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Not Such An Average Dance

Posted on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 @ 9:04pm by Captain Ledeya ‘Ed’ Ehestri & 1st Lieutenant Levi Drake

Mission: Cosmos
Location: Starbase 172
Timeline: 2396

Halla smiled as she saw the man coming towards her in Deltan Whisper bar that he had suggested. Hardwood beams supported the upper floor and the rows of small lights attached to them made the dark place seem almost enchanted. The bar had a nice feel to it, and she wasn’t sure that on any of her postings so far, she had not seen anything like it. The bar itself was packed. Marine seemed to be the primary clientele here, which was probably the best clientele for the owner.

The Trill had convinced herself that she had overslept when she had gotten there and he wasn’t there yet. She hadn’t taken long to get ready seeing she didn’t have much clothing until she got to Cosmos so she wore her favourite black dress that she felt slimmed her down as it was a point of worry with herself that partners had commented on before with a pair of tan heels. Her hair was half up and half down with a touch of makeup but it was nothing noticeable, just something to make her look less tired.

“Hi.” She greeted with a bright smile feeling relieved that she hadn’t been set up.

"You changed," Levi noted. It was a little obvious. "I suppose that means you fund somewhere on the Cosmos after all." He motioned to a small table near the back that was a little less crowded. "Get you a drink?"

Halla nodded at the drink offer. She ordered a vodka and cranberry juice Which was brought back with his own drink. The woman shook her head at him as they headed over to where he pointed. “Not at all.” The woman admitted. “The bases quartermaster found me quarters for the night.” It was basic but it had allowed her to have a few hours sleep.

"That must be a relief," he noted, sipping his beer as they took up their seats. "I like this place," he said, indicating the tall glass of golden ale. "Don't get much chance for the real stuff on the ship."

“Would not be the first time I’ve vagabonded on a base as a posting has been messed up.” Halla said with a shrug. It used to bother her but it wasn’t personal. “It is very unique. Lots of marines.” The woman nodded seeing the uniform.

"They won't bother you, if that's what they're worried about," Levi explained, seeing her look. "Even drunk marines aren't that stupid."

The science technician let out a small laugh and shook her head. Marines were never an issue for her, she could handle herself and anyone that came through. "I am sure they would not bother with little old me." The woman was sure of that.

"I know Marines who aren't even particular about whether their potential conquests have the normal number of appendages," Levi replied dryly. "Don't do yourself the disservice. Convinced me to meet you for a drink, didn't you?"

Halla found herself laughing just a little. "I think you took pity on a tired woman," Halla said with a wink as she sipped her vodka and cranberry.

"Not likely," Levi replied, taking a swig of his beer. "Trained out of me in boot camp. I'm totally lacking in pity, ma'am." His lip curled up in amusement.

"So what did make you agree?" Halla wondered turning a little in her chair to look at him better. She had not even been out for a drink with anyone since Maxum had disappeared on her again leaving no word but this time her quarters at the very least had not been cleaned and searched.

"Someone told me I have a bit of a hero complex. I see a damsel in distress, I've got to help. Probably why I joined the corps." He leaned forward, matching her gaze. "I'm a little old fashioned."

"Well, I am less damsel in distress now." She assured with a hint of amusement in her eyes. She did not get a chance often to meet Marines, Science and Marine's didn't mix often but he seemed pleasant enough.

"That's my job done, then," he replied with a nod. "So what made you join Starfleet, Halla? Exploration? Feel like you need to get out there and see the universe up-close?"

"Pretty much sums up my rationale for leaving the Trill Homeworld. I escaped by any means. How about you apart from obviously wanting to save damsals in distress." Everyone had a reason for joining Starfleet and not one was the same as the other.

Levi shrugged. "Not much else for a guy like me to do. Mom was a marine. Never really knew anything else growing up." To him it was as clear and dry as that. "Seeing the universe was a reasonable by-product I guess."

"Seems pretty straight forward for you to choose something familiar then." Halla nodded at her own thoughts. She wouldn't tell this man but she had grown up resenting the joining and how everyone looked to that as there destiny, to be joined and add to the growing knowledge of a symbiont. Halla did not want to live like that, she wanted to be her.

"Like I said, never known anything else," he said. "The marines are kinda like a home, anyway. They're one of those groups of people that no matter where you are, things rarely change. Hard to reproduce that anywhere else."

