Well, if you're going to threaten me, I'll just leave.
::flashes smile to reassure companion that the exchange was taken in good humor...mostly::
::waves to terminal on way out::
It's an entirely secure station.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date.
Tell your husband to watch his intake. I'm pulling random physicals tomorrow, but I'm not promising how random.
::watches counselor leave with slight amusement despite self, only turning eyes to terminal after an obnoxious Starfleet beep::
::takes abandoned seat, keying up channel and fortifying self...probably Command, but no telling who or why::
::looks at chronometer on opposite wall for the fifteenth time in the last minute, shifting in seat impatiently::
::is about to hang up on the aggravating woman when screen suddenly flickers to life again, earning a genuine jump of surprise::
It's about time. I don't know what school of comm etiquette you went to, but...
::freezes when gaze hits very, very familiar blue eyes instead of inky black ones, sliding chair back in automatic...deference, defense?::
::snorts at own immaturity, straightening a notch::
Well, well. That was easier than I expected.
::balls a fist out of habit, debating whether he deserves a throttling or a hug::
::unclenches it quickly...distance considered, neither is optional, no use wasting the energy::
::presses a hand to temple instead, forcing self to hold the look of challenge, if only to study and remember differences...the few pictures leaked by the Admiral aren't enough::
What was easier than expected?
::bites back what could prove to be a faintly hysterical laugh, struggling to maintain tone of amiable derision::
From what the Admiral has been slipping into his official letters, I thought you were off in the wilds of the Romulan empire, being almost as big a disappointment as me.
Glad you made it home. Now what the hell are you doing buddying up with Troi?
::settles back in the counselor's comfy chair with an internal heave...this will be fun, clearly some things never change::
I was, I did, and I'm not. I just happen to work next door.
::wracks brain...Troi's location is quasi-classified, Command somehow has a hand in disguising the from here to there details of even Pathfinder's communications, but little details are hard to miss::
::that's no terrestrial office she works from::
On a starship? You hate space!
Anybody with a decent sense of self-preservation would. Unfortunately, modern life doesn't cater to the intelligent.
::absently picks up stylus, twirling it::
Besides, if I remember rightly, you're pretty claustrophobic yourself, yet you've lived on that ship for seventeen years.
Don't remind me. To think I used to dread the possibility of staring at ye old cell wall every day for the rest of my life. At least it had graffiti.
::grins a little despite self, and at her untouched honesty::
All right, Molly mine, let's call a draw.
We're both sell-outs.
::feels one side of mouth tilt despite self::
Whatever makes you feel better.
::sobers quickly, leaning forward to stare again::
I said some pretty unfair things the last time we spoke. I'm sorry.
::shifts in shared discomfort...neither handing out or receiving apologies are a Paris forte::
To be perfectly honest, I don't remember what you said.
I just remember the sadness on your face. I'm sorry for putting it there.
::blinks forcefully, drawing self up and putting on firmest expression::
It's been a long time. There's no point in back-tracking, and I know it's not something you would call just to do.
You were looking for me. Why...really?