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Just The Two of Us Part II

Posted on 06 Apr 2017 @ 12:02am by Senior Chief Petty Officer Mila Rasputin & Ensign Aidan Crehan

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Risa Subterranean Gardens

Mila decided on wearing a light lavender sleeveless shirt, a pair of matching shorts and a pair of sandals which would provide traction and be light enough to not make walking long distances difficult. She finished packing a lunch of shrimp, pork, and beef kabobs, fresh fruit, a thermos of coffee and another thermos of juice for the two of them and some yogurt, grapes and pistachios for Chow and a blanket. When she had everything together, she looked around for her two boys. "I am being ready," she said.

Aidan came out of the bedroom wearing a yellow v-neck t-shirt, a pair of blue and white checkered shorts, and some brown sandals. "Come Chow, let's see what our Mila has packed for our outing."

Chow wore a denim vest with no sleeves with a patch on the back depicting a pair of lips with the tongue sticking out as he scampered up to Aidan's shoulder and pointed towards the door.

Mila laughed. "I'm ready when you are being....are you not looking handsome?" she said, interrupting her own chain of thought.

Aidan looked at Chow on his shoulder. "So, who do you think she is talking too, my friend?" He looked back at Mila and smiled.

Chow gave a hoot and pointed at himself, causing Mila to laugh. "I am talking about both of you," she said as she approached with the basket in one hand and wrapped her other arm around his waist.

Aidan started laughing as Mila walked up. "And you look very beautiful in your light shade of purple." He felt her arm go around his waist and grinned. He liked walking like that with her. "So what have packed for us, my dear?"

"I am making shrimp, pork, and beef kabobs, fresh fruit, and have two thermoses of coffee and juice," she said. "Not to be forgetting Chow again, he is having his pistachios, yogurt and grapes."

"Oh, that sounds delicious, Mila," he said, walking toward the door. "Um, we can't both fit at the same time. Please, after you, Mila."

"You are just wanting to see my butt again," Mila jokingly accused him, but headed out ahead of him with a sway of her hips. "Are you already arranging for transportation to gardens?"

"But of course I do," he said watching her hips sway. "I always will. And yes, I have," he said following her out. "But it looks like he is a little..." Aidan was cut off by the sound of the hover taxi arriving. "No, it would appear as though he is right on time." The hover taxi slowed to a stop and the driver tapped a button to open the doors. "Ladies first," said Aidan.

Mila got in and scooted over, placing the basket at her feet and Chow followed her to perch on the back of the seat. "I am thinking that I am forgetting something," she said before she frowned. "We are not getting holo imager to be bringing with us!" she gasped as she remembered. "I am hoping that they are having them there to be renting."

"I'm sure they will," said Aidan, scooting in next to her. "It is Risa after all. I'm sure that we are not the first ones to have forgotten a holo imager." He turned his attention to the driver once the door closed. "Subterranean gardens, please." The hover taxi sped off. "I'm looking forward to us seeing these together, Mila."

"I am looking forward to be making more memories of us, Aidan," she said softly. "You are making every day and every night new memory and it does not matter if we are having holo imager or not as long as we are being together."

He scooted a little closer to her and put his hand on her bare knee, giving a gentle squeeze. "I love making memories with you, Mila. I love the times we spend together. And I'm certain you will enjoy making memories of this particular trip. The luminescent plants are simply amazing." Then he leaned over and whispered in her ear. "You are the most wonderful woman I have ever met, Mila Rasputin. You are so kind and caring. And I will always be here for you. I love you, sweetheart."

Mila felt her heart melt a little more for this kind, wonderful, loving man and a thought went through her mind that the two of them should get married. She knew that her parents would kill her if she didn't invite them to the wedding and had no idea what his parents would do and quickly put it to the back of her mind. "You are to be melting my heart all over again, Sir Knight. I am being yours forever and nothing and no one will ever compare. I am loving you more than ever."

Aidan put his arm around her as best he could in the cramped taxi and nudged her head to his chest. "It beats for you, only you, and always you." He liked hearing her say that she would be his forever.

She leaned over and gave him a soft kiss while Chow preened and gave a soft hoot. "I am being glad that we were able to make salvage of what we had on ship for the most part," she said. "Memories are being wonderful, but some are associated with items and cannot be replaced. Such as you."

"Hey," called out the driver, "I just picked you two up at your room. Do I need to take you back for some 'Risa time' or something?"

Aidan looked up at the front of the vehicle. "No, on to the gardens. And the quicker you get us there, the quicker you will not have to hear any more." He felt the speed increase slightly as he turned his attention back to his girlfriend.

"I agree, my love. You are irreplaceable," said Aidan. He rubbed her shoulder and winked at Chow. "Risa time, indeed," he whispered.

Mila laughed at the driver and whispered in Aidan's ear. "He is needing horga'hn in order to be getting jamaharon if he is being this tight with passengers who are showing affection to each other," she said.

Aidan tried so hard not to laugh, but it was useless. Something between a chuckle and snort escaped his mouth and then a full blown laugh. He looked down at his hazel-eyed girl, "You, are something else." He leaned down to whisper in her ear, "And you are probably right."

She laughed when he snorted and would have fallen over in her seat if she wasn't by the door. "You are being bad, Sir Rogue," she said as if he had been the one to say it about the driver. "I am having feeling we will be having to walk if you are not being careful."

"That is always a possibility. But if it happened, you wouldn't have to walk. You would ride on my shoulders and I would carry you wherever you wanted to go, my love." Aidan felt the hover taxi speed up some more and smiled. "Apparently this is getting us there faster."

"Which way will I be facing when I am sitting on your shoulders?" Mila asked him with a devious grin and the cab driver muttered about local speed limits and fines.

Aidan raised an eyebrow and looked at her and her grin. "Well that all depends on where I am carrying you, Lady Rogue. Subterranean gardens or a secluded beach."

She laughed again and leaned against him. "You are being something else," she said. "Please do not ever be changing."

"I won't," he said simply. "And don't you ever change, either." Aidan felt the hover taxi begin to slow and looked out the window. "I think that..."

"We're here," said the driver, interrupting Aidan, "finally."

Aidan looked up at the price and payed the man his due. "Thank you. It was the best hover taxi ride I have ever had." He squeezed Mila's knee, which the driver couldn't see, and smiled.

"Yeah, I bet it was. You two kids have and don't call when you're ready to go back." He touched a button that opened the door for his passengers to get out.

Aidan slid out and reached back in for the basket and Mila's hand.

Mila took his hand and got out, breathing the smell of moisture and real plants heavy in the air. "It is being wonderful already. I have grown very sick of ship air lately. Is good to breathe real air."

"It is very nice, isn't it," said Aidan. He had the basket in one hand and took Mila's hand with the other. "Come dear, there are lots of places to go in these subterranean gardens. Did you know that there is even a river that winds it's way through part of the caverns?"

"Wait, wait!" Mila called as she spied a small gift shop near the entrance of the caverns. "We are needing holo imager." With his hand in hers, she headed for the shop. "As for river, are we to be wading on on boats?"

"Oh that's right," said Aidan, "holo imager." He followed her into the little gift shop. "There are boats that will take us though along the river. There are also parts that you can walk and get fairly close to the plants."

She quickly made her way to the counter and purchased a holo imager, strips of latinum appearing out of somewhere in her pocket. She saw a giant bar of Deltan chocolate and her eyes went wide. "Aidan...we are to be getting this!" she exclaimed as she added it to the counter. "Are you wanting anything?"

He really enjoyed watching her. "Yes, grab another chocolate bar." He doubted that he would eat it, but it was something that she liked. It was for her later. Aidan looked down to Chow, "I am glad she's having fun. But this is only the beginning."

Mila added a second one to the counter and paid for everything. Chow gave Aidan's leg a touch and pointed to a stand that had bags of nuts on it. "Are you being ready?"

"I am, but I think Chow has spied something he wants," said Aidan. He walked over to the stand and picked up a bag of nuts. "I believe he could smell them a mile away."

She went over and picked up a bag of the binkgo nuts and read the label. "Okay," she said as she paid for the nuts and added them to the bag. "Now we are to be having everything. Do you wish to be leading the way?"

"We are," said Aidan. "So off we go." He picked the basket back up and headed into the main entrance. There wasn't much at the entrance but an open cavern. Daylight still shined in, at least until the ground began a slow descent. The further they got underground, the more they started to see. At first, it was just a few plants here an there. But after a while, it was like a whole new world opened up. "What do you think, my love?"

Mila gasped as she looked around her. "Is is being most beautiful thing I have ever seen," she said as she pulled out the holo imager and began to take pictures. "Look at these," she exclaimed.

Aidan looked over to where Mila was pointing the holo imager. "Oh, wow, those are beautiful. Wait, if I may?" he asked, reaching for the holo imager.

She handed it to him and went to move out of the way. "Here you go," she said with a smile as she motioned for Chow to get out of clump of flowers that cast a strange blue glow on him.

Aidan took the holo imager and held it up. "No, no, you get back in there, sweetheart." He waited for Mila to move back into the shot, and then said, "Now it is beautiful." He touched the button and took the image.

Mila moved back in front of the plant and blushed, grateful that the bioluminescence and darkness of the subterranean gardens prevents him from seeing it. A big smile lit her face and she motioned towards a passing couple. "I am asking for favor, please," she said to them.

