1132: A Proposition, Part Two

by Zander Blakeslee, TC Blane and Zanh Liis
Time: Hours after Part One

-= Blakeslee Quarters, USS Serendipity=-

The door chime rang, rousing Zander and causing him to sit straight up in his bed. He blinked as he tried to come out of his slumber. He glanced down to see that Samthia was still sleeping next to him. He yawned and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He glanced at the clock, 07:35. He wondered if he was dreaming.

*Way too early for my day off.* He thought as he looked at his pillow longingly.

The chime rang again as if to signal no further rest was to be had.

“Coming!” He called out as he rose from under the covers and slipped on his pajama bottoms. On his way past the door from the bedroom he grabbed his robe and put it on.

“Come in,” he called out, as he approached the door and tried to look alert.

The door slid open and his two sons raced through to greet their father, one hugging each leg. The collision almost threw Zander off balance.

“Daddy!” The boys exclaimed in unison.

TC Blane walked in behind them caring the boy’s backpacks as well as having his own slung over his shoulder. He placed theirs against the wall out of the way and smiled to Zander.

“Welcome home boys.” Zander hugged them both. “Did you have fun?”

Both boys smiled and nodded vigorously.

“We saw geezers!” Johannes exclaimed loudly. “They were cool, and went ‘whoosh’ up in the air and they was hot and stuff.” He accentuated his story with flailing arms and sound effects.

Zander laughed. “You mean geysers,” he corrected.

“Yeah, that’s what I said Dad. Geezers.” He threw his arms in the air again with a “whoosh” sound effect.

Zander laughed again and TC cracked a rare smile.

“I am glad that you had a good time.” Zander tossed each of their hair. “Did you thank Commander Blane for taking you?”

“Oh yes, numerous times.” TC offered as both boys nodded.

“Very good.” Zander smiled. “Why don’t you go and tell your mom. She is still sleeping.”

With a grin both boys bolted towards their parent’s room with a yell of pleasure.

Zander turned back to TC. “Thanks for taking them. They don’t get off the ship enough and the holodeck isn’t the same thing as real life.”

TC waved his hand. “No problem. They both behaved excellently and handled the ghost stories around the campfire well also.” He smiled. “Row, Row, Row your boat was a good time. Make sure you ask them about it.” He shifted the pack of gear still over his shoulder and nodded. “Well, I should go and let you get your morning started.” TC turned towards the door.

“Actually, do you have a minute or two?” Zander asked.

TC turned back and looked at Zander; he could tell that something was up. “Sure, if you got coffee. I think camp coffee is the only coffee that is worse then replicated.”

Zander smiled. “Of course.”

Zander ordered up a pot of coffee from the replicator as TC took a seat at the kitchen table. He returned with the pot a couple of cups and sugar and cream. He poured two cups and sat down across from TC.

After a few moments of watching Zander stare at the cream swirling in his cup TC finally broke the silence as his took a sip from his cup. “So?”

Zander smiled as he realized that he was somewhere else. “Have you ever thought about your life after Starfleet?”

TC sat his cup down and leaned back in his chair. “God, no. Me as a civilian? The world isn’t ready for such a thing. Besides who else would keep the Captain out of trouble?” He picked up his cup and took a sip. “Why do you ask?”

There was a long pause before Zander answered. “Sam wants another child. Obviously we can’t do that here, space is at a premium. Plus, I mean, recently, the Sera has not been exactly the world's safest assignment. She’s ready to move on. Resign her commission and return home to raise the kids and work on the family business.”

Zander tapped his mug, deep in thought as he continued. “Her father is aged and she has no brothers to take over when he passes. She is the eldest daughter and Deltan tradition states that his possessions will then pass the husband of the eldest daughter.” He thumbed at his chest. “That would be me.”

“Huh.” TC took another swig from his mug. “From what I understand the Wej Winery is one of the finest on the planet. I can’t even afford a bottle on my salary.” He put down the mug. “What’s the problem? Afraid you can’t run the place?”

“No, of course not.” He looked at TC. “I mean, sure, I’m a little concerned about it. But I’m not sure I want to leave Starfleet.”

“Why?” TC asked.

“Well,” Zander stammered. “I’ve got my career here and I’ve invested a lot into it.”

