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[JL Deniaud/Salieri] Roots & Branches: The Salieris, Part 2

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by Lieutenant Commander Gideon Salieri & Lieutenant Commander Marielle Deniaud
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Stardate: 1701.20
Roots & Branches: The Salieris, Part 2

Marielle chuckled lightly.  Despite how they’d starting speaking to each other, she had yet to spare a glance to Geovani’s or Giancarlo’s direction.  “I suppose if that’s all one has,” she hummed a cheerful tune into her wine glass.  She smiled serenely.  “I think that’s why Gideon does so well.  He has the Aldrin.  He’s become a tactical expert.  Our captain relies on him.  He’s known to be stern but fair.  He protects.  He’s saved my life at least three times?”  The researcher turned to Bacna, a sad smile in her eyes as she softly whispered.  “If it was not for him, I would not be here.”  She took a sip of her wine before her voice regained its volume.  “But, I suppose it speaks more of the type of people he attracts.  He has true friends, a band of brothers who view him as more than a leader.  They see him as family.  They trust him with their lives.”

The security chief let his heart soar a moment as Marielle sang his praises.  With a barely hidden smirk in the direction of Giancarlo and Geovani, Gideon stepped forward, reaching into a cabinet on the side to pick up plates for the meal.  He moved through the kitchen into the dining room to begin setting the table.

Nonna smiled warmly at Marielle, loving the young woman even more after her dialogue regarding her grandson.  “I knew he had greatness in him,” she said softly.

“It’s not greatness, Ms. Bacna,” Marielle smiled at the Bajoran woman.  “It is simply Gideon.”

“Lei gira un bel racconto. (She spins a good story.)”  Giancarlo growled softly into his wine glass.  “Ha dovuto morire, insieme a sua madre puttana. (He should have died, along with his bitch of a mother.)”

Geo grunted softly, shaking his head.  “Ha fatto solo perché non riusciva a tagliare qui. (He only left because he couldn’t cut it here.)”

Gideon stepped back into the kitchen, his eyes falling on his half-brother.  “Non vorrei essere qui anche se avete fatto trattami come uno dei tuoi.  Si dovrebbe conoscere meglio.  Francese e Italiano sono molto simili, lei è probabilmente capito ogni parola che hai detto. (I wouldn’t want to be here even if you did treat me like your son.  You should know better.  French and Italian are very similar, she can probably understand every word you say.)”  He’d moved on, pulling out a drawer to retrieve silverware.  He smiled gratefully toward Marielle as he approached her.

Her eyes found Gideon’s and she offered him a gentle smile in return.  She lifted her heels off the ground, her hand finding his cheek as she gave him a tender yet passionate kiss.  Marielle’s heels fell to the ground as she parted, her lips lingering close so she could steal one more kiss.  “I think tonight,” she whispered softly, “you deserve to win all the rounds.”  She winked and giggled softly at Gideon’s soft yet desirous moan.

He found he would have given anything to forget his family was there in that moment and lose himself in Marielle’s kisses.  Gideon held her close for a moment longer, grinning as his nose trailed into her hair, his lips ghosting her skin as he whispered, “Sul serio? Tutti e dieci? (Seriously?  All ten?)”  He chuckled lightly as her cheeks turned pink at his proximity and the shiver that moved through her.  His body easily melded to hers, holding her against him as a soft moan drifted in his throat.

“Hanno po 'di rispetto in casa mia, (Have some respect in my house.)” Geovani snapped at the two.  “Gideon, segnala la tua donna a comportarsi. (Tell your woman to behave.)”

Geovani’s tone and words had her eye twitching slightly, but thankfully her face was buried in Gideon’s chest.  The idea that he’d dare tell Gideon to attempt to control her in any way had her wanting to snap after the string of insults she’d already had to silently endure.  With a quiet breath, Marielle turned to Adrianna with the side of her head resting against Gideon’s chest.  She grinned slyly.  “Salieri men have fantastic stamina,” she giggled shyly.  “Surely, you agree.  You and Geo must go at least six rounds every night, non?  Gideon goes at least eight every single time.”  She purposefully pinned her lower lip under her teeth.

