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Post 33 - Vino Bambino

Posted on Tue Apr 13th, 2021 @ 12:30am by Captain Björn Kodak & Ensign Sheldon Parsons & Debbie Gless & Andrew Munro

Mission: The Waiting Game
Location: Kodak's Suite, Grand Delphinium
Timeline: Mission Day 55 - 1930 Hours

[Kodak's Suite]
[Grand Delphinium Resort, Risa]
[Mission Day 55 - 1930 Hours]

Soft piano music filtered through the dining space of Kodak's suite, the twinkling melodies dancing in almost-concert with the lit candles placed across the table's surface. Plates, cutlery, wine glasses, and pitchers of iced tea and lemonade had been meticulously situated as well. Cloth napkins folded into the shapes of Bishop hats kept station at each place setting, as if overlooking the trio of fruit, cheese, and meat boards that were situated in the middle and at each end of the table. Arrangements of fragrant Risian lilies also graced the surface, adding their scents to those of various opened wine bottles: a variety of reds, all waiting to fill happy glasses and infuse forthcoming guests' with their warmth.

Björn stood at the end of table, surveying his, Andrew, and Debbie's handiwork. His two cohorts had arrived some time earlier to help with some of the cooking and set up, knowing that the Chameloid was a bit nervous to host the members of his crew staying on Risa for dinner. Björn had insisted that -- as the guest of honor -- Andrew not trouble himself with the preparations. In fact, he'd abjectedly told the man to sit down and look pretty while Debbie assisted in the prep. But Andrew had politely asked to be included in the doling out of tasks, wanting to make himself useful, and so Björn had given him a few things to do after all.

Debbie was leaning against a kitchen counter, looking out over the table as well. "It's not as fancy as some of the banquets Starfleet likes to throw but, you know...I think I like this better," she said, smiling at the candles. "More intimate. Not at stuffy. But they'd damn well better eat all the lasagna I've whipped up. If they want any cheesecake, that is," the woman -- famously nicknamed 'Hurricane Gless' -- huffed with a smirk.

Taking a deep inhalation, Björn smiled both at her and Andrew, who'd just finished placing the wine out. "It smells wonderful, Deb. Where did you get the idea for garlic mapa bread, though? I can't wait to tuck into that," the Chameloid grinned.

"Isan," Debbie replied, a flicker of sadness dancing in her eyes. "I thought it an odd request from her but I gave it a whirl and I'll be damned if it isn't pretty great," she nodded slowly, pushing the thoughts of their former -- and now-departed -- Head Nurse away. "Honey, will you toss my salad?" Debbie asked, guffawing as the turned to Andrew. "Just use the tongs, baby. Mix up all the tomatoes and onion in there, please," she said, pointing to the huge bowl of greens and veggies sitting on the counter next to her.

"I'll give it a go," Andrew smirked, "You know, I've never tossed a lady's salad before."

Björn had been about to make his own comment on Andrew tossing Debbie's salad when the door chime suddenly rang out. "Ah, the first of our guests. You sure you're ready to meet everyone, handsome?" he asked Andrew, walking backwards towards the living room and the door while keeping an eye on his paramour. "Because if not, it's kind of a little late," Björn chuckled warmly.

"I'm not sure, does my hair look ok?" Andrew jested.

The Chameloid smirked and rolled his eyes, then turned to trigger the door's controls. The double doors swung open automatically, arcing inward to invite those standing outside to enter. "Well hello there," Björn grinned at the first arrival. "Welcome. Please," he rasped, "come in. It's good to see you," the Captain offered warmly. He left the doors open then, allowing the sea breeze -- and other guests as they arrived -- to trail in behind them.

[Two hours later]

The meal had been lovely. Spirited conversation had abounded throughout the night, every last piece of Debbie's lasagna absolutely demolished in the process. For dessert there'd been tiramisu, owing to the woman's half-Italian heritage. She'd glided around the table like it was her Ten Forward diner, making sure everyone was happy and very damned full of good food, wine, and all the conversation they could handle.

The dinner party had been a lily pad on a far-reaching pond, allowing everyone who attended to gather and catch up. Who'd gone to what beaches? Did anyone check out the stargazing observatory on Mt. Ranius? Which hikes were the best and not to be missed? A flurry of exchanged experiences and recommendations flew, people making mental notes they may or may not remember after the wine coma wore off the next day.

