<USS Banshee> "Trick and Echoes"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 11:19:52 -0700

“Tricks and Echoes”
by Lt. Commander Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant JG Telsia Ehling

Things weren't as bad as the first time. There were no long nights covered in perspiration hoping that the inevitable death lingering about would finally make its appearance. No, death wasn't approaching - but the luring siren was warming up. Thwarted once by his own convictions and then by Sara Kaelyre, Josh was beginning to lose patience with his predicament. Taking things into his own hands he turned to his third and final chance at a safe haven.


He found himself leaning in the doorway and staring at her leaning over the crib-like structure that their son was in. Josh liked watching her and seeing her with their son. Hands like a mother, attitude like a rebel, and lips like a lover - Telsia Ehling had it all and there was nothing that Josh wanted more in the world. Well, with the exception of a strong neural suppressant. "You're beautiful."

Slightly startled by the male voice behind her, she turned quickly and was extremely happy to see Josh standing in the doorway. "Oh Josh, you startled me," she said, slightly breathless. Smiling, she leaned back over the crib and finished tucking Cameron in and placed a small kiss on his forehead.

Turning she walked over to Josh and placed a light kiss on his lips. "I thought you were duty tonight," she said softly, walking out into the living room so that they would not disturb their sleeping child.

Before exiting the room Josh kissed his son lying in the crib and then followed his fiancee, "I was, but I got Tegan to cover for a couple of minutes so I could come down and help tuck Cameron in. That girl is a sucker for children. Whatever you need she'll do it if kids are the reason." Josh slumped down on the couch and propped his legs on the table in front of him. "Plus, it gave me a break from the bridge. It's unusually tense up there and I can't explain it."

He watched her sitting opposite of him. There was an unmistakable beauty to her that he couldn't explain - or identify for that matter. If he didn't know any better he could swear that she was perpetually bathed in a heavenly light coming from nowhere. Whether she was a celestial being or the epitome of the female gender, Josh was glad that she had chosen to spend her life with him. That in itself was the highest honor a man could receive.

"Tegan is really nice. I haven't worked too closely with her yet, but the little bit I know of her she seems really nice." Tel pulled her hair back away from her face and worked it into a bun. "I'm glad you took a small break to come down here. I haven't seen you much lately and I've missed you." Taking the opportunity, since Josh was there, she stood up and moved over to the couch next to him. "Cameron's been missing you too."

Joshua nodded absently, knowing his son's plight, but drown it out with his own struggles. "I know, but with Cyanah getting the executive officer position and my promotion it has been extremely hard focusing and delegating. And, in addition to that, these massive headaches I've been having don't help at all." Cover, Josh, cover. He knew that Telsia was suspicious, his double did too, but he was sure that she didn't know much of anything.

Telsia hadn't known that Josh was having such powerful headaches. Working herself to sit behind him with her legs on either side of his, she began to move her hands along his back. She started to massage his muscles, hoping to release some of the tension that was building up there. "I'm sorry Josh. I know that you have been under a lot of stress lately, but I would love it if you could spend some more time with us."

"I'm trying, love, you know I am." Her hands traveling along his shoulders were bliss. He could have just closed his eyes and gotten lost in the sensations rippling through his muscles. Somehow the massages on the holodecks couldn't compare to a real life, hands on, Telsia kneading. "I've got some personal leave coming up. I thought that maybe we could go visit your folks or something - get away from here. What do you think?"

"That sounds good. I haven't seen them since I joined the Banshee," she said, thinking about how nice it could possibly be to see her family again. "Plus, you need a vacation, you've been so tense and stressed out lately." Telsia continued to massage his back as she leaned forward and placed a small kiss on his neck. "How much time do you have for your break? I could make you some dinner or something."

Josh let out a sigh that was a moan and a groan all at the same time. "Twenty minutes, I think I've already hit ten. Just don't stop what you're doing."

It felt good to know that she could do something for Josh, to make him feel better. Smiling and relaxing back into the couch, she continued to work her hands into the muscles in Josh's neck, back and shoulders. "I wish you didn't have to go back to work tonight, I love having you here."

Josh tapped his communications badge, "Asper to Tegan."

"Tegan here," a voice answered.

"What are you doing for the next six hours?"

"Nothing, want me to work for you?"

He smiled, "if it isn't much trouble."

"Not at all, enjoy your family."

"Thanks. Asper out." Josh cracked his knuckles and smirked again, closed his eyes, and leaned back into the rhythmic movement of her palms and fingers on his back, "see, that wasn't hard."

Laughing lightly at Josh's confidence Tel leaned forward and kissed him again, but there was some doubt that clouded her mind. If it was that easy for Josh to get some time off, how come he hadn't taken the time off earlier? Trying to push the thoughts out of her mind and just enjoy the short bit of time she was granted with Josh, Tel decided to not bring up his recent behavior. She was under the impression that keeping silent for now would be best, plus she was being selfish and desired to have time just with him and no serious discussions that could cause a fight.

Josh unzipped his uniform and pulled his shirt off. This was too good to be true, he thought as the fabric pulled away from his skin. It was cooler than he had expected, but was just as good as he wanted it to be. The tension of the moment that he had thought there would be had vanished. Granted he hadn't asked her yet, but that was all territory that remained to be charted. "You're amazing."

