((Saveron’s Quarters, USS Garuda))
::Once she had assured Carter that she would be fine with Saveron and asked him to pass along the message to Raissa, Alora focused her attention on the rather scattered Vulcan.::
::Saveron had wandered over to Fluffy’s cage to check that he had not, in fact, over fed the tribble as Alora had claimed, but no, there was only one ball of long, white fluff. Tribble in hand, he was then trying to also carry the brass tea set and dropping the little, ornate cups on the carpet.::
DeVeau: Maybe I should make some tea for you.
::Would it be the equivalent of coffee for a Vulcan?::
::The Vulcan looked down at the scattered cups with what could only be mild surprise on his normally neutral features, which shifted to resignation as he set the tray with the pot down on the table.::
Saveron: That would, perhaps, be… advisable. ::Yes, that was the word he wanted. He sat down on the floor at the low table.:: I do not understand why… oO Why what? Oh, right. Oo why people choose to deliberately intoxicate themselves.
DeVeau: I don’t get it either.
::Alora had only been drunk that once and it was a decidedly awful thing. The Vulcan sighed gently. He was feeling dizzy and solved the problem by lying down on the carpet. As she turned to glance at the Vulcan, she started to return to her former position, then did a double take.::
Saveron: Surely a loss of control is undesirable? ::Protested the man lying on the carpet with a tribble on his chest.::
DeVeau: One would think. Um...wouldn’t you be more comfortable on the couch?
DeVeau: I could help you.
::While nowhere near as strong as a Vulcan or even most human males, she could shore herself up and offer support if need be.::
Saveron: We… do not make great use of furnishings. ::He said at last.:: I am comfortable.
::With a shake of her head, Alora set the tea to steeping, then crossed over to lie upon her stomach next to him. A single hand stretched out to scritch at the tribble while the other propped up her head.::
DeVeau: I’ll stay til this passes.
::She did not need to. They could have left him in Sickbay. Admittedly he preferred to be in his own quarters, but that in itself was not an explanation. She might have seen him comfortable and left him, rather than staying, scritching the tribble that was sitting on him, her fingers brushing the fabric of his robe. He rolled his head to the side to look at her, dark hair falling over his eyes.::
DeVeau: Because I don’t want you to be alone.
::The gentle cooing of the tribble was always a pleasure to hear and it increased in volume as she scritched it. While it wasn’t quite like a cat’s purr, it was similar, with a more sing song tone.::
::He considered her statement, which at it’s core was simple enough. Friends looked after friends when they were incapacitated; he’d just never had very many. The cultural divide was often too great. On the Garuda he had found more than he had elsewhere, and Alora had joined those almost as soon as she came aboard. Over time she had perhaps become one of his staunchest friends; and he still did not understand why. They had nothing in common.::
Saveron: I… appreciate your concern. And… the time you spend with Saavok. He finds your information interesting.
DeVeau: He is a delight. You both are.
::Alora retrieved her arm and tucked it under her so she could prop up a little higher and gaze down upon him. Her own dark, long hair spilled over one shoulder and she shoved it back, only to have it stubbornly refuse to remain, so she immediately gave up.::
::That earned her a raised eyebrow for a moment.::
Saveron: That is not a... common descriptor. ::He observed.::
::Not in his experience anyway. Common descriptors were ‘stoic’, ‘reliable’ and ‘stubborn’.::
DeVeau: It’s not? You don’t think you and Saavok are delightful?
::Well, of course not. They were Vulcan.::
Saveron: There is no... equivalent word in modern Vulcan vocabularies. ::Not that he knew of anyway.:: However it has not been my experience... that those who have such a word would be inclined to use it in such a circumstance.
DeVeau: Well *I* I am inclined.
::And Saveron would just have to deal with it.::
Saveron: Which returns us… to my original question; why? Most aliens find our cultural conventions… disagreeable.
::The whole emotional control thing, so normal to his people, had proven abnormal in the rest of the universe. Beings that by comparison wore their hearts on their sleeves seemed to find Vulcans and their lack of inclination to share to be stand-offish and cold. For some reason Alora didn’t. He had met only a handful of others in his personal experience who felt similarly. Ashley had been one, Raissa seemed to be another. Aron a third. Usually however his relationships were purely professional, and not for want of effort. ::
DeVeau: Just because I don’t necessarily follow your cultural conventions doesn’t mean that I can’t like you. They are your culture, but you are still people, still to be respected, and you’re my friend.
::She shifted again to cross her arms over his chest, her elbow nestled against the tribble. As she rest her chin upon her arms, she studied the drunken gaze of the man who had such a bad reaction to chocolate. To chocolate of all things!::
::Grey eyes studied her too, now rather more closely. He’d seen Terrans particularly lounging in each others’ personal space; people didn’t tend to do it to him. He couldn’t find it in himself to object.::
DeVeau: Why do Vulcans care so much about other beings? Humans in particular are so different, and I’m sure there are times Vulcans find it ‘disagreeable’. So why bother with us?
Saveron: Because you are the majority; my people are the outliers. ::It was something they’d once discussed in school.:: We cannot isolate ourselves from the universe, although some try. ::Take the Vulcan-only Starfleet crews.:: Also, you are interesting.
::It was a theory that had been discussed amongst evolutionary xenobiologists. Amongst the seeded races, there were those who were very similar and formed the ‘core’; Terrans, Betazoids, Bajorans, Trill, Kriosians and similar. They had very little physiological difference and they intermingled - and interbred - freely. You could draw a bullseye map and array species on it by genetic similarity. Those species fell in the centre. In the next ring out were species like the Ullians, Rodulans, Deltans, Bolians, who were somewhat less compatible. Then there were the outliers in the outer ring, so different that they were only minimally compatible with those in the centre, and with each other; the Vulcans, the Ferengi, the Andorian, the Klingons. Separated by vastly different physiology and resultant cultures.::
Lt. Alora DeVeau
Chief of Science
Lt. Cmdr. Saveron