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Messages - Mira Dain

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Undetectable / Re: OOC: Images
« on: February 03, 2018, 02:45:14 PM »
For anyone curious as to what BB-D2 looks like, here he is ...

[size=9]Image source - here.[/size]

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:32:26 AM »
"Now? Is that even possible?" She laughed as she said it, but it wasn't a laugh that signified her disagreement. More her incredulity that it was possible to be married so quickly at all. Her hands curled into his as she looked up into his eyes. "I ... I know what you mean," she admitted softly. "I know you somehow, like you're a part of me. Like I need you in my life, in my heart, and I never knew you weren't there until we met. I-I love you, Gav."

"Then marry me, Mira. Whenever you want," he pleaded, relieved to know she felt the same. More than relieved; overjoyed even. He drew her closer, taking her face between his hands before he bent his head to kiss her, to prove his love for her without any words. It didn't matter if they got married today or tomorrow or next month or next year, so long as he knew she loved him and would never leave him behind.

"Tomorrow," she breathed, as much a promise as a prediction, wanting to have their family there when they did this together. Her lips were soft beneath his, her hands confident as she curled her arms about him once again. There was just one thing, though ... She drew back just a little, nuzzling to him. "I, uh ... I did mention the virgin thing, right?"

"Why should that matter?" he asked, reluctantly letting her draw away a little, even as he held her close. BB would be there soon, and then they wouldn't be alone anymore. Gav was certain the little droid would have plenty of questions. He wasn't sure why Mira was so concerned about being a virgin. Did she think that made her any less desirable?

"Because ... I-I don't think I'm ready for, you know, all the way, yet," she offered shyly, biting her lip. She didn't want to disappoint him, but even she knew that there were certain things expected when you got married.

"Okay," Gav said, trying not to look too disappointed, though he would have gone slow with her - as slow as she wanted. "We'll get engaged then, and when you're sure you're ready, we get married." And what he'd told Dash earlier would no longer be a lie.

"No, that's not what I mean," she told him, shaking her head. "I want to marry you, Gav. I just ... it's going to take me a little time being close to you, getting to know you and your body, before I'm ready for your ... access node to enter my dataport. Never said anything about mouths and hands and all the other fun stuff."

He furrowed his brows, looking more than a little confused. "Okay, so you want to get married, but you don't want to ..." How had she put it? Go all the way? He realized suddenly just how young she really was, and he frowned worriedly. He was only a few years older than her, and yet, sometimes he felt ancient. "Whatever you want, Mira," he told her, touching his fingers to her cheek in a tender caress. "Just ... Don't leave me."

"I'm not leaving," she promised him faithfully. "I just need to go slow with the physical stuff, that's all. I'm not going to change my mind or my heart when it comes to you, Gav. I just don't want to go too fast and end up having to back up. I love you. I trust you. And sometimes, it's like I know what you're feeling, too. Why would I ever want to turn my back on that? It's something special, and I haven't had a whole lot of that in my life. Don't expect me to throw this away."

He nodded his head, though he still looked a little worried or maybe just confused. He wasn't too sure what had even caused him to say that. He had no reason to think Mira would change her mind, except for past experience. He had few friends, except for Yana. He wasn't sure why he'd let Mira get close, but like her, he felt some kind of connection to her that he couldn't explain. "Sorry, Mira," he found himself apologizing again. "I've just never felt this way before, and I'm not sure what to do about it."

"Getting married seems like a pretty good step forward," she pointed out in a gentle tone, brushing her fingers against his chest as she leaned into him. "Seems like both of us need a little time to take things slowly. You need to learn to trust that I'm not going anywhere. I don't lie, Gav. I don't take stupid risks. I wouldn't have agreed if I didn't think we can make it work."

His arms went around her to hold her close, and he rested his chin lightly against her hair, slowly breathing her in. "I've been alone for so long, Mira. It feels strange to belong again. I just don't want to screw it up."

She let him pull her close, delighting in the wrap of his arms about her, the way she felt utterly surrounded by him as her own arm slithered about his waist. "You're never going to stop second-guessing yourself if you look at everything as though it's going to go wrong," she told him quietly.

"This is too important to go wrong," he murmured, trying not to go over the mental list of all the things that had gone wrong in his life. But some things had gone right, too. He'd made a good friend of Yana, and he'd learned how to survive on his own. He wasn't bitter or hardened, but grateful for all his blessings in life, which now included Mira.

She lifted her head, inching her hand up to draw his eyes to hers. "It's not going to go wrong," she told him, absolutely confident in that. "Us, we're meant to be together, I just know it. Doesn't mean we won't fight sometimes, and it doesn't mean that we'll always agree with each other. But we'll always make it up. Always."

"Promise?" he asked, leaning even closer so that he could touch his nose to hers. He'd never really let anyone see this side of him before, not since he'd been a boy - the fears he kept hidden deep inside. Yana knew him best, and she knew why had such fears, but he'd never shared them with anyone else until now.

"Promise," she whispered back to him, rising onto her toes to kiss him softly, tenderly, wanting to ease the tense uncertainty that seemed to be driving his inability to simply accept that she was there and his. BB-D2 would be rolling up to the door any moment now, but this was important.

There wasn't much to say to that, and anything he might have said was cut off by her kiss, but who was he to argue with that? At last, after all the years of loneliness, he'd found where he belonged - right here, with Mira.

And if anyone tried to prevent it ... well, they'd find out that some legendary things in certain galaxies were very, very real.

[size=9]((If you made it all the way through that, congratulations! Feels like we've been playing this scene for a small eternity, but it finished at last! Huge thanks to my partner in crime!))[/size]

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:30:55 AM »
Lost in her kiss, Gav didn't notice the comm link vibrating in her belt. He didn't notice anything but Mira - her scent, her taste, her warmth demanding all his attention. As she drew away, he found his heart was beating a little faster, his breath coming a little quicker, and he knew if they stayed there much longer, they might cross a line he had promised not to cross for some months yet. The music that had already stopped playing had said it better than he ever could. As far as Gav was concerned, there was no other word for Mira but Unforgettable.

Reluctantly, she withdrew one hand from him, fingers dipping into her belt to pull out the comm and activate it. "Yeah?"

Yana's voice came through the link. "Just checking in. Any ETA on getting back for you guys? Big brother's getting a little antsy."

Gav breathed an audible sound of relief when he heard Yana's voice. "We ran into Dash!" he called, leaning closer so that she could hear his voice, in addition to Mira's. That should tell her something, at least.

"Huh. Need a pick up, or are you staying put for the night?" Trust Yana to get right to the meat of the problem there. She remembered Dash and his little friends well enough; it would be wiser to stay in company, or out of sight, until morning.

"We're at my place," he told her, knowing Yana would know where that was, even if Kalen didn't. "It might be safer to stay the night, but ..." Gav slid his gaze to Mira with a small frown, knowing Kalen would never approve. "I'll have her back in a bit. Call you if we need help."

"Not on your own, you won't," Yana pointed out. There was a thoughtful pause. "We'll send BB-D2 to you. He's a good enough chaperone, isn't he?" This clearly wasn't aimed at Gav and Mira; evidently Kalen had walked in on the conversation.

"BB-D2?" Gav echoed. "What good will that ..." He trailed off as he realized she was telling him to stay put, and that she was sending BB-D2 to them to appease Kalen, not to assist in a possible fight against Dash and his thugs. "Are you sure?" he asked, needing to know she'd smooth things over with Kalen without asking as much.

"I'm su - we're sure." It sounded as though Yana was going to make sure Kalen was as sure about it as she was, too. "Just be back here in good time in the morning, okay? And call if you need us."

If there was anyone Gav trusted, it was Yana. She'd had his back since he was four years old, and he had no reason not to trust her now. She was, in a lot of ways, the only family he'd ever had. "Okay, we'll be back first thing in the morning. Thanks, Yana."

"Say good night to Kay for me, would you?" Mira added, knowing her brother wouldn't be happy about this, but that Yana was likely the only person who could talk him down from storming out here for no real reason.

"Will do," Yana promised, her smile audible. "Take care, guys."

Though Gav was glad to have a few more hours alone with Mira, he wasn't smiling and for good reason. "Your brother is going to kill me," he said, wondering if he was over-reacting to the encounter with Dash, but then, he had promised to keep Mira safe, and he was doing his best to keep that promise.

"No, he won't," she promised him, tucking the comm away once again. "Reason being, you're only doing what you told him you'd do, which is keep me safe. He's not an idiot, Gav. He'll work through it all tonight - he's not gonna hold this against you unless we show up with me bleeding out or suddenly nine months pregnant."

"He will when he finds out I took you to a disco and ran into some old friends," Gav said, wandering off to check on the coffee. The fact was the 'port was never going to be a safe place for her so long as she was with him, unless he did something to make it that way.

Left alone in the middle of the room, Mira let out a long, heavy sigh, one finger scratching her head as she turned to follow him. "Where did he think you were going to take me dancing, an old folks' home?" she pointed out. "Is this where you turn into some boring old nerf-herder who puts me in a closet and never lets me see or do anything interesting or fun just in case something might happen?"

"No," Gav replied, wincing a little at the insult, intentional or otherwise, as he poured himself a cup of coffee. It wasn't like he'd brought her here to have his way with her or anything, but he couldn't help admitting he'd been enjoying the solitude. "And it takes nine months to get nine months pregnant, by the way," he reminded her, though he didn't really want to argue.

She stared at him for a moment, disappointed that he cared more about what her brother thought of him than about what she thought. "Fine," she sighed, not wanting to argue either. "I guess it's late, I should probably make a bed for myself."

"Why don't you just marry me then, and we don't have to worry about it anymore?" he blurted, as he turned back to face her, a cup of coffee in his hands. From the look on his face, he was perfectly serious. Yes, she was young. Yes, they'd just met. But stranger things had been known to happen, and Kalen couldn't possibly object to him then.

She blinked, her body snapping to attention as she spun back to face him. Yes, he was serious; she could feel how serious he was about it. It wasn't just a suggestion born of frustration and anxiety - he wanted to marry her, to make a life with her. And to be fair, on Rhy'Din, it wasn't exactly unheard of for people to marry within hours of meeting each other. "When?" she asked, just as serious as he was.

