<USS Banshee> "Gambling with Emotions" Pt. 1

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2003 23:04:55 -0700

?Gambling with Emotions?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper
Lieutenant Sara Crusher
& Lieutenant JG Joe Castillo


Joshua Asper stood above a console staring down at a pair of legs jetting out from underneath it. ?Learn to have some fun, man, let's get going or we're going to be late for the game.?

Thomas Lark shouted from underneath the console, ?Work before play, Josh, you above all people should know that.?

?All work and no play makes Thomas Lark a drag to be around. Get your head out of the console and we can go and show them how to play poker.? Josh said with a smile plastered across his face the size of the Banshee itself. He desperately wanted to get going, but Lark was a stickler for work.

?I guess this can wait until morning.? Lark said, surprising Josh.

Josh looked at his uniform, ?You changing first or going as is??

Tom looked down, ?What's wrong with going in wearing a Starfleet uniform??

?Tom, we're all off duty. No one is going to be there in a Starfleet uniform.? He made a blatant gesture to his khaki pants and his plain white shirt. ?Casual garb, Lark, time to kick back and relax.?

Shrugging, Tom took off down the hallway to his quarters. ?I'll go change.?

It hadn?t taken Lark too long to throw on some more civilian-like clothing and head out the door. He was always someone who used his time to the fullest and pausing to change clothing was, he saw, a complete and total waste of time. That was Lark, though, always fixing his time to repair phaser couplings and torpedo launching mechanisms.

They walked down the corridor for what seemed like kilometers just talking it up. ?So, I believe this is the first time that you've ever played with us, Tom. I think the girls are going to try and play you like a fiddle. Keep your cards close...?

Lark interrupted him, ?I know how to play poker, Josh. I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night. I use to be quite the card shark at the academy, you know. Won most my replicator rations that way.? He winked as if he?d played the devil for a fool and won hell from him.

?You're such a swindler, Tom, kind of reminds me of me.? Josh smirked and tapped the chime on Joe?s quarters. ?Here we are, the card hall.? With that they waited patiently.

?Maybe they are trying to keep us from playing? All so they ensure that they don't lose the game repeatedly and over and over again.? Lark had a fake grin on his face as if he was the savior to all card games.


Joe Castillo walked around his room getting things ready for the poker game. He looked down at his uniform to make sure it was on right. ?I?m glad you?re here, I?ve never hosted one of these before so I don?t know exactly what I?m doing. Whenever I played poker before it was an impromptu thing at my grandpa's house with my uncles and him.?

Sara Crusher doubled checked the small wooden box she was carrying and smiled as she took in the state of affairs in his quarters. ?Well, it's not hard. I brought the chips and cards ? gifts from Aunt. I see you have the table; all we need now is snacks, drinks, and the other players.? She put the box she was totting on the table and opened it. The young doctor proceeded to spread bronze, silver, and gold metallic-colored chips on the table and lifted two decks of cards from their housing.

?Ooh, Ooh, I know this great recipe for a dip that goes good with potato chips.? He turned and started away from the living area and towards his replicator, ?I'll be right back, I got to replicate some salt, pepper, garlic and sour cream.?

?All right. I'll start to set out the standard lots of chips.? Stacking the chips, Sara called out over her shoulder to the security officer, ?It was very nice of you to step in when Sabrina had to pull out.?

?The Captain asked her to work late and I'm not sure how Cy would have felt about having the game at our place. We're still working out the living together thing...? She trailed off, conveniently picked up by Joe.

?No prob, it was my pleasure, a pity that she couldn't make it ? she's very pleasing to the eyes even if her attitude isn't all that friendly.? The chime echoed throughout the quarters, ?Oh, that must be Josh. Come in.? He didn?t move, but started chopping up Garlic.

Sara looked up at the comment and was bewildered and a little shocked. What did he mean her attitude wasn't all that friendly? She was the sweetest person Sara had ever known. Not that she was being biased or anything.

