Posted July 26, 2021, 12:34 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) (James Sinclair)
Posted by Lieutenant Cara Esmé O’Farrell (Counselor / Education Specialist) in Lounge - Neighbors… Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)
Posted by Lieutenant Commander Gravel Mardusk (Chief of Security) in Lounge - Neighbors… Thats Very Convenient (Tag CNS)
“I’m up for both, as long as your leading.” She laughed but was totally serious. She’d gotten lost enough in the last two days. She stood up, walking around the table towards the door before realizing they were still holding hands. She paused and look at him with a grin and then walked out the door just before him.
Mardusk shook his head and just smiled as she led him out by the hand. As they stepped into the passageway, he said “Not really shy, are ya?” and squeezed her hand and then walked beside her, interlacing his fingertips into her fingers. It wasn’t hesitation, it was a matter of size disparity. He looked down at her and then smiled and chuckled, and walked them to the turbolift. =/\= Deck 14. =/\= he said and they were soon on their way… hand in hand.
Cara looked up at him and grinned, but shrugged, “I can be,” he’d made her blush a few times, “but with the right person it donna matter if your shy. Ya can be shy but still feel secure.” For about half the ride they held hands like that. It wasn’t uncomfortable but it wasn’t quite right. Cara turned her hand so her finger wrapped his palm between his thumb and index finger, allowing his larger hand to just engulf hers. It fit, it was right, it was them. She looked up at him and winked making a silent statement about them.
The doors opened but Gravel didn’t move. He just looked down at her and smiled. “I’m in all kinds of trouble, ain’t I?” and he moved them off the lift before the doors closed.
She looked up at him, dead serious, “You already know the answer to that, Malachite.”
The Arboretum was busier than normal. Individuals and couples walked along the paths, some jogging. Mardusk wove them through the others until they came to a side path and he turned quickly down it. This path was deserted and it led through a series of bends until they came to a small shed-like building.
“Groundskeeper shed. They’re off duty right now.” he said as they slowed down. He led them to the side of the path and said “So at night.. ship night, anyway… the lights go off and the plants are allowed their night cycle. And when that happens, artificial moonlight comes on. Should be happening in about fifteen minutes.” He let go of her hand moved to the side of the shed and picked up two water barrels. Setting them down next to each other, he gestured to her to have a seat.
“So…” and he took her hand back in his, “… how do you feel about puzzles?”
Cara hopped onto the water barrel, looked down at their hands and grinned. “Puzzles? They’re fun, I enjoy them. Unless you’re talkin’ Vulcan puzzles and then ya toss those out an airlock.”
Gravel chuckled and said “Fair enough. So a puzzle for you… why is this happening with us? I’m not complaining! No no! But I am curious how you see it.”
Cara looked at him, head tilted to the side, “I have no idea. And isn’t that amazing!” she grinned and then took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “In seriousness, I donna have an answer. Maybe because we can have a conversation, we understand each other, more than anyone else does or tries ta. I learned a long time ago, the hard way, chemistry can be great. It last a few days, maybe weeks, but then with nothin’ to sustain it, it fizzles and dies. That’s okay for some.” She shrugs lightly. “Or maybe, for example, I can look at ya, watch ya, and go ‘today was hard, and your carrin’ it around with ya because it struck a chord, and yer frustrated,’ and then put on the loudest punk music I can find, and ya wonna look at me and accuse me of ‘counselin’ ya, but know it’s ‘cause I care. That’s rare even among friends. And ya know, it helps that yer probably that hottest man I’ve ever met.”
Mardusk coughed in surprise, but smiled. “Uh… thanks? I guess? I mean…uh…” and his cheeks went two shades of green darker. “Um… I don’t want it to sound corny… but, uh… I really mean it when I say you are amazingly beautiful. Distractingly so, actually.” and he chuckled and ran a hand over his bald head, still blushing. “Yeah…” and his voice trailed off.
The man wasn’t used to compliments. Oh well, challenge accepted then. She squeezed her fingers around his palm. “Well I mean it, and thank you. I kinda like the idea that I’m distractin’ ta you.” She gave it a moment, looking up at the changing light from evening into night. “What do you think of our puzzle?”
Mardusk gave the question serious thought. Finally he said “Sometimes things just work. Don’t know why, and no one can seem to explain it, but it works. So… thats what you and I are. We just work. Now… I don’t know if this is a fluke… or a weird glitch in the universe’s programming… or what. What I do know is I don’t really care right now. I just… hmmm… Im looking at this like its a rare orchid. It needs care, attention, patience.... and then maybe it will grow into something really beautiful. And hey! Lucky us… I got two green thumbs.” and he grinned.
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