A Basil and Zoe story – sort of.
This was for day 4 of this year’s Like the Prose challenge, in which we were supposed to write in third person, which I don’t do a lot.
“I’m about to make some coffee; would you like some?” Charlotte greeted as her roommate, Zoe, entered their apartment. They two young women had gotten lucky, scoring a two-bedroom, top-level place with a real kitchen – not just food replicators – and a view of the docking rings as well. Other members of their troupe had not been so fortunate.
“Thanks,” Zoe answered, reaching up to pull her chestnut hair out of the elastic keeping it in a high, tight, ponytail. “I thought today would never end.”
“Team-building with the cadets again? Charlotte asked sympathetically. The blonde woman knew that her friend hated working with the newest members of the Star Navy. They always wanted to ask questions about the other woman’s relationship with her partner, the Coalition of Aligned Worlds’ only sentient synthetic lifeform.
“Worse. Teaching improv at the middle school.” Part of their job as members of the Astral Theatre Troupe was Theatre Education, and while Zoe was actually fairly good at it, she also hated it. “Their principal told me they ceased to be intelligent beings when they turn twelve, and don’t revert to their native species until they start high school at fourteen.”
Zoe flopped on the couch, and Charlotte moved to join her, bringing two mugs of coffee and a bag of cookies on a tray.
“Dark chocolate Milanos? You never replicated these! And I know the station store charges an arm and a leg for them.”
“And a couple of ribs, yep,” Charlotte grinned. “A certain silver-skinned gentleman had them delivered and asked me to hide them til you ‘really required them.’ Feels like today was a good time.”
“Basil, I love you,” Zoe said the words to the air.
“And he loves you, too. Which begs the question: Why are you spending the summer break here on a space station in the back of beyond instead of on his ship, in your quarters, canoodling between his duty shifts.”
The darker-haired of the two grimaced. “It’s not a masochistic streak, I promise. Basil isn’t on the Cousteau this summer. He’s temporarily assigned to the Ballard, filling in for the executive officer. It was entering its spawning period and had to return home to Okeanos Four.”
The other woman nodded in sympathy. “So even if you went home, you’d still be apart? That’s all kinds of suckfulness.”
“It is, and it isn’t. This assignment will make Basil a better candidate for exec on the Cousteau when Captain Kr’klow retires. Maybe even captain. He has the required time in rank, after all.”
“So, you’re gonna be a captain’s wife someday? How fancy!” the blonde woman teased.
“It’s just a job, Char, and honestly, our jobs are just as fancy to people outside the troupe. Now… do you want to share these Milanos with me or not?”
“Not… ” Charlotte began claiming one of the cups of coffee and pushing the tray toward her friend.”
“Charlotte?” Zoe looked shocked.
“Kidding!” the other sing-songed. “Just trying to keep you on your toes.”
“Why, exactly, are we friends?” Zoe demanded, only half-joking.
“Because I keep you from missing your fiancé and I make excellent coffee.”
Zoe gave her friend a look. Well, at least the coffee part was true.