After leaving the general at the embassy, Mariner and Boimler took off back to the Cerritos. Reflecting on what recently occurred, Mainer first broke the silence unable to keep quiet for long.
"Woo, what a day, that escort mission kinda went off the rails huh?" Mainer laughed.
"Sure did." Responded Boimler.
"I can't believe that was a Farangi in the park." She continued.
"Hey uh.. so you think maybe it would be a fine idea that we keep it between us?" Mainer questioner.
"For sure….. although we both know that you knew he was a Farangi." Boimler turned to Mariner with a smile.
"Whaa.. ?, no way man I had no idea that-" She was cut off.
"Thank you for what you did, I mean it." Boimler stated in a sincere tone.
As he looked back toward the windshield, a brief silence ensued, as Mainer looked down.
"So… you're not going to quit still… right?" She asked energetically.
"Yep, that's right… it could get pretty boring on a research station." He chuckled.
"Certainly not as exciting like it is on the Cerritos." Chimed Mariner.
"Or with you." Smiled Boimler.
A minor silence occurs. Boimler's face went from a smile to a flustered expression upon realizing what he said. He quickly turns from Mariner and looks straight at the destination in front of him. Mainer does the same and looks forward to the front of the ship, her face a tint of pink.
"A-Anyway, *Ahem* are you up for drinks along with Tendi and Rutherford when we get back?" Mariner asks.
"Yea….Yea that would be good." He says quickly.
"Okay then, it's a date."
Bomlier turns to look at Mariner.
"A-Ah, well... damn it you know what I mean." She raises her voice in frustration.
"Yup, gotcha." Boimler quickly says as he turns back to looking straight.
What the hell is with this vibe? Why is it now so god damn awkward? Mariner mulled over as she stared straight ahead.
Oh no, no, no why is it like this right now? It sounded fine to say in my head but really Boimler? and what's with her reaction? Why am I so embarrassing?! The inner turmoil was ongoing in Boimler as he flew the shuttle now to the upcoming Cerritos.
After speaking at the same time, both were surprised and started fumbling over their words.
"You first Boimler."
"No, no you first I insist."
"No, you clearly had something to say."
"Mine can say, what did you want to say?"
"Just spill it."
"No YOU spill it."
"Boimler why don't you-" An incoming transmission interrupted the two, as an identification code was requested.
"Upcoming shuttle what your identification code?" The operator asked.
"It's us, Boimler and Mariner, we just got back dropping General Krell."
Radio silence ensued
"Really dude? Come on, it's us."
"... fine, it's clear on hanger deck 2 please proceed."
"Enroute." Boimler stated
After the comms shut off, the two of them looked back at each other, for a moment.
"Fine, I was going to ask when would you be set in heading down to the canteen." Mariner stated.
Boimler let out a laugh.
"What?" Mariner inquires.
"I was going to ask you the same thing." He manages to say.
"Ah" after a few moments the both laugh, and with a few moments later, docked at the hanger bay. The air of awkwardness all but faded away.
"So.. hows around 17:00?" Asked Mariner.
"Works for me, I'll track down Rutherford." Boimler added.
"Great, I'll find Tendi."
"Great, well.. see you in a few Boimler."
"Same to you Mariner."
They both smile and head to finish their other duties.
Boimler is a kiss up, screws up a lot and can be a stick in the mud, but he's alright.
Mariner then remembers Boimler's follow up to their previous conversation. Her cheeks again became a faintly shaded pink.
Though he's such a dork. She lets a small chuckle escape as she's in the midst of moving toward her new designated task on the ship.
As Boimler moves to his next task he can't help but think of the events that had transpired today.
It's nice to know Mariner doesn't think I'm completely useless, although why'd she get embarrassed too when I said that? I'd thought she'd just laugh despite it being a slip of the tongue. Maybe I'm just seeing too much into things.
Not dwelling too much on the lingering thought, he arrived at his task and started to do it
""""Cheers!"""" The gang all seated in the canteen booth, Rutherford and Tendi sitting next to Da her other as Mariner was next to Boimler. They cheered with their drinks before consumption due to another successful day.
