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[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Stardate: 1703.29 [29 March, 2017]
- Charles Dickens [The Old Curiosity Shop]
Marielle leaned into the edge of the kitchen counter, her hand quickly working the knife through the rolled leaves of basil. Her eyes lifted to the door as she wondered when the Chief of Security would be joining her for their dinner. She had parted in the holodeck so that he could change at her suggestion, well, insistence. She carried the wooden chopping board to the gas range and set it on the counter next to the cold cast iron skillet. Her eyes swept through the ingredients that she had prepped.
The wooden chopping board she carried housed the finely chopped onions, garlic, and basil. Two aged steaks rested on the plate by the stove, lightly seasoned and ready to be placed on a hot skillet. A bottle of red wine sat next to the glass from which she’d been drinking. The kitchen already started wafting the aroma of the scalloped potatoes, parmesan carrots, and garlic knots that she had prepped before searching out Gideon in the holodeck. Next to the oven, a tray of asparagus waited for its turn in the oven. Her eyes drifted to the small kitchen island. She opted to use the aged myrtlewood bowl that the Betazoid mix had given her to hold the simple green salad that she had tossed with a fig balsamic blend and Italian olive oil. A small cheese platter was meant to serve as appetizer, accompanied by thin slices of baguette next to the dish of olive oil topped with sea salt. A glass pitcher of her vanilla lemonade sat next to the place setting that was meant for the security chief. The island was set for two, barstools pulled to the corner so that she could sit next to and across from him.
The Chief of Security entered the Mess hall, exactly twenty minutes after he’d parted ways with Marielle. He’d glanced around quickly, glad to see no one else occupying the space. Gideon still felt a little sheepish after his incident in Engineering, choosing to isolate rather than face any whispers about the crazy Bajoran mix security officer shouting at ghosts. It was a habit of his, one he felt that Erik had kind of supported in their video conversation, though not directly. ‘Stick to your hobbies,’ the Draconian had urged him. ‘Stay busy.’ A deep inhale directed Gideon toward the kitchen. The security officer nodded toward Bihraos, the Andorian barkeep that ran the Mess hall’s small kitchen.
She took a long sip of her wine as she leaned against the counter. The dishes that would take longer to cook were already in the oven. She wouldn’t start the steaks until he’d arrived and they had a chance at a light appetizer. Her plan had been to pull him to dinner all along, simply because she had no idea what else to do. Most of the more difficult dishes had been prepped, and it was a matter of minutes to prepare everything else. Marielle stared into her wine glass, swirling the glass lightly just to watch the red move against the walls.
Gideon pushed open the door to the kitchen, his other hand sliding into the pocket of his grey slacks. He’d changed into a lighter grey shirt, long sleeved but rolled up to his elbows. The top two buttons were left undone, revealing just a hint of the sparse light brown hair that peppered his chest. His cobalt gaze twinkled upon seeing her, a smile finding his lips as he took in the scene, chuckling softly to himself and shaking his head. I need to get my appetite back, stat. The Bajoran mix was up to eating twice a day, a marked improvement from a month ago, and being more active certainly helped. He glanced at the engineer again.
She looked up from her wine glass and smiled warmly at Gideon as their gaze met. “Hey. You look good,” she rolled her eyes at herself as she blushed. “I meant that you don’t look like the hot mess from earlier.” Marielle silently groaned at herself. There was no way for her to recover apparently. ‘You’re just a mess. When did you turn into some pathetic teenager?’ she silent scolded herself. The engineer took a sip of her wine before she pushed off the counter and approached the island.
His lips parted in a soft chuckle, obviously amused at Marielle’s utterances. Gideon winked toward her as he approached, dress shoes clacking softly on the tiled floor as he sauntered to the island. “Thank you,” he replied quietly. “I don’t think I could handle being a hot mess all the time.” The Betazoid mix grinned wryly as he looked over the space again. “Is this where you have baking nights?”
“One night a week,” Marielle replied as she slid onto the barstool in front of her place setting and gently placed the wine glass down on the surface. “But, I gave both Mike and Bihraos each a box of samples, and they’re hammering out a schedule.” She took a slice of cheese and nibbled on it as she propped her elbows on the edge of the island.
“A schedule? You’re baking in both kitchens?” The thought had Gideon raising his brows in surprise. Maybe she would have more time since she no longer carried the mantle of Chief Engineer, but that was still quite a task to take on. He eased onto the barstool in front of him, one foot lifting to rest on the rung lowest to the ground as he turned slightly, leaning his side against the island to face Marielle directly.
“At least one night a week for each kitchen,” she explained with a nod. “Possibly two?” The engineer shrugged. “I don’t really mind. I was baking three or four nights a week on the Lorelei. I don’t really sleep much in general, more so these days. It’s why baking night started. The distraction would be nice.” She sipped her wine quietly, her eyes trained on the cheese slice in her hand as she picked off a piece and threw it into her mouth.