And through it all, the guest of honor, Andrew, had met the people Björn was closest to from the Adelphi. The old ship had come up, of course -- stories of times good and bad aboard her had been fervently shared. Including that time Parsons had been volunteering in Ten Forward to meet people but tripped, his tray tipping and covering at least six people in spackles of Idanian Spice Pudding as the dishes slid off. The stories had been great fun for Andrew in particular to hear, helping to flesh out the man who'd so quickly become one of his favorite people to spend time with. And knowing some of the crew would help the biologist to feel much more comfortable and at ease when running into those folks around the resort in the future, which was a huge plus.

For Kodak -- Björn -- seeing his paramour so entertainingly engaged and received by those in attendance was a gift. The dinner party had been a quickly thrown together affair but it'd accomplished both of the goals the Chameloid had in mind: bringing the crew together to catch up after spinning off in different directions and helping Andrew to integrate a bit. The Chameloid literally couldn't ask for more from the experience...except maybe Parsons not strutting around so much with the little statue Irynya had given him. It had bordered on slightly annoying, but perhaps only because Björn wasn't open to the idea of jamaharon with the officers under his care.

As folks streamed out of his suite, the Captain turned to Andrew and Debbie, smiling wide. "Well, I'd call that a resounding success, wouldn't you?" he asked, gesturing at the table laden with cleared plates and near-empty side dishes and dessert pans.

"I'll say," Debbie grinned back. "They even ate the salad. ALL of it! Who the fuck eats salad when there's lasagna?" the woman barked in that trademarked, cluck-like guffaw of hers.

Björn chuckled in response, shaking his head and then moving to Andrew. "Alright mister," he said, reaching to drape his arms around the man's neck. "You've got work in the morning and we," he gestured to Debbie with a head nod, "have some cleaning up to do. See you tomorrow, handsome?" He'd left off the customary "boy," not yet ready to make that particular aspect of their relationship super public.

"Absolutely," Andrew enthused. He'd really enjoyed meeting everyone and especially hearing about the adventures that had bound them together. Part of him wished he could stay longer, for what would inevitably follow the cleanup, but he had responsibilities that he knew would suffer if he stayed up half the night. Tomorrow it would have to be, then.

Andrew wrapped his arms around Björn and hugged tightly as they shared a goodnight kiss. "See you then," Andrew teased as he backed towards the door of the suite where Debbie still stood after having seen off the dinner guests. He gave her a friendly hug and complimented the food again before disappearing down the hallway.

"Sweety," came Debbie's sultry, gravely tone, "you've got a good one there. You know that, right?"

Having watched Andrew move off and then vanish out of sight, Björn turned to Debbie and nodded subtly. "That I do. He's very sweet and...I care about him a lot," the Chameloid admitted in a soft rasp, his eyes going heavy. "It's going to be hard, Deb," Björn said, closing the door and moving to the table. He started collecting empty plates while his companion was wrangling the dirty wine glasses.

"I know, bambino," Debbie cooed gently. "But honey," her voice went hawkish, "put those down and look at me." When Björn did as he was commanded, the woman's eyes narrowed in a shift from empathy to purpose. "It doesn't have to end here. People meet and fall in love on Risa all the time. There's a reason we have starships, you know."

"True, Deb," Björn nodded slowly, picking the stack of plates up again, "but we'll be 75,000 lightyears from Risa. Not exactly as easy as taking a shuttle for a twice-yearly rendezvous..." he trailed off glumly.

"Maybe not, sweety," Debbie replied, arms full of all the glasses, "but anything worth having is worth making work. Just promise me you won't give up, OK? We didn't do all that research for nuthin'," she clucked, a smirk returning to her face at the thought of her and Björn's pizza-fueled investigation of Andrew.

"Yes ma'am," came Björn's slightly-more-enthused reply. A small smile accompanied it as the man set the plate stack down next to the sink.

"Good. Now, come help me with these before I pull a Parsons," Debbie laughed musically, waddling for all she was worth with her arms brimming with wine glasses.

=/\= A joint post by... =/\=

Captain Björn Kodak
Commanding Officer (Unassigned)


Doctor Andrew Munro
Biologist, Federation Science Council


Debbie Gless
Italian Mama Bear


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