Author Topic: A Day In The Life  (Read 1596 times)

Mira Dain

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A Day In The Life
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:14:09 AM »
It had been hours since Gav had seen Mira. Not since she mumbled something about having work to do, taken her share of food, and disappeared into the bowels of the ship somewhere without inviting him to come along. To say he felt like a third wheel was putting things mildly. The only person he really had any connection to was Yana, and she'd disappeared hours ago, too - holed up in the Captain's quarters with Kalen. Gods only knew what they were doing in there. No, that wasn't true. He knew because he'd heard a little of it. Bump and grind and bump some more. It was enough to make him bang on the wall and tell them to keep it down, but he couldn't do that. He wasn't so much a guest here as hired help, and let's face it - he needed the work. The only problem was no one had given him any work to do yet, and if the boredom didn't kill him first, the loneliness would. He'd tried to sleep, but sleep was an elusive bitch sometimes, and so, he'd gone outside the hanger at stupid o'clock in the morning to get a breath of fresh air and just maybe clear the cobwebs from his head.

It seemed he wasn't the only one who couldn't sleep. The presence of BB-D2 outside the ship was enough to point out that Mira was not where the little droid thought she should be. And indeed not - Mira was not in her bunk. She was perched on top of the Nemesis, a lamp on her brow, concentrating fiercely on repainting the ship's number clearly on the space-scarred metal-work.

Gav wasn't too surprised to find BB outside, and where BB went, Mira followed - or more accurately, the other way around. He wasn't too sure what either of them was doing outside at this time or night, and he wasn't sure she wanted to see him. It was obvious she'd been avoiding him, ever since the kiss that had almost but never happened. At the time, he'd thought that's what she'd wanted. He'd even thought that maybe she'd liked him, but if that was the case, then why had she decided to avoid him? Was it something her brother had said? Whatever it was, he needed to know because whether he was friends with Yana or not, if he wasn't welcome on board the Nemesis, there was really no point in staying.

"BB," he said, greeting the droid without his usual good-humored swagger. "What are you doing out here?" Which equated to "Where's Mira?"

The little droid seemed to understand what he was really asking, extending a random probe to point upwards, where he couldn't follow. [Friend-Mira is not sleeping. Friend-Mira needs to sleep.]

"Friend-Mira can hear every word you whistle, Beebs," Mira called down to them. Her voice sounded duller than before, tired and heartsick.

Gav wondered how long it would take before he became "Friend-Gav". Maybe never at this rate. "Yeah, well ... That makes two of us," Gav replied, sounding almost as disheartened as Mira. He supposed he'd gotten his hopes up a little too high. Well, if she was going to let him down, she might as well get it over with and end his agony sooner rather than later.

BB made a slightly rude noise in Mira's direction, rolling a little closer to Gav and lowering the volume on his audio circuits to compensate for his mistress' hearing. [Make friend-Mira stop hurting,] the little droid asked him hopefully. [Please?]

Gav crouched down as close to BB as he could, brows furrowed in confusion. "And just how am I supposed to do that?" he asked, lowering his voice to a whisper. It was clear Mira was upset about something, and that something clearly had something to do with her brother. Though Kalen had assured him it had nothing to do with him, Gav had his doubts.

[Make her smile,] BB suggested, the dome wobbling on his body as he conversed with his new friend. If Gav could make Mira smile again, then he was a friend. [She is not sad because of you. It is because of the past.]

The past? Gav's mind echoed, furrowing his brows. How was he supposed to help her with that? Should he tell her a joke? Tickle her? Try to kiss her again? Just what could he do or say to make Mira smile, when he was feeling his own pain so acutely? But then, this wasn't about him, was it? And if he could make Mira smile, then he might at least have made a friend. "I'm coming up there!" he warned, calling up to Mira.

"Ladder's against the port drape," she called back, reaching up to dim the lamp on her brow. It wasn't entirely necessary to have the lamp - the night wasn't as dark as it would have been outside the Spaceport - but she'd felt the need for it when she'd come out. Darkness had never been a friendly place for her.

"Yes, ma'am!" he called back, though she was a few years his junior. He didn't need to be told much more than that. He knew ships as well as she did and what made them tick. The workings of a woman's heart, now that was a different kind of mystery he hadn't managed to work out yet. He found the ladder and climbed to the top of the ship, careful not to ruin her paint job as he carefully made his way toward her. "You an insomniac or just like the quiet?" he asked, knowing it might be a combination of both.

Sitting back, Mira took the lamp off her head, extinguishing it completely, but she couldn't disguise her red-rimmed eyes, or her tear-stained face. It had been a very long few hours since she'd left Kalen. "Both, I guess," she answered Gav quietly. "Listening to my own head just got too much. Thought I'd do something instead of just lying there feeling crap." Her smile was definitely half-hearted, not much life in it at all. "I'm sorry I kind of abandoned you earlier, I ... I wasn't very good company."

He shrugged, as if it didn't matter, though it clearly did. "Even bad company is better than no company at all, Mira," he pointed out, though he understood her meaning. "I thought maybe it was me," he told her, holding nothing back. He was honest, almost to a fault. She had to at least give him that.

She shook her head. "No, it wasn't you," she promised him. "Really, it wasn't you. BB had ... had a message from my mom, our mom. I haven't seen her since I was seven, she died a year later. And suddenly she was right there, you know? I didn't even know Kalen was my full brother until today." She sighed, shifting about to lie on her back on the scarred hull, looking up at the star-speckled sky. "I don't know if it's better to know the truth, or to stay ignorant. I was happier not knowing."

He furrowed his brows further as he took this all in, perhaps taking a different perspective than she had or that she might even have realized yet. "What's it matter if he's your half brother or your full brother? He's still your brother." And that was a hell of a lot more than he or even Yana had, as far as family was concerned. "I've give my right arm for a brother or a sister, full, half, or anywhere in between."

"It's not that it matters, it's that I didn't know," Mira said quietly, addressing the stars above them. "He didn't know. Our parents kept us apart all that time, because of their choices, their trying to do the right thing, and ... I don't know. I'm just broken, I guess. I thought I'd cried all my tears for my parents, but tonight ... I can't seem to stop."

