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[Deniaud/Salieri] Collaboration Log
“Any woman who is sure of her own wits is a match at any time for a man who is not sure of his own temper.”
- Wilkie Collins [The Woman in White]
After getting surgically altered, Ryan Winnetka stepped over to his best friend. The security chief stopped his pacing as he stared at the Chicago native. “You look hideous.” Gideon frowned as he looked over Ryan and shook his head.
Winnetka laughed and reached out, clapping Gideon on the shoulder. “I knew I could count on your to make me feel better.”
The Bajoran mix grumbled as he shook his head. “I guess I need to get to the Bridge.” He paused as his eyes moved toward Marielle. Gideon released an irritated breath as he glared toward Ryan. “Keep an eye on her.”
“You know I will,” Winnetka reassured him. He glanced over at the engineer and then stepped closer to Gideon. The junior security officer elbowed his friend in the ribs and nodded his chin toward Marielle. “You should go talk to her.”
Gideon hissed again as he shook his head. “I can’t, not like this. I’ll say something stupid and just piss her off more.” He turned to face Ryan, his arms crossing as he hunched his shoulders.
It had been a chore getting into the replicated garb. The rich burgundy woolen fabric was heavy but warm. It kept her shoulders bare and her arms covered in draped sleeves, gold embroidery detailing an otherwise simple dress. It was reminiscent of fifteenth century Renaissance Earth. There were ribbons and layers. The fabric rustled with each movements. As her hands travelled over her sides to feel the fabric over her newly stained skin, the engineer sighed softly as she stared at her reflection.
~We’ll be together soon, my love~
His voice rang and filled her ears and her hands fell from the fabric to clench at her sides. “I said leave me alone!” Marielle screamed aloud. The murmuring of the medical staff and away team suddenly stopped and she glanced around once she’d realized it. The engineer’s chin dipped in embarrassment, the emotion mixing with anger, irritation, and doubt. There was an inkling that they were right - that she was crazy - and that just set her further on edge.
~I’ve waited for you for so long.~
‘Nope. Definitely not crazy.’ She definitely heard Dylan and his smooth and honeyed baritone. She only wished other people would believe her. Covering her face with her hands, she fell into a rare slouch as she shook her head. “Merde. I do sound crazy,” Marielle muttered to herself.
The security chief raised his hand to rub his face, his eyes closing as he shook his head. He grumbled as he felt hands on his biceps, shrugging them off as he walked out of Sickbay. Gideon stopped in the hallway, his gaze moving left and right before he took a few steps to the left and leaned his shoulder against the wall, his head tipping to rest his temple against the bulkhead. “Cazzo,” he muttered. ‘Giuro agli Dei, se succede qualcosa che ho intenzione di uccidere cazzo Xiaoyen.’
Unable to handle the eyes that seemed to stare at her or the whispering murmurs that spoke of her “condition”, the engineer spun quickly and stalked out of Sickbay. At least in the short walk to the transporter room, she’d be able to find some level of privacy.
~My beloved. Soon, we’ll be together, and you will truly be mine.~
The voice was too much to bear at times. It was irritatingly calm, the tone always filled with affection. The claim that she belonged to him was disconcerting at best and frightening at worst. There was no way to know who this man was once she found herself on the planet. A mess of French tumbled past her lips as she kept her gaze to the carpet. It was bad enough that she was hearing voices, but the alterations to her appearance only provided more fuel to her irritation. A mess of French tumbled from her lips as she kept her gaze down. So distracted by her thoughts, the engineer failed to notice where she was going and didn’t become aware of it until her body connected with something hard.
His hand reached up to steady himself on the bulkhead as he was startled from his thoughts. “Sorry-” he quickly apologized as he turned. Gideon couldn’t help but stare at the petite engineer, his eyes fixated on her, his gaze scanning her slowly from head to toe. Marielle’s black hair was pulled up, standing nearly straight above her head. Because her hair was simply too long, it had to be braided and styled elaborately before it was secured. Her red skin was almost metallic, the shade reminding him of the stallion on his island. Sickly yellow eyes stared back at him. Her dress was beautiful, at least. The blood red was embellished with golden embroidery, dagged sleeves hanging past her knees.
She looked up at him, her hands immediately coming up to cover her face. Marielle was a woman who prided herself her appearance. It wasn’t necessarily vanity, but there was some acceptance that she was prettier than most. “Sorry,” she muttered behind her fingers. She didn’t want anyone looking at her while she was under the guise of the people they were about to meet. While she was sure the alien species believed themselves to be beautiful, she could only think she looked like the devil’s wife, only shorter and less fearsome.
He almost forgot why he was upset. The reason came back to him quickly and Gideon clenched his jaw briefly before he shook his head. “No need to apologize,” he grumbled. “Stay close to Winnetka.”
She couldn’t help the eye twitch in irritation. ‘Stay close to Winnetka,’ she complained in her thoughts. She’d almost asked him if that was all he had to say to her, but the words died before she could have uttered them. The engineer’s hands dropped and immediately crossed under her bust, the move meant to give her the illusion of a barrier. “I can take care of myself,” she retorted flatly as she pushed past him, her shoulder bumping into his arm roughly as she continued on her way.
