807: Teamwork At Its Finest

by TC Blane, Dane Cristiane and Landry Steele
During and After One More Day To Stay

-=USS Serendipity=-

"I don't know if I've ever met a person quite as cranky as you are." Landry Steele complained, shooting a look over at Dane Cristiane as they rode in the lift, headed for the shuttle bay. "I swear, sometimes, it feels almost."

Dane's eyebrow elevated. O'Sullivan had mentioned to him that with resequencing, sometimes bad memories of a person were an even stronger pull toward the past than the good- and he knew Steele had previously hated his guts. He wondered if she might not be starting to think that she had met him somewhere before. "Almost like what?"

"Like you've annoyed the hell out of me before...somewhere other than on this ship." Steele concluded, shrugging. She was nothing if not resilient, and she was also nothing if not obedient to orders. She'd been told that if she started to feel any sort of sneaking suspicions that she knew a person previously to the situation in which she'd met them but didn't know why, the very best thing to do was deny it completely. Even, and especially, to herself.

So she did.

"Whatever." Dane replied, not giving her anything more to go on.

"I have to wonder, do you think everything is always about you, Cristiane? Cause you know, it's just not."

Now Dane was the one having the feeling of deja vu but, understanding it entirely, he also decided it best to deny it.

"First floor," he said as the lift whirred to a stop."Housewares, lingerie, and small appliances."

Landry's mouth fell open. "Did you just make a joke?" Her eyes widened. "Cause, you never made jokes before."


"Nothing." Again, she shrugged. "I said nothing."

The doors parted and Dane hissed a sigh before taking off, leaving her behind him.

"So much for ladies first!" Landry scoffed.

"Lady? I see no lady here." Dane was trying now to rile her. He was in a foul mood, and looking for a fight. He wanted time to speed up the moment that Gira had left the ship. Why she'd had to be the one to fly the damned Vulcan home aboard the Alchemy was still beyond him.

Looking up, Dane found he had nearly walked straight into TC Blane.

"Are you ready to carry out our orders, Ensign?" He asked Dane.

"Yeah. Though...don't we have...non-officer type people to deal with this kind of thing?"

"Your mentor asked you to see to this matter personally, didn't he?"

"Well, yeah..."

"Then no, we do not have anyone else to 'deal' with this. You should take it as a compliment. It means that O'Sullivan trusts you." TC still held his own opinion as to how far Dane was to be trusted- and it wasn't far.

"Well if he trusts me then why are you coming along?" Dane asked.

"Because he trusts me more than he trusts you." TC replied succinctly.

"Fair enough." Dane nodded, as they walked up the ramp and boarded the USS Chance.

"Are we going to get another Fortune?" Dane asked now, thinking that twice now, the luck of the shuttle with that name had come up short. "Perhaps they ought to retire it and go with something else."

"I'll be curious to see if we get another Polaris." TC replied. "We haven't gotten the specs on our replacement craft yet, but I hear that they're going ...to...can I help you, Ensign Steele?" Blane glowered at her, aware suddenly that she was staring at him with her mouth gaping wide open.

"I'm sorry, Sir..." Steele seemed to shudder, and then snapped her eyes front once again. "It's just, when I look at you, I find myself thinking unaccountably of small, enclosed spaces."

Dane and TC shared a look- both knowing exactly why she felt that way, but neither one wanting to be the person to explain it to her.

TC frowned. “You’re not honestly calling me fat are you?” He folded his arms across his broad chest.

"No, indeedy, Sir...you're looking quite...I mean, you're not, I didn't," Landry stammered, finally deciding to conclude her marathon of verbal ineptitude with a simple, resigned, "No, Sir."

He hoped that his feigned reaction would jolt her enough to distract he from digging down in her memory.

“Whatever, Ensign. I suggest you get over any such fears you might have because we have work to do and it will entail traveling in the small, confined space of a shuttle.”

"Getting over it, Sir." Landry tried to sound hopeful, but she'd been claustrophobic all her life, and she honestly didn't know if she'd ever 'get over it'. "That's the second time I've been 'whatevered' today and it's not even noon." Landry mumbled softly.

"Did you have something to add, Steele?" Blane barked. "Speak up!"

"Nope." Landry sighed again as she looked at the shuttle. "I just...don't do well in small spaces, Sir..."

