STF

Side sim: The Report Dilemma

Posted Oct. 20, 2021, 8:59 a.m. by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) (Nicole Cline)

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in Side sim: The Report Dilemma

Posted by Commander Roman Alden (First Officer & Chief Science Officer) in Side sim: The Report Dilemma

Posted by Ensign Rand Farquharson (Yeoman First Class) in Side sim: The Report Dilemma
Posted by… suppressed (7) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)
“Okay,” Rand smiled and then stood up carefully to make sure her foot wasn’t going to embarrass her. Then without realizing what she was doing, before she let go of his hand, she leaned over and kissed his cheek. Her eyes went really wide and she backed up a quick step, having surprised herself, and she stammered, “Uh…oh…um…I…I’ll go get it.” She turned quickly for the door.

Rand

Before Roman had realized what was happening, Rand had leaned over and kissed his cheek. The action surprised him, and he paused for a moment. Not at all upset, actually he was quite happy about it. But her eyes went wide and she backed off, and Roman didn’t want her to leave. “Miranda, wait,” he said, trying to catch her before she left. “You gave me some of the tea, remember? And I’ve got a kettle. We can make some right here.”

~ Roman

Rand stopped and turned to look at him as he caught up to her. Not that hard considering the size of the room. She really liked how he used her whole name. Never when anyone was around, just them. It made her feel… different, all warm and happy and nervous - in a good way. He had the tea… Oh right, she gave it to him. He made it for himself sometimes. She was totally caught by surprise over his statement about making the tea there she forgot all about worrying if she should have kissed him or not or how he felt about it or not.

No one else used her full name, and that made it… special somehow. Maybe because it made her name more different from Randy’s but that wasn’t it, not really. It was familiar, like a special nickname. Except it wasn’t, it was just her name.

“Oh, of course..right,” Now with a focus on what she was doing, she moved away from the door. Then she paused, realization kicking in, she had no idea where he kept any of it. She’d always brought the tea with her. She was looking around the room, where she guessed he might keep everything, but it would be rude to just go through his things. “I don’t know where you keep it all.” And of course if Rand had left she would have worked herself up horribly and then possibly not returned at all.

Rand

Roman, satisfied that Rand was not going to leave, was already headed over to the little counter space he had in the room. Next to his own electric kettle were the little ceramic jars he stored his tea in, the sort that latched shut. “It’s all here.” He pulled out two of the pouches of her tea and set them on the counter as he put water in the kettle. There really weren’t many places to put things, but Roman didn’t have that many things, either. The only things out on the little counter space were the jars of tea and the kettle.

~ Roman

Rand followed him over to the counter, he had pulled the tea bags out, and the other container contained his black tea. She didn’t see mugs at first but found them easily enough. She didn’t use honey or cream in this tea, but she knew he liked it, and she didn’t see any on the counter. “Do you want honey or cream? I can go get it if you want it.”

Rand

Roman pointed to a drawer near where she’d found the mugs. “They’re both there. Just cream today would be fine,” he said as he put the kettle on to boil. It was electric, so all he had to do was plug it in and wait.

~ Roman

Rand opened the drawer that let a small breath of chilled air and she took out the small container of cream. She placed the tea packets in the mugs and then when the kettle beeped and the light flashed and she picked up the kettle and poured the steaming water into the mugs over the tea. “I miss the sound of the kettle whistling.” Rand was very careful as she poured, letting the hot water hit first against the side of the cup and then begin washing over the teabag so that the tea didn’t burn. She let it steep and then very carefully swirled a spoon around the cup and lifted the tea bags out and discarding them. She’d been making Roman’s tea long enough she knew, without asking him, exactly how much cream he took in his tea. She poured the cream, swirled it with the spoon and then with a soft tab on the side of the cup she put the spoon down. She picked the cup up and offered it to him. “Here ya go.”

Rand

“They still make them that way in England. For the nostalgia,” Roman said. He watched as she prepared the tea, placing the bags and then pouring the water. She was specific in how she did it, making sure the tea didn’t burn, he knew. He began to speak up as she poured the cream but she already knew, and by the time he’d started she had already stopped pouring at the perfect time. When the cup was offered to him, he took it and sat back down. “Thank you.”

~ Roman

Rand grinned when she noticed him open his mouth to tell her that was enough cream and then stop. It was so frustrating that she could read cues from people when it came to her work, to be able to tell they wanted something done a certain way, to anticipate the needs of the command staff and crew, and get it right, but stick her in a room and tell her to socialize and she couldn’t think because she couldn’t breathe. She turned back to the counter and replaced the lid on the cream, set it in the drawer and then carefully slid it shut. She turned the kettle off, very rarely did either of them ever drink a second cup, and generally just tidied up. It was habit, Rand didn’t leave work for later or clutter lying around.

