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Unannounced Visit

Posted on Sat Sep 3rd, 2016 @ 2:38am by Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti

Mission: Homecoming (Reborn)
Location: Gladiator
Timeline: Slight backpost

ON

Zeti, having just gotten off a long shift and feeling somewhat like she wanted company, made a stop in her quarters and grabbed a bag and a couple of food items before departing and making her way do Leyar's room. The man was frustrating, but she liked him and wasn't willing to give up despite the fact that he sulked far too much.

When she arrived, she tapped the chime and waited for him to answer, making sure the bag was tucked under her arm and her uniform was straight. She hoped he was in a good mood, or she'd be able to help put him in a good mood.

As things were getting settled into place, Zera had offered to take extra shifts other than his own. The last one was two days ago when he took alpha and beta shifts, and fortunately he just had his normal shift the nght before. He was sitting at his desk, his computer displayed and showing the notes he had gotten from M'Gann so far, a frown etched onto his features. He knew being angry at SI for making him drop the case wouldn’t help anything, so he might as well put it behind him and work on what he had now.

He wasn't entirely sure what to think about the data he received so far. Every part of her body language said that she was telling the truth, but the actual words themselves... it was like something that anyone would never expect to happen. Leyar found himself doubting her words, but he shook his head to refocus, mentally kicking himself for closing off so quickly. He then blinked and turned around when his door chimed. He never had visitors, they were usually put off by his demeanor.

Standing, he walked over to the door and pressed he command to open it, his confusion replaced by his ever-so familiar resting bitch face. "Even after two years I'm still stuck on the same boat as you?" He asked. Despite his words he stepped aside and gave a small gesture to let her in.

"I brought food at least," Zeti gave him a playful smirk. before she stepped through his door way and walked over to the table. "Ratamba Stew, Mapa bread, a couple of Jumja sticks for desert and a nice bottle of spring wine but don't think I'm going to try anything on the great Intel officer Leyar."

Shutting the door behind them, the Bajoran walked back to his desk and turned off the screen before watching her unload the food onto his table. "It's been years since I've had Ratamba Stew," he commented. The last time he had it was actually shortly after he had graduated from the Academy. "Actually, you’re presence for once is... not unwelcome," he admitted. "I've been working on multiple things and I guess I could use a break."

"You'll like mine, I made it myself and we always put our own little island flair into it," Zeti glanced over her shoulder at him. "And my presence is never unwelcome, even when you act like it is. Engineering was a bear today and I wanted to see my friend, you look like you've been staring at that computer all day. Some good company, food and drink will be good for you."

"You never have been one to take no for an answer," Zera replied, walking over to help her out. Perhaps she was starting to grow on him, but he felt like he didn't have to close himself off as much when he was around her. "Fine, where can I help out?"

Zeti smiled at Leyar, "Plates, silverware and something to drink the wine out of would be perfect. And you're right, I don't take no for an answer. I get what I want, but I also understand you don't need me pushing you into something you're not ready for."

Zera walked over to the little kitchenette and grabbed the items before returning and setting the table. "Personally, bowls are better at holding stew," he commented with a wink, "but that's my experience." After the table was set, Leyar went and replicated a wine key before taking the bottle of wine. After breaking the seal with the small foil cutter he twisted the screw into the cork before holding the bottle by his hips and giving a short tug.

Zeti watch him for a moment, before she started dishing out the food, "Yes, bowls do work better for stew, thank you for properly anticipating the need. Just pour the wine so I can get you drunk."

Leyar chuckled a little, picking up what might have been some sarcasm as he pulled the cork out with a pop. Letting it breathe for a moment, he picked up the two glasses in one hand and poured the wine into each of them. Setting the bottle on the table, he set one glass in front of her chair and the other one in front of his. "You want any music? Might as well, considering how close this is becoming to a dinner date."

"Music sounds good," Zeti replied with a smile. She sat down. "And we don't have to call it a date if you don't want to, like I said I thought it would be nice to spend some time with a friend."

Shrugging, Zera told the computer to play a music file, and as the gentle beat began playing he took a seat in the other chair. He grabbed his glass and took a sip, letting the wine rest on his tongue for a moment before swallowing. For him, the silence was comfortable, but for the male Bajoran that was normal. "So... work related talk or not? If the latter, you’re probably going to have to get the ball rolling." He didn't admit it out loud, but most of his social skills were used as a cover to get information from his targets, and something told him that a few of those lines would not go over well.

"Do you really want to hear about warp intermix ratios, software upgrades and me on my hands and knees as I crawled through the insides of the ship?" Zeti asked with a teasing smirk, before she took a bite from her stew. "Or how efficient the warp coils are currently? Maybe run through some equations?"

Zera took a bite of the stew after she did, watching her out of habit to ensure that his food wasn't poisoned by anything. "Fair enough," he replied, pausing to take a sip of wine. "Part of me says you don't want to hear about the numerous updates we did in our department, and the progress or lack of I've had with the mysterious reappearing Commander. But my point still stands," he pointed out.

"As long as you talk dirty to my big boy," Zeti gave him a sly grin, as she took another drink from her glass. "It's all right, I'm sure we will get to the work chat stage, but I find intel to be boring. All the sly back handed tactics, just give me a phaser and let me shoot the ones who deserve it."

That made Zera chuckle, and he set down his glass. "With that mindset you wouldn't last a day in Intel," he mused, a knowing smirk crossing his features. Despite her outranking him, he knew there were some things he simply couldn't tell her. If something did form between them Leyar knew that may cause some issues, but it was what it was. "Good stew, by the way," he mentioned.

"Isn't that pretty much what I just said?" She asked with a playful grin. "And thank you, I do like to impress with my food. If you ever need someone to help with an extraction, blow some shit up, shoot some people and look damn good doing it I'm you're girl."

"Funny enough," he replied with a smirk, "I may keep that in mind. You never know when a demolitions specialist may come in handy." Inside he felt as if the walls he put up were lowering one by one. How the hell did she do it?? She was easier to talk to, easier than Delvok was... perhaps even enough to trust her.

But he was on the fence. Zera looked back down at the stew, his smirk disappearing as he mused. His training said not to let her get close and become a liability, but... but his heart was telling him otherwise. He'd been by himself for far too long, and for a while it worked fine. But maybe it was time to try a new tactic, despite the risks. But what would those risks be?

"There you go again," Zeti said, after a bite of stew. "Off in spy land, doing prophets know what." She reached over and grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze. "Stay with me Lee."

"I'm not off in spy land, I'm... wait..." Zera blinked and met her eyes when she used his nickname, not expecting it to come out of her mouth. "You called me Lee..." The only ones who used his nickname were his family and Nayisa.

"I thought it was an appropriate nickname," Zeti replied, giving him a warm smile. "If you don't like it, I can call you something else? Maybe scruffy looking?"

"No, no!" Leyar quickly responded. It just now registered that her hand was on top of his, and he glanced at it for a moment while unsure of how to respond to it. "It's fine... just unexpected. The only ones who usually call me Lee are my sisters and a close friend."

"I'm not one of your sisters," Zeti laughed softly, before giving his hand a squeeze. "I'm not quite sure what I am, but if you don't mind I'm going to keep calling you Lee."

The male Bajoran looked at her, and a hint of something twinkled in his eyes before it vanished, his countenance hovering between expressing his thoughts and becoming unreadable. "That's fine," he finally replied, picking up his spoon with his right hand. It wasn't the one that he'd normally eat with, but at the same time he had no desire to move his other hand, nor was it imperative to.

Zeti arched one of her brows, it had taken her some time to really get to know him but she was slowly working bag the layers and the smile in his eyes that he tried to cover made her smile, "That's fine? Sometimes I just don't get you..."

"That may take a while. Also, I wouldn't let you call me Lee if you weren't a friend," Zera countered between bites of the stew. He glanced pointedly at their still joined hands and added, "but I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that that's a little more than a 'friend' gesture."

Zeti caressed the back of his hand before pulling back her own and taking a drink of her wine to give her a second to think. "It is, but that wasn't the first of the evening Lee. That and I'm planning on spending the night."

Leyar raised an eyebrow at that, his now free hand sliding back to his end of the table. "Hh, you are now?" He then let a little smirk slide across his lips. "And how exactly are you going to convince me that I should let you stay the night?"

"Oh that's easy, once you figure out what I have under these clothes you'll want me to stay," Zeti giggled softly. "I still remember what you like Leyar."

Nothing could've stopped the blush from creeping onto his face, and Zera reached for his glass and took a long sip of his wine. "That was for the sake of the mission," he replied. It wasn't exactly in the mission layout, but it wasn't necessarily a lie either. He didn't realize it before, but her giggle wasn't actually that much of an ear-sore to listen to; it was... tolerable.

"Oh, I'm sure it was all for the mission. You're full of it Leyar," Zeti took a drink from her wine. "I know, I know you're not going to admit that. Eventually maybe, once you let me all the way through those shields of yours."

Zera let out this little titter as he put his glass back down onto the table. Folding his hands, he replied, "yeah, not gonna happen. I got those shields for a reason, Zeti, and you'd have to be someone pretty damn special if you were to be let in to this one." He used his folded hands to gesture to himself before resting them back onto the table. "I don't do relationships, I don't know how else to get it through that pretty head of yours. There is too much risk, primarily to you, and I wouldn't take the chance of risking another's life to satisfy my own personal one."

"Leyar, shut your damn mouth," Zeti growled at him. "I'm a grown woman, you don't get to tell me that I can't be involved with you because of some boogie man from your past. I'm the one who makes that choice. You're lonely, you're miserable and I am stubborn as hell. Stop sitting there and acting like your protecting me, when you're afraid you're going to get hurt."

