Someone who just gets it
Posted on Wednesday, 16 June 2021 - 5:03pm by Lieutenant JG Adrianna Eberhardt & Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD
Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Adrianna Baciami had decided to sneak into her office. She knew she had a few bottles of grappa in her office, including the diamond standard stuff. The woman sat at her desk and looked in the drawers.
She froze at an incoming call. She answered without hesitation, not worried about how rough her curly hair looked, how she still didn't look 100 percent or about her being in civilian clothes, "Baciami."
“Adrianna Baciami. Do you know what hoops I had to go through to keep word of Ekos away from Dario?” Mark Dexter sounded more like a scolding father than an old friend at the moment, a clear sign of his worry for her.
Adrianna snorted and looked up to see Mark on her screen. An old friend, one of her first friends in Starfleet, from before joining - - not that she knew he was Starfleet Intel mind. She rolled her eyes, "Giovanni has already met my Ekosian fiancé. I'm convinced my father would be laughing and would be grateful for my demise since he still has a hit out. What is it now? 100? 200 thousand?"
Mark just rolled his eyes playfully. “250” He replied, but then turned his attention to her more fully, giving her a once over. “Are you ok?”
Adrianna shrugged a little, "nothing six months on free cloud with my old reputation couldn't fix." She paused, "honestly, there was no amount of training whilst working in the family business - - no amount of training could have prepared me for that. So traditional in torture styles. It was impressive, but not to be on the receiving end of."
“Just be glad they didn’t get creative.” Mark spoke of torture as if talking about the weather. “Where is my wedding invite by the way?” He teased.
At the sound of wedding, a small girl, no more than 4 suddenly came into view. She clung to Mark and looked expectantly at the screen. “Yeah, where’s my wedding invitation? I’m the best flower girl ever!”
“Sophie...” Mark just sighed, but didn’t bother trying to shush her.
Adrianna chuckled and gasped, "piccolina! Well… not so picco, but my gawd. Hello, beautiful." She couldn't believe how much Sophie had grown since she last saw her. It was unreal. "an invitation will be sent when we set a date. I'm hoping for it to be soon, though. Need something to cheer us up."
“What am I, chopped liver?” could be heard in the background, in a slight Irish lilt.
“Clearly we need to come and visit soon.” Mark cut through all the chaos in his deep baritone.
Adrianna switched to Italian a moment," the Mrs is still eavesdropping, I see."
Mark snorted in amusement. “Yes and if he keeps at it, I’m going to call him Misses.” He gently put Sophie down, and gave her bottom a little tap. “Go take Daddy Adam and make him buy you ice cream.”
Adrianna smiled, "give daddy Adam a hug from me, too piccolina."
Sophie nodded and smiled, then ran off.
Mark reached for his iced coffee. “We are too old for this shit.”
Adrianna smirked, "I'm still I'm my twenties."
Mark stuck his tongue out and gave her a grinning “fuck you.” then continued on. “Seriously though, is everything ok?”
Adrianna sat back in her chair running a hand over her face, "honestly? No. I'm not ok. I wasn't even this broken after Starfleet pulled me out of Italy. I just-- a lot happened on Ekos that could have been avoided. In fact, going to Ekos to begin with could have been avoided. It all stems from me. Everything that happened, from the need to go there to fix an error, to Leopold's sister being killed and subsequently, us winding up in prison. Me. I'm surprised it hasn't hit Leo yet, that it's my fault. In my head, he's about to realise and this nightmare will continue in a new chapter."
Mark scoffed. “Ade. So you botched it. It happens. Move on.” He thought for a moment. “You have honeymoon time soon, yes? How about you head to Risa, on me. Relax and regroup. If future Mister Baciami wimps out before the wedding, then you get a nice little place for a rebound.”
Adrianna couldn't help but smile, "Gawd, I love you. That sounds really good. If it's rebound though, you're finding a sitter and you're being my wingman again."
Mark laughed. “That’s not nearly as fun when there is no chance of me getting laid as well, but deal.”
Adrianna nodded. Her hand finally found a bottle of grappa. She pulled it out and grinned, watching the diamonds in it make the liquid glisten. She turned the bottle round, so Mark could see the bottle's branding. "An old friend of ours dropped us at Ekos. Before our trip, we hauled his ass in for an inspection after he hesitated on helping. I have a few bottles of the diamond standard and a few bottles of his family vodka too."
