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Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
Not For Me to Say
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. [The Professor at the Breakfast Table]
“Oh, Giddy. This is our song!” cooed Jane Annesley as she rested her head on his chest, her hand tightly holding onto Gideon’s while the other rested on the nape of his neck.
‘This song can’t be over soon enough,’ Gideon thought to himself. He was playing the part of a respectful gentleman for Jonathan Battey’s sake, despite his anxiety level being through the roof. The half-Bajoran groaned quietly every time Jane opened her mouth but he kept a strained smile on his lips in case the photographer snapped a picture of them. “We don’t have a song, Annesley,” he told her coolly. “I’m only doing this for Battey.”
“All right, people! Let’s get this party started!” exclaimed the disc jockey as the opening song changed from a slow tempo into something far more upbeat.
As soon as it was acceptable, the security officer disengaged from Jane. “I don’t mean to sound nasty but it hurts to touch you. Please leave me alone.” Gideon made a show of straightening his white button down short sleeved shirt after brushing his hands on his khaki pants before he quickly escaped the throng of people. ‘Cazzo, Jon owes me.’
“Ellie! Wanna dance?” asked the Rigelian as he stared down at the engineer.
Marielle had been speaking to Parvenu Nobody when Sreagon’s voice had pulled her from the middle of her conversation. She held the stemware in her fingers. Smiling warmly at the security officer, she shook her head. “Maybe later?” The engineer looked around as the dance floor slowly filled with people. “I think I see Dasre. You should go ask her to dance,” she offered, her manicured finger pointed in the direction of the other junior security officer. When Nobody gently touched her arm to indicate he was going to mingle with the other officers, she offered him a smile and sipped on her champagne.
Cana made her way to the engineer, chuckling lightly as she watched the Rigelian make his way along the edge of the dance floor. The nurse took a moment to look over the diminutive woman. “I think this is the most skin I’ve ever seen you show, Ellie,” she teased. “You got the men buzzing around you. That makes, what? The fifth one to ask you to dance? Why aren’t you heading out there?”
She waved her hand dismissively as the other smoothed over the soft fabric of her spaghetti strap black dress. Lace detailing outlined the edges of her heart-shaped neckline, the dress’ skirt floating around her knees as the warm ocean breeze weaved through the crowd. As always, Marielle received most of her height in the pointed stilettos that covered her feet. Thankfully, the reception area was covered by wooden floor over the soft sand. “Just not interested in dancing right now.” Her fingers came up to brush back the floating tendril of her raven hair.
Ryan Winnetka stepped off the dance floor, his eyes following Gideon as his friend attempted to disappear behind a wall of people. He made his way toward Cana and Marielle, grinning as he rested his hand on the nurse’s shoulder. “You’re looking good today, Ellie,” the security officer noted easily with a nod in her direction. He wore the same outfit as the other groomsmen.
The engineer bobbed her head once in his direction. “As do you, Ryan. You should consider dressing up more often,” she greeted in kind. Marielle glanced between the two taller officers, a knowing smile pulling at her features. “You should tell Cana she looks good too,” Marielle insisted gently. “And then ask her to dance.”
“I already told Cana she dresses up nice,” he retorted with a smirk in the nurse’s direction. Ryan squeezed her shoulder as he leaned in her direction, his hip bumping hers.
Cana blushed slightly and playfully pushed Ryan to the side. “Like I need you to tell me I look good. I always look good,” she muttered. Still, the nurse looked pleased by the compliment.
“And then there’s that,” he snickered quietly as he raised a brow toward Marielle. Winnetka turned the look toward Cana. “I’d ask if you want to dance, but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me when we’re going to dance.”
“Well, Ellie’s not dancing,” the nurse offered as she pointed to the engineer. “Can’t leave the girl alone. Came to a wedding stag - I mean, who does that? - and won’t even get on the dance floor.” Cana turned to Marielle, a sly grin on her features as she attempted to goad the woman. She’d lost several rounds of the betting pool, but she hadn’t lost faith. Something about tonight promised a win.
“Sal dropped Annesley like a hot potato and I kinda want to check on him. He headed toward the bar,” Ryan’s statement drifted with the suggestion that his best friend might partake despite his self-proclaimed prohibition. “I wish Jon had picked me to be his best man instead. Sal wasn’t ready to put on that kind of show.”
