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JP - Ensign Ashley Yael and 1Lt. Anthony Meeks - A Perfectly Good Shuttle


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I do so love watching a difficult emotional scene where the characters are genuine, flawed and vulnerable.  This was a lovely JP you two!!

 

((Starbase 118 Ops - Holodeck 24))

The Denobulan hybrid sat at the helm of the shuttlecraft, there on the holodeck.  It was a relatively small shuttle, nothing fancy.  Room for four in the cockpit.  All around him was open blue sky, little puffy clouds in the distance on the clear and calm day.  The shuttle was in the atmosphere of some planet, which could have been Earth.  It appeared warm and Mediteranean in climate, from what one could see high above from the view port.

 

Ashley had invited Anthony nervously, and by message, not by the comms.  If Anthony wasn’t interested, he could just… not show up.  Ashley would understand.

 

It had been a couple days since he’d been forcibly plucked out of Verriars bar, playing his drunken tongo and making an absolute ass of himself.  He’d spent the next morning in sickbay, getting rehydrated… Alora had been there every step of the way, giving him some friendly but stern harassment… which he’d more than earned… asking about the *why* of it all, dragging his still-intoxicated and increasingly hung-over butt to sickbay to get IV fluids.

 

He had spent the previous day, after recovering from his hangover, getting caught up with his own counselor back on Earth via subspace.  She had been relatively *brutal* in her attempt to determine the source of the downward spiral, and had some choice words about his backsliding after all the progress he’d made in the past year.

 

He had also gone to sickbay for some further scans, for Doctor Bailey’s prescribed treatment, and had also begun going through his fellow starbase counselors files, trying to find one he might communicate well with.

 

It had… not been a great couple days.

 

His descent into drunken idiocy after two years of sobriety made it pretty obvious he needed to do better with self-care.  That was step one.

 

Actually, getting treatment and stabilizing was step one.  Promising Alora at least seven separate times he wouldn’t go to Verriar’s alone anymore was step two.  So self-care would be step three.

 

The next step was to reach out… he needed to catch up with the Marine who he had dismissed, invalidated, come on to, lobbed innuendo at, made to carry, nearly barfed on, and cursed at… had he cursed at Anthony?  Or had that been his internal, angry-drunk monologue?  Either way… it was hardly the worst of what he’d done.

 

His stomach was full of nerves, so he’d chosen their stomping grounds.  The holodeck seemed somehow safer, since it was where he and Anthony often met up for various things, for play, for work, for training.  A public place was too… public.

 

To Tony, the receipt invitation in the way it had come had seemed unnecessary and out of character for his friend. There wasn’t anything overt about the invite that was out of place, but Tony could sense something wasn’t exactly right. In any case, the invite had been on the table, and Tony wasn’t exactly one to ignore a good time.

 

Arriving at the holodeck, Tony paused at the doors before they slid obediently open. The sounds of the already running, but idle program wafted out to greet him. The sounds of a shuttlecraft and the requisite systems set an intriguing tone to the moment. Stepping inside, Tony greeted his friend.

 

Meeks:  Hey, Ashley. 

 

Ashley set amethyst eyes on the Marine, and he took a largely silent but deep breath through his nose as he steeled himself for it.

 

Two days ago, this man had had to forcibly carry him out of Verriars bar… he’d made crude attempts to take Anthony home with him, and said far too many terrible things.

 

Yael:  Anthony.

 

Meeks:  What’s going on, Amigo?

 

Yael:  I thought…  if you’re not busy… you might like to run a program.  With me.  If you want.  Totally optional.

 

Well *that* wasn’t awkward.  He would have face-palmed if he had less self-control.  He had *rehearsed* this in his mind and *that* was how he said it?  Instead of self-slapping, he grit his teeth and stopped himself talking before it became a babble instead of an invitation.

 

Nervousness in Ashley’s voice was palpable, causing a bit of concern for Tony. 

 

Meeks:  Of course, bud. 

 

Tony sat in the seat next to his friend, swiveling the chair to face him. 

 

Meeks: What’s really going on, Ashley?

 

Yael:  ::trying to smile::  That obvious, huh.

 

The Denobulan hybrid glanced out of the view port, clearly chewing on the thing preoccupying him.

 

Yael:  I thought… I’d try to apologize.  ::then more quietly::  I was kind of awful to you.

 

Meeks:  Not necessary.

 

Yael:  You didn’t deserve it.  And… thank you?  I suppose… for getting me out of there when you did.

 

Spinning the chair into position, Tony started working the controls, preparing to assume the flight duties. He began looking the instruments over, listening to Ashley.

 

Meeks:  That’s what friends do, Pard. 

 

Ashley glanced at Anthony, concerned at the very quick forgiveness.  Was that genuine?  Was Anthony secretly internalizing the violation of his friendship?  Was he harboring vast resentment under the calm surface?!  He… actively tried to stop thinking about it.  Face value.  Take it at face value.  And don’t let it happen again.  But why couldn’t he brush off the feeling Anthony *should* be angry with him?  Perhaps it was because he was angry at himself and he was displacing his feeling onto his friends.

Yael:  Right… 

 

Meeks: Where we going?

 

Yael:  Ah… nowhere.  Well, that’s not accurate, really.  Down.  We’re going down.

 

Meeks:  Down? ::There had to be a little panic in Tony’s voice::

 

Yael:  No, not crash landing!  ::he managed to laugh lightly, nerves still apparent::  I thought I’d give you the opportunity to throw me out of a perfectly good shuttlecraft.

 

Meeks:  What? ::The panic was still there::

 

Standing, the Denobulan hybrid moved to the gear stowed near the back, lifting a harness and pack in both hands.  And if Anthony *was* harboring inner resentment toward him, maybe tossing him to his theoretical doom could be some sort of therapy.

 

Yael:  Who knows.  It could be therapeutic.

 

Meeks:  You’re the therapist here, bud, but I’m not sure that’s in the text books.

 

It was then Tony saw the pack in Ashley’s hands. Not just a pack, but a parachute designed to slow a single person’s descent following a freefall. The panic lessened and likely the cracking in Tony’s voice subsided.

 

Yael:  There’s a pack for you too.  If you want to jump.

 

Meeks:  Are you certified?

 

Yael:  Certified…?  ::blanching slightly::  Wait… are *you* certified?

 

Meeks: Of course I am. It’s part of the Pararescue training. 

 

Yael:  That’s good.  ::regaining his confidence, and smiling::  Then you’ll know what you’re doing.

 

Ashley set the pack down again, but moved to unclasp the buckles in preparation.

 

Meeks:  Have you ever jumped before?

 

Yael:  No.  It’s just something I’ve thought I should do… you know.  A “bucket list” sort of thing.

 

Meeks:  Bucket list!?!? You’re going to jump out of a shuttle for a bucket list?

 

Ashley paused with his working of the straps and looked at his friend now.  He may have given a little too much away there.

 

Yael:  Isn’t that… something people do?

 

Meeks: There’s usually a little more planning than this though, Ash. Especially for skydiving. There’s kind of a process.

 

Yael:  ::trying to laugh it off::  I see.  So that’s a “no,” then.

 

He couldn’t believe what he was hearing and seeing. It probably was just surreal enough that Tony stood there, mouth agape, not really processing what was going on. 

 

Meeks: Um, yeah… no.

 

It still wasn’t reality yet that Ashley was serious about doing this. Tony tried as he might to shake it off, but it wouldn’t go away.

 

Yael:  It *was* kind of a spur-of-the-moment thought, I guess… I didn’t realize plummeting to Earth was a complicated matter.

 

Still trying with the humor to deflect from the nerves he felt, and dig out of the hole he felt he’d gotten himself into, the Denobulan abandoned the pack straps entirely.

