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[Round 3] The Turbolift to Nowhere


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(( Turbolift, Deck Four ))

:: Dade boarded the lift, crossing his arms across his chest and leaning dejected against the back railings... He was looking up into the vivid lights; his eyes closed thinking about the "Icarus" thing that kept coming up. What the hell did it mean? Was someone trying to tell him something? Was the Counsellor in on it? He didn't have a clue but he didn't like it.::

:: mini flashback ::

Coltraine: Okay, here goes. What's the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?

:: T'Lea.::

Adarnis: If I could find the right way to the toilet half blinded.

:: end of mini flashback ::

:: He let his head lift slightly off the wall and then back down with a dull thud. She wouldn't go away. He went to sleep and she was there. He did drills and she was there, watching. He ran for miles, sweating until it poured from his fingertips and she was there, running beside him. He was walking around half dazed and she was there, every corner, every step and turn she was there..::

:: The turbolift doors opened and she was there.::

:: The Romu-vulc was really quite literally there, all jingly with carabiners, ropes, and a harness. Climbing gear. She hesitated at the entrance, noticing who was inside. Dade. Her first thought was, don't do it. Don't get on that lift. Her second thought was, get on the lift and he'll get off. He didn't have the balls to ride with her.::

:: Ego fully inflated T'Lea entered smartly, securely and confidently, expecting him to immediately jump ship.::

T'Lea: Aren't you getting off?

:: He [...]ed an eyebrow in response. That was a response that never grew old. It established that he wasn't rising to her bait and no, he wasn't going to leave the turbolift. He was in it first; if she wanted to leave, she could [...] well do so. His heart strings gave an involuntary jerk as she turned around, showing him the back of her head, her back and other assets he'd admired over the past few years. So, she was going climbing.::

T'Lea: Deck 10.

:: The lift whirled into action. T'Lea stayed her ground. The right side of the lift with all the controls was her side; she'd made up her mind. There was an invisible barrier in the middle of the compartment and he couldn't cross it. Childish, but it was working.::

:: The last time she rode a lift with Dade she had been a Lt. Cmdr. and he had been below her. Now, it was the other way around. But that wasn't what made things so very, very awkward...::

:: Her eyes wandered in front of her, careful not to look his way. The lights to each deck were brightly flashing by. She reached over and scratched her arm, feeling the chill of the cool recycled air over her skin. The clothing she wore was climbing oriented. She no longer had a job, apparently, and didn't feel like a visit to sickbay right now. The best thing for her to do was to work off her aggression before she killed somebody. Strenuous exercise and mental focus on the cliffs of Helios Alto would burn off the excess negative energy she was carrying around. Maybe after a exhausting climb she'd be able to lay still long enough in sickbay for the bioscans to do their thing.::

:: The turbolift was moving slow, she frowned, noticing the deck lights weren't passing nearly as fast. Reaching out she hit the deck-ten button just to make sure the computer processed her request. The instant she made contact the entire lift jolted and abruptly slammed to a stop, throwing T'Lea and all her gear over the invisible line she'd drawn in her head, the one that separated her side from Dade's.::

:: In that instant, Dade nearly side stepped her fall but instead pushed forward, back onto her feet. Contact made. Line crossed.. He moved on his feet, separating them again to the width of his shoulders and clasped his hands behind his back. Rigid. Military. Regulation and regime. Normalcy. He couldn't let her get to him but he was well aware that again, by touching her, even to help, he'd crossed that border that she didn't want crossing.::

Adarnis: My apologies, Lieutenant.

:: She gave him a squinty eyed response, and a crinkled sneer. Two could play this game, she thought as she shouldered her gear. The look she'd given Dade was redirected at the control panel of the lift. All she did was touch a button and the [...] thing jumped its tracks. What the frak?::

:: A slight [...] of the head indicated that she'd heard Dade's com. badge make contact. Speaking of contact, [...] lucky it wasn't skin-to-skin when he broke her fall, or something else might have broken.::

:: The Marine pressed his comm. Badge and moved forward, effectively moving her out of the way without the uncomfortable method of physical contact. He pressed the button again, Deck 10, but it wasn't moving. He looked up into the ceiling.::

Adarnis: =/\= Adarnis to Main Engineering. Turbolift 3 is malfunctioning; there's two of us stuck in the brainless thing.. =/\=

MacDermott: =/\= Aye, Sair. ::there was a short pause:: I'm sorry, Sair, we're having a problem at this end. Hold tight. =/\=

