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Heel

Posted on Sun Sep 17th, 2023 @ 7:24am by Lieutenant Lyra Cassiel & Lieutenant JG Corvin Hartjin

Mission: In-Between (S1:E5-S1:E6)
Location: Security Offices
Timeline: Date 2371-08-25 at 1700
3918 words - 7.8 OF Standard Post Measure

ON

Corvin had been competently overseeing security on the Vengeance and the rest of the fleet as needed, handling the integration of some of the more problematic slaves and ensuring they understood their proper place in the world. Everything was mostly back to normal on the ship. Lyra had been rescued, and she was back where she belonged, though he was still warming her seat until she decided to return. Yet, no one had really heard much from her except the few times they'd seen her in Andrei's company or on a few brief excursions she'd made while recovering from her ordeal.

He was sipping on a cup of coffee while reading over the activity report from the night shift while making his way to the Security office, only paying partial attention as he followed his wrought path by memory, only looking up to make sure there was nothing or no one in the way.

"Oh, Corvin y-" Simmons began from where he was sitting but stopped, given Corvin wasn't paying attention and instead was heading into the chief's office.

As he stepped inside, he was met with a familiar voice.

"Hello, Corvin."

Lyra was sitting in her chair out of uniform with her feet kicked up on the corner of the desk and her hands behind her head. She wore a simple dark grey and black patterned tunic shirt, black pants, and her standard-issue boots. She decided that even though she wasn't on active duty, she could still take care of the overseeing of her department.

Even if she had to do it through her doggie.

Corvin jumped as he heard Lyra's voice, dropping his PADD but managing to save his coffee, taking a moment to gather himself, focusing on Lyra; he hadn't seen her since the bridge when they'd raised one world and sterilized the other. "Lieutenant, I didn't know you were returning to duty..." his voice trailed off, a little uncertain, though he did take her in at a slow glance before meeting her eyes as he waited to retrieve the device he'd dropped.

"I can give you a briefing and return to my desk." The offer came cautiously since he didn't know why she was here, but he wanted to know why, though he waited to sit until she gave him leave. He put out of his mind the anger and fear he'd felt at her abduction, the anger he felt towards Andrei.

"Do I look like I'm on duty?" She asked, her eyebrows lifting and a slightly amused smirk appearing on her beautiful face.

"Uh...no," He frowned again while looking at his superior and patron while his mind worked on ferreting out if he'd forgotten to do something or done something wrong. "Are you just checking in? Or did I do something that I should have consulted you about?"

He was apparently trying to figure out what happened to bring her here right now.

Lyra remained precisely where she was and just watched Corvin fidget and squirm and try to figure out what to do. It was amusing in a way, really, and her eyes danced with a small portion of what she was feeling. "I can't just come say hello?"

"Ummm, well, of course!" He stood up and stopped fidgeting as his attention was turned to Lyra again, his brow easing away as he looked into her eyes. He felt his own relief at not having done something to displease her, another part happy to see her on her feet again after the state that she'd been returned to the ship. He still thought of his own feelings that had welled up on Banea for her and felt that the Numiri had gotten off too light, that the entirety of the civilization besides those they had taken as slaves should have been put to the sword with all ground they had touched seared with phaser fire and salted behind as a monument to what happens should you cross the Empire.

"If I'd known you were coming, I would have had a more extensive report prepared for the time I've been acting chief." He offered since he was still reviewing some of the after-action reports from Banea and ensuring he had everything to be entered. "Though I will have that completed soon as I am doing my best to be thorough."
"Sit down, Corvin, relax," Lyra instructed and finally shifted to sit normally in her chair. She wasn't blind - she never had been - she knew Corvin's feelings toward her, but they would remain unrequited.

"Tell me what has been happening since I've been away."

"Of course," He nodded, taking the chance to pick up the dropped PADD before moving to take his seat and smoothing out his uniform, setting his coffee and the device down as he took a moment to focus his thoughts. "The ship has been running smoothly, a few minor incidents that the Security teams handled, angry exchanges, and a couple of scuffles over a slave girl a couple of crewmen both fancied; let them cool their heels in the cells before returning them to duty on the captain's approval."

He pondered the rest of the events before shifting and picking up his coffee to sip. "We were quiet till Commander Petrov returned to the ship looking like someone had tried to beat him to death; the Captain assembled a fleet to head to the Banean system, where we encountered resistance from the Numiri, which we know the reason for now," He motioned towards Lyra. At the same time, his brow furrowed again, and he found himself wishing he could have strangled the life out of the leader of the Numiri people.

"We razed portions of Banea from orbit before beaming into their Command HQ and found their people more than willing to bend the knee, and they made all of their resources available to us in helping to locate you; Commander Petrov took great pleasure in disintegrating many of the Baneans personally and I," He paused and seemed to be looking for the right word that he wanted to use, deliberately choosing his words. "interrogated a number of the worthless mongrels meant to have been standing guard over you and made certain they understood what it meant to cross the Terrans,"

"It was during my time on the planet leading the investigation that Lieutenant Commander Petrova paid me a visit, not so subtly reminding me of my place at the foot of your bed but never sharing it."

Lyra had listened quietly and intently to Corvin's summary of events. She had known most of what happened simply from talking to Andrei, but it was good to hear the story - especially the same story - coming from another perspective. When he reached the end and mentioned Yana's visit, her brows went up.

Was Yana worried about her faithfulness to Andrei? Or was she concerned about Corvin's potential jealousy toward Andrei?

Some combination of both, she wagered.

Her expression evened out again, and she nodded slightly. "What brought that particular visit on, do you suppose?"

"I," He paused and frowned, looking down at his hands and the scars that showed there, trying to decide on the words he wanted to use. "During the interrogation of the Banean doctor responsible for implanting the memories into your mind, I became passionate about making sure he suffered; she was present and witnessed it. Given my near-obsessive behavior on the planet, I think the Commander felt she needed to remind me of the way of things."

"How did you feel about her doing that?" Lyra probed, watching him looking down at his hands.

Raising his head, Corvin met Lyra's gaze as he seemed to be weighing his words again. "I was a little surprised; I had honestly forgotten about her being present for the interrogation, having been so obsessed with the investigation on Banea...everything I've done with my life since gaining my freedom has been proving my loyalty to the Empire, I'd love the chance to be with a woman like you, you are one of a kind, but I also know that you aren't the kind of woman I man like me can keep,"

His admission was crude but honest as he sat back in his seat to relax. "Commander Petrova was doing what she needed to do so that I was reminded of the way of things. I never need a reminder, but I'm loyal, and she'll never need to question my motives regarding you, my life to serve, and my service is my life."

He was such a good hound. It seemed he would tell her anything; Lyra knew it was a valuable trait, and she would see him rewarded for it. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small black leather pouch.

"I have a gift for you, Corvin." She said and extended it toward him, letting it dangle from the strings between her fingers.

He held a beat before reaching out for the pouch she held, curious about what she would have gotten him. "Thank you, I..."

The man trailed off and frowned before speaking again since he wasn't used to receiving gifts from anyone. "Thank you. I will do my best to always remain of service to you."
Raising his head, Corvin met Lyra's gaze as he seemed to be weighing his words again. "I was a little surprised; I had honestly forgotten about her being present for the interrogation, having been so obsessed with the investigation on Banea...everything I've done with my life since gaining my freedom has been proving my loyalty to the Empire, I'd love the chance to be with a woman like you, you are one of a kind, but I also know that you aren't the kind of woman I man like me can keep,"

His admission was crude but honest as he sat back in his seat to relax. "Commander Petrova was doing what she needed to do so that I was reminded of the way of things. I never need a reminder, but I'm loyal, and she'll never need to question my motives regarding you, my life to serve, and my service is my life."

He really was such a good hound. It seemed he would tell her anything; Lyra knew it was a valuable trait, and she would see him rewarded for it. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small black leather pouch.

"I have a gift for you, Corvin." She said and extended it toward him, letting it dangle from the strings between her fingers.

He held a beat before reaching out for the pouch she held, curious about what she would have gotten him. "Thank you, I..."

The man trailed off and frowned before speaking again since he wasn't used to receiving gifts from anyone. "Thank you. I will do my best to always remain of service to you."

"I know you will," Lyra replied with easy confidence and then waved a hand. "Go ahead, you may open it here."

She watched as he complied with her prompting. While this particular gift might have been a bit risky when given to some, Lyra knew Corvin would appreciate it - and if he didn't, she certainly had him wrong.

When he opened the pouch and turned it into his hand, he spilled out a variety of fingerbones that, while similar, were distinct.

