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This is Our Home...

Posted on Sun Apr 11th, 2021 @ 11:24pm by Micheal Robertson & Dixoho Saa

Mission: Stowaway
Location: SS Mary Rose, Cargobay Three
Timeline: TBD
3557 words - 7.1 OF Standard Post Measure

If anyone had entered Cargobay Three, which had been modified to serve as the shuttlebay for the repurposed Danube runabout, ALEXANDRIA, which was owned by both Dixoho and Micheal, the Texan would not have noticed. He was working feverishly, trying to get as much done on the runabout as he could, thinking it would help him win Dixoho back.

He knew that she had said that she wanted to start over, and he was definitely in agreement with her wishes, his only concern was how they would start over. Last time they began to see each other, he had been a bounty hunter, just stopping over really, after giving aid to the crew of the Rosie, following an explosion caused by one of the passengers at the time. This time, he wanted to prove to her that he wasn't going to be going anywhere. He had already hunted down the shapeshifter that had help to torture the two of them, and the man ultimately responsible for his wife and children's murders. He had no one else to hunt. Also, he finally had a home, here on Rosie. He didn't need, or truthfully, want to live that life anymore. Here is where he wanted to be. Here, with Dixoho Saa at his side.

With this in mind, he dove back into his work, unaware of the passage of time outside.

Dixoho had not heard or seen Michael for a few days around the ship at all. She had inquired from the computer a few times and it was always the same location. What could he possibly be doing there all this time? Finally getting some free time she decided to check it out especially as he was meant to be rest. "Anyone around?" She called banging her fist on the outside of the vessel.

Upon hearing her voice, the Alexandria's starboard hatch slid open, allowing her inside. Rebecca materialized with a big smile on her face. "Miss Saa!" She whispered excitedly when her sensors detected the young Trill woman. "Please," she beckoned Dixoho towards her. "Step inside. I'm sure you will be very impressed with our work!" The avatar was beaming with pride.

Dixoho pulled herself up weakly and frowned a little at stuff. "What have you been up to?" She demanded.

Rebecca's smile faltered as she detected the negative tone in Dixoho's voice. "Uh, we, uh," she stuttered at first, then closed her eyes, appeared to take a breath, then continued. "We thought that we'd show you how much you mean to Micheal, and me, but, I'm a bit more programmed." She blinked and the power slowly came on in the cockpit, showing every detail of work that had been done to get things operational and decorated as was discussed in the past.

Dixoho looked around confused for a moment before she started to notice what had been going on. It was how they planned the shuttle once upon a time a very long time ago. It was so long that Dixoho had almost forgotten until then and there having ripped up the plans and thrown them out. “I never doubted how he felt just that he has a funny way of showing it,” Dixoho said with a tut.

Rebecca nodded somberly. "I know, Miss Saa. He has very rough edges, and sometimes wears his heart on his sleeve." She paused before continuing. "While I didn't exist when his family was killed, I was programmed with several engrams of his memories of them. At first, when it was just the two of us, I thought I had been created to fill the void. I quickly realized the sheer amount of anguish that he endured everyday. I, as only an AI program, could never even hope to fill that chasm." She paused again, seeming to consider somthing.

"Miss Saa, if I may be so bold, I've existed by Micheal's side for nearly eight years now. In that entire span of time, the only person who has brought an honest smile to his lips, is you. I know he charges full bore at times, and then shrinks away at others. I thinks that he truly loves you with every fiber of his being. And, because of this, your displeasure wounds him deeply, thus making him feel he needs to charge forward to regain your favor." She shook her head. "I'm not saying that it's your fault at all, it's all him. He just...he forgot how to be subtle and take things slow. Please bear this all in mind and try not to judge him too harshly, Ma'am."

The Trill side put her hand to her forehead. It was hard to explain to Rebecca that things were not a fairytale. She wasn't going to fall into his arms and pretend the last year had not happened. It was impossible to do that when things shifted and changed too much she wanted to see how it would go but she didn’t wanna be pressured into anything. “Rebecca… Please do not presume to know my feelings. This isn’t a fairy tale where I am going to fall into Michael’s arms. I want to try and fix things but that takes time.” She whispered. “Now where is he?”