TC shrugged his shoulders. “You’ve got more invested into your family. Right?”

Zander looked down at his cup. “Of course.”

TC leaned forward onto his elbows. “Look Zander. The Serendipity is a much finer vessel with you then with out you. I’ve have not known many finer officers then you in my time in Starfleet and I would choose you to serve with me anytime.” He leaned back. “But the Sera will survive without you. You have something outside of Starfleet that is worth more than Starfleet. I think you know that. Don’t let your sense of duty to the ship, or to your father’s memory, cloud your vision from making the right choice.”

TC finished off his cup and stood up. “Thanks for the coffee.” He laid his hand on Zander’s shoulder as he walked past to leave. “It was good serving with you.”

“I haven’t made a decision yet.” Zander protested.

TC smiled. “You will.” He walked to the door. “It’s an easy one.”

Just then Samthia walked out from the bedroom. “Commander Blane. Can I offer you some breakfast?”

TC shook his head. “No thank you.” He winked. “Keep in touch.” He exited the quarters.

Samthia glanced at her husband sitting at the table. He looked up at her with a twinkle in his eyes and a slight smile.

“Boys.” Samthia called out. “Take your backpacks to your room and unpack them. Then come out for breakfast.”

She sat down across from her husband in the seat that TC had vacated. “Xander? Are you alright?”

After a moment he smiled. “Yeah.” He stood up and kissed his wife on the top of her bald head. “He’s right. This is actually really easy.”

Samthia smiled, sensing that her husband had made a decision.

“I’m getting into the shower. Get a sitter for the kids. After breakfast we have to see the captain.”

-= Captain’s Ready Room=-

The chime for the door rang as Zanh continued to look over the repair reports from the dock master. She shook her head. How she would love to shake their reputation as the crew who was hardest on their ship of all in active service. Of course, she reminded herself, they also still held the singular distinction of being the crew who had finally taken down Taris, and that was enough as far as the brass was concerned to excuse the Sera's frequent trips to the shop.

She couldn’t help but smile to herself now, though, thinking how Dabin Reece had lamented the damage to equipment in his science lab on the Sera’s last little junket into the unknown and how he’d declared that if William Lindsay was going to set foot aboard her again it had “better be to announce that he and the singing O’Sullivan brothers were going to star in the thirty-fifth revival tour of Celtic Thunder.”

She signed off on the report to indicate she’d read and agreed with the content before it was sent to Admiral Lassiter, and just as she lifted her coffee to her lips the door chime rang. She shook her head and set the mug back down. "This is obviously not meant to be my morning where caffeine consumption is concerned." She lifted her eyes toward the door. It was early yet and her office had already been busier than a central transporter hub at rush hour. "Next!"

Zander and Samthia walked in and stood in front of her desk at a relaxed attention.

The look on Zander's face was one that Zanh could not recall having ever seen before, and slowly, she rose from her chair. "Good morning..." She nodded to Samthia. "To both of you. Is there something I can do for you?"

“Captain. There is no real easy way to say this so I am just going to do it.” Zander said as he exchanged glances with his wife. “Samthia and I are resigning our commissions in Starfleet effective immediately.” His face showed resolve and Samthia’s showed pride in her husband. “I’m sorry for the suddenness of this but we figured since the ship is at Earth and there are still a few weeks of repairs it would give you time to promote someone into our positions or for Starfleet to place suitable replacements.”

Zanh stepped back from her desk. She was so surprised by this announcement that she felt like the wind had been knocked out of her.

"I see." She slowly walked over to the replicator, taking a moment to compose herself. "Medium roast coffee, hot. Double light." The cup appeared, and she grasped it, guzzled from it, and then turned back to face the couple. "Can I offer you something?"

"Captain, no thank you," Zander and Samthia exchanged another glance, and Zanh returned to her desk and set down her cup. For a moment he was tempted to ask if she'd heard what he'd said but he knew her better than to suggest she hadn't been paying attention.

"Oh, I heard you, Zander." Zanh said quickly, her brow furrowed as she appeared to read his mind. He cleared his throat and returned to standing at attention. Zanh allowed a moment of silence to hang in the air.

"Lt. Wej-Blakeslee," Zanh began again after she was satisfied enough time had elapsed. "You have not yet spoken for yourself. Are you certain that resigning your commission is what you wish?"

