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AUTHORS’ BLANKET WARNING FOR THESE CHARACTERS: The story involving Deniaud and Salieri involves adult situations and coarse language. It is designed to be read by adults and not intended for children. Caution is advised if any of the above is offensive. WARNING TO THE WARNING: You’ve been warned. Consider yourselves fully warned.
[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
She couldn’t sleep. It had been over three hours since she had escaped the jefferies tube. Gideon’s lips still burnt against her own, sending a steady assault of shivers through her body. Marielle felt the need to bake. She waited in the solitude of her quarters until she knew the Lounge was closed for the evening before venturing into the kitchen to create something new. The engineer had long shed the butterfly painted tea dress and opted not to change out of her more comfortable home clothing - the silk purple pajama bottoms and the lace detailed black camisole. Her slippers had been abandoned to the side, kicked off the moment she had crossed the threshold from the lounge to the kitchen.
Gideon sighed softly and ran his fingers through his light brown hair as he walked down the corridor. He’d slipped on his deck shoes but remained in his lounge pants and threw on a brown t-shirt. The security officer was still having trouble sleeping through the whole night, but instead of using the hypo Doctor Trimble had given him before departing the Lorelei, Gideon opted to go for a walk. He’d asked the computer for Marielle’s location out of habit - something he had done since Atlantis, just to know where she was - and was pleasantly surprised to hear that she was in the lounge. Then he remembered. ‘It’s bake night. But would she want to see me after earlier?’ The half-Bajoran figured there was only one way to find out.
Music filled the kitchen. The steady beat vibrated steadily against the grey bulkheads. Her head rolled from one shoulder to the next, her hips easily drawing the number eight in their movements while her shoulders rotated slowly. As she was accustomed to doing, she sang with the lyrics as she baked. “There’s a warning in the comfort,” her mezzo-soprano dipping to pull at a deeper range, “that you’re too good to be true. They tell me over and over there’s someone better for you. You’re the warmth I feel beside me, and the fear of growing cold - the continual reminder - of the risk we take when we get involved.”
He stood outside the proximity sensor of the door to the kitchen, watching quietly and listening. Gideon hadn’t been to a baking night since Malahakir. Just the thought brought a shudder to his frame as he could have sworn he felt icicles poking at the scar tissue on his back. The half-Betazoid waited a few moments as he listened to Marielle sing. The security chief hesitated, even when he thought he was ready to step into the kitchen.
“I’ve been warned enough,” she continued to sing as she piped straight lines on the baking sheet. “You were the only red flag. The only red flag that I could never raise. You were the only red flag. The only red flag that I could never raise-”
“Computer, pause the music.” He stepped inside, hoping that the silence would be enough to give Marielle notice of his presence. He had a bad habit of sneaking up on her. She never complained, but it wasn’t something Gideon particularly enjoyed when he had no intention of surprising her. He smiled gently, cautiously. “Ciao El.”
The engineer straightened instantly, her chin tipping up to stare at the ceiling when the music stopped before she turned over her shoulder to find him standing by the door. The piping bag was poised in the air, the tip pointed up to prevent any drips. “Gideon?” She hadn’t intended his name to come out as a question, but it had been such a long time since the security officer had surprised her for a baking evening that it was hard to hide her shock.
His cobalt gaze had taken in the kitchen, pleased to find it completely taken over by the engineer. “Ah,” Gideon started as his irises returned to hers. “I couldn-” He wasn’t sure what to make of the tone in her voice and it had him a bit flustered. Finally he shrugged and slid his hands into his pockets. His gaze averted to the confection she was working on. “It’s bake night,” he said quietly before his eyes turned to find her again. The corner of his mouth pulled into a hesitant grin.
Her head tilted to one side as she watched him. A guarded smile pulled at her features, and Marielle simply returned to her endeavour. Her steady hands moved the piping bag over the baking sheet. “You’re welcome to keep me company.” The invitation was uttered softly as she forced herself to sound normal. “I always enjoy your company.” Her eyes remained on her work as she considered just how true of a statement it was.
Gideon raised a hand to rub at the back of his neck, glancing around for the bottle of wine that usually accompanied baking night. He stepped closer to her, taking a peek at the baking sheet. “The hum of the engines seems different with everyone gone,” he weakly explained instead of revealing that he couldn’t sleep. “Computer, resume music, half volume.”
