“Week of Welcoming”

Takes place after “Military Melody”, mid free week

 

--

 

 

Clinging to the shred of instruction the Commander’s secretary had provided, the new Ensign headed down the hall towards his assigned room.   Although he was a very informative secretary and helpful in introducing Ayan to the base, Sorata had failed to mention that Ayan would have a roommate.  Nor that the roommate was female; this was yet to be discovered.  Weary from his travels, Ayan looked forward to dropping off his few belongings for a chance to stretch and relax.  Granted the dorms had private bathrooms, he wished for a sizable bathtub, thinking to the little bottle of rose-scented bubble bath hidden discreetly within his cargo. 

 

It was only a few hours since he had arrived on Yggdrasil, the same frame of time in which a life altering decision had been made.  Perhaps it was due time for another drastic change in his life to be made, and now this would probably be the last.  Enormous secretive military institutions weren’t known to discharge their officers and let them roam around retaining all the knowledge they’d acquired.  If they discharged their officers at all! 

 

Despite the feeling of doom this ‘policy’ could produce, consequence was no longer an issue.  It had not played a significant role in Ayan’s thought pattern since he was in his early teenage years.  The day he ran away from his grandparents, the L5 cluster, and his arranged future was the day he left behind consequence.  It was the day he discovered his wings and knew freedom.

 

Freedom had still left him thirsty.  Everything Ayan owned in the world could be stored in one duffel bag, leaving him with only his memories to show for his experiences.  What he needed, and eventually what he craved, was a structured lifestyle where his contributions made a difference.  This place – this sprawling base, housing some of the universe’s finest individuals, lead by Gundam pilots who brought about the end to a stellar war – could be just the place Ayan needed.

 

Ayan arrived unceremoniously at his room, heading for the kitchen first.  Unknown to him, it was the common space between the two divided bedroom areas; he had assumed that he’d either be alone or rooming with some other guy. 

 

A silent prayer was cut short by the light scent of flowers wafting about the room.  The kitchen was tastefully decorated in a sort of cow theme, with most of its décor adorned with black and white spots. 

 

About the same time he realized he hear a shower running close by, a black-and-white spotted teakettle on the stove began to announce its readiness in a shrill skyward shriek.  All at once, a towel-clad female bound from one of the side rooms to remove the kettle.

 

Ayan’s jaw would have fallen to the floor if it were physically possible; the near-nude female shared in his surprise as she picked him up in her peripheral vision.  His moment of shock was broken by her shriek, followed quickly by the movement of her hand towards a knife holder sitting on the counter.

 

She hurled it at Ayan with just enough time for him to duck, skilled reflexes paying off as the knife jammed into the door behind him. 

 

“Ensign Ayan Blayne reporting to my assigned room,”  He blurted, pulling the paperwork from his pocket and feeling astonishingly corny in the process.  //My roommate is a girl?  There’s got to be a mistake…  I should ask Sorata… If she doesn’t kill me before I get the chance…!//

 

She looked at him suspiciously, one hand holding the towel up as the other extended towards him.  “Let me see that!”

 

Averting his gaze politely, Ayan handed the papers to her.  After a moment, she handed them back, clearing her throat in embarrassment.  “Then I’m your partner..”  She managed, “Um.. hi.  I’m Jordana Sevayin.  Ah.. be right back..”

 

Jordana flitted back off to another room, presumably either the bathroom or her own bedroom.  Her voice called back to him, “The room on the left is yours!”

 

A little confused, amused and surprised, Ayan headed to his room to unpack.

 

 

 

After the initial day of instruction, greeting, and other formalities, he’d slept like a deceased lump of organic matter in his new living area.  His roommate, Jordana, was pleasant despite their odd meeting.  She had voluntarily suggested she show him around.  While Sorata’s tour had shown off the higher-scale facilities of the base, Jordana was sure to show Ayan the mess hall, recommending a few palatable dishes as they walked past.  Next were other fun places to be, including the gym.  He was giddy with what he saw there, including the promise of the running track, pool, and various exercise and sporting equipment. 

