STF

A Day Off

Posted July 22, 2021, 10:20 a.m. by Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) (D Grisham)

Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in A Day Off

Posted by Commander Zef Rollo (Counselor) in A Day Off

Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in A Day Off
Posted by… suppressed (3) by the Post Ghost! 👻
In the three weeks since the Manhattan had been on her new assignment, a few things had happen of some import. The ritual had gone smoothly with not a hitch in sight, Zef had found out a week later that she was, indeed, pregnant, and Anasera and and her husband had returned to Baj with the agreement there would be weekly updates from Zef so they could take part in the pregnancy too. Contracts had been signed for the agreements that had been made and there had been much discussion and finally an agreement that if the Manhattan wasn’t able to be reached at the time the baby was born, it would be looked after until it could eventually be handed over to Anasera and Brom Ghelfi, the rightful parents. During the first few days of the mission, Zef had moved some of her things into Alex’s quarters with his help, and she ‘d encouraged him to do the same in her quarters. The two of them were getting along much better now that he understood the Degansa and what the agreement entailed and she was extremely happy about that.

Zef had heard from her family on Baj and they were overjoyed about the Degansa and appreciated what it meant for all of them. Ganro Flag had relayed the displeasure that had reached him about Kalig and what he thought of the whole situation. He warned her to be careful, even though Brom’s word guaranteed her safety. Ganro didn’t trust Kalig as far as he could throw the man.

All in all, Zef was pretty much floating on cloud 9. After such a horrible misunderstanding in the beginning with Alex, things were now looking up.

—Rollo, CNS

Zef woke up before Alex and threw on a silky, floral robe. She padded to the replicator on bare feet, put in her order quietly, placing the spread on a tray as it was produced. Orange juice, coffee, hot, buttered toast and a bowl of mixed fruit, with accompanying utensils and napkins. As she carried the tray back into the bedroom, she called out, “Time to wake up, Fyk’iri. I have a surprise for you.” Her voice wasn’t jarring, but just loud enough to encourage wakefulness in someone who was riding the edge of sleep.

—Zef

Alex stirred and blinked his eyes. Rolling over he sat up and said “Now this is the right way to wake up, I must say.” with a smile in her direction. “Good morning. And that is a very nice robe.”

Alex

Zef laughed and set the tray across his lap. “You would have me walking around here naked all the time if you had your choice. You can’t fool me with compliments.” It was a nice robe though. She ran a hand back through his hair and along his cheek before walking around to her side of the bed and opening the drawer of the nightstand there. When her hand withdrew from the interior, it held a small, blue box tied with a ribbon.

She gathered the robe up and situated herself on the bed by Alex’s side, facing him. “I made something for you…” The box sat on her open palm as she offered it to him.

—Zef

Alex looked at her, then the box, then back at her. Smiling, he moved the tray to side and moved further upright. He looked at the box again and then took it from her hands and said “I am sufficiently intrigued to set aside coffee, so that should speak volumes.”

Holding the box, he opened the lid.

Alex

As she watched him open it, Zef held her breath. She’d never made anything for him before and this was a necklace from a black opal. On the face was the image of a tarot card, ‘the lovers’, in gold. The back was the fire opal that showed through the cut out design of the image. The stone was black with bits of red, orange, blue, green and gold flecks in it—like a tiny, self contained galaxy. “I thought the blue matched your eyes…”

She’d made herself a matching piece, only the opal was different. It held pink, white, aqua, sky blue and mustard, the tarot image was made from platinum. It wasn’t an engagement ring, but it was a special offering from her.

—Zef

Alex looked at the pendant, eyes wide. “Zef…I… Zef its breathtaking. I… I love it.” and he took it out of the box and held it in his hand. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” He looked up at Zef and said “This is the most amazing… no one has done anything like this for me before.” and took her chin in his hand and kissed her. “I love you, Zef.”

Alex

She hadn’t known how nervous she was about giving him the necklace until he responded so positively to it. Then she grinned and leaned in to hug him. “I’m so glad. I wanted to do something special for you. The materials were in the crate we picked up at Event Horizon. I’d been playing with images in my head but it wasn’t until we had that horrible misunderstanding that I decided on exactly what I wanted to do.” She took the jewelry from his hand and fastened it around his neck to see how it looked. “Oh, I like that very much.” Zef leaned back across the bed and reached into her nightstand again to retrieve another small box.

Lifting the lid, she showed him the one she’d made for herself. “I designed one for each of us—something to connect us even when we aren’t physically together.”

—Zef

Alex took hers and helped put it around her neck. He settled the pendant on her chest and then allowed his fingers to brush against her skin along the edge of the robe. “Zef… these are beautiful. You are truly an artist. But even without these… we are connected. No matter what. And that temporary lapse in communication was just that… temporary. You are mine, Zef Rollo. And I am yours. Distance won’t ever change that.” and he leaned in and kissed her softly, and his hand slid inside the robe and around her; pulling her to him.

