First chapter, yay! If any of you read my first story (now deleted), I just want to say that this one is probably actually going to have updates, because I actually enjoy writing these little chapters. Basically, each chapter is a stand-alone story, unless I specify otherwise, and there may be some jumping around, but I'll tell you all first, so no worries! So, enjoy this first chapter (looking back on this one, I think I've shown I know nothing about poker...).
Treasure Planet I own not.
Like This: Types
The Captain sits directly across from him, her eyes closed, slowing peeling an orange in one continous spiral. Her wrists move in small circles, exacting and perfect. She looks deep in thought.
He stares at his own pile of citrus scented peels, and at the wooden deck below them, and through the deck, and suddenly he's off in his own world.
He wonders if what happened on Treasure Planet meant anything. He wants desperately to ask her, ask her about everything, but the instant she heard they were to stay in space and wait for clearing, she had gone straight to her stateroom, and fallen fast asleep, clothes and all. He had pulled a blanket over her, and crept out of the room. She had emerged about four hours later, and had sat down to join them in eating the last of the fruits from the galley. He and Jim had been stammering excuses, hoping she wouldn't kill them for eating the food from her galley, on her ship, but she had simply given them both a bleary-eyed nod of acknowledgement, and then flopped down with a sigh, grabbing an orange, and proceeding to slowly peel it. She had remained silent, and for the most part, they all had. It was as if what had happened to them on Treasure Planet had brought them closer to a higher understanding of one another, and each knew there was no need for any words at all. They had nothing to say.
He heard someone speaking to him, and shook himself out of his reverie. He turned to Jim, and smiled apologetically.
"I'm sorry, I was thinking...What was that again Jim?"
The teenager grins at him, and holds up a deck of cards.
"We should play poker. I know we don't have money, but..."
He turns to the Captain, and she opens one eye.
"I, ah, well, gambling...Captain?"
She's wide awake now, rolling her eyes, and moving so she lies on her stomach. He sees her wince, and then smirk.
"Don't be a prude, Doctor, honestly, it's a game. Or are you afraid of losing to a teenage boy and an inured woman?" She looks at him, smiling in a way so genuine, so happy, he knows he can't refuse. Perhaps...he doesn't even have to ask where they stand. Perhaps...he can simply allow things to run their course.
He mimicks her action, and lies on his stomach, moving so they sit shoulder-to-shoulder. He smiles.
"I think you should be afraid...What kind of a captain loses to a bumbling astropsyisist?"
The Captain, and Jim both laugh, and they commence the game. Jim deals out cards, and then pauses.
"Wait...we don't have anything to bet. And, no offense or anything, but I don't really feel okay playing strip poker with just you guys..."
He feels his cheeks redden, and Amelia is chuckling next to him.
"Ah, well", she bites her lip in thought, "At the Academy...we would bet one truthful answer to any question the winner asked. Or two, or three, and so on...Or we would bet favors, or chores..."
Jim grins. "Yeah, let's do that. Scared yet, Doc?"
They play, and he get's what he thinks is a good hand. Jim bets first.
"I'll bet two moppings of the deck, and...help wrapping up the rigging."
Amelia whistles. "Confident in those cards, Mr. Hawkins? I suppose I will bet a truth, as it were, and...the permission to steer the ship into docking position, with my help of course. If I win...I simply get to steer the ship myself." Jim perks up, and Delbert sees he wants to take the helm. He glances at his own cards, and frowns.
"I'll bet a truth...and I'll deal with the Robocops when they show up for the mutineers."
They show their hands, and Jim curses. The Captain has won. She grins, victorious.
"I suppose you'll mop the deck after a few more rounds, then, Mr. Hawkins?"
Jim groans. She turns to Delbert, and he feels like she's looking right. through. him. He gulps.
"Doctor...I believe you owe me a truth."
"Mmm." She taps her chin in thought, and then smiles wickedly at him. His stomach turns upside down, and wonders what she could ask...what she could pull from him...
But instead she folds her hands and says:
"I think I'll save that for later." She looks at him, eyes glittering, and a wave of nervous excitement washes over him. What could she want to ask, that Jim can't hear?
Jim is eyeing them suspiciously, but he collects the cards, and deals again. He says he'll help clean Delbert's attic, and Amelia simply bets another truth. When it comes to his turn, he folds, and Jim scoffs. Amelia is silent, and her face is completely void of any expression. He imagines that if they were playing for money, she would be winning. She has a perfect poker-face.
Jim wins, and whoops in victory.
"No offense, Doc, but I really don't wanna clean that attic. It's...pretty bad. I mean, couldn't you hire someone to clear it out?"
"Jim..." he says, "Those items are pricless heirlooms. I couldn't sell them. I suppose I don't organize it enough..." At this, Jim snorts. "But, I believe that that is what attics are for, aren't they? To store clutter."
Jim shakes his head. "Yeah, but...you whole house is clutter, Doc."
Amelia looks at him, questioning.
"Is it really all that bad?"
Jim nods. "Captain...it's horrible. You'd be shocked, I swear, it's--"
"--Due for some cleaning!", he cuts in, grinning. "Now, Jim, I believe the Captain owes you one truth."
Jim looks at him, and then the Captain, and then smiles.
"Okay...Captain, what type of guy do you go for?"
Amelia's eyes widen, and he feels his cheeks heat again. She's frowning, and she sets down her cards.
"...Hmm. I am simply not going to ask why you want to know this, Mr. Hawkins, and to be honest, I can't say I could answer that question fully. I've dated all sorts of types..."
His heart is sinking every second, and Jim's still grinning. "Really...", he says, feigning deep fascination, "Like what types?"
She tilts her head, and absently twirls a lock of her fire-red hair.
"Well, mostly spacer-types. Naval officers, but they're too egotistical. I cannot stand that. If I had to say what qualities I like...I would say that he would have to be a good listener...and..." She stops. "It's hard to put into words...But..." A slight blush taints her cheeks, and he stares at her. It's the first time she's ever shown embarassment. She looks down at the deck, and smiles softly.
"Someone...who I could relax with...and forget the stress of my job. Someone who calms me down, and makes me feel...peaceful." She waves her hand, as if to dismiss the words. "It's a load of romantic nonsense, of course, but--"
Jim smiles, and winks at him before reshuffling, and dealing again.
Jim is almost done with his first round of mopping when Delbert hears the soft click of the Captain's boots against the wood of the Legacy's polished deck. He is resting his elbows on the railing of the navigation area, looking down onto the deck as Jim works, and he turns to his left to see her walk up and join him. She smiles.
"I haven't asked you my question yet, you know."
He nods slowly. "I know."
"Do you want to hear it?"
He sighs, and nods again. "...Yes."
She leans forwards, and says:
"Would you like to have dinner with me? Sometime soon, after I get medical attention, of course. You see, Doctor..." She leans even closer, and her breath is on his face, and they're inches from kissing, and he can feel his heart hammering in chest...
"I quite fancy you..." She whispers it in his ear, a secret. She might have won his confession, but she's given him so much, with those four words...He smiles broadly.
"To answer that question truthfully...I would absolutely love to, Captain." He rests his hand on hers, and she lets it stay there. He leans in, and whispers back:
"I...ah...I'm quite taken with you, as well."
She smiles, and it's like she has a special smile just for him ,because she only ever shows it when he's there. And he knows that this is the start of something. The start of what, he can't say, but...
He knows it's something wonderful.