:: The Romu-vulc sharply looked at Dade's chest as if she was going to grab him and flog the voice on the other end of the comm. badge, but again… touching bad. She wagged her head and pretended like she didn't notice the improved definition of his pecs under that shirt.::

T'Lea: ::mumbling:: Frellin' morons…

:: She sighed and moved back over to the controls, taking off the panel to do some poking around while Dade decided to stargaze up at the plane white ceiling. Her last comment included Dade in the bunch.::

:: Again, another pause. Dade was doing his best to ignore her presence in there as best he could but it was difficult. Very difficult. It was infuriating, considering the last time they'd been in a lift together it was virtually unbearable to not jump one another. Small spaces, two hybrids didn't really merge. There was a crackle as the communication was re-established.::

MacDermott: =/\= Main Engineering to Turbolift 3. We're attempting to a send a repair team to your position but they may be some time. You have stopped in an awkward place. The overrides have shorted out. Can you hold on in there? =/\=

:: Dammit!:: Adarnis: =/\= How long for? =/\=

MacDermott: =/\= I'm sorry, Sair, but it could take up to two hours. We have a limited staff do to shore leave requirements. Again, hold tight. We will be with you shortly. =/\=

:: Dammit! T'Lea pushed on a few connectors inside the control panel, hard. Overrides were shorted out, he'd said. She didn't know what she was looking at inside the control box, but it was keeping her mind off Dade and his... everything.::

:: The communication cut dead again and Dade sighed aloud. He looked up, not looking at T'Lea purposefully. Grabbing hold of the railings on either side of the turbolift, he hoisted himself up, bracing his boots on them and pushed the hatchway lock door upwards. It hinged open and slid off easily, coming to an end with a clang on the exterior shell of the lift.

T'Lea: What the hell?

:: Again, he [...]ed an eyebrow but added the next with a slight grin. Maybe it was at their plight of being stuck for the next two hours in a small space, maybe he just wanted a bit more excitement in his everyday life before watching the match in the holodeck...::

Adarnis: What? You think I want to be stuck in here with you?

:: Grabbing hold of either side of the open hatch, he pulled himself up and through the opening, standing up on the top part of the lift, looking up into the void of space that was the past four decks they'd descended.::

T'Lea: I can imagine who you'd want to be stuck in… here with.

:: Jase. She plopped herself down on the floor of the turbolift, crossed her ankles and folded her arms in a relaxed position leaning against the wall. All she needed was a Stetson hat and she was ready to take a nap and wait this one out.::

T'Lea: You won't get far. The little red light is on.

:: Dade crouched down and looked back through the small hatchway to the half-asleep hybrid sitting on the floor.::

Adarnis: Come again?

:: Eyes closed she pointed at the control panel, like she was sleepy.::

T'Lea: The red light. Doesn't that mean something, Major? Like, oh, I don't know the rails are still hot? I'd wait for them to cool down before trying anything.

:: A sliver of an eye breached open to see if he was coming back in… not that she was worried or anything.. If he wanted fry himself on the rails, who was she to stop him?::

:: He sat down, crossing his legs and leant back on his hands, looking up into the space above. The alcoves cut out for the purpose of the engineers would be bleeping on and off with power. It wouldn't be much worth them climbing up the ladder, none of the access points would be open and if they would, they'd be fluctuating like crazy. He looked back down at her semi-open eye..::

T'Lea: ::closing her eye:: You just going to sit up there?

Adarnis: Would you rather I come down there? We'll have a picnic! Or, better idea, I'll just sit here.

T'Lea: Knock yourself out. ::pause:: Really.

:: She snuggled into her spot and tried to sink into meditation. Rhythmic breathing, thought control, inner-peace. A weird ticking noise. Control, clarity, thought and harmony. And a weird ticking noise. Concentration, self-control, and logic. And more weird ticking.::

:: Dade was knocking the base of his lighter on the roof of the turbolift, trying to decide whether smoking was the right thing to do in the situation.. They could be there for a multitude of hours, it seemed only right to be able to relax for it and just enjoy doing nothing but he was going to miss his match; that one was pretty clear. All he needed was to see a human and a Brikar slogging ten tonnes of hez out of each other... Lighting up a cigarette, he continued to bang the lighter on the shell.::

T'Lea: ::mumbling:: [...].

