Emergency Rations
CJ Hansen

Lee could almost feel the heated glare scorching through the back of his shirt. He refused to turn. Facing the windows in the observation nose, he kept up the illusion of interest in the report he was holding.

Chief Sharkey cleared his throat in an attempt to catch the Skipper’s notice. "Sir?"

Lee turned around very reluctantly. He was right. Those laser beam eyes of Chip’s could sear through titanium. Captain Crane was careful to keep his gaze focused on the Chief and away from the charting table.

Sharkey’s puppy eyes looked disappointedly at his Captain. "Here are the updates from engineering you asked for, Skipper." The reproachful look deepened. "Skipper…"

"Thanks Chief." Lee interrupted, grinding his teeth. Chip! "That will be all." Sharkey hesitated momentarily, unwilling to leave just yet. Lee could still feel that blue fire scorching his way from the control room.

Footsteps tapped lightly down the staircase as the Admiral descended. Nelson took in the situation at a glance, eyes casting over his Captain, Sharkey, then swiftly darting to the glowering Exec and disgruntled crew. A raised brow had the seamen concentrating on their tasks. Glancing again at his beleaguered Captain, Nelson let the twitch tugging at the corners of his mouth pull into a full-fledged grin.

"Afternoon, Lee." Clapping his Captain and friend on the shoulder, Admiral Nelson happily chuckled his way over to the charting table.

Lee fumed, wondering exactly what the penalty for smacking one’s Admiral over the back of the head would be. He took his frustration out on Sharkey in a fierce glare. The Chief decided discretion would be wise and slunk back over to join Ski at sonar.

With a defiantly angry look at his Exec, Lee faced the windows again. It was infuriating that it was automatically assumed the Skipper had done something foolhardy or risky, just because they all knew that was one sure way to get the Exec in a tizzy.

Well this time Lee Crane was not going to apologize. They had been sent to Lee, after all, and it wasn't like he hadn't planned to share. It was just that they were so good with his coffee and Lee had been so distracted by his paperwork. Before Lee knew it there weren't any left in the bag. Oh Heck.

Chip perked up a bit as Lee headed for the radio shack. "Sparks, I need you to send an urgent message to Chip’s mother.

The radio officer pulled out pen and paper, watching his Skipper and waiting with interest for the message.

"Mom. More emergency rations needed." Lee paused for a second, furtively looking around for eavesdroppers, his voice lowered. "Love you too. Your adopted son, Lee."

Answering Sparks’ acknowledgement, and promise to get it off right away, with a casual pat on the back, Lee headed for the observation nose. Chip’s mom would understand what to do. Lee promised himself the next time Chip’s mom sent Lee cookies, he wouldn't even open the bag until Chip was there to help eat them.

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