USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Acceptance

Posted on Sat Dec 10th, 2016 @ 2:06am by Lieutenant JG Annie Wilson & Ensign Anastasia Bogolyubov

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Annie's quarters
Timeline: Day 9 - 22:00

After finishing her meal, Annie had decided to invite Anastasia over to her quarters to meet Max, her pet Alaskan Malamute. He was currently eating his evening meal, but at the rate he ate his dog food, Annie guessed he would almost definitely have finished it by the time Anastasia arrived, if she was able to of course.

"Do you want to meet my new friend, Max?" Annie asked.

Taking Max wagging his tail as a positive answer, she called Anastasia.

=A="Wilson to Bogolyubov, would you like to come and meet my dog?" Annie said, hoping that she was available.

=A= "Bogoylubov, I will be there shortly."

Her appearance was immacuate, but Anastasia still brushed nonexistent lent from her uniform and checked her braid one more time before exiting her station in the science department. Anyone watching the junior science officer might note that her set face and customary stride had an almost imperceptible bounce to it. Within a fairly short time, Anastasia was at the entrance of Annie's quarters, signaling her presence.

Hearing the bell ring, Annie made sure that everything was tidy before letting her guest in. Annie hadn't had any guests before, so she was a little bit excited about Anastasia coming over to meet Max, who had just finished his dinner.

"Come in." Annie said, standing by the replicator.

Anastasia stepped inside, just enough for the door to slide behind her. "Thank you for inviting me, Annie," she said with a small smile. "I'm looking forward to meeting your dog. But I don't remember you telling me his name."

"It's okay, I wanted to return the favour." Annie said, smiling. "His name is Max. Max, come and meet my friend Anastasia."

Max looked over from where he was lying on the floor and trotted over to greet Anastasia, sitting down and lifting his left paw up, as he did with most guests.

"Good boy Max." Annie said, stroking him on his head.

"It is a pleasure to meet, Max," Anastasia said, as she first knelt down and then accepted the dog's paw. "Tai krasivy malchik," she added, scratching Max's chest. "He's a very handsome boy," she told Annie with a bright smile.

Max wagged his tail in approval. He was generally quite laid back, but because he hadn't been around cats before, Annie wasn't sure how he'd react to Prokhvost.

"He is," Annie replied. "I love him to bits, and to be totally serious I wouldn't be here if I wasn't allowed to bring him on board."

Annie smiled at Anastasia, deciding to offer her a drink.

"What would you like to drink, Anastasia?" Annie asked, whilst smiling at her friend.

"Tea would be fine," Anastasia answered, as she scratched Max's ears. Looking up, Anastasia asked, "Annie, have you ever thought about being a mother?"

Annie smiled and made two cups of tea, taking them over to the table. It was an interesting question that had been asked of Annie, but it was one she had thought about before.

"To be honest, yes, I have. I would like to be a mother one day." Annie replied, picking up her cup of tea from the table.

"I started thinking about it recently, after Commander Avram asked me advised on his artificial intelligence project," Anastasia continued, scratching Max's cheeks. Anastasia paused, then asked, "Was that too personal a question, Annie?"

Max continued to show his approval of the affection Anastasia was giving him. The Malamute wagged his tail and had his eyes closed, whilst his head was tilted to one side slightly.

Annie shook her head and smiled. "No, not at all."

"Have you ever dated anyone?" Anastasia asked, giving Max one last rub before standing up to join Annie for tea.

Again, Annie shook her head. She'd been promised a drink with Ensign Muniz, but it definitely wasn't going to be treated as a date, because Annie was Jose's head of department, and it wouldn't be appropriate.

"No, I haven't." Annie replied.

"Neither have I." Anastasia admitted. "My brother Roman discouraged me from doing so, since I don't always interpret other people's actions and statements correctly. But you're not like me. You're correctly wired," Anastasia observed while tapping her own forehead.

