((Cockpit, the Do' joH))
O. Marshall: A real peach. ::Bear uncorked the bottle and took a swig before handing it out to her.:: When he woke up, he asked if I'd ever considered dying my hair purple, and from then on, seemed to always be in proximity to our ranger missions. Interesting coincidence.
::There was a subtle note of affection in her smile at the talk of Ollie; a kindred spirit and a partner in crime. She squashed it down, distracting herself with her current company and the vapour buzz of liquor, her current path not one that would lend itself to easily resuming their adventures.::
Josett: Well, have you?
::The man rolled his head to the side to look at Lena over his shoulder with the same weary eyes one could imagine Ollie had been on the receiving end of.::
O. Marshall: Blonds have more fun, so I'm told. ::His eyebrows twitched as he grinned.:: How did you meet him?
Josett: Treasure hunting. ::She grinned.:: I took his treasure, he hunted me. He bet he could win it back on a game of cards.
O. Marshall: What did you do with the treasure?
::Lena took another swig of the lavender booze straight from the bottle, holding it back out toward him. Hand wrapped around the body of the elegantly shaped bottle, he jammed the cork back in the neck.::
Josett: Traded it. Got myself a nice little project.
O. Marshall: Do we happen to be travelling in the said nice little project?
Josett: However did you guess?
O. Marshall: I had a hunch. ::He chuckled, stretching his legs out in front of him, crossing his boots over one another.:: A capable engineer needs a hobby, right?
Josett: I'd say that it keeps me out of trouble, ::she looked over at him with a languid grin,:: but we both know that's not true.
::Bear laughed, a soft and calm sound as he relaxed into the chair to watch the pinpricks of stars out of the viewport window. Trouble was all he'd known since being introduced to the hybrid, though trouble had never been far behind before. In the distance, the red spot of Mars drew ever closer.::
O. Marshall: Do you ever feel like you'll never find somewhere that really feels like home?
::The question gave her pause, her amber gaze travelling upward as she sank back in the pilot's chair. The dance of amusement that had played across her face turned rueful as she considered her answer.::
Josett: Not just that, but that I won't recognise it even if I do stumble onto it.
::A long exhale drew from Bear's chest as he watched the perfect starlit space churn in colour. Out there, in the moody lugubrious expanse, where a ball of gas lasted only as long as it needed to, a flicker of life in the black transience; a volatile natural wonder was not expected to live for long. Perhaps he was being solipsistic, and perhaps he really didn't care.::
O. Marshall: I told Valesha on the Scream the Gorkon was starting to feel like home. She needed an injection of optimism to prod her out of her gloom. ::He rolled his lips between his teeth before continuing.:: But I don't think anywhere ever has.
::Lena shifted in her seat, elbow on the armrest, chin in her palm. She looked at him for a long, quiet moment, then out toward the lonely void in front of them. In those moments of introspection that she tried so hard to avoid, it often felt like she was a reflection of the space she lived in — hollow and empty, only evanescent touches of fire to ward off the cold.::
Josett: Missing that sense of belonging?
O. Marshall: Aren't you? ::He leaned on the armrest and an eyebrow twitched up toward the shrewd and alluring pirate.:: Children of two worlds tend to straddle both or neither.
Josett: At least in the Syndicate, I can pretend. One misfit among many. ::Since stepping aboard the Gorkon, for instance. She glanced away from the echoing stars, and back toward him.:: But what makes Orson Marshall feel that way?
::Wasn't that the question? He'd left home at eighteen, ran as far and as fast as he could to Starfleet, joined the Rangers and never settled in one place. The Gorkon was the longest he'd remained solidly tied to a location, and now even that was slipping through his fingers.::
O. Marshall: I'm a human raised on a Cardassian and Bajoran colony in the middle of the Dominion War. ::He sighed, though it fled out as more of a huff, his lips thinning.:: We've got more in common than a lust for adventure, it seems.
Josett: Besides our striking good looks?
O. Marshall: Besides that undeniable fact.
::Lena breathed out a subdued laugh, shaking her head. Perhaps it was a little easier to recognise — or was that appreciate? — the dents and cracks in someone else when you saw the same ones in your reflection.::
Josett: I wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
O. Marshall: It can't be all bad. ::He uncorked the bottle and took a swig before passing it to her with a grin.:: We wouldn't be winging our way out here if it was.
::The bottle found its way to Lena's lips in short order, the burn chasing the violet liquor down her throat. She chuckled in reply, swinging her feet up onto the console, crossed at the ankles. The scratched and scuffed panel hinted that it was a favourite resting spot for her boots.::
Josett: You know, between us, there might be one whole, healthy and well-adjusted individual. ::She took another swig from the bottle, and grinned.:: At a push.
O. Marshall: If that's your way of proposing we combine the two, it needs a bit of work.
::He grinned and mimicked her actions; his boots kicked up onto the surrounding stations, one crossed over the other. Out of the window, the red ball of Mars suspended in the darkness, rotating and spinning as though an invisible string kept it in place.::
Josett: ::She grinned.:: If that's your way of proposing it, the same goes.
O. Marshall: You know me better than that by now. ::He leaned over and plucked the bottle from her hands.:: I'm a little less subtle.
::His answer drew a laugh out of her, and as the bottle vanished from her hand, she conceded the point with open palms and a dip of her head. There was no arguing that, and it had been perfect at the time. But that was then, and this was now, and nothing was quite the same.::
Josett: Yes you are.
O. Marshall: I wasn't made to be subtle. If that was the intention, nature should've built me shorter. ::A flick of an eyebrow upwards and a swig from the bottle followed, before he held it back out to her.:: When you do propose, I expect it to be on one knee.
Josett: Ja'ital, I'll do it with a rose between my teeth and our names lighting up the midnight sky.
O. Marshall: You jest, ja'lat, but I expect nothing less now. ::He snagged her fingers in his hand and kissed the back of her scarred knuckles, then held them for a second longer.:: Thank you for bringing me out here. My head needed more space than the ship could give.
::He was offered a quick squeeze of his hand in return, and a riptide of understanding in her crooked smile.::
Josett: Any time.
Lieutenant Orson Marshall
Logistics and Communications Officer
Lieutenant (JG) Lena Josett