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Blueberries, Rainbows, and Birthdays

Posted on Sat Aug 10th, 2019 @ 12:48pm by Lieutenant Commander Gallia Norris & Ensign Madelaine Masters PhD & Crewman Samantha Justice & Tayalas Norris & Captain Phoenix Lalor & Commander Gary Taylor & Commander Aurelia Holmes & Envoy Anje Brett & Lieutenant Commander Turak & Lieutenant Commander Sthilg & Major Azhul Naxea & Lieutenant Commander Arrianna Salannis an Vantar & Lieutenant Kara Hoffman & Lieutenant S'hib & Lieutenant Carter Smith & Lieutenant Commander Savar cha'Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lieutenant Commander Jessica 'Valkyrie' Vaii & Lieutenant Tallia Strode MD & Ensign Nerinath zh'Rhilror & Senior Chief Petty Officer Fernando De La Rosa & Warrant Officer Timothy Rhodes Sr. & Cadet Freshman Grade Ludmilla Brett & Cadet Freshman Grade Triston Montgomery & Avalon & Miran Lalor HRH & Lieutenant Commander Jaeih t'Noramei-McKinley
Edited on on Mon May 11th, 2020 @ 3:53pm

Mission: Mission 2: Heaven On Earth
Location: Formal Mess
Timeline: en route back to Earth

Everything was falling into place for the dual birthday party, making Gallia smile broadly as she watched her best friend and her best friend's girlfriend walking in with what looked like a thirty gallon bin of cookies, "Aww, now that looks amazin', Li..." She said, reaching for a cookie.

Liorga lightly smacked her hand, "No, not until the birthday girls have gotten one." The Deltan replied, turning to look at Estelle, "That goes for everybody."

"Look, over there", Estelle said, pointing towards the door, where just at that moment some of the guests were arriving. Would it work?

Liorga simply sighed and laughed, her beloved doctor was incorrigible.

"I dinnae think she's gonna flex on this one, bestie." Gallia laughed along, looking for Kara to enter with the co-guest of honor.

The doors opened and Gary came through. He really didn't want to be here. The last mission, his guilt on how others had suffered at the hands of the Romulans had weighed heavily on him. However he owed it to Anje and Gallia to be here and he adored little Tay. So he put a smile on his face and would grin and bear it.

"Oh, Commander, I am so glad ta see ye!" Gallia smiled broadly, "I dinnae think ye could make it. Tay's gonna be just over the moon."

"Hello Gallia." Gary returned the smile, hoping it didn't look too forced. "Thank you for inviting me. I had to be here." He explained as he looked around. So where is the little sweetie?"

"Kara's getting her ready." Gallia said, "We had to choose between gettin' the baby ready an' gettin' the party ready so we tossed a coin. Kara lost."

When Turak walked in, he immediately went to the crowd in the corner with the large quantity of cookies and asked, "How can I help with this shindig?"

"Enjoy yourself, or at least watch the rest of us do so, Turak", Estelle said. "This is a party, not an operation."

Naxea entered, wearing her standard duty uniform and her hair pulled back into a bun, carrying a small wrapped package. Despite being cleared for duty, her body was still sore and she moved more slowly because of it. She smiled at Gallia and nodded.

"Excuse me for a second", Estelle said and approached the marine. "Hey, you're not coming in here like that", she teased. "Come on, this is a party." Like she hadn't just had to tell Turak the same thing. "Put on a dress or something, let down your hair. And lose the rank." It was all said cheerfully, but she meant every word.

Sabrina entered quietly, watching those around her as she did. She was not analyzing them, but merely observing, adapting to them in this state. Her hip-length black hair was pulled back on the front and sides, that portion of it being braided. The rest hung loosely behind her, swaying as she moved. She was dressed in a long, flowing dress that was an intricate pattern of emerald, to match her eyes, and deep black. The boots were black, and had metal chains around the ankles of them the color of her eyes (metallic emerald). She was still getting to know everyone here, so she wasn't entirely sure where to begin. So for now, she just listened and watched.

