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Posted on 11 Feb 2018 @ 5:37am by Ensign Aidan Crehan & Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Aidan and Mila's Quarters, Arboretum
Timeline: MD 15 || 1700 Hours

It had been a very long day. As a matter of fact, most of Aidan's days since they found the probe had been long. He was tired of looking at monitors and readouts and test results and theories. Now that he was off duty, all he wanted to do was go back to his quarters and get out of uniform. Well, his and Mila's quarters, that is. The thought of having her with him every evening had been what helped him trudge back and forget about the day. She seemed to have that effect on him and he liked it. He stepped into the turbolift and announced Deck Nine.

By the time it stopped, a smile had found its way onto Aidan's face. Home. And Mila would probably be joining him soon. Or maybe she was already there. He never knew, and that's what made it all the more fun. He was usually either greeted by Mila or Chow. And the decent walk down the corridor to room twenty allowed that anticipation to build up.

Mila puttered about in the small quarters that her and Aidan had been assigned and looked over as Chow poked at the replicator buttons. "Nyet, Chow," she said. "Blue one for snack." She went over and showed the Capuchin which button it was and followed by rubbing her stomach as an example. Chow seemed to get the idea and pressed the blue button, then gave a happy hoot as his snack materialized. "And do not be trying to take advantage of it," she told him as the simian took the pistachio bowl and went to the back of the couch. "It is only being for morning and evening or you will be turning into fat little monkey."

Aidan touched the panel on the wall and entered after the doors swooshed open. "Ahhhh," he sighed loudly, "someplace that is not filled with telemetry." He walked on in, the doors closing behind him, and looked around. "But instead, houses the most beautiful woman on the ship."

"Aidan!" Mila exclaimed when the door swished open and she saw the love of her life enter. She gave Chow a affectionate pat on his head and went to embrace the El Aurian man before she leaned up to kiss him. "I was wondering if Science had eaten you," she told him with her arms still around his neck. "I am being very glad it was not being the case for I would not be knowing what to do without you."

Aidan returned her kiss and held her for a moment. "There have been days where I've wondered," he said. "But I'm glad it hasn't either. I'd rather lose myself in you than Science any day of the week." He put his arm around her waist and led her to the couch...which wasn't very far away. "And how was your day in Admin, my dear?"

"You may lose yourself in me whenever you are wishing," she told him as she went to the couch with him. Chow perked up and offered him the bowl of pistachio pudding when he saw him, even though he had one finger in it. "My day is being okay other than Joey getting dizzy and having to go to sickbay. Then I had to be going to tell Captain, and now I am here with man that I am loving."

"Then perhaps I shall do that later." He looked at Chow and smiled, shaking head. "It sounds like you have been running all over the ship again. But I'm learning that's about normal for Administration sometimes. So enough of work," he said, taking off his boots and setting them at the end of the couch for now. "How are you feeling?"

"Oh, work," Mila laughed. "Sorry. When I am being off work, I am not thinking of it. That was after I am getting off." She leaned against him and smiled. "I am doing well, and yourself, my handsome knight?"

Aidan chuckled. "I am thoroughly enjoying learning our little nuances in how we talk and what we mean. I am pleased that you are well, too. As for me, I am well and that I'm home with you." He put a hand on her knee and gave a little squeeze. "I was thinking, Printsessa, that we might take a walk in the Arboretum later. If you were up for a little time outside these walls."

It had been a week to the day that she had been in the Arboretum with the Captain but this would be a different kind of visit. "I would be loving to," she said as she put her hand on top of his and laced her fingers with his. "As long as it is being with you, then I am being happy no matter where we are being. Did you wish to be taking a picnic dinner as well?"

Aidan thought for a second. "Now that sounds like a good idea. I was thinking we might eat a bit before the walk, but I like your suggestion much better. A picnic dinner it is then. Would you like something light or medium?"

"Something light," Mila suggested after a moment. "But filling. I am leaving choice of what to you because I am still expanding my...what is word...palette?"

"Yes, that is the correct word. So, something light, yet filling," said Aidan. He thought for a moment as his mind scanned through several ideas of things he'd had back on Earth. He wiggled his interlaced fingers against Mila's and smiled. "In order to expand your palette, I think we will each have a shrimp and arugula salad along with some prosciutto and ricotta bruschetta. How does that sound, sweetheart?"

She smiled. "That is sounding wonderful, even though I am recognizing only prosciutto. I am thinking that it will be very good and even more so when we are enjoying it together. I am hoping that I am not putting too much pressure on you."