Josh walked in with Lark close on his heels. ?Evening Joe, Sara. Jenny not here yet?? The duo strode in and sat down at the table.

Castillo?s eyes darted up when he heard Jenny's name, ?Oh, that cute nurse? Haven't seen her since that night i had my physical.?

?Well, with the Captain's surgery and my personal side trips, she's been busy.? Turning to Josh, ?She'll be here as soon as she files the last of the paperwork.?

?Poor girl, she deserves a nice evening then. I'll try to make her comfortable.?

Lark gauged the room up and down. ?Nice place, Castillo, you can see your floor. Mine has been gone for some time.? The young ensign smiled and sat himself opposite of Josh.

Castillo, still chopping, nodded at Thomas and Josh, ?Evening gentlemen, thanks Tom, I'm sure yours isn't as bad as Josh's ? you gotta avoid flying objects in there.?

He threatened to make a menacing glare at Joe, thinking maybe wishing that his fingers would accidentally fall into the path of the blade wouldn?t be such a good topic starter at the poker table. ?Next time remind me to bury you in a pile of something, Joe.? He smiled.

?I just avoid his quarters all together. Got anything to drink?

?They weren't always that bad.?

Lark faced Sara, ?Josh's quarters? Talk about a Borg attack. I saw one of his shirts, one time, crawl across the floor.? The last words flailed out of his mouth with a fit of laughter.

?Too bad it didn't get you like I had planned it would.? He smiled and reached over, grabbing the cards.

Joe laughed so hard he almost cut himself with the knife.

Sara laughed, ?Careful, Joe, I?m off duty.?

Holding his breath to stop laughing, ?OK, I?m OK, I?m OK.?

?So what can I get you boys to drink?? She motioned to the chef chopping up vegetables, ?Since I'm helping out our rookie host here.?

Chef mixed in the diced garlic along with the sour cream, salt, and pepper, and then replicated Potato Chips ? completing the tasty and savory ensemble. ?Thanks Sara.?

Lark took the opportunity to think of the list of different alcohol that he?d stored in his head. A merlot here, an ale there, a nice refreshing crisp white wine to top the list ? he had the entire database memorized - practically. He, in the end, decided that traditional liquor would be the best bet. ?Bolian Brandy, please, Lieutenant.?

?Cardassian Lumjet Ale, please, Sara.? Josh added to his friend?s order. He began to shuffle the cards, bridging a couple of times and then switches over to the other deck and followed suit ? he pardoned the pun.

?You can call me Sara, Lark, we're all off the clock.? She went to the replicator and ordered their drinks.

Lark smiled at Sara at her gesture of hospitality and friendship among crew. ?OK, Sara, and you are more than welcome to call me Thomas, Tom, hey you, stupid, whatever pops into your head.?

Sara returned to the table and brought over their drinks and set them on the table. She perked an eyebrow as if to think. ?I think I'll stick to Tom. I reserve ?hey stupid? for the twit.? Returning to the replicator her gaze shifted to Joe, ?What about you, Joe??

?Hey Josh, are you gonna try the drink from home I was telling you about?? The drink request sparked his memory from earlier in the week.

Josh had forgotten, but it wasn?t the apocalypse if he didn?t try it. ?I'm actually in the mood for the usual, Joe, but I promise that I'll add it to Josh's 'Things to Eat and Drink' list that I'll get to during our next shore leave.?

Joe chuckled, ?You sure? I actually have a case of it somewhere in here that I never touch ? since I'm only a social drinker.?

?No, I'm good, but thanks anyway Joe.?

?Can I interest anyone else?? Joe?s eyes danced across the remaining faces.

?No, thank you.? Lark said as a hand shot up in refusal, but graciously.

?Not too strong of a liquor, from Earth, that tastes a bit like licorice.?

Nodding, That sounds good Joe. Perhaps I will have a taste.? Sara smiled.

