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JL | Lt Shran, Lt Dai'xun | "You Name It"

Posted on 241712.20 @ 11:21 by Lieutenant Anaxar Shran & Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun

Mission: Ballynamony
Location: USS Vindicator
Timeline: SD 241712.20

Somehow data had been saved from the shuttle. She didn't know how, didn't look gift horses in their mouths, she just knew that it had been saved. Forbidden from duty, however, he grasp on the information was damned limited and she found herself frustrated and vexed as she stared at what little of it she could get her hands on. "Frak!" She huffed, shaking her head and pacing off and away from the console in her quarters. She needed to make sense of things, of the stars, or the rift, of everything that had happened. Without those pieces of the puzzle the little Stenellis certainly feared that she'd lose the bigger picture in the long run. Or would she? It wasn't as if certain things weren't already in motion before the shuttle crashed on that Gods forsaken planet. Maybe it just called to her as a scientist, this need to put together something that made sense and could be explained. Maybe it would help ease whatever it was that troubled the red Commodore's mind.

Ivanova had been a ghost, lurking in the halls with an invisible boundary that kept people from approaching. She shimmered with that effortless power, but there was pain there that left Si'a baffled and blinking each and every time she saw her. Blame. Guilt. Something more. Maybe the data had the answers necessary to alleviate some of that. She'd do anything to make it so... To fix it.

Too big.

After the time in the cell – and he hadn't bothered to look up just how long it had been, more than a week, less than a month would be a tentative guess in objective time, but subjective time whispered in his ears it had been half an eternity – where his whole universe had shrunk to a distance barely larger than two by two metres, everything here felt too big. His bed. His quarters. Clothes – to be fair, since he'd never bothered to adjust the settings of his uniform, they generally were always too big if he wanted them adjusted for his height. The whole ship. Maybe he had shrunk, somehow, down there, back there. Not in actual size, but where it mattered, inside.

Each day he forced himself to leave those ridiculously roomy quarters and wandered about. His general routine became something along the lines of: visiting the science labs, catch up on research done there (the whole astrophysics section was still going bananas over all the data which they'd gathered both before the timequake which had sent the Vindicator into the past and after, data they couldn't properly analyse before that crisis had been solved). Quick trip to sickbay, at least until Si'a was discharged. Maybe a quick bite to eat if he felt like it. Visit holodeck if time and energy allocations allowed it, and train – his physical setback was atrocious and he was determined to regain both strength and skills as soon as possible. Basically, anything to fill time and ensure he didn't have to think. There was still plenty of time to think in between all that. There was always too much time to think.

Now that Si'a was finally discharged, though, and needed to build up strength before she could return to duty. Anaxar didn't want to push, of course, she needed time to recover, she could hardly be expected to want to see his face every day. But, on the other hand, as her department head (even though still on light duty himself, for now) he did owe it to her to visit, yes? Just to see how she was doing. (Well, not 'see', per se.)

So he dropped by her quarters and touched the chime.

Another sigh saw her nearly dropping into the plush confines of her seat when the chime to her quarters rang, forcing her to catch herself mid-fall in some oddly graceful display of agility. "Come in!" Si'a called, her head tilted and her fingers tucking loose hair away from her face as she waited to see just who her visitor was. Maybe it was the Commodore or the Commander come to reprimand her for trying to access the information in her quarters when she had been ordered to rest and heal. That alone was enough to leave her biting her lower lip and looking surprisingly sheepish when the door slid open.

The moment she saw that it was Anaxar, the panic both rose and fell. Was that possible? Apparently it was possible. Panic that she'd been caught trying to work. Elation that he'd come to see her again. The sheepishness doubled, at least on the inside, while the rest of her found itself in motion. Uncharacteristically she reached for his hands, holding them in her much smaller ones. Ok. She shouldn't be taking liberties with just touching her boss, but he was more than just a boss to her. They'd been naked together, survived near death together, been handfasted, talked about 'wet dreams' in the damn tank she'd been held in (something she'd only just become aware of the true meaning to... Insert blush here), and so so much more. Too much more. Not enough much more.

"Anaxar!" She greeted with a giddy chirp as her fingers closed around his mammoth, in comparison, hands. Whether she saw him daily or not, each time was enough to brighten her day, even if he potentially came with a scolding. Didn't matter. He was there. That mattered.

His face lit up, he actually could feel it happening, merely at the sound, the sense, the touch and smell of her, her presence, her nearness (and how it filled a void in him, a void he wasn't even aware of when she wasn't there). "Si'a…" And well, there went the idea of remaining cool and professional, right out the airlock. He wanted to be more professional, at least, that's what he had tried telling himself. After all, what had happened down there/back there had been- She was much better now and- None of those thoughts made it any further than halfway before dissipating in the naked longing he felt when he was in her presence.

"How are you?" he finished, suddenly shy.

