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  1. ((Deep Space 17: Tallis and Toni's quarters, 0400 hours)) ::No sooner than Toni laid down, wrapped in Rhul's strong arms, a sense of safety washed over her. And for the first time in quite a while she felt protected from the harshness of reality. With this knowledge, she soon was lulled into restful sleep by his assuring whispers.:: ((0600 Hours)) ::Awakened by the computer alarm, she sat up and stretched her arms, then slid her feet to the floor. Taking off her clothes from the night before as she moved to the bathroom, she threw them into the refresher, then entered the sonic shower. :: ::Later, in a comfortable embroidered Laudean dress, she entered the Twilight's Edge.:: ((Deep Space 17: Twilight's Edge, 0700)) ::He should have been seeing the now quiet promenade through the haze of sleep-bereft eyes. The smell of freshly-brewed coffee that rose from the table in front of him should have been all that was keeping him awake. In truth, however, he had been up for a couple of hours already and running on adrenaline. Unable to sleep, he had done his best to settle down for long enough to let Toni drift off before taking a sonic shower, dressing for breakfast and hitting the promenade. On the way, he had removed a package from his travel bag that he had surreptitiously had sent to him while the Thunder-A crew had been on Earth; finding himself in a position where he had no family heirlooms for what he had planned, he had been in contact with the Anderssons. As the family that he had grown up with after leaving his homeworld, he owed them an update and they had been keen to grant his favour. It was with his best friend Steffen's blessing that he now had his grandmother's diamond engagement ring stowed away safely in the pocket of his dark green tunic.:: ::By the time Toni arrived, looking like a gift from the Prophets, he was ready to greet her with breakfast already laid out on the table and her first cup of coffee ready to pour.:: Tallis: Good morning, beautiful. I thought I'd get everything ordered up ready for when you arrived. Turner: ::her eyes moving from him to the lavishly laden table; smiling:: It looks like you did a good job of it too. ::Moving around the table, he pulled out her chair. It was his usual, chivalrous gesture.:: Tallis: ::Putting on his best waiter act.:: So, what can I serve you this morning, Ma'am? ::Spreading his hands wide, he indicated the selection of breakfast foods that were arranged before them. The usual cooked Terran fare, such as sausage, bacon and eggs were laid out on a platter, accompanied by a bowl of fruits from various worlds. A toast rack with a selection of jams, jellies and marmalades in small sampling bowls topped off the display, alongside a large vase of long stemmed pink roses with Baby's Breath... behind which a large dish of grits were waiting to make an appearance.:: Turner: ::putting the napkin in her lap:: It all looks good, but bacon and eggs, toast and orange marmalade, and coffee would do as starters. ::Noticing the roses for the first time, she smiled as she admired them, then looked to Rhul.:: Turner: You remembered. They're beautiful. Tallis: ::Beaming:: Hey, you know me... I wasn't going to do half a job! Turner: ::spotting the bowl of grits; laughing slightly:: Looks like they're not the only things you remembered. I'll take some of those too. Tallis: I was counting on that too. Seems like I'm one of the few people who didn't know what they were. ::The waiter who had dealt with his sizeable order had been human, although his accent had been different to Toni's.:: ::The fact that he had included them on the menu brought the realization that she and Sidney had converted him, at least partially, to the southern dark side. She chuckled internally with that thought.:: Turner: Shall we eat? ::Rhul served Toni's breakfast for her and then helped himself to a couple of pieces of toast and some butter. As much as he was hiding it on the outside, he had butterflies in his stomach. He knew there was no good reason for that; given everything that had led them to this point he was sure that Toni would not turn down his proposition. As he buttered his toast, he continued the conversation, trying to remain as casual as possible.:: Tallis: I've been thinking a lot about what things will be like when we move back to Til'ahn. Living with you and the children has been a wonderful experience so far but once we have our own house I have a feeling it will be even better. ::He was right. It had been a wonderful experience. He had brought with him the gift of laughter that had nearly faded from their lives.:: Turner: ::nodding:: I agree. Having a place to call home will be great for the children, especially a home where they know they are loved. ::Images began to form in his mind's eye; he had bonded well with both of the children and fate had presented him with not just a chance to be happy himself, but to offer happiness and stability to three other people that were dear to him in the process.:: Tallis: We could plant a garden... I can see the children running around in there now. I could teach Garth to play springball. We could sit outside on the warmer evenings and watch the suns go down. It all seems like a dream come true. ::And in honesty it was; they had been able to do some of those things before he had first left the Embassy and transferred to the Mercury, but everything now came with the added bonus that they wouldn't ever have to go their separate ways at the end of the day. Of course, there would be times when they would both need to travel to complete their duties but knowing that the other would be waiting for them when they returned, that they would be living under the same roof, seemed to make everything sweeter.:: ::She smiled warmly, thinking of the time they had walked home from the Market Place in the rain; Garth's laughter as Rhul chased him around the house, pretending not to be able to catch him; Vee trying so hard to play the flute for him, wanting him to be proud of her, and him showing that he was.:: Turner: ::noticing he was