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[JL Deniaud/Salieri] Sweet Escape

USS Aldrin Lounge


by First Lieutenant Marielle Deniaud & Lieutenant Gideon Salieri
[Stardate ]

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Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
Sweet Escape


“All truths wait in all things.”
- Walt Whitman [Song of Myself]

Gideon reached up and scratched at his chin as he walked along the corridor, his thoughts drifting as he considered the recent events on the Aldrin. His shift had ended without further excitement and he wondered what to do with his evening. He stepped out of the turbolift and glanced at his surroundings as he found himself in an area that wasn’t as familiar to him as others. Humming, he shook his head and smirked at himself as he made his way to the depths of the Beta Vector.

It was a quiet evening in Engineering, and she stared up at the warp core to simply enjoy the hum. Most of the other team members had called it a day, and the next shift was already starting to filter in for the night. She held the PADD between her fingers, the device bouncing as she waved it in the air by it scorner, as she sang softly to herself, the melody light and airy as she watched the core’s swirling colours. Marielle leaned forward, resting her forearms on the wooden detailing of the railing and her feet crossing at the ankles.

The Bajoran mix stepped into Engineering and his gaze immediately shifted around the small department. The hum of the engines that he’d taken a while to get used to was louder here and he could almost feel the vibration in the soles of his shoes. Cobalt irises focused on the woman by the warp core as he approached her. What are you even doing? he asked himself as he walked up to the woman and stood beside Marielle.

She stopped singing as a body moved into her peripheral vision, and she turned her chin to stare at the security chief. The engineer blinked - just once - as her surprise moved through her mind and eased away just as quickly. Gideon didn’t often venture into her department, but she surmised he was doing rounds or whatever it was security chiefs did. “Allô, Gédéon,” she greeted with a small smile. “Are you lost?”

He smiled as he rested a hand on the wooden railing, turning slightly so that he could face her. He’d taken a moment to appreciate the way her mouth moved when she spoke, the French tumbling so easily from her tongue. “Ciao,” he returned the greeting. “Might be lost considering this isn’t exactly where I intended to be, but now that I’m here, doesn’t seem so bad.” Gideon winked as the corner of his mouth pulled up in a wry smile.

Marielle chuckled softly as she shook her head at him. ‘He’s always throwing out lines. I bet he doesn’t even realize it,’ she mused to herself. The observation was a little amusing, though she wondered if Gideon ever realized how odd it seemed to be on the receiving end of it. “I may be bias, but it’s probably because Engineering is the best department.” The engineer giggled softly as she turned her attention back to the core, her chin tipping back to study the swirling colours and steady rhythmic thrumming that vibrated the air.

“Being that I’m off duty, I feel no need to argue for the Security department,” he informed her, his fingers rubbing gently against the smooth surface of the railing. Gideon grinned and shook his head. “You done yet?” he asked quickly.

“Hmm?” She turned to face him, her hands pushing against the railing as she straightened.

“Your shift,” the half-Betazoid clarified as he slid his hands into his pockets.

“I was done an hour ago.” Marielle’s head leaned to one side as she stared up at him. “Why?”

Always hanging out here. I’m surprised she doesn’t do more outside of Engineering. The chief of security grinned as he shrugged his shoulders, his gaze moving briefly to the warp core before returning to the diminutive engineer. “I’m going to go for a walk, maybe you’ll join me?”

She hummed at the offer, her eyes flitting to the side as she considered her evening. There was no immediate need, no report or personal project that needed completing. There was no pressing desire to attempt more on her thesis. It was why she had remained in Engineering. There was a simple joy in listening to the warp core. It lulled her to an easy serenity that she enjoyed. “Sure,” she finally relented as her gaze fell to the security chief. “Just give me a second to drop this off at my desk.” Marielle waved the PADD lightly in the air to illustrate the object of her sentence as she made her way to her office.

He nodded in agreement as he sauntered away from the warp core, his eyes looking over the department. Gideon kept his hands in pockets, fingertips tapping against his thighs as he meandered toward the door. ‘What program can we walk in, maybe Viareggio.’ The security officer hummed to himself.

The errand was quick, and Marielle appeared just a moment after she had disappeared. “So. Are we taking a tour of the ship? Because I’m pretty sure I know her better than you do.” Marielle giggled softly as her hands moved behind her back, her fingers lightly clasped.

