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With the crew sleeping in their individual quarters, the hallways were quiet. With their training taking up most of their schedule, Erik hadn’t had much time to spend with Marielle. His own schedule was filled with irritating interrogations by Doctor Mavelle Kivo and Commander Yari Nazir. They asked, demanded really, for information regarding his thoughts on Starfleet, his ties to his family, his belief system, his philosophical views on different economic systems. The woman he didn’t quite mind. Her soul was oddly dull. While she was able to maintain a solid façade, her soul spoke of her deep loyalty and love to her family. There was no real spark there. The woman was as average as they came. Yari Nazir, he discovered, was an annoying piece of feces. His soul was a dark maze with multiple doors he couldn’t open. There was a general sense of deceit that had his instincts blaring with alarms. He stalked down the hallway with his hands in the pockets of his running pants. The long sleeved running shirt hugged the firm lines of his body. What he needed most was to surround his senses with all things Marielle.
The night had gone better than previous nights. Gideon slept for several hours before the first terror had him yelping and sitting up quickly. His outburst woke Marielle and the security chief immediately apologized and settled back under the covers. He held the physicist gently against him and remained awake to prevent another one from disturbing her sleep. His arms relaxed slightly when she squirmed and he furrowed his brows. In the dim light it was hard to see much of anything, but there was a spot between her shoulder blades that was darker than her olive skin. He would wait until she fell back into sleep to grab the regenerator. The half-Bajoran couldn’t help but wonder why she was hiding it from him. That much was obvious considering how she had doted on him all night and given no indication other than random hisses of pain or twinges of her muscles that she had been injured. ‘I’d do it for her if the roles were reversed.’
His destination was clear. It’d been some time since he’d really spoken to the small woman. He missed the sweeping aria of her soul. He could catch moments of it if he listened hard enough, but the proximity would allow him to truly focus on the powerful melody. Things had been awkward after his confrontation with one Gideon Salieri in the holodeck following one of his tango practices with the researcher. The friendship remained, but he had kept his distance - for his sake - when he heard of their coupling. It was lonely without her, however, and he resolved to be the friend she believed him to be. There was also a selfish need to surround himself with the stunning melody. She naturally calmed him, and he was in need of peace more than ever. The Draconian stopped in front of his destination and pressed his finger on the chime.
The half-Bajoran frowned at the sound of the chime and he lifted his head to make sure that Marielle hadn’t awakened. He gently disengaged from the diminutive woman and eased over her body to stand up next to the bed. He walked quietly to the door and blinked away the remnants of sleep that pulled at his subconscious. Gideon lifted his hand to press against the panel and he stepped into the threshold to greet whomever was at the door. Cobalt found amethyst and he raised a brow. The security chief only had the lounge pants on and there was still some sheen from the lavender lotion on his shoulders.
A blink. Rich amethyst irises met irritatingly familiar cobalt. “Oh you have to be frakking kidding,” Erik growled under his breath. He looked past the security chief to spot the silhouette on the bed. His eyes lifted to the ceiling in complaint at seeing the dip of her waist and his imagination had taken hold without his permission. “Frakking- What sick frakking-” He roughly ran a hand over his face before he sighed with his annoyance. Couldn’t he catch a break? “What the hell are you doing here?”
“We help each other sleep,” he answered quietly. Gideon had to frown as the statement had been true before his empathic abilities had been suppressed. Now neither of them were really getting much rest - the physicist was sleeping more than he was. His chin tilted slightly as he regarded the counselor. “It’s not even 0400. What are you doing here?” he shot back.
“Run,” Erik replied flatly, unable to hide his annoyance. “Bright Eyes and I would go every day. I thought she’d like to get out for a run. It’s been a while.”
The half-Bajoran shook his head in answer for Marielle. “She didn’t get much sleep last night.” His hand lifted to rest on the door frame, as if he was barring entry to the counselor. Gideon had never been able to fully sense what Erik was feeling but possessiveness and entitlement always flashed in his dark purple eyes. He tensed slightly to cause his muscles to contract.
