Location: USS Standing Bear | Holodeck 1
Sora stood in the holodeck waiting for Alex. She had seen the Villa on Vulcan from a distance but had not yet been inside. Tonight the holo version of the real thing would serve as a dinner site for them an their guests.
The Villa was guarded by an ornately carved wooden door. Fang and Thalia had helped Soral get the Villa redecorated after its purchase. The lobby, where he stood now, was decorated with a grey and white marble floor that ran throughout the villa. The lobby was huge and just behind the rounded table that marked its center was a curving wood staircase that led to the second and then third story.
The sand coloured walls were a staple accept for the bedrooms each of which had its own design. The kitchen was top rate and to right of the lobby was a sitting room where guests were received furnished with antique furniture circa earth 1800s. It was decorated with golds and reds that made the sand coloured walls stand out. Tapestries hung depicting ancient Vulcan scenes.
He sighed and headed out to the gate where he would meet Alex and bring her through the front yard that was awash with flowers and succulents. A small fountain feeding the plants precious water. It was a little bit of the ancient that stood in the modern Vulcan land.
Of course his wife would want to redecorate and he'd let her noting her changes here on the program and then sending to Fang and Thalia to act on. He now waited for her to show.
Pausing just outside the holodeck to tug on the sandals which went with her outfit, Lieutenant Kingsley stepped forward and watched as the holodeck doors parted before her. As they opened, they revealed the path leading to Soral and - beyond him - his home. Their home, she corrected herself. The warm air enveloped her like a blanket, yet it was not uncomfortable. In part, she surmised, due to her outfit.
During his time on Vashti, Soral had gone out of his way to buy her a gift. Well, several, gifts. From the evening gown to the necklace, the earrings to the bracelet. The dress alone had taken her breath away when she tried it on. The combination of satin and lace complimented her figure and all of the accessories complimented the dress beautifully. She was running late solely because she could not decide how to accessorise herself.
Eventually she had done something she rarely did, tamed her hair. It was now pinned and styled so that only a few locks hung free, falling in soft waves. In the heat and humidity of the real Vulcan, she was sure it would be a disaster.
Catching site of Soral her self consciousness melted away as she walked towards him. She stopped a short distance away, turning in a slow circle. "Do you like?" she asked.
Comprised of layers, the dress flowed around her like air when she moved. The initial layer was a pale green, comprising of the bodice and skirt which reached just below her knees. The bodice itself was overlaid with delicate lace which was just a slightly darker shade. Yet her favourite part of the dress came from the satin upper layer in a beautiful jade green. Beginning with a deep V extended from thin shoulder straps to shoulders to meet at her waist, the satin cascaded all the way down to her ankles. A small ribbon of dark emerald green around the waist gave the illusion of a belt, decorated with the same stones as the bracelet and necklace.
"Beautiful" She was breathtaking and more so each time he saw her. "You are a vision my wife." He smiled. "Shall I teach you a Vulcan trick?"
“A trick?” She repeated, her curiosity piqued.
He held out his right hand with the index and middle finger up. "Touch your fingertips to mine."
Mirroring his movements she raised her hand, both fingertips lightly touching his.
Their link flared up. Comfort and love surrounded her. "It is a secret code of sorts between husband and wife." He sent the words I love you through their link.
Alex smiled brightly, marvelling in the moment. “I love you too,” she whispered.
"Come see our home on the inside we have time before our guests arrive." He led her through the gate and front yard fragrant with flowers and various plants to the door.
At his side, she breathed in the sweet combination of scents as they walked. “The garden is so pretty,” she observed as they reached the door.
He gave a Nod. "My estate manager's wife likes to garden. She is from Trill and is determined to bring a little here."
Slowly he opened it and let her enter.
As the heavy wooden door opened, she had her first glimpse at their home. Keeping hold of Soral’s hand she stepped inside, the shoes echoing off of the marble flooring which only seemed to emphasise the size of the lobby. Her eyes followed the path of the winding staircase which was complimented by a rich, dark wooden bannister. She could easily get lost within these walls. Maybe Soral could draw her a map.