not eating much:: Are you alright? ::He realised he had paused half way through buttering his toast. Smiling in acceptance that he couldn't wait any longer, he answered by placing his knife and half-buttered toast back down on his plate.:: Tallis: I'm fine... more than fine in fact... ::And then he rose from his seat, only for long enough to lower himself onto one knee, following the human customs that he had read up on before leaving Earth. Reaching into his pocket, he removed the heirloom ring, and held it towards Toni, looking deep into her blue eyes and drinking in every detail to remember in future years.:: Tallis: Toni, we've been through dangerous missions, stood by each other's side through the hardest of times and even after being separated we have always found each other again. The Prophets did not create words for me to describe just how much and how deeply I love you and will always love you. Will you marry me? ::She paused, taken off guard by his actions and question. Sitting back in her chair, she took in a long breath, reaching to caress the side of his face.:: Turner: Marry you? ::tears of happiness forming in the corner of her eyes:: Nothing in this Universe would make me happier than to become your wife, because, I love you deeply too, and will always love you. ::Flinging her arms around his neck to kiss him, they lost their balance, tumbling from his kneeling position to an awkward sprawl across the floor, but still holding the kiss, until the waiter disapprovingly cleared his throat.:: Turner: ::laughing, glancing up to the waiter:: Don't mind us. He just asked me to marry him, and I was showing him how head-over-heels in love with him I am. Waiter: ::helping them up and back to their seats:: Oh, I see. Congratulations. Tallis: ::Laughing and dusting himself down:: Thankyou. ::He had expected to be the one to sweep Toni off her feet, rather than the other way around. The waiter, having dealt with what he could possibly have considered to be a potential incident, cleared his throat once again before returning to his duties.:: Turner: ::after the waiter had left:: To answer your question... Yes, I'll marry you. Tallis: I was hoping you'd say that. ::Moving closer to her, he slipped the ring onto the fourth finger of her outstretched left hand. It looked right at home; he felt as though he should have done this a long time ago.:: Turner: ::watching him place the ring on her finger:: It's beautiful. ::He could not have been more pleased. He had taken steps to make sure it would be the perfect fit and did not want to give her just any ring.:: Tallis: Technically it's a family heirloom. It belonged to Steffen's grandmother and his family were happy to pass it down. I wanted it to mean something, and to have a little history behind it. Turner: That they would do that for you, makes it even more special. Tallis: ::He smiled:: Not just for me, for us. They think of me as their son, so that will technically make them your in-laws... ::And they were certainly better than the recently-deceased alternatives, but now was not the time for such negative thoughts.:: Turner: Now all we have to do is decide where and when. Any thoughts about that? Tallis: Here, or on the Tiger. Before we go back to the Embassy. I don't see any need to wait. I asked Sidney and she said that she would perform the ceremony, unless you'd prefer to have it somewhere else? ::He was keen to tie the knot as soon as possible but not to the exclusion of Toni's feelings and wishes. He did not know whether or not she had any plans for how and where she wanted to get married. Hopefully a holodeck or a part of DS17 or the Tiger could accommodate whatever she wanted to do. If not, he would wait.:: :: It certainly wasn't the wedding she had dreamed about, but if that is what he wanted, then she'd gladly relinquish that ceremony, after all, she was in love with him, and he seemed to want to do it as soon as possible.:: Turner: Then we'll elope, if Sidney has the time. Tallis: We can speak to her to finalise a time and a place, and we already have a maid of honour and a page boy. ::Picturing Vee in her favorite, a sparkly dress, and Garth in a suit, carrying their rings, she smiled.:: Turner: That we do! ::He wondered how the children might feel about that. He hoped it would not prove to be difficult for them.:: Turner: Okay, with that settled, we'll need to buy wedding bands, and have Sidney arrange for a witness - perhaps her First Officer would do it... The children have new clothes I bought them on Earth, and I have a dress suitable to wear. Am I forgetting anything? ::He racked his brains, trying to think if there was anything about human weddings that he had forgotten.:: Tallis: What about a bouquet? Turner: ::glancing at the roses he had gotten her:: No, I can carry these pink roses as my bouquet. ::It seemed a little bit like they were running on a shoestring but that all added to the sense of excitement.:: Tallis: If you're sure? Turner: Let's go tell Vee and Garth, and get started. With any luck at all we can be married by tomorrow morning. ::It certainly looked like she was on board and if she wanted to do things a different way then she was hiding it very well indeed. He hoped that she wouldn't regret eloping but it came with the advantage of their knowing that their future was secured. As for breakfast, he was far too hyped up now to eat even a morsel.:: Tallis: Let's do that! As soon as you're finished eating. ::Too excited to eat anymore, but not wanting him to think his efforts with breakfast would be going unappreciated, she made an egg sandwich with the toast.:: Turner: ::wolfing down a spoonful of grits:: I'll finish eating on the way. You ready to go? Tallis: I'm ready to go whenever you are. ::Both having served with the fleet, Tallis and Toni were no strangers to adventure; they were about to embark upon the most exciting one of all.:: TBC JP by. . . Ambassador Tallis Rhul Embassy Duronis II USS Thunder NCC 070605-A andFleet Captain Toni Turner Commanding Officer Embassy Duronis II USS Thunder NCC - 70605-A
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