Pizza, Beer, and…More Beer
Posted on June 23rd, 2008 by Douglas McKnight and Persephone Busard
Doug McKnight and Persephone Busard
The events that had transpired following the away team’s much sought after return to Atlantis were hardly a blur, but at least on McKnight’s end, it was not for lack of trying. Once it had been confirmed that Shelev would be fine, he then waited only long enough for some medical tech to scan him in turn with a tricorder and admit there were no immediate signs of heat stroke, and then tuned out the subsequent “But I’d recommend you take some time in sickbay to-” so he could thrust his rifle into the arms of the surprised transporter operator and tell him to wait for someone to pick it up. Other than informing O’Grady in security about the rifle situation during his ride in the turbolift, the next few minutes consisted exclusively of setting the temperature in his room ten degrees lower, tossing the damp, sticky mess that was his uniform into the cleaning processor, and thanking his good, kind God for inventing the sonic shower. It was only after he’d done all this, and pulled on a t-shirt sweats ensemble that he finally realized the one bright side of all this crap. From Hobbes’ point of view, he’d already been fed only a few hours earlier. As such, he had little else to do but plop down on the couch, and bring up the recording of the last Sentinels’ game, and so he got right to it.
Unfortunately for one Doug McKnight, his game would be interrupted only a few minutes in by his door chime. Whoever was there was apparently in a hurry, too, because they didn’t wait for a reply before chiming a second time.
“Unless there’s a couple Borg behind you, hold your horses! I’m coming!”
Figuring it PROBABLY wasn’t a superior officer he’d just taken that tone with, McKnight grudgingly rose from his couch and instructed the computer to pause playback. Luckily, baseball started off slow in most cases. Continued on straight to the the end slow too, depending on who you asked. Crossing over to his doorway, he started his greeting at the same time he pressed the button to open the door.
“Okay, what’s so important you couldn’t use the…comm?”
This last pause was probably because, standing before him, was Persephone Busard, dressed in a casual tank top and pair of flannel pants (and for once, non-tied back hair), holding a large pizza box and a six pack of beer. Smiling slightly, she glanced inside before speaking.
“Sorry, couldn’t think of a professional way of saying “Have non-monkey grub, will share”. I hope you like pepperoni…although I guess theoretically if you don’t we can just replicate a new pizza. But see, that would take this funny thing called effort, and I’m not really in the mood.” Her glancing inside allowed her to see the paused computer screen. “Is that baseball?”
As luck would have it, McKnight very much liked pepperoni. As luck would also have it, McKnight very, very much liked beer. Hopefully, Busard had some decent taste in what she replicated, because while Doug was understandably curious what brought this social call on, especially in light of what had happened down on the planet, he wasn’t turning down the free pizza AND beer combo. So, instead of asking any of those questions on his mind, he simply took the six pack from her and turned back into his quarters, an unspoken but unambiguous invitation for the engineer to enter the cool room.
“That IS baseball. Hope you like it. That, and cats of the flesh, blood and fur variety.”
Percy chuckled slightly as she entered, finding a place to put down the pizza.
“What, sports AND adorable furry lifeforms? Why I never.”
Her hands now free, she sought to assert this point solidly by bending down and petting Hobbes. Truth be told, Percy had always LIKED animals, but she always worried about the mixture one would make with her slightly less fleshy pets. The combination didn’t seem altogether wise. Still, that didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate their presence when NOT around tiny robots that can explode.
As Percy discovered by way of headbutts to the hand that Hobbes was far less taciturn than his owner could be, McKnight was rummaging through the top drawer of a small cabinet situated adjacent to his equally small, and typically unused (Having rarely stood on ceremony in company, and almost never in private, “TV dinners” as those on Earth used to call them were generally the order of the night.) dining area. Somrthing had always struck him as vaguely absurd about replicating a fresh set of utensils every time he ate, and so presently, he came up with the ever-handy bottle opener, with which he served up a freshly opened beer for Percy. The operation was soon repeated for himself, before the rest of it was placed down on the faux-glass coffee table in front of the couch.
“Gotta admit, don’t think I took you for a pizza lady. Wrong kind of grease for machine work.”