Aidan leaned over and gently kissed her forehead. "Mila," he said quietly, "it's not too much pressure. It's for you and I, so it's not any pressure at all." He nuzzled her cheek before sitting back up. "I expect you will be very delighted then at the finished product, if the prosciutto is the only thing you recognize. I'll replicate the ingredients and put them both together shortly. For now, I'd just like a few more moments next to you."

"Before you are doing that, you are being in uniform and are needing to change into something more comfortable," Mila said as she rested against him. She wore a purple off the shoulder blouse with a simple black skirt which seemed to have purple highlights to it. With a smile, she turned her head and kissed him.

Aidan sighed and relished her smile and kiss. "You are most certainly correct. I need to remedy that right away." He rubbed her leg. "If you'll excuse me, my dear. I'll be right back." Aidan smiled at her and stood up, grabbing his boots and heading over behind the folding screen. The thing about the junior officer's quarters was that it was pretty much open as far the floor plan. But not so much anymore. Aidan stepped behind the screen and removed his uniform. He chose a pair of tan, knee length shorts and a blue v-neck tee shirt with a pair of brown sandals. He came back around and struck a pose. "What do you think?" he asked, grinning.

Chow gave a hoot and held out a thumbs up with one paw while he finished his pistachio and Mila burst out laughing. "You are having Chow's approval. I am seeing that I will have to be watching him or he will be trying to steal you from me," she teased him. "You are looking wonderful, my Knight, but you did not have to be changing right away."

Aidan started laughing as he walked back over to the couch. "Then I think I will keep an eye on him as well." He settled back on the couch next to his love. "That may be, but now I can be more comfortable in my attire as I enjoy your close company again." He put an arm around her shoulders and scooted closer. "I don't believe I've said it this afternoon...I love you, Mila." He then gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze.

She put an arm around him and smiled. "And I am loving you just as much, Aidan and look forward to many years with you."

"And I, you." He thoroughly enjoyed being with Mila and he was glad that they had been allowed to move in together. There was the occasion that he wondered how he ever ended up with such a terrific woman. "Have you heard from your parents lately? Or your sister regarding your niece?"

"Da , da," Mila said. "'Svetlana and Sofia are doing well as is Arkady. He is sending message to you wishing to arm wrestle Russian style when next time you are visiting. Father is wanting to know when you are to be making honest women of me and Mother is wanting to know when she is being grandmother again."

Aidan coughed. A couple of times. "I'm glad to hear they are doing well. I suppose I owe Arkady a match then. Or perhaps I should find out what I am getting into before I agree to that. As for Father and Mother, they sound as persistent as my parents."

She gave a deep laugh when she saw how he dodged the command and leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Do not be arm wrestling Arkady or worrying about my parents," she said. "I am telling them that when it is time, then it will be time."

He smiled, relieved that she was laughing at his comments and that he had not directly answered her. Had he been honest.... "You spoke very well to them, then. Did it settle their curiosity?"

"It will have to," Mila said. "For this is being our time and I am planning to enjoy everything in its own time. Now shall we be making picnic dinner?"

"Yes," he said, "let's." Aidan stood and held a hand out to Mila.

She took his hand and stood up before she walked to the replicator with him. "I am having idea for dessert, but if you would like to be making ingredients for meal first, it is being all yours."

"Thank you," he said. "I cannot wait to see what you put together for dessert." He then turned to the replicator and requested the baby arugula, large cooked shrimp from Earth, a diced avocado, some extra virgin olive oil, the lemon juice and wedges, coarse sea salt, and black pepper. The salads would be a quick fix, along with the bruschetta and it's ricotta cheese and prosciutto. "All yours, dearest." Aidan really liked it when he and Mila got to cook together.

Mila watched him replicate the ingredients and wonders why more people didn't do that instead of simply replicating a full meal. "Thank you, kind sir. That is looking delicious." She stepped up to the replicator and requested a butter pecan milk chocolate jelly roll with fresh strawberries in a covered dish.

When it materialized, she had a moment of guilt for not replicating the ingredients, but it would have taken too long to make. Which is why people are replicating full meals, she chastised herself. She took the dish from the platform and moved over to the table. "We are forgetting picnic basket."

"Ah, we are, aren't we?" Aidan replicated one, some plates and utensils, and containers to put his ingredients in. Why he didn't just replicate them in the containers was beyond him. But he shrugged it off and put his things in the basket. "When did you last have Chow out to romp and play?"

