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Posted on Mon Jul 24th, 2023 @ 7:47pm by Lieutenant Xex Wang & Lieutenant JG Gwenwyn Marwol
Edited on on Wed Aug 30th, 2023 @ 2:06am

Mission: On the Road Again
Location: Outside the King's Shilling Pub
Timeline: Mission Day 3 at 2351

[Outside the King's Shilling Pub]
[Following 'An Officer and a Gentleman']

Although there was still some activity back at the King's Shilling, the majority of the partygoers had filtered out of David's establishment and were either seeking merriment elsewhere, or making their way back to their accommodations.

Xex was currently following one such group of ensigns who, he assumed by their raised voices and strident laughter, were going to continue the party elsewhere.

And probably regret it, he thought wryly, and without rancor. That was something to clean up tomorrow, not to worry about tonight.

The group stopped ahead, one tall Andorian gesticulating wildly, much to his friends' hilarity, half of the group bent over double with helpless gales of laughter.

Xex smiled, trailing his hand along the wall, and delighting in the sparks of rainbow that fountained from his fingers as he did so. His pace was leisurely, letting the group ahead of him collect themselves and wander on-- he was in no hurry. He hadn't even really wanted to leave the party, but it had been winding down, and he hadn't wanted to intrude on an increasingly intimate affair between the newly minted ensign and his own circle of friends.

Now, not even remotely tired, and still enjoying the effects of Timmoz's meridor, he ambled along the corridor, humming a quiet melody under his breath as he shifted his gaze from his fingers to his feet and back again, thoroughly bewitched.

Gwenwyn was *tamping* raging. Not only the person he thought he could trust, went around his back to Dr Bracco after telling him why he didn't want to see her.

He sat in the King's Shilling Pub, drowning his sorrows in non-alcoholic drinks. But his anger got the best of him, he jumped up from the seat lining the wall and left. Hunting for Xex.

Xex was up against the bulkheads in the corridor. "Oi Mush!" Gwenwyn shouted, approaching Xex in a fast walk. "What you saying 'en? Who do you think you are? Incinerating things like that, I'll touch your focking hovercar!"

The first shout did little to garner the silvery man's attention-- there were plenty of inebriated people shouting incoherent things, and most of them were not related to him. Certainly not 'mush.' But as Gwenwyn got closer, his anger nearly palpable, Xex couldn't help but recognize the other man's voice, even through the meridor haze. Blinking in a futile attempt to clear his head and banish the trailing rainbows, Xex turned to find Gwenwyn bearing down on him. His lips moved soundlessly, repeating the words the universal translator obviously recognized as Federation Standard, but which Xex was at something of a loss to understand. He knew he should probably say something, but for long, painful moments, he merely stared at Gwenwyn.

Finally, though he was certain there was a better response to this bitter tirade, Xex said, "I don't believe I have a hovercar, Gwenwyn."

"Then I'll send my mate Sharron to put ya windows in!" Gwenwyn belled at Xex like a cat that wanted something but didn't know what. "What you saying en to Bracco? I told ya I don't have a rat's rear in seeing her." Each sentence getting louder and louder, turning heads both down the corridors and up.

"I don't--" Xex started, belatedly realized this was not a helpful statement, and shut his mouth. In any case, Gwenwyn was so close to him he was pressed up against the curve of the bulkhead, blinking as he once again attempt to parse the man's words. Fortunately this time, a familiar name was added into the mishmash of heavily-accented words and Xex perked up, visibly brightening. "You saw Bracco?" he asked hopefully, making no effort to remove Gwenwyn from his personal space.

Gwenwyn kept pushing. "Nah, mate. She saw me, tried to leg it but she caught me, now gotta see her." Gwenwyn's face was enraged, when he talked hot air came out. "So. What have you been doing to Doctor Bracco en?!" Gwenwyn wanted an answer, he didn't enjoy his trust being misplayed.

