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[Deniaud/Rocha/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
The Hockey Game
- Pablo Neruda [The Sea and the Bells]
Gideon was one of five players on the ice dressed in grey and white, his jersey loose over thick pads to protect him from the heavy hitting contact sport. The other five players were in red and black. Two goalies occupied the nets opposite each other, the scoreboard read one goal each with four minutes left in the third period. The security officer panted softly as he pushed into action, the puck dropped by a referee in the faceoff circle nearest his own net. He was one of the smaller players, though it served him well to be quicker on his skates. His arms moved frantically to control the hockey stick in his hands, the broad blade fighting with his opponent for control of the small black disk.
The arch deposited her just outside an arched doorway before it disappeared. Marielle furrowed her brow slightly at the strange atmosphere. Sounds filtered from the small corridor that led to what appeared to be a stadium. It sounded like knives moving on ice, and it was punctuated with grunts and shouts. Her heels echoed in the near empty hallway, though she did stop at the vendor right by the door to grab a snack. She walked into the short dark corridor with a small bag of freshly popped popcorn and a bottle of sparkling water. It was only a few steps before she emerged just before the protective barrier around the ice rink.
Salieri ducked away as a red jersey flew toward him, the other body slamming hard against the wooden board and plexiglass window that protected the seats from flying pucks. Gideon easily maneuvered away with the puck, his eyes lifting briefly to take in the scene on the ice. Three of his teammates were moving away, looking for open space to take the puck down toward the other end of the rink. “Reese!” he shouted quickly before twisting, sending the puck up in his direction. The red jersey checked him anyway and Gideon grunted softly before raising his hands to push back against the opponent. There was a brief staredown but they both broke away, skating down the ice to join the action.
Marielle didn’t know what to expect when she went searching for the Chief of Security, but she certainly hadn’t expected to find him in the middle of - from her perspective - a brutally violent game. She mindlessly picked up a kernal of popcorn and threw it into her mouth, and she barely registered the taste of butter and salt as she chewed. Her attention was focused on the players as their legs moved their bulky bodies easily over the ice. She tried to find Gideon among the bodies that whizzed by her without registering her presence.
His team controlled the play, passing the puck and taking shots at the opposite end of the rink. They reacted quickly to blocked shots, calling out actions. “Sal!” one of his teammates called and Gideon skated backward into an open space, winding up for a slapshot as the puck was passed in his direction. He fired, sending the black disc flying toward the net with blistering speed. The goalie shrugged his shoulder, blocking the shot off and sending the puck skittering into the corner. A defender recovered the puck and took off, switching into the offensive.
Her head whipped in the direction of the man that had called out for Gideon, and she watched as the black disc was sent into the body she assumed belonged to the Betazoid mix. “Well, at least now I know which one he is,” she mused with a bit of a laugh. Her steps carried her down to the first row and she pulled the seat down so she could settle on the stiff cushion. Upon falling into the seat, the engineer sighed softly. Not for the first time in her life, her height proved to be a point of annoyance. She could barely see over the boards. She’d be required to keep a perfectly straight posture to keep her head over the barrier to watch the players through the plexiglass. Her head fell back and she stared at the ceiling. “You really couldn’t give me another few centimeters?” she lamented to the heavens that surrounded the Prometheus class starship. “Honestly. Just one?”
“Augh!” he shouted in disappointment before turning and pumping his legs to get back to his own net, turning quickly to skate backward, bent at the waist as he challenged the red jersey with control of the puck. Gideon waved his stick to ward off any passes, grunting when the opponent feigned left but jotted right. The security officer turned quickly to give chase, reaching out with a gloved hand while attempting to gain control of the puck with his curved blade. One of his teammates moved in to help out, letting Gideon break away for a quick breath as he moved to cover another of the red jerseys.
She sat up as she tried to understand the nature of the game. It was clear that there were two teams and two goals. It was also clear to her that the object was to get the tiny black disc into the nets. The sheer speed was impressive, and the engineer had to wonder how they were so easily able to catch it with the sticks they carried in their hands. The players didn’t seem to have any problems following the black disc, where she felt like she had turned blind. The game was exciting, more than any she’d ever seen, and she could feel her heartbeat increasing its pace as she watched the men tangle with each other as they raced against one another.
