Till It Be Morrow
Location: Holodeck 2
Timeline: Day 2 18:00
Nokomis walked the corridor toward the holodeck. She really wasn't looking forward to any sort of workout but just didn't want to sit in her quarters one more night by herself. And as she knew, practice made perfect so this wouldn't hurt her at all. She got to the door and realized that there was already a program running, her program. She frowned slightly and moved towards the doors. They weren't locked and allowed her entrance. When she saw who it was she stopped and stared. "I'm sorry," she said dumbly. "I saw the program was running, didn't realize it was you. Not that you're not perfectly allowed to use it of course!"
The sound of an unexpected voice was all that it took to shatter Tiber's focus for the slightest millisecond. In any normal opponent It would never have been enough to capitalise on, but then Tiber had set the program to its highest challenge level. His opponent, an Andorian blademaster who the computer had seen fit to render complete with healed over scar tissue on his left cheek and only one antennae made a sweeping thrust down from his high guard. Tiber managed to parry the blow with his own rapier but not without recklessly exposing his left side, the Andorian allowed the momentum of his opponents parry to carry his own blade around full circle and bam. The match was over. As his holographic adversary disappeared before him and the computer began reeling off the match point as if to taunt him, he cursed loudly and turned on the intruder.
"Wont yo-..........Commander." He managed to stop himself before saying more than he should, he would be lucky not to be on report for using her program as it is.
It took about half a second for him to snap to attention, A ridiculous sight no doubt considering that he was out of uniform, instead wearing only a loose pair of baggy shorts, a pair of old training daps that had seen better days and his old marine training tee he had been given when he was 18 by one of his father's old sargent major's upon his acceptance into the academy. It was an old marine joke designed to haze marine brats that opted for a career in Starfleet rather than the Corp. It even had his name sown proudly into the back. T. D. AUGUSTA. That combined with him drenched in sweet from his workout, he must have been a picture.
"My fault," Nokomis said. "I can reprogram the computer to let you do that last round again if you like, since I interrupted you and without the distraction you would have done much better. Not that I was paying attention to your score." She hastily added.
Tiber allowed himself to relax a little. The tension he felt around the commander really didnt seem to be reciprocated. Every interaction he had had with her had been so informal and.....kindly. Maybe this was her way with all of the junior officers. He wasn't comfortable with it because he didn't really understand where the line was. Growing up with his father there had always been very clear rules of engagement. The academy had been the same. For all of his skills he just wasn't sure what to do in these kind of social situations.
Tiber kept quiet considering his response, he was used to thinking quickly. A result of his training. He found himself distracted by the commander herself however. It didn't seem possible but she was even more attractive out of uniform than she was in, beautiful even. Her hair was held up in a short bun above her head and she was wearing a pair of short shorts and old green running shoes that looked like they had had a life almost as hard as his. Her upper half was covered in a grey standard issue exercise top with no sleeves and a small starfleet insignia on the collar. Her commbadge was the only feature that looked the same as the evening before, apart from her eyes, those were exactly the same.
"Im sure i could do better ma'am." He answered straight faced.
"At ease," she said, noticing that he was still as rigid as the moment he'd noticed her. "We're not on duty . . ." She almost used his first name and stopped herself. Having tried to have a conversation with him before, a really enjoyable one until he freaked out and ran off on her, she didn't want to freak him out. But he was so damn frustrating. Why did it bother her so much that he acted so afraid of her? And why should he be afraid? Unless . . . Her eyes widened and she stared at him a moment. Her heart quickened at the thought. Nokomis could think of one way to find out.
"I have an idea," she said slowly. "It might help you with your fencing."
Tiber relaxed his shoulders and stood quietly watching her walk slowly around the room.
"Help me how commander?" Tiber asked knowingly. He knew full well that the commander was a capable swordswoman, but he highly doubted that she had sufficient skill to prove a challange for him.
"You have to trust me." Nokomis answered him as she slipped off her shoes and socks revealing her four toed feet. "Shoes off." She said, standing there with her hands on her hips expectantly.
Tiber was intrigued by the offer, all be it a little bemused. He really wasn't sure what she had in mind, but he obliged none the less. He kicked off is shoes and gestured to the training matt that he had been using. Looking down on her through his fallen dark fringe, smirking confidently.
He really had no clue, and Nokomis knew she could wipe that smirk off his face pretty quickly with what she was about to do. She smiled as she stepped up to him knowing there was a very good chance this would end very badly for one or both of them. "Let me see your arms." She placed one on her back, just above her hip and took the other with her right hand.
Tiber still had not the slightest clue what she had in mind, he knew from her personnel file she was a formidable marshal artist. Tiber knew better than to underestimate any opponent but none the less he wanted to see where this would lead.
"Okay, we'll take this slowly," once they were in the right position. It frankly surprised her that he would let her get this close and remain that way. Perhaps her theory was right. "The reason I started fencing had actually nothing to do with defending myself or proving anything to anyone. I've been dancing since I was a little girl and I discovered that it helped me a lot with my balance after an ear infection. And I asked for your shoes off because my toes have less sturdy bones than yours and I've already broken the little toe on my right foot twice."
"D, Danceing!" The ensign blurted out in shock! Tiber would rather have been thrown through a tritaniam lined table than find himself dancing with his executive officer! What was it about this woman than meant she enjoyed throwing him out of his comfort zone. The commander continued to lead, directing there footwork from one direction to another, looking up at him barely 2 inches from his face. He caught the faint smell coconut from from her hair as they glided, step by step, around the room. His eyes frantically flashing from hers, to his feet and back again.
Nokomis finally stopped. He hadn't let go of her but she could feel his heart pounding through his fingers. "Deep breath. You're freaking out again. Tiberius calm down, it's just a dance. Even if someone walked through those doors dancing is not illegal, no matter who the partners are."
Tiber did as he was instructed and breathed in sharply, almost audibly. He couldn't really find the words. He was torn between his horror and fear regarding his current predicament with the XO and the feelings she was rousing in him. He had appreciate the fact she was an incredibly attractive women but now he could see much more than that. She could shock and surprise him, kind and worldly. He had never met anyone like her. Every rational thought, backed by years of training was telling him to let her go.
But he couldn't.
So he Just stood there, holding her, looking down into her eyes. Living in that moment. In all his life he had never felt this way before. About anyone.
Well that was better, air was flowing into his lungs now. His heart wasn't beating quite as hard. He hadn't released her but she hadn't asked him to either. It looked as if her theory were correct, she was pretty sure that he did indeed like her. And how did she feel about that? She'd certainly gotten him to loosen up, he was staring at her now. Nokomis half expected him to kiss her, and how did she feel about that? Her heart was doing flip flops.
Tiber continued to stare for a short moment. The two halves of him were fighting a war inside him. On one side, the disciplined officer whose entire life's experience up until this moment was telling him to step back and walk out of the door. The other, the young man who wanted nothing more but to lean forward and kiss her, this astonishing woman. Perhaps the first real light in his life, a woman he had only know for two days. His superior officer.
After a short pause. he removed his right hand from her back, keeping his left hand in hers, and gathering her left in his right, all without breaking eye contact. After a short, intimate moment, he whispered quietly into her ear, throwing all caution to the wind.
"I know." She'd gone through every reason already in her head. Thousands of 'why this won't work,' 'what are people going to say', and 'You're way too old for him,' or 'What is Logan going to think?' She sucked in a ragged breath and was pretty sure she'd skipped several heartbeats or was just feeling lightheaded from his closeness. "I don't care."
Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Tiberius Augusta
Intelligence Officer, USS Orion