Sojourners of Time
Location: Waverider Shuttle
Timeline: Mission Day 6 at 2200
Uniform jacket, extra t-shirt, clean underwear and bra, socks. Check.
Duty boots on her feet. Check.
Irynya debated if she should brush her teeth, but opted, instead, to grab her bathroom bag and tuck it into the small gym duffel she was packing. Though she'd said she could stay with Kennedy, truth be told they hadn't really crossed that bridge yet. It had only happened the one time, when she'd admitted her feelings to him, and though he now had his own space, hadn't happened since. She planned to tell him she was on her way, but was hesitating, unsure of how he would respond.
These, though, were extenuating circumstances, she told herself. She couldn't imagine he'd turn her away, but if he did she would take the couch back in their quarters. It was far from her best-formed plan, but it was better than nothing. She swung back out of the room she shared with Sheldon, hugging the lanky engineer on her way out and stopped when she realized that Timmoz was still sitting on their couch.
Lanky, refined, relaxed. The Orion had his arm draped over the top of the couch, leaning off-kilter as he favored sitting on one cheek over the other. He'd tied his hair back into its knot, giving a model's severity to his fine, high cheekbones, narrow face and bedroom Orion eyes. He smiled at her with the bemusement of a lime-colored Sphinx cat. "I wanted to make sure you didn't rethink vivisecting your new headache," he chin-jutted at Margarar and Noah's shared room, "Before you absconded to Dear Taoji's bed for the night," he murmured. He eyed her bag, "But that doesn't look big enough for a bug-out bag."
She pursed her lips are him, eyes flashing at the thought of vivisecting Margarar. She was still uncomfortable with the final result, anxious in a way that made her want to pace and protect. It made her feel powerless and of the many things she hated to feel powerless was very near the top.
"She lives for tonight," she said with a growl, "but I swear if she so much as looks wrong in his direction..." The statement trailed off, letting Timmoz fill in the blanks. Her shoulders slumped slightly then as the bluster bled out of her. "Taoji doesn't know I am coming yet," she confessed. "I'm tempted to pace the halls first."
Timmoz grinned with something more Incubine. He rose and stretched, nearly lanky enough to touch the quarter's ceiling. He growled a satisfied sound at the stretch, and then tugged his uniform top, down. "Sleep well, my enemy, for we danced well," he quoted, "But most likely, I'll kill you in the morning." He put his hands behind his back and approached. His Orion pheromones teased. "Very Orion thinking," he purred, "Shall we go?" He angled an arm toward the door. "Pace this way."
"No fair with the pheromones," Iry said, though the complaint was weak at best. She could already feel the relaxing response to the scent of the tall Orion and sighed, wetting her lips without thinking. "Ok, this way it is," she said, leading the way into the corridor and then stopped and fixed Timmoz with a look that suggested he should dictate the direction.
Timmoz chuckled, "Can't control them," Timmoz lamented with a shrug, "Any more than a Klingon can. But," he twisted his mouth, "In my rush to get back your cub, I forgot my Kriloxine spray." He knocked his arm out for Irynya to thread her arm into. "Normally I don't leave my quarters without it. Come on." He encouraged. Once they were clear of the quarters, he didn't look back. "Alright. Where is Dear Doctor's crashpad, as the Humans say. I'll walk you there on my way back to bed."
Irynya's arm threaded through Timmoz's, not giving a second thought to being escorted by her Orion friend to the first-ever night she was going to ask her boyfriend to let her sleep with him in his bed. In a bedroom where there was no chance of anyone walking in ...
"The other direction," she said wryly. "In the block with senior crew quarters at the other end of the deck."
Timmoz pivoted with a grimace of amusement, a chuckle, as they changed course opposite of where he'd started to lead. "Next time I'll ask for a course heading and warp factor, Captain," he teased. "180 mark 000." The corridor was quiet but not completely without people. A Yeoman brushed by with a moment of eye contact and a polite nod. "Strange... I'm still not used to the hum of this ship. And its so... depopulated.... compared to the Adelphi."
The Risian nodded, tipping her head slightly to rest on her friend's bicep as they walked. "It is. I've been on board for months now and it still feels quiet. I don't hate it, but it's an adjustment," she commented before he thoughts trailed back to the unexpected adjustment asleep in the bed opposite Noah. "Easier than other things, I suspect," she groused.