The Draconian growled. His sharp gaze swept over the security chief. The bare chest was an insulting display of supposed manliness, the position he took at the door so possessive of the diminutive woman that Erik wanted to punch him in the face. How the half-Bajoran managed to claim Marielle as his was still a mystery. It annoyed him because Gideon Salieri’s mere existence served as a reminder of what Erik had stupidly given up with his ridiculous advice. His gaze settled back on the slender silhouette in the bed. “Why the frak are you keeping her up with your pathetic libido? You know she’s overworked.”
Gideon frowned as he watched the counselor appear to yearn for the diminutive woman. The security chief shook his head as he considered how to answer. “We help each other sleep,” he reiterated in a firm tone. He debated revealing the extent of what he knew regarding Marielle’s training. The half-Betazoid decided against it. It was the diminutive woman’s place to voice her concerns, not his.
“You mean you’re taking what you want, like always,” the Draconian grumbled under his breath. “Selfish piece of targ shit.”
“She gives willingly and I give her all of me,” he snarled as he stepped forward and shoved Erik back into the hallway. Gideon stopped short of leaving the proximity sensor just in case he wouldn’t be able to get back into the room when the door closed. “She’s afra-”
The counselor stumbled back but then rushed forward. His body curled in slightly and his arms wrapped around Gideon’s torso as he tackled the half-Bajoran to the ground as they both fell back and past the threshold. The door slid closed behind them. “Don’t frakking touch me!” he sneered dangerously, his voice kept low by his increasing anger.
Marielle sat up with a start as a noise startled her, her eyes blinking in the darkness. “Gideon?” she called out. Her voice was filled with her worry. Her hand immediately fell to the side where his body often kept her warm, but he was nowhere to be found. The absence only served to concern her further. “Did you have another nightmare?”
His head snapped toward the bed and his breath was caught in his throat. Gideon had made a conscientious effort to not make a sound despite being tackled to the ground. His mind raced with the white lie he wanted to tell her - that he did have a nightmare - but there was no guarantee that the woman wouldn’t eventually spot him on the floor with the counselor on top of him. “I’m fine, El.” The security chief glared up at Erik. “She’s afraid of small dark places and I hold her so she can sleep,” he hissed quietly at the counselor. “Get off me.”
The Draconian’s breath stilled in his lungs and he stared up at the dimly lit woman. The reflected light that filtered from the porthole lit the lines of her body and casted shadows over her curves. He caught the lines of her skin, the shadows painting the dip to her waist and the swell of her bare chest. The thin sheets pooled around her lap. He never hated Gideon more than in that moment. He quietly moved off the security chief, the biting words he wanted to scream lost in his need to make her happy and keep her safe.
She yawned before she fell back into the mattress. She rolled her back to the door, her face hidden under the blanket that wrapped around her. “Come back to bed,” she murmured sleepily. “Five minutes. I promise. Just five minutes and then I’ve got the next round.”
“I’m coming,” he called gently to her as he pushed up to his elbows. His gaze had remained on the counselor as he waited for the Draconian to move back enough that he could stand up. The security chief wanted nothing more than to rake the man’s eyes out for daring to look at Marielle’s naked form. Gideon watched Erik for several moments as he waited for the taller man to stand. He finally offered his hand to help him to his feet. “I’ll let her know you came by,” he murmured quietly.
It was really not what he wanted to hear. He sat on the floor briefly and he remained quiet as he waited for the sound of Marielle’s steady breaths. His eyes settled on the offered hand. He didn’t take it, but he didn’t slap it away either. Erik pushed to his feet and grumbled in silence as he stalked towards the door. It opened quickly and closed behind him. He sulked as he walked down the hallway.
Gideon stared at the closed door for several moments before he turned and picked up the regenerator. The device was turned on and he used Marielle’s position on the bed - with her back to him - to quickly run the medical wand over the burn mark that he’d spotted earlier. With the light from the porthole illuminating more of her back, the security chief gently lifted the sheet to see if there were any other injuries that she had either missed or thought didn’t warrant taken care of. He frowned when he saw two more spots. They were burns in the shape of a rod. His gaze lifted briefly to the diminutive woman’s face and he shook his head before quickly running the device over the other two burns. He set the regenerator back into the kit and gently climbed back into the bed with the physicist. His arms wrapped around her in his effort to soothe her into a deeper sleep.