She hummed in agreement. “Feels different too.” Unintentionally, her toes wiggled on the floor. The engineer couldn’t count the hours she’d spent in engineering just staring at the warp core, with her arms leaning against the railing and her bare feet simply resting on the floor. There had been such joy in becoming acquainted with a new engine when they first arrived. She was just starting to grow accustomed to the sound and feel and they were about to get a new ship. She wasn't sure if that saddened her or invigorated her.
He nodded in agreement, quiet for several moments as she appeared lost in thought. Gideon continued to rub at the base of his neck, his gaze focused on the baking sheet. “You doing all right?” he asked, making filler conversation as he glanced in her direction.
“I am,” she answered as she finished piping the last strip. The engineer straightened and dropped the piping bag into the glass. DING! She moved towards the oven with the filled baking sheet and opened it with a gloved hand. Quickly, she removed the filled baking sheet within and replaced it with the one of unbaked stripes. The door to the oven was shut with a slight lift of her foot and Marielle carried the freshly baked shells to the center island.
At the pace that we’ve been running
When our lungs begin to sting, I’m hearing over and over
‘Moderation in all things’
So you’ll hopefully forgive me
If I cannot slow this down
He realized that he’d come in later than normal and surmised that she may be nearly done. Still, he offered his assistance. “Need any help?” Gideon stepped around to stand at the island across from her.
“Sure,” she forced herself to smile at him. Marielle pointed to the baking sheet she had just left on the island. “Transfer those to the cooling rack for me please.” The engineer made her way to the large silver refrigerator and pulled out two large covered bowls. She had made the pastry creams first, and she was honestly in the easy stretch of the baking process. Marielle didn’t have to heart to tell Gideon she was actually close to finished. It had been so long since he had joined her for an evening in the kitchen that she didn’t want to tell him that she didn’t need his help. The engineer stopped by a drawer on the way to the island, pulling out two piping bags and two pointed silver tips.
He found a spatula and worked quietly. His eyes drifted from the shells to Marielle frequently as he tried to catch her looking in his direction. Gideon found his grin had yet to leave his features despite the uncertainty that hung in the air. There had been no closure to their meeting in the junction of the jeffries tube. “What are these going to be?” he asked.
When my body bends to weakness
Your voice will be the sound
That conceals the pain
Marielle hummed softly as she secured the silver tips to each pastry bag then dropped them into two tall glasses. Her lower lip jutted out and she blew a short puff of air to blow away a loose strand of her hair as she folded the walls of each of the pastry bag over the edges of each glass. Gideon reached over and maneuvered the stray tendril without a word. The movement had her pausing briefly. Her eyes closed as she lectured her heart to calm its eagerness. “Uh. Éclairs,” she answered quietly as she attempted to tame the fluttering of butterflies in her stomach.
Gideon nodded as he looked at the pastries with a new appreciation. “Suppose I could have guessed that.” He chuckled softly and glanced at the engineer.
She laughed softly as she shook her head at him. “I suppose if I made cannoli, you wouldn’t have bothered to ask me what I was making.” The engineer popped open the top of each bowl, and she quickly folded the contents in each bowl - one chocolate and one vanilla. Carefully, she filled one pastry bag with vanilla and the other chocolate. “Ever handled one of these?”
“Obviously,” he agreed with a wink as he set the baking sheet aside. Gideon returned with open hands, offering to do more. He took a look over the piping bag and hummed when a smirk found his lips. “Can I equate it to a breast and say yes?”
Marielle straightened, turning her head slowly to stare at him incredulously. A blink. Two. “One, you’re not going anywhere near my éclairs or anything requiring a piping bag. And two, you are no longer allowed to go near any woman ever again. Just. Take your hands and go over there,” she pointed to the corner of the kitchen.
He burst into laughter and his hand rested on his stomach as his back arched with the fervor in his amusement. Gideon shook his head as the laughter subsided after a few moments. His cobalt orbs twinkled with mirth as he winked at Marielle. “I promise I have better features.” He pouted when she didn’t relent and he stepped back from the island. “I thought that’s why they’re called funbags?”
