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When his Navigator comes to him with the news that his XO is sick, CO Mike Flynn gives her the ship and heads down to check up on Kate himself.
Knocking on her door, and opening it with concern when the only response he hears is a weak 'come in', Mike steps into the room. There lying on the bottom bunk was Kate McGregor, arms wrapped around herself as she curled up in a tight ball.
Shutting the door gently, he moves forward to seat himself on the edge of the bed as Kate moans softly and remains with her eyes closed. She doesn't need to open them to know who is here. 'Mike ...'
This worries him. Kate would never call him by his given name on the ship. Ever.
Mike brushed his hand through her hair, gently massaging her scalp as she struggled to open her eyes and focus on him. 'You okay?'
Kate nodded, wincing in pain, as Mike removed his hand from her hair to place it on her other side, bracing herself above her. 'You sick?'
Knowing better than to lie once again, Kate took a deep breath as she turned to lie on her back. Raising her knee, she accidentally knocks Mike's arm in her bid to be comfortable. 'Sorry,' she says softly.
Rubbing her upright bent leg, Mike looks at her concern. 'What's wrong?'
Kate bites her bottom lip as she looks into the blue eyes of Mike Flynn. Unable to stop herself, she blurts out her fear: 'I think I might be pregnant...'
Later that morning as he sits in his chair in control of the ship, Commanding Officer Mike Flynn stares out at the seas before him, staring without seeing the waves bobbing up and down.
His mind was elsewhere. Kate had her suspicions that she was pregnant. What did this mean for her – for him – for both of them?
And just what would she do? She'd ran scared before, and he was damned if she was going to do so again, pregnant or no.
After a great too many drinks one night on shore leave, the morning after found the Commanding Officer of the Hammersley Mike Flynn wrapped around it's Executive Officer Kate McGregor.
They'd both awoken slowly and instantly reached to shield their eyes from the morning sun. Drinking and hangovers weren't quite what they used to be. As both groaned and shifted, they came to the realisation that they were in a bed together – very much naked and wrapped around each other in a bed together.
Kate turned her head to look up into Mike's face. 'Did what I think happen, just happen?'
Yawning as he rubbed his face, Mike responded. 'Well, that depends on what you think happened. And if it's anything like my recollection it was a most enjoyable and satisfying night that ...'
'.... that shouldn't have happened,' interjects Kate.
Turning her so that she faced him, her body pulled up against his chest without resistance, Mike looked down at the little woman in his arms. 'Maybe so, but I don't regret it.'
'Neither do I,' said Kate. 'But it's not going to happen again. It can't,' she added softly.
Twisting herself from his arms, she leaves the warmth and comfort of the bed. Bending down to grab a shirt of his and pulling it over her head, she turns to where the man she'd slept with lay propped up on his side, eyes staring intently up at her. 'Get up. We're not so young anymore and I need a coffee before this pounding gets any worse.'
Mumbling about pushy women, Mike drags himself out of bed and pulls on a pair of pants. Passing Kate at the doorway, he swats her backside as he heads for the kitchen. 'I'll get the big breakfast started then, shall I?'
The kitchen scene is cosy that morning, and for just a moment, Kate let herself believe that it was real. But when duty called and they scrambled about to prepare for work, the reality came back brutally fast. As they left Mike's place, she couldn't help but feel the gaping hole in her heart stretch a little further.
It shouldn't have felt so comfortable and easy, and the morning after sure as hell wasn't supposed to go like this, but as they walked up to the ship together, Kate decided to put this whole thing behind her.
But when she started feeling constantly tired and sick weeks later, the situation that she'd brushed aside didn't look like it was going away any time soon.
Mike is drawn out of his deep thoughts by an update from Nav who advised him that they would hit a storm by early afternoon. Nodding his understanding, Mike Flynn's mind switched back to the job at present. The pregnancy dilemma would have to wait.
When Kate McGregor made her way onto the bridge just after lunch later that day, Mike's head whipped around fast as Nav enquired after her health. When Kate laughed and said she was feeling a lot better, she turned to her CO and sent him a reassuring look to let him know that indeed she was okay, as he nodded his head abruptly and turned back to watching looking out from the bridge.
When they entered the storm half an hour later Swaino was at the helm, Charge at his station, Nav by her equipment, Mike in his chair and X at the table in the bridge. When Mike arose from his chair to speak with Nav about where they were going, Kate took his spot at the chair.
Task complete, he stumbled back to his chair as Kate rose to allow him to sit again. As they prepared to pass each other, the boat tipped suddenly and Kate's balance was shot as she went flying into Mike as they both pitched starboard.
Finding his stumbling path with his XO in his arms stopped by a wall, Mike took a moment to gather his bearings, as Kate breathed heavily in his arms.
As everyone on the bridge scrambled to right everything Mike took a moment to drop his head and whisper into Kate's ear to ask if she was okay. As she nodded wordlessly, he came to the realisation that his hand was resting on her stomach as he had her pulled firmly back against him. Removing his hand, Mike gave her a gentle squeeze before he set them both to rights and they went back to their jobs.
There would be a time and place for their talk and their necessary discovery. And if he had it his way, it was going to be soon.
Next Chapter: Is she or isn't she?