"The truth is always better, Mira, even if it hurts at first," he pointed out further, as he settled himself beside her, tucking his arms around his legs as he gazed up at the stars. "At least, you knew your parents. You know they loved you, or they wouldn't have gone to so much trouble to keep you safe. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but it'll get easier in time, and you have a brother to help you through it." That's more than he'd ever had, though he wasn't going to say that. He didn't want to point out that she had more going for her than he did, knowing that wouldn't help her cope with the pain of her loss and only feel guilty for it. "There's nothing wrong with crying, you know. Better than keeping it all bottled up inside." Like her brother seemed to do.

Mira Dain

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 09:14:51 AM »
What he was saying made a lot of sense. "You know what really bugs me?" she said mildly, tilting her head to look at him from where she lay. "I feel guilty. I was just a kid, but if Mom hadn't had me, she could have been with Kalen and Dad. They could have been together, if I didn't exist. And I feel guilty about it." There was more, but she wasn't sure she was brave enough to put the rest into words.

Once again, Gav had a different perspective to offer, though she might not want to hear it or be ready to consider it. "Who's to say not having you would have changed anything? If they hadn't had you, your brother might be all alone now. Or maybe he'd have been killed, too. One thing I've learned, Mira, is that you can't change the past and feeling guilty about it will only make you miserable. Better to accept it, like it or not, and move on. You've got a lot to be thankful for. You've got BB and Kalen and Yana. You aren't to blame for your parents' decisions. It's what you do with the rest of your life that's important."

She sighed, rubbing a hand over her forehead before letting her arm fall against the hull above her head. "I don't have Kalen, not really," she said softly. "I barely know Yana. BB belonged to Kalen before he was ever mine. They've all got each other; Yana knows Kalen better than I ever will. She makes him feel, and I couldn't even get him to do that when the message was still fresh. So they're with each other, making themselves feel better, and ... I'm so ashamed of myself for resenting what they have that I just spent the whole evening hiding. How pathetic is that?"

"Maybe Kalen was too busy trying to be the big brother to let you know what he was feeling," Gav suggested with a shrug of his broad shoulders. He didn't know the guy well enough to know for sure, but it's what he'd have done in his place. "Besides, what am I? Chopped liver?" he asked, the barest hint of a smile on his face. If that didn't make her smile, nothing else would.

She snorted with laughter, her face relaxing into a small smile that was definitely hers. The dull, lifeless expression on her face was melting in the face of someone who was apparently not going to let her hide away forever. "Prettiest plate of mutilated vital organ I ever did see," she countered teasingly.

He snorted at her warped sense of flattery. "Never been called pretty before, but you can objectify me as much as you want. I don't mind," he said, with a wink and a flirtatious smile back at her. It was starting to look like BB owed him one. "So, we spending the rest of the night on the roof, then?" he asked, settling onto his back and tucking his arms behind his head to gaze up at the star-studded sky. It would be some hours yet before it got light out, which was just as well, as far as he was concerned.

"Seems like a good idea to me," she agreed, inching over to rest her head against his bicep comfortably. "I'm sorry I ran away. I just ... I didn't want to drag you into all the family drama. It didn't seem fair to do that. But it wasn't fair to shut you out, either. I'm sorry, Gav."

He might have shrugged if she wasn't resting her head against his bicep. Instead, he turned his head toward her as much as he could, his expression turning serious. "It's okay. It's not like you owe me anything. I know we haven't known each other very long, but I like you, Mira. I like you a lot. I'm not just saying that to get into your pants either," he added, though he probably wouldn't have minded.

"I like you back," she murmured, dark eyes so close to his she almost couldn't focus on his gaze. "I mean it, I do. And just because I've been on a scrap planet most of my life doesn't mean I don't know what I'm feeling, because I do. I think you're cute and sexy, of course I do, and you know it. But I like the man you are, too. You've been kind to me when you didn't have to be; you didn't have to do anything but get pissed at me in the scrapyard, either. And you're not allowed in my pants until summer, so strap it down for a coupla months."

He arched a brow, mostly at the last part of her statement, realizing she was hinting at some date looming somewhere in the near future. A birthday, maybe or something else? Whatever it was, she seemed to think he was going to still be around at least a few months into her future, and that gave him hope. "What about a kiss? Am I allowed that?" he teased back, the hint of a smirk on his face.

"You don't seriously think I'm going to let you get away without that demonstration you promised me, do you?" she asked innocently, batting her lashes above that teasing smile of hers. "Besides, the Boink Twins have gotta be asleep by now, so no interruptions."

He couldn't help but laugh at her description of Kalen and Yana. "I dare you to call them that to their faces," he told her, assuming she wouldn't take him up on that dare. She might just take him up on the offer of a kiss though, but one kiss would likely lead to another and who knew where things might go after that.

"Challenge accepted," she countered with a grin, glad to feel herself back on some kind of even keel. Maybe she should have gone straight to Gav, rather than hiding. Maybe he would have set her straight sooner. She twisted, rising up onto her elbow to lean down and touch her lips to his, impatient for him to follow through on the kiss that had been interrupted hours ago.

He was a little surprised by the way she'd decided to make the first move, even though it was only a kiss. He knew she was young - at least a few years younger than him - and he knew that he had to go slow, but he had a feeling this was one woman who was worth waiting for. He lifted a hand to slide his fingers through her hair as her lips touched his, returning the kiss with warmth and tenderness that hinted at some deeper as yet untapped passion. It sure as hells wasn't like kissing his sister.

The band holding her hair out of her face snapped at the slightest pressure from his fingers, too old and worn out to do much against even the barest resistance. Dark hair tumbled down about their faces as she leaned into him, her hand stroking fingertips against his chest as she broke one kiss only to begin another.

He felt his body awakening beneath her kiss and knew it this went on too long, they'd cross the point of no return, and yet, her kisses were like food to a starving man. It wasn't like he'd never kissed a woman before or even slept with one, but somehow with Mira it was different. He just wasn't too sure why yet. After a while, he drew a slow breath, fingers tracing her cheek in a gentle caress. "What do you think?" he asked, a smile that was equally teasing and wary on his face. "Do I pass the test?"

A little breathless herself, she stayed close, her cheek dimpling under his caress as she smiled back at him. "The deal was for you to kiss me," she pointed out impishly. "So that one doesn't count. Besides ... is that how you kiss your sister, or your boss?"

He actually frowned down at her, knowing she was teasing him and yet, feeling the sting of it for the first time since she'd avoided him earlier that day. "I guess you'll just have to wait to find out," he told her, not taking the bait or the challenge, but taking the implied criticism to heart.

