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Lt Costello, Ens T'Rehu & CPO Ryan - "Take It With You When You Go"

Posted on 2020-09-18 10:17 by Lieutenant Amadeus Costello & Ensign Lia t'Rehu & Chief Petty Officer Ludwig Ryan

Mission: Grains of Sand

Amadeus hadn't intended for there to be so many people here, but as things usually went with his family it took them a few days to get everyone together when he had planned leave, let alone when it hadn't been planned. Heather had come by while he was still at HQ, and they'd spent the day relaxing together, knowing that the more difficult conversations would have to wait. He knew he was blessed by how understanding she was. Then debriefing had happened, and he'd specifically requested that once it was cleared for him to have them that he got all notes regarding his team as soon as possible. It just happened that the night he'd planned to have a quiet dinner with t'Rehu and Ludwig was the night that most of his family could make it for dinner too. Headley was still living at home of course, and with Basil having not long finished his first residential rotation he too was back living at home for the moment as he weighed his next options.

Still, Ludwig had not long called to say that he was delayed, so instead of the familiar face he had been hoping would help put Lia at ease, there would be a wall of noise that was his family. Ooops. Still, roast dinner was almost done, and Lia should be here any minute, and Ludwig would get a plate that had been set aside for him when he got there. The only member of Amadeus' family not in attendance therefore was Rowan, who was on holiday with his girlfriend, to whom he was planning to propose and hopefully they'd get a call from him later to tell them how it went.

They weren't exactly quiet when they all got together, but all he could do was hope Lia didn't mind too much. He had at least sent her a warning along the lines of 'my family invited themselves to dinner, let me know if you want a rain check' but he hadn't heard back, so he was listening out for the doorbell.

An aircar dropped Lia off nearby at one of the local ports. The journey from Popple's house to this one wasn't a long one, but even so, she shifted in her seat until getting out. The evening weather was mild, a bit chilly for her tastes but thankfully Fearne had helped her pick out a few things that seems more fitting with the evening planned. Learning to walk in heels hadn't gone as planned so she had some open toed sandals and white pencil skirt. The hunter green sweater had a plunging neckline that contrasted with her now temporarily auburn hair. "Show a little skin Lia. When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Fearne had argued. She saw the logic, and had reluctantly agreed. She needed to make an attempt to show her desire to fit in, though was curious how an ancient culture fit in.

The intervening weeks Lia had spent was an education to be sure. Absorbing human traditions that contrasted with her own upbringing, was a struggle, but she felt she was making headway. Reaching the door, she pressed the button and awaited a response.

There was a chime as someone rang the doorbell and Amadeus excused himself from the gaggle of people crowding the kitchen and headed through the dining room into the small entrance hall. He pulled open the door with a smile. "Good evening, glad you could make it, come on in, let me introduce you to the family!" he said, stepping back and gesturing towards the open door through which a peal of laughter rolled. "Hopefully Ludwig won't be too late," he said as he shut the front door behind her.

Hidden inside her brown leather jacket, Lia pulled out something. "Given your fondness for whiskey, I thought a suitable gift would be in order to honor you and your house." She bowed slightly as she handed Amadeus the long charcoal grey tube. "Hopefully Irish whiskey is desirable." The label said Tyrconnell single malt. 16 years aged.

"Wow, thanks, did you look up my replicator history?" he asked with a grin as he looked at the label. "Sorry, let me take your jacket," he added with a smile, gesturing at the line of coat hooks under the staircase.

"I did not Amadeus. Perhaps next time I shall and save some credits, but I do hope you like it. The vendor promised high quality." Lia said with a smile. She referred to him by name since he used Ryan's first name. Shedding her jacket, she hung it on one the open rungs. "Is this a ship function since others are attending?" Lia asked with curiosity.

"No, no I meant that they produce a synthohol pattern which is one of my favourites," he said with a smile. "Ludwig and I are old friends, he's always coming over, I invited him because I thought us old crones could get to know each other a little better, figured we might stand a hope in hell of having something more in common than we did with the greenhorns. It just so happens that this is also the evening that all my family are available for a get together, apart from Rowan," he pushed open the door into the dining room.

"So, yes, this is Amaryllis my eldest, and her husband Henry," he said as they walked into the dining room where a dark haired, hazel eyed woman and a blonde haired blue eyed man were laying the table, eight places. "This is Lia, one of the medics from the Norton."

"Nice to meet you," Amaryllis said, rounding the table and holding out her hand to shake Lia's.

Apparently touching hands was a human custom someone should have a briefing about. In her quest to adapt to Federation life, she was becoming more familiar with it. She didn't hesitate much at the offering anymore, and keeping her mental shields up was easy. Lia offered a toothless smile and said, "Likewise", as she had been taught be Fearne's parents.

