((StarBase 118 – Ballroom.))
DeVeau: Max...I had no idea you danced.
Maxwell: Once or twice. ::He flushed beneath his mask as he realised the secret might well be out.:: No very well though, eh?
Once or twice? Max was certainty joking, for the graceful motions he exhibited were more than indicative of an experience once or twice. No, there was more to his dancing than that.
DeVeau: I’m hoping to put together a regular time for people to dance. I’m going to make sure you get an invitation.
DeVeau: I do hope you’ll come. It will be very informal. Just for fun. And of course you may invite anyone you like to join us.
Maxwell: And who is us?
DeVeau: Us, of course, silly! And anyone who wishes to join us.
Maxwell: Well, then ::He teased gently as they swept around another dancing pair.:: keep your secrets....
Alora chuckled softly and shook her head.
DeVeau: Well, thus far I know that Masha might be interested as well as the Captain and Lieutenant meeks. My hope is I can rope a few more.
While Alora didn’t want it to become something as big as the ball, she did want to have a group large enough where there would be plenty of opportunities for everyone to dance as much as he or she would like. Max would certainly be a good addition. Despite his rather humble acknowledgement, Alora couldn’t help but noticed the polished gait he maintained, the confidence in the way he guided her over the floor, and the poise and confidence in each move he made. He was more than a little capable. The song ended and as their dance came to an end, there was a brief pause before he stepped back and bowed to her.
Maxwell: An honour, Miss.
He stood upright once more, a smile forming again as Alora curtsied back, then rose.
DeVeau: Only one dance, Max?
Maxwell: Well, that depends of course.
DeVeau: I will take as many as any of my partners will allow me. Before coming to Ops, I hadn’t danced in a long time. If given the choice, I will do so all night.
Maxwell: I can’t keep the hostess tae myself all the night. ::He smiled.:: But of course, if the lady insists, it would be kind ae rude tae say no?
DeVeau: That’s true, on both accounts. I suppose it wouldn’t be right to keep one of the hostesses to yourself. But it would be rude to say no. Perhaps at least another dance or two then?
He offered his hand, stepping in once more and leading them into a new dance. With the slight change of music, he went for a grander, more sweeping “ballroom dance”. Slightly faster than their foxtrot, yet graceful and sweeping as they circled the dancefloor. Was he enjoying himself? Why, yes he was as it had been a good while since he too had danced.
Maxwell: You’re no so bad at this yourself. Dancing just a hobby, or…..?
For Max it had never gotten past a private hobby, unlike his father who - after retiring from Starfleet had taken on many local competitions alongside his dear wife. They’d even won a few.
DeVeau: It’s a hobby, but my parents taught me. They’ve actually participated in amateur competitions.
Maxwell: You’re kidding, aye? My parents competed as well.
He failed utterly at keeping the smile from his voice.
DeVeau: Well, it seems like we have that in common.
How funny, for them, though they were from the same world, to have grown up so far apart on that world and have such a similarity in history. Not that Alora minded - it meant yet another partner for her to call on when the mood to dance struck. Hopefully someone would be willing and able - and hopefully Max would take that invitation seriously.
DeVeau: Now you really must come. I may have to hunt you down otherwise.
Behind his mask, Max flushed again, but thankfully he could pass it off as being a little warm from dancing in a costume.
Maxwell: Well, I’m sold on the idea. ::He laughed lightly.:: Easier than being hunted down.
DeVeau: So what other secret talents do you have?
Maxwell: Me? No much tae tell really.
At least, that was how he saw things. He’d never felt comfortable waving his own flag, and Milly’s mother had put paid to any other confidence he’d once possessed at any rate. It most likely accounted for his nervousness around being complimented for anything, from his dancing all the way up to Sal pinning ribbons to his chest. It set him on edge slightly, as if he was an imposter stealing somebody else’s credit.
DeVeau: Come now, I don’t believe a word of that. There’s more to you than your duty and your dancing.
Maxwell: I’ve been known tae dabble at music now and then.
Dabble. It was quite the understatement after the reception his quartet had received at the stations premier venue a couple of years back. True, they’d yet to be invited back to the place, but if you weren’t considered worthy of returning it was certainly made clear at the time. They simply hadn’t heard anything, so that was a good thing. Right?
Alora’s eyes widened, alive with delight at that little tidbit. She was finding more and more
that she shared with that man. After discovering his distraught state, she had taken the time to sit with him. Now, she was dancing with him, and discovering more about what made up that man.
DeVeau: Oh? Please, do tell!
Maxwell: I play the cello. And the, um, the violin.
DeVeau: Oh really? How long have you played?
Maxwell: Learned tae play in my teens. Mama taught me the cello.
As the music slowed, so did they. A Bajoran piece, the music was perfect for a much slower dance that Max had been taught at the Academy. He couldn’t remember where it was from, quite possibly Betazed. It didn’t quite lend itself to the cheek-to-cheek intimacy of a Waltz, but the tempo was almost identical.
Alora easily slid into the different pace, and though the steps were a bit unusual compared to what she was used to, Maxwell led her well and she fell into place easily because of it. The slower tempo allowed conversation to flow even more easily.
DeVeau: I think we may have to start a band. I know someone who plays trombone. I play several instruments myself.
Maxwell: You do? ::He grinned.:: Do tell?
DeVeau: PIano, guitar, and vulcan harp. And I sing.
The harp was the newest of them, but she’d been playing for several years diligently, and while she might not be a master, Alora could play well enough. Despite everything that had happened, Saveron had brought a lot of good things into her life, that being one of him. That harp remained one of her most treasured possessions.
Maxwell: That’s a fine mix.
He was quietly impressed at the mention of the harp, and wondered if the quartet might benefit from the addition of such an instrument. Perhaps he’d drop it into the conversation a little later.
DeVeau: it would be nice to have a regular group to play with.
Not that Alora didn't have enough things to keep her busy. Still, just like singing, it was more fun to do it with others.
Maxwell: Perhaps you ought tae join the four ae us one evening?
As they drifted around the floor, Max wondered about the possible combinations that could be had with the permanent addition of a fifth musician. Surevek, the Vulcan piano player was only an infrequent addition to the four strings, but with a Vulcan harp added to the mix, he might be convinced to become a permanent addition. Of course, it wasn’t entirely up to Max.
DeVeau: The four of us?
Maxwell: Aye, we meet at Martina’s home. She’s what you might call our leader.
She was certainly the best amongst them, as would be expected for a music teacher. Her home was a large private apartment overlooking the beaches of Little Risa, and the warm evenings either on the patio or in Martina’s studio made for rather agreeable practice sessions.
DeVeau: I don't think I know her. Why don't you message me the information?
Alora assumed from the context of the conversation was that 'the four of us' meant people who also we're musicians and played together. Yes, that was definitely of interest to her.
As they danced onwards, Max gave Alora’s hand a gentle squeeze of encouragement.
Maxwell: Hey, I’m coming tae your dance evening. ::He teased gently.:: Come down one evening, even if it’s only the once?
DeVeau: Oh don't worry, I'll certainly check it out.
The last time she had played with anyone had been back on the Veritas and she missed it. While Kalin had enjoyed listening to music, he had not been musically inclined, and no one on the research facility had really been interested.
The thought of her husband dimmed Alora's expression. Immediately, she attempted to shove the thought away. Closing her eyes for a brief moment, she focused on other things beyond her own thoughts. The gentle warmth of her dance partner, the savoury and sweet flavours that wafted through the air, the rolling and sway of the music. She won't throught each aspect, mulling over it before moving on. Opening her eyes again, she managed to fix her smile once more.
DeVeau: Anything else I should know about the mysterious Arturo Maxwell?
Maxwell: No much tae tell? At least nothing I can think that’s interesting. ::He smiled.:: Cannae dance if you’ve fallen asleep.
Whilst he was only half poking fun at himself, there was a grain of truth to it. He wasn’t sure what others would find interesting, or boring. And even though this was simply two friends enjoying an evening of dancing, he found that he was still suffering from a parallel to “first date nerves”. Worried that he would bore people away.
DeVeau: Okay then. Tell me what’s not interesting.
Max seemed to be stumbling, not over his feet, but over his thoughts. As if he couldn't bring to mind anything that might entertain her. Alora didn’t want to be entertained however - the dancing was doing enough of that. She wanted to learn about the person with whom she was dancing, and that meant the little things that made up a part of his daily life.
Maxwell: Um, well I go running twice a day usually. And I’m a nerd that builds tiny ships.
He found himself blushing again. It was a fiddly, time-consuming hobby. And also one that a lot of people found a little odd. At least in his experience.
DeVeau: Tiny ships? You build tiny ships?
Maxwell: Aye, they’re in kit form mostly, but there’s a lot ae detail.
DeVeau: So little models? How neat! I’d love to see them - I don’t remember seeing any in your quarters.
Then again, Alora had been a little preoccupied when she had visited. The poor man had been grieving, and she’d been focused on doing what little she could to comfort him. She wasn’t sure how good of a job she had done, but she had taken some solace in the fact that he was in a much better state upon her departure than he had been upon her arrival. Hopefully, he hadn’t fallen back into it. She might have asked ,but such a subject seemed out of place in the current environment.
DeVeau: What kind of ships?
Maxwell: Just Starfleet. Although one or two that are pre-Federation Starfleet.
DeVeau: How long have you been doing it? What got you into it?
He paused a moment, taking in the fact that the questions were genuine. No hint of teasing, be it playful or serious.
Maxwell: For as long as I can remember, with my auld Da. He used tae do the same with my Granda, old twentieth century ships and the like.
His current project was actually spread out all across the little corner table in his bedroom at present. Whilst Milly was old enough to not mess around with the tiny, fiddly parts or the delicate and bigger ones, it didn’t do to leave such things lying about.
And so his little personal “shipyard” had been relocated, although his completed vessels still adorned the living areas.
DeVeau: Maybe I can come visit again and you can show them to me? I bet they’re really neat!
Maxwell: That’d be grand. Um, you’re welcome anytime.
DeVeau: Maybe next week some time?
Maxwell: Aye, um, sure I could manage that.
The music came to a close and they swayed to a stop. Alora’s eyes studied the musicians, then gazed up at him, eyebrow arching upward.
DeVeau: Are you tired of me yet?
Maxwell: Me? No, never. ::He paused, cheeks burning beneath his mask.:: What I mean is, um….
DeVeau: Oh good.
Maxwell: I… Care tae grab a drink?
He fumbled slightly over his words, hoping that he wasn’t putting a damper on things by being a total doofus.
DeVeau: A drink sounds nice. Then...perhaps another dance?
That was if someone else didn’t ask. She’d have to be polite and share the dancing, but it didn’t hurt to get more than one in with friends - especially ones who could dance that well.
Lt-Commander Arturo Maxwell.
Chief Tactical Officer.
Starbase 118 Operations.
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Chief Science Officer
Starbase 118 Ops