If there was one thing the Commander had learned from his time in Starfleet it was that packing your belongings had to be a science. When the brass said it was time to move, well, it was time to move. Neil looked out over the pile of assorted boxes, bags, and knick-knacks, sighing; he had always told himself that he wouldn’t be a packrat. However, since getting married and having Tess, well, his life had become even that much more “cluttered.”
He wrapped his arm around his wife and smiled, “Well, I think that is it. They will have our stuff beamed over to the transport soon, and we depart in 30.”
Lucia tucked Tess under her arm and rested her on her hip, “…and a pilot?”
“Luc,” Neil acted shocked, “that hurt, you know we don’t need a pilot.”
“Neil, I wouldn’t board a craft being piloted by you if you were the last pilot in all of the Federation,” she smiled lovingly. Lifting her head, she placed the back of her hand on Tess’ forehead.
Neil caught the sign, “What’s up, little lady,” he looked at Lucia, “Not feeling well?”
“She’s been running a fever,” she replied.
“Well, give her an aspirin, or whatever you give babies,” Neil acted like it was no big deal, “She will bounce back fast, won’t ya,” he wiggled the toddler’s foot. “They bounce back,” he said, showing his lack of knowledge of child medicine.
Protectively the girl’s mother pulled her back, “Stop that,” she slapped his hand, “Leave my baby alone.”
Neil scoffed, “Your baby?” Neil was about to say something when they were interrupted by an incoming call.
Lucia waved her hand as Neil opened the channel, “No, that is fine you go to work. I,” she overly stressed that last word, “will deal with the packing and the baby and work on a trip to sickbay when I am free. No problem.”
Neil blushed slightly as the Commodore on the screen let out a small chuckle. “Problems, Commander,” the older man joked.
Neil tried to reply but was interrupted by Lucia ranting in Spanish. Neil had no idea what she was saying, but he figured he would find out sooner or later. “No Sir, just the stress of packing, moving, and prepping for a new assignment.”
The Commodore leaned forward almost as if he was attempting to hide his comment, “Don’t worry, Neil, I’ve been married for 20 years, I understand.”
“I HEARD THAT,” Lucia shouted from the other room.
The older man laughed, “My apologies Mrs. Harrington, now Starbase 72,” he picked up a padd. “the station is located ….”
: 2 Hours Later :
The trip to the station had been relatively quiet, all things considered. Locked in a tube with about 20 people and someone else at the helm, Neil was ready to depart. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Lucia still attempting to comfort their child. Her fever had gotten worse, and in the last hour, she’d stopped eating. Neil wanted to fix it; he didn’t like to see someone he loved hurting. However, their resources were limited, and the required staff none existent.
Neil walked over to Lucia. He could see that she was tired, and it was getting time to depart. The craft would dock with the station, and his first stop after departure was Sickbay. The vessel had received clearance, the crew departed, and the welcoming committee greeted the incoming personnel.
Neil cradling Tess against his chest, he spoke, “First stop, I promise is Sickbay,” he stated, “No Officer duties.”
Lucia had managed to get her handbag, taking Tess back, she kissed her husband. “You need to be an Officer,” she smiled, “I know better. I will take her to the Doctor, you go.” She patted his chest, “Can’t be late, now go.”
Neil returned the kiss, leaning over. He was about to kiss Tess on the forehead as the young child turned and vomited all over his father’s uniform. Neil swallowed hard; if there was one thing about being a parent; it was puke. He turned just in time to be greeted by a Security Officer.
“Cornelius Harrington, I presume,” the female Officer offered a hand but pulled it back, seeing his condition.
Neil blushed in embarrassment, giving a half-smile, “That is me…reporting as ordered,” he tried to make a joke.