Sweet Child O' Time #29, 30 - "Thanks for all the chips"


Kitty was on break.. actually, she was off-duty, but of course she planned to go right back on again once she was a little more rested. She thought she knew just who could help her as well, someone who'd offered to help her with nightmares and such...

But a disappointment faced her, and in a few more minutes she was looking for a good friend, one who'd helped her out several times, who was already to listen. Which left her tapping the doorbell to the XO's quarters.

Kristiana came to the door, wearing her nightgown, and her hair loose. "Shh, keep it quiet - he's sleeping !" then frowning as she saw who it was. "Kitty .. What can I do for you ?"

"Oh!" Kitty kept that exclamation at a bare whisper. "I'm sorry... I didn't realize.. I mean... I didn't want to interrupt anything.. or... I know it's been a tough day... and... I'm sorry..." She was wearing simple leisurewear, grey drawstring sweatpants and a grey fitted t-shirt with a picture of the ocean and a couple of leaping dolphins on it. Her hair was also loose, and she'd washed the soot off her face and hands.

".. Well, you came to my door for a reason - let's hear it." Petrova replied. She didn't say a thing about Kitty's choice of leisure-wear.

"I just felt a little bit abandoned," Kitty admitted quietly. "I went to visit Sulan. She said she'd help me learn some disciplines to prevent nightmares. But the entire place is cleared out. I guess she's gone. No note or message or anything."

"Yeah I'd heard about that. And, quite frankly, I'm not one bit sad that she's gone .." Kristiana sighed. "Come in .. Ryylar's sleeping in the bedroom, we can talk in the living room. Do you want something to drink ?" As Petrova stepped aside and let Kitty in.

"Drink is about all I've had today," Kitty said wryly. "Sure, make it some sort of juice. Surprise me. As long as it isn't tomato. I shouldn't have coffee so close to bedtime." Kitty kept her voice down as she found a spot to sit in the living room.

Kristiana headed over to the replicator, starting to replicate a few things. She wasn't in the mood to cook now. "So tell me what's bothering you, hon ?" She asked her friend, glancing over.

"Well..." Kitty leaned back, slowly beginning to relax. "I guess it's silly. I saw... well, I was pretty nearly the first on the scene, the explosion, you know.. I was close enough to get knocked down. I saw some pretty... dire... sights, and it still bothers me a little. Maybe a little more than a little. Just a little. And then Ronald is off to who knows where, and we were going to have a date tonight. But is it wrong to want to date when.. people have died? And I'm suddenly worried about him too, what if something happens to him? I mean, I know that's part of being a Starfleet officer, I understand that, honest. But..." And she finally had to take a breath.

Kristiana came back during Kitty's long explanation, with two tall glasses, a decanter of juice and a LARGE bowl of chips. She set the stuff on the table as she sat down near Kitty, pulling her feet on the couch. "Things like that can really rattle a person, I know." She sighed. "And I wish I knew what to say to make you forgot about those sights, but I have no idea."

"No, it's not wrong to want a date when people have died. It's a natural reaction, and something that would take your mind off of it. You saw something traumatic, and were then disappointed when your date was canceled." Petrova continued. "I'd be pretty depressed as well."

"You would be?" Kitty asked in surprise. She'd certainly built up a picture of Petrova in her mind, and the picture may as well have been constructed from duranium.

"Yeah I would be." Kristiana nodded, offering Kitty some chips. "What do you think I'm made of, Duranium ?" she chuckled a bit. "So .. Have you planned your next date already ? What are you going to do when he returns to the base ?"

"Yeah, it's going to be pretty much the same date," Kitty said, starting in enthusiastically on the chips. "I found a beautiful cream silk gown, an old design, low-backed. Something of the sort that Amelia Earhart might've worn. Or at least, the kind of thing that was popular when she was alive. I think he'll like it. I know I love the feel of it."

Petrova chuckled a bit, nodding. "Sounds gorgeous and I know you could wear something like that and make it look good." Pondering a moment. "You could plan a little welcome-back surprise for him for when he comes back, you know."

"What kind of surprise?" Kitty asked, attacking the juice with similar enthusiasm.

"Any kind ?" Kristiana smiled. "It'd get your mind off of things, it'd keep you busy with something you know he would love, and it'd be something that would let him see just how much you love him." Kristiana smiled. "Sounds like a win-win situation to me."

"Oh!" Kitty brightened, then remembered to keep it quiet. "I could bring some tools down to a certain cargo bay and beat the dents out of the car roof."

"Something like that would work." She smiled. "But I was more thinking of a quiet romantic dinner, with candles lit, soft cello music playing in the background and you in a sexy satin dress." Petrova grinned. "I imagine he would be quite tired when he comes back, and seeing you would be first on his mind, not his car."

Kitty blinked and looked cutely confused as that filtered through her head. "Ohhh. You mean, be seductive," she said plainly, munching on another handful of chips.

"Yep." She nodded. "Being seductive while taking care of him. Giving him food and drink and your company so he doesn't have to lift a finger after getting back in."

"Maybe I should set it up in his quarters," Kitty said mischeviously. "I think I know just how."

"Oh yeah, that's right, you're not even sharing quarters yet." Kristiana giggled softly. "Sorry, nevermind, just my mind going faster than your relationship. It's still a sound idea, though, and who knows what comes from it."

Kitty smiled. "We're close enough for him to tell me that I'm sexy," she volunteered, blushing. Then she changed the subject. "Sulan's different, you know. She took the elephant."

