More than a Bargain
Mission 4: Letting the Hair Down
Location: Risa Beach
Timeline: MD 02- 1200
The waves crashed on the sand and a strong breeze flowed along the beachline. The beach was once again filled with groups of people enjoying a volleyball game and couples lounging on blankets engrossed in one another.
Javn sat on the beach wiggling her toes in the warm sand wearing shorts and a loose shirt that fell off her shoulder. She had fought her nerves all morning. Maybe he wont show she thought. The assumption brought her a sense of relief that irritated her, she began to tug on the end of her ponytail. How was it possible to be this uncomfortable in such a serene environment?
Dressed a little lighter this time, Lyras took off his sandals as he reached the beach, then took his time approaching the lone woman who was waiting for him. He realized he was barely on time, but he knew he hadn't been straggling. Other things simply just had taken a little longer than intended. He grimaced as he felt the sand slip between his toes, but he put on the brave face regardless. "Miss Darhk?" he called out, without raising his voice much as he was just trying to draw her attention.
Regardless of the sounds of others on the beach the sound of her name made her jump. She exhaled and put on a smile pushing back the nerves steadily building. She turned but stayed seated. " You can call me Javn, Lyras."
"As you wish." He crouched down beside her. "There is no need to be nervous," he reassured her, somehow sensing a hint of anxiety. "You said you wished to swim?"
Her eyes grew wide and her face paled. Had her emotions been printed on her face? She was used to Betazoids picking up her emotions but they never spoke about them out loud. She was embarrassed at how well he could read her. Part of her was thankful it hadn't been enough for him to avoid spending more time with her and her awkward actions. "I..." she stuttered at first but closed her eyes to gather some kind of bravery. "I was actually wondering if you would like to accompany me on a little exploration. Risa has a vast jungle filled with animals as well as hidden waterfalls and lagoons. Its okay if you would like to decline I've just never explored here and I've heard so much about its beauty." She huffed." Im rambling again...."
"As I have never been here before, or even heard of this place before, I am open to exploration. However I should warn you that I do not take well to humid conditions." He rose to his feet, extending his hand to offer her a hand up. "We may need different footwear, if we are to explore?"
She shook her head no. "We wont be going too far, and I feel the breeze might help with keeping us cool." She took his hand and stood but quickly slide her hand from his. "I think the bartender told me it was this way." Gesturing to a wooded area at the far end of the beach.
"It is not the heat I am concerned about," he said as he put his sandals back onto his feet. "As I told you, Vulcans are not bred for humid conditions, I could get very sick if I am not careful."
She stopped walking and turned to him, she made eye contact for a few seconds before looking down. "We can stay here if you want, I don't want to put you in a position that may cause you harm."
"Perhaps another day, so I can make preparations," he counter-offered, "for now, perhaps we should stay here. I have not made any other plans for today, beyond hoping to meet more of the crew. I do have some studies to attend to, as I am a little behind on technology."
Javn nodded slightly disappointed but tried not to show it as easy as her other emotions seemed to be. She put on a smile then caught the rest of what he had said. " Behind? As a Vulcan i would have assumed the opposite."
"One would assume," he mused as he sat down in the sand, kicking off his sandals to bury his feet in the sand. "My knowledge is one hundred and fifty years out of date. I have spent the last few months trying to catch up."
She furrowed her eye brows and her jaw dropped slightly processing the information he had just revealed. Javn sat down in the sand facing him. "Did I hear you correctly? One hundred and fifty days OUT of date?"
Lyras nodded. "Technically, I am one hundred and seventy-eight years old. Technically, though biologically I am still twenty-eight. I was twenty eight when I and a few others sought refuge in the transporter buffer, escaping from a crystalline entity. So yes, I am catching up in my spare time." He tilted his head a fraction, studying her. "You do not believe me?"
It took her a moment to respond, still stunned eyes unblinking. “No, no it’s not that I don’t believe you I...” she paused searching for the right words to say, but what do you say to someone who lost everything? “ You’ve lost everyone you ever knew and cared for...I just can’t... imagine. I’m sorry, I’m not helping.”
"You do not need to apologize," he offered quietly, "I have the opportunity to start a new life. Many of my shipmates cannot as they are dead. Only a few of us escaped." He shrugged. "I will be alright."
She couldn’t help the sadness that overwhelmed her in that moment, her thoughts led her to her foster fathers missing ship and the questions they would never have answers to. She wasn’t sure if he would shy away from her for being too forward. She started to move her hand to lay atop of his but then pulled her hand back to her lap. She put on a brave smile. “Ready for a swim?”
"Yes." He gave her a small smile. "Do not be sad, there is nothing I can change about it. All I can do, is try to fit in and adjust now." He shrugged out of his shirt and shorts, neatly folding them on the beach next to the sandals he had once more removed. "I should warn you.. while I can swim, I am not an avid swimmer."
