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Victory is Ours

Posted on 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:51pm by Police Commander Paul Reed & Police Captain Ari "Archie" Reed & Police Sergeant MacKenzie Sullivan & Commander Amaya Lance & Major Richard Sharpe & Civilian Hannah Wells & Civilian Rebecca Sharpe & Civilian Phillip Sharpe
Edited on on 31 Aug 2018 @ 10:53pm

Mission: The Admiral's Daughter
Location: Sam's Bar
Timeline: MD-03

It was like a Who’s Who of the FCPD and Sharpe clan inside Sam’s Bar celebrating Richard’s victory. At the table sat Richard and Amaya, Paul and Archie, Phil, Rebecca, Rebecca and Hannah, Caroline, and a vacant spot for Max who claimed he was just getting off of patrol and would be running late (in reality he was trying not to puke at the thought of meeting his new girlfriend’s very large and very well known Marine big brother).

“I propose a toast,” Paul raised his beer glass up as he stood behind Richard, who was sitting at the head of the rather full banquet table. “The man who has been to Hell and lived to tell the tale. The one man with the guts to fight and know when to ask for help. My best friend, and hopefully Godfather to little Cooper.” His lips curled up a bit in a smirk, trying not to let his overwhelming joy for the verdict and triumph over Richard’s opposers show too much.

"You make it sound like I singlehandedly charged up a hill with nothing more than a bread-knife." Richard muttered, hiding his embarrassment. He hated things like this, but everyone had insisted that they celebrate his court victory. He'd only relented when he'd been forced to realise that everyone in this room had been enduring the ordeal with him, and more - having to put up with him. They needed this far more than he did.

"Richard, learn to take a toast with a bit of grace." Phil muttered next to him. "I mean for heavens sake, it was a really nice toast."

"I know..." Richard complained. "But it makes me sound more heroic than I actually am."

"Oh stop whining Richard." Rebecca smirked. "Uncle Paul has been looking forward to this for a long time, let him have his moment."

Narrowing his eyes at his little sister, Richard pretended to glare at her. "Which one of us is the grown up here?"

"Me." She replied, calmly, sipping her drink nonchalantly.

Archie leaned over to Rebecca with a smirk on her lips. "Says the girl who cried in a public restroom..."

MacKenzie looked over at the group of whisperers and shot them all a glare. "Everybody shut up and let Paul talk." She didn't like them talking over Paul who had given Sharpe some much-needed kind words after what he had gone through during the trial.

The loud music in the background prevented Paul from hearing the rattlings of his adoptive family as he stood behind his chair in between Richard and Archie. "Everybody, let's eat and drink ourselves silly. Sam says we can be here however late we want and get as rowdy as we want. Which, of course, is not really that difficult for us." He took a large pull from his beer glass and gave Archie a kiss on her cheek.

"So what's the next step, Richard?" MacKenzie asked from across the table. "Besides planning your other sister's 18th birthday party?" She looked over at Caroline who blushed a bit from being brought into the conversation when it was supposed to be her brother's night.

"Well, I've likely got a crapload of work to catch up on, since I've been suspended from duty." He said. "I've also got a briefing with Commander Malone regarding the ongoing investigation." Richard took a sip of his non-alcoholic beer. "Not to mention I have to organise a party for Caroline. Talking of Caroline, wasn't your friend Max invited?"

Caroline looked nervously at Richard. Max was supposed to be here with her by now but he hadn't shown up yet. She didn't have the heart to tell her brother that her new boyfriend was more than likely giving himself a pep talk at his reflection before facing him.

"Yeah, I let him off shift early so he could be here," Paul jumped in, curious himself that Max wasn't there.

Caroline's eyes widened a bit at him. He was not helping her, or Max, at all. "He'll be here." She tried to say as calmly as possible. "He probably just got caught up on something."

Archie and MacKenzie let out a simultaneous chuckle at Paul's nosy inquiry. "Just keep drinking your beer, babe..." Archie patted his leg playfully.

"What I do?" Paul looked at them with furrowed brows.

Richard chuckled. "Not exactly making a good first impression, standing up my Caroline at a family function." He said. "Might need to have a word with the young man about obligations."

Phil rolled his eyes and smacked Richard's arm with the back of his hand. "Oh for pity's sake, if no one else is going to say it, I am." He said. "Look at poor Caroline's face, she knows exactly why he's late, and she's more worried about him than she'd ever say. I bet you 100 credits that he's psyching himself up to meet her 'famously intimidating' big brother."

"I'm not intimidating!" Richard protested.

"Oh get off your high horse, you prat." Phil laughed. "I think Max would sooner tackle a drunken bar brawl than try to meet his girlfriend's guardian, who happens to be the most famous marine on the station, who also happens to be extremely well known to be over-protective of his female relatives. Plus all the revelations of your genetic changes, and your going crazy to protect Caroline on the holodeck... who wouldn't be scared of you? Hell, I'm scared of you, and I'm your older brother!"

