Posted May 5, 2021, 12:27 a.m. by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Scientist, Medical Researcher) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Lieutenant Dr. Solomon Kane (Medical Research & Development) in Peace Offerings
She stared at the writing, picked it up and looked at him, but he was gone and the pods were his work table. She was tempted to run out after him and ask him why, but she couldn’t leave the simulations and she had to set up the samples to run the next day. Her work had to come first, it was all she had. Her work and Frigga. She worked through the rest of the shift. But at 1900 she appeared in the lounge, despite her better judgement, Frigga walking beside her, glancing up at Alexis frequently. Oddly enough she was in jeans and knit sweater and not in uniform. She glanced around spotted him at the table and hesitated, but she was already there. She didn’t sit down but placed the drawing on the table. “Why are you doing this?” Her voice cracked and she wasn’t proud of it, but there wasn’t much she could about it. “Is it really that funny to try and humiliate me?” She’d played nice, hadn’t she?
Kane was dressed in jeans and green v-neck shirt with a worn leather jacket over it. Oddly, his hair was brushed back and tied at the base of his skull with a silver clasp with some kind of engraving on it. When she spoke, his face clouded. He sat back and looked up at her, his fingers drumming on top of the picture. For almost a minute, he just looked at her, his green pupils burning between narrowed eye lids.
“Humiliate you, huh? So thats why you dragged your feet? Because having a dinner with me would be humiliating for you?” His question was delivered quietly, but there was an edge to his voice that caused his words to sound like an growl.
She blinked, well it was but not because she felt he was less, the other way around. She’d been told often she was not catch, she was too weird, too smart, but not too pretty. “No…that’s not…”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t go to the Academy at 17 and become the poster child for theoretical experimentation by 22. Some of us actually had to work to get where we are.” Kane stood up and looked down at Alexis. “I thought you were different, that’s why I asked you to dinner. And I don’t play games with people’s heads. Thats for cowards.” He looked back at the table. On it sat a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a PaDD.
She opened her mouth and closed it. She was wrong. Her body went so hot she was cold, and her ears were ringing. She misunderstood.
“Enjoy the wine. I won’t bother you again. And don’t worry. I’ll say you are playing nice if they ask. Wont be the first time I’ve lied to ‘em.” and he moved past her and towards the exit.
She touched his hand, barely as he moved past. “I’m sorry. I misunderstood. I…was afraid it was like before. I was young…” She didn’t think he’d let her explain but she had to apologize, he deserved it. She didn’t deserve to explain, “I’m sorry.” She wiped her face, where she’d started crying. Solis’ mocking laughter rang in her ears.
Kane stopped when her hand touched his and his head whipped around, the scowl on his face more than apparent. When he saw her tears, his scowl deepened, but it wasn’t anger based then… it was confusion.
“Before? Before wh-…” and he cut himself off and simply jutted his chin towards the table. “Sit. You don’t want to walk through here like that.” and he guided her to the table and took a seat. He handed her a napkin and said “Here. Now take a second and then maybe you can let me know what the hell is going on.”
She sat, taking the napkin with a soft thank you. The dog was pressed against her legs, nosing her head under Alexis’ hand. She liked her lips, “I…I was 20 three years into my first assignment. The work kept me busy, that’s all there is when you’re ‘smart.’ You’re too smart for your peers and too young for your intellectual peers. It was different, it was exciting, he was interested in my work, talked to me about it, he understood when I talked and never told me to dumb it down. He didn’t care that I read research journals instead of novels or watched shows. He didn’t care I was different, he liked me the way I was, but I misunderstood then too. He…he proposed. I was naive, I was supposed to meet him for..for dinner but I finished the experiments early.” She could see it so clearly, like everything else she could recall in perfect detail. “He was kissing her good bye. When I asked him, he asked me if I honestly believed he’d go through with it…with marrying me.” She shrugs, “After awhile when everyone tells you you’re too strange, too smart, not present enough, too…” she swallowed hard, “inexperienced. You put the math together and find you are the common denominator.” And now he could laugh at her too.
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