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A Gentle Rebuff

Posted on Sun Aug 27, 2017 @ 7:27pm by Captain Garridan Rismore & Lieutenant Tehja Oldan

Mission: The Fruit Of Tantalus
Location: Deck 7 - Room 0701
Timeline: Stardate 65007.1, 2200 Hours

With a bottle swinging in one hand and a pair of glasses in the other, Tehja headed along the corridor to the Captain's quarters. After their conversation earlier that day, she figured she owed him that drink that they had talked about. So here she was, outside his door wearing a short black dress that was most definitely of the off duty variety. Tapping his door chime, she waited, hoping he wasn't working late in his ready room.

Whilst it took a few moments, eventually there was an answer. "Come in," the Elaysian said from beyond the door.

Waiting until the door swooshed open, Tehja stepped inside and held up the bottle she was carrying, "I was wondering if you'd like that drink we spoke about earlier?" she asked as she looked around for the Captain.

Garridan immediately stopped reading the PADD that was in his hand and slowly swiveled his chair towards the entrance to his quarters. He was caught off guard. Yes, Tehja did suggest earlier in the day that she would stop by to have a drink but he didn't expect her to come by the same day. What was she really after? Garridan cleared his throat and finally put the PADD down. "A drink? It's a bit late for that, don't you think?" he asked her.

"Well you know what they say?" Tehja grinned at him and walked over to where he was sitting, "It's five o'clock somewhere in the universe." she winked at him before setting the two glasses down on the coffee table and twisting the stopper out of the bottle.

"What is this really about?" he asked her, whilst eyeing her at all times. "You know that I don't really drink alcohol. What was it you called me earlier? A 'health freak' I think it was."

"I just thought we could hang out together, you know, get to know each other a bit better." she replied, wondering for the first time whether she'd judged him completely wrong.

"I'm okay with that," Garridan told her. He just hoped that she wasn't planning anything unexpected. He got up from his desk and made his way to the couch. "Have a seat."

"Thanks." she smiled at him, relaxing a little bit as she finished pouring out two glasses and took a seat, setting the bottle down. Picking up one of the glasses, she said "You'll join me in a toast though right? Even if you don't drink?"

"Sure," the Elaysian said as he accepted the glass from her. "What will we be toasting to then?" he asked Tehja.

"To friendship." Tehja replied as she clinked her glass against his and took a sip before settling into the chair nearest to where Rismore was sitting.

Garridan returned the gesture and he brought the glass to his lips. He eyed Tehja for a moment, hoping that she wouldn't catch what he was about to do. He took a quick sip of whatever it was she'd brought over and regretted it almost immediately. Garridan grimaced hard. His face was a picture. "I am reminded why I don't drink alcohol," he said whilst in the midst of coughing. He set his glass down on the table in front of him and shook his head. "Sorry about that."

The tactical chief took a sip of her drink and frowned, shrugging her shoulders and saying "Tastes divine to me...you seriously don't like it?" she looked surprised, wondering exactly how he 'let his hair down' if he didn't ever get drunk.

"You have to remember that I come from a very different place," he told her. "What my people find sustenance in, is vastly different compared to that of the majority of humanoids. I suppose that the closest thing to alcohol that exists on Gemworld is the nectar from the plants that can sometimes grow off of the Gendlii, one of the native sentient species of my planet. It is a rare plant, however, and usually collected by my people for medicinal purposes. So as you can imagine, I've never had a chance to try it."

"I'll keep it in mind. Maybe I can source some for you for your birthday." she answered, making a mental note to contact her sources about it now that they were in contact with the Alpha quadrant.

"If you managed that feat I have to admit that I'd be quite impressed," Garridan said. He got up from his seat and walked to the replicator to get himself a drink that he could enjoy as well.

"I have my ways." she answered as she watched him, almost as if she were weighing up her own private thoughts, "Plus it never hurts to keep the Captain in your good books." she added impishly.

Garridan smiled at her comment. Once his drink materialized on the replicator pad, he picked it up and then returned to where he'd been sitting. "Not a terrible idea. It's only a matter of time before David gets the Space Bridge working for biologicals. If you misbehave, I could have you shipped out." He chuckled and took a sip from his glass.

"You'd miss me too much." she was quick to shoot back with a cheeky grin before she tossed back her drink and emptied her glass then leaned forward to refill it, "Besides, you'd never get a better tactical officer than me." she added, more of a statement of fact than a case of 'blowing her own trumpet'.

"You do your job well," the Elaysian reaffirmed. He leaned back on the sofa. "I am glad that you are here though. Telling you about the premonition that I experienced... it's helped me cope with everything. Even if only a little bit."

"Then I'm glad that I could help." Tehja smiled at him warmly. Pausing for a moment, she said "Do you ever wonder if things might have been different for you and I if you hadn't gone the command route?" The liquor had gone to her head and she couldn't help but ask a question that had been on her mind for a very long time.

"What?" Garridan asked, a little surprised by what she just said. The worst part of it was that he couldn't tell if this was truly her asking the question, or if it was the alcohol that was doing the talking. Choosing to be cautious with how he replied, Garridan opted to correct her. "You're mistaking command for science. I was a science officer for most of my career... until the Jericho. Starfleet felt that I was the best person to lead our original mission."

"Okay, command, science, whichever." she pressed, "But you haven't answered the question." she prompted, unwilling to let him drop it.

"What is there to answer?" he wondered. "We were never very close. Sure we ran into each other at some of the Academy's hot spots but it wasn't like anything was ever... explored if I get your meaning. You had a reputation, as you know all too well, and it probably kept me at a distance."

"Oh." Tehja found herself at a loss for words, feeling like she'd been slapped in the face as she set her glass down and added "I see." She checked her chronometer and said "Oh...look at the time, I should get going, busy day tomorrow and all that."

It was plainly obvious that what he'd said had caused this sudden change in her mood. That, and she hadn't finished her drink. "I meant your reputation as someone who enjoys to party," he tried to explain. Garridan then shrugged. "I'm a scientist. I like to keep to myself mostly." He stood up and reached out to touch her arm. "You don't have to go. I must admit that I'm rather enjoying your company. It certainly beats reading reports."

Realizing that she was being far too oversensitive about it all, Tehja sighed and said "Okay but you get to pick the topic of conversation whilst I'm busy removing my foot from my mouth." she managed a sheepish smile before sitting back down, all the while reminding herself that from now on she wasn't ever going to try and open up that whole can of worms again.

"What about a game?" Garridan suggested instead. "It could be fun."

"A game would work." Tehja nodded, "Got any cards? Unless you have another idea?" she sat forward a little, quite happy to forget the awkward conversation they'd just had.

"We can do that," he agreed before getting up and moving to the replicator. He didn't have any on hand but it was easy enough to get some. "Any specific deck you'd like? I'd stay away from anything Ferengi-related. Otherwise, we might be playing all night."

Tehja giggled and said "How about a Terran deck? I had a roommate at the Academy who taught me all of their Human card games."

"Terran it is then," Garridan confirmed. He turned to the replicator. "Computer, one deck of Terran playing cards." The device made the familiar whirring sound and a small rectangular cardboard box materialized on the pad. Garridan took it and returned to the sofa where he sat next to Tehja once more. He had no idea what game they would be playing but he was looking forward to spending some time and getting to know her. It might not have been in the way that she'd hoped for, but Garridan believed that it would be time well spent regardless.

 

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