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Guest Laarell

"One-Hundred Twenty Days, Pt. IV"

Day Three



"We're not going to Kenya."


"Don't you want to see where Citrus came from?"


"And risk running into more than one of her -- undomesticated? Decidedly, no."


"Aw, but Laarell..."


"Maybe at the end of the semester," she tried, quite happy that she had another plan that he'd like even more. A plan that didn't involve strenuous hikes through African mountain ranges to see the exact rock (because Kahrak remembered the exact rock) where he found Citrus and "instantly thought Laarell".


Her plan involved beaches. And walking and sunning on those beaches. And palm trees. And perfect weather.


And carrying around a nice, hand-carved horga'hn, thank you, very much.


"So are we moving you into your new office, then?"


"Decidedly, no."


"You have to sometime, Laarell."


"All I've been doing is moving in and out for the last few days. I want a break."


"Now, it's best not to procrastinate, Laarell. Never procrastinate."


"What are you... my conscience?"


"A voice of reason amidst chaos," Kahrak corrected, pompously.


Laarell let the flat look she leveled him with speak for itself.


"Kahrak," she said, slowly, "Since the last time I saw you, I've spent my time about being blown up more times than I can count, been shot at, going on long archaeological expeditions on an alien world that has worse wind than anything we've ever seen, facing down gigantic scorpions, caring for an orange hellbeast that bites my crewmates, been unable to talk to any of my friends or family for damned near a year, been whipped in an alternate universe, and, not to mention, trying to live down a few-night-stand with a bartender. I. Want. A. Break."


Kahrak silently retrieved and handed her a small bottle of ale (which she chugged), and then proceeded to ask, "Bartender?"


"Don't even."


"Well, it's not the first time you've had that problem."


"I said..."


"Did you get caught in, ahem, illicit activity on the bar again?"


"No! Hell if I even know how it got out."


"Well, you know rumors."


"They spread. Like wildfire. Yes, believe me, I know. Do you have another ale?" she asked, setting the now-empty bottle on the side table.


Wordlessly he retrieved it, and Teykier continued. "That's not to mention the crew..."


"Starfleet's finest, I'm sure."


"Oh, undoubtedly. But, gods, Kahrak... when I'm not trying to stay alive and keep away from arachnids..."


"Except for Citrus," he interrupted.


"Including Citrus," she continued, with a glare, "I was either being chased around by a literally bloodthirsty vampire..."


"You've had enough ale."


"... I'm serious! And the captain had fangs, too!"


"Caitian?" Kahrak asked, from his wide, square, rock-chair.




"I was close."


"Yes, you were. And we had two kitties, too."


"Two? Sounds like you had a zoo on the ship."


"Yes. All were were lacking was a Horta."


That evening


"Food. Good, solid, Earth food."


"I'd think you'd never seen a cheeseburger before, by the way you wolfed that down," Kahrak commented, dryly.


"Hush. It's good food."


"Also," the Horta pointed out, "fast food. Besides, shouldn't you have been trying to find a place that served Orion food?"


"Nah. We're doing Orion fare for Thanksgiving, remember?"


"I'd think you'd want it more often than that." Kahrak managed a fair imitation of a shrug, which Laarell mimicked.


"Well... it's been awhile. I'd like it, but, then again, that kind of thing tends to make me homesick."


"It's been years since you were on Qo'NoS, hasn't it, Laarell?"


"Yeah." She put down the remains of her French fries, and sighed. "I keep thinking that I should go back. Goddess, all my family is there, other than my twin."


"Definitely should go back."


"Can't -- not right now, anyway. I blew a good chunk of leave at Bajor, and now I'm stockpiling what I have left for a true vacation at the end of all this."


"To Kenya."


Laarell gave him an exasperated look. "Risa."


"The Great Mother help us. The Orion on Risa."


"Kahrak, don't be juvenile."


He was snickering. "You're so defensive."


"A defense mechanism, I must say."


"Don't you have a little nephew you haven't met, too?"


"Goddess, with the time displacement we had on Excalibur coming back from the mirror -- and I'm still not used to adjusting for that -- he's... two or three now."


"And your little sister who'd always send you cute drawings in the academy. Is she still planning to be an artist?"


Laarell laughed. "Last I heard, Darah was setting her sights on the ambassadorial track. But she has a good mind -- she'll go to the academy if I have anything to do with it."


Kahrak chuckled. "She sounds a lot like you."


"She's far more spoiled."


"True -- you've always been protective of her. Moreso than it sounds your own siblings were of you. Pray tell, do you not want her turning out like her evil tramp of an older sister?"


"That," Laarell grinned, "is exactly what I am trying to do."


The Horta considered. "So we shouldn't take her to Risa, too?"


"There aren't enough languages I can say no in."


"And you know quite a few, too," Kahrak teased. "Very well, fair's fair. If you survive a semester of teaching small academy cadets how to properly study new life forms and to program a computer, we'll go to Risa on my dime."


"If I survive it?"

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