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Ice Skating, Dress Uniforms, and Bathtubs

Posted on Tue Sep 12th, 2023 @ 8:03pm by Commander William Gerhard & Ensign Alexandra 'Lexi' O'Connery

Mission: Contagion
Location: Planet Surface
Timeline: Late 334
1369 words - 2.7 OF Standard Post Measure

Lexi strode into the hotel room, looking soaked, cold and very unhappy, but as soon as she saw the figure sat in the chair and offered a smile to William. She had not seen him since he had left that morning to deal with Cusack and Jamesson so seeing him after her adventure was a sight for sore eyes. Who knew ice skating would lead to her getting lost after she left the group?

“You will not believe the day I have had my communicator broke and… You look mad, why do you look mad?” She asked dropping the communicator parts onto the coffee table to attempt to fix when she was less cold.

William had looked up at her entrance as he unbuttoned the collar of his dress uniform. He had given her a glance before he had returned his gaze to his work. "You missed the dinner. You know, the diplomatic function that the captain wanted all senior officers to attend," he said in response before giving her an upraised eyebrow, "Your absence was noted by Leroux and several others."

“I am not a senior officer?” She answered back quickly wandering for a moment if it was her fiancée or the executive officer questioning her. “So why are you mad at me? I knew nothing of it being needed there.”

"Captain Leroux had invited you since she thought you would enjoy meeting more of our hosts," he said by way of explaining before turning to look back at her. He recalled feeling slightly uncomfortable when the captain had looked to him for an explanation as to why Lexi was not present. Come to think of it, this was one of the first instances where his position as Executive Officer conflicted some with their status as fiancés.

“If my presence was requested it will have been lost as my communicator was damaged when I got lost in the snow storm.” She explained holding up the the broke device.

He looked down at the communicator in her hand that was in pieces. When his eyes looked back up to hers he felt himself blushing at his own embarrassment. Had he really assumed there was not a good reason she was not present? "Oh," he said before looking away, "That is a pretty good got lost in a snow storm?" He looked back up at her with a look of worry as the realization of her words sank in.

Lexi nodded as she started to undo her damp uniform jacket chucking it close to the door to hang as she sat down to take off her boots. She was cold, wet and confused now by the questions she was getting asked. “Yeah. Why I am so late? Where did you think I was?” She asked not looking at him as she pulled her boots off and tossed them in the same direction as her coat. She felt a little better now that some of the dampness was no longer weighing her down.

William thought about her question for a moment as he looked down at his boots. He hadn't really thought about where she had been, just that she hadn't been there. "To be honest, I'm not really sure where. I wasn't even aware you had been expected at the dinner seeing as how Diaz was there, but when the captain made the comment...," he said before trailing off before he looked back up at her, "I'm sorry if I accused you of anything. I should know by now to trust you."

Lexi stopped in her movements in getting the wet and frozen clothes off of her and looked at him confused. "What just happened here? Did you think I was cheating? Playing loose with the rules? Using your position to get free of duties?" She wondered aloud in standard trying to work out what had just happened.

"No, I didn't think that," William said quickly feeling his face get red with embarrassment. He felt that the hole he was in was getting deeper, and he was the one shoveling away as he tried to backtrack, "I don't know what I was thinking, it's has been long and...." He walked over to the edge of the bed and sat on it as he looked down at his boots. Why had he even mentioned the dinner to her, had he been looking to start a fight? William couldn't answer that, so he just stared at his boots as he felt her looking at him.

Lexi took a deep breath and properly turned to look at him looking chagrined and embarrassed. "Well, I did not do any of it. You are the man I love and I respect you and your position on our vessel and home." She said as she started to try and take more clothing off to warm up .

"i know, he said before looking up at her with an upraised eyebrow, "Did you just call it home?" While her statement wasn't untrue, that was the first time he'd heard her refer to it and not Earth as home.

Lexi shrugged at his question as she finally managed to get the wet clothes off herself and bundle herself up into a warm towel. “What does it matter?” She asked still a little coldly.

"It's just," he said for a moment noting her tone, "That's the first time I've heard you refer to the ship as home and not Earth." He didn't mention her tone, frankly he deserved it after what had transpired before.

“Earth does not have a single person I want to be remembered by. Everyone I love and what is in the Atlantis and where my heart is. I guess is the definition of home.” She finally said explaining why she had said it. It had not seemed like a bit thing and she honestly thought thought he knew but it seemed like they were understanding things differently at the moment.

He nodded in response before looking down at his boots again. "I guess I should've realized that before now," he said softly. He felt awful about the situation, the way he had scolded her when he should've had more faith in her. He loved this woman, she was his only reason for hanging on, and he had taken that for granted.

“You have a lot going on William.” She soothed gently trying to salvage whatever had happened. “Get some sleep. I will warm up and join you.” She said grabbing up a towel wrapping around her pale and shivering form.

He smiled at her and watched her walk into the bathroom before he stood to finish removing his dress uniform. She was right, It had been a long and stressful day. However, he still felt guilty about his initial reactions. "It's a shame i wasn't able to show you how to properly make an igloo like we planned today," he offered as he heard the water start to flow from the other room.

“There are plenty of other days and I think I have seen enough snow for the day.” Lexi commented from the room. “You know you could join me in this bath? It’s big enough?” She added sticking her head out of the door trying to offer a peaceful resolution to their night.

He looked over and their eyes met. He saw the softness in her eyes, and he could feel the weight on his shoulders lifting slightly. "You mean that? I mean I'm not the tallest, but you and I have a hard enough time fitting in the bed back on the ship," he said.

“Yes I mean it. Come and look at this?” She said holding her hand out to him to encourage. It felt like they were back on the future ship when she had convinced him to come exploring.

He thought it over only once before he smiled slightly. He Took her hand and let her lead him into the room as he let his undershirt fall to the floor behind him. After all, there was no telling when the next time they'd be able to share a bath together.


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