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Round Two

Posted on Wed Jul 10th, 2019 @ 11:52pm by Lieutenant Tallida Ovaa & Major Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 @ 12:19am

Mission: Episode 7 - Home Again
Location: Holo Deck Three
Timeline: MD006 1300 hrs

Neil felt his muscles starting to flag as he worked the heavy bag. He’d had a couple of hours off and decided it was time to get in a long workout session. The updates to the Cure were going to keep him jumping over the next few weeks and he wasn’t sure when he’d get his next chance. Sweat was beading and rolling off his bare back and his hair, which had grown out considerably since he was a gunnery sergeant, was matted to his head. His workout attire was fairly simple, draw string pants over compression shorts and weighted boots. His hands were both wrapped and encased in weighted sparring gloves.

Neil’s concentration was total however as he lost himself in the rhythm of strikes.

Tallida had been on a mission. She had been heading down the Marines in order to have a conversation with the Marine Commanding Officer about the poor women who had sought her assistance. She had spent the morning psyching herself out. She knew that she would be on his turf and she didn't want a repeat of their prior meeting.

It had taken her time to get to where she thought she was ready to talk to him, before she left her office. All of her preparation had been derailed by the arrival of a certain Irish Marine whom she had slept with days prior. The two had parted as if what they had shared between them had never happened and Talli had done her best to not over think it until they collided once again in the corridor. The moment she saw the women her heart went racing and that flustered feeling she had felt when they met, unconventionally, cam washing over her.

Needless to say, her locating the MCO had been delayed once again as Talli felt herself losing control and becoming frazzled. She had hid in a unused office for a moment as she sat on the dividing line between continuing her mission and running away. While the largest part of her wanted to run away and tell Cami that she should cut her losses, the girl that Merriam had raised couldn't do that. The women was counting on her so she was going to have to pull herself together. She took a deep breath before she exited her hiding place and continued on her task.

In what had felt like hours and a marathon, Talli finally located the pain in the ass Marine in the holodeck. She didn't even bother with the proper protocol and entered the simulation. She had to admit that she wasn't as surprised as she thought she would have been by the sight of him half naked, covered in sweat, and showing pure aggression. What she was surprised by was her desire to linger in the shadow and watch him, oogling would have been a better description. She could have and would have continued to watch him if she hadn't started moving forward and her thighs hadn't collided with a bench causing it and the water bottle on top of it to crash to the floor.

Neil was vaguely aware of Mick, who had mostly been chewing on his toothpick and watching Neil work himself into a lather, clearing his throat and gesturing with the tip of the toothpick toward the holo deck’s entrance. About that time, he heard a noise and he stepped back. Orientating himself to the sound by Mik’s gesture, Neil was surprised when he caught site of the Pioneer’s counselor.

Panting slightly, Neil didn’t say anything right away. Using his teeth, he undid the straps to the weighted gloves, letting them fall to the floor with thuds, then caught a towel Mik threw at him and wiped off his face and then let it drape around his neck.

Finally, he took a couple of steps toward Tali and asked, “Something I could help you with, Doctor? Or did you come by to apologize?”

Tallida watched him. When her brain began to function later she would hate how much she enjoyed watching him. "Yes, no, uh," She started as she started moving towards him. She cleared her throat. "Why would I apologize to you?" She asked, her determination to keep this profession instantly out the window as the annoyance she felt for the man in front of her sneaking into her tone.

Neil considered her as he stepped through her personal space, moving past to write the bench and retrieve the water bottle. Opening it, he took a drink from it, then sat down on the bench and began unlacing the boots. "Well, Counselor. The way I see it you got a burr under your blanket about me. Decided to pull the pin and throw it and the grenade, with me being the grenade in this parable, back into the herd just to get me out of your office."

Dropping first one boot then the other, Neil smiled a chilly smile. "I thought perhaps I was some experiment or case study and chalked it up to typical Fleet avoidance toward Marines. Having you chase me down here, I sort of assumed you had had a change of attitude and decided to check up on me."

Standing, he took another drink and sat the water bottle down, dropped the towel and moved toward the wall where his shadow arose to meet him and he began shadow boxing as he worked through his cool down.

Talli did her best to keep her face neutral, well once she was able to get it back to the dispassionate doctor she prided herself at being. "I assure you, Lieutenant there was no chase involved." She said with as much distance in her voice as possible. It wasn't until his back was turned to her that she allowed her annoyance to return to her face. The man was infuriating and it didn't take a psychologist to realize that he knew how he annoyed her. "My reason for being down here has nothing to do with my professional opinion of you. My reason for being here is, uh, personal."

Neil paused at her last words half turning, an eyebrow arched toward the doctor. "Well Doctor. I'm flattered but I'm not sure that's wise." He considered for a moment, then smiled a slightly, "Unless this is about Lance Corporal Moreau. I can't imagine why you'd be coming to me...."

"What does Ade have to do with this?" She blurted out before realizing the admission she had made. Her face hid nothing of what she was feeling as her cheeks turned red. She let out a breath as she tried to not loose her composure any more than she had. "The personal reason I am here does not pertain to me, it pertains to you." She said calmly, at the very least she was pretending to be the dispassionate doctor she normally was.

