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Alora DeVeau

Lt DeVeau and LtCmdr Saveron - Where Vulcan Flowers Grow

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“Now that I’ve tried to talk to you and make you understand

All you have to do is close your eyes and just reach out your hand” ~ Extreme, More Than Words


((Holodeck 2, USS Invicta))


::It had been several days since they had ventured onto the holodeck in their last, rather unsuccessful venture into a holonovel. Previously their explorations of their respective homeworlds had been found mutually agreeable so, after allowing a certain amount of time, Saveron had suggested that they venture out once again in that vein. He had once promised to show her the native habitat of the flowering succulents that he kept in his quarters.::


::The sky was a warm apricot, the air a mild 47’C and below them to the north stretched a view of the An’ahyaes valley. This time the arch had let them out into the foothills at the southern end of the valley, in the shadow of some old stone ruins that they had last seen from a distance.::


Saveron: Ut-kashi tower.


::He gestured towards the ruins with one black-clad arm. He was wearing a casual long-sleeved tunic, close-fitting trews and knee-high boots, obviously unperturbed by the heat. On a sling over his shoulder he carried a large flask.::


Saveron: If you do not object, I intend that we should walk slowly down to a ravine where the sfhai t’aihghuimh grow. I have brought water supplies.


DeVeau: That sounds great. What’s that?

::One hand lifted and flicked toward a particular building that rose from the ground, a silent sentinel to the ruins. Once indicated, she let it move to wipe a droplet of sweat that trickled down her neck. It was hot, but not unbearable. It was a dry heat which made it easier to withstand than one that was accompanied by humidity. But it was still hot. Alora was in more terran clothes, a tank top and shorts that allowed for freedom of movement but limited her clothing as much as possible without being indecent.::


::The Vulcan looked up at the tower.::


Saveron: It was an ancient stronghold of my Clan, in the days when Nel Gathic clans warred amongst themselves and against others for the valley’s resources. ::He gestured to the valley floor immediately below.:: Here Valeohroehn won a battle, and lost a war.


::He had spoken of his ancestor before. The man was called ‘Valoren’ in alien history books.::


DeVeau: In what way?


::Alora was not completely ignorant of Vulcan history, but it hadn’t been a focus of any of her studies, so she was limited. She knew more than most Terrans, but this was still quite lacking in general.::

Saveron: He killed the leader of the Kor’hin Clan, triggering a reprisal attack from the man’s three half-siblings, who inherited joint leadership. His brother led the main assault whilst his sisters planned and executed an ingenious incursion through the hills here. In that battle much of the Ayein Clan was slaughtered, including Valoren.


DeVeau: You said he was an ancestor? How many generations past was that?

Saveron: Twenty-three generations. I am descended from him through his eldest son to his first bond-mate, Lohraedys.


::He glanced at the ruined tower again, before indicating a faint path into the hills and stepping out onto it.::


Saveron: I am curious as to your family’s history.


DeVeau: My family?


::Alora didn’t have such fascinating history behind her family - not that she knew of. Her ancestry couldn’t be traced back twenty three generations. Well, maybe it could, but no one had done so.::


DeVeau: They don’t have quite the coloured past. My mother and father met in the United states, though my father was originally from France. They had five kids, including me and...well, my life growing up was pretty mundane, really.


Saveron: As was mine. ::He replied evenly.:: I do not doubt that we could all find a famous ancestor, should be look back far enough. I consider Valoren’s son and my namesake to be a far better role-model; he brokered the peace that ended those hostilities. You mentioned your brothers; they are varied in their pursuits, are they not?


DeVeau: Varied. What a good way to put it. Yes, very much so. My eldest brother, Alain, has kind of followed my father’s footsteps. He’s actually a vice president in the same company. Then there’s Adrien who...well, he does whatever he wants.


::Or whatever the hell he wanted, as Adrien had so eloquently put it, but she wasn’t about to say that to Saveron.::


DeVeau: Alexandre is a Medical Officer in Starfleet and Aimé is an artist. He’s starting to get noticed for his work too.