The elder Bajoran giggled softly as she listened, shaking her head.  “I don’t think he got that from the Salieris,” Bacna quipped with a cackle.

Her seaglass chime-like lilting laugh filled the kitchen, warmth easily radiating from the petite researcher.  “I had a feeling you were a saucy woman, Ms. Bacna.”

Adrianna’s eyes widened as she looked at Geovani before a blush creeped up her cheeks.  Her blue gaze found Gideon for a moment before she blinked at Marielle.  “Ah,” she stammered softly.  “Dinner,” she diverted.  “Is ready.  Giancarlo, get your father.  Geo, collect your mother.  Gideon is setting the table.  Ellie, maybe I could use your help with the bread?”

“Of course.  How may I help Adrianna?”  She moved towards Geovani’s wife, her wine glass placed on the counter.

“Eight?” she whispered to Marielle, desperate for confirmation.  Adrianna motioned to the knife and empty basket for the bread.

“Ten, really,” the researcher picked up the bread knife and went to work on the loaf she had been given.  “We only manage eight when we’re exhausted.”

Adrianna glanced toward Geovani as he disappeared into the living area, frowning in disappointment.  “Ho trovato il torto Salieri. (I found the wrong Salieri.)”  Her eyes widened at the utterance and she looked at Marielle apologetically.  “Mi dispiace, che è stato maleducato.   Ah, Standard, sorry. (I’m sorry, that was rude.)”  The homemaker nodded.  “I appreciate your help.”

Her jaw clenched as she tried to stop herself from laughing aloud.  Her eyes remained on slicing bread for dinner.  “No apologies necessary,” she offered in kind.  “And honestly, you made dinner, Adrianna.  Slicing bread is hardly help.”  Marielle smiled kindly at Adrianna.  “There is nothing truly more heartwarming than a meal cooked and shared.  I cannot thank you enough for this kindness and this welcome.”  She lifted the collection of bread slices that she’d place in a basket before moving towards the dining room with several other dishes.

Nonna assisted with carrying everything to the table as they converged in the dining room.  The hand carved table had been expanded to allow for the extra guests.  Dezara and Vincent had been brought to the table, along with the two kids joining them.

“Ellie, my grandfather Vincent.  He’s going to forget that we’re eating but he joins us anyway.”  Geovani leaned down and spoke loudly into Vincent’s ear.  “Nonno, Gideon’s friend Ellie is joining us tonight.”

The eldest Salieri just turned his dark brown eyes up, searching the faces for one he might not recognize before nodding and grasping at a fork.

Gideon pulled out a chair for Marielle, allowing her to sit before pushing it in for her and seating himself beside her.  The dinner was quite an informal affair, everyone passing dishes around and serving themselves as conversations were had in small groups.  The children were dismissed to return to their contraptions.

Geovani watched his children playing with the wooden toys that Marielle had brought for them, his rage slowly stewing under the surface as he glared toward the security chief.  “Così, Gideon.  Vuoi dire che a dirmi che questa è stata la migliore che si possa scoprire di tutto l'universo delle donne? (So.  You mean to tell me that this was the best you could find in a whole universe of women?)”

Adrianna whined softly as she grasped Geovani’s arm.  “You really need to stop,” she berated him.  Her fingers quickly released her husband and she returned her attention to her plate when he glared at her.

Gideon set his wine glass on the table, his blue eyes focusing on Geovani as he just shook his head in silent warning.

