Lunch
Lunch
Summary: Regas meets Pepper for lunch.
Date: 74 ACH - 01/26/09
Related Logs: Drinks
Players:
Regas..Pepper..

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Spotlights Carina - Pyr Hotel

74 ACH 23817 Souls


In the sea of sports, there is a small island of non sports related propaganda. That is Spotlights. Hearkening back to bygone days of flatscreen projected images as entertainment, Spotlights is a dim place, the intimate tables never holding more than four people. The low lighting is broken from time to time by its namesake, occasionally a cone of light sweeping slowly through the area, though the effect on the air, laden with a harmless mist generator is more of the beam of the light visible than shining harshly on anyone. The air is quiet, with the occasional lone piano music heard drifting through the air. The bar is polished glass and chrome, catching and reflecting the light when the two meet, otherwise the subdued offset lights give the place a sensual glow. One wall holds a low curtained stage, which at times draws back, and the spotlights fade, and a classic film plays at scheduled times. The bar serves drinks and food, though the emphasis is on the drinks, and the food is limited. All the glassware is sparkling clean and of crystal. Martini glasses, whiskey tumblers, daiquiri glasses and Brandy Snifters, Spotlights has it all.

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Pep was good to her word. As soon as Regas sent word that he had the time to meet, arrangements were made. Spotlights is likely somewhat quiet at this point in the day, the point when most folks are eating lunch elsewhere or working. A quiet corner booth has been claimed by a very out of uniform Pepper. There are two mugs on the table, one in front of her, one on the other side of the table, with a small, covered plate in the center. Pep's got a somewhat distant look in her eyes as she glances toward the piano, both hands cradled around her mug as if she could get warm.

The woman who stands before you seems to be of average humanoid height - about 5'5. It's a little on the small side of average, but average nonetheless. Long sandy-brown hair is pulled back into a simple no-nonsense bun at the base of her neck, a look which makes her look just a few years older than her actual 21. Blue eyes are set in a face with accompanying features which are symmetrical, young, and, in a word, cute. She's currently wearing comfortable, casual clothing. A long, lightweight skirt of dark green cotton covers her to her ankles and is topped with a simple, modest knit chemise-style top in a soft butter color. Over the chemise is a simple long-sleeve sweater.

One has to wonder if the Commander even owns anything but a uniform. Regas arrives at Spotlights and since the place isn't as busy as it would be on an evening, he doesn't have too hard of a time finding Pepper. Walking toward the table, he glances over her attire and then what is on the table. "Pepper." He greets in that neutral tone and sits down at the booth.

Pepper looks up as he comes close and smiles softly, eyes crinkling a little at the corners. Up close, she looks a little different, subtle differences. The most notable, and least subtle, are the dark circles under her eyes and the fact that she's clearly lost weight. Luckily, it was a bit of weight she could stand to lose. "Good afternoon, Commander," she says quietly, leaning back in her seat. "I only ordered a bit of appetizer. I wasn't sure if you'd eaten lunch yet." She glances briefly at his uniform before looking back to his face, searching for…something.

Regas pulls the napkin down to set on his lap, "No, I haven't had anything yet today." His gaze raises up as he looks her over, "You look nice, if a little tired." His hand moves to the cup on the table, and his gaze is guarded. "I hear you have been doing well though under Major Carter."

Pepper uncovers the dish in front of them, revealing a variety of cheese and crackers. "I've ordered something - they'll fix it when I let them know," she says quietly, nudging the plate toward him. While she seems relaxed, there's a bit of wariness about her. Yet - she's simply Pep. The only other thing of note is that she's sans jewelry. The necklace she always wears is missing. "Major Carter is an excellent CO," she says quietly. "I have an amazing opportunity to learn under him, Lieutenant Dreavers and Lieutenant McKenzie." Ok, so it sounds a tiny bit rehearsed, and she seems to realize that. "I'm planning of making the most of the opportunity I've been given," and not screw it up this time, her eyes seem to say. "You look good, Commander, if a little tired." That part is gently spoken, a little bit of a smile on her lips.

Regas reaches for some of the appetizers on the plate as he listens to her talk. "I'm fine, Pepper," he states, though not harshly. "Yes, I think the area will give you further understanding at how things are done. You won't be fussing over things that will keep you from focusing." He then begins eating some of the cheese and crackers and takes a drink from the mug. "I just hope you understand the reasoning. Whether you realize it or not, everything you do, reflects on the person who is your boss. If I had allowed you to walk over Command…" he pauses, "…it could have gone worse, I hope you realize that part."