Arrianna entered the room, wearing the standard science uniform when she noticed the Estelle get on the marine's case. "A marine will be a marine, Doctor. You cannot expect a whale to swim in a desert."

Lia/Rebecca now entered, she was dressed in a bright red Kimono and resembled a Oiran or more directly a Tyru (High class prostitute). The obi was tied in front and she was covered in many silk layers, in her hair were many ornaments and her bare feet looked strange in the tall Japanese sandals. She made her way to a small table in a corner without talking, and sat down with an almost blank stare on her white face.

Miran entered the room, dressed in a pair of black jeans and a dark blue silk blouse. She carried a box wrapped in silver and it had a very fancy bow in silver, gold and pink ribbon. She walked slowly over to Gallia and held it out rather shyly. "Lieutenant, from my sister and I. Unfortunately Phoenix is not able to come, but she wishes your daughter a wonderful birthday."

A tall male teenager stepped up behind Miran and slung an arm around her shoulders and added his gift, wrapped in matching paper to the one Miran handed to Gallia. Triston smiled winningly at Gallia. "From my family." he said.

"Oh, thank ye, both. An' I'm raht sorry the Captain cannae make it, Tay would just adore her." Gallia smiled broadly.

"You should have mentioned it was an informal occasion," Naxea replied to Estelle with a grin before placing her wrapped gift onto the table. "Besides, I'm not comfortable in dresses." She hadn't been sure of what to get the girl except she knew little girls often loved stuffed animals and had soft, stuffed toy Verdanis which resembled a cross between an ostrich and a horse and was native to Bajor.

"Ah, the dress part isn't necessary", Estelle said. "Anything but the uniform will do." Not everyone was comfortable like Anya over there, in a dress that would have fit a Risian setting. At least Estelle was almost fully covered, at least between the neck and the knees. "We're celebrating two birthdays", she added, and then in a lower voice, "And the safe return of our crew, but that's unofficial."

"This should be fun", Mona said to Fernando as they entered. She had opted for a casual dress that showed off her arms and legs but not much else, but she was wearing the jewellery she had received on Cortic, along with an elaborate hairdo that made here a good three inches taller, with gold and silver filaments in it. Though she didn't do it often, walking in heels was still second nature for the Orion.

"Indeed it should Mona." Fernando agreed as he entered with her. He was dressed in black slacks a garnet colored shirt with black shoes. "I hope Tay likes the toy we got her."

Savar came in behind Mona and Fernando. He was dressed in traditional Vulcan robes and carried and ornately wrapped box. Inside was a music box that played various children bedtime melodies.

"Fernando! Mona! Bring yer bums!" Gallia laughed hard as she called her friends over, though she was wondering when her fiancee was going to bring hers, not to mention their daughter.

"I believe we are being hailed." Fernando told Mona. "Perhaps it would be wise to go over before Gallia explodes."

"Perfect time to deposit our package and get our hands free for some drinks", Mona agreed.

"A simply excellent idea Mona. Lets get to it." Fernando agreed happily.

Anje and Milla walked in beside their mother, who they swore was somewhere behind that huge pile of presents bought for the co-birthday girls, "Geez, mom, are you really trying to upstage Gallia and Kara that bad?" Anje joked.

"Can it, honey." Marianna commanded, "Since you four are dragging your asses on giving me a grandchild, I'm adopting Gallia and Tay."

"Well, cool, pressure to reproduce now off." Milla snickered.

"Like Hell it is." Their mother bit back, "Need I remind you two snarky, stubborn little Russian bitches who the original is?"

"No, mama." They replied in unison, they both knew that the combination of their powers paled by comparison to their mother's, the only woman they'd ever seen back down the dreaded Wolf Queen...

Placing the load of gifts on the table, Marianna turned to see a handsome Spanish guy and possibly one of the most beautiful Orion women she'd ever seen, "And you two must be that couple that makes everyone else feel like a before picture." She quipped, introducing herself, "Commodore Marianna Brett, MD, Anje and Milla's mom."

