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[Round 20] Cmdr Vetri & Lt Cmdr T'Lea - Discussions and Distra

Hugh Barnes

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((USS Aurora, CO’s Quarters))

:: There was something about a Vulcan milk bath that relaxed all the senses. Aroma therapy played a part, T’Lea was sure of that because it smelled like honeysuckle -- sweet and romantic. The texture was unforgettable as well -- like warm silk hugging her body. But one of the biggest claims to fame was how therapeutic the natural plant extract was for the skin. “Replenishing nourishment”, the bottle read. “Powerful antioxidant”, and, “a completely organic experience,” also made the label. The only warning was not to fall asleep in the stuff, which T’Lea had nearly done several times in the past.::

:: The odd thing about a Vulcan milk bath, though, was that it was not from Vulcan. It was one hundred percent Ferengi, but a Ferengi milk bath would never sell. So, Vulcan it was.::

Vetri: Lazy [...].

:: Refusing to open her eyes, T’Lea grinned at the voice as it carried across the tile room. Seemingly happy to ignore the comment at first, she sunk lower in the tub and gave a delightful little “Mmm…” as the heat soaked through-and-through.::

T’Lea: I love it when you sweet talk me. ::opening one sliver of an eyelid:: Although, you could *try* to be a little more original, don’t you think?

:: Her voice was low and kind of mumbling due to the high state of relaxation she was in, which almost bordered on stupid.::

Vetri: It was a toss-up between that and cute. ::more seriously:: How are you doing? You've been through a lot lately.

:: The genuine level of interest in the Trill’s tone sent a tingle all the way up to the hybrid’s pointy ears. She briefly opened her eyes, meeting Della’s before closing them again. It was good to talk to her mate and not have the ship falling apart around them for once.::

T'Lea: Me? Nah. Not at all. Had a baby, slept, ate, slept some more, made a holo-vid of the baby, did a few asinine things after that, and [...]ed off the Captain. ::shrugging:: You know, the usual. ::opening her eyes:: Got tossed off the bridge – that’s a new one.

:: As if giving birth wasn’t new? It was clear which one hurt more.::

Vetri: I know, and.. I'm sorry. For what I said on the bridge. I was worried, is all... for both of you.

:: A short sigh escaped T’Lea’s lips. She looked down at the white liquid surrounding her and wagged her head that Della hadn’t been wrong to worry, or assert her authority over her. The Romu-vulc’s stubbornness was often a big personality flaw. She knew it, and thankfully so did her mate.::

T'Lea: Just remember. I’m the Captain of this tub. ::sinking down in the warm liquid:: And no one’s getting tossed out of here without my permission. ::beat, looking up at Della:: It’s fine, really. You did what you had to do. I’m ready for shore leave, though. Looking forward to spending some time together as a family. Maybe I’ll even get to boss *you* around some.

Vetri: Yeah, well, make the most of it. We may not have all the time we might like when we get to Mars. Amongst other things, SCE want a look at what that virus did to our computer systems.

T'Lea: Good. Let the nerds look long and hard. More shore leave for us.

:: Actually, that was something T’Lea had been meaning to talk to Della about, not shore leave, but what would happen to their new family after shore leave. The Aurora didn’t allow civilians, and T’Lea had her concerns about raising T’Sara on any Starfleet vessel anyway.::

:: She lifted a hand from the water and held it out to her mate. Now was as good a time as any for that discussion, she thought, albeit apprehensively.::

T’Lea: Come here.

:: Della was more than happy to comply, twining her fingers with those of the offered hand before lifting it to her lips. This might just be a good(ish) time to break some of the news she'd gotten earlier... but she had to figure out just how to do so first.::

Vetri: Got a call from Command earlier. Thought it might be a follow-up to the reports I sent in, but...

:: The way T’Lea played with Della’s hand in hers left enough of a pause, she thought, for the Trill to cordially continue her statement. But when the air remained silent long after the appropriate waiting period, the hybrid concluded that the Trill was teasing her. Or maybe she just couldn’t bring herself to deliver bad news.::

:: Bad news came after long pauses, right?::

T'Lea: But what? ::she stared, and still nothing:: Don’t tell me, no shore leave?

:: With a little twinkle in her eyes, she lifted her free hand to lightly tap her collar - right where her rank pips would be if she was in uniform right now.::

:: At first the collar-tapping action was quite puzzling, but then T’Lea’s exceptional Vulcan powers of deduction kicked in, and everything made sense.::

T'Lea: Really? You got demoted? ::chuckling:: Can’t say I didn’t see that coming.

