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Playing Cupid

Posted on Thu Apr 2nd, 2020 @ 4:31am by Liha t'Ehhelih & Ships Doctor Quinton Sarratt MD & Chief Helmsman Eden Bowers

Mission: Prospecting

It wasn't Valentine's day but Eden had been happily wandering the corridors of the ship lately thinking about her time with Jake and how lucky she was to have found love twice in her life. But, she started thinking about others who hadn't. Naturally, her thoughts settled on Liha who, due to her quiet and introverted Romulan nature, was obviously lonely and might need a little push. She knew just the man and skipped happily into sickbay, setting her plan in motion.

Quin looked up at the figured, skipping and all happy. He felt ill. "Must you be so cheery, you damn Mary Poppins knock off," he asked with a hint of a smile. "Don't tell me, you hurt yourself and your boyfriend's underwear is all you could find," he pointed to the nearby biobed.

Eden didn't know what or who Mary Poppins was she did was she usually did and took it in stride. "Nah, that was a once in a lifetime occurrence and I'm not here for me. I believe Liha is ill. She was complaining of stomach pain but she wouldn't come to see you. You know how Romulans are . . . .very stubborn. Come with me, I will lead you to her."

Quin was half tempted to tell her no, and ignore the pest. He knew the Romulan, well enough, to know that he wasn't going to just show up and treat her. But there was something about the look on her face, and well he didn't have anything else to do. "Let's me grab my kit," he sighed, knowing full well that he was walking into a trap one way or another.


Liha was sitting in the lounge picking at a bowl of pad thai. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. The noodles were overdone and the balance of spice and salt was off - maybe not to human taste, but certainly to her. She set her fork down with a sigh. Scratch another earth food that was supposed to appeal to her kind. There were days she really missed Romulan food, even viinerine.

"She's right in here," Eden said as the doors to the lounge parted. She practically dragged him over to the table. "Terribly ill, look at the color of her skin. I'll just be over there."

"I'm not so certain," Quin gave the Romulan a sideways glance, "she looks fine to me, Eden. Looks like her normal, miserable, self-loathing.. self. Did she request Medical assistance," he asked giving Eden a rather cold stare.

Eden shrugged off that question and pulled him forward, knowing she'd likely get scolded for it. "Hi," Eden said to Liha. "I brought you, someone, to keep you company because you both need someone to talk to. Everyone does. Sit, eat, drink, be merry." She said to Quin.

Liha's brows ascended nearly to her hairline in absolute astonishment. She'd figured anyone who would adopt a spider was a little flaky, but this... "Are you drunk??" she asked, looking at Eden, and then Quin. "Or high on your own supply and handing it out to patients?"

Quin looked to the Liha, then back to Eden. It didn't take long to realize what was going on here. He looked to Liha and nodded to Eden. He was certain that Eden was attempting to play matchmaker, and while he found it humorous he wasn't going to give in that easy. He looked back to Liha, "trust me, I am not sure that I have access to those kinds of meds." He took a seat at the table, "I was just told someone needed assistance, so here I am."

"Well, you were told incorrectly," Liha replied firmly, and shot a basilisk glare at Eden. "Unless you know how to get the replicator to make decent Romulan food, I have no use for you." The glare swung back to Quin. "And why are you sitting? I don't recall inviting you."

"I don't recall asking for permissions," Quin replied, as he looked at the waiter nearby, "I'll club sandwich and an ice tea." He looked over to Liha, "she isn't wrong, completely.. at least."

"Is that plea for a sympathetic ear, Doctor?" Liha asked sarcastically. "Sorry. These ears," she gestured to her elegant points," aren't available. I suggest you find whoever passes for a ship's counselor around here."

"Aww, come on, play nice. You need each other. You're both lonely beings and you'll be working together. At the very least you should be friends." Eden hovered nearby with a smile on her face. She reappeared after getting a glass of juice.

Quin looked at Liha, "no offense to the Romul..." he paused, "Liha, but I have not sure this," he jerked a finger between the two of them, "is a good idea. That would be a match made in hell," he smiled, "no offense, Liha. This heart belonged to someone some time ago, and it's still too soon," he stopped not wanting to give his Romulan counterpart any more leverage to use against him. He sighed, "I was married once before and things came to a rather, sudden stop," he tried to explain leaving out the important details.

Eden raised her eyebrows and looked back and forth between the two of them. "So, you can't try again? I've been married before too. I'm in a relationship again."

Liha gave Eden a you-have-got-to-be-kidding Look.. "Fine, fix him up, but not with me. No offense to the Doctor either, but even if I weren't a little young to consider pairing up, he's..." she shook her head, but given his confession of loss decided to point it more kindly than she might have otherwise, "...rather deficient in the ear department."

Well that was a low blow, Eden wondered if it would start an argument between the two. "Who do you suggest I fix you up with?" She knew it would irk Liha but she asked it anyway. "There are umm, limited ears on this boat."

"No one," Liha stated slowly, as though speaking to someone with limited mental capacity - which she was starting to think might be the case. "I have no interest in being paired with anyone on this ship, nor do I want matchmaking suggestions from someone who thought the Doctor would be a good choice."

