The Deuterium Argument [Rebooted]
Location: Avery's Quarters
If there was one thing that Avery was exceedingly good it was cooking. Well, that and reprogramming pretty much any operating system... which was probably one of the few reasons that Lt. Reynard tolerated him as much as he did. Theo insisted that his boss probably liked him more than he was letting on but Avery wasn't so sure. Maybe he should bake Jean a cake? No, he shook that thought away and went back to stirring the pasta sauce on the stove.
"Honey, I'm home," Theo said as he walked through the door. He was not the least surprised to find that Avery hadn't meant dinner together in the mess hall when he'd suggested they find time for a meal together.
"Hey man," Avery called, from the kitchen. "I'm in the kitchen... want to come in and give me a hand? I could use some help chopping some vegetables."
"Sure, no problem," Theo said, peering around the extra partion that divided the already-small quarters. He picked up something blue. "I don't think I even know what some of these things are."
"Slice the tomatoes," Avery said, looking over his shoulder. "And the green and blue ones are something from Vex's homeworld. I think they are called akvey."
"Aye, sir, slicing away," Theo said, snagging a knife. "Does the direction matter? Slice size? Definitely not little cube I'm assuming."
"Half circles should work," Avery said. "So, how is it being the new assistant chief science officer? Told you that you would move up in the world."
"Well, I get to boss around a couple other ensigns," Theo replied. "That's nice. I mean, there's barely two dozen people in the department, but hey, I'm moving up in the world."
"You were pretty good at organizing people," Avery said. "So, what's with Vex?"
"What do you mean, what's with Vex?"
"He's been walking around grinning like a total goofball for the past three days... almost looks like...wait, did you two... you know?"
"He looks like a goofball a lot," Theo replied, ignoring the rest of the sentence.
"So do I," Avery pointed out. "And its certainly been... you know what nevermind. Hand me that salt shaker please."
Theo wordlessly rolled his eyes and handed it over.
"You look happy Theo," Avery stated, sprikling some salt into the pot. "Happier than I have seen you in a long time."
"That's because you hadn't seen me in a long while," Theo pointed out.
Avery folded his arms across his chest and shook his head. "I'm not buying that... are you in love with him Theo?"
Theo pointed the knife at him. "Don't go asking deep emotional questions while I've got an empty stomach."
"If you kill me then you'll never get this amazing meal," Avery replied. "I'm invoking the best friend clause here and the total truth clause... are you in love with him Theo?"
"Okay, listen," Theo sighed. "It's wonderful that you care, but it's a bit early to be making grand statements about deep emotional connections just yet, when I'm not sure myself."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to pry... I'm just... look when you go off and live this amazing life with this amazing guy, don't forget about me...okay? That's all that I'm asking."
"Wait," Theo said, with slowly dawning suspicion, "are you jealous?"
Avery took a deep breath. "Yes... okay, I am. I get it... you're in love with him and I think that's awesome. I just, I don't want us to drift apart Theo. You're more than a friend, you're family."
"I am literally spending more time with you than I have in four years," Theo pointed out. "This isn't exactly the first time I've dated, either."
"It's different with him though," Avery replied, hanging his head. "Those other guys and girls didn't affect you the way Vex does. When you are with him, you're different... lighter. And I haven't seen you smile this much in, well ever. Bottom line, he's special to you I'm afraid that you won't need me anymore."
Theo pinched the brow of his nose and silently reminded himself that sometimes Avery's childhood had left him with some unexpected hangups. "Love is not a zero-sum game. If this turns out to be a long-term thing, I'm not throwing you onto the transporter and hitting the recycle button."
"I know, I know," Avery said, ducking his head again. He took a deep breath before continuing. "It's just that... I mean it when I say I love you. Just never forget that, okay?"
"I love you too, buddy," Theo replied. "In a brotherly way."
Avery turned and embraced Theo, making sure that he kept the tears to a minimum. He let go after a second and ducked his head, trying to hide his face from Theo.
"Thanks for saying it... I mean I know you don't like all this emotional stuff."
Theo awkwardly patted Avery on the back. "Sorry if I'm not being expressive enough?"
"You're just being you... which is the best friend that a guy could have," Avery said, putting a hand on Theo's shoulder and giving it a squeeze. "Also, that might have been the first time that you've said those words... I mean at least to me."
"Yeah, well, teenagers aren't that great at communicating. They make us take courses on it at the Academy."
Avery chuckled. "I learned all my methods of communication out there. Also, did you know your boyfriend asked if we had ever been... initmate."
Theo winced. "I think he has some... skewed impressions about humans."
"Yeah, I got that," Avery replied, with a smirk. "I also spit my water out all over him."
"Which probably just made that problem worse..."
"He actually laughed about it... apparently in Unkari culture it's not uncommon to sleep with your friends. I left out the part about how we kissed when we were thirteen... somehow I thought he might turn that into something."
"Maybe it'd be best if you just refrain from spilling details about my teenage years, period," Theo suggested.
"Where's the fun in that," Avery replied. "Although it dawns in me that you have just as many sordid stories about me. You know what, you're right no more sharing teenage stories."
"I'm glad we're on the same page, pal."
"Dinner is almost done," Avery said. He stopped and turned to Theo. "Look, I know that sometimes I'm a handful, and maybe a little annoying, and yeah I'm still working on personal space... but you're my family Theo."
"I know. You're the brother I never had," Theo responded. Not wanting to hug, he instead ruffled his head. "The often annoying, littler brother."
Ensign Theodore Vega, Science Officer
Played by Reynard
PO2 Avery Stiles, Operations Officer
Played by North