She picked up her cup and turned to join him. Out of habit and comfortable experience she almost sat in the computer chair, like she did every night. With a soft hint of a smile she returned to her chair, beside him, “My grandmother has a real kettle like that. In the winter she makes a big deal out of it and she lights an old wood stove, heats the kettle and makes tea and hot chocolate for us all.” Cupping the mug in two hands she gently blew the steam, making it dance, and then sipped at the tea. She leaned back in the chair, crossing her ankles and tucking her feet under the chair, like she did every night before she started in on one of her stories. Her voice took on that other ‘something’ for story telling, most of the time she wasn’t even aware she was doing it. “So when I was 6, I found a Scottish crossbill. She’d broken her wing and was half flappin’ around in the old pine needles. I took her home, and by this point my parents knew I was always bringin’ home orphans, as they put it, so I had ta sneak her in and it was still warm so I hid her in the wood stove. Well about a week later, it got cold, real cold, and my grandmother, she tells my dad ta go get wood for the stove. I start tellin’ them we donae need ta because it’s not cold. Even goin’ so far as ta put on a sundress and freeze my fingers and toes off runnin’ bare foot outside. Then arguing that the the wood box and stove pipe had nae been cleaned and it wasn’t safe ta use it. I just knew they were either going to find my bird and I was going to get in trouble, or my poor bird was gunna get cooked.” She drank from the tea, drawing out the story just a bit. “My grandmother had found that bird early that morning, before I got up, taken it ta the vet to get the wing splinted because I hacked the job. They all had a good laugh at my efforts to dissuade them from lighting the stove.”

Rand

There was a real kettle in Roman’s family, too. 1920’s, real vintage. It had been his grandfather’s on his father’s side, and when he had died, it had gone to his older brother. Unfortunately. But it wasn’t like Roman expected anything different. Rand started into one of her stories, and her voice took that life it did, her accent more prevalent. Roman sipped his tea as she told it. It was one of her goofier ones, he could imagine her as a child, running around barefoot in the cold temperatures of Scotland. “Was the bird okay?” He asked.

~ Roman

“Mmmhmmm,” around a mouthful of tea. “No thanks ta me. That is when I learned that avian skeletons aren’t exactly like ours. I had ta volunteer at the vet clinic for a month. 1 because I snuck another animal in the house, but 2 and more importantly because it was hurt and I didn’t tell anyone. I could have killed it because I didn’t know what I was doin’. I loved it being there. The vet taught me all about birds and how I had bandaged the wing wrong. I was also feeding it wrong. I was tryin’ ta feed it worms and it ate nuts, seeds, and berries. I got ya go with the vet when he released the bird several months later.”

Rand

Roman smiled. It was a fitting end to the story. A fitting consequence for what had happened, and a good ending. Then again, Rand always told nice stories. “They turned a well meaning mistake into a learning experience. There’s nothing better than that.” He said.

~ Roman

Rand laughed a little. “Honestly I think the vet was being punished more than me. I drove him to distraction with all my questions and trying ta love on all the animals. Especially the ones that were sick and kept in kennels. And of course the endless parade of animals that I brought ta him after that. I was supposed ta bring him any animal I found that was sick or injured and leave the healthy ones alone. Ya can guess how many I was just certain were hurt or sick or both.”

Rand

Roman had to laugh just a little, too. “Every small wild animal in Scotland?” He could guess that her antics were probably quite annoying to the vet. But obviously he’d put up with it anyway. As much as Roman had liked animals at that age, he’d been much more cautious about approaching wild ones.

~ Roman

She grinned a little hearing him laugh. It might be at her younger self’s expense (and that’s why she told these stories-to make him laugh), but Roman only laughed when he was relaxed and not thinking of what was keeping him up. So it was worth it. Rand nodded, “Almost. Lookin’ back I’m not sure how I got ahold of all those animals. I wasn’t just running up and snatching them. That would have been dangerous and foolish. They were wild. I would sit, sometimes hours, and wait for them to trust me. Eventually they did. Some ran off, but of course I was back the next day. That lasted about a year a’fore I learned my lesson ta leave wild animals alone. If I found one hurt I went and got the vet. Until the pine marten when I was 9, of course. Except for that, I stuck ta domesticated animals.”

Rand

Roman was very relaxed. Tea in one hand, leaned back against the back of the chair (rather than sat perfectly straight), his chair facing Rand’s so he could look at her. He remembered the story about the pine marten, though he could not recall the end of it. It had been one of the first she’d shared, and he must have fallen asleep before she finished it. “What happened to teach you to leave the wildlife alone?”

~ Roman


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