Gideon held his stick in both hands, spread wide to maintain the most control over the piece of equipment. His white helmet had a clear plastic visor to prevent any injury to his face. The Betazoid mix was shoulder to shoulder with a red jersey, lightly jostling one another in anticipation of getting to the puck should it break away from the controlled play in front of the net. Sure enough, his goalie batted away a lazy shot, sending the black disc wobbling in their direction. Gideon broke away from the defender, darting forward to corral the puck and turn toward the boards to clear it from the defensive zone. His eyes came up to turn up the ice, cobalt orbs freezing upon seeing a visitor in the stands. Gideon’s momentum carried him toward the plexiglass, following the puck into the boards as he smiled, recognizing the spectator as none other than Marielle.
She naturally smiled as he skated her way. It had been several days since she had seen the security chief. After his relapse in his office, Marielle hadn’t really seen the man and it turned out that he had been running himself ragged. It was only by Ryan Winnetka’s urging that the engineer sought out the Betazoid mix.
Ryan Winnetka stared at Marielle’s back as she continued to reach up to make a notation next to a mess of equations that made absolutely no sense to him. “Please Ellie,” he attempted softly as he slid his hands into his pockets. “He’s been holed up in that tiny office of his for days now. I tried to get him out, but he keeps saying he’s got work to do.”
Marielle sighed as she stared at the equation she had just written on the glass. Verdant irises followed the sweeping lines of her cursive as she capped the pen. Beyond her writing, the warp core continued to thrum gently as it pulsed in a soft blue. The colour had her thinking of Gideon easily. “Well, he is the Chief of Security, not to mention Tactical. Did you ever consider that maybe he really is busy?”
The Chicago native sighed. “There’s busy, and there’s isolating. I know which is which, Ellie.”
The engineer turned and faced the Chicago native. Her eyes met his only briefly before it swept to the side. “I don’t know what you think I can do about it,” she replied softly as she walked towards her desk. She slid the marker into one of the two myrtlewood cups on her desk, a gift from the Chief of Security. Her finger lightly brushed over its smooth edge.
He grumbled incoherently under his breath. Ryan stared at the engineer and his eyes fell to the cup before it moved up to stare at her once more. “He- Sal just responds better to you.”
Her lips formed a thin line and she shook her head at the security officer in front of her. “Even if it was true, which I’m not saying it is, I really shouldn’t be the one he sees.” The engineer straightened as she pressed her fingertips on her desk. “I’m the reason why he’s like this,” she whispered softly to herself.
Winnetka had to strain to hear the statement, but he had heard. The security officer stared at Marielle silently as he considered his words carefully. “Ellie,” he started softly. “I- What I said to you that night? I’m sorry.” His brown eyes settled on the engineer, watching her carefully when she didn’t respond. “It wasn’t fair, and it came out all wrong.”
“It was true though,” Marielle muttered quietly. “They send you in because of people like me. We do our little smartass thing where we think we’re the gift to the universe, and you get the worst of it.” She paused and inhaled sharply. “Gideon got the worst of it.”
Ryan frowned. He leaned low to one side as he tried to get her attention. “Ellie. It wasn’t your fault,” he attempted once more.
The engineer shook her head furiously to end the line of conversation, taking a deep breath and stepping back as if doing so would physically allow her to escape the guilt that lingered. “Look,” Marielle pushed her discomfort and lifted her chin so she could look at the security officer, “I don’t think I should push into his life. We remember what happened the last time I didn’t give him enough space.” Her jaw clenched at the memory.
The Chicago native sighed as he roughly moved his hand over his face. “God,” he mumbled into his hand, “Sal was right. You really are annoyingly stubborn.” The security officer smiled wryly down at the engineer as she sputtered indignantly. “I promise you have nothing to worry about if you see him. Honestly, you’d be helping him.”
She considered his promise and sighed softly as she relented. “Fine,” the diminutive engineer grumbled under her breath. She knocked her knuckles on the corner of her desk. “I’ll go see him.” She rolled her eyes as Ryan gave her a wide grin. Her gaze followed him as he made his way to the glass doors to exit her office. “No promises!”
“All you have to do is show up, and he’ll be right as rain,” Winnetka replied without looking back at the engineer. He stopped by the doors and turned to look back at the engineer. She had turned to face her desk and was sorting through the stack of padds. “And, Ellie? You should join us for game night again. Everyone really misses seeing you.” He stepped over the threshold and made his way out of Engineering before she could even reply.
Since then, she’d been quietly tracking Gideon’s location for three days. As far as she could tell, he was where Winnetka had claimed him to be - his office for hours a day unless he was in his quarters for the short period of time to sleep or the Bridge. At the realization that he had missed game night, the engineer had gone after the security chief. She stood up and moved the short step towards the plexiglass. Her eyes remained on Gideon, only losing the man for a few seconds at a time. It amazed her how quickly he moved over the ice; it was almost graceful. She took a sip of her sparkling water, her verdant hues focused on the Betazoid mix as he neared her location.
The red jersey flashed behind him, slamming into Gideon’s prone back and nearly lifting him off his skates as the man pushed him harshly against the glass, squishing his face into the clear barrier before Gideon dropped to the ice, yelping in surprise and pain at the unexpected check.
When he had smashed into the plexiglass barrier with enough force to rattle it, the engineer jumped back. Her eyes had widened briefly in fear that the barrier would give under their weight. Popcorn had rained over her and she had thrown the bottle in her surprise. Her vibrant and flawless emerald hues had connected with the richness of his blue while he had been pressed flat against the surface, and Marielle could simply stare at him with wide eyes. She rushed back to the glass when Gideon slid down the side and she pressed into the clear surface as much as she could to look down at Gideon. “Are you okay?!” the diminutive engineer nearly screamed.
The red player had long since skated off, a smug laugh floating over the ice as he rejoined the play. Well, that was embarrassing. Gideon groaned quietly as he got a skate underneath him, pushing himself to his feet by using his stick as leverage. He grinned weakly in Marielle’s direction, nodding and winking at her before he pointed up at the clock. It showed less than two minutes of play left. “Almost done!” he shouted, through the thickness of the plexiglass and the loud play behind him muffled his words. The security officer waited for her acknowledgement before he pushed away to get back into the game.
Marielle pressed her palms against the plexiglass, leaning against the glass as she watched him skate. Her head whipped from one end of the rink to the other as the teams battled over the small black disc. Her heart had been racing from the excitement of the game, and it continued to beat furiously against her chest. “Holy crap,” she muttered, her breath catching on the clear surface. She watched Gideon fly over the ice, her eyes moving up to stare at the clock before it returned to the game.
The red team had regained control of the puck at that point, so Gideon didn’t need to skate far to get back into the action. Upon noticing that the opponent who had checked him into the boards had control of the puck, the security officer pushed ahead, gaining speed as he lowered his shoulder and blatantly checked the red jersey in open ice. The puck skittered away harmlessly, taken by another red jersey to head toward the net. Gideon paid no attention to the play, his focus on the bigger player who should have drawn a penalty for the prone check in front of Marielle. “Don’t like it so much, do you?!”
The taller red jersey laughed as he shoved at Gideon with his stick, inciting the smaller man with a sneer. “That tickled, pipsqueak!”
Gideon dug his skate into the ice, shoving the man again with his stick before dropping the implement and slugging the opponent. There was a brief moment while silence filled his ears and he lifted his hands, throwing them down violently to relieve his hands of the thick gloves before he reached to grab a handful of the red jersey and attacked with a thrown punch.
Her heart continued to drum wildly against her chest. It filled her ears to the point that she could barely register the sounds of the metal on ice or the yelling of the teams to one another. She breathed through thinly parted lips, her breath ragged and heavy. Her normally bright emerald hues darkened as she watched Gideon intently. She pinned the corner of her lower lip with her teeth and released a soft groan as she pressed her forehead against the glass. ‘Oh. That was hot. That was really, really hot. Why do I think that’s hot? Oh Gods,’ she thought as her eyes fluttered shut. She could almost see the corded lines of his muscles working. ‘What’s wrong with you? Get it together, Ellie.’ She whined at herself.
The game continued behind them for a moment before the referees converged on the fight, blowing whistles as they hovered, waiting for the two men to either come to a stalemate or one of them ended up on the ice. Gideon had ended up twisting the red jersey in his fist, the bigger man dropped to his knees and the security officer landed over top of him, his free fist taking free shots at the man’s exposed ribs. At that point, the referees swarmed, one grasping Gideon around the arms as the other forced himself on top of the red jersey, putting himself between the two players.
Marielle moved along the barrier, her hand brushing along the glass as she made her way towards Gideon and the swarm of referees. Her gaze never wavered from the security chief’s body as she circled the rink. With her proximity to the ice, she was glad that she had opted for the longsleeve woolen dress. The criss-cross design over her torso left the neckline open to rest at the very edge of her shoulders. The hem of her dress reached several centimeters above her knees, with her legs covered by the textured burgundy thigh-high stockings and the knee-high stiletto boots. The outfit kept her warm, but she felt like she was burning from the very center of her bones. She had left her hair down, soft waves curling well past her shoulders to brush against the small of her back.