 

By the next day, Ayan already felt welcomed by those he’d met and the base around him.  Midday found him in his room, searching high and low through his belongings for a key item.  Had he forgotten to pack it before or simply used it up, he was unable to locate any blackberry tea, his absolute favourite.  The calming stuff was something he always kept in stock, somewhere in his duffel bag, yet it seemed that he’d done the unthinkable and run out.  Jordana, who had cheerfully looked through her own foodstuff, didn’t have any either. 

 

Since the tea was unavailable for his relaxation needs, Ayan had headed off to the lounge, intent on spending time with the sleek concert piano someone had been so thoughtful to supply.  The lounge was nearly empty; Ayan contributed this to the stretch of free time the ensigns had been blessed with.  It was also mid-afternoon, not the most common time to party.

 

He lifted a hand in greeting to the few at the bar, who responded similarly.  Though they didn’t know each other, their common purpose was still there.  It hung in the air around the entire base, the knowledge that they were linked to one another whether they were aware of it or not, embodied by the uniforms and the same sense of dignity that strung them all together.  It was this feeling that the commander’s office had been steeped in, and it felt good and natural to Ayan from the moment he’d walked in.

 

The piano sat quietly, beckoning him as he walked over to it, black uniform pants making a quiet shuffling sound.  It was nice to take a few minutes to collect himself before starting his work in the hangar; rebuilding the Taurus wasn’t going to be difficult, but it would definitely prove to be boring since there was so much else he could be doing with his time.  It wasn’t as if he were passing by the time of a long flight as it was in the past.

 

Pressing his forehead to the cool surface of the piano, Ayan gave it his customary greeting, an odd habit he’d started as a child.  His fingers traced lines across the smooth keys, delighting in the feel of their cool, smooth surface.  A low melody followed, some piece he’d learned years in the past and never forgotten. 

 

The odd gathering at the bar gave him a look of approval, nodding before delving back into their own little world of conversation.  Ayan played quietly, as there was no real need or purpose for audacity.  An extra sliver of light bathed the comfortably dark room as the doors were opened.  Almost naturally silent, one of the other off-duty ensigns slipped into the den, glancing up at Ayan before making his way to his favourite corner booth.

 

The stark shimmer of hall lighting had barely touched the dark piano as Ayan glanced up to briefly see who had just arrived.  He easily recognized Vasya, one of the first Ensigns he’d met since his arrival a mere couple of days before.  His playing went without error as he looked up, smiling warmly to the grey-eyed Ensign.  Vasya had caught his smile and mirrored with one of his own, opening a book he’d brought to read as he settled into his seat.  Debating only for a moment, Ayan finished the nameless piece, moving right into a more recognizable composition.

 

The quiet opening strands of the Fur Elise rose to the ceiling like butterflies as Ayan started, familiar notes pouring from his fingers like water as he played.  It was one of his favourite pieces, one of the very first he’d memorized.  Vasya had already delved into his book, the music surrounding him like a comfortable pillow as he read.  Half his attention stayed with Ayan as he played, the other half on the book.

 

Ayan had closed his eyes, the piece so familiar to him that he had no need to watch his fingers’ positions on the keys.  As the final strands came to a close, he opened them, looking at the piano as if he expected it to tell him what to play next.  The audible shuffling of papers and books reached him as Vasya dug in his notebooks across the room.  Ayan glanced up at him for a moment before looking back at the silent piano.  A moment of mental debating passed, hundreds of song titles and notes flitting through his head as he tried to pick one tangible piece out from the jumble.

 

Floating silently, the paper airplane that glided over to him gave no warning as it came to a rest across the white piano keys.  Surprised, he glanced up again to find Vasya smiling.  There was no stopping him in returning the smile as he opened the paper.  It was a note, requesting a particular song. 

 

//’Bach, Invention in C?’//  Ayan read to himself, brows creasing.  //I don’t know it.//

 

Vasya watched him, waiting to see if he knew the song or not.  Ayan looked at him. 

 

“I don’t.. recall..”

 

Hoping he’d understand, Vasya signed to him, “It’s on the stand,” watching to see if, somehow, Ayan would know sign language.