"I don't like it," Timmoz confessed. "It's soulless..." he added. His eyebrow rose on his exposed forehead. "But maybe that comes with time." Timmoz looked back at the door they passed, "He'll be fine. And if not," Timmoz grinned that Incubine grin again, "Send him my way. I can think of a few things to tuck between those perky little cheeks that'll leave him very relaxed."
"A few?" Iry asked, her own eyebrows raising as she pulled her head back to look up at her friend. "I think you'll have to get to know him better before he'd consider that," she continued. "Although... if Nico's absence has you um... chaffing..." She fixed him with a grin that rivaled his own. It only lasted a moment, though before she sighed, brows furrowing. "I should probably warn Kennedy I'm coming. He hasn't, exactly, agreed to this. But I didn't have a better idea in the moment."
Timmoz's brow gave a lift at the first insinuation, followed by a troubled line to his mouth that quickly resolved, "Sentiments attached to sexplay huh. Sort of the opposite of my Zakdorn masters on Qualor. Zakdorns don't have romantic entanglements. They fuck to procreate. A very tense and ritualized affair." He looked at her, and he followed her jest with an even and bemused keel. "V'Kava, you are teasing again." He chuckled. "Besides, you're my direct subordinate. Kodak would have an aneurysm. And if he didn't, his Admirals would."
Timmoz's bottom lip pursed at what she felt she needed. "There's three more bunks on the Waverider that I'm not using..."
Irynya's steps slowed, considering. "That... actually might be really nice. I don't think Kennedy would say no, but I can imagine he'd be really uncomfortable. There's..." She shook her head. "Never mind that. Are you sure you wouldn't mind?"
"Why would Your Taoji have a problem with where you sleep V'Kava, if not with him?" Timmoz's incredulity darkened that angular face, "He doesn't look part Ferengi..." He mused offhandedly. But who would control where a person slept? The Orion was perplexed- he could see an Orion or a Ferengi dictating where their Caju-members or "property"- as begrudgingly outdated as the term was growing on Ferenginar- might sleep or socialize. But a Human?
"Ah," Timmoz said a moment later with the realization of epiphany, "He's not afraid of you. He's afraid of me."
Irynya looked at Timmoz, clueless for a long moment and replaying what she'd just said in her head. It took her a moment too long to spot the misunderstanding. "Oh... Oh!" she said, as recognition dawned. "No, no. I don't think he'd care if I slept in a bunk in the Waverider... At least I assume he'd trust you and I not to get up to anything. I mean that I think he might be uncomfortable... with me... sleeping... with him."
Timmoz's smile wryly turned with the second pivot in the evening's walk. "Are you sure he's not a Synthetic?" He teased, "Some kind of bio-replicant? A Harvongian in their pupal stage?" His grin, like a coy Cheshire Cat, widened, "A Vendorian? They're ill-equipped, you know."
The look that Irynya shot her friend would have made lesser men cringe. "He's definitely human," she said. "And perfectly well-equipped thank you very much."
Timmoz chuckled, "Alright," he acquiesced. "I'm struggling to understand why he wouldn't want you to sleep with him, then."
The pressure of a sigh pushed past the Risian's lips in a huff. "He's never..." she began then shrugged, "Literally everything is new to him. I don't think he'd turn me away. Don't get me wrong. But..." Iry's voice went soft, "I don't want him to feel pressured either."
"I see," Timmoz said. His impressions, first and opening as they were and utterly blind of fact, pegged him as restrained. And the breakfast among Irynya's harem had reinforced that. "Alright. Well, there are two sleeping bays. I have the port side. You can have the starboard. Unfortunately, there is only one sonic shower."
Iry nodded, appreciating the reprieve in their line of discussion. She understood Timmoz's view on her sex life, or lack thereof, better than most, but in that moment she had been all over the map emotionally in the last few hours and wasn't sure how she felt about dipping her toes into the complicated nature of Kennedy's lack of experience as well.
"As long as we can agree to take turns with the shower that should work. Or I'll come back to my quarters and use those. Either way," she agreed. "Why are you sleeping in the Waverider anyway? Don't you and Nico have senior crew quarters?"
"Nico isn't here," Timmoz said, "He's on Pathfinder Station. Who knows when he'll be back." He hadn't expected to explain his presence on the Waverider to two people this evening- once to the coltish Cadet and then to his protege. "Nico's quarters are his. What's mine is mine and what's his is his. It doesn't feel right to take what is his." Timmoz explained.