"What I wish most is to have another child, Captain." Samthia stated serenely. "I desire to take my proper place in my family, and while I am grateful for all that Starfleet has given to me, it is time for me to focus on my children, and our future."

Zanh nodded, satisfied. She knew Zander better than to ever imagine he’d make such a decision for his wife, but for the record she had to hear it with her own ears.

"Very well. I would like you to speak to Commander Reece before you formally resign." Zanh said, glancing over at Zander now. "Just as a show of respect. He is the head of your department."

"Yes, Captain. Of course." She nodded her head in a typical Deltan fashion.

"Thank you. I wish you the best with everything, Sam, and thank you for your service. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like a moment alone with my Chief of Security."

Samthia nodded respectfully once again. "Of course, Captain.” She smiled at her husband as she turned away and left the room. Zander watched her graceful gait as she walked away and out of the door.

"Captain, may I speak freely?" Zander stepped forward a pace, the moment that the door had closed behind his wife.

"You've more than earned the right."

"You won't change my mind." Zander's jaw set, though a glimmer of emotion in his eyes spoke of his regard for the ship and its crew.

Zanh laughed softly, shaking her head. "I had no intention of trying to, Zander." She moved around the front of her desk. "There are just some things that I believe should be said between a man and his Captain, without an audience. Even if he happens to be married to that audience."

"Oh?" Zander shifted from foot to foot, looking down.

"Yes. I wanted to say that I know this choice could not have been easy for you, at least not for a moment or two, and I appreciate that. But I also want you to know that if I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to do what you about to do. You'll still serve the Federation, just in a different capacity. You've served this ship, and our crew, with distinction, honor and courage and I am personally grateful to you for your service."

He became aware of a hand moving into view, and he saw that Zanh had extended hers toward him. He grasped hold and she shook her hand firmly, once, before letting go.

"Be happy, Zander, above all else, and… do me one personal favor?"

Zander nodded.

"Tell Keiran yourself. I think that...you'll be very pleased with how happy he'll be to hear this news from you personally."


"Yes. He's been concerned about you, ever since Alaska. I think he'll be glad to hear you're setting yourself upon a path that'll bring you peace."

Zander nodded, remembering clearly his conversation with the big Irishman as he chopped wood outside the Blakeslee homestead.

“I will.” He smiled. “Thank you Captain, it’s been a privilege serving with you and everyone else aboard the Serendipity.” He turned to leave.

"Commander," Zanh called him back one last time. Zander paused.

"Remember, if there's ever anything you need, just say the word. You'll always have family here."

He smiled and nodded. “If you are ever near Delta IV. Stop in for a glass of wine.” As he turned to leave the door to the ready room slid open and TC Blane strode through.

Cleaned up and back in uniform, TC stopped and looked at Zander and then back to the Captain. He could tell by the look on the Captain’s face that Zander had indeed come to his decision.

He extended his hand to Zander. Zander took it and they shook. “Take care of yourself and the family.” TC offered.

Zander smiled and wistfully looked around the ready room one last time glancing at his soon to be former Captain. He turned back to TC. “You too.”

TC watched as Zander exited the room before turning to Zanh.

“You see.” He pointed to the Captain. “This is what I never leave the ship. Everyone gets delusions of grandeur. Or Chief of Security decides to go native and make babies with our stellar cartographer and someone decides to promote Briggs to captain.” He shook his head and smiled as he crossed his arms. “I’m never stepping off this tub again, far too dangerous to leave you alone with the crew. Bad things happen.”

Liis smirked, walking back to the replicator and ordering a cup of extra strong coffee, black. She held it out toward Blane as her lips turned up into a full grin.

"Drink with me, Thomas."

His ice blue eyes twinkled as he accepted the mug."To?"

"To happy Blakeslees, the safety of the Cairo and her new Captain..." Liis' voice trailed off.


“And to the health of Thomas Cassius Blane, official 'puller of my fat from the fire'. Sláinte." She clanked her cup heavily into Blane’s, and he rolled his eyes upward as he raised it to his lips.


Zander Blakeslee
Former Lt. Commander
Former Chief of Security/Tactical
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


Commander TC Blane
Chief Operations Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


-=/\=- Zanh Liis O’Sullivan
Commanding Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012