Fernando smiled broadly, "Commodore it is a pleasure to meet you. Now I see where Anje and Milla get their good looks from their beautiful mother." He replied bowing at the waist and kissing her hand. "Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Mona Lott." He said turning to the beautiful Orion woman standing next to him. "I am Fernando De La Rosa."

"Well, well, check you out." Marianna nodded approvingly, "You know, I've seen millions of you Casanovas, you're all the same. Just like the one I married." She turned her attention to Mona, "Warning, honey, you've got your hands full over there."

"Hi, Fernando." Anje smiled sheepishly, hoping her mother didn't figure out that she and Fernando had been together, ~How would she know? Damn it, she always knows...~

"Hello Anje." Fernando replied warmly before he asked the Commodore a question, "Casanova? Who is this Casanova you speak of?" He asked a smile gracing his face.

It didn't take but a glimpse for Marianna, a seasoned mother, to know that there had been something between him and her eldest child. She gave her daughter a look of knowledge, causing Anje to cringe visibly, "So, Mona, tell me more about yourself while we wait for that lovely child, hmm?"

"About myself?" Mona wondered. She wasn't good at advertising, not now that she had to do a different kind of advertising than back on that liner. "I'm in the marines, Fernando and I are competing over who's the better sharpshooter, and I bet you you'd think there's something fishy if you came to our cabin. How's that for a start?"

"Never mind, honey." Marianna shook her head, turning back to Fernando, "Cassanova, you're the one with your hands full."

The ship's doctor was next to step through the door. He'd been checking on the captain and the other patients in medbay before heading down to the party. He'd brought tray of food and a beaker of fruit smoothie all made from the produce he'd grown in the ship's hydroponics bay. " Hello. Sssorry for being late. Isss there sssome where I can put thisss?" He asked the party host looking at his tray.

"Right over there, Dr. Bossk... Sthilg." Gallia corrected herself, "An' you're right on time."

Carter stood outside the mess, looking inside. He wasn't sure if it was proper for him to be here. He's new here, and he hasn't had a chance to make he didn't have anything to contribute to the party and had no presents in his hand.

Sami saw the new Assistant Chief standing outside as she walked up, "Yo, L.T., don't know if you might've misread the invitation or something, but the party is in there."

Crawling out of a nearby Jefferies tube, Kaylee looked around, "A party? Why don't I ever find out about these things before hand. Ely isn't going to be happy. She'll be complaining for weeks, awwww" she said, rubbing her forehead.

Having watched people deposit their gifts onto a table, Lia/Rebecca now stood up and walked over to the table herself. From out of her small bags she produced a small plain wooden box, on its lid was a Japanese word. Koufuku, happiness. Inside was a small gold coloured disc with an image of a man on it, a small stone gleamed on the surface also. But look harder at this seemingly plain gift, it sat on a cobalt blue cushion. The disc, though only one inch in diameter, was gold-pressed Latinum, and the stone a rare Andorian fire diamond. This was a St. Christopher pendent, its twin sat alongside it. As she placed the gift on the table, she looked straight at Anje, and bowed silently, mouthing the word "Twinkle". Then as silently as she had arrived, she left and returned to her cabin.

Carter entered the room, but he felt like maybe he shouldn't be here. This seemed to be a celebration that friends were invited to. He spent time with 2 people on the shuttle, and besides talking to Fray, hadn't gotten around to meeting anyone else, except the senior staff. He hadn't brought anything with him, and now he felt out of place. He thought about quietly leaving the room.

Jason walked in and looked around the room, he was relatively new to the ship and hadn't had time to meet and get to know everyone yet, but somehow he still got an invitation 'must have been my position.' he thought to himself as he spotted someone who looked as out of place as he felt. Walking up to the person he told himself 'it time to nut up or shut up'. "Hello, I'm Jason Morris, Assistant Chief of Security." Jason said to the man.

"Lieutenant JG Carter Smith, Assistant Chief Engineer. Nice to meet you." Carter looked around. "You're new here too, aren't you? I don't know why I'm here....I hardly know that many people here."