Alex

She responded in kind, glad that he’d moved the breakfast tray out of the way as he pulled her to him. Zef helped, forming her body’s contours to his so she was essentially laying on top of him, her robe open allowing the skin to skin contact they were both so fond of. When their lips parted, she ran a finger along his jawline. “What about the tray I prepared for you?” Her voice was slightly husky with a definite tease to it.

—Zef

“It smells wonderful… but you smell better.” he said with a grin and kissed her again, this time with a soft bite on her lower lip as he broke the contact just long enough to say “But I think I’d rather have you than the toast.” and he began kissing her in earnest, and his hands began exploring what lay under the robe.

Alex

A good while later, Zef slipped off of Alex’s body and lay next to him trying to catch her breath. “That was amazing!” They didn’t often get private time together that wasn’t laced with the belief one of them would be called to duty at a most inopportune time, but today they had an entire day and so far, it was turning out to be wonderful. She spotted the tray of food that surprisingly was still sitting at the foot of the bed, intact. “How about I freshen up the coffee, we have a bite and then share a shower?”

—Zef

“That sounds perfect… as soon as I catch my breath.” he replied. A light sheen of sweat glistened on his skin and he smiled widely. “And when we’re done with that, I have a little something for you, too.”

Alex

“Really? What is it?” She raised up on one elbow in order to look into his eyes. “Is it a present? Because that would be quite a coincidence wouldn’t it?” As she spoke, Zef straightened the opal on his chest and he could see the curious anticipation in her eyes.

—Zef

Alex smiled and said “Not so much a ‘present’ as it is a gift. But first… shower.” and he grinned and led her into the shower.

A much longer shower than would normally be necessary just to get clean later, they were in the living area. Alex was wearing loose-fitting dark blue cotton sleep pants and he had her seated on the couch. Once she was settled and comfortable, he took one of the chairs and moved it so it faced her directly. He then went and picked up his guitar from the stand in the corner and sat down in front of her.

“Ok. I am not a songwriter or singer by any stretch of the imagination. I am decent at playing other people’s music… but I wanted to give you something that was just yours, Zef. Something you knew was just for you, so… I read this poem years ago. I never really understood it… until you. Now when I think of it, I can only think of you. So the music is yours, and only yours.” and he smiled and began to play.

His fingers danced along the strings and a soft, ethereal melody began. As it did, he started to sing:

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

The music carried on for a few moments and then softly faded away as his fingers stilled and the strings quieted.

Zef sat in rapt attention as the music surrounded her. She’d heard Alex sing snippets of this or that before, but never heard him in a performance. And the words…how loved and wanted they made her feel. How special… There was so much longing and admiration in the lyrics of a love that spanned all of time. She couldn’t help that her eyes misted with a film of tears to think that Alex held her in such high regard and that he felt as if they’d been lovers in other lives.

No one had ever expressed anything close to what his song said and she was truly moved. When his fingers plucked the last notes, Zef tumbled from the couch and knelt before him and the guitar, sitting back on her heels. “Oh, Fyk’iri…I don’t know what to say…it was so beautiful…”

—Zef

Alex smiled at her and leaned over and kissed her. “Fyk’iri… you’ve called me that before. What does it mean? And I’m glad you liked it.” He reached under the couch cushion next to where she had sat and pulled out a data-chip. “Here. I recorded it for you. You can have it. And I promise to only play that music for you. Never anyone else. It is yours and yours alone.”

Alex

Zef took the data chip from him and folded her hand around it. It was a precious gift. “Fyk’iri means…” She looked thoughtful as her mind sought a translation from Bajeen to Federation Standard. “It is a term of endearment for a lover when their are emotional ties as well as a physical ones. So…’my lover and my heart’ would be a close translation, but not exact. It implies a deep level of intimacy.”

Raising up on her knees now, she took the guitar from Alex and set it aside, wrapping her arms up over his shoulders and leaning into his body. “Do you have plans for the rest of the day or should we just relax here?”

—Zef

“My plans today are you and only you, my love. The only specific thing I have to do is go to the Mess around 1400. Harv has something he wants to talk about. Shouldn’t take long, but you are welcome to come with me. It didn’t sound personal.” He reached down and slid his hands and arms under her form and lifted her up onto his lap. Looking at her directly, his face mere centimeters from hers, he looked into her eyes and said “Zef… I love you. More than you could possibly imagine.”

Alex

“I love you, too, Fyk’iri.” For a moment, they sat like that, tucked in to each other just appreciating the closeness. “If you really don’t think Harv will mind, I’ll come with you and then why don’t we go to the holodeck? We can have an adventure—just the two of us. Maybe exploring caves or a jungle or anything unusual like that? What do you think?”

—Zef


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