Season 2: Mission 2.A: R&R
Timeline: Upon the return of the Elysium
DS9. Phoenix took a breath as she exited the hatch and then, with a glance to get her bearings headed for the main corridor, and the visiting crew cabins beyond.
"You officers are all the same," Ken Waters called out from behind her. He was leaning against a bulkhead, arms crossed over his chest, his eyes sparkling with humor. "Get back to the port and the first thing you do is go looking for a comfort man to help ease the loneliness of days alone at sea."
Phoenix flashed him a matching smirk and turned to face him. "Ah well, do you know where I can find one willing?" She drawled.
He spread his arms wide, shrugging at the question. "I mean. I've got some people willing to work with you, sure. Good looking girl, high ranking. Beautiful eyes. Yeah. I think I can put together some options for you. The real question is: how much are you willing to pay?"
Sauntering forward she stepped up to him. "With a kiss." She brushed her lips across his. " Hello handsome"
He slipped his fingers into her hair, leaning into her as he pulled her closer still. When they parted he gave her a dreamy smile. "I ought-a send you out to sea more often," he said. He held up a finger between them. "Although, there was a bit of a development while you were away."
She raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Tell me Miran didn't bash you up?"
He split a wide grin, shaking his head in wonder. "Prophets, nothing gets by you," he said impressed. "Well. Let's just say that she wasn't exactly thrilled about us giving this another go. But I talked to her, and I think she's willing to give me one more chance. Although she did make it pretty damn clear that she will kill me if this doesn't work out. And I don't think she was exactly joking..."
"Probably not" Phoenix mused softly "But I am sure you can run faster than she can." she rested her head on his chest as she leaned against him. "Missed you." she mumbled.
He squeezed her tight, and found his eyes closing just as tightly. For a moment he thought of their doubles in an alternate universe. And this woman he loved so dearly, dead, well before her time. And him left to raise the children. Their children. He wondered what the twins were up to now. He often did. A real family. The thought warmed him. Prophets, he loved Phoenix. "I cooked for you," he whispered.
"Cooked?" She raised her head and smiled. "Sounds nice."
"Doesn't it, though?" he mused. And then he made a wry face. "Unfortunately, that nice gesture sort of turned into a bit of a disaster. But don't worry, it was all disposed of humanely via the nearest airlock. So...care to grab dinner from the promenade? Or maybe a replicator? I know a good one."
Shifting, Phoenix smiled and linked her arm through his. "Lead on Kind sir. I am sure where ever you want to eat will be fine."
"Actually," he said, and he took her hand and began leading her back toward the main promenade. "I've got just the place. Have you ever had Bajoran food before? I mean REAL Bajoran food?"
She shook her head."No I have not. I hear its lovely though."
"Lovely?" Ken threw his head back in exaggerated shock. "No, no. Believe me, this restaurant has the best food in this sector. I am about to spoil you for all future meals for the rest of your life. I am going to show you a dish so unbelievable, so incredible, that you will transcend this existence and look into the eyes of the Prophets themselves." He took her hand and began leading her back to the Promenade. After only a few steps he stopped suddenly, and turned back to her, holding her hands still in his. "We're going to be okay this time, right?"
Phoenix looked up at him. "Yes" she said softly. "I believe so."
"Good," he affirmed with a confident nod. His heart was warm with the happiness that swelled there.
He released her hand as they walked into the main promenade. Although they were a couple once again, and although he was not the least bit embarrassed to show her off to the public (to the contrary, he couldn't be more proud of her), he knew she had an image to maintain as a Starship captain. He didn't want to get in the way of that. She had enough stress to deal with already.
The restaurant he brought them to was a popular Bajoran destination, so much that they had to wait nearly 10 minutes for a table of their own. Ken ordered for them in Bajoran. While they waited he reached across the table to take her hand. "So tell me honestly, on a scale of 1 to 10 how close did you come to dying on this last mission?"
Phoenix smiled at that. "I didn't. There was a brief firefight on the bridge but I was nowhere near the action."
He nodded, and tried his best not to show how pleased he was to hear that. "I realize that the last time we failed at this relationship -- my fault -- was because I couldn't get over the idea of you being in danger. And I also know that I need to accept that danger is a big part of your life." He smiled from his eyes. "I'm working on it, but I'll get there."
"I am sure you are." she said softly. She smiled back. "I am working too."
Their dishes arrived, hasperat placed carefully in the center of freshly grown fruits and vegetables making up a bountiful mesto salad. The waiter showed them a bottle of milaberry wine and Ken nodded his approval. As the drinks were poured, Ken extended his hand to Phoenix. "All one-hundred percent naturally grown and prepared, especially the wine. Dig in."
With a nod, Phoenix did as he suggested, though she was her normal self in eating. "So aside from Miran trying to kick your butt, what else did you do while I was away?"
He grabbed his drink, using it to cover his face and hide his features as he thought about how best to answer her question. There was, of course, his struggle with the question of asking Phoenix to marry him. As of now only Miran and Cortez knew about it. Would either of them have said anything to Phoenix? She was just back from her mission. Even if they were going to blab to her, neither of them had the chance yet.
Ken shook his head. "Nope. I've been plenty boring. But we should do something about that. Before the next mission, there must be some trouble the two of us can get up to."
"Hmm, sounds like a wonderful idea." She smiled at him. "And I am sure you have a number of other wonderful ideas."
Waters lifted two fingers to the air. "We'll take the bill, please."
Not 5 minutes later Phoenix was leaning against him as they walked towards the temporary quarters for visiting crew.
Even as he walked alongside her, he felt her warmth; a fire burning bright in the deepest parts of his soul. Her movements both calmed and excited him. He was intoxicated by the smell of her hair. Her very presence filled him. He felt happy. He felt lucky. He laced his fingers with hers. "Yeah, I think I could do this forever," he mused idly.