Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

Before we Begin
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 1400 hrs

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Posted on Wed Jul 31st, 2019 @ 11:49am by Warrant Officer Mira Jayna & Captain Cornelius Tremble
Edited on on Tue Aug 6th, 2019 @ 11:20pm

Mission: Episode 7 - Home Again
Location: Quarters of Cornelius Tremble - Deck 2 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD006 2230 hrs
1740 words - 3 OF Standard Post Measure

As soon as Jayna walked out of the holodeck, she checked the computer and learned that Neil was in his quarters. It would not be a good idea to simply show up on his doorstep. Waking a Marine without a good reason never went over well. So she opted for plan two. It was a simple matter for her to get a bottle of his favorite beverage, write a short note, and leave it at his door. Just in case he was awake, she set the bottle down, tapped lightly on the door, and left.

The note read: "I'm sorry. I'd like to talk. Jayna."

Neil asleep on his couch, grunted at the tapping noise that wasn't normal and woke instantly. Taking stock, he pushed himself up and said, "Yes?"

When there wasn't any answer, he said "Come in?" When there still wasn't an answer, he grumbled and said, "Computer. Who's at the door?"

"No one is currently outside of your quarters, Lieutenant," came the reply. Grumbling, Neil considered and got to his feet. He knew he hadn't been imagining things. He hit the controls as he neared the door and barely caught site of a bottle just before he stubbed his toe on it.

Retrieving it, he read the note and frowned. Then he shrugged and said, "Computer. Locate Warrant Officer Jayna." Not one to dally, he started off down the corridor.

"Warrant Officer Mira is on deck ten."

Jayna wasn't in much of a hurry, so she hadn't gone very far and had only made it to the end of the corridor and was just turning the corner when Neil left his quarters.

Neil followed the corridor around and caught site of the Warrant Officer as he came up behind her. "Ms. Jayna? You wanted to talk and left a calling card," he said, gesturing with the bottle. "No time like the present."

Then the lift doors opened and a crew woman stepped off, looking at them both. She gave Neil a second look and giggled and walked past.

That's when he felt the draft and realized he was wearing sleep shorts and a FMC t-shirt.

He sighed and said, "Perhaps you'd join me for a shot of this before I offend the entire deck by showing this much leg?"

Jayna didn't expect to wake him up, or to have him catch up with her. "Sure. Although you might just start a new fashion trend if we stay out here by the turbolift." She smiled cheekily as she turned and headed back to Neil's quarters.

"Or catch a cold," he said, falling in beside her back down the corridor and into his quarters. "Grab a seat if you like, " he said as he walked over to cabinet and pulled out a couple of kraft cheese glasses, poured a measure of the bourbon into both and walked back handing her one.

"Here's mud in your eye," he said, offering a toast.

She sat down on the couch, a little nervous now that she was actually here. When he handed her the glass she touched it to his and took a drink.

Neil flopped onto the other side of the couch, stretching his legs out after taking the first drink. Then he took another and looked at her, turning his head. "So, what's up?"

"I couldn't get what happened today out of my mind, and I didn't know why. So..." She took another drink. "I had a chat with Mik." She looked at Neil and smiled. "I know, but he was quite helpful. He helped me figure a few things out, and he said I should talk to you."

Neil chuckled, "He is a good listener. My buddy Thomas writes some really good holo-programs." Then he arched an eyebrow at her, "So what did Mik help you figure out? I certainly am not holding any grudge over a couple of broken bones or a bite wound."

"It's not the fight itself, or the outcome," she began, taking another drink to give her time to try and figure out how to say what she wanted to say. She sighed. "This is going to sound pretty stupid, but I was trying to impress you. I was outclassed, and I probably pushed us both farther than I should have because I didn't want to give in. It was a rookie move, and I'm sorry."

Neil took another drink, processing all of that and asked, "Impress me? I guess I'm kinda thick, Mira." He considered his glass then gave her a frank, appraising look from heel to crown. And said, "Nice."

