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The Next Step

Posted on 20 Sep 2017 @ 1:48am by Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Deck 9, Rooms 21 and 9
Timeline: MD 6 || 2000 hours

Terry had finished with the training and was looking forward to some down time. The Squadron Commander was still in his uniform, which he didn't like at this hour, when he stepped off the turbolift on Deck Nine. His quarters wasn't far from where he was, but Dani's was a little bit further. And her's was his destination. When he got there, he pressed his thumb to panel next to her door.

Dani sat on her bed decompressing from the day with a glass of wine in one hand while a PADD played music one her nightstand. It had been a while since sickbay had seen so much action, but they'd managed, and in a matter of hours, she'd be returning to check on those patients for herself.

Right now, though, she needed 'me time', but then the chime alerted her that someone was there to see her. There were only a small number of people that could be, and thankfully, she kept her quarters clean at all times for moments like this.

She finished off the red liquid inside her glass and moved to bring it to the recycler. "Come in," she called, doing one last visual sweep of her place. They were so much smaller than Terry's, but the petite woman did what she could to make them feel like home. And she wasn't complaining. Her quarters were perfect for her since she was the only one occupying them.

Terry walked in and allowed the door to close behind him. "Hey Angel," he said, walking towards her. "C'mere, I need a hug."

She lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw who it was that walked inside. Dani didn't need to be told twice, either. She ran to him, and when she was the perfect distance away, leapt toward him with her arms coming to rest around his neck and her legs around his waist. The young woman smiled and held him. "I missed you today," she said softly, wanting nothing more than to stay just like this for a while.

Terry caught Dani and wrapped his arms around her waist as she wrapped herself around him. He couldn't believe how luck he was to have her in his life. Speaking of, he'd been thinking of some things lately and had finally come to a conclusion. But that could wait for a few more minutes. "I love you, Dani," he whispered. "I've missed you, too." He just stood there, holding her close, not wanting to let her go.

Dani was content with being held, and holding him the best she could given their size difference. "I love you, too, Terry," she whispered back before she found herself shifting just slightly to pres a kiss to his lips. Being with him... it made her feel complete... like he could take on the entire galaxy and whatever it wanted to throw her way. He meant more to her than she could ever put into words. In fact, Lieutenant Commander Terry Hudson Walsh was home to her in many ways, and she found the love she felt for him grew with each passing second.

He returned her kiss and rubbed her back with one hand while holding her up with the other. "You know what sweet thing, go get an overnight bag. I think I'm taking you home with me." He grinned at her and winked before placing his lips to hers.

She smiled into the kiss as she returned it. "You don't have to tell me twice. I have a few things I can pack that you haven't seen yet, either. I think you might like them," she said with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "It won't take me long to pack for the night, either." Dani gestured over to the bed. "Why don't you settle down while I do this, then we can head out?" In fact, everything but her bathroom was all in the same area.

"Is that right? I think I'm liking this decision already." He gently released his grip on her, but not so much that if she slipped, he couldn't catch her. Setting her down, he walked over to the bed and sat. It wasn't a matter of seconds before he found himself laying down. "So comfortable. Anyway," he said looking at the ceiling, "That little twinkle in your eye has me curious. I hope I get to see it again. I liked it."

Dani smiled as she grabbed her bag from her closet, then set it on the other side of him on the smaller bed. "It is quite comfortable, but not quite big enough for more than one person. Although... I haven't actually slept in it longer than a couple hours when I took a nap," she said, putting a couple things into the bag followed by the nighties she bought while on DS15 with Kelly. "I know for a fact you will be seeing that twinkle again sooner than you might think."

She bent down to kiss him. "And just what decision are you liking exactly?" the fun-sized woman asked. "I definitely caught that."

He smiled, happy that he would get to see that twinkle very soon. "The first one," he said after she kissed him. Oh those lips! "The one where I decided to tell you to pack an overnight back because you were coming home with me. And all of the others that have involved you and me getting closer. In fact, we need to go on another walk. We have a new ship to explore. But that can wait. You and your overnight are more important right now."

"And neither of us should keep you waiting," she said, putting a clean uniform inside along with a few other things she'd need before zipping the bag up. "And now, we're ready to go. We can explore the ship whenever you're ready."

Terry sat up and looked up at Dani. "Let's get that bag of yours down to room Nine first." He stood up and took her by the hand, leading her out the door. "So how was your day?"

Dani slipped her hand into his once she had her bag, then made her way out with him. "Very busy. Some of our personnel from DS15 and the da Gama were on the planet, and they weren't in great shape. I'm hopeful they'll all recover physically. Mentally and emotionally is another question entirely. How was yours?"

"My day was pretty busy what with all of the commotion. Then it ended with a training session in the new simulators with Ensign Khan. That's where I just came from. I'm ready for some down time before it all starts up again. And any amount of time spent with you is down time. No matter if we're walking, talking, eating, or whatever. I just like spending time with you."