 

The crease in his brow showed he did not.  “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.  I can read lips, though.”

 

Vasya nodded, mouthing his words.  <The music is on the stand.>

 

Given the dim lighting in the den, Ayan could only make out half of what he’d said.  Biting his lip in thought, he left the piano, crossing the room to kneel next to Vasya’s table.  “Say that again, please?”  He asked, smiling.

 

Vasya smiled, the gesture making his already gorgeous face even more enchanting.  The smoky hues of his eyes were shadowed by the lack of lighting in the den, emphasizing a feeling of elegant mystery.  <The music is on the stand.>

 

Having better understood him, Ayan looked back over to the stand.  A stack of papers sat idly on it, presumably sheet music.  Tossing a smile back towards Vasya, Ayan went to retrieve the music.  “Let’s see what I can do..”

 

Vasya watched him shuffle through the music for a moment, shifting back to his book once Ayan had pulled a few papers from the pile. 


Returning to the piano as he read the music over, Ayan took note of areas in the piece that promised to be difficult, setting it on the stand.  The piano sat in a motionless state of readiness, chords quiet until Ayan started in on the piece.

 

At Vasya’s request, Bach’s Invention in C filled the room, played with a remarkable ease and accuracy.  The concentration showed on Ayan’s face as he played, determined to display the vast extent of his piano skills.  Vasya continued to read, a slightly wistful look tinting his beautiful face. 

 

Because he was paying such close attention to the piece, Ayan missed the look.  Years of practice enabled him to play without error, much to Vasya’s delight, though it did require that his train of thought center on the music alone when playing anything unfamiliar.

 

The song came to a close, it’s short life span lacking any mistakes on Ayan’s part.  The new Ensign sat still, staring at his slender, olive-hued fingers in contrast to the white keys.  Vasya glanced up briefly before continuing to read.  Ayan put pressure onto a few random keys until they made a low sound, voice dropped to a murmur.  “Just like your piano, Mother..”

 

Vasya looked up at him again, watching him curiously.  Ayan felt his gaze and met it.  “Was that alright?”

 

Vasya nodded, smiling.

 

“May I ask.. What your name is?”  Ayan asked.  He’d heard it from Sorata, but wanted to ask anyways.  Communicating with someone for the first time and already knowing their name was a good method of frightening them off.

 

Not answering right away, Vasya set his book down on the table, careful to keep it’s place, and made his way over to the piano.  Ayan wore a near-full smile, an eyebrow curiously lofted.  Vasya pulled up a nearby chair and seated himself, teasing him by taking the time to make himself comfortable before answering.

 

<Vasily Voronkov,> he mouthed, sure to be clear enough to Ayan wouldn’t think he was saying ‘vaseline’.  Smiling at his mannerism, Ayan left one hand on the piano keys, repeating a tiny four-tone scale. 

 

“Vasilee?”  He worded, hoping he’d gotten it right.

 

<Close,> Vasya replied, head quirking at Ayan’s restless hand, <Less stress on the last syllable.>

 

The twitter of notes continued, softer.  “The secretary.. referred to you as Vasya..”  Ayan ventured, hoping he wasn’t bordering irritating.  Vasya only nodded.  “Is it a nickname?”  Ayan found himself asking, curiosity rising as his fingers slowed, showing a higher level of attentiveness to the grey-eyed ensign. 

 

Vasya grinned and nodded, amused that Sorata had known him by his nickname.  Ayan’s violet eyes grew playful as he mirrored the grin.  “Permission to call you by your nickname?”

 

A nod and a shrug answered the question.  Ayan filled the quiet, one hand lightly touching the piano.  “Do you play?  Or just send paper airplanes to those playing to tell them what to play?”

 

Vasya pantomimed the folding of an airplane, smiling.  Taking his answer as a no, Ayan nodded.  “I suppose I should show you a few bars sometime.”  He looked at the younger Ensign, the beat of a moment passing.  "You have startling, beautiful eyes, Vasya..."

 

Vasya’s body grew still as he looked back at Ayan, expression unreadable, albeit confused.