"Nice to meet you Lieutenant, I am I came aboard just before the command staff went missing." Jason said with a smile."I don't know anyone either but I guess we were invited either because of our positions and it was the polite thing to do or as a way for us to mingle and get to know others. Your thoughts?" Jason said as he looked around and then back to Carter.

"I would have preferred to stay in engineering and tend to my duties, but I was told that it would my benefit, if I attended this party. Truthfully, I'm not sure families and children especially should be on ships of the line....could be too dangerous." Smith answered him, then started looking around...for an early escape probably.

"That is commendable but getting to know your fellow crew is to your benefit, especially as we are assistant department heads. Having ones family aboard does wonders on moral even on ships of the line when they are on extended missions, I plan on bringing my son aboard to as well." Jason said noting Smiths eyes moving around and guessed he didn't want to be apart of the conversation anymore. "Well I do hope you come out more to these events and I have a chance to change your mind on that last point. Good day Lieutenant." Jason said nodding.

"Good day to you as well, lieutenant." Carter watched him go.

(The person your talking to is a guy)(yea...don't know what happened....guess I was distracted, sorry)

Naxea moved to the refreshment table to grab a drink. Taking a cup of the red drink Terrans affectionately called punch. She watched the room, her eyes going to each guest as they mingled with one another. She had never celebrated her birthday though her mother had tried to when she, her brother and her mother moved to New France. It mostly had ended up with receiving a small gift from her mother and spending the day alone. It hadn't been that she never had friends on New France--she had but she had never enjoyed her birthday, learning at an early age that any celebration among Bajorans were quick to draw the ire of the Cardassian Troops.

Jessica Vaii entered the mess hall wearing a Crop top, a leather bomber jacket that was unzipped, and some worn blue jeans. She moved over to the bar. "Vodka..." The Back of her Jacket had an angel on it with one wing white feathers, and the other wing was one of a demon. The white half held a clean and holy blade while the other wielded a jagged black demonic blade. "Damn. Holy hell. If I ever see another Romulan Scorpion Fighter, Ill actually wear a dress... again... " Jess noted. "Nah, that's the old me, and I hate the old me." She said to no one in particular.

Unable to help but overhearing the woman she knew was the ship's Wing Commander, Naxea approached the woman. "I can't stand dresses either. Hi, I'm Captain Azhul Naxea, the Marine Detachment CO. I just wanted to thank you for doing an outstanding job during the last mission."

"Lt. Jessica Vaii. I was just trying to keep us all alive. Damn Romulans. Gotta say, you're not bad for a ground pounder, Cap." She smiled. "Drink?"

"Thank you and yes," Naxea smirked, having placed the half finished punch and glass down--it was too sweet for her tastes. "Romulans aren't the most easy people to deal with in battle. Their arrogance and strength makes them a pain in the ass to deal with."

The doors to mess opened as S'hib came to a stop in the doorway, His left hoof clicking on the metallic trim at the bottom of the frame. He was wearing a very ornate, flowing yellow dress that ran from his hips down to the tuffs above his hooves. His mane and tail hair had been braided into long strands and pleated with silver charms.

Looking around the room he saw few he recognised, but it mattered little as he spotted where everyone was leaving their gifts and he quickly trotted over to add his own to the pile.

"May you continue on your travels." S'hib muttered to himself as he placed a small box down containing a necklace with a part of Sh'le, the broken moon of Sequella. It had been fashioned into a small smooth oval that glistened brightly underneath its black metallic surface.

Gallia was starting to wonder where Kara and Tay where, and she was tempted to leave the party to find out, turning to Estelle she shrugged slightly, but her best friend no doubt picked up the body language that showed she was worried.

Gary looked around but didn't see Lia nor did he see Liselle and in a way he was glad. He didn't want a confrontation with either of the women. He turned and walked back to Gabby and reached inside his tunic and brought out a thin wrapped gift. "For Tay." I hope she will like it."

"Oh, I'm sure she will." Gallia smiled, "I cannae wait for her ta see all a these beautiful gifts."

Carter got himself a alcoholic one, found a seat near a corner, and just watched the festivities. He was never one to just join in in situations like this...maybe if he knew more people, things would be different.

