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Date Night - Part I

Posted on Wednesday, 5 May 2021 - 8:23am by Commander Soral & Lieutenant JG Hayashi Hamura & Lieutenant Alex Kingsley

Mission: Operation: Neu Reich
Location: Star Base 21 | Valentino's
Timeline: 2394

7pm, Valentino's...

Leaving a handwritten note on the dinner table, Lieutenant Kingsley had left the quarters she shared with her husband and the Standing Bear not entirely sure if this was a good idea. With Soral's condition deteriorating, he needed rest and to meditate. Yet she also knew they both needed time to just be a couple, to be husband and wife. Just to be. And so she had gone ahead and booked them a table and ensured neither she nor Soral would be on duty tomorrow.

All that was left was to look the part.

Fortunately, when docked at a star base, the options were virtually endless. First up, her hair and makeup, with emerald and rubies the theme as her nails were painted ruby red while alternating green and red gemstones were woven into the insanely tight French plait which wound down her back. And finally the dress. She had seen it earlier that morning when she came with Siana for coffee, and on a whim had gone inside to ask about it. The owner of the store had promised she could make the alterations in time to shorten the length and she had been true to her word.

Now she sat at the bar, sipping wine as she waited while wearing what was perhaps the most 'girly' dress she had ever worn in her entire life and hoping Soral appreciated the dress as much as everyone else seemed to be. The lace of the bodice gave way to satin and lace, the side split which went to mid thigh showing off the rare choice on her part to wear heels. Maybe he would hate it. She downed the glace of wine as she considered just going home. Because yep, he'd probably think she was showing off too much skin or be jealous because the bar tender kept wandering back to her corner of the bar and trying cheesy chat up lines.

What had she been thinking?!

Setting down her empty glass she slid down from the stool and turned towards the door which was the exact moment she saw Soral standing there.

Soral looked around his eyes first skipping Alex because of the dress. They returned to her and recognition hit him. His jaw dropped just a little as he took in her dress.... and the fact that others were staring.

"Hi," she offered, seeming somewhat nervous. Why was he just staring? Was it a good stare, an angry stare....?

Just then the bartender was back. "Hey pretty lady how about another..."

"Move on!" Soral said, his eyes narrowing. The bartender's widened and he held up his hands. "Sorry...I..." He backed away.

Soral slid into her seat. "You look...stunning."

"Why thank you," she smiled, relieved as she stood at his side. "Not my usual outfit."

" will not last long past dinner anyway." He said. He motioned to the tables. "Let us sit down....where I can level a phaser at the other... onlookers."

"You know what," Alex said quickly, reaching across the bar and snagging a menu, "they do take out. We could order and take it back. That way there is zero chance of you ending up in a brig?"

His lip twitched. "I can manage. After dinner I had planned a walk through the arboretum for us."

"Okay," she agreed, setting the menu aside, "so long as you know I cannot break you out of the brig in this dress or in these heels. You don't actually have a phaser with you, do you?"

Behind them, the hostess cleared her throat. "Your table is ready," she announced, smiling kindly at Alex. "If you will both follow me."

Soral followed them letting Alex precede him and keeping his hand on the small of her back.

They were led to a secluded table at the far side of the restaurant, a trio of candles in the centre of the table casting soft light around them. Clearly the owners had gone all in for the romantic vibe, with the soft music, soft lighting and enough space between the various tables and booths to allow privacy. "Antonio will be over in a moment to take your drink orders," the woman assured them as she set down menus in front of each place setting. "I'm Rhea, so please, let me know if I can help you further."

"This was a good idea. I have booked us to stay over night on the station. Mac will take care of Bones."

"You did?" she couldn't hide her surprise.

"Yes. A walk through the Arboretum, dancing, and then we shall enjoy the holo suite VIP stay for tonight. It has been long since we were just us. So much has happened and I do not want us to drift apart."

"We haven't danced since the wedding," she reminded him as she reached across the table for his hand.

"Indeed we have not. Plus today is a special day."

She paled. What had she forgotten? "It is?"

