"Rumours" By Ensign Sara Crusher and Ensign Anthony D'Vorak Sara sat in three forward alone, her knees drawled up close to her chest and her hands wrapped around a mug of something warm. She stared out the windows, watching as the stars zipped pass, each streak of light bringing them closer to DS9. Sick bay had been short staffed and busy the last day or so and she was simply glad to find a moment to be alone with her thoughts. And only her thoughts, she had managed to get her mental shields strong enough to block out the others. A task that was proving very tiresome for her. She sipped at the warm contents of the mug as a thin line of a grin appeared on her face. Anthony walked into three forward with his usual confident look. He stroked his chin as he walked over to the bar, all the while pondering what he was going to order. "I'll have a glass of Altair Water, please, Kevin" He tapped his finger on the bar and awaited his beverage. He had just gotten a chance to take a break from everything. Anthony grasped his drink firmly, he spun around slowly and raised his glass up to his mouth. The water splashed coolly on the back of his throat. It was refreshing after the long, tense morning. As the water drained from the glass Anthony could make out a familiar figure. It was Sara. He could feel her smile from all the way across the room. At a casual pace he made his way over to the table. "May I sit down?" He motioned towards the chair and grinned at Sara awaiting her answer. Sara didn't have to turn around to know who was talking to her. "Sure Scoob." She answered. She did however need to turn away from the window if she were going to talk to him face to face. She stood and turned her chair back towards the table and then sat back down in the same position she had been in. She took another sip from her mug and then smiled. "How'd you escape?" She asked as Anthony took the seat across from her. "We got our numbers to a manageable level... we worked pretty hard the past couple of hours." He exhaled deeply and smiled. "Its good to be out of there." Anthony noticed the pale color of Sara's coffee... then realized that it wasn't coffee at all. "Where's your coffee... replicaters not working?" He laughed as he sipped at his water. He set his water down and stretched his arms up. Sara laughed as she looked down into her mug of warm milk. "I'm trying to cut down. I've been way to jumpy lately." She explained. Sara sat the mug on the table and then unfolded her legs. "Oh man do my feet hurt.. Terje picked a hell of a time to go on vacation. First the virus from the caravan, then the after affects from the party the other night, and now a Aldoran flu outbreak." Anthony looked at Sara contemplating whether to share his "unconfirmed" knowledge with her. He took a sip of his water before going ahead. "I had heard from an unconfirmed source... that he wasn't coming back" Anthony chugged down the rest of his water nervously. "There are rumors all over the ship that he's on a permanent vacation... I don't know what to believe." He looked at Sara. "I'm surprised you haven't heard anything." "I'm always the last to knew around here." She said with a bit of surprise in her voice. She had thought it funny when Terje left with out warning but she never thought any more about the reasons way. But then again she has had much on her mind. "Who told you he wasn't coming back?" She asked as she waved Kevin down for another drink. He knew he could trust her so he just openly told her. "Well... this is second hand information.... The Captain's yeoman was in sick bay with Aldoran Flu. He was on the bridge and he told me that he overheard the Captain talking to someone from Starfleet about a replacement. He deduced that she was talking about the CMO." When Kevin came by to give Sara another drink, Anthony ordered another water and went back to his explanation. "He was telling me how there was a lot of Starfleet medical paperwork coming through." Kevin placed his water down and he turned his head and thanked him. He turned back to Sara. "Its unconfirmed right now... but it looks like something is up with our CMO." Sara's face went from surprise to concern. "I hope everything is ok." She said as she sipped at her milk. Once again her mind began to race with questions, but this time they weren't about personal things. "I wonder who the new CMO will be?" She asked out loud. "I hope it's not some old fuddy duddy." She teased. He laughed at her use of "fuddy duddy", "Maybe they'll ask your aunt Bev" he said jokingly. "I'm sure whoever he or she is... they'll be... professional, to say the least." He took another sip of his water and looked up and smiled at her. "If its not somebody new, I would give you a good recommendation." He tapped on the table. "Everyone seems to like you... and you know your stuff." Anthony meant sincerely what he said. Sara was an excellent doctor and would make a more than adequate CMO. Surprise, concern, now terror, Sara's face always betrayed her emotions. But what was more terrifying, the idea of her Aunt coming on board or the slimmest chance of her being promoted. "First off." She laughed as she thought about her first choice. "There's no chance of my Aunt leaving her ship. She likes bald captains and the last time I looked Morrigan's hair was longer then mine." She smiled as Anthony laughed. She sipped at her drink again as she thought about the second choice. "And as for me getting it. Yeah right. The CMO has to work closely with the Captain. She likes you. I bet if it's given to some already here it would be you." Anthony smiled that Sara thought the Captain even remotely liked him that much. "It would be a great challenge I'm sure... I'd definitely love to try... if the opportunity should arise. It would be great if we could both do it." He laughed as he thought, then spoke, "I'd work with the Captain, both of us together would be a medical force to be reckoned with." He smiled as he sipped again. "I doubt that would ever happen." He looked at her again. "I don't think the captain hates you. Just because she dishes out the discipline doesn't mean she hates you. She's just doing her job." He put his glass down and pointed at her. "Do you think if she hated you she would have chanted your name at karaoke? You're a competent doctor. The Captain is good at what she does. I'm sure she'll weigh all the possibilities before making her decision." He put his hand on her’s and gave her a comforting look. "I'm sure her personal feelings will play a little part in her choosing the new CMO." "I never said she hated me." Sara replied as she smiled at Anthony. "Don't get me wrong Scoob. I would love the chance and the challenge of it. But we're both so young and barely a year out of our internships." Sara sat quietly for a while thinking about everything. "Well I guess we'll find out sooner or later." She said as she stood up. "We'd better get back. Care to walk with me?" He stood up and smiled. "Of course!" As they walked away from the table he thought he'd ask her something. "When we get to DS9, would you like to check out the Holosuites at Quark's? I hear they have some interesting programs" He wasn't sure what she would say. Hopefully yes. The conversation he had with Josh the other night was echoing in the back of his mind. He needed some time to talk with her. Just some Scoob and Tribbs time. "Sure Scooby. I promised we'd spend more time together." She said as they entered the turbo lift. "I hear they have a great mid evil program." She teas ed as the doors closed. "Sickbay." She called out as Anthony rolled his eyes. He sighed and smiled. "I'll tell you what. We'll have a drink or two and look through the list of programs. I'm sure we can find something." He laughed as the turbolift whizzed through the ship. The doors hissed open and Anthony held his hand against the door and motioned Sara through first. "After you" The two walked down the hall and into sick bay as they joked about program types. They had a few days to decide but until then Sara had time work on him. She'd end up getting her way and Anthony would be in a kilt playing out the ancient Irish-Viking Battle of Clontarf. She laughed out loud as she reached for her lab coat. "What's so funny?" Anthony asked. "Nothing." She replied. Anthony just shook his head. He knew he was in trouble.