She couldn’t stop herself. She used the wooden spoon and flung the vanilla pastry cream at his direction. “You’re done!” Marielle exclaimed with a bright laugh. She was thankful for the playfulness that easily overwhelmed the odd tension in the air. “Done!”
You were the only red flag, the only red flag that I could never raise
Gideon laughed again, wincing against the food flung in his direction as it splattered against his upper chest. He wiped the white cream away from the fabric of his t-shirt and brought it to his lips. The half-Betazoid hummed softly as he enjoyed the vanilla cream. He turned his shoulder to Marielle when it looked like she was going to throw another glob his way and he continued laughing.
“Funbags,” she laughed softly as she shook her head at him. “Honestly. I’m surprised you managed to date anyone if you-”
“I guess that’s the reason I didn’t ever date.” He laughed at himself, holding a hand up to protect his face in case she decided to fling more cream in his direction. Gideon held up his other hand in surrender, looking for a truce.
“Yeah. Right. I forgot that Gideon Salieri doesn’t date,” she chuckled lightly and simply shook her head. The thought had an odd sensation coursing through her. It felt like a hint of sadness and an odd sense of acceptance. She wondered if that was perhaps why their timing was always off, why things just never seemed to work in their favour. Not that it mattered, her own freedom had a timeline. “Friends,” she mouthed out lightly to herself as she stared at the pastry cream. The engineer pushed a smile to her features and took in a deep breath as she picked up one pastry bag. A quick swipe of her hand had her removing the air bubbles from the pastry bag and she gave the bag a few solid twists.
The smile waned slightly and he tilted his chin. Gideon shook his head as he argued. “That’s not necessarily true, either. I’ve asked you on dates.” The security officer stepped forward, resting his fingers on the counter of the island.
Marielle chuckled lightly as she shook her head. “No, I dragged you on one date. You didn’t ask me to that one. The second one, I forced your hand by telling you some other man asked me out to dinner. Then you stumbled through that one like a champ. The day of our date, you scheduled that lovely gathering where I cooked for nearly a hundred people.” There was the one dinner that had apparently been a date, though she had not been aware. In retrospect, she really should have known better. ‘It was so a date. At this rate, we’ve had plenty of dates.’ The engineer released a quiet breath as she tried to understand why it was so easy yet so difficult with the security chief.
He shoved his hands into his pockets. Gideon wrinkled his nose as he wondered to himself why she was talking down his attempts at dates. He shrugged then as he leaned his hip against the counter. “Fine, I guess. I was counting them as attempted dates.” The half-Betazoid sighed softly as he watched her fill the eclair. “And I really was going to ask. You did force my hand but that doesn’t make it any less of an asking.”
The engineer lightly pressed into the top of the pastry bag with her thumb and her palm, watching the cream flow from the tip. Marielle reached across Gideon to grab an empty shell and she pressed the pointed end into the center of the long pastry. A quick squeeze had her filling that section. She moved her hand a few centimeters to the left, repeating the motion, then moved a few centimeters from the center to the right. Three punctures filled the shell easily. “Very true,” she relented with a small smile as she turned and pointed a finger at his chest as she leaned forward a bit at the waist, “but that is just one attempt. You said ‘dates’ and we never really went on a date on which you’ve asked me.”
Love is a one-way street headed away from me
“There was the dinner that you didn’t realize was a date,” he reminded her. He hadn’t shied away from her closeness, instead almost being drawn into her. Gideon looked down at the finger and then back up to Marielle. “So we need to go on a date, then.” His brow raised slightly as he waited to see if he was understanding her correctly.
Marielle blinked. Her mouth parted slightly. “What? No.” The engineer took her finger back and immediately turned her attention to the second pastry bag after she placed the first bag, filled and ready to go, back into its glass. She repeated the motion - swiping her hand over the cloth to remove the air bubbles, twisting the bag, then pressing it with her thumb and her palm to press the cream into the tip. The bag was dropped back into the glass. She felt her heart thumping steadily against her chest. It would have been a lie to say she didn’t consider it. The kiss they shared to scare off Annesley had played over and over again in her head almost daily. Every brush of his fingers on her skin. Every serenely tender moment. Every moment of unspoken tension. They invaded her thoughts and she had found herself thinking of them more often than not.
