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[JP] Lt Corliss Fortune & Lt (jg) Loxley - When in Rome... (Parts 1 & 2)

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Another great JP, this time from Lox and Fortune! They're just so goddamn sweet, like eating a stick of fairy floss and following it down with a 4L bottle of soda.



((Holosuite 2, Embassy Garden Hotel, Yarista, Palanon, Tyrellion system))

A gentle summer-night breeze ruffled the curtains by the open veranda, bringing with it that scent of warm rain that follows a storm. 

Inside the room was dark and intimate. Rows of plush red velvet chairs facing a flat screen which took up one entire wall. In the front row, chairs had been supplanted by a single large comfy sofa in the same velvet. Corliss Fortune was already curled up amidst the cushions as Lox joined her, giant cartons of toasty popcorn fresh from the replicator balanced on a tray in one hand.

Loxley: Snacks? I’m not exactly a popcorn fan but some things are traditional.

Fortune: Now, popcorn is a new one to me. ::but the curling plumes of smoke had caught her interest, and the warmth of the box radiating towards her hands felt nice.:: What’s it like?

Loxley: It basically has the texture of cardboard. But if you cover it in salt and butter, it tastes like salty butter and cardboard. 

Fortune: Mm, sounds rather unappetizing, but people like it, yes? So it has to be delicious.

Lox flopped down on the oversized sofa and tucked one leg under him, leaning his shoulder against hers. He gestured to the flat screen with his popcorn box. Corliss took one as well, curling her body around it to inhale the warmth that was pulsing from it.

Loxley: So, what are we watching? Roman Holiday? Maltese Falcon? Something scary?

Fortune: I’ve heard great things about Roman Holiday, and something called Bringing Up Baby.

Loxley: I know the name of that one but not much else. My vintage Earth film knowledge comes from my mother. Is it just about child rearing? 

Fortune: Rather that the Baby in question is a large Terran Leopard. I’m not certain how one raises such a creature, however. Are they like Toto?

Loxley: As in the little dog from Wizard of Oz? Not so much, no. ::he smiled:: Dorothy would have had a much easier time of things in Toto had been a leopard.

Fortune: Could watch one after another, ‘s not like we don’t have time. ::she playfully nudged her leg against his, settling back with their shoulders touching once more.:: Could nearly watch the world away in how warm and cozy it is in here, hm?

Loxley: Now that sounds like an excellent plan to me, Lieutenant Fortune. And, yeah, I like this room. I might ask for a copy of the holoprogram.

Fortune: Sounds like a plan to me!

The already dim lights turned a little dimmer still and the screen lit up with an eerie glow in the gloom. A moment later and grainy black and white images of Rome, four hundred years ago, cast a flickering light around the room.

Lox frowned briefly at the actress onscreen - she looked familiar somehow. He shrugged, probably just one of those things.

Loxley: Recovered from your athletic endeavors yet?

Fortune: Slowly but steadily, I can still feel a little knot in my back, I swear.

Loxley: Well, if there’s anything I need to rub better, let me know. ::he waggled his pointed eyebrows suggestively in a way only Vulcans could. Or at least half-Vulcans. A full Vulcan probably wouldn’t waggle anything suggestively if it could be avoided.::

Fortune: ::she cracked up in a laugh, gently nudging him with a bright grin.:: I may very well take you up on that, so long as you let me give back just the same.

Loxley: Seems fair.

Fortune: I know a few interesting hand massages from an old roommate. She tended to use a stylus to write upon a PADD. I do applaud her efforts, but she’d had to get a brace from writing so much later on. ::she wiggled her own hands in a jazzy manner.:: She let me borrow the paper showing how to do the massages so we could learn, no achy wrists!

Loxley: Stylus? Wow, old school. I applaud her efforts. That said, some instructions would be useful. My medical education doesn’t really extend much past the basics of physiotherapy. Which basically means I can prescribe exercises for patients to ignore.

Fortune: There’s something to be said for the old school, and I’m sure I can find the old file to send to you, eh? ::the movie caught her attention and she gasped, squirming closer and crossing her legs up into the seat.:: Oooh look at that!

The black and white movie created stark shadows as Loxley turned to look at Corliss. Her face was half in shadow, half in light. The popcorn carton lay forgotten next to him as he slipped an arm around her shoulders and kissed her gently on the forehead. She blinked, giving him a confused smile.

Loxley: Thank you. For being you.

Fortune: Hm? You’re welcome? ::she chuckled, pecking a kiss to his nose in return.:: What’s all this about then?

Loxley: I mean… I don’t know what it is exactly, but when I’m around you I just feel so… comfortable? That’s the best word I can think of. I don’t know if it’s an empathic thing or what.

Fortune: Hmm, could be. Could be an us thing too?

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((Holosuite 2, Embassy Garden Hotel, Yarista, Palanon, Tyrellion system))

Loxley: :: a slight frown creased his forehead:: How so?

Fortune: Well..::she scooted closer, the popcorn tilting in her lap.:: You make me wanna relax a little. Take it slow, or well, slower than I normally would at least. ::she smiled.:: Maybe we bring out our...softer...sides?

