tanithryudo: (IDIC)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
AN: Again, this is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek.

Takes place around... 2318.Q4-ish. Tezuka-expy shows up, and Atobe-expy gets a name drop.

The Academy By The Bay 3

“You’re a hard Vulcan to find, my friend.”

Lt. Tezkan looked up from a pile of padds, nonplussed at the sight of a smirking Betazoid at his office door.

“Do you require my assistance, Counsellor Fujei?” he asked tonelessly.

“No,” Fujei replied, stepping into the room, “but I’m thinking you need mine.” With a flourish, he set down a restaurant carryout box on the desk.

Tezkan did not bother looking down at it, staring hard at Fujei with a look just this side of a glare.

“I do not require susten--”

Fujei interrupted the expected protest before it could get started. “During lunch hour?” the Betazoid asked with just a shade of sarcasm. “Just like for the last, oh let’s see, week? Should we review your recent eating habits? Maa, what do you think the Academy medical services would say, hmm?”

There was a pause as the Vulcan continued to stare silently. It was only Fujei’s telepathic ability that allowed him to get a hint of the furiously racing thoughts behind that stoic mask.

“...You do not have the authorization to access my meal card records.” Tezkan stated at length, still attempting to deflect the issue.

“I didn’t need it; I have spies,” Fujei told him sweetly.

A slight furrow of his brow was the only sign that marked Tezkan’s momentary confusion at the reply. As the Vulcan tried to determine if the other was actually serious or if it was an expression of humor, Fujei reached reached over and tapped the control at the top of the box. With a soft beep, it folded outwards, forming a crude dish holding a small pile of fresh baked goods. At each of the four folded-out edges was affixed a different style of utensils.

As the savory aroma filled the air, Tezkan’s eyes finally flickered downwards, and Fujei smothered a triumphant smile as he sensed the brief spark of quickly-suppressed appreciation.

“Where’s the logic in neglecting your health when the food’s already in front of you?” the Betazoid challenged.

With a slight head-tilt, Tezkan conceded the argument and chose a pair of chopsticks from one edge of the container, twirling them skillfully between his fingers.

“This is...focaccia, correct? I was not aware of any restaurants that offer this cuisine nearby campus,” Tezkan noted absently as he picked up the top piece from the stack.

“There isn’t,” Fujei agreed, dropping into a chair across from his friend. “This is from a place near HQ. I know a yeoman who was getting catering from this place today for the brass, and was willing to pick up an extra for me.”

Tezkan was ninety percent certain he knew the identity of the yeoman in question, someone who was far too accommodating of requests made by the non-Admiral Academy staff in his opinion. However, he also knew his current companion’s manipulative nature well too, and it was illogical argue about what was unlikely to change.

Fujei, meanwhile, idly rested his chin on a fist as he continued speaking. “I also know a place near the Vulcan Embassy that tries to make focaccia with favinit butter, but this one’s way more authentic Earth-style. Well, except for the quadrotriticale grain.”

“It is gustatorially adequate,” Tezkan allowed after finishing another bite. A small corner of his mind had automatically catalogued the subtle hints of rosemary, garlic, and green onion. Oddly, the texture reminded him of kreyla, though the flavor was vastly distinct - a flavor that had grown on him since joining Starfleet, if he had to admit.

Fujei fell silent, allowing his workaholic friend a moment finally to eat in peace. But as the silence lingered, so did his eyes upon the myriad of padds that Tezkan had been working on, followed by a gnawing sense of curiosity. Deciding that his over-conscientious friend would stop him if he tried to read anything he shouldn’t, he snooped.

“Starfleet Regulatory and Legal Precedents in Application... Is this what they kept you on for?” Fujei asked at length, holding up one of the padds with his other hand. “I remember you said before that your temporary stint at the Academy was almost up.”

“That was an accurate statement at the time,” Tezkan replied after finishing his latest bite, “but abrogated due to extenuating circumstances.”

Fujei waited a long moment for further elaboration, but with no further response forthcoming, his curiosity got the better of his patience. “And those circumstances being?” he prompted.

Tezkan reigned in a sigh at his companion’s nosiness, but nonetheless, explained: “The Academy made a logical request for lecturers with previous experience with the Orion Union to provide assistance with their current cross study program. Given my previous experience with the JAG appeal court attached to the Starfleet anti-Syndicate operation, I logically volunteered.”

“Ah. And...you’re okay with that?” Fujei asked with a look of concern. “It’s not dredging up bad memories?”

Vague language aside, Tezkan didn’t pretend to misunderstanding what the other was talking about. They had first met, after all, when Fujei was touring the Vulcan Science Academy while trying to decide his scholastic future, and Tezkan had been under medical treatment there for prolonged exposure to biotoxins while working with the JAG detachment on Freedom during the height of the anti-Syndicate conflict there. It had been a memorable incident, given that Fujei had never even considered a Starfleet career before it.