The male turned towards her and Aidan. "Yes?"

"Would you please be taking picture of me and my boyfriend?" she asked them.

"Certainly," the man's female companion said.

"Thank you," replied Aidan. He walked over and stood next to Mila, putting his arm around her waist.

The woman took the image and handed it back out to Aidan. "You two make a wonderful couple," she said. " I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip."

"We will," said Aidan. "Thank you again and enjoy your trip as well." Arm till around Mila's waist, he leaned down and kissed her. "So thoughtful."

"I am thank you," Mila told the couple after she returned the kiss and the couple left before she looked up at him. "Now we are making memories together and having evidence of such, although I am feeling bad for Chow now being in picture. We will have to be finding someone else to be taking more of us."

Aidan starting grinning in an attempt to hide a laugh, but it wasn't working. He chuckled a bit before suggesting, "Perhaps Chow could take them for us." Then he looked down at the little Capuchin and laughed.

"Do not be doubting him," she said. "He is being very smart monkey, but I am wishing him to be in pictures, too. If he is to be taking pictures, then how would he be in them?"

"Oh, I was not doubting his ability to take the pictures," said Aidan. "I was just concerned as to what particular still life he might be focusing on." He looked down at the little monkey, remembering what Mila had said about the birthday party.

Mila laughed. "I am thinking that you are being right about that," she said as she scooped Chow up and put him on her shoulder again. "We are not needing that kind of memories to be showing our friends. Shall we continue?"

"Yes, we shall. This place has so much to look at," he said. "Oh! Look at that! This place has grown so much since I was last here. And all of those blues..."

"That is being amazing and beautiful!" she exclaimed. "I am being so glad you were suggesting Risa as place to go, Sir Knight. Is being a wonderful place and so full of excitement and adventure. I am never wanting to leave."

"It is a very wonderful place," said Aidan. "And this is just the beginning of it. It was also here that I learned massage techniques, which I still need to demonstrate." He smiled down at Mila and then looked ahead. "Chow..." The little monkey had found one of the greenish leaves large enough to play under. "I think he likes the gardens, as well."

Mila laughed. "Do not be thinking to be hiding here, Chow," she told the little simian. "I am knowing there is no other monkeys to be found here, but if you are being lucky, you may be having a female monkey waiting for you if we are ever been assigned on a ship again." She looked at Aidan. "I am hoping to experience your massage very soon and everything else you have to offer."

"Well, when on Risa... Besides, they will have everything I need right here without having to replicate it," he said. "Of course, I will not rent one of their rooms. I can just buy it all fresh here and use our hotel room." They continued walking until the small dock came into view. There was already a line forming for one of the boats that would slowly take them down the river. "Would you like to try the boat ride?"

"Da," she said as she scooped Chow up again who had a blue leaf in his hand that he waved around as if it were a trophy he had won. She looked ahead at the dock and gasped. "It is being beautiful!"

Aidan looked at Chow and chuckled. "It is, isn't it? The gardens have grown substantially since I was last here. I can't wait to see what's further down." They stepped up in line and waited. It wasn't but a few minutes before they neared the boat.

"Well, it looks like we can only fit two more," said the Risan manning the operation. He looked at the young couple in front of him. "Well, two more and a monkey. You three will the back seats."

Aidan looked over to Mila and took her hand. "My dear?"

Mila smiled, took Aidan's hand and got in the boat with Chow on her shoulder. "It is like being in space with beautiful nebula all around us," she said in awe as she looked at the beautiful scenery.

" a way that I have never thought about it," he replied. He gingerly sat down next to Mila and put the basket with their lunch on the floor of the boat, between his feet. Moments later the boat pushed away from the shore and began it's trek. It almost seemed like it knew where it was going, but who said technology was only for Starfleet. The sights along the shore and further back in were amazing. "This is nothing like I have ever seen before."

"I am having no words to be speaking of how I am truly feeling," she said as she took the holo imager and began to take images of the sites. "I am thanking you for bringing me here." She turned the imager his way and took one of him. "Just as I am thanking you for being with me." She leaned over and gave him a soft kiss.

He felt her lips against his, as if it were a gentle brush of a kiss. "Sweetheart, you do not have to thank me for being with you. And you'll never have to say 'thank you,' for that matter," said Aidan. He put his arm around her and scooted closer. "You mean everything to me, Mila Rasputin. And I'm glad that I can spend all of this time with you."

Mila smiled and leaned against him and Chow moved to give them room, choosing to sit on her lap instead. "You are being amazing man, Aidan Crehan, and I cannot wait to meet the amazing people who brought you into this life, or for you to meet my parents."

"Sorry to have pushed you out of the way, Chow. But you must share her now," he said to his little friend. "And I say, thank you kind sir." He turned and sniffed her hair. As always, magnificent. "I am looking forward to when you meet my parents, as well. But, even more so, I cannot wait to meet your family. What are they like, your parents?"

"My Father is always acting like he is big, strong type while my Mother is always to be telling him he is more like teddy bear and that he should be smiling more," she said as memories flooded back to her. "In reality, he is full of good advice and has deep love of history and tradition. Mother is being gentle soul who will go to ends of galaxy to get what someone is needing. What of your parents?"

"My father has always been the strong, silent type. He doesn't say much, but that doesn't mean he is not thinking. He is one who considers his words carefully. He is a hard worker and has been for hundreds of years," said Aidan. "My mother, now she is kind woman. She will give you the shirt off her back. As a matter of fact, she the most giving woman I have ever known. There were times, mainly after our rescue, that things were...slim, if you will. Father and mother took care of the family, but my mother still found ways to give to our neighbors and friends. Yet at the same time, she is like a mother Targ; if you hurt, in any way, her family, you will incur her wrath. And she can hold a grudge."

"Then I will be remembering not to stir up hornet nest," Mila said. "I am thinking that if your father and my father are ever talking, it will be quietest conversation in history." She turned her head as something caught her attention. "Look over there she said with wonder in her voice.

Aidan looked over to where Mila was pointing. "Ohhh, that is..." He grabbed the holo imager and took a picture. Then he laughed. "Thank you. Mother is quite the, well, you wouldn't believe she could have the quiet temper that she does. And yes, our fathers would be an interesting pair to get together. Yet, since he is a lover of history, I suspect that he and I could have some good conversations." One in particular, he thought.

"What is it being like having parents who you are knowing will always be there for you?" Mila asked as she thought about the longevity of El Aurians and how short the lifespan of humans were in comparison.

Aidan took a deep breath. "Our parents do eventually pass," he began. "Just as with humans, El-Aurian parents usually do not outlive their children. But I understand what you're asking. My parents will be there for me, but not always, Mila. It is true that they will be around longer than most parents are, and I am able to learn much from them during that time." He paused and looked at her. "Much which I will teach you, if you wish to learn. Much that, as we have time to spend in the Alpha Quadrant, you can learn from them."

She was saddened to think about the lost of her or his parents, so she latched onto what he said about teaching her. "I am always willing to learn, Aidan," she said. "Life is a learning experience and it is always welcome when a teacher is willing to be taking a new student. You have had centuries of experience and I am but a drop in the bucket next to such, but as long as I am able to think, I am willing to learn something new."

He put his arm around her. "I will never think of you as my student. You will always be my Mila. And I look forward to learning together, sweetheart." He leaned down and placed a kiss ever so lightly on her lips. "You will always be mine and I will always be there for you. For Mila, my always for you truly is...always."

Mila returned the kiss and smiled. "And I am always going to be there for you, my kind, caring, wonderful Knight," she said. Up ahead, the underground tunnel narrowed before opening up to a larger cavern and she looked up. "It is even being above and all around us," she said.

Aidan looked up and at the walls of the tunnel. "This is simply amazing. And it looks like the end may be coming up. At least, the end of the river part." He turned his gaze back to Mila. "Kind, caring, wonderful...I believe you are also describing yourself. Only you forgot beautiful, amazing, sweet, and Printsessa."

"Da," she giggled and blushed. "But would look funny if I were to be calling you Printsessa," she said before she leaned in to give him another kiss. Meanwhile, Chow had moved to the edge of the boat and was trailing one paw through bioluminescent algae and held it up. He gave a started hoot when he saw that his paw was glowing faintly and hurried over to thrust it in front of Aidan's face.

Aidan started laughing. "That would be funny." As the thought continued milling around in his head and started laughing again, Chow suddenly popped up. Or rather, his paw. Aidan saw that is was glowing a little and laughed some more. "Poor Chow, you will be just fine. It is only bioluminescent algae. It will most likely wear off. In the meantime, you will have your own personal nightlight."

Mila burst out laughing at the sight of Chow waving his blue glowing paw in Aidan's face. She picked up the holo imager and took a picture of it before she reached for it. "You will be okay, Chow," she assured him as she pulled him into her lap. "Just do not be tugging at anything else for it will be turning blue, too."

Aidan nearly choked. "Indeed. That would not be very good." He looked at Mila and couldn't contain himself any longer. He burst out laughing. The El-Aurian felt bad for the others in the boat. " can't take me...anywhere...can you?" he said to Mila, between breaths.

A few other couples looked back, but they took the couple's laughter as their happiness and didn't object. More than a few others were making out and weren't paying attention and the boat tour guide merely raised her voice a little.

