Parts of a Whole [Closed RP]

"End of drill! Return to your stations."

Lieutenant Commander Lhiara Zh'Thane nodded to her security team with a smile on her face, satisfied with their performance.

The tall Andorian tapped her PADD, taking a few notes, perhaps something to remember for the next drill. She was proud of her team, during the many risky assignments they proved now and again to be sharp and on the ball — with the constant drills, hypothetic scenarios and combat training they'd better be! Even the veterans were never allowed to skip a day.

Even more so now, her department needed to be at their best, Starfleet needed an effective strike force with the Undine threat now bigger than ever, without taking into consideration the Borg and the Klingons, who seem to have grown somewhat impatient and eager to break out of the Joint Command operations in the Dyson Sphere.

"Commander Zh'Thane, we have docked at Deep Space 13", said a voice through the comm system.

"On my way to the transporter room", she replied promptly.

The tall, blue skinned woman briskly jogged out of the cargo bay to reach the transporter room. Her body was toned by hours and hours of training and combat. This was just another opportunity to stay fit.


"Let me see..." Said a... fairly short individual while looking at some PADDs. His head was marked by two big lobes and his skin was of a grey-greenish hue. His eyes were black and quite big, also. "Yes, yes, I.G.V Shran, Andorian Imperial Guard... Lieutenant Commander, Security Chief and Tactical Officer Lhiara Zh'Thane, yes?"

The Andorian nodded in response. "Part of the detatchment that was assigned to help Starfleet in Deep Space 13", she added.

The woman looked at the alien somewhat amused. There was something about him that made him both endearing and funny; she observed him as he muttered through the admin to do with her assignment.

The tapping sounds of heels drew Lhiara's attention away from him briefly, making her look over her shoulder in the direction of the steps to see a tall, slender figure, also Andorian, wearing a Starfleet Medical uniform. She was gorgeous with her perfect make up. Lhiara silently observed as the other Andorian stopped briefly to look at her reflection against a panel on the wall to adjust her hair, which made the Andorian Security Chief smile, while also lightly shake her head.

"You have already spent fortytwo seconds of your re-creation time." Said a voice.

"Wh-" Lhiara turned around and refocused her attention on the shorty who was going through her admin. "What?"

Shan, the green-skinned alien, sighed. "Fortytwo seconds. And you didn't even start your assignment. Sometimes I wonder how they pick personnel on this station."

The Andorian raised an eyebrow.

"Don't worry," said Shan, "You will need to go to sick bay later for your medicals anyway."

Lhiara tried to keep a straight face and quickly tried to look behind her shoulder again only to see that the other Andorian was no longer there.

A cough immediately followed, "It's not the time for your medical yet."

The Andorian turned to the short alien once more and this time focused completely on the task at hand. After all, the faster she got out of there, the faster she could go and have her medical check up. Whether the reason was to see that other Andorian again or get rid of the living green-skinned stopwatch, she had never been so happy to go see the doctor in her life.
The familiar sound of hurried footsteps echoed about as Aravissa paced quickly along the corridor, deftly sliding past other officers moving in both directions, a look of determined concentration and slight tension on her face. She felt her hair bobbing on her back with each step and she hoped silently for a moment that it looked alright. An Andorian ship, the I.G.V. Shran had docked at Deep Space 13 and Aravissa had been summoned from her post aboard ship to assist the main starbase medical facility. She was the perfect choice for such a task, her species, medical background and her role as an officer coordinating the nursing staff aboard the Bulwark all lending credence. Her career was far from her mind now though. As she made her way hurriedly, Aravissa thought (as she often did) about all that could go wrong. What would this crew think of her? Would they immediately see her as a Starfleet brat and ignore her, or ridicule her? This was no ordinary ship, this was an Andorian Imperial Guard Kumari, a fierce and reputed warship and the crew would be highly trained and highly disciplined. In a moment in which Aravissa didn't know herself she wished for more than the one pip that she had on her chest. More authority could be useful in a situation like this. She immediately dismissed this thought, berating herself quickly for such lustful ambition and concentrated on working out the fastest route to her destination.

