USS Healy
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A desert trip

Posted on 31 Oct 2018 @ 11:32pm by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathalie Goldberg & Lieutenant Commander Apaxi Volcum

Mission: Mission 0: The Healy Returns
Location: Holodeck

"Volcum to Goldberg. Nat, can you meet me on Holodeck 3?" Apaxi asked as he overlooked the sandy dunes. He wore a loose white shirt that softly billowed in the wind, "And make sure you wear something suitable for a warm evening." He added hastily.

Nathalie was just stepping out of the sonic shower in their shared quarters, her mass of black hair piled on top of her head and a white towel wrapped around her body. She was under the impression that Pax was still "at work." "Is this your definition of a 'warm' evening?" she asked, knowing that Trills were far less acclimated to the heat than someone who grew up in the desert. "Or is it mine?"

"Let's say somewhere in the middle. It's about 26 degrees Celsius here." clear amusement was heard in Apaxi's voice as he answered.

She smiled and chose a dress from her closet. "A little chilly, then," she teased. "I'll see you soon."

The comm link closed and Nathalie continued to get ready. Soon, she was attired in long, deep azure gauze that hung from her shoulders by thin straps. The color reminded her of Pax's eyes, and it felt silly but she felt giddy as her sandals slapped softly down the passageway toward the holodeck. Her cheeks felt sore from smiling—very unbefitting of a security officer, she thought.

When the holodeck doors whirred open, she stepped through the arch, her foot sinking into warm sand. She was so struck by her new surroundings that she forgot to lift up the basket of snacks she held in her hand or to greet the handsome man waiting for her.

Grinning widely Apaxi walked down the dunes to greet her. His arm snaked around her waist and a comfortable kiss was given. "Welcome to our evening of relaxation."

"You've outdone yourself, Paxi..." she murmured before kissing him again. The basket dropped to the ground, freeing her hands to pull him closer.

The smile on his lips deepened as he answered her kiss, and after some minutes enjoying each other he broke, "We have a little seat up the dune, with a view of the sea."

"Let's go see!" With one hand, Nathalie scooped up the basket and with the other, she grabbed Apaxi's hand and pulled him toward the dune's slope.

Her enthusiasm was infectious, and grew his already good mood.

As they arrived at the top of the hill, a soft slope lead down to the beach, and beyond that an azure sea. The setting sun had given crimson and orange hints to the water. A little to their left stood a small pergola with white cloth, two wicker chairs with comfortable looking cushions, and a small table. On top of the stood an ice bucket sweating, in it a bottle of white wine.

Apaxi lead Nat to the chairs, that stood on top of a wooden deck and pulled one out for her.

She was slow to sit, awestruck by the view. When she was seated, though, she set her basket on the sand and lifted the cloth covering its contents. "I made sandwiches," Nathalie said. Inside, there were small, folded flatbreads filled with cucumber, preserved lemon, and soft cheese.

"You know me so well." The big Trill laughed. He lit the candle on the table with a wave of his hand. "How long have we been together Nat?" he asked after enjoying her enjoying the view for a minute or two.

"Since the first date, since making up after that date, or since I first wanted you?" she asked. A light smirk crossed her face as she set two small plates on the table and served the druze laffa. "Sometimes it feels like I just met you, Pax—when everything is still romantic and exciting. A lot of the time, it feels like forever."

"I don't think that forever is a bad thing." Apaxi laughed. He took the wrap and sniffed appreciatively and took a bite. After taking his time to taste and enjoy the freshness of it he continued. "But it has been a while, and I don't see an end anywhere in sight. Especially up here, with this view." and he favoured her with a soft smile, a little of the yoghurt cheese on his lower lip.

Nathalie laughed and reached for him. With the pad of her thumb, she wiped away the schmear. Generally, she was pessimistic about the idea of "forever," especially when it came to relationships. After all, she had already been twice married and twice divorced—and the last one had ended only a year before meeting Apaxi.

To avert the growing feeling of melancholy, she turned away from him and began to comb through the basket for a napkin. "It is beautiful..." she murmured.

"Wasn't looking at the sea." the man said before taking her hand in his and brushing a kiss against it. "But we've both had our relationship issues in the past, and I like to think we make each other happy."

For once he ignored the rest of the food for a moment, something his stomach quietly disagreed with. He fumbled a little black box out of his pocket and opened it for Nat to see.

She felt lightheaded, then her hands felt heavy as she realized what was happening. The ring's vibrant green stone glimmered, and a feeling a panic and enticement stirred in Nathalie's chest. It was hypnotic. "What are you doing, Paxi?" she asked with hesitation.

"Trying to express my hope for the future, and my love or you." Apaxi, a confident and reassuring smile on his face. "There are many things I could say, but we've said them all very often long ago and this still ring true. This isn't me saying that I love you, but it is me saying that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So, Nathalie Rivka Goldberg, will you marry me?" The smile never faltered, but his heart beat so fast one would have trouble finding the actual rhythm.

Before she heard what she replied, or even registered the answer in her mind, her mouth said, "Yes."

The smile faltered slightly as a sigh of relief passed his lips. Apaxi's hands were normally as stable as a surgeon's, capable of replacing dilithium crystals by hand without the slightest jostle. They were positively shaking as he took the silver band out of the box with one, and taking her hand with the other to slide it on.

Nathalie looked from the ring on her finger to Pax's face. Her eyes were wide and surprised, but her cheeks hurt. Was she grinning? "Chaval al hazman!" she exclaimed—her free hand pressed to the side of her face. "Eloim adirim—we're getting married."


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