 

Yael:  You okay?  This was too much, wasn’t it.

 

Meeks:  I’m fine, Bud. You really want to do this? If you want to do it, we’re gonna do it right. Ok?

 

The Denobulan perked up at that.

 

Yael:  Right.  Okay.  What’s the “right” way?

 

Scooping up the pack, Tony slipped the buckles loose on the shoulder straps and tossed the pack to Ashley. Snatching the second pack up, Tony slipped the buckles loose and checked the bindings. 

 

Meeks: Are these holodeck chute packs?

 

Yael:  Yes.

 

Meeks: Okay. If we do this, we’re gonna do it tandem. You good with that?

 

Yael:  Tandem.  You mean… together.  Same chute?

 

Meeks: That’s exactly what I mean. I’m gonna strap your ass to me and we’re gonna bail out of this shuttle together. All the way to the ground.

 

Yael:  I was kind of hoping for a *solo* flight.  

 

Tony dropped the chute pack he was holding, allowing it to hit the floor with a hard thud.  He stood there, arms crossed, staring at his friend, who had jumped in surprise at the sudden drop of the gear.

 

Meeks: What’s goin’ on, Ashley. 

 

Yael:  ::canting his head slightly to the side::  What do you mean?

 

Meeks: I’m your friend, right?

 

Yael:  Of course.

 

Meeks: Then, why the bullshit?

 

The tone had shifted, and the little hairs on the back of the Denobulans neck stood on end.  Feeling genuinely chastised, he tried to reclaim the smile that threatened to melt off his face.  Still, he stiffened his posture, not knowing what to expect but understanding one thing well enough.  He’d pushed too far.

 

Yael:  Anthony…?

 

Meeks: Tell me… are you sick? Dying? Something bad?

 

Ashley set eyes on his friend and couldn’t tear them away.  Couldn’t blink.  Barely breathed.  The smile he’d rescued was gone.

 

Yael:  ::less than sure in his tone::  Why would you ask that…?

 

Tony stepped forward, dropping his arms to his sides. He stopped within a couple of feet of where Ashley stood, the muscles in his jaw tight.

 

Meeks: You seem to have a deathwish lately. Complete self destruction.

 

The Denobulan hybrid took a step back almost defensively, but still felt Anthony towering over him.  He had to look up to maintain eye contact now, his eyes widening with restrained alarm as his friend cornered him.

 

Yael:  How so…?

 

Meeks: Let’s start with that little show you gave at the bar the other day. Wanna explain that?

 

Yael:  That was… it was a *mistake*, but…

 

He stepped back again, as if he were stepping out of the Marines' very large shadow.  His eyes lowered to the floor, his deflective invalidating of that night clearly a lie.

 

Tony stepped forward to match the retreat of the smaller man. 

 

Meeks: I get mistakes Ash. I will ALWAYS be there for you, brother. I will pull your ass out of any fire you get it into… hell, I’ll even let you puke on me... No sweat. I WON’T let you kill yourself though.

 

Yael:  ::nowhere near convincing enough::  I’m *not* trying to kill myself...

 

Meeks: ::Scoffs:: Go ahead… keep telling yourself that. 

 

The Denobulan knew Anthony could see every deflection he tried, and standing in the Humans presence made the truth the only possible path forward.  Stil, it caught in his throat as he stepped back again, his heel touching the wall of the shuttlecraft behind him.  He was physically trapped as much as he might have been mentally.

 

His eyebrows knitted tight together, jaw clenching, and couldn’t look Anthony in the eye as he spoke with the diminishing last of his resolve, conflicted.

 

Yael:  It’s a *holodeck*, Anthony.  Nobodies dying here.

 

Meeks: I know it’s a damned holodeck. That doesn’t matter one little bit, Ash… It’s all the other stuff you’ve been doing to yourself that tells the story. What the F… What’s wrong with you?

 

Tony caught himself before he went too far, the anger swelling in his chest. He didn’t realize how angry he was at his friend until just that moment. 

