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Coffee and Confessional

Posted on Thu Dec 20th, 2018 @ 5:16pm by Banks & Lieutenant JG Aemilia "Millie" Stepanova

Mission: To Boldly Go
Location: Crew Lounge
Timeline: 12 hours to Starbase 621

Banks strolled into the crew lounge, stopping by the replicator for a pot of black coffee and a mug. Chance had the morning off and was spending some daddy time with Keiran so she'd slipped out to give them some guy time.

She took her normal seat in the back booth, poured a cup, lit up a cigarette, and began catching up on intel reports.

"Is this seat taken?" asked the Russian-accented voice behind her.

Banks looked up, shaking her head. "How's the headshrinking?"

"Several new crew, catching up on things with the old ones." Millie seated herself, setting a mug of warm sbiten on the table next to a bowl of oatmeal. "Henry is his usual self," she said with a smirk. "And how was your honeymoon?"

"Relaxing, romantic, and.....unexpected. My best friend showed up to well, congratulate us in her own way."

Millie looked up from her oatmeal. "Friend? The one that was your partner back..." She let the rest of the question trail off.

"Yes." Banks lit up a smoke, exhaling slowly. "She wanted to make sure I was happy. Needless to say Chance was less than thrilled."

The counselor's brow furrowed with a hint of concern. "What happened?"

"Jessa tracked us there. It was my fault for making it so easy. She showed up, we were talking, then she suggested the three of us hit a dance club and I'd had several drinks and she kinda ...shared a dance with both of us. I think she was testing our relationship."

Inwardly, Millie flinched, though her facade never cracked. "Testing how?"

Banks took a long drag and a pause. "She came onto both of us at the same time. Probably wanted to see if anyone would take the bait. But Chance put an end to it."

Millie paused. "How did you react?"

"I realized how upset he was and then he and I said goodbye to her....well, I said goodbye to her, and he and I went back to our hotel."

Millie nodded, picking up a mug and taking a drink. "How did you feel about her...testing your relationship? What did she do, exactly?"

"She kinda felt us up while we were dancing." Banks shrugged nonchalantly taking a long drink from her mug.

Another long sip. "I can...see how that might be problematic. And...why he might have put an end to it."

Banks nodded. "He made me promise to never seek her out."

Another nod. Another sip of her beverage. "And how did you feel about her being there?"

"All things considered I was happy to see her. But I also know she crossed a line, whatever her reasons were."

Her hands wrapped around her mug. "Do you think that she..?" Millie took a breath, trying to formulate her words. "Do you think she was trying to seduce Chance?"

"I think she wanted to see if he would be interested. If he could be lured by another woman then I'd have reason to question our bond. But I was the main target."

There was a brief waiver in Millie's otherwise-stoic expression. "Why you?"

"She and I have some personal history. I don't think she's ever moved on."

Millie's facade began to melt, revealing concern for her friend. "Are you okay, Trisha?"

"I'm fine. We're fine. He and I had a long talk that night and like I told him, I can leave her in my past since he's my future."

"I'm not so sure that you're fine." Millie tilted her head slightly, trying to get Banks to make eye contact. "You...haven't looked at me for the last five minutes or so."

Banks hesitated, then looked up at her. "Why wouldn't I be fine? The first person I ever loved showed up out of the blue after trying to hurt, kill, kidnap, something me about two years ago, and tried to put the moves on me and my new husband. All in a day's work, right?"

The counselor's face softened, and she reached out a hand, placing it gently on Banks' arm. "It wasn't right of her to do. You deserve to be treated better than that."

"Well, I got lucky and married someone who treats me great."

Millie nodded. "And that's the kind of person you deserve...and you have friends to back you up, you know." A hint of a grin played at the corner of her lips.

Banks finished her coffee. "I know, and thank you."

"Perhaps getting things back to normal is in order." Millie smiled, finally getting into her bowl of oatmeal. "In a few more days, I should be cleared by Edra to resume our training sessions again...if you would like to."

'Sure....but why does she need to clear you?"

Millie looked slightly sheepish. "I was on the Holodeck with Commander Templar a couple of days ago. I broke my ankle--pretty badly. Edra took care of it." She fiddled with the spoon, idly stirring her oatmeal. "She said to go easy on it for a few more days before I go back to anything strenuous."

Banks raised a brow and smirked. "The worst I ever did with Chance was a muscle spasm from contortion."

Millie turned about eighteen shades of scarlet. "Oh! No we--I mean, we didn't--not on the Holodeck--" She quickly shoved a spoonful of oatmeal in her mouth.

"Oh, not on holodeck." Banks lit up again with a smile. "Just be careful."

Millie flushed an even deeper red. "I mean--it's just that--" She plopped her spoon back in her oatmeal, and gave a exasperated sigh as she finally made eye contact again. "I'm really bad at this, aren't I?"

Banks shrugged a little. "You're an adult, you live your life the way you want. I'm the last person who can judge."

Millie nodded. "As the ship's counselor, interpersonal relationships can become...a complicated matter." She stirred her oatmeal idly as she thought. "It...wasn't anything planned. I don't know that anything will come of it."

"Worst case, you pass any counseling he needs off to someone else so there's no conflict....if anything comes of it."

A quick giggle escaped Millie's lips. "He's almost as bad as you when it comes to counseling. Must be the department."

Banks let that one go without comment. "I am glad to be back to work though. I never find it easy to relax."

The Counselor smiled. "That is something we will have to work on, мой друг. You have a wonderful husband, and now a son. You cannot be all business ALL the time."

Banks let a smile slip when she mentioned Chance and Kieran. "I have more than I deserve."

Millie shook her head. "No. You deserve every bit of this," she said with a smile.

Banks didn't argue. For once she was satisfied not having the last word.

 

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