"Now, tomorrow, next week, next month. Whenever you want," he replied, setting the mug aside and closing the distance between them to take her hands in his. "I love you, Mira. I know it sounds ridiculous when we haven't known each other long, but my heart knows what it wants, and it wants you."

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:29:51 AM »
She looked up at him, her lips curving into a softer smile once more. "On Ena'tar, with my mom ... there was so much green," she said quietly. "I remember the grass, the way it always smelled fresh and how soft it was under my feet when I'd play. There was a-a pond or a pool or something, too, with these huge fish that would rub against my legs when I was swimming." She laughed at the memory. "I guess I'd have to find somewhere with ships and grass if I was really going for perfect."

His expression changed, softening into a smile. "There's grass on Rhy'Din, Mira," he assured her. "There's a lot more to Rhy'Din than the Spaceport. If you let me, I'll show you." Though that wasn't going to happen tonight, when it was already dark out. He'd promised to get Mira back to the ship tonight, but now that they were safely at his place, he wasn't sure he should bother.

"Why would I stop you?" she asked innocently. But there was a flicker in her eyes that suggested she really wanted to see more, to see as much as he was willing to show her. "Are there really green places here, too? You can't see anything from Nemesis, so I never got a good look at the planet when we came in to land."

"Kalen didn't tell you?" Gav asked, a little surprised her brother didn't tell her more about the planet he called home, but then, they'd been pretty busy making arrangements for this trip of theirs. Well, if Kalen was too busy to show Mira around, Gav would just have to do it himself.

Her brows rose at his surprise. "Tell me what?" she asked with vague suspicion. "Did I just uncover a not so subtle plan to keep me chained to the ship or something?"

Gav took a lean against the counter, just a few small feet from Mira, though it seemed like miles. Had it only been a few hours ago that they were holding each other close, as if nothing in the world existed but them? "Mira, there's so much more to Rhy'Din than the Spaceport. There are mountains to the south and past the mountains, woods as green as anything you can imagine. Beyond that is Rhy'Din City, surrounded by mountains and forests and water. And that's just the start of it."

She sighed, imagining all those views he was describing. "Oh, I'd love to see it all," she breathed hopefully. "But it's not gonna happen for a few weeks. We've got so much work to do and then we're off-world for however long it'll take to do this run to Illium." She shrugged. "I guess we'll just have to make a date for it."

"Mira, I promise you ..." Gav started, taking a single step closer. "When we get back, I'll show you everything," he said, suddenly wanting - no, needing - to give her hope, to show her the beauty of Rhy'Din beyond the 'port, and maybe, just maybe, to build a life around and with her at the center.

It was just a promise, like other promises she had been made in her lifetime, but this time, Mira believed it. She had plenty of reason to doubt, and yet she believed Gav in a way that she hadn't believed anyone before. Not even Kalen. She straightened, rounding the counter to wrap her arms about his waist, pressing her face against his chest to breathe him in deeply. "Thank you."

Gav blinked in surprise as he suddenly found her in his arms, though he wasn't sure why he should be surprised, considering how they seemed to be drawn to each other, like twin flames, one incomplete without the other. His arms found their way around her to hold her close, and he smiled as a thought arose. "Do you still want to dance?"

She raised her head, her fingers flexing against his back through his shirt as she offered up a warm smile. "With you? Always." It was a corny line, and usually reserved for the man in the vids she'd grown up watching, but it fitted them perfectly in her opinion.

"I have an idea," he told her, a smile on his face, as he untangled himself from her embrace and led her by the hand into the main room. He left her in the middle of the room, gesturing with a hand for her to stay there. "Wait here," he told her before moving over to a small console where he punched a few buttons to bring up some music.

It wasn't the same kind of music she'd heard in the disco. There was no pulsing beat, instead a melodic piano introduction before a woman's voice started to sing. "Unforgettable, that's what you are. Unforgettable, though near or far ..."

Bemused by the way he drew her into the middle of the room and left her there, Mira laid both hands on one hip as she watched him move away to his console. The music that emanated from the speakers was like nothing she'd ever heard before, more used to drum and bass than delicate vocals and single melody lines. "Can we dance to this?"

"You've never slow danced before?" he asked, knowing the answer to that question almost as he opened his mouth to ask it. He returned to her side and reached for her hands, placing on his shoulder and holding onto the other. "Just follow my lead," he instructed as he started to sway slowly in place.

"You're the only person I've ever danced with," she pointed out with a low giggle, her eyes following his hands as he positioned her against him. Her palm smoothed over his shoulder, slithering higher to tease her fingertips in and out of his hair as he swayed with her, feeling small and protected and wanted in a way that their other dance had only hinted at. "Who gave you permission to be gorgeous and sexy?" she demanded in a playful tone. "That's just not fair to the female of the species, you know."

Despite trying to create a little romance between them, Gav couldn't help but laugh at her question. It wasn't the first time he'd been told he was good-looking, though he'd never really believed it himself, but it was the first time he was hearing the words gorgeous and sexy in the same breath in relation to himself. "Are you sure you aren't drunk?" he asked with a smirk, his feet leading her slowly around the small room in time to the music.

She giggled quietly, stumbling only a little before her feet caught on to the pattern of steps he was using. "I might be, I don't know what was in that drink," she pointed out impishly. "So if I am, Gav Rowan, it is entirely your fault. And if I'm not ... then this isn't you taking advantage of me." The hand in his hair drew him down to her, letting her lips brush against his almost tenderly. One thing he could definitely say for Mira - she didn't let the grass grow under her feet.

It wasn't the first time they'd shared a kiss, though that hardly mattered. It hardly mattered which of them was taking advantage of the other either, since they both seemed to be equally enjoying the moment. It was hard to say which was seducing the other, and Gav didn't much care either way. It had been a long time since he'd been with a woman, and even so, he had never been with anyone who made him feel the way Mira did.

But, as with all good things, it had to come to an end. Engrossed as she was in the feel of Gav, in the taste of his lips and the heat of his skin, Mira couldn't ignore the repetitive vibrating alarm that was the comm link in her belt. She drew back from Gav a little way, her smile rueful. "I think Grandma wants a word."

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:29:11 AM »
She shook her head, squeezing his hand. "It's my fault," she apologized in return. "I'm the one who should have kept my mouth shut. I'm sorry." She bit her lip, wondering where the fun they'd been having might have gone if she'd just played the part of the little girl Dash had taken her for.

"It's not your fault. Dash had always been a bully. I think he's scared of Yana, though. That's probably why he backed down," Gav explained, though it was likely Orsk that Dash was really afraid of more than Yana. Everyone who knew Yana knew she was under Orsk's protection and that messing with her was the same as messing with him.

"Why did he try to make you do something you obviously don't want to?" she asked, curiosity warring with worry as she looked up at him. "Doesn't he pick up hints very well?"

Gav frowned, as if debating how much to tell her. "Because he doesn't care what I want, Mira. He only cares about himself," he explained, glancing over his shoulder as if to make sure they weren't being followed. "Come on!" he urged as he tugged her toward an alley that served as a shortcut.

"Then you should have slugged him," she said fiercely, not caring for Dash in the slightest. Gav's glance over his shoulder made her blink in surprise, unable to look back herself as he accelerated, pulling her along as she let out a faint laugh. "Where are we going?"

"And get beat up by his thugs? No thanks!" Gav replied, as he hurried along. He would have stopped to give her his jacket, but he was in a hurry. "To my place!" he called back, as he led her through a couple of alleys toward the more seedy side of the 'port. They'd have to be more careful here, but he knew it like the back of his hand.

Giggling at his sudden change of mood, Mira skipped to keep up, scurrying along at his back, clinging to his hand. The cool night air was chilly but soothing on her hot skin, drying the sweat that clung to her neck and arms as she jogged along behind him. "You have a place?"

"Of course I have a place. Did you think I live at the scrap yard?" he asked, laughing a little. His place wasn't much to speak of, but it was a roof over his head and it kept him dry and warm in winter.

"You never said you had a place," she laughed in answer. "And besides, I lived in a scrapyard. Why wouldn't I think you would, too, smarty-pants?" She ducked around a corner in his wake. "Why are we running?"

"Smarty-pants?" he echoed, chuckling. He was starting to relax a little the farther away they got from the disco, even though they were moving deeper into a more seedy area of 'port. "We aren't running. We're walking fast!" he corrected her, tossing another glance over his shoulder as he slowed his steps just a little.

"You're walking fast," she pointed out. "I'm running!" Still, she was giggling as he slowed a little, allowing her to catch up more comfortably. "Might not have noticed, but your legs are a bit longer than mine are." She grinned up at him, trying not to glance over her shoulder when he did.

It was times like these, he wished he carried a blaster, but his wits and his fists had never failed him before. "Sorry!" he repeated, though he only slowed down a little. "We're almost there." As sprawling as the Spaceport was, thanks to the shortcuts, it didn't take long before he was leading her up a small flight of stairs and into a building that looked like it had seen better days.

To someone like Mira, though, who until recently had been living in the open end of a defunct engine exhaust, the building didn't look so bad. It had walls and a roof, and doors that separated each private space from the others. It was practically luxury. "This is where you live?" she asked hopefully.

"Yeah. I know it's not much," he said as he entered a series of numbers into the keypad before pushing his way inside and leading her up yet another narrow flight of stairs. He slowed a little now that they were safely inside, leading up up three flights of stairs and down a hallway until he came to a halt in front of another door that declared itself "3C". "Well, here we are. Home sweet home," he said, punching another code into the keypad before hearing the click of the lock that would let them inside.

"It's more than I've ever had," she pointed out with a smile. "Well, when I was on my own, anyway." She was hugging his arm again, feeling him relax a little more as he unlocked the door to let them both inside.

He looked both ways down the hall as if to make sure they hadn't been followed before closing the door behind them and locking it. "It isn't much, but it's home," he said, shrugging his jacket from his shoulders and tossing it over a chair. His flat wasn't much to speak of - just one large room with a small kitchen and bath attached - but he was easy to please and had few complaints. It was better than living on the street anyway. "Make yourself comfortable while I make a pot of coffee," he told her, as he started toward the tiny kitchen.