A turbolift ride and a few minutes later Aravissa arrived and stopping briefly to check her appearance in a convenient shiny computer panel (annoyingly flawless, that is, annoying for everyone else), she went in. The medical bay was busier than it often was. Small groups of Imperial Guard hung around, familiar with their blue skin, light hair and dark suits, largely uncertain what to do with themselves, likely waiting for colleagues or for orders. The medical staff were engaged with the Andorian crew, a few of whom sat on bio-beds looking utterly bored. Aravissa smiled internally, seeing so many of her kin around her. The smile soon faded as she realised how many had turned to look at her. Her shyness went into overdrive and avoiding all eyes she stood on tip-toes peering across the room, looking for the doctor who had paged her. She spotted his distinctive black hair and Mediterranean colouring through the window of the small office by the door and made a bee line.
"Doctor, you sent for me?" She asked, slightly breathless. Doctor Herrera looked up from his terminal, his dark brown eyes meeting Aravissa's for a moment.
"Ah, Ensign. Yes. Thanks for coming. The records of the Andorian crew have been automatically translated by the Computer, however there's just a couple of things that haven't quite come through properly, names and diseases and such. Could you take a look?" He smiled warmly, waving a PADD around.
"Yes sir, of course."
"Lovely." Doctor Herrera smiled quickly, thrusting the PADD at her. Aravissa took it, slightly bewildered, and Doctor Herrera strode from the office into the main bay and turning one hundred and eighty degrees walked past the window of the office towards the other end of the ward.

Aravissa perched on a convenient chair on her side of the doctor's desk and started working. She reviewed the names on the PADD and her fingers danced over its touch-screen, adjusting language into English for the Doctor and the UT to read. There was only one that gave her any real problems. Based on the translation the condition that came up could be one of two. Aravissa asked the computer to display the information relating to the translation it had made but it was all software code that she didn't understand.
"Computer, please access the original transmission for this patient and download to my PADD."
The computer beeped and the original Andorian came up next to the English. Aravissa smiled, making the correct connection and adjusted the English to match. She saved her work and gently placed the PADD back on the Doctor's desk. Sitting back in her seat, she looked through the window of the office, taking in the activity, focussing on the Andorian Guardsmen, the way they moved, held themselves, their uniforms and their manner. It appeared reserved yet confident, authoritative and lacking in frivolity. It was not a million light years from how Aravissa was herself, except she lacked their poise and focus. Footsteps approached behind.
Aravissa looked up and to her right. The nurse who had spoken was not one she was familiar with, she'd expected that much by her choice of words. She was a human, fair skinned with a kind face and dark curly hair. Those who knew Aravissa called her by her name, generally. That or 'Vissa' if they were a human. Humans' predetermination to shorten one's name was something Aravissa could never understand. She was not one for the pomp and ceremony of 'ma'am' or 'Ensign' either, she was too unassuming for all that.
"Yes?" she asked, smiling her glamour-magazine smile.
"Um… would you be able to take a look at something for me please? Doctor Herrera is busy and he said you're an expert on Andorian medicine."
Aravissa nodded and stood up. "Of course."

The nurse smiled and led her out of the office and into the throng of bodies outside. Aravissa was reminded of being led to a table in a packed restaurant. They arrived at a bio-bed, occupied by an Imperial Guardswoman perched on the side with a very bored look on her face. A pair of black gloves lay on the bed next to her. The nurse looked up at Aravissa, noticing for the first time her height, being nearly six feet including the heeled boots she always wore.
"The patient has a recurring rash on both hands. It's been treated with a dermal regenerator a few times but keeps coming back. It looks like an irritation or allergy but I'm not an expert on Andorians at all I'm afraid." The nurse smiled and looked at the Guardswoman's hands. Aravissa reached out for a closer look.
"May I?"
A pair of round, deep blue eyes looked back up at her from under shoulder-length white hair and blinked a couple of times, sporting long, dark eyelashes. The woman nodded, and Aravissa broke herself from their power, blinking herself, concentrating on her job. She held up her hands and Aravissa took her left hand gently, holding it steady to get a proper diagnosis. She felt the cool blue skin of the patient and was aware of her breath, just touching her own little finger. She closed her eyes for a moment and forced herself to concentrate. The rash was as the nurse had said, an irritation or allergic style response. Aravissa's eyes instantly flicked to the gloves, neatly folded on the bed. She released the hand and smiled a "Thank you" to the patient whose eyes remained focussed on her. She suddenly felt very self-concious and turned to the nurse.
"Downes, Hannah Downes ma'am". The nurse smiled reassuringly and handed her the PADD with the Guardswoman's medical record.
"Hannah. You're right, it looks like a mild allergy." Aravissa looked back to the Guardswoman. Those blue eyes were still focussed on her, now she noticed lips too, even and soft with an expression Aravissa couldn't quite read, a face constructed of strong features, pleasing, with a slight green-tinge to her skin. She was purposeful, proud and very pretty.
"Do you wear those gloves a lot…" her eyes flicked to the PADD quickly "…Commander?"
The Guardswoman nodded, for the first time looking away from Aravissa's face. She looked at the gloves.
"All the time. Part of the uniform."
Aravissa nodded too. "I see. And do you keep the environmental controls on your ship as cold as Andoria?"
Lieutenant Commander Lhiara zh'Thane looked back up again. Their eyes met. She looked away again quickly. So did Aravissa.
"No Doctor, slightly warmer."
"I er…" Aravissa laughed nervously. Lhiara looked up at her again. Aravissa looked at the monitor at the top of the bio bed. "I'm not a Doctor, I'm a nursing officer."
"Oh, sorry." Lhiara's voice was purposeful and authoritative, without a hint of the tremors and stutters that Aravissa's had as she tried to break through her normal nervousness and mental disorganisation. She thought it was the kind of voice she'd like to have one day, hers was too soft, too compromising, too forgiving. Patients had said before it was soothing which was all well and good for a nurse but it wasn't very Andorian, a problem that suddenly had become very obvious to Aravissa.
"Oh don't worry." She replied, trying to sound casual and instantly cringing inside because of it. "Now," she continued looking back at her patient, "I think this is a combination of a slight allergy to the lining material of your gloves and increased environmental temperature on the ship. Do you experience the problem while on Andoria?"
Lhiara smiled slightly with the right side of her mouth, her gaze still focussed on something across the room. It was a very endearing expression. "Actually, no."
Aravissa smiled again, perhaps wider than she should have. "There we are. I'd recommend you take these off if you're not needing them, or if regulations prohibit that have the replicator alter the material, something of a more natural origin, breathable and absorbant. And um… if it continues, please, let me know."
Lhiara looked up and smiled widely.
"Thank you."

The smile was infectious. Aravissa didn't realise but the face that had looked so bored just a few moments ago was now lit up in a bright smile. Aravissa smiled too, the full-on glamour model smile she had, showing perfect white teeth. She didn't even notice she was doing it, until she heard her name called over the quiet hubbub of the medical bay.
It was Doctor Herrera, at a bio bed back towards the office.
"Huh?" Aravissa turned and craned her neck, spotting the Doctor trying to catch her attention.
"Aravissa, could you lend me a hand over here a second?"
"Um, yes Doctor, one moment…"
Aravissa handed the PADD back to Hannah and nodded to her.
"Excuse me." She looked at Hannah and then at Lhiara who was still watching her with a look of interest, before turning and making her back down the medical bay past beds and through a thinning group of Andorians, most of whose examinations were completed now and were on their way out. She couldn't get the image of those blue eyes from her mind and stopped, suddenly, on an impulse that overrode every rational thought. She turned her head and looked back at Lhiara, who, it turned out, was still watching her. Their eyes met. They stared at one-another silently for a few moments, until Aravissa forced her mind back to the task at hand and she turned again, focussing on her work, her heart wishing she was back where she had been a few moments before.
"Lieutenant Commader Lhiara Zh'Thane, personal log.

"I have been in Deep Space 13 for a week now. Filled out many reports, been debriefed plenty about this and that threat... It's not like the Imperial Guard is oblivious to what is happening in this quadrant... But hey, the Federation like their beauraucracy.

"I really can't wait to get into some action. We were supposed to go help them in the Dyson sphere, but nothing yet."

