“I can smell your bleeding heart from down the hall. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole ship can smell it.” Cabe leaned in the hatchway to Avalon’s quarters, addressing the spires and cascades of greenery as he looked for his friend. Looking into the room, you would think you were in a wild fairy wood instead of deep in space on a ship that ran on warp drive. Cabe took a deep breath of the richly floral air which reminded him of rain on forests back home. “You know Donna’s going to insist on another inspection for invasive spores and fungi, right?”
“Donna just wants to find something that will let her conscript me into hydroponics for a week or more,” Avalon said. He stepped out from behind the sheltering foliage of pink, white, and gold heart shaped blooms. “I keep frustrating her.”
“I don’t know how. I’d think having this many plants would go against regs.” Cabe stepped in and joined Avalon in front of a low planter filled with spikes of burgundy and green ferns.
“As long as I improve the overall environment of the ship and maintain scrupulous water and filtration standards, I can have my private forest.”
“Why not just join hydroponics and call it an active air filtration system anyway? Seems like a lot of work for your personal collection.”
“Why not add your personal armament collection to the ship’s armory and join security instead of navigation?” Avalon returned.
Cabe made a face. “Just because I like weapons and keep in shape doesn’t mean I want to be constantly alert and concerned about punching other people, or let other people touch my guns.”
Avalon waited a beat. Cabe watched the other man water as he worked it through.
“You don’t want someone else touching your plants?” Cabe finally asked.
“And I don’t want to worry about ship board air quality, the amount of ph in the tomato soil, or any number of things. I just want to collect bleeding hearts and go to sleep in a room more like a forest than a Spartan white box.”
Cabe muttered something under his breath.
“What was that, Cabe?”
“Just a saying from old Earth short wave entertainment, ‘Some people juggle geese.’”
Avalon smiled. “I assume it means something along the lines of ‘everyone has their weird hobbies?”
“Something like that.”
“And some of us like to keep hobbies out of our work.”
“Well,” Cabe said, “you want to join us for the entertainment event? Amelia’s got some old Earth history espionage show lined up.”
“Sure. Just let me finish up here. Wouldn’t want my geese to go hungry.”
Cabe laughed, gave his friend a vague salute, and left the room.