 

Meeks: You’re being a dick!

 

Ashley flinched at that, but his gut told him he deserved it, so he failed to protest the brutal honesty.

 

Tony reached into his pocket and withdrew a small silver oblong disk. He held it for a moment, then tossed it on the floor at Ashley’s feet. The little metal object clattered to a stop against Ashley’s foot, glinting silently in the lights of the shuttle.

 

Meeks: Pick it up.

 

Yael:  ::eyeing the disk suspiciously, then back up to Anthony, he didn’t move::  What is it?

 

Meeks: Pick it up, Ash. Read it. 

 

Cautiously, he reached down for it now, as if it might bite.

 

The little metal disk lay there, waiting. The words embossed on it simple and straight forward. The name, last name first, not telling the whole story, but only the main player. 

 

Lifting it and standing, Ashley realized as he felt the raised metal, read the name, saw the blood type.  And he knew.

 

Meeks: That guy was my brother too. I would have gone to hell and back for him. In fact, I did. Just… he didn’t come back with me. 

 

Ashley took a somewhat unsteady breath as the understanding and guilt washed over him.  … he *was* being a massive dick.  And he had the nerve to be self righteous about it… to lie about it.  He hadn’t changed at all.

 

Meeks: THAT’S why I’m not going to give up on you. I don’t want yours in my pocket.

 

Yael:  ::bluntly, without looking up from the tag::  It’s fatal.

 

Tony stood there for a moment, preparing a sharp retort at what he initially thought was a smartass reply from Ashley. Then the realization set in that his friend wasn’t talking about the dog tag, or the skydiving trip.

 

Meeks: What the hell are you talking about? What’s fatal?

 

For a moment he didn’t move, then the tag raised, and Ashley moved to hand it to Anthony.  Slowly, and a bit unsteady in between two fingers.  When he spoke again, it was deeper, and on the verge of anger.

 

Yael:  The only difference between him and me is how fast it happens.  Quick or slow.  Which would *you* pick.  

 

Staring into the eyes of the man, Tony saw the determined anger in him. It was from deep within him the emotion manifested, and had bubbled to the surface. It wasn’t depression, nor was it really fear that Tony could see. It was anger.

 

Meeks: ::His voice softening:: What? Now it’s your turn. What are you talking about?

 

Eyes turning up to set on Anthony now, the softer tone did nothing to quell it now that it was loose, and Ashley spoke without thinking, his voice rising.

 

Yael:  I’m asking what *you* would pick, Anthony!  Fast or slow.  WHICH ONE.  Because those are the ONLY CHOICES!  It’s not up for debate, it doesn’t care if you throw yourself out of a shuttle, or drink yourself under the table.  It’s going to kill you ANYWAY!

 

Tony was taken back by the outburst. He had seen the anger in his friend’s eyes, and now he heard it in his voice. It was real now.

 

Meeks:  I still don’t get it, Ash. What are you talking about? Are you sick?

 

Trying to physically yank himself back under control and restrain the instinct to continue abusing Anthony, Ashley’s body reacted to the mental effort by jerking backward the last few inches, bumping into the wall and then staying there.  The options were the wall, or Anthony, and he couldn’t very well go *through* Anthony.  His eyes fell down to the floor, and his posture shrank somewhat.

 

Yael:  There’s nothing anyone can do.  Neurological disorder.  Genetic component.  Progressive, degenerative.  Watch it happen in slow motion.  You pretend to fight the battle, but you can’t win the war.

 

Tony listened to the words, not completely understanding what they meant. He knew Ashley had to deal with some stuff, especially whatever had caused him to have to wear the braces on his arms, but had never thought to ask about it. Ashley was his friend, pure and simple. Tony had never thought any different, and had never considered his friend’s need to wear the braces as anything other than that… something his friend had to do. He always figured it would be up to Ashley to tell him what it was about, when Ashley was ready to. It had never come up in their conversations. 

