Obsidian Command

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Boy Talk

Posted on 16 Sep 2018 @ 4:59pm by Lieutenant Commander Ira Skovgaard & Police Lieutenant Matt Butler & Lieutenant Commander Kerry Malone

Mission: Character Development
Location: Malone's Office

Matt was already going completely stir crazy.

It had only been a couple of days since his return from the Onyx incident, and after a solid block of personal celebration with MacKenzie she had gone back to work in Sector 29 and left Matt to his own devices. He still had at least a few weeks before the conclusion of the investigation and his administrative leave and was growing bored of the plain grey walls of his quarters. He begged Paul to give him something, anything, to do to keep him from going insane.

With Paul’s PADDs in hand, Matt entered the Command Ops and looked around for Malone. His eyes then landed on Ira who had been tapping away on the main computer next to Malone’s office.

Who is she?!

Matt may have been on a diet but he could still look at the menu...

His lips tilted up into a mischievous smirk. New clerk? No, his eyes noticed the Lieutenant Commander pips on her uniform. Whoever she was, he couldn’t help but feel a slight twist in his stomach. Her piercing blue eyes that focused so heavily on her work reached down to the deepest part of your soul and rip a piece of it off for herself.

He moved quickly over to her but before he could speak, Ira moved her eyes up to him and gave him her own smirk. She recognized that look, and the man, rather quickly.

“Lieutenant Butler, it’s nice to finally meet you.” Ira stopped her typing and rested her arms on the desk in front of her.

Matt’s mouth gaped open quickly, caught off guard by her instant recognition. “Well, it looks like my reputation precedes me…”

Ira shook her head slightly, “Don’t flatter yourself, Lieutenant. I recognize you from your file and from the Onyx. I’m Commander Skovgaard.”

Ah, the new Second Officer he had been hearing about… he had heard the name and her unintentionally seductive Danish accent over his rescuers’ comms when he was being taken out of the basement. And her looks definitely matched. “Well, it is certainly nice to finally put a face to the name, Commander.” Matt gave her a playful wink, enjoying the innocent banter, then looked to Malone’s closed door. “Is Malone in his office? I’ve got some PADDs that he requested from Paul- I mean, Commander Reed.”

Ira nodded, ignoring his attempt at obnoxious humor (she was rather used to men’s poor attempts at flattery). “Go right ahead, Lieutenant. He’s in there.”

“Thanks, Commander.” Matt gave her one last wide smile before heading into the office door that had opened up in front of him. As soon as the door closed, Matt let out a long, low breath. “I have no idea how you can get any work done out there, Malone.”

Kerry was behind his desk, which was as usual, covered in stacks of PADDs. One of the stacks was quite tall, and threatened to topple over onto the floor. Again. The sheer volume of reports that this one operation had generated was obscene. Why on Earth they all had to be on individual PADDs when he had a capable computer terminal, he had no idea.

When Matt entered the room, it was a welcome distraction from this tedious science report on the findings from the search cat initiative. He looked up and gave a puzzled expression to him. "How do you mean, Butler? I think Ops is even more efficient than your precinct."

"That," Matt pointed towards the door, "Commander Skovgaard?" He let out a long whistle. "I'm sure you get quite a few visitors finding any excuse to bring more work to you two. Or are you the one bringing finding any excuse to be anywhere near her?" He stuck his tongue out playfully at him.

Malone chuckled. "She can handle the unwanted attention. She's more than used to it, I'm sure." He said, then narrowed his eyes at his friend. "And what's that supposed to mean? I have nothing but a professional working relationship with Commander Skovgaard. I find her mind to be exceptionally sharp, and she's able to help me with my workload."

"Right..." Matt jested, though he decided to drop the subject as Malone seemed quite adamant that he was not distracted by his beautiful Second Officer. "Anyway, because I was dying a little bit on Admin leave I figured I'd help Paul out and bring these over. They're from the Onyx. He would've sent them to your computer but figured your computer would be filled to the brim," he looked at the growing pile of PADDs on the man's desk, "but it looks like Paul was wrong."

"I think everyone had the same idea, thinking that everyone else was going to send to the computer, so they sent me a PADD instead. So now, I have loads of PADDs I need to download onto the computer instead. Aren't you all thoughtful like that?" Malone chuckled as he accepted Matt's PADDs.

