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Pleasant Surprise

Posted on 20 Oct 2016 @ 6:53am by Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: MD 8 || 1800 hours

It had been fairly simple for him to put everything together for his surprise date, which was a good thing considering he didn’t start on it until his lunch break. The holodeck already had some terrific beachscapes and all he had to do was get some real meat for the grill. That turned out to be more difficult than he first expected. Real food had been hard to come by in the Mess Halls or Talons since everything had happened. He ended up using some of his replicator credits earlier to get what he wanted. Replicated steak wasn’t the best, but it would work. And the marinade would make it even better.

Terry had let the two ten ounce ribeyes marinate in a mixture of Sazon, steak & chops seasoning, garlic and enough milk to cover them. After he had poked a bunch of holes in them, that is. In another container, he packed an orange bell pepper, a zucchini, a dozen cherry tomatoes, and some mushrooms. The seasonings and oil he packed separately. Anything else, like bowls, knives, or skewers, the holodeck could replicate.

“Okay,” he said aloud, “grilled ribeye steaks, grilled vegetable skewers, and... oh yeah, a bottle.” He walked over to his ‘wine cellar’ and looked through it. “Let’s see... ribeye steak... yeah, a red wine from Bordeaux would pair perfectly. Now, do I have anything?” Terry move a couple of bottles around, searching. “Cabernet Sauvignon, there you are.” Terry removed the wine and put it in the bag as well. He remembered about Dani and wine and, if she wanted, he could get her something else easily enough.

With a nod of satisfaction, he lifted the bag and put the strap over his shoulder. The brawny squadron commander then headed out of his quarters. If the sight of him standing there with a boxy shaped bag over his shoulder wasn't surprise enough, then maybe his attire of a white tank top and blue plaid beach shorts would.

Dani made her way toward the holodeck with a little rest and relaxation in mind. After the last few days, she and most of the crew wanted that. Things were still quite tense due to the Cochrane and her crew being taken, but the Black Hawk and her crew were in no position to take the other five ships on. Now, though, they were on their way to an unknown space station where the hope was to get the answers they needed in order to form a rescue mission.

She frowned and made her way through the doors, still off in her own little world as she thought about what was to come. This was just another case of the unknown. Somehow, they'd all managed to get through it, but this time... the young nurse hoped they'd do it this time without losing the lives of anyone. People were still reeling from the loss of their friends and comrades only days ago. She just didn't know how much more anyone could take.

Terry’s plan was to have things ready to serve to Dani for his surprise date and then ask her to join him in the holodeck. He had just put the marinated ribeyes on the grill to sear on the first side. During that time, he mixed the extra-virgin olive oil, the Worcestershire sauce, the minced garlic clove, the chopped rosemary leaves, the salt, and the pepper in a bowl. He went back to flip the steaks to the other side so that one could sear. Then he sliced and cut the orange bell pepper into one inch pieces, the zucchini into three-quarter inch rounds and the mushrooms in half. The cherry tomatoes he left whole. He put it all in the bowl and gently stirred it all together so as not to break open the tomatoes. When it was all covered nicely, he put them on the skewers and laid them on the grill.

By the time he was done with that, the ribeyes were ready to be moved to the medium heat side of the grill for about ten minutes grilling on each side. He could smell the seasoning in the marinade as the steaks cooked. It was wonderful and he couldn’t wait to dig in. But before that, he had to call Dani and ask her to meet him here. He was about to tap his combadge when the sound of the doors opening met his ears. He looked over and saw Dani walk in, seemingly lost in her thoughts. He smiled.

The arch had appeared not too far from him and rather than call out to her, he walked over. “Welcome to your surprise date, Dani, and to the white sandy beaches of St. Thomas in the Caribbean on Earth. It’s not Betazed, but it’ll work.” Back from where he walked was a hot grill, a small workstation, two beach chairs with a small table between them, and a large umbrella over the chairs for shade. A few palm trees swayed in the breeze not too far away. And of course there was the ocean, the bright, blue, beautiful ocean. “C’mon,” said Terry, “let’s relax, forget about the day’s events for a while, and enjoy paradise. Just me and you.”

