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Posted on Sun Jan 5th, 2020 @ 10:41pm by Lieutenant JG Alexander Mitchell & Lieutenant Eza Bergen PhD

Mission: Reaching Out in Hope
Location: Deck 8 | Astrometrics
Timeline: MD 11 | 1125 Hours

It felt like no matter where he went today, everyone was looking at him, talking about him in hushed tones, even laughing at him. Maybe he was just being paranoid but that's how it felt. Ignoring it, he held his head high as he strode towards Astrometrics. He wanted to do more research into everything that Starfleet had on this region of space, but of course their knowledge of the Gamma Quadrant was limited so he knew that there may not be much information on offer.

When he entered the room, it was manned by the duty Astrometrics Officer, a Bajoran Ensign who's name escaped him. "Can I help you, sir?" She asked.

"Just here to do a little research." He told her, convinced that he saw a smirk flicker across her lips but said nothing.

The Ensign nodded and logged out of the primary console that controlled the large screen that dominated the room. "Of course, sir. It's all yours." She moved off to work at one of the secondary consoles.

As she did, Xander logged into the main console and accessed the Astrometrics database, bringing up Starfleet's maps of this region of the Gamma Quadrant.

Eza entered astrometrics with the latest reports from the research team. He trusted their work but he like to double check things before he submitted the reports to the Captain and Starfleet Science. He was surprised to see Alexander there. "Long way from the helm." He said the other man's back still to him. Ensign Kellan gave a small nod to the Chief Science officer before ducking out of the lab, in a hurry somewhere with an odd grin on his face.

"My duties as Acting Chief Flight Control Officer don't require me to be shackled to the helm at all times." Mitchell pointed out. He was in no mood for chit chat today. "Just like yours don't require you to have a sensor readout tethered to your hands at all times."

"But I usually do." Eza said with a grin trying to make a joke. He thought back to the Ensigns reaction to seeing the two men together. "Do you have some weird feeling that people are talking about us or something, almost like there's some big joke we're not looped in on?" The Trill asked. Coming closer to the main station to see what the pilot was working on.

Alexander still didn't break focus from his work. "People talk about me all the time, Lieutenant." He replied, completely missing the fact that Eza felt that people were now talking about him too. "At this point it's like water off a ducks back."

Eza had to grin, most of his experience with the crew talking about Alexander centred on the fact that he seemed to have a bit of an attitude but he seemed like a good guy, that and that fact that a considerable portion of the crew found him rather attractive. "That may be, but do they normally stop conversations when you approach, or like the dear Ensign there, find a reason to leave the room with a smile on their face."

Xander's brow furrowed as confusion set in. "No, they don't. The rumours around me that the crew has been using as fodder for their gossip aren't the sort of things that you smile about." He turned to face the Trill. "What the hell was she smiling about? Have you done something funny or embarrassing?"

"Why do you assume it's me?" He asked a bit defensively. He'd looked into the Lieutenants file and knew about his past, the Trill didn't think it was relevant and he felt the fact the pilot assumed people knew was just some paranoia. "Unless. Two senior officers, late night, one of said officers quarters."

Mitchell let the Science Officer's words in in the air for a few seconds before announcing, "For a guy as smart as you, that was pretty stupid." Eza's mouth opened to protest but Xander cut him off. "If you and I were screwing around in secret, then you'd be sneaking out of my quarters at four in the morning looking rumpled and satisfied, not at nine in the evening." The pilot shook his head. "No, for someone to see you leave my quarters at nine and leap to the conclusion that we're sleeping together then they'd be an idiot or so hard up for gossip that they're grasping at straws."

Eza resisted the very interesting mental images his brain started to conjure. "That's the thing about gossip on a starship, it often doesn't make sense when you think about it logically." He said moving to one of the auxiliary stations and pulling up the pulsar data. "And for the record I wouldn't be the only satisfied."

"I don't doubt it." Xander replied with a smirk. He turned back to his own work and had the computer zoom in on the Stakoron System. "I guess if they're gossiping about the two of us getting it on, they're not talking about what they think they know happened. A crumb of comfort I guess."

Eza nodded, "I mean, at least I'm apparently sleeping with a hottie, so there's that at least." The Trill replied, hitting a few keys and then moving to the main console, accessing a separate terminal from Alexander he transferred the files from the secondary to the primary computer core and then began a new series of analyses.

Alexander didn't reply right away, instead allowing Eza's words to hang in the air so the Trill could sweat a little. Finally, after what felt like five minutes but was in actuality only thirty seconds, Mitchell asked, "So, just how long have you had this crush on me Lieutenant?" He turned to face Bergen, who was only maybe thirty or forty centimetres away from him. He leaned back against the edge of the console he'd been working at, folded his arms and adopted his most cocky grin.

Eza felt his face turn slightly red, "Well pretty sure I had one on you at the academy, but I guess pretty much when I saw that smug face of yours on the bridge."

"I've been called many things but never smug. Cocky, arrogant, an asshole but never smug. I gotta tell you, that hurts." Mitchell joked. "Though my hurt feelings are soothed by the knowledge that you've held a flame for me all these years." He paused as a grin spread across his face. "Now I think I'm being smug."

Eza looked him in the eye. "Don't worry hot shot, whatever lingering flame there is, it's quickly being extinguished." The Trill replied. At that moment the doors open and the Ensign came back in, her face rather red.

"Sorry Sirs, forgot my PADD." She said making a b-line for the main workstation.

Quickly formulating a plan that would be sure to set tongues wagging all across the ship, Alexander twisted around and logged off the console. "Don't worry, I'm done anyway." He told her as he turned towards the Trill. "As for you," Xander leaned closer and softened his tone, making sure that the Ensign could hear them, "I'll see you later."

Mitchell leaned in and kissed Eza. It only lasted a few seconds but would provide enough fuel to keep the gossips going for days. When he pulled back, he gave a wink and a smile to the shocked Chief Science Officer before stepping past the Ensign and walking out of Astrometrics.

Eza's head spun, surprised and a wave of feelings through out his body at the kiss. He assumed the reason for the pilots actions and knew the kiss didn't mean anything but even after the doors closed behind the Lieutenant his brain was still locked on the feeling of Alexander's lips. The Ensign, who's mouth was hanging open was still staring when Bergen finally snapped out of it. "Don't you have work to do Ensign?" He snapped.

"Yes sir. Sorry Sir." She replied, grabbing her padd and running for the door, if Eza was correct her hand was already heading towards her commbadge as she entered the corridor.


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