(( Promenade; Starbase 118 )) ::It was strange how all the hustle and bustle of the Promenade seemed to smooth out and quiet down when you were just walking for walking’s sake.:: ::It was also amusing the sorts of things you remembered.:: ::Kaitlyn chuckled, raising her free arm to point at a particular establishment while her non-free arm tightened around Leo’s.:: Falcon: And that one? A couple Nausicaans came in, pretty sore that they hadn’t been able to swipe our cargo. Tried to punch James straight in the jaw. ::Smiles.:: They ended up paying for the two tables and four or five chairs that got wrecked in the ensuing brawl. Handley-Page: ::chuckling:: That sounds like James all right. Any other tales I should know about from the rest of the bars here? Falcon: Oh, I don’t have stories about ALL of these places. ::Smirks.:: Just a lot of them. Handley-Page: Want to make some new one? ::Kaitlyn gave a nod and a smile.:: Falcon: I’m game. ::She scanned the way ahead, seeing a couple establishments she hadn’t frequented in the past.:: Falcon: Hmm… How about that one? ‘The Watering Hole’. I don’t think I’ve been in that one before. Handley-Page: Sounds like my kind of place! :: Leo guided Kaitlyn by the arm towards the crowded bar.:: Handley-Page: What you drinking? Falcon: I’ll take an Andorian ale. Been long enough since my last one. Handley-Page: I think I’ll join you in that blue elixir. :: They sat at a table and waited for one of the bar staff to attend to them.:: ::Kaitlyn settled in, taking a moment to crack her knuckles and stretch her arms over her head.:: Falcon: Mmmm… ::Smiles.:: This is nice. :: Leo settled back in his chair, and sighed a happy sigh.:: Handley-Page: Well, we survived our first mission on the base. Falcon: Yep. Not for lack of the bad guys trying, but yeah. ::Smiles.:: At least I got to actually finish this one. Didn’t get to two of the last three ‘firsts’. Handley-Page: So I have heard, you’ve been a little nomad these last few months. Falcon: Well… ::Starts counting on fingers.:: Garuda, I got kicked off by Starfleet to get several others back to 118. Constitution, we actually got to finish. Excalibur, we got pretty well beat up before we even had a chance… Handley-Page: Hopefully you’ll be here for a while. :: He winked at Kaitlyn. Now that he had her back with him, Leo had no intention of losing her again.:: ::Kaitlyn chuckled, leaning toward Leo and giving a smile.:: Falcon: That’s certainly the plan. I just hope I don’t lose any more of your runabouts. It’s a little embarrassing when you don’t bring back the ship you took, you know? Handley-Page: I forgive you… this once… ::Kaitlyn gave a small, gracious, bow of her head.:: Falcon: Why, thank you, captain. Handley-Page: You’re welcome, Lieutenant… although I guess you should say Commander. I know as CO I get the honorary title of Captain… but I only feel I deserve it when I get that final pip. :: Leo looked a little bit wistful. He wasn’t sure it would really ever happen.:: ::Kaitlyn reached across the table, gently taking Leo’s hand and giving it a squeeze. Falcon: Well, I’ve got faith that you’ll get it, Leo. Still, for now, I’ll honor that request… until we’re out and about on Albion, that is. If you’re actually in charge of a ship, you’re a captain. No arguments, there. ::Smiles.:: If my brother gets to take that title, so do you. Handley-Page: Thanks! :: Leo gave Kaitlyn another hug, and then took a sip of their drinks which had now arrived.:: Handley-Page: Here’s to us! ::Kaitlyn chuckled, lifting her glass.:: Falcon: I’ll drink to that! ::She clinked her glass against his, taking a sip of the delightfully fiery blue beverage.:: Handley-Page: Ahhh… that hits the spot!! ::Kaitlyn nodded her agreement, taking another sip of the ale.:: Falcon: So, how’s it feel having an entire starbase at your beck and call? Has it all gone to your head, yet? Handley-Page: Are you calling me big headed? ::chuckles:: Well, not really… It is an honour, but so far all I’ve achieved is a wrecked tower, several dead crew and one less runabout. I hope things improve or they’ll throw me overboard. ::She reached over to grasp Leo’s shoulder, a sympathetic expression on her features.:: Falcon: Leo… Given what we got hit with, it’s clear that whoever did this wanted to take out the entire station if they could. It might have been a little touch-and-go for a bit, but we kept them from achieving that goal. That’s still a success. Don’t knock yourself for it, okay? Handley-Page: Alright princess. Stiff upper lip and all that eh? Falcon: ::Small smile.:: That, and placing the blame where it rightfully sits; with the people who attacked us. Then, we go track them down and make them regret ever even trying. Handley-Page: And that’s why I love you… you’re my little conscience! :: Leo realised the word *love* has slipped out. It wasn’t that he didn’t care deeply about Kaitlyn, and in his heart perhaps he did love her… but he knew that the word has deeper meaning sometimes than a mere *I love lasagne!