The petite blonde blinked as she looked around at their surroundings. "I... wow..." she said, completely speechless from the scenery before her. This was unlike anything she'd ever seen in her life, and it was beyond gorgeous. She looked up to Terry. "This is... I'm... wow..." Still, she wasn't able to form the right words to express what she truly thought, though, the smile forming on her lips told a story that this was definitely a good surprise.

Terry listened as Dani stumbled over her words. Then he saw her smile. "I'm glad you like it," he said. He leaned down and kissed her cheek. Standing, he put an arm around her back. "Let's go get you settled into a chair. I have to flip the ribeyes and rotate the vegetable kebabs and then they'll be done in about ten minutes. In the meantime, what can I get you to drink?" he asked, as they walked over to the chairs.

"I've never had anyone do anything like this for me before," she said, moving toward the chairs with him before she settled down. Dani was grateful for the choice of the little blue sundress she chose to wear. It went with the theme of their surprise date rather well. "As for as a drink goes, I'll have whatever you're having."

Terry watched her take her seat. "First of all, you look amazing. Second, I don't understand why no one has done something like this for you before. You're terrific and deserve more than this, but, this is a start." He moved over to the counter and pulled the bottle out. "I'm having Cabernet Sauvignon. But I also remember how you said alcohol affects you. So if you'd rather some tropical fruit drink, I won't be offended. I just want you to relax and enjoy yourself. This is all about you, Dani."

Dani smiled. Terry definitely was one of a kind, and she counted herself as being incredibly lucky. "Thank you, Terry. I think I'll have a glass of wine first. I seem to be growing rather fond of it," she said. "Thank you for thinking I look great, too. How long did this take you to plan out?"

Terry had flipped the steaks, rotated the skewers, and lowered the lid of grill for the next ten minutes. "Well, I've been thinking about surprising you with a date since we walked through the corridors," said Terry. "So, I've been coming up with ideas since then. But all the specifics, I started working on during my lunch break today." He had gotten the bottle of wine out and was pouring her a glass while he talked. The bald pilot carried it over to her. "Here ya go." He sat down in the chair on the other side of the table. "We have a few minutes before it'll be done. How was your day?"

The petite blonde accepted the glass from him with a thank you and a smile just before she sipped it. She turned a bit to give him her complete attention. "It was pretty good. A few minor injuries came in, and we've still got a few patients still staying with us after what happened, but nothing too bad. I'm actually rather grateful for that. If I don't have to see that many seriously injured personnel for a while, I'll be happy. What about you? How was your day?"

"Good," he said. "Nothing too bad is always a good thing." He sipped the glass of wine he had set on the table earlier. "My day wasn't too bad. It was busy more than anything. Making sure everything was in place for the two pilots assigned for escort duty and shouldering a little more of the administration side since one of those pilots is my Deputy. And just my luck of couple of disciplinary action reports cross my desk at that time. A couple of the senior maintenance technicians got into it over something that will remain in the report. One of them started flinging tools and diagnostic devices at the other. Sent the guy to Sickbay." Then he paused for a second. "Not sure if you would have seen him or not...average height, Bolian, a little on the pudgy side, and a bruised and bloody face." Terry swirled the wine and took another sip.

"As a matter of fact," Dani said, looking thoughtful as she replayed the days events in her mind. "I do seem to remember someone fitting that description coming in. I didn't treat him, but there's no way I could ever forget the condition of his face. I think I remember hearing something about an orbital rim fracture and broken nose. He wasn't very pleased about needing to be treated, nor was he too pleased with the other guy involved in the fight. This is one of the reasons why I'm grateful I'm simply a nurse and not a department head."

Terry shook his head. "Those injuries don't sound good at all. No wonder the med techs were quick to get him out of there. And no, he wasn't too pleased at all from what I read of the witness statements in the report. That's something I'll have to deal with first thing in the morning. But that is then, this is now. And now is for you. What else can get for you, Dani?" Terry rose to go check the steaks.

Dani offered him a smile as he walked away from her, then shook her head. "I'm good for now, but thank you. Just your company would have been more than enough for me to be happy, but this was definitely a pleasant surprise. Thank you, Terry."