"What's the old human expression...a penny for your thoughts?" Naxea asked Carter as she approached him in an effort to get to know more of the crew.

Smith turned at the sound of the voice, recognizing her from the ship's roster. He stood, "Captain."

"Trying to adjust to the new crew as well?" Naxea asked

"Yes ma'am. I haven't been here that long enough to meet everyone, and I wasn't sure if the invitation to this party wasn't sent to me in error." He stayed standing.

"At ease, lieutenant before I mistake you for a Marine," she grinned. "And have a seat," she continued as she sat down across in a chair next to him. On duty, she expected absolute professionalism but for a Birthday Party? She was more lenient. "So, Assistant Chief Engineer? That's impressive. Any plans for when you get back to Earth?"

Carter sat in the chair across from her. "Not that impressive. I guess they were desperate for an assistant chief engineer, and they gave it to me." He half smiled at his joke. "Plans? None really. Guess I'd rather stay on board and give the engineering section a good going over and look for any issues, better to stay ahead of things before a problem develops, ma'am."

"That's what the Yard Engineers are for," Naxea said with a shrug. "I admire your dedication to the ship but trust me, life is short. As I like to say, live for today because tomorrow is never granted." She then smiled. "Besides, you seem to be a good engineer--smarter than me anyhow. And if Starfleet was truly desperate they would assign a Marine as the Chief Engineer," she winked.

"Just sort of a natural talent, ma' came easy to me, and when I entered the academy, the instructors saw that...and lo and behold, assistant chief engineer."

"Good for you," Naxea complimented. "Well, I'll stop pestering you," she said, not wanting to push Carter. "I should go around the room and meet some of the others."

He stood up when she left. "Pleasure meeting you, captain." Once she was gone, he sat back down again, questioning himself, "Why do I behave so stupidly around senior officers, especially female senior officers? Am I that stupid, or do they intimidate me that much? Or is it that their beautiful?" He shook his head, drank his drink and starred out the window at the passing stars.


Jessica noticed Gary and approached. "Hey Boss, you want some sage advise for the future?

"Hello Jess." Gary greeted the pilot. "Absolutely. I'll take all the advice I can get. What's yours?"

Jessica Clarke walked by Gary at that point, and just hearing her name mentioned, she offered him the tray of drinks she was carrying. "My advice is to get hydrated."

Gary smiled and nodded his head, "Sage advice indeed ma'am. Thank you very much." He looked at the tray and then her, "What kind of drinks do you have on your tray?' He asked.

"Andorian ale and vodka", Jessica said. "Appropriate drinks for whose birthdays we're celebrating."

"Yes, I'm sure it is." Gary agreed. "Do you have a rum and coke?" He inquired.

Milla, having finally spotted Jessica, wandered over quickly, "Jess, what are you doing?" She asked, "You're not working tonight, you're here as my date." She turned her eyes to Taylor, "Oh, hi, Commander. If you're looking for a rum and coke, my sister mixes drinks very well, she can take care of you."

"Thank you. It was more of an inquiry then a request. Perhaps another time." Gary replied.

"This is my job, Milla, how can I not work tonight, when everyone's here?" Jessica asked.

"We have plenty of staff here." Milla sighed, "You're here to have a good time and help me celebrate my birthday." She turned to Taylor and sighed, "Women, huh?"

"I might just be a server among officers, but don't think for a moment I don't take my duties as seriously as the Captain herself takes hers", Jessica said. "But yes, I do want to help you enjoy your birthday."

"Then tonight we only serve the purpose of pleasure." Milla smiled, taking Jessica's hand and shooting a glance to Taylor, "Commander." ~He's kind of cute, could be fun if I ever swing that way again...~

Jessica placed her tray down on the counter. "Problem is, now I'm at a loss for what to do."

Lt. Vaii stared at annoyance at Clarke for a moment. "And don't get captured by Romulans, boss. That means I have to run the squadron."

Gary nodded in agreement. "Sage advice Jess. I'll be sure to follow it. Not that I planned on being captured this last time. But I thank you for your consideration on my well being. It is greatly appreciated."

