“You, Me and a Radio Transmitter.”
Skybase runs on a unique time system. Being a floating military base with no fix position can mean sometimes, you get 47 hours of sunlight followed by only 8 hours of nighttime. Sometimes it also means you can see the northern lights and the southern lights in a 6 hour period.
So you have to develop your own body clock; that and invest in some very good black out curtains. Most people do shift rotation so have steady hours. Others, like the Spectrum Agents, get disrupted and have to work at random times.
Adam was sitting in one of the observation decks on Skybase. He had moved one of the couches to face the giant window, so you just had enough leg room to stretch a bit. It was perfect for watching the night sky and dark earth roll past when he was on a break.
Adam wasn’t thinking all of much when a red mug appeared in front of his face.
“Here you go.”
Adam twisted his head to follow the arm up to smile at Paul, “Thanks.”
Adam grabbed the mug as Paul walked around the couch to sit down, close enough that his leg was a warm pressure against Adam’s own.
“Thought I'd find you here,” Paul commented, “you weren’t in your room.”
“Mmm,” Adam agreed around a sip of cocoa, “still got an hour before bedtime, though why I’m I drinking out of your mug?”
Paul waved the blue mug that was in his own hands, “I wasn’t paying attention, so I put coffee in this one.”
“Ah, makes sense,” Adam grinned, “barring any incidents we should be back in sync by Thursday.”
“Good,” Paul took a sip of his own drink then placed his hand on Adam’s knee, “need my sparring partner back. Everyone else complains when I beat them.”
Adam laughed and put his hand over Paul's, knitted their fingers together, and squeezed. Paul squeezed back, and the two sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes.
“So,” Paul said, “are we expecting anything to happen here?”
“If my calculations are right, which they normally are,” Not letting go of Paul's hand, Adam twisted his wrist to look at his watch, “we are expecting a sunrise in five minutes over there.” Adam gestured with his mug to a spot to their left.
“Your calculations?” Paul parroted, “Yeah Right, like you can predict Skybase’s flight pattern.”
Adam just hummed around a sip of hot cocoa, “four minutes forty-five seconds, right over there.”
Paul smiled, “you know the flight patterns? The flight patterns that are calculated by a super computer to form a random path in the sky or else Skybase is a sitting duck?”
“You want to put money on it?” Adam was not about to incriminate himself out loud that he could predict the patterns after an hour of each cycle.
Paul looked at him then over at that spot on the horizon, “Nah, I'm good.”
“Okay then,” Adam smirked, “Besides, you still owe my money from our last bet.”
“Hey,” Paul protested, “I paid for dinner.”
“That wasn't the arrangement, and you know it.”
Paul laughed, “it was a good night, though. You, me, a radio transmitter.”
“And I walked away twenty dollars richer,” Adam raised his mug in a fake toast, “also got a good meal out of it.”
Paul squeezed Adam's hand, “and I learned a valuable lesson in trusting you and got to see a bit of your beautiful brain at work.”
“So the truth comes out, you only want me for my brains.”
Paul looked Adam up and down, “well, that's not the only reason I spar with you.”
Adam gave out a full body laughed which Paul joined in. When Adam settled, he slumped a bit, so he rested his head on Paul's shoulder.
“Two minutes,” he mumbled. His sleep cycle was coming up faster than he would have liked, but he was determined to see this dawn through.
Sunrises were different now then from when he was a kid. Adam had always thought they were pretty, but he took them for granted. Now, when his job was to go to dark places, seek out dark people and stop them from doing dark things, he appreciated dawn a lot more.
He watched the lights play on the clouds and the Earth. He enjoyed the warmth of his partner against him and the feeling of the thumb that was gently rubbing his hand.
For a precious moment, everything was perfect.
“You know Paul,” Adam’s eyelids dropped a little, but he didn’t take his eyes off the sunrise, “the best view is outside the window.”
“Not from where I’m sitting.” Paul’s voice was soft.
Adam turned his head to meet Paul’s gaze, which was as bright as the Sun outside. Adam could see all the love and happiness that Paul was pouring into that look and couldn’t resist moving up for a kiss. He didn’t have to move all that far because Paul met him halfway.
It was a short kiss, both of them were in positions that they couldn’t sustain for long but it was meaningful. Full of passion, hope and silent promises that both of them knew.
“Come on,” Paul gave a final squeeze of their interlocked hands before standing up, “let’s get you to bed.”
Adam smiled and stood up as well, “are you going to tuck me in and read me a bedtime story too?”
“If your idea of a bedtime story is the statistical anomalies of the 4A-62 flight paths,” Paul laughed, “Actually never mind, you probably would like that.”
“Ah, the little outlier that could,” Adam agreed, “and they pulled and pulled with all their might, and the mean line moved out of normal range, making the scientist cry and have to reevaluate their hypothesis. Or, at the very least, have to put work into explaining it off.”
Paul faked a yawn, “here I thought it was your bedtime not mine.”
Adam gave him a shove which Paul took with grace. They continued to Adam's room, and the both paused at the door, neither wanted to leave.
“So hey,” Paul nudged him slightly, “Dinner? We’ll both be up for it.”
“Yeah, of course,” Adam nodded then opened his door, “Oh and have fun with your readings.”
Paul flipped him off then started down the hallway. Adam smiled to himself and got ready for bed. Tomorrow was going to be another day, for the given value of tomorrow.