USS Potemkin NCC-76927-C
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Shall We Dance?

Posted on Mon Nov 27th, 2023 @ 12:44am by Ensign Anya Bagh & Ensign Henry Ivo
Edited on on Mon Nov 27th, 2023 @ 12:48am

2,028 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Personal Logs
Location: Ivo's quarters/holodeck
Timeline: January 16th, 2400 at 1700 hours

Anya smiled as she chimed the door to Henry's quarters. She was out of uniform, a rarity when she wasn't in her own quarters. Her braids cascaded over her shoulders, covering part of the floor length, red dress she was wearing. She'd been practicing her salsa and waited for Henry to answer for their next lesson.

A muffled “come in!” arose from beyond the door.

Anya gave a small spin as she entered.

"What do you think?" She grinned from ear to ear at him. "I thought my dance wardrobe could use some updating."

“I’ll tell you when I can see you,” Henry’s muffled voice responded. All Anya could see of him was a rear end encased in comfortable, stretchy purple pants. The rest of him was buried behind the couch, and a faint mew of protest from that direction heralded Henry’s triumphant wriggle out of the awkward corner, his hands wrapped around a tiny furry bean of a kitten.

"Baby trouble again? Did you need some assistance?" She stepped toward them, talking to the kitten

"Is daddy being mean to you?" She knelt down beside them and reached toward the kitten, patting it gently on the head. "It's OK, I'll save you" She grasped the tiny kitten gingerly, taking it from Henry's hands.

“I'm not being mean, I just don't want her to get stuck again,” Henry chuckled, handing over the small scrap of fur. Then he looked at what she was wearing, and stared for a moment before he swallowed and said, “you look beautiful.”

"Thank you. I was thinking it's a bit much, but it's close to what I saw other salsa dancers wearing." Anya mewed and trilled a phrase at the tiny calico and it settled into her arms. "There there, you're safe." She let out a few more cat sounds, this time, the kitten looked up at her, almost as if recognizing the sounds.

"I've been practicing a bit. Hopefully this helps." She patted its head, similar to how Henry had shown her previously with the washcloth.

“I've been practicing, too.” Henry looked at the kitten with a soft smile, “they deserve to grow up with as much of their own culture that we can manage.”

Anya nodded. "Speaking of practicing, were you up for dancing? I'll try not to step on your toes. If you need more sleep though, I understand."

“You know me, I’m always up for dancing!” Henry replied with a wide grin. “Let me get these two into a basket; they’ll have to come with us. My roommate is on duty right now.”

Anya nodded and started getting the little calico kitten in the basket. "Oh, did I get to tell you about meeting the Aerie yesterday? It was interesting. Well as interesting as diplomatic missions go."

“I don't think so. Glad I was on duty, though; I hate formal meals.” Henry replied cheerfully as he got the little black kitten settled next to his sister.

"Apparently it was a naming ceremony for one of their… flock." She held the basket and started toward the door. "They don't have a name until the nameless one picks one from what others think is a suitable name. She actually picked mine."

“Really? What did you name her?” Henry asked curiously as the couple began to make their way to the holodeck.

"Hyacinth, well it's what I meant to name her, she chose the full version Hyacinth Macaw. They are all named after different birds and she seemed very sociable and talked to all the senior officers. She even kissed many people on the cheek."

"I was trying to watch for anything suspicious since we don't know much about their customs." Anya adjusted the basket to her other arm and tucked a loose braid behind her ear. "I was more surprised that she even asked me." Anya stopped in front of the holodeck panel and faced Henry. "You can choose the program tonight. I like your surprises"

“You seem in the mood for salsa,” Henry replied with a wry grin, gesturing at her dress. “Sounds like it was an interesting night.”

"Morning actually, another curious thing to me, but it's another custom for them." She walked through the arch and turned to wait for him. She bit her lower lip and glanced down at the sleeping kittens. "There's a last custom that surprised me." She waited for him to join her in the holodeck

“What’s that?” Henry asked curiously, having checked on the kittens and now began stretching in preparation for their dancing lesson.

Anya glanced back at the arch, seeing it disappear already. She took a deep breath and looked into Henry's eyes.

"Whoever gives the chosen name is their bonded mate. Hyacinth wanted me to join them and travel the universe. Of course I said no once I figured out what was going on… it was just… hard to figure out how to do it without causing a scene." She relaxed a little. "Luckily, Hyacinth was ok with it eventually. "

Anya's gaze went to the floor, picking at an imaginary piece of dirt with her toe. "I wanted to tell you before you might've heard from others."

Henry blinked. “Wait, so you met, got engaged, and broke up in the span of...what? An hour?”

She blinked and her eyes met his again. "I… I suppose so." She tilted her head "I never thought of it that way… I thought you would be mad at me."

“Mad?” Henry paused, a bit shocked, not having even considered that possibility. “No, I'm not mad. Sounded like an honest mistake, and no harm done. Think you might’ve set a relationship record, though.” He chuckled.

Anya half smiled then sat down to stretch as well. “I suppose I did… You know, I don’t think she was my type anyway… not that I know what my type is. Maybe it’s just you.”