Sighing with a breath, Marielle’s fork was lightly placed on her plate and she stared at Geovani.  “Il mio nome è Mariëlle Antoinette Deniaud.  Ho sangue reale.  Sono il progettista di un’incredibile astronave.  Mentre stai qui a giocare con la sporcizia, Gideon e mi stanno plasmando l'universo, (My name is Marielle Antoinette Deniaud.  I have royal blood.  I am the designer of an incredible starship.  While you’re here playing in the dirt, Gideon and I are shaping the universe.)” she started calmly.  Her eyes, normally bright and cheerful, had darkened with the annoyance that had been steadily building.  She simply raised a brow in his direction.  “Il mio nome è già nei libri di testo e ho appena compiuto ventisei anni.  Cosa hai fatto nella tua vita?  (My name is already in textbooks and I’ve just turned twenty-six.  What have you done with your life?)”  She grinned sweetly as she slipped the morsel on her fork past her lips.

Gideon blinked, staring at Marielle.  “I knew it,” he whispered.  He always had an inkling that the woman could understand when he spoke in one of his native tongues, but she’d never spoken Italian to him.

“Se avete intenzione di insultare qualcuno, essere sicuri di fare in modo che non parla la vostra lingua. (If you’re going to insult someone, make sure they don’t speak your language.)”  Her cold eyes lingered on the shocked expression that graced Gideon’s brother and father.  “Purtroppo per voi, io sono un po 'di un linguista.  Posso insultarti in diverse lingue, e che non avevo mai sapere. (Unfortunately for you, I’m a bit of a linguist.  I can insult you in several languages and you would never know.)”  

He chuckled softly, his hand resting on her thigh as Gideon gazed upon Marielle in deeper appreciation.

Marielle smiled brightly at the Salieri patriarchs while her tone lightened significantly.  “Vous avez le corps d’un chien et le QI d’une durée de cinq ans, (You have the body of a dog and an IQ the length of a five year old.)” she started with a laugh in Geovani’s direction.  “Je plains ta femme.  Elle a épousé un homme misérable. (I pity your wife.  She married a miserable man.)”  The researcher leaned forward and snickered.  “Gédéon a plus d’honneur dans son ongle que vous avez dans tout votre corps.  Votre jalousie vous rend laid et votre vin amer.  Je ne donnerais pas votre vin à mon chien. (Gideon has more honor in his nail than you have in your whole body.  Your jealousy makes you ugly and your wine bitter.  I wouldn’t give your wine to my dog.)”  

Gideon laughed lightly as he raised his pinky finger, glancing at his short nail with a tilt of his head in Marielle’s direction.

She turned to face Gideon.  “Comment diable avez-tu tourné si normal avec des hommes horribles comme c'est dans toi vie? (How the hell did you turn out so normal with these horrible men in your life?)”  The look of confusion and amazement clear on her face.  “Ils sont horribles.  Je suis sûr que même Erik ne voudrait pas les insulter.  Ils ne valent pas son temps, et ils ne devraient certainement pas être la vôtre. (They are horrible.  I’m sure even Erik wouldn’t want to insult them.  They aren’t worth the time and they certainly shouldn’t be worth yours.)”

“Ils ont été mon inspiration pour être mieux.  Je ne peux pas imaginer être quelque chose comme eux, (They were my inspiration to be better.  I couldn’t imagine being anything like them.)” he answered in halting French but with a contented grin.  “Et maintenant tu comprends pourquoi ils ne sont pas ma famille, (And now you understand why they aren’t my family.)” Gideon raised his brow as he looked in the direction of Geovani and Giancarlo.  “Je n'ai jamais connu deux hommes plus dégoûtants qu'eux. (I’ve never known two men more disgusting than them.)”  It felt so good to unload the negativity he’d held for them for so long.

It took considerable effort not to wince at the horrible accent that fell from Gideon’s tongue.  It would have done nothing to prove her point to his family that he was far more than they thought of him.  The researcher folded her napkin and placed it neatly on the table, tucking a portion of it under her plate.  “Perdona loro per non essere in grado di essere più di quello che sono.  Essi non sono degno il vostro tempo.  Gideon, tu sei un ufficiale della Flotta Stellare pregiato e decorato.  Giocano con sporcizia e fare il vino di merda. (Forgive them for not being able to be more than they are.  They are not worth your time.  Gideon, you are a Starfleet officer, prized and decorated.  Let them play in the dirt and make shit wine.)”  She motioned with her thumb towards Geovani.  “Egli non può nemmeno piacere alla moglie a letto. (He can’t even please his wife in bed.)”  Marielle rolled her eyes.

