Okay...as we close out the week, here's a little moment of...interesting
The way it begins is actually a bit of an homage to a scene in one of my favorite Bond films, Thunderball
BTW--just to warn you all in advance, Julian Bashir can at times be quite...audacious....
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
She ran the water so hot that the steam filled the entire bathroom. She felt like she needed it. Anything to wash it all off…this feeling of being soiled
Was this how Lady Macbeth felt?
Cynthia Holland caught herself wondering.
She drove the thought away, with all that it implied.
Well, it was of no matter. She pushed her hair back, closing her eyes…and stepped forward into the barrage, covered in body wash. She lost her awareness of time and space…letting the hot water run down her face…mixing with the wash in her hair…the soap on her skin. As it ran down…she could feel it refresh her spirit…and, yes…cleanse it.
She sighed, more in relief than in anything else, as she extended her arms in delight, accepting it all, grateful for this absolution.
Finally, when she was completely rinsed and satisfied, she pressed the panel on the wall, turning off the water completely….
The feeling of a soft towel on her back was a pleasant addition, and she took the corners, wrapping it around her—
But in a split second, the fact fully registered in her mind: There had to have been someone behind her, to give
her that towel.
She yelped—whirling to see the beaming face of Doctor Julian Bashir.
He lowered his arms, and shrugged. “I was beginning to wonder when you’d notice I was here.”
Holland stiffened. “Doctor!”
“Yes—I’d have waited in the hall a bit longer, had I not been doing exactly that for the past…twelve-point-seven-three minutes.” He leaned against the wall, crossing his arms. “Frankly, it was becoming quite embarrassing.”
She swallowed hard, staring at him, feeling her eyes widen more than she’d thought possible. After a moment…she relaxed, huffed, and shook her head in amusement as she walked over to the sink, snatching a hand towel to dry her hair. “Well
!” she remarked, “I suppose I’ll have something to say to the manager tomorrow morning about the locks
“Oh, I wouldn’t bother. It’s of good enough quality, but I’d consider myself one of the few who know how to…overcome it.”
Holland tossed her mostly-dried hair about her with her hands. “Well, it was certainly very bold of you, Mister
“It was, wasn’t it? I don’t suppose you’re impressed.”
She stared at him, aghast. “Impressed
? I ought to throw you out right this moment!”
Not moving, he deadpanned, “You’d certainly be within your rights to do so.”
She felt a mischievous smile appear on her face, as she shook her head, narrowing her eyes. “No
…no, that would be too easy. But, since you’re here—I’d ask you to stay right there, and let me finish dressing in relative privacy
He smiled, and spread out his hands, “As you wish, Miss Holland.”
you…” she said, as she exited the bathroom, head held high in feminine pride.
She headed straight for her dresser, taking a linen robe. But then, she noticed a Starfleet-issue carry-on bag, by the door leading to the hallway.
She narrowed her eyes again, as her smile grew.
“Anyway,” she said to the doctor—who, a gentleman to the last, still heeded her wish to remain in the other room, not looking, “I was not expecting you tonight, Julian. You seemed rather…distant when we came back here.”
“Yes, well…I suppose I wanted to make amends for that. I didn’t hold anything against you, really.”
After clearing the covers from her desired spot on the bed, Holland sat down, still in the towel, setting the robe beside her. “Well…thank you, I suppose.”
“You could say I was deep in thought. You see…I admit I was a little intrigued
by your going a bit out of your way for that souvenir of yours….”
She raised an eyebrow, turning her head behind her, to the bathroom. “Oh?”
“Well, to me it seemed a bit out of place. After all…time was
of the essence.”
As he spoke, Holland felt her hands move the covers defensively up to her neck. It was out of pure instinct…she didn’t need to, even if he did
Do not show any sign of concern. You can handle this properly…be careful.
She laughed. “Was that
what it was all about?”
She shook her head, still chuckling, as she turned completely around, so she faced the bathroom doorway. She tucked her feet under her, as she called out, “Oh, it’s all right, Doctor. You may come out, if you wish.”
