<USS Banshee> "Welcome to Café Asper"

  • From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2003 23:14:04 -0700

?Welcome to Café Asper?
by Lieutenant Joshua Asper

After an hour of tossing endless amounts of clothing into the closet, stuffing random articles under his bed, and putting all the dirty dishes in the replicator, Josh was finally set to have guests to his quarters. He was a bit unnerved, suffice it to say, it had been a long time since he?d seen Telsia and he was always a bit off when she was in proximity to him.

?Oh, Josh, what did you do to lose that one?? Josh said as he crammed yet another sock into the drawer before hearing it close fully with a hiss of satisfaction. ?You could?ve had her, but no ? you had to go and take the first assignment you saw.?

The chime rang unexpectedly. He hurried to pull on a fresh shirt and correct a fallen chair. He activated the door and Telsia strode in. Her blonde hair flowed behind her, but only in a controlled bun. She had her hands behind her back in respect as she looked around his quarters.

?Please, sit down.?

She smiled, ?Thank you, Josh ? do you mind if I call you Josh?? Uncertainty lined every word out of her mouth as she seated herself in the chair Josh had recently turned over.

He sighed, ?I guess.? He smiled and she perked an eyebrow. ?So, what would you like to drink today, Mrs. Stanton??

?Oh, please, call me Telsia.? She smiled and stretched in the bit, ?Vanilla Mocha with extra cream please.?

The walk to the replicator was short and he programmed it to submit what he?d requested of it. The steaming cups shimmered into view and he carried them back to her. The aroma was fresh and of a soothing nature. It made his now sterile and baron quarters seem like a country cottage on a cold winters day. ?Here you go.?

She breathed a sigh of satisfaction when she inhaled the fragrance. ?I don?t get to drink much of this anymore.?

?Why is that?? Josh asked after taking a sip of his own.

?Eric and I don?t drink much of anything besides water and milk. All the other things are just a waste of replicator rations. So, enough about me, how have you been? We talked endlessly about me earlier; time for you to spill it.?

He smiled and palmed his cup, setting it in his lap. ?I got assigned to the Semitar and didn?t do much of anything do to the diplomatic nature of the ship and me being in the security field. Then I got transferred to the USS Iliad that was a deep space scout venture. With a crew of seventeen it wasn?t much of anything.?

?That must have been awful.?

?I ended up getting a rare form of Cabin Fever from the months of isolation and seclusion from anyone else then the brethren on the ship.? He took a sip, ?then I got transferred here with a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant ? that was just over a year ago.?

Telsia?s eyes gazed across the room and out into the starscape streaming by the windows. ?I wish that you would?ve kept in touch, Josh, we had something special.?

A pang of guilt and regret flowed through him for an instant. What they had had was something special. They were truly in love, but it was nothing more than a physical attraction ? or so Josh had thought ? and he didn?t realize what a mistake he had made until he was light-years from her. He nodded, ?Yeah, we did.?

Her eyes turned downward into her cup, ?So, are you seeing anyone??

The question caught him off guard, but he was expecting something of the sort from her. Telsia had a habit of being extremely open about relationships and was more than willing to talk in depth about them. He stammered over a few words before getting a clear head, ?No one currently. I?m kind of involved with someone in medical, but its really not playing out.?

She perked an eyebrow, ?How so??

?She?s going through a bit of a rough spot and doesn?t seem as interested as we were before what happened. I?ve heard things like she?s seeing other guys and such, and I?ve gone through the paces when I?ve been cheated on. I?d rather make that a road less traveled.?

Telsia nodded, taking her the last mouthful of her drink. Josh assumed she was just nodding for the sake of it. No one could really understand the loneliness that he had felt. The abandonment after his failed relationship with Sara, the lack of time spent with Heather. It was all just piling up. ?You know how it goes,? she said, ?sometimes you just miss the one that?s right.?

Her words lingered in his mind, but Josh realized that asking further about her meaning would have proven futile. And, besides, look at his relationship: Sara turned out like be more sexually and emotionally attracted to other women, Heather was a crack pot with more in her past that she wanted to forget than Josh, and now he was swooning after a married woman. Boy did he know how to pick them.

?You should come by and see the little one.? She smiled, ?I could make lunch and we could make a day of it on the holodeck or something. I heard there is a cool program that is a countryside with a lake and such.?

?What would Eric think??

?Oh, he knows that we?re old friends ? you should meet him. He?s quite immature, though.? She blinked as if to think for a moment, ?Not at all like our boy.?

Josh watched as she stood and placed the porcelain cup on the table. She moved towards the door, but hesitated. Her face, now seemingly unsteady, gazed towards Josh?s prone position on the couch. ?What is it?? He asked.

?I?m sorry for what you?ve been forced through, Josh, I really am. I?ll see you tomorrow at noon for our little excursion.? With that she walked out the door without looking back.

Looking dumbfounded out at her, Josh finished off the rest of his coffee and stretched. There were times in his life that he honestly didn?t know what to do, and he felt as if his world and his fate were completely without control. Now, he felt that more than ever.

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