“What kind of show?” asked Marielle softly. Her head turned in the direction of the bar, a worried glint working its way into her eyes.
Winnetka shook his head as he leaned against Cana again, his arm draping over her shoulder. “Weddings are happy occasions, Jon and Anya are gonna look back at the holos and see that Sal was a wreck trying to put on a face with Annesley.” There was a brief pause as he grinned. “I bet he wouldn’t have need to act if you were maid of honor.”
“She did seem all over him. I figured they were dating or something,” muttered the engineer, her eyes still trained on the bar. The idea that Gideon was seeing someone made her stomach churn unexpectedly.
“They’re not dating,” he clarified. “Sal can’t stand her, something about how she’s the complete opposite of you or whatever.” Ryan smiled as he glanced down toward Cana, looking for approval at the statement.
The diminutive woman continued to stare towards the bar, her eyes able to catch the back of Gideon’s head. “Oh.” It was all she could offer in terms of a comment, but her cheeks had turned pink.
“You should go check on him, Ellie,” Cana insisted with a gentle push of the hand. The nurse looked up at Ryan and grinned as Marielle’s steps carried her towards the bar. “He looks lonely.”
“Uh. Yeah. I’ll go check on him,” the engineer waved meekly at the pair. “You guys go and dance. I’ll make sure Gideon stays out of trouble, okay, Ryan?”
The security officer chuckled quietly as he squeezed Cana’s shoulder again, pulling her toward the dance floor. “Thanks, Ellie. If anyone can do it, you can,” he stated over his shoulder.
The nurse watched as the engineer disappeared into the small crowd. “It better happen tonight, or I’m going to be royally ticked off,” she commented. Her strides easily matched Ryan’s as they made their way towards the center. “Good thinking, but I’m not splitting my winnings with you.”
Gideon stepped away from the bar with a bottle of water and a napkin, the paper moved over his hairline and then the back of his neck as he tried to ease his nerves. The chief of security hadn’t seen Marielle in the crowd, so he managed to relax a bit thinking that she hadn’t been subjected to his charade with Jane Annesley. He dropped the napkin into a waste bin.
“And here I thought I’d get to see you in a tuxedo,” she appeared next to him, the champagne flute in her hand. Marielle had followed him from the bar to find him near a quiet corner of the hard flooring that covered the fine white sand. “But, tuxedos don’t really work for a beach wedding. The khakis and casual dress shirt works too, though.” She grinned up at him.
Startled, the half-Bajoran took a step to the side as he looked down at the engineer. Gideon attempted to stop his shudder as he pushed a smile to his features and returned to his original position. “I might’ve been more comfortable in a tux,” he murmured as he nodded toward Marielle. “You look nice, though I’m sure you’ve heard that plenty.” He grinned sheepishly.
Smiling, she stepped forward and reached out towards him. Her hand hesitated just a breath - a stutter really - but it continued to move over his collar to smooth it down. Marielle picked at the invisible lint as she brushed his shoulder clean. “I have, but it’s always nice to hear,” she admitted with a soft smile. She lifted the champagne glass a bit to the side and twirled slowly for him. “I’m told I clean up nicely.”
Gideon bit his tongue a moment as he watched the engineer twirl. “All true,” he agreed with a nod. He started to visibly relax, the grin becoming more genuine as the anxiety wrinkles eased from his features. “I didn’t see you at the ceremony, I’m sorry. I kind of zoned out,” he admitted with a frown. “Annesley makes me anxious.”
She finished her champagne and left it on a tray filled with empty used glasses. Marielle placed a hand on his shoulder as she lifted a foot to remove her stiletto. “The maid of honour? Why?” she asked as she removed her other shoe. She held both with a hooked finger as she stepped off the wooden boards and into the soft sand, her hand sliding off his shoulder. After several glasses of champagne, her cheeks were flushed pink and she was more friendly than usual.
He’d placed his hand on her side to help steady her. The security officer slipped the bottle of water into his pocket as he stepped after Marielle, following her into the sand. “Yeah. We went on one miserable date and she’s been clinging to this notion that we’re seeing each other. Insisted that we even have a song,” he explained in a grumble.
