“I’m unable to comment on how she will receive it.” Tarique nodded when she agreed to send the details. He was content to watch her rise though he acknowledged she was much more agreeable when not under the influence. Perhaps he would have to adjust his interpersonal outlook. He watched her more closely at the mention of a Vulcan cafe. “Thank you for the recommendation. I will look into it.” It seemed his theories has been correct- the prior consideration of amendment terminated. Once she had left he too rose from the bench and finished the rest of his tea. Pulling a book from behind his back he elected to return to the meditation garden. After a few hours well spent he felt the need for sustenance. His initial impulse was to wait until he returned to the Academy. Instead, he started the silent trek towards the Castro district.
Leaving the two men to bicker, Rao and Zletka made do pulling themselves out of the pool and collecting their wet suits. “Datee.” Zletka repeated the term for sheer enjoyment of Rao’s crack of a smile. “It’s a spot in the city.” Rao explained, draping the suit over her arm.”If you brought a change of clothes we can meet right outside. If not we can just pick you up from your dorm if you’d like?” Crouching down it felt comical trying to reach eye level. He had to be standing at least five feet deep and she’d barely had to get down to meet his eyes! “It’s up to you.” She smiled.
“I believe she would be considered your partner or girlfriend.” Zletka added. The doors to the pool swished open; a pair of men walking just as Sunsan exited. “Hey Zletka.” One of the men strolled right past to stop next to Rao. “There’s the girl I’m looking for.” He grinned. “Where’d you run off to last night? I was planning to cash in those dance lessons you promised at the last party.” Taking her hand he pulled upright, his eyes dropping to take in her appearance. “And looks like you got banged up pretty bad.” His hands brushed over the bruised skin. Rao immediately moved his hand away, taking a step back from him. “Nothing I can’t handle. Anyway, I’ve got to head out. I have lunch plans.” Rao attempted to step around him only to have her path blocked. “Usual Saturday ‘date’ with Zletka again? Why not let us tag along for once?” He shrugged in the direction of his friend who was already getting into the pool. “No dice, Lowell. Tell Garnett I said ‘hi’ though.” Rao pretended to go on way then quickly spun on her feet in the opposite direction to get around him. “Bye.” She cast a wave behind her, walking out without so much as a glance back. Zletka stepped forward to pass, but stopped. “She has an actual date this time.” With the knowledge dropped she followed after her friend to the showers. Already knowing Rao’s thoughts on the matter, Zletka broached a different topic as they showered, “Datee”.
“For love of-” Rao burst into a fit of titters.
“Do you plan to take him to the same place?” Zletka asked as they walked towards the exit.
“I haven’t really decided yet. I’m just going to wing it.” Rao admitted. Several minutes later the girls stood outside in proper day clothes. Zletka wore a grey sweater dress with black boots to match her dark hair which had been styled in a high pony tail. Rao on the other hand wore a rust colored off the shoulder sweater with dark jeans that blended into dark boots. “Still not one to wear pants I see.” Rao smirked. “It’s a good thing you’re wearing boots since you’re only five foot seven.” Zletka replied.