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JL | Ra'lin Sha'mer & Craig MacLeod | Party Time

Posted on 241803.02 @ 15:32 by Lieutenant Ra'lin Sha'mer & Lieutenant Craig MacLeod
Edited on on 241803.12 @ 19:33

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 241803.02

Ra'lin resisted the urge to chew on a nail – something which wouldn't fit with her costume at all, not in the least because her nails were elongated, and painted in fiery shades of yellow, orange and red. She chewed on the straw of her cocktail instead. The evening had been alright so far, mostly interesting and not too bad, but not spectacular either. But that was mainly because she hoped to see Craig, and she hadn't spotted him thus far.

She wasn't even certain he'd come altogether. Since he'd left her quarters and moved in with Kaleb she'd barely seen him around. Understandable, of course. She had been busy, and no doubt he had been busy. But she missed him. She saw Si'a on the dance floor, dancing with someone who could only be Anaxar, the two of them moving as if they were dancing in a universe all of their own, and sighed.

Suddenly she stiffened. She'd caught a glimpse of something, felt a mindtone… Ra'lin rose, stood on the tips of her toes and looked around. The only thing she saw was a pair of antlers, stepping out of the dark. Ra'lins eyes widened. Antlers. Mask. Long hair hanging loose. Face paint. Bare torso, also decorated with spiraling patterns. A kilt. "Whooo…" she whispered. And began to grin. The evening suddenly looked a lot more interesting.

Bits of moss and leaf clung to him. It had seemed crazy, silly, but Craig had eventually come to appreciate the dirt smudged feral of a man that greeted him in the mirror. Even with the massive antlers of a red deer stag curving cruelly from his skull, he concluded with a subconscious hand reaching to touch one of them as he moved through the crowd. It hadn't taken him long to find a first partner, the element of ice had come and whisked him off with her cryptic speech about fire and how delightful it could be if one learned how to play with it properly. Of course it had both confused and delighted him, leaving him in search of whether or not it was some party riddle or a clue as to who it was he should be looking for next.

Women watched him, some men tilted their heads. It wasn't the deepest of disguises, but the Scot had given it his all and stood rather proud as the horned hunter, God of the wild and all things. Oddly enough he seemed almost at home within the enchanted lighting of the arboretum and the over all feel of the nocturnal garden they'd converted into a bit of a ball room. It wasn't long before he saw her, though. Sitting and chewing on a straw the lady of fire seemed almost nervous until she lay eyes on him and the grin, that impish grin he'd know almost anywhere, spread across her face. It was enough to conjure one of his own. A tip of his antlers in her direction and the stag moved on in proper greeting. "Teine agus an Talamh. Dè cho freagarrach." Fire and Earth. How convenient. Craig's brogue caught his native tongue happily as he extended a hand to her, "Dannsa còmhla rium." Dance with me. Where his new boldness had come from was anybody's guess. It may likely have been the cold encouragement by way of riddle from the lady Winter herself, but he wouldn't look the gift horse in the mouth at any rate. Not unless it steered him wrong. This, he was certain, wasn't wrong.

Thank the stars for universal translators! Ra'lin set the remains of her drink down on a nearby table and rose. Pleasantly buzzed, yes, but not so much that she lost control of her motions – or emotions, for that matter. For the first time, she really felt like fire personified. She walked over to the Horned One. The persona he chose fitted Craig in some undefinable way. He, too, seemed larger than life, filled with more energy than a normal body could sustain. She reached out for his hand, then hesitated just before taking it. "Just to make sure…" the old uncertainties hadn't evaporated when she put on the costume and mask, nor were they drowned in the cocktail she had consumed. "I'm not Rochelle."

"Nae," He replied with a smile, his posture straightening as he searched the crowd of dancers and dawdlers until he spied Winter conversing with some creature or another he didn't readily understand or place, "She's o'er there, lass. I'd say it's ob'ious I'm nae 'ere fer her." That was all that needed to be said, or so Craig thought. The revelation that Fire wasn't the blaze-like Commodore tugged gently at his heart, but it hadn't been her that he'd sought. It had been Ra'lin from the moment he'd actually decided to join the festivities. Drink discarded, her hand extended towards his, their fingers brushed before he took a firm hold that seemed to make a point.

The flame which was Ra'lin burned brighter still, a radiance which hadn't been present during the earlier hours of the evening now made her shine. She eagerly clasped the hand which had taken hold of her as she stepped upon the dance floor. In a flash, she saw Si'a dancing by, and she had just time enough to give her a little wave before she, too, was caught up in the Horned Hunter's embrace and in the dance itself. Shy, quiet Ra'lin disappeared and another side of her came to the front, one with a lot more confidence and a lot more passion.

The thought that the burning woman in his arms could have thought he'd mistaken her for another, that his intentions had not been sure as an arrow, remained as an amusement for the moment. It tickled at the back of his mind, feathering at further notions that he might just have to do or say something to purge such worry from her. The confidence of the Hunter grew as he pressed his fingers against the small of the delicate little flame's back, guiding her close but keeping it chaste and soft as they glided among the other dancing couples. "I'm glad that ye'v healed sae weel. I wis worried, bit Kaleb assured me ye wur comin' around nae worse for wear." He offered her, dipping his head so that his words hadn't a chance to disappear into the mire of music, laughter, and conversation drifting about them. "Mostly... I've missed seeing ye." How far they'd come from half-drunken binges where he spilled his guts to the so-called Major's 'stableboy'. The revelation that the lad was actually a lass and that lass was actually an alien should have been enough to knock anyone straight onto the heels of their ass, but it had left Craig oddly comforted and deeply intrigued. Ra'lin, the little coruscation of the night, had soothed his troubled and weary mortal soul, leaving an impression on him that would be long lived and filled with endless questions worth answering.

