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Rest & Relaxation - Deneva

Posted Aug. 11, 2022, 8:21 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Markus Woods (Chief Star Fleet Science Officer) (Sam Haynes)

Posted by Lieutenant Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Rest & Relaxation - Deneva

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Markus Woods (Chief Star Fleet Science Officer) in Rest & Relaxation - Deneva

Posted by Lieutenant Sharah Fayth (Chief Star Fleet Medical Officer) in Rest & Relaxation - Deneva
Posted by… suppressed (5) by the Post Ghost! 👻
It had taken the better part of a month to transfer from The Black Rock to Starfleet Headquarters. Then hitching a ride to get them in the ballpark of Deneva took a few days. But now, they had a runabout to take them the rest of the way. Mark sat left seat on the Longevity-class runabout. It was one of the newer ones, faster, with better shields. It had everything they actually needed if they ever were going to make a long trip on their own.

They were a tiny fraction of a lightyear away, but even at warp four it would be an hour or so before they made it close to the planet. In some ways it felt like coming home, as it was. But that also brought plenty of nerves too. How was this going to go since he hadn’t been home in a million years? He wasn’t sure. But… the last few weeks aboard the shuttle had been quiet, restful. And well within Federation space… restful.

Mark

The weeks on the shuttle had seen a remarkable change in Sharah. The trip had done more good for her mental health than any session with a counselor. Alone on the shuttle, with just Markus, things had been easier, but there was still that never ending white noise, until they got out of the traffic lanes and into ‘deep space’. The space between star systems away from normal travel routes. Then the universe went quiet. Markus was flying the runabout and Sharah had been sleeping, at his insistence, and it actually woke her. His mind was always so calm and still she hadn’t noticed she could still hear him at first. She’d hurried into the small medical bay and had run ever conceivable scan she could think of on herself. Medically she couldn’t find anything wrong with her, even with Markus to help. It took about an hour (an embarrassingly long time Sharah felt after they figured it out) for her to realize that the quiet was simply because there was no one else around to hear.

Sharah became very carefree, almost giddy most of the time. Now without the overwhelming noise there were a lot of things Sharah wanted to do while it was just her in her own head. Most couldn’t be done on a shuttle - like swimming. The runabout only had replicators, but a lot could be done with that, and she tried her hand at cooking. She made an absolute mess and flour floated around her like fairy dust. Markus joined her, and they’d made pasta. It was an amazing afternoon for many reasons.

She flew the shuttle too. She of course knew how to fly one and was certified. All Star Fleet officers were, but Sharah hadn’t had a chance since the Academy. People were wary of having her at the controls - what if she got distracted? They were mostly on autopilot, but Markus had found a small asteroid belt for her to fly around in. Nothing crazy, Sharah wasn’t that skilled a pilot, but it let her do more than just set the autopilot.

The biggest difference was the mess in the spare crew quarters. Sharah could be found there stretched out on the floor paper and colored pencils everywhere when they weren’t doing anything else. Sharah had learned to draw and sketch as a therapy technique. It had always been just that though, therapy. Sketching the things she heard in her head to help sort things out, making representations of emotions. Now it was just her in her own head (which at times was strangely disorienting), well just her and Markus anyway, and each sketch was her own, her own thoughts and imagination and she reveled in it. And her sketches were very good.

As they got closer to Deneva though, the noise started to return. Over the course of the last few hours of their trip, the chaos and mess disappeared and Sharah pulled back into herself, the carefree giddiness tucked away. She spent some of that time packing things away and stowing their bags near the hatch for when they landed. Then she made her way into the cockpit. Markus felt curious and nervous to her. She leaned over his chair, her hands smoothing over his shoulders and down his chest to clasp around him and squeeze him in a hug. Keeping her arms around him, she slipped around and sat in his lap. She looked amazingly better than she had a month ago when they’d said goodbye to Cpt Rende. No more dark circles, or slightly pinched features, her Medusa-like curls even seemed to be cooperating. “Hi, Handsome.”

