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[Last Round 2008] On the Promenade


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((USS TIGER, Lt Bron Storos's Quarters))

::Heat. Heat enveloped him, washed over him. Soaked into his body.

Sweat ran down his body. He had slept but little, had eaten nothing.

But that was his way, and the way of his crèche. And he was close.

Very close. You could never force the answers, but he knew the

answers were there. Almost within his reach.::

Riley: =/\=Riley to Lieutenant Bron Storos=/\=

::From deep within himself Bron heard the chirrup of his comm badge

only at a great distance. He almost moaned in disappointment, when he

realized who it was.::

::The Deltan's eyes snapped open and he tapped the badge on his shirt

where it lay on the chair.::

Storos: =/\=Storos here, Captain. Go ahead.=/\=

::He frowned a little at the formal way Sidney addressed him and

answered equally formally. Then again, he had not really given her

reason to act otherwise towards him recently.::

Riley: =/\=Long time no see, Lieutenant. I'm about to head over to

the station to pick up some things from the stores on the Promenade.

I would like to ::Sidney paused.:: request your presence.=/\ =

::Bron blinked. Was he being asked out...on a date? He was not at all

sure.::

Storos: =/\=I am not really... Of course, Captain. I would love to

accompany you. Just give me a moment to get ready.=/\=

Riley: =/\=Great, I'll meet you at the Tiger docking hatch in three

minutes. Riley out.=/\=

Storos: =/\= Storos out. =/\=

::Bron shot up. Three minutes? No time for a sonic shower. He toweled

himself off as best as he could, slipped into loose pants, a

sleeveless tunic and a pair of sandals and hurried off to the

Station.::

((Timewarp: Docking Ring, Deep Space 17))

::Sidney casually walked around the corner and into the docking ring

that led to the station. She smiled slightly to herself. Bron

hadn't said no, but she felt a little twinge of guilt. Had she

really given him an option? The Terran/Deltan shrugged

unconsciously. She hadn't seen Bron in a long time outside of a

duty situation. Maybe it wouldn't even matter anymore. But that was

a big Maybe...::

::Nearing the end of the docking ring Sidney could smell Bron before

she saw him. The musky scent that always accompanied the Deltan

wherever he went. For some reason the scent, the pheromones seemed

more potent than normal. Sidney paused momentarily feeling slightly

dizzy. It took a moment for her senses to stabilize and she smiled

as she continued down the docking ring her bright green eyes flashing

at the Deltan man.::

Riley: I see you made it....

::Bron could not help but smile as he caught sight of Sidney. She

always looked so different when she was off-duty. Much

more...vulnerable, though he would never tell her that. Made him want

to protect her.::

::Some days he could convince himself that it was simply because he

was a Security officer and she was a Starfleet Captain, official rank

or no. Some days he could let himself think that. Not today.::

Storos: Yes, I made it...

::Stupid. But then, Bron did not think himself that good at snappy

dialogue.::

Riley: It wasn't an order you know... ::Sidney paused.:: oO Hadn't

it been? Oo

::Bron quirked his head slightly. He hadn't really taken it as an

order. Had he?::

Storos: I know...

Riley: I've ordered some things for the party tonight. I wanted to

see you sometime this leave...the opportunity presented

itself... ::Sidney shrugged. Bron was always so difficult.::

Storos: I am...very glad you took advantage of the opportunity.

::Sidney tilted her head and smiled brightly at the Deltan. However,

her mind remained skeptical.::

Riley: That's nice to hear...

Storos: I tend to be very good at...making myself unavailable.

Riley: ::Laughs:: You said it...Why don't we continue out to the

Promenade?

::There was an awkward silence as Sidney paused not knowing what to

say. She started walking through the station's corridor.::

Storos: So, what party are you getting things for?

::Sidney stopped walking and turned to face Bron, surprise covering

her features.::

Riley: Where have you been, a cave?

::Bron blinked at Sidney's reaction. He blushed a little

embarrassedly. ::

Storos: Not a cave, exactly. I sometimes use my quarters to

replicate the meditation caverns on Delta IV. As closely as possible,

at any rate... ::trailing off:: oO You are rambling, Bron. Stop it! Oo

Riley: The promotion and awards party is tonight. I received a

message from Counselor

Eete about 10 hours ago now...

