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Posted on 22 Dec 2013 @ 10:30am by Lieutenant Harper Dane
Edited on on 22 Dec 2013 @ 12:38pm

Mission: New Voyages
Location: Deep Space 9
Timeline: Current

They had danced all night in a club that had been decorated with what the computer thought was a Deltan motif and Harper had smiled and laughed and politely didn't tell anyone just how dated the computer's perceptions of life on the home world was. It didn't matter. They had done a hundred themes on her time aboard the Berlin and this one was for her. Because she was leaving. But she didn't think about that. She was among friends. The Berlin had become her home and leaving it, however right it might seem in Starfleet's eyes, wasn't easy for her to do. Better to just enjoy the moment and push the rest away.

Far away.

And so, she danced all night, laughed and joked. From the party, her closest friends returned with her to her quarters to help her pack because everyone on board knew that Harper would let it go till the last possible second. And while they helped her through the worst of it, the Captain brought the ship to Deep Space 9 to make sure that she would get there on time.

Had there ever been a nicer crew? And that got her to crying although leaving them all was a tear-worthy occasion in any case. Still, the good-byes were said, her gear sent along to the Black Hawk, and she entered Deep Space 9 alone.

"I miss them already," she whispered.

She pushed the pain away for a couple of hours her natural optimism reasserted itself. She found herself on the Promenade, moving among the shops, and finally attracted to an explosion of color on display that literally dragged her across the Promenade. The Bolian shopkeeper towered over her which wasn't hard to do. At 5 feet 5 inches, 112 pounds, Harper Dane was no one's definition of imposing. Smoldering perhaps but that was the Deltan side of her genes coming to the fore. She had dramatic gray eyes, framed by thick dark lashes, and good cheekbones that her Betazoid grandmother insisted came from their side of the family. She had a way of moving, even when she was hurrying or didn't mean to, that drew the eye, that spoke of an intimate awareness of her own body, and uncommon grace.

Harper fingered a length of translucent cloth with sparkling threads that reflected back the Promenade lighting and imagined the way the silken folds would move with her, caress her long legs, and found herself smiling. The Bolian nodded his approval and folded his hands over his soft belly. "My wives both insisted I carry this cloth and ..." he bent down underneath the display and brought out several more bolts, the same type of cloth done in differing patterns, "these as well. I didn't see the point but as they both assure me, I do not have an eye for such things."

Harper chuckled, soft and throaty. "Men have an eye for the form within the dress," she said. She slid her hand beneath the cloth, let it slide across her fingers. "See the patterns across the skin, the way the cloth moves. Imagine now that's my leg."

The Bolian growled low in his throat and Harper smiled, a sensuous curve of the lips that whispered of many things. "Its a matter of perspective."

She bent down to get a closer look at the quality of the cloth. The movement brought her ponytail forward to spread in black as midnight pool on the cloth; she studied the reflections from several angles and then straightened. "I am interested in having an outfit made from this one," she said as her slender fingers caressed the material. "You wouldn't know of a capable seamstress, would you? One that could work fast. I'm on the Black Hawk and I'm not sure how long I have before we leave."

"Come with me. You can tell my wives what you have in mind and we'll take it from there." He picked up the bolt of cloth and headed into the back of the shop. Harper followed and before long was happily describing what she had in mind - a flowing skirt, heavily beaded at the top, riding on her hips, with a matching midriff top, long-sleeved, with points down across the tops of her hands. The same beads would be picked up in small sprays across her shoulders and then again on the points.

At their instructions, and unconcerned about who might see, Harper stripped and stood for measurements while the wives chattered amongst themselves in Bolian. As she dressed, the wives collected bead samples. Harper sat with them, arguing over color and design, until she was sure that the women shared her vision. The wives promised to create the suitable replicator pattern ready before the Black Hawk departed and Harley promised, if the work was good, to recommend the shop to her friends.

She was dancing as she left the shop, her hips undulating slowly, as she imagined how the dress would look, while the Bolian shopkeeper applauded softly. She peeked back over her shoulder, smiled mischievously, and then resumed a more sedate pace.

The distractions faded as she left the Promenade and all that she had successfully avoided thinking about came crashing back in on her. New ship, she thought as she walked, heading in the general direction of the Black Hawk, and after a moment, her steps slowed as she remembered again everything she was leaving behind. They had understood her and she had understood them as much as she understood the workings of the ship.

Sure hope they like Deltans (me). There's only one way to find out, I guess. She took a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and headed off in search of her new Captain.


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