Xex's bright expression dimmed appreciably, sobering in degrees as Gwenwyn described his interaction with Bracco. Finally, it seemed the other man's ire was getting through to the CMO, who blinked in the face of the hot air, only now seeming to realize just how close Gwenwyn was to him. Attempting to ignore the beautiful rainbow halo around Gwenwyn's head, Xex met his second's eyes. "You really should see her," he said unnecessarily, then added calmly and without guile, "I didn't do anything to her. She's a counselor and professionally concerned for your well-being." Forcibly, he jerked his wandering gaze back to Gwenwyn's face. "As am I." Although the meridor seemed to be making it difficult for Xex to focus closely, it also seemed to be keeping him preternaturally calm, the excitable doctor turned to serene friend.

"I am sane," Gwenwyn said pulling back. "Every doctor of every speciality said I was fit for duty." Waving his hands in a frantic manner. "Why do YOU hold me back? Why get Bracco to hold me back as well 'en? Who else you gonna pulling Xex?"

This pronouncement brought puzzlement to Xex's expression. "Of course you are," he said matter-of-factly, as though agreeing that suns were hot, or space was a vacuum. "In fact," animation returned to his face as Gwenwyn gave him some space and he was able to push slightly off the wall, "You are eminently fit for duty, as I was trying to tell you when you tried to resign." The calm was still there despite the more strident words, keeping Xex's voice modulated in stark contrast to Gwenwyn's tone which was gathering a decent little group of bystanders, whispering to each other about the ship's CMOs arguing in the corridor. Xex didn't seem to notice them. "Bracco isn't going to hold you back, and neither am I. We're trying to help you, Gwenwyn. Sane people see counselors all the time. It's one of dozens of ways we stay sane, out here on the edge of human expansion. You should know this-- you've been out here before."

"I am a Surgeon... Physician!" Gwenwyn shouted back. "Sane people only see Bracco when they miss Mommy. Don't pull the wool over my eyes!" He wasn't impressed, the only friend on this ghost ship, guess appearances aren't all it seems.

This time, Gwenwyn’s shouting made Xex blink, as if realizing for the first time the true extent of the other man’s ire. Along with this realization came notice of the steadily growing group of whispering bystanders. Scowling, Xex shoved away from the wall and took Gwenwyn’s elbow as he began to walk, steering his second down the corridor and away from the curious eyes. “I don’t know why I would be pulling sheep products over your eyes, but I’m tempted to be several steps more drastic than that if you can’t keep your voice down,” he hissed.

As he was quickly been taken down the corridor, Gwenwyn quickly hit back with "As the Scottish say, you can't shove your Granny off a bus cause she's your mammy's mammy until she catches the number 8 to heaven but you can shove ya alcoholic aunty Fanny off the bus."

Xex's steps slowed, allowing Gwenwyn to also slow. Silvery features twisted into a mask of concentration, Xex tried valiantly for a moment to make sense of the mishmosh of words that once again seemed to be Federation Standard, but of which he could make no sense. Abruptly, understanding dawned across his face and he hauled up in front of Gwenwyn, putting his face close to the other man's-- close enough to once again smell his breath. "Are you drunk, Marwol?" he demanded, his voice a strangled war of amusement and frustration.

"Not being funny mush," Gwenwyn said pointing a finger directly at Xex "But I'm tamping raging with you... How the hell can I get alcohol on a ship in the warzone?" Though alcohol would be nice, Gwenwyn wasn't in the mood of being in a cell waiting for the booze to pass.

Xex's head jerked back-- none of the bite of alcohol was on Gwenwyn's breath, not even the mellower waft of synthehol. Giving Gwenwyn a wry look, Xex said, "You just came out of a bar. A very well stocked bar. Ask me how I know." Without waiting for an answer, he solidly ignored the rainbows sparking off Gwenwyn and took the young man's elbow again, continuing to steer him down the corridor and out of gossip range of the onlookers. A grunt was Gwenwyn's only response to his rage for several steps before they hauled up at the turbolift and Xex palmed it open. Steering Gwenwyn inside, he shut it in a very surprised engineer's face before ordering, "Deck five."

