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Lost Bets Part 2

Posted on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 @ 1:14am by Lieutenant JG Reagan Quinn

Mission: Between the Pages
Location: Various

[Deck 17 – Arboretum]

“This place always amazes me,” RJ said as they entered the giant room filled with flora and fauna. “How they put all of these plants together and get them to grow and perfectly work together to create such a beautiful area is beyond me.” Her eyes were wide with admiration as she looked around.

“It’s peaceful.” He agreed. Enjoying the winding walk through the flora and expertly cultivated and seemingly always in bloom plants. The sounds of the small bio stream that had flowed through the scene.

“So, you mentioned that your dad is a correspondent and your mom works for a Geneva think tank? That sounds awesome. Do they have to travel a lot for their jobs?” RJ asked, curious to learn more about Gavin’s family.

“Travel?” He shook his head. “No, not when you can transport in time to Paris and back to Brazil.” Gavin added. “We do take the time to sit down for a holodeck chat together. It is nice to see them in person, at least in photons, that is.” He smiled. “They even request Nan to be there.”

“Do you see your parents via hologram?” The question had seemed rather self explanatory. Most Federation starships nowadays did have the installed technology to duplicate family members over long distances. “What Sector is the Washington currently stationed?” Gavin was curious.

“That’s fair on travel, but just because they can transport back and forth doesn’t mean they don’t like to stay for a while at their respective assignments! Sometimes it’s fun to actually be overnight where you are instead of just transporting back home, at least that’s what I think.” Reagan had commented on Gavin’s response to his parent’s travel.

“The Washington is in Sector 6. As for holograms, yea, when we can. You’d think with all of the technology we have these days it’d be easier to keep in touch, but when all four of you are in Starfleet it’s a little complicated. Dad is often off on a mission, Mom works a different shift than I do, Cam is always up to something after his shift, and I often work a little late or get sucked into work once I get back to my quarters. Getting all four of us together on a hologram is like winning the lottery.” She chuckled. “We do what we can though when the timing works out.”

“Thank you, your parents and your brother for their selfless serving of the Federation. It is dedication and hard work, no doubt. And it taxes your Family, but it is rewards of the freedom of the Federation for all of us, and the common good we serve.” He had smiled. “I am grateful to serve as well, and my parents are grateful to live in such a Federation.”

“That’s sweet that your parents ask for Nan to be there when you guys chat. How is Nanook by the way?” She asked with a smile. Reagan instantly loved Nanook when she met the fluffy husky. “Next time you should just bring him with you!”

“I will, definitely.” He grinned thinking as he walked. “Nan is doing good. He has found a new chew toy with the latest running shoes I got him. Likely he is fast in an evening nap on the sofa right now.” Gavin added. He looked at RJ as they had walked.

“Would that be interesting some time to complete a mission along with the Washington? I am sure they are very proud of you, RJ, Chief on a Galaxy Class starship. What class is Washington? Forgive me, I am ignorant of the class variants.” Ross had then spotted a funny looking plant in their pathway. It was blue, with a rather peculiar cob-web like appearance that had bioluminescence.

"The Washington is a Sovereign Class. As for a mission with them….I love my parents, but working with them?” She shrugged, “I’ve never really thought about it. A joint mission could certainly be fun and interesting. I don’t think I’d ever want to work on the same ship as them though. I love them, but having some space is also nice.”

“I know your parents work in completely different fields from you, but would you want to work with them given the chance?” RJ asked.

Gavin slowly shook his head. “Are you kidding?” He had looked surprised by the return question. “I have trouble with them in the same room at times. Mom constantly asking why I don’t have a special someone, when can she see grandchildren. When Dad is asking me why I haven't decided to change to Starfleet Medical Academy to work at a dedicated institute, so I can be at home more.” He laughs, they don’t understand what drives me out here. “Tell me, your parents aren’t as intrusive?”

Reagan raised her eyebrows. “Your mom actually asks you when she’s getting grandchildren?! And your dad wants you to change to the Starfleet Medical Academy?! That’s insane.” She said, thinking that being stationed permanently in one place back on Earth would be seriously lacking in adventure.

“Luckily, my parents aren’t like that. For one, although my brother isn’t very protective, my dad is. I don’t think he even wants to think about the idea that I could ever be in a relationship,” she chuckled. “My mom is similar. They love both my brother & me immensely, but they want us to have our own lives. They’ve never been overly concerned with getting grandkids or either of us moving closer to home or being on the same ship or anything like that. About the only thing they’re persistent on really is our careers. They want us both to excel at what we do and of course maintaining a good reputation for the family name.”

