USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

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Who's Immature Now!?

Posted on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 @ 5:31pm by Commander Martin Sorenson & Lieutenant Asahi Kita

Mission: When the Bough Bounces
Location: Asahi's Quarters
Timeline: MD ??
2819 words - 5.6 OF Standard Post Measure

It only took one large growler of the oddest-colored brew from a one Silver Tongue Brewing for the Asahi to decide upon relaxing (for once), and attempting to create a makeshift sukiyaki from the contents of the replicator. While he was sure the gift box, sent from a one Luka Mahone, was not intended to add some liquid courage to his nightly activities, Asahi took the unintended hint to do so anyway. Or, that was what he would have said later, when Captain Mahone called to ask about the package.

The contents of the growler had been poured into one of Asahi's nicest glasses; aka, any glass, as the Intel Officer had few possessions even after all this time. It was not till after the second glass that he decided to crack out the old Academy hot plate and replicated a few ingredients for such a purpose.

Such a task should have been simple. He even had the replicator pre-slice whatever meats and veggies he thought necessary, with Hojo sitting nearby for whenever the drunken man decided to share treats.

"Issokay," Asahi reassured the pup, tossing Hojo a slice of carrot. "Ima make myself din-ACK!"

The long-worn safety features on the worn burner atop the hot plate would do no good as Asahi slapped his hand right on top of the heated surface. Typically, the device would shut itself off until the operator decided to take their hand (or other offending device) off, but countless tinkering attempts turned the otherwise safe instrument of makeshift home-cooked meals into a contraption of bodily harm.

Asahi's hand lifted faster than it slapped down, and he squinted at the bright red palm of his hand. Surely, it was going to sting at some point.

Hojo barked, head tilted to one side. "No, no no." Asahi slurred, frowning. "No doctors." After another bark and a short whine, the Intelligence Officer persisted. "Nuh uh. I'm fine. I can hardly feel this anyways. Issfine. This is fine. All fine."

Martin slipped out of medbay and headed down the corridor. Of all the things about the hellscape that was adolescence that he'd pushed down the memory hole, the one that had truly taken him by surprise when it resurfaced was the unrelenting appetite that came with teenage metabolism. Fortunately, it was short trip to the mess hall...

"Bark! Bark! Yip!"

"Hey, Hojo," Martin greeted with a smile. "I'm heading out for a snack. Want to join me?"

The offer was greeted with more barks, but instead of the affirmation Martin expected, Hojo dashed to him and then back down the way he'd come. The dog stood several paces away and barked again. When Martin stood there, puzzling, Hojo dashed to him and back. Twice.

"What is it, boy?" Martin asked, heading toward him.

"Bark!" Hojo headed further down the corridor, then stopped and looked back at Martin like 'are you coming?' and adding another urgent bark for emphasis.

"You want me to follow," the doctor guessed, continuing toward the dog. "Is something wrong?"

"Bark! Bark!" Hojo replied as if to say 'Finally! the human gets it!' and took off at run.

Taking that as a yes, Martin dashed after the dog, following him to Asahi's door where Hojo was waiting impatiently for slow two-legged doctor before jumping up to tap the control to open the door. Martin hurried through, worried by the dog's Lassie-get-help routine. "It's Dr. Sorenson," he called. "Where are you? What's wrong?"

"No one's here!" came the reply. In Asahi's slurred voice. "No one at all!" When Hojo barked in insistence, the door slid open to reveal Asahi plopped on the floor, hot plate in front of him and a cobbled together mess of ingredients bubbling in the pot stop the plate. Asahi squinted at Hojo, half-angrily and half-trying to see if he'd stop spinning while standing in place. "It's just a little burn," he followed up, bringing his arm close, making a point of not closing his hand into a fist. "I'm fine. He just wants me to share food."

"It is not fine," Martin said firmly, pulling his scanner out as he approached. "Hojo came for help - and he was right to. That burn needs treatment and..." he looked at the pot momentarily distracted by the smell of food. Damn. Was this what dogs felt like all the time? "...if anything he deserves a treat. Now let me see that hand."

If Asahi were sober, he would have sensed the opportunity to misdirect. Instead, he rolled his eyes and dramatically snapped a pair of chopsticks at him with his left hand, which was still undamaged. "He gets carrots. I don't know why he ran off if'n he's gettin'm." He snapped the chopsticks at Hojo, who merely ran around in a circle no fewer than six times before flopping down on the ground, content that Asahi was going to be cared for.

"Hotpot's gonna burn if I don't stir it," Asahi stated adamantly, though the opposite of that was true. "AND - AND. And." He paused, holding out the burned hand toward Martin, with the intention to stop him in his tracks as opposed to sharing what his injury truly was, "And. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND. I haven't put the egg in yet."