Rebecca seemed to stiffen slightly and a confused look crossed her features. "With apologies, Miss Saa, you seemed to misunderstand me. I was not referring to fairy tales or romance holonovels, I was trying to give you a glimpse into Micheal's state of mind as I have observed it over the years." She then extended her right arm out from her body and pounted to the aft section, wich was currently blocked by the closed aft hatch. "You will find him in the aft cabin, asleep."

The woman just glared at the avatar and turned away. She moved slowly through the shuttle and pushed open the door into the back section and how much it had changed and the man laid on the floor exhausted . “Michael?” She called from the door.

Rebecca decided not to follow the Trill, her programing telling her that the upcoming conversation should be a private one. She deactevated her visual avitar and placed the control systems on passive standby.

In the aft cabin, which had been converted into a private cabin for Dixoho and Micheal, the Texan stirred when he heard Dixoho called out to him. Slowly, he straightened out from the ball he was curled up in. As he stretched his large frame, several joints made popping sounds. Finally, he carefully got to his feet. His physical appearence was near abysmal. His hair and beard were scruffy and a bit unkempt, his clothes were dirty from various greases, oils and other fluids that tended to soil fabric during hard, prolonged, work. Also, up close, he was a bit musky, again, from sweat and hard work.

It took his brain a few seconds to fully awaken and register his current state. An embarassed look crossed his face. "Uh, sorry. I, uh, I wasn't planning on you seeing me like this."

"Like what? Human?" She wondered staying against the door frame watching him carefully.

It took him a few beats, then Micheal chuckled. "No, Di, cleeeeaaan. I'm a filthy mess." His stomach suddenly growled very loudly. Blushing a bit, he said, "Haven't had a real meal in....what day is it?"

"Seen many people like it Michael, you are no different." She commented before shrugging. "I do not know, Monday." Time did not work like that for her. She just lived on duty or off duty now. Days of the week were an old concept.

Micheal's eyes went a little wide. "Monday? You were in here on Tuesday! I've been in here for six days?! Whew! No wonder I'm exhausted." He paused, then asked, with a hint of hopefulness in his voice. "What did you think of the cockpit? I couldn't find the plans we had made together, so, I went on what I could remember. I hope you like it."

The woman looked around again avoiding his gaze. It wasn’t exactly what they planned but it was good he had put a lot of effort into it. Maybe too much by the look of him. “I like it but Michael you need to take care of yourself.” She chastised slightly.

Looking a bit sheepish, Micheal nodded. "I know, I know. You're right, of course. You know me. I get a goal in mind and I tend to focus on it. Did, uh, did you see that I completely removed the prisoner cells? I did so to show you that I'm going anywhere. Not any more. I'm done being a bounty hunter. In fact, if you wish to check, you'll see that I turned in my license." He took a deep breath and released it, seeming to cleanse his spirit some. "Di, I'm done with that life. I want to make this," he waved his right hand between them. "Work. Whatever it takes. That's how important you are to me."

Dixoho opened her mouth a few times before she sighed and nodded. She appreciated the sentiments that he had made to prove to her that he was back in her life properly. "I know this Michael, but I cannot be rushed with all of this." She reminded him softly. He was the love of her short and sometimes turmoiled life and she wanted him in it but she was not going to rush things again.

Micheal's face changed to an agreeingly hopeful one. "Oh, no no no. I understand! Really. I want to do this right. Things went very fast last time, and then your mirror..." he let out a grunted sigh. "Well, she didn't help things. Then, after that whole other universe crap, we were kidnapped and tortured." He got real quiet and seemed to shrink in dismay.

"I am so sorry you got pulled into that, honey." His voice was full of pain and regret. "If it takes me the rest of my life, I'm going to make it up to you." He wanted desperately to move to Dixoho and take her into his arms. However, he was both too filthy and he didn't want to rush things.

