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[Round 17] The Seeds of Passion, Part II


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((Holodeck))

::As she turned back to the stars, she felt her bare arm brush Alleran's lightly. Sidney said nothing, but felt something akin to an electric charge course through her arm. Her mind drifted back to the story Tan had finished, just moments earlier...::

Riley: So is Passion considered a bad thing to the Trill?

:: Sidney's touch was electrifying. He gave a light, pleasant shiver-slowly shuffling closer to her, draping that arm around her shoulders. He drew her to him, his side pressing against hers, giving her shoulders a light squeeze. She tensed at the movement, but surprisingly she felt herself settle in at his side. The gesture was comforting and the coolness of his arm on the back of her neck felt soothing. ::

Tan: Too much of it, yes... especially joined Trills.

Riley: Anything can be bad if taken to extreme. ::She paused.:: However, passion tempered with the other virtues can be a good thing. ::She paused, looking over at Alleran her bright green eyes locked with his.::

:: He held that look, smiling lightly. Pleasantly. This was simply wonderful- time seemed to gradually slow down. He could spend eternity like this. ::

Tan: Passion is... one quarter of the disc. It's another metaphor. Imagine a circular dinner plate divided into four quarters with paint, with each quarter being a virtue. The plate is spun on a stick... if your plate is balanced, it will spin long and clean before eventually toppling. If your plate is unbalanced, then it will wobble. If there's just too much of any one... it falls off and breaks before its time.

:: The wind picked up, lightly blowing his hair. The storm would come soon... both literally in the holodeck and figuratively outside, at Deep Space 17. They had spent so much time talking... it was wonderful, really... but the Trill had more questions for the beautiful lady. He started with a rhetorical question- one he knew the answer to- but one that would lead the conversation where he needed it to go. ::

Tan: Sidney... are you seeing anyone?

::Sidney pulled away from Alleran's side and sat up. She turned to face him and motioned for him to sit up. She watched his face and brown eyes intently.::

:: Alleran sat up, meeting Sidney's gaze. He looked... nervous. ::

Riley: No... ::She paused, she hadn't talked to Bron in more than ten months and while she enjoyed spending time with Clack and looked at him as a great friend, he was married.::...not really. Not in the sense I think you mean. ::She looked down at the blanket before she looked up at the Joined Trill.

:: Relief. He smiled widely. ::

Tan: I'm not seeing anyone, either. It's been... well. I've had one little crush, but it didn't go anywhere. Otherwise... nothing since the academy.

Marlee: oO Little? Right. Oo

::Sidney took Alleran's hand gently in her own and squeezed it lightly. He returned the gesture, moving as though to rejoin with her. Her expression stopped him. ::

Riley: Please...give me a chance to share some things with you.

::She paused and scooted to where she was seated cross legged directly across from him, still holding his hand.::

Riley: You are a wonderful person. In fact I'd go so far as to say you are the most wonderful person I've met in a long time. However, we've only just met, I believe this is our first, "date"? Yes? ::The Terran/Deltan hoped Alleran would notice how she'd emphasized the word date.::

:: Oh god. ::

Tan: Y-yes. I was hoping there'd be more, but...

:: Crash, tinkle tinkle tinkle... that was the sound of Tan's heart breaking. He'd heard this before, dozens of times- sometimes spoken by him in his past life, more often spoken by others. ::

Tan: ... there isn't going to be, is there?

Riley: No, that's not it. ::She squeezed his hand and made sure she made eye contact.:: I am not opposed to being in a relationship with you. I want to know you better Alleran. You have to understand something about me...I don't play the field, I don't play games. When I give my heart to someone I give it fully and they definitely know.

:: Okay, so he didn't know everything. His stomach hurt- his thoughts were scattered across so many different possibilities he couldn't keep up. ::

Tan: I want to be that person, more than anything. Is is... possible?

::Sidney paused, hesitating, debating how much to tell her friend. She blushed a deep red as she spoke.::

Riley: I do have feelings for you. I want to be your friend, I want to go out with you, share things with you. You are already important to me. I wouldn't have come tonight if I wasn't interested learning more about you and getting to know you.

:: His face slowly became a wide, happy smile. ::

Tan: I'm so... so very happy to hear that. Heh. Mmm. What are we goingto tell the crew? If, that is, we should tell them at all... I can understand why you'd want to be discrete.

