Movements of Light and Darkness
Location: Mindo's Quarters
Mindo needed company. He'd been drinking quite a bit. It was four hours after his little talk with Ixelom and he still couldn't get to sleep. He checked his chronometer again. 0618. Would he ever get some sleep?
He stood up and went to the living area of his quarters and pulled down the screen attached to the ceiling at the far wall. Setting up his PADD and tricorder projector, he began to browse through the millions of old films he had put in the ship's library. He needed something good... but what?
He got up and checked the duty roster, noting Caradan, his usual date, had just started the morning shift and would not be available. Who else was burning the midnight oil?
Then he remembered the standing date he had with Riaan. He'd promised her a movie. Noting that she was not on active duty for a number of hours, he walked back to the couch and tapped his console.
=/\=Mindo to Riaan. Are you up? =/\= he said, wondering if she was even awake. It was an odd time to call.
Riaan was wide awake reading reports. With Caradan on duty, there was little else to do to help her insomnia. Without Ziara, the cabin felt empty. While she enjoyed spending time alone, studying one aspect of things or another, it was starting to be a bit much. Mindo's call intrigued her, she hoped it wasn't the port positron sensor, again. She grabbed the commbadge off her desk and tapped it with her thumb. =/\= Riaan here. What's up? =/\= She asked, her soft voice carrying over the commlink.
Mindo smiled. =/\= I'm about to watch a movie. Would you like to join me? =/\=
Riaan nodded to herself, she did not know Mindo well, she mostly dealt with his minions. The only time they really had gotten to talk, it had been a short conversation. However, she knew that Ziara liked him, mostly physically, but as a person as well. =/\=I'd be happy to.=/\= She responded, getting up and slipping into casual clothes.
Riaan's red dress was not one designed to highlight her attractiveness. It was meant for everyday wear, but it fit her. She ran a comb through her hair and exited her cabin. Riaan made her way to Mindo's cabin, because they were both seinor staff, they were close together. She touched the chime to let him know she was there.
"Come in," said Mindo. The door swished and suddenly Mindo felt rather under-dressed. Riaan looked very nice in her red dress, while Mindo just looked tired in blue striped pajama bottoms and a white t-shirt.
"Wow," he said, standing and walking over to greet her. "You look great!"
Riaan blushed and looked down, "It's nothing." She said, embarrassed at his compliment.
Mindo looked down at his own unkemptness and shrugged. "Sorry about my own appearance." He ran his hand through his hair, which was sticking up on one side. "I've been up all night. Let me grab something nicer. Please have a seat!"
Riaan sat down on the end of his couch, watching him scurry about the room curiously.
Mindo could've hit himself. He walked back into his bedroom and scrambled to put on a pair of pants and a randomly-chosen purple collared shirt. He grabbed a bottle of Tranya and went back out.
"Would you like a drink?" he asked, grabbing two glasses anyway and moving over to the couch.
Riaan nodded, "Yes, but I do have to be on duty in a few hours." She mentioned. She wondered if Mindo was trying to seduce her, he was a pretty person she could see what Ziara saw in him physically. However, she was not sure if she could deal with that right now.
"I keep a chilled bottle of orange juice around if you'd rather have that," said Mindo. "I'm not trying to get you drunk."
Riaan raised an eyebrow skeptically, "If it's syntahol, I'll have some. If not, then orange juice will be fine." Riaan said quietly as he went to get the drinks.
"Orange juice then," said Mindo, getting out the chilled bottle of orange juice. "What kind of movie would you like to watch? I have millions from all different cultures."
Riaan looked at Mindo, trying to judge what kinds of movies he might like for a long quiet moment. She supposed something lighthearted, but who knew? "I've always enjoyed a good enigma tale." She offered.
