Part 2: Dressed Down for Dinner
Posted on Thursday, 15 April 2021 - 7:20am by Lieutenant Haru Hernandez & Lieutenant Talarn Zilth
Operation: Peace or P'Jem
Location: Various | USS Standing Bear
Timeline: 2394 - Just after the shuttle left
"Yes, Sir. You name the time and place and I'm there." It would get his mind off his worries.
“It’s almost dinner time now... isn’t it? And your shift is over and mine was over hours ago. Your quarters or mine... doesn’t much matter. Replicators are the same.” He chuckled.
"Well then, if you don't mind, we can go to Mac and my quarters. I have the replicator set with my personal recopies. Have you ever tried Japanese food?"
“I’m not sure. I don’t think so, but I’m up for anything once. Bear and I are steak and potatoes people.” He chuckled again. “No whining at dinner... got me?”
He smiled. "Yes, Sir. Yeah, Mac is a meat eater. I'm mostly a fish and veggies kind of guy." He looked at Talarn. "You're alright with fish?"
“Yes. Next to meat it’s best. I’ve caught and cleaned plenty.” He nodded. “I’m not a picky eater. To be honest I don’t have a lot of taste buds... being Borg for 50 some years is hard on the tongue.”
"Then you'd be the perfect guest for Mac's cooking. I swear I wish I had your taste buds when he cooks." He laughed as he closed out the shift and they headed out.
“I don’t... have that problem. When Bear and cook we usually do it together. I make tea though.” He waited for Haru to be done with his tasks and walked with him.
He smiled. "How long have you and the Captain been together?"
Talarn had to think about it for a moment. “I met him in 2380... then 2388 we moved to Prairie. So together as a couple? About ten years... what about you and Mac?”
He smiled. "We met at the Academy. We were roommates and became friends. One day, I got sick and he took care of me, blew away all he had to do to take care of me and after I got well, I failed a test and was devastated and then it just happened. I don't think either of us realized that we had feelings for one another until that point. We've kind of been together since. No matter where we went, who we saw we always came back to one another and then on our last leave when Soral and Alex got married we met up again. My grandmother had died and I was again devastated, but Mac helped me through it and we decided to link our lives together with a Th'y'la bond. It's not like a marriage bond, it roughly translates to lover, brother, friend, but our lives and souls are so linked that if one dies so does the other. It was a way to draw us together when my time of... pon'farr came, but I don't think either of us wants to have a life outside of what we share, we just want to be together."
“Mmm...” Talarn said softly, nodding. “Then it’s even important that you honor that, by being strong. Bear has done things for me... that I have no words for. And I have done for him as well. It is the way when there is love.”
"Mac would never admit this, but he looks up to the two of you."
Talarn gave Haru a sideways glance and smirked. It was a truly villainous smirk. Showing a little bit of what Mac was looking up to. “Oooh does he?”
"Yup. He does. He always says that we should be more like the two of you." Haru laughed. "I guess this is my chance to question you mercilessly about how we'd get there."
Talarn laughed. “Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Although I do appreciate the sentiment. Honestly though, it’s about trust and honesty. If you’re always honest then something happens. I don’t know how to explain what that is. It’s like never having to doubt... at least in one someone.”
As they came to the quarters he said, "Yeah that's Mac. He trusts me with everything he has... trust is a difficult thing for me." He keyed in the code and opened the quarters. "Please come in. My apologies, we haven't unpacked yet... not fully."
Talarn stepped inside and looked around. “It looks fine to me... can I help with anything?”
He smiled. "Not a thing you just sit and rest and I’ll make some food magic." He paused. "What would you like to drink?"
“Coffee... sweet and blond.” He dropped into a chair and stretched his legs out. He tried to relax, but it was something that was difficult for him. He rubbed his right thigh. “It’s been a long day.”
"Indeed." Haru moved unlike only moments ago. He seemed to manipulate the chair as if it was part of him, a flawless ballet as if he forgot it was there. He got the coffee and a tea for himself and set about the replicating and setting out of the plates. "I did manage to get all the tactical reports up to date and I checked all the weapons holds. We're all ready for anything."
“Mmm...” Talarn said softly. “I wish there was more time for more drills...” He rubbed his face and reached for his coffee.
"I used to love drills. Actually, Mac is your go to for those. He's one of the best. I remember when we were all stationed with Soral, he even made the Vulcan cry uncle."
“There are going be marines,” Talarn said. “They going to send us a quad or something.” In the situation they were possibly looking at, they would need them.
"Good, I'm glad we'll have some jarheads." He smiled. "Almost went that route myself, but decided this was where I belong."
“I don’t see you as a grunt. This is definitely better.” He sipped at the coffee, looking around their quarters. “Colorful...” The word didn’t seem to be aimed at Haru, more like an utterance. “I’m not saying you couldn’t do that if you wanted to...”
"No, I'm happy here." He smiled. "And now, thanks to the Captain, I fulfilled something that I've wanted for a while."
Talarn took a drink of his coffee and sat up in the chair again. He set his coffee on the table. “When I was severed from the collective... I was lost for awhile. I had been a Borg so long that there really wasn’t any of what I was before left. I tried to go back to Cardassia, but I wasn’t really Cardassian either. Starfleet gave me a purpose again.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Back when Starfleet was Starfleet. Things have taken a turn for the worse. Men like Stillwater and Mac and Soral and us are a dying breed."
“It’s really hard for me to not be angry about what they did to me...” His jaw clenched and unclenched. “I’m here for Bear. Not them. They turned their backs to me when I did nothing wrong. Just about what I was.”
"Yeah. I still can't believe they did that. Where do you hear that you give up on someone.”? He laid out the feast on the table. "Listen, Lieutenant, I'm sorry you went through this."
Tal snorted. “It is what it is. If none of that had happened, I wouldn’t be the person I am, or with Bear. Some of them sucked... but they’re over now. You do the best you can with that you have. The key is to be honest with yourself. Know thy self...”
Haru smiled, as he joined the Talarn at the table. "Alright. Let's dig in." He looked up. "You should have been a counselor, Sir."
He took the plate graciously and snorted again. “Just honest. Or at least try to be. It’s too much work to do that other shit.”
Haru sighed. "I really did need this distraction. May I ask a personal question?"
“Mmhmm...” Talarn nodded, eating his dinner. “Anything you want.”
"How do you handle the stress when the Captain is away. I mean I know the job, I know it's not without its dangers, but I cannot help, but me a mess inside thinking that he's out there and I can't help. I know that the chances are they will be back before we know it but..."
“I just deal. I can’t live there, worrying about it. Do I want anything to happen to him, no. If I can do anything about anything that happens to him then I will. But I can’t act like this can’t be a dangerous job. Things happen, but worrying about what could happen can paralyze you.”
"Yeah... it's something I have to learn."
“Like I said... all of that has a lot to do with the attitude... every day that you learn something is a good day. Even if what you learned was horrible. You learn about what you don’t want.” He chuckled.
"Did anyone ever compare you to Yoda, he's one of Mac's favourite characters in a sci fi movie. A wise one."
Talarn laughed. “Yes... that’s come up before.”
He smiled. "I'm starting to see why he thinks so... but your grammer is a lot better then Yoda's."