The Huntsman and the Hotshot
Timeline: Mission Day 7 at 1700
It had been a while since Camila had last seen Ian and she found herself missing him despite not being in any type of serious relationship with the handsome man. She had been working steady on the Security aspect of the Black Hawk-A and had been throwing herself into her work to the point of not going home on the shore leave that most personnel had taken advantage of while repairs were being done.
Now she was in her quarters with nothing to do for the rest of the day and sat at her console. She brushed a lock of ombre hair out of her eyes and puffed out a breath, then brought up the comm system and sent a message to Ian.
I know it's been a while and I promise I haven't been ignoring you. I have a few more responsibilities with the rank and the protection of the ship and entire crew has to come first. However, I'd really like to meet you at Talon's tonight if you have time.
The Security Chief...no, the off duty woman that had vanished, reached out and sent it, then leaned back to see if she got a response.
Ian was relaxing in his quarters from a less than spectacular day at work. He'd been through so many tubes and shafts while chasing problems...hopefully tomorrow would be better. For now, he enjoyed laying on the small couch in a pair of shorts and tank-top.
When the comm system beeped an incoming message, he sighed and hoped that it wouldn't be something work related. Again. Ian lazily made his way to the wall console and brought up the message. A grin crept on his face when he saw it was from Camila. It's been a while since he'd last seen her, but she was right. Her promotion and everything that had been happening since then required a lot of her attention.
You've been a busy girl...don't worry about it. I definitely have some time to meet-up with you. It'll be nice to do something other than work and home. See you at Talon's in an hour, hotshot.
Ian sent the message and then stretched out some kinks from having been laying on the small couch for a while.
Hotshot made her smile and Camila headed to take a quick sonic shower, then put on a black t-shirt that had a rose nebula on the front, a pair of black slacks and some black comfortable shoes. She brushed her ombre locks out and checked herself in the mirror. "The eyes, Cammie. You need to work on those," she chastised herself at the still hard look and spent a few minutes practicing looks that looked softer than a hardened interrogation stare.
Finally, she left her quarters and quickly made her way to Talon's where she ordered a Jamocha Shake and took a seat at a side booth by a window and waited for him to show up.
Ian showered and put on a pair of black slacks, grey shoes, and a grey v-neck tee shirt. He ran his hands through his hair a few times until he was happy with the disheveled-yet-stylish look.
He walked into Talons and looked around for Camila. Spotting her near one of the windows, he make his way over. "Well if it isn't our resident ombre haired hotshot." He slid into the booth opposite Camila and grinned. "Been a while since that dip in the lake in your holo-program."
"It has, hasn't it?" Camila responded with a half but genuine smile when she saw him. "I've been a bit busy since then and I hope you didn't think I was ignoring you, Ian. How have you been?"
"Nah, I didn't think that," he said. "I've been kept pretty busy myself with everything that's happened over the last little while. I really don't want to see the inside of another tube or shaft for a long time. But I doubt that'll happen anytime soon." He paused and sighed. "Anyway, it's good to do something other than work and home. What've you been up to?"
"A little less fun than I'd like, but getting through to the Captain with my new security protocols has keep me more busy and less Commander Fun," she said with a small smile. "What about the Huntsman? Done anymore holodeck hunting?"
Ian laughed. "Commander Fun...I hadn't thought about that in a while. Well, the nickname at least. But I haven't done too much more hunting on the holodeck. Got a holo-program based on an old-world period on Earth where I get to go horseback riding. But I haven't really done that in a while, either." He paused a second. "Man, that's just sad."
The ombre haired woman gave a sympathetic nod, then offered him her Jamocha shake. "You need this more than I do. Take a big drink, let it freeze your brain, power your soul, and then we'll invade the holodeck."
Ian grinned and accepted the shake. "Powering the soul sounds good but I'm not too sure about freezing my brain." He took a drink that wasn't quite as big but was still worthy of a shared drink. "What do you have in mind for our holodeck invasion?"
She shrugged. "Something that isn't Starfleet and I'll be happy. I've had my share of that and then some lately." She had to admit inwardly that she hand missed his smile and handsome face.
