JL: Crow & Iar: One and the Same

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JL: Crow & Iar: One and the Same

Postby Iar Edra » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:27 pm

JL: Crow & Iar: One and the Same
<<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=620shAuyI9E>>
Edra sat on the railing of the porch, looking out at the scenery of the Texas ranch, acres of grassland off the porch, some of which were horse pasture. She was decked out in jeans and a strappy top under an unbuttoned plaid shirt...and yes even a cowboy hat. That last part she was trying for the first time. There may have been dust from the horses on her jeans.
Henry had just finished six hours of briefings....with Banks. He needed a drink, or several, after that. Instead, he went looking for Edra. When he didn’t find her in her quarters, sickbay, the mess, or the Bridge he finally settled for having the computer lend him a tip. He headed to Holodeck 2. As the doors opened onto the porch, where the front door to the house would have been, he entered right behind Edra. He immediately recognized the scene and for a moment forgot it wasn't real. He spotted her and her outfit and wiped the grin off his face. Slowly he crept up on her.
She went to lean her head against the column she sat next too, and was reminded by the brim of her hat that that was a no-go. But as she took it off and looked at said column, she caught a glimpse of Henry, and jumped, nearly off the balcony. As her heart rate slowed she turned back to him, “You scared the living daylights outta me!”
“Good thing you spotted me when you did. No telling what I'd have done to you if you hadn't.”
“No telling what noise I woulda made either.” She nodded to the horses out in the paddock, “It probably woulda scared them though.”
He nodded in her direction, “That's a good look for you.”
She checked herself, “Yeah? Thanks.” She held up the hat in her hands, “This is taking some getting used to though.”
“After all this time I finally have you in full redneck mode.”
She leaned her head to one side. “I wouldn't quite say that.”
Henry walked down, sitting on the porch steps. “I didn't know you used this program.”
She looked out over the fields and smiled. She’d cried her eyes out after a particularly heart-breaking day a few years ago, but she that might be a story for another time. “Yeah...I pull it up every once in a while. It's good for clearing your head...thinking things out. After a ride on Thunderstruck, of course.”
“You still riding that nag? If you want a real ride you go with Diablo.”
She threw him a look that said you must be outta your mind!
“So what's on your mind that it needs cleared?”
Oh, there was the million dollar question. Her disposition instantly changed to something more somber. She fumbled with her hat, trying to figure out how to start this. “Us?”
“Ooooooh.” That seemed to sum it up.
“I dunno. Something’s...different. I mean, I know after I was gone and came back we were both bound to change somewhat, but it just doesn't feel the same as it used to. We've had some pretty significant head-to-heads lately, between the secret virus thing, and then your interrogation tactics. And part of me is wondering if it's my fault...”
“Why would you say its your fault? I'm not exactly an easy person to be around.”
She took a moment to think about how to say what she was thinking. “Sometimes, I feel like I stole you. I don't know how others can do that, because it doesn't feel good.
“Oh I see what you mean.” He stood, turning to face her. “ When you returned do you know the first two reactions I had?”
Edra shook her head.
“Shock and shame.”
She shook her head again. “You had no reason to feel shame. Everyone thought I had died. And if I had, I would have wanted you to find happiness somewhere else.”
“It didnt change the feeling that it was a betrayal.”
She let out a sarcastic laugh, “Can't be worse than stabbing you.” She immediately cringed and shook her head, not wanting to remember that.”
Henry walked over, putting his hand lightly on her shoulder. “ We've gone through a lot but we've come out the other side.”
“I just worry...sometimes, that you blame me for Caressa's leaving. It's hard to believe that if I hadn't come back--or if Hank hadn't showed up, for that matter--that she wouldn't still be here.”
“I don't blame you for anything. The whole situation got very confusing and complicated but what I do know is that being able to do this,” He nodded to his hand on her shoulder, “Means more than I could ever have imagined.”
She closed her eyes. Hearing him say that meant so much to her, but there was still one more thing. So she opened her eyes back up to look at him. “Then I have a question, but first, I need you to know I'm not fishing here. I'm looking for an answer more than a fix. Part of the reason I've been wondering about that is that it's been a year since that mess. We're still separated. I just wondered if and when that might change?
“I'd thought about it a lot but I didn't know how you felt about the idea, and if it was in the negative pushing the idea wasn't seeming to be a good idea.”
She nodded. It was the same reason she had let such thoughts take hold in her mind.
“Is it...in the negative?”
She smiled, and it turned into a laugh. “Do you think so, when I was the one asking when in the first place?”
“Well then, little lady, there's our answer. That is, if you'll agree to keep putting up with me for the long term.”
She playfully pushed at his shoulder. “I'm hardly the little lady anymore. And, for the record, I think you put up with me as much as I put up with you. We're both kinda stubborn that way.”
“We're going to have to go see the real ranch next time we're docked at Earth.”
