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Part of USS Columbia: Lost And Found and Bravo Fleet: Labyrinth

Telephone Game

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Matthys walked into the lounge area and narrowed his eyes slightly as he turned his head slowly from left to right, gazing intently to find the man he had come to see. He hummed to himself in satisfaction as he noticed Bollwyn sitting alone in the far right corner, having a meal. 

He confidently closed the distance between them and before sitting down at the table, he turned the chair around backwards and sat straight down. The chair’s backrest turned into a frontrest for him, and he leaned forward and wrapped his arms around it. “My dearest friend… I just had a very interesting conversation with our very own Counselor Merrindis.” 

Matthys didn’t allude to anything else at that moment but instead reached forward to grab a piece of something off of his friend’s plate. He put the circular piece of something in his mouth and chewed with a curious motion, he then quickly nodded in approval having liked whatever it was. 

“Oh?” Bollwyn asked, looking up from his meal. He put his fork down and looked at his friend. “What did she say?”

“It seems that Counselor Merrindis heard from Lieutenant Hawthorne, who heard from Crewman Tars, who heard from Petty Officer S’teth, who overheard Ensign Barkhouse and Lieutenant Havier talking about how you were going on about how wonderful of an artist I was and the painting I did for you…” Matthys paused to catch his breath but raised a brow to see if Bollwyn was following where he was taking this. 

Looking at his friend, a bit confused, Bollwyn wasn’t sure where Clark was going with this. “Yeah, I’ve shown a few people it. You’re a great artist; you shouldn’t hide your talents.”

“I mean. I’ll take the compliment any day, you know that Samwell. However. Merrindis now has it in her mind that since I’m some sort of art aficionado I should hold an art exhibit exchange of sorts for our current delta quadrant guests.” Matthys stated and reached for another bite of Bollwyn’s meal.

Slapping his friend’s hand, Bollwyn looked at him. “Sounds like a great opportunity, what’s it got to do with me?”

Matthys pulled his hand back and rubbed it, exaggerating the deserved slap that he received. He folded his arms around the chair and clasped them together, deciding not to push his luck again by sharing Bollwyn’s meal. “I didn’t think so at first myself. I groaned for a good hour or two about it, but upon further reflection, it is a good way for me to get some credit with Carrillion once more. I get the impression I’ve run out of that extra leeway I gained with her from doing the away mission. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get on Merrindis’ good side too.”

“Get to it Matty,” Bollwyn said as he rested back into his chair. 

Matthys nodded, he could tell Bollwyn wanted him to get to the point already. “Well. I told Merrindis I couldn’t pull something off like this alone. It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of details to get right. She asked me who I would like to help me with it…”

“Oh, you’re evil,” Bollwyn smirked back. “I know where you’re going with this.”

“I need someone I can rely on. Someone that can put up with my antics, but I also owed someone in particular payback for volunteering me some time ago.” It wasn’t revenge. Matthys honestly did want his best friend’s help to get through this. He wouldn’t admit it, but the pressure of something like this felt heavy, and he knew he’d feel better with Samwell’s help. 

“Okay, fine, but then we’re even!” Bollwyn said after sighing. 

“A lot is riding on this now. Counselor Merrindis is expecting a good show, so is Doctor Carrillion. Heck – I even think the Captain is going to come to this.” Matthys continued rambling despite what Samwell had said.

“I said I’d do it, Matty,” Bollwyn pointed out one more time. 

“Oh…” Matthys stopped for a moment and smiled. His shoulders even seemed to relax some as well. “That’s great. Thank you, my friend!” He looked down at Samwell’s plate again. “Did you want to meet up later? I can leave you to your meal, I so rudely interrupted. What is that, by the way? It’s delicious.”

Bollwyn looked at his friend, “If you let me eat my lunch peacefully, you can take me out for dinner and tell me how this exhibit works. Deal?”

“I – well – yes… Of course, I’ll take you out for dinner. I’d love to. That sounds like a plan to me.” Matthys replied with a continued relief in his facial expression.

“And Matty, if you ever touch my hasperat again, you won’t paint anything again, let alone be able to get in a mud bath! Are we clear?” Bollwyn said, smirking.

“Noted Mr. Bollwyn.” Matthys jokingly raised his hands and began to back away slowly. He turned the chair back around in its proper position. “Consider this lunch re-privatized. Also… Has anyone ever told you how attractive it is when you get all serious and threatening?” He gave his friend a playful wink and made a hasty exit before he overstayed his welcome any longer.