Home Sweet Home
Episode 2: Inevitable
Location: USS Defiant, Deep Space
Timeline: Prior to the Rendezvous
"Alright, we are approaching Defiant, go ahead and signal.", Dante said from the copilot's chair. Looking to the side he took in the other man's new gold uniform and smiled. He had definitely outdone himself during the time they'd been away, and the extra training they'd bother taken had been amazing.
Jovani reached over and activated the com system, "Long rang shuttle Orion to Defiant. Requesting permission to dock," he said.
A few moments later the hail was answered, "Defiant to Orion, permission granted, welcome home," the voice at the other end replied.
"Thanks," Jovani replied, and then began making final approach corrections.
"It's good to be back," he said, with a broad smile.
Dante settled back in his chair and put his hands behind his head, watching the beautiful ship grow larger in the forward viewport. "It sure is. She's truly a beautiful ship, and I'm looking forward to further integrating you into my department now that the transfer is complete," he replied.
Jovani looked over, and his face took on a more sober look. "I want to say thank you for everything you've done, sir. I couldn't have done it without you," he said, and then smiled slightly.
"Don't kid yourself, you could have done it, and you would have eventually no matter what. You were meant to fly a ship," Dante replied. Then, glancing over at him with a grin he added, "And stop calling me sir."
Jovani chuckled at that, "Sorry, habit," he said.
Less than a minute later they'd soared gracefully into the shuttle bay of the Defiant and settled to a stop. Both men went over the post-flight checklist and then stood, grabbing their duffels. Dante reached over and patted the younger man on the shoulder, "Give me about thirty and meet me in my office. From there we can report to the captain, I wanna get a quick shower first," he said.
"Sounds good, I think I'll do the same," Jovani replied.
With their quarters on different decks, the two men split at the exit to the shuttle bay, each going their own way to their quarters.
Thirty minutes later Dante was sitting on the edge of his desk, looking over the reports he'd gotten from Dustin when his door chime rang. "Enter," he called out, expecting to see Jovani stroll in. When that didn't happen he glanced up and noticed that instead, it was Charlotte.
Quickly standing up he smiled, "I'm sorry, Captain, I was expecting Carter. We were going to head to the bridge to report in when he got here," he said.
The captain entered and shook her head. "No need. Figured I'd save you both the trip. How'd things go while you were away?"
"It went well, actually. I found the extra training incredibly useful, and Jovani most certainly benefited from it as well. How did things go here in our absence?" Dante asked.
"You haven't missed much. Some shore leave and some travel. An awful lot of follow up reports about the Typhon Incident. Otherwise, same old Defiant," she replied cheerfully. "However, I will say, I'm glad to have you back. Going into this situation with the object...I just prefer someone familiar with Defiant at the helm. To be honest, I think she prefers you at the controls."
Dante gave her a warm smile, "Thank you, and I look forward to being back at them," he said.
Just then the doors to the office swished open again and the tall form of Jovan Carter walked through them, dressed no in his usual tactical red, but instead in the gold of flight control and command. Glancing up from the data slate he was holding he stopped suddenly, "Oh, Captain, I didn't expect you to be here, I'm sorry," he said with a shy smile.
A smile spread across her face as Reynolds responded. "And I didn't expect to see you in gold!" She looked over at his mentor, a bit more excited than she'd expected. "So is it official? We've managed to brainwash him into helm?"
Dante grinned, "Brainwash hell, I think he'd have come back shirtless if I'd made him stay in red," he replied.
Jovani smiled at the captain, "He's not wrong..." he said, and then laughed.
"Well, I think it suits you," the captain replied, bowing her head slightly. "You certainly put the work in to earn it. I'll make sure that the Quartermaster is updated on everything." She waved her hand dismissively. "But that's business talk. Bring any exciting stories back with you? I somehow doubt the two of you managed to stay out of trouble."
Dante actually managed to look scandalized, and Jovani managed to blush. "Little mister show-off over here got involved in a basketball game with a few of the more athletically inclined members of the Hermes crew. Wound up winning a week's worth of rations between all of the people he beat..." Dante replied.
"I, on the other hand, was too busy to get into trouble. If I wasn't on the bridge doing my training I was in the XO's office getting mentored, or in my quarters passed out from sheer mental exhaustion," he added.
Charlotte didn't doubt that to be true in the slightest. Command Training, in addition to mentoring an up and coming helm officer? That would fill anyone's plate. "Good, then our reputation is intact," she teased. "And you've both earned yourselves some much-deserved rest. You're not scheduled on any shifts until tomorrow. Get yourselves settled. Knowing our luck, you'll have plenty on your plate in no time."
Both of the men nodded, and Dante replied, "Understood, ma'am, see you tomorrow morning."