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Dr. Del Vedova & LtCmdr. Rahman: In Vino Veritas


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(( Del's Quarters ))

Rahman: But it's okay. I'm glad it happened this way. Before anyone else could get hurt.

Del Vedova: That's a little, uh, dramatic. Hm?

:: He gave her a quirky smile, to which she furrowed her brow. ::

Rahman: How so?

Del Vedova: I mean to say, no one was killed. And whatever you're carrying around your neck, Rosh, I hope it's not so heavy. ::beat:: Engineers don't work just for Starfleet. You don't need a uniform to explore the stars.

:: She tried not to laugh. ::

Rahman: Yeah... but it helps if your face wasn’t all over the news streams for the past few weeks with "terrorist" next to it.

:: She let out another sigh. ::

Rahman: I don’t know… I’m thinking I just need to go.

Del Vedova: Really? And what did you have in mind?

:: She looked back at him for a moment before frowning slightly. ::

Rahman: ...I don't know. I haven’t thought that far.

Del Vedova: Well, let’s think, then.

:: He meant the implicit “us,” too; if she was going through this thing, well -- he’d done enough to add to its difficulties already. Time to help. ::

Del Vedova: Do you want to stay?

Rahman: Here? :: She took a quick glance around his quarters. ::

Del Vedova: Here. On the ship, or the station. Anywhere nearby, I guess.

:: She scrunched her nose. ::

Rahman: It’s not a matter of what I want.

Del Vedova: No, I guess I knew that. Well. How much say do you have? ::beat:: Any?

:: He kept his face expressionless as he spoke, or he tried. He felt a jerk of muscles after the last word that meant, he thought, that he hadn’t been very successful. This was his fault, wasn’t it? In part, anyway. ::

Rahman: I mean… it’s not official yet, but I’m basically on leave now until the SCE and Starfleet Command figure out what they want to do with me.

Del Vedova: Ah. “On leave” -- so you do get to have some say in it, right?

:: She raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms. ::

Rahman: And I’m sure you’re not surprised that I’ve managed to accumulate quite a bit of leave somehow over the past year.

:: Del shrugged. What could he say? ::

Del Vedova: It seemed appropriate?

:: She frowned again as she looked back at the bottle of shiraz. ::

Rahman: No, I do need to get away. Ugh. If not from everyone else then at least from him.

Del Vedova: Him? Him whom? Not -- him me?

:: No, of course not. She wouldn’t be around if that was the case. ::

:: Her eyes darted up back to him and she actually gave him one of her trademark smirks. ::

Rahman: You’re not secretly in love with me, are you, Del?

Del Vedova: Wait, wait, wait: You tell me first! You’re not secretly in love with me, are you?

:: They stared at each other for a moment before they both ended up cracking up. ::

Rahman: Oh, Del. I knew there was a reason I liked you.

Del Vedova: Because you don’t like me -- I mean, let’s be clear on that. Obviously.

:: But he smiled at her in a way he hadn’t so far. The laughter, perhaps wine-induced, had loosened them both us, and he felt as though the whole thing was, for the moment, incredibly funny. ::

Rahman: Well, if it’s not overconfident Andorian pilots I have to deal with, apparently it’s stubborn Rodulan engineers… how goes things on your end? We haven’t talked much since Kotir left.

Del Vedova: Apart from resigning, it’s been great. I mean, I’m on a bit of a post-CMO high, so maybe a lot of it looks great right now.

:: She tilted her chin downward in the manner of a scolding school teacher. ::

Rahman: You know what I meant.

:: His sigh was as close to a breath as he could make it. ::

Del Vedova: Yeah, I do. ::beat:: But there’s nothing to report. I thought -- for a minute -- but never mind.

:: She sat back, pouting. ::

Rahman: You’re such a jerkface, sometimes you know.

:: Del shook his head. He could see the face easily, but the name, or the uniform color? Nowhere to be found. He took another sip, though that probably didn’t help. ::

Del Vedova: It’s not that I don’t want to tell you. I just -- don’t -- remember.

:: And he held up the glass, tipped it toward her. She returned a questioning glance. ::

Del Vedova: Maybe it’s better that the memory is the first thing to go. Stops me from doing anything foolish after half a bottle.

Rahman: God, you’re such a lightweight.

Del Vedova: I also have twenty kilos on you. How does that work out?

:: She picked up her own glass before sipping the water. ::

Rahman: That’s why I don’t drink.

Del Vedova: Because you drink large men under the table?

:: He raised an eyebrow. No one would logically call Del “large,” probably, except maybe a Ferengi. In fact, with all the tall individuals Starfleet seemed to employ, he tended to feel distinctly short at around 170 cm. Rosh, of course, was always short. Maybe that was why he liked her. ::

Rahman: Ahem. Anyway…

Del Vedova: Right. Where were we?

Rahman: I was just saying this stupid, stupid man… I brought him on board. Tried to make things right for him. And then he goes off and declares his love for me. Well, not in so many words, but… ugh.

:: Again with his raised eyebrow. This time, though, he thought he knew who she was talking about. He didn’t confirm, though; if she wanted to give his name, she would. ::

Del Vedova: So all the more reason to get away, am I right?

:: She gave a curt nod. ::

Rahman: [...] straight.

Del Vedova: So. Where are we going?

:: She looked back at Del and smiled again. No argument. No trying to reason with her. They truly got each other. True friendship. Or maybe that was just the wine. ::

Rahman: “We?”

Del Vedova: Of course. I’m no longer in charge of the medical department aboard the Garuda, and I have a lot of leave saved up, too. You didn’t think you were going to go off alone, did you?

:: His look was a sort of pity, but it was couched within a smirk. He needed her to see it as impossible to escape him -- or maybe, he thought, that was a little odd. But never mind: He was going. ::

:: For her part, it looked like some tears were starting to return, but she held them back. ::

Rahman: I think some part of me hoped not.

Del Vedova: Listen to the part, my friend. Now: Where. Are. We. Going?

:: She thought for a moment, resting her chin on her hand. Then, another coy smile emerged. ::

Rahman: Australia gets a lot of sun, doesn’t it?

Del Vedova: You want to go home?

:: His mouth hung open. Then, belatedly, he realized that he assumed: Australia wasn’t her home. ::

Del Vedova: I mean, to my home? ::beat:: My old parents might be confused at first. You’re not exactly the son-in-law they expected.

Rahman: Psh. And you think my parents are expecting your charming self to greet them at their door?

:: But his eyes widened. Not in alarm, but with the light of an idea. ::

Del Vedova: Hey, that’s a possibility, isn’t it? ::beat:: We do go home. Your home.

Rahman: ::Her eyes widened.:: Oh, God.

Del Vedova: ::nodding:: Yeah, it may seem that way. But, hey, I’m coming with you. You get to pick. Even if you want to pick my family.

:: She sighed. There was only one way to solve this as far as she was concerned. ::

Rahman: All right. Fine. We flip a combadge to decide. Heads, Australia. Tails, Lahore.

Del Vedova: Sounds good to me. But how do I know you haven’t fixed yours, so it’s double-headed?

:: She shook her head with a sigh before she leaned over and swiftly ripped the communicator off his chest, tossing it into the air. ::

:: When it landed, they both peered over the edge of the couch to see who’d won. ::

Del Vedova: ::beat:: I think I’ll have another glass.

---

Lieutenant Commander Nic del Vedova, MD

Emergency Medical Officer

USS Garuda

&

Lieutenant Commander Roshanara Rahman, EngD

Status: Unfit for Duty

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