Gideon hummed softly and picked up the vanilla pastry bag, twisting the plastic to squeeze some of the cream to the tip before he lifted it to his mouth. He couldn’t understand how her words and her emotion moved in the polar opposite direction of each other. The Betazoid mix could feel that something was there. Not used to rejection, the security officer focused on the piping bag as he retorted quietly. “Your loss,” he said before massaging some of the cream onto his tongue.
She rolled her eyes at him. Marielle stared at the man as he grabbed a taste of the filling from the bag itself. “You doofus!” she exclaimed as she attempted to grab hold of the bag. The engineer jumped as Gideon turned away, his arm stretching the pastry bag beyond her reach as he enjoyed the cream with a delightful hum. “Dammit, Gideon! No fair using your height against me!” The engineer grabbed at his shirt with one hand while she reached up for the pastry bag.
With a smirk he continued to keep the bag out of her reach, enjoying quite thoroughly as Marielle squirmed in front of him. Gideon shook his head. “I have to have an advantage somewhere. I’m not as smart as you, not nearly as pretty.”
“Okay. You know what,” Marielle growled as she pushed everything on the island back. Her palms flattened against the cold silver surface, and with a hop, she lifted herself onto the island, her knee digging into the edge. She scooted onto the island on all fours before spinning on her knees and staring down at him. “Give me the bag, Gideon.”
“Oh, oh!” He laughed as he reached with his other hand and switched the pastry bag behind her back. Gideon’s nose touched hers briefly as he winked and then pulled away again. “Or what, Mariëlle?”
She snickered at the use of her full name. “What? No, ‘El’ this time?” Marielle placed a hand on his chest, leaning forward as she tried to reach for the bag. The engineer banked on him not stepping backward or she’d fall forward and land on her face. She simply trusted him to remain in place and did not worry about her safety.
“I’ll ‘El’ you on a date,” he replied smugly as he stood firm, more than happy at the feeling of her hand on his chest. Gideon raised a brow, still smirking as he waited to see what she had planned.
“Give me the bag!” Marielle insisted. There was fire in her eyes, but not out of anger.
“Kiss,” he suggested, puckering up. Gideon raised his brows in challenge.
“You couldn’t handle a kiss from me,” Marielle smirked.
“I did that one night in the lounge. In the gym, the jeffries tubes. More than once,” he reminded her, still smiling.
The engineer grumbled under her breath as she straightened and looked down at him. “You want a frakking kiss?” she asked. “Fine.” Marielle’s hands grabbed the front of his shirt, fingers twisting slightly as she pulled him to her. Her mouth crashed into his. It didn’t even take her a second to feel lost in the emotions that moved through her. Her back arched towards him and she pressed against him.
You were the only red flag, the only red flag that I could never raise
You were the only red flag, the only red flag that I could never raise
Gideon nearly dropped the bag of vanilla cream as he slid his arm around Marielle and pulled her close. Their lips melded as they kissed deeply, tongues entering and retreating, playing, giving chase. She tasted of vanilla and coffee. He groaned deeply at the heat building within him. The half-Betazoid turned so that he could press against her as she sat on the island.
Groaning, she surrendered completely, surrounded by the taste of chocolate and of wine. The warmth of his body against hers had her head reeling. A soft moan escaped her before she could stop herself. Marielle shifted, leaning back so she could swing her leg to his other side. Not once did her lips part from his. Using her grip on his shirt, she pulled herself closer to him. Marielle slid quickly along the clean silver surface, her pelvis thrusting into his as her legs wrapping tightly around his waist. His lips, his taste. It all came back in that moment. Despite all the kisses they had shared in the past, it felt like the first. In that moment, she realized that it always felt like that first.
He inhaled sharply at the feeling of her heat against his excitement and Gideon started pushing her further back, one hand held tightly around her waist as the other gripped the far edge of the island. Hungrily, he nipped at her tongue between deep ventures into the warmth of her mouth with his own. His free hand pulled from behind her, fingers grasping in need at her side and massaging down to her waist.
