hope is your survival / a captive path I lead
Location: Habitation Ring
Timeline: February 2390
Scott had spent the morning meeting his own new boss, and taking a self guided tour of his new office, and then his quarters assignment. He'd hired a company to pack up his flat back on Evaria, and was having everything shipped to him, so in the meantime it was bare bones. He'd pretty much just packed the essentials, clothing, sentimental personal items, toiletries, etc. He'd found his assigned quarters easily enough and wondered where Gran would be in relation. Maybe they'd be neighbors, who knew?
When he had unpacked his bag, and set up Mercy's charging station, he got out his PADD and pinged Granis.
How'd it go?
It only took a few moments before Granis's PADD blinked back an answer.
raza reychil allright winborn's bajoran theres a place on the prom if u want to get lunch
its called Peldara
Granis's utter refusal to use proper grammar in text was always something Scott found amusing, and that graphic...
:face_palm: Why are you the way you are?
That was borderline vulgar.
But I got the message. Food sounds good.
If I don't get lost on the way, Mercy and I will see you there in 30?
Sure enough about 30 minutes later Scott had managed to find his way to the promenade, with mercy in tow, eagerly searching for Granis.
Peldara was a Bajoran bakery nestled in-between two rival Tarkelian clothing shops, which resulted in a good deal of bickering between the trio, but made for rather competitive business practices. Peldara cornered the market on eateries around here, selling a mixture of fresh bread and jam as well as deli sandwiches and coffee. The decorations were kitschy polka-dots and newspaper print around the walls, along with photographs of the owner and various patrons.
He'd been anticipating this assignment with no small amount of dread, if he's honest. He's not the sort of guy to overtly express his emotions; even during his recovery on Evaria and after his divorce from Nave he'd kept a stiff upper lip-Granis is hard to rattle, his motto is that things could always be a lot worse. He's got food to eat, a roof over his head, a stable job and he's relatively safe-those are blessings he doesn't take for granted. But losing his best friend and traveling halfway across the quadrant? That rattled him, and even though he didn't let it show, he's sure Scott could tell. So it was a source of immeasurable relief-and total shock-to discover that Scott put in for a transfer that same day.
The girl working at the counter is a young Bajoran with a large, ornate d'ja pagh on her ear infused with strips of palladium-Granis doesn't wear one and never has, but in all the pictures on the wall the Bajorans present are wearing them, which marks him the odd one out. "Cute place," he stepped in, shooting Scott the first genuine smile he's given all day.
Scott turned, startled at Granis's voice. but he was smiling a moment later. "It is quite kitschy but surprisingly not in an obnoxious way." As much as Granis had not been looking forward to leaving Scott, Scott was very well aware that he himself would barely function without his best friend. Before he had met Granis, Scott was an inverted homebody who kept everyone at arm's length and never let anyone close. He still had many if those tendencies, but Gran had sort of weedled into his circle the moment they met. It was a friendship Scott cherished and would never take for granted. He could therapy anywhere, so why not at the edge of the galaxy? "Shall we eat inside or out on the promenade?" Where there were several tables arranged near the little deli. It wasn't really outside but close enough it was easy to pretend.
"Merc!" Granis kneels and scruffs the dog's jowls with his hands, his right just as dexterous (if not moreso) than his left. He's a simple dude, if it quacks like a dog and looks like a dog, he has a hard time not treating it like a dog. For what it's worth, Mercy certainly seems to enjoy the attention. He rises and rubs his hands together, placing an order for a tuwaly pie and two jumja sticks. It's been forever and a half since he's eaten authentic Bajoran food, so he goes ahead and tacks on an entree of hasperat and moba juice for good measure. Granis could put it away and keep on going, having yet to develop the paunch that came with his somewhat sedentary lifestyle even in middle age. "Let's hit it," he shoots Scott a finger gun and ducks out the back to slide himself into an empty chair.
Scott loved watching Granis play with Mercy. The Bajoran knew the dog was a robot, but the canine herself didn’t know that so it was downright adorable to watch Granis play with her like a pup, especially when she acted like a pup. It made Scott's heart ache a little to watch sometimes, because he occasionally would get this unbidden flash in his brain of how Gran might be as a dad. Scott truly believed the man would make a wonderful father, and a husband, if only he could just get this whole love and marriage thing sorted out. Tamil and he had been married for less than a year before that had ended rather abruptly, and even then that had been longer than any relationship Scott had ever known Granis to have.