 

Meeks: ::Quietly:: How long?

 

Yael:  Quality or quantity?

 

The retort came out sharp like a knife, and the Denobulan had to shake his head and tell himself to bite his tongue.  Stop *fighting.*  Even though every cell in him told him this was a fight, this wasn’t supposed to be a fight.

 

Yael:  Five years?  Ten?  What’s left after is a life *you* would never accept living.

 

Tony hadn’t expected to be told what he was hearing. He had known there was something underlying in Ashley’s history, something had caused him to have to wear those braces, but hadn’t considered a terminal diagnosis. The braces had never mattered to him because they were just part of Ashely. He had other friends who had to use assistance devices, Sheila Bailey being the nearest to them now, and he didn’t take any of them into consideration as to how he looked at them as the people they were. Frankly, it didn’t matter to him. Standing frozen, his gaze unwavering, Tony processed what he heard.

 

A braced hand came up to cover half his face for a moment, as if it were a mask.

 

Yael:  And you won’t need another one of *those.*  ::meaning the dog tag::  I haven’t done anything to *rate* one.

 

Meeks:  Why didn’t you say something...?

 

Ashley interrupted him sharply, the anger bristling as he lifted his face to look Anthony in the eyes again, no longer cowering under the larger Human.  The look in his eyes was *raw*, and the veneer of calm the Denobulan usually wore was completely stripped away.

 

Yael:  I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to LOOK at me the way you’re looking at me RIGHT NOW!

 

The outburst snapped Tony back to the moment, and the abruptness brought the emotions he was feeling to the surface. It was almost as if he’d been slapped, then slapped again. First when the news had been delivered, then with the angry retort. It was a good thing that his friend wasn’t standing in the corner crying about it any more.

 

Meeks:  ::His gaze stiffening:: Do you think you have the corner on the pain market?

 

Tony didn’t raise his voice. In fact, it lowered and contained a bit more bass than usual. 

 

Yael:  ::caught by the shift in the Marines tone::  What…?  No, I...

 

Meeks: We’re all terminal, Ash. From the minute we’re born, we’re terminal. We get to live until we don’t. That’s life.

 

The Denobulan had been all amped up for more of a fight, but immediately backed down at the shift in Anthony’s demeanor… still, somehow he maintained eye contact.  The wise statement, however sage it might have been, also made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end with its delivery.  He took a breath in, trying to *think* rather than just react.

 

Yael:  I *know* that… I know it, but that’s oversimplifying things.

 

Meeks:  How so? 

 

Yael:  It changes when people know.  You’d have held back…

 

The training.  The holodeck adventures.  Everything had a tone, not just voices.  Actions shifted and flowed just like words, and everything would have been different.  Subtly, but different.  Maybe Tony would have held back in hand to hand training.  Maybe he wouldn’t push Ashley so hard.  Maybe things would be said differently, more cautiously.  As if he were made of glass and might break.  There would be “no’s” where in any other case it might be a “yes.”

 

He felt the heat in his ears, the blood rushing into the capillaries as his brain was inundated with oxygen filled blood. He felt the anger swell at the response from his friend. The audacious belief that Tony would have ever treated him differently incensed him, driving him forward. Thoughtfully, Tony reached out and lovingly punched the little Denobulan in the face. The punch was hard, not meant to necessarily hurt the man, but definitely enough to let him know he’d been hit.

 

Ashley stumbled seriously to the side, shock overtaking him as he caught himself on the wall, his eyes watering from the blossoming pain.

 

Meeks:  How’s that for treating you different, you little turd? How dare you put those words in my mouth? How dare you take away my choice?

 

Lifting a hand to his face, Ashley tasted blood in his mouth.  He was dazed for a moment… then he lifted his eyes to Tony… and with all the energy he could muster he sent his fist into the Marines jaw from beneath.

 

Yael:  ::shouting::  I *KNOW* you can hit harder than that!