"Is good question," Mila admitted. "I am thinking that he is needing to come with us." At the mention of his name, Chow hopped back up onto the back of the couch after putting his pudding cup in the recycler for her to do. "Do you wish to be coming to climb trees in Arboretum?" she asked him and made a climbing motion with her hands which elicited an excited hoot from the little monkey.

Aidan chuckled at Chow's hopping around the furniture and excited hoot. "Then come on, little one. You deserve some time outside of these walls as well." He turned to Mila and held the basket out. "No need for you to carry that when there's plenty of room in here."

She put the covered dish in the picnic basket, then went to replicate some fruit salad for Chow and a bottle of white wine with two glasses for her and Aidan. When she returned, she put it in the basket, then motioned for the little simian to jump on her shoulder which he did. "Now to be going, da?"

Aidan watched Chow climb up to Mila's shoulder. He moved the basket to his other hand and took Mila's in his. "Da, let's be going." Aidan led them out the door and began to head down the corridor. "I have been thinking and I don't believe I've been to the Arboretum yet."

Mila twined her fingers in his and headed out the door. "It is being very beautiful," she said. "I was there a week ago and spoke with Harvey. I am thinking that you will like it very much. Perhaps we can be getting two seedlings to plant like we were doing on Risa."

"Then I look forward to it." For a moment, he considered asking about Harvey, but decided against it for now. "I like that idea, getting two seedlings. Do think we should plant them in the Arboretum? If they were trees, I mean. I wonder, could it be possible to get some flower seedlings or cuttings for our quarters?"

"I am thinking that our quarters would be much improved with some flowers," she agreed as she headed for the nearest turbolift. Chow gave a hoot, nods and made big monkey smiles at everyone that passed them by, getting a couple comments, surprised looks at seeing a monkey on a starship, and polite nods back.

"Then we shall find some we like and grow them," said Aidan. "But as far as improving the quarters, that happened when the beautiful flower holding my hand moved in. As wondrous as the flowers will be that we find, none will ever compare to you, my Antarian moon blossom."

"If you are being any sweeter, I am going to be having to be going to Medical for injections," Mila said with a blush as she gave his hand a squeeze. "In all my years, never have I met such a wonderful, loving man and I know that I will never be having to because I am finding you."

Aidan smiled as she squeezed his hand. Then he looked over to her and smiled wider. "I enjoy seeing you blush, my love." They came to the lift doors and Aidan led them in. But before announcing their destination, he said, "And in all my years, I have never met such a woman to be sweet and wonderful to." He leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. A moment or two later, he stood back up. "Never stop blushing. Deck Fourteen." The lift whirred to life and began it's journey.

"I cannot help but blush when you are being such a wonderful man," she said after she returned the kiss. "I am thinking that you will be enjoying the Arboretum very much. There are many species that I have not seen anywhere else."

"Oh?" Aidan said, "I shall look forward to seeing them, then. Perhaps there may be some that are familiar to me and I can teach you about them." The lift stopped and the doors opened. Aidan extended his arm...with a wink. "After you, milady."

"Thank you, M'lord," Mila said as she stepped out and Chow jumped down from her shoulder, but waited beside of her. "I am being certain there is much you can be teaching me and I am looking forward to learning everything."

Aidan watched Mila as she exited the turbolift. A grin played across his face while he followed her out. "The galaxy will be our school room. As for flowers, I'm afraid I would just pick one of the first ones I came across. Decorating was never my strong point."

"Bah, you are saying this now, but earlier you are calling me your Antarian moon blossom, so I am thinking that you are knowing much more. After all, you are willing to teach me, so how can you not decorate?"

"You have caught me, my wise one," said Aidan. He chuckled a bit before he continued. "I know of rare of books. I have traveled and studied the rare Iconians. And I am familiar with rare flowers such as the Antarian moon blossom. I can decorate with rarities. But I already have have the most rare thing in our quarters. You. So now, it needs a woman's touch instead of rarities decorator."

"Then I will be giving it my best," Mila said with another blush. "You are big flatterer, but I am loving it and you. Shall we see what is to be seen?"

There she went again. "Indeed we shall." The entrance to the Arboretum was just two doors away. Aidan led them inside, despite Mila having been there before. "This place is amazing, Mila."

"Da," she breathed as she spotted a red flower with pale yellow veins and three blue dots around the center. " this is being very beautiful," she said as she moved closer to it.

