Starbase 243

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Just Add Lemon and Salt

Posted on Tue Sep 29th, 2020 @ 5:54am by Lieutenant Tequila Dreik & Lieutenant Andrew "Drew" Hunter & 1st Lieutenant Krios Akati

Mission: Bring on the Wrecking Machine

Once the meeting had finished Tiki had returned straight to security instead of opting to take the rest of the day off. There were a few things she needed to get sorted before this undercover thing started, one of which was finding her in, something she planned to work on that night. First though, she had plans to have dinner with Drew.

Pulling a brush through her hair, she paused, checking her reflection in the mirror. The jeans hugged her curves while the backless handkerchief top definitely accented her assets. Threading the belt through her jeans, she fastened it and slid her feet into her favourite boots before walking back into the living area of her quarters, picking up a bottle of tequila. She was just about to pour a shot when the chime came. "Enter," she called, turning toward the door, holding the bottle up and reaching for an extra shot glass. "Can I tempt you with some Tequila before we go?"

Drew entered Tiki's quarters and looked at her with a slight grin. He had asked her if she wanted to go to dinner that night and go over a tentative plan for her under cover mission. He knew he shouldn't worry, but things could get dicey quick and Tiki was one to go diving into situations without waiting for back up. "If I didn't know better, I might think you were trying to get me drunk so you could take advantage of me." He let out a light chuckle to emphasize he was kidding...mostly.

Tiki scoffed and shook her head. "If I wanted to take advantage of you I wouldn't be getting you drunk," she shot back. "I'd use my handcuffs.
So are you tempted?" she asked as she poured the shot of tequila for herself, watching him as she waited for a response.

More than you know he thought. He nodded his head after a moment. "Why not." He stepped forward and took the second shot glass.

Pouring the second shot, she set the bottle aside and picked up her own, holding it up toward him. "Aan do!" she said with a wink before taking the shot, shaking her head slighting and grinning at him.

Drew gave a salute with his shot glass before downing the contents. Though smooth, it left a warmth that went from his throat to his stomach. "Whoa! That was good." He smiled at Tiki. "Reminds me of how the squad would kick off weekend liberty back at the Academy."

"Every weekend," Tiki replied with a grin, filling both their shot glasses again without waiting for him to decide if he wanted one or not. "Though after you grew up and got all adulty and responsible it was more often than not Harkins who started the weekends with me."

Drew's expression grew thoughtfully nostalgic. "Harkins? Wasn't he the engineering track fellow recruited by Starfleet Intelligence to design gadgets?"

"Yeah, he was surprisingly good with his hands," Tiki said with a shrug before downing the second shot. "I still talk to him from time to time. Anyway, what did you want to do for dinner?"

Drew gestured at her. "Your choice. I'm still not familiar with all the establishments on the Promenade. Most of my dinners are at home with the kids."

"If you want to stay in we can replicate something, or we can try the steakhouse on the promenade? I've heard it's pretty good. At least it's better than the Klingon place."

Drew contemplated the options. A steak dinner did sound good. The second shot was getting to him just a wee bit. Staying in and probably having more tequila would not be the best idea. "Steak actually sounds good."

"Okay..." Walking across to the sideboard next to the door, Tiki grabbed her commbadge and slipped it into her pocket before turning around to face him again. "Right, shall we?"

Drew gestured to the door. "Ladies first." He followed her out the door. He felt much cooler in the corridor. He glanced at Tiki as they walked. "So who is this contact you were talking about earlier?"

"Someone I came across recently, I have a feeling he's going to be my in so I can find out who's behind the attack on the Hammish." Tiki talked as they started walking. Her hands slid down over her hips, a move that to anyone else would just look like she was smoothing her jeans, but instead she was checking she had everything she needed.

Drew glanced sidelong at Tiki as they walked to the turbolift. He knew she kept things close to the vest sometimes, but she had generally confided in him. He understood the need to compartmentalize, but he was the one who would be her primary contact once she left the station. "Care to elaborate?"

"There isn't a great deal to say. If charm and wit don't work, I have something to hold over his head." She smiled sweetly as they stepped into the turbolift and gave their destination.

Drew remained silent for the turbolift ride to the Promenade. He was worried about Tiki's safety for this mission. The doors opened onto the Promenade Deck and he stepped out after her. "Lead on."