 

Tony stumbled backward, impressed by the effort his friend had put into the punch. He had hit him hard, and Tony had to take a step to regain his footing. 

 

Meeks:  ::Rubbing his jaw:: You’ve been working out… 

 

Tony dropped his weight onto the balls on his feet, more out of instinct than real need. This had opened a whole new can of worms.

 

Meeks: This what you want, Ash? 

 

Yael:  I want you to *stop holding back!*

 

Meeks: You’re about to take a ride on the pain train, son.

 

Yael:  That’s a lot of bluster coming from someone who won’t follow through with his fis-

 

Tony didn’t let him complete his thought before he lashed out and struck Ashley in the face again. This time, the blow landing against the left cheek under the Denobulan’s eye. The punch had a little more behind it this time, driving Ashley back against the bulkhead.

 

The world went black for a sharp second with this more powerful impact, and Ashley went down on one knee with a grunt of pain as the world spun.  A few drops of blue-red blood flicked to the ground when he shook his head to clear his blurred vision.  He forced himself back onto his feet, stepping back once unsteadily… but he wasn’t retreating, and he certainly wasn’t thinking… he braced his foot behind him, lowered his shoulder, and with two running steps drove into Anthony’s middle, forcing the larger man momentarily into the air and off his feet before they fell back onto the floor.

 

With a grunt, Tony felt the deck meet his face. The impact sent stars through his vision, and for a moment he was stunned. It took a second to get his thoughts back, but by now the instinct of the fight had taken over. He rolled onto his back and then climbed to his feet. Without consideration, he struck out with a foot, kicking Ashley in the ribs.

 

Meeks:  Give it a rest, Ash. You don’t hav… Ugh!

 

The Denobulan had jolted back with the kick, the air forced from his lungs.  He clutched his stomach and had to force himself to stay on his feet, coughing and sucking in several breaths of air… haphazardly he pushed forward and threw an elbow into Anthony’s lower gut.  It was less an aimed blow, but he still put what little strength he had left into it.  In the course of a single conversation he’d gone from PHD to complete idiocy.  He wasn’t even trying to *win* anything.  He just desperately needed to prove he COULD.  He could create a full scale psychological study.  He could learn to fire a highly powered rifle.  He could move past his limitations.  And he could give his own true effort in a fight.

 

With that gut instinct driving him, he spun on his feet, a fist flying behind his momentum and aiming for Tony’s face.  But the motion advertised his intent and wasn’t quite as quick as his first blows.  He didn’t have the energy to keep it up even if he had the anger to keep going.

 

While the impact might not have been as fast as before, it was still as hard. Stars erupted in Tony’s vision, spurred on by Ashley’s knuckles. Sparkling lights lit up and the shuttle spun around in his vision, but it wasn’t the shuttle that was spinning, it was Tony. He caught himself against the bulkhead and pushed back, countering the momentum and spinning him back around. Thrusting his left fist out, he used the momentum to put what little power he could behind the punch. He didn’t necessarily aim the punch at the Denobulan’s head, but that’s where it landed. The remaining momentum behind the punch drove Tony forward, stumbling him into Ashley.

 

The Denobulan flinched just as the blow came in, but only managed to change the point of impact slightly to the side of his head, then he felt Anthony’s heavy weight bearing down on him.  He was forced backward and stumbled himself, and reactively grasped the arm and chest of Tony’s uniform to stop himself falling back.  He only managed to bring Tony down on top of himself with a surprised shout.

 

Tony flopped hard on top of his friend, his full weight coming to bear on the little man. Ashley’s knee planted into Tony’s ribs, driven in only by Tony’s weight. There was a nearly inaudible “crack”, but the yelp Tony made could definitely be heard. Slipping off of Ashley, he flopped to the floor and rolled away. It took a few seconds, but Tony pulled himself up onto his hands and knees.

 

The weight of the large Human coming down on him drove the air out of his lungs, and there was a *POP* in his knee as the bony plate was momentarily shoved out of place when Tony’s bones came into contact with it.  It slipped back, but the damage had been done, and as Tony moved away defensively he clutched the knee and rolled the other way with a strangled shout of pain.  Catching his breath, he forced himself up without using the offended leg, stumbling and using the cockpit chair to balance as he expected another blow forthwith… but was surprised when Tony remained where he was.

 

Meeks:  ::Breathing heavily:: You really want to keep going?

 

Tony clutched his gut, trying to rub a little of the discomfort away. He backed up and sat on the bench and spit a clot of blood onto the floor. Wiping the remnants from his mouth, he looked over at the man across the shuttle from him. 

 

Yael:  You… ::wiping the back of his hand over his mouth, it came away glistening with blood:: … seemed more than happy to…

 

Why’d he stop?  The Denobulan wasn’t sure why, but a great sense of relief washed over him.  He let himself fall back hard onto his ass on the deck of the holographic shuttle, panting hard and flinching as his knee was jarred. 

 

Meeks: Alright… you win. Better?

 

Amethyst eyes flicked up onto the Human, his friend, who for *some* reason was not bashing his skull into the wall.  His vision was cloudy from the pain in his face, and his ribs ached where he’d’ been kicked.

 

Yael:  … I don’t… think anybody wins this kind of thing.

 

Meeks:  ::Spitting again:: You’re probably right.

 

Yael:  Are you hurt?

He wasn’t asking for his pride.  The stupidity of what he’d just done was washing over him as the anger that had fueled him was cured by the pain he now felt.  He was fairly sure he couldn’t take Anthony in a fight, so he wasn’t sure how he’d gotten so many blows in.

 

Meeks:  Nothing that an icepack won’t fix. You?

 

Tony leaned on his elbows, which were planted on his knees. He could feel the tingling in his upper lip giving way to a low, dull throb. It was swelling, and when he talked it closed funny, causing him to slur his words a little.

 

Yael:  ::despite thinking his face was broken::  Same...

 

Meeks: Did I teach you to hit like that?

 

Spitting a mouthful of blood onto the floor next to him, Ashley adjusted his jaw with difficulty before speaking again.

 

Yael:  You’re a good teacher.

 

Meeks:  Obviously. ::Allowing a slight chuckle::

 

Yael:  You know… you *could’ve* just thrown me out of the shuttle.

 

The Denobulan actually smiled at the thought.

 

Meeks:  I could have, but then I’da had to go get ya. This was easier.

 

A smile crept onto Tony’s face, the fat lip protruding, causing it to be very crooked. He had to give the little guy credit. He didn’t hit softly anymore. 

 

After a momentary silent reprieve wherein Ashley considered his swelling eye, he took in a deep breath and sighed, slipping back to lay flat on the deck.  The momentary anger and thrill of the fight was wearing off quickly.

 

Yael:  I invited you here to *apologize.*  Not to bash your face in…

 

Tony looked up into his friend’s eyes, their light purple hue contrasting with the darker purple that was forming on Ashley’s cheek. He almost laughed at the sight, but thought better of it. 

 

Meeks:  Again, not necessary.

 

Yael:  I’m sorry I’m a dick.

 

Meeks:  Okay, for that I’ll accept your apology. You were being a dick.

 

The Denobulan tried to give him a thumbs up from where  he lay on the ground, but it turned into a small wave.

 

Yael:  ::quietly::  Awesome.

 

Meeks: One thing you need to realize, Ash. I don’t give up on my friends… ever. I’m afraid you’re stuck with me, ::Grinning again:: ...even if you’re being a dick.

 

Ashley only smiled, even though it hurt his broken face to do it.






 

*****************

 

1Lt. Anthony Meeks
Company Commander
1/292nd TMR D Co.
Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narendra
R238801IG0

 

&

 

Ensign Ashley Yael

Counselor

Starbase 118 Ops

C238211TZ0

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