Deciding to explore downstairs, she moved into the reception room which was again spacious. The colours complimented each other although were not what she would have expected to find in a Vulcan home. It was quirky. She liked it. Feeling Soral’s eyes on her she entered the kitchen, eyes wide. “Wow. I could make so many sandwiches in here,” she teased, shaking her head. She was accustomed to small and somewhat confined spaces. This was ... so different.
“It’s beautiful,” she complimented him, moving back to rejoin him. “I’m not sure I’d ever leave it behind for life on a ship.”
"It is only beautiful now that you are in it. It is your home to you may change what you like. It is our home now. I have given you access to the program any changes you make can be saved and sent to Fang and Thalia and they will make the changes you wish."
“Any changes, we will make together,” she told him as she kissed him, “besides, this is very you. I love it.”
He wrapped his arms around her. "I wish we had that much time." He kissed her again. "Our guests shall arrive soon my love."
“Shame,” she sighed, her expression mischievous.
Just as she finished speaking the arch appeared and the door to the holodeck opened. Maximus strolled inside. "Well" He looked around. "This place hasn't changed in years." He walked over and grasped Soral's arm briefly. He then turned to Alex. “Hello again Red Headed Goddess. Formal introductions are in order."
Soral had the decency to blush green. He had called her that hadn't he.
“I’m not sure it gets more formal than that,” Alex grinned, “but Alex works just fine too.”
"I like Soral's title for you better."
Soral pushed Max. "Go get a drink over there and stop bothering my wife."
Max gave Alex a wink. "How Vulcan of him."
“Indeed,” Alex agreed, smiling up at Soral. “Once you get your drink you must tell me how you got to know one another.”
"Of course." Max headed out for that drink.
Before Soral could say anything the door opened again and Eyelaya walked in. "Hello!" She smiled at Alex. "How are you feeling Lieutenant ...I mean Alex."
“I’m great, thank you,” she assured the woman, “I’m glad you can join us.”
"Get a drink Chief," Soral said.
She gave a nod and headed over Soral saw the look Alex shot him. He sighed. "I am practising an ancient art of Vulcan called Matchmaking."
There was distinct amusement in her eyes as she shook her head, “perhaps, just perhaps, they don’t wish to be matched?”
“When it comes to love,” she reminded him, “logic often goes out the window. Sometimes it has very logical, intelligent people drinking four bottles of brandy...”
Leaning up she kissed his cheek. “Or ripping airlock doors from the housing?”
"Indeed. It was the only logical course of action"
Just then the door opened again and T'Lanna walked in.
T’Lanna walked into the holodeck wearing a low neck summery looking dress that showed off her curves in all the right places. She hoped Raith would be joining her for dinner hence her choice of daring clothing. She’d chosen to wear her hair down and had just a small amount of makeup on for the special occasion. She wasn’t planning on turning any heads besides Raith’s but wasn’t certain whether he was going to join them or not. She smiled as she made her way across to Soral and Alex.
“Lieutenant Vali, glad you could join us,” Alex offered with a warm smile as she saw the woman approaching. “Can I get you a drink. Nothing alcoholic of course.”
T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Please call me T’Lanna or anna if you would like. A mixed fruit drink would be lovely thank you.”
“Coming right up,” Alex promised as she left Soral’s side and headed towards the bar. Allowing Max and Eyelaya some space as they chatted, not wishing to jinx Soral’s matchmaking efforts.
T’Lanna smiled as she approached Soral. “This is a beautiful home you have Soral.”
"I thank you. I do not get back often so I take it wherever I go." He said. "When we are on leave I invite you to visit and if you go back to Vulcan please feel free to use my home rather then a hotel."
“Really?! Visit this wonderful house and stay too, I would be honoured.” T’Lanna smiled warmly. She glanced towards the holodeck doors hoping Raith was going to arrive soon, she was feeling lost in a social setting without him. “Soral, would you mind if we spoke in private later? It doesn’t have to be tonight just soon, I need to ask you for your usual wonderful advice.”
“Your drink,” Alex announced as she handed over a glass of fruit juice.
“Thank you Alex” T’Lanna smiled warmly. “You look stunning in your dress.”