After a few beats, he continued. "And then, I go and speed out of here a second time, hunting for the prick responsible for all of it and get sucked back into the Andromeda Galaxy." He shook his head as he moved to sit in a chair. Looking back up at the beautiful Trill that had so completely claimed his heart, his eyes were moust. "I thought that I'd never see you again. I..." He hung his head and whispered, "I'm sorry."

"I know you are sorry Michael but it does not change that time and space is still needed. For both of us. You need to adjust to being back among people and I need to adjust to having you back somewhere that I do not have to worry about." She said gently leaning more against the door frame as she tried to order her own thoughts. "Things did not really go fast last time just that the first time we were meant to be together it was not me was it... it was her." Dixoho reminded softly. "It's always been my alternative, not me."

Micheal took a small step forward, not wanting to make Dixoho uncomfortable. Shaking his head, he sighed and replied, his voice soft and reassuring. "No, Di. She may have been the version I...I was with, but you, this version, has always had my heart." He paused before continuing. "To be honest, there was something about her that just didn't feel right. I don't know. Maybe it was that she was drunk at the time, and more aggressive than I expected you to be. I am ashamed that I allowed her to take advantage and get me right where I thought you wanted me."

Shaking his head again, he took in a deep breath before continuing, taking another small step closer to Dixoho. "Honey, I know things have to go slow this time. I agree wholehartedly. I want this to work, and I hope you do to. We will do things at your speed." Another pause. "Later, if I feel things are going right, I'll try to suprise you with a proper proposal." He gave her a boyish grin, hoping she would laugh.

The Trill saw him hesitating as he attempted to come towards her then stopped. She nodded relieved that he attempted to touch her, she didn’t want anyone touching her when she felt so terrible all the time. She sighed And nodded listening to what he was attempting to say. It did not change what happened it didn’t help post-traumatic stress at all and neither had swapping bodies with Cami helped.

“Look if stars align and stuff... You know work then I will say yes but don’t put pressure on us. Don’t put pressure on me. I don’t want it and I don’t need it and neither do you. We both have lots of stuff to work through. The whole ship has some stuff to work through.” She said softly trying to lessen the blows she was making when all he wanted to do was pick up from where they left off. It was sweet but she had changed and so had he. “We might not fit anymore but I do care I came here to check on you didn’t I? But you need to look after yourself or Gregnol is never going to let you back on as crew.”

Micheal nodded as he listened. "I know we do. Lots of stuff." He could feel that she was trying to make what she was saying feel less painful, and he appreciated it. Of, course, he couldn't help but feel turtured by it as well. It all meaned, in the end, that he would have to remain alone for the foreseeable future. However, if that was what Dixoho needed, he would find a way to respect her wishes. "Yes, you did," he replied, a soft smile on his face. Sighing, the smile fell away and he nodded again, ferling her disconnect from him again. "I know. You're right, of course." Glancing over to the insuite shower that was built into the aft cabin, he said, "I should get cleaned up." He tried very hard not to ask her to join him.

Dixoho nodded relieved that he had not tried to argue more. “And get some actual rest in a proper bed in your quarters, Micheal.” She said as she turned away to leave the shuttle again. She had a night watch on the bridge and had to be on time.

Though he tried hard not to let it show, Micheal was feeling extremely heart broken as he watched Dixoho turn and leave. He stood where he was for a few minutes after she had left the shuttle, before letting the pent up emotion start to break free. Dropping to his knees, he began to weep. He wept for his pain, for Dixoho's pain, for their lost time, for her current medical condition. Most importantly, he wept for the unknown future that was before them both. Over the past year, all he thought of was getting back to Dixoho. Now that things had changed, he was unsure as to whether he would ever truly be with her again.

Slowly, after several long moments of emitional outpouring, he slumped to the deck and fell asleep. A few hours later, he heard a voice callling to him.

"Micheal?" Rebecca's viice was lowered to a soft, soothing volume, as she tried to stir her creator. She, of course, had seen and heard everything that had transpired in the aft cabin. Not that she was actively watching, it was just that the internal sensors were always running. "Micheal? You need to get up."

