USF Personal Log
USS Aldrin Personnel Recordings image
Koi No Yokan. SL by LtCdr Marielle Denaiud and FstLt Gideon Salieri

USS Aldrin Personnel Recordings

by First Lieutenant Gideon Salieri & Lieutenant Commander Marielle Deniaud
[Stardate ]

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
Stardate: 1707.31
Koi No Yokan

Koi No Yokan
Literal translation: “Premonition of love.”  The sense one can have upon first meeting another person that the two of them are going to fall in love.  This differs from the idea of “love at first sight” in that it does not imply that the feeling of love exists, rather it refers to the knowledge that a future love is inevitable.

Marielle moved around the kitchen with ease.  Three bundt pans were buttered and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder.  She had gone straight from dance practice with Erik in holodeck to the kitchen, so she was still in her dance outfit.  The one piece dress wrapped around every curve of her body, with sleeves that reached her wrists and a high neckline.  The beautiful flock godet to the back created a captivating fishtail skirt that moved with each step and sway of her hips.  Her hair was left down, curled in waves that reached nearly the small of her back.  A dark red peony was pinned over her right ear to peek the strands back from her face.  She didn’t even bother to abandon her shoes - gold stilettos that were designed just for the tango - by the door, instead opting to just bake away her emotions.  She was thankful that the Draconian had finally reached out to her and they spoke at length of their friendship.  It had been bittersweet - with him agreeing to her decision to simply be friends - but it had given her some semblance of closure.  It was what she desperately needed after the disaster that was Foudyar.

You make it look like it’s magic
Cause I see nobody, nobody but you, you, you
I’m never confused
Hey, hey

Gideon grumbled softly as he walked down the corridor with a blindfold over his eyes and plugs in his ears.  Jonathan Battey was insistent on a surprise to make up for the resort holiday the week before.  He’d been told to dress nicely, which led him to believe the guys had set him up on another blind date.  So he wore a white linen tunic with dark wooden beads patterned along the left side and brown slacks.  A sigh left his lips as he walked, guided only by Battey’s hands.  He was told to be absolutely silent and to count to three after a tap on the shoulder before he could take the blindfold off and remove the ear plugs.  The security chief could not hear or see a thing.  He felt the tap on his shoulder and glanced back before counting mentally to three.  ‘Uno.  Due.  Tre.’  Slowly, he reached up with both hands, pulling the ear plugs and pushing the blindfold up in a quick motion.  Cobalt orbs blinked into focus as he stared at Marielle.

Her quiet steps carried her around the kitchen as she gathered more of her supplies, her body moving with the music that filled the small space.  She paused in front of the refrigerator, both her hands keeping the doors wide open.  With her feet together, her knees, hips, torso, and shoulders rolled from side to side in beat with the music. A hand released one door, her other sliding along the door as a leg shot straight out to the side before she brought her leg back to her body.  Her behind shot back as she rolled back up.  It was only then that Marielle leaned forward into the fridge to gather some eggs as she continued to dance.

‘This is a cruel frakking joke, Battey.’  The security officer took a moment longer to appreciate the woman in front of him before sliding his hands quietly into his pockets and stepping back, expecting the proximity sensor to cause the door to open.  With a soft grunt, he landed against the door and glanced up, wondering why it hadn’t opened.  He saw a note on the window into the lounge.  ‘SORRY!’  Gideon tried to peer beyond the note so that he could give Battey a death glare.  ‘Airlock,’ was all he could think of as he reached for the manual override.

I’m so used to being used
So I love when you call unexpected
‘Cause I hate when the moment’s expected

Marielle turned around and her eyes widened at seeing Gideon by the door.  “What the hell are you doing here?” she asked much harsher than she had intended.  She sighed when she realized he couldn’t hear her.  “Computer!” she screamed out, “Lower volume seventy-five percent!”  The engineer held the egg carton in her hands as she looked at Gideon.  “What are you doing here?” she asked once more, her tone much kinder than the first attempt.  The engineer took steady steps towards the kitchen island, her heels clicking on the floor.  She kept her eyes to the island in front of her.  It amazed her how she was able to carry herself without looking like a complete idiot in front of him.

