"What me? Why? No!" Adèle looked at the three earnest faces in front of her in horror.
"Come on, you're the only one who can. You can't expect any of us to do it?!" Ishaq replied, shrugging his shoulders.
"Of course you can, why not? Colin could do it." Adèle pointed to the very pale looking Colin.
"Not a chance, the man scares the ever loving daylights out of me." He answered, throwing his hands up in the air and walking back to his station. Adèle rolled her eyes and focussed on Barbara.
"What about you?" She asked hopefully.
"Adèle, if you really don't want to do it I will but I think it would be better coming from you." Adèle smiled sweetly at Barbara, she was a very kind woman but stuttered over every other word and suffered from severe anxiety. There was no way Adèle could let her do it instead of her.
"No Barbara, thank you. I'll do it, I'll ask." Adèle went back to her station and sat down, twiddling the stylus in her fingers thoughtfully. She could do this, she could. Couldn't she?
Later that day Adèle tentatively made her way to the Bridge, a place she had never stepped foot in before. Adèle Majette was a Mathematical Modeller, along with her three colleagues they worked mainly on their own and very much remained out of sight and out of mind. Reporting directly to Commander Spock they had very little interaction with anybody else. So when Colin mentioned it was Ishaq's Birthday in a week's time and perhaps they should have a small party, the group of Doctors were initially excited but then filled with dread knowing that they would have to ask Commander Spock for a shift pattern change so that they could all be together. It very nearly stopped them from doing anything but Barbara, being the oldest one in the group didn't want, and couldn't let another Birthday go by without doing something.
She kept her head down as she walked along the corridor and then hesitantly pressed the control for the Bridge, as the doors swished open the breath caught in her throat. She felt like an imposter, as if she shouldn't have been there. All the other Crew and Officers seemed to walk around so confidently, laughing and smiling with their friends. Since boarding the Enterprise she had gone from her quarters to her place of work and back again. Thankfully nobody looked up as she stepped over the threshold. She spotted Commander Spock and began to walk over to him, stopping just before his station she started to question if the whole thing was just one big mistake. As she was about to turn round and leave Spock looked up and noticed her.
"Doctor Majette?" Adèle swallowed the lump in her throat and smiled warily.
"Commander Spock." That's as far as she got, her brain had shut down and she couldn't think of another word to say.
The unfamiliar voice had caught Kirk's attention, turning in his chair he spotted the woman in question. He'd never seen her before, her face wasn't anything extraordinary or significant, and yet, he felt somehow mysteriously drawn to her serious and silent features. He couldn't help but notice her luminous complexion and lack of makeup, along with her neat as a new pin haircut. He supposed many would consider her homely, but he found her awe-striking. As she stood in front of Spock her eyes stayed locked to the ground, Kirk concluded that she must have been painfully shy. He was just about to turn back around when he noticed that neither Spock nor the woman were speaking and he knew enough of Spock's lack of empathy to know that he wasn't going to make it easy for the woman, as the seconds moved on he could see that she was growing ever more uncomfortable. Standing slowly, he began to make his way over.
"Can I help?" He said just before he came to a stop, he saw that she jumped slightly at his words and he thought maybe he'd made a mistake or should have cleared his throat or something so that she knew he was heading her way. He watched as she quickly looked at him but averted her gaze to the floor almost immediately.
"I um, I need to speak to Commander Spock." Her voice was quiet but strong. "Captain." She added a second later which made him smile.
"I don't think we've ever met…" He glanced quickly at her sleeves, "Lieutenant…?" Kirk held out his hand towards her.
"Doctor." Adèle corrected, not really sure why she had felt the need? Letting her eyes travel up to the Captain's face once more and then seeing that his hand was outstretched, she thrust hers forward also and shook the man's hand so fiercely that Adèle saw him wince.
"Doctor Majette…" Spock informed Kirk, who nodded interestedly, "Is a Mathematical Modeller."
"That sounds very much like you're probably the most intelligent person on this Bridge Doc, am I right?" Kirk smiled warmly at her, he watched her blush and then shake her head.
"Not at all Captain, I carry out dynamical systems, statistical models, differential equations… or sometimes they can overlap, with any given model involving a variety of abstract structures…" Adèle clamped her mouth shut, realising that she was rambling. As far as Kirk was concerned he found it utterly charming.
