Obsidian Command
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Posted on 29 Jul 2018 @ 10:12am by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe & Civilian Hannah Wells & Civilian Rebecca Sharpe

Mission: Character Development


Richard was beginning to genuinely appreciate the terror of being a stuck-at-home parent. Ever since he'd been suspended from duty, he had absolutely no escape from the monotony of daily life, and god was it boring. With no work to actually occupy his time, he had nothing to actually do. This meant he didn't have an excuse to avoid the irritating activities that teenage girls insisted on doing with their spare time!

At first, he'd been overjoyed at the prospect at spending so much time with his girls. After two weeks however, he was about ready to stab Rebecca in the face if she ever even mentioned clothes shopping on the promenade. Caroline was a very quiet girl, who preferred to keep to herself most of the time. She was still researching all the things she could do in this universe compared to her old one, and she adored reading. The downside to reading was it wasn't a group activity.

The quarters they occupied were quite sizeable by normal standards. On a starship, space was at a premium, so not even a Captain would have quarters this big. This was the upside of Station life, that even an officer of his rank and station had access to quite sizeable accommodations. However, even with a very large living area, and two separate bedrooms - one for him (and now Amaya) and one for the girls to share - there just wasn't enough space for everyone. They constantly seemed to be clashing with one another, and the friction was palpable.

After a biblical fight between Rebecca and Amaya over the bathroom schedule (again), Richard decided enough was enough. He'd had a sit-down with Amaya, who was feeling that perhaps she should leave. He'd firmly said that if anyone was going to leave, it would be him long before she ever did. After some discussion, Amaya agreed to stay and help Richard with accommodation assignments in Malone's absence.

So, it was after Richard had kissed Amaya goodbye on her way off to work, he'd decided to have a sit-down with his girls to discuss accommodations.

Rebecca and Hannah arrived together, holding hands, as was oft their way at the moment. Richard put this down to being in that obnoxious new couple phase, where they felt the need to be over-clingy and shove it in everyone's face. It was highly irritating, but being her guardian, he elected to let her get on with it, rather than being her big brother, and giving her grief over it. They sat down together on the sofa, looking expectantly at Richard.

Caroline, who was lying comfortably on the couch with her PADD plowing through Anna Karenina, a book recommended to her by Max, and eating it up. She had to move her feet quickly out of the way before Rebecca and Hannah sat down on them because they were only paying attention to each other and not the person already occupied on the couch. Caroline was only slightly annoyed but used to this behaviour of becoming second fiddle to her sister.

"Thanks for joining me girls." Richard said, and looked at the assembled group. "In a case of pure irony, despite having some of the biggest quarters available to families, we simply don't have enough space to live together."

"Tell me about it." Rebecca muttered.

"Yes." Richard glared at her. "I'm mostly aiming this at you, Bex. You've been an absolute insufferable cow for the last few weeks, and you've gotten even worse since Amaya moved in. I will not tolerate you reducing the woman to tears simply because you want to act like a colossal bitch."

"Hey! No one asked me if she could move in!" Rebecca snapped, sounding a lot like her petulant older self for a moment there. Hannah gave her a sharp jab in the ribs and glared at her. "Hey, stop it." She said, firmly to Rebecca. "You're being a bitch for no reason."

"Thank you Hannah." Richard said, gratefully. "I can at least see where her moderating new behaviour is coming from."

"Shut up Richard." Rebecca said, blushing.

Richard narrowed his eyes, but said nothing back to her. Instead, he decided to return to his original talking point.

"After a discussion, I feel it's time that we honoured your original request from a while back, Bex." He said. "Amaya has arranged for you to have your own quarters now that you are of age. I fully support the decision, as I think its time you were enabled to have your own space and freedom. That, and I'm tired of you trying to compete with me for head-board banging."

Rebecca and Hannah went a deep beetroot red and looked at the carpet.

Caroline squirmed a bit at the conversation and secretly thanked herself for not inviting Max to this. She honestly didn't even know why Rebecca's new girlfriend was there when this was supposed to be a family meeting, though she was grateful for the added alone time since her sister was away more often. "I would prefer to not have to hear either of you..." Her lips twitched up in amusement.

