They told us about the leave so last minute, we didn't really have much time to plan. I apparently got the early warning, as Commander Sevel mentioned it in passing when asking me to get myself up to date on my fighter craft certifications, two days before leave, and two days before she wanted the certifications up to date. That was one hell of a chore, but I managed to get all but one banged out before leave, and I have scheduled time to get the final one taken care of in about an hour, between the recommended check in time at the end of leave, and the absolute last call before we break port.
When I did attempt to track Imaru down to see if she had anything planned for leave, I found out she was offered a last minute gig at the Academy as an instructor, and in light of the frustrations with the bastard and Sharad, she elected to take it. I wished her congratulations, and offered to take her out for a drink to celebrate, but her plate was already full because they hadn't given her much notice and she was taking over for someone who was leaving right away. We agreed to meet up for lunch the next time I was on Earth.
I called Toby the first chance I got after I found out about the leave, but he wasn't around when I called. He called me back less than an hour before I was due to disembark for leave, to tell me he wasn't planet side yet, but he would be by early afternoon, SF local time. This news was fine by me, I was in kind of an introverted mood anyways, so I figured some time brooding on Luna would do me some good. He did say I was welcome to drop Delilah off at his apartment when I told him what the occasion for leave was. He knows how skittish she gets when unfamiliar engineers are crawling around the ship, and since I only had a vague idea of what Spiegel was babbling about when he gave me the quick summary of the shit the shipyard was doing to the ship, I had no idea if they were going to be banging around the jefferies tubes near my quarters or not.
While on Luna, I visited the place that I lived the first ten years of my life. A cute little Bolian family lives there now, only a wife and two husbands so far. I found this out by sitting down and having a cup of coffee with one of the co-husbands, after he invited me in as he noticed me standing out front and looking spaced out. Their wife is pregnant, and they have my old bedroom set up for the expected child. After that I stopped by the church my parents had married in, and was to have been where I married Travis. The wedding that was about to start when I arrived was between a Vulcan and a Human, so I sat in on the bride's side to watch. Pretty little ceremony. Toby called my communicator to tell me he was on Earth again just as I slipped out at the end.
When I finally made it down to San Francisco, Toby and I ended up just walking and talking around the city for the afternoon. We idled in Union Square, swung through the warf, crossed the Golden Gate on foot, basically hit the touristy spots which neither of us had done in a long while. He shook his head and clicked his tongue when I picked up a fresh tourist shirt from the Golden Gate Bridge gift shop. I couldn't resist a long sleeve with thumb holes and the San Fran skyline along the bottom hem, the city in black and white, the golden gate in it's gorgeous orange, and then the sky going from a bright sky blue and fading down to a star splattered black. I ended up wearing it for karaoke on Spiegel's non-birthday, with a black leather mini, solid colored tights and some black platform leather boots.
I managed to convince Toby to come to Valanna's for dinner, despite his issues with Klingon food. He ended up finding something on the menu that was dead enough for his tastes, which is a feat in and of itself in such a good Klingon restaurant, but I suspect management had started catering to Human tastes in an effort to draw them in and slowly teach them about proper food. The traditional dishes were still as good as I remembered them, and I would be a fine hypocrite if I insisted on Klingon purity anyways. After dinner, Toby and I did stop in Union Square again, this time for some lovely public fucking. Followed by more fun back at his place when we finally made it back there.
The next morning, Toby lazed about in bed forever. I eventually got up and made use of his computer terminal to check in with The Met to see if they had any cancellations for their show that night. When I came back to bed with two tickets acquired, fairly nice seats too, and started talking to Toby about getting dinner before the show, he started making excuses for why he couldn't go. After a little fight, I ended up calling Spiegel and bamboozling the dork into joining me for the show. It required promising some good Blood Wine in return for him sitting through the Three Penny Opera with me, but he dressed well and despite running into his friend Trish, who oddly enough I had met before, he was well behaved, save for on the way to the cast party where he took sadistic glee in picking on Trish about her boyfriend in the show. He did a fantastic job, and I know Spiegel agreed with me, but the dork had to rattle Trish a bit, given she'd been dishing him no end of shit from the moment she found us on the way to the show.
