Counselor's Quarters - Picnic and Stars

Posted April 17, 2021, 12:03 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) (D Grisham)

It had been a long couple of weeks. Between work and unexpected situations and the random alert here and there, Alex realized that he hadn’t actually been able to spend time with Zef in a while. Not that hadn’t seen each other, but it was either in passing or when one arrived at night and they were both just exhausted and simply fell asleep with little really meaningful interaction.

So, in order to make up for time lost, he had come up with an idea. First, he checked their respective calendars. They were both free that night and she was, according to the computer, in her quarters. Alex went to his, changed into a nice pair of faded gray jeans and a dark blue shirt with a v-neck, combed his hair, put on a touch of cologne, and picked up the picnic basket he replicated that afternoon. Chef Harv had provided some food and Alex the wine… and off he went.

It wasn’t more than a few minutes before he stood at Zef’s door, basket in hand, and pressed the chime.


She’d been home long enough to get a shower, wash her hair and change into a sky blue Komak with silver beads sewn onto it. A matching belt cinched in her waist, but her feet were bare.

Headed toward her desk to see if maybe she and Alex were both free, the chime sounded and caused her to change directions. “Please don’t be an emergency…” Zef whispered as she sidled up to the door.

When it slid open, Alex was standing there and she couldn’t stop herself from melting into him and planting a lengthy kiss on his lips. “You’re just the person I was hoping to see tonight!” Voice a little breathy from an immediate rush of desire, Zef took a step backward and pulled him inside with her.


Alex smiled as she kissed him and kissed her back, wrapping an arm around her as they half-stepped, half-stumbled into her quarters. “Same here. It seems like it’s been ages. But tonight! Tonight is you and I… some finger foods… some wine… and a special treat.” and he patted the basket. “And if you ask very nicely, maybe I will stay the night.” and he winked at her and then smiled. “Or maybe if I beg just right you will let me…” and he pulled her to him and kissed her long and deep.


Zef laughed with pleasure. “You know, I was just headed to my console to see if you were free when the chime sounded. Great minds think alike, don’t they?” Cradling Alex’s face between her hands, “As much as I love to watch you sleep, it’s nice to see you awake for a change.” They moved further into the room where Zef began tossing pillows into a large pile up against the couch where they could lounge. “Do I need to get anything to help with what’s in the basket?”


“Just make some room on the floor, my dear… this basket comes fully stocked.” and he opened the container and pulled out a beautiful blue and white checkered blanket. He threw it open and let it slowly settle to the floor, and then said “You get us comfortable, and I’ll get our picnic set up.” and he gave her a wink and turned back to the basket; from which the sounds of glass tinkling could be heard.


Moving around on her knees, Zef straightened the blankets and spread the edges beneath the ring of pillows she’d arranged. By the time she was through, there was a flat circle in the center, surrounded by a donut of cushions all around. She made herself comfortable a little distance from where Alex was doing the unpacking, making the appropriate noises, ‘mmms and ooohs’ as he revealed each component from the container. When she could, she reached out and let a hand caress his backside or a thigh, not to distract him, but to comfort herself. It had been a while since they’d spent any cozy time together. “This all looks delicious—the basket ingredients look good too.”


Alex smiled and as her hand touched him, he pressed gently into it.

“So… we have a charcuterie plate with some various meats and cheeses. Dark bread and butter. Chef made fresh berry jam from those plants we sampled last stop… don’t worry, already cleared by Science and Medical as safe for consumption.” and he winked at her. “Then salmon mousse and cream cheese. Fresh vegetables from the mad greenhouse garden we have going, and finally… knowing your proclivities in such things… steak tartare. I swear, I think Harv has some kind of worm hoke in his kitchen. How he makes this stuff is beyond me. Oh, and of course…” and he reached in and at last pulled out two bottles. “Wine. Selected by yours truly. Unless you hate it, in which case Harv picked it.” and he laughed as they sat and got comfortable together on the cushions.


She was impressed with the fare he’d produced from the basket. What a treasure trove of edible wonders. “It all looks exceptionally well thought out and tasty, but let me just soak up a little of you first.” Zef snuggled close, tucking her body in close to his, wrapping one bare leg around his and working her face into the crook of his neck. “I know you think its silly, but I just need a minute to absorb some of your essence. It’s been a tough week and I draw emotional strength from being this close to you.”

Alex pulled her close and made sure as much of her contacted him as was possible. “Not silly at all, love. I get the same recharge from you.”

There hadn’t been many people in her life who gave her a similar comfort, but there were a few. Her mother was one. Even as a grown woman, when she’d put her head on her mother’s knee and the woman had stroked her daughters hair, Zef felt comforted in a special way. It was like being empty—drained, and the focus of her mother had filled her up once again. It was the same with Alex, but Zef didn’t want to think too deeply about what that meant.


“I knew I had, but I didn’t realize how much I have been missing you.” He looked down at her head and smiled. “You really watch me sleep?”


Tilting her head back enough to catch his gaze, Zef winked. “Sometimes. It’s special…everything is quiet and there’s no one else around. It’s just the two of us and you’re totally relaxed. I don’t see you like that very often. You’re always in command on the bridge or in charge of a meeting…leading an away team. You don’t have the luxury of letting your guard down while on duty. But here? I love to see you so at peace.”

Stealing another quick kiss, Zef sat up and curled her legs beneath her, the Komak parting to to reveal a smooth, pale thigh.


Eyes roaming the exposed skin, Alex smiled and sighed softly. “You know… I think I have slept better with you next to me than I have in… hell, years. And I know that the nights we haven’t been together… I don’t wake with the same… peacefulness. So I guess I owe you a thank you for that.”


It made her heart feel good when he admitted he slept better with her in his bed, but Zef didn’t allow herself to read anything more into it. “Well, I have to admit that I’m very happy sleeping next to you. I have bad dreams sometimes when I’m alone, but it doesn’t happen when you’re there.” It was true. Occasionally, by the time she got to bed, Zef had worked herself into a state about some part of her life, and bad dreams appeared once she slipped off to dreamland.

Picking up a chunk of cheese from the plate near them, she held it close to his mouth, offering it up. “Are you going to pour some of that wine anytime soon?”


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