Geovani growled and stood suddenly.  “Out!  Get out of this house!  Non voglio essere preso in giro sotto il mio tetto! (I will not be insulted under my own roof!)”

Gideon rose from his seat as well, his eyes steady on Geovani as he prepared for the worst.  Nonna had already slipped away from the table, ushering the kids upstairs.

Marielle stood up and stared at him.  “Gladly,” she replied calmly.  She smiled apologetically at Adrianna.  “Your meal was delicious and your children delightful.”  She glanced at Vincent and loudly proclaimed when their eyes met.  “Si pianta seme cattivo. (You have bad seed.)”  Her slender finger pointed to Geovani and Giancarlo while she still looked at Vincent.  “Il vostro patrimonio è lui. (They are your wealth.)”  She interlaced her fingers with Gideon.  “Come on,” she smiled brightly at him.  “We’ve got a shuttle to catch.”

Adrianna could only look on, an apologetic look in her eyes.

“Come osi insultare un uomo anziano! (How dare you insult an elderly man!)” Giancarlo stood up as well, throwing his napkin to the table.

“I was insulting you,” Marielle turned to stare at Giancarlo.  “But, apparently you’re too dumb to realize it.  And before you go about insulting my heritage, you racist pig, I would be mindful of how you too are of a mixed culture.  It’s Asian, not ‘oriental.’”  Her eyes narrowed slightly.

“El, you’re wonderful, but this is going to get ugly if we don’t leave,” Gideon whispered as he rested a hand on her back, gently urging her toward the door.

“Let them,” she growled softly in Giancarlo’s direction.  “If he can’t handle a simple battle of words, then that’s his problem.  Not mine.”

Geovani rounded the table, his face flushed with wine and anger.  Seething quietly, he stared at Marielle from over Gideon’s shoulder.  

She remained steadfast in place as she watched Geovani make his way towards her.  Her shoulders squared as her back straightened.  Marielle did not waver.  “No respect for women,” she tsked as she rolled her eyes in his direction.

Geovani’s dark eyes settled on Gideon.  “Ti ho detto di controllare il vostro meretrice! (I told you to control your harlot!)”

Che l'uomo spregevole sei.  Si potrebbe osare minacciare una donna perché ti senti così piccolo. (You’re a despicable man.  You would dare threaten a woman because you feel so small.)” Marielle bit back.

Gideon frowned, shaking his head.  “We’re leaving.”  He grasped Marielle gently by the arm.  “Allez, je ne veux pas qu'il y ait un autre combat de poing.  S'il vous plaît. (Come on, I don’t want another fist fight.  Please.)”  His eyes turned down to face Marielle.

She sighed as her eyes stared back at Geovani.  “Fine,” she huffed.  “But, you know I don’t like it.”  Marielle grumbled lightly under her breath as she turned and made her way towards the exit.  “Such shit wine too.  I should send them a crate of that sweet red from the Elysium Vneyard.”

“Nous sommes la plus grande personne en partant sans argument.  Droite? (We’re the bigger people for leaving without argument.  Right?)”  The half-Bajoran glance over h

“Yeah, yeah.  I still want to kick him in the balls,” she grumbled.   

Gideon glanced over his shoulder, blue eyes darkening toward Geovani.  “Il n'en a pas. (He doesn’t have any.)”  The comment earned him that bright laugh he adored, the bell-ringing peal of laughter that was reminiscent of summer.

The older Salieri growled and charged, tackling Gideon from behind.  “Sei morto, stronzo! (You’re dead, asshole!)”

