Shards Of Truth

-Enroute to DS9-

"It's never security or science is it? If someone attacks the ship they always concentrate on how badly they can damage any system that falls under the domain of engineering," Mustapha stated as he crawled out of the Jeffries Tube. Once he found a place where he could stand, the tall engineer stretched out his arms. It had been a long two days since the Chief and the others had returned from the enemy ship. Two days since they had repelled boarders and brought the ship out of the rift. Two days with many long shifts to repair the most severe damage that the IAS program had caused. And there is still so much to do. the Senior Chief reminded himself.

"One of the perks of being an engineer," Javier remarked, "we get to fix everything that goes awry." The officer wanted to sit down, or better yet, lay down, but there was so much work to do Javier knew he couldn't afford to stop. He had been working around the clock since returning to the ship and had only had a brief respite when he and T'Shaini managed to take a few moments to speak to each other. That was two days ago? It seems like a week. the exhausted engineer thought. Two days of living on rations, energy bars and raktajino while working endlessly to repair the ship so she could safely pass through the Bajoran wormhole.

"The majority of the most critical damage has been repaired," Mustapha said as he checked his tricorder. "Perhaps you should take some time to rest, go home and see Lia and T'Shaini," the African man suggested.

"There's still a lot of work to do." Javier answered. He wanted more than anything to return to his quarters and be with his loved ones, especially after what had transpired on the Hawking but he also was responsible for the ship. And the safety of the crew.

"Yes and I am sure that Petty Officer Oakley is capable of completing it. Everyone has been working in their shifts, except for you, Delano Mills and Cadet Kalani who seem to be on the swing shift."

"We need everyone, with Kowalski in sickbay and Wakeel.." Javier's voice tapered off. "I'll be fine Mustapha," he said, 'one more raktajino and.."

=^=Senior Chief Ibrahim to T'Shaini.=^= Mustapha said, interrupting Javier as he opened a channel to the Hawking's counselor.

=^=T'Shaini here, what can I do for you Mustapha?=^=

=^=Counselor, it is my professional opinion that Chief Costala needs to rest and recuperate. He has been working more shifts than he should. I would like to remove him from the duty roster until he has rested..=^= Mustapha said.

"Okay I'll go rest. I'll go now," Javier surrendered.

=^=Counselor I am sending him to you so you can..supervise him.=^= Mustapha said in a good-natured tone.

=^= I am in my office.=^= T'Shaini smiled to herself, not that the last few days had not been hectic for her as well, but David's organizational skills as well as the time devoted by Leo had made it much easier for her. And she had made time to rest, there was no use in a counselor who was too tired to focus on what someone was saying or what they truly needed. The children had been her first focus, and it had been an easier road for her than she had had any right to expect, primarily because it seemed that her counterpart had saved them, and no matter how carefully she explained it, they could not separate the two. Which served the counselor well, they trusted her so implicitly that all she needed to do was tell them that everything had been taken care of and she could see them begin to relax. Not that there would not be a great deal of work in the coming weeks, but she could see clear results quickly with the children, which was remarkably gratifying.

As was the connection that Lia was beginning to establish, T'Shaini could rarely move even several steps without the little girl wanting to accompany her. All of which made sense if one factored in the recent trauma and her past which no doubt would instill a fear of abandonment, but this was the first time the child had sought her company, even with Javier absent. "David, if you could, I would appreciate some time…you can finish tomorrow's schedule in the morning." With a blinding smile, the efficient young man bounded out of the room.

It took less than ten minutes for Javier to make his way to T'Shaini's office. He was feeling the effects of his raktajino buzz dissipating by the time he reached her door, more importantly Mustapha's parting words were on his mind. "When you are rested then you can explain this message from the CO, it says I am the acting Chief Engineer until further notice." Javier had shuffled his feet then promised to explain the order when he returned for the next shift.

Entering the office without hesitation, Javier approached T'Shaini and embraced her, kissing her warm lips for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. "Can I have my own session now Counselor?" he teased as his lips left hers.

Brushing his hair back from his forehead, T'Shaini smiled. "You may have whatever you wish." She knew he needed rest more than anything, but since, according to protocol, his resignation had passed through her hands, she was certain there was more to be said before he could rest.

JP with Javi's one and only, T'Shaini.

Originally Posted by Javier Costala on 11/29/08

"First of all, I would like to sit down," the engineer replied as he led T'Shaini to one of the chairs, sitting down he then pulled her onto his lap. "This is so much better," Javier said as he relaxed with T'Shaini in his arms. His eyes came to a rest on Lia, who was sleeping soundly on the couch in the counselor's office. "Has she been here all day?" he asked quietly.

