Exploring New Worlds
Mission: Side Posts
"So," Mis said, settling herself down on the ground. "I get the impression you have a little bit of a crush on me or something. Is that true?" They'd found a green patch in the middle of a botanical garden. There was no one around this time of day. It seemed like a comfortable place to talk things over. Mis's pulse was moving a lot faster than she would have liked and she felt sort of excited and confused at the same time.
Statzia plucked three blades of grass and began twisting them in a braid. "You don't sugar coat much, do you?" She gave a soft chuckle. "I'm not--looking for anything serious, Mis."
"I didn't want to walk around the ship for weeks or months with this hanging over our heads. " She shrugged. "That's what everyone seems to think around me. No one is serious." She almost sounded angry but let it go. "But, in all honesty, I've never had a relationship with a woman before so I'm not clear on what I think about it. "
Statzia flushed. "I'm sorry. I mean, if you're not inclined towards women, I can just leave it be."
"Normally I would dismiss your attraction but . . . You touched my hand and my brain went all fuzzy. I'm just a little confused. " Mis answered hoping that was acceptable.
Statzia plucked a couple more blades of grass, twisting them into the braid in her hands. "And you're not sure if your brain went fuzzy because of the wine, or it's because you liked it, right?"
"I definitely liked it, that's what's got me confused. " Mis looked down at her hands as if suddenly embarrassed about the situation.
"I'll admit to not being up on my Kriosian diplomacy and all--Is this sort of thing taboo for your people?" Another blade of grass, a twist in of a small flower. "Or did your folks not talk about this as something that women did?"
"My parents wanted to arrange my marriage. But as for being taboo, a little bit. There are no laws against it. I just never considered it as something for myself, that's all. I hope that doesn't bother you."
Statzia gave a soft chuckle. "My family was planning to arrange my marriage as well. You don't exactly meet many 'eligible procreation-worthy' people when you live on a civilian scrap hauler with the entirety of your extended family. Overheard my uncles talking with my father about friends with eligible sons--"
She plucked a flower from the lawn, perhaps a bit more violently this time. "So I started fudging the family books, undercutting inventory numbers and stashed away the extra funds until we hit the next Starbase. I was supposed to meet this kid, we'd hit it off, and they'd hold the wedding that same weekend--and I cashed in everything I had for a ticket to Earth. I guess all that's to say that I have a decent idea of what it's like."
"My family is the opposite I suppose. Well to do pompous idiots. I joined Starfleet as soon as I was old enough. Logan's dad sponsored me. Not that I needed it I guess. Being the daughter of the Kriosian ambassador to Earth. Anyway. So, what do we do?"
"Well, since it's highly unlikely that he Kriosian Ambassador would arrange for a marriage to a Slovakian junker's daughter--" She tied of the end of the grass braid, now a ring of grasses and flowers. "I would suggest that we don't tell either or our parents what we're up to." With a grin, Statzia set the crown atop Mis' head.
"Oh I never tell them anything." Mis responded, her eyes darting up to the ring of flowers that had just been placed on her head. "What is the significance of this?" She asked curiously.
That made Statzia laugh. "They're flowers, silly. But if you'd rather have something of significance..." She smiled, leaning over to softly kiss Mis' lips.
It startled her for a second but she didn't pull away. It didn't make her toes curl up but there was a warmth spreading through her. "I meant," she said softly when the kiss was broken. "Why are the flowers in a ring like that? I've heard of some cultures on earth doing it. I thought it was Scandinavian or something like that?" Suddenly she smiled. "Or Should I just shut up?" Rather than kissing Stazia though, she was curious about something and reached for her hair.
Statzia caught the hand with hers. "Sometimes, when you're on a pleasure planet, and you come across a beautiful woman, you take her to a secluded garden, and you put flowers in her hair--" She reached in to tuck a wisp of hair behind Mis' ear. "And, with any luck, you kiss her until both your lips turn blue."
Mis grinned. "Let's just sit here for a bit, I'm getting used to the idea. I know that's probably an eyeroll response but this has been a really weird day."
Statzia returned the smile. "We can take this as slow or as fast as you want. But I'm going to sit here and bask in your beauty while you work it through." Her fingers slowly intertwined in the hand she was holding.
"Oh please, " Mis answered, mildly disagreeing with the compliment. "You're the one with tanned skin and the lovely dark hair. I look like a ghost most days. "
Statzia's thumb once again absently rubbed along Mis' hand. "Your skin reminds me of a peach. I had a real one once, not replicated. I swear it tasted like sunshine."
While she enjoyed the touch she thought the association was a bit far fetched. "I don't think I've ever had one, not a real one. Cherries though, those grew all over where I grew up. Some of us used to climb the trees and pick them, eat them right there before getting chased off by the angry farmer."
That got a laugh. "You? A thief? Never!"
"I was the lookout. It's how I justified eating them since technically I hadn't stolen them. " "Do you have siblings?"
"I have four older brothers. Every last one of them is a pain in the rear." Statzia shifted her grip so that she could continue to hold Mis' hand, and she laid back on the grass to stare up at the sky. "They don't talk with me as much as I'd like, and even less so after I lost my leg. I think they were hoping that I'd abandon this whole 'Starfleet nonsense' and come home."
"Ah, yeah. I wish I could be closer to my brother and that we'd gotten along as kids but I don't think that will ever happen. I'm closer to Logan's kids than I am to him. I send them Christmas and birthday presents from our travels around the universe, I never hear from my brother."
"Sometimes we make our own families, right?" She gave Mis' hand a soft, reassuring squeeze. "And I'm sure it means a lot to the Captain's kids to have you in their life."
She nodded. They'd lost their mother after all. She was sure it was comforting to still have an aunt they had known their whole lives, even if she wasn't technically related to them. "Sorry, I didn't mean to bring the conversation down so much." She squeezed the hand back and lifted a finger to trace it over Stazia's nose. "This was a lovely idea, thanks for lunch and for this spot. I love peace and quiet sometimes."
Statzia giggled at the touch, wrinkling her nose. "That tickles."
"Really?" Mis grinned. "That's sort of a sign of affection where I come from. People in families greet each other that way, not my family generally but most. Anyway . . . thanks for listening. I appreciate it."
Statzia reached up a hand, tracing a finger softly along Mis' nose. "Like this?"
She smiled and nodded. "Strange tradition huh?"
Statzia's fingers reached up to brush a wisp of hair from Mis' brow. "Not strange at all."
Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant JG Anastatzia Liski
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion