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Dinner for Two

Posted on Sun Jan 31st, 2021 @ 11:10pm by Captain Dirk Taggart & Captain Abigail Laurens

Mission: Season Two - Incidentals
Location: USS Astraea

It was their last night in orbit of Earth, and despite the fact that there was still a lot of work to be done, Abigail had opted to leave the bridge much earlier than she otherwise would have.

Dirk was on the ship. A random twist of fate that had been laid in her path. What had started as an impulsive one night together in the Seychelles with the knowledge that they were both going back to their own lives, and now, he had shown up here, on her ship. Not as a member of her crew, but as a fellow Commanding Officer enroute to the Delta Quadrant to assume his own command.

She had returned to her quarters, as bare as they were, and taken a long shower before dressing for the evening, opting for simple comfort with a pair of jeans and an oversized sweater that seemed to have a tendency to slide off one shoulder. Her hair, freshly washed, fell loosely down her back past her shoulder blades, having been freshly brushed out. She hadn't even bothered with perfume or makeup, instead she just smelled like clean soap.

Now, she stood in the middle of the living area of her quarters, looking around at the sparsely decorated space, finding herself lamenting the lack of anything personal, but at this stage there wouldn't even be time to replicate so much as a bunch of flowers for the dresser, let alone the other personal effects one would expect to find that would call a space 'home'.

Dirk had unpacked his uniforms and hygiene items, and then placed a small coffee pot on the desk in his VIP quarters. He kept a few mementos from various commands throughout the years, like the replica blaster with a peace lily overlay, that stood for peace through strength. A parting gift from the Diplomatic security office he had left. He killed some time by familiarizing himself with the ship’s layout, at least that’s what he told himself, he knew how to get to the cafeteria, medical, HoloDecks, and the nearest Armory; oh and Abby’s Quarters. Maybe his lucky star had finally decided to brighten his life a bit.

He took a nice hot shower, then dressed in some blue jeans and a loose fitting tourist t-shirt that had a picture of the Seychelles on it. He decided to wear it in hopes of making Abby smile, that smile, Dirk thought, he’d do nearly anything to see her smile again. He stood outside her door at 1945 and pressed her chime, the old adage that on time was late, and 15 minutes was early rang through his head as he awaited her response.

The sound of the chime startled her. She wasn't ready. "Computer, what's the time?" she asked, glancing at the chrono on the wall.

"The time is nineteen forty-seven hours" the computer replied.

Abigail sighed. He was early. Brushing her hair back, she walked toward the door, hitting the release button and letting the doors slide open in front of her. "Dirk," she said with a smile, stepping aside to let him in. As he stepped in, she caught the curious glances of the new Chief Engineering Officer walking passed her quarters. "Commander Rozia," she offered with a smile and a little wave as the doors closed between them.

Finally, turning back to Dirk she smiled again. "So you didn't get lost on the way," she said with a laugh. "I'm glad you make it." She stepped up next to him, rising up on her toes to brush a soft kiss across his cheek. "I'm glad you didn't change your mind."

“No I didn’t get lost, I did study some schematics and then went on a walk about. I didn’t have much to unpack since I won’t be staying onboard long term.” He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her gently as she kissed his cheek, “I wouldn’t change my mind, I’ve worked up quite an appetite over the last 24 hours. I did find the observation lounge, last night we were looking up the stars and tonight we are among them, It’s hard to imagine sometimes how far we’ve come technologically.”

The comment about not staying on board served as a small barb. Abigail leaned into the hug, closing her eyes for a moment, inhaling his scent before she pulled away and looked up at him. "I hope you don't mind, I told my yeoman she could deliver dinner to my quarters. I have no idea what it is, but he was very quite put out when I told him I wouldn't be eating in the Captain's Dining Room tonight." She shook her head. "I've been on board less than 24 hours and I already feel out of place."

“You have your own dining room on here? I won’t have one of those on the Nebula I’m headed to, it’s a bit smaller than your ship. You don’t feel at home yet because it’s still new, once you get your crew with you, you’ll begin to settle in and get comfortable. Speaking of crew I saw a Vulcan entering the Counselor’s Office earlier, do you have a Vulcan Counselor onboard?”

"So this isn't the time to tell you that we have a swimming pool down on deck 38?" she asked teasingly as she motioned toward the couches in the living area. "Yes, Commander Styvek is our Counselor and he happens to be Vulcan, at least, somewhat biologically." She smiled, thinking of the interaction they had had via comms when their previous ship was malfunctioning. "The crew seem very attached to him."

“A swimming pool too, I thought I’d have to book HoloDeck time for that, I may have to meet Styveck, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Vulcan counselor, next you’re going to tell me you have a chef onboard who caters your meals,” he teased.

"Two actually," she said quietly, her voice becoming a little more quiet. "Apparently on this class of vessel the Commanding Officer has a private chef. We also have an officers lounge, a club and two arboretums." She sighed and started toward the replicator. "I'm sorry, I forgot my manners. Can I get you a drink?" she asked politely.

“Oh the humanity, you must suffer so aboard this vessel,” he said in mock distress, “I’ll take some sweet tea, please.” he said as he sat down on a small couch in the Captain’s Quarters. “You really do have a nice ship here, it is quite impressive.”

"It's much bigger than anything I'm used to," she said quietly. "It feels..." she sighed. "Almost pompous?" She replicated a sweet tea for him and handed it to him first before she poured herself a glass of wine and returned to sit next to him on the couch. "Anyway, so, what else do you know about your new command?" she asked, taking a sip as she looked across at him.

