel and Gretel... you're not going to cook me, are you? Eat me? I'm too young and there's not a lot of fat on me..." she joked a little to ease her situation.

"Eat you... Ensign, can you see my figure! It takes effort to stay trim enough to look this good in these space suits Command make us wear! But the odd hot chocolate never did anyone any harm!" Cassandra laughed as she started forward and into her office directly to the replicator. She ordered up two of the drinks with a small bowl of strawberries for good measure. "Come and take a seat Ensign... I promise I don't bite!"

The Counsellor placed the drinks and fruit on the small coffee table in the seating area before kicking off her boots, bringing her feet up onto the sofa as she sat down and cradling the hot mug in her hands. "What can I do for you then Ensign?"

"Sometimes I like people who bite... little nibble never hurt anyone," Harper said with a wry smile as Cassie kept talking. "And you can call me Harper..." she added sitting down and accepting the delicious treat. "seeing as how you are fattening me up with caramel chocolate. My weakness." she said inhaling its sweet smell.

"I suppose I am here because there is something I need to say, something no one else knows. This is secret, right? I mean you aren't allowed to tell anyone else?" she asked.

"The only exception to the Doctor-Patient confidentiality is if something comes up that threatens the operational capacity of this ship or poses a threat to the Federation!"

She took a sip of the hot chocolate, taking the moment to regard the young woman over the rim of her mug. Harper was a strong woman, independent but with a vulnerable side she didn't like to display very often, or so Cassie assumed from her initial observations.

"Well I'm not sure I am that important that I'd threaten the Federation, I'm only one girl," she said taking a little stock of herself. "You see, the thing is... you know all the people that were taken? The Captain and such..." she said, her words hung on the Captain.

Already Cassie had started to form an idea as to the direction this was heading in and she couldn't say that she disapproved. The Captain most of all needed this for his own healing given her own predecessor had been in a relationship with the Captain but had suddenly left.

All Cassie did was nod her head and continue to sip at her drink.

"I felt quite composed throughout it all but I have to admit to you that the Captain and I have been seeing each other... outside of work?" she half asked, not sure how to word it. "I don't have anyone I talk to about him, because it is him. I don't want to put anyone on the spot, make them uncomfortable. I know this probably directly conflicts with my role as Chief of Security but I am here to keep him safe as much as everyone else and I don't want people to think that I'd solely go after him and him alone if it came down to it... do you understand what I'm saying?" she asked. "I don't think I am explaining myself well..." Harper said scratching the back of her head.

"You are explaining yourself very well Ensign and it makes perfect sense. You don't want to mix work and pleasure but how can you not when the Captain is in both of those elements of your life... So how are you handling that?"
The question was gently placed to help Harper explore how she was really feeling about the entire situation, nudging her delicately towards the truths that she needed to hear. Cassie also made a mental note to speak to the Captain about this also to let him know she was aware, she supported it but would also be there to help guide the Captain should profession and personal collide.

"I think I am doing alright. We haven't had any situations so far that the two worlds have mixed together, not counting his kidnapping." Harper replied with lingering annoyance. A certain part of her felt guilty that it happened, her job was to protect him and the others and they were taken. How could she have let that happen?

"I mean I like him, he's super cute... eh I mean handsome. We get on great, but I know he is recently getting over someone and part of me thinks I am just the fun rebound," she said sadly. "I get the impression I am not, but a girl can't help but wonder. My mother said I always had a vivid imagination as a child."

"It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all... as they say, Ensign" Cassie chuckled to herself already seeing that she had fears about the relationship. Was it grounded in fact? Her knowledge of the Captain would suggest he was not that kind of man but did she know the Captain well enough to really judge?

"I think you both need to take things one step at a time. You need to find a way to accept how he fits into your personal and professional life and find that delicate balance and you've got to allow him time to navigate through his own history and find that very same balance!"

"Oh, I will. I am not pushy at all. I'm practically on horizontal I am that laid back when it comes to that kind of thing." Harper laughed a little. "We all have a history I guess, don't we?" she added rhetorically. "But a part of me hates that I am worried about this kind of thing. I never usually... Always have a strong front on."

Cassie mirrored Harper's laugh even if she was feeling that her own personal life had been on hold indefinitely since she had joined Starfleet. Something about people not trusting Counselors to just allow the relationship to develop. Perhaps it was just her part in life to help everyone else find their happiness.

"Good... I'm always here if you need someone to talk to as well Ensign!"

"Thank you. It means a lot to know I can talk to someone about this. I suppose I should talk to Jon... I mean Captain Reynolds as well. I'd hate to think he feels left out, and we all know how men like to be kept informed of all things." she laughed to herself.

"They only need to know what we tell them Ensign!" Cassie chuckled.

Harper laughed at Cassie's words, she could see she was a wise woman. Throw in that she was charming, caring and all qualities you'd find in a Counsellor. "I feel better now Counsellor, thank you."

"Anytime. My door is always open Ensign... Now scoot. I have a pile of paperwork to get through but we must make time to grab some lunch in the not so distant future!" Carefully putting her boots back on and starting to move once more.

"Sounds like fun." Harper said standing and making a move to leave.

Ensign Harper Matthews
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Andromeda

Lieutenant JG Cassandra Higgins
Ships Counselor
USS Andromeda


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