:: Whatever he was doing, he was doing it on purpose. Opening her eyes, she pulled around her small pack and plucked out a data padd to check her mail. There was a new message, from Toni Turner. It stated that her custom made balisong was waiting for her at DS9 in deposit box 25487-G. She smiled. Finally, she'd have a personal blade again. She missed the one she'd lost with Dade on… Quickly, she realized that she was smiling up at the Marine and looked back down with a soured expression, as if he repulsed her.::

:: As soon as she whipped her gaze away, the Marine exhaled with a small grin at the corner of his mouth. Why she was smiling at him, or why she had smiled at him he didn't know; safe to say she'd done it and it'd annoyed her. Wonderful.::

Adarnis: Light?

T'Lea: Red.

:: Folding back the flap of her pack, she started shifting around her gear. When she noticed the data padd didn't fit as easily back in the bag as it had before she took it out and was intent on using her time to arrange her belongings for better efficiency. Her eyes accidentally glanced up at Dade, and then back down..::

T'Lea: Guess who's pregnant.

:: His eyes went slightly wider and he stuck his head out over the hatchway.::

Adarnis: You're pregnant? ::he blew out the smoke:: Well that's a nice way to tell me...

T'Lea: That's right; I'm having your baby. Are you frellin' mad? Toni. Toni is pregnant.

:: Dade leant back again, this time knocked for six. He didn't know they were trying for one; he knew they had Vee and Heath had Aliana... She'd grown up on the Thunder with them; he could still see her running about, trying to nick his cigarettes and flush them down the toilet. It was pistols at dawn whenever they were in the room together but she was the best kid he'd ever known and the worst brat he'd ever come across.::

Adarnis: I didn't know they were trying..

T'Lea: *They* weren't. It's not Heath's.

:: Again, astonishment registered.::

Adarnis: Woah....

T'Lea: From what I understand they're not even together anymore, relationship-wise and otherwise.

:: She was still messing with the contents of her pack. All was in order, but she really needed to keep her mind off the Marine hovering above her.::

Adarnis: Then where the hell is he?

T'Lea: Steadfast, Ronin, Eagle, I don't know. He got transferred somewhere.

:: He took another drag and blew the smoke out in a more or less circular ring..::

Adarnis: Bloody eegit.

T'Lea: ::shrugging:: Dren happens.

:: With a quick slap and lock, the flap to her pack was latched securely closed.. She leaned forward a bit using the soft bag to cushion her back as she rested against the wall again.::

:: He picked at his fingernails, dislodging some of the gunk that had trapped itself underneath the nail bed.::

Adarnis: I think it's ironic, actually, but in the long run you won.

T'Lea: I win at a great many things you'll have to be more specific.

:: Standing up, he flicked the cigarette butt into the abyss below the turbolift and examined the walls. He slid himself through the hatchway again and landed on the floor of the turbolift with a thud, boots on metal.::

Adarnis: That bet. Before you threw the bottle; you bet they'd get married, I said they wouldn't. You won.

:: Another memory that made it increasingly difficult to filter through her emotions. She swallowed hard, before clenching her jaw muscles tight enough to counteract *him*.::

T'Lea: I don't recall you wagering anything. What exactly did I win?

Adarnis: Depends. ::he leant against the side of the lift, defining the line between them again:: What do you want?

:: From the floor she looked at him. *Really* looked at him, taking all of him in, the cut of his body, the texture of his skin, the way he stood there leaning against the wall. She held his image in her eyes until the name Jase popped into her head.::

:: Frak!!::

T'Lea: ::calmly:: Nothing.

:: She looked at her hands for a moment and then, clasped them together in her lap.::

T'Lea: On second thought. I'll settle for an honest answer.

:: The Marine smiled and nodded slightly.:: Adarnis: Alright. Ask away.

:: There was a pause as T'Lea formed the question in her mind the best way possible.::

T'Lea: When you thought I was dead… what did you do all those months, where were you?

:: He played with the lighter in his pocket, just moving it around his fingers. Why did she want that answering? By all accounts, she didn't care, so why did she want to know? But, she'd won and he had to answer honestly.::

Adarnis: I volunteered for the front missions.

:: With a slight tilt of her head she looked at him. Her expression on the cusp of a frown.::

T'Lea: Volunteer… you mean suicide missions?

