Episode 27 – Pool 4

Tarique regarded her quietly. “Cadet Rao and I routinely convene four times a week before the canteen opens to serve Terran breakfast on days when courses are held.” He explained. The mention of her agreement went unremarked upon. As she went on it seemed he had chosen an apt day for meditation. Seeing her take a seat he followed suit leaving an appropriate amount of space between them. With a drink of the tea he gave her his full attention. He waited until she was done, taking a few moments to further process the information before he started. “In regards to your first request I will be unable to offer my assistance as I have prior commitments. There is; however, a third year Vulcan student by the name of T’ras who may be be amendable granting her schedule permits it. I can forward her information to you later this evening when I return to the Academy.” Placing his cup on the other side of him he further second her second request. “As for the latter request, I would be able to provide.” Plucking the cup back up he finished the first half. “I will need the details sent to me in order to properly prepare and make the necessary arrangements.” He took a short drink. “Is that all?”

Rao feared she might black out at the mere mention of ‘marriage’. Steadying herself on the pool’s edge she nodded. An upbeat, “Oh” was all she could manage. So they weren’t only sexual partners…but since when?! Zletka found herself so absorbed in her friend’s sluggish realizations that Sunsan’s brush against her was met by an idle hand resting on his shoulder to keep steady. Her fingers soon trailed away, dark eyes fully appraising the couple. The disparity was striking- even when half submerged. There was the obvious being his seven foot frame completely absorbing her five foot seven one, but also many other things. Things she was sure neither realized. The thought was amusing. Rao was still attempting to make something of the few fragments she’d been given when Marcus addressed her. Peeking up at him she waited for him to finish, his confusion feeding her own until he just came out and said it- well, technically asked it? “Mhm…” Rao nodded encouragingly with a small smile. As soon as Marcus turned his attention to Marcus she looked at Zletka; her question obvious. HOW DID THEY GET HERE?!

Zletka no longer attempted to hide her amusement. In truth, she saw the validity in Sunsan’s statement though she made no attempt o defend it. Watching the way Sunsan slunked behind her the corners of her mouth pulled into a more demure smile. “Zletka.” She corrected gently, glancing over her shoulder to find him truly standing behind her. “If you are going to use me as a shield the fee is using my appropriate title.” Turning back to the couple she couldn’t help but agree with Marcus’ argument as well. When the two men began to scuffle she waded over to her chin on a dazed Rao’s shoulder. “I must say, I didn’t think you’d actually do it. One moment you were giving Que a peptalk to confess and the next you were calling Marcus over.” The Betazoid smiled. “You were so firm it was no surprise he agreed.”

Rao could make out flashes of her drunken night at Zletka’s simply retelling. It was true though. She remembered going on an alcohol infused rant about having only one life to live and how her career might be ending; not exactly a smooth move on her end. Then she remembered sitting on the counter and then…Yep. The words: I want to engage in a mutually monogamous physic and emotional relationship with you; played in her mind though the feminine voice wasn’t her down. Running her fingers through her hair she bit her lip in an attempt to hide a somewhat embarrassed smile. Zletka’s knowing smile only served to make her groan internally before sinking below. Zletka let her friend come to grip with her new reality while settling to simply wait until the engineer resurfaced less than a couple minutes later. “Yep.” Rao didn’t even need Zletka to ask to answer her looming question. “Marcus.” She waited for a break in the wrestling match. “Zletka and I are going to go. I’m taking her to-” “I have been several times. Why not take Marcus instead?” Zletka offered in kind. Rao stared at her, lips parts though nothing came out. “If he wants to go.” Zletka added. Rao smiled though her eyes stared daggers into her friend. “That’s true.” She turned back to Marcus, “Would you want to come?”

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Vulcan Women of Star Trek

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