Roosevelt Station

CR-483

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Post 12 - A Long Overdue Subspace Call

Posted on Sat Aug 15th, 2020 @ 2:21am by Lieutenant Jessica Layton & Jacob Layton

Mission: In the Shadow of Thanget
Location: Lieutenant Layton's Quarters

Lieutenant Jessica Layton paced the living space in her quarters, much like a child who knows they are in trouble and are waiting for their guardians to get home and punish them.

Her quarters were somewhere between "spartan" and "minimalistic", leaning more on the "spartan" side of things. Her walls had a single painting, done by her mother, a year before Mars got attacked; it was the only bit of decoration on them in any room. Her furniture was the kind of clean, minimalistic thing one would expect from an up-and-coming officer in her middling years. It was obvious she didn't care much for what the furniture looked like beyond "will it hold people off the floor if they wish" and "does it match or coordinate."

The one luxury the former gymnast allowed herself, outside of the occasional caramel turtle sundae, was her cross stitch collection. She looked over at it longingly, her hands fidgeting at her sides as she waits for the subspace call she is placing to be picked up.

"Jessica? What's wrong? It's not my birthday. Who died?" Jacob Layton asked his daughter over subspace.

"No one." The Black woman stared into the eyes of the man who had raised her, and whose eye color she had inherited. She bit at the inside corner of her lip, worrying at old scar tissue on the inside of her mouth before sighing.

"I know that look. Who did something wrong?" Jacob looked a bit scruffy.

Maybe he'd been sleeping when she'd called.

A burst of embarrassment swept through her. To hell with it.

"I'm sorry." Jess stood taller, her eyes on her father's for a long moment.

"What? Why?" Jacob asked, two words he'd never expect to hear from his daughter taking him aback.

"I have been an exceptionally..." She hesitated for a long moment. "I have been the least reasonable excuse for a daughter anyone's seen for a while. And I don't want this rift between us anymore."

Jacob's jaw dropped. "Jess, are you going out on some secret or deadly mission?" The worry made his voice crack.

It was Jessica's turn to blink and stare at her father. "No. I talked to my CO. She's given me some food for thought." She gnawed lightly at her lip before looking up at him again. "I barely got in here without running." She exhaled.

"Dad, I'm sorry. I hurt you. I was in pain and not exactly thinking clearly. I should have realized you were hurting, too, and knew that it was best to stay away and out from underfoot despite your fear for Mom." Her voice, laced with long-buried emotion, shook. "It took me talking to a half-Betazoid to understand some of that." She laughed and shook her head in wonder.

"..." Jacob was quiet for a long time as he processed this.

Jessica tried not to fidget. She failed; she plucked at her uniform and wished, desperately, for somewhere to put her hands--pockets, maybe? Just for somewhere to put her hands...

"Jess." Jacob's voice cut through her musing. "I accept your apology. I'm aware of how much your mother dying hurt you."

His gentle voice was making Jessica cry.

Jacob grimaced.

"Don't cry again, not over hurts that old. But promise me you'll see your counselor as soon as possible. You can't keep this all inside, honey." Jacob's amber eyes peered out at her.

Jessica nodded. "I'll try to fit that in this week." Her smile broke through her tears, sunshine after a tornado. "I should go, Dad. There's a lot to get done, and I want a sundae. But. I love you, Daddy."

"I love you, too, precious." Jacob smiled at her crookedly before ending the call.

 

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