“What? No. Yes,” he answered in quick succession as he turned to look at her. Gideon grumbled softly as he motioned with his chin and started walking beside Marielle as they left the Engineering department. “Holodeck Two is open,” the Bajoran mix started. “I have a program for a quaint city on Italy’s coast if that interests you?”

“Sounds lovely,” she smiled as she nodded. There was a pause as she took a moment to look down at her uniform. “Should we go change? Seems silly to take a walk in Italy while in uniform.”

“If I say yes, you won’t change your mind between now and meeting me at the holodeck, will you?” he teased with a raised brow, grinning as he stepped back let her enter the turbolift before him.

“Deck four,” she called out to the computer. It was rather nice that they lived on the same floor, just a door down from each other actually. “If there’s promise of gelato, you’d fare a little better.” The information was given with a wry grin.

“I can promise so much gelato your hips will swell just thinking of it.” Gideon raised a brow as he gave Marielle an impish look when she smacked him hard on the shoulder. “Uh, there will be plenty of vendors there with gelato, is what I should have said.” The security officer chuckled quietly as he rubbed his arm in feigned pain. The lift stopped at the appropriate deck and the door opened.

She walked the hallway, her strides easy and long, towards her quarters. “I feel like I should punish you for insinuating I’d get fat,” Marielle grumbled as she playfully waggled her finger at him. The diminutive woman’s arm shot out and pushed the security chief to the side. “Honestly, Gideon. You should know better.”

“Questo è un po caldo,” he murmured under his breath, grinning to himself as he brushed against the wall with her shove. Gideon straightened his course and gently pushed her back. “I just meant that there will be plenty of gelato, all sorts of flavors,” he rambled as he shoved his hands into his pockets, the tips of his ears turning red. He stopped at his door and watched her walk on.

Marielle hummed softly as she continued towards her door, which was just one down from his. “Uh huh.” Without looking back, she waved her hand at him. “Ten minutes. I’ll meet you out here.” Quietly, she stepped into her quarters to change.

“Ten minutes? Why does it take women so long to change?” The security chief shook his head to himself as he stepped into his quarters. He spent exactly three minutes in his bedroom, changing from his uniform to a white polo shirt with vertical light blue stripes and a pair of khaki shorts. His brown deck shoes were slipped on before he made his way back out into the hallway. Gideon moved down to Marielle’s doorway, leaning on the wall across from the door, his arms crossed over his chest and his ankle resting over the other.

She made her appearance within seven minutes of disappearing behind her doors, her hands working the long raven strands loose from the chignon. “Don’t look at me that way. I was done in under ten minutes,” Marielle smirked as her head leaned to one side, her hair tumbling over her shoulders. Uncertain of the environment into which they’d be entering but assuming it’d be warm considering the chatter about gelato, she’d opted for a longer but off-the-shoulder floral cream dress. The hem brushed just below her ankles, the dress falling apart to reveal her slender legs with each step. Wedged strappy sandals gave her the height she craved.

His smirk mirrored hers as he pushed off the wall and motioned toward the turbolift. “Or what?” he teased. The half-Bajoran paced himself to walk beside the engineer, his hands once again deep into his pockets.

“I’ll probably smack you again,” she waved her finger at him as they walked side by side. She realized, rather quickly, that’d it’d been some time since they’d had been able to simply banter. It reminded her so much of when they were friends and things were just natural and easy, and she found comfort in the friendly atmosphere between them.

“What if I tell you that you look rather nice in that dress?” Gideon allowed her to step into the turbolift first. After he followed into the space, he called to the computer. “Beta Deck 9.” The lift moved and he leaned back against the wall, a shrug on his shoulder.

Quietly, she looked down and glanced at her outfit, her hands naturally moving to her sides to trace the outline of the fabric that clung to her. “I’d tell you you’d be blind not to notice?” the engineer chuckled softly as she shook her head at herself, a soft pink moving to her cheeks to warm her face. “No, I wouldn’t say that. But, thank you for the compliment.” She gave him a smile before she stepped out of the turbolift when the doors opened. “So. Where are we taking this walk?”

Chuckling quietly, he shook his head as he led the way toward Holodeck 2. “Italy, if that’s all right,” Gideon answered as he glanced down at the engineer. “There’s a big festival, lots of food and games.” He stepped up to the computer console once they reached the arch of the holodeck. His fingers moved over the console as he directed the computer the specifics of the Viareggio carnival he wanted to portray for Marielle. The doors opened and the Betazoid mix smiled toward the diminutive woman.

