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A Second Date (Part 1)

Posted on Sun Jan 28th, 2024 @ 6:17am by Lieutenant Ami Rori & Lieutenant JG Connor Talmage mr

2,151 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: Operation Tokyo Return
Timeline: 3 days after Ex Post After Shift

Work had kept Ami busy from dawn to dusk, counted on board ship as essentially waking up to getting ready for sleep, but she did manage to steal some downtime for her own usage which she doubled up as time with Jane (her new older sister) and making preparations for that second date with Connor. At least she’d etched out in stone a time for that to happen, even if it were farther away than she had imagined, but he was likely busy as well, because senior officers tended to have more to do than their peons, even if not looked like they weren’t as busy. So she had dutifully sent a text message to him giving him the time, the place and that it would be a rather semi-formal occasion. Then, with two hours to spare, one of the Holodeck just ‘happened’ to come down with some sort of malfunction. Being the Chief, Ami had ‘reluctantly’ volunteered to go and make the fix.

But first she had to change. Out of the uniform, a quick shower and a careful brushing of her hair before putting it up into what looked like a rushed rose in her hair, complete with red bow with golden patterns, before the rest fell just past her shoulders. Then the dress she’d found, a matte crimson color, with white chrysanthemums embroidered on the kimono-style upper part, with sleeves that went just past the elbow. At the waist, past the elaborate bows tied in front and at the small of her back, the dress transitioned to a black pleated fabric that went down past her knees and was covered by a near-transparent lace coverlet. The rest of her legs were bare, aside from her natural spots, down to modest inch-high heels, the most she DARED to try moving too much around in.

All in all, her preparation took her an hour and a half, because she’d wanted to make this as close to his fantasy, aside from certain aspects she would have made her nauseas, as she could. Makeup was limited to mascara and a lipstick of a couple shades darker than her dress, plus a little eyeshadow, but not enough to distract him from her eyes. She ran her eyes over the holoprogram shown on her PADD before activating the program on the ‘broken’ Holodeck. It would be a fine dining establishment, but the dance floor was designed like a large sheet of ice, purportedly frostwood from Trill in the actual restaurant she’d snatched it from, with lights that could follow individual dancers around. The music selection was a mix of classical, which she didn’t particularly enjoy, to country music and some other bits and pieces mixed in. “Now all that’s needed is us.” She told herself as the countdown reached 10 minutes.

She meandered down to the Holodeck, pacing herself to arrive just before the appointed time, keeping her eyes out in case she ran across Connor before getting there, but arriving unescorted.

Connor quickly took a glance at her from the hall. Something about what she was wearing was mesmerizing. "You look gorgeous Ami, shall we go together?" Connor asked holding out his hand in a romantic fashion. "Please don't screw this up Connor" he thought.

Ami exhaled deeply, she was no good at the romantic crap, because she'd never really paid attention to the whole scene. Instead of taking his hand, however, she looped her hand under his arm and then held his forearm in the manner her mother had taught her long before. "Thank you, Connor," She smiled as she glanced over him in his navy polo shirt and khaki pants, suddenly feeling a bit overdressed, but not dramatically so, "You look handsome yourself. I hope that I got it right, the setup that is."

With a wave of her hand, the holodeck doors slid open and she guided him in far enough for the doors to slide shut. In front of them was the entrance to a chalet dusted with a light film of freshly fallen snow and frost. The door was manned by a uniformed doorman who was beaming as the two drifted closer from Ami's initial impetus. Through the clear doors, a smattering of tables with chairs, holographic people at several of them, all of them surrounding what appeared to be a sheet of sparkling ice. Ami glanced up at Connor for his reaction.

"Reminds me of home, mind you it only snowed like this a few times still when it did it was mesmerizing. Ever driven a snowmobile? Because that was my favorite part of it." Connor asked looking at the snow. Moving towards it.

Ami released his arm as he moved towards the small snowdrift, "It didn't snow much in Osaka, but we went skiing and snowmobiling on Mount Hokko when I was younger. It was rather interesting, and quite chilly too. Of course, I skied more on my face than on my feet!" She chuckled.

"Yeah I never skied. I was to chicken I suppose" Connor added. "Ya know what I have a idea. Let's build a snowman" Connor suggested.

"I, um..." Ami stuttered for a few moments, "Okay?" She glanced helplessly down at her feet, the heels with peekaboo toes were definitely not in the right sort of shoes to go playing around in the snow. But no. No, she had to set her foot down on this. "No." She changed her answer as she made up her mind, "Connor, look at me, do I look like I'm dressed for building a snowman?" Her voice was plaintive, but it was out of frustration in this case. She'd gone to great lengths to set this up mostly the way he had described how he'd wanted a date to go and he was getting distracted by something that was intended to be just detail added to a scene.

"Right, Yeah sorry haven't seen snow in a long time so I got distracted. Let's go get some dinner then? I could totally go for some salmon fillets right now." Connor corrected himself.