He’d tensed as the music lowered and he kept his shoulder facing her in a distinctly passive stance as Gideon turned his chin to face her.  His hand motioned up to the window and knocked on it before he showed her the blindfold and ear plugs.  “They said they had a surprise.”  His voice was soft and apologetic.  The accusation in her tone had him mentally shrinking away from the engineer.

“Well.  I’m glad they had their fun,” she grumbled.  “You may leave.”  Marielle turned to the oven and grabbed the oven gloves.  She waited with a hand on the door, pressing the timer as it released its first ding and pulled out the bundt pan from the oven.  She slowly lifted her foot up to shut the oven.  Carefully, she placed the bundt pan on the silver island and removed the gloves on her hands, throwing the mitts on the island in frustration.  The engineer had hoped for a peaceful evening, one night when she could force herself not to think of him.  She made her way to the sink with a clean kitchen towel.

It took everything in him not to roll his eyes before he glanced out the window, glaring at the piece of paper still stuck to the other side.  “I’m trying,” he grumbled the retort.  Gideon reached over to try the manual override again.  After another denial he stepped back and raised his hands in frustration.  “Looks like I’m too stupid for this thing.  Needs your touch.”  He’d been keeping to himself since the trip to Foudyar, content to sulk in the confines of his quarters and work on creating.  The beads on his tunic were freshly made.  He stepped further back, barely lifting his chin to glance at her from the corner of his peripheral vision.

She returned to the island after soaking the kitchen towel and wringing out the excess water.  Marielle said nothing as she threw the towel over the bundt pan.  It was only then that she made her way towards the door.  The engineer stepped forward, well into the sensor’s proximity.  She stopped, her shoulder pointing to Gideon’s torso.  Her brow raised slightly when the door didn’t open.  Marielle ignored their closeness as her chin tilted up towards the sensor above the door.  She turned towards the panel, her hand reaching but stopping when she realized he was blocking the manual override.

Gideon’s jaw clenched and he slid his hands into his pockets as he took a step to the side along the wall, revealing the panel he’d been trying to override.  He hadn’t realized he was standing in front of it.  “That’s a nice dress.  What’s the occasion?”  It was a lame attempt at conversation, but the silence was louder than he could stand.  He kept his eyes focused on her slender hand as she massaged the glass surface with her fingertips.

Marielle’s fingers tapped at the panel lightly as she tried to appear unaffected by his closeness.  “Dancing practice with Erik,” she answered simply.  Her brows furrowed when the doors still didn’t open.  The engineer stepped forward, turning so she could face the panel.  The engineer didn’t even think about how she pushed Gideon back.  She tried another sequence of codes.  “You said ‘they’.  Who did this?”  Her eye twitched when, yet again, the door didn’t open.  Her annoyance grew steadily, and she was about ready to start screaming bloody murder.

The revelation that she’d been dancing with the Draconian hit him like a lance through the heart.  The half-Bajoran swallowed his groan as he lost his footing from both the pain in his chest and Marielle’s push.  He attempted to stumble gracefully but failed as his fingers grasped at the counter, rattling a mixing bowl.  Gideon winced as he tightened his fingers around the bowl to stop it from moving.  “Battey, Winnetka.  Probably the others, too, but I won’t know for sure until I start tossing them out of the airlock.”  His normally casual tenor voice was laced with irritation and pain.

The engineer began banging on the door.  “Hey!  I know you’re out there!” she belted out.  “This isn’t funny!”  Marielle turned her attention back to the panel.  Her fingers ran along the edges, trying to find the seam where she could pull at the covering.  “Crap.  This one just had to be the one that was put on properly,” she scowled.  Again, the flat of her hand slammed repeatedly into the door.  Marielle tapped her badge.  “Deniaud-”  She grumbled when she didn’t hear the familiar chirp.  Her fingers continued to tap at her communicator as if every tap would make it magically work.  “There is no way those idiots were able to do this without someone in Engineering helping them.  The moment I find out who-,” she paused suddenly as her eyes narrowed.  “Parvenu Zachery Nobody!”  

He pulled his comm badge from his pocket, tapped it, and received the same silence.  “Look, I’ll just sit in the corner with the earplugs in and you can do your thing.  They have to let us out sometime.”  Gideon reached up, placing one of the plugs back into his ear as he headed for the corner of the kitchen.  He set his back against the angle and lowered to sit on the floor, his knees pulled up to his chest.