Turning back to Amadeus, Lia said, "I am pleasantly surprised at the invitation. There has not been time to that is not the right word, connect with much of the crew." Lia offered as she wanted to not rely on the UT if possible.

Henry simply nodded and smiled in greeting and went back to laying out the silverware in his hands.

"Which is exactly why I invited you over," he said with a smile and continue moving into the kitchen. "This is my youngest, Headley," he said laying a hand on the shoulder of a sharp jawed young man with pale blue eyes and a scruffy beard.

"Hey, nice to meet you," he said raising a hand in greeting from where he'd been leaning against the fridge.

"Basil, next oldest is over there working wonders on the gravy," he said.

"Hi" he said, looking over his shoulder, clearly looking more like the woman who had been crouching down at the oven door and now standing up with a smile on her face. They had the same face shape and eyes, where his other children had inherited his blue eyes, Basil had his mother's hazel ones. She set down the roasting dish with a smile.

"Lia, I'm so glad you could make it, I'm Heather," she said, shedding the oven glove and rounding the kitchen island to take Lia's hand and kiss her cheeks. "It's lovely to meet someone other than Ludwig, sorry it's a bit of a mad house this evening, but with half our children having moved back in..." she looked over her shoulder at Basil. "Remind me why you didn't just stay in your apartment until they told you where you were going?"

"Because I can't stand the thought of you serving Dad bland gravy..." he replied with dry humour. Amadeus laughed.

Lia was a bit overwhelmed. Somewhat from the company, though outgoing and friendly it was a unique experience. More so the smells coming from the kitchen. A few were familiar but others completely alien to her. Thankfully she had taken her nasal numbing agent. "This is quite the gathering. You have a lovely family."

"This isn't even all of us, Rowan, our oldest son, is on holiday with his girlfriend," Heather said as she speared the lamb joint and lifted it out onto the carving plate. "Deus, could you?" she asked, leaving the carving fork in the top and placing the knife on the island next to the plate as she turned to the stove with the roasting dish and with a nod from Basil, added the meat juices to the gravy.

"Do you even have to ask?" Amadeus replied and moved around the table to carve the meat.

Headly, who was still artfully propping up the fridge looked at Lia. "Can I get you a drink or anything?" he asked. Amadeus shot him a proud wink.

Lia thought about it, and offered. "May the Elements guide your hand." Lia offered then added. "Surprise me would be the human equivalent. Though please no coffee, thank you." She smiled at Headley.

For a moment, Headley just looked confused, but then nodded, and straightened up, not missing the look from his dad that told him not to pull something. Honestly he'd only planned on giving her a Jagerbomb, but considering the no coffee request maybe that was extended to no caffeine. "What everyone else is having, coming right up..." he said, grabbing a bottle and a carton out of the fridge and a champagne glass from the cupboard, making her a bucks fizz and putting the bottles away before handing it to her. "We're on 'Dad didn't die' bubbles so... cheers," he said, picking up his own glass from the top of the fridge and clinking the rim of his glass against hers. "I guess that includes you by extension, and Uncle Lu when he finally gets here,"

Basil shot his brother a look over his shoulder and went back to stirring the gravy with a shake of his head. "There's still some in the bottle for him right, Lee?" he asked, deliberately ribbing his brother.

"You're just hoping he'll be late enough that you get to drink it instead, Bas," Headley replied as he went back to leaning against the fridge until he was asked to take a dish or something through.

She didn't understand half of what was going on, but recognized what appeared to be joyful family banter. Much like her fellow crew-members, there was interaction and friendly harassment. It was nice to see the interactions. Plus since they were involved with each other, the focus was not on her.

Amadeus was focusing on carving the lamb, his tongue pressed against the back of his top teeth, and Heather was checking on the vegetables. Over the bustle of the kitchen and his children talking he heard a door, and a slight increase in volume in the dining room, and a giggle that was undoubtedly his daughter. Not wanting to ruin the moment, he looked at Lia and paused in his carving to press his index finger to his lips and shoot her a wink, grinning as he looked at the entryway to the dining room. Headley too was grinning, also realising what was about to happen.

The focus of the exchanged clandestine looks soon filled the door between kitchen and dining room, moving quietly through the kitchen—making it look like it took almost no effort—and directing grins at everyone who looked his way as he moved in on his target. Heather's back was to him as he approached and his grin stretched ear to ear with each silent step closer until she was within striking distance.

"Heather! Radiant as always, is that a new hair color?" Ludwig caught her in a tight hug from behind, and held up a bottle of wine in front of her as he leaned in for a friendly kiss on her cheek. The label of the wine said Chateau Picard 2415.

