To Dream Among The Stars – Chapter 12


Day 9It is in a state of haze and tiredness that I wake up, feeling that I just fell asleep after turning for few hours. The last day is still very much present on my mind, jumping from one event to the other; my shame of being a bad friend to Leet and the embarrassment of getting attracted by Bruce obscuring most of my thinking. I do not open my eyes, not wanting to start the day, not wanting to face the reality.It seems like the alarm clock has been blaring forever when I feel Akari get over me to shut it off and open the lights. I do not budge, wanting her to leave me alone. Why didn’t I go sleep in my room? I wouldn’t have to endure her gaze that I feel through my eyelids. I fake sleeping, to no avail.“Good morning,” Akari softly tells me.I do not move, waiting for her to go away.“I know you aren’t sleeping,” she continues even more softly.Why doesn’t she just go away?“It went that bad?” she eventually asks, not relenting.I force my eyes open, angry that she is pushing me, her of all people. She has been there for me since the beginning, why can’t she understand I don’t want her to remind me of my problems.Akari recoils back as I’m focusing all my attention on her, all my anger turned toward her. I still do not say anything, hoping she will just leave the room.“Alex, are you going to tell me what’s going on or am I gonna have to fish it out?” she says more seriously this time.Understanding that she will not back down, I bark at her, “Can’t you just leave me alone?”“No, not this morning. What happened yesterday with Leet?” she continues with the same firm tone.“Nothing happened,” I say louder. Then, I turn on my side, facing away from her to close the conversation.“Alex, look at me when I speak to you,” she says, her voice showing how she is losing patience.Not responding to her, she puts her hand on my side and tries to turn me on my back. Feeling her intention, I swing my left arm, hitting hers, pushing her away. She isn’t going to force me to face my issues.“What the fuck, Alex? I don’t know what is it with you this morning, but you aren’t putting your problems on me. You don’t want to talk about it, fine, but I don’t want someone in my bed that deals with his shit like a child,” she tells me harshly.“Alright then!” I tell her with all the anger I can muster, feeling her words sting deeply. Promptly, I leave her bed. I pick up my things, not bothering putting my clothes on, and leave, not looking back. I put my stuff in my room and go for a quick shower, ruminating at Akari’s abruptness. I quickly go through it as I don’t want to run into anyone, especially not her. As I leave, she is in the hallway coming toward me. I ignore her and go directly to my cabin. I skip breakfast and stay locked in until I need to be on the bridge. Looking at my schedule, I’ll have to spend all day up there with Akari. What a fucking perfect coincidence? I just want to be left alone to deal with my shit as she said.As I wait for the inevitable start of my shift, I think about how everything went south. Not only have I hurt Leet, but Akari is also pushing me out of her life with her hurtful comment. This will be flipping fantastic, spending twenty-odd days with both hating me. Oh, but wait, I’m sure they will tell the rest of the crew, turning them against me. It will be fun, spending my first and most likely last trip in space with people that are despising me. This will not look great on my resume, as I’m sure I will be sacked once we are back on Earth. At least, Bruce will stop trying to fuck me.As the spiral of dark thoughts pulls me down in a black void, the idea of Bruce stopping harassing me should make me happy, but it kind of makes me sad. Delving into that emotion, it doesn’t take long that it transforms into more anger, feeling that Bruce has corrupted me so much that the thought of him stopping flirting with me makes me miserable. It is in that mindset that I spend my time until my shift, going through contradictory emotions that ravage my mind and crush my spirit.At 0859 sharp, I leave my room and go up to join the bridge crew. As I enter, I just wish good morning to everyone, hoping it will be enough. They are polite, but that’s about it. Akari is already there when I arrive. I’m sure she bitched about me before I came in, making sure they are on her side. At least, they leave me alone, talking to me only when needed. The day is slow, giving me plenty of opportunities to think about how I fucked up everything: my relationship with Leet and Akari, my future on the ship, my career.For lunch, I get a quick sandwich and eat alone at the long table. I see others walk by, but they seem to be avoiding me. Even Disy is fucking staying away from me, that old fart. They must have already decided that I’m out, they are casting me aside. My afternoon isn’t better. I don’t