So, funny story about Trish. Back when Travis was still alive, one year when we were on Earth to visit his family for Christmas and Blue had come along, we went to New York City. We ended up in line on ticket lotto for Avenue Q, and managed to make friends with this petite little blond in line with us. When I got called for the lotto, and she was called next, she agreed to let Blue be her second ticket, though this did involve getting the chance to fuck him later in the week. I found it funny that I'd met her so long ago, only to find out that she's a friend of one of the more lasting friendships I'd made in the fleet.
Before the opera, I did spend a little more time with Toby, but because he was flaking on me, I told him I was staying in New York that night. He pouted and whined about it a bit while we were out for the afternoon, but I held firm. I was even a bit of a bitch, got all dolled up for the show at his apartment, left Delilah behind to keep him company, and didn't let him fuck me again before I left. Teach him to bail on me when I wanted to go out and do something nice. Spiegel was kind enough to advise me on where to stay once I made it out there, he checked me in at the same hotel he was crashing at so he could avoid his mother. The Thompson Hotel, it apparently has a pretty fancy bar up top called A60. It doesn't surprise me that the dork would select his accommodations based upon the availability of good booze and fancy bar.
After the opera, Trish got us into the cast party, since her boyfriend was on cast. While we were there, I finally got the chance to meet Sky, and found out that Spiegel wasn't exactly her favorite person, due to something stupid he did on account of that bitch Jenni. Can't say I blame Sky, but Trish has made it her mission to get the two of them to make nice again. She insists their chemistry together is amazing, and even not talking much that much was obvious. So I fully supported Trish in her efforts. The party went until 0400, easily, and when I was headed back to the hotel to crash, I noticed that Spiegel and Sky were in a corner talking together. I managed to find out later that he and Sky got breakfast together when they finally cleared the restaurant out that the party had been at.
Promptly at 0900, Toby called me. Giving me between four and four and a half hours sleep that night. That's 0600 in San Francisco, so the first thing out of my mouth was demanding how he could be up at such a horrible hour of the morning. He ignored my complaints, grinning as I'd answered the comm in the nude, and he still is amused by my tendency to not wear clothing if I don't have to. After he got his required leering out of the way, and let me verbally abuse him for the early wake up call, he set into apologizing for bailing on me for opera last night. Conveniently after the show was completely over and therefore he would not be at risk for having to come with me. He wanted to make up by taking me to Mack the Knife. As I'd already been planning on Fly Me to the Moon instead, I talked him into coming out to me instead of me coming back to him. I didn't mention to him that the occasion for Fly Me to the Moon was actually Spiegel's non-birthday, and had already been planned, so when I confessed to him about that after he'd arrived, he said he'd have to send Spiegel's gift with me on my way back to the ship when I picked Delilah up, as he had a bottle of something tucked away he knew the dork would like.
Speaking of Fly Me to the Moon, Trish was absolutely delighted at the idea that I'd convinced Spiegel to let me drag him out for karaoke for his birthday, so I invited her. I also told her she was welcome to invite any of their mutual friends she could get in touch with, if she wanted. She convinced Sky to show up, and Noelle had brought the bastard with her, so we didn't have a half bad turn out for the party.
Having Sky there was pretty fun. As a professional singer, she was willing to do all sorts of ambitious things on the stage with me, even gave me some pointers on how to improve my raw talent. She agreed to a duet from a Klingon opera with me, and we literally brought the house down. As news got around the city she was hanging out at the bar, the place became really packed, and she and I stuck to silly shit. She had arrived when I'd drug Spiegel on stage for the best song from Avenue Q, The Internet is for Porn, and she helped Toby and Trish provide the backing vocals for it. She was amazed I'd convinced Spiegel to get on stage and sing, and she rightly approved of my choice to have him sing Kate Monster's part for the song.
Trish was eying Toby up like a side of beef, it was amusing to see him as the one who was flustered and being pursued for once, given that when I've witnessed him sniffing around for others to fuck when I'm around, usually he's the one coming on strong, and the other person is the one being shy and flattered and embarrassed by the attention. I'm still trying to figure out what Spiegel's opinion of Trish is, he seems to be hostile to her, hell, he called her the village bicycle at one point, but the way the two interact reminds me a lot of how he and I go back and forth at times. Like siblings, kind of. She's certainly acting like an older sister over him and Sky, that much is certain.
The bastard was on amazingly good behavior, kinda following Noelle around like a lovesick puppy. I still don't like him, but he's at least a little easier to put up with this way. Noelle seemed to be enjoying herself, but I could also see in her body language she was still a little reserved. When he got up on stage to sing, much to my surprise the first time, he sang Johnny Cash. Who'd have thought that not only did he know an Earth musician, but he actually could carry it off well enough?