Heather jumped and let out a little shriek, which dissolved into laughter when she realised who it was. Amadeus laughed too, and Bas was grinning, and even Amarylis and Henry had come to stand on the doorway and watch.

Heather turned and gave Ludwig a playful thump on the arm before hugging him back. "One day Lu, you are going to be the death of me, and thank you, but no, just deciding to age gracefully," she said as she pulled back and took the bottle of wine.

"Far more gracefully than I ever will," Amadeus said with a laugh as he carried on carving.

"Oooh a Picard, thank you," Heather said, finally getting a moment to look at the label. "Lee, could you get this open so it can breathe?" she held out the bottle to her youngest son, who slipped into the dining room with his sister and her husband.

Lia felt like an intruder. Some wanton voyeur to their happiness. Was this what a human family was? Had it not been for the intervening weeks with Fearne and her parents, she would have thought it all show for her benefit. A propaganda play meant to show humans in a favorable setting. Her arms were folded in front of her, only one hand out to hold the glass of bubbly liquid. She doubted anyone saw her fidget but then she felt even more determined. This was uncomfortable, but this is my place now. I will endure it.

Having performed his traditional greeting to Heather, Ludwig looked around at the others present, ready to start on the rest of his rounds since he'd managed to make it before everyone was already at the table eating. His eyes stopped as he caught sight of Lia — stiff, closed off, clearly a little lost. He offered her a friendly smile.

"I'm glad to see you made it, t'Rehu. Gone native even." Ludwig chuckled, trying to decide if a hug would be too much — it might be like pushing her into the deep end of the pool, he mused, and instead offered his hand.

Seeing the offered hand, Lia took it without hesitation. "Thank you. It's nice to see a familiar face. This is me being native." Lia said, twirling like the girls in the videos she and Fearne watched sometimes.

"Almost blending in perfectly, just partake of your drink and maybe see if you can fake a smile, and no one could tell you from a native." He winked and smirked, hoping it was clear he was offering just a bit of friendly teasing. "Where'd Lee get off to? He's on drink duty like usual, right?" Ludwig looked around the kitchen.

Lia's face showed confusion. Addressing Ludwig, she offered. "I only know you and Lt.....sorry....Amadeus. Lee I do not believe I have met." She tipped the glass of Buck's fizz and drained it. "Times like this make me wish alcohol actually affected me."

"Lee is me," said Headley walking back into the kitchen and opening the fridge to get Ludwig's drink. "I'm assuming you're wanting what everyone else is drinking right now," he said as he poured.

"The 'Dad didn't die' bubbles?" Ludwig shook his head, knowing it was almost tradition at this point. "If Bas hasn't finished it off while I was unavoidably delayed because of my grandmother."

"As always," Headley replied with a smile, "Here you go, I managed to stop him having an extra glass so there was still some for you," he said with a grin as he held out the glass to Ludwig. "Now, don't start a riot Bas, but there is some left..."

Basil simply looked over his shoulder and stuck his tongue out at his brother, who stuck his tongue out right back, but when to refill Basil and Heather's glasses anyway.

"Sometimes I swear you two never reached pre-teen, let alone your twenties," Amaryllis said with a roll of her eyes and headed back into the dining room.

Lia's arms still crossed in front of her, she set her glass down in a safe place. She thought about grabbing her coat and heading back the Popple's house. This certain wasn't an evening she was likely to forget, but since she had already been called out for what some considered rude behavior, she went to a corner, her back to it, arms still folded.

"It keeps things lively, Ryll," Ludwig called after Amaryllis as she exited to the dining room. He sipped his drink as he moved to stand next to Lia. "I apologize if my joking was too much, getting nearly all of the Costello family at once is a bit of a jumping in the deep end experience."

Lia offered, "no, this is not your fault. Though I am not sure the deep end of what. but I can think of a few possibilities. The interaction is interesting to watch and observe. Just not anything in my experience has prepared me for it."

"It's a human metaphor, as in jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool. It means to get involved with something that is outside of your existing skill set, and do your best to figure it out as you go. Which, from what little I've heard of your past before being exchanged to Starfleet, you have a little practice at figuring it out as you go along. As for Amadeus and his family, I promise none of them bite, though Heather's probably wanted to kill me for my antics over the years." Ludwig raised his voice just a little, pointedly to get Heather's attention with his comment. "I'm surprised I'm not plant food yet, to be honest." He grinned wide.