A warm smile overcame his features as he thought of baking night. It was such a nice tradition that had been started. Gideon wondered if it was still possible to barge in. His brow raised as he considered the engineer. “You’ll let me know which night you want me to come help?” He felt his heart rate increase slightly at the question, the thumping pounding in his ears.
“You still want to sit around watching me bake?” she asked. She was clearly surprised. It had been a month at least since they’d met up in the kitchen. Marielle had simply assumed it was because he had wanted to distance himself for anything that could have reminded him of Malahakir - mainly her. “I mean,” she shrugged, “I know you’re busy with work these days. I’d hate to take up your time for something as silly as pastries.” Marielle pulled the wine glass to herself by the stem and lifted it to drink the dry red.
This Marielle is so much different than the one at the skating rink. Wonder what happened between then and now? Gideon furrowed his brows a bit before shaking his head. He looked down at the glass in front of him, then the pitcher of lemonade resting in the middle of the island for him to drink from. “It’s not about pastries,” he murmured quietly before sliding off the stool, standing as he glanced at the cabinets around the small kitchen. “Where are the wine glasses?”
Her head leaned to one side as she simply stared at him. Stone’s revelation rang loudly in her ears, and she debated if it was a good idea for Gideon to drink if he was on probation. Marielle recalled all the wine they had shared, noting that the security chief even enjoyed beer from time to time. “Is the lemonade not to your liking?” she asked as her eyes fell to empty glass.
He winced a bit, shaking his head. Knew I should have said something first. “It’s amazing, but you’re not drinking alone.”
“I’m not,” she giggled warmly at him. “I’m drinking with you.” The engineer was playing semantics, and she knew it too. The thought of John Stone sitting on that barstool flashed in her memory, and a gentle wave of sadness moved through her. Although she hadn’t known, it was clear that she allowed Stone to fall into the comforts of his drink by simply sliding that shot glass in his direction. Three shots in less than ten minutes, and she had simply drank the fourth to keep it from the Prevailer security officer before she left. But, the experience had left her wondering about Gideon and all their shared moments over wine and beer.
Gideon glanced at her, his chin dipping slightly as a brow raised. What is she doing? The security officer hummed softly, his gaze finding the wine bottle as he shrugged and reached, grasping the dry red by the neck and pouring himself a serving in the tumbler that had been intended for the lemonade.
Marielle’s eyes widened. “Oh you-,” she hastily slid off the barstool and made her way to the cabinet by the door and pulled out the proper wine glass. “You can’t drink wine out of a frakking highball glass.” The engineer took the glass from his hand without bothering to ask for it and poured the dry red carefully into the tipped wine glass. “Honestly. Of all the stubborn-headed things to do,” she muttered to herself as she handed him the wine glass
The lieutenant grinned as he took the wine glass, winking at Marielle. It was lifted in her direction before Gideon raised the rim to his lips, sipping gently of the dry red. The glass was rested on the island counter as he appreciated the crisp vintage on his tongue. Oh, it’s been a long time. The security officer hummed softly at the bite in his throat, nodding a bit. “I thought I’d been helping with bake nights. Was I getting in the way?”
The engineer watched him carefully as he took that first sip of wine and her lips briefly formed a thin line before she lifted the corners into a small smile. “Of course not,” she turned to the timer and moved to the oven. “It’s just that you weren’t Chief of Security when we had our bake nights.” She slipped the glove over her hand, opened the oven, and pulled out the scalloped potatoes and the carrots. Marielle grinned at the potatoes specifically. She had taken the time to thinly slice the root vegetable and layer them so that they formed little roses. She hated the damn flower, but food really did look pretty in rose form. The dishes were placed on the island to cool and she slid the tray of asparagus into the oven to cool.
His fingers reached to the myrtlewood bowl, grinning to himself as his fingertips ran over the smooth wood, fingernails catching the nicks just where he remembered them to be. Gideon hummed again, inhaling deeply at the faint aroma of the parmesan and cheddar cheese from the carrots and potatoes. “So? Nothing’s keeping me-”
“Could you get me the compound butter I made? It’ll be in the fridge.” Marielle stood in front of the stove and immediately switched on the burner. She reached over to the side and drizzled some olive oil into the cold pan, swirling the cast iron skillet over the flame.
The Betazoid mix stood, glancing quickly for the fridge and maneuvering over to pull open the door. His cobalt gaze surveyed the contents quickly before he reached in and grasped the dish of churned butter, pulling it out and letting the door fall closed behind him. Gideon approached Marielle, offering her the butter. “You managed baking nights while Chief-”
“Just on the counter,” she directed without looking at him. Her eyes watched the oil before she used silver tongs to place the two small round filets on the out skillet. Marielle grinned as they sizzled. “Slice three rings for me, one about three tablespoons worth. The other two won’t need to be as big,” she paused before looking up at the man with a wry grin, “I mean, unless you want a stick of butter on a tiny filet. But, then I won’t have any respect for you.”