Slowly, Micheal began to stir. As soon as his brain returned to the land of consciousness, his body began screaming its reports of pain. Groaning from those reports, the wounded Texan opened his eyes and saw the concerned face of his ever-present companion. "Yeah, I know." He started the process of picking his large frame up off the deck, joints popping as he moved. "Start the shower, please. Make it hot."

Rebecca blinked as she moved out of Micheal's way. The sound of the shower starting filling the quiet room.

Carefully, Micheal began to remove his soiled clothes, letting them fall to the deck as he moved towards the welcoming shower. Once he was inside, he pressed a control and a bench slid out from a recess in the bulkhead behind him as he faced the water stream. Still feeling weak from both the exhaustion and the emotional release, he sat down and just let the near-scalding hot water flow over him. He always found this temperature to be the most refreshing when he was in pain.

As soon as Micheal was in the shower, Rebecca used her transporter to collect the piles of dirty clothes. She also began playing the soft music that she knew Micheal preferred when he felt like this. Afterwards, her avatar sat in one of the empty chairs in the cabin and waited.

Micheal closed his eyes and tried to enjoy the shower. He heard the music begin playing, and suddenly wondered if he took advantage of Rebecca. Granted, she was a construct of his making, along with the programmer he had encountered during his first foray into the Andromeda Galaxy. Rebecca had initially been created to help save Micheal's life. The device in his head was what allowed her to be so attuned to his needs. Now, after nearly eight years together, he started to feel that it was well past time to do something to give her more freedom.

His mind kept working the issue as he began to wash the filth from his body. By the time he wash clean and beginning to shave, he decided what the first thing he had to do. He had to give Rebecca the physicality that she didn't currently possess. Right now, she was nothing more then the blue ghostly outline of a woman. That had to change.

Finally, after nearly an hour, he turned off the water and exited the shower. Grabbing a nearby towel, he started to dry himself as he moved to the desk and activated the computer. "Rebecca, bring your physical appearance program up."

Watching as he moved toward the desk, Rebecca arched her right eyebrow. "You don't like how I look?" She asked as she followed his request.

"It's not that," he said as he wrapped the towel arownd his waist and began to type new code into the system. "This is something that I should have done long ago." He continued to type new algorithms into her programming. This took him nearly thirty minutes. When he was finished, he saved the new file and activated it. As he turned to look at Rebecca, her image began to change. Starting at her feet, the blue-lined image faded away, replaced with the image of an actual woman. The image continued the alter as it moved up her body, f8nishing with her head and face. Where before the ghostly image of a hairless blue woman was, now, a flesh-and-blood image of a redhaired, blue-eyed Caucasian woman sat.

Slowly, Rebecca felt the change inside of her programing. Reaching up, she felt her face first. A look of amazement filled her features. She moved her hands over the rest of her body as she quickly stood. Looking down at herself, she smiled broadly. "Oh, Micheal!" She said appreciatively. "Thank you so much!"

"You don't need to thank me, Rebecca," he said, a happy grin filling his freshly shaved face. "As I said, I should have done this sooner. Of course, now that you have physicality, I should be careful not to get hit by you." He chuckled as he finished speaking.

Turning her gaze to him, Rebecca chuckled as well. "Oh, yes you better. I will certainly use this new ability quite well if you force me to." She seemed to think for a beat, then smiled. "I have always been curious of trying hair and clothing styles of the other women of the crew!"

Micheal raised a finger. "One rule that you must follow. You are not to alter your appearance to look like anyone on this ship. You want to change your makeup, hair or clothes, that's fine. But your actual physical appearence will not change. Comply."

Nodding her head, Rebecca replied. "Of course, Micheal." Her eyes moved to his bare chest. "I'll leave you alone to get dressed." Her image vanished suddenly, leeving him alone.

Micheal shook his head, though he appreciated her thought to give him privacy. Standing, he pulled the towel off of his waist and finished drying himself as he moved of to the replicator and requested a new set of clothes. Once he was dressed, he grabbed his gauntlet from the cockpit and left the shuttle, heading for his assigned quarters to try and get some sleep.


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