Aidan turned to look at what Mila was pointing out. "It is indeed," he said. "That would certainly bring some 'pop' to a room. But, I don't completely recognize that one. Familiar, yes...but not..." He stopped himself, realizing what he was doing. "There I go again, being a science officer off duty."

"I am not seeing how that is being science when you are saying nothing more than it would be bringing pop to room and that you are not recognizing this," Mila responded with a confused look on her face. "How is that being science officer?"

"It was the part the you could not see. In my mind, when I didn't recognize it, I began to analyze it in an attempt to deduce where it could possibly have come from instead of just enjoying it's beauty," Aidan responded.

"But I am not being telepath," she pointed out. "So how am I knowing what you are thinking? Simply say that you do not know and that it is beauty. I am not needing to know every last detail about it. Is simple, da?"

Aidan smiled. Mila could be very logical and it seemed to keep him grounded at times like this. "Yes, you're right. I don't recognize it, but it is beautiful." He ran his free hand through her hair and rubbed her back. "Thank you for keeping it simple for me. There are times that I tend to run with things. And that's something new about me that you have learned about me on our journey." He winked at his brunette girlfriend.

Mila shivered when he ran his hands through her hair and down her back. "Although if you are having things to be teaching me, I am being more than happy to learn. I am learning much about you and look forward to be knowing everything."

"As am I, you." Aidan looked up from where they were standing. "Oh Mila, look at this one," he said pointing. "And it's our color."

She bent down to look at it and admired it for a long moment and a small sign beside of it proclaimed it to be a Chinese Black Bat flower. "Name is being strange, but flower is being beautiful," she said. "I am hoping we are able to get cutting of it."

Mila started to stand when another flower nearby caught her attention. "This being creepy, but beautiful at same time."

"I shall ask about the cutting before we leave," he said. Aidan turned his attention to what Mila was talking about. "Um, I would agree entirely. It almost looks as if it could sway those tendrils and hypnotize onlookers." A familiar scent not too far away caught his nose and he moved towards it. "A Muktok plant! It has been years since I have seen, or smelled one. It is native to Betazed and lives for hundreds of years. That wonderful odor is produced by them. Their flowers also have a uniqueness to them." He turned to Mila, "Shake them lightly."

She reached out and gently shook the plant that he indicated and smiled when she heard a faint chiming sound come from the flowers. "It is being wonderful, but I am thinking Chow would be shaking it to pieces." She looked around and spotted the little monkey sitting on a branch near them. "Just be remembering, Chow, do not be eating plants here." She reached into the picnic basket and shook his container of pistachios to remind him and the Capuchin gave a hoot before he settled down again.

Aidan laughed. "He probably would. But why don't we go ahead and settle down with our picnic before he tries to take his container." He looked around the Arboretum for someplace relaxing when he realized that is what the whole room was about. "What about over there," he gestured. "That grassy spot beyond the flowers and shrubs."

Mila laughed at his comment about Chow taking the container and looked to where he was gesturing. "That is looking like very good spot," she agreed. "It is reminding me of our time on Risa, but in truth, you are what I am remembering best about it."

"It does, doesn't it," he replied. He put his arm around her waist as they walked over. "And I love you, too." He wiggled his fingers on her side. "Oh. I forgot to bring a blanket. I guess we get to sit on the grass."

Chow hopped down to join them and tugged at the basket. "Grass is being fine as long as you are being here with me," she said as she laughed when he tickled her.

"Always, my dear." They walked around the lush bushes and brightly colored flowers. "Perhaps after dinner we can simply lay back, enjoy the coolness of the grass, and relax. And watch Chow romp in the trees."

"The only thing he is to be romping on is his pistachios," Mila said as Chow walked under the picnic basket giving little hoots. "As for you, I am having question. What were you thinking when you are first meeting me?"

Aidan thought back to that time he first met Mila on the shuttle. It didn't take much however, that instance had been playing in his mind a lot as of late. "I enjoyed our talking on that shuttle ride. I remember thinking that you were a lovely woman. Then when we stepped off the shuttle and the wind caught up you hair, I thought you looked even lovelier in the sun and wind."

"I am remembering feeling awkward, but you put me completely at ease," she said as she moved a lock of hair behind her ear unconsciously.

Aidan smiled and put the basket down. He turned and put his hand on her shoulders. "I could not tell any such thing. You seemed very calm through it all, the shuttle ride, sharing the room, all of it." He put a hand up to her cheek. "And I'm glad that I put you at ease. Then and now." He held it there for a moment, gently rubbing her cheek, before pulling it away. "You can always come to me to feel at ease, my Mila." This time, he spoke her name as it would be traditionally, Mee-la.

