The Astounding Adventures of Terri Cornelia Lee - Part 6 "Clueless" (Flashback)
Posted on Thu Jun 29th, 2017 @ 8:01am by Lieutenant Terri Lee
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Timeline: 2418, In A Future That Was
::Saturday Night, Zag's Lanes, Ontario::
Sipping from a glass of Muskan punch, Lela made herself comfortable in her seat. The Bajoran had just won three games in a row, and with her last win she finally bumped Terri from the top of the scoreboard. The human was visibly pissed and stormed off to the food court, rambling something unintelligible along the way and leaving behind her date.
Sure, there was nothing unusual about Terri getting pissed or her storming off to the food court; the girl was highly competitive, and the way she ate, it's a miracle that she kept her figure so fit. But Terri bringing a date? Now that was the surprise of the century.
Of course, even Lela had to admit that the girl was a head-turner, at least when she was not covered in grease from the lab or bruises from fist fights, but her lack of inter-personal skills was almost comical, and she seemed to have no clue how to turn her eye-catching good looks to her own advantage - for one, her sense of fashion was practically non existent - and if you factor in her tendency to resort to physical violence, it's no wonder that she had never been with anyone. The nice guys and girls were too afraid to ask her out, and the bad ones, well, those she contemptuously dismissed as losers because - and those were her exact words - "mean people suck", which was something you might have expected to hear from a conscientious 14-year old.
So everyone - Lela herself included - was surprised when Terri showed up tonight in a pair of form-fitting black jeans and white lacy tank top that accentuated her already toned and athletic figure. But even more surprisingly, she brought a date, a tall and handsome starfighter pilot with an irresistible smile.
The girl, however, seemed rather uncomfortable in her new outfit, and she clearly had no idea how to act around someone she clearly had a crush on. More important, Gustave, her supposed date, didn't seem to treat this as anything more than a friendly weekend hangout, which meant he was a fair game for the taking, and unlike Terri, Lela knew exactly what to do with such a fine specimen of masculinity, and if she pissed off her co-worker and long time rival in the process, the better for it.
At that thought a quiet smirk crossed the Bajoran's luscious lips. Standing up, she adjusted the plunging neckline of her sleeveless top and made her way to where Gustave was and sat down beside him. "Hello, handsome." She said in her sultry voice. "What are you doing here all by yourself?"
"Oh, the usual, just standing around and enjoying the scenery," Gustave smiled teasingly, "And you?" He made a point of looking at her eyes and not . . . anything else. He had a tendency to come on a little too strong on occasion, so he did his best to avoid that.
Lela responded with an equally teasing smile. "Same here, just enjoying the scenery, and to be honest, I rather like what I see." She said, her eyes taking a good and long look of the man's impressive physique.
"So, how did you meet our precious little Terri?" She asked.
Gustave shrugged, "I've known her for as long as I can remember. We grew up together, family friends and all. My parents served under her dad, and my sisters and I were born on his ship." He didn't really remember much of his time aboard the USS Bunker Hill or the Themyscira for that matter, as he was pretty young when their family moved back to Earth. They still met up with the Lee family several times a year, so he and Terri had remained close friends throughout.
Gustave thought of explaining this to Terri's friend . . . Laura, right? Layla? But he figured she wouldn't be too interested. "How about you? How'd you meet her?"
"Oh, we were roommates back at the Academy." Said Lela as she casually brushed her flowing and luxuriously dark hair behind her ear, leaving a completely unobstructed front view for the pilot. "And after graduation we both ended up at R&D, different divisions though."
The Bajoran paused to drink from her glass. "So, growing up together, it must have been something special. Are you two . . .?"
Gustave frowned in confusion, "Are we . . . what?" Then he realized. She meant 'in a relationship' or something to that extent. "Oh. No, no we aren't," He replied, shaking his head.
"I see." Lela nodded, taking another sip of her punch. With a smile, she asked, "So, what do you do for fun?"
Gustave grinned. He loved talking about his little hobbies. "I fly ships really, really fast. I also like tinkering with them and building them and such. My favorite part is practicing the dangerous maneuvers and difficult tricks, I do it for the thrills." He paused, "Well, I also do it because I need the work, but at least I love what I do, right?"
"Living dangerously, aren't we?" Teased Lela. Leaning closer, she whispered in her seductive voice. "I like a man that lives dangerously. Maybe you can show me some of your . . . 'maneuvers' and 'tricks' sometime."
Gustave shrugged nonchalantly, a smirk on his face, "I've got a few more days of shore leave, so why not? I've got a little speeder on Starbase 1, if you aren't too busy tomorrow."
"Sure." Said Lela, her hand touching his before crossing fingers. "But I had something more . . . immediate in mind." Looking into his dreamy blue eyes, she leaned in, but paused and lingered just as her lips were about to make contact with his. A little teasing goes a long way.
Gustave lingered right along with her, waiting for her to go first. He could wait. A little smile crept onto his lips, he kept his breathing steady. He almost didn't notice when someone popped their little private bubble.