She doesn't reach for any food, merely returns her hands to her mug. "I didn't, at first," she admits, tilting her head slightly to the side to study him. "All I could thing was that I had screwed up so very badly, disappointed you so horribly that you threw me away." She lifts the mug to take a slow sip, considering her next words. "I was wrong, not only in what I said, but in getting angry and not explaining what happened. I handled the situation in the worst way possible, and I'm sorry for that." There's no sense of self-pity about her, no sense of mockery. She's simply stating the facts - as she sees them.

Regas nods. "For an Officer, that is something hard to learn. Especially a young one," He stops there and watches her closely, "You were not thrown away. There was a time, when you asked me to let up on you. To allow you more freedom. Rather like a mother tossing her chicks out of the nest and letting them make their own way. Their own mistakes," a sigh is released, "And against my better judgment, I did. So, this is what happens. Perhaps, my hand was too tight, perhaps not tight enough. But you are a young woman and you are old enough to make those decisions. Right or Wrong now, you will face it."

She takes another sip and nods, once. "The decisions are the hard part," she says quietly. "Trying to balance being my own woman with making you proud, do what I know you'd want me to do. Before…" A pause, brief. "Before all of this happened, I lived my life for you and the Colonel. All I wanted was to make your life a little easier, make you happy. That was, simply, my life." She gives him a wry little smile. "Old habits are hard to break. You were only do what you thought was right, what a good father would do, despite the fact you have a whole fleet to protect." She hesitates, then reaches out to cover his hand with hers. "Thank you," she says softly, quietly - simply.

"I felt a responsiblity for you. I'd rather have seen you protected against all this. But, that was impossible," Regas supplies easily, "And, you rebelled like any child would." The mug is raised up again, then is paused when her hand lays over his. First instinct is to withdraw, but he leaves it there, slightly tensed. After a moment, he slides his hand away and simply pats hers lightly. "Growing up isn't easy and even harsher on a ship bound for wherever with very little roots or stability right now."

Her hand slides back to wrap around the mug and she dips her head a bit. "It is, however, time," she says quietly. Before she can say more, a server comes up with refill offers and to ask whether or not Pep would like lunch fixed. Pepper nods, smiling, and holds her mug out. Once he's gone, she turns back to Regas. "How have you been doing," she asks, head tilted as she studies his face.

"Keeping it together," the Commander replies after the server leaves. "Atleast, I hope so, no one has rebelled yet or caused a riot among the civilians." He nods a little and raises his cup again, "I have good Officers, it makes my job a little easier."

There's silence for a time as she considers him, processing the words and whatever might be under them. After a moment, she simply nods, once. "You have excellent officers," she says softly. "We the…flowers well received?" She's treading on dangerous ground and clearly isn't quite sure if she should be going there, but does anyway.

"I'm not sure, I suppose they were," It seems the Commander hasn't even had much time for that lately. Some lift of a smile finally breaks the harshness of his face, "The ship and crew come first, Pepper. They always will." Hoping that explains anything she may be thinking in her head.

Her smile softens a little as she studies him - and no, she's not the type who can hide the fact she loves him and is worried about him. "I know," Pep replies after a moment. "But sometimes, doing what's best for the ship and her crew means being just a tiny bit selfish and doing what's best for her leader." A shoulder lifts delicately. "Just something I picked up along the way."

"You'll understand one day. Your heart is on your sleeve, it always has been. The Major understands what is most important. Her pilots are and that is how it is. If I go rushing down to find out why she went on some Op, she'd probably punch me in the face." Regas seems almost amused by that prospect. "But enough of that, tell me how it is going on the Hera."

Pep chuckles softly and shakes her head a little, smiling. Though the smile fades a bit. "Before I do that, I would like to clear the air about something." She's not so much nervous as tense now, and glances down to her hands around the mug before she lifts her eyes to his face again. "Once and for all, if you're willing to listen."

Regas sits back as the food finally arrives and nods to Pepper. He'll listen, it seems. It is a lunch and he had to work up to it. "Feel free, I'm all ears for another thirty minutes or so."

Pepper offers a smile to the server who's delivering the sandwiches and well-balanced meal. "Nothing happened in Sickbay," she says simply, once the server has left again. "I understand that I was wrong to stay so long and that I displayed poor judgement. I know that - now. But I wanted you to know that nothing happened in that room." She leans back in her seat. "Nothing happened…until after he was released."

