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Captain Della Vetri - The sweetest ambush of all


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((USS Avandar, Holodeck 1))

Vetri: Whilst I'm only handing out one in person, that's because I don't want to hold up the party any more than I have to. Every member of this crew that participated in the Avandar's recent exploits is now entitled to add the Explorer's Ribbon to their collection of things to stick to your dress uniforms. You earned it folks, well done.

:: She reached over and snagged her empty mug off of the branch again, then gave a little shooing wave to everyone, as well as a definite grin.::

Vetri *Now* I'm done.

MacRae: Well, I think I'll have that Laphroaig you mentioned earlier, would you care to join me in a glass?

tr'Khellian: reaching across the bar and handing MacRae the bottle:: my gift to you. Iwish you the best in your future endeavors.

:: When she stepped down from the stump, Della laughed softly at the by-play between the two of them, then raised her voice to chip in herself.::

Vetri: Do we need to add "staff mixologist" to your job description?

:: The sound of someone clearing their throat - loudly - caught her, and everyone else's, attention, and Della looked at t'Lea with a faintly puzzled frown.::

T’Lea: Before you all continue your endeavours of gratuitous self-inebriation and celebration I have a brief…

:: Whatever it was, it had the Romu-vulc feeling jittery - and that had Della wondering just what was going through the woman's mind. Not that she could tell, as she was being blocked out *very* well...::

T’Lea: … presentation to make.

:: Presentation? What presentation? Hadn't she already done those? ::

T’Lea: ::at Vetri:: If I may?

:: She gestured at the stump Della had been using as a platform. Increasingly puzzled, and perhaps a little concerned as well, given what she was feeling from her bond-mate, the Trill nodded.::

T’Lea: Thank you, Captain.

:: Instead of getting onto the stump, T'Lea stood in front of it, hands behind her back as she surveyed the assembled - and curious - crowd with no trace at all of any visible emotion. A moment or two later, she gave a nod to someone, and when Della glanced that way she saw Tan skulking within the mob.::

oO What are you up to...? Oo

:: Nearby, the scene of the Rolumus park changed, a flat image like a screen in mid-air coming into being with the same Starfleet emblem she always saw when waiting for a call to connect.::

Vetri: Is someone going to regret me asking just what you two are doing?

:: Tan held up his hand in a placating gesture, but she was undecided as to whether she was going to pay any attention to it at all.::

Tan: Nothing to worry, Captain.

:: Really. In that case, why did T'Lea feel like she was about to melt into a puddle of nervous goo? Since she was left with no real answers, and even less idea of what to expect, she was actually starting to get more than a little annoyed... Especially when T'Lea's aura suddenly sharpened into something a lot more determined.::

:: Opening her mouth to ask - *politely* - for someone to tell her what the frell was going on, she felt it drop open a little more in surprise as the projected screen suddenly shifted to show the inside of a room she knew very well indeed - and a pair of people she knew even *better*::

Tan: ::softly:: Brilliant.

T’Lea: Thank you, Alleran. ::to the Maren family on screen:: And thank you for taking time for this.

:: A little part of Della's brain registered the amusement pouring off of Tan and made a note to arrange for something suitable to happen to him in the near future.::

Tan: You’re very welcome.

Lyssa Maren: Oh, I think it's worth a little rescheduling, T'Lea. And the look on our daughter's face, of course.

:: And there was no mistaking the laughter in her mother's tone, or on her father's face, as she stared at them and tried to work out why she was seeing what she was.::

:: Managing to get some sort of control over her mouth again, Della looked at T'Lea, lips forming the stat of a demand for information, when the Romu-vulc raised a hand to stop her and began speaking.::

T’Lea: People say that I am cold, cruel, and unfeeling. They say that I do not have a heart.

oO Because you *act* that way, given half a chance? Oo

T’Lea: And they are correct, because I gave it to you.

:: ... ::

oO Did she just...? Oo

:: ... ::

oO That's kind of sweet, but... Oo

:: ... ::

:: Della felt T'Lea take her hand, her touch far more gentle than many might have thought possible. Their gazes locked on each other, Della wasn't sure if she was hearing what T'Lea said with her ears.. or by other means entirely.::

T’Lea: It hasn’t been an easy road, you and I.

:: That was putting it mildly. The first real conversation they'd shared had scared Della so much she'd thrown up almost immediately afterwards.::

:: And then there had been the time she'd all but told the Romu-vulc how she was starting to feel about her.. and then had the fun of knowing *exactly* what T'Lea and Tash had gotten up to in his hammock in the jungle that night.::

:: And then there was the time-::

T’Lea: I know at times I have made things difficult for you, but amazingly you have always been there for me, through the best and worst of it all.

:: Swallowing hard, Della tried *very* hard not to remember what it had been like to feel T'Lea die in her arms, to be totally sure that everything they'd done to try and save her had failed.::

:: Of course, that *had* led to one of the most intimate "getting-to-know-each-other" sessions in history, with T'Lea's katra residing in Della's mind and the two of them becoming closer than it was possible to imagine...::

:: But the biggest example of all was standing a short distance away, radiating a sense of puzzlement as to what her mothers were doing... and why a picture of her grandparents was in the air.::

T'Lea: I’m not sure if that is a testament of your devotion or if you are slightly crazy, but I’ve come to realize something… ::more serious:: That even when times were bad, things were still good because I had you.