"Have you given thought to not being a pain in the ass?" Lia offered with a straight face. Her knowledge of human metaphors was meager but she did know a few. She was adding them by the dozen tonight. Raising her voice, she addressed Heather. "If there is time on a different day, I would be happy to teach you some simple forms of Llaekh-ae'rl", the UT translating it as laughing murder. "At least you'd have a chance to keep this sneak at bay." She then turned and smiled at Ludwig, then winked.

Heather laughed and shook her head. "He is an ass, but he's fine, he brings me wine," she said with a smile.

Amadeus laughed "And he clearly knows which one of us he has to butter up to keep getting fed," he set down the knife and carving fork and picked up the plate of sliced lamb. "Shall we head through?" he suggested loudly. Immediately there were hands grabbing dishes, gravy being poured into a jug, reaching over and around each other like a many armed, but somehow co-ordinated machine.

"Ryll you only laid the table stop being lazy," grumbled Headley to his sister as he went through to find her already sat at the table.

"Lee off Lee, she's getting old," teased Basil as he came through with the gravy.

Amaryllis simply raised an eyebrow at the pair of them and said nothing, but Henry laid a hand on her shoulder and gave her a smile, and she looked up at him, beaming back.

"Do go and find yourself a seat at the table Lia, doesn't matter where," Heather said with a smile as she grabbed the last dish to follow the rest of the family through. "Don't even think about swiping that potato Headley," she said as she walked in, to which he sighed and slumped into a seat. "Serve drinks young man, you didn't help cook," she added. He rolled his eyes dramatically, and it was clear he wasn't really annoyed.

"I'm assuming everyone is trying Uncle Lu's wine?" he asked as he stood to go and get the bottle.

"If I hadn't been in such a rush to get here, I would have realized I needed to bring two bottles so there's enough for everyone. Skip me so that everyone else can have some," Ludwig insisted, laying a hand on Headley's shoulders as he moved past him into the dining room. He selected a seat next to the head of the table where he knew Amadeus would sit. "Lia, come sit next to me. I'll translate the family's insanity for you."

"Lee, I will have just a taste of the wine. The alcohol content would be lost on me." Lia offered taking seat next to Ludwig. Addressing the group, she offered. "I thank all of you for allowing me to attend your gathering." She was going to add more, but felt that it was offer too much information.

"You are more than welcome, Lia," Heather said with a smile.

Headley started making his way around the table, filling up glasses and dodging the arms reaching for dishes, Basil was filling both their plates at the same time, so he wasn't worried about missing out.

"No thanks, Lee," Ryll said, reaching for the carton of orange squash that was left over from the Bucks Fizz. He blinked in surprise, but thought nothing of it.

"You feeling alright sweetheart?" Heather asked. Amaryllis nodded, but glanced across at Henry, chewing on her lip.

Amadeus and Basil looked across at her and Henry, and then at each other, and despite the latter looking more like his mother, in that moment it was extremely clear who his father was just by their identical expressions. They looked back at her, she blushed and Henry grinned.

"I um... won't be drinking alcohol for another... twenty eight weeks... ish..." she said, as she poured her glass of orange juice, deliberately not looking up at her family.

"Ryll are you...?" Amadeus asked, his voice almost reverent in tone, quiet and hopeful and his eyes already a little glassy. She looked up at him then, and nodded. Amadeus pushed his chair back and rounded the table, she stood as he got to her chair, and he looked down at her stomach, the reverence in his gaze now more than a little obvious. "Congratulations," he breathed before wrapping her up in a hug, blinking rapidly.

"Oh sweetheart," Heather muttered with her fingers pressed to her lips. Basil was clapping Henry on the shoulder to congratulate him, and Headley was grinning.

"Henry, shouldn't you be abstaining in sympathy?" he asked.

Lia still felt like an intruder on such a private moment. "This is a happy moment for your" she corrected. She hoped she would be around when the baby was more developed. It was a positive note added to the evening that made her smile a bit. It also made her briefly think of her own lack of family or even a significant other. She pushed the errant thought aside, preferring to dwell more in the present.

Ludwig stole a look at Lia to see how she was doing with being thrust into this unexpected family development — she looked to be doing just fine, so Ludwig directed his most charming grin at Amaryllis and Henry.

"I guess I better start searching replicator patterns for all the good early development toys — especially the noisy ones." He winked.

"I'll just recycle them if they are too annoying," Amaryllis sassed right back with a grin. Amadeus, Henry and Headley all laughed. Heather shot her daughter a look, but it softened almost immediately as she looked at the smile on he daughter’s face.

=/\= End Log =/\=

Lieutenant Amadeus Costello
Chief Medical Officer
USS Joshua Norton

Ensign Lia t'Rehu
Combat Medic
USS Joshua Norton NCC-74819-A

CPO Ludwig Ryan
USS Joshua Norton


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