"Paint by Heart" Chambers (Gracean)

Daniel Harrison

Cmdr Steven Chambers
USS Hippoccrates NCC-58555

  <<Holosuite One, Day after RI>>
   _Talk about a nightmare._ Celeste was showing signs of extreme fatigue and she knew it. She couldn’t rest quite yet, with so much going on in her brain, so she decided to spend some time in the holo-suite. Maybe see if she could manage to relax a little before they arrived at whatever destination was planned for them. She turned on her favorite holosuite program and picked up a paintbrush from the table beside her easel. What should she paint?
Most days, she painted flowers or a planet. Occasionally, she would branch out into some form of still life or occasionally even something with a modern-day flare. Today, however, her paint brush seemed targeted on one thing. She dipped her paintbrush in a little bit of burnt sienna, some titanium white, and a hint of yellow ochre…it was a bit too orangey so she toned it down with some ultramarine blue and then set to work. Eyes…just so…lips that she wanted to kiss. Short hair and a military posture.
He took shape upon her canvas as he had taken shape within her dreams. She had no real business dreaming of him but it was there. She had been…maybe…a little bit jealous watching him with Metrodora... Had that been because she wanted him for herself? She didn’t know. But now…now she was definitely interested. Even with all that was going on, she had found herself smiling at odd moments and looking forward to their agreed upon drinks.
 The holodeck door suddenly opened, and Chambers walked in. "Captain?" he called.
Celeste started as the door opened and the very person she was painting strode in. She considered hiding everything but didn’t have the time as he was already there. _Oh lovely…now I’m going to look some desperate, grasping female._ She thought to herself in exasperation. “Chambers..”
He walked over admiring the painting. "This is very good. An excellent example of a.." he stopped and looked closer. "Is"
 Celeste simply raised her chin and nodded. “I enjoy doing portraits. It’s a hobby of mine. Perhaps you would like to see others.” She had a lot of them…even of other crew members. One that had particularly spoken to her was Metrodora playing with the children. Another was of the crew memorial. She even had one of Sav and Ash looking at each other in the lounge.
His eyes looked into her's. "That's amazing. Some subtle differences, but I can tell, it's a very...good...likeness.."
She couldn’t help the faint blush that rose to her cheeks. “I’m glad that you like it.” She thought of diverting the attention elsewhere but it seemed silly If she was going to try and start something with him. And his eyes were…very nice. She felt the brush almost drop in her hands and realized she had gotten distracted as he looked at her. How embarrassing. Of course…this whole thing was like a teenage nightmare come true. “I was thinking about you…” She admitted; a little scandalized at herself.
"I was thinking about you too, Celeste." he said using her first name, and establishing from the beginning, this was a social visit, and had nothing to do with ship operations.
Celeste felt a shiver of delight at his words and the look in his eyes. Was it insane to do this? She wasn’t sure but she knew that very little had felt more right to her. She wanted to try at least. Was that so wrong?
"This ground for me." he began in his deep voice. "Being with you. Someone I'm growing to care for, but is my superior officer. More then that, my Captain. I'm...unsure how to move forward, although i definitely want to.."
“I’m not sure how either.” She responded softly. “But I’d like to try..” She put down her brush and moved closer to him. “We’re on this ship for a long time, it looks like.. And that could be good or bad…but I’m not willing to wait any longer on happiness. I’m not willing to hide what we do. I want to be with you. We may want that for a long time or a short time…I don’t know.” She tugged at her uniform. “But I do know that I’m a woman as well as a Captain.”
" definitely are.." he found himself pulling her closer. "I've been alone for so long. Normally I'm very strict about regulations. But here in the Delta Quadrant, far from home, and getting further away,.. I want to try this." he tilted her chin up looking into her eyes. "I want to see how close we get." He leaned in.."and I've wanted to kiss you...for a very long..time.."
Celeste leaned forward and touched her lips to his. They were warm and soft and she almost groaned just at the slight touch. She felt the little tingles of pleasure spread throughout her body in a rush of goosebumps. Her eyes fluttered closed and she raised her arms to go around his neck and pull him closer. She deepened the kiss but mostly let him lead as to how far he wanted to go. "I've wanted the same." She admitted breathlessly after she had lifted her lips and her eyes fluttered open. "Very much so..." She wanted more than just kisses but this was an excellent start. She wasn't sure how far she should push him but if that kiss were a sample she would be a happy woman very soon.
Steven grinned. "I didn't want to think about you for so long. Now, here you are.." he found himself kissing her again, his hands moving down to wander her body and feeling the sensuous curves. "You're amazing." he murmured. "Warm, intelligent, a leader...can't believe.,.you want this as much as I do.." Rank didn't matter to him for the first time in many years. He was crossing all barriers right now..and didn't give a damn doing it..
Celeste returned the caresses and felt her passions growing under his firm, sensuous hands. “I do, Steven.” She knew exactly what she wanted and she didn’t hesitate as she split the seam of her uniform and slid it down her body. ~Computer…restricted access mode. Captain Only.~
~Restricted access is granted.~
“Now…Steven?” Celeste kissed him passionately and completely forgot what she had been going to say…
She was amazing. He'd never experienced anyone like her. And they both loved like neither had experienced it in many years. Holding her nude against him, Steven caressed her skin and stroked Celeste's hair lovingly. "I can't remember when I've been so happy in so short a time.."
Celeste stared into his eyes. “I can’t either.” She admitted softly. “I’ve wished for someone to love but I never found…the one.” It was a brave declaration for her; tantamount to saying she was in love with him. It was scary and something inside of her was telling her to protect herself but lying there, in his arms, she knew how right it was. “What…what do you want to do, now, Steven? I refuse to hide this. We might be in a small amount of trouble but right now its going to be years before that. I don’t want to wait years for you to be on another ship.” She brushed her knuckles against his cheek. “We’re not young teenagers.”
He gazed into her eyes, then softly kissed her. "So, you want to go public? Tell the crew, our XO? That could hurt your career as much as mine, Celeste. I'm willing to if you want, but, it could be very difficult for us later. Right now, we're somewhat insulated,. But, I'd never expose you to someone who might want to bring you down or undermine you, because of me.."
“Well I hardly think hiding it is going to be very successful. And we have couples everywhere on this ship so I doubt anybody will say anything. And besides…how else are we supposed to meet someone?” Celeste sighed and sat up. She wanted to just relax and continue as they had begun but it was suddenly like a blast from the past. “I tried being discreet and the good little Starfleet officer in the past and all it got me was a broken heart. So yes, I want to go public. If not now, then as we figure out if we really want this.”
"Well, there's no doubt I want this." Chambers said putting his arms around her, and pulling her back down against his body. "That's not in question. As long as we're not worried about our careers or worse, we should be fine." He leaned down and kissed her neck softly. "Who shall we tell first? The XO?"

Celeste leaned into his kiss; the side of her neck tingling with his touch. “How about we wait on telling anyone for at least the rest of the night….” She whispered to him as she kissed him and pressed her warm body against his. “I have something I’d rather do with you right now.” She was elated and scared and maybe a little nervous but this felt…right. For the first time in a long time, she was ready to simply enjoy being with someone. No agendas, no politics…just Celeste and Steven.

Chambers gave a soft smile,. and kissed her again. Then pulling her even closer, made love to her once again, It was amazing and felt so right. After all this time to find such a feeling again was astounding to him. Celeste felt like someone he'd been searching for his whole life. That piece of happiness you always try to touch, but it's forever out of your grasp.
Yet here they were. Together, like this, in each other arms. Bodies intertwined like lovers without a care.....or what may come...