::There were a lot of A’s, but her parents had actually planned that.::


DeVeau: You’ve mentioned your own family a little. Will you tell me more about them?


Saveron: Certainly. I am the third of four siblings. My elder brother Torenan is a teacher, specifically of adolescents, and primarily in History, though he also teaches Vulcan languages. He and his bond mate have five children and six grandchildren to date. Vanyeris my sister is an agricultural engineer like my father.


::Which was a fancy way of calling her a farmer.::


Saveron: She also has a family and lives not far from where we grew up. Her name has been inherited through our paternal line, as has my own. We have a cousin of the same name in Starfleet. ::And it too had a history.:: My younger sister Aleyra is a scientist and professor at Vulcanis University, which is where I studied Medicine. My parents are both local and both of the Ayein Clan. Unlike your own cosmopolitan ancestry, mine is confined predominantly to a single ethnic group.


::As they walked the land rose and became rockier, until they were walking between boulders of beige stone, fallen from the hills that rose gradually into cliffs on either side.::


DeVeau: But…


::Alora stopped herself. She’d been about to query about his former bond mate, but she hesitated. Perhaps that was a subject best left alone. She switched to a completely different topic.::


DeVeau: You’ve told me a little about your people and their history. Are they a small group compared to other clans?


Saveron: They were for many cycles following that battle. That was, however, two thousand Terran years ago. The Ayein Clan is still smaller than some others, but we know this part of the valley like our own skin. It became our shelter and home until peace was negotiated.


::The Clan had for years thereafter waged a guerilla effort against those determined to drive them out, until finally peace had been negotiated.::


Saveron: That is, of course, now ancient history. Today the Clans live in peace and work cooperatively to tend the valley sustainably and supply food for much of Vulcan. My people have prospered through careful management of the valley’s resources.


DeVeau: It’s hard to imagine the Vulcans as anything but peaceful. Granted, history says otherwise, but all I’ve experienced has been...well, Vulcans like you. Those who are peaceful. Logical.


::And often who stated they could not feel emotion, though Saveron hadn’t claimed it. He’d been an anomaly in that respect.::


Saveron: To know us as we were, look to the Romulans. ::He replied blandly.:: I am given to understand that Europe had a somewhat tumultuous past. France is part of that conglomerate, is it not?


DeVeau: Oh gosh, yes. I mean, wars and wars, barbarians, raids, Celts and Anglo Saxons and...well, it’s pretty bloody in general. Pretty much history, until after World War III, is mostly just either what war was happening or how long til the next war. France was a part of Europe and while it wasn’t the only place to experience bloodshed, I suppose one might say it had more than its share.


Saveron: Was that due to geographical considerations, resources or culture? ::He asked, genuinely interested.::


DeVeau: I would say all three.


::Alora shook her head, her ponytail flouncing about merrily with the motion.::


DeVeau: There were motivations behind every altercation. Well, isn’t there always? Sometimes it was political. Sometimes it was because one country had something another wanted. Sometimes it was just the culture of the peoples to be war like and take what they wanted, whether they needed it or not. Well, I guess in every situation, ‘want’ had a large role to play, no matter what the exact situation. One place had gold, the other fertile soil, still another rare resources.

Saveron: And it was seen as easier to take than to negotiate or share, and better to have more than one’s neighbours. So we were once.


::And these hills and valleys had been stained green with blood because of it. That part of other cultures he understood all too well.::


DeVeau: That seems to be a very common theme, and not just among humans.


::Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, even Vulcans. It was as if every species, humanoid or not, had some innermost desire for conquest in some form or fashion. Some had changed their ways, such as the Vulcans. Some...well, some still had work to do in that area. Even humans.::


Saveron: Given that we are all ultimately descended from the same seeded genetic stock, it is perhaps unsurprising that we have similar competitive and hierarchical tendencies. In evolutionary terms such conveyed an advantage on the individual, to the detriment of their peers. The advantage of intelligence is that we can learn to work cooperatively to the benefit of society as a whole. In many ways we are all still learning. ::He observed philosophically.::


::Around them the cliffs rose higher until they were making their way through a small canyon along what might have once, thousands of years ago, been a river bed; before Vulcan’s climate shifted and the world became largely desert. In cracks in the stone the occasional small, succulent plant showed, though no evidence yet of the ones they had come in search of.::


DeVeau: Was there water here once?


Saveron: Affirmative. It was long ago, before the climate changed.


::Of course, water had been present long ago, but she thought she recognised the markings of a particularly large body, the river bed that they traversed along. She paused to crouch down, her fingers digging into the soil as if it might answer some questions. It remained silent and she rose to clap her hand against her thigh. Hologram it might be, but it was real enough to the senses.::


DeVeau: Further on, you think?

Saveron: That is correct. I have walked this path before, many times.


DeVeau: And we’re going to see the flowers? It’s a place you enjoy?


Saveron: I find the destination agreeable, meditative. ::He allowed.:: It is not conducive to vehicles. I… considered that you might also find it agreeable.


DeVeau: Agreeable? You can say that you think I’ll like it. I don’t mind, really.


::But he was a Vulcan and probably never would.::


Saveron: It… is considered impolite in Vulcan culture to suggest that another might experience an emotional response. ::He explained carefully.:: I would not want you to construe negative connotations.


::He was being polite, and considerate, as his own culture saw it. He did not really know how else to be, and cross-cultural social interaction could be such a mine-field.::


::Up ahead the view seemed to shortened as the valley they followed narrowed.::


DeVeau: Oh I would never construe negative connotations by your suggestion that I might experience an emotional response to something. Especially if it’s a positive emotional response. ::She paused a moment, then added.:: Though I do hope you won’t think I’m being impolite if I imply that you might feel an emotional response to something. It’s...I guess just the way we humans talk and think and what not. We’re not trying to be impolite or anything.


Saveron: As I am aware. ::He assured her in his usual, mild tones.:: I have worked with Terrans for nine years now, and take no offence where none is intended. At the same time I choose to abide by my culture’s social etiquette where possible, even though to breach such would not be considered impolite by yourself. I would still consider it impolite.


::Which was perhaps honest if not entirely logical. The fact that he would consider such rude even if she didn’t meant that he chose not to do her that discourtesy.::


::Alora’s lips quirked upward, amusement evident on her face, but she didn’t press the issue.::


DeVeau: So be it, but if you ever change your mind, I won’t take offense.


::A slight nod acknowledged her words.::


::She turned her gaze forward as they traversed onward, eyes soaking in the sights of the foreign landscape.::


DeVeau: So how much further?


Saveron: We are nearing the end of this canyon.


::Not much further and the reason for the foreshortened view became obvious; the ancient water course had turned through a very narrow channel in the rock, then would once have plunged down a cascading series of falls. Now there was only a tumble of dry boulders that fell in a steep slope about fifty metres into a much broader chasm that twisted and wound away from them, not the only rock fall to do so. As they looked down they could see more small plants clinging to the rock face, including one example of the sfhai t’aihghuimh they had come to find.::


::It wasn’t that far of a drop, but it was enough to spur Alora back a couple of steps. She certainly couldn’t just jump down it. Doing so would be bad. Very bad. Fortunately, it was just a hologram and the safeties were engaged but that didn’t mean she didn’t feel a sense of trepidation and dizziness as she gazed downward.::


Saveron: We must climb down to reach our destination, if you do not object. Otherwise I can alter the program.


::Sometimes though the journey was part of the destination, and some things were worth the effort.::


DeVeau: I...guess not.


