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Fleet Captain Oddas Aria: In the Open

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Okay, anyone who has written with me for any length of time probably knows I am a sucker for a good romance. I really loved this intimate moment between Flt Capt. Oddas and her partner.

((CO's Quarters, Anchorage, 40th Floor))

Stelek: Drink this.

Aria was still groggy, just becoming aware of the fact she was no longer in the main room, but one of the smaller rooms off to the side of the main open area.  She was propped up against the wall, legs drawn up close to her, still waking up.  She didn't remember moving - how she had gotten here.  Confused, she looked down at the proffered canteen, took a deep sniff, the smell of natural sugars wafting up. 

The Bajoran took a tentative sip, and then a deeper one - moba juice - the sweet juice pouring deep in and cooling her body and reminding her that she was exhausted, her mouth dry and probably smelling bad. Finishing half of the juice, she sighed and leaned back against the wall.  

oO You don't have a replicator yet. Oo

Oddas: ::hoarsely:: How? ::stammering:: How long?

Stelek: Only Ninety-Seven Minutes, your vitals indicated you were just sleeping, so I let you.

Oddas: ::lifting the stainless steel canteen:: And this?

Stelek: A small group of crewmen delivered some of your possessions, so I moved you here for privacy and convinced them you were indisposed.

Oddas: And the drink?

Stelek: I simply told one of the yeomen I needed some food and other supplies for later, I gave him a list of items I required.

She smiled, and could feel herself blush slightly, drinking more juice, gingerly.  Stelek settled in next to her on the left.  

Oddas: I guess you're a keeper.

Stelek: Logically.

The two let silence hang, Aria resting her head on the wall behind her, feeling her breathing breath go in and out, her chest beating - aching as if it had been hurting in the past, but no longer the acute pain it had been.  There was no doubt she was feeling better.

Stelek: How often does that happen?

There it was, the personal question just tossed out there like a dead fish in the middle of the room.  Aria's face bunched up, and she took a deep breath, clenched her eyes shut.

Oddas: My heart? It's happened once before since the operation, not this bad.  I didn't think it would ever be this debilitating, the Doctor never said it would cause me to lose any sort of consciousness, and I don't think it should be a cause of real concern.

She felt rather than see the other woman next to her stiffen up, as if she wanted to approach a difficult subject.  Aria steeled herself, even though she wasn't sure that was exactly right - did Vulcans approach things the same way? Was she interpreting the micro-body language the right way?

Stelek: Aria. ::beat:: That wasn't just your heart, that was something else, real fear in your body, it doesn't take a counselor to see there was more to your reaction than your heart condition.

Aria took another deep breath and rubbed her head with her prosthetic hand.  It took another breath, and another, and then another before she was in a position to decide what to say.

Oddas: Truthfully? Since the accident with Alea.

She had told Stelek about the accident with Alea before, about the hike just before she had joined the academy; about the rock slide; losing her grip; the dark; being alone for hours; being rescued and being told she would not be with the woman she loved ever again.  She had not told Stelek, or many people for that matter, that she had shortly stopped being comfortable outside, stopped being comfortable in the confines of a building, a vehicle, an EV suit.  When Aria did have to go outside, she preferred to be in small crowded areas, markets, corridors, surrounded by tall buildings, anything to help her irrational feel let her believe she was inside.

Stelek: ::tiny shake of the head:: When you are outside? Up high....?

Oddas: Outside, I cannot explain it, just something about being outside makes me feel, nervous, paranoid, upset.

Stelek: You've been home since? Mingled with the crowd?

She shrugged and opened her hands in exasperation, there was no rational way she could explain it, and she knew she wanted to for the rational Vulcan's sake.

Oddas: For some reason, the big anonymous crowd makes it better.  I wish I could explain it, it really plays havoc with my introversion.

She smiled softly, sadly, but trying to inject some humor into the situation.  There was a pause, Aria drank her juice and assumed Stelek was contemplated how to extricate herself from a relationship with a mentally deficient superior officer. 

Oddas: I won't hold it against you if you want to go.

Stelek look at her with something she hadn't seen before. 

oO Exasperation? Oo

Stelek: I'm not going anywhere, Aria, not unless you want me to.

Aria bit her lip and looked over her left shoulder to the Vulcan's face, biting her lip, she could feel a question, and more welling up inside her.  

oO Why? Oo

It was an unasked question, and Aria was unsure if she wanted to know the answer.  They had been together for some time, but she had been afraid of too much, and this seemed a lot for someone else to take on.

Stelek: I love you, it would not be logical for me to abandon me now.

The Captain felt hot tears pool in her eyes, and leaned against the taller woman's shoulder.

Oddas: You love me?

Stelek: Of course.

Aria reached up, before she lost her nerve, and kissed the taller woman, letting herself feel safe, comfortable, and loved in the moment.

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