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[Round 2] "It's the Sunday mornin..."


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Ens Sariel Locke

Chief of Science

USS Constitution-B


Lt. Cmdr. Tash Zubowskivich

Chief of Security

USS Constitution-B

((Corridors - Crew Quarters))

:: Tash had just had his sudden encounter with Ensign Little, the new

tactical officer. Unfortunately, he felt no better off, even after

attempting to regain his civility. Too many things going on all at

once, too many people bleeding him dry... and an Ensign told him to

“calm down.” What was that? Well... he knew what it was... it was a

Vulcanish response to a somewhat crazed Terran tromping down the

corridors like a Bakovik Bison. Those beasts had no sense to stop

when they should. ::

:: Still, meeting the “Happy Vulcan” had distracted him nicely. ::

:: But as he reinitiated his corridor stalking, his mind returned to

what had happened just a while earlier. ::

:: What Della had done... he knew she likely had zero control over her

emotional state, and it explained her empathy going nuts... but he

still felt that grating, cold grip. Yet another crazy telepath...

check that, empath... who had come to him and nearly controlled him.

Twice! Was he so easy to influence? Wasn't he trained to resist such

things? ::

:: But then, to his credit, he *had* resisted. Just not right away. ::

:: And so he stalked on, going from anger, to frustration, to worry,

and right back into anger again in a vicious little internal cycle

that rounded about that remaining desire pumping through his blood...

when a familiar voice popped up on his comm. badge, a bit slurred. ::

Locke: =/\= Sariel to Tash =/\=

Tash: =/\= Yeah? =/\=

:: Well, that was eloquent. "Yeah?" Sheesh... ::

Locke: =/\= Commander, I believe I owe you a drink... care to join me

in ten forward? =/\=

Tash: =/\= Absolutely. =/\=

:: His reply had been without hesitation. The prospect of a drink was

more than inviting. He needed to calm his nerves... among other

things. He could still feel that heat clawing at him... it was his own

desire now, brought to life by Della's... but it wasn't *his* desire

that was in question. ::

:: Infuriated again, he tried to breathe evenly as he made a bee-line

for the turbolift and Ten Forward. ::

:: It didn't take long to get there, and when he did he immediately

took speed to a seat next to the familiar figure at the bar. Without

hesitation he slipped into the seat next over. ::

Tash: I'll have three of what he's having.

Sariel: ::Sariel grinned at Tash.:: Joining the drinking mens club

then Tash?

Tash: Eh... ::he literally waved a hand in front of him::... a really

frustrating encounter, is all.

:: He downed one of the three glasses of brandy laid out before him,

then finally looked over at Sariel, realizing the man was well on his

way to being drunk, and he looked no happier than Tash was at the

moment. ::

Tash: What's up with you?

Sariel: ::One word said it all, Sariel was more than aware of Tash's

history with Cura at this point.:: Cura.

Tash: Hmm...

:: So they had both had their secretive encounters for which they were

frustrated and annoyed. In short supply he took the second glass.

Apparently it was a "kill yourself on spirits" night for them both. ::

Sariel: ::Sariel poured himself another shot of brandy and downed it

in one, filling the glass again he sipped about half of it's contents

and then proceeded to play with the liquid in the glass.:: Nice of you

to join me.

Tash: You know what they say about misery...

Sariel: ::Sariel chuckled:: It does love it's company. So what's your


:: He picked up his third brandy, dedicating himself to *not* shooting

it like a shot. At least for a minute. ::

Tash: Women. Emotional wrecks, all of'em....

Sariel: ::Sariel laughed:: Indeed, too many hormones.

Tash: Why can't they be more like men? Stable! Sane! Everything has to

be complicated!

:: He wasn't raising his voice, but he was getting a bit more intense

in his protestations. He also knew he was probably falling into the

eternal "battle of the sexes" problem, which was one with no answer.

Still, he could take Sariels lead and drink until he made up his own! ::

Sariel: Well if they were life wouldn't be nearly as exciting would

it? ::Sariel sipped his drink.:: Course I never imagined I would be

this hard up over a woman. Cura wants us to go under cover...

Tash: ::snorting unceremoniously into his third drink:: She was

insulted when *I* tried to keep *our* relations secret... things

change, apparently... how does that fly with you? You're okay with that?

:: Bitter, much? ::

Sariel: No, not okay with that. ::Sariel finished what was left in his

glass and began slowly turning the glass in his hand.:: I don't need

to be in everyone's face, but I'm not about to run around behind

closed doors. Spent too much time doing that with others.

