- From: "Tkilyle@xxxxxxx" <tkilyle@xxxxxxx>
- To: ussgeorgetown@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2009 18:36:23 -0400
_Challenge _Ek Balaam and Aaron ZeemanThe only thing Ek wanted to do was forget the entire day happened. It was nice to have met the three people he met but he could have done without the rest of it, most especially having come under the XO's scrutiny. Scrutiny that the man was going to tell Aaron about, Ek grumbled as he made his way up the corridor to his quarters after finally leaving the station. Just what the hell I needed. At least, he thought as he keyed open the door, Nathaniel probably isn't in. Ek usually wanted the company of his fellow weres but, in this case, he wanted to be alone in his misery.
Aaron couldn't quite believe what the XO told him. It was bad enough that one of his engineers had been so stupid but Ek had put the whole shifter nation in jeopardy. Stupid damn boy, he thought, feeling his neck hairs already bristling. "I gotta go out," he told his son. "Look after your sister."
He didn't have to look, Ek could smell. His fellow cat wasn't in. He didn't even bother to see how recently the young engineer might have left because it didn't matter to him. He sat down to pull off his boots, flinging the first one across the room with as much force as he could. "Tzit people ought to do what they're supposed to do instead of walking around with their heads in the sand and clouds."
His son hadn't even objected as Aaron stormed out. The boy recognised how angry he was. Damn, stupid, fool, he thought as he leaned on Ek's chime. "Ek Balaam," he growled. "Let me in."
The hairs on the back of Ek's neck stood up but he'd be damned if he'd cower before the man. He thumbed open the door then crossed his arms over his chest. "Yes, oh big bad wolf?" he drawled. "What do you want? Surprised you even know where this place is."
Aaron grabbed Ek's shirt front and propelled him backward, ramming him into a wall. He pressed his mouth close to Ek's ear and growled. "Stupid fucking boy," he snarled. "Not only have you put your uniform to shame, you've put this pack, my family and the whole of our world in danger. What the fuck did you think you were doing?"
The air went out of his chest for a moment, making it hard to take a breath but Ek could still growl, a subtle challenging one from a healthy young male jaguar. "The pack?" he wheezed. "I'm surprised you have any idea about it, Aaron. You don't have half a god damned clue what's going on."
"I don't?" Aaron snarled. "Idiot. Do you think I don't know what Nathaniel's been doing? Do you really imagine I've just been sat at home with my fingers up my own ass?" He shook Ek violently, bouncing his head off the bulkhead. "I know N'Ellie, she's safe and he needs something I can't give him. Neither can you. Unless you've decided to change your sexual preferences and I didn't notice."
Ek's ears were ringing with the impact. "Bullshit!" he snapped as he pushed himself off the wall. "I'd bet you only realized anything after Menkara came to you. " He circled the taller man as if eyeing prey. "The kid's your pet? Fine but you neglect the pack as a whole, Aaron. You're blind as a bat."
Aaron matched pace to him, feeling his energy boil around him, his nails already extending in a half-shift. "You came here claiming to help me, claiming you wanted to be pack to me. Where have you been? Have you even seen my boy? Do you even care? Nathaniel's been, he comes every day. Every fucking day."
"Have you been here?" Ek returned, his eyes flashing jaguar green. "I don't see you or him unless it's duty. I think I come somewhere after the crap in the warp nacelles, Aaron. Don't kid yourself otherwise."
"Bullshit!" Aaron snapped. "But you do come after my own son. Even I won't apologise for that. His change is coming, his temper keeps getting the better of him... Don't you remember what that was like?"
"No, you idiot, I don't and if you had any sense, you'd know that. Or don't you remember me telling you I was on my own after my family moved on me, leaving the freak in the rain forests while they went who the hell cares where?" Ek spat on the floor in disgust. "You know what? It doesn't matter. You're going to be right no matter what, even if you're wrong. Why the hell do I bother?"
"Grow up," Aaron said, a look of clear disgust at the spitting. "You sit in here sulking, go off having fights, then it's all my damn fault? I never asked for a pack, I was fine being on my own with my kids. But now I've gotta make all the effort and you don't have to make any? Grow the fuck up, Ek."
Ek knew he was probably wrong but he was too pissed off to think. Instead, he shook his head and dared to step closer. "I didn't get into a fight," he said slowly, saying each word slowly and deliberately. "I prevented a wrong but I guess that doesn't matter."
"Why do you think you haven't been pounded into the deck plating?" Aaron said as he stepped into Ek. "But think. You told that little troll you wanted to eat his face. How many humans, normal humans, say something like that?"
"Marines," Ek shot back. He could feel energy pricking at his skin and it annoyed him more than he already was. "I've heard it before. I listen and I learn. People, mundanes or not, will say the damndest things."
"Marines tend to say smash or gut or shoot, they don't threaten to eat someone," Aaron snapped. It took all he had not to just swipe at him but he clenched his fists instead.
"Deal with it, Aaron. I said it and I'm not sorry. And who the hell would eat a Ferengi anyway? Those stringy things aren't worth the chase," Ek spat back.
"I have dealt with it, you're on temporary suspension from Engineering," Aaron said, only barely keeping his tone in check. "Commander Menkara has asked for you to be assigned to him and now you are. As for the personal side, just think of this one thing: your temper has put our world in danger. And I don't mean just this place, I mean back on Earth too. I'm not telling them but you really need to work on that loose tongue."
"I doubt that but since you aren't my commanding officer," Ek began, his nose just a breath from Aaron's, "get the fuck out and leave me alone."
"Fuck you," Aaron growled. He punched Ek hard, span around and marched out.The blow knocked Ek off his feet but he let the man leave. Trying to kill someone in broad daylight, under the eyes of the ship's recording devices, was probably stupider than threatening to eat Quark. "Son of a bitch," he muttered as he wiped a line of blood away from his mouth.
-- "I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze"---D.H. Lawrence
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