"I'm ok." Si'a replied with a quick bobble of her head. She wasn't nearly as tired now, didn't toss and turn quite as much. Sleeping alone was still taking a bit of getting used to, but she was definitely able to remain unconscious for longer and longer periods of time. Still didn't keep her from waking up in a near panic when her body realized there was no one beside her and she couldn't feel or hear or otherwise sense the beating of his heart. Anaxar was almost always on her mind, as were his words to her as he painted pretty pictures for her to remember and cling to. "Almost well enough for hunting down those baths on Trill." Her teeth sunk into her tongue the moment she realized what she'd said. It had been such an intimate moment, one that came shortly after he'd teased her about hunting gagh. From her bra. Oh dear. She shivered at the memory. Even half dead, he'd managed to elicit a response of sheer pleasure and heat. Gods the heat. She burned for him.

Instead now she realized she still gripped his hands. Her thumbs were stroking them while her eyes took in the brightness of his facial features. He seemed pleased. Maybe he hadn't come to scold her after all, maybe the visit held more meaning than what met the eye. "What about you? Better?" She asked, using those hands to guide him towards the couch. At least she could be useful in her awkwardness, get him a better seat and try to hold her own stupidity at bay.

"Much," he said, heartfelt. And he was, too, he was perfectly fine as long as he was with her- "There's a holodeck program for, with, ah…" And now he was blushing, he was sure of it. Maybe. He swallowed, tried to remain calm. Regain calm, rather. Why was it that all ratio and professionality fled the moment he was near her? He took a deep breath, released it slowly. He could do this. This was not a dream and he could do this. "Um." It would just take some work. "I just came by to, ah…, check if you have eaten yet."

Releasing his hands with a gentle pat pat, Si'a felt more than a wee bit flummoxed. She could feel his struggle, see him trying to keep control and composure. Part of her wanted to laugh, the other too pout. Talk of joint quarters flashed through her mind and quickly began to become nothing more than background noise as she allowed them birth to try and find natural and neutral footing no matter how unnatural and biased it felt. "Oh... Um... No." She replied, knowing that missing breakfast and lunch was a big bad no no. "I was um... About to? Macaroni and cheese?" Was that even a proper sentence? She sighed and bolstered herself. "I mean, would you like to stay for lunch?" Better. Much better.

"Yes!" Too eager. No. Yes? Was it his own weird mind playing tricks or was Si'a equally flustered? Or just puzzled by his behaviour? "Yes, I'd love that. If you don't mind, of course."

If only he knew.

"No! Not at all! I'd love you to stay!" Bad Si'a! Bad 'L' word! No use it! Down girl! She shied off quickly towards the replicator, maybe too quickly, but there was food and a chance for conversation with him and and and and so many other things that made her little heart take flight in the best of ways. She almost squeaked in her odd girlish glee, but luckily managed to suppress it. Him still being blind was certainly a good thing in some respects, he couldn't see her awkward display of happiness as it plastered itself across her face. "Macaroni for you or something else? You can have anything you like." Duh, Si'a, he knows this. Tame your tatas, girlie, you're weird enough as is without adding more bumble-footing to your repertoire of odd pet tricks.

"Macaroni is good." He only had a vague idea what macaroni actually was. There was a vague memory of eating something that sounded like macaroni when he was a kid, travelling with his family on the ship his father served on. But that didn't really matter. He'd never been a picky eater and after recent events, the very idea of being able to grab food whenever one felt like eating was a feast in itself.

It would've been perfectly fine if he could have kept his mouth shut. Then he still could've tried for professional, and all that. But sometimes it just seemed to act without any direction from his mind, and so he said: "We're heading for Cold Station Theta now, eh? I wonder if they have a good Klingon restaurant there."

Oh Gods. Si'a froze, swallowed hard, and pressed her lips together and closed her eyes as she waited for the replicator to finish up the process of spitting out their lunch. Gagh. In the bra. Fingers... Oh Gods indeed. The memory of his teasing touch that last night in the cell was still so fresh and vibrant and visceral. "Probably." She managed to answer as the thing chimed that it was finished, jolting her from her thoughts. "They might not even complain about a gagh fight." She added as she carried the bowls towards the couch and coffee table. It was so much more comfortable there. Damn everything, especially emotions and wants and desire and and and.

Wetting her lips with her tongue, she set the bowls down and took her seat beside him. Not touching him was difficult as hell.

Anaxar smiled. "That smells good." Which was funny, in a way, because food rarely appealed to him under normal circumstances. Even after recent events, food was rarely more than something to chow down whenever he became aware he needed it, but it had been a long time ago (how long? Lifetimes ago, that long) since he had simply sat down for a meal and actually enjoyed it. So, maybe it wasn't the food. Maybe it was the company. A thought which was scary and exhilerating at once.

