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Talks between Friends

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Brody looked up when the door to his bar opened. Park stood in front of it.

"Adam?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm here" he replied.

She smiled and made her way over to him with her cane.

"I figured you were" she said while taking a seat in front of him.

"Did you?" he asked.

"You weren't working and not in your quarters, this was my next choice" she answered. "Why are you not on the observation deck with the others?"

"I was there; I just don't think that nebula is pretty enough to stare at it for hours" he said and quickly added: "But if you want to know what it looks like-"

"No, no, don't worry about it; I've been there, too. Chloe described it to me. And honestly..." She sighed. "Everyone is trying really hard not to exclude me, but it's just not as fun to spend time with people when the main reason they're there is to look at something. And all that auditory input gets taxing after a while."

Brody sighed as well. They were both silent for a while, then he wanted to know: "Do you want a shot?"

Park gave him a small smile and nodded.

He poured her some of his hooch and pushed the glass over to her. She took it and he studied her closely, anxiously waiting for her reaction.

Lisa gulped the liquid down and had a coughing fit. When she could breathe normally again, she pulled a face.

"And?" Brody asked intently.

"It's... interesting, I guess." She coughed again.

"I've been experimenting with flavors."

"Hm!"

"It's terrible. Here." He handed her his canteen and took the empty glass back.

She took a big mouthful of water.

"If you know that, why do you give it to me?"

"I had to make sure that it really tastes awful and that it's not just me" he explained.

"Did you now?" she said. "Or did you just want a funnier way to get rid of the stuff?"

He shrugged a shoulder. "A bit of both?"

He grinned and, although she could not see it, Lisa laughed as well.

"Bored?" she asked.

"As hell" Adam replied.

Park sighed and shook her head. "Missing your boyfriend, too?"

"More than you know."

"Oh, let me guess: You've been together almost 24/7 lately, but because you were working and not doing anything for fun it feels like you haven't seen him in weeks."

Adam nodded resignedly. "Yeah."

Lisa gave him a sympathetic smile. "Just like it was for us back on Icarus, huh?"

"Exactly! And as soon as things start to quiet down around here he meets with someone else! It's not fair."

"Aw, come on!" Lisa put a hand on his arm. "Don't sulk! Be happy Dale and Ron are getting along so well. Besides, I think it's cute that they're spending the first anniversary of their surgery together."

"It's their fifth. And I'm not sulking!"

"But it's the first they get to celebrate! And I know you, Adam, you are sulking, why do you think I went looking for you? You need some distraction. Actually, there's a question I've been meaning to ask you."

"And that is?" Brody asked, a little annoyed.

Lisa turned her head to the side and covered her mouth with the back of her hand, then she turned back towards Adam and said: "Are you and Dale having trouble with that erectile dysfunction thing?"

Brody gripped the edge of the table in front of him so hard his knuckles went white. "What?"

"Oh, you know, it's when a guy can't-"

"I KNOW! I know what it is, okay! No! I mean we don't- Why are you even asking that? No!"

Lisa was lying on the table, howling with laughter. "Calm down, I'm just messing with you!" she got out and took a deep breath. "I know you don't."

"Good! Wait-"

"I heard you two in the showers."

"WHAT?!" Adam shrieked.

"After you returned from that mud planet a few weeks ago."

He stared at her wide-eyed.

"Why, what- What were you even doing there?!"

"Bringing Ron a change of clothes."

Brody leaned against the table and let his head hang down, looking embarrassed.

Quickly, as if sensing this, Lisa said: "Don't worry, I don't think anyone else noticed. Remember", she tapped on her ear, "super hearing."

"That's not much of a comfort" he replied grumpily.

"Come on" Lisa said reconciliatory, "We've been in bed with each other! I didn't think you'd react this miffed. Besides, there are people who are way worse than you two."

"Like... you?" Adam replied and grinned a little again.

His friend gave him an indignant look. "Not commenting on that!" she huffed, but there was a playful tone to her voice. Quietly, she added "And by the looks of it there won't be any of that tonight, anyway." She sighed and turned her head towards Brody. "When do you think they'll be back?"

He shrugged. "The surgery took five hours."

"You think they want to talk to each other for five hours?"

"I hope not! I'd like to get my boyfriend back before", he looked at his watch, "1am."

Lisa contemplated that for a moment. "Should we go and pick them up?"

Adam cocked his head, then shook it. "No. Let them have their alone-time. Besides, I don't even know where they are."

"In hydroponics. That's where they went before the surgery."

"When you were supposed to keep an eye on them?"

Lisa gave an exasperated gasp. "I told you I would look at some data and asked you to keep an eye on them!"

"You did not-! You know what? We've had this argument a hundred times over, we should just let it rest." Then he murmured "Who would expect them to run off, anyway?" He cleared his throat. "So... Hydroponics, huh? That's a pretty place."

"It is?" she asked apprehensively.

"Yeah, it really is" he assured her. "There are plants everywhere; it's beautiful. Those you saved probably helped it fill up again so fast." He looked down and scratched the back of his leg with his foot. "That's not to say it was worth it..."

Lisa gave him a sad smile. "Honestly... Maybe it was." She got up. "Let's go there!" she said, already looking cheery again. "I may not be able to see anything, but I bet it smells amazing."

"What about Dale and Ron?" Adam wanted to know.

"The dome is big, we should manage to keep out of their way." She held out her hand. "Be my eyes?"

He went around the table and linked arms with her. "Gladly."

Together, they left the room.