Life Guard Part 4 (Day 1 Afternoon)

Serena laughed hard enough to inhale and exhale at the same time, resulting in a snorting sound that made the teen laugh even harder as she tried to dodge and avoid the onslaught of Vas, who did look very shark-like what with the fin of hair on top his head. Twice she got a face full of water but remembered to breathe through her nose so she didn’t end up choking. She forgot about drowning and how horrible that would be, and even forgot about any issues there might have been on the Lunar Veil in lieu of having fun. “I can see why non-spacers like the beach so much,” she told the Crew Chief after the third time she was caught and tossed.

“Oh sure! Sand castles, Sun, waves, parasailing, snorkeling, surfing.” Vas listed tossing Serena again. “I still like being a spacer more though.”

Serena looked around and breathed in the salty air, nodding her head. “Me too, on account of when you’re a spacer, you get to see places like this, and like New Kasmir, which is the opposite of this. And you get to see jungles, and a tree where your friends are, and you can walk, in space, which is kinda almost like swimming.” She awkwardly glided through the water for emphasis.

“There is a lot of ‘Verse to see.” He agreed. “Look at you paddling around.” Vas said, noting how she was now, sure it was goofy looking, swimming-ish forward! “We should get some shaved ice later! You know, celebrate you learning not play a convincing rock in the water.”

“That would be the best!” She exclaimed with an unintentional splash. “We had hot chocolate on New Kasmir, and then shaved ice on Peloram! Oh, but I have to get back ‘fore Mr. Cortez leaves on account of I wanna say good bye and he said he had something he wanted me to have.”

Vas’s mood instantly soured at the word ‘Cortez’. “I keep telling ya not to get so attached to passengers … that way they are called passengers … they’re passing through.” He thought himself very clever for coming up with that.

“I’m not attached…” Serena said. “And I know he’s not contracted, but we’re supposed to be nice to the passer-throughs, aren’t we? That’s what the Captain always said.” She shook her head side to side giggling as her wet pigtails reminded her of a floppy dog’s ears. She wondered how Rebel was doing on that old ship with Yeva and his new boys.

“Being nice is not what you're doing.” He pointed out. “You’re attached and no one on the LV is contracted pigtails. We're employees, like normal folk, we can leave whenever we want, which is better because we choose to stay.” Vas reminded before suddenly tossing the girl again. “Whoops did we stop playing? I didn’t think we had stopped playing?”

Serena screeched and dove away from the Crew Chief. He had a point, once Mr. Cortez left, he was no longer technically a passenger, and she wasn’t obliged to be nice to him -- even if he’d been nice to her and wasn’t obliged. Still, darting away from the Crew Chief with the promise of Shave Ice and maybe even real, non protein paste food made it too easy to lose track of the time.

“I mean we could go after but shaved ice tastes better in the sun.” Vas said with a sagely nod.

“It’s okay, Crew Chief, like you said,” she giggled, leaping out of the way. “We shouldn’t get attached to passengers on account of they’re passing through, and this way no one has to be sad when they’re leavin’. And he gave me enough what with all the cookies and candy and coins. I’d rather have shaved ice when it tastes better, in the sun, like you said.”

“As you say kid.” Vas said, trying to stay neutral on the matter. He wouldn’t say it but he was glad Cortez was finally leaving. It meant Vas could finally relax a little now in his own home. Cortez was nothing but trouble and he didn’t like how he had endeared himself to the crew. “Not like you’ll ever see him again, plus we got plenty of passengers to deal with on the regular anyway.”

“Uh-huh,” Serena said quickly before darting under the water and out of the way.

“Uh-huh.” He mimincked going underwater and swam past Serena. He tugged her leg playfully before popping up for air.

Serena laughed, laying back on her back and kicking water towards the crew chief. Her fingers were starting to get wrinkly, like when she’d been working too long with a bucket. “Do you think after we get shave ice we might get to go swimmin’ again, or at least ‘fore we leave?”

“We’re here for nearly a week, so long we get our work done there's time enough to swim around everyday if you want. So how about we get that shaved ice before we turn into sea prunes? Warm up and we can do whatever you want after.” Vas smiled, splashing Serena back.

“Race you to the shore!” She called over her shoulder, giving herself a good head start. “Last one back has to make Ms. Meadows her tea!”

"Oh hell no!" Vas said torpedoing forward now the proper incentive had been giving. "You are NOT sticking me with that windbag!" He declared fully bent on tossing Serena back to buy him time as soon as he got into striking distance. He was so not the honorable type!
“Cheater!” She called, as the crew chief tossed her back towards the water. She picked herself up, laughing and chased after him deciding she was definitely banking the whole day.

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