want to be here, I want to be back on Earth, where I could go away and forget my troubles altogether. As I contemplate all this, I look at the time constantly, the clock ticking very slowly, allowing me to dwell on my failure, on my stupidity to think that I could be great at working in space. The minute my shift is done, I go directly to my room and lock the door. I install myself on my bed, curled up into a fetal position, trying to give me some strength to pass through this.Going through my options, I should just tell the captain that she can keep me here, my jail, until we are back on Earth so I do not hurt anyone else. Well, she might just drop me at Sirius, so she doesn’t have to keep my fucking no-good friend piece of shit boyfriend gay magnet ass on the ship.I hear a knock on my door. Speaking of the devil, here she is, locking me up, giving me food ration for the rest of the trip. I go to the door and open it. It isn’t the captain on the other side, but Natasha. What the fuck does she want? Ah, I see. The captain sent her as she doesn’t want to deal with me. Great!“May I come in?” she asks so politely.“What for?” I ask dryly. She can say whatever she came for at the door.“I think we need to talk,” bahis siteleri she adds still politely but with more authority.“You can tell me I’m off the ship right fucking here. Just say it and leave me alone,” I tell her, getting angry at her insistence. “And you think this is what’s happening?” she asks, an eyebrow raised. “Don’t take me for a fool, it’s obvious I’m not fit to be in space,” I tell her like this is a known fact.“Oh, I’m not going to let you take the easy road. We can do it in the med bay or in your room, but we are talking right now. Where is it going to be?” she tells me firmly.She is starting to piss me off, but I’ll comply for now, so this can be quickly over. I move aside and let her in. She takes my desk chair and invites me to take place on my bed. I sit on it but not facing her, furious as to how she is forcing me to talk with her like Leet and Akari did.“Alex, what are you angry about?” she asks me softly.“Why do you care?” I ask her, looking dead in front of me.“Because I’m your friend, Alex, and I don’t like seeing them hurt,” she tells me. This has the force of a garbage truck, hitting me at a hundred kilometers an hour. Is she trying to insult me? To show that she is a better friend than I am? With a hard voice, I tell her, “I’m not hurt, I just want to be left alone.”“Why do you need to be left alone, Alex?” she persists.Starting with conviction, I angrily reply, “Because I don’t deserve to be here! I don’t deserve to have this job. I don’t deserve to be in space. To be in this crew. To have Akari as my girlfriend. To have you as my friend. To have Disy cleaning my shit. To have Leet…” I trail, looking down, now feeling sad.“I heard what happened between Leet and you yesterday—” she starts.“I’m sure you think I’m a piece of shit!” I interrupt her.“No, I just think you made a bad call, Alex,” she says softly.“Ah, this is what Akari told me. Look at where our relationship is,” I say angrily.“You think that Akari wants to kick you out of her life?” she asks, surprised at my remark.“I deserve it!” I exclaim angrily.“So, let me try to understand. You deserve to have Akari reject you along with the rest of the crew and that you lose your job on the ship, your lifelong dream, for having prioritized yourself over Leet?” she asks, softly.I burst, “Don’t you see, I’m a shit person that can’t even fucking understand when someone needs me?! How can I be a good member of the crew when I’m too selfish to see someone is hurt? How can I be helping anyone if I can’t reciprocate what the rest of the crew have been giving me? How can I handle all of the attention I’ve been given IF I CAN’T EVEN CARE FOR ONE PERSON?” I finish yelling.Natasha studies me for few seconds before replying, “How’s the attention that the crew gives you affect your relationship with Leet and Akari?”I look at her with a sarcastic smile before replying, “Like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”“No, Alex, I don’t,” she tells me truthfully.Looking in front of me, I shake my head in disbelief at her answer. “My physical exam,” doing air quotes while saying those words, “where you only wanted to play with my dick and probe my ass. The evening sessions where you are only looking to screw me afterward. All the kisses, the looks, the innuendos, what do you think they do on me, being the center of attention of everyone? How can I focus on building a good relationship with everyone when I can’t think clearly? When I’m feeling so many emotions? When they are so disturbing?”I close my eyes, trying to repress the confusion rising in me, the conversation having awakened the events of yesterday’s lunchtime.