::Bron blushed harder.::

Storos: I have...not checked my messages in quite some

time. ::nervous laugh:: I think I may have dozed off when I should

have been meditating. Tell me about the party?

::Sidney resumed their trek towards the First Promenade. Bron

hesitated a moment, and then offered his arm.::

Riley: It's going to be interesting. ..I tell you it's the last time

I let Eilis plan anything...: :Laughs:: We're supposed to go in

nineteenth century formal dress and we're supposed to bring a small

gift to exchange anonymously with someone else in the crew. It's

supposed to be for good luck or something... .

::Bron supplied the word without thinking.::

Storos: Fallant...

::Bron continued at Sidney's look.::

Storos: It is a Deltan tradition. One brings a small item of personal

significance to a celebration by the crèche.

Riley: Really? I didn't know that was a Deltan tradition... .

Storos: ::nodding:: It is. It is considered a way of sharing one's

own happiness with those one cares about the most.

Riley: I didn't know there was such a widespread tradition. That's

really interesting. ..

Storos: Not every region celebrates Fallant, but it is fairly

widespread.

Riley: Ah, does your region celebrate Fallant?

::Bron offered a smile.::

Storos: Yes. Most definitely we celebrate Fallant. ::beat:: I wonder

where Ensign Eete came across the idea.

Riley: ::Pauses and tugs on Bron's arm.:: Who knows...:: Laughs::

With Eilis I've often learned not to ask....

Storos: Do you mind my asking if you have decided what you will be

giving?

::Sidney smiled brightly.::

Riley: Isn't it supposed to be a secret?

::Bron laughs and pulls Sidney a little closer to himself.::

Storos: Technically, yes. Though it is not uncommon for people who

are very close to each other to share what they brought in the hopes

that they will get each other's gifts.

Riley: I suppose it won't hurt to tell you, although showing you

could be more fun.

::Bron quirked his head again.::

Storos: Showing me?

::Sidney tugged on Bron's arm again as they crossed the Promenade.

She shifted their direction towards The Old Curiosity shop.::

Riley: It should be over here...I put it on order...I imagine they

should have it by now.

::The two entered the shop and Sidney let go of Bron's arm. She

approached the shop keeper and asked about the order. He went to the

back and returned promptly with a small yellow box. Sidney opened

the box to show Bron. Inside was a medium sized

phosphorescent stone. It was running through the color spectrum as

it glowed.::

Riley: I was told it's supposed to bring luck for the New Year.

::Bron's eyes went wide as he looked at the New Year's stone. It

was...beautiful. He felt his eyes tear up. He closed them.::

Storos: It is...

Riley: I was looking up Deltan traditions earlier...thought it might

be fun to learn some more about my ancestry...

Storos: ::nodding:: I think that that is a very good thing. ::beat::

Would you mind putting it away. Just for a moment...

::Sidney looked up at Bron for a moment, her eyes questioning. ::

Riley: Sure... ::She closed the box and gave it back to the shop

keeper. She asked if it could be gift wrapped and the man headed

towards the back. Sidney turned to Bron.::

::Bron took a few slow breaths. He opened his eyes again.::

Storos: It is beautiful. I have not seen...

Riley: You've seen one before?

Storos: The last time I saw such a beautiful gem...was in the

possession of the Grand Dame of my crèche. My grandmother, I think

you would say.

::Sidney's looked deeply into Bron's eyes. She'd never really heard

him talk about his family before, especially not with such emotion.

Her facial features softened and she reached out to hold the Deltan's

hand.::

Riley: I didn't know...

Storos: This could be almost an exact match for hers.

Riley: It is quite beautiful.

::The shop keeper returned and Sidney finalized the purchase for the

gem. When she had she turned to Bron as they walked out of the

shop.::

Riley: I almost don't want to give it away now that I've seen it...

Storos: ::soft laugh:: If I happen to get it, I would happily give it

back to you.

::Bron blinked. Did he just say that? There was another purpose for

the gems, in addition to luck at the New Year. He flushed from head

to toe.::

Riley: I didn't know the stones were so special.

Storos: They are very special, yes...

Riley: I have one more place to go...but you have to come with me

there too. ::She winked at Bron.:: I want to get your opinion on

something...

Storos: I would be happy to offer my opinion, for what it is worth.

Riley: It will probably take a little longer than the last store...I

hope you won't mind.

