The USS Cardinal is on high alert. Technically speaking, they're not expecting an attack, this is a stop to take on supplies. But it's known that the inhabitants of this planet are only following Federation law in appearance, and are bending and breaking it wherever they can get away with. It means that the crew are all on edge, and the Security Chief had already been relieved from her post after she managed to break one of the consoles.
"I just can't- words. Not like you. And it doesn't feel like enough."
"It's -- hard to put in words all I feel about you, too," Lee says, softly.
He doesn't have the words to try and argue with that, just hugs her closer, kisses her head.
She leans into him, hugging him back.
He's quiet for a moment. "I- I do, y'know? Love you."
Lee smiles brilliantly, abruptly, lifting her head from where it was tucked against his shoulder.
He smiles back at her, a little bit starstruck by her smile.
"Love you," she says, again.
"You too," he agrees. Pauses, and then leans forward to kiss her nose.
His smile widens, and he hugs her closer again.
She hugs back, still smiling happily at him.
Autumn chitters happily and snuggles back into their laps.
Lee looks down and strokes his head, lightly, still smiling. "Thanks, Autumn."
Another happy chitter.
"You been talking sense into us again?"
"Yeah, Autumn was very insistent I should tell you."
"I'm glad," Erie decides, kissing her head again, and stroking Autumn with a free hand.
She leans into him, content.
Well, that'll make three of them then.