"So, basically, you're bored as all hell, so you came to terrorise me as Paul told you to bugger off, is that right?" Kerry teased.

“Yeah, well, technically I can’t really be in the office so he found a loophole for me to be his messenger boy. And the loophole is being the Head of Security on base.” Matt then gave Malone a boyish smile. “You’re about to tell me to run off, aren’t you?”

Kerry sighed as he looked at his desk. "No... No I'm not." He said. "I suppose I can spare an hour or two to entertain you. A First Officer's job is never done..." He chuckled. "Come on then, lets go to Sam's Bar. I'll kick your ass at darts for a few hours."

"Well..." Matt gave him a shrug, "if you insist..."

--------------------------

Matt let out a loud laugh as he threw his third dart right in the middle of the 10. "I can't believe you missed out on the entire rescue because you wore the wrong shoes!"

"Yeah Yeah..." Malone rolled his eyes as he circled the last of his cider in his glass. "You're not the only one who gave me a hard time over that. We didn't predict rain, and the walk up was fine. How was I supposed to know that we'd get a monsoon?"

Matt shook his head and took a drink of his beer as he grabbed his darts. "Don't know what to tell you, partner. Though I'm sure you're glad you didn't get to go undercover. I think the Infirmary was far more comfortable than being strung up in a cold basement and getting stabbed in the arm."

"At least we had the foresight to put that tracker in your arm, otherwise god knows what might've happened to you." Kerry said, as he gathered up his darts to take his turn. "I trust you'll be less likely to go on such operations in the future? I can't imagine Mackenzie being all that happy with you risking your neck all the time. You finally got the girl you've always wanted, don't loose her trying to pretend you're a young maverick cop."

Matt shook his head quickly. “Not in this lifetime! If Sully gets to continue chasing those Sector 29 assholes then I get to have my own fun. She knows better than to send me to a doomed life of paper pushing. I wouldn’t get away with forcing her to sit in the office all day just because I don’t want anything to happen to her. We are definitely not desk people.”

"Funny how I've gone from flying fighters to flying a desk. I swore I'd never fly a desk, and now look at me, I can't even go on a single away mission without injuring myself." Kerry chuckled, and started throwing darts towards the board. He hit the 25, then the 5, then the 10. Very poor showing there. "You have the mentality of a fighter pilot, you know that?"

Matt laughed, remembering all of the names he had been referred to over the course of his somewhat long career. "I've also been referred to as a frat boy, a womanizer, a douche-bag, and an egotistical asshole, which I'm sure describes all fighter pilots." He shook his head at Malone's poor attempts at winning their current game. "You can do better than that, man! Annie tells me you make her run for her credits whenever you guys play. It would be pathetic if I actually beat you."

"Guess my mind's just not in it." Kerry sighed, collecting his darts from the board and moving over to the bar to order two more drinks for them. Maybe it was all the work he'd been doing, or the guilt he felt over the undercover team being tortured on his watch. Something was nagging at him, and he couldn't for the life of him work it out.

Raising his eyebrow, Matt’s smile fell slightly at him. Did he say something wrong? Wouldn’t be the first time he did that… “Hey, Malone…” He walked up beside him and rested his elbows on the bar top. “What’s up? Getting shit from the brass or something?”

"No, that's not it." Kerry said, taking a sip of his cider. "I can't work out what's bothering me. I mean, sure, I feel bad about you guys getting caught and tortured, but it was a command decision. I didn't like it happening, but I'd make the same choice to send you guys in again if the situation was the same. The outcome certainly justified it, and none of you died." He said. "No, there's something else, and I'm not sure what it is..."

Matt let off an amused scoff. In the time he had worked with Malone, though rather short, he hadn't seen him quite so... off. Maybe shakey... and Matt knew very well what it was. He had suffered the same fate. "First, before I tell you the real reason for your sudden emo state, I'm going to reaffirm your thoughts and tell you that what happened to me and my officers was my fault. I was the reason why we got caught. Actually, just me and Waters. Steve could probably take some of the fall for him and Annie. As you could probably tell from my post-mission photos I had gotten the brunt of the torment, which I'm glad I did. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now..." Matt finished off the rest of his beer and slammed the glass on the bar. "Now! I know you're probably going to deny it, and I don't blame you. It's not easy being under the spell of a woman..."

