Federation Starbase 23 - Jaeih's Stories

Illustrious 02: A Little Time to Spare…

By Jaeih t`Radaik


Andy and La’ra have been obliquely and not so obliquely – respectively – hinting that they wanted me to write this kind of story for some time now. I always thought that I might like to, but never really felt like it, wanting to keep these two genres separate in my own mind. However, after reading some of Joe’s stories (you know which ones I mean) I began to seriously consider it.

Flash forward a few months, and I get up a little horny on the morning this occurs to me, and I just had to put pen to paper. Well, you know what it’s like…

Many thanks to Scottish Andy for letting me, um, “use” one of his characters, and allowing me to run with the exact idea I’d come up with.

Plus, certain people have been complaining about the direction my stories were going in for my main Fed character, so Joe…

…this one’s for you. *grin*

The Story

2nd September 2275, 1907 hours.
Stardate 7544.58
Public Bar, Orbital Spaceport, planet Kent (Alpha Centauri B-II).

Lieutenant Commander Lathena of Andor sat at the bar of the well-lit Human-style drinking establishment and sipped at her glass of Altair water. Despite it being at the start of the evening, the place was sparsely populated and she had plenty of space to herself. Unfortunately.

Lathena was at a bit of a loss today, as she had finally left the crew that she’d been a part of for the last eight standard years for a new assignment. She was feeling lonely as she waited on the Starfleet transport that would take her home to the Andorian colony on Sh’Tarr IV, and to the family that she hadn’t visited in nearly fifteen years. She was sure it would be an emotional homecoming.

She looked into the mirror opposite her, behind the bar itself, and admired the new uniform she wore. Starfleet had finally listened to its members and ordered a whole new look designed, so that the soldiers, policemen, and explorers of the Federation didn’t look as if they were running around in their pyjamas.

The new uniform was very flattering, it’s deep red jacket highlighted with various splashes of black, gold, and whatever colour the wearer’s department was in. In Lathena’s case, it was a very attractive light grey that she felt contrasted well with her powder blue skin and long, wavy white hair.

Compared to the last two sets of uniforms she had worn, Lathena definitely felt that this one came out light-years ahead. She hoped that this design would last and not be replaced again after another five years.

Looking into the mirror also afforded her an inconspicuous way of observing the room around her, so that she needn’t give away the fact that she was looking for a companion. By appraising people as they came in the front door in this way, she didn’t automatically invite the newcomer’s attention by showing that she was interested in them.

So far, no luck. The only people to arrive since she had were a group of grimy civilian dock technicians, a rather rough looking bunch from an independent trader, and a smart-looking but somewhat obnoxious freighter captain who had already tried to ingratiate himself to her.

The cold shoulder he got would have put Rura Penthe’s icescapes to shame, but he just didn’t seem to take the hint. It had degenerated to the point where she’d actually had to be impolite to him to get him to leave her alone, but even then he’d left chuckling, and murmuring something about her “feistiness.”

Lathena felt a surge of hope when she saw another flash of red in the doorway, and strained to see who the newcomer might be. Her hopes rose even higher when it became plain to all that it was another Starfleet officer in their new uniform, so the Andorian turned around on her barstool to wave them over.

Lathena turned and had her breath taken away from her. She thought she had looked good in her uniform, but this person seemed to be showing all how it ought to be done.

The brunette now looking around the bar was a study in beauty. A round face with a pale but clear complexion was framed by very dark brown hair that was long and worn down over her shoulders, and was host to deep blue eyes, an elegant nose, and fine, delicate eyebrows. This female officer had chosen to wear the skirt-and-stockings ensemble with her uniform rather than the trousers that Lathena now wore, and seemed to be almost proudly showing off her long, slender legs. Her impressive bust filled out the maroon jacket in a way Lathena thought was almost inappropriate for a military officer.

She must be off the Miranda-class ship in orbit, she thought. Or maybe like me, she’s being shuttled around to a new posting.