"Like environmental suits?" Dane prodded, poking her with the sharpest, pointiest mental stick he could find.

"Shut up, Cristiane."

Blane eyed her and Landry followed her own advice, closing her mouth as TC stepped past her. “I just hope we all fit once I get in.” He continued sarcastically.

"Why can't we just beam the thing up, again?" Landry asked, as Blane settled into the pilot's seat and brought the engines of the shuttle to life.

"Because O'Sullivan can be a pain in the..." Dane blurted, but then he stopped. His reason for not completing the thought was two-fold; the first being that Blane would smack him upside the head without hesitation if he completed the sentence and two, Dane was awfully glad that Keiran was around to be a pain, no matter how big.

"Because it is a handmade gift from O'Sullivan to his wife, who, need I remind either of you happens to be Captain of this ship? He doesn't want to risk a single molecule of it being scattered by the transporter beam." Blane explained.

"You do know we have to get it down that tiny spiral staircase." Dane recalled the space well.

"No, we don't. See, this is why O'Sullivan wanted me to keep an eye on you," Blane shook his head. "Basic reconnaissance, Cristiane. Always check for an easier way out. In this case, the standard staircase that is down the hall from the guest room and exits the house through the kitchen would be the easier route. No spiral."

Dane's face reddened. He'd completely forgotten about the second set of stairs.

“Don’t sweat it, Cristiane. It sometimes takes years to become competent.” TC chided.

"We have to scan the house first to be sure it's empty before we move in." Blane added, sounding every bit the man with the Spec Ops background. "Now if TI keeps his part of the bargain, he should have the happy couple out of the house by seven hundred, local time..."

"TI?" Dane asked, eyebrow arched.

"Our friend, Interim Director Lindsay." Blane remarked. "Old habits..."

Landry scanned the surface while Dane and Blane prepared the shuttle to land. "Um...guys...I hate to tell you this but there are still three lifesigns present at that house. They're on the front porch, from the looks of it."

"They're running late? Really?" Dane groaned.

TC Signed and shook his head. “You know, for someone who deals with time on a regular basis Lindsay sure has piss poor timing.”


"What do you mean, you forgot the key?"

Blane now stood on the front porch of his Captain's house, completely displeased by the idea of having to pick the lock to get in. It looked like it might rain again soon, and he didn't want to get a drop of water on their precious cargo.

"You were supposed to bring it."

"You were supposed to bring it."

Cristiane and Steele said in unison, as TC began to wonder sincerely how either of those two had made it through the TI pre-screening tests of intelligence.

"Give me one of those clips in your hair." Dane suggested. "I've picked a lock or two in my time."

"No way! These were a gift. I think. I can't remember. But either way I'm not giving them to you!"

"Where the hell did you two...oh nevermind." TC pulled out the pocket knife that the Captain had given him and began unfurling the tools concealed within the handle until he got to the right one. An instant later, the lock released and he took the old-fashioned door-handle and pulled. "Amateurs."

The door swung open and the trio walked into the now empty house. TC closed the door behind them. “OK. Lets get to work.”

He led the way, trotting lightly up the stairs. They made it to the master bedroom and TC immediately began sizing up the doorframe in relation to the parts of the huge, heavy wooden bed. Even if they all came apart, getting the one piece headboard out without a scratch was going to take some doing.

"Now remember," he warned sternly as they walked into the room, "The Captain was not expecting company and O'Sullivan wouldn't have wanted to tip her off. So you may see...things...up here that you're not to discuss with anyone. Clear?"

"Things like that?" Steele cringed, pointing to a slinky black silk nightgown that was flung across the back of the chair beside the bed.

"Yes, Ensign. Things exactly like that." Blane averted his eyes and gave Dane a not-so-gentle punch on the arm to get him to stop staring at the item in question.

"I'm never going to be able to look at the Captain the same way again." Dane declared, wishing he could do this job blindfolded.

"At least O'Sullivan had the mercy to strip the linens..." Landry commented, picking up a silver hand mirror from the bedside table and checking her reflection in it briefly. Dane slapped her hand and she dropped it. Steele and Cristiane both shrieked.

"Idiot! You could've broken it!" Steele shouted.

