A/N – I had just finished watching Crusade (once again) and had just turned the page in my puzzle book to a Find-a-Word which screamed "Galen" at me. So this one-shot is based on that puzzle (which was harder than it looked) and is dedicated to the incredible cast and crew of Crusade – which should have been able to continue.
To all Crusade FanFiction writers – PLEASE KEEP WRITING!!!!
It was not often the Excalibur and her human (well, mostly human) occupants had any true "down time"; time away from the silver and white confines of the ship to stretch out and explore any non-hostile planets with their own time and agenda. Unfortunately for them, this was not one of those times.
True, there was nothing urgent on the boards, no new targets suggested by the Ranger fleet so drifting through hyperspace to a technologically advanced, and populated planet could constitute a relaxing trip. If not, they would just have to make do.
Rather surprisingly, Galen hadn't flitted off at the first sight of a long and tedious journey and under the premise of recharging his ship had stowed himself away in one of the smaller observation rooms. Gideon, and he supposed the entire crew, suspected something more substantial was motivating the Technomage – he had not earned the nickname "Spectre of the Banquet" for nothing. Even though Gideon had long since accepted his friend's and, more often than not, saviour's eccentricity, he found himself in an almost perpetual state of worry about Galen's state of mind, or lack-there-of.
Galen, on the other hand, did not have the capacity for similar concerns at this point in time – he had his own to focus on.
T – E – S... No.
T – E – L... No.
T – E- M – P... Yes.
E – R – A – T – E.
Now, M – O – O... Ah...
'What's that you're doin' Galen?'
The 'Mage barely battered an eyelid as the familiar tones of Matthew Gideon reverberated off the walls of the observation room. He casually continued circling letters on a data pad. 'Oh, hello Matthew. I am simply keeping myself occupied until such time as my ship refuels while enjoying the view. Bearing in mind past experiences upon this ship, it is not to last.' He gestured vaguely to the red tinged swirls of hyperspace outside the large windows.
Gideon rested his elbows on the back of one of the benches and peered over Galen's leather clad shoulder at the assortment of letters and words on the pad. 'Galen, is that a Find-a-Word?' He couldn't help sniggering slightly at the sheer thought of it. 'A great and powerful Technomage wasting time on old Earth puzzles generally reserved for kids? Eilerson would have a field day!' Still chuckling slightly, he leaned back expecting a reaction – especially after the Max Eilerson comment.
'I can hardly expect a mere ship's captain to understand the nuances contained within an exercise such as this. It is in fact, quite rewarding.' To the untrained ear, Galen's blunt analysis could be taken as an insult. To Gideon, it was nothing short of amusing.
Amusing sky-rocketed to downright comic genius in the mind of Matthew Gideon: "mere ship's captain" as his endorphin fuelled brain registered the title of said puzzle.
'Number 30 – "Control Yourself"' He laughed until he had to grip onto the back of the bench to stop himself from falling and after coming up from air simply couldn't ignore the perfect jibe served to him, almost on a silver platter. 'Control – oh Galen, that's you to a 'T'. Or should I say 'G'?' And he was lost in the throes of laughter once more.
The object of his amusement was completely non-plussed as he leant back against the bench. 'Very funny Matthew. Now if you don't mind, I have just the one left to find.'
Pulling himself together, Gideon straightened himself and his uniform. 'What one can't you find?'
Galen stared unseeing off into space, answering in his characteristic 'not quite there' voice which made Gideon suspect his answer was more from his heart than the data pad. 'Peace...'
Gideon took his leave on his friend and sauntered off to his quarters.
I hope you find it Galen...
Matheson's voice over the comm. channel broke him from his revere. 'Captain? You are needed on the flight deck, sir. Enemy ships approaching – closing fast.'
'I'm on my way, Lieutenant.' Peace, Gideon thought gloomily, changing course, where has it gone I wonder.
Strangely enough, Galen was thinking exactly the same thing, but for completely different reasons...