73: Considerations

“Thank you for the consideration.” Tarique sat down in the booth and merely observed the scene before him. This was not a Terran setting he was familiar with in the slightest though it certainly peaked his interest upon seeing it’s effects on Cadet Wells. Learning from the last meal he’d shared with her, he elected to stay silent as she ordered. Instead he took in the decorum and atmosphere. Eventually his dark gaze came to rest on Wells. Her calmed expression reminded him of meditation. There was a comment which came to mind although he had learned enough to understand she most likely was not seeking comment and was merely expressing herself. While the music was foreign it was not unpleasant to his ears in rhythm. At times a pitch would be grating on his ears, but in comparison to other forms of music he’d been subjected to it was minuscule. Looking at the pad he raised it off the table to better read its contents. “You’re assumption is correct. I ceased my inquiry earlier in the day after a prolonged discussion with Cadet Rao earlier in the day. Do you find the data sufficient?” With the information in hand he now understood the full meaning of Rao’s words earlier. Placing the pad down he took a sip of his water. “I was not aware San Francisco had large ties to Jazz.” He reverted the topic. “I do not believe I would have ever become aware of this music without you. Thank you for the experience.” He appraised the salad before taking a bite.

The relationship between Rao’s positive demeanor and Sunsan’s words was perfectly inverse with her smile waning the more he spoke. Biting her bottom lip she leaned against the wall with a quick glance over at Zletka. All she could think was; at least they tried and there’d probably be a new year’s event or two they could wear them to. Her eyes widened a bit when Marcus threatened not to go. “I don’t know if that’s necessary. I mean-” Clutching his shirt as he raised her off the floor she couldn’t help but grow warm at his words. Rao’s smile faded to stifle laughter when his perverted side came out. Burying her face in his neck she burst into a fit of titters. “Marcus!” She swatted him on the chest and tried to get out of his grip to no avail.

Zletka’s amusement was clear on her face as she watched the three of them engage. Or more likes he watched Marcus engage Sunsan and Rao separately while staying in the same room. Stepping around the couple she grew even more curious to see if Rao would be spending in the night in her room or in his. When Sunsan began to rant again she momentarily glanced down at her dress and then wondered if perhaps it would be better to make different plans for the evening. Moving past Sunsan to collect her day clothes she was stopped shot to find herself getting pulled against Sunsan. Placing a hand gently on his chest to she looked up to just as he shook his head at her. Unable to keep from picking up on his thoughts she smiled. “Okay.” She agreed softly.

“Hmm.” Rao rest her head on Marcus’ shoulder to watch Sunsan and Zletka. In a weird way they almost looked like cute couple…if you ignored everything Sunsan had said and took a snapshot of that very very brief moment. “Oh…got it.” She whispered. Once back on the ground she smoothed her dress out- mainly because she wasn’t sure if this was owned or rented yet. Nodding along as he spoke she suddenly jerked back. “Got his lid blown?”

Once the men left, Rao and Zletka got to work helping each other undress. “Are you ready for the double date of your life?” Rao teased. “I think it’s more of an outing.” Zletka replied calmly. Rao rolled her eyes, “Yeah. Yeah.” Stepping out into the hallway she happily took his hand.. “Sure thing” Leading him down the hall she peeked back at Sunsan and Zletka. “What movie are we watching?”

For the entirety of the way to the cinema, Rao stayed glued to Marcus’ side partly to shield herself from the cool wind and also to monopolize her boyfriend a bit.

“Rao?” A child’s voice peeped up causing Rao to look over and see…nothing? Rao was just about to turn back to her group when she the voice became louder. “RAO!!” A little girl came running over, throwing herself into the woman’s body. “I knew it was you!”