She held his gaze a moment longer, her smile dropping from her face. "Chalk another one up for me," she muttered, rolling away to sit up. "Born to do more harm than good." She drew her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on them as she looked down at her feet. "If you're pissed at me, just say so," she told him. "I'm not fragile."

Mira Dain

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 09:15:36 AM »
"It's okay," he said, turning his gaze back up at the sky. "I know I'm not the best kisser," he added with a shrug, before turning quiet. He knew he shouldn't have taken her so literally, when she'd probably just been kidding. Probably, though he didn't know her well enough to know for sure yet.

"Best kiss I've ever had." She sighed, watching her toes wiggle, wondering briefly if she could remember where she'd put her shoes. "But what would I know, right? I'm just a kid. You could have anyone you wanted."

"You're just saying that to make me feel better," he said, obviously not quite as cocky as he seemed. "Was it really like kissing your brother, Mira?" he asked, shifting his gaze back at her, even though she wasn't looked his way.

"I don't lie. Not even to make people feel better. What's the point? They'll find out the truth in the end." She shrugged, tilting her head down once again, muffling her voice as her lips moved against her own knees. "I didn't say it was, Gav," she pointed out soberly. "You're not my brother, and I'm glad of that. But I guess I'm not so good at flirting as I thought I was."

That made him feel a little better, though he still wasn't too sure about his kissing skills. "It's not you, Mira. It's me. I guess I'm a little touchier than I thought," he admitted. It wasn't exactly an apology, but he hoped she understood he hadn't meant anything by it. It would take some time for them to get to know each other better; he just hoped she gave him that chance. He looked back at the sky again, the stars twinkling like diamonds in the sky. Or maybe like a sprinkling of stardust, casting a soft glow across the heavens. "You know, ever since I was a kid, all I ever wanted was to travel the stars. To see what it's like to be out there somewhere, instead of here, but I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get there."

Mira sighed, lying back beside him once again, but this time without broaching the unmarked line between them. Putting herself out there didn't seem to have worked too well, on the whole. "You've got Yana," she pointed out, "and she's got a ship. There's no reason you couldn't come with us when we head out again. Keeping this bird running is too big a job for just one person."

"I'm not telling you this because I think you can get me there, Mira," he added, casting a sidelong glance at her. He knew Yana could easily hire him, so long as Kalen and Mira agreed, but he didn't want Yana's or even Kalen's approval. It was Mira's approval he wanted, Mira's permission. He turned onto his side, propping himself up onto an elbow as he studied her beside him. "I wasn't lying to you before, Mira. I like you, and I'd like to get to know you better, but if you don't want me around, just say so, and I won't be." How had they got to this point when just a short time ago they'd been trading secrets and kisses? Or at least, she'd been telling secrets, and he'd been listening.

Her head turned toward him as he moved, dark eyes reflecting the starlight, it seemed. "If I didn't want you around, I wouldn't be lying up here with you," she told him quietly. "I wouldn't have thrown myself at you at all. How many times do I have to say I like you for you to believe me? I'm seventeen, Gav. That doesn't mean I don't know what I want."

"And you'll be eighteen come summer," he said, something she'd said earlier clicking in his brain. If he stuck around long enough, he should know by summer whether they were going to be friends or something more. "You could have anyone you want, Mira," he told her, turning the tables on her, using her own words. "Why a scavenger like me?"

She snorted, not believing him for a second when it came to that. "Please," she drawled, rolling her eyes. "I'm not all that. Look at you - you're handsome, you're funny, you know ships. I should be asking you the same thing. Why should you care about what happens to a duct rat like me?"

"You don't give yourself enough credit," he told her, without hesitation. "You're cute, smart, pretty, and you know your way around an engine better than most guys I know. What's not to like?" he asked, tossing the question back at her, but not really expecting an answer. "Let me ask you something. Do you like being a mechanic?"

"It's all I've ever been," she admitted thoughtfully. "But I do. I love ships, the way they talk to me, the way they can tell me what's wrong, or that what I've done has made something better. There's nothing better than spending a week on a fighter everyone else says will never fly again, and watching her take off. It's the closest thing to magic, or the Force, or whatever you wanna call it, that I've ever seen."

"And now that your brother has a ship, you never have to worry about getting work again. He's gonna need you here to keep her in tip-top shape, if that's what you want," he told her, though she probably knew this already. "Without duct-rats like you," he said, once again turning her own words back at her, "there wouldn't be ships like this. Best pilot in the multiverse can't fly if he or she doesn't have a good mechanic." Or unless, he is one himself.

"Yeah, I don't think Yana or Kalen would ever forgive me if I put their kids in our ducts to do the work I used to do before I got too big," she laughed, but she understood his point. Her hand rose, touching her knuckles gently against his cheek. "I can't keep this ship running by myself. If it was up to me, I'd hire you in a second."

"Well, I sure as hell can't fit in those ducts," he told her, a smile back on his face, encouraged by her touch and by her belief in him. "I can't hire myself, either," he added, for good measure. He had a feeling if it was up to Yana, she'd hire him, too, but it wasn't just up to Mira or Yana or himself. "I guess it's your brother I have to impress, huh?"

Mira giggled, tweaking the end of his nose for his silly comment. "Or I could, you know, beg," she pointed out. "If Yana can get him to roll over with just a look, I should have the same sort of reaction if I pull out the big eyes routine."

Though there had been a few minutes there where he'd worried he'd screwed up, he was relieved to find her smiling again, giggling even. BB would be happy about that, and Gav found he liked the way that smile looked on her pretty face. "Thanks, but I'd rather your brother hire me on my merits than because of his sister's puppy dog eyes." He caught her hand as she tweaked his nose, though, and didn't let go. Should he try kissing her again, he wondered.

"Oh, so I shouldn't tell him that I think you're an excellent mechanic?" she asked, her smile more than twinkling enough to lend weight to her tease as her fingers rippled in his grasp. "Should I lock the two of you in the crawlspace for a day, see if you can impress him that way?"

"How? By picking the lock?" he asked, though that was more a figure of speech than anything else. That lock couldn't be picked, but anyone with an understanding of the ship could probably find their way out. "I don't think your brother likes me very much. He seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder."

"He probably does have a bit of a chip, yeah," she agreed, stroking the pad of her thumb over the knuckle of his, since he seemed unwilling to let go of her hand. "Can you blame him? He's got major trust issues, a new relationship, and a little sister, and then you show up, with your prior connection to his girl, and your irresistible manliness distracting his little sister. Maybe he feels little sidelined. Or even jealous."