Her mouth having suddenly dried up, Lathena just waved at the newcomer to catch her attention. As the other woman acknowledged her, she turned back to the bar for a quick sip of her water to lubricate her throat. She turned back just as the human sat down beside her at the bar and ordered something called “a rum’n’coke, an’ make sure it’s a Morgan’s.”

A close up examination of the Human revealed nothing to detract from the initial long-range assessment of her physical attributes, and her voice had that peculiar lilt that she knew so well from her former ship’s first officer. It gave Lathena an excellent starting point for a conversation, and was eagerly anticipating a companionable few hours.

“You’re Scottish, aren’t you?” the Andorian asked, a question that was more of a statement of fact.

The brunette turned to Lathena, two fine eyebrows raised and look of surprise on her face. “Aye, that’s right. How did ye ken, Commander?” she asked curiously. “Ah didnae think that th’ Scots’ accent wiz sae famous as t’ be known on Andor.”

To Lathena the somewhat troublesome accent was like a warm bath, a welcome reminder of her previous shipmates and the times they had together—and of one in particular.

“You can drop the formality here, Lieutenant, we’re just two women having a drink together,” the Andorian smiled, then answered the other woman’s question. “I don’t think it is that famous, really. I just served for years with a Scottish… ‘bloke’, is it?”

The brunette grinned, flashing a mouth full of perfect white teeth. “Thank ye, sir. And yes, ye’ve got the right o’ it. Well, Ah hope this bloke o’ yours behaved himsel’, I dinnae want t’ be hearin’ that the good name o’ mah home country is bein’ besmirched by uncouth torags.”

That was hard going for Lathena. She couldn’t make out what those odd words meant as her former X.O. had never used them. They seemed to be almost… archaic compared to his style of speech. She deduced the meaning of the words from the context in which they were used, and managed an answer before too long a silence had stretched.

“No, no, he was a well-mannered man. Your home country’s reputation is safe in his hands,” she replied, memories of what his hands could do resurfacing and giving her a warm glow.

“Jist as weel. So, what’s a nice lass like you doin’ in a rat-hole like this? The only reason Ah’m here is because Ah heard they sold real drinks, some imported straight from Earth. Ah thought it’d take th’ edge off o’ the wait tae go home.”

Rat-hole? Lathena wondered, giving the bar another quick scan. Sure, the clientele may not have been the most upstanding of Federation citizens, but the establishment itself was clean and tidy. Although, this is my first time here. Maybe she knows something about this place that I don’t.

Shrugging her shoulders, Lathena answered, “I didn’t realise this was a place of ill repute, or that there were other bars or lounges on this station. I just came in to the first one I could find, looking for a friend to pass the time with before I catch my transport home.”

“Ah, fair enough then.” The brunette returned her attention to Lathena after giving the bar a thorough checking out, then did the same for the Andorian woman.

Lathena felt herself almost blush. She had not had such a blatant appraisal of herself from a stranger since the career review that resulted in her promotion to lieutenant commander over a tenday ago. It was both discomfiting and exciting at the same time.

“There’s a crew lounge on Deck 10 offerin’ a view o’ the binary, which is where most o’ the off-duty crowd are. They dinnae serve proper drinks there, though, an’ Ah felt the need for one. Plus, Ah didnae feel like fending off all the bloody stuffed shirts who think they may have a chance o’ baggin’ me.”

Lathena’s eyes widened at the other woman’s calm statement. My, she’s certainly full of herself, as Johnny would say. Admittedly, there may be some basis of fact behind it, the Andorian thought, once again admiring the lieutenant’s profile as she took a sip of her drink.

“So, how long are ye stuck here for?” the lieutenant asked her. “Before ye get tae go home, that is.”

“Fortunately, only a few hours. The transport leaves at 2330 station time,” Lathena replied.

“Lucky you,” the Human said, sighing. “Ah’m stuck here for nearly two days before th’ next scheduled civilian starliner run is due tae leave.”

“Sorry,” Lathena offered.

“Ah, it’s okay. Jist annoyin’, that’s all.” Again, the look. “Although, Ah’m feelin’ considerably less annoyed noo that Ah’ve found a friend tae hang out wi’ in th’ meantime.”