::This was going to be fun - and if she kept saying it she might just believe it. Alora might have asked Saveron to hold her hand except first, he was a Vulcan and she had a feeling he didn’t want to do that again and second, it was kind of hard to climb down rocky terrain with one hand.::


Saveron: Inform me if you reconsider.


::Slinging the water flask over his shoulder, Saveron grasped hand-holds in the rock wall and stepped down onto the first boulder. The long-limbed Vulcan had a distinct advantage in this type of activity.::


::The boulders were not precipitous, if one slipped one would only land on the one below, but they were still a marked scramble and some were quite big. As they climbed down the air changed a little, the barest hint of a rise in humidity in the thin air starting to register.::


::Alora gazed down upon the man who so easily made his way over the boulders. Her teeth worried her lower lip, but she crouched down, then carefully eased over the edge to the first set of holds. There was no way she was going to go as fast as he was. At least they weren’t any higher.::


::As they descended Saveron kept a careful eye on Alora’s progress. In the thin air and high gravity he was in his element, his strength evolved to compensate for just such an environment; his companion had evolved for a very different world. He did not wish her to find the journey disagreeable.::


::The path down the scree that they had taken had brought them to the top of a particularly large rock. The Vulcan was already hunting for a path along it’s side, using a smaller rock wedged beside it as a foot-hold. It would not be easy however.::


Saveron: Do you require assistance?


DeVeau: No. No...I’m okay. For now. I’ll uh...scream or something if I need you. Loudly. I promise.


Saveron: Exercise due caution.


::The safeties were engaged of course, but he would find it particularly disagreeable if Alora were to sustain an injury from their adventure.::


::Alora continued to carefully pick her way down. At one point, however, her foot, though it originally caught onto a hold, slipped and she screeched as her hands clutched at the rock and dug painfully in an attempt to keep from taking the quick way down. The position she was in set her in between two boulders beneath - which meant if she dropped, she’d most likely drop all the way down to the bottom.::


DeVeau: Um…Sav...Sav….::Pant.:: SAV…


::Footfalls sounded on stone some distance below.::


Saveron: Let go. ::He said calmly.:: I will catch you.


::Let go? He wanted her to let go? She had to let go? It was a very long drop. Alora twisted her head to stare beneath her. It wasn’t as long as it had been when she started, but it was far enough. She swallowed. She had to let go. Let go. Let go. Dangit, let go!

Finally, her fingers obeyed and she slid ungracefully downward.::


::Braced on the rock below, long arms collected Alora as she slipped off the rock, holding her firmly against his chest as he took their collected weight and carefully maintained his stability. Like the atmosphere around them his own internal temperature was much higher than a Terran’s would have been, making his grasp particularly warm. He carefully set her down on the rock he was standing on.::


Saveron: My apologies. I should have chosen a different route down this slope.


::He hadn’t considered the issue of the large boulder until they were almost on it, an unforgivable oversight.::


Saveron: Are you injured?


::Hurt? No. Not hurt. Not physically anyway. If anything, she was embarrassed and the pink that had taken its opportunity to sweep across her cheeks was evident to that fact.::

DeVeau: Just bruised my pride.


::Her voice cracked and it was the first time she realised she’d not consumed much in the way of liquids.::


DeVeau: Um. Is this a bad time for some water? Please?

Saveron: It is not.


::He unshipped the flask on its strap over his shoulder, offering it to her. While Alora drank Saveron considered the route down, calculating a path that involved as few large rocks as possible.::

Saveron: The remainder of the slope should prove easier.


::It was regrettable that he had brought Alora into that situation, which had not been his intention. He had simply wished to show her an agreeable memory from his own youth; much as she had before. It seemed that for each of them, their intentions did not translate particularly well. Cultural barriers.::


DeVeau: The worst part’s over, right? I guess this is a good way to face one’s fears, right?


::Grey eyes regarded her expressionlessly for a long moment.::


Saveron: Affirmative.