"Jealous?" Gav echoed with a doubtful snort. "What's there to be jealous of? If anyone should be jealous, it's me. He's got a ship, a partner, a sister. He's got a future. I've never had any of those things. Oh, I know what you're thinking. But you could have, Gav, if you tried. Thing is, I have tried. Time and time again, I've tried. I've had offers, but you know what? I'd rather spend the rest of my life scavenging than getting paid to do something that's less than honest work." He shrugged again. Now who had the chip on their shoulder?

Mira Dain

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 09:16:28 AM »
She frowned curiously. "How can you look at the world around you past the chip on your shoulder?" she asked him curiously. "And, come to that, how can you be friends with Yana when you know she's a smuggler? That's less than honest work. Does that mean you wouldn't come with us, just because we take on smuggling jobs from time to time?"

But that was where he and Yana differed; it was why Yana had gone off world and Gav had not. Because he'd refused to work for Trethin, and he'd argued against Yana working for him, but she hadn't listened. She had her own reasons for doing it, and he didn't think it was his place to share them with Mira. "That's not what I mean," he said. "It's not smuggling I have a problem with."

"So what do you mean?" she asked, wanting to understand. "It's not like carrying cargo automatically equates to murdering thousands, Gav. What do you mean by less than honest?"

"Depends on the cargo, Mira," Gav pointed out. Was she really that naive? "I like my freedom, and I don't ever want to be beholden to someone like Fax Trethin," he said, practically spitting that name out with obvious distaste.

She considered him for a long moment. "What about someone called Orsk?" she asked him, curious to know if he knew the name, and if he did, what he knew about this person. Yana and Kalen had been very confident when they'd talked about him, but they had their reasons for not telling her everything, after all.

He shrugged, moving to sit up beside her as the arm propping him up was starting to fall asleep. "Depends on your perspective," he told her. "There are worse people than Orsk. He keeps them in check, but he's still a glorified pirate, whichever way you look at it. There's no law on Rhy'Din, Mira, especially here at the 'port. We make our own rules, live by our own code. Maybe I should have gone with Yana when she went to work for Trethin, but he didn't want me. He wanted her."

She frowned thoughtfully, not sure she liked the idea of working for a glorified pirate, even if the others did trust him. "He's offered us a couple of cargo runs," she told Gav quietly. "Yana told him she - we - want to go legit, and he offered us a couple of runs to get us started. She seems pretty certain that it is legit, I just ... I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to be responsible for anyone getting hurt."

Gav's frown deepened, his usually light-hearted mood turning serious. He knew Orsk was a decent man, even if he earned a living by less than honest means, and he didn't want to put a wedge between Mira and her brother. In the end, he trusted Yana's judgment, but he and Yana had argued about this very thing before. It was why he'd remained a scavenger, while she'd become a smuggler. "Then I guess you find out what the cargo is and make sure it's legit."

"And if it isn't?" she asked, pulling herself to sit up at his side, hugging her knees once again. The question wasn't really for him, though. "If it isn't, then ... I'm on my own for real. BB'd go with Kalen - he'd have to, to keep the ship running. And I'd have to stay here, on a world I don't know. How do I make that kind of choice, Gav?"

Gav shrugged again. He didn't really want to make the decision for her, but she seemed to trust his judgment. "I don't know, Mira. Tell your brother how you feel and see what he says. Even if the cargo is legit, there's always the risk of being attacked. Nothing in life is certain. You just have to trust your brother's judgment and hope he know what he's doing, I guess."

"What about you?" she asked unhappily. "If the cargo isn't legit, you won't want anything to do with us, will you? You won't want anything to do with me." She dipped her head down onto her knees, hiding behind the fall of her hair. "See? Everything would be easier if I didn't exist."

"No, it wouldn't," he was quick to disagree, sighing unhappily at their predicament, but also realizing they might just be worrying for nothing. He'd already explained why she was wrong, at least as far as her brother was concerned, but he'd yet to tell her what tell her what she meant to him, even if they had only just met. He reached over to push the curtain of hair away from her face. "If you didn't exist, I wouldn't be able to kiss you again. Besides, it's better for your brother that you're here. I have a feeling he needs you a lot more than he lets on."

"What about what I need?" she murmured, those dark eyes looking at him from beneath long lashes in the hazy darkness. "Seems really selfish to say it. I need my brother, you're right. I need to be with the only family I have left. But I need you, too. You're the first person outside this ship that ever looked at me like I was worth something. Like I'm more than just a piece of meat or a meal-ticket. I need you to keep looking at me like that, and if I get complicit in something illegal, you'll never look at me like that again."

"Yes, I will," he assured her, smiling softly as he tucked her hair behind an ear, just for an excuse to touch her. "Yana and I don't always agree, but we're still friends," he pointed out, though they'd lost touch for a while due in good part to her connection to Trethin. "Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do, Mira. There are a lot of shades of gray on Rhy'Din," he added, echoing something her brother had said earlier.

"Really?" Her head rose, hope reflected in her gaze as he tucked her hair back from her face. "You know the only friend I've ever had is a droid," she commented. "I mean, I've been friendly with people, but I've never really had anyone I could trust with everything. I've said more to you tonight than I've ever said to anyone."

"Well, to be honest, I'd like to be more than friends, but friendship is a good place to start," he told her, that smile warming a little. He hadn't been hired on yet or invited to stay past one night, so there wasn't much point in worrying about the cargo too much yet. "And even if I don't go with you, I'll still be here when you get back," he promised, leaning closer, close enough to kiss her, but hesitating for a moment, almost as if waiting for permission.

"I want more than friends, too," she breathed, surprised that all her bravado seemed to have abandoned her. She was actually trembling as he leaned toward her, unconsciously echoing that lean, wanting the kiss more than she might have wanted to admit to. "If I stay, I want to stay with you."

If he'd answered her in words, he would have told her that he didn't have much, but whatever he had was hers. But instead, he leaned closer until his breath was ghosting hers and then his lips were touching hers - soft, warm, and tender.

Her eyes slipped closed without needing thought to do so, her every sense alert for every nuance of him as he kissed her. It wasn't like the kiss she'd given him, testing the waters as tentatively as she dared - he knew what he was doing, how to kiss her, how to touch her, and she melted at his touch, unfolding from her curl to nestle closer to him as her fingers brushed against his shoulder, his cheek.

