[WARNING: Wide character in print at board.cgi line 1355. ]
|USF Personal Log|
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( This log takes place prior to Ensigns Jane Vasari and Lukas Behr's arrival to OPX. )
There were two more days left in his layover on Starbase 137. The freshly graduated ensign had hopped on board the earlier of the two shuttles leaving from Earth, with his final destination: Tanna’Whanna IV, Outpost Phoenix. There was some trepidation at receiving such a far off assignment but in the end, he had no say in the matter. Lukas Behr had visited every other shop and tavern on the starbase, the Electric Slide bar being the last on his list. He stepped over the threshold and took a moment to look around. He wore dark grey slacks and a light lavender dress shirt. The top three buttons were left undone. Iced aquamarine irises shifted over the crowd before he ventured inside.
“Dabo!” She threw her hands up into the air and laughed as the scantily clad gamekeeper pushed over a small stack of gold-pressed latinumin her direction. A hand flipped back the dark strands of her hair from her shoulder and slender fingers began placing little slips on the board as she waited for the game to continue. Vasari, Jane to her friends, was rather surprised that her luck was running so well. The Italian woman was dressed in a flowy v-neck blouse and pair of tan wide-legged slacks. Pointed heels gave her a bit of extra height. She took a moment to roll up the cuffs of her blouse before placing the final slips of her latinum on combinations she believe would win her another round at the wheel.
His strides were slow and measured as he made his way toward the bar. While he wasn’t on duty, Lukas was still sure to assess possible disturbances before they happened. A couple near the jukebox was heavy into their liquor and appeared ready to get into a verbal altercation. Two guys at the other end of the bar were obviously three sheets to the wind and getting louder by the second. He spotted the four bouncers without problem and decided that he could actually enjoy himself. His gaze shifted to the small gambling area and he stopped suddenly in his tracks. After a brief moment of shock moved through him, he scoffed to himself and headed for the dabo table.
She took a long hearty sip through the bendy straw, easily finishing the red layer of her fruity cocktail. Cognac brown eyes watched the wheel spin and her smile grew as it landed on the first symbol. She continued to sip her cocktail and cheered as it landed on the second. Her gaze swept over the board. The winning would surely be sweet.
Lukas approached quietly and pulled his hands out of his pockets. Two leather bands were wrapped around his left wrist, one with black metal grommets and the other with white shells wrapped in leather cord. “Need a good luck kiss?” he rumbled with a smirk as he stood behind her. The raspy baritone had dipped just a bit deeper with his effort to both surprise the medical officer and keep his voice low. His hands rested on his hips.
The voice was familiar - she’d recognize it anywhere no matter how long it’d been - but surely she was imagining it. Jane jumped with her surprise, coughing violently when her drink went down the wrong pipe. It stung as alcohol slipped into her nostrils and she turned to one side after slamming the glass on the edge of the dabo table. She barely heard the dabo girl proclaim the third symbol. “Oh gods!” she grabbed the damp napkin and covered her nose and mouth as she attempted to ease the burning that moved through her. The medical officer straightened and glanced at the intruder to her joy just briefly then at the table. There was no chance to recognize that she’d lost, miserably, because she instantly snapped her head back to the source of the voice. “Luke?!”
The shortened version of his name grated on a nerve though it caused no irritation. It was simply not his name and he never preferred anyone to use it. Lukas answered with a bright smile and held his arms out to welcome Jane into an embrace. “Sera-” His retaliatory exclamation was cut short with a light smack as her hand muffled his voice.
“Don’t you dare,” she hissed menacingly. She’d stepped closer, a hand resting on the side of his neck and the other firmly in place over his mouth. “Don’t you dare say it.” Jane pushed him back by simply walking forward, and she didn’t care that he stumbled as she did. She paid no mind to the table and the other players who looked at her strangely. She’d lost her latinum, but there were bigger irritations. Mainly that he’d almost uttered the one word in the entire universe that she hated. “You just cost me five bars of latinum.” She hesitated a beat before finally lifting her hand from his mouth.