"Sexy is good." Kristiana winked. "Have you made love to him yet ?" She asked, grinning, wanting to see Kitty's reaction. She'd ask about the elephant later.

Kitty's reaction was amusing... a blink, wide eyes, another couple of blinks, and a shakeshakeshake of her head as she blushed furiously. "No! Not yet. I mean... not.. yeah. no. Not at all. I mean... not as such. Well... You know what I mean!"

"I would, if you would start making sense." Kristiana smiled, amused. "I'm just teasing you, hon. It's something that needs to happen when the time is right, and that is when you are both ready for it."

"I'm not ready, not yet," Kitty said, the blush fading as she started to relax. "I think he is, or thinks he is. But he's being patient."

Kristiana nodded. "He's a great guy, Kitty. You're lucky, very lucky." Then she sighed, taking a sip of his drink, glancing down a bit. "I wish all my ex boyfriends were like him .. that would've saved me a lot of headaches and regrets." She sighed, munching on some chips. ".. Anyways, what elephant ?" now changing the subject.

"Yeah.." said Kitty, going all dreamy-eyed for a moment before snapping back to reality. "Oh, the elephant! When Sulan was in the brig on the starbase, I brought her a stuffed elephant named Elmer to keep her company. I never asked for it back. I mean, I still have the tiger, and it seemed to brighten her up a bit to have it. Well, she took Elmer with her. If it didn't mean anything to her, she'd have left it. I know she would've."

Kristiana nodded. "That's .. something I'd have never thought of her. Very, very different from the Sulan I knew." Petrova spoke.

"I wonder what made you .. Or me .. so special, that all I saw was an insubordinate, insulting vulcan with a complete lack of respect for rank and position, who would rather see me dead than anything else." Petrova replied. "She tried to kill me - if not for Doctor Floyd I'd still have the scars. She threatened me on several occasions, and flat-out told me that she'd be better off if I were dead."

"I never understood that," Kitty admitted. "I asked her why she had trouble with other crewmembers. She wasn't sure, either. I suppose it's for the best that she found another place. But I'll always remember that she started me on the path of triumphing over my nightmares, and she told me that I had nothing to be ashamed of."

Kristiana nodded. "Well, I still can't say I'm sorry that she's gone. I just - .. " She sighed and remained quiet. "Anyways. More juice ?" holding up the decanter.

"Oh yes please," Kitty said brightly, still eating chips as if they were going out of style. "Thank you. And.. I'm glad you were here and I could talk to you. I feel better for it."

"What are friends for, hm ?" she smiled, pouring more juice into Kitty's glass. "I know I could count on you if I needed someone to talk to." The russian shrugged a bit.

"Of course you could!" Kitty smiled, raising her glass as if to make a toast. "You're in charge now... how is that all going?"

The redhead shrugged a bit. "Same as it'd always gone when I was left in command through whatever circumstances put me there. But now I know it'll be for a number of days instead of a number of hours. That's all that's changed."

"Well, I hope nothing happens to you," Kitty said, heartfelt. "To be honest, I can hardly believe I'm allowed to be in charge of an entire Engineering department on this starbase."

"It's no different from engineering on a small starship." Kristiana shrugged. "Just a bit bigger. But, you're third officer for a reason, Kitty. It's because we know we can count on you, even - and especially - during moments of crisis. I hope nothing happens to me either, but .. for what it's worth .. I know that if something Did happen, the starbase would be in good hands until Starfleet could send a new command crew." Petrova nodded, with a smile. "Speaking of which .. Congratulations on your promotion. Lieutenant-Commander .. Very impressive."

Kitty blushed a little and smiled. "Well, thanks. I appreciate the vote of confidence. I'm still surprised how quickly it happened."

"I know that feeling. I'm still trying to get used to the fact that I'm a Commander now." Kristiana agreed, taking a sip of her drink.

"You are?" Kitty smiled in relief. "Oh, good!" And she took another long sip of her juice. "I was hoping we wouldn't be the same rank. It would just seem..... wrong."

Kristiana chuckled. "I would still outrank you, because of position and time served." She spoke, munching on some more chips.

"Well good, that means that..." Kitty blinked and then chuckled. "Ronald's position is still above mine," she said.

"Neither of you are strictly command officers, though." Kristiana explained. "Your positions are equal, and in this case, you outranking him and being third officer means that your orders have precedence over his. Especially now you are the Acting XO."

"Oh, I know," Kitty said readily. "But until then, I follow his." She sipped at her juice, having eaten enough to satisfy her initial hunger. "But I think he feels a little... I don't know... intimidated, or something, since my rank change."

"Which is why slaving away so he doesn't have to lift a finger will be such a nice surprise for him." Kristiana explained. "It would show him that you don't care about rank, and that when you two are alone, you are simply Kathleen Black and Ronald Evans. No Lieutenants or Commanders involved."

"You're right," Kitty said, finishing the last of her juice. "How do you end up becoming so wise?" she asked in honest curiousity, tipping her head to the side.

"It's called 'Experience' hon. And you always get it AFTER you need it the most." Kristiana replied, with a smirk.

Kitty shook her head with a smirk of her own. "Or I can just go ask you first," she quipped.


Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Acting CO Starbase Ronin (SB47) "Yes yes I KNOW I'm old. Stop rubbing it in."

Lt. Cmdr. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin