Part of USS North Carolina: Careful What You Wish For

Family Affair

Tod Living Quarters
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Lorilen looked back at the table and, for the one millionth time, wondered if it was right. She was really nervous about tonight. First off, she and her daughter, Leana, hadn’t had a family dinner together in quite some time. It had also been a while since they had had a guest over to eat with them and tonight Doctor O’Conner was joining them. She paused for a few minutes and began reminiscing about the day she had met Declan back in the Academy. He had been two years her senior and very irresistible when he had asked her out. It had been a short romance that had ended when he graduated and ship off and had briefly reignited when she had gotten assigned to the USS Valkyrie and was surprised to find Declan there as well. It was that brief affair that had led to the birth of their daughter. Declan had tried to do what he thought was the right thing and proposed to her but she had turned him down. Despite a shared child, marriage just wasn’t something that she had been ready for. She had also never come across the right time, in her mind, to tell her daughter who here father was. Now, twelve years later, they were going to share their secret with Leana. 

The First Officer was brought back to the present by the sound of the doors to her quarters parting ways. She turned to see her daughter walking in from school.

“What’s going on?” Leana asked when she noticed the table.

 “We’re having dinner with Doctor O’Conner. Remember?” replied Lorilen.

“Oh. I thought that was next week.”

“Nope. So go ahead and start your homework and he’ll be here in about an hour.” 

Leana went to her room to do as her mother had said and Lorilen finished getting things ready for their dinner.

As Lorilen sat the lasagna on the table, the door chimed, announcing the arrival of Declan. She spun her head around to look at the chronometer/ She couldn’t believe the hour had gone by so quickly.

Leana came out of her room and went straight to the door to welcome their guest. Lorilen was surprised to see her daughter hug the doctor when he entered. She hadn’t realized that the two of them had grown so close.

“These are for each of you.” Declan said as he handed each lady a small bouquet of flowers.

“Thank you.” came the simultaneous replies.

“Leana. Would you take these and put them in some water please?” asked her mother. She watched as the young girl left and went to collect a vase.

“What was that hug about?” she asked the Doctor. “You haven’t said…..”

“No. No. Of course not. I’ve stuck to our agreement.” he interrupted. “It isn’t that huge of a ship. She’s made friends here. I’m not the only one she does that to.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous. Please. Come have a drink before we eat.” The XO said as she walked over to the replicator. She ordered each of them a glass of Jamison Irish Whiskey.

“You still drink it as well.” he commented. “Should I be flattered?”

“What can I say. You introduced me to a wonderful drink.” she answered.

“So I guess you could say that I left you with two good impressions, huh?” he teased.

She quickly gave him an evil eye look followed by a grin and a wink.

“Flowers are done, Mom. Can we eat now? I’m starving.” said the twelve year old.

“Sure. Let’s eat.” said her mother.

The Doctor, ever being the gentleman, pulled out the seats for each of them before taking his own.

“This looks wonderful. I hope you didn’t go through a lot of trouble just for me.” he said. Deep down, he was secretly excited that she had made one of his favorite dishes. Maybe things were starting to look up between them.

“It was no trouble.” began Lorilen. “It’s actually one of Leana’s favorite meals.” she said while smiling, as if she were reading his mind.

“Well then. If I may do the honors?” he asked. After Lorilen nodded, he began slicing and serving the lasagna and they started to eat.

Leana began to notice the silence within a few minutes. She also caught the glances that the two adults were throwing back and forth at each other, across the table.

“Is something wrong?” she asked after another moment or two.

“Wh…what? No. Why?” stammered her mother.

“You just seem anxious about something and the two of you keep glancing back and forth like you’re trying to hide something or figure out a way to say something.”

“No Honey. We’re just having a nice dinner with our friend. We’re….” Lorilen released a heavy sigh.

“Okay. Listen.” Lorilen said. She paused when she heard Declan lay down his silverware. “We just wanted all of us to be together when we told you something very important.” 

The intense moment was suddenly broken by a loud outburst of laughter. The grown ups exchanged very confusing looks. It took Leana almost two whole minutes to calm down and catch her breath. Then she smiled as she looked between her parents.

“Is this the all important talk where you tell me that Doctor O’Conner is my father?” she asked calmly.

“Wha…how….when did you know?” her mother finally said as she glanced over at Declan and saw him grinning. He also held up his hands with his palms out as if to surrender and say, It wasn’t me.

“Mom. I figured it out a few months ago, back on the Sausalito when I saw how you guys acted around one another. I only suspected it at first after looking up your public records and saw that you both served together on the Valkyrie. Then, after a while, I was able to get a DNA sample from Doctor O’Conner and ran standard ancestry tests on it and it came back positive.”

“Why didn’t you say something?” Declan asked.

“I figured you guys would tell me when you were ready.”

“She definitely got your smarts.” Declan said to his former lover.

“Can we eat like a normal family now?” asked Leana. “I’m still starving.”

With any luck, here will be more Tod/O’Conner family adventures to come in the near future