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Part of USS Corax: Caduceus Pt. 1

Chapter 9 – Relaxation and Realisations

USS Corax
Feb 2401
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Aris was ensconced in his ready room combing through updates and reports filing important information away for later. Leaning back and taking a stretch, Aris was surprised by how much time had passed. The journey passing quite smoothly, since the bridge hadn’t contacted him for anything.

“Captain Suin to Bridge.” Aris activated his communicator.

“Go ahead, Sir.” Emma replied.

“Anything to report?”

“Negative, Captain.” Emma continued. “Smooth flying ahead, we may need to adjust our course slightly in a few hours to avoid a plasma storm passing through.”

“Acknowledged.” replied Aris getting to his feet and closing the comm channel. A drink and something small to eat was in order before he returned to his less than exciting reading.

Making the trek along the length of Deck 1, Aris entered the cool dim surrounds of the Crew Lounge. Feeling in the mood for something small, Aris approached the replicator banks.

“Ham and cheese toasted sandwich and a sweet black tea, hot, please.” Aris requested. Even murmuring a quiet thank you as his meal materialized in the alcove. Eyeing the table closest to the window, Aris made himself comfortable, savoring the first sip of his drink.

Turning to face the window as he slowly ate his sandwich, he didn’t notice he was no longer alone. Damien had entered a short moment ago on orders from Doctor Yates intent on scouting out a small meal and drink. It wasn’t until he had turned around with a tray of food that he noticed the Captain was lost in thought staring out the window.

“Excuse me, Captain? Is this seat taken?” Damien motioned toward the empty seat opposite Aris.

Hearing that he wasn’t alone, Aris turned his head slightly before smiling. “Not al all, make yourself comfortable”

Nodding, Damien took his seat and got comfortable. “It’s good to see you up and about.” Aris continued. “And a clean bill of health from our good Doctor to boot.”

Damien took a small bite of his meal and a sip of his drink before focusing back to the Captain. “It is a weight off my own mind, Sir. And the crew have been nothing but welcoming since I was bought aboard”

“That is good to hear. “Aris replied. “I trust you are finding your feet well enough and Emma and T’Keterk haven’t given you much grief?”

“And none of this ‘Sir’ carry on.” Aris laughed. “Both of us aren’t on duty at the moment so you can address me informally if you would like.”

“Understood.” Damien replied. “Doctor Yates didn’t happen to mention anything else about our appointment?”

Aris recognized the gentle probing but he was more than happy to put the young man at ease. “What ever you and Doctor Yates discussed is between the both of you. Nora wouldn’t break confidentiality unless it was something she feels I need to know, or if you wind up being a danger to yourself or the crew.”

Seeing Damien relax slightly, Aris probed a little further. “Unless there is something you feel I should know?”

He did notice the telltale signs of a light blush spreading across his science officers face, even in the relatively dim lighting of the lounge.

Casting a quick eye at the clock, Aris drained his cup and got to his feet to return his utensils to the replicator. Making a slight detour past his previous seat, he placed a hand on Damien’s shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze. “Thank you for the company and my door is always open if needed.” he replied in lieu of a farewell.

“Thank you as well….Aris.” Damien replied testing out using the Captains name informally and finding it much easier than he thought it would. On a ship this small, they had to be each others rock and family while on duty so it was certain to be a common occurrence on board. He had already noted the Captain’s intermixing of formal and informal address, knowing instinctively when a more personal touch was needed. Such as now.

Releasing the young man, Aris headed for the exit, glancing back briefly to see Damien now touching the spot Aris’ hand occupied earlier.

“Well little one.” Aris murmured as he opted to walk back to his ready room rather than use the turbolift. “Looks like we’ve been caught hook, line and sinker.”

Back in the Lounge, Damien took a moment to compose himself before following the Captains lead and returning his utensils before heading back to the Lab to run some additional tests and take stock.