Richard glared at Phil. "I note you're only this much of an obnoxious arse when Annie isn't here to tug your lead." He said, grumbling.

"Hey, guys, leave Caroline alone will ya?" Rebecca said, protecting her sister from her brothers. "Max will get here when he gets here, and not before. He said he'd be here, and that's that."

Rebecca gave Caroline a gentle pat on her hand. "Don't let those two get to you. Max knows this is a big deal. That's why he's getting it right."

"Can we move on, please?" Caroline begged for the spotlight to be moved off of her and back onto Richard.

MacKenzie gently rubbed the back of the girl's head to try to comfort her. "Just wait until Paul and Phil have a few more beers." She gave her a wink then nodded towards the dance floor that was starting to fill up. She felt Caroline's anxiety and thought a little breather may help for when Max did show up. "Come on, girls, let's go dance. Sam seems to be on top of the music tonight."

"Great idea!" Archie called out as she rubbed the back of Paul's head. "Plus, we should stop by the bar. I need to get you liquored up so I can take advantage of you." She giggled softly as Paul let out a low grumble and planted a firm kiss on her lips.

Richard stood and offered his hand out to Amaya. "Would you do me the honour of this dance, mi'lady?"

Amaya took it, offering him a polite smile. "How can I resist?" she replied, drawing close to him. "I'm so glad we can do this. Glad that I get to keep you without having to put the station in lockdown, I mean..."

"I don't believe for a minute you'd have actually done that." Richard smiled at her. "But it is warming to think that you love me that much that you'd say that." They moved out onto the dance floor, and got into a couples embrace as they slowly swayed on the spot together. "I am very happy that I get to stay with you though." He smiled at her. "I think... we need to discuss the future..."

"The future?" she echoed. A pang of uncertainty and curiosity ran through her. "What do you mean?"

"I'd like you to spend some time with Rebecca and Caroline more." Richard said. "Having had so much free time lately, I've been able to see that you're treated like a peripheral part of our family, and I don't like it. You're my girl, and I want Becca and Caroline to see you as... well... my future."

Amaya let it sink in for a moment, considering carefully. She'd never seen herself as a mother - indeed, the recent tension with the girls had proven it a little in her mind - but it was important to him, and that meant it was important to her. "I'll do my best," she responded. "I can't promise it'll be smooth sailing, though..."

"Hey, if it were easy, everyone would be able to do it." Richard smiled at her, then kissed her softly. "I really want you guys to get on, it means a great deal to me."

"I know," she chuckled. "And so do you." She looked up as Archie and Paul approached them with several drinks stacked in their hands. "I'm constantly amazed that he still makes you carry things in your condition..." she giggled, indicating Archie's balancing act.

Paul gave her a shrug. "She refuses to let me help her! Just wait until she's at term. She'll be waddling around like a fat penguin."

Archie laughed and gave him a push with her shoulder. "Hey, I'm pregnant, not crippled!"

--

Max finally stepped inside the bar, looking around the crowd to find Caroline. His eyes were filled with nervous energy. She meant so much to him, and her family meant so much to her. At least her aunts and uncles liked him. That was half the battle. The other half, however, was a different story... He pushed himself through the crowd and let out a nervous sigh as he saw Caroline and MacKenzie off to the side having a drink and possibly cooling off from the balmy and humid dance floor.

Caroline's face beamed as their eyes locked. "Max!" She waved him towards her. Max's lips curled up; she looked beautiful in her black flowy dress. He gave her an excited kiss on the cheek and a nod to MacKenzie. "Hey, Sarge."

MacKenzie nodded as she handed him a beer that was set aside for him. "You're going to need this."

Max's smile dropped, "Oh no..."

Letting out a laugh she pushed it into his hand. "I'm just teasing. Richard is in a good mood and his brother and Paul are drunk already. You'll be ok."

"Or will he?" Richard said coldly from behind them.

In fairness, he'd spotted them from across the dance floor and had unobtrusively made his way over to them just for this very moment. Whilst he loved Caroline dearly, he never quite missed an opportunity to mess with her, but only in a loving way. He now stood behind them, a looming figure.

He was going to have to be careful, as it was obvious that the boy was already terrified of him, and he didn't want to hurt Caroline by driving him away. He'd never do that to her - but he'd not been able to do this for Rebecca's partner, since she knew him already. He had to be able to have some fun, right?

Max’s eyes widened slightly at the sight of his girlfriend’s brother staring him down. He felt like the smallest person in the room. Out of pure habit he quickly jumped to attention, then fumbled to place his beer onto the table behind him. “Major Sharpe...”