Annie smiled. "In my case, it's just because I'm waiting for the right person to come along, if I have to wait until they come into my life, then so be it. You'll find that special someone too, one that values and loves you for who you are."

"I think you are beautiful, intelligent, personable and sagacious," Anastasia said in a solemn voice..She took a sip of tea before looking back at Max. Smiling, she asked, "How do you think Max and Prokhvost would get along?"

"Well, thank you." Annie said. "You're a good looking woman too, but you're the one that's intelligent, but I appreciate the compliment Anastasia. I'm not sure about Max and Prokhvost, but I think they'd be alright. Max is quite relaxed, he's rarely bothered by anything."

"Max would have to be patient as well," Anastasia said. Anastasia paused, then suggested, "Maybe if we designed a park for them to interact together in. But I'm not sure what the policy is concerning pets on the holodeck."

Annie nodded. "I take Max on the holodeck, the Captain encouraged me to. She gave me one of her programme that I use to walk Max a few times a week, but usually, I just walk him around the ship. I think either here or your quarters should be enough to introduce them, Max is well behaved, he wouldn't start running after Prokhvost and destroying either yours or my quarters. But, even though Prokhvost is a cat, I think it would be nice for Max to have a friend."

Anastasia smiled at the prospect, before abruptly changing changing the subject. "Would you like to see my canar?"

Annie took a sip of her tea, thinking how well things were going. She was meeting Ensign Muniz tomorrow night, so hopefully she would be able to add him to her list of friends, too.

"Sure," Annie said. "why not?"

"Be right back then," Anastasia said, standing up. "Should I brink Prokhvost back too?"

Annie nodded. "Of course you can, I'll get a bowl of milk ready for him."

"Yogurt," Anastasia replied. "Milk doesn't agree with his dietary tract." And with that, Anastasia was gone.

Annie nodded, and instead of replicating milk, she asked for yoghurt which appeared in a plastic pot. She kept hold of it while waiting for Anastasia to come back.

"Your new friend is coming, Max." Annie said, smiling as Max stood up from his position on the floor, wagging his tail excitedly.

In just a few minutes, Anastasia returned, Prokhvost cradled in the crook of her right arm while she held a large, purplish translaucent crystal in her left palm. Prokhvost seemed content with his perch until entering Annie's quarters, at which point he leapt to the floor, cautiously approaching Max, his attitude one more of curiosity than caution.

Max looked at Prokhvost and out of curiosity he sniffed the kitten, before leading the kitten over to where his toys were kept. The Malamute then pushed a ball towards the kitten and waited for it to be rolled back to him.

"Aww, good boy, Max." Annie said, placing the yoghurt pot down by Max's food dish.

The Maine Coon kitten eyed the ball for a moment, then made a beeline for the yogurt as soon as it was put down on the floor.

Anastasia sighed and commented, "I'm afraid Prokhvost's social skills are as lacking as mine are."

Max looked over at the kitten, and then back to his ball, before collecting it in his mouth and dropping it next to Prokhvost who was enjoying his yoghurt.

"Join the club, you, me and Prokhvost. Mine have always been rubbish, it's probably why I've never been able to go on a date." Annie replied, laughing slightly.

Prokhvost watched the Malamute out of the corner of his eye but otherwise kept his focus on his yoghurt.

"This is my canar," Anastasia said, placing the crystal on the table between them. "The odd thing is that I'm the only child in my family who doesn't look like my mother," Anastasia explained, running a finger over her forehead, "though I'm the only one who inherited her ability to use a canar."

Annie looked at the canar with curiosity, she'd never even seen one before, but now she had and it had definitely got her interest. The crystal shone as the light in her quarters reflected off it.

"It looks nice," Annie said. "But what does it do, exactly?"

"My mother's people are empaths," Anastasia explained. "They are able to decipher an individual's emotiional state if said individual is within their immediate vicinity, though it requires concentration. I suppress this ability in myself." Anastasia paused to watch Prokhvost finish his yoghurt and begin cleaning himself.

