Location: Outside the Turbolift Doors
Timeline: MD 8 1000
Liam offered his hand out to help Amia up out of her chair as everyone was filing out of the room. Emotionally, the senior staff were a mix of plenty of different emotions.
"Are you okay Mei-mei," Liam asked as they joined Noelle waiting for a turbo lift. "Is there anything we can do to make things better?"
Amia looked up at her dear friend and around at her other colleagues and friends too, glad to have so much caring support. "No, Liam. Until Cade's dad gets better again and he can come back, it's going to be a difficult time," she said, leaning backwards and pulling back against the weight of her baby without conscious thought about the movement.
"It will be," Bennett replied quietly to her friend and physician. "There's no doubt this stinks for you, and you have every right to feel a variety of emotions. It's true none of us can truly know what this is like for you or what it will be like, but I know I'm not speaking out of turn when I say we are all here for you, whatever you need. None of us can replace your husband, and we won't try, but that doesn't mean you have to face this alone." She paused, then offered, "As a matter of fact, and please don't take this as confirmation I think you are an invalid who can't make her own decisions, I was thinking I could move into the quarters next door to yours just so we can spend more time together. Yes, I know you're a doctor too, and you can take care of yourself, but honestly, you would be doing me a favor by helping me to meet my own maternal impulses here," she added with a chuckle.
"I appreciate your care and support Noelle, thank you." Amia smiled, touched by the kindness her friends were showing.
Caleb fell in step beside them as they walked toward the lift to take it to Medical. “Well, if ya need anythin’, jus’ holler, Doc,” he told Amia. “Ah make a mean casserole. Ah might bring one over some night. It’s an old Texas tradition, an’ mah saintly mother would take a switch ta me out behind the woodshed if Ah didn’t bring over a casserole to a pregnant lady in need. At least ya don’t have no gutters Ah need ta clean,” he said with a grin as he called the lift. “Though mebbe we best have a chaperone, ya bein’ married an’ all,” he considered.
Liam blinked a couple of times at the Texan’s sudden drawl. "Gutters?" he asked. "Chaperone. You're the Chief of Security. I think you're safe to be around, Chief. But if you really need one, I can offer my services." He figured he owed it to Cade to watch out for Amia.
“She’s still a married woman, Reynolds. Ah wouldn’t want ta sully her reputation,” Caleb told the counselor. The lift door opened and Caleb stuck his hand out, holding the door for Amia and Noelle.
Liam nodded. "Well, Chief, I've always considered myself a gentleman, but you take it to the next level. Amia, it seems I owe you a lot of apologies. We have been in a room together one on one many, many times. I hope I have not sullied your reputation."
Amia laughed. "If you have, lovely friend, then it's too late now!" She grinned and turned back towards Caleb. "You're very kind, Commander. If I need a casserole, I'll be sure to call and ask you to bring one around. I hope that would be acceptable to your dear mother, who sounds very thoughtful." To everyone other than her son! Taking a switch to a boy behind a wood shed sounded harsh to the 'do no harm' sworn CMO, and she was instantly determined to make sure her own daughter would learn to be as thoughtful and kind, but definitely by some thoughtful and kind method instead of beating her into it.
Out of respect for the intention behind the Chief's offer and his mother's good motives despite her means of teaching, Amia did not voice her feelings on that part of what had been said. She knew without doubt that Caleb had been being kind, and that was what mattered above all else.
Noelle smiled and nodded her thanks to Caleb for holding the turbolift door. She'd known him for a long time now and never tired of his colorful way of speaking. She also was grateful to have Amia and Liam as friends for the tough times. Whether Amia was laughing for their benefit or was truly feeling better, Noelle couldn't be sure, but it was still nice to hear her laugh. "No worries. If I'm moving next door, I can be your chaperone."
"Well, that messes up my chances of some free casserole," Liam joked as he entered the lift last. "But I can rest assured you will have everything in hand, and the Chief’s visit can be respectable and above board." He wondered if Ryan conducted every aspect of his life like he was living in the archaic Wild West. Not that it wasn't charming.
Caleb stepped into the lift with the others. He never expected people to understand his outlook. His family were traditionalists. They raised cattle and farmed the land and a replicator was anathema in his mother’s kitchen. They might have a proud Starfleet history, but when you came back to the ranch, things were different.
“Sickbay,” Caleb ordered the computer, and the lift started moving. It was a bit crowded, so the tall Texan was a bit too cozy with the pregnant doctor and the beautiful counselor.
Liam made sure he was closer to Amia. It was snug in this lift.
Amia was flattered and flashed her lovely friend Liam a wide and appreciative smile, but she really did not feel threatened by Commander Ryan, as he was clearly a perfect gentleman. The lift stopped on the appropriate floor for Sickbay, and Amia squeezed her not so tiny anymore frame out into the corridor.
Caleb stood aside to let the ladies out first before following, giving Amia a bit of an apologetic smile for the close quarters of the lift.
"Amia, I'll check in with you later," Liam called after her having stayed in the turbolift after they all exited. "Diplomatic deck," he told the computer, nodding at them all before the doors shut once more.
“Ah suppose Ah should let the ladies get checked out first,” Caleb said to Noelle and Amia as Liam abandoned him. “Ah could come back later.” They stopped outside the doors to Sickbay, and the opened automatically. Caleb tried not to be too obvious as he looked over the heads of the shorter women to see if he could spot Opal.
As it happened, Opal had heard that Caleb was released from his trial ordeal and had been hoping he'd have time to see her, but she had imagined she should leave him to fix up all the urgent issues that must have built up since he was interned. When she saw him walking into Sickbay, she was naturally instantly anxious to find a way to see him, and her eyes met his, searching for something or somebody. She smiled widely when she caught his eye.
Caleb caught Opal’s look and smiled slightly. “Ya’ll go on ahead. Ah can wait,” he told the others, moving off to the side in the direction of Opal.
As he began to move towards her, Opal's pulse rate rose and her smile seemed to have welded it to her face wider than ever. She tried to pull it back in a little at least but it wasn't having it and stayed in place.
Lieutenant Liam Reynolds
Chief Diplomatic Officer
Commander Caleb Ryan
Chief of Security/Tactical
Cmdr Amia Telamon
Chief Medical Officer
Opal Oliver MD,
NPC Amia Telamon
Lt. Noelle Bennett