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Lunch is Cancelled

Posted on Thu Oct 24th, 2019 @ 6:38pm by Lieutenant Joshua Miller M.D.

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Sickbay | U.S.S. Sentinel
Timeline: MD009 | 0830 Hours

The morning so far had been slow in Sickbay. In the hour and a half since Josh had started his shift, he’d treated a fractured toe and a scraped elbow. He returned to his office, having treated the scraped elbow, and made a note in the Ensign’s medical file. With the Sentinel in orbit over New Bajor, most of the crew would have a few hours to spend on the surface. Josh and Ben had arranged to have lunch at a café in the main settlement.

Because they’d agreed to meet later, Josh was surprised when Ben walked into his office. “You haven’t broken anything else, have you?”

Ben shook his head, not amused by the joke. “No.” The Englishman leaned on the back of one of the visitors’ chairs. “I’m going to have to cancel our lunch.” From his dejected tone, Josh had a feeling what was coming next and Ben quickly confirmed it, “I’ve received new orders,” Ben paused, “I leave in an hour.”

The constant revolving door of personnel was a fact of life in Starfleet but both of them had expected to spend at least the next few years on the Sentinel to get to know one another and see where things went. Starfleet on the other hand had other ideas.

“Where are they sending you?” Josh asked, his tone matching Ben’s.

Armstrong let out a sigh. “I’m heading back to Bajor. Apparently the Bajorans want Federation assistance with an excavation.”

“Well I guess that’s that.” He was surprised at how upset he was at this news. He’d only known Ben for a few days but he’d had such hopes that their flirtations would become so much more. ‘Maybe I’d pinned too much hope on that.’ He mused as he stood up and walked around the desk. Standing face to face with Ben he added, “Good luck out there.”

Ben smiled. “Thanks.” He reached out and took Josh’s hands in his own. “This isn’t going to be the last you hear of me. I’m going to be in touch regularly so don’t think you can throw yourself back into your work. Ellie and I won’t let that happen.”

It would be easy for him to revert to his old ways with Ben transferring out, but Josh didn’t want that to happen either. Ben and Ellie had forced him to re-evaluate his life and he didn’t want his work to be the only thing in his life anymore. “I won’t. I promise.”

“Good.” Ben leaned in and pressed his lips against Josh’s. It was their first, and possibly last kiss. After what seemed like thirty seconds, but was probably more like fifteen, they pulled apart. “I’ll see you around, Joshua.”

Josh smiled sadly. “Count on it.” He watched Ben as he left Sickbay. That had been a whirlwind romance that had ended on good terms. Josh could only hope that this wasn’t the end of their story but if it was, it had given him a new perspective on the direction his life was taking. For that he would always be grateful.


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