Tardy for Shore LeaveSmitty
Day 5 (Shore Leave, Day 1)
Smitty eyed Bugalu, who leaning against the transport room bulkhead. No, he couldn't have come to my room in the middle of the night looking for … her. “You ready?”
Bugalu checked the time. “It can’t be much longer.”
The door opened, and Bugalu looked up quickly. Strange. He’s disappointed that it’s Wilson. I thought they were an item. “Well?” Smitty asked Wilson.
“It’s a ‘to do’ list,” Wilson stated. “Whoever put it there started with a diagram of specific areas of the bridge, apparently what you didn’t get done. As he got a section done, he turned that piece gray, and move on to the next. Give him a visual reference of what he had left to do. I'll have to remember that trick.”
“You didn’t tell me who did it. Considering the crew configuration, the odds are 3 to 1 it was male.”
Smitty nodded noncommittally. Odds are wrong, though.
“I ran diagnostics, and everything looks fine. So, what did you have planned for me to do today?”
The emergency bridge. “Ah, I'll finish transporting; you oversee Kagan in running diagnostics.”
“How many do you have left to transport?”
“Mac and me,” Bugalu said, then frowned. “I don’t think she left, yet.”
“Not yet,” Kagan stated.
“That few. Well, come on, Kagan,” Wilson instructed. “Let’s start with the shuttles.” They left.
Smitty resisted the urge to drum his fingers on the console. She’ll be here any minute. I should have left Wilson here and made my escape.
The door opened again, and Colleen entered. The coffee-soaked shirt had been replaced by a leather vest that laced up the front, but was too small to adequately confine her breasts. Her hair was in two braids. She had an electronic clipboard under her arm, and was busy studying 3 or 4 cards she held, probably her ID, bank card, and possibly a credit card or two.
“Mac!” Bugalu exclaimed. Everything went flying as she whirled to face him. “You’ve never made me wait this long before,” he chided, and held his arms out. “I’m sorry. It was completely my fault. Can you-“ She threw herself into his arms.
Smitty stared blindly at the console. MacGreg’s right; she can’t refuse him anything. Just one word, and the argument is forgotten.
“Wow!” Bugalu breathed.
“I borrowed it from YD.” Smitty looked up, saw the blushing woman try to adjust the vest to better cover her. “The other shirt fit better, but, uh, I got coffee all over it.”
I got coffee all over it. The front of her shirt was plastered to her, revealing every curve.
Bugalu swallowed and pulled his eyes away from the vest. “The men will all be clamoring for your attention. I’ll have to beat them off with a stick. Just like old times.”
“No doubt.” She adjusted the shirt once again. “I wanted to raid your closet, especially after I saw what YD had in hers.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“Figured you weren’t alone,” she answered.
The negro frowned. “Actually, I blew last night’s date, too.”
“Sorry,” she said softly. “I never m-“ She cocked her head thoughtfully. “Too?”
He grimaced. “That’s why I was … irritable yesterday.” The redhead blanched. “Forget it,” he told her. “Let’s go have fun and let things sort themselves out.”
She agreed, and they both bent to retrieve her items, dropped so long ago.
“I’ve got 2 pods waiting,” Smitty stated.
The redhead stiffened, turned slowly to face him, her eyes huge. “Mr Smythe! What are you doing here?”
What does she think I’m going here? “Waiting to send you to the station.”
She walked apprehensively to the console and leaned across it toward him. “You promised I could go! I finished the assignment! Please don’t cancel my leave! I don’t need all 3 days! I don’t even need 2 days! But let me have 1 day at least! Please, I’ll do anything-“
“He authorized 3 days.” Bugalu placed the clipboard next to her elbow on the console.
“I did,” Smitty agreed, picking up the clipboard. A glance showed that it was, indeed, her shore leave authorization. Why she still carried it, he didn’t know, but he handed it back to her. “Enjoy yourself.”
For a second, she seemed stunned, then grabbed the clipboard and clutched it to her chest. “You aren’t … changing your mind?”
After the tongue-lashing Jane gave me for taking so long to authorize it? I wouldn’t dare! “No,” he told her.