He gripped her wrist as if holding onto the Italian would keep him from falling back. Luckily, his reflexes were good enough that he regained his balance. A smirk pulled at the corners of his lips and Lukas winked at Jane. “I’m gonna disagree, but I’d be happy to make it up to you in trade.” His brows raised slightly and his lips parted just a hair with his nearly silent chortle. The sound originated deep in his chest, making it hard to hear. His mirth was far more evident in his expression, light blue irises twinkling and laugh lines creasing his cheeks and the corner of his eyes.
Both hands rested on her hips, but she didn’t step back. She raised a brow. “A trade? What do you have that’s worth five bars of gold pressed latinum, hmm?” Jane took a moment to study his face. He was exactly as she remembered and she cursed the universe for it. Same stunning blue hues, same dashing smile.
His smirk only grew and he leaned forward to hover closely over the medical officer. His hands rested on her sides to hold her and he pressed his lips close to her ear. A heated whisper caressed her sensitive skin and he groaned softly before straightening just slightly to watch her reaction.
A shiver ran down her spine, pleasant and knee buckling. She was bright red, the warmth creeping up her neck and she was sure that if she were a cartoon, steam would have escaped through her ears. “Dammit, Lukas!” Her hands came up to cover her cheeks, palms rubbing into her flesh in an attempt to dissipate the deep blush. “You are such an ass,” she complained with a pout. “What are you doing here anyways? Aren’t you a little far from the mountains, goat herder?”
Lukas mirrored her pout when it became obvious she wasn’t going to take him up on his offer. While it had been made playfully, there was no denying his desire. They had dated for several months during their first year at the Academy and he had fallen hard. Life pulled them apart romantically but they remained close friends. The last time they’d seen each other was at graduation, where they wished each other well and thought it would be the last they say of each other. To happen upon Jane on Starbase 137 was a very pleasant surprise. The German chuckled quietly and shrugged his shoulders. “It’s cows. I herd cows.” He winked and shook his head. “Headed for Phoenix when the Arbiter gets here. Why are you here?”
When she felt the heat from her face finally dissipate, she dropped her hands and slipped them into the pockets of her flowy pants. Her mouth dropped slightly and her eyes rolled up to the ceiling as she carried on a silent conversation with the celestial beings who supposedly created the universe. ‘Really? You just decided to have a bit of fun, have you? Look at this strapping lad with his strip-you-naked blue eyes, kill-you-where-you-stand smile, and make-love-to-you-between-the-sheets voice? Laugh it up. Jerks.’ Her gaze met his and she shrugged as she made her way to the bar. “I was winning a game of Dabo.” The medical officer slid onto the first open barstool and waved at the barkeep. The order was quickly given. She sighed and decided there was simply no way to avoid it. “I’m waiting for the Arbiter too.”
The multi departmental officer slid his hands back into his pockets and followed the young woman to the bar. He stood to her right and leaned his side against the bar so he could face her. A brow raised and he hummed. “You might’ve won that game if you’d kissed me,” he murmured in jest. Lukas rested his elbow on the bar and waved off the bartender to decline a drink. His attention turned quickly to Jane. “You’re- assigned to Phoenix too?” It was pure coincidence they’d met on the station. It would be damn near fate if they were both assigned to the same post.
A leg rested over her knee as she crossed her legs and she smiled warmly at the bartender as he left her with the most ostentatious fruit cocktail known on the station. She took a moment to stare at her drink. It was far safer than staring at the man beside her. He always did turn her stupid. It was why she had opted to end the relationship. Well, she hadn’t realized it was a relationship until he had surprised her with a three month anniversary gift - a pristine white stuffed polar bear toy, complete with a pink nose and heart-shaped pads on its paws. She had thought it was simply a casual thing between them - a mutual understanding of friends with benefits - but apparently the German thought otherwise. It had been a miracle they managed some sort of friendship. “Yup. Medical officer. Surgical.” It was all she gifted the man before taking a long and hearty sip of the colourful pink cocktail.
