They got back to Yallia and went straight to the Generals office.
“Commander Keats glad to see you.” General Nieve said standing up and taking a firm hold of her arm.
“Thanks for sending these guys out for me.” Keats thanked him
“Well luckily I did.” The General sighed sitting back down.
“I’m sorry for my poor decision making,” Keats said bluntly, “But I think we should’ve brought back Rinder and his crew with us so that we could’ve kept an eye on them.”
“Yes well that would’ve been ideal, but I’m sure they would’ve arrived in pieces in a jar if that’d been the case.” The General said looking at Nix who was nodding definitively. The General excused everyone but Keats and she told him everything that Ash had told her.
“Hmmm this is really troublesome, we must be on high alert and I shall send out a small fleet this side of the dell to keep an eye on things and put stricter transportation movement orders out.” The General was now talking to himself. Keats excused herself, she was glad the General was actually a smart man and not some idiot like herself. She felt grotty and dirty after being stuck in the same clothes for a couple of days now, but more than anything she was dying for a decent feed, so she made her way down to the mess hall. Not long after she’d sat down at her table Tegan joined her.
“Commander, good to see you’re back and in one piece.” Tegan said.
“Good to be back.” Keats said scoffing down her food.
“Hey Commander.” Jase said as he slipped into the chair opposite his sister.
“Hey Jase, good to see you buddy.” Keats smiled.
“Good to see you too, glad that you’re alright.” Jase smiled back. The three of them talked about nothing in particular while they ate, Keats was thankful that they didn’t press the issue of Captain Rinder, they knew they’d find out soon enough. After eating and talking she excused herself and returned to her room. She jumped in the shower and stayed in there for about twenty minutes. She managed to begin to untangle the messy knot that was supposed to be her hair, when someone knocked on her door, it was about 11:30pm. She wandered out of her bathroom and put her comb in her mouth as she opened the door.
“Evening Commander.” Nix said pushing his way past her and into her room. Keats stuck her head out the door to make sure no one had been passing by and seen him go in, she really didn’t want anyone to think that anything was going on.
“Are you ok?” Nix asked sitting on the end of her bed.
“I’m fine.” She answered going back into her bathroom and continued to work the knots out. Why did he always come when she was in her pj’s or underwear, every single friggin’ time, but not that it mattered much anyway, since there wasn’t much he hadn’t seen anyway.
“Are you sure?” he said appearing at the bathroom door. Keats nodded her head still avoiding eye contact,
“Yes, really I am, and don’t think you’ll be giving me a lecture now or anytime soon,” she said flicking him with her comb, “I know it was a very stupid thing to do and I put myself in a seriously stupid position.”
“I didn’t come up here to lecture you you’re not stupid although sometimes I do wonder how you ever became a Commander.” Nix said.
“Yeah always the comedian.” Keats said flicking him again.
“No really, I came to see if you were alright, you looked like you were ready to kill me and the guys on the cruiser earlier.” He said.
“That’s because I was,” She said, sounding pretty serious, “But I’m ok now.” She returned to the mirror. Finally she got the last of the knots out and then braided it flicking the bathroom light off and heading towards the door. Before she opened the door Nix asked,
“Are you pretending like nothing happened?” Keats shook her head,
“No, are you?”
“Do you think I’d be down here at this hour if I was trying to avoid it?” He said.
“And do you think I would’ve let you stay this long.” She said. They stood in silence for a few minutes with Keats looking at her toes and wriggling them on the carpet.
“Look at me for a minute.” Nix said, so Keats looked up at him. He was a good five inches taller than she was,
“I’m looking,” And she folded her arms over her chest and then looked at the ground again, “this isn’t going anywhere, and I don’t know what you’re looking for but how about I leave you with this,” she kissed him quickly, “And I’ll see you tomorrow,” Then opened the door and pushed him out, “Bye.” And the door slid closed. She knew exactly what he was looking for, but truth was she wasn’t sure if she wanted it or if she was just scared about it, even though she knew it wasn’t fair for her to lead him on in anyway, but he was doing it to her as well or at least that’s how she justified it with herself.
As Nix made his way back to his own room, he couldn’t help but think about what he wanted and what Keats wanted, she was so confusing, she acted and said things which seemed like she wasn’t interested in any way, shape or form and yet she had still kissed him. He let out an exasperated sigh and tried not to think about it anymore.