Riley: I don't see a problem with spending time together, why would we need to hide it? ::She paused and gave him a skeptical questioning look, with a playful edge.:: Who are you planning on going and bragging to?

:: Now the playful bit was back. He gave her hand a firm squeeze- the seed-pods of the plants swayed as the air became fast moving, the occasional rumble of thunder closing in on them. Things were coming to a head. ::

Tan: Oh, only the whole Air Group. They're a nosy, inquisitive lot-they'll get their noses into everything... I'm sorry in advance, Sid'! Hah, haha...

:: He knew there would be 'dares' about this, if and when they found out. Risqué comments... embarrassing ones. He'd have to cope somehow.::

::Sidney paused, she hoped Alleran was joking. He had laughed...she didn't particularly want to be the subject of jokes and impossible stares.::

Riley: I don't hide things from the crew Alleran. I don't flaunt my personal life either. While there are regulations, there is nothing that says we can't spend time together as long as it doesn't affect our duties. And I don't plan for it to.

:: He rubbed his thumb over her palm, smiling widely. The Terran/Deltan looked down at the line he traced with his thumb. ::

Tan: I don't either, Sid'. I want this... whatever this is, or whatever it becomes, to succeed. I'll do anything to make that possible.

:: He glanced out towards the gathering storm, raising his voice to keep it heard over the wind and thunder. ::

Tan: These few days have been the happiest in... years and years. Probably... dare I say it- ever. I've never felt so at peace... so sure of myself. So safe and secure and... serene. It feels like I've known you for months, but there's so many questions I want to ask you... I want to know you, fully and completely.

::Blushing a bright rosy pink, she looked at the man standing before her. He looked very sincere, she looked down at the ground and noticed the drops of rain hit the bluish dirt before she felt them on her skin.::

Riley: Alleran I...

:: Tan felt a drop of water hitting his face. He closed his eyes, letting the storm-cooled air wash over him. ::

Tan: I don't mean to rush you, Sidney. I tend to... live in the moment without a care for tomorrow. I know... I know you and I are different, but I think we can make it work. I don't have any expectations about where tonight will lead- and I don't know what you're planning, if anything, but... will you do me one last favour?

::It started to rain harder and Sidney felt the drops of rain gathering in her eyelashes. She blinked trying to focus in on the Trill.::

Riley: What favor?

:: His eyes were still closed- it helped clear his mind. More rain hit him, drops of water running down his cheek. He loved the rain. ::

Tan: Turn off your universal translator. I already turned mine off back in your quarters. I want to hear your voice... your natural voice... unmodified and pure. We don't share a language, but... pick one. I'll learn it for you, eventually. I promise.

::The Terran/Deltan took in a sharp breath of the cool air. The rain drops falling on her soaked hair, drenching the silk dress she wore. No one had ever asked such a thing of her before. To take away the translator and hear her real voice...her heart caught in her throat, tears filled her eyes, but one would have never been able to tell in the rain. Sidney reached out and took Alleran's other hand and squeezed them both gently.::

Riley: You...you won't be able to understand me...but...

::She took another deep breath and opened her eyes. Letting go of the Joined Trill's hands she reached in her pocket and turned the small device which connected her with so many worlds and people off. Her eyes open wide, she looked at Alleran for a moment, her eyes lingering on the man. She looked down at her dress, it was most certainly ruined as Alleran had said, and she found herself thankful she had worn her favorite swimsuit underneath. She reached up and moved her hair, which had turned an even darker red than normal away from her face.::

Tan: So ... Is é seo mo guth ó dhúchas. Cad a cheapann tú?

::For a moment she wasn't sure what to say.::

Riley: Alleran...

::She spoke in English, and even as she simply spoke his name her voice was laden with a soft Southern Louisiana accent. If she was being completely honest with herself this was who she really was.::

Riley: Alleran, have you ever danced in the rain?

:: He opened his eyes and couldn't help but grin. Her voice sounded so... melodic and sweet, like the soft pitter-patter of rain that was landing all around them. His clothes became soaked, hair slicking down against his head. ::

Tan: Oh mo ghrá, Sidney ... tú fuaim an-aisteach! Ní féidir liom focal a thuiscint go bhfuil tú ag rá!