“I see. Alex, I’m sorry if my actions caused you distress or issues. But, I have the feeling I’m not the one at fault for this specific instance. What happened that made you feel disturbed, I think that’s the word you used, to ignore Leet’s requests?” she asks me softly, her voice having lost the edge she was using before.I do not answer her, desire and repugnance combating in my mind, capturing all of my attention at the conundrum that Bruce has created in me. On one hand, I would like to leave Natasha and go for Bruce’s room to ask him to ravage me and be done with it. On the other hand, all sorts of fears make me stop and question if this isn’t simply a perverse idea put in my mind by him and the others, to make me do things I never wanted in the first place.“Alex, what are you thinking?” Natasha asks me, but I’m not conscious enough of my surroundings to react to her.Many seconds elapse before she asks me the question that makes it all burst out on the open, “Have you had a run-in with Bruce?”I look at her, fire in my eyes, anger overruling any other emotions. Why does she want, like Leet and Akari, to force me to relive this again? Can’t they accept that I don’t want to expose all this for everyone to know, to judge me?Natasha doesn’t flinch at my anger but composes her face to reflect compassion. She looks at me for few seconds before saying, “It’s difficult to confront something so distressing, so disturbing, right? Do you feel ashamed that you feel this way, Alex?”Wanting to deny everything, I open my mouth to voice my disagreement but I stop as I was to say the first word, realizing that I could lie to everyone about it, but not to myself. It is with a trembling jaw that I start to unravel, to pass from anger to despair, loathing myself for how I’ve treated the others, but also myself in the whole process. This is what finally lets my repressed emotions surface, finally free from the prison I’ve tried to build around them. I shake and I cry as they invade my conscious mind, a whirlwind that I can no longer contain or manage. I’m wounded that I’ve hurt Leet, I feel ashamed of how I treated Akari, and, most of all, I’m embarrassed by how much I’ve ignored myself.Natasha gets on the bed and hugs me, taking me in her arms, consoling me. She puts my head on her shoulder and lets me cry. I feel so miserable and lost, far from my comfortable home, of my family and friends, and the canlı bahis siteleri landmarks that grounded my life. I’m letting all my emotions out, feeling her reassurance, her understanding, and her compassion helping me evacuate all that has been oppressed by my desire to ignore them. We stay like this for a long time as I go through the waves of rushing emotions, slowing down as the hurricane subsides, as the prison in my mind is emptying.“Alex, you cannot keep this inside of yourself, this isn’t healthy. You have to face the issues head-on, otherwise, you will hurt yourself and the people around you,” she says very softly in my ear, still hugging me hard. “Let’s take a problem at a time. First, you have to accept that you have hurt Leet and move on. If you don’t, all that you have worked so far will be lost, you will not be able to stay on the ship, not because we will kick you out, but because you will not be able to work with her. She will get over it, it’s only you that haven’t accepted that you wronged her.”I let her go, to look at her, to face my issues as she said. I remove tears from my eyes and ask with a choked-up voice, “How can I accept it if our relationship cannot go back to where it was?”“Your bond with Leet will never be the same, you’ve changed it. If you make time for her, to rebuild the bridge that you accidentally destroyed, your relationship will grow past what it was and you and her will get closer and closer. If you don’t, it will only go downhill and you will grow apart,” she tells me with a compassionate voice.“How do I do that?” I ask her, whispering, hopeful.“I’m sorry, there is no medication or magic word to make the problem go away. Akari was right when she sent you to Leet, for you to apologize. Has she accepted it?” she adds softly.“I think so,” I answer while looking down, the memory of the evening coming back to me.“Alex, you have to move on. If Leet accepted your apology, then you are the only one that hasn’t moved past this incident,” she replies while squeezing my hands.“Okay. I’ll try to do that,” I say, unsure how I can do it if I’m going to work with her every day.“It might be awkward at first, but if you put the efforts necessary, I’m sure you can go through and have a better relationship with her,” she suggests.I look down, thinking about Leet, how I’m—Suddenly, I think about Akari. “I screwed up with Akari. I’m so stupid! Why did I get angry with her?” I panic, leaving behind my issues with Leet.“Whoa, calm down, Alex. If your relationship was that fragile, Akari wouldn’t have come to see me, concerned about you,” she tries to reassure me.I look at her, wishing she is right.