"Orions don't put the same sentiment on sharing property as some of you. In our households, Tahedrin and Kaheedi have rooms of their own- their own space, their own property." Timmoz looked at Irynya, "Nico and I had an argument about this when I first learned this ship was so small, we'd have to share. He insisted I be in his quarters."
"I see," Irynya said; an echo of Timmoz's earlier acknowledgment of what she had explained about Kennedy. She shook her head, bemused. "They are awfully complicated, these humans," she breathed, not expecting any kind of response. "So you have been on the Waverider since you arrived or just in the last few days?"
"Since Pathfinder Station," Timmoz corrected. "Complicated." He bobbed his head in processing that, "Yes. Frustratingly... ethnocentric... despite trying to be open-minded and culturally flexible. Human mates tend to try to bend non-Human mates to agree to their Human mores. For example. To Humans, deceit is an almost unforgivable sin. I lied to Nico about being kidnapped by Starfleet Intelligence on Risa. That was unforgivable to him,"
Timmoz shrugged, "As an Orion, deceit is sometimes necessary to uphold Xo-I. Security. I have promised him safety and my loyalty. If I lie to him, it is to uphold his and my safety. My loyalty to him remains paramount." Timmoz further said. "But Nico was livid. I had to chase him back to Vega Colony for him to hear me out."
"Their understanding of loyalty is interesting," Irynya agreed. "Kennedy is trying to be open to the differences in our approaches to affection, but his family taught him that touch was bad except under very specific circumstances and that outside of those circumstances constitute disloyalty. He says he doesn't believe that, but it's still deeply ingrained." She shrugged, a grimace crossing her face as something twinged in her neck making muscles twitch in irritation.
"So..." Her voice held a hint of hopeful bemusement. "How are the beds in the Waverider?"
The brownish mossy color of Timmoz's eyes turned; he noted her grimace. It was another piece of evidence of how perturbed the Risian was. "Their concept of love is also alien. Obsession with monogamy... the origins of Human marriage are not that different from Ferengi." The Doctor's way of dealing with people- closed off, cautious- was coming into clearer focus. "You ask that, knowing a Federation mattress is replicated from the same basic plans. Soft, semi-firm, firm. They lean semi-firm.... just like every other compromise they tend toward."
Irynya gave a halfhearted shrug at that. "A girl can hope, can't she?" She asked. "It doesn't matter. Sleep on a bed is certainly better than the couch." As she said it her brain wandered back to her quarters, concern about Noah suffusing her thoughts. Her attention was held there only long enough for them to arrive at the Waverider's bay.
A quick input of codes opened the shuttlebay doors and the two pilots made their way into the quiet space toward the ramp. Even distracted the Risian couldn't help but appreciate the craft before her. "Stars above, she is beautiful isn't she?" She commented, placing a hand on the hull affectionately as she followed Timmoz up the ramp.
"Not bad," Timmoz agreed. "It's not a Kaplan-series racer but it has good lines. Come on," Timmoz began walking back to the sleeping area with a yawn. He undid the fastening of his uniform shirt and shouldered it off with a zigzag fluidity. He kept it rather than dropping it on the deck plate, slinging it over a bare lime shoulder instead. By the time they reached the bay, he'd sprung his hair from its balled trap, and fluffed it. He pointed at the sonic shower, "The showers are through there."
With a quick bob of her head the Risian acknowledge the direction before looking around the bay and taking in the ways that Timmoz had made it his own. Like her friend, she preferred the top bunk, and she quickly poked her head up into the dark space before stooping to free her feet from her boots. She set them neatly against the bulkhead and then retrieved her toothbrush and made a quick nod to the bathroom before disappearing inside to finish the getting ready for bed bits of things.
It was a few minutes before she returned, stowing her things back in her bag, which she settled onto the lower starboard bunk, pulling free her uniform and laying out neatly on the spare mattress before swinging smoothly up into the upper. "I like what you've done with the place," she said warmly.
Timmoz looked over his shoulder. He'd been busying his sleeping space again for rest, which was itself a ritual. He'd changed into flowing knee-length Tholian silk pants- the lightest, airiest thing he could think of that would allow modesty, but not feel so constraining toward his usual sleeping state. "Thank you," he said over his shoulder. He stashed his uniform away into the garment reprocessor after plucking off his rank pips and commbadge.