“Glad I could help,” Lathena replied. “In fact, I’m pleased myself for the same reasons. I was feeling a bit lonely there…”

“And now?” the brunette asked, smiling around her glass.

“And now, I’m… considerably less lonely,” she replied with a smile of her own for returning the Human’s words to her.

“Glad tae hear it.” After a few moments’ companionable silence, the Scot asked, “So, what ship are ye from? Ah didnae see any other Starfleet vessels in orbit when we arrived.”

“The Cortés. She’s a destroyer, just came home from the Mirak border. She’s already been reassigned to the Klingon border, and never came in this far,” Lathena explained. “I had to catch a transport ship from Starbase 22 to get to here, and it seemed to take forever.”

“Aye, Ah ken whit ye mean. For some Gods’-only-knows reason, Starfleet had th’ Illustrious come all th’ way intae the Home Sectors fae the Klingon border in order to re-crew. Why they couldnae a’ done that at Regulus Ah dinnae ken.” The lieutenant shrugged philosophically. “Well, it gives me th’ opportunity tae go home, and in th’e Service ye take these chances whenever ye can get them. If ye actually miss home and family, that is.”

Lathena nodded in agreement. “Yes, that’s what I’m doing too. I’ve not been home in eleven years, since I left for the Academy. I’ve been okay, I made some good friends at the Academy and on my subsequent postings, but I'm always a little nervous about starting anew on a different ship.”

“Aye, its usually a bit daunting starting on a new ship full o’ strangers, wi’ naebody kenin yer name for th’ first couple o’ months.” The brunette seemed suddenly annoyed with herself, and exclaimed, “Och, where are mah manners? Ah’m Lieutenant Andrea Brown, formerly helmsman o’ th’ starship Illustrious. Its verra nice tae meet ye.”

“Lieutenant Commander Lathena, formerly comm. officer of the starship Cortés. And it’s very nice to meet you too, Andrea.”

The two women shook hands, finally introduced to each other.

“So, d’ye want tae get a table, or are ye still looking for somebody else?” Andrea asked. “Ah cannae say Ah’m thrilled wi’ th’ prospect o’ remainin’ up her as a target for the next bunch o’ space bums tae walk in.”

Lathena didn’t see anything wrong with where they were sitting, until she remembered the freighter captain she’d fended off. The reason she remembered him was that he was on his way over with a hungry, predatory look in his eyes.

“If it’s okay with you, I’d like to get out of here now. How about you come back to my quarters and we can talk in more relaxed surroundings?” the Andorian blurted out, getting up herself.

Andrea looked up at her in surprise, but with her back to the approaching threat she couldn’t see the need. “I’m barely half way though my drink, Lathena. What’s the rush?”

“Quickly, there’s someone coming that I don’t—” the Andorian spoke in an urgent whisper, but cut herself off when it became too late.

“Well, ‘ello lovely ladies!” another weirdly accented voice proclaimed, and Lathena’s body went rigid. It’s like he’s trying to caress me with his voice, and all he’s really doing is making my skin crawl, she thought with a repressed shudder of revulsion.

Andrea’s eyes, widened in surprise at Lathena’s attempted departure, narrowed almost cruelly at the freighter captain’s voice. The Andorian decided to let the Human deal with her own kind, to see what the actual proper procedure was in permanently getting rid of such a nuisance.

“Captain Andre Duchamp of zhe Richelieu’s Revenge, at your service. May h'ai buy you beautiful ladies h'a dreenk?”

The lieutenant raised an eyebrow at Lathena, who nodded infinitesimally. Permission asked for and received, Andrea swivelled on her stool to face the other human.

“Captain Duchamp, thank ye for yer kind offer, but as ye can see we’re jist aboot tae leave. Ah’m afraid we have tae decline.”

That kind of language was a bit more flowery than Lathena had originally used, but the intent was clearly the same. It was, however, mildly amusing to hear the two accents contrasting against each other. That thought set off a small tickle at the back of Lathena’s mind, but she couldn’t immediately figure out what it was.