"So, hows the transport, Boimler seemed to be on edge earlier." Asked Tendi
"Well.. you know how Boimler is." Mariner answered.
"Fair." Tendi replied.
"Hey! What is that supposed to mean?!" Boimler huffed.
"Aw, Boimler buddy, don't worry, it means your a good sport." Mariner ruffles Boimler's hair.
"Mariner!" Boimler gets grumbles.
Both Rutherford and Tendi laugh.
"No but seriously, we both had uh… an eventful day." Mariner answers.
"What about you guys?" Asked Boimler.
"Well, I was in medical all day, it was freaking awesome, I got to transplant an Andorian liver to one of the volunteers!" Tendi beams.
"Was the operation successful?" Asked Rutherford.
"Uh.. Yea I think so!" She continues to chime.
"Right…., what about you Rutherford." Boimler turns to ask.
"Oh well you know, engineering stuff heh, definitely not altering my career because of a promise." A bead of sweat drips on the side of his head, as he takes his hand behind his head as he laughs nervously.
Boimler's eyes widened as Mariner raised an eyebrow.
"So you're still in engineering right?" Mariner asked.
"Yea, of course! Like I said, why wouldn't I be. Haha.." Rutherford chuckled nervously.
"Right…" Mariner stated.
They carried on chatting idly until final call was made.
While not very strong the beverages they drank, Boimler was not great in holding his liquor.
"Well anyway, it is fun, we should do this more often!" Smiled Tendi.
"Yea, I agree, this is nice." Contemplated Rutherford.
Boimler was leaning on Mariner drooling on her shoulder.
"Uh, would you like some help?" He asked
"Nah, I got him, you two go ahead, If you hurry you can see the solar flares that we will be passing in a few minutes." She smiled.
"Aw, thanks Mariner, let's go Rutherford!" Tendi grabs Rutherford and drags him toward the end of the ship.
As she sees the two leave, Mariner looks at Boimler still on her shoulder.
"Come along you big dork." She smile.
As she moved out of the booth, she grabs Boimler's arm and puts it around her shoulder.
"Huh..wha..?" Boimler still groggy walks with the assistance of Mariner, his head still leaning.
As she was walking down the corridor toward the lower deck quarters, she passed a few security personnel on her way down.
Upon looking at the two, one of the security chuckles.
Mariner shakes her head.
"He's a light weight."
"Ah figures." He shakes his head as well.
"Right it's almost lights out, so hurry along and take care." The second security uttered.
"Alright alright, were going."
Eventually, Mariner and Boimler make it to their barracks, where Mariner attempts to push Boimler into his bed.
"Okay, nice and easy oops." Mariner in her haste smashed Boimlers head against the top of the loft.
"Ah.. it bit me." Boimler more or less asleep, stated.
Eventually, Mariner hoisted Boimler up.
"Alright buddy, here you are."
Boimler was now on the bottom bunk.
He looks so peaceful when he's not flipping out. She suddenly becomes annoyed
She reaches to pinch Boimler's cheek.
It's kind of pissing me off.
Boimler's hand suddenly shoots up and grabs Mariner's arm.
His eyes open soon after.
"Mariner jolted and looked at Boimler."
"Jeez Boimler, what's the deal."
"How did I get here? Did you drag me." He asks.
"Ah… Yea, you were out like a light after a few drinks."
"Dang it.. well as you know now, I'm a lightweight."
"Yep, we all now know."
They both smile.
"So uh... can you like… let go of me ?" She motions to his grip.
"Oh.. sorry." He releases her.
"Man you have some grip." She chuckles awkwardly.
"Yea.. I guess."
The conversation dies.
"Well uh.. thanks for helping to the quarters."
"Don't mention yet… goodnight."
Mariner climbs to her bunk and both lay there staring at their ceiling.
What the hell was that grip? Questions Mariner.
"Why'd she pinch me?" Questions Boimler.
As they dwell on what occurred, they eventually fell asleep.