Rier of Forgetfulness #122 - 123 "Hell freezes over"

<On>

<Evans' quarters>

<Before the Odysseus disembarks>

Kristiana had just finished her chat with Ensign Fred, and - though she was amused and cheered up, something didn't sit right with her. The mention of her in combination with Evans, and the hint of trouble brewing because of her. Kristiana didn't like this fact, and she went to find out just how and what. And where better to start than with Evans ? So to his quarters she made her way, to ring the doorchime, hoping he was there.

Evans just got home from trying to fix the Odysseus' glitches. They would be embarking to that weird anomaly soon, to get that shuttle out of trouble. He just had time for a quick snack in the confines of his quarters, as well as a quick rinse and change of clothes. He was just straigthening his jacket, when the chime rang. "Who is it?" he asked, the computer automatically recognising it, and sending it to the door's speaker.

"It's Petrova .. Do you have a moment, Lieutenant ?" she asked.

Evans couldn't help but feel getting a bit nervous again. He knew there was no reason for it... No real reason, though... "Eh... Just a second ma'am, on my way!" he said, as he hurried to the door. "Eh, come in ma'am. Can I get you something? Have a seat. Eh... Welcome... It's an honor..." he rambled on...

"I'm not here in any official capacity, Ronald .." she spoke. ".. Mind if I call you that ?" as she gently sat down on the couch. ".. But there is something that I think we need to talk about."

"... Eh, Ma'am?... No ma'am, not at all... " Ronald said, caught off guard completely, by the unexpected calm and friendly tone.

"Call me Kristiana." she nodded. "As I said, I'm not here in an official capacity." She pondered for a moment, trying to figure out where to begin. "How are things between you and Kitty ?"

"I"m... we... eh... I... Fine, ma.. Kristiana... " Evans fumbled. "And I guess you're on to me being a bad liar, right?" he added with a sigh.

"I didn't make Commander by being unable to see such things, Ronald." She sighed. ".. And I get the feeling that I am, in part, the cause of the friction between you and Kathleen."

"Eh... I wish it was that simple, Kristiana... But it's not you. Directly... It's those e-mails, and stuff... and well... You *are* what I consider a kind of sword of damocles hovering over my head..."

".. Don't .. Feel like that. Ronald." She spoke, pondering each word carefully before speaking them. ".. those pictures .. They're a mistake I made, fifteen years ago. Kitty got sent them as well, and we talked about them .. We talked about how you looked at them, and liked them .. We talked about how that made her feel .. And she's not angry at you, Ronald, nor does she love you any less. In fact, I dare say she understands your reaction." She smiled. "After all, you're a guy .. And I'm hot." she winked, in an attempt at humor.

Evans dared letting escape a bit of a snicker at that, standing at his replicator.. "You are far from ugly, and they are beautiful photographs... Until I realised I was looking at the woman who slammed a mark on my record the moment I met her... It only took me two photos to realise that... Wanna drink, Kris? ... Tiana?"

"Yeah .. A juice or something. Surprise me." she nodded. "Well .. I can understand why you see me as a sort of damocles' sword, as you described it. But .. You don't have to." she spoke. ".. do you want to explain to me why you feel that way ? What exactly happened to cause it ?"

Evans thought for a little while. "Two apple and cranberry juice, 70-30 % mixture." Then he thought for a long while, as the drinks materialised, he gave one to Kristiana, and took a long sip for himself. "...Well... We met in a kind of awkward way, causing me that note on my record... We've worked together for a while now, but I guess you have been avoiding me, and I've definitely been avoiding you, never really got to know each other... I guess... Never talked... Like this... I still feel a bit queezy at the knees, you showing up on my doorstep all of a sudden..."

"I've never consciously avoided you, Ronald." she spoke as she took a sip of the juice. ".. And that note on your record .. You WERE quite out of line, that day." She sighed softly. "Matter of the fact is .. I recognise that you are a brilliant officer, and a really nice person .. And I do admit that, at times, I've come off harder on you than you deserved .. And for that, I do apologise, wholeheartedly. I'm sorry .." Petrova spoke.

This was something that Evans would have never expected... "Eh... Well..." he said, rubbing the back of his head with his free hand... "Eh... Apology accepted, I guess... Still... You were out of uniform in a restricted area... But you are right, I could have handled that a tad more diplomatic... Just as I should have handled Kitty this morning, when she visited me on the Odysseus... Any tips on how to fix that? This Ensign 'Fred' guy suggested a big bouquet of flowers and apologizing like mad... I'm inclined to go with that..."

"Well, I don't even know what happened." Kristiana shrugged, taking another sip of her drink.

"Oh... Eh... Sorry..." Evans apologised again. "She came in, buzzing like a bumblebee. I was fumbling with this console, trying to get it to work. Quite unsuccesfully, I might add... I got jolted badly a couple of times. And then there was the whole ordeal with that e-mail, and your pictures... Let's just say, I was in a foul mood. She said that I would figure it out, because I'm one of the smartest guys she knows, and I reacted like a total jerk, asking her why she was the one with the promotion then... It just rolled out of my big piehole, before I realised. When I think about it, I could still kick myself..."

"Hm .." Kristiana furrowed her brows a bit. The old, pre-Bathory Kris would've said something like 'you deserved that one, then' but this new and improved Kris wasn't that harsh. " .. Well, apologising sounds like a good start. Tell you what, I'll give you a little hint. Women like to feel respected. You don't need to bring flowers to apologise - flowers on random occasions without apologies are far more effective. But you really should apologise .. Just once. Then tell her how happy you are for her promotion, how much you love her, give her a hug .. Things like that. Don't drag on the bad things too much, but try to change the mood to something good by giving her a compliment, after apologising. To make her know how much you love her. To make her feel loved and respected."

"Well, I guess that sounds like good advise too... I'll think about it on the Odysseus, and take her out for dinner tonight... I really love her, you know? I really don't want to lose her over something as stupid as this..." Evans mused. "...Me and my big mouth..." he added softly.

"Your big mouth is part of what makes you so endearing." Kristiana replied, readily, finishing her drink. "If I had known what I know now, you wouldn't have gotten that note on your record. But .. It's there, now. And there's nothing I can do to change that."

"... I know..." Evans sighed. "Ah well, I guess Im not the only one... I'm actually in good company... James Kirk... Montgomery Scott... Spock..." he said, as his mouth quirked into a slight smile again.

"Just you wait." she grinned. "In a few dozen years, they'll mention your name in the same breath."

"Yeah... And that name's Mickey Mouse..." Evans smirked. "Another drink?"

"No .. I should be going. I've got a lot of work to do .. Paperwork .. Celebrating my promotion .." She smiled as she rose from the couch, starting for the door. "I'm glad we had this talk."

"I never thought I would say this... But it's been actually nice talking to you, Kris... Tiana... Ma'am..." Evans said, feeling a whole lot lighter. "I guess you're right... I should go and get that Oddy out. We've got a shuttle to save."

She nodded, pausing at the door. "Just drop by Kitty's first, even if just for a few moments. Leaving now with things left unspoken is the worst thing you can do. Duty or not. I'm sure the Oddy can handle a five minute delay." She spoke, then nodded and made her exit.

"...Thank you, ma'am... We should do this again soon. "

<Off>

Cmdr Kristiana Petrova Executive Officer Starbase Ronin (SB47) "Now that that's done .."

&

Lt JG Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer SB47 Ronin "What's next?! Pigs fly?! Not complaining, mind you..."