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SD241901.08 || Joint Shore Leave/Pre-Arrival Log || "Tony & Mira Take on Sal'kiir" [10/12]

Posted on Wed Jan 9th, 2019 @ 4:25am by Lieutenant Commander Anthony Manelli & Lieutenant Commander Mirabella Basso

Mission: Once More Unto The Horizon
Location: The Planet Sal'kiir, Omega Fleet Territory

The pair of them sat down and looked out the window, enjoying the view until a young woman came over to tell them what the inn was serving. The choices were few, but they all sounded good, so it wasn't hard to order. Availing themselves of the local ale on offer, they soon had two mugs in front of them.

=/\= The Continuation...

It had been maybe ten to fifteen minutes since they'd sat down and placed their orders. The ale had arrived, although the food had yet to make an appearance. The inn was just a low murmur of activity, and Tony and Mira enjoyed the quiet company and the few outside.

Not knowing anyone here, they certainly didn't expect any guests...

...but they got one anyway.

A woman suddenly appeared beside their table. Her hair was long, very long, and a shade of black that glistened blue-green in every flicker of the light. Her skin glittered with the faint hint of color, like all the Water Sal'kiir's did. It made their skin look wet without actually being wet. Her eyes, though, were not the usual blue-green of the others. They were almost completely white, and yet it was obvious that she could see them somehow.

"Hello," she greeted in an almost preternaturally deep voice.

"Hello?" Mira said uncertainly, one brow arched.

Where Mira's hand had been wrapped around her mug, the other woman put her own slender fingers lightly upon them. The woman nicknamed "Brawler" was about to take issue with that, but then the woman did the same to Tony, and she smiled. Before either could ask, or cuss her out, she spoke.

"I could sense it," the strange woman said softly. "You two...perfect fit... Even the elements can sense it." She turned those pale white eyes to Tony. "Don't let this one go," she said, before looking at Mira. "Don't chase this one off." She smiled knowingly, removed her hands, and walked away, swaying between the tables.

Mira just stared after her, blinking with confusion.

Tony watched the woman as she walked away. Then, turning his attention back to Mira, he said 'That was..." he hesitated a moment, then continued "....interesting." Then after a moment he added "Do you think there was a message for us in that?"

Mira laughed a little, turning back to him with a half-smile. "Seems pretty clear that it was?"

"If she was suggesting what I think she was, I can't say that I would disagree with her," Tony said. "I rather like the idea of keeping you around myself," he added with a grin.

"I have no intention of chasing you off," Mira agreed easily.

Tony could see where this appeared to be heading, and to be honest it didn't bother him at all. Ever since his divorce, he had been satisfied with living he life of a free person. At least, until he met Mira. Now he realized that something had been missing from his life all this time - and that something had been her. He knew that there would come a time where he would ask her but not right now. She would let him know when the time was right.

"That's good to know," he said with a smile. "I don't want to think of a time without you..." It was the first time he had ever voiced anything like that to her and he watched carefully to see what her reaction might be.

"Yeah," she said with a soft laugh, flashing him a warm smile. "I'm coming more and more to realize that...I'm not sure I can start thinking of a time without you. This trip has been pretty life-changing."

"It has been for a fact," Tony agreed. "And I would not change one minute of it. It's been absolutely wonderful." He looked up just as a server approached with their order. "I hope you're really hungry Il MIa Cuore" He said. "Look at the size of these orders."

Mira laughed. "Well, fortunately, we've been burning off enough calories that I'm sure I have room!"

* * *

When their lunch was over, Tony and Mira walked out of the inn and into the bright sunshine. "What would you like to do now?" He asked. "Do you want to take a walk out to the west side of the village and look at the flowers that young fellow told us about?"

"I'd like that," she decided easily. "Besides, I think I could use the walk." She laughed. Although she'd tried her best, even she couldn't finish that meal. As they started heading that way, she asked, "I can't remember now. Did we have the cabin for tonight or are we headed back to the city?"

"Once we've seen the flowers, we'll need to go back to the cabin to get our bags and then get transportation back to the city," Tony said as they continued to walk. Most of the buildings that they were seeing in the center of the village appeared to be built of stone but as they approached the edge, there were also structures of wood and, if he wasn't mistaken, some homes appeared to be constructed of mud plaster with thatched roofs.

The sides of the road progressively turned into replicas of their journey in from what she was fairly certain was the eastern side of the village. The houses became more rural before there were almost none at all, and the forest predominated. She was beginning to wonder about these flowers at all before the trees abruptly thinned on one side and showed a low, wide valley...

...covered in rainbow-hued flowers.

Mira had to stop and stare. The flowers swayed gently in the wind, all about knee-high as they shimmered gently, looking like a softly undulating ocean of every color could be imagined.

Tony gazed out across a field of many-colored flowers that seemed to go on forever. "That's something you won't see in a ship's arboretum," he said to Mira. "Many of these look different than anything I've ever seen before."

