A Dance in the Rain - Part 4 of 10 "Old Picture"
Posted on Sun Aug 23rd, 2015 @ 9:22pm by Captain Oliver Lee PhD
Edited on on Sun Aug 23rd, 2015 @ 9:27pm
Episode 0 - Semper Fidelis
Location: Oliver's Apartment, Paris, France
Tags: romance, relationship
Several bags full of grocery in hands, Oliver stepped outside of the elevator, followed by Michaela. Looking left, then right, he hesitated for a moment.
"I think it's that way." He said, making a left turn down the hallway.
Michaela couldn't really conceal the snicker. It was mildly funny that Oliver didn't know the way around his own house, after all. She had dressed for the occasion of shopping and baking in a simple enough white dress. It was a little better than blue uniform and a doctor's coat. She carried a couple bags too.
"Well, in my own defense I stayed here only one night before they shipped me to the frontier, and I haven't got a chance to come by till today."
"I'm sure you and your house will have plenty of time to be acquainted," Michaela said politely, though she was still smirking a little bit as she trailed along after him.
Oliver looked back at Michaela with a mischievous smile. "As long as you are joining the two of us in the acquainting, I think I might just enjoy it."
Michaela rolled her eyes at him, "I'm here, aren't I? Its a very nice house." She would reserve judgement on the kitchen until she saw it.
"Thanks." Said Oliver as they neared the apartment. "It's an inheritance from my grandfather, my maternal grandfather. I couldn't have afforded a place like this in this neighborhood, not on a lieutenant's salary."
"I was going to ask about that - Paris!" She smiled. "I sold my grandparent's place ... don't really feel the need to own a piece of land anymore.
Now standing in front of the apartment door, he set the shopping bags down on the floor and took out the key card. "The same thought crossed my mind, too. But then I thought, since I would not be able to afford a nice place like this in the foreseeable future, I might as well just keep it. Besides the property value in this neighborhood can only go up. So it's an investment without me actually having to invest anything."
With a simple swipe of the key, the door was unlocked. He turned the knob and pushed the door open. It's a mid-sized two-bedroom apartment with an open terrace that could be access through the living room.
As he entered with shopping bags in hands, he said, "Where do you want to leave the grocery?"
"The kitchen?" Michaela laughed again.
"Right." He grinned. "This way, I think."
As they walked through the living room on the way to the kitchen, he said, "I haven't had a chance to redecorate the place so pretty much everything is the way as my grandfather left it, but they should all be working order. I mean, they'd better be. The monthly maintenance charge isn't exactly cheap."
Once inside the kitchen, he placed the bags on the counter and asked, "What do you think?"
Michaela set her bags down and drifted to look at the oven and other appliances. She'd ditched her shoes in the hallway. Perhaps it was stereotypical of her but she loved kitchens.
As she moved she pulled the wealth of gold curls off of her neck and rapidly braided it in a loose braid without looking. It held well enough without a tie, the ends loose under her shoulder blades.
"It'll do," she concluded with a flash of a grin as she prowled the counter tops looking for pans and other cooking accouterments.
"So, what do you need me to do?" Oliver asked. He had no clue, not at all.
Michaela drifted past the range and ran her fingers over a line of shiny copper-bottomed pots. She paused near the oven for a moment.
"Who's this?" She'd found a picture tucked against the wall, stuck in a plain wooden frame. She tilted her head slightly and offered it to Oliver, expression curious. Since he hadn't lived here, and all.
"Let me see." He said, taking the frame from Michaela. It was a picture of a young girl, 10 or 12 years old perhaps, with the sweetest smile he had ever seen, and her long jet black hair contrasted nicely with the all white winter coat. She was standing next to a bronze elephant statue set on a rectangular granite foundation, her left hand resting lightly on one of animal's protruding fore limbs. He vaguely recognized it as Frémiet's elephant statue outside the Musée d'Orsay.
"Huh, I think," He hesitated for a moment. "I think that's my mother. I was told she used to live here when she was a kid."
He was quiet as he ran his fingers across the slightly dusty picture.
Michaela stood at his shoulder for the moment, just resting her fingertips on his shoulder blade as she looked at the picture too. She smiled. "Its a nice picture." She leaned her head a moment against his, in a sort of affectionate snug. Maybe reassuring.
"Yes, it is." He nodded somewhat absentmindedly. A long and quiet moment had passed before he was again back to his usual cheerful self with a bright grin. "Guess now we know where I got my irresistible smile from."
Michaela just laughed at that and patted his cheek, amused. "Very irresistible." She said with a touch of sarcasm and a touch of truth. She left him to his contemplation of the picture to start sorting the groceries, though she did have half an eye on him curiously.
Oliver looked at the picture in his hand as recollections of his mother flashed before him. As far as he knew, it was the only thing he had of her. But maybe he could find something else in the smaller of the two bedrooms. That would have been her room. Yes, that's what he would do later, he decided. But for now, he need to attend to the beautiful woman beside him. It would be rude for him not to.
He slid the small picture frame into the back pocket of his jeans and turned to Michaela. Gently holding her at the waist from behind as she sorted out the groceries on the counter, he asked, "So, beautiful, what do you need me to do?"
Michaela was still just a second, inhaling through her nose and then letting the breath out slowly. She resisted the urge to lean all the way back into him, and smiled a little to herself. She'd forgotten how nice even just contact was sometimes. And maybe that's what every counselor she'd ever seen was getting at about her introvertedness. She tended to forget.
"You can explore your house if you want," She wasn't sure if she was intruding or not, now, "Maybe there's other pictures about. I'm not going anywhere."
"Oh, I thought you were gonna teach me how to bake." He said, tilting his head. "Besides exploration can wait. The apartment isn't going anywhere after all. At the moment I just want to keep you company, you know, so you are not all by yourself in the kitchen." The same, of course, could be said of himself, but he was never one to admit such a need.
Michaela turned herself around to look at him, smiling a little ... "Sure I am. Just wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know the place without me in your hair," she laughed as she said it, realizing that she was very different from him in this regard. She'd want her privacy in looking for old memories ... but even as she said that she knew he didn't want that and waved it off.
"That's up to you though ... what would you like to make first?"
"Blueberries." He said with a wide grin. "Anything with blueberries."
Lieutenant Oliver A. Lee
USS Bunker Hill
Lieutenant JG Michaela Taylor
Chief Medical Officer
USS Bunker Hill