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Sweet Things

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 @ 8:07pm by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Jan 10, 2016 @ 8:08pm

Mission: Promethean

“Sweet things”

(Cont. “Promises and Prisons”)

* * *=/\=* * *


Stardate: 2.16.0110.1544

Scene: Main Engineering

“Cupcake?” Kassandra’s voice said said brusquely, muffled by several inches of metal and electronics. Jake pushed himself out from under the console he was working on and blinked at the woman.

“Is that my new nickname, Major?” Jake asked lightly, sitting up and wiping his forehead with his sleeve. She didn’t seem very happy, there were knotted lines of irritation or worry in the middle of her forehead. Her presence in Engineering was rather unexpected; she didn’t have much call for being there, and he and the woman didn’t interact socially beyond her picking up and dropping off Benito and Dahlia for playdates with Buttercup.

“No, I mean, I brought you a cupcake, Marriage Material. Which, by the way, is your new nickname.” Kassandra reached down and presented the aforementioned confection on a small plate. Jake eyed it dubiously, it was clearly not replicated: The frosting was lopsided, and the cheery attempt at a floral decoration was blobby and barely recognizable.

“I see you read Nikitin’s article.” Jake grimaced as he stood, and accepted the cake. “Did you make this?”

“Yeah.” She stared at it glumly. “It’s James T. Kirk day on Sherman’s planet, celebratin’ the foilin’ of the Klingon plot, and the safe delivery of a shipment of quadrotriticale to the original settlers, allowin’ us to claim the planets as per the Organian Treaty. Quadrotriticale cupcakes are traditional, made outta the best quadrotriticale flour usin’ high fructose quadrotriticale syrup. I got Sneekum to let me use the kitchen in the Vulgar Tribble in exchange for the recipe. Apparently ‘rustic colony food’ is now a big thing in the gooer-may restaurants. Anyway, try it.”

Jake nibbled it with trepidation, but found it tasted better than it looked. It was warm and molasses-y and flavored with an unidentifiable melange of spices he assumed were native to Sherman’s planet or the surrounding habitable systems.

“It’s good… So want to tell me what brought this on? No offense but you don’t really seem like Susie Q Homemaker.” Jake asked, his eyebrow raised. Kassandra’s blind eyes flickered unconsciously over in the direction of his new assistant who was standing with Maynell and Cindy in a corner of Engineering awkwardly holding plates of cupcakes in their hands, betraying her reason for the sudden show of her baking prowess. “Ah, I see. A peace offering?” Kassandra opened her mouth then hesitated. Jake sensed that she didn’t want to out Asta as her niece unless it was common knowledge. “It’s okay, I already know Asta’s one of your kids.”

“Yeah then, a peace offerin’. I used ta make quadrotriticale cake every year for Kirk Day, decorate a giant stuffed tribble, got em presents, the whole nine yards, just like we used to do back on Sherman’s planet. They use ta love it, I was hopin’ to jog some fond memories, ” Kassandra said ruefully, scrubbing one hand through her hair and grimaced. “You’re lucky Jake. Yer kids are at the sweet age, still think you’re the hero, ain’t old enough to see your flaws, and you ain’t had too many lies you’ve told them to spare their feelings build up between ya yet. Although I’m guessin’ you ain’t got much to lie about, Mister Squeaky-Clean.”

“Does it have anything to do with…” Jake struggled to think of a tactful way to ask the question, but fortunately Kassandra filled in the blanks.

