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Posted on Mon Jul 1st, 2024 @ 12:09pm by Captain Scott Jones & Lieutenant Commander Frasier Greene

2,558 words; about a 13 minute read

Mission: Short Treks
Location: Surface
Timeline: SL03

Frasier had risen early to enjoy the morning sun as it rose over the horizon casting its long splendour across the land.

Though, the holodeck did an admiral job of replicating dawn break the Doctor couldn't resist the real thing after several months aboard the Intrepid. It was something he'd taken for granted on Triton - drinking in the fresh sounds, sights and smell of a new day along with his coffee.

Lounging back on the wooden park bench he spread his arms behind himself allowing the bare skin on his arms rest upon the framework. It was cold to the touch with a hint of morning dew causing a pleasant tingle of goose bumps creeping along his flesh and ripple down his spine. Once the moment had passed he inhaled the crisp air as the local birds stirred in their roosts filling the sky with their joyful cries and desires to make the most of the fair weather.

It would be a while yet before the town a kilometre to the south would rise and open its colourful market he'd plan to visit before heading back to his temporary accommodation with the ship away en-route to Krios.

Aware his shore leave could be cut short once the ship had returned Frasier intended to make the most of time he had spare after a slow start. He chuckled at the unexpected way it started with a late night out finding himself in the middle a man sandwich lost in the rhythm of heavy music and sweat with Scott, Xavier and Aaron. Then, the following morning unexpectantly becoming imprisoned within the ships hull skin with Commander Lorut that somehow developed into dinner in a fancy restaurant and an equally unexpected kiss.

Tipping his head back Frasier closed his eyes replaying those moments back - they were certainly eventful but left him confused where he stood with them all. We're they still acquaintances or had moved beyond into something else? The way Vila had laughed at his poor humour was delightful and sent his heart into a flutter. Then they kissed - it was impossible to ignore the fire that burned as he yearned for the comfort of another that be missing since his divorce.

Yet, he couldn't forget the way Scott's gaze could pierce his soul was... unique and new. He'd never been drawn to man before, it was very confusing and too much for his head to fathom this early and without caffeine.

He should have bought a flask with him in thought in hindsight, perhaps he could acquire some in the market place along with breakfast.

The market was still quiet when Frasier had located it offering him a chance to explore freely without being jostled around.

Unsurprisingly the locals were quick to snap up the fresh ingredients from the fishmongers and butchery for their own businesses - the variety of shapes and species were intriguing as Frasier looked in with curiosity. The aromas from the spice stalls carried across the cobbles, the stalls themselves were vibrate and piled high with a wide pallet of colour.

Despite that he was still able to locate a merchant selling the bitter buzzing hit he was looking for and cut a direct line.

Scott's first few days had been a bit of a whirlwind, on the ship, off the ship, wherever he was. He decided to take the morning though for himself, get got up early, headed back planet side for a good old fashioned run outside in the fresh air. It was something he always went back to to clear his head and he certainly needed it.

His first few days on the ship were leaving him feeling a little lost and dejected, it was a feeling he was used to moving around as much but this one was just hitting a little deeper and hanging around a little longer than most. Having to spurn some advances his first night in a polite a way as possible, to having a bit of a professional run in while on mission, Scott was really missing having someone to turn to and talk things out.

Working through these feelings on his run helped break through the feeling of malaise. The sun on his skin also helped, running in short shorts and a mere suggestion of a tank top helped recharge his body with the rays and warmth. Eventually he would stop for a much needed caffeine break before he figured out what else to do with his day, the ship was once again off on a mission leaving him with some much needed but unexpected free time. First on his list though was coffee, as big and as strong as he could get and found a small cart selling it, the smell drawing him over like a cartoon character floating through the air. Paying, taking a sip, he turned round to a familiar face and his smile couldn't help but beam through. Had he been awkwardly drunk dancing with the man a few nights before? Yes. Was it most likely what scared him off? Yes. Is he barking up the wrong tree? Most likely yes. But right now Scott just needed some connection and if it was only to be a friendly one, so be it.

"Frasier," he beamed, his face full of relief and joy at the same time, "funny seeing you here. Getting a little reprieve as well?"

Hearing his name being called on the alien planet took the Doctor by surprise having been blinkered on his mission to acquire his coffee. "Scott!" he smiled broadly generally happy to see a familiar face the market square. "I know, how strange? We must have heard the same rumour that the coffee here is something else?" he raised his own purchase. "Did you have a nice run?" he asked based on the pilots attire and glistening skin.

"A much needed run," Scott confessed, "sometimes you need some real fresh air to clear your head." He held up his freshly poured coffee, "I hadn't heard anything about the coffee here, all I know is I needed one before I faced any people today. Although it is good, I will give it that." Taking another sip, the joy of the caffeine washed over his face. "What brings you down, or is it just the coffee?"

"Similar," Frasier shrugged. "I've been admiring the sunrise and enjoyed morning walk before coming here to sample the local scene. The coffee helps make it just that bit nicer." He gave the man a salute with his cup, before giving Scott a more serious look: "You OK? I've got nothing on if you want to talk."

"Nothing a good run wouldn't fix," Scott began brushing over the subject, "New posting, a lot to take in, more confrontations though than I would like for only being here a few days. Just getting to the point where being new and relatively alone on a ship isn't helping, that person to talk to, you know?" He gave a weak smile as if to almost cheer both of them up and move the subject on.

"Well, if you change your mind," Frasier left the sentence unfinished. "I mean as comraded not as a professional." He added in an attempt to make it sound less desperate. "Alternately if you want a running partner sign me up, though water sport and cycling is more my thing."