He was shoved back by her jarring shoulder, his back hitting the wall as he grunted quietly. ‘Same way you did on Atlantis and Malahakir,’ he replied silently before he winced and shook his head. ‘Cazzo, you’re an ass when you’re mad.’ Gideon pushed off the wall and started following her since she was headed in the same direction he needed to go.
“But, I’m sure you don’t believe that,” she said loud enough for him to hear, her hand waving in the air as she made her way to the turbolift. “Who’d believe the crazy lady, right?” The words were uttered with derision, her anger making her mezzo soprano lose its natural sweetness. His belief that she was crazy stung more than she’d care to admit. Although she was still trying to understand the nature of their relationship, they had become fast friends and even faster confidants. They had endured through Malahakir together. Even during his relapse, she’d never thought him mad. It seemed Gideon didn’t feel the same. It was so easy for him to label her crazy. An odd sting moved over her chest, causing her to press her palm against the exposed skin.
Gideon jogged after her, catching up as she entered the turbolift, his hands grasping her by the arms as he held her against the wall of the lift. “You were crazy at Atlantis, crazy at Drikaana, and crazy now, but I won’t be there this time,” he told her desperately. “You know why I’m protec-”
The declaration only made the ache that began over her heart radiate. It spread in the most uncomfortable fashion, making her take a sharp breath when the air seemed to thin instantly. Her hand flattened on his chest as she pushed him back roughly. “Don’t touch me,” she hissed at him, the anger nearly burning away any hint of her pain. The betrayal stung and was compounded by the pounding that made her head scream. “I wasn’t crazy any of those times, and I’m not crazy now. Once I find him, you’ll see that I wasn’t imagining him.”
The security officer shrugged as he shook his head. “I’m sorry I can’t believe what I don’t see. I believe that you see him, but it doesn’t matter.” Gideon furrowed his brows. “I won’t be there.” The thought of being away from her and helpless on the ship drove him even further into his anger.
“I don’t need you there,” she snapped as she glared up at him. Her hand settled against the turbolift wall and Marielle grumbled when it didn’t move. “Computer, Beta Vector, Deck Four.”
The words cut him, the pain easy to see in his features as he frowned, stepping back into the opposite wall. “Non posso perdere, El. Sono solo che questa protezione perché ho cura di te. Più di tutto, (I can’t lose you again. I'm only this protective because I care about you. More than anything.)” he murmured, his voice hitching slightly on the lump of bile that’d suddenly accumulated in his throat.
~You’re so close, Mariëlle. I can sense you, and it only grows stronger. Soon, we’ll be together and my search will finally come to an end.~
Her hand gripped the handrail tightly as she closed her eyes. Dylan’s voice was never ending, the baritone nearly drowning out her own thoughts. “Go away,” she murmured with a slight sob. “I’m almost there. That’s what you want isn’t it?” Her hand came up to cover her face as she leaned forward and her back hunched as she tried to curl up within herself. “Just- Give me a moment to think. Please. I’ll be with you soon- Just, please give me a moment.”
He could only assume she was talking with the man she claimed to see. Gideon glanced around as his frown deepened. “Take care of yourself down there,” he spoke evenly toward her as the lift came to a stop. It was the best he could do given the situation.
The engineer took a few cleansing breaths as she straightened. “I’ve been taking care of myself before I met you Gideon. I’m pretty sure I did just fine.” Marielle shook her head as if doing so would remove the voice that filled her ears. “Gods, I swear I never want to hear another man tell me he loves me ever again. Two for two, they’ve been psychotic.”
“You’re forgetting Erik.” He watched as the door opened and glanced back toward Marielle, finding it hard to say anything else. His anger had resurfaced, the cool emotion coming to a slow rolling boil as the engineer completely shouldered him aside. Gideon tried desperately to tell himself it was just because of the hallucinations she was having.
“Erik would have believed me,” she countered, the claim uttered with such conviction that Marielle surprised even herself. Truthfully, she wasn’t sure if the Draconian would have believed her, but she was sure he would have had listened. Her jaw clenched as she stepped out of the turbolift. She paused and turned around, her hand settling on the door to keep it from closing. Marielle settled her eyes on the security chief. Her irritation was hard to hide. “I have never lied to you when it mattered the most. I deserve better than to have you - of all people - think I’m crazy, but I’m glad to finally know what you really think of me.”
“You obviously have no idea what I really think of you,” he countered, his own hurt masked by his rising anger. “Computer, Alpha Bridge,” he barked. Gideon stepped forward to slap his hand against the panel and override the door to close despite her fingers holding it open.
“When I find him, you’ll be sorry! Maybe, I’ll just frakking stay on the damn planet!!” she screamed out to him as the doors closed. The engineer stomped her feet in anger as she released a tirade of French. Her fingers gripped at the fabric of her dress as she spun around and stormed to the transporter room. “You’ll see,” she muttered.