“Huh.” His brows raised as he shifted slightly to lean further against the bar. “Ich frage mich ob sie mir eine zweite Chance geben wird, (I wonder if she’ll give me a second chance.)” he murmured, more to himself than Jane. Lukas hummed and his lips twitched with the idea. He turned his head toward the bartender and lifted his hand to signal the man back over. The news was certainly cause for celebration. He ordered a Kottbusser and nodded when the barkeep returned with a frosted mug of the amber beer.
“So what are you?” she asked. She turned the barstool to face him, her knee bumping into the side of his thigh. “You pick a department yet?” Her elbow rested on the edge, the side of her face resting in her open palm. Her smile was warm. Despite the oddity that existed between them, they were still friends. There was a great deal of comfort in knowing that she wouldn’t be in some far reach of the universe alone. Lukas was a trustworthy man, and his presence always did calm her, just as much as it created an insane amount of butterflies tickling at her stomach.
He lifted the mug and lightly touched the rim of her fruity cocktail, as if clinking the glass too hard would shatter it. “To Phoenix,” Lukas toasted and then sipped of the sweet and grainy beer. He hummed softly and shrugged one shoulder. “Sec-Tac and Operations. Captain Arzie can decide where he needs me.” A wry grin pulled at the corner of his lip but he decided against noting that he’d prefer Security so he could get shot at and need to visit Sickbay more often.
Jane nodded. “Nice. So you’re going on the command track, huh?” She grinned when she saw him shrug his shoulder again and nod. Their late talks replayed easily in her mind. She turned and picked up her drink, holding it in one hand while the other held the straw. She took another long sip. “I’m surprised you got assigned to this one. I’d think you’d request one of those fancy starships.”
“I had requested R&D under Admiral Deniaud because that would have been verdammt geil. (Really awesome.)” His knees bent slightly and his body twisted just a bit with the emphasis of his words. “But they want engineers, not sec-tac goons. I suspect that my operations scores were too low.” Lukas had always spoken of his love for ships, specifically the design and construction of them. A position at Utopia would have been a dream come true. A small smile found his features as he winked toward Jane.
She shook her head. “You were always too hard on yourself.” The lecture remained at the very tip of her tongue, not wishing to add salt to his wounds. She tipped her glass slightly in his direction and allowed their respective drinks to clink softly. “Well, I’m glad to have a friend there. To the bottom of the food chain.” Jane smiled at him and she took a sip of her drink as he did.
He chortled quietly and shook his head. “Someone has to be hard on me since you won’t.” Lukas winked and hid his smirk behind another swallow of beer.
“Eh- What can I say. I’m a softie for babies.” She smirked and finished her drink in one long sip through her straw, not pausing for breath. With a happy sigh, she pressed her finger on the tablet that the barkeep presented her and slid off the barstool. “I’m gonna head back to my quarters. I’ll see you around Lukas-” The sound of his name rolling off her tongue gave her pause. She tapped her pointer finger into his sternum. “We should set up some ground rules-”
“Aww, c’mon Jane. I’ll buy the next round.” He gripped her by the blouse sleeve and tugged gently to entice her to stay. The German grinned innocently and motioned with his chin for her to sit back down. “We can go over your rules-” His brows raised and a boyish smile tugged at the corners of his lips. “Or I could escort you to your quarters and go over your rules.” There was always tension between them. While he had honestly believed them to be in a romantic relationship, she had considered it purely physical. Lukas would have liked more but he was just as happy with fulfilling her desires.
The medical officer bit her lip. ‘Don’t invite him to your quarters. Don’t invite him to your quarters. Don’t invite him to your quarters. Think of something good to say to avoid inviting him to your quarters.’ It was always bad whenever they were alone. Well, it wasn’t bad. It was actually rather good, but she was career driven. Lukas simply distracted her far too easily, and she knew to be the best surgeon, she needed to keep her focus. Her face blushed at the thought. “I’m seeing someone,” she blurted out suddenly and nearly smacked her palm to her forehead. ‘That was the worst excuse ever. Idiot. Idiot. Idiota Lui ti rende stupido.’