Marielle fell back willingly, her back pressing into the island’s surface. Her back arched towards him, Her knees came up, thighs keeping him pinned between her legs. Her fingers had released his shirt. They didn’t bother to trail along his chest or along his neck; they simply buried themselves into his hair. She gasped at the warmth of his hands on her body, the feel of his chest pressing into her. She pulled at the strands lightly in experimentation. Their lips parted briefly, but she gave chase - teeth nibbling at his lower lip, her head lifting off the island to follow. Marielle could have lived in that moment for all eternity and have been happy.
Growling softly, the security officer gasped as he finally broke contact, his lungs surging for air as he stared down at Marielle. His cobalt orbs had darkened with lust, his features full of desire. He licked his swollen lips between pants as he searched her gaze. “My quarters or yours?” he asked quietly, his normally tenor voice dropping to a baritone and thick with need. The question was hardly innocent. Beneath the four words Gideon was asking if she was ready for what they were about to embark upon, because it could either be the start of something really amazing or the end of their equally valued friendship.
The engineer’s eyes fluttered open, her own vibrant hues nearly black with a contented haze that gave her a serene expression. Her chest heaved as she breathed through thinly parted lips. Her hair fanned around her, long strands curled much like the elegant lines of her writing. Her face was flushed, her cheeks bright pink. His question, however, returned her senses to her body. “See,” she finally managed, her tongue darting out to run along her kiss-swollen lips. “I told you that you couldn’t handle a kiss from me. Got you wanting to take me back to your quarters, and that wasn’t even the full show.” The line was delivered on a breathy whisper, a crack breaking through the syllables. Her fingers drew lazy circles along his scalp before she slowly let her hands drift from his hair, down his neck, and to his chest. His proximity was making her head spin, and for her sake, she began to push him away as she moved to sit. She needed the space before she fell victim to his charms and the comfort of his warmth.
Panting deeply, his lips parted wider as he leaned back, hands resting flat on the table on either side of her. Gideon straightened, staring at her in something akin to disbelief. He scoffed lightly as he stepped back, his eyes averting to his shirt as he noticed some vanilla cream had plastered on his stomach during their excitations. The security officer pulled the shirt away from his skin, nodding as he finally closed his lips. “Yeah, you got me good,” he whispered in a shocked and broken tone. The half-Betazoid turned his head to watch her, still wondering what the frak just happened.
“Yup,” she muttered as she slipped off the island. Marielle cleared her throat as her feet landed on the floor. The engineer turned to look away, her eyes staring at the mess of ingredients on the island and her clothes. Suddenly baking didn’t seem as much fun. “I’m going to clean up,” she said quietly. With a breath she pushed a smile to her face. “You should probably head back to your quarters. I can deal with this mess.”
“Sure?” he asked hesitantly. Gideon didn’t feel like staying. Doctor Trimble’s hypo sounded like a damn good idea right now. But he had to ask. To be polite. His heart ached at the rejection but he didn’t know if he wanted to be mad at her or himself. ‘What are you doing?!’ he roared in his mind as his features twisted with confusion and he turned his face away from the engineer. All he could think of was escape.
“Yeah.” Marielle walked away from him, sure to keep her face hidden from him. She made her way to the oven, fingers shutting off the oven with a quiet snap. The engineer pulled the shells out of the oven - the surfaces just barely baked and the insides still a mess of batter.
The security officer stole the single and only cream filled eclair on his way out, his brain a mess of thoughts and emotions as he walked quickly away from the kitchen. ‘I’m giving you everything but all I get is some frakking show?!’ Gideon practically inhaled the pastry on the way to his quarters. It tasted like rejection. Once inside, he tore off the t-shirt and threw it aside, practically jogging to the nightstand where he yanked the drawer open and grabbed the hypospray. It was pressed quickly to his neck as he fell back onto the bed, groaning as he hoped it would all become a dream. “Cazzo! Che cazzo!” he shouted in frustration.
The engineer turned back to make sure she was alone before she collapsed to the floor, her hand pressed to her heart, her palm pushing deep into her flesh to massage out the ache. “Can’t do that ever again,” she chided herself. “Don’t do that again, Ellie.” She sniffled slightly and willed herself not to cry over something she couldn’t have. It’s not like it would have been able to last. Gideon Salieri didn’t date and she didn’t have much time left anyways.