Obsidian Command
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Food & Frivolity

Posted on 06 Aug 2018 @ 1:25pm by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Sharpe

Mission: Character Development

ON:

Richard was troubled by how difficult Rebecca had become in recent weeks. She'd always been opinionated, but she'd never been unruly, outright rude and obnoxious. To put it bluntly, she'd become a miniature version of his mother, and once that comparison had been made, he was finding it exceptionally difficult to relate to her, as he kept seeing his mother - who he loathed and hated with a fiery passion. This meant he was transferring feelings he had for Kassandra onto Rebecca.

Realising he didn't have to deal with all this on his own was something of a blessing to the embattled marine. He was fighting a war on two fronts at the moment, and he was becoming fatigued and worn down. Fighting to save his career and even his own freedom on the one hand, whilst fighting his family on the other. All the while, still dealing with the psychological demons he'd aquired recently, that despite a trip to a rehab clinic, he wasn't cured so much that he'd been given a tool-kit for ongoing mental maintenance. One of those tools was to remember that he wasn't a lone rock in the ocean, and that he had people he could trust and rely on to lean on in trying times.

This realisation brought him to the door of his best friend's quarters, hoping that he was actually in, and wasn't... 'busy' with Archie. Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour in this instance, he tapped his comm badge. "Sharpe to Commander Porter." He said, mocking him even in this. "You free for a chat?"

=/\= Always for you, Big Guy, =/\= Paul’s cheery voice popped up over the Comm. =/\= Swing by my quarters... =/\=

"I'm standing right outside." Richard replied, smirking as he did so. "Just thought I'd check for the 'all clear', rather than chiming and interrupting something."

The doors swooshed open and revealed the sound of Archie’s bustling around the kitchen as Paul sat on the counter and shook his head at Richard. “You’re such an asshole. And here I was about to offer for you to join us for dinner...”

Archie looked up and gave Richard a smile, then saw the slightest bit of tension in the man’s face. She quickly set aside her large spatula and reached towards an empty glass. “Want anything to drink?”

"Whatever you've got lying around, I'll have." He said, giving Archie a friendly smile, which was a little forced.

"As for you, last time I came over unannounced and tapped the chime, you guys nearly hurt yourselves from the shock of the interruption. I've learned to announce myself well in advance, Mister Porter." Sharpe smirked at his friend. "As for dinner, I could always go to the burger joint, if you feel like letting this sad lonely man wander the promenade alone... forlornly eating a take-away burger that's getting cold..."

Archie rolled her eyes while Paul let out a laugh as he took a drink from his beer bottle. “Oh, cut the horse shit, Richard.” The woman cut him off, giving him a childish smirk. “Just get your ass in a chair.”

Paul jumped down from the counter and grabbed the bottle of synthehol wine that was reserved for Archie and brought it over to the table. He gave himself the opportunity to look over Richard and notice the slightly distraught look on his face. “You alright? Everything good with you and Amaya?”

"As well as can be." Richard said, taking a seat at the table. "I'm afraid its Rebecca that's causing the problems at the moment." He sighed, deciding that he might as well make a clean breast of it.

"Basically, I'm struggling with handling my own sister at this point." He said. "I've got a lot going on, as you well know, but Rebecca's just making it so much harder than it needs to be. She had a huge great row with Amaya the other day over the bathroom. So we decided she could get her own place. At first, things were going well, but then when I agreed that Caroline could get her own place, she just... flipped."

Paul nodded slowly as he sat in the chair across from him. “Ah, yeah I heard about that from Caroline.” He let out a sigh, frustrated that the once sweet and energetic child had all of a sudden flipped into a raging bitch of a young woman. “Think she feels entitled or something?”

"I'm not sure, its like a switch went on or something." He said. "I admit, I lost my temper with her, but I rolled it back in. My big problem at the moment though is that she's acting more and more like our mother, and as a result, I'm reacting to her like she's our mother, and I'm treating her like she's our mother. That's only going to make things worse. Right now, I feel like I'm this close to another melt-down, so... I reached out."

“Hey,” Paul gave him a pat on his shoulder, “I’m glad you came to us. Archie’s been trying to reach out to her, especially since the whole... Klingon...” his lips tilted up a bit, “...thing. I think we have to remember that she grew up with a mother who beat her and sheltered her for 17 years. And, on top of that, she was brought here to essentially start her life over. She had a real shitty female role model to look up to and learn from.”

"I've tried exposing her to as many positive female role models as possible. Admittedly, Archie probably wasn't the best choice..." He said, giving her a mischievous smirk. "Joking aside, I had hoped that being around the police gals would instil some positive virtues in her, but she's definitely taken after Kassandra. Which is worrying."

Archie placed Richard plate of food in front of him, then smacked him on the back of his head. Paul laughed at the display and gave her a kiss on her lips as she continued passing out the food. “It hasn’t even been six months since she moved here.” Archie poured herself a glass of the synthehol and sat down in between the men. “She’s also a teenaged girl. That’s an entire issue on its own, with or without abuse. She’s not going to be able to unlearn 17 years of terrible behavior in six months. And the whole Amaya thing... that’s gotta be hard on her, too. I think she’s just feeling overwhelmed by everything that’s been going on.”

"I'm just not in the right place to be trying to deal with all this." Richard said, as he took a bite of the food. As expected, it was pretty good. "I think if I weren't dealing with the trial, I might be able to focus more, but it's so easy to get angry now, I'm terrified I'm pushing her away."