She laughed. "Is not you," she said. "Is being Chow. He is big pervert. Where do you think I am getting it from?" she asked him.

He went from laughing to coughing before he stopped. "Um, well, I..." She had caught him off guard again and he was stumbling to find the right words. Mila didn't do that often, but when she did, it was big. "You absolutely love doing that to me, don't you?"

Mila patted him on the back and smiled. "Only when I am thinking to be getting away with it," she said before she leaned in to give him a kiss. "But I am always making it up to you, so it is being balanced, da?"

"Da. It is balanced, my love," added Aidan. "Even with what you revealed to me earlier, I still never tire of hearing your accent and native language. No matter when." Mila was a lot fun to be around and even more fun to live with. "But it is perfectly okay. It isn't often that people catch me off guard. I have more fun, though, when it is you."

"With you, I am being free to be free as I wish. If you are ever in Administration, you will likely be seeing different side of me." She leaned back and looked over to her left and tugged at his sleeve. "Look at that," she said. "Is being beautiful. I am wondering if we are being allowed to walk on it also or if it is for gardeners to tend?"

When she tugged at his sleeve, he smiled. "Oh my, that is amazing. You know, that is a question that we can ask once we reach the end of the river tour. I think it would be interesting to have a closer look at them like that."

"Either way, it is enough that we are here together," Mila said as she snuggled back against him. "I am seeing wonders of the galaxy with wonderful man, having wonderful time on pleasure planet and I am saying that nothing could be better."

"Indeed it is." He enjoyed it when she snuggled against him. Especially when they were out like this. It meant that she wasn't ashamed or afraid. He put his arm around her and hugged. He would never let her go. "I am a wonderful man because of you. But you're right, nothing could be better than spending such a time with the one you love." He turned his head to the left, "Oh Mila, get the holo imager," he said as he pointed. "Look over there."

She looked and gasped as she reached for the holo imager and took several images of it. "I am wondering if we are to be noticed if we slipped away from tour and made ourselves a home here?" she asked him as she wrapped a free arm around his waist. "Is such a beautiful space and is being in no danger of being attacked by crazed people who are not knowing who is who."

"I'm sure someone would notice if we made a home here, unfortunately." He could understand where she was coming from, though. "It would make a very safe place, indeed Mila. That said, I haven't seen any small animals in here so far. I wonder, being as it is subterranean, where they're at? I would imagine that the gardens are full of them."

"I am not being certain," Mila said. "It is being a good question, though. One would think that they would have a few for tourist, but perhaps everything is being cared for by Risans or automated processes. Still, would be very nice to see native species to get images of, da?" As she said that, a small grouping of bioluminescent insectoids flew past her nose and startled her.

"Wow, look at that," said Aidan. "I shall never grow tired of seeing this. It is always growing, always changing." He moved his arm to around her shoulders and started running his fingers through her hair. Aidan could see the end of the tunnel up ahead. "It would appear that the boat ride portion of this excursion will soon be over. So, one last kiss in the bioluminescent glow of the gardens." Aidan shifted so that he could lean down and press a long, lasting, passionate kiss to the rosy lips of his beautiful Russian girlfriend.

She returned the kiss until she had to come up for air and molded herself against him even more. Chow gave a hoot and went down to where the bag was she had picked up at the shop and helped himself to the nuts she had bought for him. "One last kiss to be lasting a moment in time," she said softly. "I never dreamed to be having such a wonderful time with such an amazing man on Risa. You are being full of surprises and I am loving you."

"I hope to keep surprising you, Mila. And will keep loving you, always and forever," said Aidan. "I am glad that I'm the man who can make your dreams come true." He wanted so much just to hold her close right now. Well, closer than what they were. "Since you came into my life, things have been brighter and more fun. I don't believe I have ever laughed as much before and sincerely enjoyed it. You bring out the best in me, you amazing woman."

"Because you are being worthy of the best," Mila responded. "You have been making me happier than I have ever been in my life, Aidan Crehan and I am looking forward to many more wonderful experiences with you. I cannot imagine what life would be like without you and I am not wanting to, either." As the boat neared the dock, a glowing jellyfish-like creature surfaced near the boat and spread rainbow hued tentacles across the surface in a display.

Aidan watched as the creature slowly spread out the tentacles. It was simply magnificent. In his mind, it was almost as if the gardens or saying thank you. "Then let us not," he said. As the boat nudged itself against the dock, two Risan men caught it and latched it to the posts. They began helping the others out of the boat first. Aiden looked over to Mila, and said, " this has truly been a wonderful experience, and I am glad that I could share it with you."

She scooped up Chow and put him on her shoulder, then picked up the bag with the Deltan chocolate in it. "Can you please be getting basket?" she asked him. "I am wanting to be keeping hand on Chow in case he is being distracted and is running off. Would not do to have glowing blue monkey legend spreading on planet."