“Oh ladies, leaving so soon? Why, you ‘aven’t even feenished your dreenk!” the man said, addressing Andrea. “Let me refresh your H'Andorian friend’s dreenk h'also, h'and we can h'all stay for h'a cosy chat, yes?”

Lathena had noticed Duchamp laying his accent on even thicker, and Andrea seemed more than happy to do likewise. It occurred to Lathena that if this conversation went on for any length of time the two participants might end up not understanding each other at all. She gave an idle thought to actually staying long enough to see that happen, but decided against it.

“How verra observant o’ ye, Mr. Duchamp,” Andrea replied in turn, before raising her glass, toasting Lathena with it, then downing it in one gulp. After exhaling a more-than-satisfied “Ahhhhh!” Andrea turned back to Duchamp. “As ye can no doot see, we’ve both finished oor drinks. We’ll no’ be takin’ up any mair o’ your valuable time. Guid day tae ye, Captain.”

“Wait!” he cried, and grabbed Andrea’s arm as she got up from her stool. He quickly let go on seeing the look in the lieutenant’s eyes, and the fact the she seemed to tower over the diminutive Frenchman. Lathena estimated Andrea’s height at a touch over 1.8 meters, but she remembered the lieutenant was wearing heels. The freighter captain had no such advantage, and looked nearly ten centimetres shorter as a result.

“Ah’d ask ye kindly never t’ touch me again, sir.” Andrea’s words were still polite and exceedingly flowery, but her icy tone dripped venom.

Duchamp must have realised by now that it was a lost cause, but he gave it one final try anyway. “H'Ah, my h'apologies, Lieutenant. Please, h'at least let me buy you h'a dreenk to make up for my poor manners.”

“Verra well.”

Lathena couldn’t believe her antennae. What had her new friend just said? It seemed like their antagonist couldn’t believe it either.

“What?” Duchamp blurted, before recovering quickly. “H'ai mean, of course, what would you like?” He gestured expansively at the selection of real alcohol behind the bar and added, “Whatever you want, H'ai shall get eet for you mon cherie.”

Making a pretence of scanning the drinks on display, Andrea winked at her Andorian colleague, who was now feeling puzzled and slightly annoyed.

“Ah ken whit ye can get me, Ah’ve made up mah mind.”

“Name eet h'and eet shall be yours, most lovely lady,” Duchamp practically gushed. It seemed to Lathena that her companion actually rocked back from the Frenchman at his words, but shrugged it off.

Turning to the bartender, another Human who had been watching this whole exchange with varying degrees of amusement, Andrea told him, “Ah’ll hae an unopened bottle o’ that fine Morgan’s rum fae yer stock tae take back tae mah cabin, if ye please, Barkeep.”

“Sure thing, Miss,” he replied with a grin and a look at Duchamp as Andrea turned back to face the freighter captain.

Duchamp’s eyes had gone wide with shock, but turned hard with anger. “Do you know ‘ow eexpensive h'a full bottle of real h'alcohol from h'another star system ees?” he demanded.

“Actually, no, Ah don’t, but Ah can only assume it’s gonnae cost you a lot o’ credits,” Andrea replied serenely as the barman returned with the bottle.

He set the unbreakable glass container full of dark amber liquid on the countertop, and stated, “That’ll be a hundred credits, Andre.”

“An ‘undred!” he screeched. “Eet’s h'only twenty on Earth!”

“Well then, dinnae make claims or propositions ye cannae follow through on. It makes ye out tae be a liar, and a man not of his word. It’s like hangin’ around where yer obviously no’ wanted,” Andrea explained pointedly. “It’s something ye shouldnae do.”

Duchamp remained speechless.

Nodding to the barman, Andrea asked, “How much for mah drink, and mah friend’s?”

“Five credits for the rum, three for the water,” he replied. Andrea stuck her credit chip in the till and made it ten for the barman getting the bottle for nothing.

