“You almost done fixing the defroster?” he asked her, still looking out the window.
“Are you serious?! I was, until you ruined everything!”
“Yea, I saw,” Artie replied lowering his feet to the ground. “You enjoy your meteor shower under there?”
Artie swiveled his chair around and smiled at her through his beige beard, gazing at his wife, her jumpsuit covered in grease stains, her dark brown and faded highlighted hair a tussled mess.
Lara looked at the video feed from the hangar bay on his control panel with her amber colored eyes, seeing the Schooner plainly in view replaying the infuriating moment repeatedly. “You were watching me rather than helping me the whole time?”
Artie shrugged. “You looked like you had everything under control . . . Come here. I’m sorry I almost got you electrocuted.”
Lara laid back in his lap with her legs over the armrest, trying not to make eye contact with him. She often loathed her husband’s shenanigans and childish games. Although she secretly enjoyed the change from his usually focused and commanding attitude.
“I was just messing around,” Artie muttered to her. “You all right?”
“Fine,” Lara replied continuing to stare off out the window with an emotionless look.
“Speaking of messing around, since we are almost there, you want to head down to the workout room?” asked Artie pinching at her thigh.
Lara rolled her eyes and hopped up out his lap. “Sorry, I’ve already filled my quota of sparks today.”
Artie laughed, knowing his wife wouldn’t fall for any more of his cheesy advances. He looked down to see the bracelet around her wrist. He reached out for her hand and looked down at the hospital tag attached to it. “You ready to take it off this time?”
Lara looked down at her bracelet. “Maybe.”
“Un huh. The same way you said you’d take it off last trip. And the trip before that,” said Artie.
Lara pulled her arm away from him. “I’ll take it off when I no longer feel like it’s our fault.”
“It wasn’t our fault.”
Lara took a deep breath and sighed in frustration. “I’m not arguing about this again. Just let it go.”
“I have let it go. Now you need to. I just want to forget about it all and move on,” Artie replied.
Lara could feel the anger and frustration rising from her finger tips. “Art! Drop it! Please!”
Artie looked up at her, wishing she would just let go of her guilt already. “Fine. Did Patrick and Lem fix the doors to the storage room?”
Lara stood next to him at the console, wiping the grease and frustration away on her jumpsuit. “I don’t know, you’d have to ask them.”
Artie swiveled his chair around and leaned forward to the console. He pressed the call button with Patrick’s name on it. The console beeped twice as they both waited for a response.
“Yellow?” said a male voice over the speaker.
“You guys fixed that door to the storage room yet,” asked Artie leaning towards the console.
“Lem, hand me that box of wire nuts. Uh… No. Was about to when Lem reminded me we still needed to repair the ventilator for the argon tanks,” Patrick replied.
“Well once you’re done, please fix that. I don’t want to be chewed out because the inspection crew can’t get in the door. They always look for a reason to cut part of our pay,” said Artie.
“Whole damn ship’s a floating space dumpster,” muttered Patrick over the intercom.