"I know, aren't I?" she said jokingly as her hands continued to move over his back. Now she took more pleasure out of the massage that she was giving him because now her hands were touching his skin. It was warm and smooth beneath her fingers and she could feel the strength of his muscles. His body never ceased to amaze her, the power that was there and the strength. Tel was content with this moment that was passing between them, it was so simple yet so wonderful.

"There's something I need you to get me from sickbay," Josh could have chosen a better time to drop the bombshell and ask the question, but he didn't. It pierced through the calm serenity of the moment and shattered whatever connection there was into complete oblivion. "Just some medicine for my headaches, if you don't mind of course." He bent his neck down and directed her, though inaudibly, to massage his neck.

After a moment of hesitation, Tel's fingers continued their kneading as she moved up wards to his neck, working on the knots that had developed there from stress. "If your headaches are that bad, why don't you come to sickbay? Either Sara or I could check you out, make sure everything is okay then give you something specific for you problem," she suggested calmly, not wanting him to know that his request hadn't sat well with her.

"Sara checked me out already. Gave me some aspirin, but that was the extent."

"Hmm, that's weird that it didn't work to well." Tel sat silent for a moment as she continued to knead his muscles. "Well, what is it you want then?" she said finally.


At this, her hands stopped all together and she sat there in total silence and shock for a moment. "Nerolapizine? Josh, that's a neural suppressant. Are you sure that's what you want and you’re not getting it confused with something else?" Warning bells were going off in Telsia's head. Something was definitely not right with his request, but she sat there, holding her breath, hoping to all goodness that he was just mistaken in what he was asking for.

"It's genetic. Trust me, I've taken it before. I took it as a child when I was about nine. It's what they gave me in juvenile detention and I took it again on the USS Iliad." Josh turned and kneeled against the couch and pulled her legs towards him so he was staring up at her. Putting his charm to good work, he smiled that smile that he knew that should have a trademark or copyright or something. "Don't worry, all right. I would never jeopardize myself. I have too much to live for."

"Pouring it on a bit thick, don't you think Joshua?"

"I know you wouldn't jeopardize yourself," Tel said, trying to keep a straight head when all she wanted to do was let herself drown in his eyes and smile, but there was something behind his eyes; something that seemed dangerous and almost scared her. "But that isn't the point Josh a Neural Suppressant is a strong drug, if the person isn't given the right dosage it could cause major damage." She shook her head as she came to a decision, "I won't bring it back for you Josh, if that is what you think you need then come to sickbay with me and I'll run some tests, just to make sure everything is okay. Plus, that way we can find out the proper dosage for you. How does that sound?" she asked, silently hoping he would listen to her and not blow up, as she feared he would do.

"Bring your A-game, Josh, she's fighting you."

Josh fought the urge but flicked a gaze just up and away from Telsia's left shoulder. With an added temperament to his smirk he ran a hand up the outside of her left leg and bowed his head in almost defeat, hoping that that would seal the deal. "Telsia, come on, Sara has already examined me. I just want the pain to go away. Besides, a standard hypospray does the trick. I promise you. And, I'll even compromise. If it doesn't work full the first time then I'll go in for a full eval. Fair?"

Her eyes closed involuntarily as Josh's hand traveled up her leg. It felt so good to have him touch her again with that soft knowing caress of a lover: in her mind it had been way too long. Even though she loved it, she felt slightly dirty from it, almost as though Josh was using her body’s reaction to lower her walls to get her to agree to his plan. Due to not only selfish reasons, but also due to her love for Josh, Tel nodded her head slightly that she agreed, "okay Josh, I'll agree, but you have to be honest with me and tell me if it works or not. I don't want you getting worse. Okay?"

"You have my word," and with a passionate kiss on her lips he sealed the deal.

Telsia let his kiss consume her as she pushed thoughts of her deceit into the back corner of her mind. Even though she had agreed to get the hypospray for Josh, Tel wasn't going to lie to Sara or cover up for him. Instead, she planned on speaking to Sara about what was happening. Tel loved Josh more then anyone else in the world and she worried about him deeply, she just hoped she could keep Josh from finding out about her decision to talk with Sara about him. But that wasn't what Telsia wanted to think about at the moment, right then, all she cared about was Josh's lips on hers and pulling his body closer with her hands on his back and running through his hair.

Pulling her onto him he hoisted her from the couch he cradled her delicately around his waist, but their kiss never broke. In fact, as Josh carefully felt his way towards the bedroom, the kiss intensified. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he sensed the presence of another pair of eyes on his half-naked torso. Breaking the kiss, Josh stared at his replica sitting on the couch smiling an evil and wicked grin.

"I'm not here, remember? You want me to leave, if I recall correctly."

"You're not going to do it, are you?"

It took a while but finally Josh's words cut through the fuzziness in Tel's brain caused by the passionate kisses she had just shared with Josh. "What?" she asked confused. "Josh, I told you I would do it for you. Josh, why are you looking at the sofa?" she asked as her brain began to process the absurdity of the moment. She was in Josh's arms but he was looking at the sofa where they had just been, even though nothing was there and he seemed to be talking to the air. Worry soon began to fill her, along with confusion and some fear.

"Nothing," Josh said shaking his head and willing the image away. "Right now there is only one thing that I want to focus on. That, my love, is you. Where were we?" With that he closed her mouth with his own again, took three strides and laid her on the bed. It was where he wanted to be. It was whom he wanted to be with. It was where all of his troubles would fade away. It was his sanctuary.

Precious hours.


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