“Yeah. I never told them about Barbossa. I thought that part of my life was dead an’ buried,” Kassandra winced as her choice of words registered. “That an’ more, I guess. Broken promises, mostly. I’d sorta, well…After the twins came to live with me, I made a promise to myself that I was done with the killin’. But Edgerton and the Century put an end to that vow, an’ I guess *people* were only too glad to share that with Asta, not knowin’ she was my kin.” Her emphasis and the unconscious glance of her blind eyes somehow conveyed to Jake that Cindy Rochemonte was who she meant by people. “Me an’ her, we’ve both been a bit rocky these last few years, on accounta… Well on accounta me bein’ me, and breakin’ a lot of promises I made to her an’ her brother. So findin’ out about Barbossa an’ me breakin’ a promise I made to myself, and the well, the promise bein’ such a damn big one an’ all… Well, she ain’t talkin’ to me at all right now. I guess I understand, but damn, if it don’t sting more n’ a bit.”

“I’m sorry, Kass.” Jake said with feeling. He set down the plate and squeezed her shoulder. She shrugged it off, but not in a way that suggested that she was offended, merely that she was uncomfortable with his sympathy, or indeed any sympathy at all.

“Well, I mean, ain’t all that bad, I guess. She’s old enough that I’m only gettin’ the silent treatment, instead a havin’ shit thrown at my head an’ her screamin’ at me that I’ve ruined her life, amirite? She’ll come around, or she won’t. Likely what’ll happen is her brother’ll make us feel guilty about fightin’ until we can’t take it anymore and we’ll kiss an’ make up just sos we don’t gotta have him making sad puppy faces at us.” Kassandra said with bitter self deprecation. There was a long moment of awkward silence, as Jake tried to think of something to say.

“Have Dahlia or Benito said anything to you about… Well about anything, recently?” Jake finally asked impulsively, thinking back to the scene in his quarters earlier. The kids were fairly upfront with him, but he suspected that Dahlia, at least, might be getting to the age where she might be inclined to confide in adults other than him to spare his feelings. Kassandra’s face softened immediately

“You mean about wantin’ to go back and stay on Earth?” Kassandra asked gently, resting her hands on her hips. “Yeah, a bit here and there. It’s hard on em, with their momma gone. Specially Benito. Kids his age tend to be pretty well tied to the apron strings. Dahlia, well, she’s just old enough to be startin’ to unnerstand that there’s a larger picture asides from you, her, Benito, and Xana. Intellectually, I think she knows you ain’t in control of things right now, that all your wishin’ don’t mean horseshit to the universe. Problem is, she ain’t old enough to reconcile what she knows with what she feels, and she ain’t able to just - “ The older woman waved her hands helplessly in the air as she searched for the right words. “Dunno, she ain’t able to just accept what she’s feelin’ an’ let it pass like a grown up, which I think gets her even more tangled up inside, because she knows she’s bein’ unfair, an’ that makes her feel like a bad person, which in turn makes her lash out at ya, which in turn… Man, I do not miss the pre-teen years one bit. They act like total little shits, but they’re still too damn cute to not feel like an asshole for tearin’ them a new one. You drink?”

“Not much. Comparatively.” Jake answered

“Har har. You’d might wanna rethink that stance. I’ll be happy to help you practice. You’ll need it to get through the teen years. But it ain’t all bad, at least you’ll be able to pee in peace.” Kassandra joked. “Just be patient, and don’ make any promises you aren’t in charge a keepin’ and you‘ll be fine.”

Suddenly there was a commotion in the main area of engineering.

Jake stuck his head out of his office in time to see Asta Elgin smashing a cupcake on Cindy Rochemonte’s shocked face, a look of cold fury in her eyes.

“Don’t disrespect my family again, Cindy.” The tall blonde woman’s voice was even and calm as she glared her co-worker, the tone of her voice at odds with the anger on her face. “You can call my aunt a self centered, vicious, drunken child-killer, I won’t dispute that, those are facts. But don’t you dare call her an inbred, ignorant hick.”

“I think I might have spoke too soon when I confined drinkin’ to the teen years,” Kassandra said dryly as she buried her face in her hand with a smack. “I think I’m gonna let you deal with this one. Ain’t the place for me to be goin’ all parental lecture on her.”

