“And here are the progress reports we got on the quasars. Basically...,” Ran paused and changed what he was saying, “better yet – how about if you come by after your shift and let me know what you think?”
“Certainly, Captain,” Rassied agreed, taking the data pad from his friend and then watched him walk off the bridge, his gaze lingering on the smooth movement. Distracting sight though it was, he edited his thoughts with the ease of long practice. Evidently, though, he didn’t edit them quickly enough, as science officer Najeal turned in his seat and raised an eyebrow at him. Flustered, he turned his attention to the data pad and reviewing the log of Ran’s shift.
“Go for it, oh prince of idiots...” Linus whispered in Rassied’s ear, making the Vice-Head control a jump, as he hadn’t heard the Armada Chief approach.
“He’s a human,” and so much more mortal, with a lifespan of barely 150 years – less, likely, for the lifespan of a hot-shot starship captain who insisted on going out with his Armada strike teams. Indeed, Rassied could remember countless times when he’d watched Ran’s blood stream out from wounds, gasping for air trapped in collapsed tunnels, swimming from hungry leviathans in the water, collapsing from viruses, recuperating in Dr. Hamilton’s infirmary… Just being Ran’s friend was hard enough, knowing that he would lose him long before he was ready. Keeping as close to him as he could, while giving him his loyalty and working as a professional, was enough for him.
Later, after his shift, he headed to Ran’s quarters, expecting to find the Captain still working on reports. Mostly, he did... but Ran had changed to more comfortable clothes, almost in disarray, his hair mussed and showing no signs of straightening up anytime soon. Naturally not – Ran was the most comfortable person Rassied knew, comfortable within himself, and with everybody around him. Open externally, the Captain did have his mysteries and private side, intensely so, but he didn’t often let it show on his surface, making everybody think he was their friend – as he was.
“Pour yourself a drink,” Ran greeted him cheerfully, “or two or three the way you do anyhow.”
“Quasar-research is progressing quite well, Captain – we should be able to finish this study soon.” Rassied gave Ran the update he’d wanted, while accepting the drink.
“So,” Ran flopped down on the couch, sprawling out and looking rather debauched, “everything is running smoothly and we should be done with this research run soon. Thoughts on what we should do next?”
Usually, Rassied could think of a thousand things. Visually, though, with the image of Ran sprawled like that, the only thought in his mind wasn’t a very appropriate one.
With a slow, lazy grin, Ran seemed to figure out his thought even without telepathy. Xenophilia was sometimes a problem, when he could love a human that he would lose.
“You may not,” Ran stood up and stalked towards the Cynsian, “have a choice anymore, Rassied.”
Zero room for error in what Rassied would do next – either he would take what Ran offered or... or there was really no ‘or’ – Ran had taken the choice from him, and Rassied was happy to have it so.