The moment Cady got back to the station, he was swamped in paperwork. His desk was messy, something that didn't help matters, but he was familiar enough with his personal brand of chaos to pick up where he left off.
He had abandoned most of his heavier uniform within an hour. Kevlar over by the end of the desk, jacket draped over the back of his chair. His hat crowned the computer tower so he could idly comb through his vivid pink hair, as he signed off on all the witness reports. And fill out his own. Cady's concentration was complete, and he nearly jumped out of his skin when someone cleared their throat behind him.
"Sorry, Lieutenant." Commander Klein apologized. "I just wanted to be sure that the kids got back safely?"
"Yes Sir! Ma'am! Sorry- I mean, Yes. They were returned in good time!" Cady nodded weakly as he bid his throat to stop housing his heart.
"Either works. Someone added more rust remover to the joe, you want some?"
"If you're offering." A cup was rooted out of the papers, and placed in reach.
"How's the paperwork?" She asked, filling his cup.
"Too much, but we're getting through it. Thank you."
"No problem. And it'll lessen with the next wave of graduates, I promise. I've already put in for a large number of the new recruits; there are lots of takers just waiting on certification."
"One, two months more. Okay. I can deal with that. Not die of caffeine poisoning in the meantime."
"I would appreciate that. I've found that your group works more smoothly when you're around."
"Are they giving you issues? I can have a word if you want me to." Cady glanced at the rest of his division, huddled over paperwork just as he was supposed to be.
"It's not necessary, but I do appreciate the backup all the same. Why pink?" Cady opened his mouth to ask why she was here, chatting him up when there was so much to be done, when he noticed how creased her uniform was. The lovely imprint of a notebook's coil on the side of her face, and the awkward way her short hair stuck up on one side. The deeping hollows under her eyes accented by the way she was nonchalantly drinking her brew black directly from the pot. Maria Klien was harmonizing 4 entire divisions, and getting less than a third of the rest her underlings were.
"Either a dare gone down the 'I don't mind' toilet, or it's still pink from that last fundraiser. I don't quite recall. I'll have a word with them anyways. Mutiny is the last thing we need on our hands." Cady smiled reassuringly.
"That's fair, thank you."
"You... should probably get more rest, though, Commander. You getting sick or hurt wouldn't do us any favours either." Cady ventured gently after watching her sway slightly on her feet.
"Thank you for the concern, Lieutenant. But i'm fine. I have a few hours left in me, and I'm young enough to get away with it." She patted his shoulder gently, and walked off in the direction of the next division.
Cady sighed, shaking his head. "God damn supervisors and their stupid need to sacrifice their health for the sake of work." He informed his new drink before downing it in one. It was akin to corrosive lava. Bad enough to make even him cough. He then stood, stretching briefly before approaching his group.
"News?" Andrew asked hopefully. A dozen eyes stared up at him hopefully.
"Nothing about Alpha, sorry," He shook his head. "Just the promise of more hands at graduation." He leaned over the desks they had mashed together in a rough circle. A well of paperwork was in the center, free to take from as they needed it.
"Then...?" Picard asked timidly.
"I know we;re all on edge. We all miss Alpha Coach. I'm feeling his absence too." Cady lowered his voice for them alone. "But until we get him back, I need you all on your best behaviours. We've all got to respect Klein as an Alpha. Surrogate, as Coach's 2nd, whatever, so long as she's getting all due respect," He impressed. They all turned their heads, embarrassed and guilty. "I'm just a Beta, I know, but we need to stay together. Breaking us up any more will break us."
"Sorry Beta." They murmured. "We'll do better."
"Thanks guys." He soothed. "We can correct things later, when we're not so scattered. Now make room, this is an amazing idea, let me join the pool."
Cady sent them all home by 11, regardless of what still needed to be done. He promised to get some rest as well, even as he locked them out of the office. His next stop was to check on the commander.
Klein was conscious and focusing, typing at an efficient pace. With the rest of her divisions on hard copies, she was busy logging each into the digital database, logging and sorting as she went.
"Commander, I don't mean to be rude, but we do still have a secretary. You don't have to push papers to this extent."
"I don't Lieutenant, but it makes his job easier when I do."
"I'm sure it does. But his job it remains. We need you to be ready to command and choreograph, not here all night trying to give Conan a break."
"How many days have you been here, Commander? I'm not above getting a medic involved if the answer's more than a couple." Cady insisted.
"I have an appointment early tomorrow. I'm leaving by 10 pm." She finished logging another sheet, and set it in the out box.
"And what time is it, Commander?"
"11pm, Commander. 11:03, actually."
"Check again, your computer, your phone. With your permission, I'd like to send you home." Cady lied not, waiting patiently. Klein scowled, checked varying clocks, and scowled some more.
"I'll be back at 8 am. Make yourself scarce, Lieutenant." She huffed, turning to pack up her things.
"I'll let anyone looking for you know, Commander. Have a good night." Cady did as he was asked, vanishing from her sight. Once he was sure she was gone, he diddled about for another hour, making sure that everything was organized and dated properly. He then went home himself. For all there was an assassin loose, they were all just human. Or pretending to be. It would do them no good to wear themselves any thinner than they already were.