I Do Not Like Watersports
"I do not like watersports," Avon told Vila in a tone which indicated that he would rather be caught naked running through the corridors of the Liberator rather than indulge in wet fun of any kind.
"Come on Avon, it'll be fun," Vila tried to persuade him. The thief was wearing neon green swimming trunks and had a generous towel draped around his shoulders. He was also sporting a pair of fashionable sunglasses. Dayna and Tarrant were already down on the mostly water planet, enjoying themselves in the sun and playing water volleyball.
And probably getting very very wet, thought Vila. For some reason the mental picture of Dayna in a wet bikini made him want to teleport down right now and abandon his plans to persuade Avon to go down with them.
"It will not be fun. And I do not wish to discuss it further." Avon turned around and left the flight deck. Vila made moves to follow him.
"Leave him alone, Vila," said Cally.
Ever since Avon had returned from killing his lover and Federation spy, Anna Grant, he had been even more unapproachable than normal. The crew was becoming increasingly concerned. Avon barely spoke to any of them now except in relation to the operation of the ship. At other times, he shut himself in his cabin.
"Is he alright?" asked Vila.
"If you are asking if he has recovered physically. Then yes. The last of the injuries from his time in the interrogation cells have already healed. If you are asking about anything else, your guess is as good as mine."
"I thought that if anyone knew, that you would."
"I told you Vila. My telepathic ability only extends to Aurons. It is very limited when applied to humans."
"That's not what I was talking about," said Vila. "Never mind." He knew that Avon and Cally never acknowledged that they had a relationship of any kind.
If I was able to read your mind, then I would know what you were talking about, thought Cally.
"We need to get him to stop thinking about what happened."
"He would say that it is none of our business," said Cally.
"But he's making the rest of us depressed. I don't like being depressed."
"And you think that persuading him to go down with you to the beach will help?"
"It couldn't hurt. Besides there is nothing down there which could possibly remind him of Anna Grant. It will do him good. Can you ask him? You might have better luck."
Dayna had already warned Vila that Avon did not like watersports. But for some reason, the thief really wanted him to go.
Cally stood outside the door to Avon's cabin. She hesitated. She remembered another occasion when one of them had visited the other after a traumatic experience. This was eerily famliar, except that she had been the one on the other side of the door on that occasion.
She knocked on the door. "Avon."
There was no response. She called out his name again and knocked. "Avon."
"What is it?" This time there was an answering response, albeit muffled by the door.
Cally chose her response carefully. "It appears to be a door. And it's closed." Her words echoed the other occasion when Avon had come to her cabin when she had cut herself off from the rest of the crew.
There was silence. Cally wondered if it would work. Shortly the door slid open. Avon stood framed in the doorway.
"Don't play games with me, Cally," he told her.
"Are you going to invite me in?" she asked.
Avon could see that she was not going to take no for an answer. He stood aside and let her in.
"Did Vila put you up to this?" Avon asked.
"We are all worried about you, Avon."
"Really," said Avon with his characteristic cynicism. "It is none of their business, or yours," he said coldly.
"Avon." Cally reached out to touch his arm. He almost flinched away.
"I know that you will never acknowledge that you need help," Cally told him, "But you are not a machine, no matter how much you pretend that you are emotionally. At least let us take your mind off everything, for a few hours. It will give your subconscious mind time to process things."
At least this is a reasonable argument, thought Avon. They are not going to leave me alone until I make an appearance, he realized.
"Very well," he agreed.
Cally thought she had heard wrong. She had been expecting much more resistance.
"But only if you go down as well," Avon added. He wasn't quite sure why he had said that.
Cally was sure she had heard wrong this time.
"You are agreeing to go? And you want me to come down with you?" The tone in her voice indicated her confusion.
"Yes. ORAC can handle the teleport." Avon wasn't the kind of person to back down once he said something. "I am sure the wardrobe room must have swimwear in your size."
"Very well, if that will persuade you to go," she agreed. "I will meet you in the teleport room in ten minutes."
When Vila, Cally and Avon teleported onto the surface of the sand bar, Dayna and Tarrant couldn't believe their eyes. Dayna's jaw had dropped. It was not just because she was surprised Avon had come down to join them.
There were no signs of the torture he had suffered at the hands of the Federation interrogators. The advanced medical facilities of the Liberator had been very good at both healing his wounds and removing any visible marks.
Dayna thought he looked beautiful in his black swim trunks. He had a lean muscled look which reflected the years of active living. She was determined that he should get wet.
"You are very beautiful Avon."
"So are you." Avon didn't know what else to say to this wild girl. She was a vision of beauty in her skimpy golden bikini. Her wet skin glistened under the bright sunlight.
"Come into the water."
"I prefer to stay on dry land," Avon told her. "I do not like watersports."
Dayna remembered he had said that to her on Sarran.
"Avon," Cally decided to try something, "If I go into the water as well, would you join me?"
Avon looked at her and then at Dayna. They were two beautiful and very determined women. And they both wanted him to go into the water with them.
Perhaps a pleasant diversion is what I need, Avon thought. And a different set of memories. He nodded. They both headed into the water.
Tarrant and Vila were starting to feel jealous that the girls were paying all of their attention to Avon. Tarrant challenged, "How about a game of water volleyball? Me and Vila against you, Dayna and Cally?" The boyish Tarrant looked very handsome in his dark blue swim briefs. The water slid down his sleek body as he stood up in the water.
Without asking if Avon agreed, Dayna said, "You're on."
Tarrant had assumed that because Avon did not like watersports, that he couldn't be any good at them. As Avon would have told him. It is dangerous to assume anything.
Avon proved to be an excellent swimmer. In the water he moved with grace and power. Dayna thought he was even more beautiful with his body all wet. Tarrant's blue swim briefs almost came off at one point as he wrestled Dayna for the volleyball. How he managed that, none of them knew but Dayna thought he also looked very pretty wet and almost naked.
The water volleyball match was not even a real contest, it was a slaughter. Both Tarrant and Vila were thoroughly wet in more ways than one by the time they conceded defeat.
Dayna and Cally thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Avon even looked as if his icy reserve had melted a degree or two.
Afterwards they shared a pleasant picnic on the sandbar. They felt more comfortable with each other than they had ever had before.
After the meal, as they lay on the sand, staring up at the clear blue sky Cally asked Avon, "I thought that you didn't like watersports?"
Cally noticed the use of the past tense.
"Anna loved the water," he explained. His voice was quiet and he had a faraway look in his eyes.
Cally was shocked, "I'm sorry, if we had known…"
"Don't be sorry. You helped me make new memories today. Ones not associated wth Anna. And beating Tarrant and Vila was immensely satisfying as well. Thank you."