"Of course I'll get the basket," he said. "And I can't blame you for holding on to Chow. Although, that legend would most certainly be the highlight of this trip for him. The Blue Glowing Monkey of Risa. Women beware."

Mila laughed and exited the boat. "What is being next?" she asked. "Are we to be finding place for picnic or do more exploring?" Chow gave a hoot and waved his paw around as he stared as the glow began to fade from it.

"I think we should find a place for our picnic," he said. "Perhaps a full Chow will be a less, inquisitive, Chow. At the very least, we'll enjoy a nice, sunny Risan day. Which will be nice after being underground." He turned to look at Mila as they began their ascent to the surface. "Besides, there was no wind down here to blow your beautiful hair around."

She blushed and took his hand in her free one and headed towards where the others were going. "You are very flattering man," she said. "If you are to be keeping that up, Chow will become jealous, but I am liking it. Where are you wishing to have picnic?"

He liked holding her hand when they walked together. "I will flatter you every chance I get, Mila. If I remember correctly," he paused and smiled, "there is a large park outside and to the left. It isn't that far of a walk, but still far enough away to not be an attraction to all of the people exiting here. There is a small knoll where some small fruit trees once were. I imagine that they will either be gone or rather large by now."

Mila looked over as she walked beside of him. "How long has it been since you are last being there?" she asked him, wondering how long it took a small tree to get rather large in the span of time between his visits. Once again, she was reminded of his incredible lifespan and how much older he was than her, but she refused to let it get to her.

"I was here from twenty-two ninety-five to twenty-three sixty-two," said Aidan. "I learned a lot during that time, including the massaging we talked about earlier." They headed around the corner and towards the park.

Seventy-five years, she thought. I was four three years when he last left here. Outwardly, she smiled. "You are still owing me massage, too," she said. "In fact, I am remembering rumor of you being caught massaging Cadet...Ensign now...Quinn in his quarters. Is that being true?"

"And I will pay that which I owe you. With interest, my love." He laughed when she mentioned the rumor about Ensign Quinn. "Well a way, sort of. He was preparing a special evening for himself and Ensign Khan in our quarters when I walked in and, well, caught him unawares. In short, I was describing, and demonstrating on him, basic massage techniques that he could use on Kelly."

Mila burst out laughing at his explanation. "I am thinking he was having very hard time explaining that one," she said as she walked with him towards the area he was leading them. "Why are you massaging my boyfriend? I am giving example. Of what not to be doing?" She started laughing again, but her eyes were twinkling with mischief.

Aidan continued leading her up the path, which wound it's way to the right and up a hill. He started laughing as she began commenting on how it could have gone. "It was hilarious. She asked if she was interrupting and Quinn jumped out of the chair, nearly knocking it over and almost losing his towel. When he stood, he said, 'Surprise.' It was a most inconvenient situation to say the least."

"That is to be putting it mildly," she said with a laugh. "Wait...why is he having nothing but towel on while you are giving him massage?"

"Quinn already had everything prepped in the quarters...incense, warming stones, steam, everything. Including himself," said Aidan. "He wasn't expecting me, but Kelly. And when I came in, he was ready to go. I was giving him advice when he asked if I could demonstrate. To say that he was hesitant in asking would be putting it mildly." Aidan turned to face Mila as a thought crept into his head. He leaned down and whispered into her ear.

Mila laughed again, and then her eyes went wide before she looked over at him. "Why, I am having no idea what to be saying to that," she gasped and brought a hand to her chest. "Is mouth which is saying that same one that is to be kissing your Mother's cheek, Sir Rogue?"

Aidan smirked at Mila and quickly leaned down, kissing her cheek not once but twice. "When we visit them, you shall see for yourself, my dear. And you say that you get it from Chow, but I'm wondering if it is not simply in your blood. Based on that song regarding your ancestor that we laughed about."

"Is being different than song," she said with a smirk. "Song was not written by ancestor. You are one saying what you said." She winked at him. "And I am to be holding you to what you are saying, Aidan."

"I had to try," he replied, winking. "And I would expect no less, Mila. Though even if you weren't holding me to it, I would still do it anyway." They had entered the park and were walking up a little hill. Aidan looked around and saw some trees that could be the fruit trees. Or at least second generation fruit trees. He squeezed Mila's hand as he led her up there. "We should have a nice breeze up here to keep the heat down and a view of Temtibi Lagoon across the distance."

Walking hand in hand with him while Chow jumped down and went ahead a little, Mila looked over at him. "I am not to be discovering 'AC loves so-and-so' on any of these trees, am I?" she asked jokingly.

He chuckled and brought her hand up to kiss the back of it. "Only if you and I carve it in one today, Mila."