 

“I don’t mean to sound forward,” Ayan explained, “But I’ve never seen that colour before.  Dio--…  Someone told me once to always let things like that be said.  It took years to understand why…”

He was relieved to see Vasya smile.

 

<Good advice.> 

 

Ayan smiled sadly.  “Great advice… He was always ready with a bit of advice, for anything.  But… he didn’t always follow it…”

 

Vasya nodded, noting the deep meaning that Ayan was using.  Taking it as a cue to give him some space, he stood, preparing to leave.  <Nice to meet you..  But I have something to work on.>  Smiling, Vasya retrieved his books and left the den.

 

Watching him leave, Ayan couldn’t help a smile.  “Nice to meet you too… Vasya…”

 

 

 

 

Dinner time arrived, and Ayan found himself eagerly en route to the Mess Hall.  What fantastic varieties of gruel and mystery meat awaited him was a total mystery despite Jordana’s extensive knowledge; he only hoped that it wouldn’t make him ill.

 

A silver haired female in uniform nearly knocked him over as she ran past. 


“Oh!  I’m sorry!” She apologized quickly, amethyst eyes wide.  “Are you okay?”

 

Impeccable balance unfazed, Ayan was more concerned in her well being.  “I’m just fine... Are you alright?”

 

She nodded happily and smiled.  “I haven’t seen you before.  Are you new?”

 

The older Ensign nodded.  “As of yesterday.  My name is Ayan...”

 

“Nice to meet you, Ayan,” she responded cheerfully.  “I’m Aisuru!  I’ll have to bring you some cookies later.  Seeya..!”  With that, she turned and ran into the mess hall.

 

Ayan grinned.  //Maybe this won’t be too bad after all.//

 

The line was quick, but the place was busy, thrumming with the youthful energy of the base.  Taking his tray, Ayan looked distastefully at his food briefly before scanning the room for any familiar faces.  Much to his luck, he spotted Vasya, Jordana, and Aisuru nearby.

 

It was like a second-rate high school movie.  Ayan approached the table from the side, eyes resting on Vasya as the younger Ensign listened to the conversation of the others around him.

 

“Vasya?”

 

The red haired teen looked up, smiling at him. 

 

“Would you mind..  May I join you?” 

 

Vasya nodded, motioning for him to sit.  Sitting across from him, Ayan grinned as he saw the look on Vasya’s face as he scanned the newcomer’s tray. 

 

“Thanks..”  Ayan said quickly, remembering his manners.  “Your food looks a more palatable than mine.  Any idea what this is?”

 

Raising an eyebrow, Vasya stared at his tray for a moment.  <Macaroni and cheese?>

 

Ayan shrugged.  “I guess that’s not too bad.  Of course, she asked if I wanted peanuts… I said no thank you…”  He paused to point an accusing finger at the cup of peanuts on his tray.  “And yet, they gave me peanuts.” 

 

Grabbing one of the offending things, Ayan flicked it in disgust, accidentally hitting Vasya square in the forehead.  Vasya nearly jumped, startled, and Ayan found himself holding back a chortle.  The grey-eyed Ensign took the peanut and flicked it back, hitting Ayan’s nose.

 

Ayan blinked, equally surprised, and Vasya grinned.  Mirroring the grin, Ayan took another peanut from the cup, flicking it at him.

 

Amid the peanut war, a bit of the conversation next to them drifted over, Aisuru’s voice a little louder than Jordana’s.

 

“But it’s so messy!”  Aisuru was complaining, “Getting your period in the middle of training and PT…!”

 

Halfway through a bite of macaroni and cheese, Ayan nearly choked.  Vasya was close to doing the same as he sipped his tea, looking over at Aisuru with widened eyes.

 

Ayan looked over at her as well, as Jordana worded her agreement.

 

“No kidding,” She said, nodding, as she played with her ice cream, “At least your partner is a woman… Imagine telling a guy you need to ditch him for some feminine protection…”

 

Vasya raised an eyebrow, sipping his tea again, and looked at Ayan.  Stabbing aimlessly at his macaroni, Ayan returned the look.

 

Ai continued.  “And cramps…”  She pouted cutely, “There must be something they can do…”

 

“Interesting… dinner conversation… you participate in, Vasya,” Ayan teased, grinning at him.

