That's Just The Way It Is
Mission 1: Unscheduled Madness
Location: Deck 8
Timeline: Day 4 - 1700 Hours
Nokomis balled her hands into fists to keep her fingers from shaking. She simultaneously wanted to find Logan and be completely on the other side of the ship from him. She knew it couldn't have been him though, he couldn't possibly know how she'd felt all these years. Plus whatever that thing was, it had disappeared right in front of her.
Too busy mulling over thoughts she gradually followed the corner, looking down at her hands, her lips moving slightly as she worked through her insecurities. She didn't notice the figure in front of her until she'd nearly knocked into him.
Logan was heading for main engineering to get a firsthand look at the progress made in getting the ship moving again. He had been entirely preoccupied with his own thoughts that he hadn't realized how much time had passed since he had spoken to Lieutenant Miazami. He was hoping that good news would be forthcoming about their plight. He rounded a corner in the hallway and immediately stopped himself almost out of time as Missy was heading right for him.
"Woah! That was a close one..."
Startled by who it was Nokomis inhaled sharply. "Sorry," she mumbled, dropping her head and telling herself that this wasn't the time to fall apart in front of him. Not that there would be a perfect time for that. Perhaps he had seen her more vulnerable than others but she didn't think she'd ever completely lost everything in his presence.
"Can I possibly talk to you for a moment, in private. I just had the strangest thing happen."
He was suddenly reminded of his own horrible incident when he was alone and wondered if she had a similar situation. "Only if you hear what happened to me too." He let out a sigh and realized he hadn't slept in quite some time, though exactly how much time was a mystery to him.
"Of course," she curiously glanced at him. "Umm, your quarters or mine . . . ?" It felt so awkward saying that and she regretted it the moment it left her lips.
He nodded vaguely down the corridor and headed in that direction. Their quarters were on the same deck so it really didn't matter. Reaching his own place, he gestured for her to enter first. Once they were inside he replicated two drinking glasses and set them on the table. "So, how about you go first?" He walked over to a bookshelf and grabbed a real bottle of scotch, pouring them both a drink. This label was from another starship, the USS Archimedes. Apparently they were quickly becoming known for distilling spirits.
Nokomis wasn't sure she wanted to sit down, but she made herself. Clasping her hands together to prevent digging them into the sofa she took a breath. "I came back to my quarters a little while ago and I was tired from the hours I spent in the holodeck with our Romulan guests and the kids so I flopped down on the sofa and suddenly you were there, or I thought it was you until it, whatever it was, basically told me I was self absorbed and a coward for walking away from ever having a relationship with you, despite how I felt about you. And then you vanished like smoke and I was completely alone. So either I'm going insane or something really weird is happening on this ship." It came out much faster than she intended.
Logan walked over and handed her a drink before sitting down opposite her in a chair and taking a sip of his own as he listened intently. He recognized similar things in his own experience and nodded before sighing. "I had an encounter that felt quite real as well. You were in my quarters in the shadows. And we... talked for a bit and than you just... vanished. It was quite bizarre."
While she knew he was being honest, it wasn't the whole truth. She supposed he had much more right to be freaked out by this than she did. He, after all had no idea how she felt. Nokomis took the glass from him, got up from the couch and walked over to the window, staring out at it as if the view would somehow make things normal between them again.
He traced the rim of the glass with a finger before taking a sip, glancing at her form and faintly seeing her eyes searching the stars outside via her reflection in the window. "I suppose what was said to both of us was similarly troubling?"
"Old ghosts," she said to the window. "Ones that should have been buried long ago. It doesn't matter," she shook her head. "At least we know neither of us is crazy, or both of us are. Either way I suppose that's a comfort right?" She turned back around. "I uh, have something else to tell you. Unrelated to our umm guests."
Logan was about to say something about their encounters but respected that she brushed that aside for now. "If we're both crazy, I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather be crazy with." He smiled to try brightening the mood. "Something else?"