Nodding, Neil turned back and began shadow boxing again. "Alright then. I am flattered counselor but I don't really think us getting together would be a good idea. I have this idea that you're starting to think that sticking something sharp into me wouldn't be a bad idea." Neil wasn't sure where she was going, but he was pretty sure he wanted her unbalanced when they finally got there.

"What?" The Doctor started, his plan of wanting her unbalanced working like a charm. "I don't want you. Why would I?" she asked with a shake of her head. "I mean, you are attractive in that alpha male pheromone kind of way." She hadn't really noticed that she had started moving towards him, nor had she notice the break in her voice. With a shake of her head and clearing of her throat she spoke again. "I am here about, Cami."

Neil paused then. Gave Tali a look and then walked past her, stooped to pick up his towel to mop himself off and finally ask. "Are you? That's surprising. What about Camille?"

Talli turned to keep facing him avoiding turning her back on him as it were. "She came by my office." She started as if that answered his question completely. "She enlisted my help. It would have been unprofessional for me to not help a patient in need." She took a few steps forward attempting to regain some what of the control she wanted in this conversation, "I have been threatened by a certain pompous ass that shirking my duties would not be tolerated. So here I am."

Neil continued to wipe himself down, his eyes thoughtful and guarded. Finally, he said "Indeed. I'm not sure where I"m supposed to go with that since Ms. Petrovich is a patient of yours and it's not my place to ask such questions. She's not under my command so I don't have much interest and I don't think it would be a good idea to share confidences..." then he stopped.

"Call me a pompous ass if you like for questioning your professionalism or abilities. But Doctor, should you really be here doing this? What is this, exactly? His voice had taken a hard tone as his shoulders squared and his stance automatically shifted into the same one he had been using while working the striking bag.

Then he shifted again as his jaw tightened and his arms crossed.

"Well, go on Lieutenant. I'm waiting."

"Before you go questioning my professionalism." Tallida replied not backing down at his intimidation. She looked up at him before continuing. "I am here at her request. Other wise I would be happy to be far from you." She let out a laugh as she dropped her hands to her side, her hands in fists. "She asked me to come here because she is blinded by your alpha male ignorance." She took a few steps closer, closing the gap between them as she spoke. "Either you have no idea the affect you had on her, or you know and don't care. Both are equally plausible and both make you an ass." She finished the last of her statement by poking his chest with her finger.

Neil ignored the finger in his chest and stated, "Counselor. If I had heard from her once before she showed up on the Pioneer or thought that she was goingto show up with doe eyes, out of the blue I might. Might let you categorize me in those terms. However, in my reality her behavior requires a bit of thought, discussion at the appropriate time, and then moving ahead from there."

He smiled slightly then, "And as to questioning your professionalism, why my good Doctor. It's been fairly apparent to me that you question your abilities somewhat. Professionalism is a quality that can only be judged, not assumed." Then he actually grinned at her. "You know what they say about assumptions."

"They make you an ass." Talli replied with an almost vicious smile. "I have more than adequate training for my job. I am a medical doctor with a clinical psychology background." She was starting to lose what little control she had kept to this point. "But apparently I am not as smart as I was designed to be. I knew this was a bad idea and I should have told her set her sights on a higher target." This conversation would play though her mind later and she would think of a thousand ways she should have handled it better.

"So, you came here because she wanted you to catch me at recess and see if I liked her? What is this, counselor, grade school? And I'd be the first to admit I am a bad choice for many things, but you realize your still touching my chest, right?"

Talli looked down to where her finger was still resting against his chest. The elicit contact made her more aware of herself as she bit her lip slightly before coming back from the brink of insanity and dropping her hand. She didn't back away but tucked her arms behind her back. "I don't know what grade school is like, but I trust your assessment of the situation. That is why she sent me, but it isn't why I am here." She paused taking a step back as her stare lingered over him a moment longer. There was something about him that called to her and she did the only thing she could do. Taking a step back to get some are she moved away from him, "I don't know why I am here. I am sorry I bothered you. I shall tell her to bring this topic up to you at a later date." At this point she couldn't bring herself to look him in the eye.

"That's fine, Counselor. Ms. Petrovich and I are definitely going to have to have a discussion about all of this. And I have to agree on wondering why you're here. I can't blame you for delivering a message, so thank you for that." When she looked away, avoiding eye contact he followed them and grinned.

"And now," he said, unlacing his pants and stripping them off, standing only in the compression shorts, "unless you want to follow me into the showers, I should get cleaned up for duty. Take care of yourself, counselor." He retrieved the weighted gloves and boots then walked off toward the shower.

Tallida didn't say anything. She didn't dare do anything more than move towards the door. She needed to get as far from him as she could. The moment her shoes hit the deck plating in the corridor she sprinted for the lift and didn't stop until she was safely moving though the ship. She needed to talk to Merriam and she needed a drink.

A Joint Post By

First Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Tallida Ovaa
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer


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