"I like spending time with you, too. In fact, I feel like I'm home when we're together," Dani said, resting her head against his arm. "I know it sounds cheesy, but it's the truth. I find myself looking forward to the end of our long days just so I get the chance to be with you."

"No, it doesn't sound cheesy. It sounds sweet. But, what else could I expect from such a sweet woman," Terry replied. "I'm glad you feel that way about me, Dani." As they approached the door to his quarters, he leaned down and kissed her. Terry then keyed in the pattern and opened it up. "After you beautiful," he said, stepping aside to let her in first.

The young blonde haired woman walked inside and aether bag down on the couch. She'd changed out of her uniform some hours ago, and was now dressed comfortably in a pair of blue jeans, a blue top and a pair of blue flip flops. "Ah, the perks of being a senior officer. You have all this space. You could even get a pet one day, if you wanted to," she said, turning to smile at him. "They're quite therapeutic, and seem to know when you need them the most."

She stretched her arms above her head with a groan. "I thought about a kitten or something small, but you've seen my place." She shook her head. "Enough about that. Why don't you take a shower and get comfortable, then maybe we can go get some dinner? Or, even eat here before we take out walk."

"Yeah, perks alright. And a shower sounds like a good idea. Be back in a short few, hon." Terry headed to bedroom to grab something more comfortable before getting into the shower. He tossed his pair of red and white, knee length shorts on the bed and a white tee-shirt. He removed his uniform top and boots, then came around the corner. "Hey, why don't we check out the new Talons? See if there's anything different on the menu? I could go for some real stuff for a change."

Following him into the bathroom, she settled down on the edge of the bathtub and crossed her legs. The perks of the new ship... running water and the luxury of being able to soak in a tub of hot, bubble riddled water. Well... if you were lucky enough to have one, which she wasn't. "That sounds like a great idea," Dani said. "We've had a pizza from there, but that was days ago, and we didn't stay to eat it."

"This is true," he said. "Maybe we should stay to eat this time." Terry turned on the running water as opposed to the sonic shower this time. It was nice once in a while to do that. It seemed to help relax the muscles and not just him. While he let it warm up, he turned to Dani. "Gonna sit there the whole time are you?"

"Well, I planned to, but was that an invitation?" she asked with that twinkle in her eye again.

"Heh heh, come on sweetheart," he said. "Bring you and that twinkle on in, I'm pretty sure the shower is big enough. Only ever been me in here." Terry finished removing his uniform and stepped inside.

Dani grinned and shed her own clothes before joining him in the shower. "Well... it's a tight fit, but I think we can make it work," she stated, then pulled him to her so she could kiss him properly. It wasn't until some time later that she was settled on the bed wearing a leopard print robe with a cat that ate the canary smile on her face. "We definitely need to do that again soon."

"Agreed," Terry said, "very soon." He took a deep breath and looked at Dani. "Time to go grab a late dinner, hot stuff. Which means, clothes other than your robe and my towel." He got up and walked over to where he'd tossed his clothes earlier and started to put them on.

"I rather like you in your towel, though. Maybe we can get someone to deliver to us," she suggested, stretching out on his big bed to make the idea more appealing.

Terry had already gotten his shorts on and towel off before Dani made her suggestion. He turned to say something and saw her stretched out on the bed. With a wish to make his special woman as comfortable as possible, he said, "I suppose we could see if they deliver. Especially if you're tired already," he added with wink. "And since you liked the towel, I'll compromise and wear just the shorts." He walked over to the bed and laid down on his side, head propped on his hand.

Dani rolled onto her own side to face him and smiled as she leaned in to kiss him. Never in a million light years did she think she'd find someone she could care about as much as she did him. "I like that compromise a lot, and for the record, I'm not tired. Just trying to tempt you to the dark side. Is it working?"

He smiled as she pulled back from the kiss. "So, my Dani Angel has a dark side, does she? I'd like to see that, but first I have something to say to you." He put his other hand on her side and rubbed up and down.

He wasn't going to break up with her, was he? Not after what just happened, but then, things like that had been used to soften the blow before. Unable to help herself, Dani swallowed a lump in her throat and nodded her head. "Terry," she began softly, trying to keep her voice level. "You know you can talk to or say anything to me. What is it?"

"You know I've had some rough times since I came aboard," he began. "Part of it has been dealing with the death of my wingman, Mark Shelby, years ago. I never really dealt with it. And that became obvious when I contracted a disease and almost died. When I hit the hallucination phase, I thought it was back then when I was still a Captain in the Corp. I thought I'd been captured and was on a Jem'Hadar ship. Every Starfleet officer looked like one of them to me. And then there was a short relationship that ended roughly prior to the hallucinations when I was talking to, and listening to, the voices in my head. Then the former Chief of Security and I had a nice little counseling session. She recommended I find someone to open up to about these things. Then I met you." He paused before continuing.