Percy took a sip of beer, and sighed happily afterward.
“Wrong grease for machine work, maybe, but I find it’s the perfect kind of grease for munching on. Plus it’s not a monkey.”
“That monkey tasted just fine, and you know it. Of course, they say hunger is the best spice, and you must have worked up some kind of appetite, what with all the energy you spent bitching about it.” McKnight’s smirk (And yes, he was aware that his standard response to that particular facial expression was a strong wish to slap it off the face in question, but he was indulging himself now anyway. After that sick caricature of a camping trip, they could all use a little bit of self-indulgence.) would let Percy know that the marine was well aware he was exaggerating…a little. Also of note was the fact that his defense of their last dinner did not stop him from grabbing a slice out of the box without bothering to get a plate first and closing his eyes in contentment as he relished his first bite with an enthusiasm he’d traditionally reserved for some of the more fondly momentous occasions of his life.
“Yeah, well, after having to strip down to my underoos or face hypothermia, I think some grumpiness over having nothing to eat but unwashed alien monkey was justified. Plus it was purple.”
Percy sat down on the couch after that last bit, grabbing a piece of pizza and chowing down happily. Junk food really never tasted better.
“I’m not going to bring it up, you know.” This was a bit garbled, if still perfectly intelligible, thanks to McKnight’s speaking with his mouth full. He would remedy that before he continued, however, washing down his latest mouthful of pizza with a healthy swig of replibeer. “Not any more than that, at least. What happened down there with that other you, I mean. It was a bit of a shock, granted, but even though it was you, it WASN’T you. Not exactly. So, unless you want to talk about it, that issue’s closed as far as I’m concerned.”
Percy coughed slightly at that, having inhaled sharply shortly after McKnight started talking. It took a minute for the food particles to settle back in her stomach, and then another few moments before she was ready to speak again. Her cheeks had reddened slightly by now, though whether this was because of a certain level of discomfort or the fact that she’d gotten something caught down the wrong pipe was hopefully debatable.
“Look…I’m not going to say that I’m completely dissimilar from that version in some key aspects, if you get my meaning. Because honestly, as much as it would make life less complicated, that would be a lie. But I wanted to make sure you knew that I’m not the kind of girl that’s going to randomly molest someone just because she thinks they’re attractive.” She took a somewhat more solemn swig of beer, taking a breath before adding a last comment. “Hell, honestly, after Damian, I’m really not sure I’m ANY kind of girl. But certainly not that kind.”
McKnight was the first to admit that he could occasionally be obtuse, that being attuned to the nuances of emotion in those around him was almost the polar opposite of his forte, but all the same, her meaning was quite clear. And in the wake of such a confession, he found himself somewhat at a loss for an immediate response, and so took a slow sip to buy himself some time. Ultimately, he decided simply to address the immediate issue, and leave the larger issue alone for now. Under the circumstances, he figured that was fair enough.
“You know, I said I was shocked. Not traumatized. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the sentiment, but a kiss isn’t exactly an unforgivable affront.”
At that, he went back to his table, and seeing as he was getting a bit low, uncapped another two bottles, depositing them on the coffee table as he finally joined Busard on his couch.
“Besides, future you had some remarkably fresh breath for a woman who’d been living off the land for the past 20 years. We didn’t stay long enough to find out, but I’d wager real money one of those time shifts played host to some plants of a decidedly minty flavor.”
Busard was thankful that, at least for the moment, the situation was less awkward than she’d expected. She shrugged, finishing her beer and taking a lengthy sip from the second to finish calming her nerves. Yay alcohol.
“Well, that’s something anyway. Honestly, I’m not sure what was worse; seeing that or getting beaten and called a pussy by myself two decades down the line. At least she had a nice figure by then.” Percy looked at herself for a couple moments. “…I really should start hitting the gym more.”
With the greatest immediate source of Percy’s anxiety seemingly capped, McKnight didn’t figure an in depth verbal response would be good for much more than filling space. So instead, he simply reached over, and pressed the Resume button on a control resting atop the table.
“Better eat up, then. A workout won’t do you much good without some calories to burn.”