A Mirror Shattered #267, 268 - Coffee Break

-=On=- [Beginning en route to the battle] Lt. Kathleen Black wandered back and forth in Engineering, still limping a little, but refusing to leave her engines. She saw that everyone was in place, everything going as planned. She could hear the engines running fast, and the tone sounded good. For once, she ached to have something to do. Otherwise, she'd start thinking about what she'd learned at the casino, about her own past, and what her own parents might really be like.

Ryylar walked along the corridors, having finished yet a second sweep of rounds and now that he knew Kristiana was safe, it was time to go check on Black. Evans was on the bridge by now he was quite sure, and if he was on the bridge he woul be ok, so with a cup of his chocolate coffee in hands for the Lieutenant, he stepped into Main Engineering and looked around for Kitty.

Kitty started another round of pacing, then paused as she saw her furry friend entering with.. could it be? Her favorite treat in the world! She smiled and waved to him brightly.

Ryylar looked up with a smile and made his way over to her.

"I'm glad to ssssssee you'rrrrrrre allrrrrrrright Lieutenant." He said with a bright smile, offering up the mug of chocolate coffee to her.

Kitty took the mug gently and closed her eyes for a moment as she sniffed the warm chocolate. "I'm glad to see you. C'mon in." She motioned for Lt. Kyle to take over as she headed for her office, limping, gesturing for Ryllar to follow. It was a cozy office area, with windows so that she could see what was going on outside it, plenty of screens, a comfy chair, and a nice little round spot the size of a coffee cup. "How'd you know I needed a bit of chocolate?" she asked him.

He moved inside of the the office with her and smiled at her.

"The ssssssssame way I know wheneverrrr Krrrrrrrissssssstiana needssssssss a hug. It usssssssually hassssss to do with being on duty." He chuckled, calling attention to the stress they were all under.

Kitty chuckled. "Engineering is ok, for the moment," she said, taking a slow sip of the hot drink. "Ohhh..." She closed her eyes again, relaxing for a moment. He'd seen her really enjoying her drink on a tough day, but this was probably the most comfort he'd ever seen her draw from it. "It's been a heck of a day, and it's not half over yet, I suspect. How is the rest of the ship? Did I miss anything when I was gone?"

"Assssss farrrrrr assssss I know you didn't. But then again not much goessssss on in sssssssecurrrrrrrrity patrrrrrrrolssssss." He said with a sort of bored look on his face as if he wished he could do something more, but it was obvious that he drew happiness and satisfaction from her relieved look at his tasty gift.

Kitty smiled at that and took a longer sip, feeling the warmth spread through her entire body. "Trust me, sometimes boring is good. Sometimes boring is all you would ask of a day. I think it'll be a while before I get bored again."

"Well we've been rrrrrrrunning arrrrrround with shieldssssss up and no one isssss on boarrrrrd that shouldn't be. The only time I could have prrrrrrroven usssssseful issssss when Krrrrrrrissssstiana went to go rrrrrressssscue you and Evanssssss, but even that fell thrrrrrough. Commanderrrrrr LaBrrrrrrie felt I wasssss a sssssecurrrrrity rrrrrrisssssk becausssssse of my rrrrrrelationssssship with Krrrrrrisssss." He explained with slanted somewhat disappointed look.

"Oh man" Kitty groaned. "There was way too much relationship going on down there already. It's just as well you didn't have to wander into the middle of it."

"Yeah but... I don't know... I have to wonderrrrrr if my alterrrrrrcation with ssssssecurrrrrrrit frrrrrrrom beforrrrrre isssssn't affecting LaBrrrrrrrie'sssss judgement of me..." Ryylar confessed.

Kitty smiled. "For all I know it might be. But with some patience you'll live it down. I've gotten myself into the sort of trouble before that lasts for years.. I suppose I've left a mark this time... it ought to last for a good month at the least."

"In thissssss univerrrrrsssssse... but not ourrrrsssss I ssssssussssspect." He told her.