“Do you think there's a spider in that plant that would give you superpowers?" Reagan chuckled noticing the same blue bioluminescent plant that Gavin had been looking at earlier.

“If it gave me superpowers eh?” He chuckles. “What super powers do you think I would wish for?” Gavin raises an inquiring brow. “And if that is a spider in there, then lets hope it doesn’t have mutant eggs that grow large enough to take over this ship!” He eggs on RJ.

“Hmm superpowers that you would wish for....the ability to heal anything with a single touch oooor the ability to create a rave anywhere, lights and all, with the snap of your fingers,” RJ laughed. “Was I close?” She asked, wondering what he would actually wish for.

“Mnmmmmmm Those are all great guesses RJ.” Ross laughed. “Probably to give special powers to have Nanook the ability to talk!” He shrugged. “I dunno, just seems like he’d have a lot of things to say, and I’d be pretty interesting at that!”

A thought occurred to Reagan as they continued to walk the beautiful gardens. “What’s your opinion of rain?” She asked with a mischievous smirk across her face. The room had a built-in sprinkler type system to water the plants. Reagan knew she could easily adjust it to basically create rain in just one area without messing up the ecological balance in the room. Plus, playing in the rain was always fun.

“I bet you could make it rain with your engineering super powers!” He looked around at the wild plants and flora, and small arbor trees. “I’d love to feel rain. It’s been too long.” He thought. “How can you do that?”

“With some simple programming magic,” Reagan smirked and tapped her fingers together before walking to the nearest console. She pulled up the algorithms for the sprinkler systems and then quickly began to type up a subcommand.

“I’m waiting for your magic RJ.” Ross paused and turned looking around. “If Nan was here, he’d definitely smell of wet dog, so that’s probably good right now!”

“Just a minute more,” she said, completing the lines of code. A moment later and it was as if the heavens broke and water poured down in their area. She has specifically set the programming to allow water only where they were. That way they could enjoy the rain and not mess up the ecosystem of the plants.

Reagan ran through the rain, her arms outstretched before pausing for a moment. She lifted her chin upwards, enjoying the feeling of raindrops as they splashed against her face. It was oddly calming and refreshing, to just let go and enjoy the water pouring down.

Ross had looked around until there he had started to feel the first few wet drops from above, beginning to collapse all around him and Reagan. From just a starting trickle towards a full-on downpour of room temperature drops. Feeling his hair begin to pat and wet down, streams of dripping water coming off his forehead, he closed his eyes. The sound of the rain coming down was soothing.

RJ then looked at Gavin, a huge grin on her face. “So what do you think?” It was all she could do to just keep from laughing. Playing around in the rain like this, as if they were kids, was almost too fun.

Gavin opened his eyes, and feeling fresh, anew. The smell of grass and greenery around them letting off a just rained smell. “This is… A surprise!” He laughed, breathing through the water coming down. He grinned, bringing his two large hands upward, and splaying out his palms flatly as the rain surface crashed downward and hit the hand ricocheting the sprays at RJ’s face.

“Hey, watch it!” RJ shielded her face and protested as Gavin unintentionally redirected the water towards her.

“Ahahaha!” Ross caught himself, as he doubled over laughing. “I’m so sorry..” He saw RJ’s face now as the splattering stopped as soon as Ross realized.

RJ started to laugh too as she collected some water in her palms and threw it towards Gavin. Just a little bit of payback. Reagan realized how much she too had missed rain as they both laughed and enjoyed the water streaming from above them.

“Singing In the RAINNN…. Singing In The Rainnnnnnn!” He began as he walked around in circles around the small underlying rain showers. He took RJ’s hand and began to dance her around with him… “Succcchhh a glorious FEEELLLLING! Just Singing in theeeeee Raaaaaaaainnnn!” He stopped, and then knelt down int eh rain to the grass, and then kissed the top of RJ’s hand. “M’Lady!” He winked.

RJ giggled and then dropped onto the ground, moving to lay on her back, next to Gavin. “It’s weird isn’t it?” She reflected, staring at the ceiling. “Oftentimes we view rain as an inconvenience. Yet when you go so long without experiencing it, it becomes the most simple yet pleasurable thing that you’d never thought you’d miss.”

“Such a pleasure!” He then reached over spontaneous and held RJ’s hand into his. He didn’t realize what he had done till he had done it.

Gavin had cocked his head to look at RJ’s, who was laying in the gentle rain coming down now at them both. “I… Uh…. Do you mind me holding your hand?” He asked, somewhat sheepishly.