“Soral brought it back from Vashti, the jewellery too,” Alex grinned, “I love your dress. I definitely know who to take shopping. I usually stick to uniforms, biohazard suits or gym gear.”
Soral, seeing his guests engaged moved over to the kitchen to finish prep. He'd brought the food there and had removed the safeties off the kitchen in order to cook it. He'd set everything up before he called them in and they were still waiting for one more guest.
T’Lanna smiled at Alex. “It would be fun to have someone to go shopping with, I’ll need to buy some baby things at some point and if I go alone I know for a fact I’ll end up buying the shops!” She grinned. “Buying clothing is always good fun.”
Having received the dinner invite, Raith made sure that he was smartly dressed for the occasion, wearing a tidy shirt and black trousers and making sure that he looked the part, he also wore a light coloured jacket. Having made his way down to Deck Four, he entered the Holodeck and saw that quite a few people had arrived already, including T'Lanna.
He spotted her straight away and could see that she was wearing another one of her flattering dresses, one of which he didn't know about and also another one that he really liked the look of. Despite her being Half Vulcan and Half Betazoid, Raith admired the fact that she let out her Betazoid side more often than not. He also admired the fact that she knew what she was doing when she dressed this way to impress him.
Raith walked over to where he saw both T'Lanna and Alex talking and wrapped his arm gently around T'Lanna's waist. "Apologies for the interrupt ladies, I seem to have found my beloved other half down here," he said, giving T'Lanna a gentle kiss on the cheek.
"No apologies needed, we were just talking about shopping," Alex assured him with a bright smile. "Glad you could join us. I'll let Soral know you are here and make sure he doesn't need any help with the food. There are drinks right over there so please, make yourself comfortable."
T’Lanna smiled as she looked at Raith. “I wasn’t sure if you were coming, I’m glad you did.”
After their recent speed bump, Raith could tell that there was still some work to be done between both himself and T'Lanna. He tried his best to make sure that he showed he was happy and willing. "A chance to be in a room as a dinner guest with you as my date? I'd never turn that down," he re-affirmed.
"Raith has arrived," Alex informed Soral as she entered the kitchen to find him hard at work. She watched as he methodically went about the room, so many different things cooking at once and yet he managed it all with a calm air of confidence. "What can I do to help?"
He looked up at her. "The table is set. I am just completing the food and the drinks are out." He looked around. "I shall need your assistance plating." He looked at the large soup pot. "There are three soups there they are all ready if you can plate them I will plate the main dishes."
“I shall be your glamorous assistant,” she declared as she set to work.
"You are my glamorous wife." He paused. "I have noted something. We have followed Vulcan tradition and you have been most accommodating. I wish to add a human element to this, with your permission."
She paused, clearly wondering what he meant as she reached for a bowl. “A human element?” she repeated, “such as?”
He wiped his hands on a cloth and walked over. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a velvet bag. "I have been told that it is customary to exchange rings on Earth. I realize that we did not do that."
“It is... and we didn’t,” she agreed when she found her voice again, not entirely sure why he had chosen this moment. In the kitchen - before they served dinner.
"Once the dinner is concluded I would like us to have a private ring exchange ceremony. If you wish it we can have a ceremony when we get back to Earth. One that includes your mother and friends."
She didn’t have words. Setting aside the bowl she crossed to him, kissing him softly. “I’d love to,” she whispered. “But we should feed our guests before they eat each other.”
"Indeed my beloved."
Raith moved over to the bar area to get himself a drink after Alex explained where to do that. He knew that things would take some time between himself and T'Lanna to smooth out after the recent discussion they'd had and he wondered if Soral could help out with matters. Raith made a note to ask him later as he poured himself and T'Lanna a drink.
Once complete, he walked back over to her and offered her the drink. "Peace offering," he said, hoping that this would go a little way towards helping with their recent issue.
“Well I ...” She looked at the drink Alex had gotten her, but accepted the one Raith had got her as well. “There’s no need for a peace offering, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
Raith looked a little relieved as T'Lanna explained. "Well, I thought it best to try and show that I am willing and also that I think we should speak with Commander Soral about it, after dinner maybe?" Raith offered the idea as a suggestion.
