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Alone Together

Posted on 23 Sep 2017 @ 3:30am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant JG Jace Crystan

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Deck 14 | Arboretum
Timeline: MD 6, evening

How one could want to be alone and yet among people was a completely foreign concept to Jayla. And yet, here she was, wandering the decks, trying to think of some way to accomplish this.

Finally, her brain landed on the arboretum. She hadn't yet visited it and wondered what it was like. So, she headed to the nearest turbo lift and ordered it to deck 14.

It was bigger than she had expected, with holo-emitters showing a blue sky on the ceiling. She found several trees and a lot of smaller plants, some of which she recognized as edible. There were a few people milling about, but everyone was either engaged in their own conversations or else tending to the plants. She smiled. This was perfect.

Jace stood perfectly still, taking in all the aromas around him. He'd spent a lot of time trying to heighten his senses to a point where he could really enjoy his sense of smell. All the flowers and trees contributed to the sensation, and it was good. He took a deep breath closing his eyes, feeling only the sensation.

Of course, Jayla was far too busy staring at the 'sky' to notice where she was going. And so, since she wasn't watching where she was going, she quickly walked right into a man standing in the middle of the arboretum. "Oh!" she exclaimed, instinctively reaching out to steady him. "Sorry! I should watch where I'm going."

Jace was caught off guard, but it was by the right person. As the good doctor steadied him, after all, she was moving at a reasonably rapid pace, he said, "Its all good. I was just taking in the sensation of all the aromas in the arboretum. How are you this evening?"

"I'm all right," Jayla replied, finally recognizing who she'd so rudely walked right into. "Trying to figure out how to be alone with people. I've heard of it, but I have no idea how to do it."

"Seem to be doing alright right now," Jace said. He was totally sure what she meant, but he took a very literal definition for now.

"I guess it wasn't as tricky as I thought," she replied with a grin. "And how about you? How are you doing?"

Jace nodded, also shrugging his shoulders. "I'm alright. It's been an interesting day, though Commander Djinx warned us of the morning briefing. Big day for research and analysis," he said raising his eyebrows.

"That sounds more interesting than continued physicals," she replied. "Mind, I did get to go on an away mission, so at least I got off the ship for a bit. Granted, away missions aren't nearly as fun as they sound."

"Hmph..." he started. "They should be. Granted not all of them are going to be a fun an exciting learning experience," he paused, pointing at himself with his thumb and mouthing, my favorite, to which he hoped she'd be amused at, and then said, "but you'd think there'd be a little enjoyment in there for somebody. Maybe next time, I'll get to go on an away mission with you big wigs. I promise it will be one hundred percent better with my adorably graceful wit." He held his arms up as if strutting his stuff on a stage.

She afforded him a grin. "They're usually mundane," she replied. "And sometimes they're terrifying. Or infuriating. This one was infuriating."

Jace frowned. "Sorry to hear that. You get stuck on non-med duty?"

"No, it was definitely medical," she replied. "But the state those people were in! Not just our personnel, but the Finneans, too. It was enough to make me want to rip out a few Selubassari throats."

Jace made a face that one didn't need a universal translator to know it meant YIKES! "I'll make sure to come see you regularly. I wouldn't want my state to warrant that kind of permanent surgery."

How anyone could make her laugh about a day like today was beyond her, but she couldn't resist a short laugh. "Thanks," she said, the risidual anger she hadn't even realized that she felt slipping away in an instant. "I needed that."

Jace smiled. "It's my pleasure!" He took a final deep breath, which centered his focus and totally relaxed him. He looked at Jayla, still smiling. "Nothing like a good batch of fresh air!"

That gave Jayla pause. "It is fresh, isn't it?" she finally said, face breaking into a true smile that had become so rare these days, lighting up her eyes just like someone had flipped a switch. "All these plants, you know. I never thought about it before."

