An Overdue Catch-up
Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: Deck 7, Sickbay
Whilst Niamh had been going over the morning's updates it had occurred to her that during her time on the Defiant her contact with the CMO had been limited through no fault of Lt Lindsay's. Given Niamh's focus on getting the crew better after her chaotic arrival to the ship, then helping people move past the Typhon incident, she hadn't had much time to reach out to anyone beyond a couple of lines in a comms message. Now she'd caught up it was time to start focussing on the other aspects of her job, like checking in with her boss.
The best think about Deck 7 was that the whole medical complex was housed there, the worst thing was that she hadn't seen Morgan since her arrival and she was only a couple of rooms down the hall.
She entered the sickbay ensuring her face was a mask of calm. Inside, however, she couldn't help but feel a little apprehensive upon noticing the man in question not far from her in the main treatment area. "Doctor, have you got a few?" the Irishwoman called out to get his attention just before she reached him.
Morgan was contemplating lunch when he heard a voice behind him and he turned, "Hrm?" A grin split his lips and creased into a smile as he asked innocently, "I might, Doctor. Depends. A few what?" Morgan turned to face her, his hands sliding into the pockets of his lab coat as if considering the question in depth.
Niamh smirked, pleased to be met with banter, “preferably minutes,” she replied, “I believe we’re beyond overdue a chat” she joked, “we could have an early lunch if you’ve got the time?” She suggested.
Smiling, Morgan began slipping his lab coat off, stating "Lunch sounds like a plan. Most of the real work is being done by the staff so we should by all means have a meeting." Walking a few feet, he chucked the coat in the general direction of the hook in his office and turned back to Niamh. We can walk and discuss if you like. It will beat contemplating that which awaits us in the mess."
"Of course," Niamh agreed, leading the way. "Apologies for not popping by any sooner, I got a little too invested in the counselling side of my role," the counsellor said once they'd exited the sickbay and began making their way towards deck four. "It won't happen again" she assured.
"Patients come first, after all," Morgan replied, then queried. "How's your caseload doing? Giving yourself some breathing room I hope?"
"It's not bad now I've got a bit of routine in place," Niamh said after some consideration, "I had a few hiccups when it came to taking downtime but I'm there now" she admitted, stepping out of the way of an oncoming Ensign who had their hands full, "How about you? We've not had a sitdown yet, hopefully, you're taking time for yourself too" she said jokingly yet the sentiment was sincere.
Morgan shrugged at that, "Nah. The pace has been fairly quiet and nurses and techs all know their jobs, the most important of which is making me look good...work wise," he added with a ghost of a wink her way. "But I'll take that. We don't need mass casualties or the like."
"We definitely don't," Niamh agreed, "seems unavoidable on this ship though," she added, "Good job they've got us to treat
them" she joked.
Shaking his head at that, Morgan stated "There's that. Though for as much as some of the crew try to avoid coming to see us like we're the plague instead of they being the carriers, it's a bit maddening. Still," his tone turned thoughtful, "If most crew enjoyed coming to see us, that might be counter-productive. Long lines, all of the autographs, that sort of thing..."
Niamh shudder at the prospect, "Thank god they don't trust us then" she joked, glad to notice they were almost at the mess. Her mind was drifting to thoughts of her lunch.
"It does make t hard to get vict...er, subjects for clinical trials. But we all have our own loads to carry," Morgan chuckled as they queued into line, grabbed trays and began the search for lunch. After a few minutes, he'd picked out a brace of apples, cheddar cheese, supposedly fresh-ish french bread and a bowl of french onion soup. Once they found a table, he fetched a pitcher of water and and glasses and settled into his seat. "So, Doctor, I understand they've tagged Mission Advisor onto your list of titles as well. No wonder you're so busy," he said as he poured water for them both.
For her lunch, Niamh had grabbed a shepherds pie and a side salad, she finished and swallowed her bite of the former before answering. "I'm a glutton for punishment", she joked, placing her fork beside her plate. "Honestly, unless my skills are needed for the mission, I'll just be the ships Chief Counsellor. I'm excited to spend a bit of time on the bridge though, deck 7 get's a bit too routine sometimes" she finished, taking a sip from her water.