She nodded, “I think I'm starting to look forward to the time when we go there to stay. It's a strange feeling.”
“Would you do me the honor, again, of saying I do on that ranch?”
She had been looking past him, so it took a moment for the question to sink in. But when it did, she could only cover her mouth and nod.
He let out a shaky exhale, the butterflies gone, wraps his arms around the small of her back and picks her up to be eye level. “I love you, soon-to-be-again, Mrs Crow.”
She put her hands on either side of his face and tried to ignore her blurry vision. “I love you too.” Then pressed her lips to his.
After a few moments he gently set her down, but kept his arms around her. “ This is a perfect moment.”
She kept her hands up around his neck. “...All because of you.”
“Do you think we should tell the crew about this development?”
“Let's wait at least until after Brie and Zimm's wedding. Let them have their time. She asked me to be her Maid of Honor.”
He nodded. “You're right.”
She looked around until she found her hat and put it back on. “I know.”
“But keeping it a secret is gonna drive me crazy.”
She smiled. “Me too.” She looked back to where the holodeck door had been, but was the door into the house now. “Shall we head inside? Maybe start up a fire?”
“I think that's a hell of a plan.”
He led her to the door, holding it open for her. She entered ahead of him, beginning to take off her hat, but decides she's starting to like it, so she keeps it on. He led her by the shoulders gently into the parlor where the big fireplace is. From there she looked around, taking it all in. “It doesn't matter how many times I come in here, the size of these rooms always amazes me.”
“Designed to scale too. I remember running around this room...the real one anyways, as a kid.”
She looked back at him while pointing around the room, “I don't think you have enough antlers around here. How about you?”
He grinned, “I am very proud of my hunting skills.” Then he knelt down, getting the fire going.
She gasped, suddenly getting an idea. “I'll have to bring Karissa here sometime. She probably misses being outdoors.”
“ You know I once had an idea of actually living in here.”
She nodded as she walked around the room. “It's very tempting, but I suppose there's some engineering technicality as to why we couldn't.”
“The only thing I could come up with was the bathroom. But if you build a real one and have the holodeck project one on top of it you're set.”
She laughed, “Yeah...that might do it.”
“Otherwise we could actually live on the ranch.”
She smiled, thinking again how nice the real thing would be.
“We have three holodecks on the ship. It’s not like as Captain I can't commandeer one.”
She laughed again. “That might be taking your privilege a little too far. She walked back toward him and sat on the step in front of the fireplace. “Besides, not always having this means the real thing remains special. It's special because we can't get to it all the time.”
He sat back on his heels as the fire caught. “I can't imagine this place not being special but I know what you mean.”
She watched the small flames grow around the firewood, mesmerized by the flickering of those flames.
He gently took her hand. “Someday we'll live in the real one. Set real fires like this all the time.”
She drew her gaze away from the fire and back to him. “That sounds like a wonderful plan.”
“Everything around us has changed so much but you're still my constant.”
“And you, mine. The whole time I was gone, you were my anchor that kept me from drifting away.”
He patted the floor next to where he was sitting. “Best seat in the house.”
She couldn't help but smile as she followed his lead. “I believe you might be right.”
He slipped his arm around her back, the only sound the crackling and popping of the fire. “You're the most beautiful woman I ever saw in my life and I knew from the moment I met you that that was it.”
She closed her eyes as she got cozy next to him, basking in the glow of the fire and his compliments. After all this time, she still wasn’t quite sure how to respond, as 'thank you' just seems not enough. “You know, I still remember that night you showed up at my door out of the blue with a...well, blue bouquet.”
“I was nervous as hell.”
She grinned. “Well, you did a good job of hiding it, ‘cause I had no idea.”
“It took me an hour to work up the courage to do it.”
“Well, I'm ever so glad you did. After a relationship or two that was not healthy, you were a welcome change.” She sat up on her hand to look at him. “And you've been the best thing for me since then.”
“I don't know where I'd be without you but I know there's no place I'd rather be than right here tonight.”
She lifted one hand to trace from his temple down his cheek with the back of her finger, and almost whispered, “Nor I.”
Henry closed his eyes, savoring the moment.
Her finger continued to under his chin, and with that pulled his face to hers to softly kiss him.
He pulled her closer, for the first time in quite awhile feeling completely relaxed and, dare he say, happy with no worries.
A small sound of contentment escaped her as he did so. All of her was remembering how she responded to him. And he leaned back, taking her with him.
She trailed slow kisses along his jawbone, then lifted herself up slightly to look at him through half closed eyes.
“Yes gorgeous?”
She smiled bashfully, but shook her head. “Just wanted to gaze upon the handsome face of my man.”
“I like the sound of that.”
She laughed, then lay her head on his chest, with one hand combing through his hair, listening to his heartbeat. She hoped this night wouldn’t end anytime soon.
Cmdr Edra Crow--XO--USS Mercutio
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Ens. Aislinn Norson --Sci--USS Legacy
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