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JL | Xue'Daio Nox & Lt. Evan 'Weirdo' Merlin | "Forget The Glass Work"

Posted on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 @ 5:13pm by Xue'Daio Nox Tr'Verelan & Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: The Round Table

It was way past midmight, standard time. In Ops, all was quiet, with only the gamma shif people awake – well, more or less awake. They were staring ahead or writing some notes on padds or talking softly amongst themselves, only looking up briefly when the weirdo lieutenant with the mad hairdo appeared. He walked through Ops, nodded at a few people, stopped just long enough at his station to browse through a few files and wandered off again. The gamma shift crew had long become used to his odd comings and goings. If they thought of it at all, they probably thought of him as some kind of insomniac who wandered through when he had nothing to do.

Well, in a way they were right.

From there the lieutenant took the lift down (they really did seem to behave to him, whether that was a result of his talking to them or just plain luck) and exited at the Promenade. Also quiet, at this time of night, with only a few bars still open. At this hour of the day, the smaller corridors which ran behind the shops and bars, the equivalent of alleyways in any regular city, were busier than the darkened Promenade. So the lieutenant wandered through those sections, and reflected to himself how strange it was that everyone seemed to give him a wide berth these days. Probably word had gotten around after the encounter with the crazy Bajoran some time ago.

Quiet. Boring, boring and quiet. He found himself in a secluded spot near the Promenade, one of the Stargazing lounges. This one was apparently part of a bar which had already closed for the night, but some nights ago he had discovered that the door opened for him when he asked nicely. He wandered through the room until he reached his favorite spot at the window, the one from which he could see the Ul-Kamari Expanse spread out in the distance, and stared at it.

Sometimes, in moments of loneliness such as these, the thoughts he normally didn't bother with crept up again. Once again he wondered where he had come from, or when. Why was there nothing he could remember about his past? Why had he never encountered anyone like himself, not even stories or rumours?

Ah, such futile thoughts. He stuck his tongue out at his own thoughts.

…A thread pulled at his awareness. The lieutenant frowned, followed the thread inside his mind, prodded at it. He felt an answering echo and suddenly realised what it must be. Smiling, he rose and wandered out again, locking the door once more behind him.

By the time he arrived, Xue had already dispersed her people far and away. It wasn't that she was hiding the time she chose to spent with the strange man... Had that been the case, they'd have met in some dark corner of the station where few dared dwell, not welcomed her into the warm embrace of her suite. "Mr. Merlin," she greeted him, for lack of a better way, ushering him in from the corridor with a gentle sweep of a delicate hand. They both knew that wasn't his rightful name, neither much cared. She'd called, he'd come, didn't matter what name she used.

From the moment the door closed, she was relaxed, allowing her fingers to brush the back of one of his hands as she passed by, "May I interest you in a drink?"

"You always interest me, with or without one," he said, smiling as he gave her a slight bow. Like before, it was not the bow of a lesser person acknowledging a greater one, but one of shared respect. The lieutenant didn't look around, only at Xue. When he gave someone his full attention, it really was his full attention, completely. "But as for that drink, that would be lovely. Surprise me?" That last bit sounded like an invitation to a lot more than a mere drink.

"In that case..." The albino bypassed the replicator with a casual grace and disappeared, however briefly, around the bar. When she returned, she carried with her two elegant flute-like glasses and a decanter filled with a deep, pretty blush colored liquid. "I offer you something you have likely never sampled before." She smirked, setting everything down. The crystal stopper to the decanter came off with an audible pop, and the sweet fragrance of the beverage held within painted a pretty smile across her face. Pouring his glass first, she held it out to him - the stem perched precariously between two dainty white fingers. His gaze should have unnerved her, how wolfish it seemed to be - but where should have been two yellow eyes, she only saw the sea watching her every move with an undefined sense of fascination she could feel, but not name. "To surprising you." Xue hummed as she poured her own glass and raised it to him in toast. The soft, sweet velvet of the honey and rosehip-like concoction couldn't be called a wine, it wasn't alcoholic - but the effects were dizzying when one chose to imbibe great quantities. She had no intention. The only thing she intended to do was watch the watcher, studying his chiseled face as he partook in one of her most favorite little treats and she stepped one foot through the door he'd opened with his thinly veiled 'invitation'.

"Thank you," the lieutenant said quietly. He raised his own glass in return, caught a faint whiff of the drink's perfume. The light falling through the glass gave the drink an unique colour, and he smiled, delighted. He took a sip of the drink. Like the one who poured it, it had its hidden depths, and he savoured exploring them. He tilted his head towards Xue. "You are right, this is unique," he said softly. He saw she was beginning to glow again. Or was that an effect of where she was seated, her whiteness contrasting with the deep darkness of space behind her? No, he decided, she really was glowing.