"You have helped me so much, Daniella. You listen, you walk with me, you talk with me, you treat me so...so...I don't know. And then we spend most of our off-duty time together as it is," he said. "You're good for me in so many ways. And I don't want to lose that. That said, I also don't want you to have to pack another overnight bag. I want your stuff already here. I want you here, Dani. Move in with me. I'll have to run through the proper channels, but I'll need an answer first."

Dani listened to everything he had to say to her without missing a single word of it. This had to be a huge deal for him, considering everything he'd been through before the two of them met. And to hear that he felt she helped him so much, and was good for him... it did things to her heart she never thought possible. There was only one answer she could ever give him, and the longer she waited, the more nervous he was likely to get. "Yes! Terry there is nothing in this galaxy I would love to do more than to be able to go to sleep with you at night, and have yours be the first face I see when I wake up in the morning."

She paused for a moment so she could move closer to him. "I love you, Terry, and I'm always going to be here for you no matter what. I want to keep helping you just as you help me," she said softly. "You are everything a real man should be, and I consider myself so lucky you thought I was worthy enough to be with you. I can promise you that I will never do anything to mess up what we have, or take you and your love for me for granted."

Terry laid there and listened to everything. Her response was more than he'd hoped for, much more. "Thanks, Angel. I appreciate all of it, everything you said. And I'll work hard at making this, too." Since she had already moved closer to him, he didn't have to lean that far over when he put his arm over her. He reached up and ran his hand through her hair several times before letting it come to rest at the back of her neck. He held her head as he rolled in and placed a gentle, lingering kiss on her lips. Yeah, he could get used to this.

Dani slipped her arms around his neck and pulled herself closer to him as she returned the kiss. Being with him already felt like home, but now it was being made official. She pulled back after a few moments and rested her forehead against his. "Our lives have been pretty amazing together since we met, haven't they?" she asked softly. "I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us."

He stared into her sparkling blue eyes as their foreheads touched. "Yeah, they have," he quietly responded. "It'll be a fun trip, whatever is waiting on us. And I'm glad I get to take it with you." He ever so slightly leaned in and rubbed the tip of his nose against hers. "In the meantime, what say we just grab a sandwich from the replicator. I don't feel like waiting on delivery tonight."

"I think that sounds like a great idea," she said with a smile, rubbing her nose against his. "What kind do you feel like, and I'll go grab them?"

"I think I'll have an Autumn Harvest Panini," he said. "I already have it programmed into the replicator. Plus it's something nice and light for this time of night. And it's a pretty sandwich."

Dani leaned in to kiss him. "I'll be right back. Keep my spot warm," she said with a smile as she slipped off of the bed. She made her way back into the main living area of what was to be her new home and crossed the floor over to the replicator. The petite woman got his sandwich, then her own... a toasted turkey club. After chips and a couple drinks, she made her way back into the bedroom, juggling everything the best she could. "Dinner has arrived."

Terry sat up and took the drink, setting it on the bedside table. "Thanks, hon." Then he grabbed his plate and...chips! "Hey! Chips! I didn't even think of that. Or the drink for that matter. So, what did you surprise me with to wash this down?" He took a bite of his sandwich and sighed. It was delicious.

The petite blonde settled back down on the bed... their bed... after putting her glass on the nightstand. "Sweet tea, but not overly sweet," she replied, hoping he'd like it. "No good sandwich is complete without chips."

"You know," Terry replied, after swallowing his bit of sandwich, "any tea I've ever had has been either hot or unsweetened. This will be a new experience for me." He picked up his glass and, unable to relinquish his second nature, gently swirled it and took a sip. "That is really good, hon." He then took a generous drink before setting the glass back down.

"I'm glad you like it," the young woman said with a smile. "It's one of my favorite things to drink when we aren't sipping fine wine together. Then again... I like tea in general."

Terry nodded as he enjoyed a few of the chips. Once he was done, "I've seen people replicate it mostly. But when we were back in France, I watched people use loose leaf tea and infusers. But then there were a few who had the loose leaf in bags. I'd imagine that this kind of tea is different from hot tea in that regard, but if you ever had the chance to have it hot, which would you prefer?" Terry was a sneaky one sometimes and based on her answer, he had a couple of ideas in mind for presents sometime.

Dani looked thoughtful. "I drink hot tea, and when I get to make it myself, I've used bags and loose leaf. I got to have some loose leaf tea on shore leave. I should have brought some back with me. I do have tea bags, though," she replied. "Tea isn't as harsh as coffee is, and there's just about a blend for everything."

"I'm more of a coffee drinker when it comes to choosing between those two," said Terry. He made a mental note to look for some diffusers next time. "Okay, so a blend for just about everything. What kind of hot tea would my hottie place me as? You know, like I picked a couple of wines that would be you."