She listened as she took an easy pace on the sand, her toes wiggling to enjoy the feel of the fine grain. Walking was difficult as her feet sunk into the warm sand, but she managed to look fairly graceful as she made her way towards the breaking waves. It was not far from the designated reception area, which was lit by the tent of draping lights. The glow of the reception and the moonlight were enough to blind out the glow of stars. “Wait. Annesley,” she muttered softly to herself as her eyes settled on the moon’s reflection on the ocean’s horizon. “Is this the same woman you mentioned in your letters?”
“Yes!” he acknowledged her memory with a glance in her direction. “It’s been months,” Gideon lamented. “She won’t take my ‘no’ as being final.” The half-Bajoran frowned and shook his head. “Anyway, let’s not talk about Annesley. Who did you bring? The counselor?”
“Henrik?!” Marielle laughed aloud as she stared at him incredulously. “Seriously? Does he look like my type?”
His eyes widened in surprise and he blinked at her reaction. “Uhm, no?” He shrugged and pulled the bottle of water from his pocket and twisted the cap off. “What’s your type?” Gideon poured some of the cool water into his mouth before offering it to the engineer.
Marielle shook her head at the offered bottle and chuckled softly as one step took her from the warm dry sand to the wet cold surface by the retreating waves. Her hands swept back, her fingers gently clasped around her wrist as she considered the question. Her thumb brushed over the back of her shoe’s heel. “Hmm,” the engineer hummed as she considered the question. ‘Tall, handsome, smart, a challenge,’ she told herself as she stole a glance at Gideon. “If you ask my brother, he’ll tell you I have a soft spot for bad boys with pretty eyes.” Her head dipped to her chin as she brushed back the long strands of her hair as a breeze whipped around them.
He’d capped the bottle and slid the bottle back into his pocket as he stood next to Marielle, his arm draped over her shoulders to warm her against the the possible chill of the ocean breeze. Gideon hummed as he considered her answer and smiled. “If that’s true, Henrik is far from your type.”
The engineer hummed in confirmation before she sighed. A hand came up to cover her face as her head tipped back. “He’s just so- He fawns-” She’d never been fond of speaking ill of anyone, but the counselor had easily chipped away from her patience, especially after Gideon’s relapse. Releasing a breath, Marielle dropped her hand as she looked to the security chief by her side. She registered the arm on her shoulder, but thought nothing of it. She had long learnt that he was the touchy-feely type. All the same, he was warm and the engineer leaned into him more despite not feeling cold. “There’s no spark- no challenge with Henrik.”
“Should redirect him to Annesley,” Gideon muttered as he shook his head.
“Could be a deadly combination,” she replied with a soft laugh. Marielle pulled away from his arm and continued to walk quietly on the beach. “How about you? What’s your type?”
‘You,’ he answered easily, swallowing the response before it could pass his lips. Gideon sighed quietly as he pushed to rejoin Marielle, walking beside her as his brown deck shoes sunk into the sand. “Used to be stupid and easy, but that’s not who I am anymore.” His shoulders shrugged as he reached with a hand to scratch at his jaw. “Don’t really know now.”
She leaned her head to one side as she considered the answer, a small smile pulled at her features. She was neither of those things, but Gideon had once pursued her. The idea that she fell into such a category didn’t seem right, and Marielle chose to believe that the interest had been because the security chief found value in something more meaningful. Silently, she lamented at their timing. Atlantis then Malahakir, let alone her own obligations to her family. “Stupid and easy gets boring real quick.” Marielle looked up at the security chief. Over time, John Stone’s revelation of Gideon’s history had eased from a scream to a quiet whisper. The worry lingered, but the engineer believed she knew the security chief better than most. She’d seen him for more than his reputation, and it only endeared him further in her eyes. “I’m glad you’re not like that anymore. I’d be disappointed in you.”
His smile lit his features and he straightened slightly as he walked. “Can’t have that,” he told her.
“Nope,” she laughed softly, popping the ‘p’ playfully. “But, you didn’t really answer my question.” Marielle gently shoved him, her hip jutting out to push him towards the water. “You’re single, successful, mildly good looking. I see how the women on the ship look at you. Annesley will hardly be the last one to show interest.” She was sure to hide her face as she thought of the female crew members who stole glances.
