OOC: This is a backsim that occurs after the last mission but before we all head down to camp out on the moon.
((Holodeck 3, USS Invicta))
::The north American forest was an interesting environment, and one that Saveron had not experienced before. The trees were larger than any he had ever seen, much of the undergrowth outcompeted for light and thus the walking wasn’t difficult. The pair wandered through the soft, dappled light as a breeze stirred the leaves and occasional hints of movement gave away the native fauna.::
::Saavok had run ahead somewhere, pursuing a small creature that Alora had identified as a ‘squirrel’. He appreciated new environments as much as his father, but expressed that appreciation with rather more enthusiasm. When they were not amongst others Saveron tolerated his son’s bouts of energetic exploration without comment.::
::He was content to follow behind, walking sedately at Alora’s side, appreciative of her company. It was a state that had only grown since that evening in the ravine, a level of uncertainty had vanished. That she appeared to find his company as agreeable as he found hers made it easy to relax and simply spend time together.::
::As they strolled through the underbrush of the forest, their foot falls punctuated with gentle snaps of twigs and various plant matter beneath, it was difficult to keep her hands to herself. While Alora had no ambitions to get too intimate so early in their relationship, the desire to touch was still acute. Yet, she didn’t want to offend. Touch was such a sensitive subject to Vulcans. In truth, it could be with Humans, though in a different fashion. So, she refrained from reaching out for his hand, although her fingers longed to thread with the warmth of his. She stopped herself whenever she found the desire to reach out and simply place a hand on his arm. This wasn’t anything particularly unusual, she’d been doing it since the first time they’d shared mental contact, but it was becoming increasingly more difficult - especially now they’d revealed their affection for one another.::
::A smile of amusement crept over her lips as Saavok delved into the depths of the forest. Her hand twitched, but she kept it at bay. To fight the temptation, Alora clasped her hands behind her - a motion which allowed her some insight into why the Vulcans took such a common stance around others.::
::The movement caught Saveron’s eye and he glanced over at his companion. That wasn’t common body language for her, indeed it was something that he might do himself. Excessive time in Vulcan company, or indication of some other factor?::
Saveron: Are you comfortable? ::He asked.::
::The environment they were walking through was quite wild and did not make for the easiest of strolls, for all that it provided an array of experiences for the senses.::
DeVeau: I’m comfortable.
::Alora assured him. She wasn’t uncomfortable, she was just having a difficult time reigning in her desires, as innocent as they were. She flashed a smile over at him, then turned away to focus on forging onward.
Saveron: Affirmative, I find the environment interesting. As, clearly, does Saavok.
::The last was said in a slightly dry tone. When a few moments of silence passed between them he tried again.::
Saveron: I ask because you have adopted a stance that I have not observed you use before.
::He saw no reason not to speak plainly.::
Saveron: You have your hands clasped behind your back.
::It was true. Alora was not inclined to keep her hands in such a manner. That had been spurred by her desire to make sure she didn’t do something he didn’t like.::
DeVeau: I just don’t want to...inadvertently touch you when you do not wish it.
::Saveron paused in his long-legged strides and turned to look at Alora more carefully, clearly considering her words. Alora went on two more steps before she too stopped and twirled about to face the Vulcan.::
Saveron: You are extrapolating based on Vulcan social etiquette. ::He guessed.::
DeVeau: Yes. I’m trying to keep from doing anything you might find...disagreeable.
Saveron: You need not; I would have no objection.
::Quite the opposite, though as ever cultural constraints kept him from expressing that; personal wants were not logical. After a moment’s consideration he held up his hand, two fingers extended as he had in the ravine, though this time he did not offer it to her.::
Saveron: You may make invitation with this gesture at any time, and I will not refuse.
::She studied the Vulcan and the gesture he made, then stepped forward and extended her own two fingers. She knew what such a gesture meant among Vulcans and it was their way of showing affection. Yet it quite didn’t run the gammit of what she wanted. Still, the touch was enjoyable, even desirable and she tilted her smile upon him as their fingers came into contact with one another.::
::Reaching out, Saveron did not make the same firm contact he had before but rather tapped his own two fingers momentarily against Alora’s. The result was a mere flash of mental contact, a brief sense of the other and their uppermost thoughts, mostly just their presence.::
Saveron: Such contact is acceptable in public. ::He explained.::
::The smile faded and she glanced down at her fingers, then let them drop to her side, her expression fallen.::
DeVeau: I see. I’ll...try to keep that in mind.
::The disappointment was stark on her features; it might almost have been comical did it not cut him more than he cared to admit. They came from two very different cultures and whilst many things ran easily between them, sometimes they came up against some convention that did not.::
Saveron: You do not find such agreeable?
::The fingers that had enjoyed the quick caress rubbed lightly and briefly against her thumb as she pondered how to answer.::
DeVeau: I find it…
::No, not it, a lack of it. She considered the question, and finally set upon the path to an answer by asking one of her own.
DeVeau: What are we?
::Saveron deduced that this was not a time for stating the blindingly obvious.::
Saveron: I do not understand the context of the question. ::He said carefully.::
DeVeau: I mean...we’re more than just friends, right? What we did, what we shared...we’re a couple?
::Doubts weaseled their way into her thoughts at any opportune moment, especially when no official conversation had taken place to establish specific boundaries..::
::Now he understood; she was questioning the nature of their relationship.::
Saveron: I would consider that status eminently agreeable, if you would.
::Sometimes words could be incredibly awkward.::
DeVeau: I was kind of hoping...yes, I would find it most agreeable.
::More than just agreeable, but at times she felt perhaps matching his terms was the best way to communicate with him at that particular moment.::
DeVeau: But… ::She trailed off.::
Saveron: But you are not satisfied by my actions.
::There was no accusation in his words, rather he was voicing a conclusion to which he had come. He had known that they had a huge cultural barrier between them; it seemed that they were up against it once again.::
Saveron: Then tell me what you want, or show me. oO Do not make me guess, I do not have the same script that you do. Oo
::He was reminded acutely of their awkward holonovel experience.::
::Tell him or show him? Both? And yet she was trying to avoid unpleasantness.::
DeVeau: I want to touch you. But I don’t want to annoy you, or make you uncomfortable, or offend you, or…
::Or any number of things that would be considered ‘disagreeable’.::
Saveron: You will not.
::He spoke gently, finding her sudden agitation disagreeable, more so than anything she might have done. He understood that patience, flexibility and an open mind were necessary if they were to be close. Such was no burden.::
A JP by
Lt Cmdr Saveron
SO and CMO
Lt Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer