SIM:Nicholotti May I?
((Banquet Hall, Executive Tower, Starbase 118))
::As the current song came to an end, David broke off from his conversation with Jaxx, taken by a sudden urge he couldn't place and moved forward. In youth, he could think of several occasions during planetfall or stopping at various bases where he just wanted to enjoy the time away from the ship before they disembarked after negotiating a price for whatever the Skiptrace was carrying at the time. Sometimes David thought perhaps he should have simply stepped in and ran his family's security corporation instead of taking a Chief Medical Officer's advice and join Starfleet. He had a career before, and he had a career within. ::
::They say everything comes full circle. It was an ancient saying David picked up during the course of his travels. Whether it came from Earth or somewhere else, no one really knew. Because when he joined Starfleet, he was still reeling from the mystery surrounding his parents' death while he was living a trader's life, the still missing JTSC-03 prototype he unknowingly helped build with his father, and emotionally dead inside. ::
::The stark clips of broken memories on planet, desolate landscape scarred by lava flows and scarse vegetation, the crisp, slightly metallic aroma of air, the heat and night chills against what areas of his skin he couldn't protect from the tattered remains of clothes he couldn't recognize, some part of his mind knew he was living on the edge of existence, alone with various animal species that avoided him more than attacked him. What little he could remember, for what what's-his-bucket, the Kalipso's CMO said, instinct sometimes took over when thought and mind couldn't process. ::
::Instinct drove him now, but not the survival instinct. This was an instinct born out of strange pulls, of connections, of things without name from himself, from the David Cody he thought died back in his years under bondage to the Ferengi and the damage the control collar did to his body. The strangeness of now was the confidence of his actions, of his choices. He still felt a bout of nervousness, but it ran with the excitement of newest, of places and things yet to be explored. ::
::Out of the darkness and the depth of whatever hell spat him back out, David found a confidence, or perhaps it was an assurance of himself, in ways he would spend the rest of his life attempting to understand, and probably never come close. ::
::He met the newly promoted Captain Nicholotti crossing the floor and presented himself, flashing the forever mischievious, somewhat crooked smile, gave Kalianna a complete formal bow before presenting an outward left hand, and a ready right one to take her waistline. ::
Cody: May I?
::Having been fairly lost in thoughts, mostly regarding the enigma that was her First Officer, Kali hadn’t seen him approach. She only saw the bow and how he placed his hands just so as a new song began to play. The notes danced and weaved around them, and she smiled at him and the invitation; it had been some time since she had been asked to the dance floor rather than having dragged someone else out there. Perhaps it was his experience and history, or perhaps, as the glimmer in his eyes seemed to betray, there was something else. ::
::A smile grew on her face and she nodded, stepping forward and taking the hand he had offered.::
Nicholotti: You may.
::Unlike Walker, he seemed much more sure of himself and his feet as they moved to this music. It was much different than the dance shared with her First Officer from the very start. There was no feeling of trepidation, or discomfort in the man’s eyes. here didn’t seem to be anything negative at all in his eyes in fact, which led to the inescapable urge to simply look into them. Such a strange moment, but one that wasn’t all that unwelcome; these were just the connections she had been seeking, after all.::
::They moved together, smoothly across the floor as she watched him. There had been something about him, at least that day, since his timely intervention on the comm. earlier. It all seemed too serendipitous, but Kali had learned long ago just to take what the universe handed you. The mysterious man, with knowledge of the position in which she currently stood, had just arrived yesterday, and yet he seemed to be the missing piece. Some might have called him a catalyst, others a bridge. Whatever the right word was, she found herself strangely grateful that he was there.::
Nicholotti: I take it you like to dance a bit more than Mister Walker eh?
::Mostly, she was just speechless, but as it often did in her new role, some kind of humor surfaced to cover the more serious, and complex, thoughts beneath. Still unable to take her eyes from his, she began to wonder just what held her there. What did she see in them that captivated her?::
Cody: Oh yes. Dance, I find, reveals who we really are. We can't dance without our soul.
::He kept it simple at first, falling into a three step waltz before they felt comfortable enough as dance partners for him to guide her across the floor, gliding and guiding her into cross-steps, twists, turn outs and turns while holding her eyes with his own. The rest of the world around them fell into a blur of colorscheme. The truth of it was the feet already knew what was instinctual. They were the architects of an old, ancient rite that bridged the gap between people and culture across time and space in a way species like the 'Borg couldn't and wouldn't understand. Even the great Klingon writers and the occasional poet wrote of the essense of soul, and honor, and the feat of combat captured in the drumbeats of their combative dance. In that moment, the only thing that existed was them, in a place where time and space couldn't touch, and all it could be was just this moment, then it was a giving universe they lived within. ::
::David let Nicholotti spin out and then spun her back, cradling her in his arms as he dipped her backwards. Following her down, at rest, he stopped just short of meeting her mouth with his. ::
Cody: ::whispering:: And it's swift as a kiss; stunningly beautiful, sometimes deadly, like the woman before me.
