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Hi! My Name is.......

Posted on Tue Sep 19th, 2023 @ 4:02am by Senior Chief Petty Officer Emily Charles {Kelea-Salik} & Lieutenant JG Zac Smithson

Mission: MISSION 0 - History Speaks
Location: Emily's cabin
Timeline: Prior to away team departure
2151 words - 4.3 OF Standard Post Measure

Zac stood outside Emily's cabin. He was nervous as a high school boy on his first date, and he didn't know why. Okay, he did know why. He was going to meet Emily's daughter and he prayed the little girl liked him. He held a box in his hand. It was wrapped and contained a doll. A doll, that had been one of Etrara's and he didn't think she would mind him giving one of her dolls to a little girl.

He rang the chime and waited for Emily to come to the door. If the visit went well, they were going to visit the arboretum and let the girl ride the merry go round and feed the ducks.

Emily smiled as she walked over and answered the door. “Hi Zac! Please come on in.” She motioned him inside where Leana was also waiting, the three year old quickly hid behind Emily’s legs. “’s okay, this is Zac, I was telling you about him remember?.”

"Hi Emily." Zac replied warmly before looking at the little girl hiding behind Emily. He got down on his knees to be on the same level as Leana. "Hi Leana, it is very nice to meet you. I brought you a present." He said, holding the box out to the little girl.

Leana shyly peered around Emily’s legs, looking up at Emily she slowly moved to reach out an arm to take the box.

“Shall we open it?” Emily knelt down as well to help open the box.

Leana’s eyes opened wide at the sight of the doll inside, she quickly picked it up giving it a tight yet gentle hug.

“Ohh Zac, it’s lovely! Thank you” Emily smiled warmly.

Zac smiled at Leana's reaction to the doll. He stood up and met Emily's smile with one of his own. "You are welcome, Emily. I wanted to make a good first impression and it seems I did." As he looked at Leana as she continued to hug the doll.

Emily nodded as she stood up as well. “She likes the idea of going out, she wants to feed the ducks but I think dolly might have to come too now.” She grinned.

Zac smiled at Emily. "Wonderful." He replied at hearing Leana liked the idea of going out and feeding the ducks. " Dolly can come. She is part of this outing. So, let's get going. We don't want to keep the ducks waiting."

Leana offered a nod even though she didn’t say much. She hadn’t really spoken a lot since losing her parents, not that Emily found it surprising. She understood all too well. The little girl had a lot of healing to do and she would be there all the way. She reached out her hand taking hold of Emily’s.

“I’ve been looking forward to this myself” Emily smiled warmly, in the midst of disaster she’d found the beginnings of a new life for herself.

Zac's eyes shown in gratitude at Emily's words. Me too Emily, me too." He replied honestly as he looked at first Leana and then back at Emily who had captured his heart and, in the time, they had been together had helped him to live again.

Emily nodded as she leant in and kissed Zack on the cheek. “That’s for the dolly” she grinned as she looked down at Leana, before she gently took hold of Zack’s hand.

Zac beamed at Emily and his smile grew even bigger at her kiss. "You are welcome, Emily. I am glad Leana likes it." He answered as his hand closed over hers and he returned the kiss.

Emily blushed, she couldn’t help it. She wasn’t used to relationships, being from an abusive background she had never bothered with a boyfriend when she was younger. “So where is it we’re going to see these duckies? I know it’s the holodeck but where in the universe are we headed for our time out together?”

Zac smiled at Emily's question. "No, not the holodeck Emily. The arboretum. It has real ducks and a pond as well as a merry go round for Leana to ride. I hope you aren't disappointed." He desperately hoped she wasn't disappointed in his choice, he wanted everything to be perfect for their time together.

“Really? I didn’t know that, after recent events I wasn’t sure the Arboretum would be open for the crew. It’ll be fun!” She motioned to the door, “Let’s go!”

Zac nodded. " A lot of it isn't but I checked first, so we, Leana wouldn't be disappointed. "Are you sure you are okay with this?"

Emily nodded. “Of course I am! Any chance to spend time together is okay with me.” She stepped out of the door. “Lead on Zac.”

Zac let out a sigh of relief at Emily's answer. "I feel the same way Emily." He replied then looked down at Leana. "You ready to feed the duckies Leana?" He asked the child.

Leana looked at Emily, then back at Zack before nodding. Moments later she ran to the small made up kitchenette area and picked up a little bag full of old crumbed up bread saved for the duckies.

“Ohh I almost forgot that!” Emily grinned. “Can’t go without the ducky food.” With that they headed on their way.

Zac smiled at Leana, "Good thinking Leana. The duckies will be so happy you remembered. You will be their new best friend." He told the little girl.

~ Arboretum, a few minutes later ~

Walking into the Arboretum Emily gave Zac a warm smile. “I love being in Arboretums and places like this in general, it’s somewhere you can lose yourself for a while and let yourself relax.”

"I couldn't agree more Emily. It is peaceful and relaxing. You can forget about the outside world for a while and as you said just relax."

A gentle tug on Emily’s hand reminded her about the ducks. “I think a certain young lady here would like to get to the ducks!” She smiled at Leana loving the excited smile and nod she got from her.