She turned away to stretch her other leg as soon as the phrase slipped from her mouth. She clumsily tried to hide the flustered look on her face.

“Aw, you’re sweet,” Henry told her with a charmed smile, his cheeks faintly pink. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.” He added with a teasing grin.

“I’m glad you think that.” She shook her head slightly before standing and straightening out her dress. “Now that I’ve embarrassed myself with words, maybe I can try to not embarrass myself with dancing… or at least not get hurt.” She attempted to straighten her posture like she remembered from before.

“Hey.” Henry grasped her hand. “I’m glad you chose to stay.” He informed her.

“Me too.” A genuine smile crept across her face. She squeezed his hand back, welcoming its warmth.

“But also, we should dance. It's cold in here. Moving would help me warm up” She gave another small spin and laughed.

“Then, let’s dance,” he offered her his hand and gave her a little bow.

She gave a quick curtsy in response then lifted her arms, resting her left hand and arm on his right when they stood. “I think it was like this?” She lifted her right hand, slightly framing her body and holding fairly stiff.

“That’s great, but maybe try to relax? I'm not going to bite you,” Henry suggested with a laugh. “Unless you ask me nicely.”

Anya smirked “ that's a different program completely”

She relaxed slightly. “Better?”

“Much,” he grinned at her, his cheeks a bit pinker than usual. But he moved with fluid grace, pausing occasionally to teach her a particular sequence of steps, and always keeping an eye on the basket with the kittens.

She tried to keep up, not nearly as elegant as her partner. Her foot inadvertently caught on his pants and she tripped a bit

“Hu'tegh” she scowled at her heels as she caught herself. “Sorry, my footwork is not the best yet. Just a moment”

She slipped off her shoes and quickly, but silently, placed them by the basket. She stretched her foot a bit before making her way back to him.

“Are you ok?”

“I'm fine, are you?” Henry asked, looking amused.

“It's only my ego that's bruised, it might heal eventually.” She shook her head, sighed, and flipped her braids behind her shoulders. “I should be ok to dance more, if you'd like.”

“Always,” he agreed, offering her his hand with a smile and a little bow.

She paused a moment before laying her hand in his.
“You always have warm hands” she half smiled, then it faded.

“You know, there's another thing I wanted to mention. I'm not sure how you'll take it. I'm not even sure how I feel about it.”

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before looking back into his eyes.

“I think I'm part Cardassian.”

“Wait, really?” Henry asked, sounding surprised. Surprised, but not dismayed. He slowed to a stop, holding her in his arms but no longer dancing.

“At my last physical, I mentioned my medical history, or lack thereof. They compared my DNA with other humanoids. Apparently, my mother was Klingon. They couldn't pinpoint my paternal race though, either Bajoran or Cardassian.” She rambled, as if she had practiced the story hundreds of times.

“After reading more on both races, I'm leaning toward Cardassian though.” She stared blankly at the ground between them. “Sorry, it's just been on my mind for a while now. I don't know what to make of it.”

“Hey. Look at me.” Henry told her, gently, waiting until she had obeyed before continuing. “Your parentage is not nearly as important as your personality, and that doesn't change with DNA. The only difference it would make in my mind is how to treat something like an illness. Nothing more.”

“That is true, I suppose.” She shifted a bit closer to him, hugging him tight before popping her head back up. “Please don't tell anyone though. I know the Cardassians aren't the most favorable beings out there.”

“I won't tell anyone.” Henry promised. “But never judge a race by their loudest individuals. We’ve only seen the political extremists of the Cardassians; I doubt they’re an indication of the entire race.”

“I hope more people can see it that way. You're the first person that I've told.” She shook her head slightly then smiled. “I promise I'm not trying to ruin dancing. Just feeling more distracted and clumsy than usual.”

“Sounds like you have a good reason. I'd probably be a mess too if I found out I was a different race than I knew.” Henry replied.

Anya finally looked completely relaxed. “I know we haven't been together that long, but you're the first person I feel like I can be completely honest with.”

Henry looked away for a second, an unreadable expression in his eyes for a brief moment before he looked back at her. “I hope I never betray that trust.” He finally said.

She dropped her arms as her sky blue eyes studied his face. “You sound like you have done that to someone before.”

Henry looked away. “Not on purpose.”

Anya cupped his cheek gently and tilted her head to look in the same direction as his. “We all make mistakes. The difference is how we react and learn from them.”

Henry sighed heavily and nodded. “You’re right. I regret it, but it is past now.” He made himself smile at her. “I do believe we were dancing?”

“Only if you want to.” Anya moved her hand to his shoulder. “We could talk instead.”

Henry smiled softly. “Why talk when you can dance?”

She nodded, a blank expression on her face. “I'll follow your lead.” She placed her arms back as they were before they stopped.

Henry smiled softly at her, and gently moved her hands back to his shoulder. Then, he leaned forward and gently brushed her lips with his own.

Anya paused, then softly kissed him.

“New dance move?”

Henry chuckled, his cheeks pink. “...I have more. If...if you want?”

“I'll follow your lead” she smiled coyly.


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