"Oh I think we can both agree on that," said Ian. "Absolutely nothing Starfleet. Or starship for that matter. I've had my fair share of that for a while." He took another drink of her Jamocha shake before sliding it back to her. "Thanks, that's good stuff." He sat back and stretched his legs out under the table, careful not to kick Camila. "So, lake and woods again? Walking or hiking? Or just being lazy and chilling out on a beach somewhere? I'm up for anything, hotshot."
Camila accepted it back and took a drink. "Maybe a bit of walking and chilling in the woods," she said. "I...I need to get away from anything tech for a while."
Ian caught her slight stammer, but left it alone. "Walking in the woods it is then. That's about as far away from anything tech as you can get in a holodeck. And if we want someplace to sit and rest, there's bound to be plenty of stumps to use. Unless of course an old, moss covered cabin sounds appealing." He was glad that Camila had contacted him. If he were honest with himself, he'd missed seeing her.
"As long as it doesn't stink inside," she said. "And you're there, too. I know you don't smell or you wouldn't have got any of my shake. Ready to get up out of here?"
Ian let out a hearty laugh. "We can make it smell like roses or whatever kind of floral fragrance strikes your fancy. And I'll be there for sure. Can't get rid of me that easily. So yeah, let's get out of here. There's a forest walk to be had and a possible rose-smelling cabin waiting to be found." He got up from the booth and adjusted his shirt.
Camila came to her feet and set the shake aside, then gave him a smile. "Let's go, Huntsman." A part of her wanted to take his hand but she resisted and gave a furtive look around to see if anyone was watching her.
He winked at her in return for her smile. Remembering what happened one of the last times he touched her in a friendly manner, Ian slowly moved his arm around her shoulders. It gave her a chance to say something or move away before he landed it squarely across the back of her shoulders. "Hotshot and Huntsman, on the move again. Let's go do what we've probably wanted to tell a lot people to do lately. Get lost."
"How about we get lost and if anyone finds us, we get even more lost?" she suggested as she walked out with him. His arm around her shoulder felt comforting and she didn't shrug it off, but she didn't move closer like she wanted to.
Ian chuckled as they walked down the corridor to the turbolift. "We can give it a shot. But all they'd have to do is shut down the holodeck program and they'd find us real fast. Unless you know of someplace we could more lost."
"No because my new protocols allow me to find anyone on this ship, no matter where they are," Camila said as she walked beside of him. "How about you?"
"Well, if that's the case," he said, "then I no longer have a hiding place to get more lost." He laughed a little before continuing. "I think the only way that's going to be possible is on the next shore leave. Leave the combadges in the quarters and beam down. Find a forest, a secluded lagoon, a mountain and get away from it all."
"Nah, beam the combadges down to the deepest hole in a planet we can find, then beam ourselves to the other side of the planet, then hole up somewhere," she countered.
Ian laughed as they approached the turbolift. "Now that's a much better idea." The doors parted and they entered. Ian gave the lift instructions and it whirred to life. He removed his arm from Camila's shoulder and leaned against the wall. "So I was thinking something like a mountain forest. Not so much tropical. What do you think?"
"A mountain forest sounds good," Camila said. "But with a hint of ocean air from somewhere nearby?" she requested. "And not too cold."
Ian thought for a couple of seconds and slowly nodded. "I think I might have an idea. There's this place on Earth that my parents would vacation at every few years. It's an island but it also has forested mountains and it has a tropical climate. St. Lucia, I think was the name. Anyway, we hiked several trails throughout the mountains in shorts and sleeveless shirts in January. Should be nice and warm."
"Then let's get it up and running and then we can pretend to escape for a while," the ombre haired woman said. "I'm looking forward to seeing how a star-legged space sailor handles leg work on the land."
The lift car stopped at the appointed deck and the doors opened. "Agreed," he said, walking out. "But to get it going, we need to be at the holodeck. So, that said...," he turned around and squatted down while placing his hands on his knees. "Hop on and I'll run us down there. You'll get a preview of this star-legged space sailor, hotshot." Ian wasn't sure if she was talking about herself or him, but, "It's time Commander Fun comes out to play."
