Another story that has mysterious origins. I have no idea where this came from. It also features Serena and Wendy.

Coffee Break

Sharon H




Wendy Morton eyed the coffee pot with suspicious blue eyes. With trepidation she reached out and pulled the carafe off the burner. She held it up to the light and swirled the contents around. "This stuff safe to drink?" she asked. Wendy poured herself a cup then sat the carafe back on the burner. From his spot at the plot table her brother Chip grinned as he watched her examine the dark, caffeine laced substance.


"Careful with that. Might be more than you can handle," he warned.


 Wendy cocked an eyebrow at her older brother and added a half grin. "You'd be surprised at what I can handle," she replied. Baiting her brother was nearly as fun as baiting Serena. Wendy sipped cautiously at the coffee, squinting as the liquid went down. She managed not to choke but she did cough. "What brand is this? Valvoline?" she asked, taking a second sip. Not so bad the second time down. Maybe that first sip killed all her taste buds.


"We switched to Quaker State. It's cheaper," Lee replied and took a sip from the cup at his elbow.


Wendy picked a muffin from a plate on the table and turned to watch the ocean glide by as Seaview made her way through the Atlantic. She glanced down at her watch then shifted her gaze up at the top of the spiral staircase. Chip and Lee glanced up to see what Wendy was watching for. She extended the five digits of her right hand and began a countdown, folding each finger down till she got down to one. A quiet footstep sounded on the top of the stair, slowly making their way down. Serena Harrison came to a halt on the deck, looking none too alert. She was not a morning person. Serena spied the coffee carafe and headed over, drawn by the smell of caffeine.


Lee picked up his empty cup and made his way forward. Serena poured herself a half-cup of coffee and held out the carafe to Lee. She poured his cup full and replaced the carafe on the burner.


"Thank you," he said and took a deep drink of the dark brew.


"Welcome," she said, her voice thick and low, still trying to wake up. She grabbed up the sugar and dumped a generous quantity in the cup and followed that up with double the amount of creamer. Silently she extended the creamer in the direction of Wendy. The blond woman shook her head and a positively evil grin came over her.


"No thanks, you know I never use the stuff. I like my coffee like my men, strong and dark." She cast an appraising eye at the lean, dark haired captain. Lee was halfway through a sip when Wendy made her comment and he only just managed not to choke and spit coffee everywhere.


Serena simply rolled her eyes and continued to stir the sugary concoction. Wendy leaned in close and eyeballed the mixture in Serena’s cup. "Looks kinda pale . . .Almost blond. Wouldn’t you agree, Lee?" she taunted.


"Definitely blond," agreed Lee, also stepping close to gaze into Serena’s cup.


Serena turned a brilliant shade of red and whirled to face the control room. Chip was bent over the plot table, not looking up at the trio standing in the nose. He had missed the whole exchange. He did look up just in time to see Serena’s complexion pale to that of an undead pallor. Her eyes locked onto his and she backed up, coffee cup in one hand, the other feeling for the railing of the stair. She was halfway up the staircase before calling back down, "I’ll be in the lab!" Serena yelled and was gone.


"Is she alright?" Chip threw down his pencil and took two steps forward, staring up after the retreating form of the red-head. He then shifted his gaze to his sister and best friend. Wendy was giggling like a fifth grader and Lee had the cheesiest grin on his face, trying hard not to give in to the same case of giggles.


"What in the name of common sense did you say to her?" Chip asked with another glance to the top of the stair, a concerned tilt to his voice.


Wendy got herself under control and gave her brother the most serious look she could muster. "We were just talking about coffee, Chip. Honest."