"It must be nice to have a home," she murmured, watching him over toward the little kitchen before making her way into the large room before her. The touches of his personality were everywhere in here, offering hints and clues about the man she was increasingly aware of, increasingly drawn to. Though the place might have seemed small to anyone else, it was virtually a palace to Mira. It smelled of Gav and engine grease and food and coffee, all things she considered safe and happy smells in herself. It was absolutely perfect, in her eyes.

It wasn't so much a home as it was a place to eat and sleep, but there were definitely worse places to live. The flat was sparsely furnished, but though it wasn't fancy, it was neat and clean and comfortable enough for his needs. "It's better than nothing!" Gav called with a chuckle from the kitchen area.

"It's lovely," she assured him, returning from her exploration of the small bathroom to join him in the kitchen. She leaned against the counter, watching him with soft eyes. "It's home. You're lucky to have one - I don't think I've had a home since I was little."

"If I had a couch, I'd ask you to move in with me," he said, with the usual twinkle returning to his eyes. They had briefly discussed becoming roomies, but the reality was that he only had one bed, and he wasn't pretty sure Kalen would have a problem with that. Then again, there was nothing saying he had to live there forever. "Are you gonna live on the ship then?" he asked as he got a couple of mugs out of the cupboard, along with sugar and creamer, in case that was her thing.

Mira laughed, shaking her head. "Scared to sleep in the same bed as me, or worried I might prefer it on the floor?" she teased him, leaning forward onto her arms as she bent comfortably, watching him moving about his little kitchen space with ease. "Live on the ship? I guess so, until I have enough money to rent somewhere else. Or, hell, even buy somewhere. It'd have to be around here, though ... or maybe ..." She trailed off, her mind wandering toward memories she hadn't consciously looked at in a long time.

He arched a brow as she trailed off, curious what she was thinking. "Or maybe?" he echoed. Was she thinking about leaving Rhy'Din already when she'd only just arrived here? He was pretty sure her brother wouldn't be too happy about that either.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:28:35 AM »
"Who's the hottie, Gav? You been holding out on us?" another voice piped in from somewhere behind Dash.

Gav inwardly winced, though his expression remained friendly. He drew an arm around Mira's shoulder as he pulled her almost protectively closer. "This is Mira. She's my ..." He hesitated, but only for the length of a single heartbeat. "... fiancee."

It didn't take a genius to understand just why Gav was pulling her so close. Mira might not have been actively social for most of her life, but she could tell tension in the air, and Gav was thick with it. She didn't even blink when he introduced her as his fiancee, simply curling her arm about his back to tuck close into his side as she offered his apparent friends a polite smile. "Hello."

"Fiancee, huh?" Dash echoed with a smirk. It was hard to tell if he believed Gav or not, but he didn't seem too inclined to argue. "Nice to meet you, Mira. What's a nice girl like you doing with a guy like Gav?" he teased further, mostly for Gav's benefit.

The answer was on her tongue before Mira could stop it, a belligerent side to her personality not wanting to give this person a hint of the real story if she could help it. She didn't often instantly distrust people, but Dash was definitely on that list. "Making babies," she answered innocently.

"You gotta take your clothes off for that, sweetheart," Dash replied with a wink. He was obviously taunting them, but it was hard to tell if he was purposely trying to get Gav riled up or embarrass Mira or both.

"Not tonight, Dash," Gav pleaded quietly. "We're just here to have a little fun."

"When have I not been fun?" Dash replied, giving Gav shoulder a whack and looking a little insulted. "C'mon, Gav. I'll even let you bring your little woman along. Don't you want to make a few extra bucks?" This was followed by a few choruses of "Yeah, c'mon, Gav!" from the group.

Gav certainly couldn't miss the sensation of Mira bristling under his arm. Little woman? Not only an insult, but the clamor of voices trying to force him to agree with them was grating on her nerves. Her arm tightened around his back, not really wanting to spend time with anyone who thought they could push him into something he didn't want to share. "Yana said something about taking me home in good time," she heard herself say. Now why had she said that? Why hadn't she mentioned Kalen, instead?

"Yana?" Dash echoed, unable to hide his displeasure at the mention of that name. "She still playing babysitter? I thought she left Rhy'Din for good."

"She's not my babysitter," Gav pointed out, bristling defensively beside Mira, his tone of voice clipped.

"No, looks like you found someone else to take care of that," Dash said, with a pointed look at Mira.

"What, exactly, crawled up your ass and died?" Mira heard herself demand, tired of the innuendo and hints and badly disguised sneering. "Aren't you capable of enjoying yourself without giving someone else grief, or are your manly parts feeling slighted because someone you're already jealous of has a girl and you don't?"

Dash's expression changed from amused to annoyed. No one talked to him that way; certainly not some snippet of a girl, but before he could say anything, Gav stepped forward, putting himself between Dash and Mira and raising a conciliatory hand.

"Just let it go, Dash. We don't want any trouble," he reasoned. He didn't want to bring up Yana's name again and use it as leverage, unless he had to. He'd just as soon break Dash's nose again, but it was five against one, and he'd promised not to get Mira into any trouble.

Mira opened her mouth, but abruptly shut it again as Gav put himself between her and the group in front of them. Evidently her back talk wasn't what was needed in this situation. So she subsided, putting her empty glass down just in case she was going to need both hands free.

"Seems to me your little fiancee thinks differently, Rowan. Too bad. We could've made a killing tonight. It's on your head," Dash said, poking a finger at Gav's chest.

"Another night, Dash. Not tonight," Gav replied, without so much as a flinch as he stood his ground.

Surprisingly, the other man seemed to back down, glancing from one to the other with narrowed eyes. "This isn't over. Not by a long shot," Dash warned him, before turning to rejoin the group. "Let's go or we're gonna be late."

Mira watched all this from her station behind Gav, biting her lip as she realized that she might just have gotten both of them in a good deal of serious trouble. Her eyes lingered on Dash and his companions as they filed away, worry creasing her brows. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said anything," she blurted to Gav as soon as she thought they were relatively alone. "I just didn't like the way he was talking to you."

"It's okay," Gav assured her, though he was trying not to look worried. They still had a long walk before they got back to the landing pad, and he didn't trust Dash as far as he could throw him. "He just thinks he can bully me into doing what he wants," he explained, though he hadn't yet told her what exactly that was just yet.

"What did he want?" she asked in concern, twisting to lay her hands at his sides as she leaned into him. She was already berating herself for the way she'd acted - if only she'd played up to the sweet, innocent little girl look she projected, maybe Gav wouldn't be so concerned, so tense. He was obviously expecting trouble now.

"He wanted me to make him some money," Gav replied, a little clipped again. "Come on," he said, taking her hand in his and leading her back through the crowd, but not in the direction of the door. "We gotta be going."

She frowned as he drew her through the crowd, not wanting to question him any further, but not really understanding what he meant by Dash wanting him to make money. Still, it seemed as though her track record for leaving the ship for any reason other than work was holding true - just like last time, it seemed to be ending in discomfort rather than pleasure.

It seemed he knew this place well enough to find another way out, though it had occurred to Gav that Dash knew that, too. Hopefully, the guy really was in too much of a hurry to get to the club and make a little money to waste time waiting around for them to emerge.

Both Gav and Mira were a little too distracted to notice that a couple of others were following them - discreetly, or as discreetly as a Wookiee can get in one case. It seemed as though someone was keeping an eye on the crew of the Nemesis.

"I'm sorry, Mira," Gav apologized, as if it was him who'd ruined her night. The night was still young though, and there were plenty of places to go, but he wasn't sure it was safe to keep her out much longer.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:27:53 AM »
"I'll take it," he told her, but made no move to take it from her shoulders just yet. He wasn't about to check it and then fight the crowd to get it back. He'd been to places like this before and knew what to expect. He knew the kinds of trouble they needed to avoid. "Stay close," he warned her again, as he started toward the door.

Clinging to his hand, despite the urge to push toward the music, Mira did exactly as she was told, proving that she wasn't quite as disobedient as she liked to make out she could be. It was a strange feeling, to be in a crowd and feel bodies pushing at hers, even if all they were doing was passing by. Mira had never been in the midst of such a dense pack of people before, a little relieved to find that the crowd was not as human dominated as she'd expected.

That was part of the danger, but also the excitement. Gav had always thought of places like this as sort of a meat market, where people came to escape the mundanity of their lives and feel free, if only for a little while. Freedom was something Gav had never worried much about. He'd managed to live his life by his own rules most of the time, even if it had meant scraping by with hardly anything to his name, but now that he'd met Mira all that had changed. Freedom had taken on a different meaning now, but tonight, it was about having fun. Once they got past the bouncer and made their way inside, Gav took hold of her hand and drew her aside so he could reclaim his jacket. There was a bar on one side of the room, crowded with people trying to procure drinks. A few tables were scattered about on the outskirts of the room, but most of the place was largely made up of a dance floor, upon which were countless writhing bodies moving with the beat of the music and the pulse of flashing lights above their heads.

It was difficult for Mira not to rush onto the dancefloor, forcing herself to be patient and stay close to Gav as he reclaimed his jacket from her shoulders. The air in here was close and sticky, fragrant with sweat and perfume, and other smells she was probably lucky not to be able to recognize. But the beat ... she could feel it vibrating through the floor, striking up through her legs, urging her to move with it and just express herself through movement. A heady change from dancing alone to the metronome BB-D2 could sometimes be persuaded to tick tock for her. When he was ready, she seized Gav's hand with a grin, pulling him out onto the dancefloor, into the crush of bodies, making use of her elbows to clear them a space they could move together in.

He'd hardly had a chance to get his jacket back on when he was being herded onto the dance floor. Though he had few close friends, he was no stranger to places like this. It got pretty lonely living and working alone all the time, and this was one place where it was hard to feel all alone. He was even a halfway decent dancer, letting the beat of the music guide his movement on the dance floor, turning a few admiring heads in his direction, while Mira did the same.

She wasn't even aware of the eyes on her as she swayed, caught up in the beat, arms high above her head. For someone who had lived most of her life hidden away in a scrapyard, there was a sensuality to her motion that could only have been innate, an invitation in the sway of her hips as she closed her eyes, surrendering to the beat and the noise and crush of the crowd around them. And at some point, she opened those eyes, looping one arm about Gav's neck to draw him close, and it was that kind of dancing Kalen had been worried about. A steady beat, like the beating of her heart and his, encouraged simulated sex on the dancefloor, and she responded to it without thinking, all her focus on Gav as they moved together.