“Shall we, then?” she asked Lathena, indicating the door with a tilt of her head. Before the Andorian could reply, Duchamp spoke up again. Andrea looked ready to verbally slap him down, but stopped with a very surprised look on her face.

“H'ai’ll not ‘ave eet said that h'ai’m not h'a man of my word,” he said stiffly, presenting Andrea with the bottle of rum. Unseen by both women, he had offered his own credit chip to the barman.

“Why, Captain, this is an unexpected pleasure,” Andrea said wonderingly as she took the bottle from him. “You have restored my faith in the French. My friend and I shall drink to your health with the first sip from this fine gift. Gentlemen, adieu.

Duchamp managed a weak smile for them.

The barman grinned again, seeming to enjoy the Frenchman’s misery, and called out to them, “Y’all come back soon now, y’hea?”

Andrea grinned to herself, but didn’t stop or turn round. As they left the bar, Lathena’s superhuman hearing heard the barman laughingly admonish the annoying Human.

“H'An ‘undred credits… Mai profeet margins h'are not so ‘igh h'as to hallow me such eextravagances every day…”

“Andre, old buddy, when are you going to realise that not all women, and not even just all Human women, believe what they say about a Frenchmen in the sack?”

Duchamp just groaned, as if in pain.


The trip back to her quarters was uneventful as Lathena quizzed her new Human friend on politely refusing the advances of Human men, earning them some odd looks from the passers-by in the corridors.

Lathena was finally satisfied with Andrea’s answers as they entered the spacious guest quarters assigned to her. Gesturing to an easy chair in the living area, Lathena asked her own guest to be seated.

“Would you like me to pour you a drink from your trophy?” she asked with a smile.

“Aye, that’d be great,” Andrea replied with a grin of her own. “Ah want tae forget that oily Frenchman as soon as possible, and Ah did say Ah’d toast his health, so lets get it over with.”

“You’re actually going to do that? I thought you were just teasing him some more.”

“Well, Ah cannae verra well accuse him o’ no’ being a man o’ his word and do th’ verra same thing ma’sel, noo, can Ah?” was the Scot’s reasonable – if hard to understand – reply.

“I suppose not,” Lathena agreed as she got a couple of short, square-cut glasses – “tumblers”, she remembered that the Humans called them – and poured a small measure of the dark amber liquid into each.

“To Captain Andre Duchamp,” the Andorian said laconically, raising her glass and handing Andrea hers.

“A man of his word, to be sure. An’ never was a hundred credits better spent,” Andrea added, raising her own.

A quick gulp and Andrea had downed her measure in one go, then she winced before relaxing and letting out a satisfied breath. Steeling herself, Lathena followed suit.

The drink was fragrant, and Lathena found the taste surprisingly pleasant—after the feeling of the alcohol searing down her throat had abated. It settled in with a warm glow at the base of her stomach, spreading warmth throughout her body.

“Now that’s damn good stuff, and no mistake,” Andrea said, with no trace of an accent.

Lathena’s brain tickle resolved itself with alacrity. “Is that accent of yours fake?” she demanded suddenly, eyes intent on her companion.

Andrea gave a guilty start, seemingly confirming Lathena’s analysis, but then she shook her head. Completely dropping the accent, Andrea explained.

“No. No, its not fake; I really am Scottish. It’s just that I usually don’t talk that way.” She paused there, seeming to consult a memory, and added, “Well, not unless I’m talking to another Scot with an accent.”

“Okay, now I’m confused,” Lathena said. “You were talking that way all the time, then when I surprised you by wanting to leave it suddenly disappeared. I just didn’t remember it until now.”

Andrea leaned forwards in her chair and tried to make her position clear. “It’s like this. I grew up talking that way, as that is the dialect of English that my family and friends spoke. After I joined Starfleet and was subjected to other forms of English, most noticeably the exact, proper English taught to non-Humans, I started to lose my accent and respond in kind without even noticing it. Someone pointed it out to me in my third year, listening to the different ways in which I talked to my best friend Heather – who’s from Scotland too – and the rest of my classmates. I seem to remember that some communications cadet even did a project on it.