:: Putting it like that seemed a little harsh but in essence they were. The front line missions were the type that the Hazard Teams got sent on; the Marines were deployed into unknown areas of space where the danger could be anything from a specific fungus to the Borg. The areas weren't always black and white but he'd done it for a reason.::

Adarnis: ::he laughed slightly, as though he was telling a joke:: It was the only thing I could do to stop myself going crazy. They load up the Marines from each quarter, those that volunteer and take us to the front Colonies, worlds under imminent attack or patrolling the hazardous borders.. We came across the Borg a few times, nearly got my head ripped off once or twice.

T'Lea: Why? Why would you…

:: Shaking her head, she held up her hand before he could answer. She didn't want to know. It wouldn't change anything. The silence was accompanied by the recycled air circulating through the vents. It was suddenly clear that she'd done the right thing by pushing him away. She didn't need him killing himself over her. Besides, he had Jase now.::

:: He'd noticeably said something she didn't like. He gave it a couple of seconds, for the air circulator to recycle some more of their shared carbon dioxide and asked his question.::

Adarnis: So, you weren't dead... where were you?

T'Lea: Told you already. Prison. Hit a superior.

:: He'd been honest; why couldn't she?:: Adarnis: [...]s. That's [...]s.

:: Getting to her feet, she gathered her climbing gear as if she was mounting up for an expedition.::

:: It didn't make sense. If she was imprisoned, why had they told him she was dead? So he'd up? So they could prance him round the quadrant like their golden boy with a gatling gun? He wiped the palm of his hand over his mouth before he launched into an even larger string of expletives.::

Adarnis: It's too small in here.

T'Lea: That's it. I'm leaving. Frell engineering.

:: One foot on the handrail, she launched herself up to the height of the open hatch and hauled her body effortlessly to the outside roof of the turbolift. Standing there she looked around, taking in the long dark tunnel, the glowing red rails, the alcoves and the [...] ladder just out of reach. In the blink of an eye a glimpse of another turbolift flew by in a horizontal tube.::

T'Lea: Frell the red light.

:: Dade took a quick look at it then did the same, following her out of their holding cell and up on to the roof of the turbolift in time to see another one on the opposite side come hurtling past, going upwards towards the bridge.::

:: T'Lea busied herself, stepping into the harness and buckling it up. Suddenly there was an extra pair of hands there, Dade was far too close, tugging on one of her straps. More incentive to get the hell out of there, fast.::

:: They were close enough so that Dade could smell her pheromone count, not conscious of it but the smell was there registering with the back of his brain. He tugged on one of her buckles and pulled the carabiner free, attaching it to another part of the climbing gear. The temptation was killing him but what she'd said only a few days before was still fresh, the hurt was still painful. Only this time, instead of a paces, she was inches away.::

Adarnis: Where were you?

T'Lea: On Risa, enjoying the Festival of the Moon. I told you already. Listen much?

:: He tugged on another strap that wouldn't come loose, quite sharply until is dislodged itself.::

Adarnis: Don't lie to me. Cura knows something she won't tell me; everyone else seems to be in on this.

T'Lea: Then ask everyone else! What do you care, you've moved on.

:: She pulled at the her harness on her hips, double checking and being very cautious of where Dade's hands were in relation to hers. One brush of flesh-on-flesh under these conditions and something very bad was going to happen.::

Adarnis: I do care. ::the carabiner clipped into place:: I care a lot more than you think.

T'Lea: ::grumbling sarcastically to herself:: Obviously.

:: He cared so much that he jumped Jase's bones the same night she dumped him.::

T'Lea: And we're having this conversation because…?

:: She was looking up, looking for a way out that wouldn't leave her a green smear on the walls. Mother freller it was hot in these tubes, and she was Vulcan!::

Adarnis: You've already said it. You don't give a [...]e about me; so why should it matter whether I know where you were or not? ::he chewed his cheek:: Besides, my transfer should come through soon, so you won't have to worry about me being around to cramp your hybrid style.

:: There was a very discernable hesitation that came with that declaration. Her hand had twitched toward his, but instantaneously recoiled into adjusting her harness again, as if it wasn't perfect. So he was leaving. And it hurt. She'd only lied to Dade about her feelings for him, not herself. She didn't want him to go. She hadn't wanted to do a lot of things she'd been forced to do lately, but she didn't have a choice. And logically this was the best answer. He wouldn't be around for what was to come.::

T'Lea: Fantastic. Maybe you can share a shuttle with your girlfriend.