“You had me at food,” she turned her attention to the doors as they opened, her head leaning to one side as she peered inside the holodeck. As he motioned for her to enter, Marielle stepped into the illusion and studied the scene.

The cobblestone streets were alive with people. The shops that lined the avenues displayed lively scenes with revelry and gaiety. Wheeled carts moved slowly down the middle of the street offering Italian ice, everything fried with marinara and alfredo sauces, and of course, gelato. The sound of the city was a dull roar as they moved through the winding streets.

Gideon grinned as he offered his elbow toward Marielle, then motioned toward the middle of the street, where a clear path was made for the carts and for people who needed to actually get somewhere. “There’s usually about three times as many people here, but I figured we’d want to actually be able to move around.”

She took his elbow without hesitation and allowed him to lead the way as she took the time to study their surroundings. Her senses were inundated - from sight to sound to smell. Marielle smiled, unable to hold back the bright and warm toothy grin as she stared at the offerings of food and at the smiling faces of the holographic characters. “How absolutely fantastic,” she gasped softly. Her stomach rumbled, the fragrance of food mingling with the ocean air.

“So what do you think? Gelato first or maybe some fried ravioli?” The Italian raised Betazoid mix guided Marielle past a large group of people who had gathered around a street performer.

“I’m an adult,” the engineer shrugged before looking up at him with a wry grin. “Want to have dessert with me?”

“I don’t think you meet the height requirement,” he teased with a wink, laughing when the remark earned him another healthy punch to the arm. Gideon nodded as he raised his hands in surrender. “Dessert it is,” he said quickly, motioning toward a cart displaying the cold cream dessert they’d been speaking of before.

“Comment êtes-tu populaire auprès des femmes? (How are you popular with women?)” she huffed, chuckling softly under her breath. The thought made her pause briefly as she suddenly felt a little bad for having uttered it. Shaking her head, she slipped her hand from his elbow and glanced at the offering of treats. “What are you going to have?” Marielle asked Gideon, her head turning to look up at him.

His brows raised at the French, his cobalt gaze shifting toward the vendor to see if he may have understood. The men shrugged and Gideon returned his focus to the engineer. “Whichever you’re not having, and we can share,” he offered as he slid his hand into his pocket, withdrawing an old leather bifold wallet with faded corners.

Marielle hummed softly, flawless emerald irises studying the selection in depth. “Zabaione.” She straightened and looked up at Gideon.

“Zabaione? I guess if it has rum in it,” the security officer shook his head at the thought of eggnog as a dessert. Gideon looked back at the vendor after he had served Marielle a paper dish of the cream colored gelato. “Un lampone, per favore.”

She hummed softly as her tongue swept over the surface of the cream. “Absolutely fantastic,” Marielle chuckled softly as she again licked her frozen treat, her eyes watching Gideon. “Where to next?”

He’d spent a few moments watching Marielle, a soft hum in his throat as he mechanically reached for his own bowl of pink gelato and paid the man with a wrinkled bill from the wallet. “Uh, oh. Just walking, I thought. The merchants up here have a lot of well made items. Clothing, furniture. There’s a clock shop you might be interested in.” Gideon blinked his eyes away from the engineer and motioned with a tilt of his head, leading her up the street.

Her tongue continued to lick at the surface of the frozen treat as she considered the options. The engineer walked beside him, simply enjoying the scenery and his company. She’d been about ready to tell him the clock shop would be fantastic when a glint in the window caught her eye and she stopped in front of a large window, simply staring at the collection of masks.

Gideon stopped beside her and scooped some of his raspberry gelato onto the plastic spoon they had each been provided with. He held it toward Marielle, but did not disturb her while she looked into the window. “This is set in 22nd century, still a lot of fear after World War III, so they tried to make things as upbeat as possible. Bright colors, lots of feathers,” the security officer explained.

Her head leaned towards him, her mouth parting just enough to let the spoon slip between her lips, but her eyes remained locked on the masks. “I had no idea,” she mindlessly grabbed the spoon in her gelato and offered the security chief a taste. Marielle’s eyes remained locked on the full face mask in the window. The face with red flowers and curled hair - it looked heavy, the details shining like metal.

He chuckled quietly as his fingers grasped her wrist and lifted her hand so that the spoon was easier for him to reach. Gideon released her hand, winking when her gaze finally broke from the window to look up at him. He followed her eyes back to the mask she’d been studying, looking over the detailing and noting how the woman’s hair was actually a pair of butterfly wings. “Flowers for hope, wings for rebirth.” He motioned toward several other masks that had the same features.