 

Vasya threw it back at him as he shrugged, <You didn’t know I’m a girl?>

 

Ayan’s skin blanched as he sat forward, looking speculatively at Vasya.  “You’ve got to be kidding!”

 

He sipped his tea again, hiding a grin.  <Kidding.>

 

“Mmhmm,” Ayan returned, glaring at him over a forkful of macaroni.  Vasya mock glared right back.

 

“There is a contraceptive shot…”  Jordana continued, “Once every six months.  No period, no pregnancies…  We can still have some cramping though and irritability… But those effects wear off after the first two months or so…”

 

Aisuru was giggling.  “PMS without the M!”

 

Ayan grinned, looking at Vasya.  “Oh yeah, I have that.  It’s great.  No period, no pregnancies.  It’s a joy!”

 

Blinking, Vasya picked the joke up without a beat.  <But you still have the irritability and cramping?>

 

Ayan’s eyebrows rose.  “Only for the first two months…?”

 

Jordana laughed.  “Still, it can be great having a male partner… Temper and ass-kicking ability go up fifty points!”

 

“I’ll get beat up once a month.”  Ayan poked, the tiniest smirk in place.

 

“Of course!”  Jordana chimed in, “And there’s nothing you can do about it!”

 

It was Vasya’s turn to raise an eyebrow.  Across the table, Ayan grinned.  “I think I'll just have to start leaving dirty unmentionables around your side of the room, Jordana.”

 

“Unmentionables?”  The Senior Ensign asked, grinning, “What KIND of unmentionables?”

 

Vasya watched their exchange, amused, and caught Ayan’s movement as the older ensign winked at him. 

 

“The kind I won’t mention!” He said, grinning at his roommate.

 

Sipping his tea, Vasya shook his head, amused.

 

“Ohhhh..” Jordana started, building the momentum, “Then I shall have to reveal the secret of your satin, leopard print thong if you don’t spill!”  Her eyes widened, covering her mouth in a mockery of regret, a grin hidden beneath her hand.  “Sorry, that just slipped…”

 

Ayan’s jaw simply dropped, and even Aisuru was caught off guard, blinking questioningly.

 

Vasya looked at Ayan.  <No zebra stripes?>

 

Jamming as much macaroni onto the prongs of his fork as possible, Ayan leveled Jordana with a low-intensity glare.  “Don’t say a /word/ to that one, Jordana!”

 

She waved a hand dismissively and smiled.  “I’m just kidding, he doesn’t have one like that…”

 

An ear to ear grin spread across Ayan’s face.  “Like you would know!”  His tone grew playful.  “Actually…”

 

Vasya paused, looking expectantly at Ayan, who shoved the huge forkful into his mouth.

 

“Sohhy,” Ayan slurred around the stuff, “Can’ tahk wif’ muh mouh full!”  The grey-eyed Ensign rolled his eyes as the Chinese Ensign reached for his water.  “Macaroni and cardboard, wash it down with water…” he muttered, poking again at his plate.  “Palatable.”

 

A moment of quiet passed before he spoke again.  “So let me hear it.”

 

Aisuru, Jordana, and Vasya exchanged confused looks.  Ayan raised his eyebrows, expectant.

 

Jordana blinked.  “Hear what?”

 

Ayan gave a casual shrug.  “The food fight story.  I’ve seen enough stuff on TV to know that every military, prison, or school institution has always had at least ONE huge food fight in it’s existence.  I want to hear about it.”

 

A proud little smile flitted to Vasya’s face.  <I was in my room.>

 

Ayan pulled a face.  “Oh, that’s no fun..” 

 

“I wasn’t on base,” Jordana said, poking at her own food. 

 

“But that means it happened!  Certainly you’ve heard something about it…” Ayan said insistently, looking from one to the other.

 

Vasya shrugged.  <You should talk to Onyx about it.>

 

Ayan stabbed a helpless piece of macaroni.  “I don’t know Onyx.”

 

<She’s a nice girl.>  Vasya replied enigmatically, a slightly wicked look on his face.