The comment made her insides twist. She didn't know why she felt guilty for saying this, but she did. "Yeah, I sort of met someone . . . on the ship. I mean nothing has happened. We haven't even kissed. But he's way younger than me," she winced. "An ensign."
Logan took another sip as he hid a faint smirk creeping across his lips. "Oh?" He wasn't sure if he could recall many times that Missy had shared an attraction with someone but then again they spent several years apart. He kept his response short to give her the most leeway.
"Stop smirking. What am I going to do? An Ensign?! I must be insane. Well of course I'm insane, I'm seeing ghosts of people, first my father, then you. It started off as merely trying to get him to relax because every time he saw me he practically went into a seizure. And then the other night I caught him using my fencing program and I tried to teach him to dance to improve his balance. Next thing I know we're standing there holding each other staring into each other's eyes. And it dawned on me what was really going on. I'm an idiot."
He offered her a faint shrug and took another sip. "Were you able to help him with his... balance?" He let that question hang in the air as he arched an eyebrow, the amused look remaining on his face.
Nokomis buried her face in the back of the couch that she'd just sat down on again. A sound escaped her lips that was somewhere between a sob and a laugh. "No, we never got past a few steps."
He walked over to the couch and slowly sat down beside her, his eyes watching her face as she struggled to figure out what it all meant. He ran a thumb around the rim of his glass and licked his lips. "How did the situation make you feel?"
"Excited, terrified. I just kept thinking about how there were so many reasons why this was wrong but none of them seemed good enough to ask him to let me go." Missy blushed a bit at this revelation. "What do you think? How do you feel about this?"
"I think that you shouldn't restrain yourself from pursuing something that has a spark. You can always stop it if you need to." He sipped his drink, tasting the alcohol burn down his throat. "I want you to be happy. Go for it. Don't hold yourself back."
"Is that how you really feel?" She asked, pulling her feet up onto the couch. "You haven't even asked me who he is. And how are things between you and Eli?"
He looked at her affectionately, the one person that could be truly open with her. "It doesn't matter who he is. What matters is that you don't let an opportunity like that slip you by. You deserve to be happy, Missy."
Nokomis reached over and took his chin in her hand, looking him in the eye as if searching for something. After a moment she seemed satisfied and released him. "Huh." She said, no other words occurred to her at the moment. Then it dawned on her that he hadn't answered her other question. "So . . . what about you?"
Logan gave the question some thought before letting his eyes drift back to the window. "What about me?"
She sighed, "Yeah, you find out I was in love with you and you're just going to ignore that and move on? You never answered me about Eli."
He shrugged emphatically. "It was an apparition... I didn't know you actually felt that way for real until just now, unless that was just a ploy to get me talking?" He chuckled again to clear the air.
"Both," Nokomis answered him. "I did love you, I do. But mostly it was to confirm what I suspected, that you knew. Been a long day." She said, all signs of wanting to press for any information or release anymore conversation draining out of her.
"You can say that again..." He let his voice trail off as he took another sip. "I can't wait until we can get underway again. This delay doesn't look good to the Romulans, I'm sure. Then again, my main concern is the safety of the crew."
"Spoken like a true starship captain." She shook her head. "We should both get some rest, maybe things will be clearer." Nokomis set her glass down on the table and started to rise.
He nodded slowly and rose with her, setting his drink down on the table and following her to the door. "Perhaps you're right, Missy." He paused a beat as the doors opened. "Once we get back on course things will be sorted out a lot easier, I'm sure."
"Do you think," Nokomis chose her words carefully. "Would it be all right if you came to dinner with Tiberius and I? So you two can meet? Well I know you've met but you know what I mean."
He found her awkward request mildly amusing but he bowed as she exited the door. "I'd be honored to meet him. I'm sure it'll be a good time." He watched her go down the corridor for a few seconds before going back inside to pick a book off the shelf that would hopefully keep the 'demons' of space away.
Commander Logan Barrett
Commanding Officer, USS Orion
Lieutenant Commander Nokomis Diza
Executive Officer, USS Orion