* :: ::Kaitlyn returned a beaming smile. She knew that he appreciated her, and her viewpoint on things, but it was always good to hear.:: ::Leo’s use of the word ‘love’ did trigger in her mind, but not in quite the way he might have feared. She reached up, giving him a pat on his shoulder.:: Falcon: Always happy to help. Can’t have my knight in shining armor getting stuck in the mud, right? Handley-Page: Definitely not, or how else would he rescue his damsel in distress? ::A warm giddiness rose in Kaitlyn’s chest. One of the many things she’d thought only other people ever felt, and one of the things she only felt around Leo. Her mind harkened back to her thoughts on Aramis mid mission, as she leaned forward with a big smile on her features.:: Falcon: Cleaving our enemies in two with a gigantic sword of blazing fire. ::In her mind’s eye, she suddenly saw Leo clad in brilliant armor with said sword held high.:: ::Yep. That was hot.:: Handley-Page: Blazing swords eh? That’s me! And the damsel clad in long white dress perchance? ::Kaitlyn chuckled. Preferably, she’d be right there next to him ready to bash something of the head with her quarterstaff. Still, she nodded to confirm her part in this little fantasy.:: Falcon: Just waiting to be rescued. ::Smiles.:: Of course, as soon as I’m freed I’m grabbing the nearest heavy object to make my captors rue the day they crossed me. ::Grasps Leo’s hand.:: There wouldn’t be a doubt in my mind that you’d come for me, though. Handley-Page: Always. A Klingon battle fleet couldn’t keep me away from getting to you. :: He squeezed her hand back.:: Falcon: Nor I to you. ::Smiles.:: I thought about you a lot after Vigilant. More than once I checked what trade lanes might get me to you, if I had to start hitchhiking. Handley-Page: It would have been a long trek, but I knew we’d find each other. :: Leo took another sip of his drink. He wished they could go somewhere more private, but said nothing. A dinner invitation tomorrow was on the cards. He kept patient.:: ::For her part, Kaitlyn suddenly realized just how… somber the conversation was turning. Not nearly what she’d wanted. This was supposed to be happy, joyous times! She gave a smile as her brain switched gears.:: Falcon: The mention of armored knights and damsels in distress reminded me of something random. ::Best way to announce that it’s a random topic shift, in Kaitlyn’s experience, was to just announce that it was a random topic shift.:: I’m strongly considering learning archery. And not just the computer assisted holodeck game level of archery. I mean, actually get my hands on either a program that accurately simulates it, or get a real bow. :: Leo liked the idea of seeing Kaitlyn as a medieval archer, a bit like a *kick [...]* Snow White or Belle.:: Handley-Page: Sounds like fun… what would I train in? Falcon: Hmmm…. ::Leans back, tapping finger to chin as she considers.:: I dunno… the sight of you in armor with a two-handed greatsword is still a pretty compelling image, though I might be romanticizing a little bit. ::Smirks.:: Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still, what would you be interested in? Handley-Page: A great broadsword sounds good to me! Hacking my way through a field of monsters! I think we should make this happen. ::Kaitlyn smiled.:: Falcon: I’m game. I’ll get in some practice, and let you know when I’m ready. Handley-Page: Great! :: Leo settled back and relaxed - closing his eyes, safe in the knowledge that his sweet Kaitlyn was safe by his side, although knowing her prowess with weapons, he wouldn’t be ashamed to admit that if anything, he was safe by her side..:: ::Kaitlyn took another sip of her drink, giving Leo another smile. She knew she wanted to protect him from whatever she could, though she also knew how important it was for him to be able to protect her. It was a strange mix, for her. On the one hand, she’d long since learned the importance of being able to defend herself. On the other, she wanted him to know that she trusted him.:: ::She tried to find the words to express all that without being too overt or bulky… but movement nearby interrupted her thoughts.:: Falcon: Well, looks like we’ve got some company. ::Smiles at a familiar face.:: ~*~ Lieutenant Kaitlyn Falcon Helm Officer; Starbase 118 Ops And Commander Leo Handley-Page Commanding Officer; Starbase118 Ops wiki.starbase118.net/wiki/index.php?title=Handley-Page,_Leo --- SB118 Podcast Team Facilitator --- "Professional Daydreamer & Rural Spaceman"