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To Be Happy

Posted on 02 Apr 2017 @ 11:41pm by Lieutenant JG Daniella Blake & Lieutenant Commander Terry Walsh

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: France
Timeline: September, 2388

Dani was in love... with France. It was unlike anywhere she'd ever been before, and visiting the numerous vineyards, going to various wine tastings, eating the food... she could easily stay for the rest of her life. Of course, that just wasn't a possibility when the career she adores was in space. Sadly, for her and the rest of the crew, their futures were uncertain.

Now wasn't the time to think about that. They'd all be assigned somewhere after some much needed downtime, and that's why truly deserved her focus. We'll, that and the man she'd come to grow extremely fond of. She wanted to tell Terry so, but didn't want to seem like she was pushing him. He didn't deserve that.

Speaking of Terry, she found herself thinking back to when he'd told her about his fighter exploding and him floating in space for a few minutes before he was picked up. He could have easily died, and she absolutely lost it. It was when she finally regained her composure that she stripped him down and examined every inch of him to make sure he was okay, and he was. Dani thanked her lucky stars for that, because without him, she'd be lost.

Terry took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh air of the Vosne-Romanée wine vineyards in Burgundy. It was the first stop he had wanted to make in the Alpha Quadrant when he realized that his wine collection was gone. And he was glad that he had Dani to share the experience with.

Here was where he's started his collection and here was where it would begin again. He didn't have that many credits, but it would enough, hopefully, for one bottle of a Burgundy called Domaine Romanée-Conti and a couple of bottles of Bordeaux. That could wait, however, until they were done walking the vineyards. That friend he had back in 2369 whose dad worked there..well, he was now one of the higher ups, so to speak. And he remembered Terry well.

"So what do you think?" he asked Dani.

"I love this place," she replied with a bright smile. "So much so that I could live here. It's absolutely beautiful. Thank you for bringing me here." She had her hand in his as they walked the vineyards. This was the best way to kick off their first shore leave together, and hopefully there would be many more to come.

"I'm glad you like it, Angel," he said. "It's where I first got interested in wine and where I first started my collection. And it's where I plan to get, well, I was planning to get one bottle of the Romanée-Conti, but I just remembered I need another one. Eh, there's always other times. Anyway, I'm glad you like it. Do you like anything in particular at the tastings? Any one that you might want?"

"To be honest, I tried to keep up with what they were telling us, but it all went a bit over my head. So far everything you have introduced me to has been absolutely delicious. I trust your judgement," Dani replied, giving his much larger hand a gentle squeeze. They were making their first memories together, and that made her smile.

"It just takes a while," he said. He stopped walking for a minute and turned to look at Dani, really taking her in for a moment. He also considered the things that they had been through, the moments they'd had, and the nights they's spent together. "Hmm, let me think... I would put you between a Romanée-Saint-Vivant and a Montrachet. The Romanée-Saint-Vivant has the personality that one can only love her. Behind grace is expressed a power so perfectly balanced that it had not been seen at first sight. While the Montrachet is unrivaled complexity, elegance, and power. So we buy a bottle of both."

Dani looked up at Terry from behind her sunglasses and smiled. To anyone who saw him at first glance would think he was a tough as nails ass kicker that wouldn't think twice about chewing someone, then spitting them out, but in am reality... he was anything but. Oh, she knew without a doubt that he could be any of those things if the situation called for it, but her Terry was a warm, caring, generous... oh she could go on and on about it, but that would take her focus off of him and the gorgeous scenery. "That sounds like a good plan to me. Maybe I can start building a collection for us to share."

He grinned down at her and moved close to her side, putting an arm around her shoulders. Terry started walking again. "Well, you could do that, for sure. And I'll obviously share mine, too. Or we could start a collection. At any rate, I'll buy you one bottle of each of those along with my two bottles of Romanée-Conti and whatever other less expensive wines we want." He hugged her gently as they continued walking.

The petite blonde slipped her arm around his waist and smiled as they continued walking once again. "How about we start a Terry and Dani collection?" She asked, returning the hug with a squeeze of her own. "We spend ninety percent of our off time together, so I think we should."

"Hey, that's not a bad idea, Dani. I like that. And it makes sense, too." Terry smiled, a Terry and Dani collection. He liked that. He liked this. It was nice to spend some time just walking around and not cooped up somewhere the whole day. Sharing something near to him with someone else who getting to be nearer to him felt great. This was something that he would look back on and smile. Always.

They were starting to get back near the buildings now and Terry's stomach growled. "Oh, uh..." Then he burst out laughing. "What do you say we buy the wine when we leave and get something to eat for lunch first? I didn't realize we'd spent the whole time since our arrival walking the roads in the vineyards."