There was a certain seduction in the way they moved together on the dance floor, his arms going around her waist as hers went around his neck. Despite the press of bodies and the murmur of voices, he somehow managed to tune it all out, his entire focus on her and the music. For a short time, at least, his whole world narrowed to just the two of them.

Seduction was a good word for it, this closeness of physicality, the trust they showed in one another as they moved together with an intimacy that declared to everyone who looked their way their status in each other's eyes. Some couples who had shared their lives for years couldn't radiate this kind of intimate territorialism, and yet for Mira and Gav, it came as easily as breathing. Her fingers curled into his hair, gripping tight, relaxing into a caress; her breath teased his lips as she rolled her hips ever closer, encouraging him without words to stake his claim as her hand came to rest over his heart. How long they danced was up for debate - it felt like a heartbeat and an eternity all at once.

So enraptured by the other, it was almost like a spell had been cast upon them. Gav was no stranger to the dancefloor, nor was he a virgin. He knew the difference between the two, but if there was a definition of "dirty dancing", this was probably it. Though Kalen and Yana were distant thoughts in his mind, he was glad neither of them was here to watch them. This was just about him and Mira, and he found himself happily trapped in whatever spell she had laid upon him.

Gav wasn't sure how much time had passed while he and Mira danced together amidst the writhing bodies and the pulsing lights. It was only when the music came to a momentary halt that Gav realized he was not only getting hot and sweaty, but thirsty, too. "Would you like to get a drink?" he asked, having to half-shout over the clamor of voices around them, including that of the DJ's coming over the speakers.

It was only when he mentioned it that Mira realized she was thirsty, her mouth dry despite the cling of her body to his. She nodded in answer to his question, reluctant to step back, enjoying the almost taboo closeness they'd indulged in for what must have been at least an hour.

The shirt beneath Gav's jacket was clinging to his skin, but he hardly seemed to notice, as he took her by the hand and lead her through the crowd back toward the bar. The roar of the crowd and the thrum of the music was a little more subdued here, but still loud enough that he had to raise his voice a little to be heard. He pushed his way through the crowd to order them each something that would quench their thirsts but wouldn't muddle their minds.

"Hey, Gav!" he heard a voice call his name and turned just as he was about to hand Mira her drink.

This time, Mira stuck close to his side not because he'd told her to, but because she was deeply reluctant to be more than about a foot away from him. Something had changed out there on that dancefloor; something primal inside her wanted to claim and be claimed, and she wasn't going to deny it some manifestation. It showed in her smiles for him, in the way her arm pressed to his, the way her fingers stroked over his own as she took the proffered drink from his grasp. She did, however, hear his name called, her head turning in that direction as she gulped from her glass, some of that heat relieved by the cool liquid in her throat.

Though only one voice called his name, Gav recognized at least five faces all standing in a small circle not far from the bar. Though he smiled amicably enough, inwardly he groaned. This was exactly what he'd been hoping to avoid. "Dash," Gav greeted what appeared to be the leader of the group, purposely putting himself between the group and Mira.

"Fancy meeting you here," the other man replied with a grin. He seemed a few years older than Gav, with a face that was neither handsome nor homely, and a crooked nose that appeared to have been broken a couple of times in the past. "We're just on our way to the club. You wanna come along? We'll make it worth your while."

Another club? Despite having been set behind Gav, Mira peered around him to look at the people he'd greeted curiously. Perhaps she should have expected to run into someone he knew, but for some reason, she really hadn't. And why wasn't he introducing her to them? Were they people he didn't want knowing her name?

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:27:05 AM »
He'd already felt some inexplicable spark between them, so her words didn't really surprise him. It was her candor that surprised him, and the odd but brief flicker of fear he felt at the center of her words. What was she afraid of, exactly? That he'd reject her? He thought the opposite was far more likely. "First of all, you're not a kid. And, yeah, we haven't known each other long, but so what? I like you, Mira, and ..." He paused a moment to frown with a little fear of his own. "I've never felt this way about anyone before."

Just like that, the fear he'd felt flickering in her was swept away, replaced with a warmth that couldn't be called love, but couldn't be explained away as simple lust, either. Her fingers tightened on his as her smile deepened. "So ... we don't need to rush each other, do we?" she asked softly. "If we're both feeling this, then ... we've got all the time we need. Right?"

So long as her brother didn't disapprove anyway, but so far, so good, and Yana seemed to be on his side. "Right," he replied, giving her hand a soft squeeze. He was feeling that inexplicable connection to her again, like they were two parts of the same soul or something, though he couldn't quite explain it.

Mira's smile was warm and bright, and entirely focused on him, warmed to her toes by that same feeling of closeness. For all she knew, this was completely normal when you felt so strongly for someone, even someone you barely knew. She blinked as the waitress brought back the credstik, biting her lip as she ducked her head, almost shy. "So, uh ... Are we gonna dance?" she asked Gav, the flirtatious tone back in her voice now she felt confident that he did like her the way she liked him.

He mirrored her smile, relieved by the warmth of her smile, like sunshine breaking through storm clouds on a rainy day. "If you still want to," he told her, "but we have to go somewhere else for that." There was obviously no dancing going on at the buffet.

"I want to," she nodded, the excitement flickering in her gaze once again as she tucked the credstik safely back in her belt, reluctantly releasing his hand to rise from her seat. "I have no idea where I'm going, though."

"It's okay. I'll lead the way," he volunteered again, moving to his feet and reaching for her hand to lead her toward the door. It was starting to get dark out already, with the stars twinkling overhead amidst Rhy'Din's twin moons and the flickering lights of ships coming and going from 'port.

"Good," she teased, walking close against his arm once again. "Because if you don't lead the way, I'm just gonna find the nearest beat and dance to it, and that could get all kinds of embarrassing for you."

"That could prove interesting," he replied with a grin. Now that it was getting dark, there was a slight chill in the air, and his gaze flickered to her bare arms, before he shrugged off his jacket to lay it across her shoulders. "I think you might like this place," he told her, as he tucked his jacket around her.

Mira's cheeky smile softened as he tucked his own jacket about her shoulders, surprised by the unexpected gesture. "Thank you," she murmured to him, resolving not to mention to Kalen that he might have been right about a jacket. "Are you gonna dance with me?"

"Why would I take you dancing and then not dance with you?" he asked, as he took her hand again and started away from the restaurant. Maybe some guys preferred to watch from the sidelines, but not him.

"I don't know," she laughed, falling into step with him easily. "Some people don't like dancing. I wouldn't know if I didn't ask, would I? It's not like I don't want to dance with you, I just didn't know if you were the dancing type. You might be one of those people who just likes to leer from a corner."

"And watch other guys drool over you? I don't think so," he said, making it clear that he was marking her as belonging to him, whether they were officially a couple or not. Of course, if she wanted attention from other guys, that was another matter, but from what she had just told him a few minutes ago, he didn't think that was the case.

"Drool?" Mira laughed once again, giggling at the thought of being dribbled on by other guys - well, dribbled on by anyone, if she was perfectly honest. "Do people really do that?"

He chuckled to realize she was taking him literally. "It's a figure of speech," he told her, though that didn't really explain what he'd meant by it. "If you want to dance with someone else, just say so, okay? But I'm gonna warn you ... Sometimes people can get a little ... rude in places like this." And it was worse if they were drunk.

"Why would I wanna dance with someone else, if you're happy to dance with me?" she asked him. The question was mostly rhetorical; she didn't need him to answer it. After all, if given the choice, he was the one she wanted to dance with for as long as he would allow her. The warning didn't go unheeded, though. "What do you mean when you say rude?"

"Some people get to drinking too much and then they get rude," he said with a light shrug. The warning didn't just apply to men but to women, too, and not only to humans either. She'd seen a little of that in the cantina a few days ago with Kalen, though he'd handled it. "Just stay close, and you'll be fine," he told her.

"Would this be one of those times when Yana said I look like a cake that has eat me written on it?" she asked him curiously. She hadn't really understood what Yana was talking about at the time, but had nodded and smiled and said all the right things, just to make sure the other woman didn't try to give her The Talk on top of everything else.

Gav actually smirked at that question, or more accurately, at Yana's way of putting it. "Something like that, yeah. It's not a bad thing, but I just want you to be aware." Not scared, but aware. Even on an innocent date, the spaceport could be a dangerous place.

"I'll try not to invite any trouble," she promised hm faithfully, hugging his arm once again. "You're allowed to be a little rude to me, though." The flash in her grin told him she'd worked out what he meant by 'rude', and there was a definite invitation in those dark eyes of hers.

He wasn't so worried about her inviting trouble as he was about trouble finding her uninvited, but there was no point in worrying about something that might not happen. He'd just have to stick to her like glue and make sure she was safe, or he'd have to answer to Kalen. "Not that kind of rude, Mira," he replied with a smile, just as he stopped in front of a large building with a bright neon sign outside that declared itself a disco. There was no mistaking it as their destination, if the low rumble of bass was any indication. "Well, this is it," he told her, guiding her around the steady stream of people coming and going from the place.

She snickered at his reply, her ears already catching the heady beat emanating from the club as they approached it. "What do we do with your jacket?" she asked, having never been anywhere like this before. "Are you going to wear it, or is there a place to put it?"

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:26:29 AM »
Gav smirked around a mouthful of noodles as he watched her maneuver the chopsticks. He'd had a feeling this would all be new to her, but he had a feeling she was up to the challenge, and the night was still young.

Not for nothing was Mira a good engineer, however. Under Gav's watchful eyes, she disemboweled a won-ton and very carefully attached it to the end of one of her chopsticks, creating for herself a rudimentary shovel with which to eat the rice. And looked very pleased with herself for doing so. He was going to have to teach her how to use the chopsticks properly at some point in the future, though - she very much doubted either of them would always want to draw the curious looks she was inviting with her ingenious behavior.

"You can use a fork, if you want, you know," he told her, leaning in a little and lowering his voice. He was equally amused as impressed with her ingenuity, but it was entirely unnecessary really.

Mouth full, she looked up at him, her eyes narrowing in comical dismay as he pointed out the fork that was available to her. Her cheeks darkened in embarrassment as she set down her chopstick shovel, picking up the fork. "Okay, that's just a little humiliating."