It took effort for Reagan to not laugh at the question. “If memory serves me correctly, I think we kissed last time we were you really think I mind if you hold my hand?” She let out a chuckle. “Of course I don’t mind. In fact, I quite like it.” RJ smiled and squeezed his hand in hers.

“What was that song by the way?” She looked at Gavin curiously. It was a cute and catchy song, but she hadn’t actually heard it before. Had he made it up or heard it somewhere else? Maybe it was a Canadian song, she thought.

“Why it’s called ‘Singing in the Rain,’ of course!” He chuckled. “Catchy, is it? Nah, I didn’t draft it myself. 1952, New York, Musical Movie. Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynold’s. A Canadian actress.” He winked. “I believe it won the Academy Award back then.”

“Huh, sounds interesting. We’ll have to add it to the watchlist.” She said. “So, should we continue our walk or go back and dry off?” Reagan asked after they had laid there for a while, soaked through from the rain. She didn’t want their date to end, but she had some backup ideas after their walk.

“Sure, let’s blow this joint!” He rather enjoyed holding RJ’s tiny hand into his larger one. He then let it go, not wanting to. As they both decided to get up from the messy rained grass, smelling of fresh turf.

“So what mischievous plans are you thinking?” Gavin asked curiously. Anything more with just him and RJ would be perfect.

“How do you feel about getting in touch with your creative side?” She asked with a smirk as she stood from the grass. RJ had no intention of giving away her plans but figured a small hint would be acceptable.

“Creative side?” Gavin had exclaimed. “Wait a minute. Whoah! I bet I know what your up to?” He grunted and chuckled. “You! Want to do body painting! You naughty girl!” He had laughed.

“Well, you’re on the right track anyway,” she chuckled. Thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad if the painting idea progressed into body painting. She quite liked seeing Gavin without a shirt on.

Reagan made her way back to the control panel and quickly disabled the rain subroutine. The water ceased. Looking up she was momentarily disappointed that it had ended but excited to get on to the next portion of their date nonetheless. Plus, she definitely had some great new memories to think back on later. How many people get to run around in the rain on a starship with what could possibly be the most attractive man in Starfleet? She thought, her feelings for Gavin continuing to grow with every moment that they spent together.

She rejoined Gavin and grabbed his hand as they made for the arboretum’s exit. “I hope you don’t mind?” She smirked as she asked the same question he and had asked her just a few moments ago. Holding his hand had certainly been enjoyable, she didn’t see a reason that they couldn’t continue their contact as they headed back to her quarters.

“Mind, I’d be proud!” Gavin was happy with RJ. He had felt for once in his career within Starfleet that he finally could have his job and a life as well. RJ was a spark in that life that excited Gavin. Not that he didn’t have one, he just was always feeling a certain je ne sais quoi.

As soon as they re-entered her quarters, Reagan ran into the bedroom and grabbed a towel for Gavin. “Feel free to replicate yourself some dry clothes,” she said as she threw the towel to him. RJ returned to her room to dry off and throw some dry clothes on herself.

Gavin decided it would be best to change. Placing his wet clothes into the replicator on recycling, they vanished. The replicator deposited something more casual now. Ross’s hockey jersey of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a white hoodie pullover, a pair of crisp khaki shorts, and a fresh pair of white socks.

Reagan decided to go for something comfy and donned a pair of black leggings, a blue tank top and finished it off with her favorite perfectly worn coral-colored Rip Curl hoodie. “Uh, am I good to come out?” She asked, not wanting to walk in on Gavin as he changed.

“Hahaha.” He laughed. “Yeah, it’s cool.” He had peeked around the corner to see RJ dressed in some funky styling. “That’s a sweet shirt. I like the colour.” He noticed. “Rip Curl. That’s boarding wear, isn’t it.”

“Thanks! It’s a boarding company, yea. A lot of my casual clothes are,” she admitted.

“Okay, so here’s my idea. I caught up with one of my childhood friends this week. Her boyfriend is an artist, and as they were talking, this guy named Bob Ross came up. Apparently, way back in the day in the 1980s and 1990s he made this show where he kind of taught people how to paint. She said the shows were both fun and kind of hilarious. So I was thinking we could pick a random show of his and paint along with it and just see how it goes. Oh, and she said it’s way better with alcohol so we’ll both need fresh glasses of that whiskey.” RJ chuckled. “What do you think?”

“Painting. Without bodies…” He pondered. “Well, I guess there would be bodies.” Ross then went around to RJ’s small kitchenette set up, and took the liberty to pour some healthy doses of whiskey once more. “I’d say cheers to that. Sounds like a riot.” He brought the glasses back over and handed RJ her glass.