Tearing a chunk from the bread, Morgan dipped the crusty loaf through the cheese layer of swiss cheese and let it sop up some of the soup before popping it in his mouth. After chewing, he nodded "Well, I suppose it makes sense wanting to get your fingers directly on the pulse of the Defiant and it's a good way to keep an eye on the command team and their dynamic together," he added, thoughtfully.
"It's definitely going to make that aspect of my job easier," Niamh agreed. She played with her food for a moment before turning her attention back to Morgan, "What about you, Doctor? How're you finding your time on the Defiant, I haven't had the chance to sit down with you, yet" she joked with a cheeky grin. In truth, she hadn't ever offered a session to the CMO of any assignment she'd had. She theorised they were too busy to crumble under any of the insane amounts of pressure they were under.
Swallowing another bite of bread and a few spoons of the soup, Morgan blotted at his mouth with his napkin before answering, "Like any good doctor, I am a Legend in my Own Mind," he quipped. Then he shrugged with amusement and stated, "Well, likely you've heard the rumors that Ensign Sh'shraaqir, Thyra, and myself have been seeing one another..."
"I don't partake in the ship's gossip. however, if I did believe such rumours, I'd be inclined to ask how it was going?" Niamh said through an innocent smile whilst stabbing at a carrot on her plate.
"As the mystical, Magic 8 Ball once once displayed, the Outlook is Good Morgan quoted, smiling when he caught the look in the counselor's eyes. "A Magic 8 Ball was an ancient earth fortune-telling toy," he told her. "But, in this instance I do believe I'll go with that description." Morgan sopped up more of his soup with the bread and stuffed it in his mouth, chewing silently. Finally, he asked, "And how about your personal life Niamh? Are you finding excuses for distraction?"
"Not since my arrival," she replied after swallowing the bite she'd been working on, using the time it bought her to think, "I've either been too busy, or too tired from being so busy" she explained. "Who knows though? Now I have a more time for relaxation maybe I'll meet someone. I haven't tried a relationship shipside before, I imagine there's a whole other level of drama there" she joked.
Dipping the last of his soup from the bowl, Morgan shrugged and a wry smile quirked his lips, "Well, it hasn't proven too hard. You just have to tune out the crew when needed, which is something you pick up after a few tours. It's like being in a super small community. Everyone knows everyone else's business mostly anyway, so you just have to be able to handle that aspect." Then his smile turned into a smirk, "And you make it work for you. The 'forbidden' fruit excitement most everyone experiences as a youngster can add to it."
Niamh considered Morgan's perspective, pushing her tray a few centimetres away decided she'd had her fill, chuckling at what Morgan had finished with, "When you put it like that..." she paused, "to be honest I couldn't say whether I will or want. I've not really had the chance to meet anyone yet. This is one of the few times I've had a conversational with someone that's been recreational, hoping to work on that a bit"
Morgan grinned widely and gave the counselor a conspiratorial wink. "Well, Doctor. You should have said something earlier. Maybe I can help get you hooked up." Amusedly, he said after a few beats, "After all, like you I just don't play doctor. I am one."
"Maybe", Niamh said after a bit of consideration, "for now I'm good with friends" she determined.
Chuckling, Morgan let it go with a knowing look and nodded, "As you say." He gestured then with his spoon and asked, "How's the Shepherd's? The soup wasn't bad but was a bit too grainy..."
"Not bad," Niamh answered confidently, "Not as good as my Grannies bu-" before she could finish she found herself cut off by her communicator as it chirped to life. She rose to gesture she would be a minute before reading the message she'd received. Though a majority of her patients were referred onto her, Niamh had allowed frequent visitors to reach out personally should they want to talk.
"Looks like it's back to work for me, Doc" the Irishwoman shared as she gathered the clutter from her lunch onto the tray, "thank you for having lunch with me, it was enjoyable. We should do it again".
"By all means, Doctor," Morgan stated, finding his feet and gathering the debris of his lunch. "Even a working lunch once a week or so which would give us both an excuse to get out of the office during working hours," he winked at her and gave her a half wave.
Morgan watched her walk off and then found the bin and did for his own tray before sauntering back toward sickbay and the rest of his day.