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Clearing the Air (An awkward encounter)

Posted on Thursday 14 January 2021 @ 23:00 by Civilian Sansa Draxx-Jones & Lieutenant Mathias McPhee
Edited on on Thursday 14 January 2021 @ 23:02

Mission: Homeward
Location: Off the South Coast of Ireland
Timeline: MD9 0800
3241 words - 6.5 OF Standard Post Measure


It had only been a few days since Fay had left Sansa's mind, but she was already feeling her absence. She missed her friend. She decided to cheer herself up and go on a whale watching cruise. At the dinner last night, she had seen an advertisement for a whale spotting cruise leaving the next day from Cork in Ireland There was a large pod of Humpback whales that normally gathered in that area at this time of year.

There were only about 5 or 6 people on the ship as it departed from the dock area. The craft was similar to the one they had gone on from San Francisco with an observation deck and a lower area with a ladder for diver entry.

Sansa found herself a seat on the observation deck and watched quietly as they headed out to sea. It was a bittersweet moment. The last time, Fay had been with her and she remembered feeling Fay's excitement and wonder and the opportunity to see whales for the first time. Mathias had also been there. Mathias.....

There was an.... awkward situation right there. She hadn't really spoken to him last night. She could still remember Fay's feelings towards him but also how it made her feel. Like.... her feelings towards Hayley. She was annoyed at herself for not going to speak with him last night but, she was slightly embarrassed. She had cleared thing up with Hayley while Fay had been there and her presence gave her some confidence. She wondered.... What had happened with Mathias and Abigale? She wasn't at the party. How would he feel about talking to her again? She wished she had spoken to him about it last night.

Mathias had noticed an advertisement about whale watching, it causing him to remember the time when he, Sansa and Fay had gone to observe them in San Francisco. The whales, the touching of the baby whale, and greeting the others. It made him wistful and wanting to go see the whales that were nearer to his home. After the party with Miles and the engagement of them, Mathias felt the need to find solace for a moment, he booked passage to go watch the whales and maybe, they would let him go swim with them. He had gone below to check out the ship, then came back up to the observation deck to watch the water. He stopped short when he saw Sansa there, without Hayley. He'd not spoken to her at the party last night, having had felt somewhat awkward and also, at the time his eyes were mostly on Caroline then observing the romantic even of the proposal.

Deciding that there needed to be some conversation, of some kind, Mathias walked up towards Sansa and quietly greeted her, " Good morning Sansa, hope you are doing well?"

The sound of his voice snapped her out of her reverie and she looked up, shocked to see him. Her cheeks flushed and for an instant, her reaction to his presence was exactly how Fay reacted that day on the holodeck.

"Mathias!" she gasped. "You startled me." She took a deep breath, then asked, although part of her already knew that answer. "What are you doing here?"

"You could say the whales called to me?" Mathias trying for some levity "It had been awhile since I have done this, much to long personally. Looking at Sansa, then back out towards the sea, seeming to be lost in thought.

After the initial shock wore off, she was glad he was here. She steeled herself for the conversation ahead. "Mathias, please sit. I think we need to talk." She patted the seat next to her.

Mathias blinked and looked towards Sansa, then nodded. "Yes we do need to talk." taking a seat beside her, turning his oddly colored eyes towards her.

"I don't want there to be an issue between us ok?" She started "Yes, I can remember how Fay felt about you and.... it's a wonderful feeling but that was her memory. Her feelings. I know she was in my body, but it was all her. I know what you and her shared and that will always be with me but What you and I have is a bond of friendship. I can also remember how you acted and know that... That you... you are a good man, and that you understand. I just wanted to get that out in the open, we both know each other well enough now not to keep secrets don't you think? We both know that I love Hayley.." she let out a laugh and joked "And we both know she would kill you if you tried anything."

"Yes she would kill me, and I wouldn't want to kill the friendship she and I are developing." giving a fond smile thinking of Hayley. Then stated. "As for you and I being friends, our friendship has definitely started in a rather unique way. I am aware of her feelings for me. It made things just a bit awkward." he went silent.

She placed her hand on his. "Fay was my friend and I miss her. You are my friend, and I can tell from the look in your eyes that... you miss her too. So... tell me, what happened?"

"I do miss her, but not in the extent that you may think." Mathias replied, "As in my feelings towards her. Sansa, let me be straightforward, about something. Yes, Fay was lovely and she was a diplomat from another planet, but, she had someone waiting for her back home, and I just am not the sort of man who was going to take advantage of her. I was also the unofficial diplomatic escort. Which makes it to where, things definitely had to be on the up and up. When she was transferred to Abigale, that really caused some issues for me as well. This is due to my having feelings for Abigale when I was a young lad, about the age of 13. I loved her, and didn't realize that she loved me. My family moved and I didn't really keep in contact with her after that. Time just moved on and I grew up." Mathias giving a bit of a shake of his head, glancing out towards the water.