For the briefest moment, his features fell and the universe crashed around him. Lukas recovered quickly and gave her one of his brilliant smiles, complete with a soft chortle as he raised his frosted mug in her direction. ‘That was quick. Who is he? Another classmate?’ His racing thoughts did not reach his tongue and he offered her instead a nod. “That’s great,” he murmured, his baritone lacking its usual mirthful quality. “Who’s the lucky guy? I owe him a beer.” He quickly took a long swallow to finish his Kottbusser and signaled the barkeep for another.
Jane grasped at a name. Her brain was hazy from the two drinks she consumed. Glazed eyes settled on the far wall just beyond his shoulder, the sign clearly reading “Maintenance Access Only.” MAO. “Uh- Mortimer,” she blabbed without thought then coughed quickly to recover. “Uh- Mortimer Alwin Olivers- He, uh, prefers Alwin. Al. Yeah. Yup.” The medical officer turned her head to avoid his gaze and waved at the barkeep. Suddenly staying for a third drink sounded like the best option. ‘Mortimer? Gods, what’s wrong with me?’
His brows raised. “Mortimer Alwin Olivers,” he repeated slowly as he turned to accept his second beer. Lukas gripped the frosted mug by the handle and he lifted it to take a swig. She was exhibiting a couple classic signs of lying but he’d never known her to actually tell a fib. “Was he the blond in third year chem?” There was no actual recollection of the name, or the name of the blond that shared their chemistry class in the third year of Academy, but he remembered being insanely jealous of the looks the guy gave Jane. Al just didn’t seem right, though.
The bartender poured three different coloured liquors into the small shotglass then lit it on fire. “Uh huh,” she agreed before Jane puckered her lips and blew out the flame. The glass pressed to her lip and she tossed it back without a second thought. It was warm as it slithered down her throat and it certainly felt like it cleansed her of her lie. “Yup. Yeah. I just, uh, love his hazel eyes.” She waved for two more shots. She took the second shot without hesitation.
Lukas rested his hand on her arm once she’d set the second glass down. “Girl, you need to slow down or I will have to take you home and Mister Green Eyes Mica Davenport from our third year chem class can deal with it.” The name had come to him as soon as she mentioned hazel eyes. The blond he’d been referring to had green eyes. He was more concerned that she’d give herself alcohol poisoning than the fact she was spinning a story to him. Jane was a notorious lightweight.
“Who?” She scoffed and waved her hand as she leaned to one side. “I’m fine.” She giggled. “Celebrating, right? Two friends in the far reaches of space? What are the chances?!” She shook her head in disbelief. “What are the frakking chances.” She pushed the filled shotglass in his direction. “Come on. I’m ahead by two. Catch up.”
The German blinked and shook his head, biting back the comment he wanted to give. ‘We already celebrated, you’re going to drink yourself into a stupor.’ Lukas picked up the shot glass and lifted it in salute before tossing it back, flame and all. When he turned the small glass over, he leaned forward and signaled the bartender closer. “Switch her to synth,” he whispered. There was a nod between them in understanding and he straightened to smile at Jane. “What are the odds. You should’ve played six, seventeen, and one.” He winked and smirked.
“Two more!” she waved at the barkeep. The Italian woman pushed her palms onto the bar counter and lifted herself up, twisting quickly to sit on the surface. “Those are some lucky numbers.” Her elbow rested on his shoulder and her feet kicked playfully in the air. “I’ll keep it in mind for next time.”
He switched the beer from his right hand to his left so he could continue to drink from the mug. His smile turned slightly tender as he lifted his chin to gaze up at her. Lukas remained where he stood, content to be her support. “How does that equate to dabo symbols? Or maybe you’ll actually play a real game like roulette?” His teasing jab was accompanied by a wink.