She rolled her eyes as she watched him walk off to a corner.  “Like that’s not awkward at all,” Marielle muttered under her breath.  The engineer turned to the three bundt pans on the kitchen island and made her way towards the ingredients she had laid out.

“Unless you have a better suggestion,” he offered, his fingers paused and hovering over his ear with the second plug.  At her denial, Gideon nodded and set the other plug into his ear and leaned his forehead against his arms that were crossed over his knees.  ‘What a disaster.  How can I even trust them again?  Stronzi.’

“No.” Marielle replied simply as she made her way to the side of the island that would allow her to turn her back to him.  Her fingernails drummed on the silver surface, and she attempted to find some semblance of calm she had when she had first stepped into the kitchen.  The engineer stared at her ingredients - cocoa powder, freshly brewed coffee, Bourbon, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla.  Her thoughts were a jumble and she blanked at the sight.  She couldn’t quite believe that the combination of ingredients would create something tasty even if she’d made it several times in her lifetime.  ‘What was I thinking?  Whatever I make is going to taste like crap.’

The Betazoid mix sighed softly as he lifted his chin, finding himself watching Marielle as she moved.  ‘How has it come to this,’ he lamented.  One leg stretched out, his fingers clasped as his forearm remained resting on his knee.  Gideon blinked slowly before turning his gaze downward again, staring at the floor beside his thigh.  ‘Someone’s getting some brig time for this.’

“Computer, increase volume fifty percent,” she muttered finally.  She sighed softly to herself as she resolved just to push through the mess of emotions.  Maybe if she started, she’d find the calm she normally felt whenever she baked.  Music filled the confines of the kitchen once more.  With a breath, Marielle pulled the flour towards herself and attempted to remember the recipe through the haze of her thoughts.

He reached up pulled the ear plugs from his ear canals.  Gideon sighed and easily flicked them one by one at the door.  He’d wanted to show Marielle that he was listening for her, but the music easily drowned any noise within the space.  Fingers played with the blindfold instead as he listened to the song playing over the speakers.

Tell her on how you feel,
Give her every say she needs to hear
Give your heart, and say come take it
And she will see you’re a good man

She worked quietly, simply throwing butter into the mixer.  The engineer watched the butter cream before she added sugar.  Marielle didn’t even know why she bothered to continue.  Any joy that came in actually creating anything that night had long disappeared.  Her mind replayed their argument in the snow.  She’d spent so much time going over their interactions that she couldn’t focus on anything else.

“Computer, replay last verse.”  He reached to pull the other plug from his ear canal.

Marielle turned around and stared at him.  “What are you-”

Tell her on how you feel,
Give her every say she needs to hear
Give your heart, and say come take it
And she will see you’re a good man

“Lower volume to ten percent.”  There was a chirp and Gideon glanced up at Marielle.  His head fell back against the wall as he stared at her.  “I just want to talk and I hope you’ll listen.”  He watched her for a moment to see her reaction before taking in a deep breath.

Her mouth opened to answer, but she simply closed it again.  Marielle turned to face the mixer, cracking an egg open into the butter and cream mixture.  She felt her heart thumping steadily against her chest, and she didn’t know if she had to strength to keep her expressions in check.  When she had added all the eggs, she added the vanilla and melted chocolate.

“I can remember when I first heard you laugh.  It was an excited squeal from the crowd on Korin’Thalis.  Didn’t know it was you until I heard it again at the wedding.  I couldn’t watch the ceremony, I was just drawn to you.”  He inhaled gently, watching her again for a reaction.

Marielle smiled to herself, despite how much she didn’t want to.  She hadn’t even known he existed that day.  She was an ensign, practically fresh out of the Academy.  Slowly, she added the bourbon-espresso mixture that she had prepared earlier.  Quietly, she added flour.

“I was smitten,” he said with a soft chuckle, a stupid grin on his face at the remembrance.  “I watched from afar until I saw that you were in trouble.”  Gideon’s expression changed, saddened.  “During the Maw, I saw you were struggling and I did everything I could think of to help you.  It was enough to see you smile, no matter how briefly.  I was so confused, you know?  It wasn’t how I operated.  But it became enough.”  His evolution from womanizer to desiring a monogamous relationship was something he still wasn’t completely sure how it happened.

She shut off the mixer.  Marielle moved around the island quietly, her heels clicking on the floor as she retrieved the bundt pans.  Her eyes never once met his.  The gathered hair to one shoulder allowed her to hide.  She returned to her original spot, keeping her back to him.  Quietly, she poured the mixture into each pan as she thought of how much they’d been through together.  ‘So much.  We’ve been through so much.  Together.’  

He continued after another breath, his eyes focused in her direction, but distant.  “I don’t even really remember some things between the Maw and Valle d’Agost.  Just your laugh and your smile and being completely drawn to you.  Again, so totally out of character for me, like you’d cast a spell on me.”  A soft chuckle left his throat before he took in a deep breath.  “I really messed up after the drive.  I thought the best we were going to have was friendship, so I resolved to be okay with that.”

“Yeah you did,” she whispered to herself as she lifted each bundt pan up and then tapped it lightly on the silver surface.  Marielle’s steps were slow as she moved each pan closer to the oven.

Either he hadn’t heard or he didn’t acknowledge the whisper.  Gideon shook his head as he swallowed against a lump in his throat.  “I was beside myself after Atlantis.  I just had to be there for you, it was stupid of me not to ask what you needed.  I guess I’ve been pretty selfish this whole time.”  He reached up to rub at his freshly shaven jaw.  ‘Still haven’t really asked.  Maybe I’ll get the chance.’

She opened the oven door, carefully sliding each bundt pan into the hot oven before closing the door. Marielle took a moment to set the timer before she moved island.  Once more her back faced him.  It seemed easier than having to face everything he was forcing out into the open.

“But, the universe seems to be pretty dead set against us.”  He scoffed as he frowned, shaking his head.  “After Malahakir, I didn’t know what I needed, that’s why I couldn’t tell you.  I know you just wanted to help and I wanted you to, because you did.”  There was a pause as he recalled his arguments with the figment of his imagination while in that cell.  “You pulled me through down there.  I don’t know that I’ve really properly thanked you for that.”  Gideon glanced up to find her back to him.

At the mention of the blasted planet, she slumped.  “No,” she muttered.  Her head shook slightly at first, then furiously.  Her hands gripped at the edge of the island as her body lost its strength.  Marielle leaned heavily against the surface.  “I was the one who put you there in the first place,” she somehow managed to get the words out, her voice brittle and fragile.  “I did that to you.”  Marielle’s knuckles turned white as she took steady breaths.  She could feel feel the tears pooling and she silently grew annoyed at the lack of control.  That was something she’d realized he so easily inspired out of her.  Gideon Salieri so easily chipped away at the disciplined hold she had over her emotions.

“No, you didn’t,” he replied emphatically as he pushed himself to his feet and moved toward her.  “By the Prophets, El, you don’t really think that,” he asked her incredulously.  Gideon was at her side in a couple steps, his hand on her shoulder to turn her to face him.

Her hands came up to cover her face.  “You shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” she muttered as she shook her head.  Marielle sniffled as the first tears fell.  “It was my plan.  I was the only one who got away that day.  I should have been out there with you.  I shouldn’t have let us leave that plant until the guards arrived.”  Her shoulders shook.

He grasped at her wrists, pulling her hands aside as he demanded her attention.  “El, listen to me.  You did not do this to me.  I made the choice to go down with you, I pushed you to save you from what they did to me.”  Gideon leaned close to her, cobalt eyes searching for hers as she simply shook her head.  “Not you.”  His fingers closed a bit tighter around her wrists.  “You- did- not- do this to me.”  He spoke deliberately as he stared at her.

“When Ryan told me-  And then- I thought that’s why you told me to go,” she sobbed finally, her head dipping and her chin turning away from him.  Marielle pulled at her hands in efforts to hide her face once more.  “When you told me to go, I knew.  I knew it was my fault.”  She stammered.

Gideon released her wrists when she pulled, stepping even closer to encircle his arms around her.  He took a moment to simply enjoy the warmth of her body against his, his chin turning to the side to rest his cheek on her head.  “No, no,” he tried to soothe her.  “I asked you to go because I couldn’t tell the difference between you and Morha, that’s all.  Every time I saw you, I saw her feeding me pieces of bread with her throat slit wide open,” he gasped as he recalled it, choking on the bile that had suddenly filled the back of his throat.

Her hands found his back, her fingers gripping at his tunic as she cried.  “I’m so sorry,” she sobbed softly.  Her body shook with the force of her emotions.  “I’m so sorry.  You shouldn’t have been there.  I’m so sorry.”  She softly repeated the words over and over again, her voice breaking at each repetition.

He held her for a long time, unsure of how to handle the woman in his arms.  Finally, he gently took her cheeks into his hands and lifted her face as he looked down into her eyes.  Gideon waited until she focused on his serene gaze.  “You don’t need to apologize for any of that.  It was not your fault and I don’t blame you for anything.”  He spoke in a quiet deliberate tone.  “I will tell you that until I’m blue in the face.”  The half-Betazoid raised his brows at her before saying it again.  “It’s not your fault.”

She shook her head, but said nothing.  Marielle sniffled quietly.

“Is it possible to forgive you without implying that you’re to blame?”  He’d released her cheeks, instead sliding his hands over her neck and down to her shoulders.

At that, the engineer laughed softly.  “Probably not,” she muttered with a weak chortle.  “I’m told I’m stubborn.”  Her hands came up as her hands dipped down, thumbs wiping away the tears that continued to fall.  

Gideon helped to brush at the tears with his thumb, nodding in agreement.  “So I’ll just keep reminding you.”  He’d been pleasantly surprised at the laugh, a faint grin on his lips for a few moments before he focused his blue irises on her again.  “I- uh.  Hadn’t expected to actually talk with you.  I thought it was pretty final when you said we were done.”  He lowered his chin and turned his gaze to glance at the door.

“I wasn’t exactly expecting you to be here on my bake night,” she admitted.  Her head lifted finally and she stared at the door.  

The security officer nodded.  “I’m going to have to reacquaint some of the guys with the airlock.”  His gaze fell to the island before he turned his chin to face her again.

“While you do that, I’m going to make sure their sonic showers somehow stop working,” she grumbled.  “You may end up with a blue security team.”

“Make it gold and they’ll be in uniform permanently.”

She gave him a sad lilting laugh, her eyes moving from the kitchen door to him.  “They’d look horrible in gold,” she critiqued.  “They’d look jaundiced.  Pink?  No.  Purple?”  Marielle continued to sniffle as she dried her tears.

There it was, even if with a sorrowful tone, the euphoric sound of glass chimes in the ocean breeze.  His eyes closed as a serene expression washed over his features.  A smile tugged relentlessly at his lips and Gideon sighed at the feeling of pure contentment in his heart.  After a moment, he opened his eyes to find hers.  “It’s true, I’ve never confessed my love to someone,” he started quietly.  “But honestly, I don’t know what that is.  I have an idea, and you remind me of it daily.”  The security officer paused a moment before raising a brow down at the engineer.  “So, that’s what I want,” he said with finality.

Marielle waved her hand haphazardly at him as she awkwardly laughed.  “Love?  That’s jumping the gun.”  Silently, she groaned at how they’d gone from whatever it was they were to love.  ‘How do you go from playboy to love so quickly?’  It made her uncomfortable for reasons she didn’t want to face in that moment or ever.  She was already raw over so much, and she desperately needed the release from the burden.  It’d been weeks of an emotional roller coaster, and the engineer realized just how tired it made her.

Gideon shook his head again.  “I’m not calling it that,” he explained quickly.  “I just want to see you smile, hear your laugh.”  The security officer frowned as he stepped back.  His gaze moved over the controlled mess of Marielle’s baking.  “The dating game is so foreign to me.”

“It’s not cracked up to be,” she grumbled.  The engineer took in a deep breath as her hands smoothed over her attire.

“Feels to me like we’ve been dating the whole time, just without the official titles or whatever.”  He slid one hand into his pocket as he stepped back toward her, his fingers reaching to push a stray tendril of her raven hair behind her ear.  ‘You tell me, El.  Friends or dating?  What do you want?’  The words nearly slipped from his lips.