"I'm not acting, and I am not afraid of getting hurt," Leyar shot back, his tone calm yet tense. His eyes narrowed ever so slightly as he maintained his eye contact with her. "The people I deal with are dangerous, Halan, sometimes more than the ones the crew deals with. They have the ability to exploit anything as long as it gives them the upper hand, and that includes pretty girlfriends. They could kill you and they will try to use you against me, especially if they find out that there is something between us!" He leaned back into his chair and crossed his arms. "I have lost friends and coworkers that way... I can only imagine what it would feel like to have that happen to a partner. I will protect you from that because I damn well can and I don't want to see you end up like them."

"Right, the girl who's parent's ran from Bajor, then joined the Maquee and learned how to fight and fix anything. After that we got mixed up with a family of borderline Israeli mafia, they're great people though so don't quote me on that," Zeti folded her arms and shot him a glare. "I've faced danger princess, I do so every time I go on an away mission. Don't patronize me."

Leyar ground his teeth. "I will patronize you because you are clearly not getting this. If you're so adamant on the claim that you're a grown woman and independent, then why are you following me around like a 12 year old with a crush? This isn't some dramatic holoprogram where the girl gets the guy, Halan. This is real life. You don't get happy endings, you especially don't get them with someone like me."

He paused for a moment only to let the words sink in. "That night we had," he continued, his countenance unreadable and chilled, "was only for the sake of a mission. I had to get close to someone, and I just happened to go through you. It may have meant something to you but to me it meant nothing. It was all part of the mission, nothing else." Zera then leaned forward a little and added, "There will never be anything between us, Halan. If you think otherwise then maybe you hit your head a little too hard while you were going through the Jefferies Tubes in Engineering, because you are living in some fantasy that will never come true."

Zeti felt like she'd just been slapped into the next room, and what made it all that much worse was the fact that this wasn't the first time she'd come on too strong and caused this kind of situation. His every word just seemed to drive deeper into her soul and all she could do was sit there and take it. She didn't know how long she sat there in silence, just processing what he'd said over and over.

She was normally good at reading people, she could understand what they were thinking by paying attention to them but it seemed she'd been wrong about Leyar. She knew he'd been hurt and was reserved but she thought she could break through and now she just felt dirty. It took her too long to snap back into place, but once she had she pushed away from the table and stood up before adjusting her uniform.

"It's not often I misread a situation so poorly," Zeti had a little trouble finding her voice at first but found it along the way and it had plenty of bite to it. "It's clear I've done so. You're the perfect little intel officer, I hope you at least had fun using me to advance your mission. Good day Lieutenant."

Without waiting for him to answer she left, she didn't throw anything or do any damage but instead just walked out of his quarters feeling like the biggest fool in the galaxy.

Zera remained seated, his arms crossed firmly over his chest, as he watched her get up and exit, leaving the food items she had brought to his quarters behind. The second she left he quietly let out the breath he had been holding before standing from his chair. The leg caught on the floor and made him stumble, which invoked a curse and the chair was kicked over onto its side before he began to pick up the dishes left behind on the table.

If he did what was necessary to get her to back off, why did he feel guilty? The thought gnawed at him as he gathered up the dirty dishes to discard them in the replicator. As the shimmer of blue evaporated the dishes back into the system, Zera stood and watched it for a moment. Perhaps... no. She was the one who kept pushing, and she was the one who did not take the hints. The backlash was deserved in every aspect.

But was it? As the male Bajoran returned to the table, he looked at the container with the rest of the stew and the half empty bottle of wine. She had been correct about one thing; he was lonely. The risk from the job, however, was too high. His relations and assets were temporary, very rarely were they kept for a longer period of time. Spotting the bag on the ground beside the table, he secured the stew and wine so they wouldn't spill before picking up the bag and filling it with the containers. Briefly moving to his computer he located Zeti's quarters before telling the computer to transport the items outside her door.

"Computer, wait." Looking around, he found an unused tablet and wrote a simple note on it- You left these in my quarters. I thought you would want them back- before sticking it partially out of the zipper. "Energize," he then confirmed, watching the bag disappear from his quarters. Once it was gone he ran his fingers through his hair and letting out a sigh. He did what had to be done, Zera convinced himself. Moving toward the fallen chair, he lifted it back onto its legs before pushing it in.

When Zeti got back to her quarters she was angry, hurt and a whole host of other emotions that came with what Leyar had said and done. It had stunned her that he would resort to such tactics but she knew she could come off as clingy, she'd had a hard road growing up and it showed in her as an adult.

When her stuff had been transported back to her, cleaned and a note from Leyar she didn't know what to think. Instead, she numbly put everything away before trying to get her mind to shift and forget the night ever happened.


OFF

 

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