"You're more than welcome, Dani." He checked the time on time on the steaks and saw that they were nearing the end. "I like spending time with you, too. It makes me feel a kind of happy that I haven't felt before." He removed the vegetable kebabs and placed one on each plate next to the grill. Then removed the steaks and put them on the plate to rest for a few minutes. Heading back over to where Dani was sitting, he said, "They'll need to rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute in them. Until then...." He walked over behind Dani and began to massage her shoulders.

Unable to help herself, she lowered her chin to her chest and closed her eyes with a groan as tension melted away. Terry really wasn't like any other man she'd ever met before. "That feels good," she said softly, feeling a bit guilty for being the one getting the massage instead of giving it. Based on what he'd just told her, his day was definitely rougher than hers was. "You know... we talked about the kinds of dates we wanted to go on, and this just so happens to be all of them wrapped into one. I should have brought my bathing suit with me, though."

Terry watched as Dani relaxed. That's what he wanted. That's what all of this for. Dani...relaxed. "I remembered and I tried to get them all wrapped up into one. One special date that was all for you." He continued massaging her shoulders. "And you're not the only one who didn't remember swimwear. I didn't bring anything, either. But that's okay, because we can do that another time. Or...we are in the holodeck. We could request the computer to make some for us and a place to change."

"This is true," Dani said softly with a smile, her blue eyes still closed while she relaxed further. "I think we should." She finally opened her eyes and tilted her head back so she could look up at him. "What do you think we should do?"

He looked down at her and smiled as he watched her blonde hair fall back and her blue eyes sparkle in the sunlight. "I definitely think it's something we should do. Do you want to eat while it's still fresh? Or call up a warming unit and swim first?" He stopped massaging and simply let his hands rest on her shoulders. "And if you want my input, it'll still be just as good warm."

"We should work up an appetite," the petite woman said, blushing when she realized how that sounded. "By swimming, I mean." He was such a good guy, that she was sure he'd know what she meant, but Dani still felt the need to clarify.

Terry, still looking at her, placed his hands on her cheeks and lean down, softly kissing her lips. "Hon, I knew what you meant. And I agree, let's work up an appetite swimming. And you're cute when you blush." He raised up and requested the computer to call up a swimming pool changing room and gave the size and coloring of his swim trunks. The changing room appeared and a pair of swim trunks
appeared, hanging on a hook. "Next."

Dani returned the kiss and got to her feet, then moved in to change once her suit appeared. It didn't take long before she returned wearing a simple blue bikini that brought out her eyes just as well as the sundress she wore before. She smiled and made her way over to him. "It's all yours, Pilot Terry," she said with a grin.

He looked at her and winked, "You got it, Nurse Dani." The tall pilot grabbed the trunks from off the hook and headed in for a change. A couple minutes later, he emerged shirtless and ready to go swimming. "To the ocean," he said, as he walked up and put his arm around her. Together, they walked to the water's edge.

With a smile, she made her way toward the ocean with her arm around Terry's waist. Spending time with him like that was just what she needed, and she was grateful for every second she had with him. His job was a dangerous one, and she'd admit that it terrified her. He and his pilots were the first line of defense between the ship and the enemy. Just recently, his squadron had lost quite a dew people, and he was likely still mourning them. "I promise not to torpedo into your stomach this time."

He chuckled and hugged her. "You know, it's okay if you do. I didn't mind then and I wouldn't mind now." He led them into the water, just up to their waist. "It's actually not that cold. Shall we?" He turned to her and smiled. She was beautiful, yes, but she was also a breath of fresh air for him. He really did enjoy spending time with her. Nothing of their relationship felt forced to him. And she walked with him. She walked around the ship with him once.

While the water was up to Terry's wait, it came more up to her chest, but she was okay with that. "It's absolutely beautiful here. Maybe someday, if we ever make it back to Earth, we can find a real beach like this and take advantage of it," she said with a smile, smiling up at him. The young woman definitely wouldn't mind spending time with him in paradise, but she had a feeling it would be quite some time before that would happen.