“—change your mind, Takor?” the captain asked as she and the Scissan entered. Burke hesitated upon seeing them. “I thought I’d be last. I thought you’d be on the auxiliary bridge, Smitty, or I wouldn’t have asked Takor to work the transport controls.” She glanced at the girl, pulled her eyes away.
“The auxiliary bridge is done,” Smitty reported. “I’ll work the controls, but if Takor isn’t taking leave, perhaps it would agree to keep this clipboard safe until Lt MacDowell’s return.” He pointed to the clipboard the redhead clutched. “If that meets with Colleen’s approval?”
“I am taking leave,” Takor said. “However, the possibilities for Scissan recreation are limited at this port, so I will be in my quarters, with the heat turned up.”
“Sounds lovely,” Smitty said. “Now, about this clipboard—“
“What is its importance?” it asked. “The contents are in the computer, correct?”
“Yes.” Colleen had finally found her voice. “But I … fear the contents will … disappear, and then I would be AWOL.”
“Not on my ship,” the captain muttered, and Smitty saw a flash in her eyes that would have made him forget the very notion, if he’d been entertaining it in the first place.
Bugalu took the clipboard and handed it to the alien. Colleen's anguished gaze followed it.
“Is this not an irrational fear?” Takor asked.
Colleen swallowed. “I suppose. But I am a female human.”
Captain Burke told the Scissan, “Add that to our list of ‘things to discuss’. Right under ‘Scissal genders’. We never seem to get to the end of this list, do we?”
“To arrive at the end would imply that we understand each other completely,” it stated. “Or that we had no more curiosity about each other.”
“I can’t imagine that happening,” Colleen muttered, then turned red as all eyes turned to her. With a scared look at Smitty, she turned to Bugalu. “We should go.” He handed her the forgotten cards, and she stuffed them into a pocket.
“Pods One and Two,” Smitty told them. “I’ll have your pod in a moment, Captain.”
“She doesn’t need to wait,” Colleen offered. “We can go together.”
For a second, Jane’s eyes held haunted anticipation. “Thank you, Lt, but I don’t think it … appropriate for you and I to share a pod.”
Colleen’s face reddened, although the glance she gave the captain was glacial. “I meant Bugsy and me. We’re more the same … rank.”
“There’s no room in a pod for 2 people!” Smitty protested.
“Yes, there is,” Jane stated softly, her gaze far away in time and space. “But it hardly leaves room to breathe, and certainly no room to … move.” She looked at the helmsman and quietly added, “It tends to get very hot, very quickly.”
Bugalu took a deep breath. “It always is, when Mac’s involved.”
“I imagine so,” Jane agreed.
Colleen had stepped into the first pod. “Come on, Bugs! Leave is slipping away!”
He started for the pod. “What do you want to do first?”
“You know what I want! Lots and lots of it!”
“Naturally.” He squeezed into the pod with her. She slid her arms around his torso, and his went around her as well.
Firm breasts pressed against his chest, the flat abdomen against his stirring penis. Sweat began to roll down Smitty’s forehead and back as the pod door closed.
“Are you alright, Smitty?” Jane took her hand from the pod controls. “You look … stressed. Again.”
“I’m, uh, ready for my own shore leave.” He started the double-loaded pod on its way to the station, opened the door of the 2nd pod.
“Perhaps you’d like to take all 3 days? Or as much as we have left.”
“I can wait until tomorrow.” Now that she’s gone. No, that won't satisfy Burke. “I’m not used to a woman being so … blatant about wanting sex!”
“I missed that meaning in anything Mr MacDowell said,” Takor complained.
“Add it to our list,” Jane told it. “Anyway, that’s only Mr Symthe’s interpretation.
“What else could she mean?” Smitty asked. “She wants lots and lots of it.”
“Bananas? Ice Cream?” Burke smiled. “I’m certain she didn’t mean no-G. However, you’ve spent 4 days with the young lady, so perhaps you have a better understanding of her … desires.” She straightened her civilian tunic and headed for the open pod. “Takor, see you in 2 days. And you, Smitty, in 3. Have fun.”