“So, this dude. Bob Ross. He’s got my last name. That’s funny.” He wondered. “1980, as in the nineteen eighties. Ronald Reagan, Top Gun, the Space Shuttle, skateboards, oh and the Porsche nine eleven!” Gavin immediately remembered his history lectures. Gavin remembered. Doctor’s drove Porsches. “That’s rad.”

Reagan chuckled. "Wow, you know a lot about the eighties. I didn't even think about how he had the same last name as you. That's even better! Also, we don't have to do the entire painting on the canvas. Just saying." She gave him a sly smile. "We should go where ever our creative sides take us!"

"Fair enough… Fair enough RJ…" Ross had felt the jury was still out. "So why do we need alcohol with a painter?" He had then watched as the video started. All answers would soon be revealed….

"Staring as the video had started. Immediately, this Bob Ross was seated on a stool next to a white plain painting surface for all to see. It certainly looked instructional. "What… Oh my god." Ross cocked his head. "That, wow. That hair…" He began, and turned to RJ. "What hell on earth are you provoking with this?" He grimaced. Immediately, taking a swig of the Whiskey. "We need the bottle."

She busted out laughing. "That hair is something else! Do you think he could be one of your ancestors?" RJ joked as she looked at Gavin quizzically, trying to imagine him with the same hairstyle as the Ross on the screen.

"Umn.." Gavin had shook his head transfixed at the video screen. "I don't think I'd want to KNOW." He cringed.

They both painted away, initially starting with a small lake and waterfall. Reagan's painting did not look like a lake, more like just a poorly drawn blue circle. Next, they started on the trees. "Happy trees?! The hell is a happy tree?" She laughed as she marked up her canvas with some brown that, very vaguely, resembled a tree. Bob kept telling them that were no mistakes, just happy accidents. RJ felt like her whole canvas was one big 'happy accident,' but she was having a ton of fun anyway.

Gavin had taken his provided brush from RJ and then began mimicking what the picture had started. "Wait…. Why do I…." He cocked his head. "I have to feel happy with the world, then my painting is…. Happy as well? It's not alive." He was so confused, but it became more hilarious as he felt the Whiskey lighten the mood.

Ross had begun his mountains, as he had remembered back on Earth, as he saw from his backyard in Calgary… "So I have to feel happy with my job, and the painting can tell us if we're happy?" After a few more concentrated moments, Gavin couldn't help it anymore as he nearly set his forehead forward to lean on the edge of the top of the white canvas… Ross had broken up. Laughing unrestrainedly. "Ohhhh my lorddd…"

The Whiskey had started to take effect slightly, and an idea occurred to Reagan. She got some blue on her brush and strategically waited until Gavin was focused on his painting. Then she struck, reaching out and glancing his cheek with her brush. "Whoops, my bad, just a happy accident!" She said as the blue streak appeared on his face, catching him off guard. RJ double over in laughter.

"That was…." He continued in freelanced laughter. "Bob Ross, Rossy is channeling YOU!" Gavin rubbed the blue at his cheek. "What color was it, happy RJ??!"

“Blue of course. I felt Bob was calling me to put a piece of the pond on your cheek. It just seemed a more fitting place than my canvas.” She laughed.

He then decided to bide his time a few moments, completing a portion of his "mountain and peaks" as was told he should feel completing his work. "I…. I don't think…. You got your artist license yet, with that brush…"

Gavin had swiftly, then turned to RJ, already completing the corners of her pond scene. "TTTThhhhheerreeeeeeee…" He slowly brushed across her forehead, lightly, as he did, he was chortling in suppressed laughs… "THhhheereeee RJ you've got your license NOW."

“What?! What did you do?!” She rubbed her forehead in an attempt to remove the paint, but of course, it only made it worse. “OH I’m gonna get you back, just you wait!”

Just then, he held up his hand. "Hey, I'm just telling what the MAN says be done, Hun!" He laughed. "Lemme… Lemme fill up your drink for yah!!! It's RJ and Gav's world nowwwww. We're letting him in to be happy with us."

Reagan took a small sip of her now refilled drink, realizing she should probably slow down on the alcohol intake since she was already starting to feel the effects. Then she completed a few more brush strokes to finish her painting as the Bob Ross video ended. “What do you think? It looks like a giant happy accident right?” She chuckled, not confident in her painting abilities.

"No, really! I like it.." He paused, looking at RJ's painting, before turning to her white-streaked forehead. "I really like what I have DONE. It's WORKING."