 

“Like I’d believe that,” Ayan said, raising an eyebrow as he pointed his fork suspiciously at Vasya.

 

Jordana leaned forward a little.  “I was off base at the time… But I have since heard about it in detail.  I understand it was legendary…”  She grinned, “And the aftermath even more so.”

 

Grinning victoriously at Vasya, Ayan prodded Jordana for more information.  “What happened, Jordana?”

 

“Put it this way,”  She offered, “The mess hall was wrecked and the commanders were quite unhappy.  Don’t even ask the Ensigns involved about toothbrush duty.”

 

Aisuru was nodding, “Dana, we gotta go.”

 

“You’re right, you’re right.”  Excusing themselves, the girls took their trays and left, waving to the two remaining.

 

Losing half their company didn’t phase Ayan one bit.  “Do you know who started the food fight?”  He asked again, leaning a little over the table.

 

<You really should talk to the people involved.  There are so many different versions floating around…>

 

“Ohh..”  Ayan pouted.  “Fine..”

 

Vasya simply smiled, picking up his pudding to play with the stuff.  He didn’t quite want to eat it.  Ayan raised a brow. 

 

“How’d you get lucky enough to get pudding?  I ended up with… Peanuts.”

 

<A friendly smile and a compliment.>  Vasya replied, dropping the cup on Ayan’s tray.  <You can have it.>

 

Blinking at the cup, Ayan tried his hand at it, a friendly smile in place.  “Why thank you.  Have I mentioned how lovely your uniform looks today?”

 

Vasya’s eyebrows rose nearly to his hairline, glancing at his uniform.  He’d taken a nap in it earlier, leaving the material disheveled and wrinkled.  Giving Ayan a questioning look, he was answered with a silly grin. 

 

Shaking his head, Vasya handed him a spoon. 

 

“Thanks…  Would you like the… ah… peanuts?” 

 

Vasya wrinkled his nose in answer as Ayan dug into the pudding and shoved some into his mouth.  “I don’t like ‘em either.”  He agreed.  “Allergic to ‘em… … I haven’t had pudding in YEARS…” He blinked curiously, pausing before taking another bite of pudding.  “How long have you been here?”

 

<A few months.>  Vasya responded, mentally counting back to the time he’d arrived before Basic Training had started.

 

Ayan nodded.  “And you’re not sick of it…?  I’m not used to… putting down roots.  I hope I can do it.”

 

<I don’t really want to be here,> The other answered, <But it’s alright.>

 

“I never expected to find myself in a place like this.  Though… I already have found a few reasons not to regret it.”  Ayan smiled.

 

Vasya nodded in response, reaching for the peanuts.  <On second thought…>

 

“For one…”  Ayan mused, “The pudding isn’t too bad.”  He grinned.  “I don’t regret what I did to that Taurus, either.  I had no idea what was waiting at the end of the flight, and taking apart things to pass the time is just… what I was used to.”

 

<I heard about what you did…  Where did you learn to do that?>  Vasya asked, smiling.

 

Almost finished with the pudding, Ayan scraped the cup lightly with the spoon, shrugging in response.  “Practice, I guess.”

 

<An odd thing to practice.>  Vasya popped a peanut into his mouth.

 

“When you have nothing else to do, it is actually pretty entertaining.”  Ayan answered, quirking a brow at him.  “Are you saying I’m odd?”

 

Vasya grinned.  <Of course not.>

 

“If you say so…”  Ayan replied dubiously, brow quirking higher as he looked at Vasya in a strange, suspicious sort of way, keeping a complete air of silliness as he does.  “Are you going to the upcoming session of Basic Training?  Basic Training 2?”

 

Matching his suspicious look, Vasya nodded.

 

Ayan continued to hold the look as well.  “You didn’t tamper with that there pudding, did you?”

 

An evil idea hit Vasya.  He reached into his pocket, producing a small white paper packet with the top torn up, holding it so that Ayan would be unable to read the package.  He smiled wickedly for effect.

 

“What is that?”  Ayan asked, sitting forward.  “You didn’t!”

