A Laugh and A Bite
Location: USS Poseidon's Lounge.
Timeline: After Awards Ceremony
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
Damian Kane was sitting in his seat. He was not in his uniform or his monks habit. Instead, he was wearing the trappings of a civilian. That's right, no uniform. Neither Starfleet OR secular this evening. After all, he wanted to fit in. Tonight, he was just a guy. He was nervous, but he was not going to show it. He must have tried on every shirt he owned. But nobody was going to know it. Tonight, he just wanted to be Damian. He sat there and waited for the appropriate time. It was almost at hand. Damian sipped his synthale and just waited.
Neteri laid out her clothes for her dinner date with Kane. Blue blouse with billowing sleeves with gold trim on the bottom of the sleeves and neck line. A deeper blue pair of satin pants that showed off her figure also with gold braid on the bottom of each leg. Her hair she had it already done, looked lovely, and her shoes were small heeled satin blue. She got dressed and headed for the lounge hoping that Kane was already there waiting for her. Entering the lounge, she got the usual cat calls and head turns, "Not tonight boys, got a date already, sorry," she said as the chorus of "Damn!" rang out in the lounge.
Damian saw Neteri walk in. He almost did not recognize her. "Wow. She cleans up pretty good." He whispered to himself. He looked down and was kinda embarrassed for himself. He was wearing black pants. and a Hawaiian style Aloha shirt. It was colorful and nice. But Neteri was wearing something that demanded attention. where Damian was wearing something that said "more pineapple with my roasted pork please." He watched as she walked over. The only word that came to mind was....WOW!
"Hey Damian, you look great! I just threw any old thing on, wasn't going to get all dressed up for here. Now if we were going to go somewhere formal, then ok something more elegant. So how was your day?" Neteri said as she sat opposite him smiling sheepishly.
Damian smiled. "Sounds good. But we have very different definitions of the words 'this old thing.' I think." Said Damian. "My day was alright. Spent some time in the Chapel doing studies on Klingon beliefs. And then helped the Chaplain of Deep Space 7 who needed a Buddhist service done. I made sure she got the service down pat. Then, preformed a Jewish service over subspace. Us Chaplains are spread pretty thin. Need to be pinch hitters at times." Said Kane. "How was your day?"
"A little heavy....the deaths brought back a memory of a past accident," Neteri said lowering her head. "But let's not talk about it now, let's just enjoy life and each others company. As me some other time and I will tell you about it, ok?" she added trying to smile. "I hear the peach cobbler is really good, and so is the lasagna, " she added .
"I like the way you think." Said Damian. "Got to tell you, my weakness is lasagna."
"Good then that's what we will have then," she said as she motioned for the waiter. "Two orders of the lasagna, peach cobbler and sweet teas," she said.
"Good choice ma'am, right away," he said and hurried off to get their food.
"You will enjoy it, I know you will Damian. I have to tell you this, I have a weakness for Italian food. My father took me to an Italian restaurant back on Earth and I fell in love with it," Neteri said smiling.
"I never really discovered Italian food on Earth. I had to get out into space to discover it." Damian said. "In the Monastery we ate very simply. Sometimes we would have fish or maybe lamb. Sometimes pork. but we had a lot of rice. with vegetables. sometimes with nuts or raisins. Steamed, never boiled. And seasoned with sea salt, and jasmine, and cardamon. With herbs that were freshly picked from a herb garden for that meal. It may not sound like much, but I do miss it at times."
"Interesting, how about we do a night on the holodeck in a Monastery and we, no I will cook you a meal like you had at your Monastery. How about that?" Neteri asked. The waiter brought their food and the smell was so good and enticing that before Damien could answer, she was stuffing her face with lasagna.
Damian's eyes lit up when the food arrived. when the server placed his dish in front of him, he bowed his head in a silent praise for his meal for a moment. Then, he picked up his fork and proceeded to attack that lasagna like it was a crazed Tarkalian razorback wildebeest. "Wow....this is....oh my....WOW." He said.
"Mhmmmmmm this is soooooo good" Neteri said, savouring the flavor of the meat, cheese, sauce. Watching Damien, she sensed his enjoyment of the food. "Great taste isn't it?" she said, wiping some sauce from her mouth. It was good to be eating with someone else again. She had been eating by herself for a while now and feeling the need she asked him as he was new and the ship's chaplain.
"That's the beauty of being the Ship's Chaplain. You never have time to dine alone. You need to have your finger of the spirit of the crew. The BEST place to do that is meal time. True story." He said.
"Damien, did you hear what I said about me fixing a meal from the Monastery for you?" Neteri asked, finishing her meal.
"Perfectly" Said Damian. "And to be perfectly honest, I think it's wonderful. If you are going to do this for me, to give me such a personal gift from home, what can I do for you? How can I make you as happy as you make me?" He asked.
Neteri had to bite her lip to keep her words from her heart not to come out, at least not at the present time. The last time she allowed her heart get entwined, she lost him in an accident that was later found out to be sabotage. It ripped her heart out watching his fighter explode in front of her fighter. She tried to keep her face from showing her emotions, and to be honest in her answer. "Well I would like to um....be....um.....a little more than......maybe be more than friends? Oh....I don't mean.....well.....oh fudge!" she said, burying her head in her hands to hide her face. Damien was a good looking guy who had a heart of gold in her opinion. Sweet, caring, funny, and someone who she enjoyed being with. As far as she was concerned, he was, in many ways, like Pavan. Which is why she was attracted to him in such a manner.