He slid his fingers through her hair again, drawing her deeper into that kiss, gently probing her lips with his tongue, teasing and tasting the sweetness of her lips and mouth. There was nothing clumsy or sloppy about his kiss; it was only soft and tender with a hint of longing and a promise of more to come.

She wanted more, drawing him down to lie with her on the hull beneath them as they traded kisses back and forth, learning what he had to teach her as her fingers skimmed restlessly over his arms, his back, his sides, shy of asking for any more than he was prepared to give her. She'd been kissed, and she'd been kissed, but Gav blew all those kisses out of the water. She'd never felt anything like this before.

He drew her into his arms, holding her close, heartbeat to heartbeat, with only the stars to witness. Despite the obvious sparks between them, he didn't want to go too far. He'd promised BB to put a smile on her face, and he'd done far more than that. He couldn't help but kiss her though, inexplicably drawn to her, everyone he'd ever kissed before obliterated from his mind. For the first time in his life, he thought that if only she'd be his, he could be happy.

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 09:17:12 AM »
And that was how Yana found them, hours later, lying tangled together in the morning sunshine. She smirked to herself, glancing down at BB-D2 from her perch on the ladder. The little droid had gone out of his way not to tell Kalen where Mira was. Yana climbed up, making sure her footsteps were loud enough to stir them as she approached the sleeping pair. "You are so lucky BB asked me to come and find you," she informed them, looking down at her friend and her new little sister in amusement.

It seemed Gav had not only kept his promise to BB to make Mira smile, but he'd somehow managed to put them both to sleep in the process. He smiled when Yana woke them, amused at her remark, but smiling mostly because of Mira. Tired as he was, he almost felt like he'd been reborn sometime during the night, given new purpose and something - or someone - worth living for, besides mere survival. "Sorry, Yana. We were talking and must have fallen asleep." It wasn't entirely a lie - they had been talking some, no matter how it looked.

Yana raised her brow, her smile deepening as Mira made a face and cuddled in tighter to Gav's side. "All right," she allowed, far too amused by what she'd found to even think about telling him off on Kalen's behalf. "You might want to think about getting her awake and down on the ground pretty soon, though. Kalen's gone to get breakfast - I'm supposed to have you both awake and presentable by the time he gets back."

"I didn't know we'd entered military service," Gav murmured sarcastically at Yana's remark. Thankfully, he was in a good mood, but he'd been on his own a long time and didn't take well to being given orders.

She chuckled, rolling her eyes at her friend. "Well, it was that or let him push his way into her bunk to wake her up himself," she pointed out. "I had a feeling you guys might not be sleeping alone, thought it was probably better if I found you first."

"Nothing happened, Yana," Gav assured her, untangling himself from Mira's embrace now that they were no longer alone. He didn't really care much what Yana thought, but Kalen was another matter. "Why don't you go get cleaned up and dressed, and I'll meet you ..." He turned a questioning glance to Yana. "Where are we meeting?" he asked, not wanting to assume.

She smiled, backing toward the ladder once again. "I'll be in the lounge," she told him. "So long as you're both in evidence, Kalen won't suspect a thing. BB's probably sworn himself to silence." She chuckled, glancing down as Mira rolled onto her back, wiggling her fingers in a combined hello/good morning/goodbye. "Half an hour," Yana told him, laughing to herself as she climbed down the ladder. They heard her hit the ground, greeted by BB-D2. "They're good, BB. Why don't you come inside and show me how to access the lock override before Kalen works it out for himself?"

Gav wasn't afraid of Kalen, but he didn't really want to start out on the wrong foot either, not when he was serious about getting to know Mira better. He was visibly relieved, though, when Yana drew the droid back inside. As much as BB-D2 meant well and had Mira's best interests at heart, he was a little too honest for Gav's comfort. "Sorry," he said, finding himself apologizing to Mira, though he didn't really have much to apologize for. "I don't want to get you into trouble with your brother."

Mira stretched, yawning as she reached her arms above her head in a comfortable arch that had her toes pointing, too. "I'm more worried about getting you in trouble with him," she pointed out, a lopsided smile on her face as she pushed herself to sit up. Her hand touched his cheek, drawing him close to brush her lips to his. "Best night's sleep I ever had."

His gaze moved over her, admiring the girlish curves that were barely hidden beneath the pink shirt that ended at her midriff and snug-fitting blue jeans. His fingers skimmed against the hint of bare skin at her midriff, before pushing himself up beside her. "More like a nap," he corrected, smiling into a yawn.

She giggled, shaking her hair back from her face, acutely aware of the way her skin tingled under the brush of his fingers. "Lot of work to do today," she pointed out. "There's spare overalls in the engine room if you want them. Hate to see you get so dirty you can't come out and play afterward."

"I could always play naked," he replied, with a wink and a smirk, though he was obviously teasing. "I haven't slept that well in a while either," he added, echoing her own words. He leaned close and touched a quick but soft kiss to her lips, brushing her hair back from her face with his fingers. "Still think it's like kissing your brother?" he teased.

"Only if you strap it down," she laughed, just as teasing as he was as she leaned into that kiss. "Definitely not like kissing my brother," she promised him with a fond touch to her smile. "But if I wanna keep kissing you, I gotta change and look like I spent the night in my bunk." She winked at him. "At least for a little while."

"It's been a long time since I've slept under the stars," he remarked, idly. Unlike most people, he had mixed feelings there. Sleeping outside in the elements wasn't pleasant when the weather wasn't cooperating and there was no place to seek shelter, but last night with her, it had been perfect.

"I used to sleep in this little engine exhaust port," she offered, pushing herself up onto her feet, leaning down to offer him a hand up, too. "Just me and BB, and whatever we could find to keep me warm. It was not exactly a nice place when it was raining."

"Now that you're with Kalen, you won't have to worry about that anymore," he assured her, wishing he could offer her more than merely comfort and a reminder that her brother would take care of her now. As for himself, his future was a little less secure.

"Yeah," she drawled, eyeing him with a fond sort of smile. "Kalen's not the one I snuggled up to all night, is he?" Material possessions really didn't feature in her assessment of anyone; she'd never had much, so why should she care if he had much, either? "C'mon, let's get down there so BB leaves Yana alone."

They hadn't in his assessment either, but now that he'd met her, he was starting to rethink his own lifestyle. He'd always been one to value his freedom, but that freedom had often come at the price of comfort and security, and he thought she deserved more. His smile only faded a little, when she'd turned her back on him and was scuttling her way down off the roof. What was it about this girl that made him want to be a better man?

