First or Second Degree
Mission 0 - Leaving the Blue Marble
Location: Deck 8 - Nokomis' Quarters
Timeline: Day 3 - 1900 Hours
Nokomis yawned on her way back to her quarters from Engineering. She thought she might eat in tonight. She'd already been in the lounge several times since coming on board so it wasn't as if she was being anti social. Opening her eyes again from the yawn she saw Lieutenant Kelly approaching and they both paused in their walking, attempting to step around each other. Nokomis grinned. "I'll just stay put, and you can go around. How are you Lieutenant?"
"I, uh, fine, Ma'am". Eli replied with a smile. She couldn't help the nervousness she felt around the XO after the debacle of their first meeting. "How is your foot?" She blurted before really thinking it though. The best way to past an incident was to leave it in the past and not dig it back up. Good job, Kelly. She rolled her eyes at herself, at least she hoped it has only been at herself.
"Oh fine, Dr. Hightower mended it in about two seconds. No permanent damage." Mis couldn't help but grin at those words. "I was just on my way to get some dinner," she paused, wondering if she should do this or not. "Would you like to join me? If you don't have any other plans that is."
"Sure," Eli replied with a grin. Relieved that her superior officer wasn't going to be hold it against her. "I could eat." She smiled again, realizing that she was grinning just a little too much. She turned to walk with the Commander. "Lounge or mess?" She asked.
"Actually," Mis said, glancing at the other woman. "I was thinking my quarters. I can cook. I promise it won't be poisoned. Too much paperwork involved with finding another officer."
"Oh, ok..." She replied only mildly confused but more curious than anything. "I like being alive so I am glad that paperwork will keep me that way." She joked . She was starting to loosen up, but something kept her on her toes. She remembered the slip she had almost made the other day with Logan's name and she kept wanting to make sure it had been missed but asking would give her away. There was a war of confusion going on inside the Lieutenant.
"Are you allergic to anything? I thought I'd whip up some Shepard's pie. Logan's mom always made it and it was my favorite when I came over. She has yet to tell me her secret ingredient but I keep asking." Mis smiled at her as they walked toward the turbolift.
"Not that I am aware of." Eli replied catching the fact that the Executive Officer and Logan were well acquainted. What have I gotten myself into? She asked herself as she stepped onto the lift after the Commander. "I am not a fan of pickles, but other than that I am open to anything." She grinned easily hiding anything she was feeling.
"No pickles in Shepard's Pie." The doors to the lift closed. "Deck 8." Nokomis took a breath and undid her jacket a little bit. "I'm Kriosian but I grew up on Earth, that was how Logan and I met. First day of school and I was sitting by my myself, the only Kriosian child at any school on Earth as far as I knew. He sat down next to me and we've been friends ever since."
Eli didn't really know Logan all that well. She knew this, but something about the story hit her as exactly what he would have done. "Commander Barrett, seems like a good man." She replied with a grin that she couldn't control. "I have only met on Kriosian before, he was a friend of my Grandfather."
"There aren't a lot of us that decide to leave home for some reason. Except my immediate family and a cousin of mine. And yes he is a good man, and sometimes a huge pain in the . . ." Nokomis let that part go with a huge smile on her face.
Eli couldn't help but grin. "That makes sense knowing your culture." She looked down at the floor for a moment before looking over the women across from her. "So, you know don't you? That has to be the explanation." She blurted.
"I do. But don't worry about it. He just wanted someone to talk to. He's a grown man and although I love him dearly, in a purely platonic way. I don't interfere in his life. I honestly just wanted to get to know you. Especially after our encounter yesterday." She smiled as they arrived on the right deck and Nokomis opened the door to her quarters. "Make yourself at home," as she busied herself with setting the table and programming the replicator with the ingredients she'd need.
Eli knew there were perks to being the first officer, but on a galaxy class star ship one of the major ones was the quarters. She was pretty sure the XO's quarters were larger than her apartment on Earth. She moved though the quarters looking at the little odds and ends. The corner of her lips pulled upward as her eyes fell on a photo of who she knew to be a young Logan and Nokomis. "You know known, Logan your whole life?" She asked completely giving up the pretense that him and her didn't know each other.
"Not quite. I was born on Krios Prime and my family moved to Earth. I think we were about four when we met." She began frying the hamburger and chopping vegetables. "Would have been right around the time that my brother was born and I was feeling a bit left out of things."
"Did you adopt him or did he adopt you?" She asked easily. Based on their conversation the other night, which she still didn't take him seriously about, he seemed to collect broken toys. Granted she only had a very limited sample range with really only herself. She decided it was in her best interest to keep her over all theory to herself.
