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[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
Stardate: 1704.05 [05 April, 2017]
The Kiss that Didn’t
- Lemony Snicket [The Carnivorous Carnival]
Gideon stood beside the biobed, his head shaking as he watched the engineer. Her features contorted and she winced, twitching at some unknown phantasm. He’d just finished pacing the length of her bed for the past ten minutes, his arms folded as he worried about Marielle. “Why is she so restless,” he murmured in question. His cobalt gaze lifted toward the Andorian doctor, scowling again as he clenched his fist. He relaxed his hand and reached to push back a tendril of hair from her face. As his fingers brushed her temple, he blinked and glanced around before leaning closer. “El,” he whispered into her ear.
“I don’t know you-,” she whispered softly, her eyes squeezing shut as her head shook slightly.
His brows raised as his eyes widened slightly. “I’m here, El. Doc won’t wake you up, gotta come out on your own.” Gideon frowned when there was no immediate response. He closed his eyes and held his hand on her cheek as he rested his forehead against her temple. The half-Betazoid shivered slightly before attempting to project to the woman on the biobed. ~El, I’m here. What’s going-~ The security officer gasped quietly as his body tensed and he dropped to his knees. It was as if his subconscious had left the quiet of Sickbay and he was pulled by a force stronger than anything he’d ever encountered. “El?” He found himself standing at the end of a long hallway. ‘Che cazzo,’ he whispered as he looked in wonder.
The methodically cordoned section of her subconscious was efficiently categorized. The representation of her innerworkings was portrayed as a vast and near imposing stone hallway with the stability and strength of ancient Earth castle masonry. There was a warmth, comfortable and affectionate, that emanated from the slate-grey stone walls. Where an arched ceiling would normally be, a dark sky alive with the constellations seen from Earth hovered high above. A glow without a source illuminated the hallway with a tender glow.
Pointed arched entryways led to separate rooms, the entrance left open without a door save for one. The room’s function was designated by the smooth carving of her handwriting in the stone. Logos was a cavernous room, the environment sterile and pristinely maintained. There was no end to the filing cabinets that contained the sum of her knowledge. Drawers were clearly marked in the delicate curls of her cursive. Files flew out like magic and the sounds of fluttering paper were almost lyrical in nature, equations flitting into existence and zipping about with the hum of bees.
Pathos was several meters beyond the infinite space of her mind. The room was significantly smaller in comparison. The stone walls didn’t exist, instead it was a storm of colour. It was the tempest of her emotions that existed in a perpetual state of glitter and thunder that reached towards the night sky that served as the ceiling. Music came alive, the knee-buckling orchestral piece projected from the room to fill the rest of her subconscious. The adagio tempo only crescendoed with the pull of strings that sang like a choir. There was a hint of sadness that played as the underlying tone, but the swell of piano and strings were hopeful and peaceful. It played continuously in the background despite the music that overwhelmed the space when her mood changed.
Ethos was steadfast space. It contained a single stone statue of a moment in ancient garb and a solid stone bench, the material akin to pristine white marble. The glow of lights cast shadows on the smooth features the woman’s face. There was a gentleness to her stony eyes and a tenderness in the gentle bend to her outreaching hand. There were tiny cracks on the surface, but she was solidly carved from a single piece of marble. Another room existed several meters away from the rest, locked and safe guarded by a set of thick stained oak doors with dark metal detailing. Eros was stringently kept closed; its secrets closely guarded. There were faded lines of arches along the stone hallway, as if other rooms existed in the space and could be pulled into existence.
The security officer walked slowly down the hall, his head turning this way and that to peer into each of the rooms when he reached the doorway. Logos was empty, but the cabinet drawers were moving quickly, files pulled and replaced as if possessed. He rested his hand on the door jamb before leaning back and moving on. He was pulled over the threshold into Pathos, his eyes moving over the glitter storm within before his eyelids fell shut. The instrumental symphony surrounded him, nearly lulling him to a state of bliss. A bow stuttered over its string and Gideon blinked quickly as he leaned out to look into the hallway.
“Finally!” she called out triumphantly as she appeared in the hallway of her subconscious. Marielle took a minute to stare at her new surroundings and was pleased to find herself surrounded by the warmth of stone and the soft golden glow of lights. This was apparently her mind, and there was comfort in the idea that she’d been easily pulled into the visual representation of herself instead of lingering in the kasbah setting the alien had created for them. It had taken every bit of her patience to convince the man - Dylan - to let her be alone in her thoughts. She frowned as she took a moment to look at her attire and found herself still dressed in the tropical print outfit. The engineer would have thought it beautiful if it wasn’t for the fact that some strange man had picked it for her.