::Sidney twirled around, her arms held out embracing the rain. She looked up at the sky, closed her eyes. She felt the rain drops falling gently on her face as she twirled. The cool air, the wind as it whipped around her. She spoke again, loudly over the storm as she twirled around, she felt so happy in the moment with the rain and the wind and...::

:: Tan stood, arms outstretched- he caught the raindrops in his mouth, laughing and flashing Sidney an occasional grin. He couldn't understand her, but they were getting along just fine. He looked... excited. Happy. Joyous, even. ::

Riley: I love the rain! It reminds me of home.

Tan: Is mian liom raibh mé in ann fanacht mar seo go deo.

::Slowly she walked towards Tan and took him by the hand again. This time as she twirled around she tried to get him to join her. He looked confused, gripping her hands lightly.::

Riley: Dance with me?

:: After a moment's confusion he got it, spinning and hopping up and down. It was a playful, spontaneous action that would have looked ridiculous to an observer. The rain came harder and harder- they spun, dancing closer and closer. Tan grabbed Sidney's hand, pointing across the field. ::

Tan: Féach, féach-'s tosú é!

:: The seed pods began to break off in the wind, floating up towards the sky like thin pink party balloons. They were lighter than air--little pink lights floating off into the distance. ::

:: He reached out for her face, gently wiping some of the water off her cheek with his thumb. Sidney raised an eyebrow and closed her eyes.::

Tan: ... Is tú mo ghrá, Sidney.

:: He drew her closer, his hands sliding around her slender, curvy waist. His chest pressed against her, squeezing her tightly, rubbing the soaked silk against her body. He leaned in, his nose brushing against hers... ::

::Sidney initially pushed away from Alleran's embrace, but after a second she found herself relaxing in the Trill's arms as she looked into his deep brown eyes. The lighting around them was electrifying and suddenly, quite unexpectedly to the Terran/Deltan, Alleran kissed her. She leaned away but then found herself leaning into his arms.::

::Tan's heart was pounding a million times a second, skin sweaty and cool. It was perfect, the moment was perfect... he wanted this. He felt tingly all over. It was just like the transporter, taking him far away. Far away to a beautiful, wonderful place... ::

:: ... but it ended after a moment. With a content sigh, he fished around inside his pocket, the device chirping as it was reengaged. ::

Tan: Well.

Riley: Well? ::Sidney blushed and looked away, her mind was racing.::

:: Tan couldn't help but laugh. The rain started to ease up. He reached up, brushing back some of her hair. ::

Tan: You look just like a drowned rat, only cuter. Come on... let's go get dry, shall we?

::The Terran/Deltan shook her head and raised an eyebrow.::

Riley: Thanks... ::She laughed nervously, her mind still in an uproar.::

:: Tan nodded, grinning widely. The two made their way back to Sidney's quarters, soaking wet. More stares- but Tan didn't mind so much now. The two entered her quarters together- Tan let Riley slip away. ::

::As Alleran went to get his uniform, Sidney walked to her room and grabbed her white cotton robe from it's place near the bed. She slipped it on over the wet clothing and returned to the main room.::

Tan: I'll just go back to my dress uniform. Won't be a moment.

Riley: Of course.

:: He went back to the bathroom and changed. She'd kissed him! ...well, more correctly, he'd kissed her and she'd kissed back. It was more than he could hope for. Still, his doubts gnawed at him. ::

:: Tan stepped out. His hair was mussed but at least he was dry. Pausing by the door, he gave a soft, wistful smile. ::

Tan: I had a fantastic time tonight, Sid'. Sorry about the mess.

::For the first time, Sidney looked down at the trails of water all over the floor.::

Riley: Don't worry about it.

Tan: You never did pick a language for me to learn...

::Sidney stopped and looked up at Alleran.::

Riley: You really mean it? ::She paused.:: Terran English then.

Tan: Done.

::Sidney blushed and pushed the auburn hair away from her face and behind her ear.::

:: Tan grinned, then walked over to the exit. He paused there, back to the room, collecting his thoughts. He desperately wanted to turn around, march back in, say something- anything!- that would allow himself to be convinced that she wasn't just going to... slip away like all the others. Instead, he threw her a bright smile over his shoulder. ::

Tan: Goodnight, Sidney.

::Her bright green eyes shining, the Terran/Deltan gave the Joined-Trill a small smile.::

Riley: Goodnight Alleran.

:: With that, he left. ::

End

Simmed by:

Captain Sidney Riley

Commanding Officer

USS Independence-A

And

Lt (jg) Alleran Tan

Helm/CAG

USS Independence-A

Edited by TZhou
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