Mary Norris, Ed. D., aka the fearsome Great Aunt Mary, keeper of the history of her clan, stepped into the hall, Tayalas in her arms and four large male members of the clan behind her, all adorned as Tayalas was in their tartan. Striding past Taylor and Vaii as though they didn't exist, she brought the baby to her mother, "Yer Kara's changin' clothes, darlin', wouldnae listen ta me when I told her wearin' white wit a sprog isnae a good idea." The Clan Matriarch reported, "But we got this one all in her finery."

Gallia took her child into her arms, not having expected Great Aunt Mary to have put her into the tartan, but also not knowing why she didn't expect that, "Well, doncha look a perfect angel, Tay!" She looked behind her aunt, happy to see her cousins David, Angus, Nicholas and, hidden behind them, her brother, Charles, "Charles, ya made it!"

"I wouldnae missed this far all the latinum on Ferenginar, sister." He replied, pulling her close and whispering, "A bonny group a friends ya have, sister, they really come all out for our girl."

"Aye." Gallia nodded, not knowing what else to say, or if anything else really had to be said.

"Uh, hi." Dorso said, realizing he'd accidentally walked into the middle of a touching family moment while looking for chip dip. At a loss for words he stumbled for anything to say, finally settling on, "Uh, so, nice skirt, sir."

"Laddie," Charles began, his Vulcan bloodlines showing his annoyance without him having to go out of his way to make effort, "This garment is a kilt. Kilt, that's an important word, because that's what happened to the last imbecile called it a skirt. Get me?"

"Uh, yes, sir." Dorso nodded, "I think I see Liorga over there, I better go check on... something that doesn't get me kilt."

"Don't mind Dorso, he's got foot-in-mouth disease", Estelle said. "And that's something even Starfleet Medical hasn't figured out a cure for."

"He's a bit thick, brother." Gallia cosigned Estelle, "But he means well."

Tayalas turned to see Estelle, smiling hugely, "Stell!"

Kara flew into the party at quite a speed. She spotted Gallia instantly, and threw her arms up, with a large smile on her face. She quickly fixed her grey white and red striped dress as she took a quick breath. "Sorry, for the delay. Had a wee incident with my other outfit. Are we all here love?" She asked, approaching Gallia, saying her hello's to those she passed by.

"Aye, we're all here, love." Gallia smiled, her face awash in relief as she kissed her fiancee, "I hope she didnae ruin ya dress."

Nerinath entered in silence, carrying a fair sized box. She placed it on the gift table. Within were standard Andorian Craft Supplies. She had gathered them herself for the birthday, not sure if traditional gifts would be welcomed. She had dressed casually, a long black tunic over dark blue jeans with flats on her feet.

The new person caught Tayalas' eye right away, leading her to realize that this new person looked like her. Tugging on Estelle's dress she pointed, "Stell! Siral, Stell!" Turning her tiny finger back to herself, she repeated, "Siral."

"Yes, she is like you", Estelle agreed. She waved at Nerinath and pointed at Tayalas, hoping she'd get the idea. Estelle didn't want to shout all across the room, or walk away from Tayalas at this point.

Shyly Neri nodded and slipped through the crowd to where they stood. She gave a polite bow from her shoulders to the young Andorian. "Greetings" she said.

Tayalas' eyes lit up as she saw the woman who was a big her, pointing again to the new woman and saying, "Siral" before pointing back to herself and repeating it.

"Ma God, Kara, Estelle, this cannae mean what it looks like, can it?" Gallia asked, "Do ya think the wee one has figgered out she's spottin' one a her own kind?"

"I believe that is exactly what it means", Estelle smiled.

"I cannae believe ye had any doubts, Gallia." Great Aunt Mary chimed in, "That's Dolana in her fer sure. She figured out she was different from the rest of the clan about this same age, but you wouldnae know that, bein' years from your own birth and what not."

Neri waited for the conversation to pause, "Pleased to meet you little one. Happy birthday." Then she glanced at the assembled family, bowed again and began to retreat.