Scott decided to open up a little, "After our evening out, which I do apologise for how drunk I was, I had to diplomatically decline an aggressive pick up and my first mission was met with more... hostility... from my department than I had hoped. Like I say, nothing I can't handle. Just missing having that person to come home to or talk to, to process it all. Now as for cycling, you are talking," Scott instantly pivoted, "I am all for a good spin class if you have ever taken your cycling in that direction."

"They'll certainly intense, a great way to burn the calories." Frasier added glossing over the apology as in his opinion it wasn't required they were both equally inebriated. "Now that the ship has moved off for a couple of days what's on your agenda, expect for a early morning blast around the block I mean?" the asked changing the topic with curiosity.

"Right now, more of this," Scott said with a smile, "more company like this though would make it ideal." He thought he would dip his toes into turning the flirting back on and see if there was any reciprocation in the light of day. "I may head to a beach, catch some rays, soak up some sun, have a swim in the water. I do need to find a good gym though. The one up on the station is always full and I can't get near anything I'd like. How about yourself? Any plans?"

Frasier shrugged: "To be honest I'm not really sure. I hadn't expected the ship to leave orbit without us. I figured I'd spend some time conducting some research or tending to the odd medical mishap," he smirked privately how Vila pouted while hungover the previous morning. "Did you know we have a giant spider on board in stasis?" he changed the subject suddenly. "I'm dreading S'Tera asking me to assist her with it, spiders give me the creeps."

A haunted look came over Scott's face, "We have what on board?" you could hear him gulp down more than just his coffee. "Ohhhh I am going to have to find out where that is and make sure I am as far away from it as possible. How giant are we talking? Enough to still crawl through vents or am I now barricading my door with furniture and replicating a flame thrower?"

Frasier laughed heartily at Scott's comment as his phobia was reflected in the pilot's concerns. "Unfortunately the latter," he replied seriously once the mirth had passed. "Hence my trepidation on the matter despite it being a juvenile."

"Well, when I get back to the ship and actually get a room, you are more than welcome to shelter in place with me," Scott half joked, "We can take turns on watch in the expected event this thing escapes and starts wandering the halls. I wouldn't be able to cope with something like that on my own. Heck, we can head to my fighter and escape if need be. There is room and enough supplies for a few days."

Frasier chuckled again: "I assure you it's perfectly safe and under control," he assured before back tracking slightly. "You don't have quarters assigned yet?" he asked surprised. "Where have you been crashing these past few nights?"

"Mostly just the station the ship was docked at, managed to beam up and down when needed thankfully. I had a meeting with the Chief of Ops to see what will be my quarters at some point, but with the ship not being here I have been a bit of a nomad," Scott began, "So, so far its been a bit tricky to feel like I have a home on the ship yet. As for that spider being under control... I won't be holding my breath and be keeping the biggest can of bug repellent under my pillow just in case."

Frasier nodded: "I can see why you feel a bit homeless given the swift speed of events. Before the Intrepid I've was posted onto stations or planet bases and occasionally I still don't feel at home." He confessed. "I nearly declined this posting actually, the thought of returning to space on a ship felt unnerving - you'd certainly never get me into once of those fighters. You and the team have bigger balls than me to fly them."

"I'll need to take you out sometime then," Scott began, half playfully teasing, half suggestively flirting, "They aren't so bad. Next time you have some off duty time and want to fly a patrol of the ship when we are docked somewhere, you would be more than welcome. I can get a fighter with a passenger seat. There is a lot more to them than people think, they aren't all that flimsy." Scott took a big drink of his coffee to finish it off, "I'm glad you took the posting though, otherwise I feel I'd have no one to talk to and would be reconsidering the posting myself."

"Thanks," the Doctor smirked feeling buoyant at the comment. "I'm sure you're find others are just as accommodating. When we're back on the ship I'll pressurize the Quartermaster to set something up for you sooner rather than later. As for the fighter I'd like that, though aren't they a bit claustrophobic?"

"Not as much as people think, there are large canopies that give a good field of vision," he began, "if anything I say they can make it feel more open. As close as you can get to being out there not in a suit or you know, freezing to a horrible death," he chuckled.

"Thanks for that gentle reminder," Frasier chuckled over his coffee cup as he drained the last few drops. "We're wait and see what bother the Captain lands us in first - I've noted that's becoming a regular thing with him, especially him ending up in sickbay with some sort of injury." He sighed: "I've never met someone so... eager to put himself in harms way."

"Could say I am the same being in the cockpit," Scott began, "If the last few years have shown us anything is that we aren't as safe as we thought we were. Things can change in a fraction of a heartbeat. Personally, I'd rather get myself into that position, and help protect people so others don't have to. My risk for other's safety? I'd take that choice any day, more so if it is for people I care about."

The Doctor chuckled drily. "Sounds like between you and the Captain I'm going to be kept busy with your daredevil-like behaviour. Just don't do it too often I'm not as young as I used to be, the old ticker might explode," he slapped his chest jokingly.

"I shall do my best to look after your heart doctor,' Scott smiled, "I promise to only put myself in danger when needed, pilots honor." He held up his left hand and covered his own heart with his right.

"That better be a thing," Frasier teased with a smirk. "Anyway, I've taken up enough of your time. Shore leave is precious - the last thing you want to do is spend time with familiar faces when there's many more to meet."

"I shall make sure of it then," Scott replied with a wink to match the smirk. "And it is I who have taken up far too much of your time, even if this isn't enough."

Frasier smiled feeling bashful under the attention and hinting comment. "It's been nice talking to you Scott, until next time." The Doctor turned away certain his cheeks were beginning to redden under Scott's charming gaze.

Scott could not help but smile as he too turned away to continue on with his day.

Lt. Scott Jones
Group Commander

Lieutenant Commander Frasier Greene
Chief Medical Officer


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