Javn pulled her shirt over her head and slid her shorts down to her ankles. She stepped out of them and stacked the shirt on top. She felt bare in the two piece swimsuit she had replicated that morning, it was much more revealing then the swimsuit she had worn the previous day. She wrapped her arms around her stomach in a hopeful effort to cover herself. She cursed herself for her decision for a more revealing suit. She smiled shyly. “I have faith in your ability.” She began to make her way to she waterline. A wave crashed up and swallowed her ankles.
Lyras felt his feet sink in the mud as he waded into the water, gasping as it lapped against his shins. "You do realise, that I wear less than you do?" he commented as he saw her vain attempt to cover herself, "you have nothing to be ashamed of. You look fit and healthy." It was a clinical if not medical assessment, insofar he could make one.
His response caused her to glance to his bare chest. Her eyes lingered longer then they should have and upon realizing this she blushed bright red. She shook her head trying push away the thoughts that were gathering, the thoughts that started a heat within her. Suddenly the water wasn’t as cold. “Thank you.... I think.” The water had reached her hips now, she began to run her palms along the surface as the water grew deeper.
Knowing that getting used to the water would take longer if he just waded in, Lyras took the leap and let himself fall forward into the water, submerging himself completely before coming back up with a splash. He shook his head, sending waves of droplets in all directions. "This is quite nice," he commented as he searched for her when he surfaced. "Why were you thanking me, when I am merely stating fact?"
The water droplets from Lyras’ hair landed on her stomach and she gasped at the unexpected coldness. She splashed him before he could turn around and find her. “I thanked you because I assumed that was to be a compliment to make me comfortable.”
She folded her arms across her chest with more spunk then normal.
"It was," he confirmed, gasping as a wave of water caught him in the face just as he turned towards her. "There is no reason to be uncomfortable. We are just swimming."
She let out a laugh she hadn’t heard in awhile. “For someone appearing very wise you are certainly very clueless Lyras.” The water was now to her chest. She dropped below the waters surface. The chill gave her goosebumps all down her arms. After a few seconds she opened her eyes and looked at the rays of sun shinning down into the water. She slowly breached the surface, she pushed her hair back from her face.
"Clueless, how?" he asked once she resurfaced, "I am not attempting to appear wise. According to Vulcan custom, I am considered quite young. How can I be wise, when I have no experience?"
She shook her head. “Given you may not be attempting to do so, you still do. You feel you have no experience even after 28 years alive? What “experiences” would make you feel otherwise? More schooling? More years in the field?”
"I had just graduated from Starfleet Academy, the Ishimura was my first assignment when it disappeared. It was approximately a year after I graduated." He paused. "I had not been off Vulcan before attending the academy. My upbringing had been... Sheltered. So yes I would like more field experience." He paused again and this time it was his turn to look away. "I never had friends, growing up or while at the academy."
She caught the slight show of emotion. They had more in common then she realized which slightly surprised her. Smiling she said “I find it difficult to connect with people on a personal level, I can’t say that I’ve had any true friends either. I’ve grown accustomed to being alone. This..” She gestured between the two of them. “is very new for me. If it’s not to bold to say, I feel your already off to a good start.”
"For me too," Lyras admitted, "never really found anyone to connect to either. On Vulcan, I was always an outsider because of my lack of control." He sighed softly. "At least I have my work, right?"
She smiled and splashed him again. “And now you have me. Which may or may not be more then you bargained for.”
"Howso?" He arched an eyebrow at her in surprise.
“How am I more then your bargained for? Or... how do you have me?” She swam slightly closer to him dipping lower in the water until it reached her chin.
"Both?" The second eyebrow joined the first as he studied her, "I do not understand."
Her cheeks reddened, “You’re cute when your confused.” She let out a giggle. She dipped below the water once more.
"Your face keeps turning red," he pointed out, not sure she heard as she ducked under again. "Why is that? And you still have not explained why you are more than I bargained for or why I have you. I do not own you..."
She decided to take a direct approach, usually unlike her but then again she wasn’t familiar with conversing with Vulcans. “You are right, you do not own me. “ She moves closer to him, just inches from him. She looked him in the eyes, the purple in hers more vibrant with the sun glistening off them. Before she thought better of it she closed her eyes and pressed her lips to his.
The Vulcan froze, this being the last thing he had expected. The worst thing however, was that he had no idea how to respond. It lasted only a second or so before he pulled away. "Why did you do that?" He asked, his voice barely a whisper, his eyes wide with surprise.
“You asked why my face reddened, it’s because I wanted to do that.” She backed away putting a few more inches between them. “I wanted to try it, before our day was over.
"Oh..." He smiled, not quite sure what to make of this. "You are aware, that there are still several more hours left in today? And you still have not answered my question..." He paused. "You are not going to, are you."
