Lieutenant Joseph Carey

Joe Carey is a doll. He worries about me and my chosen lifestyle. He calls me on my preditory behavior and in the same breath reassures me that he remembers my pain. He believes that somewhere I will find someone to care for me again. I am less optimistic. Happy ever after only happens in fairy tales.

I guess the best way to explain the relationship between me and Joe Carey is to go back to the Academy. Joe was a year ahead of me and knew that I had been dating a Starfleet Ranger. Hell, every one in my class thought that I would be married and on a family ship before my fourth year.

Anyway, when he was killed I lost it for a few days. I cried for about twenty four hours. The stupid son of a bitch told me to cry just this once, so I made a good job of it. I was in a fog for days, didn't care if I ate, slept or went to class. I couldn't go home. Mom and dad were just too proud of me. So I tried to settle down and finish the year. By the time I started going to class again I was behind in Physics, Stellar Charting and my favorite and yours Command Ethics. I needed a tutor. Hell I needed a miracle!

Just as I was going to see my advisor about dropping the above mentioned classes, in walked Joe Carey. He told me that he had heard about what had happened and that he was sorry, but he wasn't going to let the girlfriend of one of Starfleet's finest drop the hell out of the Academy because she was behind in a few classes (you know how Joe get's when he believes in something.) The next two weeks were a blur. I was tutored by the top student in each subject. The cadets closed rank around me and pulled me through. There was no class distinction, just cadet's taking care of one of their own. In memory of one of their own. All because of Joe Carey.

I passed all my classes with an B or better. With the help of my squad. I threw a thank you party for all the classes. The rumors you heard about the class of 47 is true. We hold the honor of having the lowest drop rate of any class. The better rumor is that the party broke all records for disregard of Academy Regulations. I am under a gag order concerning that rumor but let's say that there were a lot of weary souls first formation the next morning.

After the party Joe stayed and helped me clean up. He got me talking about Terry (There, I said it, Terry. His name was Terry.) I ended up in his arms on the couch crying my eyes out again. Joe soothed me like a child, holding and kissing my tears away as if I were three. I fell asleep in his arms. He was there for me until he graduated. Joe was sure that I had an escort for and went to every event. I started with my (as Joe calls it) preditory behavior the next year. No one could replace Terry but I was willing to date anyone that was willing to try. Joe and I went out a few times and the week after he graduated we spent a weekend in an inn overlooking the Bay. He helped me finally start healing that weekend. Bless the man he is a tender and thorough lover. That is all I will say on the subject.

He misses his wife and kids beyond belief. When he got his letter from home he raced to me and picked me up whirled me around hollering like a banshee. She's waiting! She's waiting! She knew that I wasn't dead and she's waiting!

So if anyone thinks that Joe and I are an item they will answer to me. That is the most faithful and loyal man that I have ever known. Gods help us return to the Alpha Quadrant so that Joe can have his happy ever after.

Maybe if that happens I'll believe again too. Until then men are a game to be played and a challenge to be met. Or in the venacular of the 20th century:

'If heartaches and tears and shadows of doubt,

are part of the deal you can count me out.

But if you're talking about a game I can win,

You can count me in.'

(Deana Carter)

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