Capt. Shayne: Pushing The Envelope

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Jan 24, 2022, 7:20:02 PMJan 24

((Deck 2, Gymnasium, USS Arrow)) 

Shayne: A dress, you say. I can count on one hand the number of times

I’ve seen you in a dress, Chloe. You needn’t push this, nor yourself.

He was about as far from a father as it was possible to be, and yet there was something… paternal in his approach to Waters. Nothing so clear cut, and certainly nothing so close- she was still an officer, and let other matters be damned. But he’d watched her grow as a person, and as that officer, and it was only reasonable that he take an interest in her various matters. If she was interested in pursuing someone, that was her business, but if it was to take place on his ship, and influence his crew, it was now something to consider. And if, like so many romantic inclinations did, this affection were to play into careers, into competence, especially when hard-won excellence was on the line, the captain felt obligated to advise from the sidelines. It was quite a stretch, he knew, but he’d seen romantic relationships aboard starships before, and had watched as they either tore themselves apart or found a happy-ish balance. Oddas and Pavlova… how he had railed privately, silently, about that relationship, and how mercilessly bitter he’d been when his concerns had been proven correct, and how reticent he’d been to make the same choices with MacKenna, the same mistakes. He wondered if that pair had ever been so open with one another, so forcefully communicative. 

Waters: I... really do not know, sir. I wish to tell her. But I am...

out of my element. I would not know how to even begin the conversation.

Water’s honesty brought him back to the present, and he valued it in his own quiet way. 

Shayne: Perhaps that’s the best way to approach this. No one ought to judge you for inexperience… she least of all. 

Was it fair to be giving Waters such information on R’Ariel’s behalf? It seemed consistent with her character and approach to the world, but shouldn’t he let her make that determination? A moment’s consideration settled his stomach somewhat- if this were a stranger, the problem would stand, but this was Chloe Waters, a lieutenant aboard the same ship as R’Ariel herself. Far from being unfamiliar with the counselor’s views, Shayne had a sneaking suspicion that they were part of what motivated Water’s affection. 

Waters: I... see. ::beat:: May I ask a question, sir?

Shayne: Between us, always. 

He wished he could give carte blanche permission; asking questions was a sign of intelligence he could barely stand to stifle. But there were times that demanded unquestioning professionalism, and those times were immortalized by other, less disciplined Starfleet crews- and their graves. 

Waters: What is it like? When things... work.

The captain was caught off guard by the question. It was valid, as almost all questions he’d ever heard were, and yet so remarkably difficult to answer. He was about to defer to a more experienced person, or a better resource, for he had no experience in such matters, and was almost proud of that fact. But MacKenna was in his mind now, always percolating in the background, if not the foreground of his thoughts. He could no longer claim ignorance in such matters. 

Shayne: Comfortable. Simple to describe, hard to achieve- and it will differ from… couple to couple. But comfort with one another, with where you both are in life, and in moments of vulnerability especially is key. 

Waters: Response 

He considered his other, limited romantic flings. He would try hard to be something he wasn’t- outgoing, energetic, familial. He might have loved others, and they might have loved him, but the personalities did not mesh. 

Shayne: And clear. No illusions, no obfuscation, no attempts to please the other at the expense of yourself. Relationships should take work, but in the same way a house does- occasional maintenance leading to consistent safety and protection. 

Waters: Response 

Here, the captain caught himself. He tried not to slip back into his frowning, stern, assertive mode, but could feel the vulnerabilities kick in, inexplicably. 

Shayne: I’m… not a marriage counselor, lieutenant. There are better, more… successful people than me aboard. Point being, don’t go in looking to begin the most passionate romance since Romeo and Juliet. Go in looking to be a friend, an ally, a caring soul. The foundation will be laid there. 

Waters: Response 


Captain Randal Shayne

Commanding Officer

USS Arrow
NCC 69829

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