?Yay, in that case let me go grab a bottle from under my bed.? He moved towards the bedroom but was halted by the incessant ringing of the chime. Joe backtracked across his quarters, ?Let me get the door first. Computer, one rose.? Joe said as he stepped first to the replicator. ?Come in.?

?I hope these cards are as good to me as they were for my Aunt.?

?Hopefully they will be a family curse and that will enable me to win a couple of hands.? Lark smiled and took a sip of his neon blue drink. ?Hopefully.?

Jenny slowly strode in, ?Sorry for being late. I have such a slave driver for a boss.?

The tactical officer smiled and laughed.

?Mademoiselle, je suis tres echante que vous pouvez jouer avec nous cette soir.? Joe said suavely as he handed her the rose, grabbed her other hand and kissed the top of it. It all made Jenny blush. ?Sara tells me you?ve been working too hard, so I'm going to try my best to make sure you relax and have fun tonight.?

?You?re such a sweet man. Keep that up and I'll have to ask the others to leave.?

?Hey, lovebirds. Are we going to play some poker? Or, are you two going to sit there and flirt at the door all night?? Asper made a fleeting wave of the mounds of cards he had grasped in his hand.

?Ooo, Josh is eager to lose.? Sara added with a smirk.

?Lose nothing, Crusher, I plan on thoroughly mopping the floor with you and the rest of the misfits in this room.? The fun insults had begun; the dealing of the cards was fast approaching.

She laughed out loud, ?Sure, Asper, keep telling yourself that.?

?It?s true.? Josh held adamantly.

Lark waved a dismissive hand and scoffed, ?Shut up, Asper, you're going down. I can see your fiery death already coming on. Something about me with four aces and you with seven high??

?Prepare to eat your words, Sparrow.? Josh feigned a smile and quickly began dishing out the cards across the table to the fight chairs. ?Let's play, we don't got all night.?

?Shall we join them then? Can i get you something to drink??

Jenny felt a smile tug at her lips, ?Whatever you?re having, Sexy.?

Lark muttered something inaudible about love and how it blows.

?Evening Boys!? Jenny said with a smile as she approached the playing field. She stopped and gasped playfully, ?Sara! You?re out of your quarters! Alone!?

?Shut up Jennifer.?

Snickering, Jenny sat down.

?Now, now ladies, we're here to have fun ? not bicker.? Joe said plainly.

?Speak for yourself, Joe, bickering women are my source of entertainment.?

?So, what will it be, Jenny??

?Well it's nice to see that you fly boys are still pigs.? Sara said over a wink and smile, ?What about that drink, Joe??

Joe turned on his heels and trotted off towards the bedroom, ?That?s right, I?ll be right back.? Within moments he had returned from his bedchamber carrying a clear bottle and three shot glasses.

Lark looked up from his hand, ?Pig? No! I prefer hog, which properly stands for handsome, outgoing, guy.?

?Which, you aren't any of those things anyway.? Josh took a sip of his drink.

Jenny grinned again, ?Well I happen to think a man in flight gear is sexy.?

?You think a man in anything is sexy, Jenny.?

?Well, we all can?t be lucky enough to find true love.? Jenny shot back as she watched Sara beam.

The shogun pilot?s eyes drifted from his cards to the young nurse. He smiled a gentle smile, but mischievous thoughts were running wildly through his head. He frowned at himself internally for doing so, but she had opened the door to his fantasy.

?If that's true, do you think a man in nothing is equally sexy?? Tom stared absently into his cards as if he didn?t know what to do with them. He thought his remark was rather witty and smiled at his accomplishment of humor.

?I happen to be working on my certification to fly shogun fighters.? Stepping over to the replicator, Joe brought the topic back to the alcohol at hand. ?Let me get some water for those of us brave enough to have the shots.?

?It's not like your drinking bloodwine, Joe.? Josh looked at him oddly.

?True, but we can?t exactly was down the chips with it.? He sat the glasses on the table and the bottle as well, ?What is bloodwine anyway??

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