She laughed then snorted. Her eyes widened and her hand came up to cover her mouth and nose. “Oh, that did not just happen!” Jane laughed and turned to accept the drink from the bartender. Steady gulps erased the embarrassment. She wrinkled her nose and stared at the drink in her hand. “This isn’t as good as the last one.” The medical officer pouted cutely.
His head turned slightly as he rested his forehead against her bicep to hide his quiet chortle. “You snorted,” he rasped softly before leaning his head back to laugh heartily. Lukas shook his head, his eyes creased with laughter wrinkles. He reached for the shot that was intended for him and he tossed it back. One didn’t grow up in Germany and not know how to hold one’s alcohol. He’d proven it many times by drinking Jane under the table, though sadly, it wasn’t that hard to do.
The Italian wrinkled her nose and stuck her tongue out at him. “Shut it.” She pouted at Lukas. “Give me yours. This doesn’t taste right.” She held her bottle out to him and reached out for his drink.
Lukas smirked and shook his head. “Get a new one from the ‘keep,” he suggested to her instead as he turned slightly to take a swig of his Kottbusser.
Jane placed her drink on the counter by her hip and leaned towards him. She reached over his shoulder in an attempt to grab the bottle from him. She whined softly. “Aww! Come on Lukas. Be a pal.” She hiccuped. “Don’t you like me? I thought we were celebrating.”
He made a deliberate effort not to express how much he liked her but smiled instead. “I’ll give you some.” The German lifted his brows and took a sip from the bottle but did not swallow. He leaned toward her and smirked.
She wrinkled her nose and pressed her hand into his face. “Do you know how many germs would be shared in the process?” Her hand slid down and rested on his chest. The medical officer pouted cutely again. “Pretty please? One sip.”
Lukas swallowed the gulp in his mouth and shook his head. “We’ve swapped germs before. Besides, the alcohol kills them.” When she continued to pout at him, he relented and lifted the bottle toward her, intent on controlling the length of her sip. “One sip and you can owe me.”
“Aww. You’re the best Lu-Lu!” She made kissy faces at him as she allowed him to tilt the bottle as she drank. Fingers were light on its side before she suddenly grabbed his drink when she’d lulled him into believing she wouldn’t steal it. The woman immediately slid off the counter and made a dash for it, laughing as she ran towards the exit. Lips remained around the mouth of the bottle as she began to drink freely.
He’d wrinkled his nose at the kitchy name and then blinked after Jane. “Hey!” Lukas pushed off the bar and took off running after her. He dodged the other patrons or pushed them aside as he bolted toward the exit. “Jane! You can’t-” He crossed the threshold to catch her and grasped the bottle in one hand, her upper arm in the other. “Come on, we gotta get back inside.”
Two starbase security officers approached the pair and they flanked Jane and Lukas. “Ma’am, alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in the promenade.”
The German lifted his hand to wave off the security officers. “We’re going back into the bar.” Lukas gripped at Jane’s arm to direct her to the entrance.
“No way! That’s a stupid rule!” She stomped her foot.
“Come on, Jane,” he urged her with a deep grumble and an apologetic look toward the security officers.
The medical officer wrinkled her nose and pulled her arm from Lukas’ grasp. “You go back. I’m gonna go home.” The woman leaned to one side as she took a step. Giggles overwhelmed her as she stumbled away from the security officers and her friend. “Oh my gods. It’s so damn hot on this station.” Slender fingers began to pull at the buttons of her blouse as her other hand fanned at her neck. “Dov’è la dannata piscina? Ho bisogno di un tuffo. (Where’s the damn pool? I need a dip.)” The blouse fell from her shoulders without much effort.
Lukas pushed the bottle of beer into the security officer’s hand and made his way after the Italian. “Jane, stop-” His progress was halted when one of the starbase officers grabbed him by the arm. “Hey, what gives?”
The other security officer moved after Jane and he took her by the arms, reaching one hand at a time to pull her blouse back over her shoulders to keep her modest. “Ma’am, why don’t you come with me.” It wasn’t a question. He began leading the woman down the corridor.
