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Stardate: 16006.24 [24 June, 2016]
Music Database on Shuffle: Never Forget You
And I will never want much more
And in my heart I will always be sure
That I will never forget you
Marielle had gotten into a little tiff with one of the repair engineers when the young man had apparently forgotten the new back-up power relays that she had ordered for the secondary computer core. It hadn’t been on the original repair docket, but ALICE’s disappearance act into Kiki’s Wonderland back-up system was, in her mind, unacceptable. While she had only been on the Hermes for a short while, the young woman was starting to realize that back-ups for the vital systems onboard were probably a good thing for a ship with such a propensity for trouble. The near-catastrophic incident with the Kzinti, Lyrans, and Klingons only solidified that belief.
Marielle took a deep breath as she took a sauntering pace through the promenade, her eyes sweeping over the shops she passed. Starbase 83 was by no means an extravagant location worthy of much - or any - tomfoolery, but it had a pleasant atmosphere that was conducive to relaxation. It felt wonderful to have the weight of her responsibilities lifted from her shoulders, no matter how temporary.
She stopped in front of a store, and she remained on the outskirts of the entrance while she glanced over the many wares on display. The shop was cluttered, nearly filled to the brim with knick knacks and oddball items. Bookshelves of cracked porcelain statues, a box full of rusty cast iron skillets, another box full of coiled toys that were tangled, and bins filled with a cube with multi coloured squares on each face - just to name a few. She recognized a few items, but most she did not, assuming they were just things from eras long forgotten. Some appeared to be authentic antiques, others poorly created replicas. Marielle was sure that a sheer number of them, authentic or replica alike, were just broken beyond repair. Opened umbrellas, each different and bright with colours and designs and some with large tears and cuts, hung upside down from the small ledge and created an eclectic awning. It was the gigantic wooden statue, paint chipped and fading, to the side that caught her eye next. The frightening lumberjack had a strange smile and glint in his carved empty eyes. It was far too much for such a little shop, and it was almost comical how it stood out against the sterile-like environment of the starbase.
She giggled to herself at the thought, covering her lips with her hand as she stood outside of the shop. It was just ridiculous to find such a gem in the middle of such an uniformly designed starbase in the middle of a vast universe. Sometimes, life was just ridiculous.
Her laughter died instantly. His voice was as silvery and smokey as she remembered, the light and pleasant dulcet tone with a smooth and mysterious quality akin to love on silk. The spice of his cologne filled the space around her, the earthy tones that reminded her so much of cinnamon and campfire. Her muscles tensed as she slowly turned. Her green eyes stared into the endless richness of his eyes. She knew those eyes - knew that the depths of his pupils were surrounded by a rich hazel that flowed easily into the crystal clear cerulean irises and darkened into a ring of midnight blue. The breath she didn’t realize she was holding released in a gasp.
He ran his slightly calloused hand through the length of his dirty blonde hair, sending the soft strands back before they fell around his face naturally. The darker strands moved easily with the lighter tresses of his hair, and the tips brushed against his angled chin. His hand moved to scratch the bristle on his face. He stared at her quietly, inhaling deeply as she stared up at him. Her scent filled his lungs, the light and airy floral scent of peony, orchids, plum blossom, and wild orange that he could never forget. “It’s really you,” he managed in the barest of whispers.
They stood in silence. The edges of their personal bubbles kissed at their proximity, and the air was heavy with unspoken thoughts and memories.
After what seemed like years, Marielle’s body moved on its own as it tried to desperately hide the unsteady torrent of Pathos, which had crescendoed in a mess of dark shades of reds and blues and a cacophony of thunderous and wailing melodies. Her lips curled up into a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“You- you look good.” Adam gulped and offered her a delighted, albeit awkward, grin. It was small, hesitant, and filled with the shock of stumbling upon her in, what is possibly, the most random places in the universe. He couldn’t even fathom calculating the odds of finding her - not that he would have even bothered - in the middle of this particular starbase in this particular section of the quadrant.
She could only nod dumbly at the compliment. Her hands moved up to the strands of her own hair, toying uncertainly at the curled ends that flowed from the loose ponytail that flowed over the side of her shoulder. As she had done so many times in their past, Marielle found herself looking deeply in his eyes. She had lost herself countless times in those eyes, had counted the flecks of hazel - of which there were three in his right and two in his left - that broke away from the edging around his pupils. Marielle’s eyes moved over the span of his body slowly and over his uniform before darting to the side. A light dusting of red coloured her cheeks. “Th- thank you,” she managed after finally finding her voice. “What are you doing here?”
