Chapter 1 - Mothers and Mothers

Millie chuckled softly as she settled onto the pillow, reaching over to brush the hair from Evelyn’s face. “For a moment there I thought you were going to wake the kitten.” 


The blonde chuckled. “Wouldn’t have been my fault.” She looked up at their ceiling in momentary silence. She wasn’t happy about Millie going to visit the other..her. She wasn’t even sure where the other was being held, but it’d taken Millie nearly three days to go and come back, although their reunion had been well worth it. “What did the fake me have to say?”


Millie noted the shift in Evelyn’s demeanor. She propped herself up on one elbow, sighing quietly. “Not much. But I don’t know if that’s because I only got ten minutes with her, or because she spent half the time gloating and grandstanding.” 


“Is it considered suicidal that I wish she was dead?” Evelyn looked over at her before matching her posture. “I’m glad you’re home safe.”


Millie reached out, brushing her ungloved hand against Evelyn’s cheek. “It’s no less cryptic than my asking questions about how I died.” She leaned in, softly kissing her forehead. “It’s perfectly okay for you to feel angry or upset about all of this–to still be angry about everything that happened. And I want you to know that I’m here for you, any time you want to talk about it–not just as your partner, but as your ship’s counselor as well.”


“That place was just….so different than here. Everyone was always looking over their shoulder waiting to be stabbed in the back, not always figuratively. To see so many of the same people we know twisted into such sad recreations. I picked up from some of them that there had been a terrible war and billions were dead, worlds destroyed and the Federation was coming apart at the seams, but all they cared about was themselves.”


Millie nodded. “There are any number of historical factors that can change the patterns of a person’s life, to influence the choices that they make.” Her hand reached to brush another strand of hair from Evelyn’s face. “It–it seems that one of the major catalysts that changed the path of the universe she was from was…my death.” Millie gave a half-hearted smile. “But there appear to be enough differences between our worlds that, when it looked like I was dead, the major players that shaped the timeline had others to love and support them through their grief.”


“One thing I took away from that whole mess is how lucky I am. I don’t ever want to become anything like her.”


“You,” Millie stated, “are already nothing like her. When she was here and pretending to be you, I questioned her as to what had changed, because so much seemed wrong–so much so that I was questioning whether I wanted to propose at all. I realize now it’s because it wasn’t you in front of me.” Millie cupped Evelyn’s cheek. “I don’t think she would have gone through everything you did to come rescue me when our shuttle crashed.”


“Yea, I guess I was kinda sweet on you.” Evelyn grinned but before she could speak her personal com beeped. She rolled over and checked it then groaned. “It’s like she has long range sensors attached to her.”


Millie’s brow furrowed. “What is it?”


“My mother….of all times. She hasn’t spoken to me in months and…” she sighed, shaking her head. 


Millie slid in closer, wrapping an arm around Evelyn and softly kissing her shoulder. “If you need to answer that now…”


“Hell with her, she can wait.”


Millie rested her chin on Evelyn’s shoulder. “You sure? If you don’t want to read it, I can read it for you…see what it says?”


Evelyn hesitated but shook her head. “She never has anything nice to say. If it was important my sister would have been the one to call.”


Millie used the arm around Evelyn’s waist to pull her closer. “You know that I understand what it’s like to have…well, mothers are not always what we imagined they would be.” She gave her partner’s shoulder another kiss. “Let me screen her message? If it’s not something I think you want to see right now, we can set it aside and deal with it when you’re feeling up to it.”


Evelyn reached behind her and then offered the device, watching Millie’s face to judge what she was reading. 


‘Evelyn, I’m writing to inform you that your father suffered a slight heart attack. He is well and recovering. Your sister and her family are away and out of contact. If you hear from her, you may pass along the news.




Millie’s brow furrowed. “It’s your father.” She shifted, extending the PADD. “He had a heart attack and is recovering.”


“WHAT?!”  Evelyn shot up and took the device, re-reading it several times.


Millie reached her arm around Evelyn’s shoulders as she read, pulling her in close. “Maybe we should call him in the morning?”


“I…um…” Evelyn looked around the room as if searching for something but it was more her thoughts. “I have to go back.”


Millie gave a nod. “We can do that. I’m sure the Captain would approve some shore leave.” She reached her hand out to steady the PADD. “Have you–heard from your sister? It says that she doesn’t know, either.”


She shook her head. “Not for a couple weeks and that was just a basic ‘how you doing?’.” She ran a hand through her hair. “I’m going to have to re-assign the projects I’ve been working on, and then find someone to continue the work we’ve been doing with the internal sensor arrays.” Her mind was racing.

Millie reached over, turning Evelyn’s face towards her. “Ev–Chief K’Naut can handle shifting the duty roster for you.” She leaned in, softly kissing her. “It may take a day or so to arrange transport. But your department will handle everything, I promise.” She placed a soft kiss on Evelyn’s forehead. “Let’s go into the other room, have some tea, and see if we can contact your sister?”


Evelyn nodded, knowing she was right and slipped a robe on before going to the living room. “I don’t know what I’m more worried about, seeing him like that or just seeing her.”


Millie tied on her own robe, stepping into their kitchen to start a kettle heating. “I’m sure that their Federation medical facility has him in good hands.”


Evelyn sat on the couch. “My brain says you’re right, but my stomach is in knots. Do you think our sickbay could access his records so I know?”


Millie chuckled softly. “If they can’t access it, perhaps there’s an intelligence officer we could bribe?”


“I would just feel better not having to rely on my mother for his prognosis.”


“I understand.” She poured two cups of tea, bringing them to the couch and handing one to Evelyn. “I can come along, of course. Sometimes doctors are more open with other Federation medical members.”


Evelyn looked down into the steaming cup. “I want you with me, but I don’t know how she’d react to you. I don’t want you to be put under that kind of cloud.”


“I think, after watching me with my own mother, Patricia made it her life goal to make sure that nobody ever walked all over me again.” Millie blew on her cup. 


“How did your mother react when she found out you weren’t likely to give her a grandchild the old fashioned way?”


Millie was quiet for a moment. “I haven’t seen or spoken to my mother since before you and I started dating–not that she wanted me in a relationship or having children if it would have ended my potential career as a ballerina.” She ran her thumb along the ceramic cup. “But firing her from the Bolshoi was the last we spoke.”


“My mother found out when she walked in on me and a friend kissing the day before my high school graduation. She responded by boycotting my graduation telling me that she would not condone the disrespect that I brought into the house. Then while in the Academy, I got rapid fire updates on my sister every time she was going to have another child, as a reminder that I was failing her again.”


“After experiencing a childhood with my mother, I– wasn’t sure I’d be a very good one.” Millie placed a hand on Evelyn’s knee. “I think we both make pretty good moms.”


Evelyn leaned over, giving Millie a quick kiss. “Thank you for, well, everything.”


“You can thank me after I knock your mother unconscious and lock her in a closet.” 


“I love you for that.”