"You know, we really should," said Terry. He looked down at her, "That would be...oh, the water. Sorry about that." He smiled as a thought crept in. "Here, let me help." He leaned down and picked Dani up, cradling her in his arms as the ocean water dripped from her. "How's that?" he asked, winking.

Dani squealed when he scooped her up, then started laughing as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She wasn't at all surprised that he was able to scoop her up so easily considering she weighed next to nothing compared to him. "I think I can get used to things like this," she said, leaning in to kiss him softly. "And you definitely won't hear me complain."

"I love hearing you laugh, Dani," he said, after returning her kiss. "What say we head on out a little further?" He carried his blonde spider monkey further out into ocean until he could feel the water lapping at his elbows. "I think this is a good spot." He lowered her down into the water, grinned at her, and took off towards the small sandbar a few yards out.

"Hey!" the blonde shouted with a grin before she swam after him. "You can't escape me!"

If Terry hadn't had water splashing in his face, he would have laughed. He hoped that getting a head start would help him beat her this time.

Dani knew he had a pretty big head start, but that wasn't going to keep her from trying to catch up to him. Years of training kicked in, and the little blonde dove beneath the surface and kicked her skills into high gear. She wasn't about to give up, and in fact, she saw his foot within her reach. All she had to do was reach out and grab it, but a voice in her head told her to let him win. With a smile, she hung back a ways to let him continue forward.

Terry had no idea if she was catching up or not. He knew that Dani was a good swimmer from their first encounter, but he was going to give it all he had. He continued swimming as fast as he could toward the sandbar. After a couple more minutes, he could feel wet sand on his feet. He slowed down and stood up to walk the rest of the way up. He turned around and flopped down on the sand, looking for Dani. It looked like he won, but he knew that she wouldn't be far behind.

Still swimming beneath the surface of the water, the small woman finally popped up a few feet away from the sandbar with a grin. "I was going to get you, then thought it'd be more fun if I caught you where you didn't have anywhere to go," Dani said with a grin as she rose to her feet, then began to make her way toward him until she was standing above him. It was a different sight for her to be looking down at him, but it wasn't necessarily unwelcome.

Terry watched her walk up from the ocean, water dripping. He grinned as she came to a stop over him. The sun was behind her and he was in her shadow. It wasn't something that happened often, but it was nice. He nodded his head and looked around. He was sitting on a sandbar and the ocean did have them surrounded. He looked back up at his blonde spider monkey, leaning back with his palms on the sand behind him. "Well okay. So what are you going to do for fun now? Chase me around the sandbar?"

"Oh, I don't know about that," the young woman said, settling herself down on his lap with a grin before she leaned in to kiss him softly. "I'm sure I can think of something, though, if you're not interested in swimming anymore."

Terry sat forward and dusted the sand from his hands onto his swim trunks as Dani settled down on his lap. He put an arm over her knees and started rubbing her damp back with the other hand after returning her kiss. "We can swim when we head back. In the mean time," he looked up at her, "have I told you that you're a sweet woman, Dani? And that I really do appreciate you're taking the time to listen. You're easy to open up and talk to. And I've been told that I need to do more of that." With the arm that had been on her back, he pulled her in for a hug.

Dani slipped her arms around his neck and shifted around only slightly so she could face him a bit better to return his hug. "I think you might have, but I don't mind hearing it. I've been told I'm a good listener, and I'll keep listening until the day comes that you don't want to talk anymore. It's my hope that day never comes, though, and you should know that you can talk to me about anything you want to. I will never judge you for anything, Terry, and that's a promise," she said with a smile as she laid her forehead against his. "You're an amazing man, and I'm just grateful that you feel like you can talk to me. That's all I want... is for you to be comfortable."

Terry smiled. "Thanks, for all of it. I'm starting to feel more comfortable around you. It's just that...just that it might take a while for me to get all the way there. As far as talking," he paused and took a deep breath, "I've seen a lot of things in my career, had a lot of experiences....some good, some bad. I've enjoyed the good as much as I can. But the bad, I've always dealt with that by just bottling it up inside. You know, putting it in a box and shoving it under the bed, so to speak."

