In Store For Me (RP Log)
- Palutunau Spa [Deep Space 9]
- The Palutunau Spa prides itself on a welcoming atmosphere. A calming glow from the ceiling spot lights enhances the pastel colours on the wall while the engaging scent of citrus and spice pulls you in further. Multi-colored flowers are spread throughout the room, some on shelves and others resting in large vases on the floor. Those same shelving units hold towels of various colours and bottles for various uses.
- Ahead of you, there are four chairs begging you to take a seat and allow us to pamper you for an hour or two. To your right you see a rounded desk where you can book appointments and sign the guest book. Tabora, the beautiful shop assistant, will be more than happy to assist you in any way she can.
- At the end of the room there is a table and chair. Friends can sit and chat while waiting for their turn and beverages can be served if desired. A small sofa rests across the room from the table and welcomes anyone to sit, rest or nap on it.
- However if you wish some peace and quiet, the Spa Room at the back is also an option. That room also doubles as a private massage room.
The door leading to Promenade slides closed.
Senka walks into the shop in uniform, giving every appearance of having a purpose. The appearance fails as he stops, looks impassively around, nods to you, and quietly sits, appearing to in fact have no purpose.
Tabora halts her dusting, raising her brow, "Can I help you?"
Senka looks up at you. "You are well, Tabora? It has been sometime since we have spoken."
"I am..."She hesitates, "..alright." There's another brief pause as she surveys you, "It has been awhile. Are you well?"
"Indeed," he murmurs. "You appear distressed, however."
"Hardly distressed." She sits on a chair, "But you are the last person I would probably speak to about it as I blame you for it all occuring."
Senka steeples his fingers before him. "For what do you blame me," he asks mildly.
"She joined Starfleet because of you,"Tabora shrugs lightly, "And now she's gone because of that."
Senka meets your gaze directly. "If I had known the finer points of our regulations, I would have discouraged her enlistment." A beat. "However regretable you find the situation, you do not find it more so than I."
The comment catches her off guard and she surveys him for a moment, "You miss her.." The sentence comes out as half a question and half a surprised statement.
He nods, not trying to qualify it. "Yes."
"Can't you find a loophole?"Tabora asks
"I have been consulting with senior officers with far more experience than I, and what I have found is not encouraging," he murmurs. "Any non-platonic relationship between us is forbidden under any circumstances so long as she remains enlisted. To change that, one of three things must occur. She must attain officer status, or I must resign, or she must discharge after her term of enlistment."
"Can't she just quit?"She looks at him, "Surely she can't be the first to fall in love with an officer."
"Unfortunately," Senka says, switching to Trill which he has learned well since your last conversation, "enlisted are bound to serve out their terms. I do not recall the standard length of enlistment."
She grins and follows in her native tongue, "From her last message, she sounded ready to jump ship."
"I believe she was angered by the abruptness of her transfer. It did not allow her to say goodbye, if that is what you are refering to. Though perhaps one fortunate thing has resulted from this."
"Well that and she has no desire to be there. She feels completely out of place." Tabora shrugs, "Serves her right in some ways. Ditching me..."
"Were you aware of her ... relationship difficulties prior to her departure?" The Vulcan looks like a person trying not to say too much in case she hasn't told you.
"You mean the issue between you and the idiot human?" She laughs.
Senka nods. "That is more or less what I mean, yes."
Senka adds, you do not like humans?
"I have nothing against humans,"Tabora corrects, "I just can't believe he let her go without another word."
You say, "Up until she left, I did not believe she knew what, or whom, more accurately, she wanted. I was unwilling to compete. The decision had to be hers alone, however difficult."
"The only reason she wasn't jumping into your lap eagerly was because she has this stubborn streak of loyalty in her. Corso was a rebound. He helped her get over you. Yet you turned around and offered your hand, so to speak, and then she was stuck with the choices she'd made. Em was never in love with Corso, she cared for him true but you have been the only person she's spoken of since I first met her. There is no doubt in my mind, none what so ever, that you two are meant to be together." Tabora stands and picks a random tall glass bottle off a shelf, "Just like she should be here."
"I must agree with your assessment," Senka murmurs. "There have been other offers. One, in any case, but I am resolved to see her returned here." Something shows in the Vulcan's dark eyes, something unyielding and uncompromising.
"Other offers?"Tabora looks him over, "You're popular."
Senka shrugs. "One, anyway. And that person does not know me well enough to make a logical decision in the matter even were T'Lila not a decisive factor. However, she is the decisive factor," vocal stress on 'the' versus 'a,' "and I shall see her returned. If I could speculate about the ideal situation, I would see her honorably discharged and returned here to run this shop." A tinge of wryness enters his voice. "I would send her my patients for post-treatment massage, of course."
"So how do we get her honorably discharged?"Tabora's brow is raised curiously.
"That," the Vulcan concedes, "I do not know. It may be that she must serve out her term of enlistment."
"That's so looong,"Tabora whines.
"I know it is an extended time," he murmurs. "I fear she may choose another in the interim. What think you of that possibility," he asks confidentially? He leans somewhat towards you as though your opinion is really the one he wants to hear.