"Oh, that mark... just on me," Kitty said sadly, taking another sip of her drink. "I did manage to talk to my... to... Mr. Black at the last."

"Oh?" He asked her, now interested.

She nodded. "It's.. well... it's like I thought, only more so. Uhm... he didn't know her. Like.. at all. It was..." Kitty paused, then looked straight at Ryylar. "It was a one-night stand, and he never saw her again. He got the pregnancy notification... and that was the end of it."

"Thissssss mirrrrrrrorrrrr univerrrrrrssssse isssss ssssssseldom what we expect." He told hr and put an arm on her shoulders in a consoling fashion.

Kitty took a deep breath and leaned a little, frowning. "He isn't much different. Just... a little more direct, a little bit quieter... and more willing to talk about difficult subjects."

He nodded and patted her shoulder.

"I'll be alright," she said encouragingly, taking another sip of her chocolate. "I just need to work through it all. I'm glad I have friends here.. including you. It makes all the difference to me."

"Well I'm glad I can be herrrrrrre forrrrrrrr you. Even if it isssss jusssssst asssss yourrrrrr favorrrrrrrrite barrrrrrrisssssta." He said with a chuckle.

Kitty laughed heartily at that, obviously feeling a bit better. "And I'm sure you're doing a good job in Security, too. I feel safer," she said in complete honesty.

"Rrrrrrreally??" He asked her, surprised and if his brown fur didn't disguise it, she woul have seen him blush, as it is his whiskers twitched a bit happily.

"Absolutely!" Kitty smiled. "I know you'd do anything you could to protect us. And that in turn makes me want to do the best job with the engines. Everyone does such a good job here... such a good crew. I hope I pull my weight." She sipped her chocolate coffee again. "I don't know if I could express how glad I was when Petrova came down after us."

"I know the feeling... I hope I pull my weight arrrrrround herrrrre, but... oh it'sssss rrrrrratherrrrr childish... but everrrrrrrytime I do ssssssomething rrrrrrright and make Krrrrrrisssss prrrrrroud she hassssss the mossssst beautiful light in herrrrrrr eyessss and... well I jusssssst want to keep it that way." He said with a small smile.

"That's... no more odd, I think, than sitting in the groundcar when I can't spend extra time with Evans because it makes me think of him." Kitty blushed as she admitted her odd little habit, lowering her head slightly while looking up at him with her eyes.

"I guessssss we prrrrrobably both look like young people in love..." He said with a chuckle.

"I am one," Kitty said easily. "Aren't you?"

"Me? I'm old... How old do you think I am?" He asked her.

Kitty blinked and looked at Ryylar for a moment. "If you're old..." She leaned back a little in her chair. "Are you older than fifty?"

"No... but I'm overrrrrrr thirrrrrrty." He said with a nod.

"Oh, that's not old," Kitty said appraisingly. "Of course.. you know I grew up with my grandparents.. They can make sixty look like it isn't old."

"Trrrrrrue. But I'm no grrrrrren rrrrrecrrrrrruit out of the Academy." He said with a smile.

"Well, I'm not either, but this is the first time I've been in love," Kitty admitted with a smile, taking a long sip of her coffee now that it had cooled a little.

"Ssssssame herrrrrre." He said with a soft smile.

Kitty smiled. "Does it really matter, then, as long as.." Her statement was cut off abruptly as the USS Pegasus entered battle. Red Alert and a sudden crash, the lights flickering ominously for a moment, the room shaking. She dropped the cup and heard it smash in the momentary darkness. The lights turned back on. "I'm sorry!" was her automatic response as she realized the cup was broken.

"Let'ssssss move!" He said as he put a hand on her back and ushered her out, determined to take his place on the ship as a security officer.


Lieutenant Kathleen 'Kitty' Black Chief Engineering Officer Second Officer USS Pegasus


Warrant Officer Ryylar Morale Officer Acting Security Officer USS Pegasus