Seeing the stars in her eyes when he sang, I figured I might as well take one for the team, and drag him back up there to sing some more. She either needs to get him out of her system, or she needs to just give in and accept she wants him. Either way, I saw no harm in helping force the issue. The rest of the ship might appreciate him getting fucked regularly too. At any rate, I sang some Nightwish with him, Planet Hell. He surprised me by knowing who Nightwish was, and also agreeing with me that Tarja Turunen was the better female vocalist for the band. If the fucker hadn't shot me in the back, he might have made a decent enough partner in crime. Fucker.
While I had been up on the stage with the bastard, Spiegel had bought a round for the table. I had something sweet, mixed and high proof awaiting me upon my return, and I saw that Noelle had something in hand too. Given that I knew she didn't like to get drunk due to her loss of self control, I was surprised until I got a smell of it, and was sure that whatever it was, Spiegel had gotten it virgin for her. Conversation the next morning, when she called me up for help and advice, told me she didn't realize it was virgin though, and she was trying to blame her actions the night before on it, after she and the bastard tucked out early and went back to her room.
After Noelle and the bastard left for the evening, the rest of us stayed until last call. I know Trish exchanged contact information with Toby, with the understanding that once my leave was over the two of them were going to get together. Given that I know Blue enjoyed himself with her all those years ago, I'm sure Toby will do the same. I left Spiegel in Trish and Sky's care, and Toby headed back to my room at The Thompson with me. As he felt he had to make up for his dodging out on the opera, which I was still giving him shit for, he was amazingly generous with the sexual attentions he paid me when we got back to the room. In recent years, he had been gradually getting more and more selfish, but not in the entertaining and correctable way that Travis had been, but in an annoying manner that I could not work out how to fix. So it was refreshing to have him making the efforts to please me, instead of leaving me to satisfy myself by use of him.
The next morning, I was woken up by a call from Noelle. After getting out of her the reason for the call, and realizing that not only was she my friend, but I had helped contribute to the situation she was poorly reacting to, I agreed to make haste to her hotel room and help her out. Toby politely excused himself, saying he'd see me later when I swung by his place to pick up Delilah, hopefully with more time to spare than it took to convince Delilah to get into her carrier for the trip up to the ship again. After checking out of the hotel, having sent everything I wasn't wearing along with Toby when he left, I made haste to the hotel Noelle had selected that was near Fly Me to the Moon. When I got there, I could see the evidence of her and the bastard's efforts during the night, and she was asking me to help her heal it up.
I hadn't brought my regenerator with me, but I knew all the good hotels have a simple med kit tucked away in the bathroom medicine cabinet, that I assume in her silly overreaction to her activities, hadn't even considered checking for. She wanted me to heal up everything, and I managed to talk her down to just what wouldn't be covered by her normal clothing. Given that she's usually pretty conservative in dress, this wasn't too bad of a compromise, but I still ended up healing up a lot. She was still a little hard to talk to, even with that done, so I convinced her to settle into a bubble bath and talk to me. I probably sat on the closed lid of the toilet for an hour as she babbled on about what happened, their date, and why it all was such a bad idea. I elected to just listen quietly until she ran out of steam, and chocolate laced coffee, before I offered any thoughts. That took another half hour, but by the end of it, I was pretty sure she had come to realize she'd been overreacting to the whole of it.
All that behind us, we decided to go out and wander New York City together. She'd only passed through the city before this visit, so I agreed to show her around some. She expressed interest in China Town in particular, and remembering that she said her chain whip had come from a China Town shop, I felt this was probably a good place to wander with her. She did recommend a little cafe for breakfast first, where I was able to get a sourdough croissant done up as French toast, topped with fresh fruit. It surprised me that a city that seemed to so dislike sourdough actually offered up something so unconventional, but I was very pleased with the results.
Most of the shops we wandered through had touristy crap, and I kinda wandered around quietly behind her as she poked through the clothing racks and considered shot glasses to give to her father. While poking through the clothing, she confessed to me there was a particular shop she wanted to visit, and when she mentioned the cross streets, I knew exactly where it was. I guided her there, and at the last moment, she swung into the shop next door that seemed to be entirely clothing. After not a small amount of time browsing there, she settled on a black and gold outfit that was very much outside of her normal comfort zone. It also left some of her marks from the bastard on display, so I was pretty surprised when she elected to wear it into the shop she'd wanted to go to in the first place. Once she mentioned in passing what it was this shop had, if you knew how to ask, and confessed she wanted to help our negotiations with the shop keeper by playing at being lovers, I was less surprised.