Milla, Jessica in tow, found her way over to her Blueberry, joined quickly by her mother and sister, "Hey, there's my girl!" She grinned leaning down and kissing Tayalas' head, "We have got some awesome stuff for you!"

"That's right." Anje agreed, though her mind was now focused on Lia more so than the two birthday girls, ~That was so not her...~

Liorga stepped over with two large, soft cookies in her hands, holding them with paper towels, "And these are for our birthday girls." She smiled, handing one to Milla and holding the other for Tayalas, turning to Estelle and Gallia, "Now you two chow hounds can have one."

Tayalas leaned down and took as large a bite as her little mouth could take, grinning as she came up with chocolate all over her tiny face, "Mmmmmm."

Tallia walked in now, running behind because she simply could not pick the right outfit to wear to this event, finally settling on a tank top and low rise jeans, her hummingbird tattoo peeking out from between the two as she watched Tayalas being adorable.

Fernando's eyes were drawn to Tallia's ….tattoo. It was identical to the one Anje also had. Before he knew it the words were out of his mouth and there was no going back, "Your tattoo. Anje has one exactly like it. I've seen it."

"Right, what's up with that, matching tattoos?" Mona wondered. Now that Fernando had mentioned it, Mona noticed it as well. "Not that I'm complaining, it's nice and green after all."

"Well, well..." Marianna smirked, "What have one or both of you been doing with my little girl?"

"Oh, please no..." Anje groaned.

"Did mysh go have herself a three way?" Milla giggled, she simply had to make things worse now, it was in the Little Sister Code.

"Shut up..." Anje murmured, Milla she could kick the crap out of.

Fernando felt color coming to his cheeks and realized he had let the cat out of the bag. He shot Anje am apologetic look and whispered, "Uh oh."

"We had a holodeck malfunction and couldn't run the programme we wanted", Mona answered truthfully, then pointing at Anya who was chatting with someone over by the windows. "And so Anya over there suggested we all go skinny-dipping instead."

"Skinny dipping, huh?" Marianna laughed, "Did you learn nothing from dealing with the Dominicis Brothers, Anje?"

"Those guys..." Tallia hissed.

"Still doesn't explain Casanova over here." Marianna said, one perfect eyebrow raised, "But I won't press."

"Excuse me, Liorga, but is there any poison in the cookies?" Anje asked, "If there is I want the entire bucket and a gallon of milk."

"Sorry, no poison." Liorga shook her head, "The baby is allergic. I got Macadamia nuts in some of them though, you might get lucky and choke..."

"In a room full of doctors?" Tallia giggled.

"Shit, she's right." Anje sighed, "Those are lottery odds."

"What's the big deal?" Mona asked.

"Nothing to most people." Marianna shrugged, "Just seems Casanova over there worked his charms on my eldest daughter and she's uncomfortable with mommy knowing is all."

"You are so uptight, mysh." Milla poked, continuing to make this worse for her sister.

"But the hummingbirds are lovely." Marianna continued, leading the subject away from who Anje had been having sex with to more pleasant topics, "All three of the girls got them the day they shipped off to the Academy. My sister moved Heaven and Earth getting them all assigned to the same dorm for four years."

"Well, I cannae move Heaven nar Earth," Gallia interrupted, "but I say we move this way and dive inta these lovely gifts, what say ya?"

A half hour later with the massive pile of presents sorted and gone through, everyone had tucked into the equally massive piles of food as Tayalas played with the pretty necklace given to her by her beloved 'Sib' and cuddling the stuffed ducky given to her by Auntie Stelle when she turned to Miran Lalor and said, "Preddy."

Gallia rolled her eyes to the sky, wondering what it was with her women and the Lalors? "I cannae stand it." She moaned, "If it isnae my fiance talkin' 'bout the 'gorgeous captain' it's mah baby talkin' 'bout her 'preddy' sister. But no mama..."

At that point Tayalas burst out giggling, pointing to her mother with the duck's bill and saying, "Mama silly!"

Gallia stopped on a dime, smiling then shaking her head as she realized that the kid could probably say it the whole time, sighing, "Really?"

"Sana!" Tayalas gigglled, this was fun.


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