"You're just jealous that your boyfriend is too scared of Richard to even hug you." Rebecca spat at her sister. "Little prude that you are."

"Rebecca!" Hannah said, sharply, and jabbed her hard in the ribs. "Enough! Or I'm going home."

"Sorry..." Rebecca said, and hung her head a bit.

"You seriously need to sort that attitude of yours out, Rebecca." Richard said. "No one's going to hire you if you keep acting like that."

"I'm joining the Marine Corps, so they won't care." Rebecca replied.

"Like hell you are!" Richard shouted, genuinely angry for the first time in this conversation. His face was a picture of pure anger, and formed a horrific expression. "You're joining the marines over my cold dead corpse, is that ABUNDANTLYclear?!"

Caroline pursed her lips together to hold back the chuckle that was bubbling up in her chest. She couldn't imagine Rebecca even surviving one day in the Marines, especially after breaking a nail on the first day. But that was something she needed to keep inside.

Rebecca looked terrified and clung to Hannah. "Okay... I won't..." She said.

"Good." Richard said, dramatically calming down as he used his relaxation techniques from his therapy. "I couldn't let you do it. I'm sorry, but I can't see you go through what I've seen..."

Rebecca said nothing, but she looked genuinely upset. Hannah held her hand and gently stroked it.

Caroline rolled her eyes but still remain tight-lipped. She never understood how Rebecca could go from one personality to another so quickly. She added it to her mental list of things to read up on in her psychology books. Her sister would make an interesting case study...

"Anyway, quarters." Richard said. "You'll be moving down the hall about four doors down."

Caroline shook her head in shock. "Wait... you're letting her move out?" It was more out of excitement for being able to have her own room for the first time in her life than annoyance that he thought she was mature enough to be able to handle life outside of her own little world.

"'Letting' might be a strong word." Richard said, chuckling. "I think its more a case of if we don't get some separation, I may end up murdering my little sister, and I'm already in enough trouble with the law."

Caroline laughed, then shut her mouth when she looked and saw Rebecca giving her a death glare. She then looked back at Richard. "I think if I keep getting up and ready before Amaya does we should be okay... Unless you guys want the quarters to yourself..." She trailed off, wondering if she had jumped a bit too far due to her slight jealousy that her sister was getting her own quarters.

Richard looked at Caroline and raised an eyebrow. "Let me guess, you'd like your own quarters as well?"

Rebecca began to say something, but Richard silenced her with a look. "Caroline is more of an adult right now than you are, so you can be quiet. You're getting your own quarters regardless, so what Caroline gets is between me and her, got it?"

Rebecca rose from the sofa and stormed out into the bedroom, with Hannah following close behind in her wake.

Caroline raised her eyebrow at the now closed bedroom door. "Would you be mad at me if I started practicing some psychology experiments on her without her knowing?"

Richard sighed, and collapsed into one of the armchairs. "At this point, I think you have earned the right to do whatever you want to her." He said. "I wish I knew why she's become like this. She was never like this when we grew up. She was a nice sweet girl, who cared about other people. You know she cried when she found a bird with an injured wing? Insisted that I save the thing. I want that Rebecca back. The one we have now is basically a younger version of my mother."

Giving him a shrug, Caroline placed her PADD down next to her on the couch. "Technically she's lived with her mother longer than she's lived with you, maybe that has something to do with it?" She scratched her head at the thought. "I don't know, I'm probably just guessing. Her girlfriend is really nice to me, though, so that's a good sign."

"I'm glad someone's being nice to you." Richard smiled at her. "Apart from 'Max' of course." He smirked at Caroline. "I'll arrange for you to have your own quarters on the express understanding that boys don't spend the night there until you're eighteen." His face became deadly serious. "Not that I'm as worried about you as I was Rebecca. You're more sensible than that - but ground rules apply regardless."