:: For some reason, it was hard to actually *see* T'Lea, despite the fact that she was standing right in front of her. It was only when she blinked that Della realised what the reason was, and she dropped the mug in her hand - the one that wasn't being held quite possessively by T'Lea - to swipe at the moisture that had started to fill her eyes.::

:: She could do little for the weird feeling in her stomach, though, and the fact that she was starting to feel a little light-headed...::

:: She *knew* how T'Lea felt about displaying her feelings, and it was the way she was doing just that so plainly in front of all these people that had Della wondering for a moment if she was, in fact, hallucinating this whole scene.::

T’Lea: Now, I know that this isn’t the proper way to do this according to Archipelago tradition, but this crew has been my family for a while now, and well… ::she took breath:: … Della Vetri I love you in a highly illogical and insanely emotional way. You’ve not only saved my life, but given me a reason to live it better. You’ve seen up-close exactly how ugly my katra can be, and yet you are still with me -- braving the best and worst of me. K’diwa, I do not ever wish to be without you, so….

:: She paused just enough to turn her attention to the images of Della’s parents, who were looking on with every sign of acceptance and satisfaction at over what was happening.::

T’Lea: If you and our families will permit it…

:: For some mad reason, T'Lea released her hand, giving the watching crowd a nod.::

T’Lea: ::in the Trill language:: Will you join me in uniting our families as one through our betrothal?

:: Della blinked, not sure she'd heard right. Not that the *language* was an issue - she'd grown up with it, after all - but the choice of words. That kind of phrasing was only used on one kind of occasion, and-::

:: Abruptly, her whole mind froze.::

:: Total.::

:: Mental.::

:: Lock up.::

:: Dimly, she was aware of Tan translating for everyone else, but it didn't really register. There *was* only one time a person would say something like that to another, and even then only if they were following a very traditional mode of...::

:: Asking someone to marry them.::

:: T'Lea. The stone-cold Romu-vulc psycho, had set all this up specifically so she could ask Della to marry her.::

:: Numbly, she looked down at the hand T'Lea was holding out to her, seeing but not really processing the seashell that sat in the extended palm. This wasn't just a traditional approach. This was the way it had been done in the islands Della had grown up in for nearly a full millennium, adapted only as much as was needed to accommodate the realities of where they were.::

:: That meant that T'Lea had looked. Studied. Leaned. And made far more effort to make this as right as she could than Della might have expected... and suddenly Della knew *exactly* why the Romu-vulc had been giving off such nervous vibes. This had to have been torture for her...::

Vetri: I should drop-kick you out the nearest airlock.

:: Still scrambling to get a grip on what was happening, she wasn't *totally* aware of what had just come out of her mouth. She was, however, hard-wired by her upbringing to recognise the tone of what she heard next.::

Lyssa Maren: ::flatly:: Della.

Vetri: ::absently:: Yes, Mother?

Lyssa: Switch your brain on, dear.

:: There were any number of reasons she should say no. There were even more reasons why she should handle this whole situation with the composure and dignity befitting not only a Starfleet officer but the commanding officer of a starship. With the eyes of her assembled crew on her and T'Lea, as well as those of her parents and daughters, there was a great deal weighing in on the side of a measured, carefully considered reply to the question that had just been asked of her.::

:: She didn't care.::

:: Since the night she and T'Lea had bonded, the desire for what was happening had grown. Drop by drop, her wish for T'Lea to ask her this, and *mean it*, had grown until it was something she wasn't really aware of any more. She was happy the way they'd been, she didn't *need* anything else...::

:: But there was no way to describe how much she'd wanted it.::

:: Captain Vetri was summarily ordered to shut the frak up, and the answer to the question came with blinding speed. Snatching the shell from T'Lea's hand, Della threw herself at the Romu-vulc hard enough that even the Vulcanoid strength of her target nearly failed to take the impact as her arms wrapped around her mate with no intention of letting go.::

Vetri: ::softly:: Yes.

Roget Maren: 'Bout time.

:: Her father's obviously fake gruffness brought a smile to her lips, and she looked over T'lea's shoulder at her parents' image, her gratitude for the way they'd understood and supported her choice of this woman plain in her eyes.::

:: Of course, she *did* know her fiancée very well, and that was why she let a particular thought slip along the telepathic bond they shared.::

Vetri: ~~ Too many witnesses, lilyali. You are *not* ducking out of it this time. ~~

T’Lea: ~~ I'm not going anywhere. I promise. ~~

:: The Romu-vulc sealed her promise with small smile and a kiss, and
then with the Trill still in her arms she turned to the crowd seeking
out one face in particular.::

T’Lea: I’ll take that bottle of Romulan Ale now, S’Lone. ::with a
fake scowl aimed at the rest of the crew:: What are you all looking
at? Stop staring at us, or I will make horderves out of your eyeballs
and serve them back to you.

:: Ahhhh, that felt better, thought T’Lea.::

Captain Della Vetri

Commanding Officer

USS Avandar

Edited by Liam Frost
Removed the OOC at the beginning of the post, as it was unnecessary.
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