“El?” He stepped out of the room labeled Pathos and back into the hallway, the heels of his shoes echoing lightly on the stone floor as he approached the engineer. Gideon took a moment to appreciate the return of the orchestral piece to its flowing sound, a wondrous grin on his face as it filled the hallway.
She turned to look behind her, her eyes widening as she caught sight of the security chief. “Gideon!” she exclaimed with relief. “What are you doing here?! Oh never mind! You can get me out of here!” Marielle spun completely, the pointed hem of her skirt lifted as she ran towards him.
He decided to pull her into a hug before bumbling into an explanation of how he had no idea how he himself got there, and as such, could not reasonably come up with any sane suggestion to get them both out of there. His smile grew at the crescendo of the music still radiating from the room called Pathos. ‘That is so frakking cool,’ he thought to himself as he released Marielle from the embrace. “Uh, well-”
Her hands gripped at his biceps as she shook him. It wasn’t as if she could really shake the man. He was far more built than she was. “You need to tell the doctor to wake me up!” she commanded simply.
“Yeah, I will,” he agreed, nodding as he stared down at the engineer. Gideon’s smile melted into an impish grin as he shrugged one shoulder. “I’ve already told her to, but she hasn’t listened.” The Bajoran mix glanced around quickly before returning his gaze to the engineer, one brow raised as he tilted his chin slightly. “How do I get out of here?” ‘I don’t know that I really want to leave just yet.’
Marielle blinked. “What? What do you mean ‘How do you get out of here’? The same way you got in here?” She pulled away as she stared at him for a moment. Pathos dimmed slightly, the colours swirling in reds as the music began to fade. The orchestral aria eased into the background as a steady beat began to crescendo. It mirrored the stutter in her steps as she added distance between them. “Are you even real? Are you my Gideon or one of his tricks?”
“I hope so,” he started as he raised a hand to scratch at his chin, his eyes shifting to the doorway that lit in red hues. ‘Always your Gideon.’ Gideon blinked as he felt the skin of his jaw, noting that it was completely smooth instead of being a bit rough with the stubble of the day. “His tricks? Who is he?”
She didn’t look convinced. “Tell me something that I don’t know about you.” There was insistence in her voice. Logos came alive, the sound of filing cabinets opening and closing rapidly joined the percussion of drums and harmonised in its echoes. There was no way to know if the alien had full access to all her memories. While there was no way to verify whatever truth he chose to utter, Marielle had an inkling that she’d know. Logically, she’d be able to connect aspects of his character to whatever fact he chose to share. If she was lucky, it’d be something she knew that he didn’t know she knew.
His gaze lifted back to Marielle, frowning toward her as he saw her starting to descend into her doubt, the emotion echoed by the instrumental music playing in the background. “Ah,” Gideon stammered as he tried to think of something to reveal. “I had a cat, named her Sybil, but my brother drowned her when he found out I’d tamed the kitten because he’d wanted one.” His frown deepened. ‘That was a stupid thing to say.’ His eyes shifted to the doorways as the rooms seemed to come alive.
Pathos switched instantly to shades of blue with hints of grey, the music fading into a crying pull of violin strings. Marielle stared up at Gideon, her expression softening at the revelation. Of what she’d been able to find out about the security chief’s past, it seemed likely. He’d once revealed that his brother had been rather mean in their youth. His kindness at meeting Gaea in the holodeck also gave her a hint at his fondness for animals, and he had playfully toyed with the idea of getting a feline mascot for the security team. The wailing cry of the violin and shades of blue eased into a calm green and the orchestral piece that normally filled the hallway, though there was a guarded hint of red that mingled with the swirls of her normal shade. “Your brother is not only a jerk, he’s psychotic,” she grumbled truthfully, but her eyes widened in an act. “Ah! I’m sorry!” The colours in the tempest storm of her emotions remained the same. Another test. She’d once insulted his brother.
He shrugged, his expression indifferent. “You're not wrong,” he murmured. Gideon watched her with raised brows.
“Well. I guess you’re not one of his projections. I’m just going to have to believe you’re who you say you are.” Marielle looked up at him and smiled warmly, though there was a hint of caution in her eyes. She took a moment to look around and chuckled softly. “Guess Adam wasn’t wrong,” she muttered to herself. At the mention of her former husband, Pathos stuttered slightly. “Okay. Tell me what’s going on out there.” She began to walk the hallway. If she was gifted with a chance to see the visual representation of her mind, she wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to study it.
“Who's he?” Gideon tried again as he pushed into motion, his strides carrying him to walk beside the engineer.
“I don’t know,” she sighed softly. “He just keeps telling me that we’ll be together soon. He claims he knows me.” Marielle motioned to their surroundings as she stopped in front of the room labelled Ethos. She peered inside as she remained just beyond the threshold. “He said that because I was put to sleep, we could be together in my dreams. I just managed to get him to leave me be for a little while. I think that’s why I was able to come here.”
