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Friend to Friend (Celeste/Frost JP)

Suzanne Hurley
 

Captain Celeste Graecen
CO
Captain Zaran Frost
CO

USS Hippocrates NCC-58555

Celeste was in her ready room looking over reports and found herself staring into space. She was thinking, just a little, of Steven. Which reminded her of something she needed to get over with. She wasn't going to hide her relationship with Steven but she also knew she was opening herself up for trouble if Frost knew of their relationship.

She tapped her combadge. =/\="Captain Graecen to Captain Frost. Do you have a few moments for a personal conversation?"=/\=

=/\="Frost to Gracean. Your ship or mine?"=/\=

=/\="Mine if possible, please."=/\= _Just in case he wants to talk to Steven. And also because it gives me the position of advantage._

=/\="Understood. Be there in five, Frost out."=/\=

Captain Graecen was standing at the transporter room with a serious expression when Frost was beamed aboard. She was calm and composed on the outside; a tranquil ocean in her eyes. On the inside, she felt like a small child about to be chastised. _Get ahold of yourself, Celeste. You're not a teenager anymore. You can take your pleasure where you will._

"Permission to come aboard" he asked with a smile.

"Of course, Captain. Please." Celeste's voice was warm. "Let's talk in the lounge." She led the way with casual confidence.

He walked beside her. "How are your preparations coming along?"

"Very well. My crew doesn't believe in letting grass grow under their feet." Celeste's smile grew. "And yours? Your crew seemed supportive."

"They know what's at stake, and their jobs. I felt the meeting went well, and conveyed that."

"I agree. Its important that we're all on the same page. Which is what I wanted to talk to you about actually." Celeste turned into the lounge and glanced around for a small table in a secluded area. She raised a finger to Serenia. "But first. Would you like a drink, perhaps?"

"That would be good. Aldeberan Brandy please. I'm feeling in a celebratory mood tonight."

"Oh?" Celeste laughed a little. "Well that's excellent. I have something a little...awkward...to discuss. A brandy will do nicely to take the sting away." She gave their orders to the waiter who had magically appeared at their table and then turned to him.

Frost looked at the waiter, then back to her. "What's on your mind, Captain?"

Celeste waited until the server had left and then she smiled and shrugged a little. "I felt it was necessary that we are on the same page. To that end, I want to inform you that I'm dating my Chief of Operations officer, Steven Chambers." She folded her fingers calmly together. "We met recently and have been enjoying a meeting of minds. I know it's not strictly protocol which is why I wanted to inform you before any rumors got out."

Frost stared at her then breathed out. "I see. You're right, it's not exactly protocol."

"No." She agreed. "However, I felt it necessary to inform you as we will be working closely together. Steven is a consummate professional; I'm sure there won't be any issues."

Their brandy arrived and she took a small sip; making sure her hands didn't shake. She hated personal discussions.

Zaran taking his own sipped it. "It's your command, Captain. I'm just asking you to help us out in this current situation. We're out here alone, by ourselves. The closest Federation authority would be Councilwoman Arroyo. And, she's a civilian."

"Yes." Celeste nodded calmly. "I'm pleased you understand." She smiled slightly. "Thank you for taking a few moments for me this evening."

"You're welcome, Captain. It does sometimes get lonely, out there, but there are many advantages. The day will come, more Federation officials will take over. Once the hard work is done." he chuckled. wryly.

"Well...I think that we have plenty of that in the future." Celeste laughed a little. "Would you care to join me for dinner this evening? I enjoy entertaining when I can. Another reason I wanted you to know."

"Uhhh...no, thank you, but I have a previous engagement,"

"I see. Well perhaps another time." Celeste sipped her brandy again. "Do you have anything we needed to discuss?"

He shook his head...then paused. "Who's your best diplomat?"

"Steven perhaps. We have had issues with Metrodora's level of diplomacy in the past." She laughed a little. "And Commander Randall has a little too much Engineer to be effective as a diplomat. However, she has my full confidence. She spent a year on New Romulus as the Galactic Federations Official Technology Integration specialist. She did an excellent job there. Commander Steven, however, is probably my most capable policy maker. He worked on numerous diplomatic missions for the Enterprise as a liaison."

"Alright. Bring him in please."

Celeste studied him for a moment. "Very well." She reached for her combadge. =/\="Captain Graecen to Commander Chambers. May we please have your presence in the lounge, at your earliest convenience. Thank you."=/\=

=/\="Chambers to Captain, On my way."=/\=

Celeste nodded to Frost. "Very well. If you have need of an Engineer to discuss anything then my XO has both the Engineering background to be useful and the knowledge of the situation to be useful. Chambers is a bit more experienced, however." She sighed. "I’d like to send both, honestly. They would work well together.”

"I got it." Frost looked up as the tall COO of the Hippocrates entered.

"You wanted to see me, Captain?" he asked.

"Yes, Commander, Please sit down. We have something to discuss with you."

"Very well." Chambers seated himself.

Frost steepled his fingers. "Commander, how much experience do you have in diplomacy?"

"I served in several diplomatic missions on the past." Steven stated. “Some on the Enterprise and other ships."