He retracted the offered dish and placed it on the counter as Marielle mentioned. Gideon lifted the lid and set it aside, his brow raised toward her as he found a knife. Starting to wonder, he mused to himself as he chuckled softly, shaking his head. It was good to be of help again, but it felt different. The security officer cut three curls of the butter as directed, one only slightly larger than the other two.
She flipped the steaks. “I tend to like mine blue, but I’ll understand if you want it cooked a bit longer.”
Blue was less than rare, practically seared and then served. Gideon had tried it that way several times before and found it to his liking so he nodded. “Blue is good, I was a rare kind of guy, but you’ve turned me onto it.” A small grin was given in Marielle’s direction.
Marielle chuckled softly. “It’s become one of my favourite colours,” she whispered softly to herself. The engineer reached over to the side, her chin dipping as she looked up at him from under her lashes. “Sorry. Need to get the small tray I had prepped,” she pointed to the small silver tray with a cooling rack that fitted perfect to rest within the raised sides. She reached in front of him to grab the silver tray. Her heart stuttered as she felt her shoulder brush against his chest.
Gideon had considered leaning back or picking up the tray for the engineer, but he was content to let her lean close to him, a wry smile on his features as he finally reached for the cooling rack and slid it closer to her.
She cleared her throat as she lifted the steaks from the skillet, placed them on the cooling racks, and set them aside. Her slender finger picked up the larger round of compound butter and threw it onto the skillet. “I did?” she asked, watching as the butter melted. The shallots were thrown in first. Marielle hummed softly at the sizzle and the aroma that wafted instantly. Sage and garlic soon followed.
“Mmhmm,” he answered with a shallow nod. Most recently had been the steak they’d had at the pool party, before that a steak dinner at the restaurant in San Francisco while they awaited transport to the Aldrin. “Though this will be the first time you’ve cooked, so we’ll see,” he offered her in jest. It was guaranteed to be an amazing slice of tender bloody cow.
The steaks were returned to the pan, the burner turned off, and the skillet tipped as she drizzled the hot butter over the rounds. “No pressure,” she giggled softly. “Could you grab the garlic knots and the asparagus for me, please?” Marielle stepped to the side to allow him the space necessary to open the oven door and her hip bumped into him. Her hand still curled around the towel that was was wrapped around the handle, the other still drizzling the flavoured butter over the rounds. “And, I’ll need our plates too.”
Gideon rested his hand against her back with a soft chuckle as he stepped around and picked up an oven mitt before pulling the oven door down, leaning to reach in and grasp the tray of green shoots and set it on the stovetop behind the skillet. The security officer leaned down again to reach for the cookie sheet of garlic knots, removing it before quickly closing the door to keep the kitchen from getting overheated. Instead of setting the sheet down, he simply held it away from them both as he reached for the plates that had been set aside, picking them up with his free hand and setting them down. He pulled the top plate next to its twin so that she could have access to them both.
It felt like dancing in such a small kitchen, with her ducking under his lifted hand to move to a clear space on the counter or her spinning to one side as he side stepped to the other. Marielle giggled softly as she bent over the white plate. “Baking in here is going to be tough with the two of us. No big projects in this one, I think,” she mused as she plated their food with care.
He finally found clear counter space and set the cookie sheet down, dropping it a few centimeters as the warmth from the metal had slowly radiated through the mitt, causing his thumb and fingers to become uncomfortably hot. “Wow!” Gideon exclaimed as he twisted his wrist to throw the glove off, similar to how he’d tossed his gloves off in the hockey game.
Marielle looked up as the tray was dropped. The engineer quickly moved to his side and took his hand into both of hers. “You okay?!” Her eyes zeroed in on the red fingertip. Without though she slid his pointer finger between her lips and swirled her tongue around the digit.
Blinking as his breath caught in his throat, Gideon looked down at his hand, her lips closed around his finger, his skin on fire, not from the heat of the tray but her touch, her tongue. His lips had parted to respond, but found he still had no air to push past his vocal chords and make the sound.
She slid his finger from between her lips and sent a gentle stream of cool air onto the finger. “I think it looks okay,” she muttered before sliding the finger back into her mouth to cool it with her saliva once more. Marielle moved backwards, leading him the short distance to the sink. The digit was removed from her mouth as she turned on the faucet and placed his hand under the trickle of cold water, her finger just barely moving over the length of his finger as she examined the rest of his hand.