:: That was [...]y, but not the kind of [...]y she normally dished out. She purposely clipped his shoulder as she moved to the other side to survey the climbing terrain. There really wasn't anything to secure herself too. The shaft was slick and smooth. There was an alcove not too high above, but the ladder to it was a hearty jump away. If she missed, she'd fall and slip the gap between the turbolift car and the safety magnets holding it in place. Maybe with Dade's help she could get up there… ::

::He frowned at the comment, it wasn't like her to superimpose him with another woman, whether he'd done so or not. Who was she referring to? Maybe it was no one and she was just trying to find a way out of everything. He'd left her alone, he'd done as she asked, so why did he now have to be put under suspicion? He couldn't remember the last time he'd referred to someone as his "girlfriend" – and that was saying something for him.::

Adarnis: Girlfriend?

:: She snatched the rope out of his hand like a viper and nodded up at the dark hole in the wall several feet above them.::

T'Lea: It doesn't matter.. If you can get me up to that alcove maybe we can get out of here. :: glancing back at the lack of response:: What?

:: He crossed his arms.:: Adarnis: And what happens when you get up there?

T'Lea: I'll frellin' toss you the rope.

Adarnis: Yeah, okay. ::he exhaled stiffly:: So, when you chuck this rope back down, I'll have a rope and still be stuck.

T'Lea: That's great. Now you don't trust me? Like I'd leave you here to cannibalize yourself.

Adarnis: I didn't say I didn't trust you, butt erring on the safe side of caution I'll go first and toss it you. I'm taller, I can get up there.

T'Lea: ::sarcastic:: Right.

Adarnis: ::laughs:: What, now you don't trust me?

T'Lea: Maybe I don't! Haven't I given you enough reasons to kill me yet?

:: He scoffed and turned around.:: Adarnis: Do what you bloody like.

T'Lea: Fine! I will!

:: By this time the little red light had turned to a little green light and by all accounts could be very well splitting its LED sides.::

((Fast Forward -- Two hours later))

:: T'Lea munched on a granola bar. She was sitting on the floor of the turbolift again, ankles crossed, still wearing her harness, and still enduring a stalemate with Dade. She looked up at him. He was parked in the hatchway above, as if to block her from trying to escape and leave him there.::

:: This had to be a cruel joke. Somebody was pranking them. Things like this didn't happen on Starfleet Starships. Although, the ship did need resupplies.::

T'Lea: ::mumbling:: … could have been out of here by now.

:: Rolling his eyes, he blew out another steady stream of smoke and watched it curl up into the shaft above. Another roaring turbolift soared past them on the opposite side.::

Adarnis: Yeah, if you'd have trusted me.

T'Lea: If you'd have trusted *me*!

Adarnis: Shut up! For heck's sake...

:: Grumbling words, and crackles of granola bar wrappings emanated from T'Lea's position below. She was calling Dade every name in the book, and chucking the half eaten snack in her bag.::

:: He looked down the hatchway at her parked on the floor.. It was the top of her head, coupled with her knees. Turning his vision back to the multiple bits from his cargo pants spread out on the shell of the turbolift. He held a perfectly good memory of her in his head, inch by inch of flawless Vulcan/Romulan skin.::

Adarnis: Who's the girlfriend supposed to be then?

:: Pfftt… like he didn't know. He was playing dumb. She rubbed at her forehead. She shouldn't have said anything.::

T'Lea: Whomever you like. You're a free man.

Adarnis: Well if I'm dating her, I think it's only right I know who she is.

T'Lea: Frak if I know, okay?

Adarnis: I don't believe you..

T'Lea: You've already made that clear.

:: She sighed, and huffed. She couldn't take much more of this torture. That's what this was, torture, you know. Caught and confined with something she could not have. Tempted and tormented.::

:: There was another silence. Another six beat silence in which a lot was felt but not much was said, or a lot was said but all of it soundless. Again, he picked at his fingernails.::

Adarnis: We'd been apart for two hundred and ninety four days, give or take six hours.

:: The animosity in her voice was noticeably less. She didn't look up at him – she just kind of sat there, still, staring at the floor in front of her.::

T'Lea: ::small:: what?

Adarnis: You asked me.

T'Lea: ::soft:: Days ago.

Adarnis: Alright, call it a bleedin' delayed response then.

