Shortly after the incident with the Thorndike we arrived in the Cardassia system. We were supposed to be conducting some scientific experiments as well as taking some samples. However, first I was to have a meeting with a representative on Cardassia Prime to agree to a treaty so that both parties- the Federation and the Cardassians- would benefit mutually from the research and that the Cardassians wouldn't be left out.
I beamed onto the planet with AJ, my first officer, at about midday in the capital city. I met with the representative of the Cardassian government, and got the initial awkwardness out of the way as quickly as possible. Once things were all cleared up we discussed, amended and signed the treaty. With everything in order, AJ and I prepared to beam up to the ship.
"Sir, the transporter chief is reporting an issue. I'll put you through to engineering," Brandon remarked suddenly. I waited a few moments while I was transferred to the transporter chief.
"Yurul, what seems to be the problem?" I asked when the transfer finished.
"A storm has rolled in since you arrived and it's causing electromagnetic radiation that's rendering transporters almost useless. We'll have to wait until it passes over before we can beam you up. I also considered sending a shuttle, but I fear the storm could damage it and make the situation worse," the transporter chief explained. I sighed and turned to the Cardassian representative.
"Apparently the storm is interfering with transporters, so AJ and I are going to have to stay here until it passes over," I remarked.
"I believe I can find a room for you two; such interference is not unheard of and we've had to deal with it before," the representative responded. I wanted to say something about AJ and I being in the same room, but at the same time I didn't want to bite the proverbial hand that fed me. The Cardassian representative led AJ and I to a hotel and informed the proprietor of our situation. We were granted a room for the duration of the storm, and soon found ourselves alone inside it.
Inside the room AJ and I sat around and chatted for a while until it started to get dark. Although it was only night for the Cardassians, it just so happened that it was at about the same time I usually started my off-time. Yawning, I turned to AJ.
"So, when does your off-time start?" I asked.
"The same time as yours actually," she responded, blushing lightly, "I can tell you're tired, you should probably get some sleep."
"Yeah, you're right... you know, considering you get off at the same time I bet you're tired too," I responded.
"Not really-," AJ started to say before she yawned involuntarily.
"Okay, so I'm a little tired," she admitted, blushing. The two of us stood, walking from the couch to the room's lone bed. I probably had a closer relationship with AJ than anyone else on the Firestorm, but we were still only friends. HoweverStill, we were accepting of the conditions and didn't object to having to sleep together. It wasn't the desired outcome, but it was what we had. The two of us could see each other blushing profusely as we climbed in bed.
It's hard to describe what happened that night, hard to sum up the emotions AJ and I felt. Suffice it to say that it was an experience neither of us had ever gone through before, and it changed us. It was also something we'd never forget, something that brought us together. From the time I'd first met AJ I could feel something different between us, but that night… it changed everything.
The following day the storm passed over enough that AJ and I were able to be beamed up from the west (or whatever Cardassians call it) side of the city. We went on to conduct the experiments and collect the necessary samples like planned, everything going off without a hitch. When I say it went as planned I of course mean the mission; life during that period was by no means as predictable.
AJ started staying in my quarters after that day on Cardassia, and we began a relationship together. Rumors spread across the ship as we grew closer and closer with each coming day. With the experiment over we eventually returned to Earth Spacedock to deliver the samples. There, at the age of 19 and with both of my parents in attendance, I married AJ. My grandfather on my dad's side, who was a Vice Admiral, presided over the ceremony.
AJ, who was scarcely a year older than me, was happy with the ceremony but showed all the signs of being sick the day after. I proposed we take her to see a doctor, but my mom stated that no such attention was needed. She impressively diagnosed AJ's condition and, upon confirming it, informed dad and me that my wife was pregnant. Eight months later AJ gave birth to Colin Tyler Keith, our firstborn son. That day changed my life more than even than my wedding. I loved AJ with all my heart, but what I felt towards Colin… it was something else entirely.
I entered my quarters for a much needed break, and heard giggling coming from the bathroom. I smiled as I walked into it to find AJ giving Colin, now 4, a bath. Despite the stereotype stating that toddlers were a pain, Colin was very well behaved. He was always curious, but asked before touching anything he thought might be bad. Considering what he'd learned in a mere four years, I honestly wouldn't have been surprised if his IQ was even higher than mine.
"Be right back," I said, walking out into the bedroom. I unsnapped the bottom of my onesie uniform and quickly changed myself. I finished up only to have a still-naked Colin handed to me.
"You're turn for diaper duty," AJ remarked.
"Whatever you say honey," I responded. I set Colin down on a mat and got to work, my experienced hands getting him padded in no time at all. After that I let him toddle on over to his pajama drawer and pick out something for the night. He ended up in a space-themed onesie which I thought was quite cute. I helped him climb in bed and then joined him and his mother under the soft, cotton sheets.
"Good night mommy, good night daddy!" Colin said happily.
"Good night Colin," AJ said, giggling softly at our son.
"Good night son," I added, smiling. Colin snuggled up to me and wrapped his short arms around my torso. I smiled as AJ scooted over and the three of us lay together in the middle of the king sized bed. AJ and I shared a short kiss, and then the three of us closed our eyes and drifted off to sleep.
"Daddy, when do I get to see da bwidge?" Colin asked at breakfast the next morning. I had been dreading this question ever since he was born, and now I had to deal with it. Sighing, I told Colin to give me a minute and I took AJ aside.
"What do you think honey? I don't want to do the same thing my dad did, but at the same time, the bridge IS dangerous," I said.
"I think we ought to let him see it, but if we get in battle he should be moved to a safer location," she started.
"That sounds like a plan to me," I responded. AJ and I stepped back over to Colin, who had finished his meal. AJ took care of his dishes while I picked him up.
"You want to see the bridge?" I asked.
"Yes daddy!" Colin responded.
"Alright then, let's go!" I replied. Colin grinned happily as he, AJ and I made our way to the nearest turbolift. I took a deep breath as we headed up towards the bridge, hoping everything would go alright. Soon the turbolift arrived at the bridge and we stepped out. We were greeted by the crew as we stepped into the room, and soon it seemed the entire bridge crew was surrounding Colin and I. They were all gawking at the fact that Colin and I were wearing almost identical onsies except his had no rank on it. Thryiss said we were 'positively adorable' and took a picture.
"Alright that's enough, back up!" I finally ordered, my legs getting tired. I walked over and sat down in my chair, putting Colin in my lap. So far things were looking great, and I couldn't have been happier.
"What's going on here?" Lig asked, walking in suddenly.
"Hey, go stand by the Captain; let's get a picture of all the crinkle-butts!" Thryiss said. I couldn't help but blush as Lig walked over and stood next to Colin and I while my head tactical officer took a picture.
"Alright, thanks Lig!" Thryiss remarked, finished.
"No problem," Lig responded, winking at Colin. Colin smiled, ecstatic that one of my officers wore diapers as well and had given him some special attention. I ruffled his hair and smiled down at him.
"I hope you have a good day kiddo," I remarked.
"So do I daddy," he responded. I smiled and looked ahead at the main viewscreen; today was going to be a blast.