Poor Hojo. Martin resolved to provide extra dog treats next time he came by medbay. He moved toward the burned hand, eyes widening at seeing the actual injury - how drunk was Asahi that he wasn't feeling that? "Take care of the meal with your good hand. I need to take care of that one," he said and since he had no expectation of Asahi, especially drunk Asahi, being reasonable about anything medical, made a grab for the wrist.

Almost immediately, Asahi pulled his arm back, an action that would have been more clumsy if he was standing. He shot Martin a hard look. "Both my hands are good, thank you." But, as soon as he slapped the palm of his bad hand on the floor, he winced and flinched his hand back. "It's fine. Thissis fine." He persisted, scooting around the hot plate and away from Martin. "Don't be mean or I won't share."

Martin involuntarily glanced at the pot - God, it smelled good! - but forced his attention back to the problem (literally) at hand. He'd nearly winced himself in sympathy when the man had slapped that injured palm. "I'm not being mean. I'm trying to help!" He pulled a hypo from his kit, shifting it hand to hand as he edged one way then the other, looking for a moment to reach Asahi without knocking a pot of hot (and delicious smelling) food all over them both. In some ways drunken unpredictability made him even harder to catch. "Just sit still let me do this!"

"No!" Asahi, now removing himself from the pot of food, scooted backwards in his spot. He knew that if he sat upright, the world would start spinning around. So he sat in his spot, utilizing his toosh to motor himself around the room. "I'm fine. Skin heals or whatever, right?" He persisted, before hesitating a beat, eyes on the boiling pot. "... Lemmie get back to my food. The noodles'll get all soggy and weird."

"Dammit, it will get infected. You can go back to cooking once it's fixed," Martin rejoined, barely able to believe the situation. He was chasing a man shooting around on his rump. At least he'd moved away from the pot. As much as Martin felt a momentary pang, and a rumble, from his stomach at the idea of wasting food, he was also getting annoyed and therefore more determined to catch this lunatic. He ran toward Asahi, hoping to finally close the distance, but de-aging brought rapid changes in height and mass, which seriously messed with coordination. A step away, he tripped, falling straight at his scooting-away patient.

In a split second, Asahi's apathy to his own health and Martin's stress levels changed as the man fell towards him. Without thinking, Asahi's hands both reached up, ready to catch Martin as he fell to the ground. Somehow, the shorter and smaller man (de-aging or not) managed to become a drunken pillow for Martin to fall on top of. "Oof!"

After the elegant display of trust exercises, to which Hojo dutifully barked at, Asahi made attempts to push Martin off of him and sit upright, pausing to wince and recoil every time his bad palm hit a surface. "Some doctor poise you've got," he complained grumpily, "Fine, if you promise to not fall on me again, you can look at my hand - which is fine, by the way!"

Ufda. Martin rolled off of Asahi. "Sorry. Yeah, losing 5 cm and 5 kilos within a few days has done nothing for my poise. I promise not to repeat the incident if you don't run off again." Righting himself, the doctor located his kit and took a good look at the hand. "That is not fine. Consider that an official diagnosis" he said, spraying it with disinfecting wash to remove the carpet crud stuck to the oozing burn.

"Why're you-" Asahi winced, resisting the urge to tug his hand back and protest louder. "Why're you losing mass?"

"Sorry," Martin said, noticing a wince. He risked taking one hand off the man to apply a hypo before further treating the burn, though Asahi seemed somewhat anesthetized already. "As to losing mass, I was a skinny teen. I'd thought it was due to growth, but now I'm thinking metabolism since I'm shrinking but somehow still losing weight," his stomach interrupted with a loud rumble, "...despite being constantly hungry."

Asahi leaned in, squinting at Martin, who seemed to be less tree-like and more... twig-like. "I forgot all about that." Then a giant, drunken grin formed on his lips, and he pointed at the bubbling pot of food, for the moment forgetting that the doctor was the doctor. "So you wanna have some? If you're... all shrinking, you gotta have food to counteract that."

"I do," Martin said, nearly drooling at the prospect. "But I'm going to treat this burn first," he insisted, taking out a dermal regenerator. "Then I can rationalize taking the food as payment for a house call."

"I said nuffin' bout no payment," Asahi slurred, frowning as he looked about his dizzying surroundings to see if he could spot the chopsticks that were thrown aside as he was catching Martin. "If you're all shrinking..." he began, mind now elsewhere again, "How small is small for you? Did you get all small small or are you a tall small?"