As he saw the fingerbones, a slow smile formed on his lips as he looked up at her, taking a moment to examine them under the light. "Thank you, Lieutenant, these are gorgeous; I'll need to get a display case for them; the only thing I think I could appreciate more would be a fine blade with a keen edge," He picked one up between his fingers to look at it closer. "Do you mind if I ask where they came from? I suspect, but I'm curious to know."

"Well, if you don't appreciate them, I'll take them back." Was her only reply, and she held her hand out to him, annoyed at his reception of her gift.

"No, I do," The Terran man replied, frowning at her and carefully pondering where he could have gone wrong; Corvin thought he was appreciative, but then again, he hadn't been. "I very much appreciate the gift; I would want to place them on display as a fine gift that they are...I didn't mean to offend."

Lyra held her hand out expectantly for a moment but then decided to show a bit of mercy on her hapless hound. Sighing, she dropped her hand to the desk and shook her head.

"When someone gives you a gift, the proper response is thank you, not 'thanks but I would like this even more.'"

"I...I will remember that in the future; thank you." He carefully placed the bones back into the pouch they had been in. "I wasn't trying to say that I would have liked the blade more; I was trying to compare it to something that I thought would be just as fine of a gift as something well received."

He wasn't trying to be argumentative but explaining why he had used those words to her.

"Corvin, I have a full-time job. While I may not currently be actively serving in that job, I will be returning to it soon. I do not have time to devote to teaching you how to be a proper human being. I know you started with a disadvantage in life, and I don't blame you for that, but you have to learn." Lyra shook her head again. "I can't be seen having some feral animal at my side."

"Of course, Lieutenant, I will work to improve myself." He bowed his head to her, waiting to listen for more instructions from his mistress; it seemed he took two steps forward and one step back.

"I'll send you some books or something." She looked away and around briefly, then back to him. "Is there anything else you need or want to tell me?"

"We lost one member of Shadow Squad during your rescue op, and they have requested an engineering inspection of their armor after it appeared that his armor failed under fire from the Numiri," He looked up at Lyra and reached over to a stack of PADDs on the desk, searching through them before handing one over to her. "I was going to bring it to you for approval since I wasn't certain I had the authority to approve the request."

"Technically, you do, but I would prefer you bring things like this to me as long as I am conscious." She lifted her hand as he tried to hand her the PADD. "Approve it. Engineering can look it over, but I've been working on a new design anyway."

In truth, she wasn't exactly surprised by the loss of Patrick. Fiona leaving the squad also wasn't exactly a shock to her - the girl was too young for the team, but Lyra had chosen to give her the chance, given she was second best on this ship with a rifle.

He returned the PADD and approved the request before setting it down on the desk. "I'll let Shadow Squad know they have their approval; I don't have anything else. Was there anything that you needed from me? Any instructions?"

"I'll start reviewing reports daily, but carry on as you are and consult me as needed for larger problems." She crossed her legs and drummed her fingers on the desk. "You didn't come to visit me in sickbay... too afraid of Andrei?"

"No, not afraid of the Commander," He offered and paused again, searching for the right words he wanted to use, being careful and thoughtful. "Given Commander Petrova's visit and my anger towards him, I felt it best to keep my distance since I blamed him for your capture since I wouldn't want to disappoint you or have your choice of making me your second be questioned."

Lyra was quiet at this admission and sat back in her chair thoughtfully. Yes, Andrei was at fault, but she had been too when push came to shove. If there was resentment, it was minimal.

"Let it go, Corvin. I appreciate your thoughtfulness over this and your desire to defend me and see me protected, but this was not solely Andrei's fault, and if you thought for a moment, you'd see that too."

"Of course, consider the matter settled." He nodded. Would he feel comfortable with Andrei seeing to Lyra's security and safety? Not entirely, but he could only serve her faithfully and hope he was there to stop the next from happening due to Andrei's reckless decisions. It felt strange for him to be so...mindful, and he wasn't sure how he thought about that. It felt foreign and wrong to him.

"What is it?" Lyra prompted, easily reading Corvin's expression to know that the wheels were turning in his head.

"I'm not used to being so mindful of my feelings; before this, I would simply just do and let things fall as they may." The answer came quickly; honestly, he wouldn't hide anything from her; it was what his dutiful devotion to her demanded.