He gave a nod. He pulled his hand back and reached into his jacket pocket sliding a velvet case for her. He'd arranged to have a special gift made for her. Her favorite stone set in a necklace, earrings, a tennis bracelet and a ring. "It is the anniversary of our first kiss...on the holodeck."

"It feels like yesterday," she admitted as her fingertips brushed over the soft velvet before she opened it, her eyes widening. "They are beautiful, thank you! I didn't even think to bring you anything..."

"You did. The most beautiful woman within this galaxy." He took her hand bringing her palm to his lips. "You are my gift Alexandra."

Colour rushed to her cheeks, "you may be a little biased," she pointed out.

"Perhaps." He was interrupted by the waiter coming. Soral would let her order first. Tonight would be a rest for both of them.

"Good evening," the waiter announced brightly as he reached their table, his voice heavily accented. It made her immediately think of Adrianna, a thought she had to push away. "I am Antonio, and I will be your waiter this evening and may I say, what a pleasure it is to have you with us this tonight. May I get you something to drink?"

"A Romulan Ale."

"And for the beautiful lady?" Antonio asked as he turned his attention on to her.

"Red wine, please, house wine is fine," she said quickly.

"Of course, of course," Antonio nodded. "And are you ready to order your food?"

Now that he mentioned food it seemed all she could think about, the delicious smells from the kitchen and the surrounding tables were enticing. "Could we have the mixed platter of starters to share?" she asked, glancing at Soral to make sure he had no objections, "and then I will have the penne arrabbiata please."

"And for you, Sir?"

"A vegetarian Lasagna." He said. He waited for the waiter to leave before turning to Alex. "Alexandra do you have any pressing work that requires you to return to the ship tomorrow?"

“Tomorrow? No…” she shook her head.

"Good then we shall extend our stay and make it a … weekend getaway."

“Really?” Her surprise was evident. “But your calls with Severine?”

"I have let Laura know and Severine is...angry with me right now. I believe it is called the silent treatment."

“Mad at you? Why?” Alex asked, frowning.

"She is angry that I allowed N'vek to stay aboard ship and not her and Soval." He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "She believes that I have wronged them both by having someone who is not my blood given higher honour then the children that are." He shook his head. "I did not mean to imply that by having him here...It was just temporary until he adjusted."

“Ah…” Alex said slowly. “Give her some time, she loves you.”

"Hmm. Perhaps." Soral reached across the table. "Are you still angry with me with respect to your new...research friend?"

Alex grinned, “you mean the women you kissed and called your goddess? Why do you think my dress is green?”

He sighed. "It was a mistake...I will not be making. I did not expect a second redhead." He blushed again.

“Good to know,” she smiled. “You can make it up to me later.”

He smiled at that. "Indeed." The meal arrived and they began to eat. "Tell me how things are going, getting your lab back in order."

“Great,” she smiled, taking a sip of wine. “Equipment is installed, last of the supplies arrive over the next two days. It’s good as new. Better even. And I was waiting to tell you… I finished. My PhD? Technically I graduate next month. I mean I won’t, I’m here, not in Cambridge. But still.”

His eyes widened. "You have completed your dissertation?"

“Yep. With everything that happened lately it never seemed the right time to bring it up. And it doesn’t change anything as far as my career goes, other than I don’t have research to do in my off-duty time,” she shrugged. “I plan on taking a year or so to plan what to do next. It feels weird. Besides my time at the academy I have always been studying at Cambridge. But I didn’t have you and our family when I committed to it all - I want to enjoy us for a while.”

"Congratulations." He said taking her hand. "So you are now Doctor Kingsley."

“Eww that makes me sound old,” she realised, making a face.

"But it is technically true." He thought a moment. "And it is good because …."

Before he could say anything a familiar voice caught him. "Senpai!"

Soral looked up to see Hamura walking towards them.

Alex followed Soral’s gaze. “Soral?” she said, confused.

Soral raised an eyebrow. As Hamura, who was dressed in dress pants and a dress shirt came to the table he smiled. "Hello Senpai." He turned to Alex. "Who is this lovely creature."

Soral sighed. "This is my wife. Alexandra. Alexandra this is our new Temporary Chief Engineer Hamura Hayashi, Hamura." He said.