"Nyet," she said as she breathed in the fresh air filled with floral scents from the blossoming trees. "Would be sacrilege to desecrate nature in such a way. Perhaps we could be planting tree of our own to grow here?"

"Then we shall plant one of our own here before we leave Risa," said Aidan. "Perhaps two, so close together that they will eventually grow together and become one." He smiled as he set the basket down under one of the trees.

Mila reached into the basket and pulled out a blanket that was on top and spread it out under the trees before she settled down. "You are being so sweet," she said. "If you were to be any sweeter, I am thinking that people nearby would be getting diabetes just listening to you." She pulled out the container of kabobs, fruit and thermoses and set them down between them and some napkins.

"They may very well. But I have every reason to be this sweet," he said. "And every one of them is found in you." He looked around at the food that Mila had prepared and took a deep breath in. "Thank you for preparing it for us, Mila."

"You are most welcome, Sir Knight," she said as she opened the containers and used the lids as plates to divide the kabobs up between them. "And you are giving me every reason in galaxy to be sweet to you as you are deserving. You are making me very happy with each moment and I would not change a thing."

He smiled, knowing that there was one thing he would change. But that would come along later. They still had to get to Earth first. He reached for one of the kabobs and took a bite. It was delicious! He followed with a drink from his thermos. "Mila, this tastes great! You did an excellent job, sweetheart."

"I am thanking you," Mila said as she took one of the kabobs to take a bite. "I am not to be taking all of the credit," she said. "If it were not for people that I am getting supplies to be making them, it would not be possible."

"I will grant you that. But you still put it together," he said. He took a bite of the fruit next and savored it. Aidan looked over to Chow. "He appears to be enjoying his portion of the picnic as well."

Chow was happily dipping grapes and pistachios in his yogurt and making happy noises in between rubbernecking around at all the different sites and sounds that he registered.

"I will accept that," she said as she took a bite of her kabob. "You, however, are to be making it perfect with your presence, Aidan. I am hoping we are finding someone here who is able to take our picture under trees."

"I am certain that someone will be through here in a few moments," he said. Aidan took another bite of a kabob. "You are so sweet and wonderful, Mila, to say things like that. Being with you has made my life so much better. You're a caring woman and I'm fortunate to have you care for me."

"It is because of all the love you are having for me," Mila told him before she took a sip of the fruit juice and leaned over to give him a fruit-flavored kiss. "And all the love that I am having for you, Sir Knight. No matter how bad day is being, when I am seeing you, it is all going out airlock and only you are mattering."

Mila's kisses were already sweet enough as it was, but with the taste of fruit juice on her "I love you, Printsessa. I am glad to hear that I make your day so much better. Since we have been together, you've made my life so much better. I never knew that I could love a woman as much as I love you."

"If you are to be keeping saying such sweet things, my parents will be asking why I am not yet married to you," she said and wondered what married life would be like. "But first we are having to be sure that we are to be assigned to same ship when Captain Geisler is to be getting new one."

That thought had crossed his mind, but he had chosen to brush it away. It was true that he and Mila may not end up on the same ship, but it was something that he didn't want to think about at this point. He would deal with it when it came, but for now, he just wanted to enjoy the time he had. Just in case. "Then perhaps I should restrain myself a bit more when we visit your parents. I would hate for us to have to explain why it hadn't happened yet." No one knew, but that thought had also crossed his mind, marriage. And it usually stayed for a bit before it left. Only, he wanted to speak with her father first and thought that 'in-person' would be respectful than over subspace. But she was right, they may not even be on the same ship.

Now Mila looked alarmed, but she quickly hide it behind her poker face. "Nyet," she said a little too quickly. "I am joking, Aidan and would not dream of trying to force you into something you may not be having desire to do." She picked up a piece of fruit and offered it to him.

Aidan accepted the piece of fruit with smile. "In truth, I'm still trying to determine when you are joking and when you aren't. But I shall continue to be myself when we are with your parents." He paused a few brief seconds. "That is what you were talking about just now, right? Not forcing me into being something other than myself?"

"Da," she agreed as she reached for a kabob. "I would never be wishing you to do or be something that you are not, Aidan," she told him before she took a bite of her food to shut herself up. She wondered if he would marry her one day and if her parents would approve and a million other things, but they were still getting to know each other in many ways. "As for me joking," she said. "I am to be working on that. Humor gets dry when working with Captains."

"Then it is settled." He took a bite of the fruit. It was delicious and juicy; Mila had picked a good one. "I can only imagine the kind of dry humor you have gotten used to. Does Captain Giesler have a dry sense of humor as well?"

"After balloon battle and water gun fight, I am thinking his sense of humor got wetter than it had been," Mila quipped before reaching for the coffee thermos. "We are having to prank him again soon. That was being very much fun."