She threw a sarcastic look at Gavin as he commented on the off-canvas painting job and then laughed. “Wait!” Quinn said as she removed her hoodie, revealing just the tank top she had chosen to put on under it. RJ didn’t want to get paint on her favorite hoodie and there was a good chance that her next move would cause a bit of a war.

“I’m feeling inspired!” RJ reached her fingers into the palette of paint and then reached over and made streaks across Gavin’s face. “Now you look like a warrior for Bob Ross.” She almost couldn’t catch her breath from laughing so hard.

Gavin sat there, his face already marked, now with streaks. “This is NOT going to end well for you RJ.” He sternly warns.

Before Gavin could get any paint on her in return, she hopped up out of her chair and backed away a couple of steps. Giggling the whole time. “You might as well just admit defeat. You’ll never catch me you know.”

Ross charged RJ as she squealed and ran into her bedroom. Ross intended her to run out of sight for a split second as he swiftly accessed RJ’s replicator. Just as Reagan poked her head out of her room, she heard the faint noise of the replicator.

Then all of a sudden, the lights had turned down 75%, just ambient lighting.

“What the hell?” Reagan said as the lights went down. Clearly, Gavin was up to something and she was going to figure it out. What had he replicated? She wondered.

Ross nearly couldn’t hold himself inside, breathing, regulating as he felt the fresh paint smell across his face. Such an attack could not be without its consequences.

Slowly exiting her bedroom, RJ looked around for Gavin. She couldn’t see him anywhere, though it was difficult to see anything with just ambient lighting. She dipped her fingers in the paint once more, in case she needed something to defend herself with as she made her way towards the couch.

Jumping out from Reagan’s sofa in her living area, Gavin had lent outward his stretched forearm in the darkness in the room. Immediately a burst of whip cream streamed out from the nozzle of the replicated version of an aerosol can of cream. Gavin was adding with glee maniacally, seeing her face covered with the dessert topping. “SOOOo Happy Right NOWWW!!” He bent over in laughter as RJ still struggled to try to discern what was on her face.

RJ stood silently in shock for a moment with her mouth open. Her face now covered in whipped cream. “What on Earth is thi…” She swiped some off of her face and licked it. “Ahh, so that's what you replicated. Whipped cream! You’ll pay for that.” She said warned with a smirk before attempting to slide past Gavin.

Jumping in front of RJ, caught off guard, Gavin witnessed her surprise. Stepping forward, Gavin pointed the nozzle at her, staving off her attack. “I Warned You!!! I tried to warn you!!” He now was the one with the power as he controlled her in her doorway.

RJ laughed as Gavin threatened her with the nozzle of the whipped cream can. “Oooo I’m SO scared,” she said sarcastically. Meanwhile, her mind raced through possibilities for escape and revenge.

"How do you like your desert RJ? Somehow I bet you are craving another serving of WHiPPED DELIGHT!" Gavin then had chucked the can from one large hand to the next as he had slowly walked inward. The faint look of paint and dessert topping on RJ looked ridiculous, as was the playful scenario. "Hmmnn, What do I want in return for your SURRENDER!" Ross cockily taunted in fun.

An idea suddenly emerged, and she backed up, edging into her bedroom. Leading Gavin on, as if he was pushing her in that direction, but really she was in control now. She had a plan.

As they neared the bed, RJ quickly grabbed Gavin in a hand-to-hand combat maneuver. Her father had taught her Marine hand-to-hand combat since she was a child, so although she might look small, Reagan packed a lot of punch. In place of where she would normally throw her opponent to the ground, she threw Gavin into the bed. Then swiftly jumped on top of him and grabbed the whipped cream from his hand and dispensed it in a fit of revenge while he was still caught off guard.

Reacting, recoiling as Gavin tried to shield his own face from the Whipped barrage, he had laughed, squinting his eyes shut, "No! Nooooo! You need to add graham crackers FIRST!" He blurted as the topping unleashed. "The Horrorrrrr!"

RJ rolled off of Gavin and lay next to him, laughing uncontrollably. "I...told you…. you'd pay for that." She got the words out in between fits of laughter. Reagan looked over at him. Being with Gavin always managed to be fun and carefree. Every worry, every unsolved calculation that normally plagued her mind seemed to slip away when she was with him. It was as if someone had taken everything she didn't even know that she would want in someone and packaged it into a single person.

Gavin rested as he wiped the cream out of his hair and eyebrows, and eyes… He lifted his head, seeing RJ now relaxed, laughing beside him. A spur of butterflies, literal butterflies, had run through him. God, Reagan was everything. "You’re a menace!” He chuckled, “let me never get in your way, you crazy she-warrior!” He grunted. He liked it. She was feisty.

