1131: The Package

by Rada Dengar
After The Black Box

-=Personal Quarters of Rada Dengar: USS Serendipity=-

Rada’s whole body was aching. His brow was drenched in sweat, his sore arms and back were crying out for a reprieve and he was probably in desperate need of a shower. Even still, as he stood back, arms crossed surveying a job well done, he was smiling.

He had spent the bulk of the day shifting everything of Wren and Tam’s back into the quarters they were always supposed to share. He hadn’t done it alone of course. Tam had very eagerly volunteered, and it was a battle all day to prevent him hurting himself by attempting to pick up items which were significantly heavier than he was. Though having missed out on much of the heavy lifting at the start due a shift at the café, Wren had also assisted at the end.

Now it was done. There was a peacefulness to seeing it back like this. For the first time he really felt once again like he was home. For this moment he could almost forget all that had happened since their quarters had last looked like this.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” he asked, as he looked out across the wonderful clutter of Federation standard furniture, assorted knick knacks and so much of the entirely standard requisite family paraphernalia

“Exactly like it was before,” Wren said with a smile, her hand reaching down to his and squeezing it meaningfully.

A sort of sadness suddenly crept over his features and Wren looked to at him with concern.

“Yeah…” His voice seemed to trail off.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s just…it was so hard on you.” He sighed. “I’m sorry. That’s all.”

“Hey,” she said gently, stepping around in front of him now. “If you hadn’t done what you did I wouldn’t be here. You have nothing to be sorry for.”

Rada’s guilt made him want to argue but his new found sense of happiness with life told him there was something better to do.

He put his arm around her back and pulled her closer against him. He found himself quickly forgetting how tired he was supposed to be.

“I love you,” he said softly, his hand moving up to trace over her cheek.

“I love you too,” she said. She paused before adding with a smile, “You really need a shower.”

“Oh, such romantic talk…” he answered with an exaggerated, loving sigh.

Her unmoving smile however made him think that perhaps he’d misjudged the intended number of occupants of said shower. He added, leaning in to kiss her, “Romantic indeed.”

Just before their lips could touch however they were interrupted by the intrusion of the door chime. Each let out a slight grumble of frustration.

“Hold that…everything,” he insisted before turning to call out to the door. “Come in!”

The door slid open and the smiling face of Jamie Halliday appeared there. He had a brown paper package in his hands. Apparently he came bearing gifts, as well as the usual pearly white teeth. Though the timing wasn’t exactly great, Rada had to admit it was good to be seeing that smile again.

“Good news, Rada,” Jamie said, not appearing to notice that the two were still in one another’s arms. “You were wrong.”

“I’m sorry?” Rada asked at they released one another, though their hands remained joined.

“You know how you said if your luck held out we’d all be killed?”

Rada and Wren exchanged a glance.

“I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that…”

“It certainly doesn’t sound like you,” Wren added, though she sensed complete sincerity coming from Jamie.

“Yeah, you did,” Jamie insisted. “Ages ago. You said that it would be just your luck that the day you came back on board the ship after being away would be day it was blown up.”

Rada closed his eyes and let out a gentle laugh. Jamie always did have a way of phrasing things all of his own.

“Yes, I did say that.”

“Well, it’s good news that it hasn’t,” He answered and Rada agreed, though thinking about it to call it good news was naturally assuming that being alive is news to you.

Otherwise it’s really more of a good thing. People always seemed to say ‘good news’ though. No one ever just says ‘good thing’. In fact never in his life had Rada heard uttered the words “‘good thing’ the sun is warm and babies are cute”. Though come to think of it, they had often said “good thing we brought an umbrella” which personally Rada considered to be less important. If for example babies weren’t cute most parents would probably just swap them for a puppy, which are much quicker to housetrain and never want to learn the recorder. That would of course result in the death of all humanoid species and eventually a galaxy ruled by incredibly pampered poodles.