Technically it was a half-eaten triple bacon cheeseburger that popped their bubble; it smashed into Gustave's cheek with such ferocity that, if it had been something harder and more rock-like - say an actual rock - it would have most certainly caused some serious damage to that handsome face of Gustave's. But as it was, instead of blood and bruises, the hapless pilot was left covered in a concoction of ketchup, mustard and Cardassian yamok sauce, some of which spilled over and onto Lela's gorgeous black dress and her equally gorgeous face.
"Woot the haall?!" Came the furious outburst from a visibly upset Terri, her cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk.
::Two Minutes Earlier::
Terri was upset.
All night she had been leading the scoreboard; she was unstoppable, that was, until Lela was done fooling around with the bartender and decided to join the game herself. Both of them being the best bowlers of the group, concentration was the key to deciding which of them would prevail at the end, and Terri had every intention to win.
But Gustave just had to distract her with his dreamy eyes and infectious smiles, costing her the focus she needed to beat Lela, with whom she had been having an on-going rivalry since they first met at the Academy. Yep, it was all Gustave's fault. Why did he have to be so handsome, so charming, so . . . distracting?
". . . Miss? . . . Miss?" Nagged the Andorian behind the counter
"What?" Terri shot him a look, annoyed by the interruption.
"Uh, your triple bacon cheese burger with yamok sauce and Regillian fries extra large are ready."
"Oh, thanks." Said Terri without a sign of apology on her face as she picked up the burger and fries from the counter. Turning around to head back to the bowling lanes, she took a big bite of the humongous burger. Mmm, it's so good. She was starting to feel a lot better now.
Of course, there was still the matter of winning the second half of the match. Maybe she should just tell Gustave to stop distracting her. Wait, no, he must not know how easily she was distracted by him; it would be showing weakness, and Terri Cornelia Lee did not show weaknesses to anyone, especially not in front of Lela. Maybe she should just send him away on an errant and . . . . . . . What. The. Hell. Was that?!
Terri was abruptly stopped in her track by what she saw in front of her: Gustave and Lela snuggling up to each other, holding hands, and . . . and, were they about to kiss?!!
"Woot the haall?!!" Terri exploded, and before she even knew it, her half-eaten triple bacon cheese burger had smashed into Gustave's cheek with such ferocity that, if it had been a hard rock - how she wished she had some of those right now - it would have most certainly caused some serious damage to that stupid face of Gustave's. But as it were, instead of blood and bruises, the cheating bastard was left covered in a concoction of ketchup, mustard, and Cardassian yamok sauce, some of which spilled over and onto Lela's stupid black dress and her equally stupid face.
"Woot the hall aar uu duing?! I wuus juust gone fuur a minuut!"
Arrg, why did she have to stuff her mouth with stupid and delicious cheese burger!
Gustave looked at Terri with an expression of pure confusion as he wiped the burger's condiments off of his face. He looked down at the ketchup and mustard and god-knows-what-else on his hand, then looked back up at Terri, then back down at his hand, over to Lela, Terri, the door. He thought about just getting up and leaving. Terri had been acting really weird for the past several days, and he had no idea what he was doing wrong! She was the one who brought him here, and then she smashed a burger in his face!
Gustave sighed, shaking his head, "I will never even come close to understanding you, Terri." He turned to Lela, "Hey, pass me a napkin will you?"
The startled surprise on Lela's face almost immediately gave way to an amused smirk. As sudden as Terri's outburst was, there was nothing unusual about it; the girl was just being herself. Grabbing the napkins that were lying on the table next to them, Lela handed some to Gustave and used the rest to clean up the mess on herself.
As Gustave wiped the food out of his stubble, he spoke to Terri. "Something is wrong, and you aren't telling me what it is. You and I are going to take a walk and clear this up, once and for all. You can't expect me to abide by rules I neither know nor understand." He stood up, and gestured to the door, saying, "After you."
"I have nothing to say to you!" Shouted Terri, this time more intelligibly, having swallowed the food in her mouth. "And I don't want to see your stupid face ever again! Ever!!" At that, she threw her box of extra large Regillian fries at Gustave and stormed out, pushing through the small crowd that had gathered around them.
As they left, Gustave quietly called over his shoulder to Lela, "We'll only be gone a minute. Sorry about this." He waved and followed Terri towards the exit.
"Don't worry about it." Said Lela. Of course, she was not at all happy about the mess - that dress was expensive. Nevertheless, she was still more amused than angry. It seemed that despite his good looks and charm, Gustave was just as clueless as Terri ever was. Yes, he knew how to flirt with women, but how could he be so oblivious to Terri's infatuation with him? Sure, the girl was not exactly skilled in expressing her feelings, but seriously, how could he be so blind? And they grew up together? Oh, man . . .
Now that she thought about it, Lela was starting to feel bad, not for flirting with Gustave of course - it's not her problem if Terri didn't know how to keep her man - but she couldn't imagine what the girl must feel, loving someone only to be friend-zoned like that. Despite all her bravado and pretension of strength, it seemed Terri was, after all, just a scared little girl, afraid to love.
[To be continued in Part 7 - "Spilled Beans" . . . . . .]
Lieutenant JG Terri C. Lee
Researcher, Starfleet R&D
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Gustave Dolarian
Fighter Pilot, USS Churchill
(NPC - Theo)
Lieutenant Tore Lela
Researcher, Starfleet R&D
(NPC - Oliver)