Two Ships

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From: crime@bu.edu (mary self)
Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
Subject: TWO SHIPS – Paris, pre-VOY
Date: 10 Nov 1995 14:03:58 GMT
Organization: Boston University
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The following is a very, very short story. I had been wondering what the
scene would’ve been like if Paris had met Caitlin Matthews years before
when they were both still in the Alpha quadrant, and this was the result.
Enjoy.

Carly

DISCLAIMERS: Standard disclaimers apply.

Two Ships

by Carly Hunter
copyright 1995

Ensign Thomas Paris looked carefully over the pool table. It was a
tough enough shot as it was; the fact that his last twenty credits of pay were
riding on it didn’t help matters any. He bent down and took deliberate
aim. His blue eyes flashed a glance at the girl in the olive worksuit at the
bar. She shook her head. He re-adjusted his stance a little and she smiled.
With a studied smoothness, he drew the cue back and shot.
The ball bounced off the bumpers three times before it gently tapped
the eight ball into the corner pocket. Yes! A relieved smile lit up his
handsome features. He had just saved his own twenty credits and had picked up
twenty more in the process. The alien he was playing shook his head in
amazement and grumbled something about dumb luck, but he payed up anyway.
Tom checked out the bar again. The girl had turned around to order
another ale. She had come in about an hour ago with two other humanoids. At
first, he had thought she was watching him, and who could blame her. He looked
good and he knew it. But inwardly, he had groaned. Right off the bat, he
could tell she wasn’t his type, and it was always such a pain having to explain
that he wasn’t really interested. As time passed, however, he had realized she
wasn’t watching him; she was watching his game. He crossed over to the bar and
took a seat beside her, motioning to the bartender for another drink.
“Nice game, Ensign,” she observed without turning toward him. “Care to
try your luck again?”
Unconsciously, he fingered the credits in his pocket. Something told
him that she could probably take him for his original credits, the twenty he
had just made, and the uniform off his back. For once, he let his better
judgement prevail. “Nah. I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.”
She regarded him thoughtfully, her green eyes twinkling with mischief.
“That’s a very wise decision. I guess that Starfleet education isn’t a waste
of time after all.”
Paris chuckled. She was prettier close up than he had originally
thought. Pale skin, but not sickly looking, beneath short auburn hair. Which
would probably be beautiful if she ever decided to let it grow out, he
reflected. Still, she just wasn’t his type, and somehow he thought she already
knew that.
“So. You’re off that ‘Fleet ship on pylon three,” she observed.
“Yep. The Exeter. That’s my ship.” He took a sip of his ale.
“I see.”
The conversation lapsed.
“So, ah, you come here often?” Tom winced. He hoped she didn’t think
that was a pick-up line; he had lots of better ones than that.
She snickered quietly. “Whenever, the ship I work on docks here, this
is where you’ll find me. If I’m lucky enough to finish loading duties early,
that is.”
The uncomfortable silence descended again. Paris couldn’t think of a
thing to say. He hadn’t been this tongue-tied around a woman since he was
fifteen; the woman at the time had been about twenty. He cast another sidelong
glance at the redhead. There was a good figure lurking somewhere in the loose
jumpsuit, and he wondered for a brief moment what she would be like in bed.
A screamer? A moaner? He thought about the surety with which she handled
herself. Hell, maybe she would have him begging for mercy instead.
She polished off her ale in one big gulp and appeared to be ready to
order another when one of the males she had come in with sung out.
“Hey Kate! Cap’n says it’s time to go.”
“Be right there.” She dug into one of her pockets and pulled out a few
credits, which she placed next to her empty glass. Then, she dug in again and
pulled out one more. Smiling roguishly, she passed it down to Paris. “Here
you go, Ensign. Have one on me.” Hopping off the stool, she casually followed
the two men out the door.
Tom watched her leave. He picked up the credit and fondled it gently,
a bemused expression coming to his face. “Hey, bartender, another ale.”

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