"Absolutely. I'm a bit hungry myself, and since you've been here before, I think it's only fair that you pick where we go," she said, giving the front of his shirt a gentle tug. By now, he would know that was her silent request for him to bend down so she could kiss him. "Then, we can do some sight seeing or maybe go back to the hotel for a couple hours before we go back out."

Terry felt Dani tug on the front of his shirt and leaned down so she could kiss him. Their little modes of communication were sweet and he loved them. "Either one works for me," he said. "Though, we have been sort of sight seeing all morning. I'm fine with a couple hours downtime after lunch." Historically, that hadn't been restaurants on the Domaine, but that was hundreds of years ago. Now there were several. "I think I have one in mind. A real good one, too. Have you ever had Demi Caille Rotie et Farcie au Foie Gras, Mouli Carameliser sauce Teriaki, Roast Quail with Foie Gras?" he asked.

After Dani kissed him, she smoothed a hand over his chest to straighten out his shirt a bit. "Never, but I'd be willing to try it. I recognized a couple words in there... quail and food gras. I've had them both before, just not together," she replied with a smile. "I have a feeling life with you is always going to be one huge adventure, and I'm looking forward to every second of it."

"Good, then this will be a first for ya," he said. "It's really good. This is one of the best places that are up here I think." He smiled when she smoothed down his shirt. She really was a sweet one and he was glad they were getting to spend shore leave together. Life with me, huh, he thought. "Yeah, I'm one huge adventure after another. You're gonna have so much fun, you won't know what to do." He chuckled as they neared the restaurant.

"I'm looking forward to it, too," she said, resting her head against his side. "So, I've never really asked you, but I know you were kind of in a rough place when we first met. How do you feel these days?"

"Yeah, I was," he said. Terry remembered those days as if they were a shadow of an empty shell. A shadow that was being slowly forced into oblivion every day he spent time with Dani. "I'm feeling a lot better, these days, Dani. Thanks for asking. A friend spent some time talking with me about it and giving me some advice. That helped me start coming around. I still have those memories, but they're not as bothersome as they used to be. In fact, I'll be honest with you hon, you've helped a lot by just being around and listening."

Dani smiled when she heard him. "I'm more than happy to help you out with anything you may need, whenever you might need it," she stated. "It's definitely nice to have people you can talk to when things start to her a bit rough. No matter what, I'm here for you, Terry Bear."

Terry hugged her when she said that. "Thanks, Angel. I appreciate it a lot. Really." He would talk to her specifically about some of the stuff he'd talked to Camila about. But not in public. That was something for when it was just him and her. He also liked her nickname for him, Terry Bear. It always made him smile when she said it. The two walked up the stairs and through the door. The man who greeted them smiled and led them to a table. He told them that someone would be with them in a moment.

"It smells pretty amazing in here," the petite woman said as she took a seat. It still amazed her that she was on vacation with one of the sweetest people to ever live, and knowing he wanted her to be with him made her feel pretty ipotatoble. She was quite the lucky woman, and had no regrets when it came to their relationship. "I still can't believe how beautiful it is here. We should definitely visit again some day, but while we're here, I plan to enjoy every minute of it."

"Oh it's just as good as it smells, Dani. I think you'll like it, a lot," said Terry. He knew he would, but he knew that he would like the company a whole better than the food or wine. "Yeah, this Domaine is my favorite to visit for the views. As far as coming here again, any time we're back in the Alpha Quadrant, hon."

The waiter walked up and Terry ordered the Demi Caille Rotie et Farcie au Foie Gras, the Roast Quail with Foie Gras, for the both of them. It was what he always got when he came to DRC. Of course, it couldn't be paired with anything but the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, one of the wines he pictured as a 'Dani wine' earlier. "Oh, I hope you don't mind that I ordered for you?"

"I'm rather glad you did. Your French is far better than mine could ever be," Dani said, thinking that she may have ordered something led than appealing if she'd been given the chance to. "What did you order, though?"

"Oh, uh, I'm sorry. It was the Roast Quail with Foie Gras that I asked you about earlier," said Terry. "My fault on that, I shoulda said something first. And the wine that pairs best with it is one of the ones that I'll buy for you before we leave, the Romanée-Saint-Vivant."

"You did mention what it was," she said rather sheepishly as a blush crept up her cheeks. "I'm really sorry about that. Hearing you speak French is pretty attractive, and it had me zoned out there for a moment."

Terry watched her cheeks turn a rosy red and grinned. "Don't ever stop doing that, Dani. Blushing, I mean. I don't see that too much anymore. And I like it on you. And you don't have to apologize, hon. Maybe I'll speak French some more sometime, huh," he added with a wink.

Her blush deepened at his words. "I don't think you have to worry about that," she said honestly. "I seem to do quite a bit of blushing around you. Some of it happens when there are no lights on."