"I could've broken it? Me?" Dane stammered. "You're out of your freakin' mind, Steele. Don't touch anything!"

"That'll do, children." TC immediately set about the work of removing the mattress and stacking it up out of the way. It was quickly followed by the box spring.

"All right.” He leaned down and looked at the bolts holding the frame of the bed to the headboard. “Looks like a ten millimeter bolt. Hand me the wrench.” Blane instructed.

There was a pause. “Yeah, a wrench you say.” TC turned to look at Dane who shrugged.

“How about a Phillips screwdriver?” Cristiane offered helpfully and held it up in his right hand. “Or standard?” He held the opposing screwdriver up in his left hand.

TC sighed and rubbed his temples. "Allen wrench, actually, but...You two go and…take the mattresses out.” He glared at them. “Think you can handle that?”

"Why can't we at least beam the mattresses up?" Dane groaned, folding his arms and sounding like a four year old past naptime. "What's the harm in,"

"The harm is in what I'll do to you if you bring up the transporters one more time." TC growled.

Landry sighed, and assessed the size of the mattresses. "Tall people. Everything they own has to be...big."

"Now that I think of it, wouldn't it have been a good idea to bring somebody like Lt. Tubman along? He could lift one of these in each hand and never even feel it." Dane remarked.

"Maybe we can beam him down!" Landry suggested helpfully.

"That's it. Next person who says the word 'beam' or 'transporter' is at my mercy with third shift ops rotations for the next month in addition to regular duties. Clear?"



“Good.” TC nodded towards the mattress, and then the door. “It ain’t gonna walk itself out.”

Dane and Landry sighed but then turned to start moving the bedding towards the back stairs and exit. TC turned his attention back to dismantling the frame.

It took the two junior officers a good fifteen minutes extricate the mattress from the house and TC was done breaking down the bed into its various parts by the time they had moved the box spring to the shuttle.

The pair stumbled their way back up to the bedroom huffing and puffing. Landry was rubbing her left elbow and wincing in pain.

“What happened?” TC asked.

“What happened? What happened is he does not know his left from his right.” She thumbed towards Dane. “My arm smashed into the door frame on the way out!”

Dane immediately bristled to the insinuation that he was at fault for her own clumsiness. “You said ‘push it right’. So I did.”

She spun to face him. “Yes, right, my right you incapable boob.”

Dane folded his arms across his chest. “Well you didn't say ‘your right’ just ‘right’. It’s not my fault you can’t give good directions.”

“Can it!” TC glared at Dane then turned to Landry. “Both of you.”

He sighed and rubbed his temples. “I would have been better off drafting lab monkeys to do this. Or maybe even Reece...”

He pointed to the remainder of the bed. “Dane and I will grab the head and footboards. Landry do you think you can handle the cross frame pieces? Unless of course you are planning to die from your injury?”

Landry scowled at TC then bent down and picked up the two long lengths of metal, still muttering to herself.

TC nodded for Dane to grab the foot board as he turned to pick up the headboard. As he turned he saw that Landry was struggling to keep a hold on the cross pieces. Eventually she found the center point and hoisted them onto her shoulder, balancing the weight evenly. About four feet of the cross beams stuck out to the front and the back of her.

Then she stood and began to turn around.

“Landry wait watch out for…” TC’s warning came an instant too late. As she turned, the length of the metal beam spun like a helicopter. TC was able to duck under the front length, but the half behind Landry impacted squarely upon Dane face.

There was a loud ‘TANG!’ followed by a thud of Dane hitting the floor.

“Oops.” Was all that Landry could say.

TC shook his head in disbelief. He tapped his combadge as he looked down at Dane's bloody nose, knowing it was broken and that he'd soon have a pair of beautiful shiners to go with it.

"Blane to Serendipity," he sighed.

[Yo.] Dabin Reece answered. [What can we do you for, Commander?]

"Please lock onto Mister Cristiane's badge and beam him directly to Sickbay. And tell that new CMO of ours he might want to have a lollipop waiting for the Ensign when he comes to, because he's managed to break his nose and going to be pissed."


Commander TC Blane
Second Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

Ensign Dane Cristiane
Temporal Investigations Intern
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Ensign Landry Steele
Accident Waiting to Happen
USS Serendipity NCC-2012