::Riiight.::


::It wasn’t too much of a scramble before they stood on the sandy floor of what was now a very respectable ravine. Rock walls towered high above them, whilst the sandy floor was very smooth indeed. The rays of the late afternoon sun lanced a band of orange light onto the rock walls and floor.::


Saveron: The sfhai t’aihghuimh are best viewed further along. These ravines run east towards the Voroth sea, cut by ancient water courses.


::Not that any Terran would have dignified such shallow puddles with the name of ‘sea’.::


::The ravine broadened a little and eventually they came to a place where the glimmer of shallow water was just visible in the distance and the walls were heavily covered in the small, brown plants, like sickly aloes. The Vulcan sun hung on the horizon, creating a sunset like Terran blood and bathing the canyon in red light.::


::The Vulcan looked around for a moment, apparently satisfied, and perched on the edge of a random boulder that interrupted the flat sand, long legs stuck out in front of him at an angle, regarding the sunset..::


Saveron: This is the optimal location to view the eisgh t’Nyone. ::Which translated as the Breath of Nyone.::


::Alora was not quite so confident as the Vulcan and any movements she made on the boulder were slower, quite a bit more careful. She eased down to sit beside him and drew her legs out to mimic his position.::


DeVeau: What is the eisgh t’Nyone?


Saveron: You will observe momentarily.


::For a moment there was that light in his eyes that suggested suppressed amusement.::

::Alora wrinkled her nose at the Vulcan, but made no verbal protest. If it was something that he thought she’d enjoy, she wouldn’t truly attempt to ruin it. She made no other comment, asked no other questions, simply remained where she was and enjoyed the beauty. From time to time, one hand would lift so she could smear sweat across her brow, or take a swig of water.::


::As the sun dipped lower the air began to stir. Throughout the day there had been a gentle breeze moving past them, towards the east from land to sea, but now that began to reverse and draw air west up the ravine from the sea.::


::The air from the sea was marginally cooler and more humid and as the sun at last dipped below the horizon and the colour of the sunset changed from Terran blood to Klingon, the temperature in that narrow chasm began to drop. The air was thin and as the temperature dropped so did it’s ability to hold the moisture it had absorbed from the sea; seemingly out of nowhere a mist began to form, softening shapes and giving the ravine a ghostly quality.::


::As the mist thickened there was movement on the rock walls. Even as they had in his quarters when he changed the environmental settings, the sfhai t’aihghuimh began to unfold long, translucent filaments from amongst their fleshy brown leaves, waving them in the misty air to absorb the water. Moments later tiny, snow-white flowers opened and filled the chasm with a heady perfume. Insects with tiny bodies but large, transparent wings like a dragonfly began to zip from flower to flower, their strange proportions a response to the high gravity and thin atmosphere. As they flew they made high-pitched trills, calling for mates.::


::It was an eerie sight, the mist despite the heat gave the ravine an ethereal feel in the growing twilight, the gossamer plants and fairy-like insects like something out of an old legend. It was as if the world of Faerie had somehow found expression on this far-flung planet, complete with resident Elf sitting and watching the display dispassionately.::


::He looked over at Alora.::


Saveron: This is the eisgh t’Nyone. Nyone’s Breath, or the Breath of the Sea. This mist is what gives life to Nel Gathic lands. ::He said quietly.:: This is what I wished to show you.


DeVeau: Wow...just…


::Just what? Silence was all she could answer with, for the sight was spectral and magical at the same time. The delicate symphony of the insects joined in the hushed melody of the breeze while the tendrils that lapped at the moisture in the air danced to the tune. As she listened to their song, any tension that had built up within the young woman melted away. She shifted and leaned back on the stone behind her to watch with rapt attention.::


::No words were spoken for some time as she silently reveled in the glorious display before her. Eventually, a soft sigh slipped from her lips as her hands lifted to press against her cheeks in wonder at the view, then fall back to their previous position.::


DeVeau: Can we stay here forever?

Saveron: Negative. We can however return whenever you wish.