Gasping softly then, the Betazoid mix shivered and nearly stumbled as he followed her, still unable to make a sound pass his lips. Prophets, woman, what are you doing to me? he whimpered to himself as he sighed softly, finally managing to whisper in appreciation a soft, “Thank you.” His eyes closed, trying not to envision her lips around- Stop. Gideon stepped back and bent over at the waist to rest his forearms on the edge of the sink so that he could hide his desire. “Thank you,” he groaned again.
“Keep it here until it feels better,” she instructed gently as her hand rubbed soothing circles on his back. “I’ll get our dinner ready.” Marielle giggled softly as she moved away to plate their meal.
It had felt fine the moment her lips touched his skin. Gideon hadn’t felt a thing other than her mouth over his finger, her tongue- Gods, stop, Gid. I need another shower, dammit. He groaned softly as he wiggled his fingers under the cool water, his thumb testing the skin of his violated finger before he straightened, inhaling deeply as he reached to turn the water off.
She couldn’t help the big and proud grin that graced her features as she made her way from one counter to the island. The distance was short. Marielle was rather proud of how she’d been able to make the dishes appear as if they were eating at many of her favourite restaurants on Earth. The display was beautiful - with a single rosette of scalloped potatoes gracing one side as the steak sat on the thin layer of alternating asparagus and carrots sliced the width and length of the spears. A small slice of compound butter sat on the filet and it melted over the sides. The sauce she had created in the skillet was drizzled around the edge.
Gideon reached for the nearby towel and removed it from the spindle it rested over, gently patting his hand dry before raising the terry cloth to also wipe his face. His cobalt gaze drifted briefly to the ceiling before he replaced the towel and wandered around to his spot at the island. The half-Betazoid reached for his glass of wine and took a healthy sip, humming softly at the dry red before he settled onto the barstool. He shifted his blue orbs to look at the engineer, appreciation evident on his features, though for what specifically he did not reveal.
She placed the plate before Gideon before placing her own plate before her place setting. Marielle smiled brightly at the man before turning to grab the bottle of wine and the small basket of garlic knots and returned to the table. She slid onto the barstool and placed the napkin on her lap. “Bon appétit,” she smiled warmly at him.
He smiled, nodding as he followed her lead with the napkin resting on his thigh. “Looks amazing, El. I almost don’t want to ruin it by eating.” Gideon winked at the engineer before reaching again for the glass of wine, taking another sip. He picked up the knife and fork.
“Don’t make me feed you,” Marielle threatened as she chuckled. The engineer’s eyes settled on the wine briefly before she looked at him, watching as he dropped the silverware at her challenge. “What?” The engineer straightened and glanced at the spread. “Am I missing anything? Oh, don’t tell me you’re allergic to sage.”
Gideon smirked and chuckled, shaking his head. He raised a brow, giving her a couple more moments to catch on to what he really meant by dropping the silverware, his arms crossed on the edge of the island in front of his plate. His grin only grew with each passing second, cobalt irises twinkling with amusement.
It took a moment, but it eventually clicked. “Oh, you’re kidding. Right?” Marielle stared at him in disbelief, laughing brightly as he shook his head at her. The engineer pushed her plate aside and pulled his plate closer to herself. “You are so lucky that I like you. I’d tell anyone else to go take a walk outside,” she laughed as she cut a small piece of steak and lifted the fork up in offering.
“The luckiest,” Gideon murmured before leaning closer and taking the bite, winking at Marielle as he grasped the fork from her, their fingers brushing in the transfer. He lingered a moment, the blue in his eyes darkening slightly as he smiled and reached to drag his plate back in front of him.
The spark that moved through her when their connected had her taking in a sharp quiet breath. Her verdant hues did not break away from his blue. “Good?” she asked softly as she reached out for her wine glass and took a long sip. The engineer pulled her plate in front of her while she drank. She finally placed the glass down after she finished nearly half of her filled glass.
“Mm,” he groaned in his mouth, the flavor exploding on his tastebuds as he nearly melted along with the butter. Gideon nodded, humming again as the tender filet barely required chewing before he swallowed the bite. “Oh, Gods,” he moaned, stopping himself from saying anything more out of fear of sounding like the rest of the heathens in security. “Can I keep you?” The corner of his mouth twitched in a smile as he glanced in Marielle’s direction before picking up the knife to slice another piece.
His question sent a pleasing shiver down her spine that had her blushing. “I don’t think I could leave you alone even if I tried,” she revealed without thinking. Marielle chuckled softly as she sliced into her own steak and began to eat. From time to time, her eyes swept to the side to watch him enjoy the meal she had prepared and her heart swelled at watching him eat more than he had at the pool party. “In a way I’m glad you had that-,” she paused as she tried to remember what it was he had called it. Her mind replayed the line he had given her. “The hockey game. I’m sure you worked up an appetite.” Her eyes fell to her food as she pulled a petal off the rosette of scalloped potatoes. ‘I know I sure did. I’m going to need a damn shower.’
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.