Sharah

The time spent with little detours was worth it, and they’d made up the travel time by pushing the runabout’s engines a little harder. But overall, it was time well spent. Watching Sharah come alive like she had, so far between stars and systems had been a treat all it’s own. Seeing her happy, really happy had done a lot to allay his worries for the time being. But now as they approached the system, they had crept back in. Worries over her, and over what was to come when they finally got down.

He felt her mental presence before her approach, and smiled when her arms slipped around him. He did his best to lean into it. As she came around him, he slipped an arm around her, then smiled as she settled across his lap. “Hey you,” he murmured. “Almost there.” By then his arms had settled around her.

Mark

A month. They had been traveling in the shuttle together for a month. Just the two of them. Along with revelations over her own strength and health, there had been reassurances between them as well. It was a long time in a small space with just the two of them, and no one else to relieve any tension. It could have been stressful, they could have argued, but the didn’t. Everything seemed easy with Markus, and that silenced a lot of worries and insecurities she’d been carrying around since she was a child. Without those her presence seemed lighter.

“I know.” There was an increase in the white noise, the sea beginning to churn a bit. She couldn’t understand any of it, but she knew there were thousands of minds somewhere close by. His arms felt warm and as he wrapped her up the white noise quieted. She couldn’t help but smile at him, feeling blessed. She leaned in and kissed him for a long slow moment.

“Are you excited to see your family?” She was nervous but trying her best not to be. She wasn’t nervous about her telepathy, though she was sure it would be a bit of an adjustment. No what she was worried about was much more mundane. She was nervous about meeting his family. Would they like her? Would they get along?

Sharah

“Yes, and no. I haven’t been home in ten years. Not even on leave. I’m probably a stranger to everybody. And I’ve changed a lot. How much have they changed? And I hope they’ll fall in love with you the way I have. I can game it out some. Doesn’t ease the nerves,” he murmured. With a small sigh he rested his head on her shoulder, nuzzling into her neck and taking in the soft scent of her shampoo and skin cleanser. “Can we just… like… make a long run toward Oed V and call it good.”

Mark

10 years was a long time. Sharah hadn’t been home in 6. Not since she left for the Academy. She’d seen her brother once since then. Right now she couldn’t imagine ever going back to Betazed. Not now, not after what she knew, but she still missed her family. She knew Markus missed his too, but so much had changed. There wasn’t enough information for him to play out all the possibilities and she knew that more than bugged him.

She held him tightly as he nuzzled her neck, the feeling welcome but also slightly ticklish. She rested her cheek on the top of his head and grinned a little, she was actually taller than him at the moment, and that thought made her want to giggle a little. She seriously considered his question though. “If that’s what you want. I won’t turn down the chance to prolong being alone with you.”

Sharah

He smiled brightly, crinkling around the corners of his eyes. “Well, you’ll get that either way. Especially on our way back.” He paused for a moment and patted her far leg. “Should I warn them or .. surprise them?”

Mark

Her breath caught a little as he smiled. Obviously she found Markus very attractive, but it had been too long since she saw him smile like that. Sh couldn’t help smiling back. “Hmmm well, I think surprises from those we love are wonderful. I don’t know how they feel though. And it could be that we are the ones surprised if they aren’t home. What do you think they’d prefer? It’s been 10 years. Do you want your words to be over subspace or in person?” She assumed he’d been writing to them and at least spoken, she wasn’t talking about all that, but this particular moment.

Sharah

He shook his head. “You’re no help,” he said, breaking into a brighter smile. It was, of course, a lie, but a teasing one. He sobered a little. “Surprises are good. I’m just not sure …” He frowned as he broke off. There was an easier way to do this. He’d always had great instincts, in addition to weaponized behavioral analysis skills. Assuming that things hadn’t changed a whole lot in the intervening years, he’d know pretty fast how things were going to go and what the best avenue of approach was. And how many times had Rende told him to trust his instincts? Too many. His judgement was pretty much always good.

He frowned for a moment. Somewhere along the way he had stopped trusting himself and his judgement. That was something he had to work on. There was no time like the present.

“Let’s play it by ear.”

Mark


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