Zaran glanced at Gracean. "I need you to work with medical on the Hippocrates, to come up with a plan along with designated officers from my ship. Because, when we finally reach out to these scientists, is has to be in place"

"I see. Captain?" Steven looked at Celeste.

"I believe we'll have need of Commander Randall's experience on the Engineering side. I need Speckleman here to continue the ship alterations and Randall has more experience with diplomatic missions.” Celeste told him with a sigh. "So I would like you both to work with the diplomatic team on this plan. You'll have the latest medical information and the support of the Atlantis as well."

"Very well, Captain." Chambers replied. "Who's my POC?"

"That would be Commander Travis or Councilwoman Arroyo. But, when it comes to the nitty gritty, I'm going to try to keep her out of any dangerous siuations,. And the Vidians till we can solve this are extremely dngerous."

"Yes. So let's keep her out of that. Perhaps keep her on coms to assist in strategy if needed? And, to be honest, We need Science and Engineering on some of this. And Doctor Lovonix considering her role in the initial concept." Celeste mused.

"That sounds appropriate." Frost agreed. He glanced at Chambers,. "So Commander, you'll be part of the team to directly contact the Vidians. Commander Travis from my ship will be leading that, along with your XO?" He looked at Gracean for confirmation.

"As Engineering lead, Yes. I believe they are familiar with each other. I feel, however, that we need Steven on as the direct liaison with the Diplomatic team." Celeste was being diplomatic as well.

Frost nodded. "Councilwoman Arroyo may argue that. But, I do need to keep her safe. That’s my argument." he sighed.

Chambers smirked a little. He could imagine that tiff behind closed doors. He smiled briefly at his own Captain.

Celeste's eyes danced as she read his mind. She could imagine the argument as well. "I think this is a good plan. Lieutenant Speckleman is relatively new to her position so I'd feel better with a more experienced Engineer. I WOULD like her to coordinate with Randall and your engineering crew on the Hippocrates upgrades."

"Of course," Zaran nodded. "That should cover the team. Anything else?"

Chambers frowned. "Captain, are we going to be cross-training in each other's department before the actual mission? I think it would be a good idea should we be attacked and have to quickly shift crews back and forth if one or the other vessel is severely damaged."

"And we also need to make sure our Emergency protocols match up." Celeste agreed. "I propose we do that when we arrive and then have a dinner that evening with the crew as a kind of reward for the beginning of their hard work."

"Excellent." Frost smiled.

"We'll also involve the Talaxian and Halkonan counterparts for the area."

Chambers nodded. "That sounds like a good match, Captain.": His eyes went again to Celeste,. "Anything else, ma'am?"

"No. I think we have that planned. We'll be arriving soon in the Quadrant and we'll need to get to work right away. Cross training, emergency training, ship additions, and then a party to open up the crew before we start the negotiations with the Vidians."

"Very good Captain,. I'll see to the operational and logistical portions of it then." Chambers got up and faced them both. "Thank you Captains."

"Thank you, Steven." Celeste nodded at him with a warm smile. "I'll see you for dinner?"

"Until then, Captain." He gave another glance at Frost then left.

Zaran watched him go, "You're COO seems very competent." He looked back at her. "A good man."

"He is." Celeste blushed the tiniest bit. "I'm very fortunate." She wasn't used to displaying any level of fondness for someone in her command chain. The Hippy was breaking many of her normal boundaries down.

"Well then, I think that's it." The Captain of the Atlantis stood up. "Have a good night, I'll see you when we reach Platform."

Celeste stood up as well. "Indeed. Thank you for your time, Captain Frost. Shall I show you to the transporters?" She nodded as if it was confirmed and strode off confidently.

"If you like..." he walked next to her.

"It's only polite." Celeste rolled her eyes. "And my mother raised me to be a polite person." Her amusement was clear.

"Did she?" he looked at her and laughed. "My parents...were somewhat different. But, I adopted a different philosophy."

"My parents didn't believe in spending time with their children but they DID believe in manners. So I'm afraid I might have drilled that into my younger siblings heads as well." Celeste laughed a bit. "I'm sure my children will find it equally repellent and I'll be appalled to find myself sounding like my mother."

"Do you plan to have children soon?" Zaran asked as they entered the turbolift. "Perhaps...with your current guy?"

"No...not soon. But perhaps someday." Celeste grimaced. "We have too many fires in the pan right now for me to be listening to an internal clock."

"Agreed." He suddenly looked at her. "Computer, halt lift."

Celeste looked at him in surprise. "Captain Frost?"

"Captain to Captain..." he shook his head..."Friend to friend...I won't say anything about your relationship. I'm...in one myself. With my Chief Science Officer. So, it's not just...you."

Celeste's mouth opened slightly in surprise. And then she laughed. "Well...looks like we both are listening to our hearts a little. She's very pretty. I wish you well."

"You as well." He smiled kindly. Something that was a bit of a rarity. "Computer resume turbolift."

Celeste was smiling slightly as the continued up to the transporter room and stepped out. "Thank you for meeting with me, Captain Frost. Please...call me Celeste."

"My pleasure Celeste. Call me Zaran." He shook her hand.

She returned the gesture. "Have a lovely evening, Zaran. I hope you enjoy your dinner." She smiled brilliantly and then nodded at the transporter tech. "One to beam out."

TBC….