"He adopted me. Honestly though, we switched roles a few years ago I think." Nokomis didn't know if Eli knew about Logan's wife or his children and she didn't want to bring it up, it was his choice to tell her when he was ready if this ever turned into something serious.
Eli couldn't resist and picked up the photo she was looking at. She didn't push for more information. She wasn't anything to Logan despite his drunken admission of wanting to see her. That didn't mean that she wasn't willing to admit that there wasn't some about him she wanted to know more of. Setting the photo back down she smiled up at the first officer. "That smells amazing." She grinned as she moved towards her kitchen area.
Logan walked down the corridor the short distance from his own quarters to those of his first officer. He had a casual question to ask her, a suggestion that they attend breakfast together. It seemed like a nice and easy way of rekindling their friendship that had been so distant for so long. Arriving at her door, he hit the door chime and hoped that he wasn't interrupting anything important.
"Should be ready in a bit here," Nokomis said, finally sitting down so she could have a real conversation with Eli. The door chimed and she glanced at it and shrugged. "Come in."
Logan entered her quarters and started, "Hey Missy, I was thinking that..." He looked up and stopped in his tracks as he saw Eli seated at the dining table. "I... I'm sorry, I didn't know you had company."
"It's all right. Have you had dinner? You're welcome to join us." Nokomis smiled, getting up to start placing food on the table.
He thought about the question and quite honestly, he hadn't eaten dinner. He still gave a half-hearted optional escape by uttering, "Well, I... haven't had dinner yet." He changed tracts quickly and then added, "But I don't wanna interrupt anything. I should show myself out and let you ladies have a lovely dinner."
Nokomis uttered a laugh which was almost a giggle. "Sit down you big chicken."
Eli sat with her head resting in her hand. The look on her face was on of an amused challenge. "Come on, Logan." She started. "It isn't like we bite." She grinned.
Dumbfounded, Logan looked from Eli to the busy form of Missy and back again before looking at the empty chair. He let out a silent sigh before offering a conservative smile, grasping the chair back and pulling it out slowly. He locked eyes with Eli briefly before sitting down and smoothing his uniform front. "How are you settling in, lieutenant? I trust your department office is sufficient?"
Missy smiled with her back turned on him. She wanted to tell him to relax, this was not an attack. Honestly she had only invited Eli to make sure there were no lingering issues with the accident in the storage room. The fact that Eli and Logan had slept together made it more fun, but still, she would not bring it up.
Eli watched Logan with an amused grin on her face. The poor man had walked into the vipers nest on accident and the question was how much grief she was going to give him. She knew everyone in this room knew they had slept together, but he no doubt assumed that Eli didn't know of the XO's knowledge. "Oh, just peachy," she started as she reached up to unzip her service jacket. Whether it was the temperature or a reaction to Logan she was suddenly warm. "More than sufficient, I have plenty of room to play."
Nokomis reached around Logan and set the last of the food on the dinner table. "What were you coming to tell me?" She said, offering him a bit of a reprieve from trying to make awkward conversation.
Logan picked up the water glass nearby and took a sip to whet his pallet. He had to admit that it was nice to see Eli again outside of work. She was trouble but definitely the kind that he would get mixed up in again. He refocused his attention on Missy's question and said, "I uh... I don't recall." He gave a puzzled look and then shook his head. "I'm glad to hear it, Eli. If you need anything..." He pointed several times at Missy and grinned.
"So, it is Eli now, Logan?" She asked with a playful grin. "I thought we were operating on the ruse of a professional relationship at the moment?" She gave him a grin before looking to the XO. "This looks amazing, thank you ma'am."
"Ma'am?" Nokomis huffed, amused. "When you're in my quarters I think you're allowed to call me Nokomis."
Logan gave a slight grin towards Missy as he sipped his water, giving Eli a faint shrug. "Well, you're on my senior staff. In closed gatherings I don't see the issue with first names, do you?" He locked eyes with her for a beat before breaking it and looking around the room.
Nokomis smiled, Logan seemed very drawn to this woman. "Did you wash your hands?" She teased him. "Anyone object to just digging in or do we need to bless the food?"
Eli looked up at Nokomis with a wide eyed look. She hadn't been asked that since she left her grandmothers house. "I, uh...." She turned to look at Logan.
Logan looked from Missy to Eli as his eyebrows shot up. He looked between them a few times before offering a shrug. "I uh... well... I think my hands are fairly clean. Let's dig in."
As they were passing the food around and dishing up Nokomis asked, "Where did you grow up, if you don't mind me asking?" She was looking at Eli.