Soral asked Alex to call their guest into the dinning room after he'd set the food on the table.
Returning to their guests Alex offered them a warm smile, “I’m thrilled to say dinner is served and I hope you are all really hungry....”
Allowing everyone time to follow, she led them into the dining room. It kept up the feeling of a wide-open space, although it was sparsely furnished. It only served to emphasise the large dining table, able to comfortably accommodate their group and currently adorned with ornate candlesticks, delicate arrangements of flowers and enough food for a small army. And the food smelled amazingly good.
T’Lanna looked around the room in awe, she hadn’t been expecting this when she was invited to dinner. “This is ... wow!” She grinned. “This is beautiful.”
Soral, who'd been standing to the side bowed "I thank you. Please have a seat, there is plenty of food."
Raith was impressed as he took in the view of the room they entered. He could tell that there had been a lot of work go into this. Walking into the area he loved the Large dark wood table, which gave off a grand feeling in the room. The floor itself was another masterstroke with the black and white checkered tiles and marble white walls finished off with greek columns surrounding them.
Eyelaya's eyes widened. Soral could tell she was not feeling as confident. "I..."
"Indeed," he said. "I know you eat the same food daily except once a week. I have prepared your dinner of choice."
She looked grateful. "Thank you sir...I'm sorry to be so much trouble."
He waived it away. "No trouble."
“Let’s eat,” Alex suggested as she gestured for the others to sit.
Soral watched as the group settled into their seats. He noted that Mackenzie took some Mac and Cheese too. He suppressed a smile. "So Lieutenant Vali Lieutenant Kolani. I must commend you on your work." He turned to Vali. "Your advice and profiling helped us find the captain." He then turned to Kolani, "And you Mr. Kolani, My compliments on coordinating the repair teams."
T’Lanna smiled warmly. “Thank you Soral.” She looked at Raith giving him a chance to answer.
"Thank you, Commander, that's much appreciated," Raith said. He was still taking the view around them as dinner was brought out. "I aim to make sure that they kept on top of their workloads and I like to please the senior staff as well, call it a perk of the job," he said.
Soral turned to Max. "So Max how are you settling into your quarters?"
Max shrugged. "Haven't had a chance to go there yet. But the Chief here is my roommate."
Eyelaya gave a nod. "An NCO and an Officer that is unusual, not sure if it was a mistake."
Soral noted the look Alex shot him. He tried to ignore it. "Odd." He raised an eyebrow. It was odd what he left out was that he had a hand in that. "Well I am sure that it will be fine."
Max gave a shrug. "It is what it is. They changed my quarters four times already. I'm not big on change. So I am where I am."
Soral had counted on that. "Indeed. Chief Eyelaya is not big on change either. I have a feeling you two will get along splendidly."
Max's eyes narrowed. He didn't say anything. He'd observe Soral quietly...something was odd in all this alright.
T’Lanna grinned, it was unusual for Officers and non-commissioned to share Quarters, it seemed Soral was doing some matchmaking either that or it was genuinely a mistake.
"It is lovely to be able to spend dinner with you all," Soral said. "Please eat. I have made chocolate cake for desert."
“Chocolate cake!” T’Lanna grinned. “Now that’s a dessert worth waiting for!! A vice we Betazoids find hard to ignore, more so when pregnant.”
Max's eyes still narrow he asked, "So why the guest list? Seems like a couples event. Eyelaya and I are not a couple."
“No but you are friends,” Alex interjected smoothly, “Soral would never exclude you just because you are not part of a couple. If you prefer to sit by Soral, we can swap places..?”
Soral interjected. "She is right. Eyelaya saved Alex I wished to thank her, you are as a bother to me I would not exclude you. T'Lanna and Lieutenant Kolani are friends. They just happen to be a couple. Since you and the Chief are roommates there was no awkwardness in seating you next to one another. Alex and I are together thus we are seated together. Lieutenant's Vali and Kolani are a couple thus seated together. It is all logical."
Max sighed, "Yeah...logical."
The rest of the dinner passed nicely. The conversation was good and the dessert consumed. Eyelaya was first to leave. Max helped Soral clean up and left shortly after that leaving the two couples alone to talk.