ASSIGNED TO TASK FORCE 56 OF PEGASUS FLEET
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The Warmth of a Hug

Posted on Sun Jan 26th, 2020 @ 8:29am by Warrant Officer Koh Ottasu & Lieutenant JG Shaille Levine

Mission: Dead Moon
Location: Fighter Deck

 

Shaille paused at the entry to the flight deck. The last thing she wanted was to bother Koh, especially when he was on duty and she wasn't, but the thought of returning to their quarters bothered her, and really, all she wanted was to spend a few moments lost in his arms. At least that was something that would be guaranteed to make her feel better.

With a sigh, she stepped through the parted doors and glanced around. The Ts'Usugi fighters were grouped together, separate from the Federation fighters. Though she hadn't spent a lot of time on the flight deck since they had come aboard, she had spent countless hours listening to Koh talk about his day and had remembered more than a few details.

The two differing styles of fighter craft perfectly summed up the two different avenues of thought. The Federation fighter craft were sleek and stylish, no concern there. They were built for a purpose, and were built to those specifications.

The Blink fighters, though, looked predatory. Angled and sleek, low profile, dark colors. They looked ready to pounce. They looked like they were moving even while standing still. They also required a lot of maintenance to stay that way, and that's what Koh was doing at that time.

Wearing a glove that looked like the softest and coziest brush in space, he gently ran the brushie glove over the surface of one of the Blink fighters, humming a tune to himself as he worked. As Shaille approached, his ears perked, but he didn't turn towards her. Playing coy, or just letting her think she was sneaking up on him.

Approaching wordlessly, even though she was under no delusion that she would be able to surprise him, they'd been together long enough that she was used to his extremely sensitive hearing, she still didn't bother to announce her presence. Instead, she just slid her arms around his waist, resting her head against his back and closing her eyes for a moment, inhaling deeply and savoring his familiarity.

He smiled, feeling her embrace him and lean against him. He adjusted his posture to support her, letting her remain there for the moment. "chirp chirp" he made some kind of chirping, beeping noise.

"Security...." he whispered, "... I'm alone in the fighter bay with a dangerous intruder." he said in an overly conspiratorial whisper. All a gag. "I'll have to handle them myself. Koh out." and then he just smiled. "You've got me. Don't shoot. I have a beautiful partner and a fighter that loves me."

He made her smile, that much was certain. "Well, lucky for your 'beautiful partner' I'm still relieved of duty," she said, ducking under his arm to stand between him and the fighter. "But you can still handle me all you like," she teased, reaching up to run her fingers down the length of his ear, already feeling better just by his presence.

He smirked, leaning in to nuzzle along her cheek and holding the contact for a moment. "They'll come to their senses. Whenever they bring in a new face for a temporary assessment the first thing they do is put everyone in a high position on leave. Keeps them from getting in the way." he offered. "Seen it done more than once back home. I even had a chance to be a part of it for a few days. Got transferred to the Orbital Dawn for four days during an assessment. Needed to bench every pilot there." he recalled.

"The Orbital Dawn is one of seven flagships in the fleet." he explained, breaking the contact just long enough to look her in the eye. "Whatever the most famous ship in the Federation fleet is, that's kind of how big a deal the Orbital Dawn is."

"I like it better here, truth be told. Less competitive." and he softly pressed his forehead to her's, "And the company is much nicer."

"Well, that depends on the company you're keeping I guess," she replied with a smirk before she sighed, leaning into him. This was one of the things she loved about him, the way he could take a wretched moment and turn it around, to make her feel better, to make her smile, whether it was with words, a touch or even just his presence.

"How much longer are you going to be here for?" she asked softly. "I was going to see if you wanted me to walk you home?"

"My shift's almost over. I was just running a glove along my ... you know, I don't even know all the crude phrases of Federation Standard yet, and there's no way what I was about to say wasn't among them." he chuckled. "Let me punch out with the flight commander, make sure Dead Eye is on station, and then I'll take you up on that offer."

He paused, "Though, that *does* mean I'd have to let you go for a few minutes. Bothersome bit."

"That does sound very bothersome indeed," Shaille replied softly. "But I guess if it means I get you out of here quicker it's worth it in the long run."

Koh offered a smirk, "Dead Eye is good people. Hell of a pilot, hell of a friend. Let me go check on if she's here yet. I'll be right back." another gentle caress cheek to cheek, just the contact of the moment before he reluctantly broke away to check on his fellow Child of Ts'usu.

He'd return about two minutes later, "We're in the clear. Her shift's active and I'm hereby relieved pending a disaster. So, shall we?" and he offered his arm to her.

Taking his arm, Shaille pulled it around her, her head against his shoulder, his arm firmly around her, holding her close to him. This was definitely her favourite place to be. In his arms.

The journey back to their quarters passed in a smattering of small talk... arms around each other, constant contact.

