<USS Banshee> "Building New Bridges"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 22:14:01 -0800

?Building New Bridges?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper
& Ensign Joe Castillo

Night had descended on the Banshee. Crew rotations were severed down and one doctor was on call. Dr. Ariel Price was in an office around the corner while Josh sat - shirtless - on the biobed. The wound was healing nicely. Dr. Price said that the first round had coagulated nicely, but the second round would have to wait for another hour so the residue of the first would be clean.

So there he sat.

The cold surface of the biobed kept him from sleep and his mind wandered to his mother, the ship, and his fellow crewmates. There were so many things gallivanting through his mind he couldn't stay focused. His mind was in turmoil.

After making sure the bridge had been returned to order by the timely return of the valiant Commander Andros, Joe sent out a couple of teams of security. Since Lieutenant D'nalls had decided to stay on Cardassia to aid the Legate he had been acting chief of security. He cherished the challenge, but the he thought the stress of the job was going to prematurely turn his hair gray ? he was definitely counting the hours since D'nalls had left.

Comforted by the site of the Commander on the bridge, he had send security personnel to bring to sickbay anyone who had injured themselves falling when they had been put to sleep by the unnatural white gas. Giving that order immediately reminded him of what Lieutenant Asper had looked like. Joe hadn?t had a non-business conversation with the lieutenant yet but he seemed troubled and Joe thought he could use some company. Misery loves company after all. And Josh was definitely miserable.

When he first got on the Banshee he'd thought he'd finally show people he wasn?t a wallflower; just serious about his duties but he?d had more work thrust on him so he hadn?t had a chance to make friends. He was thinking ?Hey, I made one friend in sickbay,? remembering the nice conversation he had had with Sara as he walked into sickbay and saw Asper on the biobed not yet completely healed yet.

Josh had managed to get his eyes closed for a fraction of a second, his thoughts drifting to his mother and the calm that had come over him as he finally let go of her essence. He was at peace with himself, with everyone. Soothing thoughts or not, it the peace and solitude was short lived. His eyes fluttered opened and he turned to the door, barely making out a figure coming towards him in the haziness that the onset of sleep had brought him.

He rubbed his eyes roughly, fighting away the sleepiness and bringing himself back to reality that he'd tried to elude for days since his emotional rollercoaster had started. Ensign Joe Castillo stepped through the door. Josh smiled, propping himself up on his elbow and rubbed his bare chest with the other hand - carefully exploring the healing wound.

The acting chief of security was handsome, physically fit build, and had that look and aura of determination that accompanies fine Starfleet officers. Josh figured he'd be in the command seat one day. "Evening Ensign," Josh started, making eye contact, "I hope all is in order on the bridge?"

Still in his workout shorts he had been wearing when the whole situation on the bridge had begun he all of a sudden noticed he was very dirty from his trip trough the Jeffries Tubes to get to the bridge at the behest of the lieutenant. He was reminded of t because of the almost 100% sterile environment of a sickbay; he was some what acquainted with it since security was often the first people on the scene and advanced first aid was required in the security stream at the academy.

Joe noticed that the wound on Josh's side was not completely healed yet. "After I arrived with a full team of armed security anyone who would have been foolish enough to cross the Commander thought better of it." Joe smiled remembering the fire in the eyes of the Commander when he started barking out orders to get his ship back under control. "That wound looks like its healing nicely sir, but you should avoid touching it until it?s fully healed. I came to see how you were doing because it looked kinda bad when I first saw it and I was worried about you."

"At least someone is." Josh muttered as he ceased his movement of examining the gash on his side. He managed to sit up more, gazing about the room and then at the ensign. "Call me Josh. I'm not on duty." He smiled as he could envision Andros' eyes glowing a heinous red as the look of tyranny and violence crossed his features with the mission of setting thing back straight. He'd been glad he was out of it and hauled to Sickbay.

The workout shorts were a bit casual, but accented his features in the most powerful and commanding way. He had a presence, Josh couldn't describe it, but a presence of intense supremacy was there - waiting to be set free. "What were doing before this fiasco started?" Josh was curious.

" No problem sir, I mean Josh. Besides being bored out of my mind you mean? I was going to kill some time by putting some of the new recruits we got on DS9 through a training exercise." Joe was glad he had been invited to call Josh by his first name. He belatedly remembered to add, "And since I?m not technically on duty either you can call me Joe, that is unless of course you prefer ensign." Joe trailed off letting his insecurities get the better of him; funny before he ever went to Starfleet no one besides his dad ever made him feel that way.

But the point of his visit to sickbay was to try and cheer up Josh and try and make a new friend. Joe kicked himself for talking before he thought again and not immediately responding to Josh's comment about ?At lest someone is?. "Of course people care, Josh, you?re a great Tactical officer people look up to you, and I hear you?re a great pilot too. You know I've been meaning to get tested to qualify to pilot a shogun, I think the commander and I are going to spend some time during shore leave getting that done."