“You have to remember something: this is your first flight. Issues like this are bound to happen. You are in a new environment, with people that you don’t know, far far away from home, in a tin can that allows you to survive the rudeness of space. Some people think it’s an easy job but only 10% of new candidates stay in the company for a year and around 50% do only one trip. Also, count the fact that we aren’t a normal crew. You said it yourself, we have been after you since the beginning. It’s not always easy to have constant attention from many people.”I consider what she just said. It’s true that I’m feeling homesick. “Still, it’s no way to talk to the one you love and behave like this with the crew,” I say, harshly judging my actions of the day.“I think you did well, considering. Let me tell you what I did during my first trip on the ship. After three days, I yelled at the captain, on the bridge, because she hasn’t visited me for her physical. I became hysterical at her for what, a simple misunderstanding. Most of the crew were there, seeing me lose my shit. After I finished yelling, realizing what I just did, I locked myself in my room, out of embarrassment, only leaving in the middle of the night to get food. It took me a lot of courage but after three dreadful days, I finally went to the captain to apologize. We had a long discussion, then I did her physical. We bonded while I was looking at her and our relationship just grew since. Living on a spaceship is not simple, for rookies like you and even for long-timers like Angela. That’s why we are so close, so we can rely on each other in times like you are living right now. Everyone is worried about you. I think that we all like you very much and would find it very disappointing if you decide to leave us after this trip.”I look down, feeling uncomfortable that the crew feels this way about me. I never wanted them to be worried about me. At the same time, it feels good to know that they do not want me to leave, brightening my future.“Now,” continues Natasha with a higher tone, “What are you going to do with Bruce?”I look further down when she mentions the XO, feeling my cheeks redden, not wanting her to see the effect he has on me.“Lie to me if you want, Alex, but you feel something for him. The only person you should be straightforward with, pardon my pun, is yourself,” Natasha says with a quick laugh at her joke. Continuing on a lighter note, “There is only one thing you can do, decide if you want to pursue it or not. Forget about Bruce’s desire for you and Akari’s wet dreams about you two going at it, the only thing you should consider is what you want to do.”I look up at the mention of Akari, surprised that she knows about my companion’s fantasy.“Yeah, I know about that, it’s pretty evident. It must be difficult to handle the pressure, but you have to respect yourself in this. Here is my advice, do not rush to any conclusion and just go with the flow. If, in the end, you feel that you do not want to pursue it, Bruce will understand and he’ll back off. Just give yourself the time to figure it out. Don’t decide under the emotion,” she finishes by putting a hand on my shoulder, giving me strength.I look at her, her speech making me feel better, giving me hope that I haven’t screwed up my whole life. As I ponder on how I should go forward, I yawn heavily, trying to hide it from her.“How canlı bahis long did you sleep last night?” she asks.“Two, maybe three hours I think,” I reply.“Well, you must be tired. Why don’t I go fetch something to eat for you?” she suggests softly.”Yeah, I’m starving,” I confess, looking down.“Okay, be right back,” she tells me softly before getting up from my bed and heading out. I stay in place, deep in thought. How am I going to face the crew tomorrow? What will I say to Leet? To Akari? To Bruce?I’m still deeply thinking when Natasha comes back with a plate of food and a glass of water, making my stomach growl. I devour what she brought me, finally filling my empty belly, the lone sandwich of the lunchtime not being nearly enough to sustain me. Natasha doesn’t say a word as I eat, simply watching me.As I put the empty plate aside, I yawn again, feeling very sleepy, now that I am full.“I’ve spoken with Angela and we have decided to give you the morning off tomorrow, so you can sleep in and take a much-needed rest,” Natasha tells me.“I don’t want any special treatment, I shouldn’t—“ I start to say.“Captain’s and Doctor’s orders. We won’t let you get on the bridge before lunch. Now, I’ve brought a sleeping pill to help you get back on your feet with lots of energy.”With hesitation, I tell her, “Okay. I don’t want special treatment because I’m the rookie or something.”