A Vulcan teacher at the Academy, who was a firm believer in the IDIC philosophy, had once told him: "In the hundred fifty years that I've been alive, I've never met anyone who wasn't important." Those words had resonated with him, since he often felt the same way. This universe was filled with wonders, and with wondrous people. People who often thought of themselves as mundane, as 'nothing special', 'not important'. He never understood how people could think of themselves that way.

But the woman who sat near him, sipping her drink and watching him over the rim of her delicate glass, was a different level of a wonder. She filled his eyes and she filled his mind. "So…" he said softly. "How do you prefer to spend your evenings, and your nights?"

A loaded question if there ever was one, but the only sign that the double entendre even registered was nothing more than a new shine in those strange pink-amber eyes. "That all depends," She started, setting her glass down, the sweet elixir more or less abandoned as she spoke and considered both the question and the inquisitor, "usually on who or what I share them with."

A slight tilt of his head acknowledged her words. "Of course," he all but murmured. "The company makes all the difference."

"Indeed," she nodded, casting a glance over her shoulder at the burning expanse behind her. While, from their distance, it appeared to be quite poised and stationary, she knew it was an undulating mass of color where stars were born, lived, and died if only to continue the intrigue and danger contained within its brilliant clouds. It wasn't unlike herself or the wild maned man of stardust before her. Her attention slowly found its way back to him, as did the rest of her. She approached him at a languid pace, her head tilted as she considered him for what he was; a mystery much like the hostile environment he came from. His eyes, though intense, were kind and gentle - a promise of something greater the way they glittered with life and intelligence. "And for tonight, I have you."

"Indeed, so you have." He took another sip of the drink, a long, slow one, savouring both its taste and the view in front of him. The slight, white woman against the background of space, slight in appearance or height, maybe, but nobody would ever think her frail or weak. "All of me."

"I don't think anyone could ever have all of you," Xue replied wryly about the same time that her toes nearly touched his. He was tall, but no more so than most Stenellis males - and while he certainly wasn't built like one, his physique spoke of promised strength that would both alarm and surprise even her. "Not even Starfleet truly has you, you choose to remain within their ranks and orders." She added, reaching to touch the fabric of his tunic, following the line of his sleeve until it gave way to the soft warmth of the hand not holding a glass. The touch was brief, however, and she found herself raising on tip toe to bring the shining alabaster of her fingers to the rich obsidian of his curls, toying with the ends as if to make a point that they didn't belong with the uniform at all. They were, however, uniquely him. "The stars... Maybe they have all of you." She murmured, one corner of her mouth quivering briefly in another wry smile, albeit it fleeting and evanescent in nature, "Maybe."

"Either the stars or the Expanse, out there," he said, and for a moment there was something sad in his smile, like a cloud moving before the sun, casting a shadow over bright blue water. "You're right. I don't even have all of me – but such as there is, is yours, for tonight, for now." And with that airy wave which was becoming familiar to those who encountered him before he dispelled the cloud and the sun shone once more, bringing out the blue sparkle in his sea-coloured eyes.

She nodded in agreement, affirming the thought and his addition to it. While she may not have all of him, much in the way that the wives of sailors shared them with the sea, she was willing to accept the portion he offering her. As enigmatic at he was, Xue was undeniably drawn to him and the shine of those eyes. "And what if I want it longer?" She asked, canting her head off to the right, her eyebrows lifting as she both questioned and welcomed him.

His free hand rose, almost of its own volition. Like she had touched the space-dark curls of his hair, now he touched the white starshine of hers. That single touch sent a shiver through all of him. "Then there will be other nights, and other nows," he replied.

The smile returned with the briefest of nods as payment for his words and explanation. "So be it." The starling spoke at last, though soft as a whisper on the wind. Around them there was the brand of quiet only space and starbases could afford - and electrical hum pulsed along through every bulkhead and deck plate. It was almost maddening if one paid attention to it for too long. Somewhere along the way, she had come to be so very aware of the way that tune interacted with him - driving his curiosity and warming her own need to know him. It had happened on the promenade that first moment they interacted, she'd felt the electricity snap along her nerve endings, dancing in vibrant longing to be tainted by his willful exuberance.

Though his tough, in and of itself was benign, she relished in it. The careful way his fingers tested and teased the silken snow of her hair acted as a catalyst, closing a circuit and driving her that little bitty bit forward into the realm of intimacy. Her fingers found his collar, open, inviting, and she took it for what it was - running a finger along the exposed skin. She wanted to know him, all of him. The glass was gently removed from his fingers and rested on the table top with the unspoken promise it could be fetched later if he wanted it. It gave to her his hands, allowing them the freedom to make whatever decision they so chose. In return, hers reached to cradle the stubble lined contour of his jaw, guiding him down to where she rose on tip toe to meet his lips with hers in a kiss that was part question and part answer. Another enigma.