Damian could see that Neteri was sounding a little upset. He immediately came to the conclusion it was something he said. Damian was confused and not sure what to do. So, He thought that a fast subject change would be just the trick. "So, an young Ensign I was talking to not long ago told me about something. Have you ever heard of a movie?" Damion asked. " Apparently they were pretty big at one time. And the ship's library has thousands on file. He told me about one. I think he called it.....The Breakfast Club? I think it's about cooking."
"Damian, did I make you uncomfortable when I conveyed my feelings towards you? If I did, I am so sorry," Neteri said. What she did not want was to scare him away, instead she wanted him to become part of her life.
"No. but this is an area I have very little experience in. I may not know exactly what to do when it comes time to do it." He said nervously.
Surprised, Neteri nearly choked on her tea. "Damian, you never had a girlfriend?" Neteri whispered.
"No." Said Damian. "I grew up in a monastery. I've never......well, I mean, I haven't......." Damian struggled to find the words. "It has never happened." He said.
"Nothing to be ashamed of hun. There is always a first time for everything in life. It is a natural thing that happens and when two people actually are attracted to each other, not only physically, but it is how you judge them for what is on the inside", Neteri said softly. "How they act, how they carry themselves, how conscientious they are towards the others feelings and how they respect each other. Its things that make a friendship go from just friends to wanting to be with each other for life. It has to grow. I have seen a simple friendship blossom into a full romance with marriage in less than two months time. Love for another can grow very fast or very slow. It depends on their hearts and what they say" she said hoping he would understand.
Damian looked at Neteri and smiled. "Yes, and that's how we get little fighter pilots." Then he started to laugh. "That was so cute. Look, lets just do what feels right." He said still laughing.
Neteri was laughing along with Damian's response, "Yes, little fighter pilots, that was a cute thing. Yes follow your heart my love.....oops that slipped," she said still laughing, but deep down she hoped......
"Well, right now, what feels fight is a refill. You want another drink?" He asked?
"Sure except this time I want a Samarian Sunrise," she said.
"Coming up." He said walking to the bar to get the drinks.
Watching him walk to get the drinks, she had time to reflect on the service, their first meeting, and now. Damian was all of what she had seen in a great man. Someone to be treasured as a friend and more. Honest, respectful, and had a wonderful sense of humor. He could make you laugh when you were down in spirit.
Damian walked back with s Samarian Sunrise in one hand and a synthale in the other. "Okay. here you go. She had to look up how to make it. It had been awhile since she made one." Damian said handing Neteri her drink.
"Thankyou my knight in shining armour," Neteri said kissing him on the cheek quickly. Taking the drink, she sipped it casually thinking on what she had wanted to say from the get go.
Damian blushed. "Well lets just hope your Knight in shining armor does not turn out to be a jackass in a tin can." He said smiling.
"I seriously doubt you will be a jackass in a tin can. You are too much of a smart man for that Damian. Don't sell yourself short ever, your too good for that," Neteri said smiling, taking his hand in hers and squeezed it.
Damian gazed into Neteri's eyes and held her hand before going back to his lasagna.
Watching him gobble up the lasagna, she could sense his enjoyment of the food. "Good ,ord you really must love that dish. Almost tempts me to make a true lasagna instead of a replicated one, Neteri said laughing.
"I'm sure it would be fine either way. But, have you really want a culinary sensation, have you ever tried a Bajorin dish called haspirate?" He asked.
"I have heard of it but never tried it. I am told that it is quite good, a bit spicy though," Neteri added. "I'm willing to try it, but in a different setting," she said.
"It can be spicy. But truth be told, it doesn't have to be." Damian said. "You do know it spider. And, it's very good."
"Wait......your telling me that hasparet is spider? Oh yuck! That's as bad as caviar! Or chocolate covered ants! Damian! Please your gonna make me sick," Neteri said laughing. It was a revolting thought to say the least.
"I understand. I even said that at first. But, it's actually good IF you try it." Damian said laughing.
"Well I suppose it is not as bad as gagh. Now that is really gross!" Neteri said chuckling. "You know how to make it?" she asked.
"Gagh? Don't you just pluck them and wash them and put them on a plate? And washing them is optional?" He asked.
"No, hasparatt. Do you know how to make it?" Neteri asked.
"Oh." Said Damian. "Well, it's a dish that takes time. And the more time you let it take, the better usually. I've heard it take, some times, days."
"Wow days? How in the hell does it not go bad in a few days? Most food goes bad in 3 days, and you say it takes several days to take?" Negeri asked. A sudden chill goes down her back. oO oh yuck OK she though.
"I have no idea at all." Said Damian. "All I know is, It's kinda tasty. Much like squid on Earth. There are some that just can't eat the tentacles."
Neteri changed the subject from food to flying. "Listen when your finished eating, lets go to the flight deck. I think it is time for you to go for that flight I promised" she said.
Damian smiled. "You sure?" He asked. "We are not even in flight suits."
"It won't take long to change once in the pilots room. Let's get going, I have a pilots meeting in two hours so we have time to go for a ride," Neteri said. Getting up, she looked at Damian, "Well...." she said laughing.
"Lets go." Said Damian getting up.
Lt Damian Kane
Lt. Cmdr. Neteri "Ikran" Shannon