“We would do the same for any other crew members,” she replies truthfully.Feeling reassured, I reply, “Well, I guess I could use the sleep.” I tend my hand to get the pill, swallowing it with water.“Good, this is a fast-acting pill, so I suggest you get ready for bed right away,” she suggests, smiling softly at me.I get up and undress. She keeps her eyes on me, looking expectantly as I unzip my flight suit. Seeing her gaze, I turn so she can better see me, knowing what she wants to take a peek at. My boxer is the last piece to come down, her smile widening as my dick gets in plain view. I sigh internally, feeling the pressure of her gaze, of her desire for me and my dangling cock. “Sorry we couldn’t have a, uh, normal session tonight,” I tell her with a resigned voice, knowing what it would have entailed.“Don’t be, I prefer that you take a much-needed rest than to make you stay up late,” she replies with a wink.“Even though you like what you see?” I ask her, feeling a little bit brave as I point out one of the sources of my current issues.“It’s just postponed, I’ll be coming back in a few days to schedule it back. Now, the pill is very fast-acting, get under the sheet before I have to do it,” she tells me, still smiling.I feel a wave of sleepiness hit me, the pills already taking effect. Natasha pulls out my bedsheets, inviting me to get in. As she moves the cover over me, she lets her hand brush over my dick. She kisses me tenderly but I can’t return it, I’m already going under. I hear her say, “Sweet dreams, Alex.” I mumble something unintelligible as my brain is getting into the haze of sleep.She takes the plate and the water with her, shutting the lights as she leaves my room. As I drift away, I hear faint voices, one is Natasha’s, the other is Akari’s. The only words that I understand are Akari saying ‘I love him.’ I get into a deep sleep, happier than when I woke up, but still worried about my future.Day 10I stir in my bed, getting out of sleep, waking up slowly. I stretch, I feel like I’ve been sleeping forever, my back hurting a little bit. I look at the clock and see it’s 1123. SHIT! I’ve overslept, I need to… Yesterday comes back to me. I immediately feel bad, slumping in my bed. I stay there for few minutes, deep in thought, reliving the last two days. Even though the chat with Natasha has helped me, I still want to profusely say sorry to Leet, Akari, and the crew. Although she said I need to move on, I don’t feel it will be that easy.I get up and head for the showers. I take a long one, getting the water very hot, trying to relax my stressed body and mind. As I get out, I’m not sure if it worked as I don’t feel my mind to be relaxed at all. Coming back to my room, I take my clothes out. I look for a long time at my flight suit, the symbol of my membership to the crew, to the ship. Do I still deserve to wear it? I’d would very much like to, but this will be the decision of the captain and the crew.I get a lunch from the kitchen and quickly retreat to my room as I don’t want to see the others yet. I look at my revised schedule, half the afternoon on the bridge and half down in engineering, helping Leet. I have a lump in my throat at the idea that I’ll be spending time with her alone. The last thing I want to happen is that she asks me all those questions, to have all this brought back on the top of my mind.Natasha has left me an internal message, asking me to come to see her during the day.1300 finally arrives, I have to get to the bridge even though I would much rather stay locked away. I look at myself in the mirror as I go for the door, unsure that I like what it reflects. Resigned, I get out of my room to face whatever is awaiting me.As I get to the first deck, I see the captain hanging just outside the bridge, looking at a tablet. She hears me exit the stairs and looks at me. She smiles warmly and asks, “Do you have a minute?”“Of course, Angela,” I reply, dreading the discussion to come. She goes for her stateroom, I follow after her.“Please take a seat, Alex,” she says, pointing to a couch. Looking around, her room is very well decorated, very stylish. She has a big bed in a corner, covered with a red quilt. She has a similar desk as I have in my room, but larger and covered with pictures and few objects. On the other side, she has a couch and a table with four chairs to receive people. There is a second room in the back, most likely her private bathroom.I sit on the couch as she takes the other side. I raise my sight to look at her but discover that she is looking back at me. I lower my eyes to stare at the floor in front of me.“I like to have a one-on-one discussion with all of the members of the crew during a trip, particularly with a new member. For you, I wanted to do it a little bit later, to have time to see how you are doing, but I think we should have a chat now,” she says before taking a pause.

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