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Making It Known

Posted on Sat Jul 2nd, 2022 @ 8:39am by Ka'see 'Cassie' Anderson (*) & Executive Officer Jake Ford

Mission: Adrift
Location: Deck 7 - formal center
Timeline: Day four 22:00
2420 words - 4.8 OF Standard Post Measure

Cassie glanced around the party and nodded to Jake across the room before offering a smile to him. She did not know what to do in a group situation like this, so stayed where she was people watching and using the time to order her thoughts in a safe lit space where no dikironium cloud creature - even the memory - could get her and upset the sense of calm she was now feeling after different discussions since she had joined the party. She gripped the bottle of booze that had been thrust at her by Leiddem and took a long swig.

Excusing himself from his own conversation, Jake made a beeline across the space between them.

"Hey." He felt, for a moment, like some awkward kid at a high school party. As though pretending that they were 'friends' to the public audience was somehow important. "Thought I saw you hiding over here. Not wanting to talk to people?"

“Oh I have done talking how I got this… kinda,” she held up the bottle and shrugged. Whilst he looked awkward, Cassie looked a bit more assured than she had felt coming into the party. “Good day?” She wondered trying to create a conversation where she did not have to talk to anyone about the adventure she had experienced.

Jake wasn't sure where to look as he thought back on his adventures in Deflector Control with Liha. "I've had worse." Marginally. "But I'm still alive, so that's something."

Cassie turned her back on the crowd and look at the man intently, trying to endeavour to work out what was going on with him.. “What is wrong?” She wondered gently.

He smiled, gazing into her face. "Only been around each other a few days and already you can read me like a book." He shook his head. "It's nothing. I'm fine. You're probably bored of me telling you it's been a tough few days."

The woman shook her head. If she had been anyone else she would have likely got offended by his comment but it was an easy thing to correct him with no judgement. “No, we have been around each other years Jake.” The woman corrected.

"Has it been years? I suppose it has; easy to lose track sometimes." He motioned to the bottle in her hand. "I don't recall you drinking all that much. Want me to get you another?"

“At least over a year.” She grinned trying not to tease him nor point out how quick his relationship had been with Eden. She looked down at the bottle and nodded. “Only if you are going there for yourself.” Cassie did not drink much as it was a waste as it did not effect her really.

He gave a quick nod of acknowledgement and retrieved two more bottles from nearby. "If you don't mind me making the observation," he said, passing her one of the cold bottles. "You're a lot more open, emotionally, than most half-vulcans I've ever met. I've seen you smiling a few times lately."

Cassie nodded. It was an astute observation. “They were probably brought up more by there Vulcan parents but some Vulcans do show emotions V'tosh ka'tur practice. I am also from a time where the true teachings were challenged and I do not wholly believe that you should restrict yourself to no emotions. I am part of two worlds though I got in neither.” Cassie said not catching his gaze for a moment before she looked up at him.

"I see. I guess that's pretty rare these days. Even among hybrids," he noted. "I had no idea."

“It was a good observation but I have also been through a lot of trauma recently. My human side is helping me deal with it all.” Cassie finally said speaking how much she had been through recently and how Johnathan’s coming in and out of her life had left a strain that she had retreated into her Vulcan teachings to handle.

He touched her arm gently. "We humans are good for something. Even if that is our often self-depreciating humour," he grinned.

“Your humour is alright. Mostly goes over my head.” She admitted. “I am fully aware I am anomaly but that is okay… right? I can just be me.” She responded looking at him as he touched her arm.

"Not an anomaly. Just you." He echoed her words with a twinkle in his eye. "You're perfectly fine the way you are. Wouldn't have you any other way."

“Thank you.” She smiled for a moment before she realised she was smiling and remembered that it was not expected from a Vulcan. It was not something she had thought about until recently but her whole life was on her own spotlight at the moment. “So wanna talk about what happened when you went out? Dance? Drink till we forget our troubles?” She wondered tucking a stray piece of hair out of her face annoyed that her hair was escaping the pony tail.

"All good options," he admitted, appreciating her smile despite how brief it was. "I didn't take you for a dancer, though. Something I'll definitely have to see at some point, but...I'm definitely not one myself. Would definitely need some drinks before you get me anywhere near a dance floor."

“Dancing to certain music is logical.” She assured listening to the music for a moment it was an Andorian club song that seemed familiar but seeing it was Leiddem controlling music she could have heard it anywhere repeatedly. “So still two options” she countered.

"I don't need to talk about today," he said. He'd invested a lot of pent-up emotion into that conversation. This was a chance to hopefully forget about that a little bit and actually enjoy engaging with someone. "So, Cassie. What's your favourite drink?"

The woman raised an eyebrow but dropped the subject there. If he did not want to talk that was fine, the shuttle was obviously still doing what they needed it to do so everything outside of the bubble was good. “I think my favourite drink for day time is coffee. Many days and nights fuelled on it but when I do not need to thrive I guess mint tea.” It was a contrast to the coffee. It was light and refreshing hot or cold.

"Oh. Well, I actually meant more the sort-of evening, night out drink. You know, if you were going to 'drink until we forgot our troubles?"

“Oh…” she blushed a little at the mistake. “Scotch Whisky in a cocktail or Drambuie been years since I’ve had it.” Cassie had not been back to earth since she had been freed so it was more longing than anything she felt. “What about yourself?” She asked him back.

