River of Forgetfulness #21 - "Well, That Was Unexpected"


[Chief Engineer's Office, Main Engineering, SB47]

Kitty retreated to her new office after finishing a couple more fixes. It was larger than she was used to, more opulent. Her chair had a high back and was very comfortable. She sat back, looking at all the new viewscreens surrounding her... truly a nervecenter filled with information! "Wow..." she said quietly to herself, then busied herself checking the next batch of reports.

There was a knock, and a familiar head popped round the door. "Someone told me a certain Chief Engineer was back in town." Hannah O'Driscoll grinned broadly.

"And heartily glad of it!" Kitty chuckled. "Get in here. Have a sit." She waved her hand towards one of a couple extra chairs set near a small table meant for impromptu meetings. She looked cheerful, if just a little tired. Though her uniform was tidy, her hair hadn't been properly combed yet and had acquired a couple of odd bends and angles.

Hannah stepped in. "I brought something." She smiled widely, and produced two spoons and a tub of ice-cream from behind her back. "Thought it might come in handy."

"Oh my. Just as I was hoping to watch my weight!" Kitty smiled brightly. "Looks wonderful. You look like you're in a good mood."

"Something like that." Hannah said, crossing to a chair and curling up in it. She opened the tub and stuck the two spoons into the top of the ice-cream. She looked up at Kitty. "You gonna come over here and help me with this or what?" She asked, expectantly.

"You betcha." Kitty left her big chair for one of the smaller ones near the table. She crossed one leg over the other and reached for a spoon.

"So...how was it?" Hannah said, as they both dug in.

"Tough," Kitty said honestly. "But... I made it through, and it wasn't as bad as some, I gather." She took a moment to shudder. "But I wanted a long shower afterwards. How was it for you?"

"I feel like I got off lightly." Hannah said, a little shame-faced. "I think the worse I faced was being spanked and sent to bed without any supper."

"Spanked?" Kitty blinked.

"Long story." Hannah said, smiling. "Suffice to say, I ended up as Juliet from the Shakespeare play, and her mother wasn't too pleased with my somewhat wilful disobedience."

"Ohh." Kitty smiled, then paused to eat a couple spoonfuls of ice cream. "Well," she said contemplatively, "I was already married. I mean, she was."

"You were that pilot, right?" Hannah said, trying to remember. "Ears hurt or something."

"Earhart!" Kitty exclaimed, then chuckled. "Yes, and that was Ronald's great idea. I barely even knew who she was. But boy, did I find out."

"I bet." Hannah said. "So you were married, huh?" Hannah smiled. "What was that like?"

"I tried to not remember any of That," Kitty said wryly. "And I didn't have to 'do' anything. The marriage was on the rocks."

Hannah laughed. "I don't think all of marriage has to do with...'doing', Kitty. I mean, that's gotta be a major part, but..."

"Yeah, well..." Kitty smiled. "The marriage was suffering. And what does any engineer do when faced with a problem?" <tag> Sandy Radford: "You hit Earhart's husband with a hammer?" Hannah said, in faux-shock.

"No!" Kitty went off into gales of laughter. When she finally straightened out, though, she sobered considerably. "I tried to repair the marriage. And I was succeeding," she added somberly.

"Then what happened?" Hannah said, curiously.

"We went off on our famous flight," Kitty said. "We were 'supposed' to get captured by aliens, but we fought back and destroyed the alien ship. Then," She shrugged, as if she hadn't just hinted at a rather incredible adventure. "We crashed somewhere in the Pacific."

"Aliens? Crash-landings? Sounds like you had a pretty exciting time." Hannah said. "Well, more exciting that me, anyway." She added, and then with a hint of concern in her voice. "Sort of."

"I scared Evans half to death," was Kitty's calm response, as she dug in for another heaping spoonfull of ice cream.

"I think Jesse got a bit of a fright too." Hannah smiled weakly. "We kind of got married."

"You did?" The spoon forgotten now... Kitty's eyes got very wide. "For real?"

"No, no...not yet at any rate." Hannah said. "But that was what it took, y'know, there."

"Not yet? And what what took? Details, I need details!" Kitty was in full girl pajama mode.

"Well, we worked out we needed to break the cycle of events, y'know to get back here." Hannah frowned. "And when I say 'worked out', I mean 'took a wild stab in the dark and decided'. So we ran off to a city pretty far away from Verona, and well...got married." As Kitty looked about to say something, Hannah cut her off. "As for not yet...well, we kind of spoke about it, and decided to talk about it when we got back."