With a few moments breather. Gavin acted, reactively rolling over and back over the top of RJ on her bed. He held his own weight overhead of the smaller RJ, beneath. Gavin’s chest, his heart was pounding. He couldn’t hold back any longer. “You.. Your Incredible.” Ross mustered. The anxiousness, the deepening courage within, as he now leaned downward and placing a kiss to RJ’s, perfect, soft, warm lips. He didn’t ever want to break this kiss, not now, not ever.

Reagan was slightly caught off guard when Gavin rolled on top of her, not that she minded, but then the kiss. The kiss was perfect. A single hand moved unconsciously to touch his chest as he drew closer. She closed her eyes and savored the moment as everything else melted away.

“You make me feel alive, RJ.” Gavin beamed, his smile fading to another feeling of lust growing within him. This time, leaning back downward, giving a deep soft, wanting kiss as if her lips were taunting him, he gives in to her incredible body. Gavin wanted RJ all and nobody else in a long time did he feel this.

Her hand slipped from his muscular chest over his shoulder and intertwined with his hair as they kissed for a second time. She gave in to the kiss with equal enthusiasm. Wanting nothing more than to be with Gavin, fully, at that moment.

As she crossed that internal threshold of feelings, the walls went up. Reagan typically maintained a closely guarded position. Relationships were more like wading through molasses for her, usually, as she preferred to go painstakingly slow. With Gavin, things were different. They shared a connection, unlike anything she’d ever felt before. That didn’t stop her brain from kicking in with a yield sign.

Her mind forced her free hand to pick up the can of whipped cream once more as her heart fought to hold onto the passionate kiss with Gavin. As they emerged from the luscious embrace, she stared into his mesmerizing eyes for a second. “That was amazing.” She said the only words that could escape her mouth before her brain finally won over. Her hand swiftly came up and she dispensed another round of whipped cream at Gavin as she broke into a fit of laughter.

Gavin had been blindsided. Not that he was expecting anything more than a few kisses at this point. His face hardened down as the now half-empty can of whip cream ended their passionate embrace. What was like a fresh splash of water was now whipping out, blinding him.

He held his position there for a few moments as he let his lips slowly lick at the cream. He had the biggest smile. "Ok! Fair enough! I get it!!!" He had laughed, and chuckled slicking the whipped cream off of his face and smearing it across RJ's in return. Before he playfully had re-thumped back downward, his position laying beside RJ on the bed.

"I… Whoah. I understand." He leaned, crossing his forearms in a fold behind, propping up his head as he lay alongside. "I swear! It was only a kiss, or…. A greedy two!" He chuckled. "But I meant it." He replied as he breathed outward, happy that RJ didn't kick him out right then and there!

Reagan’s laughter and expression subsided into a soft, but serious one. “Gavin, I…” She wanted to blurt out that those moments where they had just kissed were everything. She didn’t want him to think that he had gone too far. On the contrary, she loved every second. Her heart wanted nothing more than to give in to those desires, but letting go and fully trusting someone was difficult and it was her mind that had pulled her back.

“I really enjoyed it. I meant it when I said it was amazing,” she smiled, “I just wasn’t sure if I could hold back.” Reagan paused, searching for the right words. “I like you, Gavin. A lot. I just...if we kept going much longer I felt like I was going to fall too far too fast and I don’t want to screw this up.” She confessed, bearing her feelings more openly than she ever had with anyone.

Gavin had listened to RJ. Listening was the most important. He nodded, and smiled. “I don’t want to screw this up either, RJ.” He gave her a nice hand hold, with a subtle squeeze, before he was ready for more of a war! Once more.

"So… Our can of cream is almost empty. What you going to DO then?!" He grunted, cockily, before he reached Reagan's side, and tickle attacked her, not even knowing if she was ticklish. He somehow thought she had might be, considering she had her Brother, who probably used that as a quick attack.

Reagan chuckled, happy for the lightened mood after what felt like a more serious discussion. “I’m only ticklish in a very few select spots and you will NEVER find them,” she said playfully pointing a finger at him before scurrying across the bed to a safe distance.

“Never, that sounds like an awesome challenge. I am never one to back down.” Gavin grunted, as he smacked his chest. Standing up and slowly walking in a menacing act of joy.

“Don’t forget! I’m still armed!” She held up the can of whipped cream in a threatening manner as Gavin moved towards her. “Ready to surrender yet?” Reagan laughed. “My terms are simple, a batch of those delicious cookies that you bake AND you have to show your family your Bob Ross painting on your next holochat and pretend like it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever created.” She chuckled. Reagan couldn’t imagine showing her family her Bob Ross painting and acting like it was the best thing she’d ever done with a straight face, it would be impossible.

