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(Backlog) Ens Akadi - Anymore of This

Posted on 2017-08-31 21:36 by Ensign Maksima Akadi

Mission: Cup O Noodle
Location: Temp Quarters, San Francisco

Leave had brought an unexpected slump for Maks, who’s time off thus far had been anything but pleasant. Starting with the borg-not-borg that was still a trial to wrap her brain around and ending with an undecided ache in her gut that said she was waiting for the anvil over her head to fall. It was all pieces of a puzzle that was being kept mostly out of sight: from the universe, from her, from everyone. It’d all started with the usual call..

After checking in to her temporary quarters and taking the habitual gods-help-us-all long shower, she’d kicked off her boots and let her hair down, relieved to be off ship and away from the after effects of the mission. It was weird to look at people that she barely knew who were borg one minute- or in the least soon to be- and the next were unchanged. Chipper even. She’d seen what happened when it wasn’t a simulation and that after image was haunting.

The call to Cameron was second nature. Anytime she was on leave- even if she couldn’t say where she was- she called. Usually the response was a budding smile mixed with relief and surprise. A ‘Hey hon’ as whatever he had in front of him was shuffled away to give her his full attention. At least, that was before the last three months of no contact. This time when he responded there was a momentary pause. A stunned blink of a moment where he just stared at her with tired eyes before Cam’s jaw went tight and his expression flat. “Babe, it’s not a good time,” tumbled out with a sigh.

Maks felt her grin damper and forced it back up. Something was wrong. She threw off rejection with worry and forced her grin back into place. “I can call back later-“

“I’ll call you.” He bit back quickly before cutting the com.

That had her thinking, which went to some dark places. Three months of silence kept rolling around in her head. Three months, of not knowing what was happening to him and then this? She’d laid back on her bed and chewed on her fingernails, picked at a split end, worried and guessed. At hour three she went out to get a drink or six. Found the bottom of a bottle where she said her habitual goodbyes to lost friends and old demons. Pulled herself back up by her bootstraps, made her way back to her temp bunk and slept for most of a day.

When she’d woken up, there was no call from Cam, but his daughter Laurel had left a message. She, too, had looked pretty strung out, which was unusual. Even though she was a teenager and prone to melancholy, this was a new look of low for her. Hair glossed up and pulled back tightly, she looked.. odd. This was the kid who went through a three-year stint of wearing fake flowers in her hair daily and gluing tiny crystals to her face. “Hey, Maks. Dad told me to give you a call and let you know what’s going on. He can’t really talk to you right now ‘cause mom’s breathing down his neck again.“ The mom mention came with a note of distaste, Maks realized. “Mom got the Betty two days after dad tried to get her to sign again. It.. didn’t go well.”

“Dad’s in his own quarters, but mom won’t let me go. We’re going to have to go court and.. I don’t know how that’s going to go over. I don’t know if that’ll happen without one of them being dead at this point. Uncle Rob’s getting involved now. That’s good for dad at least. He’s got a six foot plus angry bald dude in his corner, but he can’t out yell mom. She’s worse now that she’s a CO. If you thought she used to be bad about image, now she’s dictating how I can wear my hair in public. I have tutors instead of the school pod. I have weekly therapy where I’m supposed to be empowered, not talk about how the family’s gone straight to hell.” Laurel’s habitual eye-roll was chased with a gusty sigh.

“I miss you. I really miss the night swims and the talking. I just want all of this to be over so we can all be together again. You, me, dad.. maybe some dogs? Or siblings? It doesn’t hurt to start dropping hints now, right? Anyways, I’ll be sixteen in December. I get a say then. Dad says he’s holding his breath that she won’t find a way to lie and keep us here still, but we’ll figure something out. We always do. Love you Maksie! I hope I get to talk to you soon!” As the screen went dark, plunging the room into darkness, too, Maks found herself questioning why this was all happening again.

Short answer? Because Rosalee was a control freak. Always had been, always would be. She’d found a way to con, connive, badger and threaten Cam out of divorcing her long before she and Cam were anything but friends. Now that she had a name and a face to pin competition on, it’d only gotten worse. Not to mention that somehow Maks’ posts had all become the far ass-end of nowhere. It wasn’t fair. It’d been a nine-year dance at this point. When was that too much? For both of them? For either of them? For everyone caught in between?

Maks took a shower and brushed her hair, clipped it straight across while wet. Checked herself in the mirror and watched how the frown lines in her face settled. How she wore her troubles on her shoulders. How she didn’t quite fill out her clothes the same way as she had when she was in security. That was it- she challenged herself to a marathon of push-ups and sit-ups and a hard run before remembering that she hadn’t eaten in awhile.

When she came back, the com buzzing again. With a towel around her neck to soak up sweat and her hair plastered to her face and neck, Maks answered it automatically. “Ensign Akadi..”

“Hey babe,” came Cam’s tired answer. He was sitting close to the screen, his face covered in stubble and his eyes heavily shadowed. “I can’t tell you how good it is to see you. You look about how I feel.”

“I dunno, you look pretty awful, honey. Are you going to be okay?” They never asked if they were okay. She’d deny issues and he’d change the subject anyhow. It was sort of how they rolled. There wasn’t much that just laying side by side quietly sharing the same air didn’t fix. Listening to Cam breathe or slipping her fingers around his were a type of peace that bordered on absolution. She loved him deeper than she thought it could exist.

Cam scrubbed at his face with his hands, seemingly lost. “Yeah. I’ve just got to get a break. I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. Rose is making completing a shift a living hell. I went over her head to complain and lost communication privileges for two weeks for sending classified information with the wrong tag.”

Maks had wrinkled her nose at that. It was easy enough to fake when you had command codes. “You know it’s only a matter of time before she gets caught in such a way that the fingers can’t be pointed at you. It’s gone to her head, Cam. She’s bound to get reckless.” After nine years, she didn’t understand how it hadn’t already happened. Rosalee had an admiral for a father: that had to be a majority of the scrub ups.

“Before or after she ruins my career and credibility?” He looked at Maks hard and she stared right back, challenging each other with unsaid options.

“What’s the most important thing here?” she finally said to break the silence.

“Laurel,” he answered quickly. Maks nodded in agreement.

“A few months then, and you put in for a transfer. Go out of sector. Opt to teach if you have to. Put yourself somewhere outside of her cone of influence where she’s the stranger in a strange land. Once you’re settled, I’ll make arrangements..” The words died off there like they always did. She’d always be Starfleet. She was made for ship life. Could she really go back to San Francisco and sit on her hands? For him? For Laurel? Dermo..

He nodded, his eyes and mouth tight as if he caught what she was thinking from her expression alone. “I love you Maks. I’ll call tomorrow night. Put Laurel on the line, too, and let you two get some time together. She misses you like crazy, you know. Talks about it all of the time.”

“I’d like that. Take care of yourself, Cam, and hug Laurel for me. I love you both so much. I can’t wait to see you again. Ya lyublyu tebya vsem serdtsem.” They shared a strained smile before the com cut off. No goodbyes. They never shared goodbyes. It only made it harder to believe that there’d be another hello.

Against her better judgment, Maks made herself clean up and get out of the room. Go throw herself at something bright and rowdy and loud and not worry too much about what she was sure would happen. And it did.

The next day there was no call.

Nor the day after that.

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Ensign Maksima 'Maks' Akadi
Combat Medic
USS Joshua Norton

 

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