She yelped as she felt Gideon push into her back, and she fell forward towards the wall as the men rolled over the floor.  Marielle turned and pressed her back against the wall as the eldest Salieri brother tackled the security chief to the ground.  “Gideon!” she called out.  Her eyes widened as she covered her mouth with her hand.

Luckily, Gideon had consumed far less wine than Geo, so he was able to roll over and defend himself from the bigger man’s attack, but not before Geovani’s knuckles connected with his lip, splitting it on the side.

Adrianna screamed quietly and rushed around the fight, running upstairs to protect her children from hearing it.  Nonna grabbed Giancarlo and shook him, instructing him to step in and break it up.  The elder Salieri shoved her aside, shouting at her to leave it alone.

“That’s enough!” she screamed out as she ran into the fray and attempted to push the men apart.  “Gideon!”  Marielle turned in time to see Bacna being shoved and her eyes widened.  Guilt overwhelmed Marielle - she had pushed too hard.  “I said that’s enough, Commander!  Your superior officer is giving you a direct order!”  Her head snapped towards Gideon and Geovani, her vibrant eyes settling on the security chief.  She attempted to get between them, her hands pressed against each of their chests as she tried to pry them apart - and failed.

He’d managed to grasp Geo by the wrist, frowning as he heard Marielle, but looked up at the rage in his brother’s eyes.  “I can’t if he’s not going to!”  Gideon cried out, wanting to obey as she directed, but his brother simply pushed Marielle aside, lighting a fire within the security chief when she fell back and bumped her head against the wall.  Geovani landed another punch, but Gideon reacted with fierce intensity, striking his fist into Geo’s face and twisting to roll them both so that Gideon was now on top, his fingers grasping Geovani by the tunic as his hand raised and fell, releasing years of suppressed anger on the prone Salieri.

Marielle scrambled to her feet and her arms immediately wrapped around Gideon’s shoulder and neck as she fell onto his back.  “Stop,” she whispered into his ear, her voice brittle.  “Please, Gideon.  He’s not worth it.  Let it go.”

At her touch and the whisper in his ear, Gideon panted as his fingers uncurled, releasing Geovani’s tunic.  She pulled him away, his hand resting on her forearm as he stood, blinking at the mess he’d left of Geovani’s face.  “Uh,” he breathed, glancing toward Giancarlo, then his mother Dezara, and finally turning to face Marielle.

“Let’s go and walk the beach by your Nonna’s home,” she urged softly as she attempted to pull him out the door.

Gideon reached up, wiping at his face as he shook his head.  He looked over his shoulder again.  “Madre, mi dispiace, (Mother, I’m sorry.)” he said in her direction, only to find she was sipping from a wine glass, appearing to enjoy the show.  Nonna showed up behind him, pushing him along as Marielle guided him out of the house.  “I’m sorry,” he breathed, shaking his head.  Gideon reached up, wiping his face with the sleeve of his tunic before he stopped, turning around to look for Marielle.

Marielle motioned to Gideon’s grandmother to continue on without her.  She stepped back into the house to gather their bags, which had been left by the doorway.  She didn’t bother to speak to anyone.  She simply stared at the Salieri men for a beat and shook her head in pity before she turned her back to them.  She made her way down the drive, her feet carrying her quickly towards him.  She threw the bags into the shuttle the moment she reached it, pleased to find Gideon and Bacna already there.  “How is he?” she asked Gideon’s grandmother as she reached under the panel to grab the emergency medkit

“El, are you okay?” he asked as he looked up at her, blue eyes following her easily.

Nonna smiled sadly, shaking her head.  “Strong as an ox, this one.”

“Stronger,” the researcher hummed as the shuttle lifted from the ground and as she opened the kit.  Marielle smiled at the elder Bajoran woman as she stood to allow her to take her spot.  She leaned forward, her fingers lightly touching Gideon’s chin.  She tsked lightly as she reached into the kit and grabbed the dermal regenerator.  “Doesn’t look too bad.  I think his hand got it worse.”  Her gaze briefly dipped to find the bruises already forming on his knuckles before they lifted once more to his face.  Her thumb pressed the switch, and the regenerator hummed to life as she ran its beam over his lip.  Quietly, she lamented how harshly the half-Bajoran had unleashed his anger on his brother’s face.

