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JPL Cadet Chet Nogura & Minerva Brax
(Note: This all takes place during the holiday break)
Chet was waiting outside Minerva's room for her to head out for Winter Break. He had a large box under his arm, wrapped up in blue metallic paper with golden ribbons, that he hoped she'd like.
Minerva heard the door chime. "Coming right out," she called happily to the door comm. She grabbed the duffel she had packed her clothing and Chet's gift into, and actually ran for the door.
He also had a small carry-all over his shoulder and dropped that and the box to hug her tightly when she opened the door. He then gave her a long and lingering kiss on the lips. Once the kiss was broken, he smiled as he looked her over. "You know, I think you're more beautiful every time I see you."
"Well, you're right," she said playfully, running her hands over his chest. "And I work hard at achieving that too."
He grinned as he hugged her tighter. "Have any plans for the Break? Or should I say 'any OTHER plans'?" He could be mischievous when he wanted to be...
She giggled and slapped him playfully. "Well, I did have excellent plans with an awesome man, but... if he is backing out on me..."
He growled, softly and playfully. "He better not disappoint such a vision of loveliness as you are, or I'll kill him with my bare hands..."
"Mmmmm... I love it when you go all warrior for me."
He nuzzled into her hair. "My family IS descended from the samurai and one of the daimyos."
"I know," She responded with a sultry voice. "We better get moving though, before I can't take it any more and drag you back into my quarters."
He chuckled and gave her a lecherous leer before scooping up the carry-all, the duffel and her present. He was tempted to cram the present into the carry-all and scoop HER up instead!!
"Give me my duffel," Brax complained. "I can carry my own, Chester."
He handed her the box instead. It was somewhat heavy and awkward to manage, but he was smiling the whole time.
She took the box willingly. "Ooo... is this for me?" She looked at it, then at Chet.
He nodded, a look of near devilish delight on his face as pictured the look on her face when she opened it.
"This will drive me batty," Brax said. "Knowing this big box is for me and not being able to open it for another day."
"Well, I talked to Mother and Grandfather and they said that you could open it after you got their gifts as well." He was fully enjoying the moment. "You COULD say that it was a family project."
"Oh, now I am REALLY intrigued."
He grinned as he led her over to the transporter to take them to his family home outside Kyoto.
They arrived on a small bridge crossing over a stream that had been landscaped into the garden with meticulously trimmed bushes on either side of the gravel walkway, soon leading up to a traditional styled house with a couple of smaller buildings on the grounds, one closer to the house, the other closer to and overlooking a small lake. Chet led the way to the house pausing on the small porch to remove his boots and put on a provided pair of slippers before going further into the house. There were other cubicles with outdoor shoes in the wall with several extra pairs of slippers for guests. "Welcome to our home, Minerva-san."
Minerva followed Chet's lead, removing her boots and finding a pair of slippers to fit her. She was totally taken in by the sheer beauty of this place. It was so elegant. Her parents' condo in New York City looked like a simple apartment in comparison.
"This is so beautiful," was all she could manage.
He nodded. "I know, I've always loved it here and I think that's one reason that Grandfather keeps it the way he does. We've been offered almost everything we'd want, if we'd be willing to give it up, but to each offer we have turned them down, because they wanted to build apartments in the gardens and a golf course in the woods. I'm for progress, but not at the expense of one's soul and mine is here."
"Mmmm..." Minerva said, looking around. "I could so get into living here." Minerva nodded. "I really like that train of thought."
Chet smiled as she said that."Well, I could think of one way you could stay here when you wanted to..."
Minerva turned her gaze to him. She had a knowing smile on her face. "Oh, and just how would that be?"
He led her into the more formal Living Room with the sliding panels that opened onto a view of the lake. A small tree decorated with bright colored balls and lights stood in one corner with a plethora of packages all wrapped up in bright paper and ribbons beneath it The furniture consisted of a large low table and huge cushions surounding it on the ricestraw, or Tatami, mats. A console on one side had a media center for important communications for the members of the house.
After letting her take in everything about the room he fished something from his pocket and offered it to her as the rays of the sunset sent scintillating colors dancing around the room from the almost glowing stone in the ring he offered her on bent knee. "Please say we'll be together forever, even if our careers decree a time of separation." A puppy would be jealous of the pleading in his eyes as he held the ring out to her, his future waiting on her word as to what it would be.
Minerva gasped in surprise as she looked at the ring. She then looked at Chet, wondering if this was really happening. It took another few seconds of looking between the two as she finally said, "Yes.... Yes, I will marry you."
He slipped the ring on her finger and kissed her passionately, holding her to him like he'd never let her go.