"It definitely doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before," she agreed, a touch breathlessly. "Then again, if you'd ever seen Turkana IV, even a vase of flowers was more colorful than that."

Tony nodded as he listened to her description of her home planet. "I've never been to Turkana IV so I'll have to take your word for it, but maybe one day we can go there and you can show me where you grew up."

Her head snapped around and her face was suddenly deadly serious. "No, Tony," she said softly. "I'm never going back there. Ever."

"Sorry, Amante..." Tony said. "I Love you and I just wanted to know everything about you, including about how you grew up." He looked at her for a long moment. "I guess I didn't realize it held such bad memories..."

Mira managed a smile this time, although it was a little strained. "I appreciate that you do, but I wouldn't bring anyone I loved to that place." She reached down and took his hand, squeezing it.

Tony nodded, unwilling to press the issue further as she was obviously uncomfortable with it. "I understand, love, and if it bothers you then I'm sorry I brought it up. I love you and that, along with our future, is all that matters to me."

She rose up on her toes and kissed him. "You don't have to be sorry. In time, I'll tell you about it. It did make me who I am now, and that's apparently okay by you." She tilted her head slightly. "I just won't go backwards. Only forward from here. I can't go back to that place."

"You know that I'm okay with who you are, Amante...." Tony answered. "I love you for that and a million other things about you that I wouldn't change for anything. You're the only thing in this entire universe that matters to me..."

Mira smiled, this time without the strain, and then kissed him again.

They walked through the fields of flowers for the better part of the afternoon, looking at the flowers, talking, and just generally enjoying being together. A couple of times Tony had managed to get holo-pics of Mira in the flowers, including one of her with the biggest smile he had ever seen from her. Then, they had gone back to the cabin to retrieve their things. The time they had spent in the cabin had been wonderful but now their reservations would be expiring at sundown so they were headed back to the city.

After walking to the same location where they had been dropped off two days ago, they were now aboard an open-air tram on their way back to the city. Soon they would be headed back to the Artemis, but there would be at least one more night in a hotel suite.

Once they'd gotten back to the hotel and dropped off their bags, finding their room via the symbols being much easier this time than the last time, Mira looked out the giant windows and took a long, deep breath. "So...what should we do on our final night on Sal'kiir?"

"I don't know," Tony answered. "But since it may be our last shore leave for quite some time, I think we should do something to make it really memorable. Do you have any idea in mind?"

Mirabella Basso had not been exaggerating when she called this trip life-changing. She had changed. Something in her had changed, and she liked it. She wanted to keep it.

As she stared out the window, contemplating his question, an idea blossomed in her mind. As colorful as that field of flowers...and at first, she resisted. Thinking it too crazy. Too over the top. What would he think of her if she proposed that after so short a time? He'd already had poor luck with it, after all.

But...she was never god at resisting certain impulses.

"Tony," she said, turning her head to look at him over her shoulder. Her eyes were dancing between affection, amusement, uncertainty... "Let's get married."

"Sure, we could do..." Tony stopped suddenly as his brain suddenly realized what she had said. With his mind in a whirl, he thought 'Did she just suggest that we should get married?' It wasn't that he was opposed to the thought - just the opposite, in fact - it was just that it was so unexpected. And coming from her made it even moreso.

His voice was almost tentative when he spoke, almost as if he weree afraid that he had mis-heard her. Or maybe he was afraid that she would just laugh at him and say that wasn't what she had said at all. "Did you say...married?"

"Married!" she repeated with more fervor, crossing the distance between them and putting her hands on his chest. She looked straight up into his eyes, making herself clear. "There are moments in our lives that only come once and if you don't grab on and hold them, you lose them! I've never let those moments go. It's how I got off Turkana IV, and it's how I became a pilot in Starfleet. All the best things that ever happened to me.

"I feel that moment now, Tony. Here. With you. And I don't want to let it get away from me. It may not come again!"

Tony listened as she explained the reasoning behind her feelings and found that he was in complete agreement with her. And while it was true that they had known each other only a short time, he knew from experience that how long you knew someone was not necessarily an indicator of how well you knew them. After all, he had known Angelica for months and he knew how THAT had turned out. But he knew that would not be the case with Mira because he had seen all sides of her. She worked hard, played hard, fought hard...and loved hard.

He put his arms around her and held her close, hardly daring to believe that she would want to be his wife. What had he done to deserve her? For his life, he couldn't figure out what it was. He held her for a long moment before saying "I love you now and forever Il Mia Cuore. I would be honored to marry you..."

She laughed lightly and kissed him. "I'm going to go talk to the person at the front desk and see what's available. I'm not sure what sort of places they have around here, of course, but there must be something. If not, there may be something on Kincardine." Her mind raced with possibilities.

Tony thought for a moment. "If we can do it, my preference would be here on Sal'kiir. Maybe somewhere like the flower fields outside the village where we were today. But really where it is doesn't matter so much for me as long as you are standing there beside me."

"I will be," she said warmly. "Forever, now."

=/\= To Be Continued...


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