Lhiara paused for a moment to order an Andorian Ale from the replicator. After taking a sip she kept on recording.

"Hm, right temperature. At least the replicators make decent Andorian Ale, surprisingly.

"Anyway, talking of action and excitement — I saw this cute Andorian in Med Bay the other day. I haven't really had the chance to see her again with all this debriefing and so on.

"I have been told she goes to Swifty's every so often, maybe I can see if I can meet her after training later today."

Lhiara paused again to look at her hands, covered by dark brown gloves.

"She was right about the gloves, I replicated a new pair with transpirant material. Now I don't get the rush anymore."

The Andorian Security Chief laid on her bed after placing her glass on the side table, her arms crossed under her head and her legs crossed with the feet hanging at the edge of the bed.

Her thoughts lingered at the encounter in the Med Bay a few days before. The other Andorian seemed of a somewhat nervous demeanour, but had this gorgeous smile and her hands felt silky at the touch. A smile formed on Lhiara's face without her even noticing.

The Lieutenant Commander started to think at the many ways she could be starting the conversation with the Starfleet Andorian once she met her again. Offer her a drink... maybe just make a direct comment on how she looked gorgeous. Lhiara was never a shy one.

"Do you wish to continue the recording?" Said a voice after a blip.

Lhiara jolted back into reality.

"Oh, err, no that's fine, computer end of personal log."

Lhiara smiled. It was time for training. And after that it was the bar...
Aravissa blinked at herself in the mirror and leant forward, gently stroking another layer of black mascara on to her eyeslashes. It was an action she had performed thousands of times before and she was rarely ever seen without makeup on. She'd been extra careful this evening, going so far as to remove her day makeup and re-apply something different for the evening. There was a chance, just a chance she might see Lhiara again tonight. She shook her head at herself in mild disgust, closing her eyes, watching those long dark lashes in the mirror as she did.
"You're crazy, Aravissa." She thought to herself. "The chances of her being at Swifty's tonight are remote. She's got far better and more important things to do. Here you are, making yourself up like some magazine model and she's not even going to see."
She stared at herself, blinking, watching those eyes. She had to admit she'd surpassed even her own usual high standards tonight.
"You're not going to change it though are you, you're going to go ahead and do this and furthermore be disappointed when she inevitably isn't there. Go on, disappoint yourself Aravissa, stupid girl."
She screwed the mascara brush back into its place and replaced the mascara in her hand with lip gloss, a shiny almost colourless gloss with a hint of pink.
"What if she thinks I'm really vain and shallow, looking like this?"
She blinked at herself again.
"Oh yes, that's right miss, you ARE really vain and shallow…. Oh shut up!" She shook her head slightly, moving a lock of white hair from in front of her eye. Leaning forward again towards the mirror she applied the lip gloss expertly, before moving back, checking her work. Flawless. She hoped there was more to her in the eyes of another than she herself thought that there was. Who could find someone so uncertain, so timid attractive? She tried to compensate by looking as sorted on the outside as possible, to hide the mess that was inside her head. Only perfection would do. Sometimes she could act well enough to hide it. Other times it was all too much and she had to retreat to her actual self, someone so unsure, so green.

She placed the wayward lock carefully and applied a little hair spray to keep it in place, but not so much that her hair wouldn't fall naturally. She took one last look in the mirror, half pleased with her work, half despising herself and walked to the wardrobe, acquiring her uniform jacket from the arm of the chair on her way. Why couldn't she believe her personality would be enough to win-over anyone? She never had this problem with patients, they always loved her. But in that situation what she had to do was clear. She had to help. Socially nothing was clear. Aravissa hung the jacket up in the wardrobe and took out an almost identical number. Only the very keenest of tailors could tell that the waist and chest were taken in by two inches on the jacket she removed. It wasn't a jacket she could wear all day, it was thinner than normal for one and uncomfortably tight in places, but for an evening out it'd be perfect. The bottom followed the contours of her flat stomach and the zip wouldn't quite close properly over her chest – no matter as it was always unzipped showing a tantalising but regulation (just) view. She slid the jacket on over her brassiere, feeling the familiar soft lining on her skin and did up the zip, carefully arranging the hem to sit just over the top of her skirt. She reached back to the wardrobe for the com-badge on her other jacket and placed clipped it on to the one she wore and moved to the full-length mirror by the door, taking in her appearance. For a moment she studied herself, the dark hue of the stockings, the shine of her black heeled boots, the rise and fall of her blue skin under the jacket. She re-arranged a few of the curls she'd ironed in to her long white hair for the night. She looked good.
Pressing the door release she turned, almost as an after-thought, regarding the rabbit hutch behind her.
"Good night babies, see you later…"

