His first night on the Bridge, sitting in the Captain’s chair. Paul wiggled in excitement for the first hour. He’d never sat in the chair or had the con. Half of the crew was out sick with a virus, that produced high fevers and severe body aches, they picked up at the last planet they visited. Paul got sick with it the first day, but with Hugh’s loving care, he recovered quickly. The rest of the crew came down it with soon after. Paul and Tilly volunteered to take gamma shift on the Bridge to let the others rest. Not much was happening, other than a survey of a nebula they came across.
Paul put one leg over the arm of the chair and continued reading on his PADD. He hummed softly to himself. Only three more hours left of his shift. It was 0408.
“How’re you doing?” Hugh said, startling Paul slightly. “Sorry.”
Paul grinned at him. “Good. How’re your patients?”
“I just sent Crewman Alda back to his quarters again. He keeps sleepwalking back to the medbay and telling me a story about a lost bunny. I gave him a sedative the last time.”
“Interesting.” Paul’s attention turned to the small container in Hugh’s left hand. “What’s that?”
Hugh smiled at him as he held it up. “Oh, this little thing. Probably nothing you would be interested in. I just thought you might like a snack.”
Paul pulled his leg down and scooted over in the chair. He patted the small space next to him. Hugh shook his head. Sticking out his lower lip, Paul gave him his saddest eyes he could manage. Hugh sighed and sat down next to Paul, putting half of himself onto Paul’s lap. Paul squirmed until Hugh was completely on top of his lap. He took the container from Hugh’s hand and popped it up. Fresh fruit. Strawberries, grapes, pineapple, and cantaloupe with a sugar glaze. Yummy. Paul immediately stuck two fingers in and grabbed a piece of pineapple. Hugh laughed, shaking his head and pulling a fork out of the lid.
“Sorry.” The tips of Paul’s ears turned pink. He glanced over to see Tilly’s cheeks were red too.
“Let me.” Hugh speared a grape and offered it to Paul.
He didn’t hesitate but took the bite. “Do you think Saru would mind us eating in the chair?”
“Since it means I’m getting you to eat somewhat healthy food, I doubt it.”
They both watched the nebula; the colors changing on the view screen in a beautiful and fascinating display. Hugh moved his legs over the armrest and leaned back against Paul’s arm. They switched back and forth, giving each other a bite of the fruit until it was gone. Paul hummed in content as he put his head back against the chair, feeling very sleepy. He opened his eyes and looked at Hugh. Hugh rested his head against Paul’s chest, giving a soft sigh.
Tilly moved quietly to another part of the Bridge, not disturbing them. Paul laughed as Hugh nuzzled his nose against Paul’s chest.
“I love you,” Paul whispered.
“You love that I bring you food with sugar on it.” Hugh booped his nose. “But I love you too. I was thinking that since we both have tomorrow off, we could spend the day snuggling in bed and I found the sweetest old film about a young man who falls in love with a writer, a man who is staying with their family for the summer.”
“It sounds good to me.” Paul rested his chin on Hugh’s head, which was tucked beneath him. “Can you stay until the end of my shift? And just cuddle?”
Hugh rubbed his chest. “Of course. I’m not going anywhere. Wake me up when your shift is over.” He snuggled up against Paul’s body, relaxing completely.
Paul gently rubbed his arm until he heard Hugh’s breathing change as he drifted to sleep. He picked up his PADD and continued his work, making sure to stay quiet and not wake up his love.