"I stand by my statement Doctor Majette." Adèle broke into the smallest of smiles.
"Thank you Captain."
"How can I be of assistance Doctor Majette?" Spock returned to the business at hand and Adèle was happy to.
"I um… I was wondering if perhaps we can reorganise the shift pattern in the Computational Dynamics team Sir?" Adèle asked nervously.
"For what reason Doctor?" Spock asked as Kirk winced at the Vulcan's abrasiveness.
"It's Doctor Hiza's Birthday Sir…" Kirk watched as Adèle visibly blanched at her own words. "My apologies Commander, I should never have bothered you with this. Please forget that I mentioned it, my apologies…" She quickly turned on her heel not before glancing embarrassingly at Kirk.
"Doctor Majette wait!" Kirk called out after her. "Don't apologise, I'm sure Mister Spock has no issue with you arranging a party for a colleague, do you Spock?" Kirk turned his attention to his First Officer, pleading silently that he didn't eradicate the last remaining confidence in the shaking woman beside him.
"I see no problem Captain, Doctor Majette you may alter your shift patterns." Spock answered.
"Thank you Sir." Adèle allowed a smile to appear on her face.
"There you have it!" Kirk clapped his hands together.
"Thank you Captain." Adèle almost bowed.
"Don't mention it, perhaps I'll pop by for a piece of cake?" He was joking of course but as soon as he saw the horrified look appear on her face he regretted his words.
"It would be um… our pleasure Captain Sir." Adèle spluttered before turning quickly and all but running from the Bridge.
"She's incredibly shy isn't she Spock?" Kirk commented absent minded after Adèle had disappeared from sight.
"Not all humans are blessed with you confidence Captain." Spock replied.
"Why Spock, if I didn't know better I would have thought you were being sarcastic!"
"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to Ishaq! Happy Birthday to you!" The four friends and colleagues smiled and clapped as Ishaq stood in front of the small cake Adèle had managed to get her hands on from the canteen. In fact Ishaq's Birthday had taken Adèle to places on the ship she had never been before. The canteen for the cake, the Quartermaster for bunting and the recreation room for a bottle of Rum (which wasn't her first choice but she'd whispered it so quietly to the Barman that when he had asked her to repeat herself she refused and just took the bottle he offered her).
She was also not in her uniform, wearing the only dress she owned. A high neck, shin length black dress her Mother had bought her to wear to her Father's funeral. She hadn't put her hair in a French pleat either, letting it fall down her back and using two pins just above her ears to keep it out of her eyes. The pins had been a present from her Fiancé; she had found them tucked away on the high shelf in his closet when she had been clearing out his apartment after the attack in San Francisco. The note attached read 'Happy Birthday My Love', her birthday being three days after he'd died. When she had been looking in the mirror in her quarters she had realised it was how she used to wear it when she was at school, perhaps a little young looking but she really had no idea about those things.
Adèle allowed herself to smile though, watching her friends relax and laugh was lovely to see. They were all so serious all the time, work occupying their every thought. The field that they specialised in nearly almost attracted those on the autistic spectrum, socialising was difficult for most, relationships likewise. It was immensely important to all four of them on a personal level and for very different private reasons that they were having a party and putting themselves outside of their comfort zone.
Adèle sipped at the Rum in her cup, it wasn't as awful as she had imagined. She watched, smiling widely as Colin showed off his dance moves in the middle of the room. Barbara and Ishaq cheered him on as they both had their second piece of cake. Adèle turned round when she heard the door swoosh open and froze in utter fear as she watched Kirk walk through the door and towards her.
"Doctor Majette, good evening." Kirk came to stand next to her, smiling warmly.
"Good evening Captain." Adèle managed, looking to her cup.
"I hope you don't mind, I can't pass up the opportunity for Birthday cake!" He watched as she peered into her cup, her lips were upturned slightly, the smallest of smiles. Her features looked softer with her hair down and he watched in rapture her thick eyelashes fluttering rapidly.
"I'll go get you some." Adèle answered, walking quickly away to the small table. Barbara and Ishaq had watched Kirk come in and stand by Adèle, they'd both silently watched as the Captain had spoken sweetly to Adèle and the Doctor hadn't even dared look at him once.
"Are you going to go over?" Barbara asked Ishaq.