Rao caught the girl just in time, staggering a bit to catch her footing. “Hi, my love!” Giving the girl a squeeze she knelt down so they could be eye level. “Where’s your dad?” She asked with a quick glance around. “Buying the tickets! We’re here to see the new beasts movie.” The girl answered proudly. “Awesome!” Rao met the girls intensity. “He didn’t say you were coming! I have so much new stuff!” The little huffed earning a smile from Rao. “I didn’t know you were coming tonight. I’m here with friends.” She explained, gesturing to the three aliens. “Ohhhhh.” The little girl locked her arms around Rao’s neck as if to mark her claim. “Oh okay, then.” Rao laughed a bit before simply picking the girl up. “Alright Nyla, these are my friends. You know Zletka-” “Hi!” The little girl enthusiastically leaned forward to give Zletka kiss on the cheek. “Hello, little one.” Zletka smiled. “And this is Sunsan and Marcus.” Rao looked at the little girl who stared at the boys for a moment before suddenly holding her hand out. “They look like statues…” Nyla whispered into Rao’s ear. Rao tried not to laugh. “Sunsan is a Romulan and Marcus and Capellan.” Rao tried to explain. “So tall…” Nyla added, giving Rao a comical wide eye’d look. “Yep. I held the taller one’s hand here and it was like when you hold my hand.” Rao murmured, pretending as if the others couldn’t hear. “No!” Nyla slapped her hands on her cheeks. “Yep.” Rao nodded, “Now I’m the short one.” Rao tucked a lock of hair behind Nyla’s ear. “Are you going to say hello?” She finally asked, tapping the girl on the nose. Nyla seemed to think it over a moment before holding her hand out. “Hello! I’m Nyla! I’m four terran years old!”

“I see she found you again.” Nyla’s father approached the group. “”Thanks for holding her while I got the tickets.” He held out his arms for Nyla to come to to him, but she clutched Rao harder. “No, she’s coming with us” Nyla decided. “She can’t sweetie. She’s going to be late for her date.” He explained. Nyla narrowed her eyes. “Who is it?” She looked between the three before shaking her head. “No. He’s not here.” Nyla put a hand on her hip. “Who is’t here?” Her father asked a bit confused. “The other one. The guy. He’s not as tall.” Nyla spoke as if it were an absolute fact. Rao’s mouth fell open as it hit her. “Oh, um..Um that guy is no more. He went away.” Rao corrected gently. “He said you always say that.” Nyla retorted easily. Rao couldn’t help but facepalm while Nyla’s father tried not to chuckle. “Sorry about that. She’s very attached.” Nyla’s father stepped forward. “She’s always a delight, Khari.” Zletka replied sweetly. Khari gave Zletka a thankful smile before turning to the others.“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Khari.” He held out a hand though he wasn’t sure if it was the proper custom here. “Listen, sweetie. Sweetie.” Rao turned so Nyla was looking back at the boys. “You see the tall one? THIS is the new guy. He is the guy now.” Rao emphasized. Nyla merely looked at her suspiciously. “Oh my gosh.” Rao laughed before giving the girl a squeeze. “You’re always keeping me on my toes, my love.” She knelt back down to ease Nyla onto the floor. “I’m a little busy right now with work, BUT I promise I will come by before AND after my winter trip. Okay?” Rao held out her pinkie to form the pact. Nyla’s frown immediately perked up. “Okay!” She linked pinkies before grabbing her father’s pants. “Let’s go! We have to get the popcorn before it starts!”

Khari took the chance to scoop Nyla in his arms. “Alright, alright.” He heaved a breath. “Enjoy your movie since I’m sure you’re not seeing the new Beast movie.” He chuckled before walking off. “Bye Rao! Bye Zletka! Bye giants!” Nyla waved over her dad’s shoulder before disappearing into the crowd.

“Bye mama!” Rao waved back and then turned back to the group. Alrighty. We ready to see this movie?”

Zletka gave Nyla a small wave, “Did we decide on a movie?”

Vinaa laid spread out among silk sheets and pillows, enjoying the sensation of gently falling rose petals against her skin. Collecting a glass of wine from the bedside table she languidly sipped on the liquid while waiting for her prospect to return from the restroom. In the meantime she took a gander at her own reflection in the mirrored ceiling. This was somethings she hadn’t seen in a while. At the sounds his murmuring behind the door her lips turned up onto a devilish smile with her moving her body to appropriately receive him. “Sorry about that. I just had to finish up some business.” The male sauntered back into the room, his gaze resting hungrily on the female in his bed. “More trouble with the fleet?” She slid her hands up his chest and over his shoulders to guide down. “It’s always the same…”

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