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The Next Step in Their Journey

Posted on Thu May 25th, 2017 @ 5:54pm by Lieutenant Commander Cara Nichols MD & Commander Andrew Knight

Mission: Down on the Upside
Location: The Knight/Nichols Family Suite

Drew walked closely behind Cara as they moved slowly through quarters, his hands covering her eyes. Recent months had not allowed much opportunity for happy moments, but this was probably the happiest he'd had in that time.

"I hate this," Cara said as she was guided through Drew's quarters.

He stopped them briefly as he said open and they stepped through a door in the suite.

Cara knew Drew's quarters almost as well as she knew her own and there were only two doors he kept closed (other than Ashley's which was only closed when she was in her room....or when it was a mess). One was to his private office/study/man cave and the other was his bedroom (since he never made his bed....something Cara used, frequently, to tease him as being very unmilitary.) She sniffed as she caught a whiff of fresh varnish.

He guided her a few more steps and stopped. He then raised his hands from in front of her eyes to reveal then hand crafted eight drawer dresser he spent weeks building himself. "Yours. I hope it passes muster."

Cara blinked as her eyes focused. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the dresser. "Oh, Drew. It's gorgeous," she said as she walked over to it. Placing her hand on the wood and running it, gently, across the finish she asked, "mahogany?"

Drew nodded. He stepped up next to Cara and slipped a hand around her waist and turned her towards what was a made bed. A brand new, king-sized, four poster at that. The bed flanked by matching mahogany nightstands. It was, in essence, a brand new bedroom set. "What do you think overall?"

Cara turned and looked at Drew with a combination of love and awe. "You made all of this? When? I didn't know you could....," she hugged him. "It's beyond perfect. It's beautiful," she whispered, surprised at the fact that she was choking up and tears were forming in her eyes.

Drew hugged her back...tightly. He pulled his face back to look at hears and could feel his own emotions preparing to burst forth. "I've been working on all of this in one of the wood shops set aside for recreational use for the better part of the last few months. I wanted to surprise you with something nice for your birthday, but...this looked to be a more appropriate occasion."

Cupping her hands on either side of his face, Cara whispered, "you, Andrew Knight, are a very smart man," and she kissed him passionately.

Chris returned the kiss with a passion born of this next step in their journey to build a life...together. His love for Cara grew every day and he was astounded by how he felt.

Cara slid her hand along his arm and into his hand then took a few steps backward. "Close door," she said and the door to Drew's bedroom slid shut with a whispering hiss. "Lights to 30%," she said as she, gently, pulled Drew towards the end of the bed...all the while not taking her eyes off of his. When she felt the bed meet the back of her knees she pulled Drew closer then grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him down as she lay back on the bed. "Let's see how well this thing is made," she said in a sultry voice.


MANY HOURS LATER

Drew held his head propped up as he stared down at the sleeping Cara, her red hair cascading around her head as if a firey halo. He smiled as she murmured his name in her sleep. Their love making had lasted a long time and she had nestled into him afterwards. He had woken about an hour ago and was content to simply watch her sleep and dream. She brought him such joy in life, despite the hardships faced since the destruction of Starbase 900 months ago.

War was inevitable in this day and age. Kingdoms fought against invaders from other lands, against marauders who wanted to simply pillage...even kingdom against kingdom. Greed is the motivating factor in every war. And within the last five years Archaria had suffered through thirteen...the last of which took the life of their king and Andrew's father. Now, wearing the crown, Andrew is facing another war with a ruthless Baron from Ustril who is trying to make a name for himself by conquering as many of the smaller kingdoms as he can.

Andrew stands in his tent in the encampment on the edge of Archaria, dressed in his royal armor. His valet finishes locking down the shoulder pieces as Cara walks into the tent.

“That'll be all, Steven,” Cara says with a sweet smile.

The boy bows and said, “yes, Your Grace,” and makes a hasty exit.

Cara walks over to the table behind Andrew as he straps his scabbard around his waist and fastens the buckle. She picks up the ornate long sword and carries it, the blade resting lightly in one hand and a firm grip on the hilt with the other, over to Andrew and, gently, slides it into its scabbard on Andrew's belt. As Andrew adjusts the position, Cara returns to the table and repeats the act with Andrew's matching dagger, placing it in the sheath on the opposite side of the sword. All of this is done in silence. The only sounds are those coming from outside the tent as Archaia's battalion prepares for battle. When she is done she steps back and looks at her husband.

