<USS Banshee> "Strangers in the Night"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 11:18:01 -0700

?Strangers in the Night?
by Ensign Heather Mclousen
& Lieutenant Joshua Asper

Josh rubbed his neck feverishly as his other hand danced nimbly over the computer console. He had little luck as of late figuring just what or who accessed the Banshee's databanks. All he knew was that they knew what they were doing. It wasn't as if they had just decided to do this; no, to him it looked as if they had planned the raid. He could get bits and pieces of the biographies, but unfortunately it wasn't anything of value or importance that he could see.

His stomach, lacking food for almost sixteen hours, growled in anticipation for his next food consumption. Being that his shift had ceased a couple hours ago he was free to leave. He nodded to Andros, who returned the gesture, and Josh stepped into the turbolift. "Deck Three, Three Forward Lounge."

Heather had been working on some reports of the Away Team status but she was rather bored with sitting at her computer. She looked in on Sara and saw that she too was busy with reports. Handing her boss her completed ones she asked to go on a break for a short while, maybe grab something to eat. At the okay she started out of Sickbay and walked down the hall to the turbolift. She didn't really know where she wanted to go but she had heard good things about Three Forward so she decided on that.

Stepping out of the lift she went in and found a table by the window where she ordered an iced tea for starters. She was hungry but didn't want to eat yet so she just sat with her drink and looked out the window.

Stepping off his lift, Josh could smell the aroma that was being emitted by the lounge down the hallway. He quickened his gait towards the room and almost ran in as his stomach almost leaped from his body. The doors swished open as he entered the lounge. His eyes drifted around the room hoping to spot a familiar face, but he was unsuccessful.

His eyes looked on a beautiful girl in the corner and his eyebrow perked. He recognized her as being an assistant medical officer, under the tutelage of Sara, but he couldn't recall a name. He grabbed his drink, strawberry lemonade, and walked hesitantly towards the table at which she was seated. "Excuse me,? Josh motioned to the seat opposite the woman, "is this seat taken?"

Heather never tried to hide the fact that she was checking men out. It never made her feel ashamed and why hide it if they knew you were doing it anyway? "It is now." She smiled warmly and motioned for him to take the seat. "Are you Josh?" She did have some idea of who this stunning man was, and she remembered seeing him in a meeting but she couldn't for the life of her figure out why Sara would've let this one go.

Josh nodded as he sipped his red drink, "Yes, that would be me." Josh wondered what horror stories Sara had been spreading, but he figured that there weren't and that Sara was keeping to herself because of the away team. "And you must be?" Josh trailed off as his mind kicked into overdrive and he searched the inside of his brain to find her elusive name, "Heather?" He smiled, hoping that he was somewhere near the mark of correct.

She smirked, "Yeah, you should thank the Powers that let you remember that." She winked. "I'm surprised I haven't seen you very often. Although I guess I'm not. Sara's had me on night shift for awhile so whenever I came down here there was hardly anyone around." She took a drink and leaned back in her chair. "What brings you down here now? Just drinks?" Her hands went to her hair as she brushed a few loose strands away from her face; she wanted to watch her companion without the obstruction of even one tiny hair.

"And some dinner. It's been kind of boring since the away team beamed to the surface. Uneventful shifts bore me, and since I stayed on longer to assist the Commander, I forgot to eat. Now, I'm dying of hunger." Josh set his glass down on the table, his eyes searching towards Heather. She was absolutely stunning, her brown hair with those natural blonde highlights. The emerald green eyes that were a gateway to somewhere he wanted to be. They were all beautiful.

Sensing that maybe he was staring, he quickly averted his gaze back across the nearly empty Three Forward. People shuffled in and out. Why are you doing this to yourself, he thought. You just get over Sara, and she expresses no sign of missing you. You want her back, but she barely returns the feelings. It's time to move on, Josh, and you have an excellent opportunity sitting before you.

"Care to join me for dinner?" Josh asked as a smile stretched across his face.

She smirked as he averted his stare. Men staring at her were another thing that she did not mind, and it always amused her to find modest men who wished to be polite. "Dinner?hmmm." She was hungry if not for food than at least for male company. "I'd love to." She smiled back her green eyes glowing with a light from inside.

Josh blushed at the acceptance of her invitation. "Do you know what you want?" Josh looked over the console that was connected into the table and was the menu for the evening's meals - essentially it was a replicator. "I haven't decided on what I want. Too many choices."

Noting his blush she set herself to the challenge of discovering what had happened to him that would make him so seemingly nervous around women. She looked at the menu; "Personally I'm in the mood for an Earth-style Caesar salad with all the fixings." She considered a moment, "Yeah that's what I'd get."

Josh nodded, "Sure, sounds great. I'll have one too." He tapped the console to the replicator and the voice print subroutine opened up. "Computer, two Earth-style Caesar salads; complete fixings." Josh watched as the replicator acknowledged and the two plates came into existence on the pad behind the console. Josh lifted Heather's plate to her first and then set his own in front of him. "Looks great."

Conversation was his good suit, never was. How could he possibly initiate conversation with someone that he didn't really know until about ten minutes ago? Conversation with Sara came easily. "So, where are you from?"

She picked up her fork and began to eat, "No place in particular. I was moved around a lot as a child and when I got older I moved myself around because I got antsy in one place for too long." She knew he was uneasy about something but she was determined. "How about you?"

"Kessik IV. I was born on the Federation colony there. Didn?t move around at all. My dad was stationed there until I was sixteen...? His voice trailed off and he didn't want to go any further for the unsettling memory. He quickly took a bite and waited for the conversation to progress.