Once upon a time, Scott occasionally might have wondered what it might be like to have a family with Gran, but over the years they’d known each other and been friends, the psychologist had watched more women than he could keep track of enter and exit Granis’s life, even then, the Bajoran typically maintained a friendly nature with the majority of his exes. Scott had resigned himself long ago to the fact that Granis simply did not see him that way; he didn't even think the Bajoran was attracted to men at this point. So, they were the best of friends, and Scott was happy with that. It was the closest, most genuine relationship he'd had since before John, so he cherished it; wished for nothing but Gran’s own happiness, however he found it, and with whomever he found it with.
Scott animated when Gran finished playing with Mercy and stood back up, then placed an order at the counter. After that, Scott didn't bother ordering any food for himself as Granis had practically ordered the entire menu; he was sure they could both share all that. He did order a bottle of Springwine to enjoy with their meal, however. He could splurge a little. They could celebrate this new adventure, couldn't they? With their order placed, they went outside on the patio and found an empty table. Scott attached Mercy's leash to his chair, and the canine laid down half under his chair, half under the table as she normally did, obediently waiting with her master. "So this place is fucking huge. Where are you quartered?" He wanted to know if they were neighbors, or near neighbors; or in other words, how often was Gran gonna drunkenly knock on Scott’s door in the middle of the night; Scott would complain, but secretly he looked forward to the man’s company. Nights were the hardest after all.
Of course, the thing about it is that the longest relationship Granis has actually had-is in fact with Scott, mostly because Scott doesn't view Granis's lack of genuine openness as a deficit. He lets Granis exist in his own little bubble of denial (it's sort of a we both know he knows deal, but they don't shove it down one another's throats, and that's rare) and doesn't take his silence on some things as evidence that he's got deep seeded issues he needs to sort out-unlike, say, Nave who was definitely attracted to his charm and humor, but continually felt like he didn't open up to her-and that's the pattern.
Over and over again, Granis's surface attributes are magnetic, but when people realize that the surface is all there is, they vamoose, so to speak. Maybe in the end Granis just didn't want to see Scott do the same thing, and the alternative-given his experiences with having people know, with having it be in the public realm-listen, he likes his job, he doesn't want to be forced out of it-and he likes his friendship, he doesn't want it to be dissolved-so he's always resisted just a smidge whenever Scott's come a little too close. Not enough for him believe it's anything to do with himself, but enough.
"Agh, I'm in HR68, check it out-check it out-" Granis holds out his PADD, and taps an area before gesturing above them. "It's upside down! Well, it's right-side up when you're there, but-pretty nifty," he snorts. "I'm assuming they're going to rename all the Habitat decks once the quarters get completely finished. Where're you at?"
Scott looked at Gran's PADD then glanced above them where indeed on the next arm were more buildings and such. This place was seriously fucking huge. A marvel of federation and Starfleet engineering. "I'm in HR72," he said just as someone brought over the bottle of Springwine Scott had ordered, and two glasses. He let the woman pour then leave the bottle. "Thank you," he said to her as he reached for his glass. "So we're neighbors it seems, just one level apart. That's fortunate."
Granis huffs a laugh, crouching down under the table to give Mercy one final scritch under the jaw before refocusing his attention back where it belongs. "I still can't believe you came with me," he says, and it sounds warm and amused, but Scott can tell Granis had been genuinely baffled by it-up until Scott, Granis was accustomed to being alone, and not having people worry over him. Once upon a time he'd looked to the stars, convinced he wouldn't ever comprehend the breadth of positive experiences the universe had to offer, and now he is routinely surprised by it.
Scot gave the man a fond and affectionate smile, one that was reserved solely for Granis. "Can't get rid of me that easily, darling. Besides... someone has to make sure you eat something other than hotpockets." He gave Granis a wink.
"Hotttt pockeeeetsss," Granis croons mournfully. "They have all of the major food groups. That means it's healthy."
Scott laughed wholeheartedly, but then he was also rolling his eyes at the same time. "Sweet Jesus, Gran. They have absolutely zero nutritional value." They'd had this argument before. It was one of their favorites. "You'd be better off just opening the wrapper and dumping it straight into the toilet."
"That's my kinda meal," Granis laughs, and they spend the rest of the day catching up and reminiscing.