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Confusion

Posted on Thu Sep 2nd, 2021 @ 5:07pm by Chief Engineer Michael Burnstein & Nollel Livaam (*)

Mission: Holoworld
Timeline: MD -10
2450 words - 4.9 OF Standard Post Measure

Nollel busied herself in the mirror as she tried to tame her hair from the water shower she had taken. She normally used sonic but she had felt cold and wanted to warm up after being in the cold environment of the bridge. It had been a long day and she was excited to just do something normal instead of cataloguing the grotto or helping in hydroponics.

Grabbing on a woollen cardigan she wrapped it around herself. She stepped out into the living room and noticed Michael sat there waiting for her. She blinked surprised for a moment that he was there.

“Um, you are waiting for me?” She wondered confused for a moment before remembering they were going for dinner. “Dinner with Liha. I remember now.”

Burnie flattened his lips against frown. It wasn't like Nollel to forget things like that, but it had been months since her head injury. Fatigue was as likely as anything - after all he forgot social stuff all the time when he got caught up in work. "Hey, are you okay?" he asked going over to her. "You've had a lot on your plate lately. If you're tired, I'll just tell Liha you decided to stay in tonight." He grinned a little. "Or that we decided to stay in." That was guaranteed to get no further questions - he could already picture Liha rolling her eyes and walking away.

"Of course I am okay. Just a little tired from all the mundane stuff I have been doing and being on the bridge all day fielding communications. We are all a little tired at the moment." Nollel smiled at the grin on his face and shook her head. It would not be right to cancel last minute on someone, it would be incredibly rude and Nollel was not that. "As much as we deciding to stay in would be nice as I feel like I have not seen you properly in days it would be unfair to Liha. She has taken the time to come and meet us in the mess."

"Okay." Burnie smiled; he loved that she was so good at the social graces (especially since he very much was not). Of course, social graces and Liha weren't concepts that went hand in hand either... "But if you get tired, just give me a sign and I'll come up with an excuse to go."

"I am pretty sure Liha would just accept 'I am tired and need to go to bed' but okay." She teased him. They both knew that Liha was blunt and appreciated honesty as much as Nollel did. "Okay... I am ready when you are." She announced despite how tired she felt she was going to have a good evening. They all deserved that. "I am sure the environmental control on this ship is off again. Everywhere is freezing." She said with a shake of her head.

Of course, Liha would accept it, Burnie thought. Liha operated on the assumption that humanoids were weak creatures that tired easily, but that didn't mean he wanted to give her any more excuse for the opinion.

"Amazing how quickly you can look great for going out," Burnie remarked appreciatively, and offered her an arm. He lifted an eyebrow at her next statement though. "Are you sure you're okay? I've actually been a little warm."

Nollel smiled at the fact he appreciated her. It was nice to be with someone who appreciated her looks and brain and felt that he could compliment her. “Yeah. I am fine. Promise. If something was wrong I would tell you. Maybe I have that tellarite cold or something brewing. You probably want to sleep at yours if I do. Jeassaho and Ford have both had it recently.” She promised leaning against the bulkhead watching him intently. “Anyway you scrub up well yourself do not forget that.” She said changing subject to focus on something other than her.

"Me?" He lifted his collar and sniffed. "...yeah, okay..." Burnie headed into the bathroom and started to wash. "I guess it does get warmer down in engineering. I'll take a look at rebalancing the ship HVAC tomorrow." Toweling off, he grabbed a spare shirt from the spare clothes he kept in her quarters. "All right. Now I shouldn't bother Liha's keen vulcanoid olfactory sense."

“You always you.” She called as he disappeared into the bathroom leaving her alone in the main area. She pottered around and added a line to the drawing she was working on. It was something from memory but she felt like Stratos was becoming a distance memory. “Perfect. Ready?”

"Ready."

The walk to the mess hall was not long and Nollel enjoyed the company and almost silence. It made her appreciate that not every moment of life needed to be filled up with noise and colour. “She is not here yet?” She wondered looking around for the woman.

"Back there." Burnie nodded in the direction of the back wall. "Where she always sits: back against a bulkhead, line of sight to the door but just out of the direction most people would look when walking in." He shook his head, chuckling as they headed over. "I figure it must be her training because if it was a Romulan thing everyone on a Galae ship would always be fighting over the same table."

Nollel frowned and looked to where she had been looking and noticed the woman. “Hiding in the shadows as usual.” She tutted to cover the moment that she had truly missed the woman. What was with her today?? She moved through the tables to where the woman was. “Good evening.” She said softly.

"Good evening," Liha replied tipping her head to Nollel and then glancing up at Burnie with a smirk. "Let me guess, you're late because she had to remind you to wash up."

"Hey!" Burnie protested with a mock wounded look. "I'd be insulted," he swapped expression to a quick grin, "if it wasn't true."

Liha chuckled and smiled at Nollel as she gestured for them to sit down. "Hopefully you'll manage to train him eventually."

Liha knew the man far too well which amused her deeply. "To be fair I took longer than expected and then he had to get ready. I apologise that we are not as punctual as normal." Nollel took a seat and smiled at the notion that Burnie needed to be trained let alone if it was manageable. She liked the Chief Engineer just the way he was, just like he liked her the way she was. He did not need to change at all. "I do not mind his rebellion." The blonde assured quickly looking at Burnie.

"Good to know," Burnie said, giving her a fond smile.

"Whatever." Liha rolled her eyes in almost human fashion. She really didn't quite know what to make of Burnie of all people being part of a cute couple. "But honestly you're still more punctual than he ever was on his own. You know, I used to give him times to meet that were at least a half hour before the actual time."