Regas brings the plate over, keeping his gaze mostly on the food while she speaks, "I never thought you were having sexual relations in the room, Pepper." He works on choosing his words carefully atleast, "After, he was released…" his gaze rises up then, seems he is bracing himself for whatever is going to come next.

She dips her head, once - acknowledging what he says first, then again as she meets his eyes. "I care for him," she says simply. "It wasn't until we were trying to figure out what to do about that rumor that I realized someone may have been seeing something I was missing. He wanted to come to you, to ask your permission to…well, I guess court is a bit of an old fashioned term. He wanted to pay you that respect immediately, but I asked him to wait until I talked with you and told you myself." Her food remains untouched, mostly forgotten.

Regas moves his food around, he could be hungry but for now it is simply something to do, "I see," thinking back now at the lurking JAGman around CIC. Glancing up again, fork in his hand, he watches her quietly. "I suppose I can't hope that you two have just been holding hands all this time."

Her eyes crinkle a little at the corners - and he can see the beginnings of relief dawning. "He honors me," she says softly. "He respects me. He takes care with me." With, not of. "We've discussed where we would like for the relationship to go, what the future might hold for us, and we've been taking great care to … be respectful, both of you and Major Carter." Leaning back in her seat, she lifts her mug, cradling it close. Yes, she dances delicately around his question and her eyes study his face, as if his reply is important to her.

Regas clears his throat quietly, "He knew about your AIQ and the reason why. He came to my office. When I asked him how he knew, he said that was for me to find out. It was pretty obvious. AIQ in berthings is rather lenient, comparatively. He's in berthings. You are in berthings…" he lets that just stand there now for a long moment, "However, there is still a standard one must uphold when a punishment is given out. As an Officer and a gentleman or gentlewoman, in your case. That is lacking the honor, on both sides." He can do that 'delicate' dance too at times.

"He spoke to me as an advisor," she explains quietly, head tilting to the side. "That's how he found out. As you said, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and he knew something was wrong. The first night of AIQ, he walked me to the laundry, which was a good thing, as it turned out. We spoke about it becuase…he could see something was very wrong." She takes a sip of her drink, looking down at it.

"I think it was a little more than an advisor position, since you said nothing happened till after he was …released." Regas comments and slides the plate of food away now. "Pepper, whatever you do now, you are responsible. You can stop beating around the bush and tell me. If you've slept with him, fine. If that is what you want, fine. I wish you much happiness in the future." He doesn't sound too much like he means it, but it is back to that Commander voice now. "I run the fleet, not your life, not any longer."

There's a few seconds of silence as she considers her coffee, then considers him. "I know I'm responsible," she says, voice quiet. "As for whether or not I've slept with him…" It's not that she's trying to get around the subject. It seems to be more along the lines of "how do you tell your father." "You know, when I was a teenager, I was a little…wild. I rebelled against my parents, but eventually came back into line when it was time for the Academy. It was all…perception. I was never quite as wild as you or my parents imagined. You may not run my life, but you are the closest thing I have to a father, if that's a role you still want to play. If not, I understand. You guided me into a position where I can grow and thrive and you ensured I would be safe. For that, I will always be grateful."

Regas releases a very long breath now and then he begins to stand, "I'm due back." He doesn't walk off, he simply looks down at her for now, "I'm here if you need a father. Just…" he does that crinkled pause again, nothing is ever easy, "Just..don't sleep around. If it is something you both want, do it. Get engaged. Make it atleast look like there is something special instead of knocking around in a bed for nothing."

She looks up as he stands, then smiles softly. "I gave him Mom's ring," she says quietly - which should tell him all he needs to know, at least about how Pepper feels about Salin. "He won't ask me to marry him until after he's received your permission. Believe it or not, your blessing is important to both of us. What we do reflects on our respective commands. We want to do this right." There's something almost, ALMOST, serene in her expression. Settled. "I've never slept around, and I don't expect to ever begin."

Regas has a small amount of sadness in his eyes as he watches her and the look on her face. Then it clears up. There is very little he can say about it. "All right." That really isn't an answer or a blessing, "I'll wait for his call." Pulling a few scripts out of his pocket, he drops it on the table. "Enjoy the food, you look like you could use some relaxing now." He then turns and makes his way out of the bar.

She bites her lower lip for a second, then says quietly, "I love you." It may, or may not, be loud enough for him to hear. Then she's turning back to the food and her coffee, contemplatively.

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