"You can't afford to be so undisciplined anymore, Corvin. Especially not in the situation we find ourselves in out here. Lack of control and discipline can ruin a person faster." Lyra spoke easily, her dark eyes still on him. "From what Brasken has told me, most people would have died being subjected to what I was; I attribute my survival to the strength I have born of discipline and control."

"It is something that I will work on to attain for myself, Lieutenant," He gave her a slight smile. "I'm certain I can attain something similar if I put my mind to it and focus on that goal...after all, I survived the Klingon blood pits on determination and an unwillingness to die."

"You have the quality; you just have to hone it." She looked over him again, taking him in. He was handsome in a unique way and were circumstances different, she likely would have allowed him into her bed, but it would never be for him. Even if she were not with Andrei, she would never go past a particular step with those under her direct command. As a woman, it wasn't feasible for her to do that and retain the control and respect she had earned from the men serving under her.

"Thank you for that high praise," He nodded, his gaze moving over her body as she sat across from him. She was a singularly beautiful woman, and a part of him wondered what it might have been like to share her bed, but he also knew it would just be torture to consider the what-ifs and what could have been. "Any other orders for the department or that you would like me to oversee on your behalf?"

"No, keep doing your work as you are. I will keep my eye on things. If you are unsure of something, contact me." Finally, she stood, straightening her shirt as she did so. "I am going to voice my displeasure at how the investigation of this incident went, and when I am well and back on duty, we will address that with the whole department."

"Of course," He nodded and tapped his finger against the edge of the PADD. "I was relentless in trying to find you, but the Banean's evolved sense of justice proved an obstacle since they barely did a cursory examination of the scene, and I did expose more of the Numiri network that had a hand in abducting you, Lieutenant."

He felt the need to justify his work; he had been dogged and obsessive with finding her.

"Too little too late, Corvin. If I hadn't escaped and sent out the message for help myself, I'd be dead. Does that seem acceptable to you?" Lyra's expression hardened as she looked down at him.

"No. Not at all." He replied, chastised while setting the PADD down on the desk before looking back at her. "Would you like me to walk you out, Lieutenant?"

"No." She moved toward the door then and paused, looking to the clear windows of her office. "Do you have any favors you can call in from engineering or operations?"

Corvin stood, moving behind the desk as he considered the question before returning to Lyra. "I think I have someone I can ask; what needs to be done?"

"I want you to have someone install privacy blackout or frosting on these windows that can be turned off or on as I please." Her eyes remained on the windows and then moved to Corvin. "Are you able to do that?"

"I can; I'll get on that right away." He nodded and looked to the window, wondering why it hadn't been a feature installed before. "Any other functions? Or just the window alterations?"

"Did you have something else in mind?" She asked, quirking a brow with interest to see if he had any other suggestions for the office, given he had been occupying it for over a week now.

"I was just thinking of an anti-surveillance system to prevent anyone from using a listening device to listen in on conversations of business that might be taking place in here," He offered while looking at the ceilings and walls; they did have devices capable of listening through the bulkheads if you know what you were doing. "Just a precaution to safeguard any sensitive details."

"Corvin." Lyra sighed and reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose. "Do you really think that wouldn't be the first thing I would have done here?"

"I didn't want to make assumptions, merely trying to be thorough." He countered while holding up his hands in a sign of deference. "I'm trying to be thorough as your second to ensure the office is as secure as possible."

"Here, I thought you would suggest a mini fridge or a safe to hide away my snacks." She shook her head and smiled slightly. "It's fine, Corvin, but I have a system in place and regularly check the office for anything that could be missed."

"Well, that would imply that I had found your snack drawer," A little smirk worked its way onto his lips as his gaze shifted slightly toward her desk. "Which is not an admission on my part, just agreeing that you can never go wrong with a snack safe or a mini fridge."

"I'm sure you went through my drawers," Lyra smirked slightly and shook her head. "Despite the... bump with the investigation... you've been doing fine work from what I can see, Corvin. Keep doing so."

"Of course, Lieutenant, take your time with the recovery; your seat will still be here waiting for you." He assured her, giving a slight nod as an acknowledgment of her praise.

"It won't be long; convalescing doesn't suit me." She simply shrugged and left the room, leaving Corvin to his own devices and entirely out of the security office. She didn't want to be there too long, or she would be tempted to simply fall into the swing of working before she was cleared.. though she felt ready. She would be patient, though.

For now.

END

 

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