Zac chuckled as Leana's gesture. "Then by all means, let's not keep the ducks or Leana waiting." Zac replied. "To the pond we go."

Following Zac to the pond Emily helped Leana open the bag of bread for the ducks, and happily watched as the three year old stood throwing it for the ducks. “Thank you for this Zac, to be honest this whole being a mother part is so new to me. I just want Leana to be happy, She has a lot of healing to do after losing her parents.”

Zac smiled at Emily. "You are welcome, Emily. I am glad to help. Leana seems happy. It is clear she loves and is attached to you. So, you are already doing great. The rest will fall into place. Do what you think is right. I'll help you all I can, that's if you want me to."

Emily gave Zac a surprised yet warm smile, and a nod. “I would like that very much. You may have to be patient with me, I’ve never really bothered with boys or men much before, mainly thanks to bad times in my past, I’ll explain it all to you when we have some time alone.”

Zac niodded, "Emily, you tell me when you are ready. I'm not going to be pushing you. Just know, I'll be here for you and Leana and whatever you both need. I'm not going to cut and run. I'm here for the long-haul."

Emily nodded somewhat teary eyed, but more in joy than anything else. “In that case you should join us for dinner, and meet the rest of my family. You probably know most of them already, but it would be a special occasion nonetheless.”

Zac took Emily's hand and squeezed it softly. "I'd like that very much Emily. Very much." He repeated. "You just let me know when and where and I'll be there with bells on."

Emily couldn’t help but giggle at the picture that comment conjured up in her mind. “I will, I’ll ask George and Leilani when is good for them and let you know.”

Zac loved Emily's giggle it was so full of life and vibrant just as she was. "Sounds good to me Emily. I am already looking forward to it."

“Me too!” Emily grinned. “Are you okay there sweetheart?” She looked towards Leana who was almost finished tossing her bread to the ducks. “There’s plenty more to see and do.”

Leana nodded, emptying the last of her bag she gave the ducks a very sweet wave before returning to Emily’s side. “It’s so...amazing being a mum, it’s a feeling I can’t explain. It completes me, if that makes sense?” Emily looked at Zac.

"It makes perfect sense Emily. I think every woman wants to be a mom and every man wants to be a dad. To be part in raising a child, to pass on the love they were given as a child." He looked at Leana, "I think Leana is very lucky to have you as her mom."

Emily blushed. “Thank you Zack, that’s very kind of you. Leana likes you I can tell, and I think you’d make a very good father.”

Zac blushed scarlet at Emily's compliment. "Thanks Emily, that is awful kind of you to say. I like Leana as well and you know how I feel about you."

Emily nodded. “I can sense it, and I can see it too.” She nodded to Leana who was pointing towards the amusements on offer that had been setup as a stress reliever for the children onboard.

Zac saw Leana pointing at the rides. "Leana? Would you like to ride the merry go round?" He asked the small girl.

Leana nodded a big smile on her face.

“Then let’s go!” Emily grinned as she held out her hand.

Zac took Emily's hand in his as the trio headed for the merry go round. This was turning out to be a fantastic outing and he never wanted it to end.

The time seemed to fly by, Emily was enjoying every minute of it, as was Leana. It was only when Leana started yawning that Emily took note of the time. “Is that the time!? Heavens it certainly flies by. I think a certain someone looks tired.” She motioned to Leana.

Zac looked at the little girl and Leana certainly looked tired. "Leana, darling would you like me to carry you?" Zac asked the child.

Leana gave Emily a little uncertain look, waiting for Emily to nod that it was okay before turning back to Zac. She paused before nodding.

Zac saw Leana's look. "Leana sweetie, if you don't want me to carry you it is okay. I was just asking because I can tell you are tired."

Leana nodded and held up her arms signalling she wanted to be picked up.

“Looks like you’ve made a good impression” Emily smiled warmly.

Zac didn't hesitate, he bent down and carefully picked Leana up. where she settled on his shoulder. "I hope so Emily. I truly do."

~ Home, a little while later ~

Emily couldn’t help but smile as they arrived home, Leana was fast asleep on Zac’s shoulder as she stepped inside her quarters. “You can put her down on her bed right over in the corner there. Sorry it’s so crowded I’ve got George, Leilani and Hendor staying here with us until the ship is repaired.”

"Sure, thing Emily." Zac replied as he gently lowered Leanna onto her bed. "Leana has all she needs which is love." He paused, "Um, you and Leana could come to my quarters. I have plenty of room and you wouldn't feel so crowded." He looked at Emily, "It is just a suggestion, think about it."

Emily gave Zack a surprised look. “Actually, I’d like that. It would give George, Leilani and Hendor some privacy and it would be less cramped. That’s if you’re sure? I don’t mind sleeping on the couch.”

"I'm sure Emily and you aren't sleeping on the couch. I have a spare bedroom and bed; you and Leana can have it. We can move Leana's bed so; she'll have her bed. It will be fine. Zac said confidently.

Emily couldn’t help but smile. “That’s wonderful, thank you Zac!” Emily leant in to kiss him on the cheek. “How does tomorrow sound? I’ll explain to George tonight.”

Zac smiled happily even as he blushed at the kiss Emily bestowed upon him. "It sounds wonderful Emily! Absolutely wonderful!"



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