Shaking his head he stood, giving in to bending over to relieve the pain emanating from his phaser shot. "I know, I know, but it seems like people either fear me or look down upon me. It's different from the USS Iliad, my previous ship. There you were cared about, because if you died or got hurt it mattered. Here, you are simply replaced and forgotten about." Josh maneuvered himself back onto the biobed.

He fought the urge to cringe at the pain in his side, but remained content on looking into the eyes of this young ensign. He was so full of hope, but there was a lack of self-confidence that Josh only barely picked up on. "Getting to fly a shogun is total freedom, it'll do you good - and the ship - if you get tested and passed. If you need help studying or practicing, let me know."

Josh smiled as his hand went back to rubbing the wound. It hurt like hell - Josh wouldn't deny it. And he felt vulnerable, especially to someone of lower rank, sitting there with a gash the size of the Banshee herself on his rib cage. Josh felt as if he could be targeted.

Noticing the wincing and pain Josh must obviously be in "Josh it really would be best if you held still till that?s taken care of. I can tell you were just like me as a child couldn?t hold still for more than 10 minutes always running around doing something." Joe smiled recollecting the fond memories. "I haven?t gotten that impression of this ship since I've been on. Sure I've been pretty busy, but everyone on this ship seems to me like they?re hard workers and serious about their jobs. Maybe people would get along better if we actually had a counselor on the ship, but the few people I've met are pretty nice."

"That's the problem. Worried more about their jobs than relationships, and worried about their careers more than the value that they get from enjoying life. More and more common, I'm afraid." Josh sighed outwardly. "You've got to embrace life, no matter how you do it."

"Wise words Josh, I like to think that I haven't been more worried about my work more than I've just had too much of it. I hope you didn?t get that impression of me; although I take my job seriously human life and interaction is very important to me. That?s why I picked the security stream, even though I love piloting because I wanted to be able to protect lives and even be able to keep them alive long enough when the need arises."

"You know what you need to work on? People's ideas and thoughts of you mean absolutely jack." Josh smiled, cradling his side again. "I chose tactical because I wanted action, but my background is security. When work drags you done you have to get away and crawl back on top. That's what friends and intimate partners are for, the helping hands that get you above the stress and pain and back into pleasure and happiness."

Joe frowned realizing he probably took the wrong approach at the academy; instead of studying alone he could have joined study groups. "Too true too true. I guess because of the arguments me and my dad always had and the pain they caused my mother, I avoided people subconsciously and dealt with things on my own. It's weird thinking back on it now, I was pretty popular in school and I flirted with a lot of girls and I wasn't shy, but no one really knew me because I solved all my problems on my own. I've never really had close intimate friends to help see me through tough times, although I've been there for plenty of people since I?m a good listener. I always just went and hit the weights to relieve stress and to work things out in my mind."

Josh nodded, "My father passed away when I was sixteen. I didn't take it well and ended up in a juvenile detention facility until I turned eighteen. I saw some rough things. I hit the weight too when I was stressed." Standing, Josh hobbled over to Joe. "If you ever need a friend to talk to, to run with, to workout with - anything - give me a call." Josh nudged Joe; "I flirted with my share of people too."

Joe smiled and then put on a stern look on his face, "Great, I?d like that morning run before our shift, but am I going to have to post a guard here and hold you at phaser point for you to hold still? You?re going to aggravate that wound. And, listen, if you ever feel down you can come to me. I might have never gone to anyone when I had problems of my own, but I?m a great listener and people always came to me. So if you're ever feeling down come talk to me, I?m the guy in the security office with tons of PADDs to fill out and no one ever tells anything to me until the shit hits the fan."

"I should be healed by the morning, Doctor Price - " Josh perked his eyebrows in marveling in her beauty, "says that I'll be up and running in no time. I hope she was speaking literally." Josh became solemn, "Thanks for offering your ear, most people don't understand that that is a blessing in disguise. I'll see you tomorrow, o-four-hundred, for a run on the holodeck?" Josh looked at him inquisitively.

Joe smiled and offered his hand. "Ah, I see you?re an early riser as well. Deal, see you tomorrow morning then." Joe winked at Josh; "I'll go tell the good doctor to keep an eye on you and keep you out of trouble to make sure you?re in working order by tomorrow morning.?

Josh took the extended appendage and shook it, nodding all the while, "I'll make sure she keeps an eye on me." Josh motioned to his body, "Come on, who could resist this?" He winked. "Night, Joe."

Walking away, Joe had a feeling of happiness that he HAD made another friend in Sickbay and wondered not for the first time if sickbay wasn't THE place to meet people. He walked over to the cute doctor determined to flirt with her.

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