“Same guy you were seeing in your office?” The security officer found himself standing closer to Marielle, a subconscious desire to protect her pulling him. Gideon lifted his arm to drape over her shoulders as he looked down at her. It was then he noticed that his arms were covered by the long sleeves of a dark grey suit jacket, not his uniform tunic. His gaze drifted down as his hand smoothed over a blue pin stripe tie, a pressed white dress shirt under the jacket. His slacks were also dark grey with a neat crease. The half-Bajoran could almost see his reflection in the shined dress shoes. He raised a brow toward the engineer, biting the questions back as he cleared his throat.
The sweeping orchestral hopeful melody faded into a near silence as another moved into the hallway. It carried a steady beat, one that seemed to vibrate deep into the bones. It changed the beat of the heart, the rhythm easy yet heavy with increasing warmth. Pathos eased from its greens as red swelled to overtake the calm colours. There was barely a hint of the blazing bright red that spoke of warning, instead the shade was darker and more rich. It flowed in Pathos like blood as it swirled like petals on the wind.
She blushed at the feel of his arm over her bare shoulders. “Yes,” she replied with a nod of her head. “Dark hair, tall - a few centimeters taller than you.” Marielle’s eyes swept over his face and settled on his eyes. “Blue-grey eyes. Not as bright as yours.”
Gideon chuckled softly as he nodded, his eyes not moving from hers. “So no competition there?” he asked playfully, a wink offered to the woman as his fingers curled over her shoulder.
She sputtered as she pushed the security chief off her, an awkward laugh escaping her lungs. “Like there’s ever been competition.” Marielle’s eyes widened as she shook her hands at him. “I don’t mean it that way!” A flash of pink lit up Pathos before it faded back into the dark swirls of burgundy and wine red. Her steps were in time to the steady beat as she moved away from the quiet room of Ethos. “Can you convince the doctor to pull me out of here? He’s got us sitting in some kasbah, like we’re on a couple’s holiday. He’s so vague. He won’t answer any of my questions. If it wasn’t a little creepy, I’d find it a fun puzzle.”
“I can try- I have been. The captain came by a while ago and it seemed like the Doc stopped listening after that.” Gideon slid his hands into the pockets of his dress pants, humming to himself at the smooth fabric. His steps moved slowly as he followed after Marielle, his heels clacking deliberately on the stone floor.
The sound of his steps echoed against the stone walls and a shudder moved through her. She stopped just before the only archway with a door, the solidly built barrier was stained dark and decorated with dark metal. Marielle turned as she stared at him. “He keeps telling me that we’ll finally be together, Gideon. Tell me you’ve found something on the sensors. This isn’t normal.”
He stopped in front of her, his hands still in his pockets as he regarded her quietly. The security officer had heard nothing from the Bridge regarding what they were doing, so he had nothing to offer her on that front. There was still no word from Ryan Winnetka about deeper internal scans. Without any physical evidence of the man Marielle claimed to be seeing, he was having a hard time believing the engineer, as much as wanted to. Gideon shook his head and frowned. “There's been nothing,” he revealed, almost painfully. “But I've been in Sickbay the whole time.”
She covered her face with her hands as she silently whined to herself. In the far distance, Logos was a mess as file cabinets slid open and slammed shut. Files flew madly as her mind worked through possible theories and scenarios. “Great. Everyone’s probably thinking I’ve had a mental break,” she lamented to herself as her hands fell to her side. She reached out and her fingers moved over the lapel of his suit. She ignored the feel of fabric under her fingertips, though her breath stuttered just a beat. “I swear to you that he exists, Gideon. You have to believe me.” Her fingers gripped at the fabric as she took a small step towards him, desperation in her eyes. “You have to believe me.”
His hands lifted from his pockets, finger caressing her arms as he nodded. “I believe you,” he assured her, the stretch of his thoughts on the matter easy to project. Gideon rested his palms on the back of her shoulders and he leaned closer to hold her against him. He’d wanted to comfort her, but found he desired her close to him for his own need to believe that she was even real.
She rested her head on his chest. “I’m so glad you’re here,” she muttered softly into his suit. Marielle’s head tipped back as she looked up at him. Vibrant emerald irises studied his face before they locked with his. “I’m so very glad you’re here.” She failed to notice how the door behind her cracked open as she lost himself in the depths of his cobalt eyes.
He smiled down at her, his hands roaming her back as he leaned down slightly. “I rather like it here,” he admitted quietly before his gaze shifted to her lips and then back to her desperate gaze. “But how do I know you're real?” A wry grin pulled at the corner of his mouth.