Gavin had shot RJ a look. “Terms? Terms already?!” He laughed. “You think I’m ready to submit to TERMS, now I know you’ve been brainwashed by that…. That big haired freak!” He gestured laughing pointing out towards the main living area viewer.

“Oh GAME ON!” Gavin grunted. As he charged out towards the doorway… “Come catch me if you’re not a CHICKEN!” He egged on RJ. Before he rushed through her doorway, and laughed as he jogged down the corridor, intending to get back to his own quarters as fast as he could, assuming RJ would know where he was going.

Reagan acted like she was going to run after him, but then stopped at the door. She let Gavin run ahead and slunk back into her quarters, scheming. He’d likely go to his own quarters and create a trap. RJ wasn’t about to let him off the hook, but she could at least arrive prepared.

Knowing there wasn’t a ton of time, she thought quickly and replicated a can of silly string, a human and dog safe smokescreen and a treat for Nanook. She loved the fluffy husky and thought it was only appropriate that he get a treat if he was going to have to put up with RJ and Gavin’s antics all night.

On the way, he had rounded a corner, seeing a few crew members this time of the evening, relaxing as they walked. Gavin saluted them both, with a big grin on his face, that had half whipped dessert topping, and half paint smears still left on him.

The officers had stopped. And turned as Ross continued his jog towards his quarters, working up an idea. Oh he had a great idea. Rushing into his quarters, he had met Nanook already excited to see Ross.

“Nanook!!!!” He stopped and rubbed him on his husky head, his ears perking up, as he then gave a sharp Bark! Happy to see that Ross was there. “Dude, we need a plan. RJ is coming, really soon! You give RJ the biggest, happiest, jumps ever! You rush her at the doorway…” Gavin then had grabbed Nanook’s already favoured chewed sneaker, and dangled it near the doorway. “Here NAN! Here! Sit Nan!”

Reagan quickly wiped the whipped cream off of her face before grabbing her replicated items and running out the door. She quickly broke into a sprint to make up for the lost time. Taking too long might make Gavin suspicious and tip him off that she had a devious plan of her own.

Knowing that RJ would surprise Nanook at the doorway, and probably have a good time trying to get him to calm down, as Nanook already had enjoyed RJ, coming to accept her quite easily.

Gavin had gone to his replicator. Replicating a Super Soaker 500, with Auto Pump Recoil. Bursting into laughter with glee. Ross then filled a solution of 5 parts water, to 1 part notorious ‘liquid ass’, an extremely smelly gut wrenching liquid. His medical colleagues on Federation Campus had tried and tested it, to astonishing many wars. If all was calculated, RJ would be shouting her ‘Surrender’. No way was he going to be displaying that god awful creation to his parents with pure seriousness. Oh, he would be recording RJ when she presented a true Bob Ross creation to her parents herself!!!!

Reagan rounded the corner to Gavin’s quarters and took a moment to prepare herself, clipping the silly string and smokescreen to her belt. She held the treat for Nanook in hand, expecting that the husky might be the first person she saw upon entering.

The lights were reduced once more to ambient, along with Nanook chewing her toy at the doorway, for a distraction…

RJ rang the chime. A moment later the doors opened and she was immediately greeted by Nanook. She didn’t see Gavin in the living area so she threw the smoke screen close to the bedroom, hoping that was where he was hiding out. Having bought herself a short minute, RJ knelt down and pet her fluffy greeter. “Hi Nanook! I’ve missed you! You adorable fluff ball. Here, I brought you a treat!” Reagan handed him the replicated treat and then quickly crawled to position herself behind the couch. Then she waited for Gavin to make the next move.

Gavin had secretly watched from behind his washroom entrance way, crouched near the bottom with his super soaker 500, filled with liquid ass. While he watched RJ treat Nanook so kindly, a feeling of conscience passing through him. Why was he feeling this way. What had begun as a fun war between the two, maybe Regan wasn't like the others. His friends and coworkers in Starfleet, the years he had done such fun and crazy things.

Did he really want to do this, to his potential, really important to him Girl. He rubbed his hands on the trigger, and he immediately felt ashamed. He had lost sight and perhaps was a bit immature. Reagan wouldn't appreciate that, at all.

"Uh.. Hi." He had called out from the bathroom entrance, he had got up from his crouch. "Computer, full lighting." Ross had requested.

In full light, he had then stepped out, he placed the water gun to the side of the washroom entrance. And he had walked raising his hands, showing they were free of any prank.