“The Integrity is docked for resupply before we move to Verbena to help evacuate the settlers and provide medical aid,” Adam explained. He looked at the top of her head as she kept her attention focused on anything besides him. “What are you doing here?” His eyes drifted to the side of her face, and they traced the lines tenderly. When they settled on the soft shade of pink on her cheeks, his heart skipped a beat. His mind flooded with memories of when he had last seen her flushed. It was at that very moment Adam determined that memories were fickle and funny things with savagely annoying timing.
“I- The Hermes is docked for extensive repairs after an incident with some hostiles. We here on leave until we receive word about our next mission.” Marielle looked at him briefly, this time brushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear, before letting her gaze focus on a spot on the floor. It was odd, standing in the stifling silence that surrounded them.
“Oh.” It was all he could manage. His telepathy, despite being half-Betazoid, was strong enough to catch the mixture of thoughts and emotions that moved so openly through her. The sterile order of Logos, the maddening chaos of Pathos, the resilient strength of Ethos, and the alluring secrets hidden in Eros. Adam recalled it all so easily, remembered how he had relished in the silence of Logos when the lingering thoughts of people overwhelmed his senses. He had missed the silence in that meticulously kept section of her mind.
There was another long beat of uncomfortable silence, and both spoke up when it was too much to stomach.
“How are you-”
“How have you been-”
“I’ve been good-”
“So what are you doing here-”
“How’s life been treating you-”
“You asked that already-”
The silence returned between them. Marielle moved her gaze to a far corner of the promenade, and Adam did the same in the opposite direction. She fidgeted with the tips of her hair, and he scratched the back of his neck. She coughed, and he cleared his throat.
Again, the silence clung tightly and filled the space around them. Passers-by seemed to sense the bubble, and they gave the couple an odd look before moving on to their destinations. But it was that last poor attempt to find their words that had Marielle breaking the uncomfortable hold silence had over them. It was soft, almost a ghost of a giggle. It grew louder as it changed, turning into its usual bright and cheerful laughter. It rang - sweet, and beautiful, and reminiscent of summer.
Adam’s eyes flickered down to her, watching as she stood with her eyes closed and with a hand hovering over her open mouth as she laughed so easily. Her laughter was as infectious as he remembered it to be and soon he joined her, with relief ringing brightly in every sound he released. The melodic tenor of his laugh filled the space around them in harmony to give depth to the sound of her joy. Their eyes met in the brief pause of their joy, and it only caused them to start another round of carefree mirth, louder and more free.
Marielle sighed happily as she wiped the joyful tears from her eyes. She looked up at him, eyes shining brightly, and watched as his laughter began to slow. Unwilling to let the sufferable silence to descend upon them again, her ever-present smile curled the edges of her lips into a mischievous grin. Without thinking, she leaned towards him, bending at the waist, as she lifted herself to the the tips of her toes. Her hands moved in one graceful sweep to clasp behind her back as it always did when she took on such a stance. Marielle’s head tilted to one side and her eyes sparkled in delight as his expression grew joyful at seeing her stare at him.
He chortled lightly as he peered down at her. It had been so long since he had been at the receiving end of, what he had once called, her politely rude insistence in invading a person’s personal bubble. Muscle memory had Adam’s body moving to respond to her quiet challenge. As he had done so many times in the past, he leaned forward and dipped his chin down to meet her unwavering gaze. He compensated for the height difference by bowing his head low as she extended her chin up towards him. The scent of her filled his lungs with each inhalation, and he could feel the flutter of her breath on his lips.
Marielle couldn’t quite remember the last time she had been this close to him, and she quickly realized how much she had truly missed the man. Her tongue darted out on its own to wet the inner edges of her lips, and she caught the quick flicker of his eyes to watch the movement. In that moment, as his eyes returned to meet hers, Marielle realized the dangerous game she had initiated. It had been months since they exchanged any form of communication, and years since they had last seen each other in person. It wouldn’t do, she told herself, to open old wounds. Marielle remained in the confines of his personal bubble only for a heartbeat longer. Slowly, almost painfully so, she fought against herself to her heels to the ground and straightened to add some distance between them. She continued to look up at him with a smile. “Hello, Adam,” she greeted, her voice soft and airy.
Adam took a slow and quiet breath in as she moved away from him. The impish smile that had graced her lips had changed to match the kind, yet subdued and - was he imagining it? - distant, tone of her greeting. His smile matched the quality of her own as he straightened and added to the distance between them. “Hello,” he paused just a beat as he prepared to say her name with a tone that was tender and heavy with meaning, “Mariëlle.”
Copyright 2016. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud, including character biographies and published stories, are the property of the United Space Federation and its author. It cannot be reproduced, imitated, and copied without written permission from the authors. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction using aspects of the Star Trek universe as created and copyrighted/trademarked by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, and their affiliates.