"I wondered the same, however in her letters she's so determined to find a way to keep you."Tabora smiles, "I don't think she's going anywhere."
The Vulcan thinks about that. "My nurse and she are forming one another's acquaintance," he begins. "When T'Lila was on the verge of departing, my nurse came to me and we spoke of a conversation between them. She reported to me that T'Lila, when speaking of her regrets about leaving, spoke only of myself. Not the ensign. I was ... surprised. I did not expect that in the end she would desire me sufficiently to make another attempt," he offers. "Perhaps I should have expected it based on your comments, but I was fairly certain she would opt for a human companion since they are closer in background to what she knew growing up and our history was a complex one. But, it seems I was mistaken."
"Very mistaken,"Tabora nods,"Lukas is handsome and kind but you're more her type."
"And what is that type," the Vulcan asks with unmistakable dry irony, steepling his fingers.
"The type that challenges and encourages her to surpass her limits."Tabora responds.
"At the risk of making an emotionally based statement," Senka murmurs after a beat, "Nothing pleased me more than when, several months ago, we began to rebuild our friendship and to reconnect on a deeper level. I believe the holosuite played it's part. Perhaps she told you?"
"Oh I heard all about the holosuite,"Tabora quirks a grin,"You pulled out the proverbial big guns."
"She asked me for a swimming pool in an offhand comment. I wished that she should have one."
"Which was amazing of you,"Tabora adds.
Senka shrugs one shoulder. "I was fulfilling her request. That she was pleased by it is only evident of my own attention to detail." A pause. "What does it mean, big guns? There were no weapons involved."
Tabora laughs, "It means you didn't spare any detail, you got it all in there and blew her away."
Senka nods. "I shall tell you something she does not know if you would hear it," he murmurs. "That is, she knows of the incident, but not its effects."
Tabora leans closer, "Alright."
Drawing a breath, Senka goes on. "Some months ago when T'Lila first told me of her burgeoning relationship with Corso, she phrased it ambiguously. Perhaps the relationship itself was ambiguous. Such ambiguities do not exist among my people and I have had to comprehend their existence in other cultures." A beat. "I desired to understand what this relationship was, whether I should distance myself and allow it to simply develop. I asked the ensign in conversation if he would consent to describe his relationship from his perspective. He agreed willingly to do so and described it as a friendship that had become more intimate. I listened. When he was through, he looked across the table at me and said," and he quotes, his voice echoing the inflections of the human officer, though his tone and accent do not alter. "I don't want there to be any hard feelings between us Lieutenant, ok? I just have to say it although I know you're a Vulcan and wouldn't have them anyway." He quirks an eyebrow.
"How did you feel after that conversation?"She asks
"I could," he says dryly, "remind you that I am fully Vulcan and do not consider emotional responses." He looks at you over his steepled fingers. "As much as you say that, I know that there is an emotional response to it." Tabora shrugs, "But its up to you to speak of it."
He considers you. "On ancient Vulcan before the time of Surak, given his level of certainty in himself and his position and all other factors that were in play, I could have challenged him to the death over such a statement," he murmurs, watching your reaction.
"Now that,"Tabora says with a large grin, "...that is romantic."
"It is a cultural historical fact," Senka murmurs. "However," he adds, "I am a Vulcan sworn to logic. I therefore decided, logically, to trust T'Lila's own assessment of the ambiguous nature of affairs. I then decided that her ambiguity was an opportunity. I never once made an argument concerning my own suitability. I simply chose to make the nature of her choice clear to her. Hence, I designed many holoprograms that I knew she would find appealing. Did she also tell you of our Christmas commemoration?"
Tabora nods, "What you did for her regarding her father was truly.."She hesitates, "I can't find words for it. I know it meant so much to her."
"She told you of that as well?"
"Of course. She was practically glowing,"Tabora responds, "I wouldn't let her leave till she did."
"He knows of her transfer to Excalibur," Senka murmurs. A beat, "he accepts her unique heritage and treats of her as kin. However," a lift of the eyebrow. "He treats me as Vulcan and expects me to respond as such. He asked me in his last communique when I would declare kuhnat salik."
"Now that, I don't understand,"Tabora replies honestly.
"He asked me when I intended to declare my intent to marry her," he murmurs. "I believe it is his expectation," Senka clarifies, "that, having acted for her as I have in the matter of her family, I am demonstrating my intent to be family to her, myself. He logically desires to know when I will make this known to her and await her acceptance. Or lack of it. A Vulcan expectation, one might call it."
"Have you asked Emily yet about it?" Tabora says quietly.
You say, "I have not. Nor does she know that her father has asked me. I do not wish to alarm her or put more pressure upon her given current circumstances."
Senka adds, "The last time we spoke openly of it, she was hesitant to be bonded, even. She may have decided otherwise now.
"Senka,"Tabora clears her throat and clasps her hands prayerfully together as she quietly prepares her words, "The woman that, I assume, you love is on a ship out there in the known universe with the potential of coming up against an array of randomly adventurous and dangerous situations. I would encourage you not to hesitate. Talk to her at least. You do not want to let the chance pass and make room for regrets."