“I'm not going to say goodbye,” Cara says, her voice thick with emotion that she holds inside.

“This will be the last,” Andrew says, softly as he takes her hands in his and puts her knuckles to his lips.

Cara smiles and shakes her head. “You know that isn't true. As long as you are King you will need to be Archaria's protector. It is your duty just as it was your father's,” she says, with pride.

Placing his hands on the sides of her shoulders he, gently pulls her towards him and leans down, kissing her passionately for several seconds then he pulls her back and looks at her face, as if memorizing it. “I take your strength,” he says.

Cara reaches up and touches his cheek. “Come back to me, my love,” she says, her voice so soft it is almost a whisper. “Come back to us.”

They kiss again, briefly, then Andrew walks out of the tent, leaving Cara inside. She watches the curtain at the entrance of the tent billow after Andrew disappears and closes her eyes in silent prayer.

Suddenly it is no longer medieval times and the tent disappears. Cara is now standing in the center of the Anchorage Operations Center, staring at the main viewing screen where the image of an armada or Borg cubes loom in front of the Zumwalt, Hopper and the entire Air Wing. Two of the smaller cubes fire on the Javelins, taking them out, one fighter at a time. The larger cube advances toward the Hopper and fires on it, but the Hopper's shields deflect most of the blast. It is damaged but still manages to get off several more shots before taking evasive maneuvers.

Meanwhile, the Zumwalt moves above the cube and fires several torpedoes at the cubes upper hull. Only three of them get through and debris can be seen exploding from the top of the cube. The rest are deflected when the Borg adapt and adjust their shields.

Suddenly one of the smaller cubes breaks away from the battle with the Air Wing, now unnecessary as they have all been destroyed, and fires on the Zumwalt. The initial blast is deflected and Cara yells, '
“GET OUT OF THERE, DREW!”

As if hearing her, the Zumwalt veers off and comes around, firing everything she has at the smaller cube. Somehow they manage to damage the cube enough that it moves out of range and gives up the battle but the larger cube has moved into position and sends a volley of particle blasts at the Zumwalt, disabling her shields and propulsion. Cara watches in horror as the Zumwalt lists to the side, powerless. She fires at the larger cube to no avail and then everything seems to become slow motion as the larger cube fires two streams from it most powerful phasers and the Zumwalt explodes in a shower of debris and flames.


“NOOOOO!” Cara screamed and sat straight up in bed, shaking and drenched in perspiration.

Drew's smile vanished as she bolted upright screaming. He wrapped her in his arms and held her gently. He spoke softly into her ear. "Shhh. It was just a nightmare. You're safe now."

Cara grabbed hold of Drew and clung to him. She had had nightmares about the Borg ever since their attack on SB900 and this wasn't the first time she had woke up in a cold sweat. It was, however, the first time the fear had penetrated her inner armor and terrified her to her core. She couldn't speak. She could only cling to Drew as her body shook uncontrollably. The fear mixed with the loss of control overwhelmed her and she began to sob, burying her face in his chest.

Drew could tell this was no ordinary nightmare. It must have been something horribly terrifying to affect the strongest woman he knew. He also knew not to pry the specifics out of her. She would tell him in her own way and in her own time. He simply stroked her hair and held her against him as he murmured softly to her that she was safe and loved and cared for.

It seemed like forever for the tears to run out and her body to begin to relax. When she could cry no more she simply huddled in Drew's arms. She wanted to tell him to hold her and never let go but she knew how silly that sounded so she took a deep breath and whispered, "It was the Borg."

Drew kissed the top of her head and nodded. All of the survivors suffered through nightmares regarding the Borg. He himself had dozens of nightmares where the Borg assimilated him or those he cared about or simply annihilated everyone. "We're safe here. The Borg don't have this location and we've been very careful about sending ships out in ways that keep our location a secret."

Cara finally was able to get control of her emotions and she pushed herself back. "I'm sorry," she said, sheepishly, wiping her tear stained cheeks with the back of her hand.

Drew gave her the gentlest of kisses. "You, Cara Jean Nichols, have absolutely nothing to be sorry for. What we've been through. It would break almost anyone. You've held it together...you've held me together. I love you Cara, more than anything in this universe. I...I'd have never been able to hold it together without you." He kissed her again to emphasize his point, not ardently, not passionately, but with all the love in his heart. He wanted her to know exactly how he felt for her in that single kiss.

 

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