It was only once they were safely back in the confines of their quarters that she rounded on him, arms holding to him firmly as if he were a life raft in a deep sea, her head against his chest, listening to the familiar sound of his heart beat.

"I'm glad you're here," she finally whispered softly.

He held her close, his heartbeat already fast compared to a human, but her proximity pulled a few extra beats out of it. "I'm very glad to be here." he whispered back. "Tell me what's on your mind. Speak your heart, hold nothing back." he offered to bear the brunt of her woes.

"What if I don't get back on duty?" Shaille asked quietly, finally airing the thought that she hadn't want to admit so far. "What if she has me reassigned, or worse, removed from duty permanently?"

"IF..." he started, giving the word far too much credit... "If you don't go back on duty then I'll request a leave of absence so we both go crazy together. IF they reassign you, I'll put in my papers to go wherever you do. If they remove you from duty, then I make a call and see if I can get you a position on a long-ear cruiser."

He smirked, "I mean, I know someone on one of the super carriers, but they're only a level 2 maintenance hand."

There was a faint smile on her lips. He always had the right words to reassure her and comfort her. "I couldn't even handle sitting around here for one day, what am I supposed to do for three more days?"

"Well, I have tons of unallocated holoroom time. I see no reason you couldn't dip into my rations. Are they called Rations here?" he asked, half-serious.

"But anyway, they're yours if it will help you pass the time until whoever is in charge currently over there realizes the waste of talent and capacity they're making by taking you off the rotation."

"Also, after three days, I'll storm the castle with you."

"My very own knight in shining armour," Shaille replied with a smile as she reached up, fingertips of one hand tracing lightly along the edge of his ear, smiling as his ear twitched beneath her touch. "What would I ever do without you?"

He took a breath, her touch just like electricity to him. The simplest contact was welcome far more than any lavish gift or promise of fortune. "You'll never have to find out." he assured her, as he gently leaned in slightly to pressed his forehead to hers.

"Knight in shining arm... oh, oh I get it now. Okay, I understand that reference." he said softly, not wanting to jeopardize the moment with his own cultural setback.

"How about we stay in tonight?" Shaille asked quietly, not making any attempt to move away from him. "Maybe watch a movie and snuggle? I don't feel like sharing you tonight."

"You know it's funny." he started with a chuckle, "I was *JUST* teasing Callisi about watching movies. I guess it was meant to be." he smiled, lost in her eyes. "I know I shouldn't. I know it bothers her. I'll apologize later." he slowly closed his eyes.

"Later, right now you're mine," Shaille reiterated. "I just want to be alone with the one I love tonight."

"Well then that's good. There's nowhere else I enjoy being more, then with you." he gave her a soft smile, slowly turning his attention to their couch. "Why don't you sit and get comfy, and I'll handle the snacks and drinks. Put whatever you want on, you've had a rough day. You've earned a little control."

"Deal," Shaille said with a faint smile, rising up to brush a soft kiss across the corner of his mouth before she headed toward the bedroom first of all and taking a blanket from the closet and carrying it back to the lounge. Curling up on the couch, she pulled the blanket up over her while she waited for him to come back. "How about you pick a movie?" she asked quietly. "Maybe something Ts'Usugi? They have subtitles, right?"

Koh maneuvered around the kitchen, snagging up a cheese and cracker platter, then going back for the drinks: a fizzy soda for him, and a glass of wine for her. "Popcorn's coming right up. As for the movie, hmmm... I think I have just the thing."

"A few of them have subtitles. It's one of the ways we're picking up bits and pieces of your language. Immersion." pop, popopopop, pop pop... ears perked at the sound, and he smirked, "And on queue." the Son of Ts'usu vanished for a moment to return with a bowl of popcorn. Hot and fluffy.

"So there's one I love, about a sword no man can lift, until one day someone does. I know, it's a common theme." he admitted. "Computer, play personal movie file, Hero of Sword. Include federation standard subtitle file."

It was odd to see a movie entirely of Ts'usugi. Though it was a fascinating look into their life and their art. They worked the fields, and in the film they rode creatures similar to horses... except no tails or manes. The story was one that was told a thousand times in a million variations. The fated hero finds the sword that no one can lift, and manages to lift it. There's the great evil spreading across the land, that only the fated hero with the sword can defeat... but it was the art behind the story, the costume and armor design. The fight choreography, this film was a piece of art.

There were things that, of course, were missing. The night sky was empty, devoid of stars. Only the moons were showing. Imperial Censorship at its finest.

Spreading the blanket over him as well, Shaille snuggled in against the warmth of his body, her head resting on his shoulder as she watched the movie playing on the screen, barely even paying attention to the subtitles. Some things just didn't need to be translated, and when it came to matters of the heart, actions definitely spoke louder than words.

 

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