The whistling that rose from beneath the ship betrayed the fact that Yana had not been able to keep BB occupied. "All right, all right, Beebs, calm down," Mira laughed, stepping away from the ladder to greet the little droid.

[Will you be sleeping with friend-Gav always now?]

"Oh, geez ... Okay, listen up." She crouched down in front of the droid, laying down the rules for what he was and wasn't allowed to mention in front of Kalen.

"Mira, I've been thinking," Gav said, as he joined the pair, having made his own way down the ladder. "Your brother is bound to find out sooner or later anyway, so why not just tell him?" He didn't like the idea of sneaking around behind Kalen's back, and he didn't think that was any way to build trust.

She rose, turning toward him. "Because I want him to hire you for yourself, not to please me," she told him quite seriously. "And you deserve better than to be given a job just because the captain's little sister wants what's in your pants."

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 09:18:12 AM »
Okay, now, that made him laugh. "Not until your birthday, remember?" he reminded her, moving close to playfully tweak her nose. He couldn't very well argue with her logic, but that also depended a lot on the job and the cargo. Even if he was just a mech, if things went sideways, he knew he'd be called in to do more than merely tend to the engine.

"Doesn't mean I can't play with it a little before then," she teased, winking at him with a decidedly suggestive tilt to her smile. "I have magic hands." She wiggled her fingers at him mischievously, laughing as she caught his hand in hers to pull him onto the ship.

He rolled his eyes at her teasing, even as he got dragged inside. "You're gonna be the death of me," he murmured, though he was only talking figuratively, he hoped.

Laughing, Mira pulled him along to his own bunk, wrapping her fingers into his collar to pull him down into a slow, lingering kiss, confident in the knowledge that Yana was letting this happen and Kalen wasn't here to object. She was smiling when she finally let him up for air. "See you in the lounge."

"Yes, ma'am," he replied, gulping a breath once she let him up for air. Gav wasn't sure how he was going to manage to wait until she was eighteen at the rate they were going. Thankfully, he had time for a shower and to get himself under control before they met Kalen and Yana for breakfast - and a little time to think.

Smiling secretively to herself, Mira headed off for her own bunk, ignoring Yana's murmured tease as she passed the older woman. There was very little in her life that she'd ever felt the need to fight for - Gav had just risen to the top of a very short list. Gods help Kalen if he decided to be difficult about it.

Breakfast brought them all back together again, and surprisingly, they all seemed to be in a good mood, even Kalen. Whatever had happened between him and Yana the night before had lifted his mood and just might work in Mira and Gav's favor. Though breakfast was made up of takeout fare, it wasn't bad, all things considered. Kalen had made sure there was a fresh pot of coffee brewing and hot water on hand if anyone preferred tea. There was no better way to start the day than a hot breakfast, in his opinion, and he'd started plenty of days without it.

The night before had done wonders for everyone's mood, it seemed. Mira didn't even feel a twinge of jealousy when Yana teased Gav over the amount of food on his plate, or when Gav gave back as good as he got. They were obviously friends, and the easy banter back and forth between them made the meal a very comfortable experience.

Of the four of them, it was Kalen who was the most subdued, quietly observing the other three, making mental notes of this or that. He couldn't help but notice how easily Gav and Yana interacted, even after so many years apart, as well as the stolen glances between Gav and his sister when they thought he wasn't looking. While all that was well and good, he couldn't justify hiring Gav on unless and until he proved his worth, regardless of how fond Yana and Mira were of him.

"So ... what is it the two of you are planning to do to the ship today?" Yana asked when she'd finally eaten her fill, leaning back with her coffee in her hands.

Mira scratched her head thoughtfully, still chewing a mouthful of toast. "Sound-proofing your bunk," she said, making a list on her fingers. "Fixing Gav's 'fresher. Finishing up the hydraulics in the cargo lift." She looked at Gav curiously. "Did I forget anything?"

"Nope. I wanted to run a diagnostic on the engine, though. Make sure she's up to spec. You don't want the hyperdrive dying on you in the middle of a run," Gav added, as he shoveled the last of his eggs into his mouth. He seemed to know what he was talking about when it came to mechanics, though he claimed he was just a scavenger.

"Sound-proofing whose bunk?" Kalen asked, dark brows arching upwards.

"That's software, you'll have to talk to BB about that," Mira admitted to Gav. She could do mechanics, but computers? Not so much. She snickered at Kalen's query. "Your bunk," she informed him brightly. "I don't want to hear the noises you guys make when you're getting freaky any more."

Kalen furrowed his brows as he awkwardly echoed hs sister's words, "Getting freaky?" It was a phrase he hadn't stumbled upon before, and though he'd been raised on Rhy'Din, he hadn't been born there, and it had been a long time since he'd been back there. He could infer her meaning though, but he was not the kind to blush in embarrassment. "That is none of your business," he scolded, waggling a fork at her, though there was no anger in his voice. Then again, if he really wanted it to be none of her business, maybe soundproofing his quarters was a good idea, after all.

"Then it's either you wear a gag, or you let me sound-proof your bunk," Mira countered impishly, waggling her own fork back in his direction. Her gaze flickered toward Yana who had gone uncharacteristically quiet during this exchange. The older woman's cheeks were bright red, her focus intense on the coffee in her hand.

It wouldn't have been a problem if it was just himself and Yana on board, but with Mira and possibly Gav joining them, privacy was going to come at a premium. "I suppose you will be sound-proofing our room then," Kalen replied matter-of-factly. "How soon before the ship will be ready to leave port?"

Mira frowned thoughtfully, counting off the time in her head. "Four days?" she said, tilting her head curiously toward Gav. She was fairly confident in her estimate, but she didn't want to assume that he was on board with the sheer amount of work that would entail in such a short time.

"Four days working hard," Gav confirmed. "Seven at a steady pace." As eager as he was to join them, he wasn't going to risk leaving orbit without making sure the ship was in tip-top shape.

Kalen nodded, before taking a swallow of his coffee. "One week," he echoed. "That will give us enough time to restock our supplies and bring the cargo on board." A cargo and destination he had not shared with them yet.

"Um ..." Mira's glance toward Gav was quick, but not quick enough not to be noticed. "What cargo?" she asked her brother worriedly. "I don't want to do anything illegal."

Yana snorted with laughter. "You three are no fun at all," she informed them, rolling her eyes.