Mila smiled and settled down beside of him in the grass. "I love you so much, Aidan," she said softly as she took the hand that was on her cheek between hers. "And that will never stop."

"I like the sound of that very much," he said as she was setting beside him. "And I will never stop loving you, either." He sat there, his hand in hers, and admired the wonderful woman in front of him. "You said that you remember feeling awkward and then at ease when we first met? But, what did you think of me? Or my offer of sharing a room that very same night?"

"I am remembering us arguing who is to be getting the bed," she said with a laugh. "Was a very hard challenge, but I am thinking that it worked out well. You were being true gentleman the entire time and I was thinking that I was dreaming."

Aidan laughed as well. "We did, didn't we? Argue about who was getting the bed. It was a great time, though. And I would never have been anything but a gentleman with you. Now there are those few times," he reached behind her and pinched as much of her butt as he could, "that a certain Rogue pays a visit. Still dreaming, sweetheart?"

Mila yelped in surprised and playfully swatted at him. "You rog....and you are already calling yourself that. Nyet, I am no longer dreaming. Now I am scheming." She got the containers out of the basket and gave Chow his pistachios and the ones that Aidan had made for them.

Aidan laughed when she yelped and then swatted him. "Ohh, I have no doubt that I am going to be the surprised recipient of your schemes. And you know what? I look forward to them, to the surprises." He took the containers that Mila removed from the basket and then reached in for the plates and utensils. The first thing he put together was the prosciutto and ricotta bruschetta. They could get started on that while he built the salads. After finishing and plating six of them, he set the plate on top of one of the containers. "Indulge, my love."

She took a plate with three of the bruschettas and left the other three for him. "This is looking and smelling very good," she told him before she took a bite. She chewed and swallowed before she smiled. "It is being very wonderful, Aidan. I am now knowing that you are being good cook and can be retiring from replicator duty now."

Aidan popped one into his mouth as he was putting the salads together. "They are indeed delicious. Retiring from replicator duty though, you'd let me do that?" He turned and winked at Mila.

"Nyet," Mila said after she finished eating her bruschetta. "I am meaning that I am being retiring from replicator duty. You are being too good of a chef to be needing it." she said with a grin.

"Ohh, I see what you are talking about." He looked up at her and smiled, handing her a bowl of the salad and a fork. "Then I shall replicate ingredients and cook meals for my brunette Printsessa that will make her mouth water."

"Where are you learning this recipe from?" she asked after she ate another one. "It is being very tasty. AS for retiring, you are knowing that I am having no plans to give up cooking, but I am looking forward to seeing what you are dishing up next."

"The bruschetta recipe came from my mother. The salad was something I picked up on Risa," he said. "I do intend on dishing up some good meals. And I look forward to more of what you have to make." He took a bite of his bruschetta and smiled after swallowing. "Remember the hotel? We cook well together."

Mila took her fork and ate a bite of the shrimp and salad and smiled. "This is being very good, too, Aidan. I am going to have to be teaching you some Russian dishes." She smiled fondly at him. "It was being first meal we ever cooked together."

He returned her smile. "It was, wasn't it. I would like to learn some Russian dishes from you." He took a bite of the shrimp and salad, too. Aidan nodded and swallowed. "Even better than the one I had on Risa. So, what would you teach me?"

"I am thinking beef stroganoff or chicken kiev to start," she said after a moment. "Then perhaps something a bit more complex once you are mastering those."

"I think those both sound good," he said. Aidan ate a couple more bites of salad and looked around. "I know we're on a ship, but all this needs now is a cool breeze. I think I could even lay down in this grass after we finish and relax."

"That would be wonderful," Mila said. "I am not seeing why are cannot be doing this." She ate another bruschetta and savored the flavor of it. "In fact, I am thinking that is exactly what we are to be doing. Chow will be okay on his own for a bit." She pointed to where the little monkey was perched on a limb with his bowl of pistachios.

"I would a imagine that he would enjoy a nice play through the trees after he's finished," said Aidan. "He might even be able to practice some of his parkour." So far, everything was delicious; especially the bruschetta. But even more so, the company. He smiled at Mila. "I like this arboretum. And right now, I'm glad that too many people haven't yet discovered it."