No sooner had the turbo-lift doors hissed open than Aravissa stepped out quickly and strode as nonchalantly as possible across the ops deck, scanning the bar above. She saw the blue of Andorian skin, there were Andorians there, but none appeared to be Lhiara. She made her way up the ramp to the bar area and stopped at the top to scan the assembled with her eyes, standing on tip-toes, making sure the object of her interest was not among them. She wasn't. Ignoring many an admiring glance and resulting chatter from the Andorians around she focussed on one face she had recognised and navigated her way deftly to the bar, sliding in sideways next to him.
"Captain Thomson!" Hiding her disappointment with a well-honed acting ability she smiled her glamour-model smile at him.
"Vissa." He smiled back. "Grab a drink."
Aravissa nodded and leant forward over the bar. Swifty appeared as if by magic, drawn to the blue-skinned siren who gazed at him with large, deep-blue eyes.
"Andorian Brandy, please. The good stuff. But um… finish serving that guy first, hmm?"
Aravissa looked across the bar to the officer whose drink Swift had suddenly abandoned and rolled her eyes, shaking her head at Swift and smiling. The man was an officer she didn't recognise, a human man, but fortunately he returned her smile.

Resigned to the absence of Lhiara, she stared at the blue Andorian brandy that appeared in front of her for a few moments, seeing only that face, trying to remember that voice. If only Lhiara had said a bit more, Aravissa may have been able to remember what it sounded like, but it was gone. She toyed with the idea of seeking the woman out, but thought better of it. A Lieutenant Commander would be plenty busy she was sure and it would only make Aravissa look silly. That or slightly odd. Or both.
Aravissa blinked her perfectly made-up eyes at the drink in front of her again. She felt so stupid. There was only one answer. She knocked back the Brandy in one, feeling the burn on the back of her throat, wallowing in the self-deprecation it symbolised. She looked up. The Ferengi bartender stood in front of her, anticipating her next request.

An hour or so later Aravissa had rallied her spirits and had switched from Brandy to Andorian Ale. The Andorian crew had introduced themselves without delay and she hadn't yet been allowed to buy a drink. She stood among her new acquaintances chatting merrily, mostly answering questions about herself and trying not to think about how many people there were around. As long as she didn't think about that she would be fine. The Alcohol helped.

One of the crew was coming to the climax of an especially entertaining story about his first day on the Bridge of their Kumari.
" he goes to lean on the console, y'know, all full of superiority and the console wasn't there! He was about half a metre too far forward - he put his elbow out and just fell over!"
The assembled burst into laughter and Aravissa, a little merry it had to be admitted, burst into fits of giggles, the story aided by her ever-active imagination. After a few seconds of uncontrollable giggling she realised that the area around her had gone silent. She looked up from the floor, surprised to see the Andorians all stood rigidly at attention and tried to control her giggling, something that took longer than she would have liked, fuelled by the surreality of the moment.
"At ease."
Aravissa's heart thumped in her chest. Never had she gained so many degrees of sobriety in such a short time. Through the throng of static bodies she saw white hair, a section of forehead, blue skin with a green tinge. She had seen those Antennae before. The crew around her relaxed and in doing so parted slightly, bringing Aravissa face to face with Lieutenant Commander Lhiara zh'Thane. Lhiara took two steps forward and the two stared into one another's eyes, Aravissa's lip trembling with apprehension.
"Hi..." she managed, her eyes wide with fear.
Lhiara's left antenna bent towards the other Andorian ever so slightly as her gaze locked onto her.