Goosebumps moved over her body as the warmth of his hand easily seeped into the fibers of her dress to warm her skin. A shudder moved down her spine as her eyes settled on his smile. Behind her, the door to the locked room moved open and the ghostly image of her pressing into a heated kiss against his lips appeared in a swirl of fog. “What?” she asked with a slightly incredulous laugh. “You’re in my head.” Marielle chuckled up at him as she shook her head, her hair swaying in the movement. “That should be clear enough.”
When her eyes broke from his, Gideon looked over Marielle’s shoulder and peered into the open door. His eyes widened slightly at the image of them deep in a heated kiss and swirled in fog. A soft hum rumbled in his chest as he studied the room, his lips parted in excitement. He found himself leaning against the engineer, pressing into her. “Still a little foggy to me,” he whispered as he watched for the image to change.
Her breath stuttered as she found her body flushed against his. She was surrounded by heat, fire flaring under her skin. The feel of his arms - strong yet gentle - around her and the comforting aroma of the ocean and of the forest filled her lungs. Her eyes fell to his lips as she pinned her own with her teeth. She could almost recall the taste of his kiss, of rich chocolate and of a decadent red wine. The warmth of his breath on her face had another shudder moving through her. “Yeah? What can I do to convince you?” she asked softly.
His response was uttered instantaneously, his voice soft and filled with desire as he both asked and commanded her. “Kiss me, El.” His eyes moved to hers, his hands lifting to cup her cheeks in his palms.
She laughed softly, though not cruelly. The lilting sound was soft, laced with a sudden shyness yet warm with want at the idea. She wasn’t sure if she was surprised or excited. “This is hardly the time to make jokes,” the engineer managed as she licked her lips when she found them suddenly dry. The idea was exciting. If he was simply a figment of her imagination, she could relish in the idea without their friendship suffering. If he wasn’t, she could always deny it had happened.
His sigh was released as a near whine as he shook his head and leaned closer, his lips brushing hers as he whispered, “Do I look like I'm joking?” Gideon stole the kiss easily and listened as the music that surrounded them amplified to near deafening levels, drowning his moan in a roar of sensuous strings. When the pull of his lungs was too much, he pulled away and stared down at the engineer to find her eyes closed and her kiss-swollen lips asking for more. The pink on her cheeks gave her a soft glow. “Hmm, I’m still not convinced,” he mused with a wry grin, his eyes moving over her features. “How about dessert?”
Logos suddenly came to a standstill before the sounds of rustling papers and cabinets slamming shut echoed into the hallway. One remained open at the ready. Pathos came alive as the door to the locked room swung open. Music crescendoed and clung to the stone walls. The sourceless light dimmed to cast a sultry glow, shadows dancing languidly. The fog within the room swirled to life as the image of their heated kiss disappeared. It was replaced by a collection of visions, each more heated than the last - dusted handprints on his dark suit, bittersweet Delavian chocolate, and skin dusted with a thin layer of flour. The images didn’t end there, the visualizations growing more heated with each new scene.
“I make the best dessert,” she muttered softly to herself, quoting what she’d told the security chief months ago when their late night sleepless encounter had ended in the kitchen. They had ended up cooking together and eating a late dinner. It had been when their friendship was still new and she was still growing accustomed to his need to be physically close. Since then, the friendship had blossomed and had grown more complicated. Marielle was still trying to understand where they stood with each other. Her head fell forward as she buried her head into the fabric of his suit. Her fingers wrapped tightly around his lapel as she eased her breathing.
At the change in the music filtering from Pathos, Gideon lifted his gaze back into the room behind Marielle, his breath stilling in his lungs as he watched. “Yes, oh Gods, yes you do.” It took him a few moments to remember to breathe, his cheeks flushed with desire as his fingers curled into her skin. ‘Oh, cazzo. We would have so much fun,’ he thought to himself.
As she was wrapped in his arms, Marielle wondered briefly if it’d be possible for them to continue where they’d been before Malahakir. The swell of burgundy eased to a soft blue mingling with grey, and the sultry beat of music faded. “Gideon, I was wondering-” Before she could even finish her sentence, Marielle’s image disappeared. She simply faded out of existence.
He stumbled forward, his hands reaching up for the door jamb as she disappeared. Gideon yelped in surprise as the heavy door slammed shut in his face. He pulled his hands away before his fingers could get caught in the door. The security officer spun around, his eyes searching frantically for the engineer. “El!” He moved toward the door labeled Pathos and peered in, quickly moving to Logos next. His breath caught in his throat and his eyelids fell closed. When he blinked them open, he found himself on the floor of Sickbay, staring up at the ceiling. The Bajoran mix gasped and sat up quickly, waving away Ensign Lisella Keevun as he scrambled to his feet. His fingers grasped the edge of the biobed as he leaned close and pressed his lips to her ear, whispering feverishly. “Whatever you're wondering, El, yes. A thousand times yes.”
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.