As the lift smoothly accelerated, Xex looked at its featureless wall rather than his companion-- less distracting-- releasing Gwenwyn to begin ticking things off on his fingers, "So let me make sure I am understanding the situation correctly, 1," a press into his forefinger, "You had a terrible time with Starfleet psychologists on earth following your accident. 2," his middle finger pressed, "They nevertheless released you, fit for duty back to an assignment in the Delta Quadrant. 3," his ring finger pressed down, "You came to this assignment, discovered pieces of your mental equilibrium were not as solid as maybe you," he lifted an eyebrow in question glancing sidelong, but didn't wait for Gwenwyn to answer, "or your doctors believed. 4," his pinky finger opened up, pressed down with its fellows, "Your solution to this mental crisis to this was to seek me out-- a xenopathologist Gwewnyn, not a mental health expert-- not once, but twice, and then resign, barely a standard week after arriving on the ship! So like a sane person," Now that he was gaining steams, Xex finally turned to face Gwenwyn, "I advised our mental health expert, Doctor Bracco, of your difficulties-- just as I would advise our systems specialist of a computer glitch, or an on-board oncologist of a cancer risk-- and suggested she reach out to you. Your reaction to this seems to be to slip into a drunken patois I can't understand and throw a tantrum like a toddler. Tell me again exactly how it is you who should be raging right now?"

Although his voice remained reasonable throughout, its volume had increased and Xex's movements and gesticulations had become more agitated-- perhaps Gwenwyn had finally poked the bear enough to make the CMO... angry?

"You went behind my back!" Gwewyn said, now in the turbolift his voice was dimmer. "I trusted you, as a friend Xex" Gwenwyn was clearly distressed about the situation, like Xex said, they'd had both been on the ship for a week and he had only made one friend instead of saying hello to a few of the other officers that also were in the Adelphi.

Xex’s lips pressed into a thin line, as though to prevent words from spilling out, words that clearly wanted out. “Halt lift,” he ordered and the chamber slid to a barely-perceptible stop. “I care about you, Gwenwyn, and I want you to get the help and support that you need. If you saw someone you cared about struggling, wouldn’t you try to help them too? Asking doctor Bracco to reach out to you is the best way I know to support you. But hey,” his serious tone sharpened, taking on a biting, sarcastic edge, “Feel free to ignore the advice of your physicians and continue on as you are. It seems to be going swimmingly.”

Despite the harsh words, Xex’s gaze was focused intently on Gwenwyn, ready to gauge his reaction to this new tactic. And also watch the pretty rainbows that still edged his vision.

Dr Marwol was taken back a bit at the sudden change of aggression in his CO, something he had never witnessed he was always cool as a cucumber."I'll go to Bracco on this one condition?" He briefly paused as if he was thinking to say what he was thinking next but what came out of what he was thinking. "Our friendship is done except our professional relationship."

Whatever it was he had been hoping to see, Gwenwyn's reaction seemed to not be it-- Xex's shoulder's slumped and he sighed out a pained breath of air, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Gwenwyn," he said, not looking up, his voice as strained as his sigh, "I'm not trying to haggle with you. I'm trying to help you." The silvery hand dropped from his face and Xex's expression was earnest. "I have serious concerns about your objectivity regarding your own care in this matter," he said, as professionally as he knew how. "But ultimately, it's up to you. No one can force you to go see Doctor Bracco, least of all me, and in any case, I can't see that seeing a counselor under duress will yield any helpful results."

Without stopping to consider the wisdom of the motion, Xex reached out to clasp the young man on his shoulder, "I would hate to spend the limited time we have left together as strained colleagues, but I would hate even more for you to continue to suffer. I truly am sorry you see this entire situation as a betrayal, but I can't and won't lose a capable physician like yourself without a fight."

"Deck five," Gwenwyn commanded and the turbolift finished its interrupted travel. He said nothing else until the doors swished open, and he moved into the frame of the entrance looking back at Xex. Did he overact? Did he need help? No point in thinking about what he said now because it was said. Gwenwyn walked down the corridor while glowing with rage still.

"Gwen--" Xex started to say, but then the surgeon was gone, stalking down the corridor. Groaning, Xex thumped his forehead into the lift's smooth, cool wall.

"Well that went just swimmingly."

A Joint Post by:

Lieutenant JG Gwenwyn Marwol
Assistant Chief Medical Officer


Lieutenant Xex Wang
Chief Medical Officer


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