Gideon stared quietly, his cobalt gaze watching Marielle with concern etched in his features.  He’d wanted to just tell the theorist to leave the regenerator for later, but she hadn’t answered him earlier, so he figured it would be a futile effort.  He was like putty in her hands.

She turned to Bacna briefly a sad smile gracing her features.  “I’m very sorry for insulting your grandson,” she offered.  Marielle paused.  “Well.  I’m actually not sorry for what I said.  But, I am sorry for what came of it.”

Nonna only nodded, the smile not having left her features.  “You are a godsend, my dear.  Geo has needed to be put in his place for thirty years.  I kind of wish you had seen my nipotino lay out his father the last time we met,” the Bajoran recalled with a soft giggle.

Marielle turned to Gideon at the revelation and she stared disappointedly at him.  “You need to forgive them, even when they don’t ask for it,” she urged softly.

“I have,” he whispered, wincing slightly at her look of disappointment.  Gideon glanced toward Nonna, wondering why should would say anything about that.

“Really?” she looked at him with a raised brow.  “Because the anger I saw there?  That wasn’t forgiveness.”  Marielle leaned forward as she shut off the dermal regenerator.  “Gideon.  Life becomes so much easier when you learn to accept an apology you’ve never been given.”  Her vibrant green hues stared into the depths of his blue.  “They don’t deserve the energy it takes to be that angry.”

The half-Betazoid glanced toward Nonna, then back to Marielle, wondering how exactly he’d managed to find two people who tell him the exact same things.  With a slight frown, Gideon sighed.  “I wasn’t angry until he hit you.  I think that’s fair.”

She straightened and stared at him, remaining silent as she considered his reason.  “Okay,” she hummed and nodded in acceptance.  The dermal regenerator was flipped back on and she gently lifted his bruised hand and began running the beam over his knuckles.

He blinked and raised his brows.  “Really?” Gideon asked.  It was his turn to be skeptical.

“Yup.”  She nodded once as she stared at his mended hand, the dermal regenerator shut off as soon as the injury had been handled.  Marielle’s eyes lifted to meet his.  “I’m perfectly able to protect myself thanks to you, but the sentiment - that you want to protect me - is sweet.”  She shrugged.  “I still think it makes you do really stupid things, but I’m not going to argue with you about your reasons.  You’re entitled to it.”

“Love always makes us do stupid things,” Nonna said quietly, grinning to herself.

Marielle straightened and tensed at Bacna’s words.  She laughed awkwardly.  “I’m pretty sure it’s just Gideon’s hard head,” she laughed softly as she lightly flicked his forehead with her finger.  

He reached up, giving Marielle a friendly glare as he rubbed his forehead.  “Ow,” Gideon muttered melodramatically.

“I think we have enough time to salvage tonight.  How do you two feel about sharing a bottle of wine on the patio?”

“So long as it’s one of my bottles,” Nonna agreed with a grin.

“Obviously,” Marielle chuckled lightly as she got up to put away the medkit.  “I need something to wash away that horrid bitter wine.  Do you happen to have an Elysium red?”

Gideon reached up as she returned, grasping Marielle by the hips and pulling her down to straddle his lap in the chair.  “I can think of something better to wash the taste from your mouth,” his whispered quietly as his hands trailed up to her shoulders, his nose tracing the line of her neck on his way to her ear.

“Gideon,” she giggled softly as she blushed furiously.  “Your grandmother is right here!” she chided him as she tried to wiggle away.  It’d come as a shock - he was always so proper on the ship.

“You promised me ten rounds tonight,” his words ghosted her ear.  Gideon grinned as he growled softly while he spoke, “And I win all ten.”

   
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