Still, even the use of ‘good thing’ in primarily umbrella driven happenstances wasn’t guaranteed. If you weren’t aware you’d brought an umbrella, like you were about to get it out when a really big hail stone hit you on the head and gave you amnesia, then it could be good news. Of course most people really don’t appreciate and declare the goodness of news when they’ve been hit on the head by a large block of ice anyway. Mostly they just complain of a headache.

Without even realising it, Rada was making Wren smile. She squeezed his hand affectionately. She’d been listening in on these thought patterns and there was something so very endearing about how his mind got so carried away. It was also just so very good to hear him thinking like this again.

“So what’s with the package?” Wren asked Jamie, her hand moving up and running patiently along Rada’s arm.

“Oh, this. Of course,” Jamie said, looking down to item in his hands like he’d very nearly forgotten it. “That’s why I’m here. The mail’s in. I happened to come across yours when I was picking up mine so I decided to bring it here myself.”

“That was very sweet of you,” Wren said, and she meant it.

Jamie really was completely sincere in his sweetness. She entirely suspected that he would in fact have sought out their mail deliberately just to come here and see them. Yet from him she sensed no desire or even capacity for deceit. He was simply a happy man who wanted to make the whole galaxy a little happier.

Though lacking in her Betazoid abilities, she knew Rada could recognise the goodness in Jamie just as well.

“Yes it was,” Rada agreed, moving from Wren to take the package from Jamie. “Thank you.”

Mail delivery of course wasn’t as big of an event on the Serendipity when compared against other ships that spent most of their time far away from Federations space. Still, there was something about arriving at a familiar port and finding something waiting for you that could just make you so happy.

“Which one of us is it for?” Rada asked.

“Actually it’s addressed to both of you,” Jamie said, handing the package to Rada. “I suppose that’s got to be nice for you, Rada. I know no one normally sends you anything.”

With anyone else Rada would have worried that it were a shot at his lack of social life. He never had to worry about that sort of thing with Jamie though. Maybe that was why they got along so well. The man with such doubt couldn’t help but to like the man whose intentions you could never doubt.

“No, that’s true,” Rada answered, examining with curiosity the small box in his hands. They’d never gotten anything addressed to both of them before.

“I guess you’re probably not that close with your family,” Jamie replied with a shrug of his shoulder. “I know I’m not a lot like mine.”

“They’re a doctor and three police officers, aren’t they?” Rada asked, handing the package to Wren so she could see and so that he could put his arm behind her back.

“That’s right,” Jamie confirmed; a clear pride in his tone. “If you want open heart surgery or to be arrested then they’re just the people you need. Yet when the power system for the house breaks down they always have to bring in someone who knows what they’re doing to fix it. Personally I'd rather do it myself.”

Rada and Wren smiled to one another about his remark, but said nothing. Without even realising it Rada’s hand was running up and down on her back.

“Anyway, I suppose you want me to get out of here?” Jamie asked warmly, in the same way the sky might do something bluely. “I know you must both be becoming pretty desperate by now.”

Rada’s hand stopped moving and his eyes opened slightly wider at the thought that the innocent Jamie Halliday may have some idea exactly what they were so eager to get up to before his arrival. Wren on the other hand sensed Rada’s thoughts and found the idea quite amusing, having to fight against her smile becoming a little too large.

“How do you mean?” Rada asked cautiously.

To Jamie the answer was obvious.

“You know, to open the package. I know I can never stand to wait.”

“Of course,” Rada said with relief, his hand moving again. “Yes, we’re definitely very eager to open the package.”

“Very,” Wren agreed, giving Rada a rather meaningful look.

“Then I’ll leave you to it,” Jamie said, just happy to have seen them.

“Well, thank you for stopping by,” Rada replied.

“Yes, thank you,” Wren added as Jamie simply smiled before he set off upon his merry way again. He only looked back once to smile at them again.

Then the second the door had closed Rada’s eyes were back on Wren, pulling her back into his arms, as he returned to the kiss they had tried to start before.

“What about opening the package?” Wren asked innocently when their lips broke away, her hands around his neck.

Rada seemed to think about if for approximately a tenth of a nanosecond.

“It can wait.”

Lt. Commander Rada Dengar
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012