“Anyway, I was talking more and more in proper English – they still call it “the Queen’s English” after our monarch in Britain – partly because people couldn’t understand some of what I said. It’s just that when I hear another Scot talking, like my mother or little sister, my mind switches right back to the way I used to talk when I was a kid. I’ve even been told that my accent resurfaces more heavily in stressful situations, probably because I’m not consciously controlling it and concentrating on the task at hand.”

“That’s reasonable enough, Andrea,” Lathena put in, “but you were talking that way even before I spoke to you, when you came in to the bar. Why put on the thicker accent? Do you do it to make yourself more attractive?”

The other woman snorted, then gave a short laugh. Still smiling, she explained, “Actually, it’s quite the reverse. Like I said, people couldn’t understand what I was saying some of the time, so when I want to avoid or put off unwanted attention, I thicken my accent and hope they give up and go away if normal measures don’t work. This place, selling real alcohol, attracts a rougher crowd than the lounges on the upper decks. Talk around here told me that it’s a favourite of the dockworkers and independent traders, but I still wanted my drink. So, I came in with my shields already raised, that’s all.”

She shrugged, giving Lathena a slightly embarrassed grin. “Then, when you asked me if I was Scottish, I kinda… put on a show for you. Playing to the crowd, so to speak.”

“Ahhh…” Lathena exclaimed, comprehending at last. “I’m sorry to bring him up again, but what was Duchamp trying to accomplish with that… approach?”

Andrea looked surprised at the question. “He was obviously tying to solicit our company, Lathena.”

“Oh, I know that,” the Andorian waved it off, annoyed by her companion’s assumption that she couldn’t figure that out for herself. “I mean his particular speech and mannerisms, the words he used, like… like ‘lovely ladies’ and ‘mon cherie’!”

“Oh!” Andrea exclaimed, getting it. “He was trying to seduce us. Entice us into wanting to spend time with him.”

“He certainly went about that the wrong way, then.” The Andorian’s nose wrinkled up in distaste, making Andrea laugh.

“That he did, Lathena. That he did. Could I trouble you for a refill? And maybe a mixer this time, please.”

Lathena got up and took both their glasses back to the small kitchenette. She’d been around Humans long enough that she didn’t need an explanation of those terms. While she prepared the drinks, she called through to Andrea.

“Yes, I noticed that you seemed to recoil from him at one point. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.”

“Oh hell, he was so obvious and oily about it, it was horrible. He probably thought he was pretty smooth, too.” Now it was Andrea’s turn to wrinkle her nose.

“’Oily’?” Lathena asked, returning with the drinks. “What do you mean? That he’s well lubricated?”

Andrea laughed hard at the image that Lathena’s words brought to mind, then took the offered glass from her puzzled companion and nodded her thanks. She thought for a minute, trying to express it in a way the Andorian would understand.

“Um… Okay. Humans respond well to overtures made by people that are tactful, pleasant, and well mannered, and this trait is described as being ‘suave’. Some people use this for their own gain, and pretend to be suave to make things go better for them in many kinds of negotiations, and we describe this as ‘smooth’ – not an entirely complimentary term. People who go for this in excessive amounts, like our overly friendly Frenchman, are called ‘oily’, as in being very slick.” She paused there and looked up at her new friend. “You do know the term 'oil slick'? That translates okay?” At Lathena's easy nod, Andrea wrapped up her little lecture. “Well, ’slick’ can be complimentary in a way, as in admiring someone's ability to achieve a desired result with a minimum of friction and effort, but ’oily’… This is definitely not a complimentary term.”

Andrea shook her head at the situation, equal parts bemused and repelled, before taking a sip of her new drink. Mmm, spot on. Lathena is obviously a cultured individual, she thought with a mental grin. She hadn’t expected to be giving a language lecture over drinks, though. It was a slightly odd feeling.

