The airlock door to lab 4 hissed slightly as it opened. Commander Dickerson heard it but stayed focused on her console, scrutinizing the transport inspection reports and correlating them to previous maintenance records.
Captain Stewart floated into the lab and closed the door behind her. She had a container with her.
“Welcome to my purgatory, Gwen.” The commander greeted the captain without looking up.
“Hi Kimmie.” She was rather gloomy rather than her usual bubbly self. “Which console should I use?”
Kim pointed to the console Tim was using, directly across the compartment from her “That one, it already has all of the information you’ll need on it and it is patched in to T-Ops.”
Gwen floated through the hologram over to Kim’s console and flopped the container on top of it, activating the magnets to keep it there. “I brought dinner.” She said as she started opening it.
“You didn’t have to do that.” Kim kept her head down.
“Yes I did.” Gwen pulled out to drink pouches “And you know why.” She held one of the pouches in front of Kim.
Kim looked at the pouch for a long moment, it was clear and the commander knew the red liquid inside was wine. She looked up at Gwen with a blank look as she took the pouch. “What is this for?”
“Reconciliation.” Gwen said flatly as she held up her own pouch toward Kim “To the future!”
Kim touched her pouch to Gwen’s and they both took a sip. “The future of what?”
“That is the question.” Gwen hesitated momentarily “I didn’t mean to push you away, and I have missed you ever since. I was just trying to do my duty and pursue my career. I didn’t even think about what that did to you until you left to come back out here.”
“So you came out here to apologize?” Kim looked skeptical.
“No, I came out here for that thing.” She looked out the port and pointed toward the asteroid “And I’m going to figure out what it is.” She looked back to Kim “But I am also going to take the opportunity to correct the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.” She looked directly into Kim’s eyes.
Kim looked back at Gwen “Am I the biggest mistake you ever made?”
“No, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. Putting my career before you was the mistake. And I want to fix that.”
The two looked at each other for a long moment then Kim pushed off from her console to grab Gwen in a tight hug and fierce lip lock. Both of them squeezed their wine pouches squirting wine in all directions, little droplets spraying throughout the compartment. The force of Kim’s launch pushed them both through the hologram and bounced them off a panel on the other side of the compartment. The two turned the compartment into a pinball game as they bounced off of panels and activated controls.
“Lab 4, Bridge.” Captain Calhoun’s voice rang out from the intercom. The observation camera spun around and tracked the two bodies for a moment. “Well it wasn’t that important. Clean up after yourselves and get back to me when you are available.” Once again his laugh could be heard just before the intercom cut out. He dimmed the lights in the lab for them.
Beginning of Story