=/-\= Begin Log =/-\=
Location: Deep Space Nine, Bajoran Sector
Timeline: The morning after…
They had spent the night together; for the first time in weeks, thanks to the business surrounding the mission on Warrior. It had been a wonderful, breath-taking affair, and their aching bodies had fallen asleep in each others' arms.
The next morning David had woken up fairly early, as had become his custom over the years, and had quietly showered and redressed in her quarters. A buttered bagel and a cup of coffee had been his breakfast before he kissed her on the forehead and left her quarters. She would find him when she got up, of course, but for now he had business to attend to.
"Come in," called a voice from behind the transparent doors leading into the office of Admiral Henry Jones, the Fleet Commander for what had become known as 'Home Fleet.' As David stepped through the doors and into the office the Admiral didn't look up, apparently gripped by some piece of information on the PADD in his hand.
"Sir," the younger man started, "I know it's been a long time, but if you've got a minute I could use some help."
Finally Jones looked up, lowering the PADD as he did so. It only took a moment for the recognition to flash across his face, "David King! Come in, have a seat!"
"Thank you, Admiral," replied David as he moved to comply, taking a seat across the vast obsidian desk from the Admiral. The entrance from the office to the station's Operations center closed with a high-pitched hum as he had moved from the doorway.
Jones finally let go of the PADD completely, setting it down on the desktop as he said, "Last I heard you had mustered out, Commander. Something about owning a little restaurant on San Frontieres." He raised a hand and moved it to encompass the Commander, "When did this happen?"
"A couple months ago," David replied with a slight shrug. "They got me with the Reser-"
"That damned Reserve Activation Clause, yes," the Admiral finished for him. "I know a number of other people they caught with that. After these latest conflicts Starfleet's hurtin' for people, Dave. They need good officers."
The Commander shrugged, "Retirement didn't suit me anyways, though I did enjoy running that café. We had the best Reuben in three sectors."
With a slight sigh the Admiral leaned back in his chair, "I could use a good Reuben right about now. Damn paperwork is going to drive me insane, I swear." Taking a deep breath he finally shrugged, "But anyways, what can I do for you David. You said you needed help?"
"Yes, sir," the younger man began, hoping that Jones would be able to help him and Aubrey. "You see, I'm kind of in between assignments at the moment."
Having now lived through two Dominion Wars, not to mention the numerous assaults by various other incredible threats to the Federation, Henry Jones was a man who usually didn't like to wait. And more often than not this led him to interrupt or interject before others were ready for him to. "Well what's wrong with that? Most officers would kill for some down time right now, Commander."
"Except that my down-time currently has no prospect of reassignment, sir."
"Oh," Henry said, realizing what David was trying to say. An officer without an assignment, without his duties to attend to and his service to give, was about as useful and a two-legged racing horse and usually they were aware of this. "I see."
"And I was hoping that you might be able to arrange something for us."
The word almost slid by the Admiral's attention. He was about to agree to helping when he had to do a double-take, "Wait, us?"
"Myself and Lieutenant Aubrey Roberts, sir. She was serving as counselor. We've both just been transferred off of Warrior."
His eyes narrowed as Henry asked, "Trouble?"
"Nothing that needs to be reported, sir. Let's just say that our styles and Captain Moore's style clashed in a manner that couldn't be reconciled."
Finally the Admiral just shrugged it away, letting it go more for David's sake than anything else, before turning to his desktop monitor and pulling up some information. He was silent for several moments as he sorted through requests for replacement officers, open posts, and recent K.I.A.'s. He knew David was a doctor, and right now there was a high demand for them across the fleet. But counselors…that was another thing entirely.
Then he saw something that made him grin.
"I think I've got something for you, Commander," he began, turning the monitor so that David could read it. "The USS Charon, currently assigned to Beta Fleet. It's on long-term assignment in the Beta Quadrant, but if you can meet up with the Quantum Fury at Starbase Versailles before it departs, you can be out there in six weeks."
Hesitantly, David asked as he read over the material, "And they can accommodate us both?"
It didn't take a warp engineer to understand the connotations of his question, and Henry was aware that there was probably a good bit more than professional concern involved. But he nodded and answered, "Their counselor is a member of a volunteer program. Counselors have been of short supply lately, so the program allowed qualified professionals to take the posts. I'm sure Doctor Jennings will be happy to hear he can leave now."
"Wait, did you say Doctor Jennings? As in Paul Jennings?" David asked, leaning forward in his seat in order to get a better look at the monitor.
"Well…yes," Henry said with a nod. "Doctor Paul Jennings. Why? Do you know him?"
"Know him?" replied the Commander with a laugh as he leaned back again. "That guy was my roommate at the Academy. We went through Starfleet Medical together. He still owes me two bars of latinum from the last poker game we played!"
Henry smiled at his young friend and nodded, "Then it looks like you'll finally be able to collect that debt…"