o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
I stare at myself in the mirror, thinking... this isn't how it's supposed to be. Certainly
the man looking back at me appears to be healthy enough - nothing to show that he's just spent two nights in Sickbay under
the doctor's watchful eyes (and sensors) because of some minor internal bleeding. And there's certainly no indication on his
face that he's scared shitless of tonight.
And Lord, how bloody pathetic that sounds. It's movie night, but that's not why I'm scared.
I have it on extremely good authority that it's going to be a romantic film - that's not why I'm scared, either.
One of Phlox's emergency medics - Emma Something-or-other (I never could remember what her
last name was) - has all but insisted that I accompany her to see this film tonight... and I don't think that that's why I'm
scared either. I think... I think I'm scared about tonight because... because I'm fairly sure that she's going to be
I could be James Dean of the music scene
I could be a big star like the man called
Utterly pathetic. Here I am, the armoury officer of a bloody starship, and I'm acting like
an idiot with a schoolboy crush on somebody.
My mirror image stares back at me and I realise the truth.
I'm the idiot. And I've got the schoolboy crush on somebody.
Without warning the chime to my door sounds, making me jerk up in surprise. Looks as though
Emma's arrived, then. I open the door and there she is, looking resplendent as ever in dark grey trousers and some kind of
button-blouse with small flowers patterned on it. She's tied her hair up, and apart from that she doesn't really look very
much different to when she was chivvying me around in Sickbay.
I smirk and tell her that she looks all the better without beagle vomit down her front. She
in turn grins and tells me that I'm even more of a charmer when I'm not doped up to my eyeballs in sedatives (Phlox again...).
I really do think we could end up being friends, but that thought does nothing to settle
my stomach as we leave my quarters to go see the film.
You see, Lieutenant Emma Something-or-other from one of the science teams may well be a lot
of things - she is sweet, funny, dry-humoured, sensitive and so forth - but (and this is the somewhat childish part) there
is one thing that she is not, and never can be. I notice and pick up on it every time I see her... sometimes, I don't see
I could have fly moves, be a dance floor dream
But if she can't seem to notice me
Sometimes I wish it wasn't Emma...
...I wish it was Hoshi.
Then what's it worth now?
And horror of all horrors, the film is every bit as pathetically romantic as Emma made it
out to be - there's not even anything close to resembling an explosion; admittedly this would not always be a cause for concern...
but there's not really very much else at all. There clearly is some semblance of a plot (Emma's... enraptured expression would
certainly seem to indicate so) but my eyes keep focusing not on the screen, but on Hoshi herself, two rows in front of me
and one seat to the left.
I am most definitely the idiot with the schoolboy crush, because without meaning to I am
acutely aware of a small muscle going in her cheek (a smile??) every time the moronic-looking male lead appears on the screen.
Could have my teeth flashing a Brad Pitt smile
Be wearing Versace 'cause that's my
Could have my hair cut by the extra mile
It gets worse. Emma is actually sighing beside me and leaning forward a little in her seat,
eyes wide open...
I've seen her smile before, of course - Hoshi, I mean - and some of the time she's even directed
them at me, but...
Suddenly I want out of here. I nudge Emma and whisper to her that I'm going to get a drink,
does she want one? Without moving her eyes off the screen (where, it soon transpires, the moronic male lead is back centre
stage, so naturally...) she shakes her head and makes a shushing motion with a finger, so I quietly get up and slip out at
the end of the row, and make my way over to the drinks dispenser, although I don't get myself anything.
When I look back, Hoshi's still engrossed in the film... and if I move a little to my right,
I can just get a clear view around someone else's head.
But if she can't make it worth my while
I watch her for a few minutes and I wonder to myself, is it so wrong to just wish that maybe...
maybe I wasn't on my own in this?
That maybe... just maybe this goes both ways?
Then what's the point now?
Another minute or three passes, and then movement. Someone climbing out of their seat and
heading in my general direction. Or in the direction of drinks. Either or, although it could not be me at all.
And I don't need night-vision or some sixth sense to know who's coming over this way... bypassing
the drinks altogether, and she's heading in my direction.
She says hi.
I, like the eternal bumbling idiot I am, say hi back.
Even in the darkness I can see her smiling a little awkwardly, and I realise that I should
really say something now. And believe me I know what I would like to say to her.
I wanna know if you're busy
I wanna know if you're doing anything tonight
I've just spent two nights in Sickbay with only a Denobulan and his little animals for company
most of the time... shouldn't there be a whole plethora of things I could say to her? How have you been, Hoshi? Hope you kept
an eye on my replacement, Hoshi, he gets a little excited whenever he's on the bridge. Say, Hoshi... would you join me for
dinner on Friday night?
I start to say something to her, but it doesn't sound right, even to me and I'm the one saying
I wanna know if you missed me
Well, Reed, you've really gone and ballsed it up this time, haven't you? See that look on
her face? That's not anything you should be proud of inspiring... idiot.
Although... if I've just said something royally moronic, then shouldn't she have some less...
encouraging expression on her face? After all, even taking into account the fact that it's dark in here, there is definitely
something tugging at the corner of her lips.
Is that a smile?
Is she smiling at something I said?
Hang on... what did I say?
But it doesn't really seem to matter because now she's leaning in towards me, and quietly
whispers something in my ear, although it takes me a few seconds to realise what she's said.
I think I have to go sit down now.
I think I'm grinning as well.
I wanna know, baby, I wanna know
I think I'm going to get Emma something special for her birthday. Because if I don't cock
this one up, this could be something really special. Because this isn't how it's supposed to be.
Not yet, anyway.