"It's difficult enough for me to correctly react to an individual's actions without having to correlate potentially conflicting emotions," Anastasia continued. "The canar allows me to focus. If I was intimate with someone, the canar would allow me to share thoughts and emotions with that individuals. Intimacy doesn't necessarily mean physical," Anastasia added, "But it does require trust. I am a bit frightened at the prospect. Because of my spectrum disorder, I'm concerned how I would react," she added with a frown.

Annie listened, interested in what the canar did, and how it helped Anastasia.

"I wish I had one of these," Annie replied. "I've never been able to understand how people actually feel about me, or what they think of me. I guess I'm just used to being by myself it bothers me less and less."

Annie looked at the canar again, admiring its beauty.

"I'm frightened about being intimate with someone too. I never have been, but one day, I would like to be if I trusted them. It's a different trust though, I trust a lot of people to not come here and take my things, but I feel the level of trust I need to have to be intimate with someone is much higher, and different. That's true trust." Annie said.

"My mother says that a canar can be either a blessing or a curse. It can draw you closer to someone you want to give your love to, but it opens you up to someone who you should have kept your distance from." Anastasia shrugged. "My grandmother has a saying: Reshitshya eto poskolzhnutshya na mignoveniye. Ne emt, chutoby poteryat sebya. If you try, you can lose your footing. If you don't try, you can lose yourself."

"Yeah," Annie nodded. "I totally understand that. I've always been scared of losing anyone I get close to, maybe that's another reason why I can't find anyone. I suppose it's not meant to be for me right now, but there's plenty of time yet."

Anastasia nodded solemnly, then tentatively extended her hand across the table. "But we are friends, correct?"

"Of course we're friends, Anastasia. You're a great friend, and, for what it's worth you're my only real friend on the ship, so that makes you a little more special. I'd say that makes you my best friend." Annie replied, with a smile.

Before Anastasia could say anything, she was distracted by Prohvost who, becoming bored with investigating Max's toys, decided to engage Max in a little play with Max by headbutting Max's ball toward the dog.

"I believe we aren't the only friends in the room," Anastasia observed, giving Annie a small smile.

Max was pleased Prokhvost had accepted his invitation to play with his ball, and he then gently pushed it back towards the kitten, sitting patiently and wagging his tail. Annie was pleased Max had taken well to the kitten, especially as it was the first time he had been up close and personal with a cat before.

"Aww," Annie replied. "That's so adorable. We should so make this a regular thing, I could watch them all day."

Annie then caught Anastasia's smile, the first time she'd ever seen her friend smile.

Annie said. "Hey, you're smiling. You have a lovely smile, you should do it more often."

"I --- thank you," Anastasia said with an uncharacteristic blush on her face as she brush an imaginary lock of hair from her face. Prokhvost stepped out of the way of the ball, following it until it came to a stop on its own. The kitten carefully circled the ball, as if considering his next move.

"We should do a picnic," Anastasia said decisively. Anastasia watched her kitten who, having come to some internal decision, again headbutted the ball back toward Max. "I think the four of us would enjoy that."

Annie liked that idea, she thought it would be nice for them all to spend some more time together. A picnic sounded like a perfect opportunity.

"You're welcome," Annie replied. "I think we would too, we could use one of the programmes I created, I've got one of my homeland and a couple of others of beaches. I don't mind which one we use."

Max pushed the ball back towards Prokhvost with his paw, excited that he now had a friend to play with, even if his new friend was a kitten.

Again Prokhvost stalked around the ball, studying it from every angle. Max seemed to take Prokhvost's atypical response in stride. Just as Annie was taking her unusual behavior in stride. Anastasia hoped her kitten appreciated the Malamute's acceptance as much as she appreciated Annie's. With that thought in mind, Anastasia sipped her tea with a quiet smile.

 

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