"Of course not, you?" Barbara shook her head no. Colin was still dancing, completely oblivious to the goings on around him, it was one of the few things he enjoyed doing, losing all anxiety when the music played and letting himself go to the rhythm.
Adèle cut the cake and placed it on the small plate, walking back over to Kirk she quickly looked at his face and saw that he was watching her. She was surprised that it didn't make her feel as uncomfortable as she thought it would, making eye contact that is. She wordlessly handed the cake to Kirk.
"Thank you, I didn't mean for you to go get me a piece! I'm more than happy to help myself." Taking the cake from her he observed the small nod and smile she gave him and then went back to starring into her cup or the floor or the wall. Eating a forkful of sticky icing and sponge he hummed in appreciation at the sweetness. "This is a good Birthday cake! Have you had a piece?" He asked, Adèle simply shook her head. "You should, it's delicious." Without a word Adèle walked back over to the table and cut herself a piece, all the while Kirk looking on in bewilderment. When she was stood by him again he laughed. "Doctor Majette, that wasn't an order! You didn't have to go get a piece if you didn't want any." He hoped he hadn't made her feel too uncomfortable, he was amazed however when for the first time Adèle laughed and smiled brightly.
"I know Captain, I wanted some, and your piece looked good." She risked looking at him again and found that he had a kind face, one that didn't scare her. She dared herself to look into his eyes for as long as possible.
"What are you drinking?" He asked, eyeing the liquid suspiciously. Alcohol was only to be consumed in the rec room or in private quarters but Adèle thought better of it than to lie to her Captain.
"Rum, would you like some?" She asked, feeling bold.
"No" Adèle thought that she was about to be reprimanded but then Kirk added, "I can get it, I should say hello to your friends anyway right?!" Kirk gestured for her to lead the way, Adèle was suddenly nervous. She was an introvert, in most cases she chose not to socialise but in the case of Colin, Ishaq and Barbara they simply couldn't socialise. She led Kirk to Ishaq and Barbara first who both looked like rabbits in headlights.
"Captain, this is Doctor Barbara Honner and Doctor Ishaq Hiza." Kirk knew better than to offer his hand to them so nodded politely.
"Happy Birthday Doctor Hiza, great party." At the Captain's words Ishaq beamed. A silence fell between the four of them. "Well, it was nice meeting you, keep up the good work, Commander Spock tells me you're doing a sterling job." Kirk looked to Adèle who took the cue to move on. As she was pouring Kirk a drink he watched Colin continue to dance with unabashed fervour. "Perhaps I should speak to Doctor Nabel when he's not so busy?" Adèle heard the amusement in his voice and smiled herself.
"That may well be a good idea Sir." She remarked, handing Kirk the drink.
"Cheers." Adèle brought her cup up to his in a toast. "Do you like working on board the Enterprise?" Kirk asked.
"Yes very much thank you."
"Have you always been a…?"
"Yes… one of those?"
"Yes." Adèle took another sip of her drink and tried not to cough when the harshness of the Rum caught at the back of her throat. "Have you always been a Captain?" As soon as the question left her mouth Adèle wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole, scrunching up her face in embarrassment she reverted back to staring into her cup, not wanting to look at him and see his reaction to her stupidity. Kirk however, simply laughed, finding her question funny. This went a little way to making Adèle feel better but still, she could feel her cheeks on fire.
"You're very funny Doctor Majette." Kirk commented, really enjoying the woman's company, there was a lot more to her than he initially thought. He had really only gone there to be polite, not liking the fact that there was a whole team working on his ship that he had never met. And he had to be honest; he had wanted to see Doctor Majette again.
"Me? No, I'm not funny Captain." Adèle shook her head severely, they fell into another silence again but Kirk didn't feel uncomfortable, enjoying Adèle's company and watching Colin doing the worm across the floor.
"Do you have any hobbies Doctor Majette?" He asked, trying to make small talk.
"Scarfs, jumpers?" Adèle explained, watching his expressions carefully.
"Wow, do you give them as gifts?" Even Kirk knew it was a ridiculous question, he just didn't' Know where to go with the conversation.
"No." Adèle answered abruptly.
