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Two Sugars, Please

Posted on Tue Aug 22nd, 2017 @ 5:05pm by Lieutenant Commander Halan Zeti

Mission: Returning Home (Shore Leave)
Location: Lounge


Zera honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this. It could either go really well, or really wrong... but it was just the first meeting, he shouldn't expect it to be better than what he expected. He entered the mess hall and looked around for Zeti before spotting her at a table. Pausing at the replicator to get a black coffee, he headed over and stopped before sitting. "Morning, Commander," he said to her.

"Oh, so formal," Zeti picked up the cup of coffee she'd been working on and took a drink from it. There was an empty plate in front of her that once had corned beef hash, a couple of over easy eggs and toast. She was on her second cup of coffee and had been working on the daily maintenance list before heading into engineering. "How are you this morning Leyar?"

He shrugged, taking a seat in the chair opposite her. "Busy," he responded, putting his cup on the table. "Had to check on something this morning, but mostly been picking up where Phelps had left off in work. You?"

"We're going to tow a Borg ship in slipstream, I'm busy but giddy about it," Zeti smiled. "There's a lot of calculations, modifications but I think I'm nearly there."

"You'll get it," the male Bajoran replied, taking a sip of his coffee. He gave a slight wink to her, "besides, if I know you, you can do just about anything."

"Such confidence in me?" Zeti gave him a questioning look, what was his deal? Did he really want to get in her bed or was something else going on? She took a sip of coffee before saying anything more. "Thanks Leyar."

"You know," he said, leaning back a little. "I used to hate it when you called me Leyar. Lots of memories associated with the Occupation come with that name. But now... I guess it means I'm finally moving on. Or I'm learning to tolerate it." He shrugged again, "but what, I can't have confidence in a fellow shipmate to do her job?"

"I am trying to associate it with thoughts of me, which I'd hoped would be good but after our last dinner I had given that up," Zeti answered him. "So what's the deal here Leyar? What are you trying to get out of this?"

Zera let his stone-like mask settle back into place as they came back to why he was doing this. "I already told you last night," he said, his voice dropping to match his expression. Because of the public area they were in, he kept his volume the same, only loud enough that maybe the table next to them could hear if they listened intently. "Why is it so hard to believe that I want to make an honest effort to change?"

"Because it's you," Zeti blurted out. "You are a liar, it's what you do for your work and it very often keeps you alive. It's natural for you and you do it without even thinking."

"Did it ever occur to you that maybe I can tell the truth once in a while?" He countered, crossing his arms.

"No," Zeti blurted out, before smirking at Zera. "Look, just give me some time? If you're genuine you've got nothing to worry about. If not I'll kill you."

Zera watched her for a moment before nodding, a little smirk on his face at the mention of her killing him. As tempting as it was to tell her try, he knew she would. Besides, he was trying to mend uneven ground, not break it further. "Fine. Sounds reasonable." Changing the subject, he asked with a mild singsong tone, "soo, how's family?"

"My two brothers are well, they moved back to Bajor and have both started families," Zeti smiled at that thought. "My sister Yaji is in security on the USS Renault and just made assistant chief and Grene just got married. Do you have any family you keep in contact with?"

"Limited," Zera responded. "... because they have to pretend I don't exist. Last I heard, Nadian was doing social work and Isi found a new partner." He frowned when he realized that was at least five years ago. "My mother's... faring. She's sort of deteriorated since the Occupation."

"Right, you being seen as a traitor and all," Zeti made a face at him. "Maybe one day that will change."

"Because I work in a position that could get them killed by affiliation alone," Zera corrected flatly. "Contrary to popular belief, I still care about my family, and I know it's surprising but they care about me, too. There are some days when I want to talk to them, but it's not my choice." If their conversations were going to be this rough, he might as well switch to something with more of a kick than coffee.

"All right, all right," Zeti held up one of her hands, she took another drink of coffee before eyeing Zera. "How's the Intel business? Catch any bad guys lately? Surly you've got to have some kind of interesting story to tell."

"I guess you could say we got someone," he said, letting his crossed arms relax a little. "I have loads of interesting stories, it's whether they're allowed to be told."

"I do have a pretty high security clearance," Zeti pointed out, before leaning back and taking another big drink from her coffee cup. "I did manage to come work on this ship while it was still installed with a highly classified project. It's not anymore."

"I know," was all the male Bajoran said about it. He was confident that she wouldn't be able to find anything on the matter, because technically some of the alleged files didn't exist.

"You can be a real drag, you know that right?" Zeti gave him a withering look. "Fine, no stories yet."

Zera gave her a smile before taking a drink of his coffee, finishing the cup. "In good time," he said, standing. "Maybe in the future we will laugh about it. The Prophets know you will likely hold it over my head for a bit." Shifting from a bantering tone to a professional one, he added, "well, I've got work to do. This was nice, hopefully nice enough to do again."

"Hopefully, have a good shift," Zeti nodded at him, before finishing her coffee in preparation to leave the lounge and get to work.



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