"A woman?" Kerry asked, turning to look at Matt. "What woman? Are you talking about Commander Skovgaard again?! Matt, just because you fall under the spell of every pretty girl in uniform, doesn't mean the rest of us do." Kerry chuckled.

Matt’s chuckle grew as Malone began defending himself. “I actually wasn’t talking about Commander Skovgaard,” he honestly wasn’t, especially with how he had brushed off the mention of her earlier, “but now that you mention it…”

"Then who were you talking about?" Kerry asked, looking at him.

Matt raised his eyebrow at Malone, "Nobody in particular but I seem to have struck quite a chord with you. So... you ask her out yet?"

"Who?" Kerry asked, turning to go take his turn with darts again. Why was Matt being so persistent with this?

Matt rolled his eyes. Malone had an exceptionally thick skull. "The Commander! Come on, don't lie to me. You've got yourself locked away in your office with her working right outside. Believe me, I had to do the same thing with Sully or else I wouldn't have gotten any work done.."

"What? Ira?" Kerry asked, distracted, and threw the dart and it hit the outside edge of the board. He scowled and sighed. "I honestly don't know how I feel about Ira... Commander Skovgaard. She's a great lady, and she and I think so much alike, but because of that, I know that there couldn't be anything between us, because she'd never see me like that."

Matt gave off yet another eye roll at his sudden modesty. "Malone, I have never seen you doubt yourself. Even during our little briefing, you made sure that my team and I were taken care of and our bases were covered. I only had like a 30-second conversation with her just now, and she's like insanely hot, though not as hot as Sully of course," he added in with a chuckle for good measure, "so why you suddenly questioning your own feelings? You are obviously really terrible at trying to hide them from yourself."

"Because its not straight forward, Matt." Kerry replied. "For starters, I don't know if she feels the same about me, not that I'm even 100% sure how I feel about her yet. If I ask her out or something stupid like that, and she says no, that wrecks our entire working dynamic, and could cause serious issues for more than just us. It's a nightmare scenario."

Letting out a long sigh, Matt began feeling bad for the guy. Fortunately he did have a decent understanding of Malone’s concerns since he, at one point, had been in the same spot. “You do know how you feel about her because you’ve run through the dating scenario already and determined it could get rather messy. And it’s true, it can get messy. I think you’re overthinking things, though. Just do whatever you think is right at the moment. You don’t need to go jumping all over her like some of those guys out there. The good news is you wouldn’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself because I’m sure she’s heard every single dumbass line in existence.” He laughed as he took another drink from his beer. “How is she with you anyway? I’m sure you’ve already compared yourself with the other officers that have worked with her.”

"Well, we had dinner the other night, and she seemed okay with me. It was a hard read, but she and I had a real connection during our talk." He said. "Naturally I've compared myself, but I don't know exactly who she's worked with in the past. She's a former deep cover intelligence officer, ninety-five percent of her file is classified for clearance level 11 and higher. Not even Commander Lance can see it."

Matt’s lips widened. “You’re such a liar! You totally went out with her!”

"I did not!" Kerry protested. "It was a work dinner! Purely professional! She even came in her uniform for Petes Sake!"

“You want to figure her out, don’t you? This dark and mysterious woman...” Matt began digging into Kerry a bit more, finding too much pleasure in his metaphorical pain.

Kerry narrowed his eyes at his new friend. "You're enjoying this a bit too much for my liking. Just because you got the girl of your dreams. Need I remind you it took you nearly loosing her to another guy for you to get your shit together?"

"Hey, I'm gonna let that slide!" Matt pointed his finger at him. It was kind of a low blow, but it was also very true. He had almost lost MacKenzie three times over the course of three years. "I just don't want you to be an idiot like I was and lose out on her! At least acknowledge to yourself how you feel about her then worry about getting her to like you later. That may take some bribing," he paused after feeling his lips curl up in amusement. "So what's she like?"

"You've met her." Kerry said. "She's tall, elegant, attractive, yet has a stern expression and a no-shit attitude. Her mindset on work is almost exactly the same as mine, and she has a weird sense of humour to boot. She's very work orientated, to the point I'm worried she doesn't actually have a non-work version of herself."

"She sounds like you," Matt patted him on the shoulder in pity. "You guys talked since your 'meeting'? Since you're so worried about her outside of work, why don't you try asking her to hang out outside of work? Not like a date or anything, but don't try to use work to get her to come out lest you want to keep seeing her in her uniform, even though she is quite a fox with those pips."