"Sounds nice," Halla said thoughtfully as she stared into her drink for a moment before taking a big gulp. She had not ever experienced anything like that, her family were workaholics trying to prove themselves to everyone and everthing.

"You don't approve?" he asked, unsure of her response. She seemed a little distant when he talked about it.

"Gosh no... I am um..." She turned to look at the bar. "Another one?" She asked quietly standing up on her heels.

Levi hesitated for just a fraction, then gave her a quick nod, indicating that the beer he'd had was satisfactory enough to approve of another. He watched her leave the table, curiosity building inside. Had he touched a nerve or something? A social cue he'd missed? Hard to tell, he'd met the girl twice. She was cute, not at all his usual type, but the small and dark thing she had going on (not to mention the spots) had him intrigued so far. Would be a shame to see it pass by.

The woman returned a few moments later with the requested drinks and a bowl of snacks the barman had pressed on her. "I bring snacks as well as drinks." The woman slid back into the chair crossing her legs. "To answer your question my family were not really a family. We lived in the same house but we did not live together I guess is the best way to describe it."

"I didn't mean to upset you," he said. It felt like the right thing to say, even if he was mildly conflicted in saying it. "To me, I feel like I've never really been without family, if you know what I mean."

"You did not. Tell me more about your family?" He had not upset her, just gave her a reminder about her awkward upbringing. She wanted to hear more about what was normal, it would give her a better understanding.

"Nothing too unusual," Levi replied. "Didn't know my dad. Mom was a gunnery sergeant. We moved around a lot, but the men and women who served with her treated me well. Taught me things. I figured that's why the corps always felt like a natural home to me," he explained. "Familiarity."

The woman nodded listening to him smiling a little. His world sounded so nice and homely if she pardoned her own pun. "Familiarity I think is why I picked to become a technician." She surmised as music started from the speakers somewhere above.

"What's familiar about it?" he asked, starting to raise his voice to be heard over the noise. He could see other patrons starting to get into the groove already.

"My family back on The Trill Homeworld are all scientist. I grew up in labs." She admitted with a shrug leaning in just a little so he could listen to her. "Marine's know how to party." She laughed pointing to a small group behind her. They all wore different clothes, different species but they looked like they were having a brilliant time.

A thin smile crossed Levi's face. "We work hard, we play hard, I think the saying goes," he remarked. "Are you waiting for me to ask you to dance?"

"I believe that is the saying." The woman said. Her accent was thick but it was obvious that she wasn't using the universal translator. She shook her head and took a sip of her drink before she stood up and offered her hand. "I am more than capable of asking a man or woman to dance."

The smile on his face remained as he accepted her hand and stood up alongside her, immediately drawing her towards what had apparently become a bit of a dance floor. The place was still a bar rather than a nightclub, but the clientele had made some space between tables. "I should warn you, I'm not much of a dancer," he said, leaning close enough for her to hear.

"That is okay. My heels are too high to get that involved in dancing." The woman said grinning moor as she started moving with the beat, squeezing his hand reassuringly. "Just got to move to the beat." She said bumping into someone. She turned and offered an apology to the already smiling man there.

Levi glared at the man before the drunken leer even appeared on his face, an instinctively protective mode switching on in his head for a second. He pulled Halla closer without even thinking about it, then found himself a little apologetic for it. "Never worked out how women could do anything in heels, let alone dancing," he remarked, shifting the conversation.

"You get used to it. I much prefer my comfy uniform boots." The woman assured him as she was pulled closer and smiled sweetly. It had been her fault for not looking where she was dancing so in her head there was no harm, or foul over it all. "You do not seem the type to wear heels so I am pretty sure you will just have to be confused about that." She teased.

"Can you imagine the looks I'd get from those guys?" he replied, an amused expression on his face. "Don't think I'd ever live that down. No, nothing but army boots for me and my two left feet," he said, still feeling a little self-conscious about the dancing side of things.

"Oh come on there is that classic film from Earth. Rocky Horror Show?? Is that not like some rite of passage?" The guys she had met on Mars for enlisted training had dressed up to go see a showing of it. "You are doing fine." The woman assured taking the chance to put a hand on his belt.

"Not in my unit," he replied. "And I can't say I'm familiar with that one...never been one for those sorts of movies." He shifted his weight around awkwardly, his movement only serving to close the gap between them that much more. "No rite of passage in the technician world?"