“At least it means she cares?” Jake said as he began to move to break up the verbal scuffle between his two assistants. Kassandra caught his sleeve, and he turned back to look at her. She looked sheepish, and tugged the bottom of her uniform top self consciously.

“Hey, Jake? Go easy on her, will you? She’s been through a lot lately, an’ I ain’t done much to help matters any. Alright Marriage Material, I’ll see you around. Gotta go disperse the rest a’ these cupcakes.” Kassandra clapped him on the shoulder and high-tailed out of Engineering.

* * *=/\=* * *

Scene: Sickbay.

Cade was brooding when Kassandra came to Sickbay, her container of cupcakes under her arm. She hesitated a moment outside his office. He looked disheveled and miserable, though he was trying valiantly to conceal it. She wondered if it might be better to leave him to it, if the irascible doctor might not prefer not letting anyone see him upset. Certainly she would prefer to be left alone if she was in that sort of mood. Kassandra began to turn away, but he looked up at that moment and caught sight of her. His hand went immediately to his medical tricorder and he advanced on her, already starting a diagnostic scan.

“What did you do to yourself this time?” He demanded as he ran the scanner over here. “Please tell me there isn’t a severed body part in that container-”

“Cool your jets, Miss Congeniality. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with me, I’m here for a social call.” Kassandra plucked the hand scanner out of his hand and dropped it into his jacket pocket.

“Social call? You don’t make social calls,” Foster glared at her suspiciously. “You only darken my doors when you’ve gotten yourself injured, which, by the way, is too often. Not to mention you look like crap- you on some kind of new beauty regime where you get people to beat your face in to make you less ugly? It’s not working.”

“But people keep tellin’ me I look good in black and blue,” Kassandra retorted and opened the box and deposited a cupcake in front of him. “Here, I made a boatload of these, an’ you could sure use some sweetenin’ up.” She hesitated for a moment, then added gently. “I heard ‘bout the blue lady. I’m sorry.”

“You’re talking about her like she’s dead. She isn’t dead.” Cade snapped back, eyeing the cupcake.

“Mi- Cade, you sure you ain’t holdin’ on past the point a’ sense? Sometimes…” Kassandra trailed off for a moment, knowing that she was about to willfully violate a boundary. She made her voice as gentle as possible and continued. “Sometimes we do an awful lotta hurt to others tryin’ to save ourselves pain. Sometimes it’s kinder fer you to stop tryin’ to stave off the inevitable, and just tell ‘em it’s OK, they can let go, and your hurt be damned. I don’t know Miss Phia at all, but I can tell you if it were me, I wouldn’t want to be hooked up to machines indefinitely in the hopes that someday you might be able to revive me. An’ I guess that’s all I got to say on the subject.”

“Right, well I’ll remember to let you die on the table of radiation poisoning next time then, Major, since you’re so cavalier about life and a physician’s duty to preserve life.” Cade snarled back. “Unlike you, I don’t get to go around killing people because it suits me, I have a duty to preserve life no matter what. I don’t get to kill a bunch of women and children just because it makes my job easier-”

“Stop bein’ an ass.” Kassandra tried not to rise to his bait, knowing that he was purposely trying to push her buttons. Unfortunately it was working all too well, and she could feel the tell-tale burn of her ears and cheeks as she came dangerously close to losing her temper. “You know damn well what I meant. I touched a nerve, an’ now you’re pushin’ back because god forbid anyone should be nice to you, because of course you don’ think you deserve it. You’d rather I punch you in yer damn nose again than take me feelin’ empathy for you.”

“Oh really? You’re one to talk. Made any new friends lately? Or just alienated them by trying to take their head off, and injuring all their subordinates with your drills?” Cade returned her volley, standing up and smacking his hand down on the table, accidentally squashing the cupcake flat in a mess of purple frosting and crumbs, sending a blob right down the front of Kassandra’s uniform. It was enough to dissolve the tension, Cade relaxed and smirked at Kassandra as she cursed and tried to fish the sticky mess out of her undershirt. He wiggled his eyebrows lasciviously as he jokingly made borderline obscene gestures with his hands. “Need help with that? Come on, Major Pain, I’d be glad to lend a hand…”

“Ain’t that desperate yet, Doc. I’ll come and see you when I’ve lost my sense of self respect. What’d be more helpful is if you could turn around while I get this frostin’ outta my tits, and tell me exactly what’s in the medical file on me that just got stolen.”