The rustling of sheets and brush of the mattress gave away the Risian's nestling as she shifted onto her back. One leg stretched long while the other braced on her knee. Tan arms crossed behind her head, one arm brushing her hair from beneath her so it made a sort of halo on the pillow before it returned to its place.
She was quiet for long moments, eyes fixed on the dim ceiling as she played and replayed her conversation with the Antican in her head. Perhaps she should have been more forceful with Margarar. Or maybe gentler with Noah. Frustration roiled in her gut making her feel twitchy.
"I feel like I can hear you thinking," came the voice of the verdant one after a few minutes of Irynya's restlessness. From his room, his hand swept down on the hologram of the Dom Jot semi-finals scores on Qasik V. "Isak for your thoughts... not that I'd touch Vulcan money."
For a long moment the only answer to the Orion's inquiry was a deep, resigned, sigh. "Sorry," Irynya finally said, "just... Replaying the evening's events I guess." She was quiet for another long moment, one hand pressing long fingers into her hair and smoothing it back her scalp. "I'm wondering if I should have been more... dominant... With Margarar. Use her own tactics on her maybe. I don't know. I hate that Noah has to deal with that during is work hours let alone when he's home."
Timmoz's sigh was somewhat telling: the night was not yet over. He picked up his PADD and tossed it end over end toward the foot of his bed. "I understand wanting to protect your Caj," Timmoz said while he rubbed his eyes. "She's a predator, I got that much from her. She might feel superior... or see him as weak." Timmoz said, "Like Arcturians think...bunje... Klingons."
Timmoz jumped down from his upper bunk. "It's not a common V'draysh philosophy but its not rare outside of it." He leaned against the door frame to more easily speak across the hall and into the area where Irynya was. He crossed first his arms, then his ankles. "I'm not an expert though. Maybe you advocating for him raises his standing. Or maybe it makes him look even weaker."
"I didn't advocate," she said darkly. "I threatened. I made it clear she had harmed my family and that she needed to consider if she wanted to be on my bad side." A deep sigh pulled from her again and she ran her hand slowly through dark strands of hair, tugging lightly until she reached the ends before returning to her temple and repeating the motion, an echo of self-soothing in the motion. Maybe she should have gone to Kennedy... let him soothe her with touch. "How does someone that bad with people get elevated to a chief's role? Even an acting one?"
Timmoz made a throat hum of acknowledgment, "It's hard to tell where that landed for her," he murmured in his Orion brogue. He pushed inside the cubicle for sleep she was in when she began her self-calm. "You'd have to ask Human Resources," Timmoz lamented dryly. He sat down on her bed. "Come here, V'kava." He gestured for him to lay into him. "How do Zaldans get away with being offended by etiquette. How do Zakdorn get away with their people are numbers? Usually, the answer is they are very good at their jobs. Now leadership..." Timmoz chuckled. His eyebrows perked. "Then again what idiot gives me a phaser?"
Her hand paused it's movement only long enough to acknowledge when Timmoz entered her space. An almost physical feeling of relief filled her when he gestured and she resituated so her head was resting on his thigh, one hand tucked up by her chin while the other rested next to her face near his knee. She listened to the dry rumble of his chuckle and felt the rise and fall of his torso with the tempo of his breathing and unconsciously matched her own to his. With a sigh she snuggled closer.
"The kind of idiot who wants to stay alive and knows someone who can shoot when they see them," she murmured in response to his joking about the phaser. Her lips pursed for a moment before she added. "I can see your point, though. So she's a talented engineer. But she's about to alienate someone at least equally talented if not more so." She frowned.
Timmoz's feverishly warm fingers were deft, moving to the muscles of the Risian's neck. He pressed, searching out the myofascial knot that had her nerves in a tizz. When he found it, his thumb swooped, pressed, and began working. He chuckled again, issuing that throat sound of affirmation. "As I said to Kodak once... I will be your villain when you need me." His bare chest swelled against her back and fell again in a breath. Orions, by most standards, ran hot in body chemistry. "Give a person a degree and put them in a room with others with the same degree. And you thought Tatharoc was a bloodsport." He mused while fingers danced and pressed. "Unfortunately for your cute-assed friend, Margarar has experience and rank on her side. And I'm sure his head is full of those ridiculous ideas the Academy fills you with, that your superiors are infallible." His hands shifted, "The dissonance in his head right now must be terrible."
