A Personal Encounter - Part Two
Location: USS Poseidon; Guest Quarters, Deck 3
Timeline: Day 000 - 0400 Hours
Gregory groaned as he began to wake. The computer had been instructed to give off a soft alarm at 0400, which it was dutifully doing. The noise was a sharp, crisp bell that was overlaid with a soft monotone of static, at a volume that wasn't exactly ear piercing but not necessarily silent. The Commodore's arm tried to move as his body did, noticing then it was around the warm body of another; Canaan Serine. The prior night's events replayed in Gregory's mind briefly, a soft smile and a silent sigh.
"Thank you computer, alarm off please," Gregory managed as his recollection finished. The computer replied with a gentle chirp.
"Canaan?" Gregory prodded, gently rocking the body against his. "Canaan, it's time to wake up."
Canaan let out the softest moan of acknowledgment, his body curled into Gregory's. His back pressed against the man's chest, as a smile drew up either corner of his mouth when Gregory kissed the nape of his neck, inhaling deeply. "Permission to remain at station keeping, sir." He mumbled as he wrapped Gregory's arm around him.
If it was time to wake, that meant they'd had about two hours of sleep, maybe three. Canaan chuckled that they'd managed to sleep at all, both men persistent in their need and desire.
Gregory's kiss had been gentle and affectionate, done so because Canaan didn't seem to stir. Still didn't. He let out a soft sigh, intermixed with a chuckle somewhere in there. He gently pulled his arm away, much to the protest of his lover, and began to slip from the bed as he rose.
"Time to get up," Gregory said gently, "that's an order, Lieutenant," he added with a playful tone. He wasn't near making it a firm order - yet.
Canaan groaned his objection, adding a mischievous tsk to emphasis his displeasure before rolling onto his back. He took a moment to stretch, his limbs sore with fatigue, yet sedated with satisfaction. His blue-green colored eyes sleepily followed Gregory as the Commodore walked around the bed toward the lavatory, the lights programmed to gradually increase in lumens to allow the eyes to adjust appropriately.
"If you insist." The young Lieutenant pulled himself from the warmth of the bed with much reluctance.
Gregory stepped into the bathroom, and Canaan followed.
Canaan's civilian attire from the night prior dematerialized in the replicator. He sat on the edge of the couch, slipping the elastic strap over the heel of a polished boot. He'd opted to wear the jumpsuit variant rather than the traditional uniform. Canaan found it a bit more relaxed and vastly more comfortable. The entire jumpsuit was teal in color and featured three-quarter length sleeves and a deep v-neck. A black undershirt was worn and composed of a spandex-like material that was also moisture-wicking. The shirt was banded around the neck, yet not as prominent as the traditional uniforms tunic collar. Canaan's solid rank pips were perfectly aligned on this band and polished like his combadge.
"So," He called out to Gregory, who was still getting changed in the bedroom. "How would you recommend we play this?" He asked, casually.
Gregory took a few more minutes to reply than usual, his mind drifting to the consequences of the actions he took the night prior. There was a lot to consider that he hadn't at the time, but then again, those considerations had been a million miles away when everything seemed to slip from care. He gave a small smile at the corner of his lips, eyes downcast as he observed himself sliding up then sleeve of the upper part of his uniform. It was the traditional two-piece, quilted shoulder variant that was introduced in late 2373, far more comfortable than its predecessors. His shirt and undershirt were equally or the same variety, the red coloration of his division apparent through the collar.
Finally, after seeing himself correct in the mirror, he replied to his lover's previous question. His voice was loud enough to reach the living area where Canaan was but gentle and welcoming.
"I suppose like any shipboard relationship," he replied. "We establish boundaries and perform our work. We allow ourselves time and places to be intimate without violating professionalism. What do you think?"
"So no naughty business on the lab tables, eh?" He chuckled, leaning against the bedroom's inner door frame, hands sliding into the loose hip pockets of the jumpsuit.
Canaan understood the Commodore's meaning, finding it more than appropriate, given how quickly what was happening between them seemed to develop. Canaan couldn't equate their two encounters as a relationship. He'd never been entirely comfortable with one night stands and certainly wasn't the type to so willingly offer himself without thinking through all of the scenarios first. In his mind (and heart), there wasn't yet a future that didn't involve Gregory. The Commodore must have felt similar, otherwise, he'd never have said 'relationship'.
"Do we tell the Commander?" He asked hesitantly, knowing of the two men's long-standing friendship, yet not privy to the details. There was a concern this budding relationship could affect that dynamic. Canaan wasn't keen on being the source of any tension or conflict between the two men, especially if the rumors were true as they pertained to the deep-rooted bromance between Gregory and Johnson.
There was a moment of silence, then softly he replied with a, "No," as he finished appraising himself. He turned to face Canaan, approaching, an arm reaching to gently grab and coax his new lover - because realistically that was what Gregory defined him as - closer as they stood in the doorway. His words came out firmer then.
"No, we shouldn't. By my belief it would unduly add unnecessary contemplations on my pupil," he said. He gently placed a kiss on Canaan's forehead. "No need to do that when he's riding the wave of success."
In some ways Gregory wanted to tell Franklin what was going on, to express in a way that only two brothers could; appreciating successes and mutual happiness. Gregory knew in his heart, however, that doing so at this interval would drag in complications that were completely irrelevant to the situation, causing his pupil - no, his subordinate to lose concentration and focus on his goal. That was what he thought, at least, and for the interim he wanted to observe Franklin more before speaking about Canaan and himself.
He also wanted time to figure it out for himself. Wanted to see for himself if it was what he hoped, or what his worst nightmare could produce and finish off what was left of his broken, melted heart. Canaan offered a respite, a way of healing. If this worked out, then maybe revenge really wasn't a thing to be so invested in. Maybe that investment should be in something more current, close; Canaan himself.
Gregory held Canaan a bit tighter then, unconsciously reaching out for support and finding it as a brief memory of those horrible flames and death flew past his mind. It only erupted outward in the form of a mild shiver and sharp intake of breath, then a relaxed posture and exhale.
There was no more needing to be said. The two men agreed that this journey was theirs and theirs alone, for now anyway. They owed each other that much, and themselves time to figure it all out. There was no rush, and neither would place undue pressure on the other.
Canaan leaned into Gregory, and Gregory into Canaan. Their arms wrapped around one another in an embrace that delivered much-needed comfort. The taller Lieutenant felt the Commodore shiver, the physical reaction nearly undetectable, and it would've been, too, had they not been hugging.
"You look good." He cooed into the man's ear, fingertips of one hand gently cupping the back of Gregory's neck. His height was considerable compared to the Commodore's, providing the perfect vantage in which to nuzzle the man's raven-colored hair, inhaling deeply. "We should go..." Canaan suggested as Gregory's hands curled around his lithe hips.
The intimate moment lasted longer than the Commodore would have liked. He gently took in a breath and, admittedly, gazed upward slightly towards Canaan. There was eye contact, briefly, before he dragged his lover in a hug. It was a long moment before he released.
"Have a good day, dear," Gregory said, barely resisting the urge to go back to bed and finish what was about to start. "I'll see you this evening?"
Canaan smirked at Gregory's use of the word 'dear,' his head sashaying in the affirmative. It would be late, which could work to their benefit. The young Lieutenant gave his body another moment to calm as he ordered a coffee from the replicator and stepped to the door. "Until then." He glanced at Gregory from over a shoulder one more time, utterly enamored with the man who returned his sweet expression.
"Your hand in mine, and what else would I ever need?"