Camila moved behind him and wrapped her arms around his neck, then gave a hope to put her legs around his torso. "To victory, Huntsman! We ride!"
Ian caught Camila's legs with his hands as she hopped up. At her victory charge, he neighed and took off running. He passed a few crewman during the first leg of his sprint who have him some odd looks. Ian didn't care. I'm off duty and having fun with the hottest woman on the ship, he thought to himself, not realizing exactly what he'd just said his mind. A curve in the corridor was coming up. A blind curve. "Make way!" he yelled. "Move over! Backs to the wall! We're coming through! Hold on tight, Camila. I don't want to lose you."
At that point, a hapless crewman with his nose in a PADD started coming around the corner and was in the process of looking up.
The Security Chief saw the young man approaching as she held on to Ian for dear life. "Left!" She shouted.
"My left?" The crewman asked, looking to the left and realized it was the corridor wall. "Or your left?"
"My left, Ian!" she called out. "Hard!"
The bookworm crewman seemed completely lost. Ian pulled a hard left going through the curve. The momentum carried him and he got closer to the wall. It took some work, but in the few seconds he had, Ian pulled away from the wall and started to lose his balance. "Oh crap! Hang on!" His left foot stumbled over his right and right over his left. It had to be a bumpy ride for Camila, but Ian was determined not to fall or drop her.
"Oh crap, not wait.." the Chief reached out to push off one wall and found the opposite one approaching. Then she felt him start to buckle and trip. She reached out to brace her hand against the wall and tried to guide him the other direction with her free hand and her legs around his waist as if he were a real mount. "Easy up and straight. I hope!"
Ian felt her hand and the pressure of her legs around his waist. It helped to get his focus back and concentrate. "Gotcha!" Ian picked himself back up mentally thanks to Camila and started slowing to a jog as he straightened up. Well, maybe a trot. The holodeck doors were in sight and he was thankful for that. He came to a stop and knelt so that Camila could slide of his back.
She didn't want to get off of his back, especially when he got under control again and came to a stop. "Do I have to get off?" she asked.
"Nope," he said. "Stay up there as long as you want. Can't promise we'll get too far in our walk, but we'll have fun." He stood back up and grabbed her legs before moving over to the panel. "Computer, bring up the island of St. Lucia on Earth, one of the forest trails through the mountains. Set the climate to match mid-January with a slight, warm breeze off the ocean." He bounced Camila a little bit, getting her better settled in his arms.
Camila laughed, a full release of pent up emotions that had been buried too long and the sound echoed into the holodeck as the doors opened for them. "I was kidding, but you don't have to put me down if you don't want to. However, you're most likely right about not getting far."
"Sweet!" he said. "I think I'll keep you up there for a little longer then." He gave her a few more little bounces. Not to settle her, but for the fun of it. The doors closed behind them and then disappeared. They were in a lush, tropical forest with all the sights, sounds, and smells to accompany it. "It's good to hear you laugh. I like it."
"Only you seem to have that power," she said as she held on a bit tighter and pressed herself against his back. "I like it, too." She paused to look around and took a deep breath. "I love this place, Ian."
He smiled widely, happy that he could make someone else happy. Even if it were just for an hour or so before they had to step back into the real world. He felt her full-body hug as he started walking into the forest and patted her legs before letting her slide down. "I did too. The real one. If we ever back to Earth, you should go visit it."
"I'd like that as long as you were there to show me ar..." Camila paused and jumped with a startled, very girly sound as a very realistic little Saint Lucia whiptail lizard ran across her foot and disappeared into the foliage. She found herself pressed against Ian and looking around for the small creature.
"Well I don't believe I've ever heard you sound like that before," he said with smile. "You're just full of new experiences tonight." Ian put his arm around Camila's back as she pressed against him. This was certainly a side of the woman he'd never seen before. "Don't worry, it's probably long gone by now. And you know what they say, it's probably more afraid of you than you are of it."
