By Brydon Sinclair
With Jordan’s help, Rogan had managed to get the torpedo launcher repaired with over half an hour to spare. By the end of it, the pair were covered in grease and grime, but Rogan was glad that he had managed to get the work done—and that Kelley had been there to help. He enjoyed working with the human; they had a lot in common and the banter between them had been easy and free flowing, nothing was forced. It was rare that he met someone he got along with so easily.
Rogan just had to try and ignore the fact that he was attractive, single and of the right persuasion. They were friends, nothing more—he had few of them, so the last thing he needed was to destroy perhaps one of the closest he had by trying to make something more of it. Besides, who was to say that Kelley was interested in him in that way?
By the Prophets, I’m acting like some kind of lovesick teenager! he realised, as he stood under the high-pitched sonic shower feeling the dirt evaporate from his tired body. That wasn’t like him at all. He wasn’t one for intense feelings or an emotional connection; all he ever wanted from a partner was purely physical, nothing more. A release of endorphins and a way of relaxing the body that left those involved satisfied and content. I need my head examined. The last thing I need is some kind of relationship, when I’m just about to leave this station for who knows how long, as XO of a ship the size of the Trident!
His previous billet on the Sabre-class U.S.S. Claymore was as First Officer over a crew of forty—now he would now be responsible for the well-being and welfare of almost 300! Though they were a part of Vice Admiral Tattok’s fleet, based out of Sanctuary, they would be on long-term assignment in the former Cardassian Union helping with relief aid and security, and there was no way of knowing when they would return to the station.
Rogan stepped out of the shower, dressed in a fresh uniform and packed away the last few items into his duffle bag, before he stepped out of the guest quarters he’d been issued—which were still too warm for him. He headed through the corridors, trying to remember his way towards the relevant turbolift. He reached a four-way junction and stopped.
Not for the first time he cursed the designer of the station. He hadn’t needed to go up to the pylons to work on the station’s weaponry, so he wasn’t sure exactly which way to go, and after over a month on the station, he wasn’t going to call for directions.
“Enek, wait up!” he heard a familiar voice call from behind.
Rogan looked down the corridor that led to his quarters and saw Jordan running toward him. A momentary surge of happiness shot through him, but he quickly clamped down on it. Keep it professional, he reminded himself. Kelley reached him and beamed a friendly smile his way.
“I called your quarters,” Kelley explained. “To, eh, thank you for your help this last month. I wish you didn’t have to go.” Rogan perked up a little at hearing that. A panicked look crossed Kelley’s face and he blushed a little. “I mean, we could still use your help with the repairs and retrofitting the tactical systems,” he quickly added.
“Thanks, Jordan. It’s been an interesting challenge to say the least.”
“Were you heading for the Trident?”
“Um, yeah,” he replied, then looked down each corridor.
“Lost?” Kelley asked, a teasing note to his voice.
“How’d you guess?” he admitted.
“Because I still get lost every so often. I have to keep wondering who designed this place!” he said, heading down the corridor to their right. Rogan followed a few steps behind, but quickly caught up. They walked in comfortable silence for a while, neither feeling the need to fill it with idle small talk.
After too short a time they arrived at a turbolift and Rogan pressed the call panel. They waited.
“So where is the Trident off to?” Kelley asked.
“I don’t know. Captain Kimura was meeting with the Admiral, so I assume we’ll be getting our new orders from him. Though I imagine we’ll be remaining close for the time being, until things are a bit more operational here—just in case.”
“So you can rush to the rescue and bail our asses out of the next crisis?”
“Not that there isn’t a great tactical officer onboard who could handle it,” he retorted. They both chuckled, just as the turbolift carriage arrived and the doors opened.
A disappointed look crossed Kelley’s face for a moment. “This will take you all the way up, Commander Rogan.”
“Thank you, Commander Kelley.” He was about to step in but paused and offered his hand. Jordan gripped it and they shook for a long moment. “It’s been a pleasure working with you.”
“The pleasure was all mine Enek. You’re help has been greatly appreciated.”
There was another beat of silence. “If you need any further help, you know my frequency.”
“Sure thing,” Kelley replied. “Maybe next time you’re here there will be a proper bar we can get a drink at.”
After another moment of silence, Rogan realised they were still slowly shaking hands and released his grip, as did Kelley. He couldn’t think of anything more to say, so he stepped into the lift. The doors closed, cutting them off. He moved to the back of the carriage and slumped against the bulkhead.
“Upper pylon one,” he said to the lift, and it quickly ascended… leaving Rogan thinking about his last look at Kelley, and the sheepish little smile on his handsome face.
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