"Almost gives it that little taste of home," he said looking back at her. He really paid attention to her, given she seemed to enjoy a similar feeling. Her eyes had seemed to come to life.

"Exactly," agreed Jayla. "I grew up in the country. I might have mentioned that before. I'm not sure. Anyway, all this needs is a seaside cliff and a tree house and I'd forget I was on a ship."

Jace nodded, thinking about his own home, or rather, his grandparents home. "I grew up in the city, but I spent a lot of time in the Michigan countryside. I used to go out every morning and walk along a path through the forest. It was cool and the dew would still be on the ground. I'd be lost out there for hours." He paused. "And then there were sunsets. The most beautiful in all the galaxy!"

"You've never seen sunsets on Trill," she laughed. "They're phenomenal. Especially where I grew up. The sun sets beyond the sea. We could sit on the cliff with a little camp fire and my dad and grandad would sing silly songs. Grandad and grandmum lived right next door. My mum's parents," she clarified. "They really liked my dad, though. Still do, really. They're both still there."

"You'll have to show me sometime," he said with a playfully skeptical tone. "We'll have to compare."

"Deal," she agreed without thinking. Then grinned as the thought, I'll show you mine if you show me yours flitted through her mind. "You're gonna like our sunsets, though," she continued. "And cliff diving. You've gotta try cliff diving."

"Fair enough." It's a date, he thought, making the mental note to hold her to it, if not to see the sunsets on Trill, but take her to Earth and show her the Michigan sunsets. Probably would both be wonderful adventures.

And now, Jayla had no idea what to say. She really wasn't used to feeling so awkward and it seemed she'd been doing a lot of that lately. Her mind scrambled before settling on the only question it could come up with. "How many other sunsets have you seen?" she asked. "I mean if this Michigan place has the best ones, you must have seen quite a few."

"I suppose so. I should say this though, every planet has its sweet spot for sunsets." He thought for a moment. "Well let's see, I suppose I've been to Qo'nos and Vulcan. Very red. I went to Risa once, but I feel like that's cheating." He confirmed it again. "Yep. Michigan's still the best."

"Yeah, Risa is definitely cheating," she agreed. "Anywhere that's engineered isn't fair. It's gotta be natural."

"I've never been to Trill, so I look forward to that," Jace said genuinely.

She grinned up at him. "You mean you actually want to go there?" she said. "It's not just conversation?"

Jace nodded. "You say Trill has the most beautiful sunsets? I say prove it. Its all on you now." He was rather sure of himself, but he had a feeling she was the only person he'd be happy to be proven wrong by.

And there was that sparkling grin again. "All right," she vowed. "Next time we're near enough, we take a few day's leave and head to Trill. Same for this Michigan of yours."

He nodded in agreement. "Its a deal then. Trill, then Michigan." He smiled.

"Or Michigan, then Trill," she replied. "Whichever way it works out."

Jace, still smiling, said, "Fair enough." He was happy to actually have plans with someone, even if they were far off. It was a great feeling.

It was easy to talk to Jace. She wasn't sure if that should frighten her or not, but she liked having someone to talk to again. Hang this being alone nonsense. She couldn't be alone for the rest of her life. What kind of sense did that make, anyway?

On a whim, she turned to Jace suddenly and said, "I don't suppose you're into Doctor Who, are you? Only I've got the latest edition of the holonovels and sometimes, it's more fun if you've got a couple people."

"What's that?" he asked, with a quizzical look on his face.

Jayla gasped in surprise and reached out to grip his arm. "Oh my goodness!" she exclaimed. "You've never heard of Doctor Who?"

He stared blankly at her. "I'm getting the sense that I'm missing something."

"Are you ever!" she exclaimed. "Come on, we're going to see if there's a holodeck free right now!"

Jace, a little surprised at the spike in energy, went with it. He was always open to try new things. "A holodeck adventure not of my own creation. This ought to be fun!"

Laughing, she led him towards the exit. He was absolutely right; it was going to be a lot of fun!

 

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