"I can understand that, and I don't hold it against you, Terry," she said softly as her eyes drifted closed. She found herself completely relaxed in their own little piece of paradise with him, and was beyond grateful he went to all the trouble he did to make it happen. "Whenever you want to talk, no matter what it's about, I'm here for you, Terry."

Terry took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "Thanks, Dani. I really appreciate it...and since you said that, I want to share something. Over that last few weeks, I've been forced to deal with some of the bad things because they've come back to the surface. And when they did, it made a lot of waves. It's also forced me to think about me, what kind of person I am. So I'm trying to change a few things. One of them is actually getting out and making some more friends, getting to know people. The other is opening up to certain people talking about things with them instead of bottling them up. So far, I've made one close friend that I've shared some things with and then you, now."

"You're welcome, Terry," Dani said. "There's no pressure, I promise you that. As for getting out and making friends, I think you're well on your way to doing that. You've been opening up to me pretty well on your terms, and that's okay with me. It's all going to be okay."

"That does me good to hear you say that, Dani. Sometimes I wonder. Really." He just sat there for a minute, holding her. "You're the best," he finally said. "And I'm glad we met that day in the pool. 'Cause the best is what I've been needing."

Dani smiled as a blush crept up her cheeks. She didn't think she was all that great, but then, she was her own worst critic. "Thank you, Terry. I'm glad that you think I'm the best, but I know there are some people that will disagree with you there," she said, giving him a gentle squeeze. "I think you're pretty amazing, too. Meeting you that day was one of the best things that happened to me in a long time."

"You're welcome," said Terry. "And the opinions of those people don't matter anymore." He squeezed her in return. "Thanks...sweetheart. Now," he said, patting her legs, "what say we take a leisurely swim back to the beach and have some dinner?"

"I'd say I like that way that sounds," she replied with a smile, climbing from his lap so she could get to her feet. Dani grinned at him, then raced into the water and dove beneath the surface when she was out enough, then began to make her way back toward the beach.

Terry grinned. So much for leisurely. He walked out to where he could dive in and then took off. The bald squadron commander got to the beach and started walking the last little bit through the water. When he came up, though, he saw that Dani had already made it. "Congratulations," he said smiling. He then made his way over to the warmer and removed their plates. "The plates will be a little hot. So be careful. But enjoy." He set them down on the table between their chairs and took a seat.

By the time he made it to her with their food, she was already settled down and relaxing once again. "You know... this is the first time you've ever cooked for me before. I think I'm going to have to cook for you one of these days, too. I'm not the best, though, but I think if I stick with you for a while that could change," she said, setting her plate down in front of her.

"Eh, you follow a recipe, you make own adjustments to your own tastes...trial and error. But I'd like to try it sometime." He picked up his fork and knife and was about ready to cut the steak, when he remembered.... "I haven't poured drinks yet." Terry quickly got up and retrieved the bottle of wine and two glasses. He carried them over to the table and poured. "There, enjoy. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a good pairing with this steak." Then he sat back down and cut a bite off.

Dani accepted the glass of wine and took a sip of it before she set the glass down and cut into her steak. "I can bake pretty well. I'll have to do that for you as soon as I'm able to," she said, taking a bite of her good. Unable to help herself, she groaned and canted her head. It was likely the best steak she'd ever eaten in her life, and she found herself making a promise to finish every last bit of it. "This is amazing."

"Thank you," he said, as he watched her take her first bite. "I love grilling, especially meat. The vegetables are a nice side. I prefer the mushrooms and tomatoes." He took a sip of his wine after swirling it in the cup few times. "I'd like to try some of your baked goods. Do you take orders? 'Cause I've got a some favorites."

"I do," she answered with a smile. "What might some of those orders be?"

Terry swallowed on the grilled mushrooms and followed with a drink of wine. "Chocolate chip cookies, crispy. And pies, mainly apple pie and blackberry pie, but pies in general. I'm not much of a cake person. Unless it's cupcakes or muffins. Those are great."

"I think I can make some of those happen," she said, taking another bite of her food. It was clear she was enjoying herself because the smile hadn't left her lips since her arrival in the holodeck. "I'm a sucker for blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. If I could get away with it, I'd face plant into a bowl of it and eat it that way."

