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Mustering Courage

Posted on Thu Nov 1st, 2018 @ 10:02am by Ensign Gallia Norris & Petty Officer 2nd Class Anya Neeze

Mission: Season 2: Mission 2.A: R&R
Location: Anya's Cabin

She’d gone over it in her head about half a million times already, not sure how to go about even doing this, but she really needed to do this now before she lost her nerve. Tucking the present under one arm, Sami rang the chime to the quarters Anya shared with Liorga, thanking every Deity she’d ever heard of that Liorga wasn’t home, she’d NEVER hear the end of that crap.

Inside Anya’s cabin, the music stopped and Anya walked towards the door. “Come in”, she called on her way there. With a flute in one hand and wearing a dress one would expect for a holiday trip to the beach, she looked very different from her usual professional self. Aside from some decoration, the cabin didn’t even look like it was lived in, as tidy as both occupants were keeping everything. Anya sure was glad that Liorga seemed to have CDO as badly as she did.

“Oh, hi, Anya, it’s Sami.” She said as she stepped through the door, cursing herself for being so stupid, ‘She knows who you are, dummy. She can see that!’ “I, uh, I brought you a gift.” She said, stopping and then forcing herself to continue, “And, uh, here it is.” She held out the wrapped box for Anja, trying to hide the fact her hands were trembling, “Hope you like it.”

“A gift, for me?!” Anya had not expected that. She remembered running the malfunctioning tank simulation with Sami, having made fun of her desire to be the loader, and then going for a swim with the group later. “It’s not a swimsuit, is it?” she joked. “Please, come in.” She took the wrapped object from Sami’s hand and stepped sideways to allow her to enter.

“No, not a swimsuit.” Sami laughed nervously, “I liked the one you wore last time.” She took a deep breath and asked, “So, you gonna open it?”

“Of course I am”, Anya grinned. “I’m not known for my ability to curtail my curiosity for any length of time.” She placed the box on the table and started undoing the wrappings meticulously. She could have ripped it open but that only meant making a mess in her own cabin.

‘I hope she likes this…’ Sami thought nervously, if she didn’t like or want the gift there was no way Sami would ever be able to take step two, “I was at IFFY and saw it and thought ‘That would look so good on Anya’ so I just bought it, you know?”

Anya retrieved a burgundy leather jacket from the box now that it was unwrapped, and immediately unfolded it and held it out in front of her chest. “This is definitely my colour, thank you.”

“Yeah, I thought so, too.” Sami smiled, trying to muster the courage to do what she wanted to, instead opting for, “So, you play the flute?”

“Some might say I abuse the flute”, Anya responded as she put on the jacket and stepped up in front of the currently inactive replicator console, which could double as a mirror. “Hmm, looks weird with the dress but I do have a pair of trousers that would go with this. I like it.” She smiled at Sami. “You’ve got a good eye.”

“Thanks.” Sami mustered, totally intimidated by the woman across from her, “I try to be fashionable, you know?” She smiled, faux bragging as she indicated her hair and outfit.

“You like period pieces, don’t you?” Anya smiled. “Dressing up is fun.” She figured wearing jeans and a matching shirt that showed off the colourful tattoo the engineer was presenting on her upper chest, she might well have appeared in a 20th century holodeck programme.

“I actually do enjoy them.” Sami replied happily, “I especially loved the one we did the other day with Lieutenant…. Ensign Norris. She’s a Lieutenant in the tank.”

“Well, the way she’s approaching things, she’ll soon enough be a Lieutenant in engineering as well”, Anya predicted. “I admit, though, I do prefer to get more up close and personal. Close enough to smell one another.”

“I understand that.” Sami laughed, “But you’ve got to understand something about engineers. We want everything we deal with to have an engine of some sort, that way something can break and we can fix it like we did the tread the other day.”

“Better engines than bones”, Anya admitted. “Good thing I wasn’t invited to join a medical crew in their adventure.”

“Yeah, probably.” Sami agreed, “But you were really kicking ass driving the Lady A!”

“You say that only because you couldn’t see where we were going as the loader”, Anya laughed. “I rammed several trees in the process. Big ones, the kind that was stronger than the tank.”

“But did we die?” Sami giggled.

“I’m pretty certain we would have, had we not decided to go for a swim instead”, Anya smirked. “And I so needed the warmth, too.”

“It was cold in that tank, wasn’t it?” Sami remembered, shivering a little as she did, “Especially for poor Liorga…”

“She never complained to me about it”, Anya said. “Though that might be pride.” From what she understood, Liorga had a lot of pride, some of it wounded, and wasn’t one to complain easily.

“She doesn’t complain. Ever.” Sami said quickly, “But you know she had to be cold in that freezing tank with no hair.”

Anya snickered. “One more reason never to lose mine.” As a matter of fact, she enjoyed having long hair, even if it could get in the way sometimes. “So, what made you decide to want to be the loader? I can’t imagine any task that seems more like an industrial process easily done by a machine.” Anya would have been bored out of her skull. But then, she avoided the gym, too.

“Well, seemed a good way to get in a workout while we played.” Sami shrugged, ‘totally inadvertently’ flexing her biceps as she did.