“What tits?” Cade rejoined. Kassandra snorted. He nonetheless began to pull up the records as he licked the frosting off his hand. “Not bad, I’d say you’d make someone a wonderful wife someday, but I don’t know anyone I hate enough to wish that on them. What exactly do you want to know?”

“I think there may be classified information in there, I was hopin’ to find out before I bothered the Captain with it. Only, apparently, despite it bein’ my own damn records, I ain’t got a high enough clearance to look at the damn things. I figured you’d have access, bein’ as you need to have all available information for you to be able to treat me.”

“It looks like there are some, mostly to do with installation of your sensor nets and the testing that the Marine Corps did afterwards to determine your combat capabilities. Reaction times, sensor limitations, specs etc. Do you think that’s going to be a problem?”

“I’d say that depends entirely on who they’re sellin’ that information to. I’m not so much an idiot to imagine that they came after the Jenner for that, but it’s probably a real bonus to them. Thanks Doc. I guess I better head on up to give the Captain his cupcake.” Kassandra closed up the box and turned around. “Think about what I said though.”

* * * =/\=* * *

Location: Annabelle’s Lament

Scene: Rainner’s quarters

“Crichton said you were back. You never told me when you got back,” the lisping high voice was sweet, childlike, and oh-so-plaintive. Rainner smiled and turned towards its source. The woman it belonged to was a petite slip of a thing with angelic blonde ringlets and lavender eyes that made her look like a living china doll. She played the impression up by dressing in frilly pastel dresses that made her look like some sort of carefully iced confection.

“I thought you might be sleeping, Trixie. I didn’t want to wake you.” Rainner smiled asTrixiemock pouted. “But now that you’re here, you look so sweet I can’t resist a little nibble to see if you taste as good as you look.” Rainner grabbed her hand and swung her playfully onto the bunk, straddling the woman as she kissed her, one hand fumbling with the row of pearl buttons down the front of her dress. “Mhmm, just as nice as I thought, though perhaps I better try a few more places just to make sure…”

The woman let out a half giggle, half moan under Rainner’s attentions, but quickly squirmed out from under her.

“Tell me what happened first, you beast!” Trixie pushed back the tumble of blonde curls from her breasts and crossed one arm over them coquettishly as thought to preserve her virtue. Cassidy ignored her and leaned forward once more. One of Trixie’s immutable charms was the way that she had of making Rainner feel as though she was corrupting the innocent. Even though both of them knew after nearly five years of association that nothing was further than the truth than that, it still drove Rainner crazy. Trixie put one arm out and shoved Rainner away, and her voice dropped the sweet childlike tone. “I mean it, Cassie. What happened? Are we going to be filthy stinking rich?”

Rainner grunted in frustration, but pulled back. There was no use arguing with Trixie once she used that voice. For all her sweet exterior, Trixie was one of the most accomplished and ruthless killers Rainner had ever met. Many was the good samaritan who had dropped their guard when they saw Trixie crying crocodile tears in some back alley or seedy section of town only to find themselves bleeding out on the street, or frogmarched back to the Annabelle’s Lament.

“It went off without a hitch, my pet. We have all the records, and yes, I believe that does make us pretty damn rich.”

“Hm. Come here then,” Trixie said and grabbed Rainner’s lapels and pulled her back towards her, whispering teasingly in her ear: “You’re much more attractive when you’ve got money.”

* * *=/\=* * *

A post by:
Alix Fowler
Captain Kassandra Thytos
Embattled Single Mother


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