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Waiting for Godot

Posted on 19 Jul 2017 @ 4:46am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant JG Jace Crystan

Mission: The Finnean Crisis
Location: Talons
Timeline: MD5 : 2230

Loneliness was bad enough, but add to it the fact that Jayla suddenly felt awkward around everyone- friends included- and it was pure torture. So there she sat in Talons with another Blue Hawaiian, completely alone. She desperately wanted to talk to someone, but did not feel comfortable doing so. Perhaps coming here had been a bad idea.

Jace strolled into Talons, probably a little more chipper than he ought to be. Work was done for the day and he'd gotten a good start on the next day's tasks as well. He always liked to get ahead of the game, though often it wasn't possible. He'd earned a break and decided to actually try out the establishment everyone was so fond of. He sat down at the end of the bar, which appeared available and ordered a beverage. He looked around the room, seeing several people. Most he either didn't recognize or only recognized in passing. He did recognize one individual, whom he'd not seen since his boarding physical. He wasn't too comfortable talking to people yet, but the crew for the most part had tried to make him feel welcome. Getting up from his chair, he walked over to where the Doctor was sitting and asked, "This seat taken?"

A glance up was all it took to turn Jayla's mournful expression into a cheerful one; no matter how she felt, she could always muster a smile for a friend or acquaintance. "It is now," she told him, motioning towards the seat. "You settling in okay?"

Jace sat down, nodding. "Oh yes. Everyone's been very welcoming." He took a sip of his ale and added, "The quarters are great here! I have more space than I know what to do with."

"Mine are bigger than on the old Black Hawk," she replied with a grin. "It almost makes me feel guilty."

"Well, I guess Lady Luck paid us a visit and stuck around for a while." There were some superstitions that were good to keep around.

"May she stay forever," replied Jayla, raising her glass slightly.

Jace raised his glass as well, acknowledging the toast. He brought it down and took a drink. "So, everything going well with you?"

"As well as can be expected," she answered honestly. "I'm nowhere near happy with the state of the crew of the station and the da Gama. Oh, they weren't harmed much, but they've only been given enough to keep them alive. I mean, what was the point of leaving- you know what? I'm not talking about duty anymore today. I'm all right. How about you?" she asked with grin.

Jace shrugged. "I really can't complain. I suppose I just need to get accustomed to a new group of people again." He sighed. "After three transfers, you'd think I'd be used to it."

"It helps if you're crazy friendly," she replied with a wink.

Jace chuckled. "Funny. That's not the first time I've heard that."

"It's true," laughed Jayla. "Because the next thing you know, you've made a hundred friends and everyone wants to meet you for drinks later, so you end up having parties instead. Or casting a production of Waiting for Godot. One of the two."

"I guess I'd rather take the party," he said in response. Truth be told, he wasn't really one for groups, but in his counseling sessions, his counselors had always told him he needed to force himself to be in group settings. It was the only way to make it easier. "Plus," he added lifting the glass, "there's always the drink to fall back on."

"True story," she replied, sipping her own drink. "Although, I like doing plays. Maybe I'll have to put one on sometime. I haven't done it in years."

Jace nodded. "I wouldn't call myself an aficionado, but I've been to a few. Have you been in anything I'd know?"

"I played Anne Sullivan in my senior class production of The Miracle Worker," she replied. "And I directed Much Ado About Nothing a year later. I prefer acting to directing, but it's much more difficult to find willing directors than actors."

"I suppose so. But I wouldn't know anything about it. I've never tried my hand at either." He looked away for a moment. "Stage fright, I guess."

"Everyone's got their own thing," Jayla allowed. "What sort of things do you do in your spare time?"

"Well, I usually spend a lot of time reading up on other cultures. Not for work, just hobbies." He sighed. "But I guess since that's still close enough to work, I like to cook. Whenever I get a chance, I'll cook a meal. Not exactly conducive on a ship, especially with a place like this," he indicated Talons, "but it can be fun."