Kalen quietly watched the silent exchange that was going on between his sister and the scavenger, wondering what had been said in his absence. He had already spoken his own mind when it came to which jobs he was willing to accept and what lines he was willing to cross, but it seemed Mira, at least, held to an even higher moral code. "There are no laws on Rhy'Din, Mira," he reminded his sister. No laws, therefore, nothing was technically illegal; not there, anyway.

"But there are laws out there," Gav pointed out. "Wherever you're going. Whatever system you're planning to enter." And there was an infinity of them, each with their own laws and governments and codes of conduct.

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 09:19:09 AM »
"You know what I mean," Mira told her brother warily. "I don't want to hurt anyone, or be the reason someone gets hurt. I know I don't know much about all this, but you said you wanted to go legit. So ... what's the cargo and where are we going?"

It was Kalan's turn to exchange glances, this time with Yana. He'd rather she spoke for them both, but she'd appointed him the Captain of the Nemesis, and therefore, it was not only his decision where they ended up going, but his job to inform the crew, as few as they were. He wasn't sure he liked the idea of giving orders, when the crew consisted of people he cared about, but he supposed someone had to. "Illium," he said at long last. "We are taking a shipment of red sand to Illium."

"And before you say it," Yana added, leaning forward to hold both their attention, "red sand is legal within the galaxy we'll be transporting it. It's also only a mild recreational drug, and we are taking it to Illium to be purified further before it's distributed. It isn't illegal, but it is heavily regulated. Is that going to be a problem?" She fixed her eyes onto Gav in particular; she knew his moral compass got stuck sometimes.

Gav looked between them - the man with the chip on his shoulder, the girl he was starting to care for, and the woman who was like the sister he'd never had. All of them watching and waiting for his answer, like his answer mattered. Kalen and Yana had already decided, no matter what Mira or Gav had to say about it. But who was he to them? He was nothing. Just a scavenger, a jack-of-all-trades, a hired hand. Well, for once in his life, he wanted more. "What are you asking me for, Yana? It's your ship, your job, your decision. I'm just a hired hand."

"Good point," she conceded, turning her eyes onto Kalen with a teasing glimmer in her eyes. They'd discussed this during the night, but she still wasn't entirely sure whether he was on board with the idea. Looked like it was time he made up his mind. "What am I asking him for?" she asked her lover rather pointedly.

Kalen clenched his jaw and grumbled beneath his breath. He didn't really like being put in this position. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't. He'd agreed to hire Gav on for a few more days and see how he worked out, and now it seemed, he was being pressured to make an even bigger decision. He wasn't opposed to hiring Gav on full time, so long as he earned his pay, which they hadn't even agreed on yet. So far, he was only earning room and board, which wasn't hardly enough if made him one of the crew. He already saw how attached Mira was getting to Gav, and he didn't want to disappoint her. He also trusted Yana's judgment; she knew Gav best, after all. It was a long moment before Kalen finally spoke, and what he had to say probably surprised them as much as it did him.

"Yana and Mira and I have agreed to be partners. We are splitting the profits three ways, but if they are agreeable, I am willing to sign you on as a fourth partner for this one job only, until we see how things work out. If at the end of this endeavor, you have proved your worth and we are all in agreement, then the offer becomes long-term."

"I'm agreeable," Mira chirped up straight away. "Keeping Nemesis running is too big a job for just one person, and Gav knows his way around software better than I do, anyway. We got more done yesterday than I could possibly have done by myself, and by the end of today, we'll have at least three of the things on the list ticked off and finished, I'm sure." She was very careful not to mention her attachment to him; she wanted him to get the job, if he wanted it, on his own terms, not hers.

Yana smiled faintly. "Count me in, too," she agreed, nodding to Kalen. "For all the reasons formerly stated." Her eyes tracked over to Gav. "Looks like the decision is yours."

Gav looked between them, all eyes on him, rendered momentarily speechless by an offer he had not been expecting. Sure, he wanted to earn a decent wage, but a full partnership? It was more than anyone had ever offered him before, legal or otherwise. "Can I have a few days to think it over?" he asked. It wasn't the offer he needed to consider really, which had been more than generous. It was the job itself. He knew they needed an answer from him soon, but he wasn't sure he could give it to them right that moment.

Yana met Kalen's eyes, their own silent discussion taking place. They'd need to know a few days ahead of leaving whether he was a full partner, a hired hand, or not coming, but that gave him a few days to consider the offer. And it was a good thing that he didn't just jump at the first offer without thinking it over carefully. "We'll need to know in three days," she said, not needing to discuss it openly with Kalen.

Kalen's expression said he would have been less generous than Yana as far as time was concerned, but he said nothing to contradict her. Gav nodded in agreement. "Three days, okay." He was pretty sure he'd decide long before that. "I can't promise we won't run into trouble," Kalen added, "but it's unlikely."

"He's good with a blaster," Yana told him, leaning back once again with an encouraging nod to her friend.

Mira was practically vibrating with delight in her own seat. "He can have mine, then," she offered. "I don't actually know how to shoot yet."

"What kind of trouble?" Gav asked, knowing all too well the many dangers of space travel. Why, when he so longed to travel the stars, had he never taken a job offer before? What had kept him on Rhy'Din for so long? Was it merely bad luck, like Yana believed, or something else? If she thought about it a little, she might know the answer to that question.

"There might be a pirate presence in the outer limits of the system," Yana shrugged lightly. "We've got shields, and when you two are done, our speed will be good even at sublight. And there are the gun turrets, too. Ideally, we'd evade rather than engage."

"Pirates," Gav echoed, frowning. Well, he'd always known that was a possibility, wasn't it, no matter what the ship or cargo. Pirates were always going to be a problem, to one degree or another. Gav's gaze drifted to Mira, as if to gauge her thoughts. "Are you going?" he asked her, wondering if she needed time to decide, too.

Mira's eyes widened, startled to be asked so openly when she hadn't actually admitted to her brother yet that she wasn't entirely comfortable with not knowing exactly what was going to be expected of her. "Uh ..." She hesitated, glancing at Kalen. It was his opinion that concerned her, more than Yana's, but she really should make the decision for herself. "It's not illegal," she said thoughtfully. "And Yana says that it's a mild drug we're transporting, so, um ... yes?"