He did so—and stopped short, smiling and shaking his own head as he observed her, sitting there, still in the towel. “So…is that
your idea of ‘finishing’?”
Holland shrugged. “I suppose it depends on the circumstances. Now…to answer your question, yes, it was
a little foolish of me, I admit….”
“I’d say so…which is why I assume
you haven’t told me everything about this assignment of yours.”
Holland shrugged. “Perhaps I haven’t!”
Julian leaned against the wall again, chuckling. “You know…if I were a cynical man, I would say you enjoy
keeping things from me.”
Holland looked off. “Well…standard procedure for me, I suppose.”
“Indeed. Much as I delight in the mystery of women…still, in that case, it seemed uncalled for. One would think a complete understanding between the two of us would be…essential for effective teamwork.”
Sighing, she met his gaze. “I don’t expect you to understand, Julian—but some things must be ‘need-to-know’ in this line of work. You are not
a professional agent—regardless of,” she smiled at him, “your abilities.”
“Really?” He looked hurt. “You don’t trust me enough for that?”
“Not particularly, no.”
He shook his head yet again. “You amaze me, Cynthia. You’re certainly one of the most self-reliant women I’ve ever known.”
Holland raised her eyebrow at him. “One
of the most…?”
“Well…there were at least two others in particular—not counting any Klingons, naturally—who could compete for that title. One is the good Colonel Kira Nerys.”
“Ah, the commander of Deep Space Nine?”
“And the other one?”
Julian sighed. “A dear friend of mine,” he said in a near whisper, “who…died some years ago.”
“Oh, it’s fine, now. But my point is,” as his gaze intensified, “If you aren’t careful, my dear…your independence will get you into a great deal of trouble, someday….”
Holland stared at him. “Trouble…?”
He shrugged, and looked off. “Well, in this case…I’d wager that the delay caused by your little unannounced antic allowed at least some of those Syndicate operatives to escape their death. At the very least, I’d wager Crolin’s still alive.”
“Oh, I shouldn’t be so certain….”
He stared at her again, his tone growing serious. “Don’t
underestimate your adversaries, Cynthia. If you do…I fear you may pay a heavy price for it.”
Holland felt her smile return. “Doctor, are…are you worried
for my safety?”
“You could say that.”
She chuckled again. “Well! Was that
why you came in so abruptly?”
She shook her head. “You are
a gentleman, aren’t you!”
“I try to be.”
Holland couldn’t resist gesturing to the bag by the main door. “So…am I to assume you’re to be my ‘bodyguard’ for the night?”
Julian shrugged. “Call it that.”
Holland burst out laughing, as she fell back, her head caught by the pillows. The idea filled her with such a feeling of…of triumph
, for lack of a better term. It was so…releasing for her.
She finished with a sigh, and looked up to see him staring intently at her…watching her, as if analyzing her mannerisms once again.
She felt her lips part in a wide smile. “I’m flattered
, Mister Bashir!”
He tilted his head. “Indeed?”
Holland nodded. “You’re very chivalrous, Doctor. Thank you.”
Bashir walked over to the bed, sitting on the side, looking down at her. “Oh, I’d like to think of that as my specialty.”
“It certainly is….”
Julian looked beside him, and took the linen robe in his hands. He shrugged, handing it to Cynthia. She took it—and tossed it to the wall with a grin.
Julian smiled. “So
, it seems I’m your…protector for the night—and for at least until we can be sure of your safety.”
Cynthia nodded. “You are.”
…are we going to do about it?”
He said nothing, as he started to lean forward a bit.
Cynthia raised her voice enough to say, “Computer: Lights off—slowly.”
The lights throughout the suite began to dim. And Cynthia Holland closed her eyes…and let herself lie limp, as his arms encircled her, bringing her close to him. His lips met hers…and her awareness of her surroundings dimmed with the lights…and so, driving any reason for reluctance out of her heart, she allowed herself to give in, this once, to the will and spirit of Julian Bashir….
* * *