"I'm sorry. You were doing so well, I didn't want to spoil your fun," he said, which was half lie, half truth. He really had been amused and impressed by her ingenuity, but he felt a little guilty now for not pointing out the fork earlier.

"I was providing the side show, huh?" she countered in amusement, far more at home using the fork to shovel food into her mouth. Apparently one of the things she hadn't learned on Faraxen was table manners.

He shrugged his shoulders, not wanting to incriminate himself with an answer either way. "It takes practice," he told her, though that much was obvious. Most of the people in the place were using forks, but you didn't become an expert at using chopsticks without some trial and error. And if anyone dared make fun of her, they'd be answering to him.

"You're lucky you're so cute," she informed him, taking a sip of her water with a grin. "Otherwise, I might seriously be considering making you wear some of this. If it didn't taste so good, that is." She flashed him a warm smile. "What is this, again?"

"Puppies are cute, Mira," Gav pointed out with a chuckle, though he took it as a compliment. He glanced over at her plate again, though he already knew what he'd put on it. "Chow mein," he replied. "That one's made with chicken. You do know what chicken is, right?" he teased in return. "By the way, it's all you can eat, but don't go too crazy or you'll get a stomachache."

She stuck her tongue out at him laughingly, turning her attention to making sure she knew what everything was. From there, their conversation turned to their respective childhoods - safe topics, like what foods they'd eaten, what games they'd played, nothing to dampen the mood or bring sadness into their date. She exercised some restraint, too; after all, her goal was to dance, and it wasn't easy to do that when you were so full you couldn't move. The credstik came out of her belt to pay as she inspected the sweet cookies that were laid on the table for them. "What are these?"

He'd shared as much as he could about his childhood without relaying the sad and tragic parts. She'd suffered enough of her own tragedy to have to worry about his, and he didn't want to dampen the mood. Besides, it was all in the past and nothing could be done to change it, so there didn't seem to be much point in dwelling on it. Once dinner was over, the waitress brought over the check, along with the inevitable final treat. "Those are fortune cookies," he replied, though that was hardly an explanation. "Watch," he said, as he plucked one up and broke it open, popping half the cookie in his mouth while he unfolded the small slip of paper that had been hidden inside.

Fascinated, Mira took up her own cookie, carefully breaking it in two. The honeyed sweetness of the half she put into her mouth was a delightful surprise, but her attention was on the little slip of paper she unfolded in her hand. Her eyes scanned what was written there for a moment - then she laughed, choking on the cookie in her mouth. Groping for her water, she pushed the little fortune over to Gav, trying to laugh and cough at the same time. On the slip of paper was written the legend - In case of fire, keep calm, pay bill, and run.

Gav leaned closer to read her fortune, when she started to choke, and his expression turned from amused to alarmed. "Are you okay?" he asked, resisting the urge to get up and slap her on the back.

She nodded hurriedly, turning her head away as she managed to draw in a long breath, expelling it in one heavy cough that cleared her throat. "I'm good, I'm good," she giggled, swallowing another mouthful of her water. "Should've read this before I handed over the credstik!"

He furrowed his brows in momentary puzzlement before remembering the fortune. Reaching for it, he read what was written there with a dubious snort. "What the hells does that mean?" he asked. "Here, take a look at mine," he said, pushing his fortune across the table toward her. The little slip of paper read: Your skill will accomplish what the force of many cannot.

She blinked as she read his fortune, a half-smile touching her lips as her mind instantly guttered the innocent line of writing. She wasn't going to tell him why she was blushing this time, though. "Maybe people here know about the Force more than they admit to."

"I'm not sure it means that kind of Force, Mira," Gav replied, a little perplexed by his fortune, though he knew it was just for fun and didn't really mean anything. "Anyway, it's just a silly fortune cookie. I could have just as easily got yours." Which meant she'd have gotten his.

"So why did we get a spare?" she asked, nodding to the third cookie as yet untouched between them. "Is it in case you get a fortune you don't like and want to change it?"

"Uh," Gav muttered with a thoughtful glance to the third cookie he had failed to notice until she'd pointed it out just now. "I don't know. Maybe it's a mutual fortune. Go ahead and read it."

Biting her lip expectantly, Mira gently broke open the cookie, offering him one half before unfolding the paper slip inside. What was written there made her smile. "Seems like it is pretty mutual, to me," she said, turning it so he could read what was written - There is always a way, if you are committed.

His eyes moved over what was written there before lifting his gaze to her with a questioning look on his face. "What do you think that means?" he asked, wondering what she made of it and whether she was thinking along the same lines that he was.

"I think it means whatever you want it to mean," she shrugged, just a little coy but for the warm smile that was pointed very firmly in his direction. "But I know what I want it to mean. Just a little .... I dunno, shy of saying it out loud."

"There's no one here but us, Mira." Or at least, no Kalen or Yana to overhear them, just a bunch of strangers who couldn't care less. He reached across the table to tangle his fingers with hers and offer a little encouragement, though he wasn't quite sure what she was thinking.

She sighed softly, tangling her own fingers with his as she held his gaze, her voice softening. "I know what I want," she said quietly. "I know I'm just a kid and people aren't supposed to make decisions like this in just a couple of days, but ... I want you, Gav. In my life, working with me, living with me, being part of all the little moments that make up every day. And I know it's not romantic or maybe not even appropriate for me to feel this way about you, but that's the truth. So that's me putting it out there." And for just a moment, he might have felt the flicker of her very real trepidation at laying this wish out in the open for him to see and hear.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:25:32 AM »
"They're just jealous 'cause you're the prettiest girl in the room," he whispered back, nodding a greeting to the hostess, who led them to a booth and hurried off to fetch a couple of glasses of water. "Ever had Chinese?" he asked, assuming she hadn't.

She snorted, not believing that compliment for a second, but it brought the smile back to her face. "Wh-what's Chinese?" she asked, answering his question with her own. "It sounds like a language, like Huttese, you know?"

He laughed at the comparison. "No, it's nothing like that. It's Terran cuisine from the Sol system on the other side of the multiverse," he explained, which wasn't much of an explanation at all. A good part of Rhy'Din's population was made up of former Terrans, though not as much here at the 'port as in the old city.

"Okay," she said slowly, looking around with curious eyes. "A couple of questions ... where's Sol, and what's a Terran?" She giggled, turning her eyes back to Gav with inquisitive brightness.

"Never mind. I'll explain later. For now, just trust me," he said with that boyish grin of his. "Please tell me you're not a vegetarian," he said, though there were enough choices here to please just about everyone.

The look on her face was answer enough, utterly bemused by a word she'd never come across before. "What's a vegetarian? Sounds kinda gross." She flicked her hair back over her shoulder. "I know I must've had, you know, real food on Ena'tar, but on Faraxen, there was only ration packs."

He knew she'd eaten some of what passed for Kalen's cooking already and probably some takeout, but he didn't really know yet what she liked. Maybe she didn't either. "The beauty of Rhy'Din is the diversity of its culture. You can get just about anything you want here." He slid out of the booth and offered her a hand. "Come on. Let me show you."

She slipped her hand into his, letting him pull her up out of her seat in whichever direction he chose. "Anything?" she asked hopefully, biting her lip. "So ... so I could find out how to make spiceloaf here? And get the right ingredients for it, too?"

"Anything," he confirmed, though the rarer the ingredients or item, the higher the cost. And he just happened to be a scavenger, able to find a way to procure even the most difficult to find items for the right price. He led her over to a long table filled with countless mouth-watering dishes she had probably never seen or tasted before. Each dish had a little label in front of it written in Common that declared what it was called, but not much information about its ingredients. He let go of her hand to grab two plates, handing her one. "What would you like to try first?"

"Uh ..." She took the plate from his hand, staring in wide-eyed wonder at the loaded table in front of her. There was more food there than she'd seen in her entire lifetime. "Are those noodles?" she asked, pointing to the different varieties of chow mein. "What's in them?"

"Yes, they're noodles," he replied, taking a closer look. Or a type of noodle, anyway. He had his own favorites, of course, but the buffet was a treat, even for him. He rarely had the creds to enjoy a place like this, but tonight's dinner was on her brother. "Chicken, pork, shrimp," he said, pointing to each variety in turn. The noodles and vegetables were the same; it was the type of meat you added to them that was different.

She blinked, looking at him in confusion. "I didn't understand any of that," she pointed out in amusement. "What's chicken-pork-shrimp?" Her utter lack of understanding of what she was looking at was going to cause congestion at the buffet if it went on for too long.

Once again, he asked with a smile on his face, "Do you trust me?" Realizing all of this was far too new to her for her to choose for herself, he decided to take matters into his own hands, so long as she let him.

She tilted her head toward him with a silly smile on her face. "Do you want me to prove it this time, or just say yes?" she countered impishly. "You don't seem to believe me when I tell you I trust you."

"I'm not sure how you're going to prove it," he said, scooping up some of the chicken chow mein mixture and ladle it onto her plate before the line got too long and people started complaining.

"I could faint," she offered, inching along the line of the table with him as he filled both their plates. "If you caught me, that'd prove I was right to trust you." She flashed him a rather wicked little grin - she probably wasn't above faking a faint just to make him jump.

"And I would drop the plates and make a scene," he countered, hoping she didn't chose to faint right there and then, or it would be a while before they got to eat their dinner. He moved along farther down the line, choosing one thing or another and adding them to his or her plate. He hoped he was making the right choices for her, but this was as much about exploration as about filling her stomach.

She giggled, inspecting everything that went on her plate as they moved along. She didn't recognize any of it, but that hardly put her off. The smells rising from the mound of food on her plate were more than enough to convince her that whatever it was, it was good.

By the time they got back to their table, there were two glasses of ice water waiting for them with a slice of lemon floating in each glass, and two pairs of chopsticks. Gav reclaimed his seat, his stomach loudly reminding him how hungry he was. "Now, here's the tricky part," he told her, unwrapping one set of chopsticks and reaching across the table to put them in her hand and arrange her fingers around them.

"What's tricky about eat- ... what are you doing?" She looked down at her hand, where he was manipulating her fingers about two lengths of seemingly important wood. Dark eyes flickered back to his suspiciously. "This is a joke, right? You use little sticks to eat with here?"