“You’re not as cute as Lukas.” She sighed and pushed weakly at the security officer. “Lukas! Lukas!” The medical officer turned her head in search of him and grinned at spotting her friend. “There you are!” She turned quickly and made a dash towards him. “Lukas!”
He reached for the woman and brought her close into his body so he could whisper into her ear. “Jane, I need you to sober up for two minutes, verstehen?” His other arm was still in the grip of the other security officer. Lukas turned his head toward the crewman that held him. “We’re going to go home, we won’t cause any more trouble.” Icy aquamarine hues silently pleaded with the security officer.
The two officers looked at one another and sighed. They nodded as one spoke up with a firm tone, “Straight home, got it?”
“Danke,” he rasped in a gravelly baritone as he nodded toward the security officers. His arm remained around Jane and he led her down the open air walkway. “That was really close,” Lukas grumbled as he looked over his shoulder to make sure they weren’t being followed.
Her head rested on his shoulder and she sighed happily as she leaned heavily on the operations officer. “Lukas, you’re so awesome. So. Awesome,” she uttered softly. “Sei fantastico. (You’re awesome.)” She reached up and pinched his cheek roughly. “Mi piaci. Sei così carino. Potrei mangiarti tutti. OM NOM NOM. (I like you. You’re so cute. I could eat you all up.)” She giggled then snorted softly. Her hands came up immediately to cover her nose and mouth before she laughed again.
His features twitched with the brief pain to his cheek and he had to smile at her snort. She hated it about her laugh, but he adored it. When Jane snorted it meant she was completely comfortable in his presence. Lukas moved his arm over her shoulder again and guided her toward the guest quarters deck. “Wofür hungerst du? (What are you hungry for?)” he mused with a smirk.
She motioned at every junction as he helped her get to her quarters. He was warm. It was always what she adored best about him. “Mi fai diventare stupido. Mi guardi con quegli splendidi occhi e mi sciolgo (You make me go stupid. You look at me with those beautiful eyes and I melt),” she sighed. “Devo solo concentrarmi sulla mia carriera. Non posso tornare in quella stupida città. Hai capito bene? Vivo costantemente nell’ombra dei miei antenati. Voglio vedere l’universo! (I just have to focus on my career. I can’t go back to that stupid town. You get it, right? I live constantly in the shadows of my ancestors. I want to see the universe!)” Italian flowed freely from her lips, her accent thick as she slurred her words. A finger came up to press against his lips. “Mi piace quando parli tedesco. È un linguaggio così brutto, ma dalla tua bocca sembra un paradiso. (I like it when you speak German. It’s such an ugly language, but it sounds like paradise from your lips.)”
He smiled and pressed the barest hint of a kiss against her finger. They stood in front of a door that he assumed was her temporary quarters on board the starbase. Lukas kept his arms wrapped around her and his chin dipped so he could watch her intently. “We’re going to see the farthest reaches of the universe together,” he murmured in a deep baritone, his lips playing against her slender digit. “Ich wünschte nur wir wären tatsächlich zusammen. Ich vermisse dich. (I just wish we were actually together. I miss you.)”
Jane sloppily attempted at the locking mechanism, her finger sliding over the glassy surface. The door eventually opened and she stumbled inside. “Gute nacht, bärchen,” she managed. Her Italian accent butchered the harsher sounds of his language, but the sentiment was laced in her tone. She didn’t turn to look at him, instead pressing her fingers to her lips and blowing a kiss. The doors closed behind her as she moved away from the proximity sensors.
His hand rested on the door frame as he leaned close and rested his forehead against the cool metal. “Buonanotte, civetta,” he murmured after her. Lukas sighed heavily and lifted his head slightly to let it fall back against the door with a soft thump. He pushed away from the door and turned to make his way back to his quarters. The German groaned softly as he realized that he hadn’t paid his tab and he turned to run quickly back to the promenade.