Kitty chuckled and bounced slightly in excitement. "Can I be bridesmaid? Unless-you-have-someone-else-in-mind-that's-ok-and-I-won't-be-at-all-offended-or\ -insulted."

"Don't be ridiculous, Kit." Hannah said, jokingly punching her on the arm. "Who else am I going to ask to be my Maid of Honour?" She laughed. "But it's not decided yet." She said firmly. "And...well...there's something else."

"What's the something else?" Kitty asked, smiling, but otherwise looking serious.

"Well, I went to the doctor earlier today." Hannah said. "I went to the doctor, just for the post-adventure check-up - make sure I was still me, make sure I was alright, that sort of thing...and he found something. I haven't told anyone yet...not even Jesse, so you can't say anything to anyone, but...I'm pregnant, Kit."

"Pregnant..." Kitty's eyes widened again. On impulse, without even thinking a second thought, she reached out and grabbed hold of both Hannah's hands and looked earnestly into her friend's eyes. "You're going to keep it, right? Promise?"

"Kitty..." Hannah's eyes filled with tears. "I just found out an hour ago...if it hadn't been for the check-up I wouldn't have found out for another couple of weeks...I don't know what to do..."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." Kitty dropped her gaze, but didn't let go of her friend's hands. "I mean, I was just thinking... you know..." Her voice got a little quieter. "My mother..."

"I know...I don't want to...but this is all so much." Hannah said. "I don't know the first thing about babies. I'm 26 years old, I'm not married, I didn't exactly have an normal upbringing...what if I screw this up?"

"You'll still be my friend, Hannah," Kitty said determinedly, "however it goes."

"That means a lot to me, Kit. An awful lot." Hannah said. "You have no idea." She sighed. "It wasn't even as if we were planning for this - I guess my standard birth-control didn't affect Juliet's body...and somehow the baby ended up in me."

"I wasn't planned either," Kitty said, smiling and relaxing now, going for the ice cream again. "And I turned out ok."

"Yeah you did." Hannah smiled, and sniffed a little. "Gimme a hug, Kit."

Kitty chuckled and leaned forward for a big hug. "You know, they've probably put it on your medical record already. They have to. Don't take too long letting him know. If he's worth you, he won't let you face this on your own."

"It'll be on my medical record?" Hannah's eyes widened. "Oh gosh." She sat back. "You think I should keep the baby, then."

"I think you should carry the baby to term," Kitty said earnestly. "At the very least. But then, you know I'm biased in that area, and why."

"Yeah." Hannah said. "I have to talk to Jesse, but...well I'm inclined to agree. I never intended to have a baby...at least not anytime soon, but...I don't know...do you think I'd be a good mother?"

"I think you'd make an excellent mother," Kitty said solemnly. "You want to be, and that's more'n half the battle."

"I guess you're right." Hannah nodded. "You'd help me out, too, right?"

"I don't know what to do with a baby," Kitty said. "But I'll try."

"That makes two of us." Hannah said, wryly. She smiled. "You're the best, Kit."

"I only try to be," Kitty said in amusement. Then she sighed. "So what was the 'lesson' you were supposed to learn from all this?"

"Well, I'm not sure." Hannah said. "I think the lesson was that Jesse and me need to cooperate more. Now I'm starting to think it may have been 'you should have paid more attention in biology classes'."

Kitty chuckled at that. "We gave Q some trouble. And Evans said..." She blushed. "He told Q that the lesson he learned is that he loves me enough to be jealous."

Hannah broke into a broad grin. "So when do you think he'll pop the question?"

"Hannah!" Kitty exclaimed, momentarily shocked by hearing her own thoughts expressed. "Well, I don't know. We've only known each other for... well... yeah, ok, about a year."

"Oh please." Hannah laughed. "He's nuts about you...and you'd say yes if he asked, wouldn't you?"

Kitty's blush got worse. "I'd want to," she admitted. <tag> Sandy Radford: "What would be stopping you?" Hannah asked, puzzled.

"Well, what'd be stopping you from just having the baby and settling down to raising it?" Kitty shook her head a little. "I'm nervous at the very thought."

Hannah took Kitty's point. "Well, as long as I get maid of honour, I'll be happy."

"Matron, thank you," Kitty joked, going for the ice cream again.

"Matron?" Hannah frowned. "That makes me sound really old. Not sure that I like that."

"You're only as old as you act," Kitty chuckled.

"In that case, I'm permanently a teenager." Hannah laughed out loud.


Lieutenant Kitty Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin

Lieutenant Hannah O'Driscoll Chief Strategic Operations Officer Starbase Ronin