His appraisal made her heart beat faster, so she took another drink. "I'm..." She took a deep breath. "I'm attracted to you, and I didn't want you to think I was some silly infiltration specialist who can't hold her own. I guess it's like one kid who smacks another kid in the back of the head because she likes him."

Neil grinned into the ceiling and said, "Thus the knock and dash at my door. That's pretty cute, Mira." He bent his head to take another sip of the bourbon and raised his glass to her. "Thank you for the booze and let me tell you that, as Mik would say, You're enough to make a good dog break his leash."

He met her eyes then and said, "Under normal circumstances I would suggest one of us might be wearing too much uniform. However, I have to be honest with you. There is something holding me back from that. Do you remember the Piano player from the Captain's party? She came her under the impression that we had a relationship forming. We don't, but I can't complicate things and cause hurt to anyone before I deal with it."

She remembered. She'd watched her play for a couple of minutes. "I appreciate the honesty; and as much as I'd like to get out of uniform with you, I don't want to make your situation more difficult than it already is." She looked at him for a long moment. "It's been a while since I was attracted to someone like I am to you. My feelings for you aren't going to go away in the next few days or weeks. Longer, if I know...well, if I know I'm not waiting for nothing." And if she was, she wanted to know now, before she got in too deep.

Neil nodded and took another drink and chuckled again. "Mik would say I'm a thraggling fool. But you have nothing to feel guilty about or worrying if I'll send a note back to you." He picked up the bottle, poured another measure into their glasses and sampled it again. "It does make it har...more difficult though, knowing we're both naked under these clothes."

She chuckled softly, taking another drink. "So, you're telling me you're hard under your clothes?"

"Ms. Jayna," Neil said innocently. "It can't be that cold in here and all I will say is that as a marine officer, I am possessed with more than the normal beings resolve and clarity of thought." He took another drink from his glass, swirling the amber liquid and he sighed. "Drahk it anyway."

Then he winked at her.

"And here I was thinking it was getting a little hot." She took another drink before giving him a wicked grin. "But then, some like it hot."

"Well I'm glad I'm not the only one," Neil said, shaking his head ruefully. "It's not every night you have a good looking woman leave booze at your door and run away."

"I would hope not," she said, feigning shock. "I like being different." She winked at him and took another drink. She was getting a little warm, and she was hyper aware of him on the other end of the couch.

"So I know it's synthehol. And it burns off quickly. How far do we let it numb our inhibitions?" He grinned at her then, "I may be a marine among Marines, but I am not dead."

She gave him a slow once-over. "Definitely not dead." Her eyes met his a little longer than she should have. "Do you need an excuse?"

"Unfortunately, and for now all I can give you, is the excuse. Not fair to you. Not fair to me. Not fair to Cami if I do anything else but do what I honor and propriety demands I do." Neil raised the glass to Mira and said, "Here’s to those who’ve seen us at our best and seen us at our worst and can’t tell the difference."

She raised her glass in toast and finished its contents. "I know. My brain says you're right. But...other things don't want to listen." She was not going to force the issue, either. That wouldn't be fair to either of them. She didn't want this to be just a one-night-stand. "Can I still work with you in the gym? Have you help me with my hand-to-hand?"

Neil nodded, "Sure. No problem and I'm guessing Mik would like it too." He raised his glass once more to her and said, "And here's to other things". Neil drained the glass and then turned it upside down on the side table. "We'll call that heel taps, then" he grinned. "Very old custom there, signifying the last toast was the most worthwhile toast and no others would be as meaningful."

He stood, rather carefully, and held out a hand to help her up.

She took his hand, only slightly more steady. "Indeed." She paused and looked at him again. "I like Mik. And you...well, I think you're something special." She gave him a long, slow kiss. "I'll see you later." She hoped there would be a lot of other things with Neil. She had a feeling he could break her heart if she wasn't careful.

Neil savored the kiss then watched Mira leave and sighed heavily as the door cycled shut. Then he looked down and said, "At ease, marine. We'd better go see how cold that shower will run."

A Joint Post By

Warrant Officer Mira Jayna
Infiltration Specialist - USS Pioneer

First Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


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