::From her words he could only deduce that she found the experience agreeable. It was a reaction that he found preferable. He slid down to lean his back against the rock, so that their faces were close to level and spoke in quieter tones.::


Saveron: I had considered it preferable that you would find the experience agreeable.


::And perhaps there had been some method in his insistence on bringing her the hard way. Grey eyes met green for a long moment.::


Saveron: I find it agreeable to see you… happy.


::He’d never lightly accused her of an emotion, but there was really no other way to describe it and she had given him permission. That she was so easy to read was, in a strange way, part of her appeal. He had wondered what she made of him, who was quite the opposite. For all her awkwardly expressed interest, she was alien and not easy for him to fathom. And though he could not express himself the way she did, he had done what he could to do so with his words and his actions. But amongst his people there was another way.::


::Reaching out he offered her his hand, index and middle fingers extended, ring and little fingers folded back.::


::For a moment the only thing that stirred was the wildlife that continued in its display while the two humanoids rest upon the boulder. Alora’s gaze dropped to stare intently at the gesture he made.::


::There was hesitation, but not from a lack of desire, more from surprise. It was not long, just a hint, but then her own hand lifted, her own fingers curled inward, save two. Slowly, they joined with Saveron’s as green eyes lifted once more to find and meet grey.::


::It was a shallow contact between minds unbound, moderated by the fact that only one was a telepath, but Saveron opened that contact so that it was very mutual. Two minds, just touching.::


::His mind Alora had sensed once before, the stronghold that kept the emotional chaos inherent in his kind in check. But where others rejected all emotion he acknowledged those that were not disruptive to inner peace. Like friendship, like contentment, like a growing appreciation of and attraction to another person, another mind, now touching his own.::


::It was more peaceful, the mental touch this time. It was more like a caress, the whisper of fingers against a cheek, a flutter of breath against one’s hair. Although his body was warm, his mind was cool, refreshing, like a forest where she lay resting beneath the canopy. As his innermost emotions, careful and controlled, trickled through, her own rose to the surface. Friendship, yes. Contentment, they matched his in all ways - even the attraction. Perhaps that was the one most hesitant, accompanied with an almost silent fear behind it.::

:: He had barely sensed Alora’s mind the last time they had touched, it had been a very one sided exchange. Now her thoughts rippled and danced before him, bright and vibrant as sunlight on flowing water, an environmental effect he hadn’t truly understood until he had left Vulcan. She reminded him of that new, alien experience. Her mind was very different to those of his own people, and fascinating in its difference, but he did not delve into her thoughts, he had not been invited. Rather he focused on what thoughts welled to the surface freely, of their own accord, one unexpected.::


Saveron: oO Do not fear me, or doubt me.Oo


::He told her silently, mind to mind. In his own thoughts there was no uncertainty, but he had a lifetime of experience in watching his own thoughts, accepting them as a part of himself. Rather he showed her how he felt, at peace with what might come, and let her react to that. Here he could say without words what he could not voice aloud.::


DeVeau: oO I do not fear you. Oo


::There was a ripple in his thoughts, the ghost of the words ‘you should’ seemed to hang there for the barest moment before disappearing. He didn’t try to hide it. Rather he let her see him as he was. Less disciplined than many of his kind certainly, but eminently comfortable with that. He wanted her to be comfortable with him. Yet he sensed a certain hesitancy, a faint worry, in her thoughts.::


Saveron: oO Then what do you fear? Oo


::She didn’t tell him. She showed him, in a sense. It was brief, a flash of images - two faces. The first was of a man he didn’t recognise. He was young, considered fair to gaze upon in the eyes of a young woman, though his mouth twisted into a sneer. The second was that of the Orion pirate, his own face formed into an intense glare, hatred flashing in his stony gaze. Then something followed, a different sort of fear, one that was unreadable at first, then formed into a third image - that of Alora, her arms stretched out toward Saveron, but him turning away from her in rejection.::


Saveron: oO No, no and no. Oo ::He told her gently.::


