Best Christmas Ever
Posted on Friday, 14 January 2022 - 9:46pm by Lieutenant Ryan Rose MD & Lieutenant Scarlet Rogers
Edited on on Friday, 14 January 2022 - 10:07pm
Mission: Operation: Crimson Kaleidoscope
Scarlet was staring off into the distance whilst on the sofa. Her mind was running a few scenarios all at once. It had been a strange few weeks. Her PhD portion that entailed being on a ship and on the voyage was nearing completion, for now, and she had a few options that she needed to discuss with Ryan. She wasn't sure what option would be best, but she wanted whichever one would mean she didn't have to do long distance.
A small curl fell from her bun as she tilted her head, resembling that of a confused puppy. Her eyes were still oblivious to their actual line of vision as her brain continued calculating and weighing up options, occasionally side tracking to the future in general. There was nothing quite like a white picket fence, highlighting how positive and bright a future could be, mixed in with negative future possibilities. Each option, bar one, held awful consequences for the couple, but she held hope that Ryan and her would last, regardless of decision.
Ryan exited their bedroom after taking a shower, clad in just gray sweatpants and a white tshirt. He was exhausted, which seemed to be a constant state as of late. But at least he was clean, and Scarlet was there; well she looked about a million miles away, but she was there. He joined her on the couch. “Hey.” He kissed her cheek. “Bar of latinum for your thoughts, they look deep.”
Scarlet snapped back into the real world and chuckled, teasing, "just a bar?" She smiled, "I've just submitted a portion of my PhD. It was the portion that I needed to be on a ship for, well, for now anyway." The woman reached for her PaDD with her next steps written down.
“That went by fast.” Ryan commented. “So what’s next? Wait, have you eaten?” Ryan interrupted himself.
"I have, and have left you some on the side," she smiled, "you were running late, so I ate. I heard someone mention the chief of Intel. If it was true, I assumed you'd be a while. It's a few minutes to midnight now, so almost Christmas. Our first, together."
“It’s already the 24th?” Ryan asked rhetorically. He kissed her cheek again, then stood off and padded to the kitchen. He brought the plate back with him, and sat back down next to her. “Wow, time has flown. Are there any Christmas traditions you want to follow?”
Scarlet shook her head, "we didn't really have many when I was a child. We opened one gift on Christmas eve but that was it. Everything else seemed normal. After they passed, I didn't pick up any new ones because of moving around foster homes so often. As an adult, my only tradition is 'go to work' or be asked by someone if I want to join their family for Christmas - - I always thought I was imposing, so always said I had plans. I'm happy to make new traditions with you." She paused, "what about you? A call home perhaps?"
“Yes. I definitely need to call home or my folks will worry.” He took a few bites of his dinner. “Thank you.” He smiled, indicating his food. “I’ve never really been a big Christmas fan, but I’d love to start new traditions with you. Would it be too silly or too late to put up a tree?”
Scarlet thought about it, "I mean, tech i ally, it's still pre Christmas. I can't see why not." She shrugged and stood up, grabbing her PaDD before sitting back down next to Ryan. She then threw a small black square on the floor, about the size of an old earth key chain, "mini holo tree? I've been wanting to test the pocket projector, I've been working on."
“Perfect. We can kill two birds with one small black box.”
"Turkey and goose?" she teased, pulling up the programme.
Once the holo tree was twinkling it hit Ryan rather suddenly; what he wanted for christmas.
"I'll return the bar of latinum for your thoughts," she smiled.
Ryan snapped out of his wandering mind. He held up a finger in the universal ‘hold on’ gesture, then headed to the replicator. He hid whatever he had replicated. He would wait for Christmas, midnight exactly. “I’ll tell you at Christmas.” He smiled.
Scarlet looked confused but shrugged. She then got up and grabbed a gift wrapped box from their room and popped it under the tree. "Well, not long then." Scarlet brushed a stray lock of unruly, curly hair out of her eyes and behind her ear and she thought for a moment. "How was work? If it was the intel chief, how was it getting back to pediatrics-- well, kind of?" she began, with interest. She hoped it would open the topic for her to ask about potentially leaving the bear.
Ryan slouched into the couch. “A lot of crew ignoring my concerns about their health, per usual. I’m not really sure they want a doctor on board so much as just a medic. It’s honestly been pretty frustrating.”
"Are you not happy here?" she asked.
Ryan hadn’t really thought about it in those terms. “I’m happy with YOU here. The rest...” He shrugged. “It has its ups and downs, just seems a lot of downs recently.”
Scarlet nodded. Somewhat reluctantly, this was the opening she hoped for, "well, my next phase of PhD opens me up to a few options, most of which involve leaving the standing bear."
Ryan sat up straighter. “Any ideas where you’d like to go?”
"Not sure," she replied, "I either return home, or I need to be somewhere that goes further afield. The kind of ship that has families, generations, where Barney, the EMH, can be tested properly. I uploaded the code my PhD is based on, to him. He needs opportunities to learn and develop, especially with new lifeforms and he utilises the communications so that the nearest base can update the universal databases quicker, instead of waiting to return home."
Ryan nodded. Plans he’d only half formed he let solidify. “Whatever you decide, I’ll follow.” He ran a hand through his hair, which was getting quite shaggy. “There’s never a shortage of open positions, wherever we go; but I think I’d like to take a sabbatical, regardless. A few months to just decompress.” He looked over, with a ‘what do you think’ expression on his face.
Scarlet smiled, "I mean, technically speaking, I have a lot of time that I've never taken. I could have a break, I just have to submit portions of my PhD by already agreed deadlines, but I'm ahead anyway."
“Yeah?” Ryan smiled. He hadn’t expected that reply. He checked the time, then dropped down to one knee in front of Scarlet. “What do you say we take a really long honeymoon? Will you marry me?” He pulled out the empty ring box he’d replicated. “Sorry, I know there’s no ring, but I want to get you something real, that you'll like.”
Scarlet blinked processing. She was speechless. A smile pulled the corners of her mouth, "Really?"
Ryan was braced for bad news, but relaxed at Scarlet’s smile. “I’ve wanted to propose for awhile, but nothing seemed right. I finally realized nothing was going to seem right, nothing would be special enough. I can’t picture my life without you there, always. So, yes, really. Will you marry me?” He asked again, this time with a more relaxed smile.
"Yes," she replied quickly, "of course. I brought up the topic of changing ship because I don't want to leave you. I'd follow you anywhere."
Ryan leaned in and kissed Scarlet fully, then finally pulled back beaming and a little out of breath. “Well, let me follow you. I can work anywhere. We can head back to Earth, then decide the next move?” He offered.
Scarlet nodded, "I look forward to our adventures together." She kissed his cheek then teased, "you're not marrying me just for access to all the new medical kits, are you, doctor?"
“Well that and your shepherd's pie.” Ryan teased right back. He pulled her into his side and sighed with contentment “Best Christmas ever.”
Scarlet snuggled into him, "I agree. I love you."