Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Pre sim - Guess who’s coming to dinner…
Posted by Lieutenant Auleraine Brison (Engineering Officer) in Pre sim - Guess who’s coming to dinner…
As they approached the Holodeck, Mardusk stepped ahead. “Onnne sec…” and he tapped in a code.
As the doors opened, they faced a desert. Hot wind blew and the sand had wave-like patters across it. He took her hand and led her in. As the doors closed, there was an oasis in front of them. A pool of beautiful, clear water sat surrounded by palm trees and flowering jasmine and honeysuckle bushes. A large tent sat near the edge of the water, looking out over it. The sun was starting to set, and two torches burned on either side of the open tent flap. Mardusk led her inside. It was cool, and there was a single, large room. In it were pillows and rugs, and plates of food sat around a small fire over which turned kabobs of vegetables and meats.
Mardusk looked at her and said “I wanted us to get away for a bit. And the motif matched the menu, so…” and he looked down at her. “Yes? No? Maybe? I can swap everything out but the food. That’s actually real.” and he laughed a self-conscious laugh.
“MAARRR…” She gasped and let him lead her to the oasis. It was amazing and the brightness in her face was proof. Her hand glanced lightly over a bush as they passed it and she ran her hand down the flap of the tent.
Looking around, she shook her head. “It’s amazing! Honest…” she looked at him and smiled. “And at sunset. I love it.” She couldn’t exactly leap into his arms, so she got as close to him as she could. One hand rose to rest on his chest and the other crooked a finger to coax him to bend down. “Come here…” If he bent down, he’d be met with a gentle kiss from her.
He smiled and said “I’m glad you like it.” and he did, indeed, bend down. He kissed her, but a grin broke the contact. “Sorry… just glad you like it. Here!” and he quickly arraigned some of the big pillows and rugs so she could sit comfortably. He piled a larger group up for himself.
“I do, very much.” As they settled into the pillows, she looked at the choice of food. “Wow… this is amazing. I’m glad you didn’t leave it up to me. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near this nice. And the program is perfect.” She looked out the tent to a perfect view of the sunset.
Looking back at Mar, the was nothing but smile and happiness on her face. “So tell me what we have for dinner.”
He sat and leaned back. “Beef, chicken, and lamb kabobs. Grilled onions, tomatoes, peppers. All of that on a skewer because meat on’a stick is the best food ever. Under the lid there at the side is saffron rice. Other tray are dates, nuts, raisins, carrots, celery, radishes, and hummus. And to drink we have…” and he flipped back a rig to reveal the only modern looking thing in the area: a cooler. “Beer and Iced tea. Will that work? Or do we chuck it and go get reubens?”
She laughed as the list kept going. “I’m glad we’ve got two hours.” She nodded to a beer and smiled. “Good choice,” and held her hand out for one. “I can’t recall the last time I had meat on a stick. Back on Earth, I guess.” She reached for one and took a tentative bite.
Laughing, she covered her mouth. “Oh my god… that’s good.”
“Glad you like it.” and picked up a beer and handed it to her. “Mike hooked me up. I dont know how, even now, but that guy refuses to serve anything but real booze. How he gets it is beyond me. That’s one of the things he fought Fleet when they approached him about moving his bar onto the ship. They wanted synthetic, and told him so.” and he laughed heartily. “He looked at the Admiral in charge of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation for the entire fleet and said ‘If you want your crew served piss, then stick your di… er, um ‘thing’ in the keg, not mine.’ and walked out. I laughed my ass off.” He opened both beers and then took a skewer.
Lera had taken a sip and then almost spit out her beer, laughing. “Oh gods! I can see him doing that.” She wiped her face on a small towel nearby, guessing it was there for their hands.
Shaking her head, she shifted sideways till she could lean on him as she ate, now able to see out of the tent as the holo program ran the beautiful sunset almost more perfectly than mother nature could have.
After a couple more bites she sighed. “Save this program, Mar. Please?” She glanced up at him smiling. “Even without food, I like this.”
She sat and nibbled on her skewer.
He shifted and gave his chest and hip for her reclining comfort and said “Already did. Just load ‘Lera’s Oasis’, and you’ll be right here…” and he ate a bit. He then said “I’m really glad you like it. I was stuck trying to come up with something for a while…”
She smiled. “Good… and you did amazing, hun. Honest.” After finishing her kabob, she reached for a bowl and got some rice. “You know, Mike’s opening is tomorrow night.” She was sitting up fixing her bowl, sliding a skewer worth of toppings on her rice.
Mardusk had polished off three skewers, but sat back and grabbed some dates. “Uh huh… and?” he asked, smiling.
She finally leaned back against him, but didn’t look up. “You know he’s expecting us to go together? Are you all right with that? Jessica made it seem… well I guess, I mean I don’t want your job affected because of us.” She closed her eyes, failing miserably at saying what she wanted. She wanted him to be sure he wanted more than just a short walk in the halls to the holo decks. She certainly wanted more…
Gravel inhaled a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Lera… we talked about this. My job, your job… that isnt what this is.” and he waved back and forth between them. “You and I… well… dating?… doesnt mean I cant do my job, or you do yours. And if anyone on this ship thinks me being with you makes me somehow… what… I dunno… softer, maybe… is too damn stupid to be on this ship. Period. So I dont mind showing up at Mike’s tomorrow with you on my arm. Hell, I’ll plant a kiss on you as we come in, just to drive the point home.” and he looked down at her. “But if you have reservations, I wanna talk about it. But that’s where I stand.”
The rice bowl forgotten, she turned and rose on her knees. “NO!” she shook her head and snapped out the word harder than she meant to. “No, I don’t. Not at all. You can put me on your shoulder and announce it to the ship for all I care of other folks’ thinking.” She stood up and moved to stand as close to him as she could with his legs in the way. “I care about you, Mar. I don’t think I can say love yet, but only because I am not familiar enough with the word to know.” She lifted her hand to caress his face. “I do know I don’t want to look around for anyone else to spend my time with. I don’t want to think of anyone else’s lips on mine. And sitting on your arm in the Arboretum is, so far, besides this,” she smiled, “one of my most favorite moments on this ship so far.”
She smiled and tilted her head slightly. “Kiss me walking into Mike’s or don’t. It doesn’t matter to me. So long as it’s you at my back when we go thru that door, that’s all that matters to me.”
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