A smile had crossed his face, god she was beautiful.

"I... I think I surrender." Showing complete atonement, he breathed inward as Gavin kneeled to the floor of his quarters, hands still up. "You win!" He grinned.

Reagan had slowly stood up when Gavin said ‘hi’, suspicion clearly written in the expression on her face. It wasn’t like him to have lured her all the way back to his quarters just to surrender. “What are you playing at?” She asked, thinking perhaps it was still a trap. “It’s not like you to just give up like this.”

Gavin had laughed. "A miscalculation on my part. Let's say…" He had felt bad. "But don't take this as a harbinger of things to come." He let his eyebrow upward. "I don't give up easily!" Gavin snorted. It was a thing of his that he didn't know he did.

"It was liquid ass…" Gavin gestured to the super soaker 500. "I didn't think you would appreciate that… Erm. Warfare." He gestured, seeing what she had brought with her in her effort. "Nanook gave me heck."

She chuckled as Gavin explained. "Well, thanks for not shooting me with liquid ass." RJ would've been a good sport about it, but she was grateful he had changed his mind. "Maybe we both went a little too far. I brought a can of silly string with me expecting you'd have some sort of trap." She walked over, grabbed his hands and pulled him up from his position of surrender. "I'd be the one surrendering if you hadn't changed your mind. So how about a truce instead?"

Gavin had stood up, having had playfully played for mercy. As he did, he enjoyed the soft, small silky hands of RJ's becoming intertwined with his larger calloused fingers. He stood looking downward at the shorter angel.

"You know, I think traditionally truces are settled over a handshake. But I propose we settle it with a kiss instead." RJ said with a smirk before leaning in to lock her lips with his. Truth be told, she'd use just about any excuse to kiss Gavin at this point. He was good at it, and that combined with the fact that he was both the sweetest and most fun person she could imagine being with made it almost irresistible.

Ross enjoyed their kiss, becoming washed over with RJ's lips touching his. He smiled into the kiss, halfway chuckling. He leaned his forehead to RJ's as he stated. "Yeah, I highly doubt the US Generals had kissed the Japanese Emperor." He had winked. "I’m not saying you’re the Japanese, but yeah.” He raised one eye upward. “Shut up, Gav!”

Relaxing now, he had just felt great, letting his handhold RJ into his embrace, keeping her body pressed up against his. Only then, Nan had come over and sat right beside them. His head cocked upward, with a flush of his white and grey husky tail.

“What treat did you give him?” Ross asked curiously.

“A special peanut butter dog biscuit. They’re our family dog’s favorite treat. I figured Nanok might like them too.” Reagan smiled and bent down to give the husky another pet.

"So…" Ross narrowed his eyes at Nan. "That's all its takes for you, hunh. Let your guard down for a simple, tasty gulp, Nan?!" He feigned shame. "Aiding and abetting the enemy, that's what it's called, buddy." He had then looked around.

"You want just to sit around and relax, watch a movie?" He had gestured to the Sofa. "I promise nothing to give you nightmares," Ross stated matter of factly.

"That sounds great actually. War is exhausting!" RJ chuckled as she plopped down close to the middle of the couch. After Gavin sat down, she moved closer. In her rush, Reagan had left her hoodie in her own quarters. "Is this okay?" She asked as she leaned into him, thinking that both stealing his warmth and just getting to be close to him was a win in her book.

Gavin nodded. "You don't have to ask me, RJ." He enjoyed that she was beginning to be a lot more comfortable around him. He was certainly getting used to having her around him.

"So what are we watching?" She asked once they were both fully settled on the couch. "Anything other than a horror movie will work for me."

Gavin had grinned. "A truly terrible movie. Quite possibly one of the worst directing blunders in history. 'The Room.'"

"Shh!" He chuckled. "Do not question. The movie will reveal all. Or will it?"

The movie started and it was a good one. Reagan wanted nothing more than to be present and enjoy the film, but she hadn't been joking when she said that war was exhausting. That combined with the fact that being next to Gavin was amazingly comfortable. It took less than twenty minutes before the tiredness kicked in and she fell dead asleep.

Nanook sat there at the bottom of the Sofa, curled up comfortably to the movie's sound and flickering in the quiet quarters on the Shanghai. Gavin leaned close into RJ, having his arm placed along horizontally to the Sofa, relaxed. He still was shocked and marveled. "Where did you come from, RJ?" He whispered, as RJ now slept neatly close to him.

Lieutenant Gavin Ross
Chief Medical Officer
USS Shanghai


Lieutenant JG Reagan Quinn
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Shanghai


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