Terry started laughing. "Face planting, eh. I would never have guessed that blueberry pie and vanilla ice cream could be that good. I'll have to try some in Talon's sometime." He put another piece of steak in his mouth and chewed. It was really good; the best he'd grilled in a long time. Maybe it had to do with the milk in the marinade. "Now I'm looking forward to savoring your baked goodies."

"As soon as I'm able to, I'll definitely whip something up for you," Dani said, taking another bite of her food. He really was an amazing cook, and she had a feeling she'd end up putting on some weight if she kept it up.

"I'd like that, Dani," replied Terry. He continued eating some more of the vegetables, followed by the last bit of his wine. He poured only half a glass because he didn't have that much left on his plate. "This has been fun. Though, I'm not sure if I'll be available tomorrow night for anything. It's getting down to the wire for the next step."

"That's okay," she said as she finished her own glass of wine, then leaned back. With less than half of her feed left on her plate, the petite woman was stuffed, but a bit part of her wanted to keep eating. She was just afraid that if she did, bad things would happen. "I know our duty to the ship and her crew have to come first, and you've got a pretty important role. We'll be able to get together again once all of this is over."

He watched as Dani sat back, apparently finished. "Yeah, we will. Could be a while, though, before it's completely over. We still have to get back to our own time, or universe I guess, and report in." He cut another couple pieces of steak. "Would you like half a glass or are you finished?"

That made Dani frown, but it was like she said... duty to the ship and her crew had to come first. Personal relationships had to take a back seat, and while that was something she didn't like, then she'd just have to find a way to deal with it. "I'm good," she said softly. "Thank you, though. As for how long it could take, we'll just have to find a way to cope. I've got sickbay to keep me occupied, and when I'm done with that, I'm sure I can come up with something else."

He saw her smile fade into a frown. "Hey now, I said completely over. I didn't mean we wouldn't be seeing each other before then. We'll find some time. I promise. I'm tired of coping, Dani. That's all I've done since I came aboard this ship. I will find some time for us to get together before we get back." He put that last bite of cut steak in his mouth.

"I know we'll find time where we can, but I'm sure you'll be busy. We have zero idea where we are, and that might mean you and the squadron might have to constantly run patrols," Dani pointed out, resting her hands on her lap. "And if there are any injured for whatever reason, sickbay will get busy, too. I suppose the best thing for us to do is to play things by ear."

"That's not a bad idea, Dani," said Terry. "And you're probably right, we'll be both be pretty busy. So, how did you like the steak? It was a new marinade that I used. A recipe given to me by a good friend, actually." He let the rest of his steak and vegetables lay on his plate and enjoyed his wine.

"It was delicious, and I'm so grateful you put all of this together for us. It's definitely been a special evening," she said, offering him a smile.

"I'm glad you liked it. It was nothing, really. I enjoyed planning it all out and surprising you," said Terry. "And it has been a special evening. I look forward to many more special evenings, too. No matter what they hold." He held up his glass and took the last drink.

The blonde smiled over at him. "Thank you again, Terry. I really enjoyed myself, and I find myself looking forward to the next time."

"As do I, Dani, as do I." Terry put the glass down and got up. He walked over to Dani and put out a hand, offering to help her stand.

Dani slipped her hand into his and rose to her feet. "I should probably let you go so you can relax a bit before the crazy starts again."

"You need to get some rest too, Dani. And I hope that this helps." Terry leaned down and placed a kiss on her lips.

After returning the kiss, she pulled back with a smile and looked up at him. It was still fairly early, but he did need his rest. She'd be able to curl up with a good book and relax for a bit. "It does," she said softly. "I'll see you as soon as we're able to."

"Until then. Computer, exit," said Terry. He watched Dani as she walked towards the exit.

The petite woman pulled her sundress back on over the bikini she'd replicated, then took one last look at Terry. For some reason, she just felt like they weren't going to be seeing one another for a while, and no matter how hard she tried to push the thought from her head, it didn't budge. They both had their duties, and those had to come first. She offered him a small, sad smile, then turned to exit the holodeck. It was back down to deck five for her where she'd make use of her sonic shower, then settle down in bed until she was able to fall asleep.

 

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