“It’s beautiful,” she finally managed. Mindlessly, she scooped a bit more of the gelato and offered it to the security chief without looking at him. “It looks heavy. I couldn’t even imagine wearing it.”

This time, Gideon bent down to accept the bite, humming quietly as he touched her arm with his fingertips. “Want to go in? I bet it’s actually tin or aluminum.” The security officer returned the favor with another spoonful of his raspberry gelato, his hip brushing against hers as he swayed slightly in her direction.

She finally turned to look up at him, her smile growing warmer at the idea of being able to study the mask and the store’s many other treasures. “Please!” she exclaimed. She started for the door, but then stopped. Marielle turned quickly and took the offered spoonful, the utensil slipping from between her closed lips as she pulled away to enter the store. “Hurry it up!” she urged as she pushed the door open with her hip.

He chuckled as he shook his head, placing the spoon into his gelato as he reached to take the door and hold it open so she could go in. “I thought you were an adult, do you need supervision in the store?” Gideon teased as he followed her in. His gaze moved over the store, his expression wondrous as he saw even more beautiful masks displayed further in.

“It’s not like I can take anything out of the holodeck,” she grumbled. Marielle continued to lick her gelato as she carefully walked through the store. “I’m going to need to see if I can have it replicated properly. It shouldn’t be hard to find an artist to do it, right?” The engineer reached for one of the half masks, her fingers daintily holding the wooden stick. She covered her face with the full mask, black feathers surrounding the edge and an antiqued pewter design over the eyes. “What do you think?”

He hummed as his gaze was torn from the mask that was hung over the counter at the back of the store, the piece obviously meant to display the craftsmanship of the maker and not be worn. It was a huge headdress of gold medallions, gilded with red rhinestones and hanging crystals. Gideon glanced over his shoulder before he turned, the breath in his lungs stilled at the sight of the woman with the mask. After a few moments, the corner of his mouth pulled up into a grin and he nodded. “Like a black lioness,” he offered. If she’s going to have one made, can I still carve her one like the one in the window? Maybe.

She chuckled softly and returned the mask to its proper place. Marielle quickly finished her frozen treat then winced as a sharp pain moved through her. It radiated from the back of her throat to the very top of her head and into her sinuses. “Oh gods,” she groaned softly as she winced. “Too fast. Too cold!”

“Brain freeze,” he teased with a chuckle. “Warm water or breathe out deeply through your nose. Helps if you’re full of hot air,” Gideon mentioned as he took another bite of his gelato. The security officer had been careful to enjoy his dessert slowly for just that reason. He reached for her arm, tugging gently. “Or we could head back outside. It’s warmer.”

Marielle pressed her tongue to the top of her mouth as she shook her head at him. “No! Not yet,” she rested her forehead against his chest. “Just give me a second. It’ll pass.”

He was sure his heart skipped a beat. Gideon grinned to himself as he rested his arm over her shoulders and held her. “Did you see the big mask up here over the register? I bet that one’s not meant to be worn.” His head was tilted slightly so that he might get a glimpse of her face, a contented smile on his expression.

She lifted her head and looked up at him, her verdant hues staring into the depths of his blue. The moment lasted a half beat, and the engineer turned to stare at the mask. “Wow,” she muttered under her breath. “I think I officially love this store.” Marielle turned to look at him, smiling briefly before she pulled away and made her way to a set of masks. “Let’s see which one of these would look good on you,” she mused with a grin.

“What?” he asked lightly as he followed. Gideon shook his head as he finished the last bite of his gelato and tossed the paper cup to a wastebin. The security officer huffed softly as she indicated a mask and he shook his head again. “Are you saying I need a mask? Am I ugly now?” he teased.

Her fingers lightly danced over the masks, fingertips not really touching the surface. Humming softly, she reached forward and pulled two masks off the wall. The paper mache was painted a matted gold on the first mask - a stoic lion with a curled mane and a pewter crown. The second was of a goat, its face hidden by a golden mask and horns. “Geez, Gideon. Haven’t you ever roleplayed?” she mused with a laugh. She moved one mask over his face followed by the other.

“Well,” he started with a chuckle as he shook his head, gently pushing the lion mask toward her. “I wouldn’t be lion if I said no.” Gideon smirked as he took to the horned mask from her. “Can’t say this is an improvement, but I’ve goat to be the gentleman and let you have the nicer one.”