“Well. I learned a Human phrase on my last ship: ‘You learn something new every day.’ ”

Andrea smiled. “This is true. All of life is a learning experience. You never stop. Or, at least, you’re never supposed to.”

Lathena smiled back, feeling the alcohol relax her somewhat. This is shaping up to be a very pleasant evening after all.


Andrea suddenly looked down at her watch in surprise. “Oh hell, is that the time?” she exclaimed. “I was supposed to meet someone nearly an hour ago!”

“Do you have to go?” Lathena asked, almost mournfully. The several drinks she’d had were noticeably beginning to enhance her moods. She’d been having a great time talking with her new Human friend, about adventures, family, shared experiences and views, and it was still two hours before she even needed to show up at her transport’s berth. Not only that, but watching Andrea cross and uncross her legs all night, and toss her hair occasionally – oh, just admit it, will you? Even watching her talk and pout those gorgeous lips of hers all night – had gotten her all excited, and she didn’t want the Human to leave.

“Well, I really should go find them…” Andrea wavered, but at the falling of the Andorian’s face she reconsidered. “…but he’s a big boy now and can take care of himself for the night. If I could use your comm. panel I’ll leave him a message so that he doesn’t sound a general alert and turns out the guard to look for me.”

Lathena beamed. “Of course, it’s right over there,” she said, and pointed to the small desk her quarters boasted.


Lathena watched Andrea put down her fifth Morgan’s of the night then get up and walk over to the intercom, admiring her form and the way she moved. While Andrea’s back was turned, she set her own drink down and let her long hair out of the ponytail it had been held in all evening, and shook it loose around her shoulders. She knew that most Humans were prudish when it came to sex, especially within their own gender, but Lathena was determined.

Andrea was not getting out of these quarters without a lot of “fun and games.”

Still caught up in her own plans, she didn’t notice she was still staring at the other woman until Andrea called her on it.

“Lathena, is something wrong? Do I have a ladder in these stockings?” the Human asked, twisting around and extending her legs in all sorts of alluring ways, trying to find what the Andorian was staring at. “The flamin’ things are meant t’ be all but rip-proof…” she added, almost to herself.

“Ah, n—no, your legs are perfect. I—I mean, there’s nothing wrong with your stockings. You look fine,” Lathena blurted out in a stammering rush.

Andrea looked up sharply at that, and Lathena noticed something going on behind those suddenly guarded deep blue eyes of hers. She took in Lathena’s new look and the hesitant tremor in her hands, which were quickly tucked into the Andorian’s lap when Lathena detected her gaze. Apparently looking at her in an entirely new light, Andrea assessed her companion with critical eyes.

Lathena wondered what to do. Her determination was wavering, her plans had all deserted her, and nervousness was beginning to overwhelm her control. What was Andrea going to say or do? Would she storm off, disgusted? Stiffly refuse to acknowledge what Lathena was feeling and just leave? What?

Her fears just as suddenly deserted her when Andrea’s gaze softened and she smiled.

Lathena got up from her chair as the young lieutenant walked over to her, the intent clear in her eyes. She took a step forward and all but seized the Human, wrapping her strong arms around the brunette and moving into a passionate kiss as the lieutenant returned both favours.

“Mmmmm…” the Human uttered, the vibration from her lips feeling pleasant to the Andorian.

They broke apart for a brief breath, and Andrea murmured shyly, “Forgive me, Lathena, but I don’t know what makes an Andorian tick. Your going to have to tell me what you like.”

Lathena thought for a moment then remembered something Johnny had said to her after one of their earliest nights together. “Don’t worry about that. It seems that a lot of the things that please Human women also made me very happy,” she told Andrea with a suggestive smile.

The Human smiled back then kissed her deeply again, pressing her whole body into the Andorian’s slender form. “I want you,” she whispered softly as she ran her fingers through the extravagant mass of Lathena’s long white hair.

Lathena tugged off her own uniform as she watched Andrea do likewise. Watching the Human freeing her breasts from her maroon jacket and gold sweater, Lathena couldn’t help but think that her uniform had actually held them down somewhat. Andrea dropped her skirt and stepped out of her knee-high boots as Lathena divested herself of her trousers, and the Andorian found herself suddenly attracted to the other woman’s stockings and the way they made the human’s legs look.