Loxley: I wasn’t aware I had a… firm side.

She reached out and poked his cheek in thought, nodding after a moment.

Fortune: Mm, seems pretty soft to me. ::she grinned, winking and letting hand fall to her lap.:: Have you been working on it? Your empathy, I mean?


Loxley: Not in the slightest, no. ::he answered cheerfully:: Oh, but I did go and see a Vulcan about meditating, getting a slab of rock from my homeland and maybe spending ten days in a boiling desert fighting terrifying beats in order to help combat my nightmares about being eaten alive. So there’s that.


Fortune: ...do you require sunscreen? I can bring a tiny umbrella! We’d have to ask Tasha for her claymore should we see her however…::he did mean literal combat, right? Something to think on…::


Loxley: Okay, I exaggerated for effect but... oh wait, this is a good bit!


Fortune: Oh!


She sat up a bit, eager to watch. It was very interesting, one part making her laugh when the man convinced the other woman his hand was missing.


Loxley: Sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah, so Lieutenant Vorin is helping me find my Vulcan side a bit more. There’s a thing, a ritual, Vulcans go through in their adolescence. A right of passage, it involves surviving in a particularly wild part of the planet for ten days. 


Fortune: Interesting! ::she blinked, taking a bite of the oddly very cooled popcorn. Huh. That was fast.:: So it’s coming up for you then?


Loxley: I never did it, and I doubt I would even now, but he suggested I might be able to attempt ‘something’ if I wanted to. 


Fortune: Oohhh...perhaps a stand-in for it then? Perhaps we should find a boiling desert for you to traverse.

Loxley: Deserts, boiling or otherwise, are not kind to people with my complexion. ::he ran a hand through his scruffy ginger hair as emphasis:: And it always struck me as odd that a race as logical and sensible as Vulcans had this whole send-your-kids-off-to-maybe-die thing. Do Betazoids do that, too?

Fortune: We don’t quite have anything akin to that, a few traditions that happened either when one is quite young or quite old but nothing like that. ::She took another bite of popcorn, trying to quell the loud crunching so as to hear the movie.:: So what are you and Vorin deciding then? Are you going to try?

Loxley: ::shrugging:: I’m considering. It’s mostly a case of working out what I’ll get out of it for myself I guess.


He took a handful of popcorn, too, and stuffed it into his mouth. As dull and dry as the stuff was, there was something strangely moreish about it. As he crunched, he considered what Corliss had said about traditions.


Loxley: Well, at least our children won’t have to go through weird deadly exper…. ::his mind caught up with what he was saying and he choked on his popcorn:: …*cough* I mean… not that I was assuming we would…


Fortune: I mean they do a festival for great health for newborns. ::she took a sip of her drink curiously, the noise of the drink pausing for a moment as the sentence caught up to her.:: ….wait, what?


Loxley: Well. ::he coughed again, trying to clear the dry snack:: As it happens, I had been thinking…


Fortune: ::she blinked.:: About...what?


Loxley: About asking if you wanted to share quarters? Or is that too weird?


Fortune: Oh! ::she nearly dropped the popcorn despite it settling in her lap, laughing nervously.:: No! No, I mean! So long as the children don’t come before. ::she giggled, a grin breaking out on her face.::

Loxley: I’d hope not, unless something goes really wrong with biology. Or time. Although with the Gorkon, neither is impossible, but I’ll take that chance.

Fortune: I daresay my mother would be disappointed if she wasn’t allowed to throw a huge bash. ::she let out a sigh, adjusting the popcorn on her lap.:: Hm, I’m not so sure…::her eyes flicked over to him with a sly grin.:: Whatever will we do with my assortment of wigs?

Loxley: Well, I mean it was only a suggestion. If you don’t want… ::his face flushed a little green as he blushed::

She playfully tossed a piece of popcorn at him, before stealing a kiss to his cheek.


Fortune: I’d love to share quarters with you. I just have to tease a little!

Loxley: Ah. Well that’s okay then. Teasing is practically obligatory. ::he threw some popcorn back at her:: And as for your wigs, can’t you just wear them all at the same time?


Fortune: A mega wig...I daresay you’ve opened my eyes. ::she flicked another popcorn kernel at him.:: Or you can wear half and I can wear half and we can be stylish together!


Lox launched another cereal-based missile and took advantage of Corliss’s distraction to dive under her guard and hug her around the waist. She squealed, playfully swatting at his shoulders and snorting with laughter before wrapping her arms around his shoulders.


Loxley: I win!


Fortune: You did, then? What was the prize you fought hard for? I daresay our movie is ending…

Loxley: I thought this was the prize? Is there more?


Fortune: Perhaps a kiss and then one more movie, to waste the rest of our day away in this warm and cozy place?

Loxley: You have a deal. For tomorrow we return to the Gorkon. But tonight is for us…


And, with his arms around her, Loxley pulled Corliss close to claim his kiss. The film, largely forgotten now, strobed them in light and dark as it continued to play.

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