“Nice. The last time you let me have the diamond stuff I woke up naked in your bed.” He pouted. She still hadn’t told him how that had happened. “Am I chaperoning while you drink?” He smiled as he asked.
"Gawd," Adrianna laughed, "I remember that. I slept on the floor. Those heart printed boxers were adorable. As for the drinking, no. I'm going to take it back to my quarters. I left a sleeping Leo. He's taken to beer and junk food. I felt I was missing out. My quarters ran out of grappa, so I headed here. I need to make more, but this ship is too small - - I'm sure someone would notice."
“Sucks to be on a sardine can.” Mark clearly had no sympathy.
"It has its perks, mind," she smiled, "you get to know all the crew. Way better than the USS September."
Mark looked dubious, as if getting to know the crew was not in any way convincing. “Whatever floats your boat. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it, but if that invitation does not arrive soon, I will not be held responsible for Sophie’s actions.”
"Equally, if the invitation arrives and you tell her no…" Ade teased.
“Shit.” Mark let out, just realizing her point. “I’ll tell her it’s a shotgun wedding, she’ll understand.”
"I have every mind to send the invite in revenge for the stunt you pulled on Freecloud," she chuckled. It felt good to laugh.
Mark, in denial of his verified eidetic memory, lied. “I have no recollection of Freecloud.”
"Yes, I didn't have a swastika branded on my ass whilst in Ekos," she replied seriously, but it was followed swiftly by a chuckle, "I'll send it, but as a call, or something, so Sophie can still watch if you can't make it."
“Sounds good. Really, a swastika. They really were uncreative.” Mark complained, as if uncreative torture was actually a bad thing. Then he seemed to think better of his tone. “Please tell me you had that removed....”
"That isn't something that would sit well with my nationality or skin tone," Adrianna nodded, "one of the first things our doctor got rid of for me." She then continued, "the Ekosians really could have made a museum of uncreative torture. Waterboarding, solitary confinement, nail pulling, branding, salt burns, cuts, violence in general. I've never been so grateful of being a mere human though - - I didn't get sexualky assaulted once because of it. Well… I had my ass grabbed by a guard but I dislocated his shoulder for it."
“Well at least there’s a bright side.” Mark wasn’t the type to bring it up normally. But Adrianna was one of his closest friends. “You have a shrink on that sardine can, right?”
Adrianna nodded, "I have to see her until she clears me to work again."
“Might help” Mark shrugged. “And if you ever want to talk about it, I’m here. An ear from somebody who at least knows what you are talking about.”
"I appreciate it," Ade nodded, "at least you'd understand why I'm not suffering as much as a normal human. We both got trained for this."
“We are still human, last I checked anyway. Talk to the shrink, it may even help.”
Adrianna groaned, "I mean, talking to a shrink in general is… eugh… but T'Lanna, she's helped a lot in the past, and I'm sure she'll help now. If anything I just want normality back. Pretend nothing happened, you know?"
“I do. Just give it time. That bottle of grappa won’t hurt either.” Mark grinned.
"The bottle if grappa is starters, then for mains I'll see the shrink and for dessert I'll get laid," Adrianna listed the hypothetical with glee.
Mark made a face like he was 6 and not 50. “TMI. With that I am going to rescue my husband from what is by now a sticky mess of ice cream covered Sophie.”
Adrianna chuckled, "Let her know I was secretly calling to ask her to be a bridesmaid, let alone a flower girl."
“Oh hell no, I am not putting that thought into her head. It will just be her trial version of bridezilla. I’m terrified.” Mark actually shuddered. Torture, he was calm, but picturing his daughter getting married...horrifying.
Adrianna chuckled, before going serious, "I really do appreciate the call, Mark. Don't leave it as long next time."
“Yeah, I won’t. We are finally settled. I’m even semi retired. But you may regret it if we show up on your door.”
Adrianna smiled with a little darkness in her eyes and tone, though she was evidently teasing, "if you gate crash my honeymoon after offering me your place on Risa, I will hunt you down in the same way I hunted that Cardassian black market trader."
Mark held up his hands. “Nope, I like my balls too much for that. And with that I am leaving.”
Adrianna chuckled, "I'll speak to you soon, Mark. Send my love to Adam and Sophie."