Marielle rolled her eyes at him, though she chuckled softly. “All the puns, hmm?” she mused as she took the goat mask from him and returned it to the wall. “I definitely think you’re a lion.” The engineer handed him the mask and started walking along the display of masks.

Warmth moved through his chest as a blush creeped from under the collar of his polo shirt. “Okay, so we’re roleplaying, and I’m the lion, what are you going to be?” Gideon challenged with a raised brow as his gaze moved over the selection of masks. His hand reached for a half-mask and he presented it toward her. “My lioness?” He raised the lion mask over his face.

“I’m not that lucky,” she laughed softly. “I mean. I’m not really the lioness personality.” Warmth crept up her face as she gently placed the mask where it belonged. Giggling, she reached forward for a golden mask, the formed feathers curled with beautiful simplicity. “Could be the bird that sits on the lion’s back, nagging the hell out of him.” The mask was placed over her eyes as she looked up at him.

Gideon made a show of growling as he leaned closer, his cobalt orbs glinting with mirth through the eyeholes of the mask. “I’m quite curious about this roleplay, now that you mention it,” he grumbled from behind the lightweight facade. “What exactly would a nagging bird have to say,” he started as he slinked closer to the engineer. His free hand raised as if preparing to pounce. “That wouldn’t cause the lion to just reach around and eat her?”

Placing the golden mask back on its display, Marielle considered the question as she moved along the display wall. “Get out there more often?” she offered at first. “Yup. Definitely get out. Go galavant with the other lions and animals. Stop being an antisocial lion.” The engineer stopped in front of a delicate mask. Smiling, she reached for the metal filigree mask, fingers brushing over the black metal.

He pouted to himself as he lowered the mask and straightened, turning it to look at the details of the design. “I’m a grizzled old lion,” Gideon muttered. “I like it just me and the bird.” The security officer hummed and shook his head as he lifted his chin to find Marielle, his steps carrying him toward her as she looked over another mask. He reached his forearm to rest gently on her shoulder as he tilted his chin toward her.

“I don’t think I’d like to be a nagging bird,” she mused as she removed the mask from its holder. Her fingers continued to trace the delicate lines, the pads of her fingertips brushing along the crystal detailing. Marielle tilted her chin down and covered half her face with the mask, her hands working the satin ribbons around her head. Her head lifted and looked up at him and she smoothed her hair to frame the mask on her face. “What do you think?”

His eyes studied her features behind the mask, cobalt irises flickering easily to memorize every detail. A languid smile rested on his lips as he hummed softly in his thought. Gideon reached up to touch the thin metal, adjusting it a hair’s width as he nodded. “Beautiful,” he answered in a soft voice. There was no need to specify of what he was referring, his eyes focusing on her brilliant green as his smile widened. “Like a gentle breeze,” he offered.

“I’d rather be that than a nagging bird,” she replied softly, a quiet lilting laugh slipping past her lips. Marielle continued to look up at him, her cheeks pink as she bit her lower lip. A passing thought moved through her - that it’d be a perfect time to kiss the security chief - and the engineer chuckled softly at herself as she shook her head. Her small step back added some much needed distance and she worked the ribbons behind her head. “So. Shall we be real adults and have real dinner?” she asked softly as she turned her eyes from him.

Gideon stopped his forward motion when she stepped back, his brain berating him for not taking the opportunity to kiss Marielle. Dammit, too slow. He swayed back and sighed to himself as he brought the mask up to hide his frustration as he walked the lion back to its original place on the wall of masks. “We can do that,” the security officer answered before clearing his throat, his gaze moving back to the engineer as he shoved his hands into his pockets. “Couple cafes down the street or we could be semi-adult and get some deep fried spaghetti meatballs.”

“Semi-adult!” she exclaimed excitedly. The engineer quickly returned her mask, and made her way towards the security chief. Her hands fell flat on his back and she pushed him towards the exit. “Go! Go! Go! I need some meat in my mouth, like, pronto!”

He laughed until she’d pushed him out of the shop, his heels digging into the sidewalk as he stopped like a brick wall against her shove. “Mariëlle Antoinette Deniaud,” he chastised her as he looked over his shoulder. Gideon’s grin was lecherous as he watched her react. “Please rephrase or I will take you over my knee,” he warned.