Gideon relented once the referee moved in, skating backward as he ripped his helmet off. “He should have gotten a penalty for that check, ref!” The referee just shook his head at him and pointed toward the hallway leading to the locker rooms. The security officer grumbled, “Blind ass zebra.” He turned, skating back toward his gloves as he leaned to pick them up, along with his stick. Gideon’s teammates either raised a fist to bump his or tapped at his leg with their stick in support as he made his way to the doorway, grinning through pants toward Marielle as he tapped at a lever with the butt of his stick, opening the door and stepping over the lip before closing it behind him.
She waited by the entrance, her hands reached behind her as her fingers gently wrapped around her wrist. “Allô Gédéon,” she greeted. Her eyes swept over him quickly, her chest rising and falling with her quiet heavy breaths. She straightened as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, clearing her throat. “Hi.” The low tone of her earlier greeting was replaced with her usual brightness. ‘Gods, Ellie. Seriously, get it together. You act like you’ve never found him attractive.’
His hair was a mess of sweat, the moisture dripping in several rivulets down the sides of his flushed skin as he smiled wider, still panting heavily as he worked to catch his breath from the exertion of playing for nearly an hour. “Hey,” he started, his cobalt gaze darkening even more at the emotion he felt radiating from the engineer. She’s attracted to this? So noted, Gid. He winked at Marielle, his lips parted as his chest heaved under the padding. “What do you think?” He glanced toward the others still playing, raising a hand and then smacking the butt of his stick against the boards when a goal was scored by his teammates.
Her eyes focused on the flushed skin tone and his breathing and the sweat that beaded on his skin. “Really frakking ho-,” she cleared her throat, her hand quickly coming up to cover her mouth as she dipped her chin to hide her face from Gideon. ‘Oh my gods! Get it together. What’s wrong with you?!’ Marielle giggled softly to herself. She took in a deep breath as she shook her head slightly before lifting her eyes to meet his. She tried again. “I mean. It looks like a rough game? Sport? What is it?” she managed finally.
Gideon chuckled softly as he focused once again on Marielle, taking in a deep breath to try and steady his inhalations. “It’s all fun and games until someone loses a tooth. Then it’s hockey,” he quoted one of his favorite lines about the sport. Her desire continued to radiate from her, causing the Betazoid mix to smile wider. She’s really turned on by this. Wow.
“Hockey? I didn’t think you were into this sort of stuff. It’s much rougher than martial arts tournaments, I would wager.” She turned her head towards the ice.
Gideon nodded, looking up once more as the final buzzer sounded. “My sacrifice was not made in vain,” he said with a grin, his breaths coming a bit easier. At her comment, the half-Betazoid shook his head. “Depends on the players.” He panted softly. “Doesn’t normally get too bad unless tensions run hot.” Gideon nodded with his chin toward the other players. “That guy should have gotten a penalty for checking me like that, I was prone.”
“I have no idea what you just said,” she admitted. “Wow. I don’t think I say that very often.” The engineer released a soft lilting laugh. She was feeling far too warm for comfort. The need to fidget was strong and Marielle began to gather her hair. Her fingertips swept over her neck, and she shivered against the light touch as she collected the loose tendrils. With one hand holding the raven locks, she pulled at the burgundy ribbon around her wrist and began to wrap it around the gathered strands. She tied the perfect knot to keep her hair up in a high ponytail.
Chuckling softly, Gideon dropped his gear to the side and lifted the latch on the door, opening it. He held his hand out to her, palm facing up as his fingers curled to beckon her closer. “You been on ice before?” He glanced down a moment, giving a slight shake of his head at her heels. You and your heels, woman. “C’mon, stay on your toes.”
“It’s been a while,” she revealed as she glanced at the ice. Her eyes lifted to the group that lingered before she focused on him. Her eyes fell to his hand and she hesitated a beat before taking it. Her face flushed pink at the warmth under her fingertips. “Uh. What are we doing?” she asked cautiously as she let him lead her onto the ice.
He stepped onto the ice, reaching to grasp her by the waist and lift her over the lip before gently placing her on the cool surface. Gideon smiled as he held her, ready to catch her if she slipped. “Stay on your toes,” he warned.
She gasped as his fingers pressed into her waist. Her eyes fluttering slightly at the sensation. “Shouldn’t I have skates?” she glanced down, lifting her heels to stand on her toes as he directed, falling into the full demi-pointe for the trained ballerina. ‘It’s so not fair. It’s just not fair. If things had just gone differently.’ She found herself looking down to watch the ice as they moved over it.