"Why is everyone so worried about me and that?! Do you guys like seeing my cheeks permanently red?" Caroline furrowed her brows at him. "Between you and Uncle Matt and Uncle Paul and Aunt Archie it's like you all think it's something I actually think about..."

"Well, I mostly do it for the teasing." Richard replied. "But although I'm not your actual father, I care about you as if you were my own daughter. With that comes the desire to not see you get hurt. Boys your age don't tend to think properly, and young girls can be easily overtaken by hormones. I admit, you've shown absolutely no signs of promiscuity, but you have to accept that it's my responsibility to care, the same with your Aunt's and Uncles."

Caroline looked down at her hands as they twisted around each other nervously. "I don't think Max even thinks of me that way anyway. So you guys shouldn't have to worry."

"It's a guardian's job to worry about his girl." Richard smiled, got up off the chair, walked over and sat down next to Caroline, putting a hand atop of hers. "Besides, a guy would have to be either stark raving mad or into guys himself to not find you desirable." He said, in his best fatherly tone. "Just as long as most guys understand I have access to weapons and can hot-deploy a squad of killers in under sixty seconds."

Caroline's insecure lips perked up into a smirk. "I'm pretty sure you're the most famous -or is it infamous?- man on the base." She nudged him playfully with her elbow. "I'm also the luckiest to have all of you guys here. You and Uncle Paul and Uncle Matt have been so lucky to have your blood families but you guys also know how to watch out for those of us who don't really."

"Well, I'm just happy you're happy." Richard said, then gave her an affectionate peck on the top of her head. "You sure you want to move out? You'd be no bother to me or Amaya, but I can appreciate you wanting your own space."

She gave him another shrug. "I just don't want to feel like I'm getting in your way of things. Amaya still acts kind of funny around me, even with you around. She acts like I'm going to bite her like one of those weird vole things."

Richard laughed. "Amaya just doesn't know how to act around young people, that's all." He said. "She's gotten a lot better about it though, don't you think?"

"Oh..." Caroline tilted her head. "I heard Aunt Archie tell Aunt Sully that Amaya was jealous of me because of... you know..." She let out a shudder at the thought of that even happening. "But I guess that was before you guys became boyfriend and girlfriend. I don't know, I'm not like an alien or anything. I just want her to like me as much as she likes the others. I know she's known them for longer, but still-" She shut her mouth again as she realized she had been talking too much. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I'm so worried about everyone liking me all of a sudden."

"I'm worried that Amaya thought that you and I were a thing..." Richard grimaced. "I do hope you realise that'd never happen, right?" He sighed. "It's a youth thing, you want what everyone else has. Everyone likes you probably more than they like Rebecca, given what an utter cow she's become. I know for a fact you're the favourite where your uncles are concerned. As for Amaya... she'll come around."

Caroline let out a sigh. "I don't want to be the favorite, I just..." She stopped herself again then shook her head in an attempt to get the worry out of her brain. "Nevermind. Can I go back to reading? I want to finish this before I see Max again. He's teaching me Russian." She paused, trying to remember the phrase exactly before she butchered the accent. "Nalomat’ drov..." She sounded out slowly and with a beginner's staccato. "It means to 'chop up firewood'."

"Hkh ochen' khorosho!" Richard smiled. "I'm glad you're getting passionate with your hobby. I'll leave you to your reading, and I'll let you know once I've secured you quarters somewhere."

Her smile widened and her eyes gleamed with excitement. "I have somebody to practice with! I didn't know you speak Russian..." She threw her arms around him in an embrace.

"It's not very often I get to use my language skills, so haven't had a chance to let you know until now." He laughed, and hugged her back. "My vmeste mozhem byt' russkimi druz'yami."

Caroline raised her eyebrows in confusion and ignorance of what he just spewed out at her. "I think you just jumped about three levels above my ability of understanding."

"We'll get you there." He said, grinning at her. "I said, we can be Russian buddies together."

Caroline gave him a nod and a kiss on the cheek. "I love you, Richard. Thank you."

"Love you too, Caroline." Richard said, giving her a paternal hug before leaving her to get on with her reading. Somehow, they were closer now than they had been before.


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