About that Kiss...
Episode 1: A Lesson in Humility
Location: Creekside, Typhon’s Jungle
Timeline: Following “Words Worth Regretting”
Charlotte rushes herself away from their campfire. She couldn’t face Maralen right now. Not after what she’d done to him. She needed to get away. Get some air and pull herself together. And she needed to be out of this goddamn dress. It was wearing on her by the moment, and the jungle was having a similar effect on the dress. The survival suit in her hands felt incredibly welcoming. The idea of being back in a uniform didn’t hurt either. She wasn’t sure exactly what had led to her confrontation with Maralen. There was a whole host of factors. But she knew she would feel a lot more capable of giving orders when she looked like a Captain again.
She’d walked for a few minutes when she heard the babbling of a creek nearby. CeCi’s silhouette was visible in the moonlight, several meters away. Thankfully, alone. They had avoided having any pirates sneak up on them with all the shouting. The trees must really muffle the sound.
“Hey,” Charlotte murmured in greeting as she selected a thick enough batch of tall grass to change in. “Can you warn me if anyone approaches? I got myself a change of clothes and I’m tired of this dress. Got a change of footwear for you too, once I’m done. Nice set of combat boots. Might find them a bit easier to walk in than those heals.”
She ducked into the grass, as she waited for the woman to reply.
"Sure. And thanks for the boots....so what happened to Maralen? Did you end up sticking something sharp into him," CeCi asked as she walked over to examine the shrub Charlotte was using for modesty as she changed. Then she grinned as she caught site of pale skin, "No need to be skulking in the dark, Captain Reynolds. Just us girls here."
“Given your little antics back at camp...and the fact that you’re attempting to spy on me, I think we both know it’s a little more than that.” Charlotte shook her head, a little amused, and shifted herself a bit farther into the shrub. She made sure she was firmly out of view. Slipping quickly out of the dress, she tossed it back in the direction CeCi had been standing. No reason she couldn’t at least have a little fun with the situation. “And things went...not very well. I think I might have said somethings I really shouldn’t have. He took it a lot harder than I’d meant for him to.”
CeCi stretched over to catch Charlotte's dress and grinned as she emerged in fresh togs. "Since when is being a ship's captain a popularity contest? Especially when your exec is continuing to prattle on after you've made up your mind? Things are a tad looser on a civilian ship, but if that had been my First Mate, I'd have bounced his ass port-side. That did not strike me as the first time, either." She grinned then, when Charlotte probably could see her in the light, "And that was not spying, Captain. That was peeping."
“Oh, my apologies,” Charlotte said with an amused laugh. She stepped out as she finished fastening the survival suit pants. She’d already thrown on the shirt, but the jacket and boots were still in a small pile on the ground as she finished dressing. “But yeah. I try to make my ship a bit more Democratic than some others. I want people to speak their mind, to try to point out things when I’ve missed them. But that...I haven’t seen him behave like that. I wish he’d just listen to me. I know Typhon’s listening in. I’d been trying to come up with a plan to account for that. But he just kept fighting me.”
She took a deep breath. “We’ll have to talk later. When the tensions have cooled.”
CeCi shrugged and than sat on a bit of ground to start putting on the boots. She'd washed her feet in the brook, as soon as she'd assured herself it wasn't acid and they were mostly dry as she slipped on the foot wear. "At least that's settled. And democracies are fine, but ships are dictatorships. There can only be one Captain, my dear. But enough of all that. I won't belabor. So, what's next if I may ask."
Charlotte pulled on her fresh socks and then the boots. “Next, we talk about your exit back there.” She made eye contact with CeCi.
CeCi's chuckled. "I thought it was fairly tactful, or did puss in boots feel left out?"
Charlotte gave her an amused eye roll. "What was the motivation behind that? Throw me off my game? Try to annoy Maralen further? Just generally trying to sew chaos?" Charlotte let the unspoken 'or' float out there.
CeCi met Charlotte's eyes and said. "Simple answer. Because I wanted to. I could care less if it annoyed Maralen." She shrugged slightly, "I didn't really think about it. I might try and say it was to focus you to a point, so you could look back at everything else then, but it was only a small kiss. Did it help?" she asked with a smile.
Charlotte wasn't sure focus was the word that she'd use. It'd certainly pulled her a bit out of the fog a little. But not enough to prevent her from lashing out at Maralen later. It also had been one of the more dominant things in her mind since then. So if getting her mind on the task at hand was the goal, she wasn't sure it had helped. "I'm not really sure," she admitted. She'd wanted a bit firmer of an answer from her, one way or the other. "Suppose it did help get my mind off my troubles. Let me think about solutions instead."
"Well, I'm not furry and I'm not stopping you. So solution away." the brunette said, a smile tracing over her lips. "I'll just wait in the dark over here for enlightenment."
The captain stood, strapping the phaser to her belt. “Well, I was thinking. We know where the tree collapsed. Figured we could start our search there. My crew are smart. They’d have tried to travel along...” She hadn’t really intended to finish her explanation. It’d just given her enough time to inch slightly forward. With a hint of urgency that she wished she’d hidden better, Charlotte pulled CeCi to her. Their lips met almost immediately, but it wasn’t as brief a kiss as the last one. She wasn’t entirely sure what motivated her. She was more than aware that Typhon’s meddling in her mind may have stirred up such feelings. But at the moment, she didn’t really care. His influence was out of her mind, and she could really use a distraction from the fight she’d just had.
Leaning into the kiss instantly, Cecile pressed against Charlotte until they were both breathless. When the kiss broke, she kept her forehead pressed to the Starfleet Captains and said. "Very nice. But is that a phaser on your belt or are you happy to see me?"
“It’s a phaser on my belt,” Charlotte laughed. “But the two are not mutually exclusive.”
"It's a relief though," the brunette told her. "Nice kiss by the way. I like how you work toward solutions."Cecile's hand moved over the back of Charlotte's arm, tracing over the elbow and then to clasp her hand. "I'm not sure if it doesn't cause more questions, but..I'm an adventurous person."
Charlotte laughed. "Well...can't hurt to find out," she said, before pulling CeCi to her again, for just a moment more.