::The triple negative was applied to each image in turn. She had opened to him, showed her the fears that she held and he negated and soothed each one in turn.::


::He did nothing without careful thought, and his actions now were the same. He had planned this evening as he had acted before, the logical progression of recent actions. Her interest, that he had been slow to understand he had also been slow to internalise, yet when fully processed he found it was reciprocated, and he would never, ever, wish her harm. He was most definitely not her Orionese tormentor. Yes he was physicially strong, but he would never hurt her. Pacifism above all else. And the third? He did not know who the other man was, but he was not Saveron. The Vulcan was himself, and all that he was he set before her, if she wanted him.::


::A slow hush of breath escaped and Alora shifted, drew closer to him, though she never broke physical contact. Her free hand rose, her fingers danced lightly, carefully across his cheek, a silken and brief caress before they fell away.::


DeVeau: oOWhat do you want?Oo


::Her caress was sweet, like water after weeks in the desert. There was a careful pause in his thoughts, an obvious reining in of an impulsive response, held back behind that wall of training.::


Saveron: oO You. But only what you would give. Time, company. Perhaps more eventually, if you wish. Oo


::There was then a touch of humour in his thoughts, as though he were laughing at himself. He showed Alora something then, one of his own scars. A flash of a childhood memory, another mental contact, an alien one. A young Vulcan girl, he and she both younger even than Saavok was now. That influence was long gone, but it had been chosen for him. He’d never had to choose before, never had a need to court someone. It was a new experience for him. There was there a measure of uncertainty. He didn’t really know how one should proceed, and the cultural barrier only made things more difficult.::


Saveron: oO Patience, and understanding. Oo ::There was a dry, self-deprecating tone to his thoughts.:: oO And you? What do you want? Oo


::His response seemed to set her at ease and she relaxed. Her cool fingers returned to touch his cheek, the caress lingering this time, tracing a gentle path over his warm skin.::


DeVeau: oOThe same.Oo


::He inclined his head slightly, proffering his cheek for her touch, eyes half-lidded. Through their mental contact it was obvious that he enjoyed the touch, even though it had a different effect on him, activating different neural nodes as her fingers drifted across them. Hands and faces, key in Vulcan telepathy.::


Saveron: oO Then that would seem to be a good premise upon which to proceed. Oo


::He reached up to trail a finger across Alora’s cheek, touch warm and feather-light, sensing her own perception of that touch through their linked minds.::


::The effect of his touch was different than hers. It brought on a distinct wave of pleasure and spurred her to draw even closer to him. Though the night was cooler than the day, the heat was still intense. His own body was warm to her touch, but despite it she didn’t care. There was pleasure in his closeness as well.::


DeVeau: oO I would have to say that’s a very logical conclusion.Oo


::Her skin was cool beneath his touch, but not cool enough. They could not stay there too long, she would overheat. It was a reminder of how different she was, in every way. It was part of what made her fascinating.::


::He thought a wordless affirmation, finding a deep contentment in her closeness and their contact. It was something that he had missed these last nine years. As she drew closer he leaned in and brushed his cheek lightly against hers and lingered there a moment. It was an intimate gesture amongst his people as it brought the facial neural nodes into contact, deepening the mental connection. Here it did not have quite as marked an effect, but it was still pleasurable for him.::


::Though she was not Vulcan, the gesture was still one of great intimacy. A soft sigh brushed against Saveron's ear and her sense of contentment was coloured with a trembling of desire and a hint of surprise.::


::He pulled back then, just a hint of chargrin colouring his thoughts, far beneath the deep contentment and yes, happiness that he held there, kept in check behind the barrier of his training, lest he act as he should not..::


Saveron: oO Thank you. Oo


::Wordlessly he signalled his intention to break the mental contact, and a moment later his hand left hers and they were once again alone within their own minds. His gaze focused more fully on her green eyes, her flushed cheeks. She had an alien beauty about her that was very appealing, more so for the mind behind it. A mind he had touch now, the way she should be touched.::


::Alora inhaled deeply, then let it go in a slow, controlled manner. She hadn't wanted him to break away, but she didn't want him to be uncomfortable either.::


DeVeau: That was...wow, it was...