::If she had been speechless before, she had suddenly become even more so now. It was a rare occasion that she wasn’t called to be the strong one, the leader, the guide, or the one who took the first steps into the unknown. It had been that way in so many relationships before, both working and personal, and she had grown so used to it that the simple words, coupled with his proximity to her, caught her completely off guard.::
::Kali had walls that had been constructed in the wake of the hurt of the past, and of the need for her to be the leader that she had been called to be in her role as Captain. Yet here was this man who had seemingly swept in and flew right over those walls. Unlike any who she had met before, he snuck in like a phantom and brought to light feelings and thoughts that had long been buried deep within her mind. Things she hadn’t thought about for a long time flashed before her inside her head as she found herself caught, completely at his mercy, lost in his arms and in his eyes.::
::Unable to speak, she simply gripped him more tightly as if unwilling to let the moment go. Feeling herself slipping into a mindset that she had yearned for, for so long, yet one that seemed so foreign from that which she forced herself into each day, Kali only knew one thing; she didn’t want that moment to end.::
::The music had faded, as had the rest of the room and all of the people and conversations in it. All that there was, was the feeling of his arms and the warmth of his breath, tantalizingly close and supremely daring. So daring it was, that she finally spoke in a weak and almost inaudible whisper.::
Nicholotti: Don’t let go.
::It was far from the cacophony that was calling out in her mind, but he had been somehow smart enough to get within her outer walls and protective barriers, so she assumed he would catch the deeper meaning. Her heart, despite its mechanical nature, beat faster in an attempt to keep up with her quickened breathing as she found herself longing for things she’d long since forgotten and truly scared of what it all might, or might not, mean. ::
::Whether it was the first time, or if the moment melted the walls, it didn't matter. He could have done several things in that moment, and perhaps broke more protocals than Mar did when she first met Wilde, and gods only knew how many more. And really, in the grand scheme of things, did it really matter? He had gone the command route and rose to command one of the flagships of the Fleet... and for what? An empty room and a series of experiences where he cheered for Brice and Karynn, or Idril and Dan, Ro and Ben... He remembered within that moment something Jessa said, when he had snuck in to sit at her bedside in Sickbay, that had escaped him then, but came back full force now. ::
((Stardate 238312.05, Sickbay, USS Independence))
Anassasi: And you, Mr. Cody, how are you?
::It was David's turn to chuckle. ::
Cody: The truth? Or the façade?
::She shakes her head, her voice quiet and certain. ::
Anassasi: Never the façade; always the truth.
Cody: :: reflective a moment:: Avoiding the rhetorical philosophical spouting... like you, I'm alive. If you're asking emotionally, well, these are the moments where you want the strength and support of those you love with you. My family died a few years back, and Deborah... well, she has to remain on Mars Colonies. So I have to find it in my friends and colleagues.
::Jessa regards him with narrowed eyes. It was not the answer she sought. From the look in his eyes, though, it was the only answer he would provide . . . for now. ::
((Present, Banquet Hall, Executive Tower, Starbase 118))
::She was a few inches taller than him, but that didn't prevent him from caressing her cheek and brushing a quick, lighting kiss it would take a Vulcan to spot. Bringing her up, David held Kalianna the entire way as he came close to her ear. ::
Cody: ::whispering:: Not a chance.
::In all honesty, she had no idea what had just transpired. Somehow, something deep within seemed to come to life, bringing with it more strength and vitality than she could imagine. She closed her eyes as he brushed his lips across her cheek and whispered to her, smiling slightly and leaning her head against his and into his embrace as the music shifted into something somewhat slower. There was so much about the past few minutes that was far from the ordinary, but if she knew nothing else, she knew that, aside from being somewhat terrifying, it just felt so right.::
Nicholotti: ::Whispering.:: Good.
::He had been right; being just Kalianna had a certain appeal, especially if this was the result. It had been something she’d been craving without actually knowing it and now she had found it in a most unlikely place. The universe, it seemed, hadn’t condemned her quite yet, and maybe, just maybe, this would be the beginning of something that would save her from the fate she seemed to dread most. He had woken up a part of her she’d long since buried and for the first time in a very long time she felt really alive. ::
Captain Kalianna Nicholotti
LtCmdr. David Cody
Chief of Operations
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