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Save the last dance

Posted on Mon May 11th, 2020 @ 6:45pm by Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu M.D. & Lieutenant Savin

Mission: In the Family
Location: Queen's dinner party

Dinner now done, Savin looked around from their closed area, observing the people - mostly women - attending the royal party. From the sway of movement, he could tell music was playing so he looked around until he spotted the - all-female - band. Watching them, he focused on the vibrations in the floor and from there he could a minute sense of rhythm, there wasn't enough bass in the music for him to be able to tell a proper beat.

Carefully, he moved away from Hamilton, somewhat leaving him to his own devices, and walked up to what passed for a fence. For a moment, he debated calling out, then decided on just a subtle - and yet obvious enough - wave to attract the XO's attention.

After the dinner the crowd had stepped away from the tables and as the crew was cleaning up the room the men had been sequestered off to the side. Santu looked over in their direction when he saw Savin trying to grab her attention. She slowly made her way over to the side, struggling still with the high heels and the dress. once there she leaned in, "I heard one of them say that they were looking forward to dancing with their man, so I think they'll... release you... soon." She looked around a bit shiftily.

"That surprises me," Savin answered, while automatically offering an arm in case she needed steadying, "my general impression is that the men here are either ignores or looked upon as if they are vermin. Do you think there are women here who actually respect their mate? Assuming we can even refer to them as such." He moved a little closer. "Will you attempt a dance?" He then asked.

"I'm not sure I can avoid it," Santu looked over her shoulder a bit apprehensively, the queen hadn't said anything about it but the dressmaker seemed pretty certain that she was expected to participate in at least the opening dance of the ball, she then whispered knowing that Savin didn't really need to be able to hear her, "honestly can't get wait to get out of this dress."

"Is it that uncomfortable?" Savin asked curiously. He could understand the heels, they did look painful but then what did he know about shoes? "The dress really does suit you ma'am, it makes you look..." He hesitated, his cheeks colouring ever so slighly. "Beautiful," he finished.

"Ehm, thanks," Now it was Santu's turn to blush. She looked away slightly before facing him again, "it's not uncomfortable, but I feel like I'm the centre of attention. I don't do well in the bright spotlight."

"You are the guest of honour it seems ma'am, that means you are in the spotlight, especially since you are from an alien culture, compared to them. We all are aliens to them, but as XO, you seem to be the novelty and as most senior officer present, thus the ideal ambassador." He paused. "Perhaps you can retreat and get into a more comfortable attire, after you have done your duty as guest and had your dance?"

"Yeah, perhaps," Santu remembered that the tailor had promised her a small surprise for during the dance. She had been dreading the moment for most of the day. All she hoped was that she would remain upright and not make an ass out of herself in front of all these people, "honestly, I think if I go into my room I might not leave again."

"Would..." Savin hesitated, realizing it could get him in serious trouble, "would you dance with me? I am not very good at it for obvious reasons but I do know the steps. A waltz is easy enough..."

"That's easy for you to say," Santu responded with a smile, "you don't have to listen to your own screams as I trample all over your toes. I'll come get you when the time is right." She reassured him right before she stepped away. Someone from the royal entourage has motioned her over towards the centre of the room.

An announcer took the stage and the entire room went quiet, "We do hope that you all have enjoyed this splendid meal prepared by Paratus' finest Chefs." There was modest applause in response, "and now, to officially open the ball, The United Federation of Planet's Ambassador Taeler."

Like a deer in the headlights, Santu couldn't really do anything other than stare for a moment before she stepped forward into the empty space in the middle of the room. The lights slowly dimmed and as they did so, the dress itself started to light up. The elegant fabric gave off a dark blue hue with a starry night sky reflected on its surface. It took her by surprise almost as much as the crowd that had gathered around her.

Savin could not help staring at her as the dress started to glow. The dim light was a hinder to him, so he kept his attention focused solely on the XO. "She looks amazing," he murmured, more to himself than to the other men in his proximity. He let his eyes travel up her dress until they finally settled on her face. "Beautiful," he said, almost mesmerized by her appearance.

There was some movement around the corner where the men had been sequestered. After the dinner they had been strongly advised to take up their place behind the top again. As the music started to play there were two royal guards that stepped up, they unlocked the ropes and allowed the men to filter out of the corner.

Santu looked over at the men and locked eyes with Savin, there was no way she was going to be here in the middle of everything alone. She put out a hand towards him, hoping he would take the hint and join her for a dance.

Somehow, Savin couldn't help but feeling like cattle that was left out of the pen, just prior to the hunt. He was still watching the XO and moved towards her as she extended her hand. "You will have to count," he reminded her, "or somehow tap out the beat to me. I assume, you are expected to lead."

"I assume the same," Santu gave a sweeping grin, she wasn't much of a dancer and there was only so much that the instructor could do about that in the limited time she had been granted to practice with him. She put a hand around Savin's waist and tapped two fingers in rhythm with the music. At least. As much as she could. She held out her other hand, accepting his on top of it. Now came the moment of truth. She stepped forward, forgetting for a second that she should gently guide him, stepping immediately on his toe that she had expected to move but didn't.

Blinking in surprise at the reverse dancing position, Savin missed the beat and failed to step back. He grimaced as she stepped on his toes, but otherwise quickly stepped back in the hope of keeping the beat. "Easy does it," he commented quietly, "we are not perfect and this is rather unusual. We will get into the flow eventually."

"Sorry, sorry, sorry," Santu whispered back, trying to keep with the rhythm, her tapping sometimes erratic as she tried to keep track of three different things in her head. She shouldn't be looking down, her eyes found their way back up to meet Savin's eyes, "Easy does it." She said more to herself than to the counsellor.

The counsellor briefly closed his eyes as again she stepped on the same foot. "Do not apologize for something that is beyond your control," he counselled softly, "we will manage. Pause, breathe, and lead. You can do this, listen to the music and let it guide you. The steps are not important, I will go where you steer me to." It felt easy enough, but he feared for bruised feet by the end of the evening.

Santu took a moment to stand still after the third time she stepped on Savin's toes. She took his advice, taking in a deep breath. She then started up again. Trying to stay in rhythm. When the music started to fade away she let out a huge sigh of relief. A modest applause followed. She looked at Savin, "Thank you," The dress lights started to fade again and as she walked off the dancefloor about a dozen other couples took it, "I'm glad that's over."

"So am I," Savin answered cautiously, following her off the dancefloor, "I hope you did make a good impression with at least trying." He gave her an empathic smile. "Despite stepping on my toes, I believe you did well under the circumstances. I hope my dancing skills were sufficient." He had no doubt he had managed to step on her toes once or twice too, though she'd not given him any such indication. "And for the record, I still believe you look amazing."

"Thank you, I appreciate it," Santu gave him a small curtsy, "I hope you can move about a bit more freely now that the fences have been taken down" she pointed at the direction where they had been cordoned off, "once your feet have healed, we might have to do another dance." She tapped him on the chest and smiled before stepping away from the counsellor.

"I agree," Savin answered as she walked off, though he didn't specify whether he agreed with moving about, or having another dance. Even so, he was going to sit down for a few minutes first, and then he would see about trying to mingle.


Lieutenant Commander Taeler Santu
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Savin
Chief Counselor

USS Athena


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