::She really wished she could wax poetically like some she knew. Kestra would have never been so clumsy. Her tongue ran over her lips and, now that her focus had shifted, more mundane needs began to voice their concerns.::


DeVeau: May I have some more water please?


Saveron: Of course.


::He offered the flask on it’s sling to Alora then settled once more with his back against the rock, watching the insects as they zipped from plant to plant in the deepening twilight, letting her be alone with her thoughts.::


::As was his nature and training, he analysed the experience. Perhaps he should not have been so bold, but Alora had done nothing to indicate that his actions were unwelcome, and he knew of no other way to communicate what he wished her to know, nor how Terrans went about such. He simply did not have the words. Their recent interactions had given him indications that she found his company more agreeable than most, and he knew of no other way to learn the true nature of her interest.::


::He had not wished to overwhelm her however, who as far as he could tell was completely unaccustomed to mental contact, and amongst his people such was deep and intimate. He considered it advisable to keep the contact brief. As she drank he looked over silently at her, grey eyes scanning her face as he took a moment to memorise every angle.::


::Alora tilted the flask back and drank deeply of the water. The heat wasn’t as bad, but it was still far more than she was accustomed to. She drained a goodly amount before she came up for air, then ran the back of her hand to carry away a trace of water left there. She froze under the scrutiny from the Vulcan, then slowly closed the container so the water would not spill.::


DeVeau: What?

Saveron: A memory is preferable to a holograph, if appropriately formed. ::He said honestly.:: I would remember you, here, now.


::Like it was yesterday; forever.::


::Alora honestly felt like she was going to melt. Perhaps it was partly the heat, but truthfully, to have a man say something like that to her. Maybe it was said in a Vulcan way, but it was still as romantic as anything that those books he favoured might contain. If they were the influence behind it, then she was grateful to the author!::


DeVeau: You can see me every day.


::She pointed out so eloquently. Here he was, dancing with grace and aplomb and she was stepping all over his toes.::


Saveron: I would find such agreeable, but it may not prove practical. ::He observed, knowing their busy work schedule.:: And ‘every day’ is not now. I have an eidetic memory and will remember this moment clearly when I am old… and when you are gone.


::For even given current Terran lifespans, when she grew old he would be but middle aged. He might well live another hundred years after she died. And who knew what tomorrow might bring? She might not find his company so agreeable in the future; he accepted that possibility. That would not lessen the importance of this moment to him.::


DeVeau: You’re right. ::She agreed and inched closer though she did not touch him. Not without his permission.:: Every day is definitely not now.


::And oh how she wished now could last forever.::


Saveron: But every day brings new potential. I would find it agreeable to spend further time in your company, if you would not object.


DeVeau: No, Saveron, I would not object. Not in the slightest.


::The Vulcan nodded gently. What more needed to be said?::


::Her cheeks were flushed and he could see that Alora was sweating, noted the amount of water that she drank. The light level was dropping rapidly now and after a moment he rose to his feet in one fluid movement.::


Saveron: We can return here at any time, should you wish it. ::He looked away then for a moment, towards the sea.:: Computer, arch.


::The Holodeck’s arch appeared on the sand before them.::


::The perfect night had to end. Alora rose as Saveron did then followed him toward the arch. She paused in the threshold to gaze upon the beauty they were leaving behind.::


DeVeau: Saveron...will you promise me something?


::Grey eyes looked down into green.::


Saveron: What would you have me promise, Alora?

DeVeau: Will you promise to take me to the real eisgh t’Nyone some day?


Saveron: Affirmative.


END


“More than words is all I ever needed you to show;

Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me

Cause I’d already know.” ~ Extreme, More Than Words

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