"Abigale and I didn't really have the chance to even see how things could have or might have gone. One can not go back in time and change things. And doing the what ifs and what might have been isn't good either. Could tend to cause mental distress for a person. We could have been intimate before the transfer but I didn't want to do so. If I am with a woman, it is something special and nothing to be talked about with other people or even to share." he turned to Sansa. "I knew that if Abigale and I were intimate, Fay would know about it. I didn't feel comfortable with that. Plus, Fay has Tann waiting for her, back home, and I refuse to do anything with someone, who has someone waiting for them. Its not right, not in my standards. Therefore, nothing intimate happened between, Abigale, Fay and myself. Well except for what I felt was a kiss goodbye from both of them. I had let them know that there wouldn't be any sexual intimacy between the three of us. I won't deny the fact that I felt drawn to them and had a desire to do so but, nope just didn't feel right. And I would have hated myself if I let myself take advantage of that situation."

Sansa had started to cry listening to Mathia's story. She wiped the tears from her cheek. "Wow. I had no idea you and Abigale were so..... I got the impression she was into you but not to that extent. It must have been hard for you to say goodbye to her for a second time. Do you think you'll ever see her again?" she asked.

"I do not know if I will see Abigale again. That will be whatever the stars, the universe, fate decides. Though I don't see it in my current destiny, or future, of Abigale and I to be together romantically. I see it more as us just being friends with the knowledge of what might have been, can't be. Hopefully being able to overcome the hand that life had dealt us with." Mathias shrugged then went on to say. "And not to sound overly melodramatic, I feel like a knife has been stabbed into my heart and the blade twisted, or that I am starting to crumble." he went quiet after that, lost in thought.

Sansa gave his hand a squeeze. "Hey there mister. I'm still your friend. And so is Hayley. You're not alone and you don't have to deal with this alone. We're both here for you. She might come back, she might not but had some time with her, some good times so you remember the good times. If it's not meant to be then it's not meant to be so you pick yourself back up and carry on. I'm sure a good looking fella like you won't be down for very long. I'm sure you'll find that someone. I did." she added with a cheeky smile.

Mathias chuckled, "Yup that is what Hayley has been saying. I could go home with any woman I so choose, if I wanted to. Hayley seems to have such a high expectation of what I could possibly do." giving a humored shake of his head.

His mind went back over the events of the party for Miles and Sav, and the acting of being Caroline's boyfriend to help her out with avoiding an unwanted possible suitor.

As she listen to him, a shiver suddenly passed though Sansa and she quickly hugged herself and rubbed her arms. "Whoa. What was that? She frowned and stood as if she was being called somewhere. "Come on, I think we should go down to the lower deck." She took hold of Mathias's hand and started pulling him along.

They walked down to the deck that was closer to the water level where one of the guides was going over his notes on a PADD. "Oh hello you two. I think you're a bit early. An announcement will be made over the ships comm system when we've spotted some..."

Just then the comm system came to life. "Good morning folks, this is the Captain speaking. We've just detected the pod. We should be intercepting them very soon if you like to make your way to the lower deck.

The guide chuckled to himself "Wow, how did you know?"

Sansa cast a quick look at Mathias "Just a feeling." she replied, still looking a bit weirded out by the experience.

The other passengers had all gathered on the lower deck now, watching the sea with fascination.

The guide was looking at one of the screens with a look of amazement "Wow they're coming close. Real close! There!" He pointed as slowly 6 shaped appeared just the below the surface. One came even closer to the craft until it turned and regarded the crowed through a curious eye.

Sansa took a step forward and tilted her head to one side, as if listening. "It's like I can understand her, in my head..." she said quietly to Mathias.

The guide was now watching Sansa and the whale closely. "I've never seen them act like this before. How are you doing that?"

She replied honestly. " I wish I knew." though deep down, she had a sneaking suspicion of why.

All thoughts of the night before were dashed out of Mathias's head, as he watched the miraculous sight of Sansa connecting with the whale. He smiled and laughed, "I know why." he stated softly, "but we can talk about that later on, out of other peoples hearing. " he then stated for others to hear. "Whales are a sensitive species, and they do know when others mean them harm. And those who don't mean them harm. I am thinking that the whales like to communicate with each other, my friend and I had swum with whales as part of an expedition near San Francisco, California. Therefore, they must have communicated with each other about my friend, here." giving a bit of a smile. "Looks like my hypothetical theory may have some proof here. I am a scientist and had been wondering. It may sound strange at the moment but.." looking at the actions of the whales. "It is starting to seem like a solid theory." Mathias was feeling like he needed to protect Sansa from others seeing her as something to stare and ogle at her, and making a spectacle of her. He didn't want that at all.