“Hi,” Alex offered with a warm smile, “welcome aboard… Is something wrong?”

"Oh no. I'm meeting a friend." Hamura took Alex's hand kissing the back of it. "It is a pleasure to meet what do you want with him?"

Soral actually snort laughed.

“I’m sorry, what?” Alex said as she pulled her hand back quickly, shooting a look in Soral’s direction. Had he just laughed?

"Hamura is the hopeless flirt. No amount of mentoring was able to stop that. You are," he said to Hamura. "Interrupting a romantic dinner."

Hamura laughed. "Really...a Romantic Vulcan? Isn't that....forbidden on Vulcan."

Soral raised an eyebrow. "I do not think my wife would appreciate …."

Hamura gasped. "Madam what is that growing out of your hair!"

“Madam?” Alex repeated, reaching for her wine. “And now I feel ancient…”

"Yes well...there is still that thing in your hair."

Soral's amusement was clear in his eyes.

“It seems Soral is amused,” Alex sighed. “Fine, what is in my hair?”

Hamura reached out and pulled out a rose handing it to her.

Soral couldn't hold it in any longer. His shoulders started to shake as he laughed. Soon he was wiping tears from his eyes and heads were turning their way.

Alex stared at her husband as she let the rose drop onto the table, frowning as her mood darkened. “Thanks,” she said as she drained her glass before doing the same with Soral’s. “Can we get some refills?” She asked as she caught Antonio’s eye. And then, to Soral, “what’s so funny?”

"Hamura....does this with everyone."

Hamura looked offended but with eyes that held a smile "Well! I never..."

"Yes on the account of your cheesy trick," Soral added.

Hamura smiled.

Soral sighed. "Alright... Hamura seriously you and I shall speak tomorrow."

Hamura sighed. "Fine, chase me away. Anyway I shall go. I am meeting with someone." Hamura sighed dramatically. "Until next time fair lady. Good luck with that one," Hamura said point at Soral and with a bow left.

“Tomorrow?” Alex whispered. “What happened to just us for a weekend?”

"That is the point. Hamura will show up and I will is an old routine."

“What?” She frowned, confused. “Maybe this isn’t a good idea. You were laughing. Loudly…. Maybe you should rest and meditate. This whole thing,” she gestured to her dress, “is me being selfish.”

He reached over and took her hand. "Alexandra, I am fine. Hamura has always had a way of making me laugh. Mac and I served with them on another ship. This was just Hamura being Hamura. You and I have an evening to enjoy." He picked up the rose. "I have never learned how Hamura does this. If I did I would pull roses from your hair daily."

“Please don’t ever do that,” Alex said softly. “That was… uncomfortable.”

Soral studied her. "Hamura meant no harm. Does not make friends easy but Hamura is a fierce friend who has saved my live more times then I can count."

“I’m sure,” Alex said with a small smile, unable to shake the feeling of being judged and found wanting. Would he consider it so innocent if a complete stranger had done that? Of course not. “I’m going to go freshen up, I’m finished eating.”

The last part was a lie but she didn’t want to spoil the mood and it was clear her husband just didn’t or couldn’t understand where she was coming from. When she came back they could talk about something else and then, if she hadn't just ruined the whole night, go dancing.

Soral watched her go and couldn't help but feel as if he missed something. He waited for her to come back, they would go for their walk and the surprise he'd prepared but he also wished to speak with her about what happened. He didn't understand her change of mood.

A pep talk in the mirror, a fresh application of lipstick and a dab of the light fruity perfume she had tucked away in the corner of her clutch bag later, she returned to the table to find Soral patiently waiting. No sooner had she sat down than Antonio appeared, all bright smiles and enthusiasm as he checked they were enjoying their meal. "We have some deliciously tempting deserts," he offered as he cleared their plates. "Or perhaps some more drinks?"

Tempting though they were, ten minutes later they emerged from the restaurant and onto the quiet section of the promenade. Trusting that he would know where he was going, she let Soral guide her through the station. He had said something about the Arboretum which, on a base like this, would be huge. Not the small cultivation of samples her limited lab space allowed.