Martin very nearly stopped to add a hypo for detox to what he'd already given Asahi, but being a bit wasted was keeping the man compliant - or at least less able to resist treatment. "Fine. I'll go find food elsewhere once we're done," he said, maybe a little more harshly then intended. It had been years since he'd actually been a state that could qualify as 'hangry'. "And at last reading I was bit shy of 1.8 meters instead of slightly over 1.85, but the way things are going I'll be shorter than you in a day or two."

"I said I wasn't payin' ya, not that I wasn't sharing. Don't get grumpy or I'll get you a juice box." Whether that was an intentional tease or not remained to be spoken. But Asahi waved his good hand in the air. "I'd be... It'd be ... Yeah Ima laugh at that before it becomes less funny. That's what I'm gonna do. Then I'll... Ask a doc. Wait. You're a doc." He laughed. "We are so fucked aren't we."

"Ha ha," Martin deadpanned sarcastically as he finished with the hand. "We are if there's a new strain that makes people act immature even if they don't de-age." He picked up his medscanner, running it over Asahi and frowning for a few beats for effect. "But you at least are only drunk. Which isn't to say you aren't fucked. You seem to be immune, so if I can't find a cure, you and the Marines get to change a LOT of diapers in a week or so."

"Hah! Hahahaa... Haaa..." The concept of diapers just made the drunken intel officer dismiss the whole thought. "I bet you can figure it out. Even if I gotta get a highchair to do it." He frowned, eyes on the replicator as if it held the answers. "Shoul' I replicate you one of them chalkboards or should I go straight for the building blocks? I bet we can communicate that way..."

Martin snorted a laugh - unprofessional maybe, but drunk Asahi... plus even if he'd retained his memories and medical knowledge, he was down a pint or two on maturity. He briefly wondered if this was how it was for Jack and Nolan felt all the time. "If I get too young to talk, stick me straight into a cryo chamber. According to my parents, I starting talking early - and then never shut up."

"Doc... Doc if you-you get too young to talk, I might be too busy chasin' after other babies before I-OH WAIT!" The shout caused Hojo to jump, now on all fours as he looked over curiously at Asahi. "... What about Rufus? Is he affected by this too? Do I need to up my supply of peanut butter?"

The shout had startled Martin too, but he couldn't be upset at the reaction once he heard where it came from. "Yes, Rufus too. He's de-aging by months rather than years but," a shadow passed over the doctor's expression, "given Kainan lifecycle, he'll probably be one of the first to run out of time."

"Peanut butter fixes everything for dogs." Asahi stated with an eerie conviction and confidence. "Maybe that's the secret. Peanut butter and hot pot will reverse this de-aging. I bet that's it." He gave pause. "Whatchu need out of me to get this all fixed up? I can't change diapers and if I end up... end up bein'... stuck trying to find Jack and Nolan to run the ship, this ship might end up... end up in a... it'd be bad."

"Worth a try," Martin chuckled, eying the hot pot. Dammit, he was hungry, but bedside manner seemed to be ingrained despite him being at an age now that was well before it developed. "You just keep trying to trace and isolate. Drop people into daycare when they get too young, or start giving in to acting their age and become a danger. Don't worry about running the ship. Yoshi's been handling that part. We have an ECH, and honestly, I think we could trust Jack to step up and get us to a starbase at least. Fixing it before it gets to that point..." he pulled at the back of his neck. "...that's on me. At least for as long as I'm able to work."

With his good hand, Asahi leaned forward and clumsily attempted to place it on Martin's cheek. "No. Shh. No no. I hear anxiety. No anxiety. All good. You'll fix it. You always fix it." He sat upright, using the same hand to gesture to the food. "You need brain food. Stay and eat."

"Thank you," Martin said sincerely. The way of expressing might have been a bit awkward, but Martin felt warmed by the vote of confidence (particularly from one of his more doctor-phobic patients). And the offer of food was very much appreciated. "That does smell terrific," he said, and got up to fetch a plate and utensils. On the way back, he took out a hypo and set it on the side table. "For later - I think you're going to want something for a hangover."

Asahi blearily stared at the hypo on the side table. "Okay." And then promptly forgot about it. Food took precedence. He scooted forward toward the pot again, snagging the bowl and spoon from the floor nearby. He plucked the ladle from the pot, spooning out some of the steaming contents into his bowl. He looked over to Martin, then down to the plate, then over to the pot of stew. "... Uh... Here." He handed the bowl over to Martin. "Iss just gonna burn you on the plate."

Martin looked at the plate in his hand and nearly laughed - he'd been so focused on just eating that he hadn't even thought about it. But he couldn't leave Asahi eating out of the pot so he quickly swapped the plate for a bowl before plopping down on the floor and exchanging empty for full - an excellent trade! God, but it smelled good!

"Thanks." He grabbed a spoon, digging in. "Honestly, I'm so hungry I doubt I'd notice a burn..."


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