"Hi." She replied with her usual firm tone of voice. "Swifty, a glass of Andorian Ale." She added soon after. As soon as the Ferengi served her the drink, Lhiara leant onto the counter with her left elbow and looked at the beautiful Andorian in front of her. She eyed her from top to bottom, without trying to hide it, making Aravissa somewhat uncomfortable.

"Hi..." Lhiara repeated, this time with an inquisitive inflection.

A few seconds of silence ensued.

"Oh-err, Aravissa. Aravissa sh'Aqren." Continued the Federation Officer. "Hi." Aravissa cringed. She said that before, why would she repeat it?

"Hi." Responded Lhiara.

More silence followed, only broken by the sound of a very deep breath from the Guardswoman. "You keep tensing up like that, you are going to break something."

Aravissa, still under the influence of the many Andorian drinks, started giggling uncontrollably.

"See, that's better." Lhiara's voice was warm and welcoming, she had detected the Ensign's nervous character. "You have a lovely smile, exactly as I remembered it."
Vissa looked at the Lieutenant Commander and made eye contact. Yet it didn't take long for her anxiety to take over, forcing her to break it. Her eyes scoured along the Security Chief's body, dressed in her dark grey training suit – long skin-fit trousers with training boots and a skin-fit top. She observed that Lhiara wasn't wearing her gloves this time. Before long, she noticed she was giving Lhiara a good look and averted her gaze on the side, ashamed, looking at the floor as if looking at anything else would have cost her her life.

Lhiara took a moment to peruse the woman in front of her. She had noticed how carefully Aravissa had examined her just a moment before and smiled with a corner of her mouth to then take a sip from her glass. Nervous little thing she was, but that just made her cuter.

"That floor must be very interesting" Lhiara observed, amused.

"I-it is." Vissa was lost for words

"Mhm, tell me, found any new scratch that wasn't there before?"

Aravissa burst into laughter, again aided by the alcohol intake, and finally mustered the courage to look at Lhiara in the eyes again. The Security Chief returned the gaze and took a good moment to admire just how beautiful the Ensign's eyes were. Vissa looked prettier than she remembered, maybe because of the extra care she took with the make-up, maybe simply because her memories of her didn't do her justice.

After holding the gaze for a little while, the Ensign started to become self-conscious. Did she look good enough? Or... or was Lhiara thinking she was somewhat stupid the moment before, staring at the floor like that. She realised that Lhiara had made all the attempts to start a conversation so far and she felt she had not said anything useful yet. What if Lhiara thought she was boring her and decided to walk away?

She had to start a conversation, and soon.

"I see... you are not wearing gloves tonight." She said finally. "Rashes coming back?"

The Guardswoman broke the intense gaze to look at her hands and smiled, "No, actually, since I did what you suggested, my hands have been just fine. I just didn't need them for this training session and I am off duty now."

"Let me see." Aravissa instinctively took Lhiara's hands in her own. It was the act of a nurse taking care of her patient. "Much better." She continued with a smile.

Lhiara could feel the Ensign's skin on hers; silky hands, lean and caring. She couldn't help but squeeze them. Her eyes met with Vissa's once again.
The Ensign could have sworn her heart had stopped. What was a natural gesture for her, something that came second nature to her as part of her profession, had now put her in a position that took her way out of her comfort zone.

The contact made Vissa's presence a lot more real to Lhiara. It was as if the world had just warped around them and drove it home to her that the beautiful woman she had been thinking about all week was in front of her. She took a dignified step forward, as with her general bearing, and held the Ensign's hands firmly.

Vissa felt warm but also in a state of absolute panic. She did not think before acting, and now she was in this uncomfortable situation. But that's why she made herself look extra pretty that night, no? To impress Lhiara. Should she kiss her? No, it's too early! Should she just wait it out? But Lhiara could have thought she wasn't interested. She didn't know what to do. She felt stupid, Lhiara was right in front of her, hands in hands, and she couldn't muster the courage to act. If the Commander had realised just how nervous and introverted she was, she'd changed her mind. This was all doomed to fail. What was she thinking?

"You know," whispered Lhiara while smiling, "you are extraordinarily beautiful tonight."

A rush of warmth pervaded Aravissa's slim body. Maybe it wasn't all bad. Maybe she had a chance.