:: Grabbing the Trill’s hand more firmly to prevent any physical backlash, T’Lea sat up and held it to her chest, placing herself in prime position to steal a kiss, and consequently shut Della up before anything else could be said. ::

:: While T’Lea’s pervious smartass comment fell by the wayside, she released the grip she had on the Trill’s lips and dialled her tone to a more sincere level.::

T’Lea: I’m just frelling with you, because I love you, Spots. I’m proud of you. I know how hard you’ve worked for this, and I couldn’t be happier for you, K’diwa. How far along is it, I mean, has it been approved?

Vetri: Yup. All official. Once it's official, anyway.

T'Lea: ::chuckling at herself:: Well, I suppose it’s good to know that Starfleet isn’t full of drenholes if they’re smart enough to give you a fourth pip.

:: She reached up and lovingly stroked the spots on the Trill’s neck where the rank insignia would have been if she were wearing her uniform. There was still the issue of telling Della about her plans to move T’Sara and herself off the ship, but that just got a lot harder.::

:: Shifting under the warm white liquid, T’Lea tried maintain some Vulcan sense of logic about the whole thing. Getting it over with quickly seemed like the best way – even if the timing was [...]py.::

T’Lea: I don’t suppose you have any other good news you’d like to share? Maybe that you won a free planet and need me to rule over it for a while?

:: That sounded more like procrastination than logic.::

Vetri: Well, there was kind of something else as well... Something you need a bit of input in. ::taking a breath:: It's about T'Sara.

:: And now T’Lea was the one taking a breath of anticipation, not so much for what Della was going to say, although that did have her nervous, but more for the door it had opened to discuss what T’Lea had been wrestling with the past two days.::

T'Lea: All right?

Vetri: Well, I know you're not exactly a fan of the holo-nanny, and this isn't really the best set-up for her anyway...

:: There it was. Not only was the door open, but it was *wide* open with fanfare, champagne, and cake too. It seemed Della had been having similar thoughts. That didn’t make T’Lea feel any better.::

T'Lea: I know, babe, and I understand. You don’t have to explain anything. I’ve taken care of it, and I’ll take care of her. I booked a rental on Starbase 23. It’s convenient for both of us, and we’ll get to see you on shore leave.

:: That little announcement wasn't what she'd expected to hear, and it blew what she'd planned to say right out of her head, leaving her with very little but...::

Vetri: Huh?

:: And Della’s reaction left T’Lea in a similar state of “duhness”.::

T'Lea: What?

:: For a moment they both kind of stared blankly at each other as if they were both suddenly speaking different languages.::

T’Lea: Corrrrect me if I’m wrong, but I thought you were talking about the no civilians policy on the ship. I mean, there’s no getting around that even if you *are* Captain.

Vetri: Okay, no... I mean, I understand why, but...

:: She was certainly making a hash of this, it was clear. Shaking her head, she knelt down next to the tub and tried again.::

Vetri: You don't need to do that, is what I'm trying to say. We're getting actual real-life child-care on staff. Facilities, too. ::Shrugging a little:: A bit small, perhaps, but they'll be there.

:: Okay, how was that even possible? You can’t make Captain and amend Starfleet policy in one day, can you, T’Lea wondered. And if so, where did she sign up!::

T'Lea: What’s going on, because I may have sprained a brain cell, or two, trying to figure it out.

:: Releasing her mate's hand, Della rose to her feet again, running a hand through her hair with a clear look of frustration at her own handling of all this.::

Vetri: Give me a moment, I'll be right back.

:: Ducking out of the bathroom, she quickly popped into the lounge again, snagging the padd she'd been reading and taking a few moments to check that T'Sara was still peaceably snoozing. Both of those done, she darted back and offered the padd to T'Lea.::

:: All the running around would have been cute had not the situation been so puzzling to T’Lea. Nah, it was cute anyway.::

Vetri: There. What do you think?

:: Shaking a few drops of water off her fingers, T’Lea took the padd without much hope that it was going to resolve anything.::

T'Lea: Luna class. That’s a deep space science vessel. ::looking up:: *Your* deep space science vessel.