"Is being a very lovely place," she agreed as she finished her last bruschetta off and wiped her hands. "And I am thinking that with ship as big as it is being, very few will be finding it."

"Then until that happens, this shall be our little corner of it," said Aidan. "We will rule over this corner. And we shall call it...our corner." He smiled at Mila and chuckled.

"Which is being known as рай in Russian," Mila said, pronouncing the last word as 'Pry' with a roll on the r. "Paradise, which is everywhere you are being."

He set his bowl of salad down on the grass and leaned in to Mila. "My angel. My sweet, and at times roguish, angel. You are my рай," he said, imitating her pronunciation. "And I love spending time there." He gently brushed her lips with his.

She returned the kiss and smiled. "I am loving you so much, Aidan. I am surprised that my heart is not bursting out of my chest each time I am seeing you. You are sweet, kind, gentle and are always knowing the right thing to say at the right moment."

"Years of listening help to know the right things to say in most situations," he replied. "But no amount of years has ever taught me what you have in the time we have known each other. I love you very much too, Mila. You make it easy to be all of those that you mentioned. Wonderful Mila. Understanding Mila. Loving Mila. My Mila."

Mila blushed at his words. "And then you are being complete flatterer and making me blush," she said before she reached for the covered dish she had replicated and opened it to reveal the butter pecan milk chocolate jelly roll with fresh strawberries on the side. "Are you being ready for dessert?"

Aidan winked at Mila and then looked down at the container. "Oh that looks delicious." Then back up to Mila. "I'm always ready for dessert."

She cut the dessert in half evenly since it was made for two and then split the sliced strawberries up. She put his on a plate and handed it to him. "My love, the first treat is going to you."

Aidan accepted the plate. It looked really good...and then she added the sliced strawberries. "Thank you, Printsessa. As sweet as I am sure this is, I don't think it comes close to being as sweet as you." He picked his fork back up and cut a pieced of the jelly roll off before forking a strawberry slice. The mesh of flavors that met his tongue made him roll his back. He savored it before swallowing. "My love, it tastes just as delicious as it looks."

Mila did the same with hers and groaned. "This is being so good, but you are sweeter," she said. "By far and away, there is no one and nothing that could compare to my dear Knight in shining armor."

He couldn't help himself. The dark-haired man took another, slightly larger, bite. "And you are my Printsessa. You will always shine brighter than the brightest star." He cut another piece and put it on the fork. "We should make this a new addition to our dessert list. Though, it also means we might get to work out a bit more."

"I am thinking that we will be working out a bit more if we are eating more than one serving of this a year," she agreed as she took another bite. "I am finding this recipe in database and am very glad to have tried it."

Aidan followed a bite with a drink. "It seems that the database has quite a few good recipes in it. I might have to peruse it sometime to see what I can find. Most of mine come from home or from years of traveling."

"And most of mine are being Russian," Mila said before she took another bite. "Together, we shall be exploring culinary galaxy, da?"

"Da," he replied. "It seems we have found yet another road to travel on our journey together that we started on shore leave. I am thoroughly enjoying our travels, by the way."

"As am I, my Knight," she said as she went for another bite. After she swallowed it, she looked down at her stomach. "I know it is not being possible, but I am feeling as if I gained weight just eating this."

"I must say, I'm filling up rather quick, myself." He took one more bite and put the plate in the container. "What do you say to our relaxing in the grass?" Aidan scooted next to her.

"Da," Mila replied as she set her own plate aside and took his hand before she laid back in the grass. "I am wishing we could be feeling real sunlight here."

Aidan interlaced his fingers with hers as he laid back. "That certainly would make this all the much better. Perhaps on the next shore leave, we will be orbiting a planet. Or at least be free to go to one. Then we can find a patch of grass to lay in and feel the sunlight on our faces."

She lay back beside of him and smiled. "It is being a very wonderful thought to be on a planet again, but I am hoping it is not like last planet we were being on."

"Oh, me too, my dear," he replied. "While you and I have some wonderful memories from there, the overall I do not wish to visit another planet like that."

"Other than meeting you, that was being best thing about the planet," Mila said as she reached over to squeeze one of his hands.

Aidan smiled as Mila took his hand. She was wonderful. At times, too wonderful for him. But he was glad that she was his and he was hers. He smiled as he thought about other things regarding Mila. Regarding both of them. He returned her squeeze, "You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, Mila."

"And I, you," she said before she closed her eyes. "I love you, Aidan and I always will."

"I love you too, Mila. And will always love you," replied.



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