"That sounds great, plus we can order them however we'd like to here." Ami said with relief in her voice as she took his arm again, steering him back towards the door, once again opening as the doorman saw them coming, "Had I known you were going to be enamored by the snow this much, I might have planned something a bit different, but I thought it would be just a nice little accent to the evening." The click of her heels on the pavement and the tiny wobble as it messed with her balance concerned her. "I really did try to make this as close to what you'd thought about, while wearing something that suited me more aaaaaand making some musical changes." As they stepped from the chill of the outside to the warmth of the inside, the sounds of a fiddle came through, the song 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' having just started to play.

"Yeah, Sorry about that." Connor said apologizing about the snow. He had motioned over for Ami to take a seat in front of him. As the waiter was waiting to take their orders.

"Ill have your grilled salmon with steamed broccoli." Connor said. And Red wine to go with that. He concluded.

“The same, but a sparkling water with a twist of orange and lemon, please.” Ami said demurely, then gave a slight smile at Connor as the waiter gave a slight bow and moved off, “I’m afraid that despite the ‘preparation’ the chef is about to make, it’s going to be standard replicated fare.” Ami apologized to Connor, “Though your wine should have a suitable alcohol content. I… Can’t drink alcohol, or at least I’m really not supposed to. It does interesting things to me, mostly bad-type interesting.”

Behind them, the song changed to a Leanne Rimes song, the classic ‘How Can I Live Without You,’ as Ami tried to come up with small talk, “So, Connor, what really drives you, like, what would you want to be doing if you weren’t a part of Starfleet?”

"That's a tough question, I...uhm...dunno" Connor said looking unsure. "The thing is a Starfleet officer isn't what I am, it's who I am. Without Starfleet I don't know where I would be. Probably doing shitty formwork somewhere." Connor added. "What about you Ami?"

"Back in Japan, or maybe somewhere else, driving tanks, working on tanks or something like that." Ami admitted, "I helped develop what's hopefully going to be known as the Professional Tankery League, or what we called it among my friends, 'Sensha-do Dōmei Tōnamento.'" She smiled wistfully, "I'm sure you saw all the models in my quarters, posters, basically anything that has to do with tanks. I like naval warships as well, but not to the same degree. To me, Starfleet is more... A serious career rather than anything else. Not the career I really wanted, but the one I've got and now... I guess it's what I'm going to be doing for the next couple of decades or so. I don't regret joining up, I felt it was something I absolutely had to do."

Connor took a few bites and a sip of his wine. "Man that some good wine." He thought. He looked at Ami and begin to wonder. "Was it a sort of voice telling you this is your purpose?" He asked.

"No, it was someone else." Ami grew quiet for a moment, then nodded slowly, "My sister. She graduated from the Academy when I was twelve and... Died in action four weeks later. Sora was meant to be in Starfleet, completely selfless and kind and sweet, not like me in any way, but the best sister someone could ask for. When she died I just knew that I'd have to go where she had gone, to honor her memory and purpose." She smiled, "I like to think she'd be happy with me, but more likely scolding me instead for not following what I wanted to do." The sparkling water was delicious, but she wasn't all that hungry, so she was more picking at her food than anything, "But that does bring something else up, two things, really.. Things that could change how you may feel for me, Connor."

"Whatever it may be, Ami just know that it won't change anything. Look your a remarkable woman and nothing will change that" Connor said taking a few more sips of his wine.

"Don't say that until you've heard what I have to say." Ami said softly, shaking her head, but putting her fork down on her plate, "First off, what you don't know is that my name is Ami Saito Rori. Saito is my family name, Japanese, but as you can see," She gestured at the dots that were visible on her forehead and ran down until they were hidden by the dress, "I'm also part Trill. I have the name Rori, because I'm Joined. Rori is the name of my symbiont, but she and I aren't truly compatible, because despite a successful Joining, my body is constantly actively trying to reject Rori. I have to take medication every week or else I will die. If I'm more than seventy-two hours late with getting my meds? The rejection will be irreversible and I'll be dead within the next seventy-two hours.."

"Well that doesn't matter to me." Connor said trying to think how to word that it didn't change anything. "Look I'm not great with words but I can tell you that despite what you've told me, I had to ask you out on that date. I've told you things I have told no one. So regardless of what the case may be were both here for some reason" Connor said.

"Anata wa rikai shite imasen."(You don't understand) Ami said quietly, "Connor, what it also means is that I can't have children. Ever." She had to make her eyes meet his, "The problem with me and Rori is a missing enzyme and other trace minerals and metals that are common to full-blooded Trill. The medication I'm taking would be toxic to any human being, only my Trill half keeps me from dying from that alone, plus the resource sucking of Rori." She shook her head, "I CAN get pregnant, but there's over a 99 percent chance of not carrying to fetal viability and in the miracle that I could? The docs say a 1 in 700 chance of the child NOT having a major deformity and only a 1 in 20,000 chance of no deformity at all. It's not worth the risk to me, to a child. If you want a family, children, Connor, then you'll need to find someone else."

To Be Continued...


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