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JL | Com Ivanova, Vlimar PontBrillant | "After Hours"

Posted on 241803.12 @ 14:29 by Commodore Rochelle Ivanova & Vlimar PontBrillant
Edited on on 241803.12 @ 19:31

Mission: Lacuna

As the lights remained a low twinkle, the candles began to burn out and the band finished his set, the bartender argued with some junior officers that when he shouted Last Call was actually the last call. It was only then that Vlimar slowly returned to the bar, finishing his whiskey and noticed that he had indeed let the spirit of the evening overcome his usual routine of studying and preparing for his upcoming duty. He half-heartedly grabbed the PADD that he left in the good care of the holotender and began to tap it, standing but leaning against the bar. From the corner of his eye, he could see most heading to one of the multiple exits, the arboretum returning to its regular self.

The Vokar incident more or less handled, and the evening drawn to an end. It was easy now to take the time necessary to relax and enjoy what had been an ideal setting. Cold Station Theta's arboretum left nothing to be desired, and from the terrace of the small gardens that had been transformed into the Venetian beauty of the masquerade, Rochelle was finally free to lean against a rail and look out over the terrain represented. It was the width of the station, miles of fresh air - and in the night she could almost make out the breakers from the false sea that they'd created. No sooner had she disappeared with the Vulcans and the Stenellian Empress, then she changed into something less suffocating and now, without the crown of ice or the white wig or heavy makeup, she closed her eyes and let the cool night wind caress her delicately freckled face and toy with the loosened tendrils of copper that had escaped from her simple braid. It was her moment of pretend freedom, her moment to believe she was somewhere back on Earth and enjoying a simple life far from the stars and everything she loved, and yet felt so shackled by.

Vlimar tapped a few times on the padd, then, discouraged, finished his drink, thanked the bartender and turned around to leave. As he turned, his eyes were attracted towards the balcony. The redness of Rochelle's hair was a crisp contrast with the promenade's dark grey railings. He smiled at her as his eyes met hers.

The season of being watched forced her to turn around, and when she did she wasn't exactly surprised to find the Frenchman standing there. "Still closing bars." She called, taking one last look out into the ether before pushing away from the railing and making her way over to him, "Some things really don't change, do they?" Rochelle couldn't help but ask, to tease. It was a strange situation to be in, but a song and dance routine they couldn't very well avoid either. For now, she chose to accept him, offer no resentment or anger - if anything she seemed to be sailing under a white flag as she tried to figure out just where his mind and intentions lay.

Upon hearing the comment, Vlimar shrugged. "A decent glass of whiskey, some entertainment... What else is there to enjoy?" he asked. His question was both nonchalant, yet testing. He knew that many years passed, many events have shaped and shifted his life's away from the Vindicator and all it's attractions. Most of the crew were gone and forgotten, but the fierce leader remained. It was admirable, a trait that Vlimar could definitely appreciate: loyalty.

"Perhaps I am closing this bar, but you don't seem too much in a hurry to return to your quarters yourself, Rochelle." he added, slowly approaching her.

"No... I can't say that I am." The redhead replied honestly. Javaan would be asleep, his nanny likely ready to turn in herself and that would leave Rochelle alone for the evening with her own thoughts and a bevy of memories to wade through. The last they'd seen of one another, she was a woman mourning the death of the man she had loved so succinctly. Now he'd crossed her path again, this time the woman picking up the pieces of her life after a one sided divorce to the same man. The difference? She'd had a choice in the matter this time... She'd chosen to give Landon the freedom necessary to get better and lead the rest of his life free of the shackles the Vindicator offered... That she offered. Strange, though it was, it made a difference in her temper and demeanor - how she held herself as he drifted in her direction. "I'll get there soon enough, can't keep bed waiting forever."

Vlimar stopped close, but far enough not to be intrusive should have have chosen to depart. "Sleep is such a bad mistress that if you make her wait too long, she might not come at all." He nodded, loosely translating an old French adage and slowly reached for and took the redhead's hand, the same hand she so gracefully extended to him earlier on, pressing a gentle kiss to the back of it. "It was lovely to see you again, Rochelle." he said, while looking deeply in her eyes.

Rochelle's eyes first followed the way he touched and guided her hand before they asked back on the rich polished topaz of his. No. Some things would never change and perhaps some were for the best that they remained. "Likewise, Vlimar." She nodded, the motion soft, and then she paused as if to consider a thought, "I never expected to see you again."

A genuine smirk appeared on his lips. "Likewise, my dear, likewise." he replied. "À la prochaine." he added before turning and walking towards the exit.

"À la prochaine..." Rochelle repeated, relegating herself to watching him take his leave. Tomorrow, or rather later that day, she knew he'd likely come wandering to her ready room on the ship and from there the professionalism would begin again... Or at least start to. There would be questions, some that defied answer, but for the greater good of the Vindicator they'd once more been told to work together and build towards some form of prosperous future. Who was she to deny them that or fight against progress? Certainly not the fool that would allow rotten old memories to discolor the future.


Commodore Rochelle Ivanova
Commanding Officer

Vlimar PontBrilliant
Civilian Contractor
Starfleet Intelligence


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