"Mmhm," he replied unhelpfully, that smirk still on his face. This should prove interesting. "Watch the master," he told her, taking up his own chopsticks and manipulating them so that he could very carefully wedge a slice of chicken between them before bringing it to his mouth. He didn't bother to tell her that if she failed to master the chopsticks, there were forks handy.

She watched him closely, still not entirely sure he wasn't pulling her leg with this. It looked reasonably easy, but Mira was hungry. Instead of even trying, she removed one of the sticks from her hand, and stabbed the other one into a piece of pork on her plate, raising it to her mouth with a cheeky grin. "Improved it."

Gav chuckled around a mouthful of chow mein, admiring her tenacity and making no attempt at correcting her. They were both victims of circumstance, forced to adapt to their surroundings in order to survive. Even at a Chinese buffet, that skill didn't fail her.

Even when presented with the challenge of noodles, Mira used a little of her ingenuity to get around the problem of trying to use the chopsticks the way they were intended to be used. She managed to wind some around one of the sticks, ramming the mouthful past her lips before it slid off. Rice, however ... that was going to be a real challenge.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:24:45 AM »
"Are we still talking about the trip or something else?" he asked, matching her smile with one of his own. "So, what kind of dancing do you like to do?" he asked, changing the subject as they moved farther away from the landing pads and closer to the hum of the city.

She giggled, bumping his arm with her own as she swayed toward him, happy he was back to his usual self after one short dive into that strange dissatisfaction with himself. "I like music with a beat," she told him. "Something that's kind of heavy, like a heartbeat, you know? I never really learned how to dance. Kalen says I just shake my booty, whatever that means."

Gav snorted, mostly at her brother's description of her dancing. "Yeah, well, that is dancing to most people," he told her, almost relieved that she wasn't familiar with ballroom dancing or anything else that required specific instruction. "Have you ever been dancing before?" he asked, knowing a little about her past, but not everything.

She shook her head, her eyes alight with excitement for the evening ahead. It didn't matter to her whether they stayed out late, or just spent a few hours away from the ship; she was alone with Gav, and he was going to take her somewhere they could have fun together. That was worth all the grumps back on the ship. "I wasn't allowed out of the scrapyard on Faraxen," she shrugged. "There wasn't really anywhere to go."

"But what about before that?" he asked, though she was probably far too young then to have done anything much. Without much warning, he led her toward a walkway that moved of its own accord and that led to the more affluent area of the spaceport.

"Before that, I was ... six," she told him with a grin. "So unless you count dancing in the shower with my mom, this is a first for me. Hey, you're taking my virginity! Kinda." She snickered, winking up at him even as he tugged her onto a walkway that seemed to lead to a cleaner part of the 'port that she hadn't seen before.

He couldn't help but laugh at the way she'd phrased that, a mischievous grin crossing his face. "Just don't let your brother know," he warned, though her virginity was hardly in peril from him at the moment - at least, not until she turned eighteen and even then, only with her permission.

Giggling, Mira skipped to keep up with him. "My lips are sealed," she promised him with a cheerful cast to her voice. "Besides, I sorta already made a decision about my real virginity, and that's definitely going to need a real bed, so I guess I'm saving up for a place."

"Oh, really? Anything I should know?" he asked, with a teasing gleam in his eyes. He had a feeling she was talking about him, and though he didn't really want to assume, he couldn't help teasing her about it a little. Then again, summer was still a few months away, and anything could happen between now and then. She could meet someone else, for one - someone she liked better - but he didn't want to think about that.

She eyed him teasingly in return. "Hmm ... No, I think you're still a flight risk," she snickered mischievously, squeezing his hand as she laughed and looked around them. The affluent end of the Spaceport was a world away from anything she could ever recall seeing before. "Where are we going?"

"To a place I know," he told her vaguely. "It's not far." When you were walking on a moving sidewalk, you could walk for miles and never feel like you went anywhere.

"You know a lot of places," she pointed out in amusement. "We're not going to a strip club or anything like that, are we? Because this dress is not made for being taken off in the company of more than one person, and definitely not for gyrating on a pole."

Gav arched a brow. "You know a lot for being raised on a backwater world like Faraxen," he countered. Or maybe she didn't. Maybe she only knew what she'd heard from the other people who'd lived at the scrapyard. "Do you trust me?" he asked, already knowing the answer to that question, but wanting to make a point.

She grimaced. "I have ears," she pointed out with a faint shrug. "And I was the only female working that yard. It doesn't take much to learn to pay attention when the men think you're not listening - that's how I knew to stay clear of them." His question made her smile as she eyed him teasingly. "Yeah, I trust you."

"I wish I'd been there," he said, frowning, but then if he'd been there, he'd have made sure she wasn't. He'd have found a way to get her out of there, or so he hoped. He fell silent as they reached their destination. There wasn't much he could do about the past, but he sure as hell could do something about the future.

Mira smiled, squeezing his hand. She knew what he was thinking, in a strange sort of way. She knew he felt protective of her, but it was a different kind of feeling to knowing her brother felt that way. It was almost as though she felt what he was feeling, just for a moment. "I wish you had been, too," she murmured softly. "Although we might have been married by now if you were."

He wasn't sure what he was feeling, but for a single brief moment, he felt some kind of connection to her that he couldn't explain - a connection he'd never felt before. But the feeling didn't last, and faded too quickly for him to put a finger on it. He furrowed his brows at her, looking a little confused. "I thought you wanted to wait until you're eighteen," he said. No, he hadn't and wasn't proposing marriage, though at that moment, he couldn't really see himself with anyone but her.

"Well, the whole fornication thing is kind of illegal here until I'm eighteen," she pointed out with a grin. "And you've got a thing about doing illegal things." Yes, she was teasing him, but in a way, she wasn't. She hadn't quite admitted to being a virgin, though she had experience in everything up to the point of that. "Of course, it wouldn't be illegal if we were married."

"Nothing is illegal, Mira," he pointed out, not for the first time. Morally and ethically frowned upon maybe, but not technically illegal. This was Rhy'Din, and even at the Spaceport, there were few real rules. In a place where slavery and smuggling, for example, were commonplace, it was hardly likely anyone was going to arrest them. "Are you proposing?" he teased with a smirk, as he stopped just outside a place with a sign that declared itself "Soon Fatt Chinese".

"Oh? So you wouldn't have any objection if I dragged you into the nearest motel and demanded that you deflower me?" she asked in amusement, knowing perfectly well that he would have a few objections to that scenario. She giggled, hugging his arm as he teased her. "Isn't the man supposed to propose?" The scents mingling from the place they'd stopped beside, however, caught her attention, her stomach rumbling loudly. "Oh, wow ... please tell me that's food."

"I already told you, you're just gonna have to wait until you're eighteen," he said, playfully tweaking her nose before leaning close enough to whisper in her ear, "It's food." He pushed the door open to let her inside, allowing her to step in before him and experience first hand the smells that were making both their stomachs growl. He had a feeling this was going to be all new to her. He just hoped she enjoyed it.

He was right. Mira had never smelled anything like this, never seen a place like this before. Everything was new, and despite her eager curiosity, she was a little afraid of all the unfamiliar that surrounded her. There was more than one reason she was clinging to his arm, after all. His playful tease made her laugh as he ushered her inside, blushing as eyes turned toward them at the merry sound. "People are staring," she whispered back to him uncertainly.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:23:58 AM »
Kalen rolled his eyes at the hug and the words of affection, but it was hard to hide the fact that he was enjoying his role as big brother, not to mention captain and lifemate. It had only been a few weeks since Yana had come back for him after abandoning him to prison, and yet, during that time, his whole life had changed. "And have fun!" he added, calling after his sister as she skipped off to find Gav. "I really am getting too soft," he grumbled to himself under his breath.

Yana caught his eye, looking down significantly into his lap. "Not from where I'm sitting."

"I can still hear you, you know!" Mira called back along the corridor, laughing to herself as she buzzed Gav's door excitedly.

Kalen smiled as she caught his eye and was about to reply when he heard Mira's voice call back at them, and he snorted in response. "We are going to need another ship," he said, just loud enough for Yana to hear him. Or a place of their own maybe.

She laughed. "Let's get a decent reputation first, shall we? C'mon ... food." He wasn't getting any kind of distraction until after she'd eaten; Yana had her priorities in order, after all.

Neither of them were getting any distractions until after Mira and Gav left, that much was certain. "Yes, ma'am," he replied, offering up a mock salute that mirrored the one his sister had just given him.

As Yana and Kalen headed into the galley, Mira leaned against the wall outside Gav's door, waiting patiently for him to make his appearance. She had no intention of wearing a jacket - she planned on dancing, and dancing would be far too hot and stuffy if she had to wear a jacket over the sleeveless dress that adorned her slender frame. The credstik was already tucked securely into her belt; one hand twisting a lock of her hair around her finger as she waited for her date to emerge.

It wasn't just about covering up, but about not catching a chill, but before Kalen could remind his sister again about the practicality of a jacket, Yana had herded him away toward the galley. He was heard grumbling under his breath as he was herded away, but his words were too quiet to be heard beyond Yana.

Behind the door to Gav's quarters, he was trying to make himself look presentable and coming up short. He didn't have a lot of clothes to choose from that might be appropriate for what amounted to a date, but in the end, he cleaned up pretty well, choosing a casual jacket over a button-up shirt and a clean pair of jeans. It was his one and only dress shirt and jacket, which he hung onto for special occasions like weddings and funerals ... and apparently, the occasional date.

When he finally emerged, the first thing he did was look over his date, his expression betraying his approval. "Wow, Mira. You look ..." How did she look? Pretty? Adorable? Hot?

"I know, right?" Mira laughed. "I look like a girl for once." She caught his hand, pulling him toward the ramp and off the ship, yelling a goodnight back to Kalen and Yana. "You look pretty darn good yourself," she told Gav with a smile. "And you're leading the way, because I really don't know where I'm going around here yet."

"This is my only clean shirt," he replied with a chuckle as she caught his hand and tugged him off the ship. "Where do you want to go?" he asked. He knew she wanted to go dancing, but what kind of dancing? Did she want to grab a bite to eat first? He needed a little more information.

"I wanna dance, but I guess we should eat something first," she admitted, switching her hand in his to pull his arm over her shoulders as they walked away from the Landing Pad. "Seriously, this is better than I thought I'd get. Time alone with you? I feel like I should buy Kalen a fruit basket or something."