Lhiara took another step forward and brought Vissa's hands up close to her chest. She was mesmerised by the Ensign's figure, her eye for detail, while also not having one trace of arrogance in her. She found it endearing that Aravissa would be so shy.

"You always look perfect, at least every time I have seen you." Continued the Imperial Guard. "But tonight you look even better."
Aravissa smiled and took a deep breath. Such nice words... or were they... Oh no, did Lhiara just realised that she had put on extra make-up to try and impress her? And of course, someone like her read right through it!

Suddenly the Ensign felt very self-conscious again, wondering just what the Commander was thinking. She probably thought she was vain and shallow. In her effort to try and make a good impression, she must have made a terrible one instead.

Vissa looked down towards the floor again.

"I-I need to... I need to check on a patient now." She said.

Lhiara perked an eyebrow, "At this hour?"

"Y-yes." Replied Aravissa while keeping her gaze religiously fixed onto the floor. "Nurse duties are like that."

The Ensign pulled her hands away from the warm grasp and turned around, walking briskly away from the bar. When she thought she was far enough away for Lhiara not to notice, she turned her head over her shoulder to look at her again, then kept on walking.

The Andorian Security Chief took a deep breath and chugged down the rest of the Ale in one go. One of her security detail was looking at her, having just witnessed what happened. Her superior didn't seem to show a sign of discomposure.

Lhiara placed the empty glass on the counter and ordered a refill, as if nothing happened. The Andorian security officer always found that her superior was hard to read when it came to personal matters.
Lhiara remained in the bar for a while longer and shared a few stories with her subordinates. It wasn't until about an hour later that she decided to head to her quarters.
Aravissa wiped the makeup from her eyes with long hard strokes. What was the point? What was the point of any of it? The preparation, the effort, she wanted to see Lhiara and when she had, she froze. What utter rubbish about seeing a patient. Lhiara knew it must be rubbish. She'd been to sick bay anyway but had felt inappropriately dressed so had simply wandered the less inhabited areas of the station that she knew, searching her soul. She could talk to the other crew members without much problem, a little acting perhaps but that was acceptable as long as everyone had a good time. But not Lhiara. Her nervous tendencies went into overdrive. Was it Lhiara or was it simply the apprehension? Was her own mind working against her? She unzipped her jacket and threw it on the floor in disgust. Continuing removing her makeup the jacket ate away at her. It sat on the floor mocking her. "You're a Starfleet officer" it told her, "you can't even talk to one Andorian Commander and you call yourself an officer? What would your parents say? And now your quarters are untidy too."
Aravissa screamed inside her mind and crossed the room, grabbing the jacket roughly. She hung it up and closed the door on the wardrobe unit, sealing its jibes inside.

Her makeup removed, she brushed the curls from her hair and changed into a night-gown, all the time staring at herself in the mirror with contempt. She hated being timid. She hated her over-active imagination that imagined every possible failure that could ensue with every action. She resolved to speak to Katriel about it. It couldn't be healthy. Aravissa surveyed the assortment of products around her, the makeup, the clothes. She liked to look nice, but for what? What did it matter if she looked good if all anyone ever saw from her personality was a fruitloop, a mess?
"I will not let this pass me by." She said to herself, quietly, with resolve. She crossed the room quickly, not giving herself time to change her mind. Perching on the edge of a chair by the table she swung the mini computer terminal around.
"Computer, locate Lieutenant Commander Lhiara zh'Thane."
"Commander zh'Thane is in her quarters, aboard the Andorian Imperial Guard Vessel Shran." The computer informed her.
"Is she alone?"
"Computer," she asked, barely pausing, "open a channel."
The words flashed up on the screen: 'establishing channel'. Aravissa's heart leapt to her throat. After a few moments Commander zh'Thane's image appeared on the screen. Aravissa spoke immediately, looking down at the table instead of into her eyes, without waiting for a greeting.
"Commander... Commander zh'Thane... you know by now that I'm very nervous" she stuttered. "That much is obvious. I... I lied earlier. About the patient. I was scared. I'm... I'm sorry. I... look. Would... would you..." she stopped for a moment before a voice in her head screamed "JUST ASK!" She looked up straight at the screen, right into those blue eyes she remembered so vividly and in a moment where she knew no fear the words she had wanted to say since that moment in sick bay, the words she had been dreaming of asking for days left her lips.
"Would you like to go out for a drink with me?"
Lhiara stepped into her quarters and immediately took her boots off.