Tash: ::an eyebrow raising, and a wry smile gracing his expression::

You've had that many secret trysts?

Sariel: Eh, just some encounters at the Academy. Not everyone I've had

an interest in has been interested in being seen with me. ::Sariel

looked at Tash.:: Know what I mean?

Tash: I understand... not that I'm admitting anything.

:: A chuckle escaped, and he realized his ranting hadn't really made

him feel better, and it changed into a sigh of defeat. To defeat his

defeatedness, he downed his third glass of brandy. He glanced around

them, looking at the somewhat busy room. ::

:: Quite suddenly he felt this vague sense of remorse... he thought he

heard someone behind him. ::

Shadowlike Voice: <<I'm sorry>>

Tash: ::turning to look behind him:: What?

Sariel: Uhh, nothing. ::Sariel looked and raised an eyebrow.:: You

okay Tash?

:: Realizing he was talking to someone that wasn't there, Tash tried

to shake it off and turned back to stare into his drink for a quiet



Tash: Do you mind if we take this elsewhere? Somewhere to drink in


Sariel: ::Sariel looked over his shoulder at the people in the bar

around them:: There a problem?

Tash: Just tired of being gawked at.

Sariel: All right, well my place is a bit of a disaster. Your place?

:: The thought of taking it to his quarters sent a sudden shiver down

his spine. He'd left Della trapped there, unsure what to do otherwise.

He supposed a quiet night of reflection... alone... couldn't hurt her.

He'd make sure to let her out in the morning... and hopefully she

wouldn't charge him not only with assault, but kidnapping as well. ::

Tash: My quarters... aren't good, actually.

Sariel: Oh well... ::Sariel thought about the state of his quarters,

at this point he hadn't even made the bed let alone decorated.::

Tash: Nevermind... forget I mentioned it...

Sariel: No, it's okay! ::Sariel grinned.:: My place, just don't mind

the mess.

:: Locke's quarters? That couldn't hurt. It would be the same as going

to his... private. Quiet, above all else. Even the quiet conversations

elsewhere in 10-Forward were getting on his last nerves. ::

Tash: ::to the bartender:: Give us the bottle. My tab.

:: Up, and perhaps a bit wobbly... Sariel more so than Tash, due to

his pre-drunkeness... they left 10-Forward for a little peace and

quiet within which they could drink and rave to their hearts content. ::

((Sariel Quarters))

::Sariel walked into his quarters, getting the feel for walking drunk

again he and Tash had made it to Sariel's Quarters none the worse for

wear. The doors opened to the quarters and both men could see that the

problem was not so much that the room was a mess as it was that Sariel

had no possessions to speak of. In the center of the room sat a duffle

bag with all that Sariel had to his name the rest of the room was as

sterile as a jail cell. The only colour was from the Starfleet

standard upholstery on the chairs and couches.::

Sariel: Yeah... Can you tell I really only sleep in my quarters?

Tash: I admit, I expected you to have... toys. Electronics scattered

about. Inventions laying everywhere. Guess I was wrong.

:: Not that it was a bad assumption, just a wrong one. ::

Sariel: Spent my childhood wandering through jungles and across

prairie land. You learn not to carry more than you need. ::Sariel met

Tash's eyes for a long moment they simply looked at each other then

suddenly one or both broke contact.:: Another drink?

Tash: Bring it. ::to the drink, then referring back to the

quarters:: It’s fine. Spartan, but just fine. I’ve seen my share of

living out of a pack. ::rekeying:: We’ll need tumblers.

Sariel: Those can be replicated. Computer, two brandy glasses. ::There

was a hum and the glasses appeared in the replicator slot.::

::Sariel took the bottle Tash was holding, for a moment their hands

touched. Sariel shook it off and poured two glasses of the brandy, one

hand holding the glasses the other delicately pouring the drink.::

Sariel: So...

Tash: ::lifting his glass in a mock toast:: Here’s to our resident

Double-X, homogametic crewmembers! May they drive us insane quickly

so we won’t suffer!