Gav nodded again, his expression solemn. Of the three of them at the table, Yana knew best what this might cost him, or what it might cure. As much as he yearned to travel, as much as he wanted to answer the call of the stars, it terrified him. It was that fear that had always stopped him before, and Yana was the only one who knew of it. And yet, he couldn't bear the thought of Mira going without him. "If you're going, I'm going," he decided abruptly, against his better judgment.

"Looks like that's decided, then," Yana said, her expression betraying nothing of her pride or concern for her friend's abrupt decision. However, with that in mind ... She touched Kalen's arm. "You, me, we're heading over to Karrac's place to pick up a secondary shield generator," she told him. "Never hurts to have a second line of defense."

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2017, 09:20:09 AM »
Kalen opened his mouth to argue against the expense, but shut it just as quickly, sensing something else going on here that he wasn't aware of. Instead, he moved to his feet and offered Gav a hand. "Welcome aboard the Nemesis," he told the man, but his expression said, "Don't make me regret my offer."

Mira glanced between the two men, waiting for just a moment before lurching out of her seat and hugging her brother tightly, whispering a thank you into his ear before she pulled back, grinning. Shimmying the top half of her coveralls into place, she did up the zip. "Come find me in the captain's quarters," she told Gav. "They're going out, we can get that sound-proofing done so they've got somewhere to hide when they get back."

Gav grasped Kalen's hand, stunned and speechless for a moment, even after Kalen and Yana had departed. He'd expected an offer of work; perhaps even an offer to accompany them on their journey, but he had not expected to be offered a partnership that not only promised a lucrative profit but could become long-term or even permanent. He nodded mutely at Mira's instructions, moving slowly to his feet to get changed and start the day's work.

He knew he could trust Yana to explain the need for a second shield generator and projector without betraying just how deeply certain possibilities affected him personally. Kalen wasn't just being taken to do that, though - Mira had inadvertently left her list out the night before, and Yana had copied part of it that morning. They'd be gone for a few hours, long enough for their quarters to be proofed against the noise they made in private at the very least.

BB-D2 came trundling along the corridor as Gav emerged once again. [Friend-Gav! Friend-Mira states that you require me to run a diagnostic on the engines. Please connect my scomp link to the ship's computer data-port, and I will run analysis while you work.]

There were things Gav needed to do, too, before they went off on this little journey of theirs, but those things could wait at least until later in the day. He quirked a brow as he exited the crew lounge and almost immediately run straight into the droid. So, he was "Friend-Gav" now, it seemed. He wondered if it was because he'd made Mira smile or if it was because he was an official part of the crew now. He didn't dare think the title had been earned by his own merits, but then BB was a droid, programmed to respond a certain way. His response to Gav was hardly a human one.

"It's just a precaution," he answered the droid, as he turned to lead the way toward the circuitry bay.

[I have not had the opportunity to sync with the ship yet,] the little droid told him in a happy display of beeps and whistles, apparently pleased to have something useful to do. [Friend-Mira is not competent with circuitry and software.]

"It's good we have you around for that, BB," Gav told the droid, the first words he'd spoken since he'd agreed to accompany them on this little venture. "Tell me, BB. Can you compute the odds of a freighter like ours running into pirates somewhere between here and Illium?" He wasn't going to back out, no matter the odds, but he wanted to make sure they were prepared.

[Pirate activity in the region surrounding Illium down by forty percent in the last quarter,] BB assured him confidently. [Odds of encountering pirates down to 13,062 to 1.] Of course, the droid had no idea how comforting that was.

"That doesn't sound too terrible," Gav said, as they rounded the turn and stepped down into the circuitry bay. The odds could be better, but they could be a lot worse, too. He obviously had some issues with pirates, though he had yet to explain what those issues were. At least, he didn't have a bounty on his head, but it was unlikely anyone would act on that bounty on Kalen when Trethin was no longer around to pay it.

[Odds of the Nemesis surviving multiple direct hits from laser-based energy weapons - 43 to 1,] BB-D2 offered helpfully. [Odds of total disintegration from stated direct impacts, 17 to 1. Odds of life support failure in place of disintegration, 29 to 1. Odds of engine explosion -]

"Okay, okay!" Gav interrupted with a chuckle. "I don't need to know the odds of every possible kind of attack," he told the droid, though it might help to analyze that data in order to better prepare the ship to defend against the possibility of such an attack.

[Understood, friend-Gav.] At least BB knew to stop when he was told to. He trundled over to the appropriate data-port, extending his scomp link. He'd been right about needing help to attach - he was going to need an adapter. [Suggest diagnostic of ship's defensive and offensive capabilities, together with engines and efficiency.]

"I'm not the ship's captain, but I think that's a good idea. Can you add that to your diagnostic of the ship's engines?" Gav asked, as he followed BB over to the console to help him plug into the data-port to start his analysis.

[Affirmative, friend-Gav.] The little droid waited patiently as Gav worked on getting him hooked into the ship's computer. [Diagnostic and analysis time prediction - 6 hours 43 minutes 13 seconds.]

"s***," Gav murmured with a chuckle at the droid's precise prediction. "I guess you've got your work cut out for you," he said, though that was what droids were for, after all. "I have to go help Mira with the soundproofing. Are you gonna be okay here?"

The little scomp link whirred in the data-port as BB connected. [I am fully functional, friend-Gav.] There was a pause, and a wistful little whine before the droid spoke again. [Request an oil bath in return for good service?]

"An oil bath," Gav echoed, reminding himself again that BB was not human, though it was easy to forget sometimes, despite his beeps and whirrs. "Sure, why not? One oil bath, as promised, when you're all finished."

BB's whistle was happily excited as he wobbled his dome, turning his full attention to the diagnostic and analysis he had been asked to do. Evidently a little love went a long way with the faithful little droid.

"If you need anything, I'll be with Mira in the captain's quarters," Gav told the little droid, shaking his head and chuckling a little to himself at the exchange as he made his way back out and down the corridor to where Mira was waiting for him.

Not just waiting for him, either - she'd already removed all the personal belongings from the bunk and set them to one side in the lounge, and disconnected the 'fresher from the water system. Most of the work involved in sound-proofing the cabin would be in getting enough access to various points around the walls in order to inject the foam-like substance that would harden in the gaps and muffle sound. Dead space on a starship carried sound easily - the insulation would not only muffle interactions inside, but would also provide a certain amount of heat retention in deep space.

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #8 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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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #9 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.

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #10 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.

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #11 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?"

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #12 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.

Mira Dain

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #13 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.

Mira Dain

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Re: A Day In The Life
« Reply #14 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.