Aidan laughed. "Dry humor now more wet... That was good. And yes, perhaps another prank is in store," said Aidan. "I can't wait to hear about that one, either." Aidan took another kabob and was enjoying when he saw an older couple walking by, hand in hand. He quickly swallowed that bite as he put his hand up.

"Pardon me," he said, standing up. "This is the first time that my girlfriend and I have been to this spot together. I was wondering if one of you could take a picture of us under this tree?"

The husband released his wife's hand and stroked his chin. He looked at Aidan silently for a few seconds, thinking. Then with a shrug of his shoulders, he nodded his head and said, "Well of course we can, young man."

Mila scooped Chow up who had been about to go up to the couple and put him on her lap. "We are thanking you," she said with a bright smile.

Aidan had gone over to pick up the holo imager and hand it back to the older gentleman. "Yes, thank you very much sir." He went back over to sit down next to Mila and put his arm around her.

The older gentleman smiled and took the photo. He handed the holo imager back to Aidan and returned to his wife's hand. "You two young people enjoy yourselves," he said walking away with his wife.

Aidan nodded to the gentleman and his wife as they walked on by. "Such a sweet couple," he said. "And you have your picture of us here. Now all we need to do is find out if there is a place sells small trees that we can plant here."

She wanted to give a chuckle at the young people comment, but she rested her head against Aidan's shoulder with a bright smile while the couple took their picture and Chow perked up for it as well. "Da," she said. "For now, though, I am being content to simply sit here with you."

Aidan reached his other arm around her and held her. "As I am, you." He didn't say anything for a few minutes, but just enjoyed the moment. "I am glad that we have this long time for shore leave. I get to spend my days and nights doing nothing but enjoying being with you."

"And I with you," Mila said before giving him a kiss. "You are my day, my night and my everything and I am wishing our time together to never be ending."

He smiled and took a deep breath when she kissed him. When they pulled apart, Aidan smiled again. With that arm still around her back and the other around her front, he gently laid her backwards on the blanket they were sitting on.

Chow hooted and hopped out of her lap, then scampered up the tree behind them.

She laid back and laughed at Chow, but there was love in her eyes when she looked at him. "You are being an incredible man," she said. "Thank you for sharing all of this with me."

"I would share so much more with you, Printsessa." He leaned over her and pressed a long, passionate kiss to her lips. When he finally pulled back, he laid down on his side next to her and put his hand on her abdomen. "I love you and I love seeing you relaxed in this environment. You make me happy."

The kiss was undeniably passionate and Mila returned it as long as she could before the need to breathe became an issue. She looked at his breathlessly before she laid her head on his shoulder and put a hand over his. "I am loving you, too and I have never been happier, Sir Knight," she said. "It is moments like these that are making me realize how rare it is to be having something like this with someone so wonderful."

"It is a rare thing indeed, my love," he said. Aidan liked it when she put her head on his shoulder. Almost as much as he liked it when she placed it on chest, over his heart. "Wonderful... you mean the world to me, you sweet little woman. And you always will." He didn't want to bring it up due to it being a possibility, but he thought it. No matter if we end up on different ships, either...there is no distance so great, my Mila.

"And you are meaning everything to me," she said as she turned sideways and snuggled against him. "I am having only Chow and few things to name, but it is not mattering because you are being here with me and I am happy with that."

Aidan shivered a little as she snuggled against him. "I'm glad to hear that you're happy with that, just being with me, whether here or anywhere." He sighed deeply as he was realizing more and more that she was...too wonderful for him. "How have I ended up with the sweetest, most beautiful, and contented woman in the whole of the galaxy?"

"You were waiting for right shuttle at right time," Mila said simply. "Same as I was doing. From there, we are now here. From here....we shall go there." She pointed up at the sky.

Aidan's gaze followed to where she was pointing, the clear blue sky of Risa. "Yes, the sky is most certainly the limit when it comes to us. But if we're talking about the great expanse of space and the universe beyond, I have all the stars and heaven I need right here in you." He reached up and took her hand in his.

"You are being very sweet and flattering man, Aidan Crehan," she told him as she leaned up to kiss his cheek. "I am not knowing what I am doing to deserve you, but I am never planning to be changing who I am."

"I don't expect you to change anything about yourself, my dear," he replied. "As a matter of fact, I'd prefer that you didn't change. Anything. I love you just they way you are. Though as we grow closer together, I'm certain a few things will change. Mainly, I'll love you more. But no, don't ever change who you are, sweetheart." It was nice, laying next to her on a blanket on Risa. Just staring at the sky and at each other.

"That, we will," Mila said. "And you are never to be changing on me and I will love you just the way you are."


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