Heather nodded, she had remembered seeing something on his bio about his father dying and him not dealing with it well, "So in Starfleet, what field did you pursue? I haven't got to know everyone's posts yet." She continued eating and analyzing him, her eyes trying to penetrate through his flesh to reveal something more about the handsome man sitting across from her.

"I had initially went into Security and was a security officer for awhile. When I realized that the ship was looking for a Tactical Officer I went in and got it. Then they transferred me here as the Tactical Officer."
Taking another bite of the salad, Josh found himself staring back into the eyes of Heather. Her eyes were so green and he couldn't help but admire their depth. He set his fork down and just smiled at her.

She knew she had the power to mesmerize people with her gaze, it was not a natural born talent or anything like telepathy, but she had learned how to intensify her gaze enough to draw their attention to her eyes and it seemed to be working. "Tactical officer?master of the weapons. Sounds very important." She wasn't trying to do anything more than eat dinner, but her body was taking control of her mind and she had to work to keep herself from reaching across the table and pulling Josh into a passionate kiss. "So?did we uh?find out what went on with the Captain?" She tried to focus on the conversation.

Beginning to sense something was not right, "No, we didn't. Heather, are you OK? If I'm making you uncomfortable, I can go." Josh didn't want to be a nuisance, and he really didn't want people to be uncomfortable. Josh pushed his chair out and stood.

"No!" She didn't want him to leave at all. She had been so lonely all she wanted was company and she was ruining it because of her hormones. "No, I'm sorry. It was my fault you don't have to leave unless you want to." Her face was flushed and her breathing shallow but she hoped he would stay.

Having spent so much time with Sara and experiencing her constant empathic presence he thought that he was feeling emotion from Heather. He couldn't put his finger on exactly what it was, but it was there. "OK." Josh sat down and recycled his salad, which had been finished. "I'm not really hungry now, that's strange."

She sighed as he sat back down mentally scolding herself for letting her emotions get hold of her like that, she affected her calm serene attitude so as not to scare him away, "Me either. I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach." She swept her hair off her neck and took a drink of her iced tea. "It was good food though, I haven't had a salad that good in weeks."

Josh laughed, "Me either. I have to be back on the bridge in a couple of hours. If you're heading back to your quarters, I would be happy to escort you there."

She raised an eyebrow and smiled, "Why thank you. Yes I will be heading that way." She stood and tried to think if his gesture was an invitation or was it merely to be taken at face value?

Josh offered his arm to Heather. He didn't know what he was doing; he was simply escorting her back to her quarters, wasn't he? He didn't want to pursue anything right now, did he? He was confused, but figured to let it flow. "Shall we?"

Placing her arm delicately on his she smiled, "We shall." She tried not to make too much of this, she had a feeling he was too attached to Sara on some level but she couldn't control her pulse which was racing as they walked to the turbolift. When they arrived on her deck, she led him to her door. "Well this is it. My humble home." The door opened and she walked inside. "Come in if you like. But I have a feeling you don't."

Josh perked an eyebrow; "You have a feeling that I don't? Why would you say that?" Josh was sort of curious at her statement.

She was walking around looking for something, "Oh just a hunch, I think you're still hung up on someone. You don't look like you want to come in that's all." She was picking up things and putting them in a drawer. Looking for something.

Josh felt the feelings of Sara rush away, and it startled him for a bit. Then again, he saw it as a way to realize that Sara no longer wanted him and she made that clear. They would just be friends. Almost reluctantly Josh stepped into her quarters, allowing the door to close behind him. "See, I'm capable. And I'm not hung up on her, which you know is Sara." Josh stepped closer to her.

Heather stopped moving around and looked up at Josh. "Yes I do know it's Sara, but I'm glad you're over her. And I'm glad to see that you're capable." She just stood there looking up at him. She wasn't much shorter than he was but she did need to angle her chin to look into his eyes at his full height.

Stepping closer to her one last time he planted a firm and passionate kiss on her lips. He didn't know what he was doing, but it felt so totally right. He hoped that he wouldn't get slapped, he'd had too much of that lately.

She didn't slap him quite the opposite she leaned into the kiss and matched his passion with her own. She had needed this. It had been too long but all her thoughts faded away as her arms wen up around his neck to draw him closer.

It continued. His hands gently slid around her waist. He had missed his sort of passion that he had gotten from Sara. He didn't know where he was going with this, or why he was doing it. No, he was just doing it. He pushed Heather back, "I'm sorry, that was rather forward of me..." His voice trailed off.

She had known something like this would happen, he wasn't ready to let go of whatever he was holding onto so tightly. She suppressed a frown and raised her eyebrow instead; "It wasn't rude. But I think you need to think about something. When you get it all figured out?you know where I am."

Josh shook his head, "It's figured out. I was apologizing for not asking. So, would it be OK if I kissed you?" Josh tried to put on his Don Juan gig.

She smirked, "I think I could be persuaded into agreeing to that situation. And I would have to be surprised that a man like you with such passion, who could evoke such passion from me would have to ask." She smiled and tilted her head back slightly she wanted him to initiate the kiss, she had come to know that men feel stronger if they are allowed to initiate things.

Leaning over once more, Josh planted a kiss on Heather's luscious lips. He was happy being with her, almost as happy as being with Sara who he hadn't thought of since the first kiss. Josh wasn't sure what was going to happen, but he figured that he wouldn't regret it and that he would want to start seeing Heather on a regular basis.

His hands wrapped around Heather's waist as the kiss intensified and the two stood as one in the middle of her quarters. Their past hadn't been explained, and the future had yet to happen. All that matter was the present.

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