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Tea and Talk

Posted on Wed May 11th, 2022 @ 3:19pm by Lieutenant Adora (Addie) Hart & Lieutenant JG Camille Lévesque PhD

Mission: Season Two - Incidentals

The Captain had told Camille Lévesque that the counselor was being given downtime after her and Lieutenant Kale's capture on and recovery from Ketram. As a result, the new CSO kept her distance. She had no plans to interfere with someone's recuperation. But she understood that the recovery time was over and that Counselor Hart had returned to duty, so Camille set aside some time in the day to meet her.

She had set two alarms (one audio from the lab computer speakers, one visual from the lab computer screen; in her experience such redundancies were necessary to break her concentration) for 1100 hours. At 1103, the flashing on the screen had become too much to ignore, so she secured her station and walked across the ship to the door of the counselor's office, which she chimed.

Addie had been sitting on the large single armchair, feet tucked under her as she studied the PaDD in her hand. "Enter," she called absently as she heard the chime, though it was clear to anyone who saw her that she hadn't really noticed the chime at all and really only responded automatically.

In walked Camille, who grinned, knowing that exact look. She had made it herself enough times; a focus so intense that her interruption had not yet broken it. “Allo, Counselor. I can come back, if you’re busy?” She hoped that her question would jar the Counselor out of her reverie, but if it didn’t, she could replicate a PADD and sit and read quietly with her.

The sound of the unfamiliar voice not only broke her from her reverie, it startled her to the point that she dropped the PaDD in her hand. It fell to her thighs before tumbling to the floor. "Oh my gosh!" the counselor exclaimed, reaching for the PaDD before she looked up at Camile, eyes drifting to the rank pips on her collar.

Eyes widening with alarm, Addie jumped to her feet, the PaDD going tumbling again. "Oh my goodness, Lieutenant, I am so sorry, I didn't mean... I mean... I didn't... I don't... I mean..." her words became a blur of stammered attempts at speaking before she stopped and finished with a simple word. "Sorry."

Camille giggled, adjusted her glasses, and took a seat in the chair across from the Counselor’s. “No need to apologize, it’s no problem. I’ve been on your side of this exact situation many many times. I actually met my partner that way. Were I to judge…I think there’s an English saying about pots and kettles?” She shrugged. “My name is Camille Lévesque; I came aboard just as the ship reached Ketram.”

"Adora Hart, but everyone calls me Addie." The counselor smiled and motioned to the comfortable chairs. "My parents had a tragic sense of humor. Can I offer you a drink or something to eat?"

"I wouldn't say no to tea," Camille answered, comfortably seated. "Whatever you like best. I like trying new ones when I can."

Replicating the two cups, Addie carried them back to the comfortable chairs, offering one of the cups to Camille before taking a seat. "This is a Dalacari blend. It's kind of butchered for human tastes, but I find it quite pleasing. Lieutenant Kale introduced me to it," she explained with a smile. "Normally it would come in two cups. Because we aren't binary, it's blended into one cup instead."

"Oh, that's smart," Camille said as she took a sip. The flavours were pleasant, if a bit muted given that it had to be so modified for her palette. "That is nice, thank you. So, I know I'm supposed to check in with medical and counseling when I arrive. When I came aboard you'd just been abducted though, but I hear you're doing better? Is now a good time?"

Addie smiled. "Of course, it's pretty empty around here." She sighed softly, a hint of sadness could be detected. "I have a feeling that recent events may have adversely affected my standing as ships counselor. My appointment book is rather open." She took a sip of her own tea. "I will be honest though, I'm not immediately familiar with your medical history."

"Not much to tell," Camille answered. "Good physical health aside from my eyes. Okay mental health since my teen years. Well, there's the bad feelings that come from being blocked from seeing family since the catapults went offline."

Addie nodded in understanding. "I think a lot of people are feeling that way at the moment," she said softly. "It's understandable. It makes it rather easy to feel very isolated, even with a ship full of people around you. Have you been able to get at least some messages back and forth?"

Camille nodded. "We've been able to send a few letters back and forth through the data streams, and Captain Taggart helped prioritize my most recent one to my partner."

"I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to be away from everyone you love so much. If you ever want to talk, I want you to know, my doors are always open, day and night," Addie offered before pausing for a moment. "You said the Captain helped to prioritize your most recent message... is everything alright?" she asked carefully.

"Oh! Oh, yes," Camille reassured the Counselor, blushing at her miscommunication. "I meant only to let her know that I was safe aboard the Pennsylvania. She worries."

"Well, I guess that's a good thing, I'd be concerned if she didn't worry," Addie replied with a soft laugh. "But I mean it, my doors are always open if you ever want to talk. One is the loneliest number, especially in a ship full of people."

"How do you stay social?" Camille asked. "You've been aboard a little while now, do you have any advice for not being lonely here? Are there ever group activities, par exemple?"

"I'm probably not the best person to ask about that," Addie shook her head. "I don't really have much of a social life since I've been here. There's always stuff going on in the lounge though. I've been told Karaoke nights are fun, and they often do theme nights."

"What's that phrase? 'Physician, heal thyself'?" Camille asked with a smirk. "Counselor, counsel thyself! The person telling us we should try not to be lonely on the ship shouldn't be lonely herself!"

Addie laughed openly at the retort. "When you shoot the ship's Captain, among others, on the bridge at point blank range and basically behave like a raving psychopath, and then a week later end up kidnapped and held hostage by unknown forces, the crew kind of starts to think that maybe you have some bad voodoo about you." She shook her head. "Thankfully I like the presence of my own company," she added with a smile.

“Sounds like a normal week on my old ship,” Camille joked. “In that case, I’ll leave you be, but take you up on your open-door offer if I need to. And feel free to do the same and find me if you don’t want to be alone.”

The counselor gave a slight nod. "Thank you, Lieutenant, I appreciate the gesture," she said softly. "How about breakfast tomorrow morning? The lounge does a great full english, complete with fresh brewed coffee, if that's your thing?"

"I'd like that," Camille answered. "Oh-seven-thirty, before bridge shifts begin?"

"It's a plan," Addie replied with a smile.

"Excellent." Camille finished her tea, set the cup down, and rose to her feet. "I should get back to work. It's my first time managing a department this big! So much science to do, so many people to work with, so few hours in the day. Thank you for the tea and talk, Counselor."

"Of course," Addie replied with a warm smile. "My doors are always open."


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