"I believe," Senka murmurs, "that there is a sufficiency of those." A beat. "She is culturally unique. How do you suggest I proceed?" It may be the first time he's ever asked you for advice.
"She loves you as you are. The Vulcan you are is what she wants. That is all you need."Tabora says in a very matter-of-fact statement, "Just talk to her. There is no need for anything else."
A beat. "Indeed," Senka murmurs. "I do not know whether she realizes the friendship she has in yourself, Tabora. You have always been fiercely loyal to her far beyond what is required of you as her employee."
"I miss her,"Tabora replies, "I didn't realize how close we were until she left. Her presence in this store is something that makes this Spa so much more than just a store."
"Yes," the Vulcan agrees. "Though your feelings of closeness to her have been made manifest long before this. You were once most hostile towards me on a personal level because you felt I was being unjust to her, and that level of hostility can only stem from deeply held personal feelings in my experience of emotions."
"For now those feelings are definetly muted as I can see you are as distraught over her leaving as she is about leaving you."Tabora nods, "But the hostility can quickly return."
"Is that a threat, or a mere statement of fact," he asks, eyebrow raising.
"Both,"She says with a grin.
The Vulcan gazes at you for a long beat. "Perhaps I have spent too much time of late sparring in hand to hand and bladed weapons practice with holographic and real opponents as a means of focusing myself and gaining clarity on this issue," he begins, "But my recent acquaintanceship with an actual Klingon has leant me an intriguing perspective. She said to me of my situation, "you are either taken or you are not in klingon terms." A beat and a quirked eyebrow. "That is a perspective Vulcan culture would share. No ambiguity." He calls up a letter on his pad. "T'Lila stated before she left that she had no desire to participate in a relationship that was long distance even were it permissible. Then, in her first letter to me following her transfer, T'Lila stated, "I can't ask you to wait for me but know that parts of me will always be hoping that we will find each other." He looks up from the pad. "That was the first of many letters that have since come." A beat. "My klingon friend describes me, perhaps in terms with which you would not agree depending on how you feel towards me, as loyal and honorable. When I asked her to elucidate, her first example was that of T'Lila." A final beat. "I believe I have perhaps been spending too much time reading files from the Klingon cultural database in an attempt to understand my friend's cultural perspectives," he adds with a touch of dry irony edging his words, "but to put it in Klingon terms, I believe I must fight for T'Lila." he glances around as though confirming to himself that he's alone with you as he completes this unusual declaration.
"I don't see you needing to do much fighting,"Tabora comments, "You just need to set it in stone that you two are an item, off the record of course."
"Off the ..." He thinks. "DO you mean considering ourselves taken and offering falsehoods when asked?"
"I mean that you consider yourself in a committed relationship but conduct yourself regulation appropriate."Tabora shrugs, "Not that difficult."
Senka steeples his fingers. "I believe I understand what you are saying. It may clarify a comment she made in another letter." He calls it up and reads, "If regulations say we cannot be a couple, so be it however if I chose to think of myself as a woman who is to be wed and who is not for anyone else that is personal and nothing they can say about it." In the same letter, she reiterated that she did not ask this of me. But perhaps it was a statement of her own wishes."
"Sounds like it."Tabora replies with a nodding of her head, "It sounds from all of this that she wants to be with you."
Senka nods. "I desire to conduct myself with the utmost loyalty and personal honor in this difficult situation, Tabora," Senka states. "I shall proceed as you suggest." It has the sound and feel of a final setting in stone or at least, of a reaffirmation.
"So go call her,"Tabora grins, "It sounds as if you and she have some things to discuss."
You say, "Such as?""
Tabora just shakes her head, "You two are batting about emails about wishing to be with each other. Yet have you actually spoken a plan of action out loud?"
Senka quirks an eyebrow. "A fair point." A beat. "Before I go, I wish your help with a final thing." He has, it should be noted, been speaking your native langauge this whole time.
"Alright,"She says, pausing her hands from their resumed motion of cleaning, "Go on."
"You are familiar with T'Lila's preferences vis-a-vis scents, oils, creams and other such things like what you sell here," he asks?
"I am,"Tabora replies with a nod
Senka nods back. "I wish you to assemble a package of such items, preferably things that you do not supply here. I leave the contents to your discretion. When it is assembled, I shall pay you for your assistance and the purchasing. I desire to present it to her discretely when she is next here."
"That I can do,"She grins, already preparing a list in her mind, "It will be done in no time."
Senka nods. "How much would you estimate the cost to be?"
"For Emily, nothing."Tabora replies
Senka nods. "Then I shall compensate you for your time and effort. Please apprise me when the items are prepared for pickup, Tabora."
"You got it,"Her response is followed by a wink, "Now go and talk to your girl."
Standing, Senka raises his right hand. Rather than parting his fingers in a Vulcan salute, he presses three fingers to his right temple. You would immediately recognize it as a gesture of immense respect or gratitude, not often or casually used, among your own people, a gesture he gives to only one other Trill. "A good day to you."
A strange look follows his gesture and she bows her head respectfully before saying, "Get outta here."
The door leading to Promenade slides open.