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JDL | CMO, CIO | CDR Valeese, LCDR Stacker | "The Doctor"

Posted on Sat Oct 13th, 2018 @ 3:05pm by Commander Valeese Stacker

Mission: Lacuna

When the doors opened to the medical section he'd succeeded in making a few notes on the PADD. More than he had hoped for in fact: at this hour there were usually other occupants in the turbolift car, and he hadn't relished being engaged in conversation while their was hasty and abbreviated mission-planning to be conducted. Yet even with this unexpected good fortune, as he tucked the device into the holster on his belt and the doors opened he hoped no hitches would crop up.

Experience told him the opposite was likely to prove true.

The duty officer in the lobby looked up, saw him, and evidently decided not to say what had been first on their mind. A quick glance to the side, at his reflection in the glass, confirmed the cause was probably the 'all-professional' look on his face. That, in itself, was likely an outward manifestation of the pressure that he already felt descending on his shoulders. Organizing a mission with eight hours' notice? No problem.

"Commander Valeese?" He was pointed down the hall, towards her office, and set off that way. He had to restrain the urge to break out into a quick jog.

Subtle beeps brought up results one test and segment at a time. One by one they reassured her that both she, and her little secret, were perfectly healthy and well at ease. No anomalies, no abnormalities, no complications. A bit of gauze taped gently to the inside of her elbow was the only evidence left of what she was doing - especially with how she'd been careful to encrypt patient information for sake of 'privacy'.

None of that prepared her for the sudden his off her door opening or the flash of relatively fast moving tall, grey clad man that came through it. Valeese shied hard, her hands coming up to scatter padds and smaller bits of diagnostic equipment. The small pads strapped to her midsection to monitor and record her daughter's heart rate were already well concealed both by shirt and lab coat, but it didn't stop her ears from.disappearing into the thick waves of her hair or the cold rush of panic that resulted in a chortled cry of surprise and fear until she recognized who he was.

The fear died, tucked away in behind a racing heartbeat and new wave of worry that he'd figure out what she was up to, "James!" She chirped, "I wasn't expecting anyone, everything alright?" Smooth. Smooth as silk. Especially as she rolled her sleeves back down and stuffed her hands into her pockets.

Her alarmed response took him off-guard, and he immediately choked on the sentence that had been composed during the turbolift ride from operations to medical. So he stood there for a moment, eyeing the scattered equipment and devices that had cascaded off the desk. Because he was standing in the doorway the computer overrode the closing sequence and held it open; held it open far longer than was customary. He only blinked and reengaged with reality when a nurse outside asked him if everything was okay.

"No, not quite," he admitted with a rueful tone in his voice. One that admitted his fault at startling her. He knelt down and began collecting the PADDs that had slid under chairs and onto the middle of the carpet before her desk. "I just came from a meeting with Fleet Admiral Blyx. The Campbeltown is being dispatched on a mission. I'm going, but the Admiral wants me to put a team together." He sighed and ran the back of his hand along his lips before glancing up. "That was actually what I was coming to see you about. I'm sorry about all this." The PADDs he'd collected so far were waved in her direction, in silent explanation.

"I see..." Valeese nodded slowly, motioning a gentle dismissal of the nurse who readily took her cue seeing the doctor begin to settle. A step or two forward brought the young Vorta close enough to him that she could take the offered PADDs, "You don't have to be sorry. I'm sorry for over reacting. I... Guess I'm still a little wired after everything." She shrugged nervously. Bending wasn't an option with the precariously tied paddles still attached to her.

Her eyes flicked towards a screen behind her desk, watching the data tracking both heart rate and movement continue to be collected. Shit, she swore internally, but eased her worries with the reminder that Stacker, while a lot of things, wasn't a doctor and the information was carefully coded and obscure. She was safe. "What kind of mission?" Before the words finished spilling from her lips, she realized what she was really asking was just how long he'd be gone for.

He eased himself up and found a chair, settling into it and exhaling. It helped to take some of the building stress off. "Analysis of mass graves. The Ascendancy sent us the location of a moon, and there's suspicion that some of the sites might hold Federation war dead." He ran a hand through his hair before looking up at her. Peripherally he saw the squiggly lines on the computer but discarded it. He had far larger concerns in mind at the moment, not least of which was a greatly-accelerated schedule. "The Campbeltown wasn't built for this, so there's nobody aboard with the level of expertise required for the mission. Do you have anyone on staff who can be temporarily reassigned? It'll last for four weeks, eight at the outside."