"He only said yes because of Yana," Gav blurted without thinking. Maybe that wasn't a fair estimation of the man, but that was just the feeling he got. He knew if it wasn't for Yana, he probably wouldn't have been invited to be part of this operation.

Wrapping her other arm around his back, Mira tilted her head to look up at him curiously. "Wow, you really don't think much of yourself at all, do you?" she said in some amazement. "Yeah, Yana bullies him a lot, but he didn't have to give in. And besides, he's the one who said I could only go out if you came with me."

He frowned thoughtfully down at her, one arm wound around her shoulders as they strolled away from the landing pad. "It doesn't much matter what I think. Your brother's the captain of the ship," Gav pointed out, as if to say he was the boss. Gav knew he was only there because of Yana and that he still had to prove his worth to Kalen. Mira, though, was another matter.

"It matters what you think," she argued with a faint frown. "I like you, Gav. I don't like the idea that you think so little of yourself. You've got so much going for you, you should be proud of the man you are. I would be, if I was you."

"It's not that, Mira," Gav said, coming to a stop and turning to face her. "I'm nobody. I grew up on the street. I'm just another one of Rhy'Din's many orphans. Do you remember what I told you about my dream to travel the stars? Do you know why I haven't? It's not because I haven't had the chance. It's because I'm afraid to. Sure, I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk?" he asked, unsure if she'd understand that turn of a phrase, but not knowing any other way to put it.

"But that's why you're coming with us, isn't it?" she countered, looking up at him with clear dark eyes that either saw too little or too much, her hands resting against his hips as she held his gaze. "To prove that you can, and not for anyone but yourself. I believe in you. I know it probably doesn't mean anything, but it's true. You have this chance. Don't let Kalen's insecurities feed yours."

"Maybe you're right, Mira," Gav admitted with a frown. Maybe he was doing this to prove to himself that he could, but there was more to it than just that. "But I'm not just doing this for me. I'm doing it for you, too. To keep you safe."

Her smile was soft as he admitted that aloud. She'd suspected that might be the case when he had said that if she was going, he was going, too, but it was nice to hear him actually say it. "So keep me safe," she said quietly. "I'll try not to make it too hard for you."

He mirrored her smile, a little amused by her response, though he was unsure exactly what she meant by it. "And just how are you gonna do that?" he asked, almost challenging her statement.

She sighed, rolling her eyes. "By doing what I'm told?" she suggested. There was a teasing, impish quirk to her expression that suggested she wasn't the sort to blindly obey orders, but for him, she just might break the habit of a lifetime.

"We're just going along as mechs anyway, aren't we?" Gav asked, falling back into step beside her and linking his fingers with hers. He had a pretty good idea where he was going to take her tonight, and it might be amusing to see how she dealt with it.

"And extra muscle for loading and unloading," she nodded with a faint smile, glancing down at their joined hands. The easy way he took her hand and talked with her made her feel warm inside; no need for a jacket when Gav was more than capable of making her hot and bothered just by smiling at her. "I do solemnly swear not to wander off if I get bored waiting?"

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:22:56 AM »
He was rewarded for his unexpected retreat with a whoop from Mira. The girl launched herself off the couch straight into her brother's lap, hugging her arms around his shoulders as she smothered his face in kisses. "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

It wasn't the first time she'd hugged him, but Kalen seemed just as overwhelmed by her show of gratitude as he had the first time. "Okay, enough already!" he objected, with a faint chuckle and the merest hint of a blush, awkwardly prying her arms away from his shoulders. "Just ... be careful," he warned, giving Gav a pointed look that wordlessly made him responsible for Mira's safety.

Pried loose, Mira grinned, jumping up onto her feet. "I gotta change!" She whirled around in an excitable circle and scurried into her cabin.

Yana laughed, shaking her head. Maybe she should distract Kalen before his little sister came back out of there.

If Kalen seemed a little overwhelmed by his sister's excitement, it was nothing compared to Gav. For perhaps the first time since he'd joined the little group, he looked dumbfounded, only in part due to Mira's enthusiasm. "I, uh ... suppose I should change, too," he mused aloud, grateful Yana had insisted on him picking up some of his personal effects.

Yana's laughter only grew louder as she let her head fall back. "Oh, this is priceless," she crowed in amusement, tipping her head onto Kalen's shoulder. "I told you she liked you." She flashed Kalen a warm smile, knowing perfectly well that Mira's excitement was as much to do with him trusting Gav to take her out as it was with her going out at all.

Gav wandered away to find his own quarters and change into something a little more appropriate for dancing than coveralls, missing Kalen's reply.

"Me or him?" Kalen asked, with a frown and a nod of his head to the recently departed Gav.

"You." Yana's smile warmed as she twisted her fingers between his. "Don't look so grumpy. Gav's not going to hurt her, or let anyone else hurt her. She wants to go out and enjoy herself, for possibly the first time in her life, so let her. And we get the evening to ourselves."

"I ..." Kalen opened his mouth to point out that he'd already given Mira permission to go out when he changed his mind and said something else. "I'm not her father," he pointed out instead, looking a little perplexed. He was her only living relative, though, and her guardian by default.

"No, but you are her brother," Yana pointed out. "She wants you to approve of her, Kay, it's obvious. But she doesn't want to compromise who she is - she wants you to approve of her just as she is, and every time you give her permission for something, or praise her for what she's done, she gets a little more confident in her relationship with you. None of us know how to be a normal family; this is all just finding our own path together."

"Why wouldn't I approve of her?" he asked, brows furrowed in further confusion. Who was he to approve or disapprove of her? He was her brother, and even though he hardly knew her yet, he already loved her. Of course, he approved of her. He just didn't want her shaking her stuff in front of an audience.

"Kay, whatever else she is, she's a young woman who wants to go out and have some fun," his lover pointed out to him fondly. "Obviously if you go with her, you'll spend the whole time glaring at anyone who so much as looks at her, and she'll spend the whole time thinking you disapprove of her in every way. Trust me, this is the best option for all our sakes, and I guarantee that Gav will bring her home safe."

She was asking him to put his trust in someone he hardly knew, knowing how hard it was for Kalen to trust. Inviting Gav along to help with the job was one thing; trusting him with his sister was another, and yet, what choice did he have? He'd noticed the way the two of them looked at each other, and it wasn't hard to figure out that they were feeling an attraction to each other. He wasn't quite sure how he felt about that. He wanted to protect his sister, but he didn't want to make a prisoner of her. "If anything happens to her, I'm holding him responsible," he grumbled.

"So am I," Yana promised him. To be fair, while Gav was rightfully wary of pissing off Kalen, he'd experienced Yana's temper. Even if he wasn't as protective over Mira as the disgruntled big brother was, he'd never let anything happen to her in the knowledge that Yana would have to be pried off what was left of him if Mira got so much as a hang-nail.

The door to Mira's room opened a crack. "Can I have some money, or is this a free night out kind of thing?"

Knowing he'd already lost the argument, there wasn't much point in arguing it further. "I have some creds," Kalen replied upon hearing Mira's voice, his gaze never leaving Yana's. "Take a comm link with you, too," he added. Just in case. One could never be too careful, after all.

"I will!" The door slid shut again.

Yana grinned at Kalen, leaning over to kiss him affectionately. "I'm so proud of you," she praised him, only a little teasing.

"Because I'm a pushover?" he asked, the frown softening a little, mostly because of her kiss. Hopefully she planned on distracting him, because he wasn't going to be able to sleep until his sister was back safely.

"No comment," she teased laughingly, nipping the end of his nose. "You need to feed me, though. And maybe make me something to eat, too."

Behind them, Mira made a vaguely disgusted noise. "Can you guys not do the sexy talk when I'm right here?"

"Sexy talk?" Kalen murmured in echo of his sister's words, his brows furrowing deeper. "We are talking about supper," he pointed out. Though he'd recognized the double meaning in Yana's words, his sister didn't need to know that. "You should eat, too," he said, as he pulled a credstik out of his pocket and tossed it across the table toward her. "There should be enough there for dinner and dancing. Don't be too late. We have a lot of work to do in the morning." He looked her over, biting his tongue at what he thought of her outfit. She was looking much too cute and much too young. "And wear a jacket," he added, for good measure. There wasn't much softness in his voice, but he wouldn't have lectured her if he didn't care about her.

Catching up the credstik, Mira rounded the table and the couch to wrap her arms about her big brother from behind and give him a loud kiss to the cheek. "I love my big brother," she declared fondly, not saying a yes or a no to the comment on wearing a jacket. "I promise I will be fully fit for work in the morning, captain." She saluted, skipping off along the corridor to bully Gav into hurrying up.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:21:45 AM »
"Yeah, but what does that mean?" she asked curiously. "Is it, like, one person you have to have sex with every day until you die, or until you have babies, or whatever, or is it, like, a choice you make? I mean, I've heard about something called a soulmate, and some poodoo about love at first sight, but everyone says it like I'm supposed to already know what it means."

Gav chuckled at something she'd said. "More like lust at first sight. I'm pretty sure love comes later," he told her, trying not to sound too cynical about it. He'd never been in love, but he had been in lust a time or two. It was too soon to tell what was going on between him and Mira, and he didn't want to think too hard on that until summer, when she turned eighteen. "It means ..." he started, over the sound of foam filling the void between the panels, "... that's the person you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with."

"So it's a choice, then?" She tilted her head to glance over at him. "The way people talk about it, it's like some kind of influence on your brain that you can't stop from happening. It didn't sound very ... romantic."

"I don't think it's your brain so much as your heart," Gav tried to explain without making things sound too complicated. "It's when two people care about each other, like your brother and Yana do." No, he hadn't needed anyone to tell him that. He could see it with his own eyes, and he knew Yana better than anyone.

"Like I care about you?" It was innocently offered, but Mira couldn't possibly know what she was walking the edges of here. All she really knew was that Gav intrigued and delighted her, and she wanted to know more about him, in every sense. She pulled her attachment from the panel she was working on, peering into the hole to be certain the space was filled.

"Me?" Gav echoed, his gaze swinging toward her with obvious surprise written all over his face. "You care about me?" he asked, as if the very thought was unbelievable. "You're just teasing me now," he told her, going back to work. He wasn't sure why it was so hard to believe when he could have said the same about her.