:: The glasses clinked, and they drank, quickly requiring refills. ::

:: However, even as they drank and shot the you-know-what, Tash

realized he may have been in a better mood now, but he was still just

as worked up. At least one for two, and he was in good company. But

the remaining effects of Della’s empathic smackdown were still there,

running behind his bravado. Though he was nowhere near a lightweight,

he was quickly and happily less than sober, working the bottle of

brandy down quite the ways. ::

((About 2 hours later))

:: It wasn’t something he could identify drunk, but Della’s empathic

influence had left his system out of whack, and he was still feeling

the aftereffects. ::

Tash: ::a bit slurry, and suddenly remembering:: Ahh! I have this

FINE bottle of Gentleman Jack. Almost 200 years old! You said it was

your favorite, right? I’ll share it with you, no worries.

:: He was sprawled on the standard issue Starfleet couch next to

Sariel, a forgotten game of Othello left on the floor in front of

them, the chips scattered about the floor. The place was now quiet

and peaceful, as Tash had hoped... except for their own drunken

ravings, of course. Through the course of the past couple hours,

Tash’s Indiana twang had melted back into his speech, and he’d been

able to hear a bit more of that New Australian accent as well. ::

:: Somewhere along the line they had each slipped over, leaning

against each others shoulders. Who knew when that had happened.

Neither moved away.

Tash: You know what we need? KLINGON women! Now *they* are straight

forward, I’ll tell you that. None of this secretive, [...]-footing

around. No games. Just...

:: He was about to move into something that couldn’t be said in polite

society, when his arm bumped Sariels as he lifted his drink. He

lowered it again and looked over at the man a bit regretfully. ::

Tash: Sorry about that... should probably settle down before I break

your few possessions...

Sariel: ::Sariel ran a finger along the side of his glass, picking up

the few droplets of liquor that had been spilled.:: Just don't waste

the booze. ::Sariel looked up at Tash, he met his eyes.:: oO Oh, to

hell with it Oo

:: Before Tash knew it, Sariel had leaned in and... ::

:: Holy ghagh, the man was kissing him. ::

:: It was tentative. It lasted no longer than 5 seconds. His near

empty glass slipped from his fingers and onto the floor. ::

:: Tash’s green eyes couldn’t close. He could only watch, in a state

of drunken shock, as this happened. Though he didn’t exactly

reciprocate... he didn’t pull away either. That crazed, passionate

effect Della had had on him earlier flared to life... the alcohol

dimmed his defenses... it came together in the one unlikely way that

might have made him not strangle any other man for doing such a

thing. ::

:: But... far from wanting to strangle anyone, and momentarily lost in

the very strange situation he’d found himself in... not to mention

those searching blue eyes, and failing to find anything deceitful in

them... he felt no fear. ::

:: Or... he was just too drunk to feel it. ::

:: Perhaps his shocked expression waned, because Sariel moved in for

another kiss, this one more pushy than the last. This time, the

expression was returned. ::

Sariel: ::Sariel pushed Tash back into the couch pressing him against

the cushions their lips met again. Sariel breathed hard his lips

slightly back from Tash's he could smell Tash.:: If this isn't what

you want, say so... now. ::Sariel could barely restrain himself but in

the back of his mind he felt not giving Tash a way out would be taking


:: Was that a “blue pill, red pill” question? Of course, everyone

chooses the Rabbit Hole in the end. ::

Tash: ::a bit out of breath, with his heart pounding away... he said

the first thing that came to mind, despite his mounting uncertainty::

You want a third date first?

Sariel: oO Close enough Oo ::Sariel began stripping of Tash's shirt

suddenly his own clothing felt constricting. With Tash's shirt off

Sariel could see the man's beautiful torso, a jagged scar crossed the

intricate pattern tattooed across his chest.:: I was there when you

got this...

:: The thought of it sent an urgent shock through the drunk redhead.

It wasn’t a clear thought, but the idea he could be just as easily

dead again tomorrow... the simple question was... why not? Why not

take your comfort where you can, when you can? ::

:: That mounting uncertainty that had him shaking? Gone. ::

Tash: Ruined my tattoo.

Sariel: ::Sariel ran his hand along the scar.:: It makes for an

interesting contrast. ::Sariel leaned down and kissed Tash's neck.::

We should move to the bed.

Tash: ::a bit stupidly, as if the conversation was difficult to

follow:: ... the bed?

Sariel: Trust me, the bed will be better. ::Sariel got off Tash and

grabbed his hand, guiding him to the sterile bed. Sariel pushed him

onto the bed, smiling.:: Just relax... ::Sariel stripped his shirt

off.:: I've done this before.

:: Not much else was said. Nothing else needed saying. ::

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