One of the lovely things about masks, Ra'lin discovered at this point, was that they were also great for hiding blushes. She could feel her cheeks were trying to match her dress. "I've missed you too," she said, striving to keep het voice from trembling. She scraped her throat. C'mon, Ra'lin, focus! "Kaleb's been keeping you busy, then?" That, perhaps, as well as completely having to adjust to a life in space, thousands of years removed from everything he had ever known...

His voice rolled in his chest, rising in an affirmative note as he expertly piloted them around and through the other couples. Dance had been something deeply ingrained within the young Scot as he'd grown up in, albeit primitive, high society. "Och, aye." He nodded gently, "Vera busy." Too busy, but that spell had been broken and he was free to be the man he yearned to be. Granted, he was in a new environment completely and one which left him both confused and invigorated. Not unlike the woman he held in his arms, "There are things I'm wantin' tae ken that I dinnae think he kin show or teach me." The antler clad God of the woods murmured in quiet explanation.

"Anything I can help with?" Ra'lin did her best not to sound too eager, but she found it hard. Being here with him, dancing with him… It didn't remind her of how much she'd missed him. It was worse than that. In order to protect that suddenly very vulnerable part of herself, that bit which had opened up to him against all odds, she had walled it off when he moved in with Kaleb and for all practical purposes disappeared. She had no idea if he would want to meet her again, or if Starfleet would allow it, or… or any of a thousand scenarios, and rather than to dwell on all of them and maybe built hopes and dreams on what might only be an illusion, she had chosen to bury it.

And now here he was, and here she was, and all those walled-off emotions rose back up to embrace her.

"I think sae," Craig answered, ignoring the holographic flame as he kept her close he was half tempted to bury his nose in her hair and simply declare himself at peace. The stars were proving to be advantageous to his temperament and sense of zeal, but there had been that empty spot left by that no amount of star base exploration could fill. Ra'lin had become an integral part of his story from the very instant he'd seen her. That bit had been cemented the moment she'd touched his mind, graced that field of purple heather and gazed upon the red stag standing upon that hill overlooking the sea. He could still remember the sensation of that otherworldly touch and the sight of her as her true-born self. Such memories brought with them an ache in his chest he hadn't felt in a long time. Not since he'd lost his family, and recognizing it for what it was had been all the more difficult to ignore. "Th' quaistion is... Wull ye?"

With all her mental shields raised to their maximum, Ra'lin had only his words and a faint sense of his self to go by. The words alone could be taken in so many different ways, could have so many layered meanings. But even if she would only take them on their most superficial level, what else could she say but 'yes'? It would give her a chance to see him more often, and in a more private setting than this, and find out how much of what was between them was her own fantasy, or the tension of the circumstances of his life and his departure there, and how much was permanent and real.

She hugged him tightly in mid-dance and whispered: "Yes, of course."

He didn't have an intelligible reply to give. The sound of his appreciation resounded as some sort of a quiet warble where words were lost to the sounds of the party. Their forward motion was killed as she snuffed out the space between them, but Craig couldn't have cared less with the way Ra'lin had plastered herself to him. Instead, he reciprocated the affection, finding himself warm and safe even though he stood naked as the day he was born, aside from a kilt, antlers, paint, and bits of vegetation, in the middle of a very public setting. Looks and stares were beyond his control, and for all it mattered to him they could have very well been alone on that ancient hill near Skye.

After what seemed like an eternity or two had gone by (but what was time for the two of them, who had found each other in a distant past and came across long years to dance here in this artificial ecosystem amongst the stars?) their hug finally relaxed. Ra'lin took both Craig's hands, and looked up and up. Under the impressive antlers and paint were his eyes, as warm and gentle as she remembered, two pools which seemed to invite her in. "What do you wish to do?" she asked.

His smile was shy as he considered the options, and his head shook slowly under the weight of his antlers, "Dae ye mean now or in general?" He asked, running his thumbs over the backs of her delicate little hands, "In general... I'm wantin' tae bide." Crag's smile was hesitantly widening and his weight shifted from one strong leg to the other, "Richt now I'm wantin' tae enjoy this night. I'm wantin' tae enjoy yer company." A gentle pull on her hands was all it took to steer her close and keep her from potentially being trod upon by oblivious and bumble-footed dancers. It was also enough to beckon her off towards the quiet seats that would allow for company to spent more privately while still basking in the ambiance of the evening.

"By a funny coincidence," Ra'lin murmured as she followed him from the dance floor, "enjoying your company is exactly what I had in mind. We could make a detour to the bar, if you like something to drink. Or just tag a waiter."

The stag's antlered head shook slowly, "Nae. Nae need for libations. I dunnae need a fuzzy head fer now." Truer words had not been spoken. The last thing Craig wanted was to spoil the moment, and his subsequent enjoyment of it, by tainting it with like likes of alcohol. He wanted to feel raw, unfettered emotion and allow it to do what it would with its magic. "What I mean tae say is that I'm glad ye'r 'ere. That's enough fer me tae get blootert on." He smiled, keeping close to his figment of fire.

Ra'lin had never heard the word 'blootert' before, but within the context the meaning was clear. It sounded funny and made her giggle. Though the giggle was as much for the whole situation, the company. An expression of her well-being. She was, plain and simply, happy.

---

Lt Element of Fire
Yeoman, USS Vindicator

Lt Herne, God of the Hunt
Doctor
USS VINDICATOR, NX-78213-F

 

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