"My old man always preferred hard liquors; whisky, anything you could strip paint with. I wouldn't say the apple fell all that far from the tree in that respect, but I'm not exactly a connoisseur. So long as it kills brain cells, it's all the same to me," he explained.

“You would like Jim beam.” She suggested before thinking about what she had in her glass. “But vodka is doing it for me tonight though.” She promised holding up the glass before taking a sip. It was strong. “Should suggest it to Jeassaho if she can get the still working.”

"I already asked her about it, but apparently it takes time to ferment. Could be a few days to get anything remotely consumable. With a bit of luck we'll be back to normal running in a couple of days, so maybe I can have you over and we can share my stash of the real stuff?" he suggested.

“I’d like that.” She said quietly glancing around to see where Jeassaho was. She was in the corner looking exhausted as she nursed her own drink. “It will taken weeks for her to create anything but I think she’s bored and looking for a project. Can relate to that.”

"Boredom?" he asked. "I guess there's not much for an operations officer to do around here with things as they are. We're making our own entertainment as we go, keeping ourselves busy." He finished off his drink. "Maybe you should teach me to dance after all?"

“I mean in general. Here I am kept busy repairing space's. I chose operations as a way to stay onboard but it leaves me bored. Maybe I should have chosen something else.” She said but that was a thought for another day as she was struck by his sudden change of thought. “Okay.” She laughed taking his glass putting it down as she took both of his hands and tugged him away from the wall. “Here?”

"Depends if you don't mind people seeing?" he asked softly. "A few people suspect, but I know that we haven't exactly been particularly 'public' about being quite so close..." He glanced around. "I'm not embarrassed. I just know that you've been through a lot and you might not want that attention yet.”

“I do not mind but that is a whole other story of what happened last night before I saw you. I do not want to keep stepping on egg shells as you humans say. It is not healthy for me.” She said looking at the floor almost letting go of his hands.

"Cassie." He squeezed her hands more tightly, feeling her grip loosen. "Forget about everyone else. What do you want?"

“I… I want to dance here with you.” She said finally as she almost felt like the whole room had very little oxygen for a moment.

He felt himself respond with a sheepish smile of his own. It was nice, after everything, to hear her say that. "Well then." Still holding on to her hands, he took a few steps back into space. Then he pulled her closer. "You'd better teach me."

Cassie almost laughed at the sudden hush and then chatter that happened as the pair got closer. She took her hand from his and put it on his hip as she moved to the beat of a slightly slower earth song. “Relax then.” She suggested.

"I'll do my best," he said, unsure if that was something he could actually do feeling this close to her in that moment. He glanced downwards, trying not to step on her feet. "Should've plied me with a few more drinks first, maybe."

“Sorry I thought less drink might be a nicer first dance.” She said trying to work out what was making him not be able to relax. “What’s making you so tense?” She finally whispered as he glanced back up.

He rocked slowly, trying to figure out exactly how to answer that question. "You?" he finally said. "It's hard to say. I'm...not used to being close to someone like this so openly." It was his turn to show a touch of hesitance. It seemed they had that in common too. "And I don't want to embarrass you."

Cassie gave him a confused look as she stepped up and wrapped an around around his neck being herself closer to him. “But you and Eden were together months? Everyone knew?” She questioned softly not understanding.

Eden. Another elephant in the room. A prickly one. "That's my point," he said quietly. "It doesn't feel like it's been that long. And not everyone knows about us yet." He'd been the first one to talk her away from worrying about what people thought of her, but he wasn't usually the one to take his own advice. "It's not been long for you, either."

“You are not going to embarrass me Jake but if I am pushing I will…” she struggled to find the phrase as she took a step back. “… back up.” Their situations were very different.

"That's just it. I don't want you to," he said. "This...whatever this is...has been the best thing that's happened to be in quite a long time. I just don't want to be the one that forces you into it if you're not ready."

She offered a small smile as she fully let him go. “It is okay to have concerns but I’m more than ready to move on.” After the conversations last night with the girls it seemed that they all had given her permission even though it was not needed.

He nodded silently. She said she was ready. He thought he was ready, too. Cassie was a kindred spirit, having just unexpectedly fallen out of something long-term. They both shared broken hearts. Was that all it was, in the end? Just seeing someone who had been through the same thing? Or was it more than that?

“My situation is very different from yours. I was with a man years who put everyone ahead of me and then in the final moments of his life tried to guilt me into a relationship. I should be sad but I am just relieved that something helped me… me escape.” She whispered so only he could hear even though she was reminding him of something he knew.

He touched her cheek this time. "That's exactly why I don't want to feel like I'm guilting you into something here. We had a moment. A few of them, actually. But us being together, making it more public..." He did his best to keep his expression empathetic and caring. "I just need to know that it's not guilt. That it's something different this time."

“It is very different.” She said simply looking up at him. “You are not guilting me into anything. And the fact you are worried about that should be a good indication that this is different.” She said not looking anywhere than him but she could feel eyes on them. Some concerned whilst others intrigued but all of the nothing she was bothered in looking at.

"Okay. Good. I think." Jake assented. "So...now that we've danced around that idea, are we dancing for real?" he smiled.

“Okay.” She agreed quietly and let him tug her back out in to the open of the area. There was so much they needed to discus really but also things that needed to be hidden for a lot longer than Cassie cared to think on. It was confusing trying to think on all the steps so she just closed her head and leant her head against his shoulder.

 

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