“Counsellor, as a Vulcan, I am not afflicted by trauma induced psychological disorders that you are alluding to,” Tezkan stated bluntly.

The Betazoid muttered something in his native tongue, then stared stubbornly at Tezkan as if trying to look through his head.

For his part, even as he automatically suppressed a burst of exasperation, Tezkan refrained from tightening down his mental defenses. He had nothing to hide, and logic and past experience indicated that this would at least preempt further conversation on the topic.

“So, if you’re not...bothered...by any recent events,” Fujei started again slowly, picking his words with care so as not to offend Vulcan sensibilities. “What caused the big change to your eating habits? I mean, I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but mentally fooling your own hunger response doesn’t actually provide nutrition to your body!”

“That…was an oversight,” Tezkan admitted after a brief hesitation. “My schedule has been necessarily erratic due to concurrent assignments at the Academy and the JAG office--”

“They have you pulling double duty?” Fujei interrupted, then cut himself off as he sensed the answer to that. “No, you volunteered--but why-- Tezkan! I know you get--” Don’t say passionate, he reminded himself. “--you’re dedicated to truth and justice and all that, but there’s a difference between dedication and working yourself to death!”

“There’s no need to be hyperbolic, Counsellor,” the Vulcan calmly chided him. “As I said, it was an oversight, which I will rectify forthwith.”

“You’d better,” Fujei huffed, “or we’ll be having more of these little meetings!”

“I will keep that in mind.” Blithely ignoring his indignant companion, Tezkan rose and walked toward the synthesizer in the room. “Tea?” he asked even as he dialed up two cups.

“Yes, thank you,” Fujei replied as he was handed the expected cup of Vulcan spice tea -- the only flavor of tea he’d ever been able to stand.

A long moment passed between the two officers as they consumed the beverage. At length, more calmly now, Fujei struck up the conversation again.

“So what did the JAG office assign you anyway?” he asked curiously. “Something to do with the Caitian Scandal? The KLC?” He was fishing for information, natural given that the whole Federation had been abuzz with the slew of events that had followed the surprise attack on the USS Republic.

“Both of those investigations currently still reside under the purview of Starfleet Intelligence,” Tezkan informed him with a slight shake of the head. “I am to serve on the investigatory panel for the USS Tarrak, and potentially, the court martial panel as well.”

“The Tarrak?” Fujei echoed in surprise. “I thought they just got hit by a space monster.”

“A spaceborne macro-cosmozoa,” Tezkan corrected pedantically.

“But why is Captain Leaniss being court martialled?” Fujei pressed. “It can’t have been her fault.”

Whatever Tezkan’s private opinions on the matter, he kept it to himself. “It is Starfleet policy that significant damage to a Fleet asset requires a court martial review of the commanding officer’s actions.”

“Huh.” Fujei paused thoughtfully at that. “Does that mean the same thing will happen to whoever’s left of the Spirit?” he mused, referring to the crippled explorer that had been just recently towed back to dock.

“The possibility exists,” Tezkan replied noncommittally, not willing to speculate on orders not yet given, and also trying to decide how to politely end the conversation.

At that moment, the soft beep of a message notification interrupted the conversation. As Tezkan sedately picked up the padd in question to respond, Fujei was able to catch a quick glimpse of the message headers.

“Oh? Who’s this Akobei fellow?” Fujei tilted his head at his friend. “Don’t tell me you’re further splitting your time doing private tutoring?” The question was only half-serious, since he didn’t think the Vulcan was the type to hand-hold struggling students.

Tezkan internally debated the merit of asking the other to leave now that the normal lunch period was over, but past experience indicated that would only delay the conversation.

“Teigo Akobei is one of the officers from the Orion Union cross study program,” Tezkan explained at length. “He is an intelligent and motivated officer, with wide interests in learning from the Academy in preparation for his position among the command staff of Orion Union’s upcoming explorer.”

Fujei stared at his friend, surprised at the almost effusive description from the usually staid Vulcan. “And, uh, how do you fit in?” he asked curiously. “I mean, no offense, but you don’t usually find lawyers on a bridge crew.”

“I have had several insightful conversations with him regarding the similarities and challenges of space jurisprudence,” Tezkan replied stiffly, then held up a hand to forestall the other from further questions. His firm tone was a dismissal in and of itself, even as he bluntly expressed the same intent. “Counsellor, I believe we both have duties to attend to at this time. Please...leave me to my preparations.”

“As you say.” Deciding that he had already pushed enough today, Fujei accepted the brush off with good grace. Well, almost good grace. As he was about to depart the office, he couldn’t resist firing off the last word before ducking out the door: “But hey, maybe someday you’ll introduce me to your new friend?”
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