Terry looked at Dani with his famous half-grin. "Is that so? Well now, maybe I should use some French when there are no lights on, too. Wouldn't be able to see you blush, but could still lay a hand on your cheek and feel the warmth."

"You could do that. Or... we could just leave the lights on?" Dani asked, knowing her cheeks were practically glowing from the blush she was wearing now.

There was no room left on Terry's face for his grin to grow wider, but it managed to find it. "Lights on it is then, Angel." He would have loved to keep her blushing, but that could be done later. "You're a lot of fun, Dani. I like having fun with you." But then again, he liked to see her blush. "You are talking about leaving the lights on in the living room, right?"

Dani couldn't help but giggle at that. "Sure... if that's where we happen to be at the moment," she responded, picking up her wine glass when their waiter placed them on their table. Once she thanked him, Terry had her complete attention once more. "Are you sure you don't mind me going home with you? I don't want to make you uncomfortable around your family. It's just... after what happened... I don't want to be too far away from you."

He chuckled and picked up his glass, swirling the wine and sniffing it. "Ahh, perfect. And of course I don't mind you coming home with me. It wouldn't be uncomfortable. If anything, if dad were still alive, I'd be worried you would be the uncomfortable one. One time, he started to make a joke about the pool being warm because the Fleeters... That's when mom called his full name and held a skillet over his head. It was a riot."

Dani smiled. She could only imagine what life growing up with his family would have been like. "I think your dad and I would have gotten along pretty well," she said. "Your mom, though... she won't start asking you if we're going to... get married... will she? I mean... I don't want to give her the wrong idea."

"There may have been a day that she would have, but not anymore. Mom is getting up there and she already has in-laws and grandkids enough to keep her busy," said Terry. "I wouldn't worry about it. Now, you said that you and my dad might have gotten along well. He would have been the one you would've had to look out for. He would've said, 'Hey, Terry brought a girl home on shore leave! And she's blonde! Way to go, son!' or something like that."

"I'm glad your Mom has grandkids to help keep her young. My parents are about to have their first grandchild. My brother and his girlfriend are due to have a little boy in the next few weeks. I may even be home for his birth. That would be pretty exciting," she said with a smile, taking another sip of her wine. "As for your Dad, he sounds like he was a lot of fun."

"He was great," said Terry. "But since you brought your family up, how would they respond to you bringing me home? I mean, I could stand the third degree if I got it. But..." He picked up his glass and swirled it again, taking a drink.

"I'm not sure, to be perfectly honest. I haven't brought anyone home since the guy who completely shattered my heart some time ago. They might give you the third degree, but I can't be entirely sure about that," she said, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "I guess we'll know when it happens."

He saw the waiter bringing their food over. "Surprises. I like 'em. Like this one." He got up, walked around to Dani, and pressed a kiss to her rosy lips before sitting back down.

The waiter grinned as he placed the food on the table and left the bottle of wine. "Very good choice, sir. As is the bottle of wine." He smiled at Dani and left the two to enjoy their meal.

Dani returned the kiss and blushed when the waiter popped up on them, thanking him before he left. "I like those kinds of surprises," she said. "Especially when they come from you."

Terry smiled. "Plenty more where that come from, hon." He picked up his knife and fork and cut off a few pieces of the roasted quail. He slowly chewed the delectable morsel and savored it. He followed it by another drink of the paired wine. "Ohh, this is good."

Dani reached for her own knife and fork. "If it tastes as good as it smells..." she said, taking a bite and groaning her appreciation. It was unlike anything she'd ever had before. "This is absolutely delicious. I think I might have to let you order for me more often."

"I can do that," he said, taking another bite. Terry hadn't forgotten what Dani had said earlier when he'd asked about her family. "I'll have you know, pretty girl, that your family won't have to worry about me. I wouldn't shatter anything where you're concerned. Nothing. And especially not your heart." He poured himself some more wine and took a drink. "As a matter fact, if you'd let me, I'll pick up the pieces and fix it for you."

Oh... that made her heart swell, and she found herself falling a little farther for the big guy. Still, Dani couldn't even bring herself to eben mention that no matter how much she might have wanted to. "Terry... that is one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me before," she said softly. "I would be honored to let you."

"Well somebody shoulda been saying sweet things to you a long time ago," he said. "Then that settles it. I'll pick up those pieces, put it all back together, and fix it so that it never breaks again." In that moment, he realized what he'd just said. He wasn't sure where it came from, the wine or his heart, but it was out there. "Yeah, I'll fix it, Angel." He took another bite of the roast quail and sat there, looking at Dani while he chewed.

