A Dated Man

Gamma Shift

“You think you’re getting away without trying this Andorian take on pasta, you’ve got another thing coming Tev!” Walker smiled.

“Oh, well!” Tev replied, a little hesitantly. “If you insist, then I must. Anything for you, Masholl.”

Walker cringed a little as they were seated. He did this a lot. The mispronunciation of her name. She had to correct him. “Tev, it’s Michelle! I’ve told you, like, a million times!”

Tev chuckled. “Michelle! Of course! I’m just making a joke, you know?”

Walker nodded. “Uh huh, Romulan humour. I just don’t get it, I guess.”

“You find it annoying?”

Walker nodded again. “Yeah, it’s not funny, getting my name wrong.”

Tev shrugged. Walker sighed. She couldn’t figure him out. They’d met three days ago. Tev had approached and comforted her when she was feeling down. He’d said all the right things and it hadn’t taken much for her to find him extremely attractive. Now, he was seeming cold and distant.

“Tev, what’s up? You seem a little off today. Something going on?”

Tev looked up at her from his starter. She saw it an instant before he changed his face to confusion. Panic. “Why would you say that? I am the same as I always am. Nothing is going on. My business back on Mol’Rihan continues to prosper. I have met the most charming young lady. Michelle Walker.”

“Have I moved too fast?” she asked quickly.

“No. No Michelle. It is just…”

“Just what?”

“I think you have feelings for someone else. This Lieutenant Loxton.”

Walker frowned. “What? Why would you ever think that?”

“The reason you were upset when we met is because this Loxton doesn’t notice you. Yesterday, you hid because you thought you saw him coming down the corridor.”

Walker shrugged her shoulders. “We never went out. I’ve only known him a week! I can’t have feelings for someone I barely know!”

Tev leaned back in his chair, regarding Walker. “There’s also these rumors regarding you, him and a turbolift.”

“Oh in the name of…” Walker pinched the bridge of her nose. “He startled me. I reacted, in the confusion we fell on each other! It happens! As Starfleet officers, we’re trained to handle any situation that befalls us. Nothing inappropriate happened between us and I don’t have feelings for him and–Oh! Thank the plasma relays you’re here!”

The waiter brought them their food, quickly putting it down and clearing out of the area of tension before he was caught in the cross-fire.

“I just get the feeling you are not fully focused on what could be with us. Forget about this Loxton. All I hear about him is that he’s a strange man.”

Walker narrowed her eyes. “From who? Who has said this?”

Tev shrugged nonchalantly as he ate his main dish. “People. It’s a big station. They see him and think he’s strange.”

“Everyone has their quirks! I happen to think he’s quite a capable security officer and he seems nice. I wouldn’t go as far as to call him ‘strange’ though!” Walker attempted to match Tev’s nonchalant shrug.

Just as she bit into her Lasagne, they heard the nearby floor access panel open. Walker’s jaw dropped. Loxton’s shaven head popped out and he looked around for a moment.

“Ensign! Mister Tev! You haven’t seen a mouse come this way, have you?” Loxton spoke in a hushed tone

They both just blinked at him.

“I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then. Damn. Oh well, enjoy your meal!”

Loxton popped back down, closing the hatch.

“What a strange man.” Tev said. Walker held her fork up to admonish him.

“Quirky, Tev! He’s quirky!”

“Oh yes. He’s chasing a mouse around Deep Space 13. What did this mouse do to deserve that? Steal all the cheese?!”

Walker started giggling at Tev’s remark and soon they both were laughing.