Fortunately there was nothing complicated about macaroni and cheese. There was just one bowl filled with a mixture of foods, one spoon. Apply spoon to bowl and insert in mouth. Perfect. He concentrated on eating neatly so he didn't have to concentrate on anything else.

Silence. She didn't like silence. It added to the awkwardness and allowed her mind to roam and poke and prod and think. Thinking was both good and bad, especially in this case. Si'a was strange enough without her imagination and youth running away with her. But, there was also the confusion as to why it was that he, they, hadn't followed up on those pretty words in the cell. Had it been nothing more than a ploy to ensure survival? He was a smart man, beautifully and painfully so. As a scientist he had to know what buttons to push to get the reaction he desired, and those buttons for life included keeping a heart happy and a mind focused.

Was their chemistry nothing but fiction? Doubt niggled at her mind as she tried to enjoy her lunch. "I hope you like it. It's an Earth thing, humans created it and I love..." you. She coughed for a second, catching her tongue, "it. I love the dish. Cheese. Good stuff." Another small sputter, "Sorry. Throat still has a little tickle. I should probably talk to Kaleb about it so I can get back to duty quicker." Si'a shoved another forkful of cheesy pasta into her troublesome maw.

"That eager to get back to work?" Now that was something he could understand, he was glad enough he'd been allowed to get back to duty, light or not. And she had been locked in a tank first, and now, still recovering, mostly remained in her quarters… and while the body healed, there was much too much time for an active, eager mind. "Yeah, I get that… Maybe there are some light tasks you could get involved in, there's a lot of data from the Vindicator's sensors which needs to be analysed… But I mean light, really. You… you've come from very far away…" as far away as one could go and still return to life, something Anaxar recognized and remembered all too well. He had been there, too, once before, in that same twilight land where the difference between life and death was only a thought or a heartbeat, or sometimes even less. "Your body does need time to heal. Give it that. Or you'll be paying the price for it later. I mean it." Without even realizing he did it, he had set aside the bowl and taken her hands, trying to impart the importance of what he was saying to her, more than just the words. "Please." I want you to be well. All I want, really deep down, is for you to be well.

Blinking up at him, Si'a's brows knit together in a flurry of emotions. She was touched, more than anything, and doing everything to keep from reading too far between the lines. His hands were warm and gentle. The way they engulfed hers kept her anchored while conveying his need for her to, well, survive. More than survive. Live. He wanted her to have a life and flourish. "I have, but I'm home." She answered with a smile she knew he couldn't see but offered anyway, "If it'll make you feel better I can work from here, not trouble you down in the labs at all. Less exposure and stress."

He might not have been able to see the smile, but he could hear it in her voice. "You'd never trouble me anywhere," he said. "On the contrary-" he stopped himself from blurting out he would like to work all hours of the day and night if it meant spending them at her side. "Well, I'm not a doctor, just an overly concerned-" What? Friend? Department head? Silly dreamer? "-fool." Another word which just slipped out. He sighed, thought of what else he could say which did not involve inserting a foot in mouth. "Um. Don't know if you heard anything about it, but it appears Craig is here. On the Vindicator."

"You're not a... Wait... Craig is here? I thought he died?" Her head tilted. She'd mourned the man that had freed them. Without him neither one would be alive to fumble around the hot topic or trip over their own insecurities. "I'm glad he's alive... And here. I'm... He's a good man." Si'a nodded gently and rotated her hands in Anaxar's, sliding them back to be able to link fingers with the Andorian, "Anyway. Would you want to come by and oversee my work here? Maybe do lunch more often and discuss the findings?"

"Yes! I think that's a great idea!" He bit the inside of his cheek at his own enthousiasm. That was way too eager, Anaxar. "So, ah, starting when? Tomorrow, or is that too soon? Or…" he tilted his head slightly, not that it mattered in any way as far as perception was concerned, but old habits died hard, "…you have been doing some things already, haven't you?" he finished with a slight smile.

Si'a froze for a second before nodding. There was a smile on his face, albeit slight, and something else running in his veins. Whatever it was, it wasn't irritation. "Trying." She squeaked, "I'm, ah, locked out of most of it from here. So... Whenever you want to start is good for me."

He laughed softly. "Trust me, I understand. I'll unlock some files for you. There's a whole astrophysics and astronomy section in Science who are going to be very grateful for any input you can give them. But, really, don't overwork yourself. I'll be…" The expression on his face turned wry, briefly. "…well, the expression is 'keeping an eye on you', but let's stick to 'monitoring things' instead, eh?"

"I'll be good." She chuckled sheepishly, resisting the urge to reach out and touch his cheek or jaw. "You'll see." Multiple meanings, one innocent statement. Si'a meant them all.

Lieutenant Anaxar Shran
Chief Science Officer,

Lieutenant Si'a Dai'xun
Stellar Cartographer


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