“Well if we are ever that late please come and search us out. Something has gone drastically wrong.” Nollel quickly promised turning to look at Liha. She blushed under the woman’s whatever but offered a smile. “So what is today’s variety of food?” She wondered having missed what was freshly cooked before she considered the replicator.

"Earth Asian. They have your favorite chicken and noodles." Burnie looked at her a moment. "You must have been really busy on the bridge today. I sent you a note with the dinner menu when I saw it go up after lunch."

Nollel looked at him blank for a moment before she shrugged weakly. She could not remember looking at her PADD all day so she obviously missed it. "I must have not checked my PADD." She admitted shrugging again. "Well, I am going to go for my favourite." She was pretty easy when it came to food. She did not have many dislikes at all especially if Earth Chinese was involved. it was the most delicious food in the universe done right. "What do you guys fancy?" She wondered wanting to move the conversation from her. She did not want to be under the spotlight.

"No time to even look at your PADD..." Burnie shook his head. "Well, you deserve your favorite meal for being so dedicated. As for me, I'm going to have the beef chow fun," he said with a smile - not only did he like the sesame beef stir fry with wide rice noodles, but how could anyone not smile with a dish called 'chow fun'.

"Pad thai," Liha said without even looking at the menu. She'd enjoyed as much Romulan food as she could on FreeCloud, but now it was back to this ship's heavily human-centered cuisine. "It's the only earth dish here that's halfway decently spiced."

Nollel nodded. It seemed that the theme food night was a hit with everyone at the table. “One day I will try some Romulan food for comparison,” Nollel said rising to get the food. “One of you is going to have to come to help. I have never been good at balancing more than two plates.” Why she had always fallen into admin roles, waitressing was just not for her.

"Always glad to help," Burnie said, hopping out of his chair with a slight bow (while pointedly ignoring the 'dear Elements are you whipped' look from Liha). He'd volunteer to help anyway, but Nollel had obviously had a tiring day so he'd offer if even if she were only a friend. "If you want, I can get the food myself. I'm used to carrying half a dozen things through Jeffries tubes. Might as well put those hard-won skills to work."

The blonde nodded and sat back down. "Okay, you win. Thank you." She nodded her thanks and watched him go off to get the food. "So have you had a good day then... L..." She paused for a second as if she had forgotten before she fake coughed into her hand, hoping the woman would just take the hint that she had not completely spaced out and forgotten her name for a moment. "Sorry... Air conditioning really has me not right at the moment. So have you had a good day?"

"I had a day." Liha picked up the drink she had ordered while waiting. "Busy, but that's pretty standard for engineering here." She studied Nollel over the rim of the glass as she took a sip. "Are you sure you're okay? The A/C is always too cold to me, but you seem a lot more ...affected than normal." She leaned in a bit, lowering her voice. "You can tell me if you aren't feeling well. I won't freak out like Burnie would."

Nollel sighed as the woman leaned in to assure her that she would not freak out. "I am fine. I think I am just coming down with that cold that had been floating around the ship." It was standard to have some type of bug floating around. "Tellarite cold is not a big deal. As soon as we have eaten I will go to bed." She assured quickly. "Let's just drop it, please."

Liha expelled something like a sigh. "Okay, if you want to avoid having Burnie try to play to nurse, I get that. But if you're sick with it, it's only a matter of time until I'm picking up extra work when he comes down with it too." She frowned into her drink at the prospect; sometimes having a superior immune system was not as much of an advantage as it seemed.

"Here we go," Burnie announced, arriving at the table, a tray in one hand and two partially stacked and held wedged between the other hand hand and the crook of his elbow. "Looks like serious talk while I was gone," he observed as he set them down. "What's up?"

“Nothing really. Liha is just worried that I have the Tellarite cold going around and you will get sick.” Nollel said. “But I am just going to going to go to bed after this and sleep it off.” She explained quietly taking her plate with an added murmur of thanks.

"Concerned for me?" Burnie touched a hand to his chest, lifting his brows at Liha.

Liha rolled her eyes. "More like concerned I'll get stuck covering for you."

"Right, that makes sense then." Burnie nodded, then looked over at Nollel. "You said you were fine. If you aren't feeling well, we can just turn in early."

“No I am fine just having a few confusing thoughts. I’ll just go to bed alone after just encase.” Nollel assured quietly looking at her food. “Will be fine.”

Burnie had been willing to accept that she hadn't told him she felt under the weather - he wasn't great at admitting to that sort of thing either, even with (sometimes especially with) the people closest to him - but that didn't sound right. "Are you sure?" he asked, concerned. "I'm an engineer, not a doctor, but I've never heard of a confusing thoughts as a cold symptom."

“Not for you guys maybe for me.” She shrugged still just looking at her food. “I am alright. Food and then bed.” She said trying to contain the tears that were threading to burst out at being questioned.

There was no worse feeling than not being able to do anything when someone you loved was feeling badly. It was obvious she was upset, and Burnie didn't want to make it any worse, but... This was why he generally preferred engines to people - he could fix engines. He looked from Nollel to Liha and back helplessly.

"Oh, stop worrying," Liha huffed at him. "Humanoids get these minor bugs all the time, and despite your weak immune systems, you always somehow seem to survive."

"Let's eat before everything gets cold." Nollel prompted already starting to eat. She glanced at Liha and offered a thankful nod before returning to the meal.

Suppressing a sigh, Burnie focused on his food. Liha was probably right; ever since Erica he had a tendency to over react to annoy he cared about getting sick or hurt. He still had an uneasy feeling in his gut, but Nollel was eating and his grandmother had always considered an appetite a sign of not being too sick so he decided to let her 'feed a cold' and drop it. For now.

 

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