“If you ever want to try some swordplay, join me for some sparring?” Anya suggested. “We’ll see whether strength or agility wins out.”

“Okay, sure.” Sami agreed quickly, it wasn’t what she was thinking, but it was definitely an excuse to be around her. Quickly she turned the topic away from swords, “And, yeah, you’ve got really great hair, totally never lose it.”

“Thank you”, Anya blushed, beginning to catch on to what was at play here. “I, um, I wasn’t planning on it. It’s my primary means of staging a dramatic exit.”

“Dramatic exits are important.” Sami nodded, “And I like long hair on a woman. Especially if she’s pretty. Like you, you know?” ‘Very smooth, genius.’ She thought, then groaned, “That wasn’t really.. That didn’t come out as well as it did in my head.”

“You’re not so bad either, you could pull it off, too”, Anya replied.

“Umm, thank you, but actually I can’t.” Sami sighed, then laughed, “I get a super hardcore case of the frizzies if I let it grow too much. Kinda look like that clown from the Old Earth restaurants… You know, the one that was like everywhere until people found out what kind of garbage was in their food and it was just over? McDowell’s or something like that.”

Anya snickered. “Now that I’d like to see.”

“Tell you what, I’ll make a deal with you.” Sami began, she’d just found her in! “I’ll show you on two conditions.”

“I’m almost afraid to ask”, Anya grinned.

“One, you let me take you for dinner.” Sami smiled sheepishly, “And, two, this one I can’t stress enough. Don’t laugh and try to remember I don’t look this terrible now. Deal?”

Anya laughed despite the condition. “I can’t make any promise on the not laughing front. But I’ll try really hard.”

“Okay.” Sami took a deep breath and pulled her padd out of her pants pocket, pulling up a picture of herself, “This is me at fourteen. I took this picture, looked at this picture, and immediately got all of this crap cut off.”

“Fortunately, no pictures exist of me at fourteen”, Anya grinned. “But I feel your pain.”

“I wish none existed of me at fourteen.” Sami laughed, “This one is a gentle reminder of what’s on the other side, I use it every time I start thinking about trying for long hair again.” She took another look at the picture and shuddered, “What in the Hell was I thinking?”

“I don’t know, we all do pretty wild things as teenagers”, Anya shrugged. “When I was nineteen, I almost starred in one of those Ferengi holodeck programmes. Almost.”

“Yeah, why I didn’t spend too much time on DS9.” Sami stated, “I know that little Ferengi weasel likes to cast women in them unbeknownst and I don’t want to go to prison for life for tearing him in half.”

“We have an arrangement”, Anya grinned. “Well, different Ferengi. But still, he knows what’s best for him.”

“A Ferengi who knows what’s best for him? Even over profit?” Sami gasped, “What did you threaten him with? A tri-cobalt warhead?”

Anya took gentle hold of Sami’s ear with her left hand, then traced the line between it and the rest of her with a fingernail of her right. “Oh, nothing particularly elaborate…”

Anya’s touch made her tingle, this was going even better than she could’ve possibly imagined, “I’m sure it got the job done.”

“It’s not the size of the weapon, it’s the warrior who wields it”, Anya quoted that ancient Andorian proverb.

“So, why don’t we go wield forks?” Sami suggested, “I’m sure if we try we can take down a couple of steaks or whatever.”

“Yes”, Anya agreed. “But there’s just one question… do I wear the dress, or the jacket with a shirt and trousers? The jacket with the dress, I’d rather not be seen in public.”

“Not with that dress, no. They don’t go together.” Sami shook her head, “So, yeah, I can give you a minute to change if you want to.”

Anya replicated black trousers and a white shirt to go with the jacket. “Won’t take me that long”, she said, in keeping with her habit of taking things literally. She changed quickly before stepping into her uniform boots, which worked just as well with civilian attire.

“Okay, wow.” Sami said, amazed, “You pull yourself together that quickly and look that good? I spent forty five minutes on this…”

“The replicator is a lot faster than IFFY”, Anya teased. “Though, some of my dresses were originally designed there, too.”

“They do have some great stuff.” Sami grinned, “Dr. Hertz got Gallia’s… Ens. Norris’ baby a bunch of super cute clothes from there. She had the little girl in one of them today before I came here.” Sami lowered her eyes and said sheepishly, “She helped me wrap your gift. I’m not really good at it.”

“An engineer who isn’t good with her hands?” Anya wondered. “How is that even possible? Or does that require the Scottish gene as well?”

“Oh, I’m great with my hands, I just never really learned how to wrap presents.” Sami shrugged, “And I tend to tear the paper when I try.”

“It is very sweet of you to have gone through all that effort”, Anya smiled. “So, it means it would fall to me to cook? We should alert sickbay first.”

“Uh, actually, I was thinking I’d take you to the lounge.” Sami offered, “Or to one of the places on the Promenade. You know, something like that.”

“That is definitely the safer option”, Anya agreed. She offered Sami her arm. “Lead on.”

“With pleasure.” Sami smiled, taking Anya’s offered arm and hoping the rest of the evening went this well.

 

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