MacKenzie let out a loud amused laugh at the poor guy. Caroline quickly grabbed Max’s hand to help him remember he was not at work. She also was annoyed that Richard was trying to scare him away. “Richard, this is Max. Max, this is my looks-scarier-than-he-actually-is big brother.”

Max swallowed nervously and stuck his hand out to Richard. “Pleased to meet you, Sir. Please don’t hurt me.” His lips tilted up nervously. He was only a little sarcastic with his comment.

Richard raised a single eyebrow in a very Vulcan-esque gesture, then accepted the hand. "The pleasure is all mine. "He said, with a grin. "I'll only hurt you if you hurt my Caroline. Although, I do admire your courage."

Caroline rolled her eyes. “Richard...”

Max tried to keep his eyebrows from furrowing in confusion but was not very successful with it.

"Oh yes, courage." Richard said, deciding to turn the screws to tease him a bit more. Paul was right, this was fun! "To be so new into your career, and elect to date the sister of the most feared marine on the station, and the niece of pretty much every superior you have in the police department. One wrong move with Caroline, and you'll have to change quadrants to save your career."

Max cleared his throat nervously and gave Caroline’s hand a squeeze. He had been well aware of her situation when he had decided to ask her on their first coffee date. She was too rare, too special for him to lose out on. “She’s worth it, Sir.” His eyes remained focused on Richard as he waited patient for any sign of movement in the man’s stern and serious face.

MacKenzie let out an “Aww,” at Max’s sincere display of affection for Caroline. Placing her hand over her heart, she gave Richard a playful bump with her elbow. “Alright, I think he officially has won over everyone in the quadrant with that answer.”

"You women are so easy to swoon." Richard replied, but his expression softened considerably. "A pretty boy says the right words, you go weak at the knees. How else do you think marines get laid as much as they do?"

He chuckled and turned back to Max. "Alright kid, stand down, I'm not going to kill you - today anyway." He said, and patted him on the shoulder. "Caroline has far more sense than to date just any old fella, and I trust her judgement. So, if you were able to break down her defences enough to get her to date you, you're okay with me."

Max's lips curled up a bit. "I got her to read Anna Karenina and she read it in like a week." He look down at Caroline, his eyes filled with admiration and infatuation for the girl. "I can't let that go."

"I do hear you're teaching her Russian though. I'm quite impressed." Richard said, taking a sip of his drink. Obrazovannyy chelovek."

Max's smile widened. He found it difficult to be away from home and keep up with his second language and having his girlfriend's brother speak Russian was the cherry on top to a great situation. "Moi roditeli. My parents are from Russia. They made sure my siblings and I never forgot where they came from."

Caroline's eyes beamed as she looked over at MacKenzie who gave her a very approving nod. She then turned to Richard and tugged at his arm. "Come on, big guy. Let's let the love birds have a little break before the real interrogation begins."

Richard chuckled. "Well Well Mac, you got all big-sister on us very quickly eh?" He laughed, then turned back to Max. "You're alright kid." He said, and gave him a friendly and gentle fist-bump to the shoulder. "Anyone who makes my Caz light up like that is worth getting to know. We'll have to arrange to have a dinner soon, so we can get to know one another. Perhaps you'll be on ti-"

[[Commander Lance, Commander Reed & Major Sharpe, please report to Operations at once.]] Came Malone's voice over the station comm.

Richard looked over towards where Paul had stopped dancing, looking concerned. Amaya also looked towards them, and her face changed instantly from her social face to her business face. Amaya tapped her comm badge and acknowledged the signal.

Richard turned to Caroline & Max. "Sorry, duty calls, but do have a good time."

Caroline's smile dropped slightly at the seriousness of Commander Malone's voice. "I hope everything is ok..."

Max looked down at her and brought her in close to him. "I'm sure it is. Now let's go grab some food. I'm starving!"

Richard approached Amaya as they walked towards the exit. "I hope Paul's alright, he's had a bit to drink."

Amaya looked over at him. "I know you're not supposed to be on duty. We sub-in Archie if you think that's a better idea. Or speak to one of the doctors."

Paul nodded. "Yeah, I'll just stop by the Infirmary real quick and have it taken care of." He looked down at Archie. "Go with them, babe. I'll be in there in a bit."

Archie smirked and gave him a kiss on his lips. "Yes, Commander," she stated and added a playful wink. She then turned her attention back to Richard and Amaya with a curious but slightly concerned tone, "You think something happened on Loki?"

"No other reason for me to have been summoned." Richard replied, solemnly. "I'm being brought in to get spun up for an extraction, either getting ready for one, or one needs to be done. I just hope they're okay."

Archie nodded slowly as she led the way to Ops. "With our luck, they might not be."

"Lets keep a positive outlook." Richard replied.

"Since when did a positive outlook stop all manner of chaos affecting our lives?" Amaya gave him a light-hearted grin.

"Hope springs eternal?" Richard replied, rhetorically, as they entered Ops.

 

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