From the doorway to the rest of the house there was the sound of a clearing throat. "You better wait about the wedding till after you graduate the Academy, youngsters." The old man in the uniform of a Starfleet Admiral told them. "You do that and I'll personally make it a standing order that you are always posted together."
Pure instinct took hold and Minerva snapped to perfect attention the moment she saw who was speaking. There was also a look of trepidation in her eyes. Chet also went to attention, showing the older man respect for his age and wisdom as well as being one of the top brass in Starfleet.
"Ojiisama I'd like to present my fiancee, Cadet Minerva Brax, to you," Chet said to his grandfather. "Minerva, meet my grandfather, Fleet Admiral Heihachiro Nogura." He then offered the older man a respectful bow.
The admiral grinned to the young woman as he came into the room."At Ease, cadet, and welcome to the family. I'm no different than any other person in Starfleet, just maybe a little older that's all." He came over and gave a bow to her as well before hugging her to him like she were his granddaughter.
"Admiral Nogura," Minerva said, her voice almost a whisper. She bowed nervously to the older man. "What... what an honor, Sir. Chet has always spoken of you, but... to actually meet you, Sir..." Her face flushed with embarrassment. She was making a fool of herself.
The Admiral chuckled. "Calm down, Cadet, this is not a review, though Chet has already given me a very good one of you. Are you hungry? I got about a dozen buckets for dinner and the others should be setting everything out about now."
The admiral chuckled even more as he tousled Chet's hair. "That rapscallion didn't tell me if you preferred Original, Spicy, BBQ or Extra Crispy!"
Chet hung his head. "I never got the chance to ask her, Ojiisama."
Minerva calmed visibly. She smiled at the tousling of Chet's hair. "I eat just about everything, Sir. Whatever you are serving."
Chet finger combed his hair back into place as best he could. "One of the traditions here is to get buckets of KFC Chicken for Christmas dinner. I have no idea how it got started but it's an easy way to deal with food for the holidays."
Minerva giggled. "I love it! I can't wait."
The Admiral offered her his arm to escort her into the dining room to share dinner with them all while Chet moved to her other side for the same purpose.
The dining room was set up like the table in the living room for about half the room while the other half had a more western style table and chairs instead of cushions.There were plates on both tables while the low table had the chopsticks and porcelain spoons of the traditional service the western table had forks, knives and all the restthat was used in the West. There were large bottles of soda and other drinks on the western table while there were small handleless cups of tea on the traditional one. The admiral smiled to Minerva. "You're the guest here Which style seating would make you more comfortable?"
"I positively LOVE sitting on the cushions," Minerva replied. She then giggled a the image of chowing down on KFC oriental style.
The admiral nodded and snagged a cup and pot of tea for himself to move over to the western style table." Unfortunately, my arthritis will be giving me fits all night if I join you there, young lady, so enjoy the setting for me." One of the teens at the table poured the tea for the Admiral while he reciprocated by pouring some coke into a glass for the teen.
"This is all so wonderful," Minerva said in a soft voice to Chet. She sat down on one of the cushions.
Chet sat next to her, his eyes feasting on her and ignoring the food. "Yes," he replied dreamily, "you certainly are..." He poured her a cup of tea before getting the bucket of original and offering it to her for her to get her favorite pieces.
"Thank you," Minerva acknowledged. She took a leg and wing and handed the bucket back to Chet. "What do you like?"
"I'm like you, going for the pilot parts..." He got the other wing and leg as well before starting to pass around the sides and biscuits.
The Admiral chuckled at the 'Pilot parts' comment." Minerva you know why some chickens are called Airplane birds?"
"Umm... No, Sir, I don't know," she replied once again embarrassed she didn't have an answer for the admiral.
"They got that nickname because a number of people only got legs and wings, many times the cheapest cuts of meat, and then said they just got the wings and the landing gear." The admiral grinned like a schoolkid on summer break to her, inviting her to share in the joke.
Minerva giggled, genuinely amused. "I shall always remember that now, Sir."
"Minerva, remember that everyone is important in Starfleet, no matter what their rank is and we all put our pants on one leg at a time," he smiled. "Unless we're like those Sivaoans and don't WEAR pants..."
"Or like the Triaxians, whom have three legs, Sir," Minerva replied with a giggle.
"True but they still balance on two before getting the third one in first, " Chet offered. "Of course, those Hortas eat right through their uniforms
with the acids they secrete..."
The admiral grinned. "You see, we all have our problems with the uniforms, though I admit you fill yours out nicely, Minerva." He really was NOT trying to make her blush.
The rest of the evening was almost dream-like for Minerva. Chet's family could not have been more gracious and treated her like she was already in the family. One other thing about the evening, was that Minerva could not stop looking at the beautiful ring that now adorned her finger. This was so much better than the gift she had bought for Chet, Captain Montgomery Scott's book, I Need More Power.