"You are being very quiet," she observed with a mix of sadness and guilt. She had, hadn't she? The whole have a romantic evening or weekend or whatever it was, she had managed to kill it dead. So she stopped, tugging on his arm to make him turn and face her. "I'm sorry, okay? I have no doubt your friend was just being themselves and meant no harm. It's me. I had some bad experiences and so I just ...prefer strangers not to be quite so close."

He looked at her. He took her face in his hands. "I am sorry. Hamura takes a bit of getting used to. I will have a conversation …. and I wish you to understand something. Something I realized while Hamura was being a ham, so to speak."

She frowned, confused. "What?"

"I realized that I have some...insecurities. Vulcans do not get jealous but I have been. As I watched Hamura try to … charm you I realized how frustrating it was for Hamura. Using the best tricks and you still kept distant and didn't fall for any of it. That is what I found funny. In that instant too I realized it did not matter the charm or handsomeness you loved me with all my flaws and you were not leaving. I have...had the experience where those who claimed to care for me left and I was...projecting that you would too. Until tonight."

"Remind me who is supposed to be older and wiser?" she chided him gently.

He smiled, "Older, me, wiser, you." He said. He pulled her to start walking again. There was still a surprise he wanted to share with her.

She fell into step beside him, one arm around his waist. Heels and alcohol were not a good combo. "Did you bring your dancing shoes?" she asked him with a grin as they walked.

"Indeed but first." They stopped just outside an area of the arboretum that said closed. He removed the roped off area and motioned. "After you."

"Why thank you," she said, clearly curious as to what was going on.

He closed the rope behind her and lead her to an open area where there was a dessert picnic set out and a keyboard. "I thought I would play for you while you enjoyed dessert," he said.

"Music and chocolate, huh?" she smiled, as she slipped off her shoes so she could kneel down with care on the picnic blanket. "you definitely are getting romantic. Although I'd much rather you joined me and helped save me from all the calories."

"You are too skinny anyways." He said as he took up the post by the piano. After a brief warm up he played the song for her that he'd recorded before going to the Andorian ship. He didn't know she'd heard it so he played it putting his feelings in the lyrics.

At his too skinny comment she made a face behind his back. Just a short while ago he had thought she was shopping for maternity clothes! Carefully unpacking the picnic basket, she paused as he began playing. Food was all but forgotten as she sat back, closed her eyes and just listened until the very last note rang out. "I can't decide if it is better with the piano or your guitar," she mused with a wistful smile.

His eyebrows shot up. "Guitar..I have never...ah you saw the video."

She flashed him a sheepish smile, "you didn't shut down the computer and ... I'm sorry, I didn't mean to listen to your personal log. But at the time... I thought... I didn't know what to think. You had been captured and we were going into a fight outgunned and probably without much of a chance. I just wanted to hear your voice."

He gave a nod. "My personal logs are always open to you. The code is your birthday."

She grinned, “yeah, you should absolutely change that. As sweet as that is.”

He stood and walked over to join her on the picnic blanket. "Perhaps but I write nothing in my logs that I do not stand by."

She leaned back as she peered up at him before he sat down, “now I’m curious. Do you talk about me a lot?”

"I do. I talk about our lives, sometimes our arguments about day-to-day things you do that bring me joy." He picked up a cookie and ate one.

She picked out a cookie, broke it in half and then handed one half to him, “what your saying is… you got it bad, huh?” She teased him playfully.

"Indeed." He took the half and then brought his forehead to hers. "I never thought I would find what we have and I am grateful for it each day."

“Me to,” she whispered as she kissed him.

"How shall we finish our sweets picnic and then dancing?"

“We can finish the picnic tomorrow,” she suggested. “Or the day after that. I wanna dance and then I remember some sort of threat about this dresses not making it past dinner which is gonna make the next few days interesting,” she grinned.

He smiled. "Very well. Let's pack up and we can head to the Dark Angel."

“Sounds like a throwback to my teens,” she mused as she helped pack up. “Do I need to change?”

"No it's actually mascaraed ball night so we'll pick up a mask and that should be all."

She frowned, “sounds interesting. And I promise, I’m a better dancer than singer.”

He raised an eyebrow. "We shall see."

To Be Continued...



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