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Posted on Fri Jul 15th, 2022 @ 9:47am by Leiddem Kea (*) & Delaney O'Callaghan & Laurier Cami & Curtis Vaan

Mission: Adrift
Location: Party
Timeline: MD-04 - Evening
1229 words - 2.5 OF Standard Post Measure

"Hey Vaan. When are you going to stop playing third wheel?"

Cami was the sort of person who liked to party. Pretty hard, when the opportunity came along for it. Which it had, a few times lately. Between not really having anything left to do but pray from an engineering perspective, the only remaining option was, apparently, to drink.

Not that she was drunk now, but after a low-carb diet and a couple of cups of whatever alcohol was being passed around, she was a little less reserved than she might have been.

"We were having a conversation..." Curtis tried to explain, almost apologetic towards Laney and Leiddem.

"You should let them have a moment. You know, give them some space." Cami put an arm around both Curtis and Leiddem's shoulders, squeezing them both. "Lei is too polite to say he wants it, you know."

Leiddem did not mind the physical contact but he did mind the fact the squeeze nearly made him connect with Curtis which would have left them both with sore heads. “Watch out Cam.” He said gently moving her hand a little to give himself some space to breath.

Delaney, who had abandoned entirely trying to find a seat and was using Leiddem as one instead, leaned awkwardly to the side to avoid the drape of Cami's hand. Ordinarily, the pair of them got on well enough, being of similar spirits, but this constituted the second time in as many days that the Bajoran had inserted herself physically on a conversation nobody had invited her to join. Delaney raised her eyebrows; someone was being a hypocrite. "I think Curtis was actually here first," she defended her friend, which was practically unheard of.

“Pull up a chair if you want to talk.” Leiddem’s instructed feeling the sudden vibe of the group chance quicker than Deany’s eyebrow. It was not what it normally was at all like there was a huge elephant in the room that no one was acknowledging.

"Nah, I know when I'm interfering." Cami shot Delaney a little look. Maybe the claws were coming out a little, but that was only because...well, she knew that Leiddem was a soft touch. She didn't want him getting hurt, even if she suspected that Delaney wasn't the type to break his trust like that. Instead, she grabbed Curtis by the hand. "Dance with me?"

"Uhh-" He didn't really have a choice. And then there was that part of him that of course caused his face to immediately flush red. "Okay." She tugged him into the middle of the room, where there were a few others trying to make the most of the music and mood.

"They're a new couple, give them time to figure it out," she said in his ear. It was probably what he needed to hear; Laney and Leiddem were still in the early stages. Maybe it was the right thing to do.

Delaney watched the pair of them go, reduced to momentary silence by the exaggeration of alcohol's confusion. Initially, she had put down her reaction to Cami's behaviour as just the expected agitation of being stuck in close confines. Delaney wasn't an unreasonable woman, far from it. She knew that, cooped up like this, she was starting to fray around the edges and had been perfectly willing to blame herself for being too sensitive. That look had been intentional and directed though, just as Cami's focus on Leiddem's peace of mind had very noticeably excluded any concern for Delaney's wishes. It took a lot to get through Delaney's armour but she deflated somewhat, watching the Bajoran drag off her friend as if that itself was some sort of punishment.

"Have I done something to Cami that I don't know about? Why is she being like this?"

Leiddem look at his girlfriend and shrugged a little as he watched Cami dancing with Curtis of all people. He had no idea what was going on. Him and Cami had always been tight and had a friendship that was built on sarcasm and genuine warmth. “I have no idea.” He said clueless.

At least he hadn't denied noticing it, which instantly made Delaney feel calmer. "She's been weird since Girls' Night," she replied softly, and then lowered her gaze before switching which of his knees she was sitting on, a move that allowed her to place her back to the other woman and the Risian that seemed to be caught in her crosshairs. Avoiding eye contact seemed like the simplest way to diffuse the situation, at least for now, but it didn't reduce the twisted knot of hurt feelings that dulled Delaney's enthusiasm for a moment. She wasn't as friendly with Cami as Leiddem was, he'd known the Bajoran longer, but she'd still thought of her as a friend.

Leiddem frowned but let the woman move to not look at the woman who seemed to be upsetting her. He did not understand what was going on. “I do not see why. Maybe the cold is effecting here.” The man said trying to offer some rational to why his friend was saying what she was.

"Maybe." Though she didn't sound convinced, Delaney saw no value in unloading her frustration onto the Betazoid. Unlike Cami, she had very little desire to use him as a battering ram in whatever war she'd been signed up for without her knowledge.

"I don't understand what's going on," Curtis mumbled, feeling Cami still holding on to him and trying to dance along a little.

"I'm trying to make sure Leiddem has enough time with his girlfriend. And you..." Cami said quietly. "You're like a little limpet with that woman. I know what you're thinking because I'm thinking the same thing about him. And don't even try to pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. We like them. They like each other. The Prophets seem to push everyone I have the smallest crush on into someone else's arms..." She shook her head, not entirely sure why she'd admitted that to Curtis of all people. She barely knew him, in all honesty. But...he was there, and he was eligible...

"I don't...I mean, she's great and all. But Laney's my friend. Nothing more." He blinked, remarkably straight for once. "I don't want it to be more." More was complicated. It ran the risk of going wrong, and he didn't like the thought of that. He glanced back at Laney, and sat with Leiddem. "I might sound like a total idiot, and maybe I am. But I want my friends to be happy."

"You're nauseatingly sweet," Cami replied. "And I'm rebounding from the second person on board I liked running off with someone they like better than me. So..." She put a finger under his chin and pulled his eyes to her again. "We're going to get out of here and blow off some of that steam."

"I..." He wasn't sure whether this was the best night of his life or something else, but being propositioned by the rather good looking Bajoran engineer hadn't been one of the things he might have expected to happen that evening. "I guess-" Cami didn't let him finish. She took hold of his hand and led him away, looking for somewhere a little more private.


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