We walked in together, her hand at the small of my back, which felt weird given that the only people previously who had laid their hands there had been people I had fucked. Despite the oddness of this to me, I still presented the picture the shopkeeper was expecting for a pair of women walking into his shop together. We spent a few minutes walking the shop, looking at the touristy trinkets and shitty fashion knock offs before Noelle broke away from me and whispered something to the shopkeeper, surprising him. He quickly stood from the stool he'd been leering at us from, and guided us downstairs.
When I saw the collection of weapons on display in this secret room, I'm surprised I didn't orgasm on the spot. I think the shopkeeper suspected as much, as his smirk widened. He stood, arms crossed, near the door out as Noelle and I flitted from one pretty to the next. We chatted back and forth, and watching her I knew this wasn't the first shopping trip she'd made into a shop like this. She kept making sly looks at the shopkeep, acting like she was trying to not get caught, but I could tell she was intentionally timing them so she would. I didn't need to make any effort to have him eating out of my hand, my normal reactions to weaponry is rather sexual by most people's perspective, and layer that on top of all the best goods being on the lower shelves of the display cases and my short short skirt, he was most happy to watch my browsing.
It started getting fun once she and I had both finished our first circuit of the room. We started talking seriously about the quality of the various toys we had to choose from, and I think the shopkeeper was a little surprised that we both were spouting off such specifics about the craftsmanship and history behind a lot of the weapons we were admiring and considering for purchase. She made a marked note of the four bat'leth on display, mentioning how she'd been meaning to learn how to use one, to which I quickly offered to teach her. This was when she sweetly asked the shopkeeper if we were allowed to touch the weaponry on display. He seemed to hesitate for a moment before he answered, but I laid a hand on the hilt of a blade that was within my arm's reach, stroking it in such a manner that he couldn't help but drool at my actions, and he dumbly nodded.
From there on out, we had what we wanted from him. He watched wide eyed, hard on creating a conspicuous bulge in his pants, as she and I tested the weight on the various goodies we were interested in the shop. She tried out all four bat'leth for feel, and with my advice, she picked out the best one to take back to the Shingen with her. I picked up some new concealable toys made of diamond, a pretty sweet little sword, not unsimilar to my katana I already owned, but collapsible for easy carry, and a proper display for my daishō, then spent almost all of the rest of my time drooling over the pretty piece of Romulan nasty that was in the most prominent display case. It took every last ounce of willpower to not buy it, but I knew that I would not be able to get that through customs without the help of someone who was actually in that branch of the fleet.
When we finally decided we'd picked out enough goodies, we negotiated the prices for what we wanted to take. He was very generous in the discounts he gave us, but he was also absolutely shameless in his attempts to convince us we needed to get a drink with him. Noelle wouldn't hear of it, but I was quiet as he made his case. When she finally left with her new toys all wrapped up for safe and legal transport through customs, she headed outside to wait for me to finish up, and I grinned at the shopkeeper. While I didn't accept his proposal for a drink, I did imply that I'd think about it and stop in next time I was in town if I wanted to take him up on it later. When he asked if I might be able to convince Noelle to join us, I implied rather heavily that she was only interested in the women folk.
She needed to be back at the ship earlier than I did, because the engineering staff needed to be able to help take the ship back from the shipyard people. So we parted ways about then, and I got beamed back to San Fran, arriving just before Toby, since he'd had to take the longer route without access to the fleet's transporter network like I did. After I told Toby of our shopping trip, he fucked me senseless before he made me open up my new toys and show him. He was fascinated my the collapsible sword, and pouted rather horribly when I wouldn't let him play with it since I hadn't had a chance to introduce myself to my new pretty yet. When he finally let me out of his apartment to head back to the Shingen, I only had a little over an hour before my appointment to get the last of my fighter certifications done, so I headed back to the ship as quick as I could to put away my toys.
And as usual, my desire to write about myself preempted more responsible uses of my time, so I'm still in my outfit that made such a pointed impression on the shopkeeper, and I'm going to meet up with probably one of the straightest laced fighter pilots on the ship to get myself recertified. It should prove to be interesting.