"We have to enlighten you." The woman gasped mocking shock and horror. "Not officially but you are not a tech until you have had to have a lab evacuated and decontaminated." She only half-joked with that sentence. Her rite of passage had been something out of a horror film thanks to the science officer she was assisting why she never chose Seabases ever again.

"Sounds like there's a story behind that..." he replied, intrigued by the cryptic reference. "And you told me before that the life of a technician was nothing special."

"Well, it isn't compared to that of a Marine." The woman said seeing how intrigued he was about the story behind what she had said. It was true though, in her world, no one was a scientist until you had made one fatal step.

"I'm in no position to argue," he smiled. He was enjoying the moment, he realised. Relaxed, appreciating the music, the company. It was nicer than most activities he got up to on shore leave.

Halla smiled back at him glad to finally see him relaxing. "You really are not in any position to argue." She laughed as the song ended. "You want another dance or go back to our drinks?"

Levi shrugged. "If I say go back to the table, will I get the chance to be this close to you later?"

“Maybe.” The woman teased just a little. He looked so non-committal but his words spoke volumes.

His lip curled-up. It was strange being this open with someone he'd only just met - and he really wasn't a one-night-stand sort of guy - yet the attraction was there. She was funny, attractive, certainly a better dancer than he was. That was a lot of boxes ticked. "That was a little forward of me, wasn't it? I'm used to going after a target directly, is all. Element of surprise, if you get what I mean."

"You certainly surprised me. Random guy, I sat by because he had space free. You came out of nowhere. Does that allow you to keep the macho marine thing going?" Halla carried on in the light tone as the next song started as they stood in the middle of the crowd.

"Macho? You think I'm macho?" he asked, an eyebrow raised. "I was going for at least semi-professional Starfleet Marine Corps. Clearly I need to work on that."

"I have not seen you in semi-professional Starfleet mode." The woman commented on not sure in that moment if she had the word macho correct. Maybe she should talk trill and let the universal translator work. "Macho is not bad though?"

"I guess if macho is what you like, then macho it is." He paused. "So was that a roundabout way of saying you like me?"

"Well, I do not just agree to go for a drink with just anyone." She said smiling up at him tugging him by his belt and hand close to dance again seeing they seemed to be staying.

"See now you're avoiding the question," he observed, leaning into her. The music had slowed into a ballad by this point, and they had ended up dancing quite close together.

"I am not. I am here aren't I?" The woman said looking up at him as he leaned in close to her, a reassuring smile on her face. She got the impression this type of thing did not happen to him often.

"I guess I just wanted to hear you say it," he said. Judging people's intentions wasn't something he usually troubled himself with, outside of assessing a hostile combatant's moves. This was entirely different. "I'm glad I came out with you this evening."

“Okay... I like you.” The woman said making sure every word stood out. She said telling him pointedly so he had no hesitation.

Levi blinked, not quite registering it for an instant. Then he smiled, probably more shyly than he would have wanted. "And now I have." He glanced around the bar, senses overwhelmed with noise and smells and sensations. "Would you like to go somewhere?" he asked.

“Ah huh no need to doubt now.” She green and nodded tugging him back through the crowds to where their drinks were. She quietly downed her drink. “Let’s go,”

"You got-" he stopped as both of their relative communicators started chirping away. There was a momentary pause as they looked at one another. "I guess not?"

Halla frowned at her own. It had not activated before but that could mean she was finally on the system for Cosmos. "I guess back to work." The woman mused softly taking a step back.

"Yeah, I suppose so." An awkward pause hung in the air. "So, maybe we should do this again sometime?" he suggested. "What I mean is, I'd like to see you again. Like this."

The Trill nodded. She would like that too if she was honest with herself. "I would like that too." The woman assured as she bit her lip. Now, this was awkward and not how things were meant to end at all. The woman leant up and hugged him briefing. "I guess I will see you around Marine."

"You too, Scientist," Levi replied, good-naturedly having a little poke at her referring to his job. He returned the hug, politely giving her a gentle kiss on the cheek before stepping away and heading out of the bar to report in.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Halla Dezom
Scientific Lab Technician
USS Cosmos
(PNPC Gregnol)

Lt Levi Drake
Marine Detachment
USS Cosmos


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