“Yes,” he replied nonchalantly. Gideon pushed forward easily, guiding Marielle in front of him as he picked up speed. The other players had just left ice, leaving the entire rink to them. The security officer didn’t go too fast, as he felt the engineer still tense in his grip. The ice had been torn up by the play, but was still smooth enough that she should glide along the surface as long as she remained on the balls of her feet.
One hand gripped his forearm, the other his hand as she tried not to remain tense in his hands. She giggled softly as she glided over the ice. “This is a first for me,” she told him. Marielle looked up to say something more, but she found the words had simply disappeared as her verdant irises locked with his. All she could do was manage a smile as he breath hitched.
Grinning at the revelation, Gideon nodded in response. “Me too,” he admitted before pivoting on the edge of one of his blades, sending a wave of ice shavings in the air as he slipped his arm around her waist to keep Marielle from falling over as he came to a sudden stop.
She inhaled sharply at their sudden closeness. Her hand tightened their grip as she stared up at him. Marielle couldn’t fathom why her throat was suddenly dry. “You’re not just going to leave me here, are you?” she asked softly.
Chuckling, Gideon shook his head as he lifted the hand that held hers, twirling her easily on the ice before easing into another skate, pulling her beside him. The half-Bajoran remained close, always tense and ready to catch her if she stumbled.
Her peal of laughter echoed over the ice as she spun and was cradled in his arm. Her hand remained in his, the other resting on the hand that sat low on her waist. Marielle’s head tipped back as she laughed when he pulled her along the ice. “I had no idea you could be so graceful. Apparently, all we needed to do was put you in skates and put you on ice,” she teased.
He laughed lightly, pulling her closer to him again as he picked her up in his arms, jumping into a quicker skate, gaining speed before he straightened, raising her up slightly to watch her hair flipping behind her.
She laughed, her hands lifting high to feel the cold air slip between her fingers. Her hands lowered to his shoulder, sliding down his bicep as he lowered her back to the ice. She kept her heels lifted, easily maintaining the full demi-pointe once more.
As they neared the end of the rink, Gideon pulled his feet in, curling Marielle close to him as he descended into a spin, their rate of rotation increasing briefly before he once again cut the edge of his blades into the ice, sending ice shavings flying to two directions as they stopped in place.
Marielle looked up at him with a tender smile on her lips. “This is fun,” she giggled softly as her fingers tightened around his arm. “I- Ryan asked that I check in on you. Guys were worried. You’ve been working a lot. I guess I can tell them they’re being silly.”
“Well,” he started with a grin before winking down at her. “I’m glad it was you who came, and not Ryan. This would be a bit awkward otherwise.” Gideon chuckled.
She laughed brightly at the idea of the Chicago native in Gideon’s arms. “You’re a very pretty man, Gideon, but I don’t think you’re Ryan’s type.”
He laughed as well, shaking his head. Gideon relaxed his hold on Marielle, though he did not release her hand as he guided her toward the door. “We do need to get you in skates, though.”
“I’m not sure I’d be as good as you on ice,” Marielle lamented as her hand found the barrier. She stepped off the ice and onto solid ground, her heels clicking as they touched the surface. She turned to face Gideon, vibrant emerald hues sparkling in the light that made the ice glow. “How about you go shower? We can talk about this hobby of yours over dinner. I can meet you in the Mess?”
A smirk found his features as he stepped over the lip onto the padded walkway to the locker room. “Not a fan of the sweat, huh?”
Her traitorous brain decided that was the perfect moment to have her imagine all the delicious ways she could work Gideon up to a sweat. ‘Augh. I hate my imagination so much right now.’ “Sweat’s fine,” Marielle answered off-handedly. “The smell that’s clung to your clothing, however, not so much.”
I love her imagination so much right now. Gideon hummed in delight and took off his jersey, tossing it in her direction with a laugh as he quickly picked up his helmet, gloves and stick, jogging away into the tunnel. “Fifteen minutes!” he called over his shoulder before the locker room door clanged shut behind him.
Copyright 2017. All works involving Mariëlle A. Deniaud and Gideon M. Salieri, including character biographies and published stories, are the property of the United Space Federation and its author. It cannot be reproduced, imitated, and copied without written permission from the authors. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction using aspects of the Star Trek universe as created and copyrighted/trademarked by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount, and their affiliates.