Storos: ::smiling:: I will consider it making up for lost time, if

you do not mind.

::Sidney turned and headed towards the tailor's shop near far left

side of the First Promenade.::

Riley: I ordered something to wear for the party tonight. I have no

idea what it's going to look like. I chose it from a picture...

Storos: I am...not sure what makes me an expert in clothing, but I

will be happy to give my advice.

Riley: Not sure I'd want a clothing expert to look at

it... ::Laughs::

Storos: What sort of garment have you selected?

::The duet had entered the shop and Sidney had already asked for her

order. When the shop keeper returned. Sidney took the garment on

the hanger.::

Riley: This one...

::Sidney swung the fabric around. It was much lighter than she

thought the fabric would be. It was almost like picking up nothing

at all. She blushed, that was exactly why she'd ordered the white

slip.::

::Bron's mouth opened wide.::

Storos: It is...quite striking...

::Sidney held the dress up and watched the metallic flecks sparkle in

the light. It was indeed striking.::

Riley: Wow, I never imagined...

::Bron had to be grinning from ear to ear.::

Storos: A bit old-fashioned. But it is a garment from my region of

Delta IV.

Riley: It's so light...

Storos: Yes. The caverns in that part of the planet are quite warm.

As are the summers on the surface. Wherever did you find it?

Riley: I told you I was looking up Deltan things... ::Smiles and

raises an eyebrow.:: Did you not believe me?

Storos: Of course I believed you, but... ::beat:: Not everyone takes

their family history so seriously.

::Sidney gathered her purchases and turned to Bron.::

Riley: You are going to be my date for the party tonight?

::Bron's heart ached. He wanted to, but after how he had treated

her?::

Storos: I...

::He simply trailed off.::

Riley: Were you planning on going with someone else?

Storos: No, it is not that. Not that at all.

Riley: Well then, what's the problem?

Storos: I...I do not think that I would be a worthy date.

Riley: ::Sidney gave Bron a questioning look and raised both

eyebrows.:: Why?

::Bron looked at the floor.::

Storos: I have not been very good to you recently.

Riley: Well, now's your chance to make it up to me. ::Sidney's green

eyes flashed, she wasn't going to let Bron get away with saying no.::

::Bron gave a slight smile. Looked up into Sidney's green eyes.::

Storos: I am sorry...that I let my Grand Dame's passing affect me so.

Riley: I don't think that's something you have to be sorry for Bron.

I mean, I can tell she was very important to you.

Storos: She was very important to me. She still is important to me.

But you are important to me to.

::Sidney blinked and almost dropped the things she had in her arms.::

Riley: You, you really mean that?

Storos: I needed time to figure out how to let you know *how*

important you are to me.

::Sidney simply stood there looking at the Deltan man standing beside

her. Had he really said what she thought he'd said?::

Storos: I believe that I have finally figured it out.

::Sidney blushed a dark shade of pink. Suddenly she wished she

wasn't carrying the dress and accessories she had slung over her arm.

Bron hesitated for a moment, looked at the floor.::

Riley: oO This isn't really happening. Oo I don't know what to

say....I...

::Sidney paused as they entered the docking ring headed back towards

the Tiger.::

Storos: You do not have to say anything. If you do not want.

Riley: I have to get ready for tonight...

::Sidney felt like she wanted to run down the corridor towards her

quarters. Instead she turned and stood on her toes giving Bron a kiss

on his cheek. She hurriedly spoke as she inched her way onto the

Tiger.::

Riley: I'll see you tonight Bron Storos. 18:45 hours at my

quarters.... And you better be there on time Mister...

::Bron nodded.::

Storos: I will. Oh, and Sidney...

::Sidney turned to look back at Bron.::

Riley: Yes?

::Bron leaned forward, took hold of Sidney in his arms, kissed her

deeply. Passionately. The dress she had been holding floated to the

floor along with everything else. She melted in his arms and for a

moment forgot everything. When she finally pulled away she looked up

into his eyes, her green eyes flashing brightly.::

Riley: I really do have to get ready for tonight Bron...

Storos: I suppose that I have to get ready as well. And choose my

present. Until soon...Guardian of my Heart...

TBC

Commander Sidney Riley

Commanding Officer

USS TIGER

&

Lt Bron Storos

Security

USS TIGER

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