:: A ship that every scientist dreamed of being on. The look she got from Della nudged her to keep reading.::

T’Lea: Crew compliment, three hundred and fifty. And civilians… ::looking at Della again:: Child care services…

:: There was the answer to all their problems. They could stay together as a family, T’Sara would get proper care and schooling, and it was a coveted tour of duty. But… ::

:: But there was a highly protective part of T’Lea that didn’t want T’Sara on any Starfleet vessel ever. If anybody needed a reason she’d point them to their last two missions. Simply put it was incredibly dangerous.::

Vetri: So... ?

:: Silence stretched out, and Della felt herself getting increasingly nervous - especially when T'Lea reached out and handed the padd back without a sound. Her hands fell into the thin white liquid surrounding her and she splashed some water on her face, then through her hair. Sat there in the silence for a moment she started to re-evaluate everything.::

:: Was a Starfleet starbase any safer than a starship? Not really, she’d served on both and each had their own set of hazards to deal with. The only difference was that the starship would have somebody she trusted with the life of her daughter in command. Then there was also the fact that Naku was still gunning for her. A starbase was way too stationary, way too easy a target for an assassin.::

:: So, really, problem solved.::

:: It took a bit of a stretch to hook her arm all the way around her bond-mate’s waist, but once she’d latched on, T’Lea dragged Della into the tub with her, cheerfully ignoring the outraged squawk that accompanied the splashing as she hit the surface and went straight to the bottom. Completely waterlogged, she sputtered back up, and shot a glare at her mate that bounced straight off the Romu-vulc's snug expression.::

T’Lea: As Captain of the tub, I do hereby ::catching her lips on the Trill’s:: welcome you aboard, Captain.

:: Della's snarky retort was somewhat muffled by the contact, but that didn't stop her making it, not that either of them could have really said what the comment had actually been. After another long moment, she gently pushed T'Lea away with a wry grin and a low chuckle.::

Vetri: You done trying to drown me yet? Or do you have more plans in that little head of yours?

T’Lea: Mmm… wait, just one more thing to put my paranoid mind at ease.

:: Giving up her attempts to salvage any sort of dignity from the situation, Della gave T'Lea a stern and level look that was spoiled only a little by the gleam in her eye.::

Vetri: Really. And what would that be?

:: The Romulan hybrid ran a finger down the buttons on Trill’s wet blouse as she replied, though it wasn't really an answer.::

T’Lea: Tell me that while you’re in command of that ship you won’t let anything happen to our girls.

:: It didn’t matter if Vetri lied, she just needed to hear it.::

Vetri: ::softly:: Or you.

:: Placing her hands on both sides of the Trill’s face, she looked earnestly into her eyes. There would be no lying with this one, however.::

T’Lea: And if a situation on board ever forces you to choose between me and them…

:: Lifting a finger to T'Lea's lips, Della cut her off gently, as serious look on her face as she answered.::

Vetri: Lilyali... You already know the answer to that one. I'm not as greedy as you can be, but I'm keeping all of you. Now, and more questions, or can I get out of this bath and try and dry off?

T’Lea: One last thing… is T’Sara asleep?

Vetri: ::eying her mate suspiciously:: Yes...

:: Glancing down at the fingers still tracing the buttons of her top, she had a suspicion what might be coming next, but another voice cut across it all via the comm system.::

Dickens: =/\= Dickens to captain Vetri =/\=

:: Resisting the urge to swear at the interruption, she did let herself smirk a bit at the look of irritation on her mate's face.::

Vetri: =/\= Go ahead, Marcus. =/\=

Dickens: =/\= When you're free I'd like to have a word with you. =/\=

:: With a well-practiced move, she swatted at T'Lea's hand to give herself a bit of time to think.::

Vetri: =/\= Sure... Any particular time in mind? =/\=

Dickens: =/\= I'm about to visit the doctor, is ok when I'm done? =/\=

:: Apparently, gentle dissuasion wasn't going to be enough, so she ended up taking a grip on a certain someone's wrist and holding it at arm's length, accompanying the move with an insistent frown.::

Vetri: =/\= That's fine. I wanted to see you anyway, so... ::gritting her teeth for a moment, her frown shifting into a glare for the softly laughing Romu-vulc:: No rush, though. Let the doc take good care of you. =/\=

:: As the connection closed, she scooped up a handful of water and flung it at T'Lea's face, trying to resist joining in the hyrbid's laughter.::

Vetri: Will you *quit it*!



Commander Della Vetri

Commanding Officer

USS Aurora


"Understanding is a three edged sword - your side, their side, and the truth."


Lt. Cmdr. T'Lea

Chief Science Officer

USS Aurora, NCC-72750

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