It didn't take long for them to reach their destination and get seated with both drinks and food ordered amid a smattering of small talk. "You having doubts about this mission?"

Drew released a long sigh. "Not so much doubts, but I would be lying if I said I don't have my concerns." He reached across the table and took hold of Tiki's hand. "I don't want you to do anything rash. Don't try and promise me you wouldn't, because we both know that if you were in the position to take out the threat or risk losing the trail by waiting for back up, you will do the former."

Tiki turned her hand in his, her fingers closing over the back of his hand. "I'll do my job. You know that." She looked down at her hand in his before looking back up at him. "My success rate on not getting dead is 100% so far," she added with a grin as she met his eyes.

Drew gave her hand a gentle squeeze. It felt good and he thought for a moment what it might be like to just lean over the table and kiss her. The thought had barely formed in his mind when something unexpected occurred.

She could feel him squeezing her hand as she stayed looking into his eyes, momentarily caught somewhere between reality and a memory until her attention was torn away.

"Lieutenant Hunter!" Krios called out from the entrance to the steakhouse. Running up to their table, "I wanted to go over some....things," his eyes fell on their hands held together. His eyes traced from their hands, to Drew's face then to Tiki's then finally back to their hands. Looking back up at the pair, "Am I interrupting something?" He asked quizingly.

Drew released Tiki's hand, withdrawing his back as his gaze shifted from her eyes to Krios. "No, uh, not really, we were just discussing..."

"We were just talking about the pirate attack and the probability of some kind of underground network in the local area," Tiki finished pulling her hands off the table, resting them on her lap instead as she shifted her attention to Krios. "Well, are you gonna join us Buttercup? Or are you just going to stand there and make the place look untidy?"

Drew gestured to the empty chair at the table nearest Krios. "Please, join us."

"If you insist," he chuckled as he took the seat. He quickly flagged down the waiter and put his order in. "So, underground network?"

"I suspect there's an underground network in play that helps them move stuff easily. It makes sense to me anyway, and I have some evidence of it, which is how I plan to get in." Tiki picked up the drink that had been placed in front of her, offering a quick thanks to the waiter before taking a sip.

Nodding, "Interesting. Which brings me to my next point," he turned his gaze on Drew, "You wouldn't happen to have any recommendations for a Sergeant Major would you? One thing I've noticed on my review of the marines is a clear lack of senior leadership among the NCOs."

Drew took a deep breath and shrugged. He had not had much interaction with the Marine Detachment since his arrival. "I'm not the one to ask. I've really only had a passing contact with a few of the enlisted marines. I do know that reinforcements are due to arrive any day though." He turned to Tiki. "You've probably had more contact with the marine enlisted than I have. Any suggestions?"

"The jar heads?" Tiki asked as she slid one foot out of her boot easily, her foot first finding Drew's ankle and then slowly brushing upward over his lower leg toward his knee. Without skipping a beat she kept her eyes on Krios. "Honestly, from what I've seen so far I don't know if you have anyone that has the game to step up without falling apart. I broke up two of your senior boys earlier in a game of fisticuffs. I don't think either of them was impressed that I put them on their asses." There was a brief pause as her foot travelled lazily downward again, all the while her expression never changing. "If it were me I'd sit them all down and set it out as a goal. Step up and show me what you're made of. Winner takes all." She offered as a final suggestion before picking up her drink and taking another sip.

Drew was raising his glass when he first felt Tiki's foot touch his ankle. He slowly lowered the glass to the table, gripping it tightly. His eyes travelled to her face as she spoke to Krios. It took every once of discipline he could muster to keep his demeanor steady even though his cheeks flushed with color. He was sure her last two sentences were directed at him and had little bearing on the issue regarding marine non-coms.

"That's not a bad idea." Krios admitted. His drink finally arriving, he took a long sip before noticing the flushed look on Drew's face. "You alright there buddy? You look a little flushed."

Drew glanced at Krios. He took a deep breath and nodded, willing himself to relax. The color started receding from his cheeks as he exhaled. "Yes. Fine. Think I may have had a shot or two too many not too long ago."

"He doesn't know how to hold his Tequila," Tiki responded nonchalantly, looking up as their meals and fresh drinks arrived. "Food! Thank the deities! I don't know about y'all but I'm absolutely famished!"

Drew was thankful for the arrival of their food and drink. He nodded to the waitress with a smile. "Thank you."


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