Gideon staggered to the side melodramatically at her shove, his hand coming up to rest over his heart as if wounded. “Mildly good looking? That hurts!” He laughed playfully as he returned to his spot beside her, his shoulder brushing into hers with a smirk. “I’ve only got eyes for one woman, so I’ll describe her as my type, hmm?” The security officer hummed again before he continued. “She’s smart, out of my league kind of smart.”
Marielle laughed, her hand coming up to brush back her hair as a breeze wrapped around her. “Out of your league smart isn’t that smart, Gideon,” she teased as she stopped, her head tipping back as she stared up at him.
He scoffed as he turned to face her, a wry grin on his face as he shook his head. “And she’s got a tongue that would sooner slice your heart than pay a compliment,” he added with a shake of his head. Gideon winked down at Marielle. “And this braying laugh that no one can stand.”
“Seriously?” she leaned her head to one side in thought. “You like someone who’s smarter than you, mean, and has the laugh of an ass?” She’d hoped it was her, but the description hadn’t fit. Marielle blinked as she tried to consider who on board carried such a description. “Is she in science? I mean, there’s- She’s got an annoying laugh, but she’s nice- So, can’t be her.” The engineer pinned her lower lip with her teeth as she mentally went through the ship’s manifest.
Gideon shook his head and nearly rolled his eyes, smirking as he chuckled quietly. “No, she’s in Engineering. Complex calculations on the fly, can’t do simple math. Sometimes can’t catch a joke.”
She side stepped around him but remained facing the security chief. “That’s practically every engineer,” she poked him in the chest as she mindlessly closed the distance between them.
He made a show of being hurt at the poke, wincing harshly as he lifted his hand to rub the tender area. “No, non proprio. Questo parla Francese e cuoce e fa solo il mio cuore svolazzano ogni volta che mi guarda. (No, not really. This one speaks French and bakes and just makes my heart flutter every time she looks at me.)” Gideon smiled fondly at Marielle as he shook his head to disagree with her statement. “Not really,” he said finally.
Quietly, she turned her head away so she could hide her face. A smile was hidden under the long strands of hair and the shadow over her face. When she felt the warmth of her face dissipating, Marielle looked up at him. “We should probably head back,” she offered weakly.
The security officer glanced up toward the reception before turning his darkened cobalt irises back toward the engineer. He nodded and offered his arm toward her. “I suppose so. I think there’s a speech or something I’m supposed to give and I see the line still growing of guys waiting to dance with you.” Gideon winked. “Any chance I could jump to the front?”
She chuckled as her hand slipped into the crook of his elbow. “I had you penned in before the wedding even began, silly.” Marielle shook her head at him. “Honestly. We’ve been friends for how long, and you have to ask?”
“It’s rude to assume,” he argued as they started heading back toward the gathering. ‘I wish Jon had asked Winnetka to be his best man. I would have rather spent the whole night out here.’
The engineer gently used her body to push him to the side playfully, her head resting on his arm briefly. “I taught you how to dance, Gideon,” she smiled warmly up at him, her chin resting against his bicep. “That means I always have to save room for you on my dance card. It’s the rule.”
“Oh, is that the rule?” he mused with a grin as he held Marielle’s hand against his arm. “I could probably use a refresher,” the security officer started quietly. “Been a while.”
She pinned her lower lip with her teeth. “I’m starting to think you befriended me for my dancing skills,” she chuckled softly as she glanced back at the open reception area. Music filtered easily towards them, carried on the warm ocean breeze. The stilettos were dropped unceremoniously onto the sand. “Well. Come on. Let’s see what you remember.”
His smile grew again. Gideon was pleased with himself that the ploy worked. He turned to face the engineer and stepped closer, raising his arms into the frame as he recalled. “Something about the box, right?” His fingers interlaced with hers as he rested his hand on the back of her shoulder.
It’s not for me to say, you’ll always care
“I’ve failed as a teacher!” The engineer playfully wailed as she lamented his posture. Marielle pulled her hands from his grip, fingers gently gliding under his arms to lift them into the proper position. Her eyes watched her fingertips move over the lines that were highlighted by the moonlight and it made her breath stutter. ‘It’s just not fair,’ she thought to herself. Once she was satisfied with his posture, she stepped closer and slid her hand to rest against his palm while the other rested near his shoulder. Her back straightened as she leaned back against the hand on her shoulder blade and her head fell to one side. Smiling at how he kept her in place, Marielle stepped back and pulled him with her. “Easy to remember,” she coached softly. “You are the frame, and I’m your picture.”