"Chamomile, and that's because you're really good at making me relax," the petite woman replied with a smile.

"Aww, you're a sweet one, Dani Angel," said Terry smiling. "I'm glad you feel relaxed around me." He took another bite of the sandwich and winked at her. She really was a wonderful person. "How's your sandwich?"

"Amazing," she answered him with a smile. While the two talked, Dani kept a fairly steady pace when it came to eating. She wasn't a woman who was afraid to eat. "Do you want to try it?"

"I most definitely would," he said. "Just a minute." Terry took a drink to rinse the flavors out of his mouth before leaning towards Dani.

Dani lifted the other half of her sandwich out to him with a smile. "A toasted turkey club happens to be one of my favorite sandwiches of all time," she spoke. "I could eat my weight in them."

Terry carefully took a bite while looking her in the eyes...her beautiful blue eyes. He chewed it up, taking in every flavor that the sandwich had to offer. Once it was gone, he said, "I can understand why now. That toasted turkey club is really good."

"I wouldn't lie to you about that," she said, taking a bite of her sandwich. After chewing and swallowing, Dani looked to him and smiled. "I still can't believe we're going to be living together now. I'm so excited about it, too. I don't have a whole lot in the way of personal belongings, but when there's time, we can start moving it here."

Terry finished the last bite of his sandwich. There was still some left, but he was feeling full already. "Me neither, Dani. But it's about time for this next step." He put the plate on the nightstand and rolled back over. "Yeah, we can move your things in when there's time. We might even be able to get it little by little. You know, stop and grabs something when we get off the turbolift and bring it on down."

"That sounds like a good plan to me," Dani told him with a smile. "You've come a long way since we met each other, and I can't begin to tell you how proud of you I am."

Terry took a deep breath. It was nice to have someone else see it and even more so to acknowledge it. "Thanks," he said. "You've made it easy, listening as I've talked about it. I've been able to get a lot of things out in the open with you and that's helped a lot. Heh, you probably know more about me than anyone on this ship." There was a good friend of his that would be pulling for second place in that regard. And it was her that he owed for her advice to get out, make friends, and find someone to talk to. It was her that he owed a bottle of his finest. Terry scooted closer to Dani and put his arm over her. "You're wonderful, little miss," he said with a smile.

Dani smiled and snuggled closer to him, resting her head against his chest. She was definitely grateful that he felt she was someone he felt he could open up to... get things off of his chest. Everyone needed someone like that. "I'm just glad you picked me to be that person in your life. It makes me feel pretty special. And you're also that special someone in my life I know I can share things with. You mean the galaxy to me, Terry Bear, and as each day we're together, my love for you grows more and more."

He smiled, somewhat sheepishly, and nuzzled her nose. No other woman had made him feel that way before. The way you feel when you want to nuzzle that special someone's nose. "You can share anything you want with me, Angel," he said quietly. "I'm glad we get to be together more now that you're moving in. 'Cause that means our love is going to keep on growing."

"Thank you," she whispered. That was all she said... two simple words that were for so many different things.

"You're welcome," he said quietly. He waited for a minute, enjoying being close to her. "Tell you what, if you're finished, I'll take your plate to the recycler for you? Then we can snuggle some more."

Dani smiled. "I am done, and thank you. I'll be waiting for you right here when you get back."

He got up from the bed and winked at her. "I wouldn't have it any other way, Angel." He picked up his plate and stacked it on top of hers, leaving the room. A few minutes later, he walked back in and stretched. "Hey there beautiful."

By the time he got back the bedroom, Dani was stretched out on the bed, which she gave a pat. "Hey. You look like you could use a little time off of your feet, and I remember hearing something about snuggling?"

Terry smiled from ear to ear when she patted the bed. "I could. And yes, I did say that we'd snuggle." The brawny Squadron Commander laid down on the bed next to his Angel in her leopard print robe and scooted closer. He placed one arm under his head and the other across Dani. Terry then started rubbing her back.

"You're going to spoil me," she sighed as her eyes drifted closed. Despite the hectic day in sickbay, she was able to relax thanks to him, and there were going to be more days like this to come. Now, though, they would have one another to lean on to for support.

"That's the plan," he said. "All the time." He watched as she slowly closed her eyes and kept rubbing her back. He began to move his hand slower. His touch became softer until it was just his fingertips moving up and down and in small circles. He smiled as he watched her lay there. "Dani Angel," he whispered, "I love you."

Dani gave a slight shiver as a smile formed. "I love you, too, Terry Bear," she whispered back as her blue eyes drifted open to fix on him. Every ounce of love she felt for him was right there for him to see... for anyone to see. He was the only one for her, and she would spend the rest of her days doing everything in her power to keep him happy.

 

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