"I live on a transport vessel in the DMZ until my parents died when I was eight." Eli replied easily. "My brothers and I went to go live with our grandparents in New Berlin." She responded as she took a large helping of the shepherds pie. She was starving.
"I'm sorry," it was a parroted response learned from Humans. "Is your brother older or younger than you?" She knew she was getting a little personal so she added, "I have a younger brother, he's four years younger than me and still a pain in my side."
Eli made no not of the sympathy expressed from the other women. "I have three bothers, Jackson, Robert, and Jamison. All older than me." She took a bite of her food. "Our parents were Maquis, so they are not happy that I am in Starfleet," She volunteered.
"Ah, some interesting family dynamics then." Nokmois began eating once everything was on her plate. She really should let Logan have some conversation but didn't want any awkward silence.
Logan filled his plate with shepherds pie and placed the dish on the table. He figured that he'd add his two cents by saying, "Although I didn't have siblings, Missy and I were practically inseparable growing up. Right, Missy?" He looked between them and took a bite of the pie. "Mmm... this is just as good as I remember mom making it."
Nokomis nodded, "I was either at his house or he was at mine. I think until we graduated Starfleet we weren't apart for more than a few days."
Eli couldn't help the smile that crossed her lips as she ate the delicious meal in front of her.
Logan thumbed at Missy as he held in a big chuckle. "I taught her everything she knows about tactical analysis." He offered Missy a wink before adding, "Some days it seemed like it would never end. And sometimes we wished that it didn't."
"Nothing lasts forever but . . . we've managed to keep going. Anyway, enough about us." Nokomis took another bite. "I want to know how you two met?" She was being nosy and she knew it, but couldn't resist.
Logan was mid-sip and quickly paused with the glass against his lips for fear of choking. He gently set the glass down and swallowed as he looked between them yet again. "It was that bar in San Diego... what was the name, Eli?"
"The Oo La La Club in San Fransisco." She replied correcting the city. "It is about four blocks from the apartment I keep there." She gave him a sly grin. "I wanted a night out before reporting for my new duty station. There were a couple of goons at the bar who just couldn't believe I didn't want their attention for the night and Logan saved me. Easily pretending he was my date." She remembered the night quite vividly, all of it.
That sounded like him, only Nokomis didn't say it out loud. "Hmm," she answered, an unclear expression on her face. "Well it makes for some interesting and awkward dinner conversation."
"Only if we let it become awkward, right?" He smiled in an attempt to make light of what wasn't said about the remainder of the night. He noted that glossing over certain subjects would be wise at this point in the story.
"Not really any of my business anyway, I'm just nosy." Nokomis smiled as she got up. "Anyone want anything for dessert?"
Logan felt his cheeks flush as he cleared his throat. "No, thank you. I'm stuffed..." He glanced over at Eli to see if she was paying attention.
Grinning Nokomis took his plate from him and set both in the replicator. She actually hadn't meant her words to mean that but could see how Logan could take it that way considering the conversation. She let out an imperceptable sigh and allowed herself a moment of composure before coming back to the table.
Eli was guilty of losing track of the conversation. She watched Logan and Nokomis and couldn't help but envy having someone, anyone, know her that well. With a shake of her head she realized that she had not only been staring but had lost track of what was going on. Raising from her chair, quicker than she had planned, causing the chair to tip back and thunk against the deck plating she let out a nervous laugh. "Thank you for dinner, ma'am." She started looking at Nokomis then moving her eyes to Logan. She could tell that her eyes were saying more than she wanted and she simply turned and headed for the door. "Thanks again, good night." She said with a turn before heading into the hall way. She let out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding trying to calm herself down.
"Well that went better than I expected." Nokomis said, giving Logan a small smile. "She still called me Ma'am though."
Logan curled one eyebrow as Eli abruptly walked out with a concerned look on her face. "I'm not so sure, Missy... She seemed troubled by something." He rose from his chair and pushed it in. "Thanks for the amazing shepherd's pie. I won't need to eat for a week." He gave her a genuine smile as he headed for the door for more than one reason. "I'll see you in the morning for our daily briefing."
"You're welcome Nokomis said quietly but he'd already gone out the door, no doubt after Eli. Nokomis hoped her reasons for being troubled didn't have anything to do with her and Logan. They were only good friends, always had been. There'd never been anything between then, at least she didn't think so. She sighed, put the last of the dishes in the replicator and went to take a sonic shower before curling up on the couch with a good book.
Commander Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Elizabeth Kelly
Chief Operations Officer, USS Orion