Grinning and shook her head no. “No, I’m not.” She slid the band holding her hair off, her long black hair cascaded down around her heavy with water.
"Why not?" Probably not for the last time today, he studied her. He decided that she did look better with her hair worn loose. He also liked how the bright sun made her eyes look more violet. As he studied her, he didn't seem to realize that he was literally staring at her.
She waited a long moment before responding. She enjoyed the curious look spread across his face. She was feeling proud for her spontaneous act, he surprisingly didn’t make her feel ashamed for it. Pink spread across her cheeks as she took in the way he observed her. “I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the question.”
"Why do you say you are more than I bargained for?" Unfortunately for her, he had a pretty good memory. He blinked a few times to refocus, lowering himself in the water to keep warm. His hair spiked as he ran his fingers through it to keep it out of his eyes.
She wore a downcast look as she debated honestly answering his question. She sighed deeply. “I said such referring... to my shy behavior and how that alone might be more then you bargained for.... in... a friend.”
"There is no shame in being shy," he answered, "or opening up when you get to know someone, or are friendly with that person. Personally, I appreciate your honesty." He reached out, using two fingers to lift her face up towards him. "You are a bright woman," he told her, "and beautiful. I still do not understand why you hide your most appealing feature, and I probably never will. As I said, your unusualness makes you unique, and is nothing to be ashamed of."
Was she dreaming? The scene played out before her like a romantic lustful moment she could only dream of. No one had spoken so sweetly to her or understood her such as he did in that moment. Surely a handsome man would not call her unusual in a dreams. She enjoyed his slight touch and leaned into it. She had no words, afraid anything she would say would ruin the moment.
"What are you thinking?" he asked, leaning a little closer. He could sense some of her emotions, but had nothing to compare them to. He understood some, but most emotions were completely alien to him. That he could employ a smile, didn't mean he understood all reasons to use one. Equally, the look on her face was one he failed to connect.
“I enjoy your touch.” The heat in her stomach returned with every inch he moved closer. Adrenaline was building into a feeling she wasn’t accustomed to. Her eyes never left his as she continued “I enjoy your presence, being near you is exciting but soothing.” She took in his cerulean eyes and the way they held the sun.
He shifted his hand to cup her cheek. "How is this?" he asked slowly, "I had not expected this. And I am..." He faltered, breath stalling. How was he going to tell her that he had never been in this position before? That for all the textbooks he had studied during medical school, any personal experience was falling well short?
She closed the inches between them, her voice was just above a whisper. “It’s nice.” She closed her eyes and pressed her lips to his once more hoping this time he would return the kiss.
It was half-hearted, but at least it was a genuine attempt on his part. "Good," he murmured around the kiss, his other hand unconsciously circling around her waist to draw her closer. His breath came in slow gasps, which he tried to control in vain. How was he losing what little control he had, so fast? "Perhaps...we should get out of the water..."
The corner of her mouth perked up into a sly grin. She let out a slow breath she didn’t realize she was holding onto. Was the water warmer or was her skin on fire from the inside out? Finally opening her eyes to look directly into his she nodded in agreement. “Yes maybe we should.” She was reluctant to remove herself from his grasp.
Shifting to touch her hand at last, Lyras started to wade towards the shore. "Where to now?" he asked as they walked up along the beach back towards their belongings.
She bend down to retrieve her loose shirt and pulled it over her head pulling her long slick wet hair to one side. “Mmmm I have to admit I’ve only ventured to the bar, beach, and my room.” Her eyes widened in shock when she realized she had mentioned her room after such an intimate moment between the two. “But there’s.... plenty of places to see...” she stuttered trying and failing to come up with a destination.
"Your room would be a little presumptuous since we only just met," Lyras agreed, his smile a little cheeky without realizing it. "Perhaps, back to the bar? We do still need food."
She rolled her eyes and huffed a laugh. “That was not my intention!” Embarrassment flooded her emotions and she started to fidget. She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks following where her mind was taking her. She turned quickly. “There’s a restaurant on the other side of the resort we can dine at.” She began to walk up the beach.
Choosing to ignore the evidence of her embarrassment, Lyras nodded as he struggled to pull his shirt back on over his still damp body. "Clean up first?" he asked, unwilling to strip and dry himself here out in the open even if he couldn't see the logic in being embarrassed about one's own body. He did have nothing to hide, did he?"
She looked down to her attire not denying the fact a change of dry clothes would be more appropriate for the dinning setting.
“That’s probably a sensible idea. It won’t take me long to go change. Is your room near the third floor?”
Lyras shook his head. "No, more towards the top floor I fear. I will meet you in the lobby." If he was going to take a lady out for food, at least he wanted to look presentable to do so.
She smiled. “Okay, I’ll meet you there soon.”
Medical Officer, USS Orion
Ensign Javn Darhk
Head Nurse, USS Orion