It was like his father (and his father's favorite space-opera novels) used to say, "The first step in avoiding a trap is knowing it's there." So Quentin wanted to leap over this particular social pitfall he saw coming a lightyear away as best he could.
Collins: Just because you are a Science Officer doesn't mean you should let your life, the actual experience of being here, pass you by. Take it from someone who has lost themselves more times than they would care to admit.
A beat passed as the new arrival considered his words carefully. Seemingly choosing her own response just as carefully behind the delicate, but cooling china.
Jacin: It’s easier though isn’t it? Well not easier, but :beat: easier. You know? Easier than people. Science doesn’t answer back. It beguiles you. It poses questions, but it's like a puzzle to be solved. I guess that’s why I initially chose Counseling. That was about the puzzle about the human mind, but this..this is about the puzzle of how things work, why they work that way, and how it affects us all.
She seemed to catch herself for another beat, shifting as best as her decorum allowed.
Jacin: But I do understand what you mean. I guess I need to, what’s the phrase? Loosen up?
oO If you do, could you maybe give me some lessons too? Oo he thought sardonically and inwardly. But that was a larger conversation for a more settled time. Quentin already felt like he had taken up enough of the Ensign's time. Surely she had much better things to do, or at the very least, more entertaining things to do.
Quentin himself had...quite a lot of re-hanging to do. Maybe even a few round's in the ship's sonic laundry facilities. A great number of these coats and shirts were screaming for some steaming and that seemed like a mindless enough of a task for Quentin to tackle when he inevitably couldn't sleep in some hours.
He turned a rueful smile to the new Ensign and set aside his own cup and saucer with finality.
Collins: That might be something for later, Mister Jacin, but in the meantime, I just wanted to say; we are happy you are here and can't wait to work more with you. I've taken up enough of your Leave. I won't keep you any longer. Do you have any questions for me? Or anything I could help you with right now?
Ayemet considered again, finishing her own tea in the meantime and then speaking again, with a clear poignancy.
Jacin: No I don’t think so Sir. This has been most pleasant. I-
The sudden stop in her voice caused Quentin's anxiety to spike slightly. He knew, because he had JUST heard her, that this was a pleasant time. But that dark voice that lived with him always barked forth, saying instantly that he had done something to offend her and that he had already crushed the bud of this friendship even before it had the chance to sprout.
However, as Ayemet looked up again and smiled warmly, Quentin let himself off the hook. For the moment.
She smiled again as she stood up, Quentin matching her instantly, as his OWN decorum demanded, crossing his arms across his chest as she took one last look around his...makeshift walk-in closet.
Jacin: I look forward to working with you, Sir.
Collins: I feel much the same, midshipman. Do try and have a good leave. And please know, my door is always open. Unless it's, ya know, locked or whatever...
She turned, striding out of the room confidently while Quentin waved her goodbye with a smile anew. It dipped slightly once he looked around at the clothes strewn about, but not by much.
He sensed a very good energy from the new Ensign. He very much looked forward to seeing her in operations that weren't so...let's say, trying. He hoped the upcoming duty roster might find them serving a random shift together or perhaps maybe an away mission assignment.
Just again, one not quite so...
Collins: Bitey...:: he said to the empty compartment.::
His thoughts turned to his own favorite set of ancient literature. One that provided him many "words of power" throughout his checkered childhood into his turbulent young adulthood into right this very moment.
Collins: "There will be water if ka wills it."
He smiled at the rarely pleasant rumination and continued about the day. All the more grateful of his life and position on such a noble vessel. The long day easing comfortably into a pleasant night.
NOT THE END...A BEGINNING!
Quentin Collins III
Chief Science Officer
U.S.S. ARROW NCC-69829