A few people were now looking at Sansa more closely but seemed satisfied with Mathias's explanation. At the very stern of the ship, a young boy was stood with his mother and father watching the whales. The mother and father started to head back to the warmth of the sheltered part of the deck while the boy, probably aged 16, remained. A rogue wave suddenly lifted the craft. the unexpected motion which resulted in three very unpleasant sounds. The first was a sickening thud as the boy lost his balance and hit his head on the deck as he fell over. The second was a quieter splash as he slid off the deck into the water. The third was the ear-piercing scream of his mother who had witnessed the whole thing.

Before she even realised what she was doing, Sansa found herself diving off the edge after him.

Mathias was already jumping off the ship as well, a nano-second after Sansa, swimming down after Sansa and the boy.

Sansa swam swiftly down at least 5 meters and grabbed the boy's wrist, intending to return to the surface. Instead, she found the bulk of the boy dragging her down deeper. Oh boy! What was I thinking? She thought to herself as her lungs started to ache. They were heading deeper and deeper.

I could really use some help.... she thought to herself as she had to fight to not breathe out.

Mathias swiftly looked about for Sansa, and the boy, finding that they were sinking even further down. The water was cold and he was getting concerned. He swam lower to go help Sansa with the boy. He could also start feeling a cramp start to develop in his leg. He was beginning to worry, they did need some help. Maybe... the whales could sense that they were needing help. Then his eyes widened, for it looked like they were going to be getting some unexpected help, and just in time too.

From beneath them, a massive dark shape suddenly appeared heading upwards. A whale gently got Sansa and the boy and started pushing them towards the surface. A few moments later the whale broke the surface and pushed the pair back onto the deck of the craft, to the astounded gaze of the rest of the people on board.

Mathias had caught hold of the whale that lifted up Sansa and the boy to the deck, and made his way safely onboard, he paused and touched the whale and said, "Thank you." The whale blowing a spout of water upwards. He then turned to check on Sansa and the boy.

Sansa coughed up a mouthful of water and got up, moving quickly to the boy and started CPR. After a moment the boy's eyes fluttered open. He looked up at Sansa for a moment then said "Are you an angel?" Sansa brushed the wet hair from her face and blushed.

The guide rushed over, looking in amazement at both Sansa and the boy. "How did you do that?" He asked Sansa.

Mathias superimposed himself between the guide, Sansa and the boy. "Sir, will you get some blankets and towels, we are all soaking wet and cold." he stated, locking eyes with the guide and taking the attention from Sansa. "Good heavens man, don't you realize that the sea creatures have been known to help out other species. Take dolphins for instance, they have helped out divers and others who have needed a miracle, and whales have also been known to help as well. And this certainly is a miracle. If you'd like to see facts I can show you them."

He got out of the way of the mother who came to check on her boy, still blocking those who wish to surround Sansa. "A blanket if you please!" his voice, one of command.

The whale that had saved them was still hovering near the back of the boat. Sansa reached out and put her hand on the whale. A funny smile played over her face. “Thank you.” she said quietly and the gentle giant disappeared beneath the waves.

The parents of the boy were round him making sure he was ok. The father came over to Sansa and helped her up, shaking her hand. “Thank you, oh thank you so much. I’m Ronald McPherson. I chartered this trip. This is my wife, Patricia and my son Eric.”

“I’m Sansa Draxx Jones. This is my friend Mathias. My mom is the Captain on the Merlin.

The mother had come over now and huge Sansa even though she was still dripping.

“Jones? Ah yes... I've heard of her.” Ronald said as he called over the guide “Take miss Jones and her friend to the private cabin and get them dry and a warm drink.

"Much obliged." Mathias remarked and once he and Sansa had gotten blankets and escorted to the cabin, he turned to Sansa. "Are you going to be okay?"

Sansa's wet clothes clung to her and she was starting to shiver when onw of the crew wrapped a warm blanket around her and started to lead her and Mathias to the private cabin. She nodded to him, her teeth starting to chatter "I will be when I get out of these wet cloths. What do you say we keep this to ourselves?" She added as they entered the luxurious cabin, not wanting to worry her mother, father or Hayley.

"Sansa, will you be keeping a secret from your mom about.. the new aspect you have, being able to communicate with the whales? And, if I recall right, the man knows who your mother is. If you don't tell her, she will find out another way and it won't be pretty if you don't tell her or Hayley. Best not to keep quiet about this. Otherwise I 'm sure your dad, mom and Hayley will kill me, if they find out another way." Mathias giving a worried look.

Despite the cold, Sansa managed a smile. "oh no, I didn't mean that. I'm sure I'll tell mom and Hayley all about that. I meant that part about me jumping off the back of the boat into the water."

Mathias made an 'O" shape with his mouth then nodded. "Well if you won't tell then I won't. I promise not to say anything, besides I went in as well." 'he chuckled.


●● Lieutenant Mathias McPhee
Chief Operations Officer
USS Merlin

Sansa Draxx-Jones
NPC Jones


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