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Favours First...

Posted on Sun Sep 17th, 2017 @ 11:20pm by Lieutenant JG Amber Zuzan

Mission: S2E2 - Vindeux
Location: Deck 8; Amber's quarters
Timeline: MD 104; 0730

Another work day ahead of him, yet Ryland had personal business on his mind. Through ill-planned improvisation, he had interjected himself into the life and family of a near total stranger. Today, he would explain himself, perhaps even make it right. Or he'd get slapped yet again.

When he reached her door and rang the chime, he rocked back on the short heel of his jackboots. He had seen Amber sleeping in her biobed, but now that she was up and around, he felt unsure of what to expect. All he could do was wait... and improvise.

Amber was up and about - barely. She was far from fit to return to duty and with rumours going around her job had been taken by a Lieutenant Delameilleure she was far from decided on whether she wanted to stay on the Vindex. She already knew about Akiva's decision to reject her for Laena and that hurt. Amber tried her best to put the pair of them out of her mind and focus on recovering and potentially finding a new assignment.

The chime rang. She wasn't expecting anyone but Amber wouldn't deny any company at that time. Captain Ainscow sat with her the night before which was nice - they had a good long talk about things and shared a box of chocolates Claudia had brought for Amber.

"Come in" Amber called.

Ryland watched the doors part to reveal Amber reclined gently and comfortably on her couch.

"Good morning, Ms Zuzan," Ryland said softly. "Do... do you know who I am by chance?"

Amber did not recognise the man. There were some people who had asked that question now and she recognised very few of them. Whoever the man was Amber thought that he was company for a little while at the very least.

"No" Amber responded.

"Now, see, that's going to be awkward if your parents ever come around," Ryland said. "They kinda' think I am Akiva, and that we're, you know." He made a circle with his thumb and forefinger, and then slid his other finger through it.

"It's a long, funny story if you care to hear it, but... I'm trying to make right. I'll understand if you hate me, but I hope you'll hear me out."

Amber's facial expression changed from one of relative calm to one of hurt, upset and anger. Not only was it because Ryland had mentioned the name of the man she still further add to that Ryland had pretended to be him. Whoever this man was Amber didn't want to remember him.

"I'll hear you out...then you can get out. The only reason I won't tell anyone what you did is because I don't want to hear or say his name or even see him again. Get on with it" Amber replied - quietly.

"It all started one day in Sickbay," Ryland began. "There I was getting treated for... an injury... and in the medbay right next to me I couldn't help but her some old folks crying. The nurse was taking forever, and, well, I couldn't help myself. Figured I could at least make the old lady stop her weepin'."

Ryland cocked his head and gave his neck a scratch. "Aaaaand, well, they assumed I was Akiva. Lookin' down at your sweet mama with her big eyes, just as pretty as yours, pleading for a light at the end of the dark tunnel... how could I say no?"

He waved his hands in a pleading gesture of his own. "I never thought it would come to any harm. Then, a few days later, they caught me in the mess hall and insisted I eat with them. The more I tried to fix it, the worse it got."

He sighed in frustration. "This... look, I know how this has gotta' sound to a sane person after the fact, but in the moment I was just trying to do some good." His words were accented with a shake of his head. "I can't stand the sight of a crying lady."

With his story told, he looked back to Amber for her verdict. "So... I'm sorry for lying to your wonderful family. Your sister caught on right quick, but your parents still think I'm the fella' you told them about... that you had someone waitin' for you to wake up."

Amber didn't really know what to say. He'd pretended to be someone she wasn't even with and the mere thought of that made her feel both extremely upset and angry. Her heart had been broken again and Amber wasn't sure whether to just sit there quietly, break down in tears or go into a flying rage. That damned shuttle crash had possibly cost her a chance at happiness...and her position on the Vindex.

"Alright. You did a bad thing to try and make my parents feel better at a bad time and it worked. It was dishonest but like I said...the only reason I won't tell anyone because I don't want to see him or say his name again. But I think you and I might just be able to help eachother..." Amber responded.

Ryland slowly split his mouth into a wide grin. "Never let it be said Ryland Dedeker failed to help a lady in need. What did you have in mind?"

Amber's facial expression was deadly serious.

"I wouldn't grin if I were you Ryland because I can still change my mind and go to the Captain and use the words 'First Officer' instead of using his name. What I had in mind is that if I need a favour doing...then you do it for me" Amer said.

"Lil' lady, I will do any favor you ask with a smile on my face," Ryland said. He chanced a caress of his hand against Amber's cheek. "How's about we seal the deal with a kiss?"

Amber shook her head and moved back slightly. She wasn't repulsed by the man but Amber wanted to make sure that Ryland kept his side of the bargain first. In the circumstances Amber was sure he would - but this was Ryland after all.

"Favours first. Kisses later. Deal?" Amber replied.

Improvisation had brought him this far. Ryland wouldn't stop now. "How about one for the road?" He leaned down and forward to plant a quick peck on Amber's lips, hands free in case she tried to murder him, before she could react.

He stepped back to regain his distance. "That wasn't so bad, was it?" Ryland winked at her. "Now, about this favor..."

"I'll pretend that never happened...and forgot an "s" on the last word of your sentence because you'll be doing a few things for me. I think one for each of the people you lied to sounds fair" Amber responded.

Ryland ran his tongue across his lips. "Pretend, but never forget," he said. "I know I won't." He crossed his arms and prepared for business. "What do you want me to do?"

Amber replied. "It'll be worth your while. Right now I just want you to wait until I call you and ask you to help me out. I'm still thinking about things and I need to work one or two of them out first. I might not be here for much longer so I'd better make the most of being on a nice starship like this one. Or maybe I fancy a change anyway..."

"I haven't kept to posts for very long since losing my wings," Ryland said. "Best you figure out your favors sooner rather than later, or you'll miss your chance." He blatantly eyed her body up and down. "And I'm looking forward to giving you those... favors."

Amber didn't care that Ryland was looking at her in 'that' way. She enjoyed getting the attention. She was particularly pleased with how agreeable Ryland was - although Amber did have a lot on him.

"I can assure you you'll know before long fact you'll known in a few days at the latest. I tend not to stick around on assignments through choice although right now it appears that decision has been made for me. I shall have to clarify my position this vessel with Captain Ainscow - if anything it'll give me an idea of how much time I have to use these favours" Amber responded.

"Lovely," Ryland said, reaching for her hand. "As are you." He kept his eyes locked on hers as he knelt and gave her hand a kiss. "I am yours to command, my beautiful doyenne."

Amber nodded. "I'm glad we've got that cleared up Ryland. You're not a bad person when I think about it really. You lied...but you made my parents feel better...which is more than others did. Maybe I might just find a way to get you off the hook with them once all of this is over"

"I could make an honest woman out of you." Ryland smirked up from one knee. "Give you a new name. Take you into the family business." His smirk broke into a chuckle, then turned to laughter which sat him back on his butt.

"Ahaha... I slay me," Ryland said, wiping a tear from his eye.

Amber paused and thought for a moment. It was an interesting offer but not one she was in a rush to accept - yet anyway.

"Not right now. If I change my mind about it I'll be sure to let you know" Amber responded.

"I'll wait with bated breath." Ryland favored her with another wink and turned to leave. This had gone far better than he had dared hope. Satisfaction was such a great thing.

Amber nodded. "You will indeed. Have a good day Ryland"


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