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Cabin Fever, Part 2

Posted on Wednesday April 21, 2021 @ 7:32pm by Torin Landry & Canaan Serine [GM]

Mission: Lower Decks
Location: Mess Lounge, Deck 1
Timeline: Unknown

Previously, on Star Trek: Cardinal

Torin nodded. It was always rough adapting back to ship life. Besides his books or playing with Eurus, he didn't have much else to fill his free time. Sleep was scarce, meaning he had more time than required filling. A rumble started in his stomach. The words escaped before he could think about them. "Maybe... next time you run, I could join you."

Why did he say that? Torin wasn't sure himself. He was not a fan of exercise, but he figured it would be a healthier hobby to get into than the mess's midnight snacks. He felt the need to backtrack. "But, I understand if you'd rather have your alone time."

And, now, the conclusion

"Company is especially nice," Canaan admitted, leaning back in the chair while crossing one leg over the other, ankle to knee. "Honestly, I can be left alone with my thoughts for only so long before they became a bit too," he paused, searching for a better word to convey 'self-destructive' without sounding utterly mental accurately, "overwhelming." He managed, blushing a bit at the word he'd settled on, yet sounding confident, nonetheless. "Running outside or even the holosuite adds some variety - But, there's only so much of the same corridor one can lap before it comes a bit monotonous, right?" He chuckled.

Canaan's gaze was ever-present, appraising Torin's emotive expressions with thoughtful, judgment-free consideration. He liked that the Scientist was looking for ways to involve himself in the passions of others. Torin was among the shyest of his crew. The creature he kept as a pet often served as a conversation starter or catalyst in breaking the ice during social gatherings. Still, beyond that, Torin maintained a distance from the others unless necessary. He wouldn't go so far as to classify Torin as antisocial, as the Zoologist spoke with unbridled passion about his field of study. Getting to know Torin on a personal level, however, involved patience. Canaan ventured his colleague would eventually open up, and he was glad to see Torin taking a risk, as uncomfortable it may be for him.

"I love to run," Canaan started, "What about you? What's something you enjoy doing in your spare time?"

The question stopped Torin's internal monologue. The silence broke with a "What do I enjoy?". He wasn't sure whether he spoke it aloud or not. His mind racked the past few months of free time, but his memory failed him. The tips of his fingers tapped the back of his PADD. "You know... I haven't much a clue. Other than reading, or walking Eurus."

He took in a deep breath. "Truth is, this is the first time I've really had free time. On planetary expeditions, it was either watching animals, setting up camp, or weathering the storm. On the Armedia, we always had something to fix." His back pressed into his seat. He held his arms out. "Here, there are schedules, warp manifolds that don't melt every jump, amenities." His arms folded under his chest, "It's the first time I've had the luxury of time."

Canaan smiled, a look of understanding softening what was already a pretty relaxed expression. "I can appreciate the time commitment entailed in a planetside expedition - It's pretty much work from sunrise to sunset, isn't it?" Planetary expeditions were a decent excuse for any scientist to retreat into their work to save on the usual social dynamics a general shipboard posting mandated. Resources were limited, timetables short, deadlines tight, and expedition teams relatively small. There wasn't much time to do anything else , but dedicate oneself to their work. "It takes a bit of time to rediscover your personal passions post-expedition. Don't stress - It'll come. This-" Canaan gestured to himself and Torin, "Is a start." He shrugged for a second time, "Hopefully, the Cardinal won't be too routine for you. I remember my first week back to Earth after five years away. I think I hit up all of my favorite restaurants and bars to enjoy some old favorites after living off of field rations for such a long while. I was like you, though... It took me a while to find my joy, outside of running, that is." He empathized.

Maybe Torin saw this situation wrong. The newly found free time was not a crux to his work but a compliment. It was an opportunity to try things that he couldn't dream of on expeditions. He was always good at finding something to keep his hands occupied. It was a relief that this feeling wasn't unique. "When I lived in New Paris when I was a student, my Auntie Cressa would take me to different museums. Art, science, history—all sorts. But there was one that I always came back to. It was a theater that showed movies." The last word came out harsh and unfamiliar. He squinted his eyes to summon the memory from decades prior. "Maybe I could try watching some as a start. And perhaps running too."

Canaan perked up at Torin's mention of movies, "We have a database!" He remarked excitedly. "Of movies, I mean. I made sure Starbase 11 uploaded what they could of their entertainment database." Although he wouldn't consider himself a film critic, Canaan enjoyed films a lot. It wasn't necessarily his favorite pastime, but sitting down to watch an action or romance-themed movie was a welcome distraction from work. Unlike a holosuite novel, movies allowed one to be the viewer rather than an active participant plot. The viewer was still a participant, but differently, and it was in this way that Canaan appreciated the most. Plus, there was something to be said for snuggling up with your special someone, getting lost for a few hours to watch someone else's life unfold in front of you. "I think there are some pretty modern releases on the database, but there are some oldies and goodies on there, too." He smiled wide, glad to see that perhaps he and Torin shared another hobby in common.

Torin's brows lifted and showed his teeth. Of course, there would be some films on tap, but to find someone who sought out a collection was something else. "Well, I guess that means we'll have to do a movie night sometime." He leaned back into his chair, "I'll have to take a look at what's available. But we should do it sometime." He chuckled, "Maybe even go old-school and eat some popcorn."

Canaan returned Torin's smile, pairing it with a gentle nod of his head in agreement. Then, he sniffed the air and frowned, "I was about to ask what stinks, but I'm afraid it's me." He joked, standing and walking to the kitchen to retrieve a disinfecting wipe from a nearby dispenser. Returning seconds later, Canaan thoroughly wiped down the chair and table where he'd sat and leaned before discarding the wipe and retrieving the water bottle. Refilling it, he stood nearby, "I better have a shower before trying to grab a few hours of sleep. Are you staying up much later?" He wondered if Torin would burn the midnight oil or turn in with the rest of the crew.

Torin yawned, "I should probably head back to my bunk before Eurus notices. She'd get the rest of the crew awake until she found me." He shifted in his seat, giving a slight wave, "It's been good meeting you. I look forward to our movie night."

"Me, too," Canaan replied softly, holding Torin's gaze for a half-second longer than normal. "Sleep tight and dream well," he added as he turned and left the crew lounge through its open door. As he walked at a leisurely pace toward the shared lavatory, he couldn't quell the fluttering in the pit of his stomach. It was a feeling similar to the one experienced when he'd first met Gregory in the gym onboard the Poseidon. That first encounter, the kiss they'd shared sitting by the pool, had opened a door within Canaan he'd not previously thought to walk through. The experience was unexpected yet not unwelcome. So, as he thought of the conversation between him and Torin, it came as no surprise, most of all to Canaan, that his cheeks warmed and blushed at the anticipation of spending more time with the shy and peculiar Torin Landry.


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