USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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I'm Sorry

Posted on Mon Oct 3rd, 2016 @ 12:09am by Captain Claudia Ainscow

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Commander Ainscow's Ready Room/Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 6; 17:00

Laena pushed her hair back from her face and pulled it into a ponytail. She had just gotten off duty and taken a shower, feeling much better. She decided to go see the Captain, though it was not in any official capacity. The two of them had had dinner twice now, and while they were not advancing quickly, there was definitely a spark between them.

She slipped into a dark blouse that complimented the floor-length skirt she was wearing and left her quarter. It wouldn't take long and she soon found herself standing in front of Claudia's ready room.

As she was about to ring the chime, the doors opened and the Chief of Intelligence exited the room.

"Good afternoon, Lieutenant," she said to the man.

He gave her a polite smile and a nod, "Good afternoon," he said in return as he walked off.

Laena turned back to the doors that were still open, "May I come in?" she asked, poking her head in just enough so that Claudia could see who it was.

Claudia smiled at Laena as she saw her appear around the door frame. She was about to take a walk down to the mess hall but Claudia decided to wait until after she had finished talking to Laena.

"Of course - come in" Claudia replied.

The young woman walked in, letting the doors slip closed behind her. "I saw you were back, I wanted to make sure everything was ok."

Claudia had enjoyed the company of Laena so far. She enjoyed seeing her and that afternoon was no exception. She moved over to the replicator to get herself a cup of coffee. She turned to face Laena again before speaking.

"I'm alright thank you. Wasn't quite what we were expecting but I can hardly complain - at least we all came back. Can I get you a drink or anything?" Claudia responded.

"No, thank you. I was just about to go get something to eat." Laena watched the woman graceful walk across the room. "Like I said, I just wanted to see how you were."

Claudia was pleased to see that Laena was keen to see how she was. She went to the replicator and ordered herself cup of a coffee before taking it over to her table. Claudia was going to invite Laena to dinner - but first she wanted a quick cup of coffee.

Claudia smiled. "I'm fine thank you. How are you?"

"I'm alright, had a long shift. Sensor arrays were acting up, so I didn't get much work done," Laena said, taking a few steps towards the woman.

Claudia placed her coffee on the table and looked at Laena with a smile. She had limited knowledge of her past - even though they'd now dined together twice - but she knew something was amiss with her. Claudia wanted to help her.

"That might have thrown us off looking for any ships in the area - could explain why we missed the Bozeman when we were on approach - anyway what are you planning for dinner tonight? I can't say I had any plans...although I could always change them" Claudia replied.

"What are you asking, Cece?" Laena asked, using the name she could only use behind closed doors. Even off duty, the woman was still the Captain, and as such, she had to keep up appearances.

Claudia liked being called Cece - every time Laena called her by that name it made her smile. She sat on her desk gently and picked up her coffee before taking a sip.

"I'm asking if you'd come and dine with me again. I could use the company and well...a meal for two is a better than us having our meals alone" Claudia replied.

"I'd love that," Laena said. "Let me know what time you're available."

Claudia started to drink her coffee a little more quickly even though it was still too hot. She wanted to have some time off and use some of her free time tomorrow to catch up with the paperwork instead.

"Let Cece finish her drink and she'll be right with you. I could use a good meal after today...and a good sleep. What do you have in mind for a meal?" Claudia replied.

"I would love to try more Bajoran dishes, like we did on our first date. They were delicious," Laena said, ignoring the fact that the other woman had just referred to herself in the third person.

Claudia quite enjoyed those herself. Since being on the Vindex she had made a concerted effort to try more different cuisines and Bajoran food was so far high up on the list of favourites. Claudia continued to drink her coffee before replying - it was already less than half full and it was still rather hot.

"They were. I'll see what I can rustle up for us in my quarters as I've managed to borrow a hotplate from Paul in the galley. If you can go and get the ingredients from the kitchen I'll finish up here then meet you in my quarters in about 15 minutes or so?" Claudia replied.

Laena gave the woman a big smile, "I'll see you then," she said as she practically floated out of the room.




Claudia had just finished cooking and sure enough the recipe Paul had given her worked to the letter. She placed the plates down on the table and sat down to eat. The aromas of the food were very pleasant and Claudia couldn't wait to eat it.

"I hope you like it...it's the first time I've made this so...yeah" Claudia said.

"I'm sure it'll taste delicious," Laena replied, sitting by the window and looking out over the stars. She smiled, they were beautiful.

Claudia started to eat her food fairly quickly. Not only was it because it tasted nice but because she'd barely had a good meal all day save for a large helping of porridge that morning.

"Mmm...I seriously need to cook and eat more of this food" Claudia said.

Laena took a few bites. "This is even better than last time," she said, taking another bite. She placed her fork down and looked across the table. "So, last time, you said you were going to tell me about why you entered Starfleet."

Claudia continued eating before responding.

"Oh..yeah...that. It's because I looked up at the stars and saw how beautiful they were - I realised that more than anything I wanted to come out here and see what they were like up close. Although I didn't get to see very much for the first year or so of my career because I was serving on the front lines of the Dominion War. Now though I'm glad I came out here...it's simply amazing" Claudia replied.

Laena sat there for a few moments, stunned. Slowly, a smile started to spread over her face as her eyes gazed at the woman across from her. "It's like looking up at all your hopes and dreams. Thinking that the promise of tomorrow lay among them. And if you could just reach them, you could finally...be."

"I certainly achieved mine. A couple of things have made it even better than I could have ever imagined...for one I've got my own ship now...now that's just the icing on the cake" Claudia replied as she smiled back at Laena.

Laena was the cherry on the top of the metaphorical cake Claudia had just described - although she was unsure how the Stellar Cartographer would react to it. Although it was still very early Claudia began to feel happy around somebody else again.

"It's quite admirable what you've done," Laena said, taking another bite of the delicious food.

Claudia smiled. "I appreciate the thought. So tell me...why did you join Starfleet? I've told you so now you can tell me"

The woman just sort of shrugged, "Just wanted to start a new life," she said, not looking up.

Claudia was a bit surprised by Laena's response. For sure she wanted to start a new life herself but there were other reasons too.

"I see. How do you mean exactly?" Claudia replied.

Laena just looked out the window, her mind racing at the thoughts. Was she ready to let this woman in? She looked back with sadness in her eyes, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..." She folded her napkin and stood, "I should go."

Claudia stood up from the table and looked at the clearly upset woman in front of her. There was obviously something bothering her and Claudia hoped that Laena could learn to trust her.

"You don't have to go - let me help you Laena" Claudia said.

"I'm sorry," she said with pleading eyes as she walked out of the Captain's quarters.

 

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