:: It had been exactly that many days. She'd kept count, and now she kept silent.::

:: Communicator crackled and Dade pushed the button.::

MacDermott: =/\= Main Engineering to Turbolift 3. =/\=

:: The Romu-vulc picked up her bag like this was finally over.::

Adarnis: =/\= Yeah? =/\=

MacDermott: =/\= We've tried beaming you out but we can't get past the jamming signals from the lift; there's too much interference. You're looking at another few hours before we can get someone down to you. =/\=

:: Dade shook his head and sighed, scratching the side of his face with his now clean fingernails.::

Adarnis: =/\= Do you take Last Will and Testament requests over the conn? =/\=

MacDermott: =/\= Err.. =/\=

Adarnis: =/\= Nevermind. =/\= Idiot.

T'Lea: ::sighing:: Agreed.

:: The Vulcan hybrid, placed her pack back on the floor and laid down, using it as a pillow. They were in it for the long haul.::

:: Dade fell backwards, his back landing on the exterior floor.:: Adarnis: Couple of hours.

(( Fast Forward – Three Hours Later ))

:: Dade was now inside the turbolift, although he couldn't see it as a lift anymore. Lifts moved. This one stayed in the same [...] position for hours on end. He was definitely avoiding this one in the future. No doubt about that. He flicked the ash from the cigarette onto the floor and scuffed it with the sole of his boot. The whole predicament was hilarious; at least it was to him. The one person he'd done his best to avoid and he'd got stuck with her, high up in the middle of the ship where it seemed they were hours from rescue.::

:: Thinking about it, he stated laughing.::

:: T'Lea was still on the floor, but in a different position, her arms underneath her head and her feet propped up on the handrail. For a second as Dade scuffed out his cigarette she thought he was going to throw it at her and stomp on her. Then he started laughing. Her brow arched. This place, the situation -- it was getting to him. It had already gotten to her..::

T'Lea: ::actually concerned:: You okay?

Adarnis: I just find it bloody funny.

:: Her head tilted back to see him. [...] it. He even looked handsome upside down.::

Adarnis: Main Engineering has something against us.

T'Lea: Two loveable, cuddly personalities like us?

Adarnis: Maybe it was Cura's idea of a sick joke.

T'Lea: That's a distinct possibility. She acts sweet and innocent, but she's got a wicked devious side. We once -- never mind.

:: She couldn't tell that story. Cura would lose her Captaincy and T'Lea would end up in a real prison this time.::

((Fast Forward - Thirty Minutes Later))

:: Seated at opposite corners of the tubolift the two were tossing a little wadded up paper ball back and forth. She indulged in his primitive games. It kept her hands busy and her mind occupied.::

((Fast Forward - Even Later Still!))

:: T'Lea had taken her finger and raked it over all the deck buttons on the turbolift panel, lighting them up like a Christmas Tree. Now she was sitting again, spelling out the word "Help" with rope.::

T'Lea: Where were you going before we got stuck?

:: An innocent enough question as she curled the rope to make the "e".::

:: He looked up from the lighter that he was flicking back and forth, opening and closing, flame then no flame. Man make fire, man make no fire...::

Adarnis: There's a fight going on in the Holodeck. The Briker, Tyke "Left-Lobe" Pi'Caro versus Dorian "The Clip" Morris.. Always good to see an adequately sized human male get slammed in the face.

T'Lea: I didn't know there was a fight tonight. ::pausing:: Spock vs. Odo. Now that would be entertaining. ::evil grin:: Better yet, you and Tash. I'd pay money to see that.

:: He [...]ed an eyebrow. That wouldn't be a tough situation.:: Adarnis: Me and Security Boy? Never happen; lad would have a cat if I punched him the once.

T'Lea: Trust me. He's got moves. I wouldn't underestimate him. You'd need counseling after going a round with him.

Adarnis: Would I bloody hell – the man's got hair like a hedgehog for brik's sake. He can go head to head with a hedgetrimmer and it'd win. ::he flicked the lighter again:: Besides, Jase has put me in with a Counsellor. Says I need some therapy to "sort my [...] out".

:: She looked up at him and stopped bending the rope right in the middle of shaping the L into the P. The mention of Jase made her skin crawl. Why had Jase ordered him to therapy… did she really care about him that much? T'Lea shook it off, she couldn't stomach thinking about it. Instead, she pretended the name meant nothing to her.::

T'Lea: Awww... ::making a pouty face:: Are you getting your wittle head shwunk?

:: He didn't think that T'Lea knew how alluring that face was.::

Adarnis: Unfortunately. Either I do it, or I'm in hide away for a month.