"And I'll make sure that yours never shatters," the petite woman said, smiling at him. Dani couldn't take her eyes off of him. His words made her feel warm all over, and even though she was with someone she thought she loved, she'd been horribly mistaken. No... what she felt for the man across from her was love. A love like she'd never felt before. She just couldn't say anything.

"You know, that really means a lot, Dani. I'm serious. And...maybe I'll tell you why before shore leave is over. Opening up about some of this stuff is what I'm supposed to be doing anyway," said Terry. "And maybe it'll help."

"The way you say it... it makes me think that it's not a very happy thing that's happened to you," she said, taking a sip of her wine. "And please... don't think that was me fishing for you to tell me, because it wasn't. I only want you to tell me things when you're ready to and not a moment before. You're right, though. Sometimes opening up can help. I need to do that a bit more myself. Right now isn't the time, though. Not when we're supposed to be enjoying ourselves and each other."

"Oh I wasn't thinking that you were fishing," said Terry. "But it's something we'll talk about later. Because you're right, now is not the time. Now is the time to enjoy a delicious meal, a good wine, and a sweet woman." He winked and raised his glass to his lips.

Dani smiled again. If she kept it up, her cheeks were going to start hurting. "Has anyone ever told you how incredibly sweet you are?"

Terry put his hand to his chin and rubbed it as he stared into the beyond. "Hmm, if they have, I can't remember." He looked at Dani, "Because you make me forget all about the others."

"See?" She asked with another smile. And there she was, falling just a bit harder. Why did he have to make it so easy? "It's things like that that make you the sweetest guy to ever live."

"Thanks, Angel. I like hearing that. You have no idea..." he trailed off when he remembered. Another time. "And you are the sweetest thing that has come into my life in a long time. I'm glad you torpedoed me that day in the pool." He the last bite of his quail and sat back, enjoying the wine and view.

Dani ate another bite of her own food, then followed it down with a sip of her wine. Both were good distractions from the blush that threatened to follow his words. "So am I," she said softly. " I never thought it could lead to something as great as being with you when it first happened. "

"Aww, you're so sweet, Dani. It's been great for me too, being with you." He took another drink of the wine. "But neither did I. Who knew it, and then a walk around the ship, would lead us to having roast quail with a fine wine on the best Domaine in France."

"Hey... it just so happens that I'll walk with you wherever you want to go. France, the ship... it doesn't matter," she said, finishing off her own lunch, then did the same with her glass of wine. "Maybe while we're on shore leave, I'll get the chance to cook for you."

"Ohh, now see, I'm looking forward to that," said Terry. "Have you given any thought to what that might be? Hmm?" he added with a wink.

"Well... given that my sweetheart is a big meat eater, I was considering Beef Wellington. What do you think about that?" Dani asked with a smile. "Maybe with some roasted veggies, mashed potatoes and crème brulé or a chocolate soufflé for dessert?"

"I think I'd love that. And the rest of it sounds absolutely delicious," replied Terry. "Especially that crème brulé. You never cease to amaze me, hon. Keep it up, huh." He swirled some more of his wine and looked at the bottle. "I think that will probably be enough for me."

"I think that's enough for me, too, otherwise you'll have to carry me out of here," she said only half joking. Dani was still a lightweight when it came to drinking, and needed to build up a tolerance for it, which given her size, would still only be so much. "That's settled then. I'm going to cook for you while I have the proper use of a kitchen."

"Good." Terry stood and walked around the table, reaching for Dani's hand. "Ready? We still have some shopping to do before heading back."

"I am. Then it's back to our room for a little rest and relaxation," she said, placing her napkin on the table. "You know what you need, though? Something to put your wine in so the bottles won't break. But, I'm hoping we won't have to deal with anything like we have wherever we get placed." It bothered the hell out of her that they my not be serving on the same ship any longer.

"Huh, that sounds like a good idea. Why don't we have a look around the shops when we buy the wine," said Terry. "A nice, secure, wine cooler of sorts would certainly help to keep them from breaking." He took her by the hand and walked over to the maitre d and pressed his thumb to the PADD. He nodded to the man and then put his arm around Dani's shoulders. "C'mon, hon. We have some shopping to do."

Dani smiled and slipped her arm around his waist. "That sounds perfect. It will keep the bottles from being knocked around too much," she said, smiling up at him as they made their way out. "I definitely would love to come back here one day."

He felt her arm slip around his waist and smiled. "Oh we will," said Terry. "Best place to get DRC is straight from the Domaine. We'll be back because I'll need more bottles. But we'll also be back because you want to come back." He gently hugged her as they headed out into the street. "I like making you happy, Dani. And if that means coming back here one day, then that's exactly what we'll do."

Dani smiled up at him. She was going to have to thank his mother when she met her. Thank her for raising such a terrific son. "That's all I want for you, too, for you to be happy. You deserve that and so much more."

 

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