“Box, frame, it was close,” he mumbled as the steps came easily, grinning wryly as their feet fought with the sand for balance. Gideon hummed quietly as they moved in the formal dance, his thoughts venturing back to the ball that was held on Atlantis. Marielle had certainly been a picture of beauty and grace, something she managed to achieve on a daily basis. “Speaking of pictures,” he began. “Any word from Christian?”
And press your lips to mine, and dream that love will last
Their posture eased out of the frame easily, moving out of the professional stance to a more casual one. “He’s still working on it,” Marielle smiled up at him. “I promise I’ll tell you as soon I get your painting.” The engineer chuckled softly. “So impatient to get me on your damn wall.”
“Non aveta concetta, (You have no idea)” he grumbled to himself as he held her against him. Gideon sighed contentedly as he rested his jaw on Marielle’s soft raven hair, grinning as his heart fluttered in his chest.
Her eyes fell shut as her head leaned into him. Her hand slid down on his bicep as they eased into a more casual dance. There was something oddly perfect in the moment that made her heart stutter. “Remember how to spin me?” she asked softly. The engineer moved with him, a calm easily moving through her.
‘That could be bad in the sand,’ he thought as he pictured the spin. ‘But maybe good.’ Gideon grinned as he nodded and waited for the next opportunity in their motion to pull Marielle’s hand above her head and push her into an easy twirl.
Or we may never meet again, but then it’s not for me to say
She smiled brightly at him as she spun gracefully under his arm. She shivered slightly as his hand brushed along her waist as she twirled. The engineer found herself in his arms once again, and their joined hands fell out of the strict frame as she closed the distance between them. “Good,” Marielle praised softly as she looked up at him.
He used her momentum to turn and dip her, his hand directing hers up to hold onto him around his neck as he traced his fingertips back down her arm so that he could brace her. Gideon’s smiled warmed as he winked down at her, a brow raising as he chuckled quietly. “Do I get a treat?” he whispered playfully.
Her breath stilled, emerald irises searching the depths of his blue. Her fingers gripped at the fabric of his shirt. “What sort of treat?” Marielle asked softly, her gaze flickering to his lips before they returned to his eyes. Her heart beat furiously against her chest to the point she couldn’t hear the music.
And speaking just for me, it’s ours to share
His back straightened slowly as he pulled her up from the dip, one hand remaining on her back as the other slid up to the back of her neck. Gideon rested his forehead against hers before pressing his lips against hers gently.
Marielle pulled away quickly as she hid her face from the security chief. Her fingers brushed along her lips, the mere touch mirroring the pressure she’d felt just a heartbeat earlier. The sparks that moved through her from the faint brush was everything she remembered of their first kiss. That had been passionate, filled with heat and want, and didn’t mirror any of the innocence that had touched her lips. Her mind was a complete blank as she laughed awkwardly. She smoothed her hands over the fabric of her dress as she turned towards the silhouette of the woman in the far distance. The engineer wasn’t sure if she should have been upset or thankful for the interruption.
“Giddy! It’s time for you to give your speech!” Annesley stepped off the wooden planks that covered the sand and immediately fell flat on her face when her shoes sank beneath her.
He’d groaned outwardly, giving Marielle an apologetic look, frowning as he noticed her back was turned to him. The moment was gone, ruined by Jane Annesley. “El,” he murmured before glancing at Jane. His gaze focused on the engineer quickly. “Thank you,” he said louder toward her before stepping toward the science officer and helping her to her feet. Gideon silently lamented the interruption, tuning out Jane as she spoke next to him. He’d slipped back into his charade, his back stiff and eyes distant as he made his way toward the front of the reception area to the long table at which the bridal party sat.
The engineer turned to face him, a small smile pulled at her features as she watched him move towards the reception floor. “Oh, what are you doing, Ellie?” she asked herself as she watched the security chief help the faceless silhouette. “That’s all done, and you’re just friends.” Marielle leaned down, picked up her shoes, and shook them free of sand. “Just friends.” Instead of making her way back to the reception, she lingered on the beach, her fingers still lightly brushing against her lips.
Perhaps the glow of love will grow with every passing day
Or we may never meet again, but then it’s not for me to say
Copyright 2017. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud and Gideon M. Salieri, 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.