Archie and Paul looked at each other with worry about the Sharpe family. They had been through so much both separately and together and the pot was finally starting to boil. Paul then looked back at Richard. “How about Archie and I take her out to dinner and spend an evening with her. Just Rebecca. No Caroline, no girlfriend. We’ll talk to her, see if we can get down to the bottom of whatever it is that’s going on inside that head of hers.”

“I know how much you guys love each other,” Archie chimed in. “Families are bound to have bumps like this. We just need to be straightforward with her and explain how much her behavior affects us all.”

"I'd appreciate that." Richard said. "At this point, every overture I make, I seem to just make things worse. I really did think that giving her her own space would help - but I'm not sure."

Archie gave him a shrug. “It’s time she finally got some adult responsibilities. Maybe pushing her out of the nest will snap her back to reality. She’s also well aware that if she messes up too bad she’s got to answer to quite a number of high-level adults around here.”

"You think that could be part of it?" Richard asked, after he finished a mouthful of delicious dinner. "That since she got here, she's been treated somewhat as a pampered princess. She's effectively starbase royalty at this point, being my sister, and the niece of effectively every senior police officer on the base."

Paul shook his head. "No, I think it's annoyed her more than anything knowing that if she were to do something even remotely out of line we'd find out about it. Though," he cracked a smile, "you, me, and Matt haven't exactly been the strictest guardians out there. She and Caroline do have us wrapped around their fingers."

"All I know is that it must be something I've done wrong, because she was never like this before." He said, sighing. "I was never cut out to be a parent, god knows what I was thinking taking on two teenage girls. Caroline is relatively easier than Rebecca, although I do wish she was less of a recluse."

Archie placed her hand over his. "Richard, don't say that. You're an amazing brother and you'd make an amazing parent. You saved those two and took them in when you absolutely didn't have to. They're just teenaged girls with two very distinct personalities. Don't be so hard on yourself. God knows I'm not going to be the most perfect parent..." She laughed at her own thought. "And this little guy isn't going to be the most perfect kid. Nothing is perfect, and that's half of the fun. Don't give up on yourself or on her."

"I'd never give up on her." He said, resolutely. "I'd go through hell or worse to spare her a moment's pain. But you have to understand, I've basically been in the marines for nearly twenty years now. It's all I've ever really known, and if someone back-talked me, they'd end up in the brig. I can't really put my eighteen year old sister in the brig. As much as I'd love to on occasion."

Paul chuckled as he finished off his beer. "Believe me, you're not the only one."

Archie playfully smacked Paul. "I'll make sure that Sully and Annie and I spend more quality time with her. We need to teach her the consequences for her verbal outbursts and that people aren't going to want to be around her if she keeps it up. Rebecca is a popular girl and would be devastated if people stopped hanging out with her. I've dealt with, and beaten up, a few of those types back when I was her age."

"So basically, the girls are going to have an intervention, girl-style?" Richard asked, taking a swig of his drink. "What could possibly go wrong?" He looked to Paul. "Make sure you have SWAT on standby."

Paul threw his hands up. "If anyone asks, we were in the holosuite and were absolutely not taking side bets on who would win that fight."

Archie rolled her eyes as she started clearing up the empty plates. "You guys are a couple of jerk-offs."

"Love you too, baby." Paul gave her a playful air kiss.

"You kinda have to at this point." Richard said to Paul. "I can't think of anyone else who'd be stupid enough to not only put up with you consistently, but have kids with you - willingly. The jury's still out on the 'willingly' part. I keep waiting for Archie to find the mind-control device you inserted in her ear... oops!" He said, in mock horror.

Paul leaned over and gave his wife, who had just sat back down in her chair, a firm kiss on the lips. "Been running flawlessly for the past ten years."

Archie's lips tilted up into a goofy grin, as was her usual response to Paul's romantic gestures. She was head over heels in love with him and realized how incredibly lucky she was right at that moment. "Yeah, I deserve a medal or something after a couple of missteps you took in those ten years."

Richard rolled his eyes. "Seriously, when you two get ewwy-gooey, you do realise you're noxious to everyone around you, right?"

"Oh, you love it!" Paul tossed his crumbled up napkin at Richard. "By the way, it is nice to see that Amaya hasn't thrown your ass onto the Promenade yet."

"Pfft." Richard scoffed. "I don't think I've ever seen her so happy, fights with Rebecca not withstanding."

Archie chuckled at his cockiness. "Well, you certainly keep her properly distracted." She then raised her eyebrow at him. "Six times, right?" Her lips slipped into a mischievous grin as she poured everyone more wine. She always enjoyed embarrassing the couple whenever she could.

"A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell." Richard replied, putting an end to that conversation thread before it gained traction. "I love Amaya, and she loves me. God knows why, but if she likes you Ari, she clearly is a few screws short of a Meccano set, which would explain why she's with me."

"Hey!" Archie exclaimed as she pointed a strong finger at him. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you, Buddy!"

Paul sat back and watched two of his favorite people bicker back and forth. He seemed to have made himself quite an enjoyable life. He ran and toyed Archie's fallen hair with his fingers. "Alright, children, settle down now or both of you will go to bed without any dessert."

"I'll get my dessert at home." Richard grinned. "Two is company, and three is a crowd." He said, getting up from the table. "Thanks for listening to me anyway."

Paul and Archie nodded as they both stood up. "It's what we're here for." Paul patted him on the shoulder. "Say 'Hello' to the Missus for us."

"And tell Rebecca we're picking her up tomorrow at 1900 at her place for dinner." Archie stepped up onto her tippy-toes and kissed Richard on the cheek.

"Have fun." Richard said, waving as he left.

 

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