Mindo grinned. "I have plenty of those." He handed her the glass of orange juice with the bottle and set his own bottle down, grabbing the PADD and flipping through a few pages of a long list of films from different cultures and different eras. "There's this Cardassian director named Fol Gesset, who specialized in political thrillers. She lived about a hundred years ago. There's Radek of Romulus, whose films were so controversial they were banned for almost three decades. That was about two centuries ago. The humans have this guy, Hitchcock? Genius. Tamarans have great cinema, period. But they can be hard to understand. What sort of enigmas do you like?"
Riaan's mouth twitched for the briefest moment into what might have been a smile. "I generally think the Cardassian directors are the best, I love how rich and complex they make them, but I'm biased. Radek does have some interesting plot points, but he tends to wax a bit too anti-authoritarian for my tastes."
"Oh great!" said Mindo. "I love Cardassian thrillers." He went to his PADD and flipped through it for a moment. Finally he came to a movie he thought she'd like. "Here's one. It's about eighty years old, from an obscure director named Paka Urdun. He only made a few films, but this particular one, called 'Descent of the People,' is very good. Have you heard of it?"
Riaan thought for a brief moment. "I've got mixed feelings about it, Ziara liked it though." Riaan paused, thinking about her wife for a moment. "Do you miss Ziara?" She asked absent mindedly.
Mindo stopped looking at his PADD for a moment. It had been some time since he and Ziara had interacted, and that was before she had left Tornado.
"Yeah, I miss her," he said. "She was fun to be around." He paused and looked back at Riaan. "Do you miss her?" he asked, wondering why she had brought the subject up.
Riaan was quiet a moment as she put her thoughts in order. "Every moment, Ziara is the better part of me. The part that actually likes people and keeps me going. She always has this way of looking on the bright side of things."
"I feel that way about someone," said Mindo. "I think."
Riaan cocked her head, "Who?" She asked.
"Caradan," said Mindo. He leaned back, and his mind was envisioning her in that green dress she had worn for him once. Well, she hadn't really "worn" it. She'd formed it as part of her body. Mindo had never met a Changeling before he met Caradan, and he'd never been in love with anyone until Caradan.
"I really love her," he said. "It's... intoxicating."
Riaan felt strange, because she also felt that way about Caradan. She wasn't sure how to react. "She really is, isn't she." Riaan numbly agreed as she tried to work through her feelings.
She loved Caradan, if she didn't she would have left with Ziara. Somehow, Mindo felt like a threat. That her feelings and Mindo's were in conflict, even though they were the same feelings, for the same person. She knew that she should be fine with this. That she had been the Caradan for Ziara and Caradan. That Ziara had been happy for her. "I'm happy for you." She said, hoping that by saying it it would become true.
Mindo did not know Riaan well enough to really know for sure, but he felt there was more behind that statement than just the surface. "Do you... do you love her?"
Riaan shifted, knowing the answer to the question but not sure how to answer. She seemed to shrink into the couch. She should be honest with Mindo. She could feel her heart beat faster. "Umm..." Her already soft voice faded in and out as she worked on the words. There was a long silent moment that hung in the air. She let out a small breath, "I do." She said almost inaudibly.
"Oh," said Mindo. He recalled Caradan telling him she loved Riaan, but would put him first. While he had no problem with that, he now realized things may be different for Riaan.
"Is this... a problem?" he asked, not sure how she would respond.
Riaan didn't want it to be a problem. She had known for a while that Caradan and Mindo were also together, as well as Mindo and Ziara. "It wasn't a problem with you and Ziara." She said, but that wasn't the whole story. She wasn't afraid of Ziara leaving her alone, she was still scared of that with Caradan. There was a short silence, and she said what she felt like she should say, how she should feel "It shouldn't be, no."
Mindo thought he sensed something more than "it shouldn't be," but didn't want to press it any further.
"Oh!" he said, turning back to his PADD. "Here's one. It's called 'The Gul of Molten Sky.' Ever heard of it?"
Riaan was too distracted by her own turbulent emotions to listen to Mindo. "Put it on" she murmured as she grappled with how she felt about coming to grips with the relationship between Caradan and Mindo.