"I used to help my mom cook all the time," Jayla replied. "Until I was fifteen. That's when I went to live with a mentor. I haven't really done much cooking since then. It was fun, though. I wouldn't mind trying it again."

Jace smiled. "I'll have to have you over sometime. Cooking it makes all the difference!" He lifted his glass to take another gulp of his drink, which turned out to be the final gulp of that glass. He signaled the barman to bring another.

"Seeing as I just had two months full of home cooked meals, I can honestly agree with that," she replied. "And I've got the eight extra pounds to show for it, too."

Jace chuckled. "My granny would claim that wasn't enough. She always said that if didn't gain weight at her house, you weren't eating enough." He missed his grandmother.

"Grandmothers all seem to think that," Jayla agreed as the bartender brought him another drink. "Mine always tried to get anyone who showed up anywhere near dinner time to stay. Once, a delivery man showed up just as we were sitting down and she tried to convince him to stay. He didn't," she added with a wistful grin. "I miss her every day."

"Brings back memories," he said, as the barman brought his drink. "To our grandmothers."

Clinking her glass against his, Jayla offered him a friendly sort of grin that was suspiciously absent from her face of late. "May they feed the afterlife as they fed us," she agreed, sipping her drink. "Granted, Trill don't believe in any sort of afterlife, so..." She shrugged.

"Mine sure did. Kept her faith right up till it mattered. If there is an afterlife, they're surely there." He drank about half his drink after that, an unusual action for his beverage of choice.

"Careful, you don't want a hangover," she told him, ever the doctor. "I think if Trill were to start believing in an afterlife, it would be the human version- a reward for a life well lived. Who wouldn't want to find themselves floating on clouds for all of eternity?"

"I haven't had a hangover since my undergraduate years," he said, happily reminiscing. "Clouds though? I guess most people would go for that, you're right. Me? I'd settle for all the knowledge in the universe set in book form. We'll call it ... the Pearly Library."

"The way I understand it, the human afterlife is whatever you would like the most," she agreed. "It just so happens that I adore napping. So I would imagine I would get to do a lot of that. And you would get your library, which, I have to admit, sounds like a nice second option. Can it be adjacent to my cloud so I can visit sometimes?"

Jace smiled and nodded. "It would be my eternal honor and privilege to share my knowledge with you. Plus, what's the point in having all this at my disposal if I can't share it with others?"

"Good point," she said, finishing her drink and waving off the waitress who asked if she'd like another; she had to work in the morning after all. "I'll be there as often as possible- when I'm not napping, of course."

"Of course," Jace said, taking the last gulp. He placed the glass back down, now empty.

Now what? She suddenly felt awkward again. This was new territory for her; she'd never felt awkward a day in her life. "Well," she said. "Alpha shift comes early. And I'll have patients waiting for me for sure."

"Ugh that's for sure," he said referencing Alpha shift. "I'm sure I'll have plenty of sensor telemetry to go over. May I escort you to your quarters?" he asked, never turning down an opportunity to be a gentleman, as his mother had taught.

That wasn't new. Jayla knew how to handle that. "Sure," she said brightly. "I never pass up the company of a good-looking man." Flirting also came naturally to her, if that wasn't obvious.

Jace smiled and probably blushed. It wasn't often he was on the receiving end of a little flirtation, but it was welcome. He stood respectfully and offered her a hand up. "After you then?"

"Thank you," she replied as she accepted his hand and stood, half amused. Chivalry wasn't common on Trill and it had confused Jayla at first, but she soon figured out that it was simply some races' way of showing respect to women. She could get on board with that, so she allowed it. "I don't think I realized how exhausted I was," she added around a yawn as they left Talons. "I could curl up and go to sleep right here and now. Don't suppose you'd want to carry me to my quarters?" she joked.

"I'm sure we could figure it out," he said as they left Talons. He'd had a great time tonight, that was certain. He'd not laughed that much in ages and it truly was a happy thing. Truth be told, though, he was also getting tired. They'd have a long day ahead of both of them. Even so, he was happy he'd met Jayla Kij.


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