Settin' Em Up and Knockin' Em Down
Location: San Francisco, Earth
Timeline: 5th Day of Shore Leave
The conversation with his sister put Ethan in a weird mood. It started off like it always did. They would catch up on the latest events in their lives, and then discuss any interesting galactic developments that might have happened since their last conversation. Each of them were always cautious not to bring up the taboo topic - their father. However, today was not one of those days. His sister had brought up the idea of him visiting and that his father would like to see him. It has been over five years since the last time he visited. The visit was challenging as always.
He took a deep breath, and slowly exhaled as he stepped out of the building at which he was staying. An apartment had been provided by Starfleet for the time he was spending on Earth prior to his next transfer. With no plans for the next few hours he wanted to clear his head, and grab a bite to eat. He headed over to one of the market places nearby his apartment which also happened to be close to Starfleet HQ.
Edra had gotten a few mandatory meetings out of the way that day. It was just her, and Henry was at home, working in the barn last she'd seen. The meetings had gone smoothly, a few suggestions for improvements, but it never seemed like anyone ever got a completely good review. The next assignment was discussed, including a list of new crew members that she would look over later.
Thankfully, it was over, and she could enjoy the remainder of her shore leave. For now, she decided to spend more time walking around the city. There was something about the atmosphere around Starfleet HQ that brought back memories of her Academy days here. As she walked, she noticed a vendor selling Bajoran food from a small setup. Deciding to splurge, she bought a Jumja stick from the woman, thanked her, then continued walking. Perhaps she'd wander a few blocks then return home.
Ethan had past a couple of establishments that served food but none of them appeared to be calling to him. Truthfully he wasn't sure what he was looking for. It was one of those deals that he would know when he saw it. This careless looking around lead to him not fully paying attention to what was in front of him. Another few steps and he bumped into something or rather someone. It felt softer and gentler then a wall or a pole of sort. He quickly refocused to what was in front of him and he had accidentally run into another person.
He couldn't see the person's face but from the form it was a woman with darker hair. Her form lead him to believe that she was fit and hopefully attractive. Maybe a happy incident. "I'm so sorry. I should have been paying attention to where I was going." He quickly said hoping that she wouldn't be mad. What he did fail to notice is that when he bumped into her that he had knocked her Jumja stick out of her hand and onto the ground.
Edra hadn't known what hit her, but it caught her off guard, and she found herself empty handed. The apologizing voice behind her sounded very guilty.
She picked up the treat and as she turned around, she responded. "It's alright" She inspected it, but the gummy substance had rolled around, and was wholly unrecoverable. She smiled. It wasn't a big deal. "Happens to all of us. I'll just get another."
As she picked up the treat off the ground, and turned to face him. Ethan greeted her with a friendly smile feeling guilty that he had ruined her snack; the guilt of bumping into her had faded slightly as he noticed her attractive features. He thought to himself that maybe it was a happy incident. "I'm so sorry. I should have been paying more attention to where I was going." He looked in direction of her ruined Jumja stick. "Let me get you another one. I owe you that much at least."
She was ready to insist that that wasn't necessary, but she could see that he wanted to make it up, so she nodded. "That's very kind of you."
Ethan shook his head gently. "It's just the least I can do for destroying your snack." He looked around then noticed the stand selling Jumja sticks. He motion for her to follow him.
She did so. "Well, first of all, it's only a snack, not something irreplaceable. Second, you made a mistake, is all. There's no need to be hard on yourself."
Ethan nodded in appreciation of her trying to make him feel better. "Are you just visiting or do you live around here?" He asked as they walked. He hadn't seen many Bajoran around since he had been back to Earth.
"Just visiting. You?"
"Same." He replied as they approached the stand. He purchased another Jumja stick and handed it over to her. "Here you go."
She raised a brow before accepting it. "It hardly seems appropriate to take candy from a stranger," she said with an amused expression. She wanted to get the name of this person so determined to make amends for such a small indiscretion.
A smile flashed across his face as he looked at her. "Strangers for now...." He said finally realizing that he had been interacting with her for the last few minutes but had yet introduced himself. He extended his hand in her direction. "I'm Ethan."
She took his hand and shook it. "I'm Edra. Pleasure to meet you. And thank you for this," she said, accepting the treat. "I had been looking forward to something sweet."
"Pleased to meet you Edra." Ethan said then slowly pulled his hand back as their handshake ended. "Well, you've picked right if you were wanting sweet. I have always found Jumja sticks to be very sweet. At least for my taste buds."
Edra smiled, "They've always been a favorite of mine as well. But they just don't replicate the same, so I only get one when I get planetside."
"It's always better when they are "fresh"." He said with a smile. "Well, I have taken up enough of your time. Once again, I'm sorry." He stated sure that she was busy with other things.
"Quite alright," she responded. "Enjoy the rest of your visit. It was nice to meet you." She held up the Jumja stick again, "And thank you again, for this." With that she turned and continued in the direction she had been heading.
Commander Edra Crow
Executive Officer, USS Mercutio
Lieutenant JG Ethan Cross
Chief Helm Officer, USS Mercutio