The brush of his fingers along her temple made her shiver and her eyes lifted to meet his.  “I swear you do that even when my hair is perfectly pinned back,” she mused wryly.  The sadness eased away slowly, leaving her with a near clean slate.  She pushed a small smile to her features.  It allowed her to feel some semblance of peace after such a tumultuous couple of weeks.

“Guilty,” he whispered as his fingertips trailed down her neck before he reached up to gently thumb away the remnants of her tears.  “Tell her on how you feel, give her every say she needs to hear.  Give her your heart and tell her,” he paused as his cobalt gaze shifted to focus on her dazzling emerald hues.  “Come take it.”

“What?”  The engineer’s head tilted to the side in question.  An electrifying shudder moved over her as his warm fingers brushed over her neck.  She blinked as recognition settled into her mind.  “Is that what brought this on?  My music choice?”  Marielle looked up at the ceiling briefly before her gaze returned to him.  She felt her heart rate increase, the steady beat pounding loudly in her ears.

“Pretty ironic for that song to play at this time, don’t you think?”  Gideon raised a brow.  “I’ve been trying to give you my heart since I met you.  Other than ripping it from my chest, I don’t know how to do that.”  He lowered his gaze.  “So I’ve been sucking pretty hard at it.”  The security officer lowered his chin before tilting his head to look at her.  

“I’d say my music database has a mind of its own when it’s on shuffle,” she managed softly.

He nodded in agreement before inhaling gently.  His hand moved to caress her upper arm.  “I think what happens here is I ask if you’d like to go out on a date with me.”  Gideon raised his brows again, watching her for the approval.

‘I should say no.  There’s a timeline to this.  It wouldn’t be fair to you.’  She worried her lower lip as she considered her choice.  Ultimately, she decided that it didn’t matter.  Gideon had been right.  It had felt as if they’d been dating for months.  ‘Okay.  That’s going to be a problem for future me.  Present me wants to be stupid happy.’  “And, I think what happens next is I say yes,” she answered softly after the smallest of hesitations.  The idea of another date with the security chief filled her with some dread.  ‘What else is the universe going to throw at us?’  Briefly, she tensed at the idea.  A part of her was ready for the ship to explode, for some unknown alien species to attack the ship at that very moment, or for a spacial anomaly to appear.

He let a smile find his lips again and he nodded.  “Okay.  Can we go now-” ‘-in case the cosmos comes up with something else that rips us apart again?’

“Okay,” Marielle replied quickly.  Her fingers quickly found his tunic.  “Look.  We seem to have crappy luck with the first date.  So can we just, you know, fast forward to the second one?”

Chuckling softly, he nodded as his body leaned toward her with the pull on his tunic.  “Sure, took the words from my mouth, kind of.”  Gideon pressed his forehead against hers, pausing before he lifted back just slightly.  “I’ve- never had a second date.  What happens on the second date?”  His brows raised in true curiosity.

“With me?  Nothing.”  Marielle looked up at him with feigned incredulity, though her smile was impish.  Though, she did find it rather curious - almost adorable - that the man had never been on a second date.  ‘Gideon Salieri doesn’t date.’  The engineer chuckled softly to herself.  “I’m a ton more fun on the fourth date.”

His lips remained close to hers and his body arched so that he could press further into her personal bubble.  “Well, if things had gone right the first time, this would be like a tenth date.”  Gideon grinned mischievously, his cobalt orbs twinkling with mirth as he let his lips brush against hers, gentle fingers caressing down her sides.

She inhaled sharply.  “So many, and we missed out on all the fun,” she spoke softly, her breath mingling with his.  Her fingers moved up his tunic, sliding along the column of his neck until they rested at the nape.  Her chin dipped slightly as she looked up at him.  “Look at that.  Ten dates and it only took you-”

“Too long,” he interrupted as he smothered her lips with his.  Gideon’s hands split behind her, one travelling down to her lower back, the other caressing up to the nape of her neck.  His tongue caressed the seam of her lips as he moaned quietly in his throat.

She sighed softly, pulling him closer.  Her fingers tangled in his hair.  Marielle’s eyes fluttered shut in surrender.  There was no innocence to his lips as they pressed into hers, and she relished in the warmth that surrounded her.  