The engineer nearly toppled into him as he suddenly stopped and she attempted once more to budge him from his place. “What? Why-” Her eyes grew wide in realization. She sputtered pathetically, her face turning a brilliant red from embarrassment. “Je dirais que je te frappe, mais je commence à penser que tu l’aimeriez (I’d say I’d smack you, but I’m starting to think you’d like that),” she muttered under her breath. Marielle sighed softly, though she released a few quiet chuckles, as she waved her finger at him. “Les mignons sont toujours pervertis (The cute ones are always perverted).”

Gideon folded his arms as she waggled her finger at him, his brow raised as he deciphered some of what she’s said to him in her ancient language. “You’re the one who said it,” he retorted before sticking his tongue out at her. The security officer chuckled again and rolled his eyes upward before uncrossing his arms and offering her the crook of his elbow. “Anche se, se è veramente quello che vuoi, non mi avrebbe trovare voltare le spalle, (Although, if that’s what you really want, you wouldn’t find me turning you away,)” he mused to himself, a grin on his features as he looked up to see which food carts were nearby.

Slipping her hand into the crook of his elbow, Marielle turned her head to the side to keep her face hidden from him as she bit back from laughing. She wasn’t sure if it was from embarrassment or joy. She let him lead her along the path and didn’t offer much in terms of suggestion. She was simply too busy thinking on what he’d said. The engineer cleared her throat. “So. Dinner on the beach?” she finally turned to look up at him.

He was pulled from his thoughts, the innocent fantasies of him and Marielle. Gideon grunted quietly as he looked down at her, the faraway look in his eyes fading as he focused on the engineer. “Oh, yeah.” The security officer took a moment to orient himself and then pulled the diminutive woman into an alleyway. The space was about five feet wide, lined on either side with baskets and crates. He let her hand drift from his elbow, but easily caught her fingers into his as he guided her through the narrow passageway. His eyes brightened and he looked excitedly over his shoulder at the woman, smiling wide. “There’s a stand up here that makes the absolute best vodka alfredo sauce, infusing it into ground chicken and they fry them up like nuggets.”

She gave him a warm smile over the mention of the sauce, but it disappeared at the mention of chicken nuggets. “You take me to Italy for chicken nuggets?” It’d been difficult to hide the surprise in her voice.

“You agreed to semi-adult,” he replied like a complaining child. Last time I was here I was five. Those chicken nuggets were the best damn things ever. A pout was barely hidden from his lips as they stepped out of the alleyway and onto the boardwalk. Gideon took a moment to look up and down the beach before turning to face Marielle, his fingers reluctantly releasing hers so he could slide his hands into his pockets. The security officer raised his brows at her as his shoulders slumped forward. “They’re more like fried meatballs,” he explained.

At seeing his body posture and the frown he tried to hide from her, Marielle silently chastised herself for having been thoughtless. “Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” she soothed immediately, her hands quickly grabbing his elbow. She leaned forward, her head leaning into his view. “Je suis désolé, Gédéon (I’m sorry),” she apologized softly. “Je suis sûr que ce sera fantastique (I’m sure it’ll be fantastic).”

“My inner five-year old forgives you,” Gideon grinned as he shook his head, his bicep flexing to hold her fingers in his elbow. The security officer frowned again as he turned his chin to peer down at the woman while he led them along the boardwalk. “Was it that bad?” he asked, wondering if he needed to brush up on controlling his expressions and tone of voice. “I’m getting soft,” he murmured. “What were you thinking for dinner? We could find it here, I’m sure.”

“Gelato.” The engineer smiled up at him, her grin childish making her eyes twinkle.

The security officer smirked and shook his head as he looked back down at the woman by his side. “Chi è il bambino di cinque anni, adesso? (Who’s the five year old now?)” he teased with a wink. “Okay,” he agreed, his opposite hand held up in warning as he cautioned her. “There will be brain freeze.”

Marielle’s free hand rested on the outside of his elbow. Her fingers drew light circles without realizing. She shook her head. “While the thought of dessert for a meal sounds absolutely fantastic, I think an actual dinner would be better. Why don’t we pick two or three small dishes and sit down by the pier to eat them?”

“You know, Winnetka once made waffles with chocolate batter and then used ice cream instead of syrup. Most amazing thing I’ve- Well, not the most, but it was pretty good for dinner.” Gideon chuckled as he quickly replied to her suggestion. “That sounds good. I might even let you try one of my nuggets.” The Bajoran mix smirked at the tease as they approached the food stand in question.





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.
   
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