"Now I wonder," he said slowly after awhile, after hands and lips and tongue had done a fair bit of exploring, given and taken and touched in turn, divesting the occasional bit of clothing if it became too restraining for exploring, "have you ever been with someone… in zero G? Floating?" His hair already seemed to be floating, standing out like a halo, almost waving in an invisible breeze. His eyes were large and fathomless, drinking in the sight, the smell, the touch of her.

Xue's head shook before she gathered enough sense to connect her thoughts to her mouth, "No. No I haven't, though I take it you have?" She asked. Her mind had been everywhere but trying to formulate sentences, her mouth too distracted by the taste of him and the feel of him against her lips. Tastes of honey and rose hips and something foreign, something with a delicious spice note unlike anything she'd ever encountered... If anything, she was hooked by the strange Cimmerian man of the stars and more than willing to give him free rein where it came to her and his appetite.

The lieutenant stretched and reached out to stroke the contours of her face. It was a slow touch, beginning at the hairline just above her eye and ending at her jawline. "On a few occasions," he said slowly. "It takes a bit of practice, but it's unforgettable. At least, I found it so."

His tunic now gone and replaced by the embrace of open air and the occasional hints of her fingers as she explored the beautifully tones expanse of his torso, Xue was left with near carte blanche access to anything and everything about him she could have possibly wanted... And then some. What she enjoyed most was the way in which he touched her without fear or apprehension. It was clear that he stood merrily on equal footing with her, casting away the titles and the crowns and banners came in the bundle pack. Her head tilted into his touch and her eyes flirted their way back from where her fingers traced the very masculine lines of his abs, to his eyes. "I can see both the challenge and the merits." She nodded slow, unwilling to break that contact. He was still so very in control of himself, of his surroundings. There was nothing ragged or out of sync about him and she wondered, fully, what a man like him was like when raw and unable to rely of the practiced logic of his illogical existence. What would happen if, and when, he was brought to his emotional knees and left with nothing but carnal base instinct... Or did that even exist within him and whatever he was.

Killing the distance between them, a tiny pallid hand snaked its way sound along the center line of his magnificent body until she found his desire and the exploration of him became more focused and caresses lavish and careful, "The question I have about it surrounds the nature of intimacy?" Xue's voice was snow, softly falling, requiring someone's full attention to make out each word as it tumbled gently from her lips. "Is it more a neat trick than something exhilarating?" Of course the woman had only ever heard tales of such connections. Her encounters with her darling husband had never been one for the books, but they'd produced S'anra and knew that they belonged to one another - that was what had mattered most. But with him, with her enigma, she couldn't help but wonder...

"I think that depends on the situation… and on the partner…" the man said. He found that with the connection now fully alive between them, he didn't need his eyes to see her. All of her. There was so much to explore. Not just the physical, delightful though that was. What amazed and delighted him was that with him, she was able to let go of the many-layered shields and masks she usually wore during the day. It was not quite like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, for unlike the butterfly, the persona under the mask was the same one who wore it – but so much more, so much deeper, warmer, more intense.

Still with his eyes closed, he reached out for her once more – but this time, he stopped at the edge of her aura-like glow, and touched that, dipped his fingers in the radiance, then just beyond that boundary of her again.

"Show me?" She breathed the request, watching the way her light played about his fingers - the way it wrapped about them and held them as if working to guide them towards the flesh that rested beneath. The oceans of his eyes were gone, lost beneath the forest of thick onyx lashes, but his face still said everything she needed to know. He still said everything she needed to know. Before him, bare as the day she was born, she didn't feel vulnerable or bored - for lack of a better term - she felt alive, invigorated, and seen. The albino should have rebuked him, never given him to chance to taint her perfect porcelain skin, but instead chose to crave him and the contrast that came when his rich olive and bronze rested against her. It wasn't an overshadow. It was a compliment, and recognizing it as such left her with a shiver and an aching need to see it again and again regardless of the cost to be paid.

He opened his eyes again and grinned, that full wattage, almost-but-not-quite childlike grin. "Now I know these rooms are equipped with variable gravity controls, so we could do it in here… We might have to secure some of the glasswork beforehand, though. I'm not sure how well-behaved it is."

Xue's head shook, "Forget the glass work."


Lieutenant Evan Merlin
Chief Strategic Operations Officer
Cold Station Theta, SB-1170


Empress Xue'Daio Nox
Queen of Apsha
Ruler of Aleine
Stenellian Ascendancy


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