 

He tossed the empty packet Ayan, the clear letters visible on the side.  <Sugar.>

 

Ayan grinned.  “Real nice, Vasya.  Do you always do this to impressionable newbies?”

 

Since Vasya was unable to snicker, he simply shook his head.  <That went in my tea.>

 

“I could have guessed that.  What kind?  I like blackberry…  If I can get my hands on it.”

 

<Green.  But I have blackberry.>

 

“Green is nice—You have blackberry?  I always had such trouble getting it back on L2.  It’s like the stuff doesn’t exist.  Where do you get it from?”

 

<Brought it with me.> 

 

Ayan was crestfallen.  “Damn.  It’s my absolute fav--”  He cut himself off, looking at his watch.  “Uh-oh.  Excuse me, please, Vasya… I have to get to the hangar.  Gotta work, you know?”

 

Vasya blinked, pausing mid-munch, and nodded.

 

“Dock three… if it matters any to you.”  Ayan smiled at him as he stood, taking his tray to return to the counters before making a hasty exit.

 

 

The evening passed without event.  Much to his dismay, it seemed that Vasya had opted not to visit.  Perhaps his expectations had been too high for the younger Ensign;  Ayan accepted this easily, despite the growing knowledge within him that he was feeling more towards Vasya than meets the eye.  To dissolve his anticipation and pass the time quickly, Ayan had put in a significant amount of work on the Taurus, almost enough to impress Lance.  The God of the Hangar was still notably irritated with Ayan’s interference with the way he ran his hangar, though it was some sort of relief to see that the damage was being repaired.

 

“Lance… Ah, Sir…?”  Ayan called, peering into the office.  He quickly reminded himself to be respectful to the highest-ranking mechanic.  “Are you in here... Sir?  I’m finished for the night…”

 

“Alright,”  A voice answered him from a back room.  Its owner leaned back to look at Ayan, each arm, robotic and flesh, laden with materials he’d been moving around. 

 

“See you tomorrow, Sir.”  Ayan lifted a hand to wave, turning to the door.  Lance’s voice stopped him.

 

“Wait.  That note on the desk is for you.”  He nodded once towards the said piece of paper and disappeared back out of sight.

 

Ayan approached the table, wondering whom the unfamiliar handwriting was from, and picked the note up.  Reading it as he left, he quickly discovered it was from Vasya.

 

//Ayan,//  The note began.  Ayan turned down the halls towards his dorm, artificial light casting long shadows of his form in either direction.  //Sorry I couldn’t make it.  I was going to stop by, but I have too much work to finish tonight.  I should be done with it soon so I can come by, probably tomorrow.//

 

His eyes flickered to the signature.  //Vasya.//

 

Ayan fingered the texture of the paper lightly, smiling as he read the name over.  It was only a mere couple of days since he’d arrived, yet he was enjoying himself already.  Though he was tired, he knew a hot bath and a full night of sleep would revive him for the morning. 

 

Jordana was in her bedroom when he returned, going first to put the note in his room before moving to the kitchen for a drink.  Seemingly having heard him come in, Jordana met him in the kitchen. 

 

“Hey, Vasya stopped by…”

 

Ayan’s eyebrows rose as he took a long sip of water, wiping a stray drop off his upper lip.  “He did?”

 

Jordana nodded, moving to a cabinet to hand him a small paper box.  “He said you were looking for this.”

 

A wide smile split his face as he picked up the box, the heavenly scent of sweet blackberries wafting up to him.  “Blackberry tea…”

 

Nodding, Jordana grinned at him.  “You must’ve had a good impression on him.”

 

“I would hope so,”  He responded, setting the tea back in the cabinet.  “I think a cup of that would be nice…  Right after I take a bath.”  He winked and waved, turning to go lock himself in the bathroom for a bit.

 

Jordana laughed and shook her head.  “Weird guy…”

 

A sense of reflectiveness washed over him as Ayan ran the taps to fill the tub.  He’d definitely have to do something for Vasya in return.  And he definitely wanted to see the beautiful Ensign some more before the next Basic Training session started.

 

//Once that Taurus is done, I’ve got the rest of free week to do it...//

 

And as it were for Ayan, life was good.