:: The Romulan hybrid tugged apart the word she was spelling and coiled it back up. Jase had her claws in him, went the thought again.::

T'Lea: Everybody needs somebody to talk to at some point in their lives, a friend, a counselor --

:: Climbing to her feet she smoothed out her clothes.::

T'Lea: -- a ma--entor.

:: She was going to say mate, but quickly tried to reformed the word into mentor. Her eyes looked up to see if he'd detected the cover up.::

:: Maentor wasn't a word he'd heard before. He slipped the lighter back into his pocket and moved off the wall, looking at T'Lea. There was something there; behind the blue eyes as if she was tearing the mental blocks down and trying to let him inside. There was something else. He didn't know what, but they were getting closer.::

:: The turbolift jumpstarted, and for all of two seconds the car was on the move again before stopping and opening to the very next deck, which T'Lea had previously punched in, out of boredom. Hinging on those deep violet eyes, she had moved to him as if she was going to step right into him and confess what was keeping them apart. There was a strange moment where the Vulcan hybrid continued to look at the Marine. The turbolift doors to their freedom were finally open, but she didn't move. He didn't move. T'Lea almost spoke, but instead she reached down to his left foot, picked up her pack and exited the lift.::

:: He looked up to the ceiling and hit the flat of his fist against the turbolift controls. He kept hold of the release button and turned to the door opening, watching her walk down the corridor. Swallowing hard, he said the only thing that came to mind.::

Adarnis: Do you want me to stay?

:: With half a glance back, the Hybrid kept her pace down the hall. She heard him. The question was about his transfer. Yes, she wanted him to stay. No, she couldn't tell him that. Because he would. And he couldn't.::

:: Her focus returned in front of her and she disappeared around the corner. She would go to her quarters and for the next few hours she would prepare herself for someone who was attainable, someone that was raidly becoming very important in her life.::

:: He released the button and the door closed, putting a physical barrier between them. Dade let his forehead rest of the inside of the door.::


Lt. T'Lea

Historian & Archaeological Specialist

USS Constitution-B


Major Dade Adarnis

Platoon Leader

Winter Company

USS Constitution-B

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  • 3 weeks later...

Holy Frak! Okay, I have to say it. Although I am humbled and honored to have two of my posts nominated in this round, the rules clearly state that you should vote for the post you feel is the best, and I have to say, THIS ONE IS GOING TO GET MY FRAKKING VOTE! Excquisite and delicious torture! Yes! Yes! Yes! That is how you do it!

As the writer of a Marine character myself, a Marine also recently involved in a painfully tortuous roller coaster of a romance with a Vulcan human hybrid, I SO TOTALLY GET THIS STORYLINE! The misteps, the misunderstandings, the logic trumping the uncertainty of dealing with the very real raw emotions, the jealousy of a misinterpreted situation, the inevitable imposition of a cold wall shielding the Vulcan from facing her deep and conflicted feelings of insecurity rather than risking the vulnerability that might have equally great rewards, the tough Marine, doing his best to keep up his defenses, willing to face death on a thousand different battlefields than face his own feelings of vulnerability in the face of the one person who can kill him with a look, wound him far deeper with a word than the razor sharp claws of a Gorn ever could, the spark of what was or could be that breaks through the death wish that every Marine must face at one time or another, because they have become death, the destroyer of worlds, the deep desire to find in the arms of another that one refuge that would allow him to be just a man, a haven where he can lay aside the trappings of war that he not only wears upon his body but encase his very soul... Frakkin Aye, that is good writing!

The best part, the most delicious aspect is evidenced in the writer's understanding that it is not the payoff that makes for a great romantic story arc, but the maintenance of the TENSION. THAT IS THE HALLMARK OF ALL GOOD DRAMA. Its straight out of the UCLA screenwriting class curriculum! Will they, won't they... hours of tension, anticipation, the opportunity is there, the sexual tension so thick you can cut it with a knife and then, WHAMMO! NO PAYOFF! Tune in next week. Pure cliffhanger, leaving one's mind wracked with an overwhelming desire to read more... Bravo! Where others might give in to the temptation to have their characters engage in whirlwind romances, and bodice ripping pg13 love scenes, these writers are going to make the readers EARN it. In for a penny, in for a pound. While there is certainly something to be said for bodice ripping, the payoff is going to be so much more satisfying for having endured the journey through the eyes of the protagonists as we see layer upon layer of who they are as characters revealed along the way... Really Top notch stuff...

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