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((USS Apollo, Quarters Laxyn))

After Jalana and Viktor had left the Holodeck upon Starbase 118, they had strolled, hand in hand, through the hallways of the station and headed back to the Apollo. It had been a wonderful time together and although the usual rhythm aboard the ship was bound to return very soon, they did not want to go back to it so soon.::
When they entered Jalana’s quarters, the Trill was glad that she had fixed the place up before leaving, instead of having all her stuff thrown around all over the rooms. Not that she was messy but as it was after a long shift one did not always want to work even more after that. Though this time she did and that was good fortune.::

Laxyn: You sit down and let me see if I can prepare something that we can actually eat.

She smirked and pointed to the couch. Still she didn’t have many personal things around, but pictures and a nice cover blanket for the couch, she sometimes wrapped herself in when she cuddled into the couch. She walked over to the replicator checking for some ingredients to something she was able to cook, which was quite limited, if one thought that the only time she cooked herself had been during her Academy times and even then rarely. Replicators were obviously quite useful.::
The room itself was quite simple. He realized that he didn’t really have any expectations before heading there. He didn’t really care what her place looked like, but it was just nice to be able to share what was hers as well. People sometimes presented themselves differently when in the comfort of their own domicile. If anything, he was just curious in the first place to see if she would agree to such a request, to which she did without hesitation. oO Did you think she’d say no? Oo. She offered him a seat on the couch, to which he obliged with a smile and small chuckle. oO She seems nervous! Oo

Lanius: You know, if its too much for you... :: He smiled to her sarcastically ::

Laxyn: I promised, so you will have to endure it. No escape. ::she smirked over to him and turned back to her personal shopping center, remembering something she had wondered earlier and tried to make this sound as casual as possible..:: So... this Commander Taylor and you are old friends?

He had to admit that he was half-expecting this. It was in the nature of most people, especially when involved with one another, to question the relationships of others. He might have gotten a small vibe in the holodeck, but even then, it was nothing alarming. At this point, she might have been genuinely curious. But how to approach the situation? ::

Lanius: Friends, I don’t know about old. Colleagues.

Laxyn: Well it looked like you were pretty familiar with each other.

The curiosity turns to need to know. It was a spiral of events he was all too familiar with when people prod for information. He smiled at the thought that she was playing the intel game with an intelligence operator. She wanted information, but he would be able to gather some on her as well, if he played his cards right. Jalana seemed to be able to mask her feelings when she wanted to, but he would do well to pay close attention. ::

Lanius: oO Little bit at a time now... let’s play. Oo Well, yes, actually. You could say that too. See, when I was first posted to the Starbase, I developed a thing for her I guess.

Laxyn: ::Hearing that her body tensed for just a moment, before she took the replicated ingredients out of the opening and brought them to the little cooking corner. It was buying herself a bit of time to choose her words, but all that came out was a rather enthusiastic... :: Oh.

Lanius: Come now... :: he sat forward in his seat :: There’s quite a bit that lead to that.

She just looked at him with a careful smile and wide green eyes, inviting him to tell her more. ::

Lanius: When I was in academy, I did nothing but work. I never dated... :: She started to giggle a bit :: I didn’t! Really, I never dated, and I stayed locked away and private. It was part of the job I think. It was all business all the time, and to be honest, I’d lost quite a bit of myself. Until I received my first posting.

Laxyn: And she pulled you out of it?

Lanius: No, no. It wasn’t just her. It was that whole crew. The whole family. Jaxx, Kali, all of them. They made me feel like I was part of something great, even from the very first day. It opened me up to a lot of things and feelings I’d not felt in a long time. Now, how does this relate to Savannah...

Laxyn: :: She raised her eyes for a moment from the pot she had placed on the cooking station and filled with some of the ingredients.:: Please, go on. :: She was not sure if she really should have asked this and before her gaze could be a traitor she grabbed the spaghetti and put them into the other pot of boiling water, while mixing together the rest in the second pot ::

Lanius: She took an interest that was more subconscious. A curiosity that we both possessed. Little did I know, that’s all it was. It would be my first real test as an Operator.

He noticed that she continued to cook while he spoke. She wanted to be interested, but by default, it was like telling someone to rip off their own scab. Maybe not in the sense that it was a bad thing, but more or less because it’s just something we have to do, not what we want to do. He could see her body motions as she cooked. oO Just be upfront... Honest... Oo ::

Lanius: I invited her on what would be my first attempt at a date in several years. I took her to the holodeck. We ran a program that I often attended in school, but I never told her what it was. She was in the dark, not expecting anything. We donned our costumes secret agent style, to which she hadn’t worn a dress in years. Either way... I botched it all up, on an assumption of what she was like. I had no clue. I never took the time, never talked to her. Just scouted her out and moved in like it was my job.

The Trill halted in her movements, remembering the conversation earlier about the Spy Program. So that was what that had been all about. A date. At least for him and Savannah apparently had seen it differently. She was not sure how she should react to that, this was nothing she went through often. In a way a rather new experience, even with a past.::

Laxyn: So she did not like you like that.. oO Oh Jalana, you are so eloquent. You could have said a lot of smarter things. Oo ::Upon his words she put the spoon away and walked over to him::

Lanius: Come here... :: he moved over to let her sit beside him :: Jalana, that’s just it. She’s more than a friend because she taught me so many lessons in that fleeting three minutes of simulation. She prepared me to re-enter the world where most people reside, not the one that’s all business. Without her... guidance :: he laughed a bit :: I never would have had the poise or experience to properly tell you, Jalana Laxyn, how I feel about you, and how I did the moment I laid eyes on you. I would have thrown you into some simulation like a good ole war buddy, and botched this... all of this...

He realized at that moment how much he really did love her. He was nervous himself, hoping that whatever she was thinking wasn’t damning. He took hold of her hand. ::

Lanius: Thinking about all of that tonight, remembering it all just made me realize... that I... I love you Jalana...

Hearing those voice had several consequences. The first was that her body started to tremble, not visibly but on the inside, as if someone had thrown a full bottle of bathing salt into the tub and placed that in her belly. The other was that her mind went blank. All the thoughts about the past between Viktor and Savannah, the Spy Program.. anything went just poof. The Trill blinked, her green eyes fixed to his as her jaw dropped slightly, parting her lips.::

Laxyn: oO Say something Oo - You do? - oO Not that you idiot!Oo

Lanius: oO you do... Oo Yes... Unequivocally yes.

He couldn’t gauge her thoughts. being an empath at a time like this would have been priceless. ::
Her eyes wandered between his, trying to see something, she was not even sure what exactly. His words echoing in her mind. 'I love you Jalana'. Her heart raced and beat like a drum during an old African tribe ritual, so much that she pressed her hand against her chest to keep it inside. Her mouth opened and closed several times, the words stuck in her throat. That was what it felt like... to hear it for the first time, the words she had been thinking about during the Soiree. Swallowing hard she did not get more out of her mouth than a whisper. ::

Laxyn: I... :: the corners of her mouth twitched, as if she had no control over it, before after several tries they stayed in the smiling positioning. She laughed slightly, feeling like a teenager once again with him. :: I love you too, Viktor.

Things had finally fallen into a place that made him totally happy. Mostly up until this point, it was all a game of ‘what if’s’ or ‘I wish’s’, but now, it had all come to fruition. And to make things all the more better, it went off without a hitch. He thought back on the information he’d just relayed to Jalana; about the person that made it possible to open up much as he’d done thus far. He was a firm believer that most things that happened in the universe were meant to be. Not necessarily that he and Jalana were meant to be, but all the events leading up to this moment all became more clear. He had come to the verdict he sought at the beginning of the conversation, and all things amounted to an irrevocable idea. He was deeply in love, and he was content with that. ::
The energy them drew them together in the first place was beaming by now, and there wasn’t much more he could say. As far as he could think, just hearing those words leave her mouth was enough to obliterate anything he might hear ever again. He hadn’t heard the words in so long, and a cool wave of energy, like new life, spilled over him. There was nothing more he could say. He placed his hand on the side of her face, closed his eyes, and kissed. It was all so electric to him. One might have thought that the room was filled with buzzing white light, or at least that’s how he felt. The other hand moved down her back, and laid her back onto the couch. Everything was so alive at that moment, every touch, every feeling, every scent. oO Scent... SMOKE?! Oo He sat up all at once ::

Lanius: Your sauce brighteyes!

The two of them got up and ran to the counter, flames billowing from the deep pan, with a now brown encrusted emulsion at the base. He grabbed a towel from the counter and throw it over the top to smother the flames. ::
Coughing she waves her hand in front of her, but the computer already began to suck away the smoke billowing up from the pot. But she couldn't help but laugh.::

Laxyn: I completely forgot about that. ::She pushed the other pot from the cooking station and peeked inside shaking her head.:: Looks like my specialty is overdone pasta with burnt cream sauce spiked with dry and hard pieces of ham. ::Told you, it's better when we let you cook.

Lanius: I don’t know love, if all of our dinners here end up like this one, we can come here more often. :: he pulled her close ::

Laxyn: ::Placing her hands in his chest she laughed:: But that would mean that we would starve. As a doctor I cannot allow that.

Lanius: :: Leaning closer :: As a woman?

Laxyn: ::smirking slightly:: As a woman, I wouldn't mind at all.

Lanius: :: Picking her up and carrying her back to the sofa :: Well we’re not on duty right now...

Laughing as he picked her up she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. His words made her look up into his eyes, forgetting about the failed meal. She did not let go of him as he lowered her on the couch, pulled him with her. He had the talent to make her heart race within seconds, just like now. She placed her hand on his cheek and he was so close she could feel his breath in her lips.::

Laxyn: ::whispers:: Where were we when we've been so rudely interrupted?

Lanius: I believe... I was in the process of... :: he pressed his lips to hers, his hands moving to explore her hair. :: Remember now?

Laxyn: ::Breathless she nodded ever so slightly:: How could I ever forget? ::She slid her hands along her sides onto his back to pull him closer again, catching his lips again.::

Closing out the last couple of days with another evening of pure elation was exactly what either of them needed, for who knew what the new day would bring, or where they might end up next. But for now, they were happy with each other. ::