"You're a terrible person." Kerry chuckled. "It's not a bad idea. There's a play being put on at the auditorium that I thought I'd check out. Might be worth asking if she'd like to come, what do you think?"

Matt scoffed at the idea. “No, unless you don’t mind just sitting next to each other and not talking for two and a half hours.” He pointed his beer at the dart board. “Bring her here. Good drinks, and you can talk and find out more about her. As long as you play way better than you’re playing now. Or find out what she likes to do. Do something that brings her out of work mode.”

"Hrm... that's a challenge." Kerry mused. "I do like the suggestion though. I'd really like to get to know her so I know if I'm even doing the right thing."

Matt nudged him on the shoulder as he lined himself up for his turn. “See, I’m not just good looking. I’m full of all sorts of good ideas.” He tongues the corner of his lip in concentration as he threw his first dart just outside of the bullseye. “Though with how she reacted to me she’s not your average woman. Can’t wine and dine her. Go for the jugular and focus on what she’s all about.” He then threw his second dart and landed right next to his previous dart, barely missing the bullseye again. “Though I’ll have to admit any advice I give will more than likely be invalid. You’re gonna have to be on your own with this one. If you mess up once, she’s gone.” Letting out a heavy breath, Matt threw his last dart into the center. “No pressure, man. But a woman like that with the way you just talked about her, she’s a keeper. What’s the stupid phrase? ‘It’s better to have love and lost than to have never loved at all,’ or some bullshit like that.”

"Yeah, except she's the second officer of this station, and I have to work with her every day. I cock this up, its going to ruin things for more than just me." Kerry said. "But yeah, she's certainly worth the risk for. Looks aside, she has an amazing mind. I think I'm more interested in that than anything."

Giving him a shrug, Matt stepped aside to his beer. “Take your time. Shit, out may not even like her after a while. I’ve had that happen before.” He chuckled quietly as he finished off his second beer. “Hey, could you speed up the investigation a bit? I need to start busting some heads again before I lose my mind.”

"Takes as long as it takes." Kerry replied, chuckling. "Not just FCPD interested in this case. Starfleet has taken an interest, as has Federation Security. Lot of people breathing down my neck, not least old man Broll.”

The cop shook his head at Malone. “Adam Cross: Public Enemy Number One,” Matt let out a snarl at the thought of seeing that coward again and the things he would do, “what I would give to beat that motherfucker to a pulp for what he did to Celia and Annie and all of those women. For all we know he killed Broll’s husband and we’d never goddamn know.” He began feeling his fingers tense up around his glass. “I can’t believe he got away…”

"Steady big guy." Kerry said. "He's at a huge disadvantage now. We know who he is, what he's capable of, and how he operates. Even though he got away, he'll not be at large for long. Starfleet's out looking for him, and every single civilised world in the Federation has his description. We'll find him."

Matt's hardened eyes softened as he looked at Malone. Malone was one stubborn guy, probably more stubborn that Matt (and that's saying a lot). He then let out a sigh as he took a long pull from his glass. "Oh, another thing. Any way you can get me out of having to go see a counselor? Amaya is Hell-bent on getting us all in there, though I'm pretty sure Sharpe was the one who decided that if he has to go to counseling we all have to go."

"Sorry, Commander's orders." Kerry smirked and drank from his own glass. "I suspect its because we got sent a new crop of counsellors, and the Commander wants to use them. I'm pretty confident that Sharpe won't go though."

Matt let out a snort. "Nah, Amaya's got that man wrapped around her finger. He'll go. Can't blame him though. If Sully told me to walk through a pile of flaming excrement I would, and with a smile on my face... as long as she was there to wash me off in the shower of course."

Kerry chuckled at that. "Oh man, I'm so envious of you guys. You've all got amazing relationships. I feel like I'm the only single guy on the entire senior staff. You've got Mackenzie, Paul's got Archie, Sharpe's got Amaya, even Annie has Phil now."

"We've all realized we're terrible people on our own and can't take care of ourselves," Matt shook his head. "You'll get her, Malone. She would be insane otherwise... She was camped out in front of your office when she very well could have used any other computer in Ops."

That caused Kerry to raise an eyebrow in consideration. Why was she there? Of all the places she could've been sat, she chose to sit just outside his office. Was there something to that? "I hope so." Kerry said. That was all he really needed to say.

 

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