The breath that shuddered out of her when Timmoz's thumb began to press into the knot he'd found was almost reverent in its appreciation. "That part I can confirm. We were talking about it maybe an hour or so before she arrived. He was just... off... I don't know... I could tell something had happened and when he started asking about whether superiors had ever treated me that way..." The hand near his knee shifted slightly, fingers tracing a pattern against his leg over the slinky fabric of his pants, returning soothing for soothing. "I never thought I'd be glad to have experienced something like that, but I was... glad I mean... that I had something similar to share so at least he would know he wasn't alone. That people are just terrible sometimes."
"Starfleet is tolerant... until it isn't," Timmoz agreed while his fingertips dappled, played, and pressed. Their pseudo-magic began to piano the bones and muscles of her neck. "You need a new pillow," he said offhandedly. "Risian's are vacuous and sexy... Orions are treacherous and sexy. Cardassians are cold and calculating. Ferengi are greedy and craven. There are always people who will try to put us in a box. Humans have... they believe... softened, but their conservatism was only heightened by their Vulcan allies. And nothing says conservative contempt like a Vulcan eyebrow," he chuckled again. "Some people aren't worth the booska they excrete. Before we decide if Margarar is irredeemable, we'll have to work with her. Or else we are the ones putting her in a box."
Tan-fingered hands swept long dark strands back from her face, shifting them to make sure the Orion's deft fingers could reach her neck fully without any obstacles. Once her hair was settled she returned to tracing patterns on his leg and twisted ever so slightly, elongating her neck for him. "I suppose," she conceded slowly. "I just wish there was a way to take Noah out of the equation." Her emotional hackles went up again, protective instincts kicking up a storm of frustration in her gut. What had Timmoz called him earlier? Her cub? That felt about right. Like she was protecting someone in her family the way one might in a pack of wolves or other similar animals.
"He could transfer departments," Timmoz said. "But he'd have to agree to the transfer." Given the full range of the Risian's neck, Timmoz took it as a request. Working down the column of her vertebrae, he pressed thumbs into fascial knots, and ever so gently rubbed the muscles. "At least until his cadet cruise is over. Once he's commissioned he can choose to go anywhere."
Silence reigned for a moment as Irynya internalized those thoughts. She let her eyes flutter shut, the movement of her hand turning slow and sleepy, though no less deliberate in her movements. Her breathing slowed as well, some of the tension pent up in her chest releasing with it. "That's true," she finally confirmed, acknowledging she had heard him. "But I doubt he'll want to do that." A yawn tugged free of her then and she stretched her legs out, pulling some of her lower muscles taut as the tension she had been holding started to release throughout. "Thank you Qash," she murmured sleepily.
Timmoz's hands shifted to the woman's shoulders and the cap of muscle that rolled to her arms. "Suggestion. Give him the weapons to fight the battle himself. Don't fight it for him." he squeezed her shoulders and stopped rubbing her back for the moment. His arms laced her stomach and he drew her again hit over-warm chest. "You're welcome."
The Risian let herself be positioned, shifting so her head was leaning back against his shoulder. The Orion's warmth, alone, had a relaxing effect and she breathed out a long sigh of a breath. "Arm him," she murmured, "I'll think about it." She snuggled closer then, tucking herself against him and leaning into the feeling of being held and protected. Amidst all of the urge to protect the undercurrent of vulnerability ran strong and in that moment it felt right to simply be held. "You can stay here, if you want," she said, making the offer knowing he was unlikely to take it, but extending it all the same.
"I'll stay for a while," Timmoz rasped near her forehead. "Until you're good and asleep." He smiled like a coy coyote. "I have to check the commodities markets. The androsine market on Balosnee..." His arms folded around her waist. He teased the underside of her breasts with a thumb swipe. "But go to sleep. Dream of lanky Irish men and Jamaharon."
She chuckled, leaning into his touch instinctively though slowly. Her laugh was quiet though, drowsy, and her eyes had already fallen closed. "That man has no idea what he's in for," she murmured, before falling silent. A moment later her breathing turned even and shallow and her weight shifted from shared to fully pressed against the Orion. Irynya was asleep.
A Post By:
Chief Flight Controller
Lieutenant JG Irynya
Assistant Chief Flight Controller