After Commander Ivanova left, I tried to hold onto the momentum of the tea and conversation shared, attempting to focus on going to the holodeck to shed my frustration with some good old fashioned ass kicking. As I changed clothes, putting on a tank top, comfortable pants, and my converse, my thoughts couldn’t help falling back on the conversation with Terry before he’d left my quarters.
We’d been sitting on the couch, he’d been quiet, but he often had been lately. I hadn’t thought much of it, some people just fall into a comfortable silence and I’d assumed that’s what it was. I’d asked for his thoughts on lunch as I was skimming reports, so I could decide what to tackle first when I went on duty later this evening.
Then I’d found the change of security clearance notification with his name and his resignation attached. He hadn’t answered my question about lunch yet, so I took the chance to change the topic. I asked if there was anything he needed to talk to me about. He met my gaze, something I realized then that he hadn’t been doing much lately, then even though I could see in his eyes that he knew what I was asking about, he gave me a simple nope.
As I reached the holodeck, I was able to draw myself out of my reflection long enough to pull up my program. Don’t Forget the Anchovies was what Mama had named the program all those years ago when she’d first given it to me. It’d grown and morphed to match my skills as they developed, Mama carefully working to keep the curve ahead of me to challenge me to move forward. I hadn’t actually opened it since before I’d gone under cover in the mines. While there, I’d had to develop a way to practice without the holodeck’s help, to keep my skills sharp, and when I’d gotten to the Griffin, the momentum of the solo practice had kept up… especially when Terry had taken to sparring with me and watching my work outs with the nunchuks with a bit of a fascination.
Thinking of Terry again, I sighed as I stepped into the holodeck, looking around at the comic book style rendition of a 20th century New York street. Like an old friend, I realized how much I’d missed the program in the time I’d been without it. The arch faded into the alleyway it was placed at the end of, and I pulled my nunchuks out of the waistband at the small of my back.
“Shuffle all,” I ordered, looking up at the sky. I knew, always have, that I didn’t need to look up to give the computer directions… but it was an odd habit that I still don’t know where I picked it up. Mama never did it, Daddy neither. I didn’t have time to muse on this, as the music started to play and the random goons, holographic meatbags that exist for no reason other than giving me something to abuse with my nunchuks, started to spill into the street from the buildings, the alleyways and around the corners. Only a half a dozen to start… it was like the program had forgotten me; I smirked as I started my green transparent aluminum beauties spinning around me. Then I recognized the song that had been randomly selected from my music library to play.
Watching me like you never watch no one
Don’t tell me that you didn’t try and check out my bum
Cause I know that you did
Cause your friend told me that you liked it
I knew the song well, Kate Nash’s Merry Happy, liked its catchy tune… but today the lyrics finally resonated. They never had before, even though I’d sung along dozens of times. My pausing from this realization left me with my guard down, and one of the holographic meatbags landed a blow, sending me down on my knees. Instinctively, I lashed out and heard the satisfying crack of breaking bone even as I willed myself to ignore the protests from my knees hitting the pavement.
Gave me those pearls and I thought they were ugly
Though you try to tell me that you never loved me
I know that you did
‘Cause you said it and you wrote it down
I started to sing along as I let myself fall into the flow of combat. The more I focused on the nunchuks, the less I usually thought… but my thoughts drifted to Terry again. I growled and cursed as my mind raced. I hadn’t even bloody well seen it coming, I had thought things were going well. I had even been trying to decide how to suggest we move in together. For some reason, he felt he had to retire, and that it required him leaving the ship, somehow also meaning he couldn’t talk to me about it.
Dancing at discos
Eating cheese on toast
Yeah you make me merry make me very very happy
But you obviously, you didn’t want to stick around
After a long moment, I realized I was standing there, unconscious thugs strewn across the street and sidewalks, and the next wave hadn’t arrived yet. Tears were sliding down my face as I stood waiting, and I stopped singing. I rubbed my upper arm where it felt like I was going to have a bruise in a little bit. It was far from the only spot on my body that felt that way. Mama may have been obligated to leave the safeties enabled on the program, or face charges of child abuse, but it sure did smart when you let the goons land a blow. I haven’t noticed I had, but clearly I was distracted by this turn of events with Terry.
Was it my fault? Had I pushed things too hard? I mean, sure, I thought I’d been coy at first, waiting to see what he did, waiting for him to express some sort of interest, but I certainly flirted until he seemed to wake up to it. Had he given in just because he felt like I was being pushy, and had he been hoping to relieve my pressure? I had offered up the rope to him not long after that, which is a large leap of trust. I trusted him, and he ran off without so much as a pardon me.
The tears poured down my cheeks, and I almost couldn’t see straight for them. I made out of the humanoid shapes moving towards me of the next wave of nameless goons, and my nunchuks started to spin again. I screamed at the top of my lungs. Violent words, hateful words, cursing in any and every language I knew even the smallest bite of. The choice Orion insults about his mother, the mud slinging bottom dwelling insults in Andorian about his fitness to sire the next generation, old Soviet insults that Auntie V had whispered to me behind my parents back… causing them to pretend they didn’t know she was doing it, then the Klingon. Oh the soothing prose of the Klingon insults, strung together poetically, as if penned by The Bard himself; speaking of smooth foreheads and relations to tribbles and unworthiness to wear combat boots. I couldn’t help a giggle at that last one. I knew that one would have left a mark had Terry been here to receive it.
Regardless of what anyone thought of his service as science officer, it was clear his heart had truly belongs to the marine core. His lingering loyalty to the core perhaps was what undermined his service in science. He’d always been more interested in the going ons of my department than that of his, even if he went through the motions to feign fascination with his. I hadn’t minded his interest in my department, I’d even used him as a sounding board as I’d tried to work through things I wasn’t sure how to handle.
Now, here I was yelling at the top of my lungs, breaking holographic bones in the holodeck, all because I’d fallen hard and the fucker clearly didn’t return the sentiment. I honestly hadn’t realized, not consciously, how badly I’d fallen for him. Sex had been good, but it’d been good with Ryan too… however, I wasn’t heart broken over Ryan. I was hurt over him, over his failure to communicate at all, and the absolute mystery that was him staying hitched to this stranger he’d been tricked into marrying, but I wasn’t heart broken. Mama and Daddy both had warned me: I would meet plenty of people that would do that sort of thing to me if the sex was casual. People move on without so much as a backwards thought to who they were fucking before, if they didn’t see a romantic attachment; treat you as a sex toy and don’t understand that you intended to be their friend first and foremost, that the sex was just something fun to do. Ryan was old news though, no point dwelling on his stupidity. He was still on the ship, I had to play nice with him on a professional capacity… so focusing on what had gone wrong would only lead to more bullshit and drama.
Terry though? Terry had just run away. I had fallen head over heels, and he’d run away. It wasn’t even until I reflected back on my thoughts about him, my feelings, after I’d yelled at him as he left my quarters that last time, that I’d realized it. That if he’d just said sorry, tried to see if there was some way we could continue to see each other without him needing to be in the fleet… I probably would have forgiven him. The words ‘I love you’ probably would have slid from my lips. Too late for that now, he was gone with the shuttle that needed to go back to the Whydah station. Hell, I’d caught myself a couple times in the last month, musing that Melody Mulholland had a good ring to it… and I knew that I was years away from wanting to have kids.
“Computer, pause program,” I ordered. The music stopped, the goons all faded from view, and I fell to my knees. I sat there sobbing, my hair hanging down around my face as I looked blankly down towards my nunchuck crossed in my lap. My body shook as I sobbed, and finally I was able to get my mind to shut up and stop dwelling on Terry as I just let it all out.