A flame rekindled
Taavis was standing in her quarters after a shower and meditating for a few hours. She stood before her window and watched the stars go by, just now slipping on her pajama top and clasping it closed over her torso when her door chimed. The meditation had increased her antibodies for healing, her left rib cage bruised from bouncing off of the seat in the Romulan runabout. Glad her PJ pants were on, the royal blue of the pajamas being a favorite color, she spun to face the door. "Enter."
Now clean and feeling much better, Byrnes had decided to visit Taavis, to make sure she was okay. Whatever she had gone through down on Romulus she was keeping to herself, but talking with others you know and trust was always good medicine, and the bottle of Merlot he carried was just for consolation. When prompted he entered, and seeing her in her favorite Andorian silk PJ's made him smile. "Been a while since I've seen you in those. Some things can never be forgotten. Wine?"
"Yes, that would be agreeable," answered Taavis, quiet and calm after her meditation. "I will gather some glasses." She went and replicated two short stem wine glasses, then came to stand before him.
"Taav, are you all right?" Byrnes touched her arm.
Taavis nodded, looking him in the face. The expression he wore--concern, compassion, his genuine like for her as clear in his eyes as polished dilithium. It was touching. She needed a distraction, she needed to not think about Centurion Rekar and his destructively self-righteous ego for a little while...and she saw her answer in Sean Byrnes's sweet expression.
"I'm fine, thank you." Taavis moved to the couch and sat on the edge of the cushion, toward the center, setting the glasses down. "Really, I don't wish to talk about it..or hear about it, for that matter. It is bad enough it will be all over the ship in days to come. Please, let's drink the wine and talk about something else."
Taavis looked into his eyes as she finished speaking, and saw that he understood the implications of her statements. Shack hesitated a few seconds before answering, and in that small space of time, she saw a depth of deliberate caution and self-control in him that she had not suspected, and had never seen before. That, and something unfamiliar, something she wasn't sure about until he asked a question of his own.
"Are you sure that's what you want?"
He was trying to watch out for her; he was trying not to take advantage. That unfamiliar thing was protectiveness, and it made her feel vulnerable to him suddenly and she almost ended the chat right there. At the same time his chivalrous warmth thrilled her, it made her want him even more. To be alone with him, to be touched by him, looking into his eyes. "I'm sure."
Byrnes was paying attention to her as he was glancing around her quarters. Plush but nondescript, and by unspoken agreement the lights had been left low. He figured she had been meditating. They chatted about nothing at all--childhood adventures, a memory from the Academy--as she uncorked the wine, not an Earth Merlot, Taavis sticking to her resolution to not discuss Rekar or what had occurred. She poured each of them a full glass before leaning back right next to Byrnes, her left side up against his right, and drank half of hers in one swallow before relaxing back completely into the cushions, sighing heavily. "Excuse me," she said, smiling. "I believe it's supposed to be sipped."
Byrnes, tasting from his own glass, looked over. "I believe you're right." The wine was rich and sweet, delicious. He was about to say as much when Taavis took another deep swallow and set her glass aside, turning her body to face him more. Shack felt a surge of warmth, of want, as she reached out and plucked the glass from his willing fingers. She put it on the low table in front of the couch before turning more to face him, snuggling still closer. He saw her intent was obvious, but there was a trace of uncertainty in her eyes, the same he'd seen when he first showed up aboard ship. As she leaned forward Shack reached out and cupped her face with both hands, stopping her. "Taav..."
He searched her face, searched for words that would express all the things he wanted to tell her--that she was beautiful, smart, exciting, that he wanted to kiss her, to make love to her, but...
"We don't have to hurry," said Shack, meaning it. "It's alright with me if we don't...if you..."
"Kiss me," whispered Taavis, and the last of his reserve fell away. He pulled her close, kissing her, marveling at the softness of her lips and skin, at the sweet taste of wine and her mouth, at the scent of her hair, like peaches. Her arms came up across his back, a soft, yearning sound in her throat as her fingers twined through his hair. They kissed and fondled for several minutes before she broke the kiss and stood up over him.
"Come." Taavis held a hand out, wriggling the fingers in a beckoning fashion. When he took her hand she had him stand and went to lead him to the bedroom, but he held firm.
"Ssshh," responded Taavis, putting a finger to his lips, then wagged the finger in his face before turning and leading him along. With no talking, just their feelings, the two of them went into her bedroom for some private time.