Posted June 30, 2020, 4:27 p.m. by Lieutenant Pretha Oberon (Security Officer / CRIT Leader) (Melissa Aragon)
Posted by Captain Alexander Cochrane (Commanding Officer) in De’ja Vu… Dinner and a chat… This seems familiar! (CO)
Posted by Lieutenant Pretha Oberon (Security Officer / CRIT Leader) in De’ja Vu… Dinner and a chat… This seems familiar! (CO)
He chuckled and said “I see we save the good table manners for decent company.” and he laughed. Taking another bite, he chewed slowly and watched her for a moment. Taking a drink, he said “So why no Mr. Anders, then?” <e>
She smiled and shrugged, but the smile was slightly dimmer. “There was… or almost was… once.” She shook it off and her smile brightened once more as she reached for another mushroom. “Apparently, Honey, I’m going out, into space. Don’t hold dinner. Doesn’t go over too well with some folks. And I don’t like ultimatums.”
He looked at her and nodded. “I’ll tell you my almost was if you tell me yours.” The words were humorous, but the delivery was friendly without being too prying. At that moment, Harv arrived with two domed plates. He set them on the edge of the table, took the appetizers plates away and set them on a cart, and then slid a plate in front of each. “Bon appetit.” he said and lifted the covers to reveal: beer battered fish and chips, grilled tomatoes half, and mushy peas. A bottle of cider vinegar appeared from Harv’s apron and settled between the two diners. “Be right back with the pints.” and he left and soon returned with two pint glasses of a super dark liquid with a khaki foam on top. “Guinness, Skipper. My compliments.” and he winked at Cochrane and smiled.
Alex looked at the dish and the beer and simply said “Harv… you magnificent bastard you… thank you. This is perfect.” and he held out his hand to Harv who took it and said “Of course, Captain. My pleasure.” and he smiled at Cochrane and then looked at Raye and nodded and then walked back to the kitchen.
“Sure.” She said and smiled at his offering.
When dinner arrived, she pulled her napkin back and set her hands in her lap to let Harv do the serving. At the reveal, she laughed. “It’s perfect, Harv.” The Captain’s handshake and Harv’s nod pleased her to no end. As he walked away after setting the Guinesses down, Raye smiled. “So much better than some weird saucy something or other that looks like it belongs on a Risa resort table instead of a mess hall one.” She lifted her mug and held it towards him. “My turn… to exploration in space with the best family we will never choose.” She winked, “And the man who will guide us there.”
He chuckled and touched his glass to hers. “Nope, I just make sure we dont hit anything on the way.” and he smiled. “At least I hope so… first time in the big chair and all.” and he laughed and took a drink of the Guinness and locked the foam from his lip. “By all the stars in heaven… that is so good.” and he picked up the vinegar and doused the fish and fries.
“Maybe I should have just toasted to ‘not crashing’.” She laughed and took a drink. Her own pleasure sound rolling up her throat. “Lords… I had forgotten. Haven’t had it since Earth. Far too long ago.” She waited till he was done with the vinegar and used it herself, though not quite as generously. “I don’t think I could have asked for better. I’m so glad he knows your likes.” She laughed.
After a few bites of fish and a fries for them both. She was nibbling a fry and looked at him. “Well, tit for tat. Would you like me to go first? Or you want to?”
He pointed at the food and said “You go first. I’ll demolish this while you talk.” and he winked and took a bite.
She laughed and took one more bite. “Aye,aye, Captain. Well mine isn’t a long tale. We were supposed to be married, Nicholas and I. It had been semi arranged by our families. Kind of archaic, I know. But it was a business merger… thing. We had been childhood friends till we were 12 then came back together as friends at 17 and the families got involved. When I went to the Academy, he wasn’t happy. Go figure,” she finished the fry in her hand. “But when he found out I wasn’t doing something ‘foolish’ like science or engineering, he was all right with me heading down the diplomatic line. He assumed I’d be some high Government or Federation muckety muck who would stay on Earth and parade him around to parties and dinner soires.” She laughed and slipped a bite of fish in her mouth. Finishing it, she continued.
“I didn’t want to be ground bound and wanted space. When I got my orders, he called off the wedding. The families wanted it to remain in place. Didn’t care I was leaving. He took off the day I did. Haven’t spoken to him since. I guess the idea of a ‘wifeless’ marriage didn’t appeal to him.” She laughed slightly. “Only one other person ever asked, but he was a Betazoid doctor on one of my posts who swore his skills were so good he could ‘make’ me love him in time and I wanted it.” She shivered and laughed. “Guess I stopped looking. No one seems to understand ‘what I see in it’. Being out here I mean.” She lifted another bite of fish and grinned.
“Your turn.” She laughed and raised her mug to him.
He nodded and took a bite, delaying the inevitable. Finally, he started talking. “Ok… but promise you keep it to yourself, ok?” he said an edge to his voice that meant he was serious.
She frowned slightly in concern but nodded. “Of course, Alex. I give you my word.” She didn’t realize she had used his first name.
“Brooke and I were put together by a mutual friend. She was a singer, and our friend thought our mutual love of music would break the ice. And it did. We really hit it off. We had a great time. I was in Command school at the Academy at the time, and she was on Earth doing some recording and acting. So we were close in proximity. Even when she traveled, I’d just shuttle over to wherever she was and we’d spend whatever time I had off together. She was…” and he looked out the window with a look of accepted loss on his face, “… she was amazing. Super smart, talented, charismatic…” and he looked back at Raye and smiled a half smile. “We grew really close… started talking about marriage, trying to work out the logistics… both of us even opted for doing the long distance thing… but I got picked up to be the XO of the Ark Angel… she got even more notice for her singing and acting… I give her credit. She tried. Even said she’d quit after the next record… next movie… but there was always ‘next’… and I knew she didnt want to give it up. And I wouldn’t ask her to. That just wouldn’t have been fair. Eventually, the comms became more and more infrequent. Then one day I called and her manager said she was getting married.” and he shrugged and took a large drink from his glass. He set the glass down and grinned. “I sent flowers. Thought it polite. Signed it ‘From Your FIRST Fiance’.” and he laughed loudly. “She wrote a song and gave it that title.” and he laughed again. “Wonder if I’m entitled to royalties or something?” and he looked at Raye directly. “So that’s why no Mrs. Cochrane.” and he raised his glass to her. “To answering the call of the Black.” and he nodded his head to the vast emptiness outside the window.
Her mind ran in circles. He had been as close to marriage as her. Though they had actually tried. She smiled and raised her mug to his toast and took a sip. It was then the name and song put themselves together. She set her mug down and leaned back a moment watching him. It was almost like she was trying to see him back then. Smiling and laughing with a debutante, or the public version of it. She leaned forward on her elbows and cocked her head. “Do you mean Brooke Carter? The singer and actress?” She was pretty sure she knew the answer but she wanted to be sure. She hated assumptions on her life, she could do him no less a courtesy. Her look wasn’t shock or even surprise, it was genuinely curious and she kept her voice low to keep others from hearing.
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