"You're not wearing one tonight, you have a beautiful dress on." Kirk complimented, he really did think she looked lovely, very understated and nothing like the women he normally pursued. Not that he was pursuing Adèle Majette, he shook his head slightly to clear his thoughts. Adèle didn't know what to say, looking down at herself she pursed her lips in thought. "Well, I better get going, thank you for the cake and the drink." Kirk paused momentarily, watching Adèle's eyes dance with amusement.
"You're welcome Captain, thank you for coming." Adèle looked to Barbara and Ishaq who hadn't moved from their spot and had clearly spent the entire time staring at them, Colin was still dancing.
"Thanks guys! Happy Birthday Doc!" Kirk shouted, waving his arm in the air. Colin snapped out of his own world and gaped in shock at the Captain. "Nice moves man!" Kirk shouted, "Thanks again Doctor Majette, see you around." Adèle watched him leave and then turned back to her friends.
"Who was that?" Colin said, Adèle could only stare at him.
Six Months Later
"Why are we here?" Colin asked Adèle angrily.
"Because it's the Captain's Birthday and it would be rude not to attend." Adèle replied quietly. "You'll be fine, just stand here." Adèle had made sure they were stood in a quiet area of the function room and away from the buffet and small band playing given Colin's Misophonia. The pair watched people greet one another and pull each other into big hugs. Others were laughing and dancing, eating food and sharing stories. Adèle saw Kirk on the other side of the room, smiling and laughing with people. She wasn't feeling as overwhelmed as she had anticipated, in fact a small part of her was enjoying the atmosphere and she didn't think she would have minded too much if somebody was to walk over and make small talk. She kept checking on Colin who had put in his earplugs.
"Doctor Majette?" Turning she saw that Kirk was stood in front of her, beaming widely. Adèle gave him a small smile and quietly wished him a Happy Birthday.
"Thank you, it's good to see you. How are you Doctor Nabel?" Kirk turned his attention to Colin, when he didn't even acknowledge Kirk's presence never mind answer his question Kirk looked back at Adèle confused.
"He's wearing his earbuds." Adèle explained, Kirk looked at her blankly.
"Of course." He finally answered. "You look nice Doctor." Adèle looked down at her black dress, the same black dress she had worn for Ishaq's Birthday. She lifted her hand and presented the small present to Kirk. She watched his look of surprise and then the smile he gave her made her legs feel weak.
"You brought me a gift? You really didn't need to Doctor." Kirk said as he took the paper package from her hands.
"It's not… it's not special, just a small gesture Captain." Adèle stumbled over her words.
"Please, it's my Birthday, call me Jim. Besides, you've brought me a gift, that means we're friends yes?!" Adèle didn't know what to say, he was so nice towards her and even though he was confident and chatty she didn't feel like she wanted to run away from him. Kirk unwrapped the present, revealing the long navy scarf.
"You knitted this for me?" Kirk asked, sounding genuinely touched. Adèle nodded silently. "You said you didn't give them as gifts? Thank you Doctor Majette."
"Adèle." She stole a glance but didn't look away from him, his blue eyes making her feel safe.
"Really, thank you Adèle, I think this is one of the kindest gifts I've ever received." Kirk hesitated but then changed his mind and leant towards Adèle, placing a soft kiss on her cheek. As he pulled away he heard her sharp intake of breath at him being so close. He didn't pull all the way back though, and looking into her eyes saw something that he couldn't quite make out.
"JIM!" The sound of someone shouting his name pulled them both out of their contemplation. Out of pure nervousness they both laughed.
"I guess I should get back to my party." Kirk said apologetically.
"Of course, I promised Colin we would only stay thirty minutes." Adèle responded, still smiling and trying desperately to burn into her memory the feel of Kirk's lips on her cheek.
"Thank you again for the scarf." Kirk turned away but immediately spun on his heel and walked back towards Adèle. "Do you want to have a drink with me sometime, a coffee?" Kirk asked, knowing he was taking a huge risk and maybe ensuring that Adèle Majette never spoke to him again for the rest of his life.
"Yes." Adèle whispered, Kirk grinned in response.
"Yes." Adèle felt like she was going to throw up.
"Yes." Her chest was heaving up and down with anxiety.
"Why Doctor Majette, you're a difficult woman to please!" Adèle burst out into laughter, the first time he'd ever heard her truly laugh which only made Kirk want tomorrow, thirteen hundred hours to come around as fast as possible. "It's a date."
Thanks for reading :-) XOXO LLAP