Pursing her lips together in thought, Valeese ran through the mental roster of the men and women in her department. None of them were skilled in the areas that he'd need and that left one individual and one alone. A sigh and shake of her head should have said it all, but she knew she'd need to verbalize the conclusion. "The only one who's studied any form of anthropology or what have you, is yours truly." A hand meekly raised and fingers wiggled in mock introduction, "I have more than enough in place here that they could handle me being gone for a bit, but..." she paused and moved to lean her hip against the desk in front of him. Eight weeks would put her at twenty one weeks and some change into her pregnancy. There'd be no denying it at that point. Even four weeks was pushing her luck. "Keeping it short and sweet would likely be best. Let these poor souls go home as fast as possible and all that."

James nodded at her. "Funny. The Admiral made it pretty clear that she wanted this to be expedited. Getting them home fast was apparently on her mind," he added as he put his hands on his knees and leveraged himself up. A position which admittedly put him very close to her. When he breathed in, her scent was welcome. It was also distracting. Normally when he was this close to her- Down boy he chided himself. There's a mission to focus on. His eyes blinked as he took another breath. "So, a four week mission ... are you going to need help packing?" he asked as he glanced back to the door, then back at her. For some reason he noted she was leaning against the desk, and his mind wanted to fixate on that. Odd.

"Can you blame her? They're pretty much out in Indian territory and the Ascendancy gave us a day pass." The Vorta blew a small sigh. To her it made perfect sense; Get in, get the remains, get out before the Ascendancy could possibly change their mind. While it was highly unlikely that they would, it had to be a thought niggling at the Admiral's mind. "Besides... You being gone leaves the station at a disadvantage. She'll be giving birth any minute now and that's got to really have her feeling out of sorts and out of control. Vulnerability is a scary thing. She wants you home as quick as possible." The hand that had been raised reached out to test it's weight against his shoulder. Duty or not, she was still hopelessly his. "Can't say that I blame her."

The fingers were one thing. The words another. Somewhere in the back of his mind a flashing light had gone on to warn that his time was limited. But I still have time he told himself as his professional resistance cracked and he leaned in, crowding her space. "I can't fault your logic. I do have a few reasons to hustle on home, though. Not all of them connected with duty." The fingers of one hand settled onto the edge of the desk.

Valeese remained rooted to her desk as he encroached, reminding her of their size difference and the sheer power lurking, barely contained, beneath his surface. It blinded her too much of anything else, her work - and the evidence of the life they created - carelessly included as she drew a breath and let him more or less capture her. His arm had fairly effectively cut off any escape route had she wanted to get away... And by the stars, the was the very last thing she washed to do. Instead she nodded and pushed her luck, moving her hand to cup his cheek. "You'll always come for me." She murmured, letting her thumb stroke his skin.

Had anyone walked in during that exact moment, the gig would be up. She might be able to explain the way she touched him away as being something to do with rechecking his eyes, but it would only stick with a complete and total idiot. Their posture was personal, deep, and rife with intent and an unspoken acknowledgement and welcoming distinctive of them and only them.

His head turned involuntarily, letting his lips brush the inside of her palm. In that moment any hope that he would be out the door in the next few minutes completely and utterly collapsed. With it went that snuffed-out mental scream from something called professional decorum, submerged by feelings which absolutely should not unfold in the doctor's office. His hands were on her thighs, sliding up between them and the desk, lifting her up and seating her rump solidly on the edge. "Lock the door."

It was the only thing he said.

"James..." She tried to protest, just a small whisper of any hint of malcontent with his actions or demands. Just enough for the sake of professional propriety still trying to linger and fight for survival. It was quickly snuffed out as she guided his face towards hers. "Computer, lock the door. Authorization code Victor Alpha One Zulu." A beep of compliance heralded the soft 'snick' of the locks engaging and her lips solidly found his.


Commander Valeese
Chief Medical Officer
CS THETA - SB 1170

Lieutenant Commander James Stacker
Chief Intelligence Officer
CS THETA - SB 1170


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