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Lt. Cade Whitman (PNPC) - I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Sedrin Belasi

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((San Francisco, 239005.21))

::The bar hadn't changed in six years...and neither had the woman sitting by herself, nursing what he knew would be a Calaman sherry.::

oO Velana. My Velana. Oo

::It might have been the four non-synthetic whiskies running through Cade's system, but suddenly it didn't feel as if all that time had passed. If he squinted his eyes just a little bit, he could almost convince himself that it was May of 2384 instead, and he was there to meet his girlfriend for a much-needed, post-finals drink.::

Cade: ::to the bartender:: Another whiskey. ::He paused.:: And a Calaman sherry.

::A minute later, with a drink in each hand, Cade released a long breath and started across the crowded floor.::

oO Fortune favors the brave. Just like Father always says. Oo

::But his drunken bravado almost gave out when Velana spotted him. Her ice blue eyes grew wide for a fraction of a second before narrowing considerably. Not the greatest welcome, yet Cade kept going.::

Cade: Hey, Vee. ::He held out the sherry.:: You look ready for a second round.

::He hadn't meant it to mean anything more than another round of drinks, but even to his own ears, the words came out with a bit of a leer, as if he was suggesting something far more intimate. So, it wasn't really a surprise when she rose to her feet.::

Cade: I'm sorry. Vee, I swear...please don't go. ::He set the drinks down and regretted it immediately, as he suddenly had no idea what to do with his hands.:: I just...I just wanted to talk to you.

Velana: Why? ::She folded her arms over her chest.:: I've been under the impression for the last six years that everything that needs to be said between us has already been said.

Cade: You're wrong. ::He swore softly.:: No, that's not what I meant. I mean, yeah, I don't agree, but you have every right to think that...you know...considering what happened... ::He plunged his fingers into his hair.:: This is not how I wanted this to go.

Velana: Let me guess. You imagined that you coming over here with a Calaman sherry and a grin would immediately make me forget everything that you...

::When she suddenly stopped, Cade frowned. It might have been years, but he recognized when Velana was on the verge of losing control of her emotions.::

Cade: Vee? Are you all right?

::Her laugh was bitter.::

Velana: Only you, Cade, could have the audacity to stand there and honestly ask me that question. ::She glanced away for a long minute, and when she looked back, there were tears in her eyes.:: My mother is ill.

::He'd only met T'Lan once, during a painfully awkward dinner that Velana had arranged after weeks of pressure on his part, but he'd come away with the impression of a formidable Vulcan mother whose entire world revolved around her only living child. As for Velana, T'Lan was the only family member she had left, save for the sister-in-law she hadn't seen in years. No wonder she was on the verge of a breakdown.::

::Human apologies would have been meaningless words to Velana. So, he pushed aside that instinct, a trick he'd learned during their time together.::

Cade: Will she recover?

Velana: Her doctors aren't certain. I've looked over her tests myself and I want to say that she will, but...

::When she shook her head, her hair swung around her shoulders. Cade swallowed heavily. Did those dark locks still feel like silk?::

Cade: I think she will.

Velana: ::with a sharp laugh:: Oh, you do?

Cade: I do.

Velana: And where did you get your medical degree?

::He took a step towards her, then another when she didn't move back. Up close, he could smell honeysuckle and orange blossoms. Even just a whiff of her scent was enough to bring him back to a time and place when he would have been able to take her in his arms and kiss her tears away.::

Cade: Just a feeling, Vee. ::Lost in the scent, lost in her eyes, he reached out and pulled her to his chest.:: Everything will be fine.

::Maybe she was lost in the past, too, because she didn't try to get away. He would have been no match for her if she had, so he was grateful when she relaxed against him.::

Velana: ::voice muffled against his collar:: I don't know why I came here.

::Her hair did still feel like silk he discovered as he stroked it softly. Why did she have to feel so good? Why did she have to fit so perfectly there in his arms?::

::How had he convinced himself six years earlier that he didn't need this, didn't need her in his life?::

::Everything had gone wrong since he'd left Velana in that hotel room after he'd said everything possible to break her heart. But now it was starting to seem like the pieces could be picked up and put back into place.::

Cade: Me neither. Just felt like I should. ::He lifted his shoulders.:: Fate?

Velana: I don't believe in fate.

Cade: ::smiling:: Right. Luck, then? ::She said nothing.:: Vee...

Velana: ::cutting him off:: I haven't forgiven you.

Cade: Didn't expect you had.

Velana: But I also don't think about you all the time. ::She drew back to look up at him.:: I moved on. Understand?

::He nodded even as he tried to stamp down a wave of jealousy. It wasn't as if he had been celibate for six years. And Alaxa had already told him this several years earlier. That didn't mean it didn't sting, but the blow wasn't debilitating.::

Cade: I think about you all the time, Vee.

::She studied him for a second, the way only she could. Velana had always been able to see through his bravado and ego and lies...except for the one time he hadn't wanted her to: that last night after graduation.::

Velana: Why?

Cade: Because.

::He wanted to tell her everything. How he had never stopped loving her, but he'd given in to family pressures and expectations and prejudices. No. Too much time had passed. Or not enough time. Regardless, he just couldn't do it.::

::So, he kissed her.::

::If he'd woken up the next morning with any scratches or bruises or bite marks, he might have thought she'd gone into pon farr, but he woke with a smile on his face. Turning over, he reached for Velana...only to find a cold pillow. The tangled sheets were the only proof that she had been there at all.::

Lt. Cade Whitman
USS Vigilant

Simmed by LtCmdr Velana

CMO: USS Vigilant

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