She stared at him, wide-eyed behind her goggles. "Did I say something wrong?" she asked in concern, not sure where she'd misstepped this time. The last 24 hours had definitely made her wary of what she was saying, but it seemed as though she was still putting her foot in her mouth, even when she tried not to.

"You said you care about me," Gav echoed her own words back at her, narrowing his eyes as he realized maybe she wasn't just teasing, and yet, she hardly knew him. They'd shared something on the roof of the ship the previous night, though - memories and secrets and dreams. It was more than he'd shared with anyone in all his life, and that included Yana. He didn't ask then if she was teasing or if she'd meant what she said. He only studied her a moment, before deciding she deserved an honest reply. "I care about you, too."

She bit her lip, leaning against the panel she was working on as she considered him thoughtfully. "Then ... why is it wrong for me to say I care about you, but not wrong for you to say you care about me?" It was going to take a while for Mira to grasp certain fundamentals about social interaction, and with only the people on this ship to learn from, those fundamentals might take a small eternity to learn.

"It's not wrong," Gav replied, chewing at his lip while he contemplated again. It should have been her brother explaining this to her, or her mother or father, but it seemed the task had fallen to him instead. "It's just ... we hardly know each other," he pointed out. Was this the start of a beautiful friendship, as people liked to say, or was it the start of something more?

"Do you have to know someone really well to care about them?" she asked, that curiosity of hers getting the better of her as she moved onto the last panel in the cabin. "I care about you. It's part of what makes me want to know you better. It's not like I'm just going to stop caring in a snap just because maybe we don't have the same opinions about some things, is it?"

Why did she have to ask such hard questions? Questions he wasn't quite sure he had the answers to. "I don't know. I guess not," he said, with a shrug of his shoulders as he finished up with his side of the room. "I'm probably not the best person to ask, Mira. I don't have that many friends."

"You've got me." She flashed him a sweet smile, turning her attention to her work as she filled the last section of bulkhead with the foam that would hopefully keep Kalen and Yana's nighttime antics private from now on.

"That makes two of us, I guess," he offered in return with a smile of his own, finding himself glad to have a friend such as her. He'd never met anyone like her really. She was smart and pretty, and despite everything she'd been through, she still seemed optimistic about life and the world around her, not too unlike himself. They were survivors, and there wasn't any guilt in that.

Survivors or not, they had a lot of work to do, and even when Kalen and Yana returned and joined in, the end of the day saw only the cargo lift and sublight compressors fully operational. BB-D2's analysis and diagnostic would have to wait until tomorrow to be looked over, and the little droid was already powered down and charging by the time Mira thumped down into a seat in the lounge.

"Please tell me we're going out this evening," she prayed. Three days on the ship was making her a little stir-crazy, despite the sheer amount of work that needed doing.

Kalen was in no hurry to "go out", as his sister put it. Not only was there too much to do to get ready for the trip, but he and Yana had been out all day, and he was looking forward to relaxing at least a little bit before they started all over in the morning. The look on his face said as much, but before he could respond, Gav beat him to it.

"Where do you want to go?" he asked, curiously.

Mira lifted her head, surprised to even be asked. "I want to dance, but I know someone doesn't want me to," she told Gav, though the tease was aimed squarely at her brother. And it was a tease - she was smiling, feeling good about the productive day, and not ready to settle in and relax this evening.

Yana chuckled to herself, privately predicting which way this conversation was going to go.

"I didn't want you to dance at the cantina with a bunch of strangers watching," Kalen pointed out, in his defense. It wasn't so much that he didn't want his sister to dance, as he didn't want her a bunch of strange men drooling at her.

"So what's your compromise?" Mira asked her brother. "I can dance, but only so long as I do it on my own in a locked room?"

Yana snorted with laughter, leaning over to murmur into Kalen's ear. "You're going to lose this," she warned her lover. "Give in gracefully, and tell her she's not allowed to dance unless Gav's with her."

Kalen narrowed his eyes at Yana momentarily as she whispered in his ear. For one, he'd already thought of that, and two, he didn't seem to be winning any arguments lately. How had the ship's captain lost control of his crew? But he knew the answer to that already - it was because his crew was made up of his lover, his sister, and his lover's best friend who obviously wanted to his sister's boyfriend. Kalen sighed, already defeated. "Okay, you can go, but only if you take Gav with you," he told Mira, wondering when he'd become her father figure.

Undetectable / Re: A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:20:56 AM »
As silly as it seemed, it wasn't just about insulating those quarters against sound, but about making them a more comfortable place where Kalen and Yana could enjoy some modicum of privacy on a ship where they were all practically living on top of each other. "You know, we should really insulate all the crew quarters," Gav suggested after they'd been at it for a while and had decided to take a short break.

Passing over a cup of water to him, Mira chuckled. "Probably," she admitted, perched on the edge of the wide, bare sleeping bunk. "I guess it depends how fast we get this done. I think we should only have the 'fresher to do once we get that bulkhead done, though." She smiled at him. "Impatient for privacy?"

"Aren't you?" he asked as he reached for the cup of water. "It's a small ship, Mira. You'd be surprised how sound travels on a ship this size," he said, though she probably wouldn't be, considering she'd been the one to suggest this project. "I'm a bit of an insomniac," he admitted, once he'd taken a gulp of the water. "You don't really want to hear me wandering around at night, do you?"

"I'd rather hear you wandering and join you, than not be able to sleep because you might be out there all alone and I can't hear you," she pointed out. "It'd be different if we were sharing a bunk, but it's not really a priority job right now. I'm not against proofing the other cabins, but we've only got a week to get Nemesis fit for deep space, hyperspeed travel."

He looked a little surprised at her response, and a little touched by the implied caring, but she had a point. "Okay, something to add to the B list then," he admitted. The priority, after all, was getting the ship ready for the trip to Illium.

"Sounds like a plan," she agreed in amusement. "Anyway, we don't technically need that kind of privacy until summer." She grinned at him cheekily, taking a long gulp from her own cup. The only problem with working on the ship was the lack of windows - Nemesis had not been built for anyone to be able to look out through portholes on a journey.

There was the mention of her birthday again and the implication that things might become more intimate between them once she had reached the age of legal maturity, as so deemed by some arbitrary rule he wasn't even sure existed on Rhy'Din. "We don't have to live on board ship when we're in 'port, you know," he pointed out. Especially once they were finished with this job and had a little money to spend.

At this, Mira looked a little confused. "Where do people live when they don't live on a ship?" she asked, betraying just how little she knew of typical life. After all, she'd told him she'd been small when she'd been taken from her mother, and since then, she'd slept in an engine exhaust. This ship was the first time she'd had a bed, a personal space, since she was six years old.

He thought for a minute that maybe she was pulling his leg, and then he remember what she'd told him of her past and realized she was serious. "I thought your brother gave you a tour of the 'port," he said, wondering just where Kalen had taken her and what he'd told her.

She shrugged. "We went to a market, and a couple of shops," she offered. "Oh, and a place where there was dancing! But he didn't let me dance." She considered this. "Actually, we didn't see much. I kinda pissed him off, so we came back here."

He chuckled at her explanation, not really all that surprised. Kalen didn't seem to be the kind of guy that would be hard to piss off. "Mira, there's a whole world of possibilities out there. A whole multi-verse really, but even if you just stay in 'port, there are lots of places to live. Houses, apartments ... It's up to you, really." He didn't make mention of where he was living, but even with his meager means, there was a place he called home.

"Really?" Her face lit up with a curious smile. "Do you think you could show me sometime? I mean, that is ... do people let strangers into their places to look around? They probably don't, do they? They probably have doors and locks and things to keep people out."

"Yes, well ... no," he stammered. "I mean, people don't usually let strangers into their homes without a reason, but if you want a place of your own, we can look around for one when we get back." Or maybe even a place they could share, but he thought he was probably getting a little too much ahead of himself there.

"Oh, that's a nice dream," she smiled fondly, leaning back against the bulkhead. "It'd be kind of lonely all on my own, though." She snorted with laughter. "I get nightmares in the dark - imagine how much worse they'd be if I couldn't hear anyone else moving around or breathing when I woke up!"

Gav considered a moment. He wasn't sure what her brother had planned for the future, but Gav already had a place of his own, albeit kind of shabby. Then again, if Gav become a full partner on a long-term basis, he might be able to afford a better place. Another thought came to mind, though he didn't think Kalen would approve. "We could get a place together, become roommates," he suggested tentatively, despite what her brother might think of that arrangement.

"Really?" Just going by the way Mira's face lit up in a bright smile at his suggestion was enough to assure him that even if Kalen did have a problem with it, he'd lose the argument. "I think I'd like that. I, uh ... It's so weird. I've been all alone for ten years, but there were always people around, you know? I don't know if I can sleep without being able to hear people around me."

"Yeah, really," he replied with a grin, though he knew Kalen would have a problem with it. What big brother wouldn't? Even if he promised his intentions were honorable ones, her brother was unlikely to believe him. And yet, if he had Yana and Mira on his side, it was three against one - if Yana was on his side, that is. "But your brother might have other plans," he pointed out.

"I'm not living with the Boink Twins," she said absolutely seriously, pulling herself onto her feet to pick up her tools again. The sooner this job was done, the sooner they could move onto the less boring, more challenging aspects of giving the ship her overhaul. "Yana seems like the kind of person who forgets basic things, like clothes, behind a locked door."

"I'm sure Kalen doesn't mind that," Gav murmured half under his breath. When was the last time he'd gotten laid, anyway? Funny how he couldn't remember. "BB says they're lifemates," he pointed out, having overheard that at least once or twice since Yana had brought him here. If that was true, then there was a lot more going on between Kalen and Yana than mere "boinking".

Pulling a rivet out of her way, Mira inserted the attachment and began to pump the insulating foam behind the panel in front of her. "I don't really know what that means," she admitted with a half-shrug. "I mean, I understand all the words, but I don't get what a lifemate is."

The break over, it was time to get back to work, but nothing was keeping them from amicably talking while they did so. Gav mirrored Mira's action at an adjacent wall, insulating the captain's quarters against noise and cold. "A lifemate is just that," he explained. "Someone you are mated to for life." It sounded like a simple enough concept to understand.

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