It was a tiring day, the training was long. The adrenaline had built up also thanks to the excitement leading to the moment of the encounter with Aravissa, and her body was now asking Lhiara to relent and relax. The Andorian threw herself on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

The meet didn't quite go as expected. She got the impression from the day in sick bay that Aravissa had somewhat of an interest in her. Yet she didn't say much at the bar. Maybe Lhiara confused a nurse's care for something else, but that look before Vissa left sick bay...

There were only two possible explanations: either Aravissa decided she didn't like Lhiara or she got too nervous and couldn't take it. If it was the first, Lhiara wasn't certainly going to beg. If it was the latter, she could only wait and see.

Of course Vissa could have really needed to go see the patient. Or not, Lhiara knew better than that.

Whichever the reason, there was no sense in worrying.

Lhiara changed into her night clothes, a white sleeveless top and hotpants, and slid under the covers.

"Computer, ligh -" the Andorian was interrupted by the familiar Federation sound for incoming messages.

Lhiara stared at the blinking terminal next to her bed for a moment and eventually decided to sit up.

"On screen."

She was treated with a really good looking Andorian who didn't even give her the time for a greeting and who, with a lot of anxiety, somehow managed to put together a coherent sentence to ask her out for a drink.

Lhiara remained silent.

Vissa kept staring at the the monitor waiting for some kind of reaction, which seemed to never come.

A smirk appeared on Lhiara's face. "When? Now?" She teased while her smirk turned into a grin.
Aravissa blinked. In the brief moments she had had to consider this plan it hadn't occurred to her that Lhiara may not say yes straight away. She knew she had to say something quickly.
"No, not now! I mean, not that I don't want to now or anything but... it's a bit late? Sorry for calling so late..."
Lhiara's grin remained. This girl was entertaining. Somewhat scatty perhaps, but entertaining none-the-less. Disorganised and a little nervous were traits not associated with those in the Imperial Guard, as such Aravissa was a bit of a novelty. Intriguing and of course, very pretty.
"Got patients to see?" she prodded, the grin acquiring a sly touch.
Aravissa flushed and looked away from the monitor for a moment, clearly embarassed. She turned back after a moment, a look of forced concentration on her brow.
"That was mean...." she said softly, "...are you coming, or not?"
Lhiara raised an eyebrow. So the girl did have some guts after all.
"Mmm, pushy aren't we..." she toyed with Aravissa as a Lion might toy with a mouse.
Aravissa nodded and blinked a couple of times, her eyes rooted to Lhiara's image on the monitor.
"Yes" Lhiara relented, "Yes, that would be... yeah." She tried to add a reassuring smile. After all she wasn't THAT mean. "When.... and where?"
Aravissa pouted for a moment, thinking. These were the kinds of details that perhaps she should have considered before initiating the call.
"There's a small mess hall on the docking level you're on, section gamma four. It's not so special but it's quiet and there's a great view of the ships leaving dock. Um... tomorrow? Eighteen thirty?"
Lhiara's eyes flicked upwards, running through her engagements for the following day in her head. They returned to the monitor again and she nodded once. "You're on."
Aravissa's face lit up with a smile. "Oh, great! Alright, I'll see you then!"
Lhiara nodded again and her image disappeared as the two simultaneously ended the call.

In her quarters Aravissa stood from the chair and in doing so suddenly remembered she was in her night gown. She wondered how much Lhiara had seen over the Com, in fact she nearly went to check the self view, but something stopped her - the start of a thought process designed to subdue her natural tendencies towards self-deprecation and paranoia. She turned and crossed the room but stopped by the arch leading to the bed-chamber, stealing a glance back to the computer terminal on the table. After a few moments thought she smiled to herself again and danced into the bedroom, pirouetting around with pure joy, her arms out wide and her hair flying out behind her. Inevitably she lost her balance and toppled on to the bed, lying on her back and staring at the ceiling, a grin fixed upon her face.