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Posted on 28 Jul 2022 @ 9:53pm by Lieutenant Isabel Castillo & Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Watts

Episode: E1: A Historic Voyage
Location: XO's Stateroom
Timeline: Date 2025-04-21 at 2330

The dive alarm had woken Isa, as effective as any alarm clock. It wasn't late back at Kitsap, but it was, technically, nearing midnight in the new ship time. At some point in the day she and Liz had agreed that after the Arizona submerged they would meet back at the XO's stateroom to continue the conversation they had started when they'd come aboard. And, since sleep had been scarce the night prior, Isabel had opted for a quick cat nap beforehand.

Now, though, she pulled her coveralls back on and shoved her feet into boots. The picture of herself and Liam had been taken up to bed with her, and now she tucked it into her pocket. Maybe Liz wouldn't much care to know what he looked like, or maybe she would be curious. Isa wasn't sure. She lingered a few moments longer, hoping she'd given Liz enough time to get back to her room, before she stepped out into the corridor.

Liz had indeed made it back to her stateroom which the door to was currently closed, which, was unusual as Liz normally left it open when she was working or out to show she wasn't inside. In her stateroom she was changing out of her coveralls into PT gear to relax. She was waiting patiently for what would amount to midrats on the new time schedule. Her body didn't know what time it was anymore but she wanted to at least get a bit more comfortable before the first drill that they had planned for happened.

Isabel hesitated for only a second at the closed door wondering if maybe Liz wasn't back just yet. Still, just in case, she lifted her hand and lightly rapped her knuckles against the surface.

"One moment," Liz said, pulling her t-shirt over her head. "Enter," she said, as she pulled her hair still in pony tail out from under the shirt.

Isabel stepped into the space, spying Liz in her PT gear and groaned. "I knew I should have just stayed with what I was wearing," she remarked using one hand to wave generally at the coveralls she had pulled on. With a shrug she leaned against the wall. "Too late now. How was dive time?"

"Uneventful," Liz said, "I guess there was a bit of a tense moment before we started the dive." She knew that her friend would be shocked by what she was about to show her... the question was should she go first or should Isa with her news? She felt like she might felt overshadowed or something maybe she should hold off on it? It wasn't often that Liz looked unsure of herself in front of her officers but this was one of those times.

"Shut the door," Liz told Isa.

The CHOP's eyebrow rose, but she turned, closing the door as asked. Once it was shut she turned back, arms crossing over her chest, curiosity lighting her gaze. "Out with it," she said knowingly. The look on Liz's face was more than enough evidence that there was more to what she had shared that morning than she had let on. "It can't be that you don't want the world to know that you're madly in love with Jon. We all know that already..."

Liz turned and looked at Isa giving her the look. She moved over to her desk and dropped into the chair and opened up the toughbook. She opened up the email system that allowed for crew to communicate off submarine and pulled up the message that she had sent Jon.

"Read," Liz directed, standing back up and letting Isa have the chair.

Isa's eyes were already scanning the missive as she dropped into the chair. She finished it, glanced up at Liz with a look of disbelief, and then read it again for good measure. Once the message had well and truly percolated she twisted in the chair. "Liz..." she said slowly, her tone enthusiastic. “This is a big deal.”

“Right?” Liz said, with a big smirk. “I just… realize that I might have made some bad choices. And I think he’s proven that he’s not going to give up on us despite my career,” she said, the guilt overriding her smile now.

“Back up,” Isa said, as she processed what Liz had said. Clearly more information was going to be needed. “You’ve always insisted that you and Jon are really good friends. I mean… I know that’s… not entirely accurate… but just how inaccurate are we really talking about here?”

"I forget we've not known each other that long," Liz said, honestly, her expression showing it just occurred to her. The two officers had made fast friends since reporting to Arizona.

"Jon and I met on my first submarine tour after sub and nuke schools. I stayed in Washington to go to school there for my masters through F-SEP, we dated the entire time. After school I was assigned to a sub in Honolulu and we broke up. He has a life here, a business he cherishes, his friends, his family... he didn't need to chase after me while I disappeared for months at a time and moved around the globe. I didn't want to give up my career," she said, with a slight shrug.

"I probably should have come to the conclusion sooner but he clearly doesn't mind waiting for me for years at a time, so, why fight it anymore?" Liz said, she shrugged a little.

“Everyone makes stupid decisions.”

“Ok,” Isa said slowly, as she took in the new information. It was hard, having done this same mental calculation herself, not to compare their experiences, and she couldn’t help the twinge of sadness she felt at the thought of waiting for months before she saw Liam again.

"So it took you a while to get here, but you’re here now. It's not as if I haven't thought the same things myself. I get where you were coming from. But I'm glad that you told him too. You deserve to be happy together, Liz. I mean… he’s probably still sitting wherever he was when he got your message, stupefied by the way his world has been completely tipped on end."

“He’s dumb,” Liz sighed. “He deserves better. Which I guess is horrible to say after I was so excited for you. This career makes things difficult though I suppose, it’s kind of different for even the two of us.”

Isa was a supply officer she could sit in a warehouse on the shore the rest of her career or easily slide into the civilian world. She had tons of business experience from the navy and it would be easy to transition. What would Liz even do if she left the Navy? There was no world that her career in the Navy would allow for her to have a great family life… she was on the fast track for command, likely for flag rank, she’d already made Naval history.

“Maybe you and Liam can have babies for Uncle Jon and Aunt Liz can spoil…” she suggested, with a smirk. “They’d be gorgeous.”

Isa's eyebrows crept up. "You're not wrong," she said, an irresistible proud grin on her face as she reached into her coveralls and pulled out the photo she brought with her, holding it out for Liz to take. "Let's see if Liam makes it through this tour before we start planning out my future children, though." There was a hint of the worry she felt in that statement. Things had moved so quickly that night and while she didn't doubt his feelings, there had barely been time to adjust to the idea of them as a real couple before he had to endure the waiting.

“I’m sure he will do fine,” Liz tried to reassure her. “See I was right,” she said, excitedly as she looked at the photo. Jokingly she moved as if she were going to tuck the photo into her own coveralls.

"Oh no you don't," Isa yelped, making to snag the photo back. "You've got your own man to fantasize about. That one's mine." Even as she tried to feign annoyance she couldn't suppress the goofy smile that won out instead. "I did good, though, didn't I?" She asked.

"We both did," Liz said, handing the photo back to Isa with a big grin.


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