"You heard nothing," she groused. "Nothing at all. I stepped on something. Nothing else." She grabbed his hand and headed deeper into the jungle around them. "What kind of bird is making that sound?" she asked as a bird of some kind made a weird laughing sound.
Ian quickly looked down when Camila grabbed his hand and the two of them went on into the forest. He paused for a second after she asked about the sound. "I think, if I remember right, they called it a Laughing Gull." He chuckled. "No one ever blamed ornithologists back then for being original in their naming things." He still clasped her hand. "Lots of new sounds, huh? Maybe even a new holo-program to relax in."
"It's pleasant and doesn't smell like a trap, and that's what I like more than anything," the ombre haired woman beside of him replied. "Unless the holodeck goes crazy and tries to...nevermind. Pleasant thoughts, times and no traps. Just a trip on the holodeck to enjoy some downtime."
"Pleasant thoughts and times coming right up," said Ian. "Computer, put the Toraille Waterfalls about three hundred meters northeast of our current location." After the response of chirps, the sound of nearby waterfalls landing in a pool echoed through the forest. "This is one of my sister's favorite places. She likes to sit and relax to the sound of the falls and take the occasional dip in the natural pool. Maybe it'll help you with good thoughts and relaxing sounds. Take your mind off of things."
"Would she mind if we made it one of our favorite places, too?" Camila asked as she started to head in the direction of the sound of the waterfalls.
Our favorite places, huh. Okay, thought Ian. "Nah, I don't think she'd mind at all," he said, falling in step beside Camila. "We'll have two favorite places now, I guess. This one and the one where you fell into the lake." He couldn't help but grin as he said that.
She gave him a sideways look and a harumph. "I see how it goes, Mr. Beckett," she said. "I hope you remember that when we get to the falls." She enjoyed the banter with him and wondered at the light feeling that passed through her.
Ian laughed and jogged just enough ahead to turn and face Camila while walking backwards. "Aw, you're not feeling waterlogged are you? Maybe a little wet behind the ears? Eh, hotshot?" The tone in his voice gave no sign of malice, but rather the playful exuberance of an Academy freshman.
"Keep it up, Huntsman and they may be hunting for you," Camila said dryly. "Guess who would get to lead the search for you and the odds that that person wouldn't find you?"
Ian chuckled and fell back to Camila's side. "Eh, you'd eventually have to find me. Or someone would. Otherwise you'd have a lot of paddwork to fill out on a missing crew member." He laughed as they continued down the trail to the waterfall. The sounds of the falls and the splashing into the pool got louder. "We're almost there."
"Not if you get deleted from the manifest," she retorted. "Captain Geisler has given me rather free reign over the security measures on this ship lately."
Ian was about to say something when they exited the forest's canopy into an open area. The path led down to a pool where the waterfall was splashing. To their right were a couple of benches and a small building used as a changing room. At the end of the path were man-made steps leading into the pool. All of which was open to the sunlight.
"Well, here we are," said Ian. "Whaddya think?"
"It's beautiful, Ian," Camila said softly. "Thank you for bringing me here. It's...peaceful. Something I haven't know much of the past year..."
"You're welcome," said Ian. "You can have a seat here and enjoy the peace or float in the pool and enjoy the peace. Totally up to you. And you can use this program whenever you want. Maybe this year, you can find a little peace and quiet in here."
She stood up and removed her top to reveal a black sports bra, then her shoes and pants which revealed a thong bikini. With a smile, she let her ombre colored hair down and ran to jump into the pool.
Ian stood there, open-mouthed, as he watched Camila disrobe down to her skivvies and jump in the pool. The smile, though, was something he hadn't seen a lot of since that day in her forest program. He was glad to see it now. And happy that he'd been the one to bring it back. That brought on a bright feeling that he pushed aside as nonsense after a few moments. There was no way she'd ever go for a junior officer.
"Well alright then. Pool it is." Ian removed his shirt and tossed it over the back of the bench. He sat down to take off his shoes and then his black slacks. Ian and his plaid boxers ran and jumped into the pool, aiming for near Camila. "Cannonball!" he shouted as he leapt into the air and splashed down.