Most people might have been insulted but Eden just let it flow over her and smiled warmly. "Alright. I'll let you figure it out. Enjoy your evening." She carried her drink out of the mess and back towards her quarters taking a little bit of a skip as she went.

Quin watched Eden as she skipped out of the mess hall, "well that is an odd one," he hadn't left the table yet. "She means well, but definitely a bit odd," he commented. "And for the record, there are worse options than me," he replied, "besides, the ears can be modified. If you are into that sort of thing," he winked. He was only kidding, of course. He had no desire to pair up, as they say.

Liha snorted. "Odd only begins to cover it," she said shaking her head. "And you're right, there are worse options than you." She smirked. "Like Jinx's raptor. But ear surgery wouldn't really improve either of you much."

Quin resisted the temptation to tell her that perhaps she needed a good roll in the sheets to change her award-winning personality. He was certain that his ears would be the least of his troubles if that phrase had been uttered out loud. "You are no prize yourself either," he replied, "you have all the tenderness of a Vulcan in heat."

"As if you'd know what a Vulcan in heat is like," Liha laughed. "Unless one of your patients was really desperate."

Quin took a bite of the sandwich, that had just arrived at the table. "It's called a metaphor," Quin sat the sandwich down as he took a drink of the tea. "You're probably is you are too busy pushing people away," he added, "so busy maintaining these walls, and defenses. I have to admit, I am mildly curious as to why." It was a dangerous topic, he didn't want to start talking about past hurts. "What happened to poor Liha, that she refuses to let people in,..." he looked at her?

Yeah, like she was going open up about her past, the loss of family and future, abandoning all she loved out of necessity because of crossing the Tal Shiar, and then compounding that with the loss of billions of her people and an entire way of life. "Gee, I don't know." Liha sat back and folded her arms, one eyebrow slanting upward. "Maybe I was born and raised a normal Romulan?"

"Bull sh...," he paused, "it must be hard, keeping up this appearance. Twenty-four, seven," he added before she could reply. "I don't buy it." He sipped his tea, as he sat the cup down. "You know everyone has a past, perhaps ..." he gasped, "you will find someone on this godforsaken ship who shares something with you."

She tipped her head considering him for a moment. He'd said he'd lost family, and it might be that he just badly wanted someone to talk to who would understand, but how could he possibly know that they had that in common? Intuition, wishful thinking ..or something else? The idea of something else brought every bit natural and learned paranoia to the fore. Not that she would ever show it.

"Hard? Not really." She shrugged. "You know what it's like wearing body armor, right? At first, it's heavy and constricting, but after week, it's like a second skin, and if you wear it every day for a month or more you feel naked without it." She looked at him directly. "Now imagine wearing it every day from the time you were old enough to walk."

"If only my Sammie," he paused but it was too late. Liha would have picked up on that little bit and that was the end of it. He sighed, "I can't imagine what that would have been like, but I do understand the metaphor," he added.

She filed a reference to what was probably a child lost to a lack of protection away for future consideration. Liha had no children and was years too young to even consider it, but she recalled her grandmother's cry of despair - a shockingly uncharacteristic departure from her usual iron composure - when news arrived of her youngest killed in a chance accident. It was a shadow that seemed to cling to her and perhaps did even now since Liha had not been able to see or speak to her in many years. But that didn't mean she was inclined to talk about it. "I'm glad you understand that much. I do not mean to be unduly harsh in rebuffing your attempts to get me to 'open up', but what we share, and with whom, is governed by different rules than among your kind." She shifted from leaning back to sit not quite forward, but at normal posture. "That said, if you need to talk, my hearing is excellent."

Quin noted the very subtle posture change, it wasn't much. In fact, for most cultures, it would have been considered nothing. But for the Romulan, who had to maintain control over everything, it was a big step. Quin took the last bite of his sandwich and gulp of his tea, then looked at his tablemate. "You'd like that wouldn't you," he smiled, "me sitting here spilling my guts. While you sit in that chair, mentally filing things to use later,.. no doubt against me." He stood up, "you and I are not that different, we both share very similar pasts," he waved his hand in a protest before she could object, "metaphorically speaking, of course, certainly nothing I have experienced could ever meet up to the trauma of growing up Romulan," he smiled. "Enjoy your meal, Romulan," he pushed his chair in and with a nod turned to depart the room. The mention of Sammie had been a mistake, as he walked he took a deep breath. He couldn't allow Liha to see the pain in his eyes, he wasn't going to give her that satisfaction.

Liha watched him go, the only reaction readable to anyone else as the slight inclination of one eyebrow before she returned her attention to her disappointing meal. However, inside she was considering his reaction and the fact that it implied that perhaps their backgrounds, the ways they'd learned or been conditioned to think and respond weren't entirely different. It didn't make her more inclined to trust or even like him - quite the opposite where trust was concerned in fact since healthy (from a Romulan point of view) levels of suspicion in humans tended to indicate a background in intelligence - but it was ...interesting.


Liha t'Ehhelih
Engineer
SS Mary Rose
(PNPC Burnstein)

Quin Sarrat, MD
Doctor
SS Mary Rose

Eden Bowers
Chief Helmsman
SS MAry Rose


 

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