"From what I've been able to gather, the Captain has put his ship in danger a couple of times, including 2 different ambushes. They think placing him in that position was hazardous, and so I am headed there to relieve him. I do know it's a Nebula Class, and has a Marine for the First Officer."

"Marines... how... charming." she replied with a laugh before taking a sip of her wine. "I was looking through some of the information earlier. I believe the intent is that we're to rendezvous with the Pennsylvania as soon as we arrive in the Delta Quadrant, so we'll stay until you've assumed command and the dust has settled. You won't be fed to the wolves entirely on your tomato.

"That sounds like a plan. Speaking of being fed, I will return the favor when I get to my ship. I will make you the best meal a replicator can produce," he said with a laugh.

"I'd like that," she said with a smile. The chime at the door interrupted the conversation. "And that, I dare say, is our dinner."


A thoroughly delicious meal had been enjoyed and cleared away before the two of them had retreated back to the couch. Music played softly in the background, soft jazz, the kind that drifted easily behind a conversation without interrupting.

As the conversation slowed, Abigail found herself watching him in silence. "I didn't think I'd see you again after we left Seychelles," she finally said quietly.

Dirk rubbed his chin before answering,"I didn't either, and I liked leaving the way we did. We both, or I hope we both enjoyed our time together. There were no strings, just a couple people seeking to avoid the loneliness that Command Roles seem to require. At least that's how I saw it, until I saw you this afternoon."

"And now?" Abigail asked, still watching him intently.

"Now, it's more like revisiting your favorite ice cream flavor, the more you taste, the more you want it, despite the consequences."

Abigail laughed softly as she glanced across the room momentarily, tucking her hair back behind her ear. "I don't know if I should be flattered that you're comparing me to ice cream or not," she finally said as she returned her gaze to him. "But I do like the sentiment," she added quietly.

"I like ice cream and I like you too," he said as he put his arm around her. "Only in my wildest dreams did I consider anything else ever happening between us. Tell me what you're thinking."

"I'm thinking I have very bad luck when it comes to relationships," she said quietly. "And I had no intention of anything ever happening between us outside of the Seychelles." She paused again, looking up at him, the corners of her mouth quirking in a slight smile. "But I like ice cream and I like you too."

“So what do you say we just see where this thing goes, no pressure?” Dirk asked hesitantly.

"I think I like that idea," She leaned into him, resting her head against his shoulder, a smile playing across her lips. "I think I like that idea a lot."

He kissed her tenderly, before continuing, “I will enjoy traveling through the stars with you. Where is our first stop, Captain?”

"First stop, the Pathstone portal on this side. Then, Delta Quadrant." Abigail looked into his eyes for a moment. "I expect you have maybe a week that you have to put up with me before we get you to the Pennsylvania."

“Only a week? We’re gonna have to pack some serious memories into 7 days. One night was a sample, I’m ready for the full Sundae,” he said making another ice cream reference before chuckling.

Abigail laughed again, tilting her head back slightly as she looked at him. "That's fine, so long as it comes with whipped cream and a cherry on top," she responded cheekily.

“Before we have dessert, Abby the Fearless, what time do I need to be ready tomorrow to begin meeting your senior staff for training?”

"Won't be tomorrow, we launch in the morning," she said softly. "Maybe the day after, it would be zero nine hundred hours."

“Can I observe from the bridge at the auxiliary station? I swear I won't even touch anything, I just want to watch.”

"I'm sure something can be arranged," she smiled. "I'm not sure how interesting it will be, at least initially, but the Quantum Slip Stream Drive could be interesting. I've never been in a ship equipped with QSD before."

“I definitely want to see that also. I do know the Penn doesn’t have one of those yet, but I’m definitely interested in seeing it. I’m assuming you have some bad ass engineers.”

"My Chief Engineer is new," she replied. "Charlotte... Lieutenant Aschail..." she drew a deep breath. "She died as a result of the Astraea's anti matter explosion. She stayed too long in the containment zone after it was unsafe. She gave up her own life to give everyone the best chance to get away." Abigail pulled away slightly. Clearly this was still a sore point, and no doubt would be for some time. "She died on the Ts'usugi ship while we were enroute to Earth. I was with her until the end."

“I’m sorry Abby,” he said and pulled her closer, “I hate that you had to go through that and that she didn’t make it, but I’m glad you're here, and I’m glad I met you.”

Abigail laughed suddenly, pulling away just enough to brush her eyes subtly. "Who'd have thought?" she asked with a smile as she looked at him. "A small dive bar on the wrong side of the Seychelles, and now here we are."

“Yes here we are,” he replied seductively before saying, “Computer turn down lights.” He then turned to face Abigail and brushed her hair back before asking, ”Do you still have my tshirt?”

A look of faux shock crossed her face in the dimming lights. "I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about," she said quietly as she pulled him in closer. "But, remind me later to show you my awesome AC/DC retro tshirt. I sleep in it every night."

"I don't believe you came all the way to Seychelles to plunder my tshirt Abby the Fearless, besides if I recall you didn't get much sleep last night," he teased.

"Well, in that case, maybe I should get an early night tonight to make up for it?" she replied softly. "It wouldn't do to have the Captain falling asleep on the bridge mid launch now would it?"

"If you want me to go I will, but it won't be as fun," he said before kissing her deeply, "Do you really want me to go?"

"Who said anything about you going?" she asked, pulling away from his kiss just enough to look into his eyes. "I mean, unless you have somewhere more important to be..." she leaned in again, her lips brushing softly over his as she waited for a response.

"If you're going to continue that, I won't be going anywhere," he said as he ran his hand through her hair.

"Then it's settled," she breathed before pulling away and standing up, offering a hand to him silently.


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