"Yes, the children had an encounter with the Alliance forces, and were rescued by my counterpart, because of that I believe she feels more secure here. I am grateful that she is comfortable enough with me to relax." A slight smile lifted the corners of her mouth. "Even under false pretenses."

"I'm glad that at least one good thing came from our encounter with the Alliance." Javier pulled T'Shaini closer at the thought of what had transpired aboard the IAS Hawking. "So many things went wrong..and so many could have gone much worse. I thought I had left you when you needed me most," Javier said, thinking about the bright green flash of energy that had nearly ended his life.

The Vulcan's hand stilled in his hair. "Odd, as much as what I witnessed presaged your death, I never entertained the possibility. I was only concerned with finding a way to bring you home."

"Ajani was there..he brought me back," Javier stated, then added, "from that side. Bramley said it was Jillian's nanoprobes who did the work on this side." He sighed and laid his head on T'Shaini's shoulder. "Doctor Munro, saving my life one more time, it's hard to believe she's gone. I'm not sure I'll know what to say to Nils when I finally see him." Javier raised his head to look at T'Shaini's face. "Have you seen him? Is is he?"

"I have not…" A hollow ache caused the Vulcan to press her hand against her stomach. "he has no doubt been busy." Which was the truth, but more to the point, T'Shaini could see that he was avoiding her. "I find myself seeking her out whenever I enter sickbay, there is always a moment before I register that she is gone and speak to someone else."

"Bramley said Nils proposed in the sickbay, he proposed right before..," Javier shook his head, "God, I can't imagine." He stopped speaking, there was nothing else he could say to change what had happened and the thought of almost losing T'Shaini and Lia was still fresh on the engineer's mind. Long moments passed in silence before Javier spoke again. "I still have to speak with him though. I sent him a letter before we left to go to the Alliance Hawking. It was a letter of resignation..and it was a mistake. I need to ask Nils to give it back or throw it away."

The contemplation of Nils private pain broken by the new revelation, T'Shaini slid her hand down his arm to bring Javier's hand to her chest. "I am glad to hear that." She dropped a kiss on the enclosed hand before continuing. "I do not wish to press you for information that you are not yet ready to divulge, but…if you would not mind, what caused the resignation, and what changed your mind?"

"I should have shared my decision with you," Javier replied, "and now I'm sorry I didn't. The thought of losing Pierce and how hard it hit the engineers, and how much it affected Jenny, left me thinking that perhaps someone else could keep them safer than I could." He paused and then admitted, "And Ajani's death has always weighed on my thoughts. Pierce's death brought all those doubts and after discussing it with..Harry, or the person I thought was Harry, I decided to let it go."

"And what brought you back?" The counselor whispered. As much as she wished to, it seemed she was little help to those who were the most important to her.

"Partially, it was Ajani, he said something when I spoke to him about his death..'to those who are given much, much will be required.' I guess it means to those with friends, and close, loved ones and responsibilities there will be tougher times, tougher losses and it will require more strength of character to carry yourself through the difficult times," Javier said slowly as if he were thinking about each sentence as he spoke it. "But at the same time there in lies the good part, because I have you, Lia and everyone else to help me."

"Ajani…" So much about the recent past was connected to a faith beyond their understanding, all of it, from Javier with Ajani, Nils and the Prophets, even something as small (in comparison) as her seeing Harry and knowing Javier was alive. There are more things in heaven and earth…

"And then there was Seth Anderson," this information was revealed and followed by a heavy sigh. "He had given up on everything after his Jenny was killed. I confronted him about it while on the other Hawking but then I realized I could become him, if I let myself slip any further down. People die in service to one cause or another. I knew that when I was in the marines but..I never had many close friends in the marines so it was a lesson I still had to experience," Javier explained to T'Shaini as he let his head rest on her shoulder once more. "As long as we carry on, the cause and the person lives on through us."

T'Shaini dipped her head down to drop a soft kiss on his lips. "If everyone on board thought as you do, I would be out of a job." Leaning back in for another kiss, she noticed that as his eyes had closed to receive the first one, he had slipped into a deep slumber. Sliding gracefully off his lap, the Vulcan moved him to a reclining position and covered him with the blanket Jenny had knit for her. Someone else that I have been no assistance to. Seating herself on the floor beside him, T'Shaini pulled her knees in with her arms and rested her chin trying to push away the barren ache stemming from the feeling of futility that had settled over her.

JP Part the second with the Master of Unique, Javier Costala
Originally Posted by T'Shaini on 11/29/08

Smoke & Mirrors

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