Now naked except for their undergarments, the two women flung themselves at each other again. A comedic moment occurred as Andrea tried to lift Lathena and carry her through to the bed, but was defeated by the Andorian’s greater strength and body density.

A wicked gleam appeared in the Andorian’s eyes as she returned the favour, literally sweeping the delighted Human off her feet, and the two women disappeared into Lathena’s bedroom.


An hour and a half later, both of them bathed in sweat and lying in each other’s arms on Lathena’s bed, Andrea murmured, “Wow… That was intense. And sooo much fun!”

“Mmmmm… I agree!” Lathena murmured back. A quick glance at the desk chrono made her groan in a different way, though.

“Oh no!” she complained. “I have to be at my berth in thirty minutes!”

“Well, we both knew that was coming,” Andrea said, then smirked at her choice of words. “We’ll get you packed up and I’ll walk you there. It’s always nice to have someone to send you on your way, after all.”

“Thanks, Andrea, I really appreciate that,” the Andorian said as she propped herself up on one elbow, and Andrea knew she meant it sincerely. “I suppose we’d better get up then.”



“That means ‘yes’.”

“Oh, okay.” Lathena thought for a moment. “Wait, why didn’t you just say ‘yes’ then?”

Andrea mumbled something into her pillow.

“What was that?”

“I’m now wishing I had done, you literal goofball!” Andrea said in mock anger as she grinned up at Lathena.

“I’ll get you weird Scottish people speaking properly yet,” the Andorian declared to the room at large.

“Better people than you have tried and failed.”


“I’m just teasing you, silly.”

“Oh, okay,” Lathena said with a smile, before a puzzled look overtook her emotive features. “Andie?”


“What’s a goofball?”


As Andrea hugged her friend goodbye, she whispered, “Keep in touch with me now, okay? I mean it.”

“I will Andie, you can count on it.”

“Glad to hear it.” Andrea blinked away forming tears, then broke the embrace to look at her new friend. Damn, I’ve only known her for four hours and I already know I’m going to miss her terribly.

Lathena was about to say goodbye a final time and disappear into the transport ship. Feeling herself get all emotional, Andrea decided to distract herself with a joke at – well, mainly herself. I was going to keep this to myself, but…

She halted the Andorian’s departure by motioning her to come closer again. Her hands on Lathena’s shoulders, Andrea pitched her voice as quietly as she could and still be aloud, knowing that her friend’s superhuman hearing would easily pick it up.

“You know you’re the first non-Human I’ve had sex with?” she started innocently enough.

Lathena seemed to catch on to her reticence to speak out loud about this, and agreeably lowered her own voice conspiratorially. “No, I didn’t. What, you now consider me your trophy – no, your token alien?” she teased.

Andrea grinned. “Oh no,” she whispered back, “you’ve shown me the light. I plan to sleep with every alien I can drag back to bed now.” She watched as her friend smiled and made to leave again, then launched her photorp. “I was just expecting that when I got up, what with all that sweat and all those gyrations, I’d be covered from head to toe in blue paint!”

Lathena’s jaw dropped open comically and there was pure shock in her eyes, like she couldn’t believe what Andrea had just said, but the Human was relieved to see there was no anger or hurt at that. Good, I judged her right after all.

“You—!” Lathena sputtered, but before her Andorian friend could regain her voice, Andrea stepped back from her, patted her shouler and called out loudly, “You have a safe trip now, y’hea?” and started waving.

Lathena looked fit to explode, either into enthusiastic swearing or riotous laughter – or both, but the last call to board her ship came.

“You are such a—” she started, but cut herself off, laughing hard. “I’ll get you back for that, you… you goofball!” she yelled at Andrea, shaking her fist in mock anger, then walked down the gangway into the ship.

Andrea kept laughing, couldn’t stop in fact, until she got back to her own quarters to turn in for the night.

The End