Even though they’d shared several kisses before, Gideon explored her mouth as if for the first time.  The familiar coffee and vanilla found his tastebuds, but he was nearly surprised out of the kiss by the sweet sharpness of bourbon on her tongue.  ‘She will be the death of you, Gid.’  He groaned deeply as his fingers tightened into the tendrils of her black hair and he pressed into her with more fervor, completely accepting his fate.  

Marielle audibly moaned.  She was sure she’d never get enough of him - that taste of wine and of chocolate.  The combination of flavours was quickly becoming her favourite.  It reminded her of the simple comforts, the warm aspects of life that just made a person content.  Every restraint she had vanished.  She nipped at his bottom lip, captured his tongue.  She let herself sink into the need that built up quickly.  The engineer was sure that just kissing him wasn’t ever going to be enough.

Gideon groaned softly with displeasure as he broke for air, a quick gasp pulling oxygen into his lungs before he pressing his lips into hers again, eager to drown himself in the taste of her.  Briefly, he pulled away as he panted.  “Were you drinking bourbon?” he whispered as he licked her lips, humming softly at the familiar warmth of the liquor.

She chased after his, whining softly at the chill that graced her lips.  “I had a glass when I made the first bundt,” Marielle nodded.  “Bourbon chocolate bundt.”  Her eyes widened briefly as she looked up at him, her head pulling away slightly.  John Stone’s revelation played itself in her memory and a hint of worry moved through her.  Still, she was desperate to find a release from the mess of emotions that had plagued her for weeks.  They’d flirted for months to the point it drove her crazy.  Marielle turned and pulled his body flushed with her own, forcing him to pin her to the edge of the island.

His knees parted and he straddled her thighs with his as he followed her direction.  Gideon stole a quick kiss as he leaned her back slightly.  “Forgotten how much I miss bourbon,” he whispered before sliding his tongue between her lips, searching for another taste of the liquor.

She moaned, her tongue pressing into his.  He was as tempting as she remembered.  Marielle’s head tilted back, pulling her lips from his.  “Is that going to be a problem?” she gasped as she tried to regain some of her senses.  Her head rolled to the side, her fingers pulling at his tunic.  

Inhaling at the question, Gideon was sure his head swam a moment as he stared at the curve of Marielle’s neck.  “Only if you don’t want me trying to taste it on you,” he grumbled before he raised his arms, allowing Marielle to remove the tunic.  He pressed closer without giving her a chance to respond.  His lips closed around the curve in her jaw and suckled down her neck as if he could pull the bourbon from her skin.

Ryan Winnetka peered through the window and then yanked the sign down.  He smirked before blinking at the silvery scars on Gideon’s back.  A wince followed and he stepped back, tapping his badge for Ensign Nobody’s help in releasing the restrictions on the doors.  They slid open as Winnetka stood at the very edge of the sensor.

Marielle blinked, her head tipping back to see the doors open.  “Gideon,” she struggled to right herself as she patted him lightly.  She moaned softly at the fire of his touches.  “Put on your shirt.  Grab the cake.”  The engineer quickly picked up the bourbon bottle by its neck.

He tore himself away from her reluctantly, blinking as he looked her but obeyed.  Gideon picked up his shirt and slid it on, turning to find his stare focused on Winnetka.  He fumbled for the kitchen towel covered cake pan, glancing around at the mess they were leaving as he followed Marielle.  

“You better watch your backs,” the engineer warned Ryan as she walked towards the door, Gideon’s hand in hers.  “Tell your friends.”  Then she smiled brightly at him, lifting her heels off the floor as she leaned up and kissed him on the cheek.  “Thank you.”

Ryan grinned stupidly and nodded.  He simply held up the sign that had been on the window before and pointed to it.  ‘SORRY!’

“Clean up this mess, Lieutenant,” Marielle ordered as she pulled Gideon towards the lounge exit.  “You get to keep one bundt cake.”

Gideon glanced at Winnetka, mouthing to him with a raised brow.  ‘Airlock.’  The brief influx of irritation quickly dissipated as the engineer tugged on his hand.

Ryan watched as Marielle dragged Gideon out of the Forward Lounge and as the pair broke out into a sprint just before the doors closed.  He tapped the badge on his chest, “Winnetka to Graves.  I’ll be picking up my winnings in the morning.  I believe I’m expecting a thousand two hundred credits.”

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