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Lines in the Sand

Posted on Thu May 19th, 2022 @ 9:46am by Leiddem Kea (*) & Delaney O'Callaghan

Mission: Adrift
Location: Tent for Two
Timeline: MD03 2140
1994 words - 4 OF Standard Post Measure

"There you are."

It was the last place she'd expected to find him. Mind you, since Leiddem could have said exactly the same thing about her the previous day, Delaney couldn't really justify interrogating the Betazoid too much about his disappearance into the confines of the tent that now housed mostly a puddle of blankets. Sleeping rosters were all over the place and though she'd be disappointed if he intended to pull an all-nighter, at least it was understandable. Everyone was just grabbing sleep when they could.

Seeing him stretched out but awake was an instant distraction though. Delaney would have fought tooth and nail to deny any sort of oogling in the past but Leiddem was built with enough reassuring bulk to be considered the epitome of her 'type'. Delaney herself, whilst slender, carried more muscle than fat. Between the twice-daily jogging circuits, regular weight sessions and occasionally smacking a punching bag around to release frustration, there was plenty of physical exertion to make up for the fact that she ate like a horse. Lack of opportunity for working out was just another irritation on top of all the rest right now. Thankfully, Leiddem's form was yet to show any obvious signs of suffering.

Slipping inside so as not to get caught, Delaney nevertheless lingered in the doorway to appreciate the way he'd taken up the entire bed-mat. "Is this sleeping or hiding?"

"Resting in a hiding place." He said simply as she came into the tent. He rolled onto his side and looked her over. "And there I am? This is my home, where else would I be?" He demanded laughing a little. "You alright?" He asked looking at his chronometer looking to see how long he had been resting. It had not been long more than two hours but it was exactly what he needed after his interesting patrol of the out edge of the deck.

There was zero chance, possibly even less, of resisting certain temptations. In this instance, Leiddem had achieved the impossible in making bed look positively inviting and, thus, through evidently no fault of her own, Delaney abandoned the doorway to sit down beside him. One leg bent so that her thigh nestled against his stomach, she smiled down at his sleepy features and used her fingertips to coax a lock of his hair to sit flat. "I am now." It was mushy, but so help her, he was cheating. Leiddem-being-cuddly-after-sleep was her new favourite thing about him. "I didn't realise you'd come to bed already though. Everything okay?"

He watched her come and sit next to her and make it impossible to move again so he just watched her and offered a sleepy smile as he hand reached out to touch her leg. He really could get used to waking up with her like that, it made the world slightly less cold. "Yeah just had an adventure and needed a rest after it." It had either been rest or booze and he had not found anything even close to booze since then.

Though it wasn't anything like why she'd been looking for him, Delaney allowed the allure of distraction to win. Tilting her head, her brow puckered very faintly, she let her eyes study him for a moment before the pad of her thumb gently brushed a fleck of lint from his eyebrow. "Must have been one hell of an adventure then." Her hand drifted to rest lightly against his shoulder. "You seem in one piece though."

“Want to do a better check?” He wondered suggestively before grinning as he moved and slowly sat up rubbing his eye to make sure he was properly awake. “I met one of those spiders. Must have been the biggest one as well.”

When phrased like a challenge, Leiddem's question melted any resolve Delaney might have at least attempted to muster. With a boldness that was hardly surprising, she twisted to watch him for a moment and then repositioned herself to claim his lap. If she'd paused to consider whether straddling him was likely to promote the kind of restraint they'd agreed was probably best, she might have chosen differently, but instead her hands settled both sides of his face and Delaney regarded the Betazoid with exaggerated sympathy. "I've already begun thinning their numbers. Finally caught the one in the supply depot, he's gone to a better place."

“Still had to face the biggest thing in my life outside of an Betazoid tumble spider. I hate spiders.” Leiddem really did hate the way that they moved and the fact they had more limbs than him. He looked at her as she straddled him and stayed perfectly still not moving an inch other than his mouth. He knew if he moved he might try and take things further.

Never one to require too much assistance in pursuing dubious ideas, Delaney brushed both thumbs across his cheekbones and leaned down to steal a soft kiss. "I'm sure you were very brave," she murmured, backing off only far enough to allow the tickle of her praise to warm his lips. From there, her forehead found Leiddem's and her arms settled in a drape over his shoulders. "If I'd known you were going to bed early, " she added in a dangerously low tone, "I wouldn't have agreed to hang out with the girls."

“Oh so brave.” He assured trying to not think about it all but he had survived intact even if his ego was fractured by the yelling and screaming. He chuckled at the low tone. “I think the boys are planning something so maybe we can skip out early on both of them when they are all busy.” He teased with a wink.

The slow curl of Delaney's lips was pure deviousness. "And make the most of their distraction, huh? I see your dastardly plan, sir." It earned him a series of pecking kisses, however, before Delaney cautioned herself and turned her head so that her temple rested against his forehead instead. "It does bring me to why I was looking for you though. What... Hmn." The thoughtful pause as Delaney considered what she was asking was a novel display of delicacy. "Given that I'm about to hang out with several of the ship's most prolific sleuths, I thought I'd better ask what you're comfortable with me telling them." Delaney sat back to regard him. "One of them is your sister, after all."

“Oh Jea? Hmm she probably knows I am not exactly discreet with my thoughts.” The man admitted looking a little bit embarrassed. It had never occurred to him if he was honest that he would need to tell Jeassaho. It was just something that was free flowing between them, Reuben had never been announced or discussed he had just been woven into the family unit like he had always belonged. “I am happy for people to know that we have a thing … we have not exactly discussed what this is, just that we stand each other.” He grinned a little.

"So it's official; we have a thing." A finger prodded to his stomach teased him as much as her tone. "That won't lead to a bombardment of questions at all. Do you want to be known as something more than my dunderhead?" Amidst the squeeze of her arms, there was an element of vulnerability to Delaney's tone. She didn't want to push too far into exclusive territory but she definitely had reached an opinion about her preference. Her cheek found his and she nuzzled close to his ear. "I mean," she added softly, "I have no objection to official girlfriend status, I just don't want to cramp your style."

“Woman, I have no style.” He chuckled trying to lighten the mood that was threatening to be electric if they were not careful. He did not want to ruin the tentative steps they were taking between them. “I would like to be official if you would like that, Lan, but I’m also just happy to be your dirty little secret.”

That elicited a snort of laughter. "Me? Secrets? Oh, I'd love to see how long that lasted. Besides, Curtis is already fishing for info, be ready for that. I don't think," Delaney added, "that we have a chance in hell of keeping anything secret with this bunch, and I have no problem with you laying claim." The squeeze of her arms around his neck was promptly accompanied by another kiss. "As long as you're prepared for the ramifications."

Grinning at the implied, yet playful, threat, Delaney stole another kiss. Then a second. And very swiftly, the moment flared into something that veered just a little too closely to the unspoken 'grey zone' neither one of them had dared breach yet. It was frustrating beyond belief and the longer their situation stretched on, the more Delaney realised her resolve was starting to fray. His solid reassurance, his warmth, the little patches of heat he left behind wherever he touched her... Waiting wasn't her forte at the best of times, and this was starting to be a true test of patience. If she just kept kissing him, let her hands wander like so, would it really be the end of the world...

"Uuuuuugh, okay, okay." Forcing herself to pull away instantly became the dumbest thing Delaney had done all day but there was easily only another minute or so before she wasn't going to be able to at all. "You, stop being distracting. I have blankets and pillows to gather." She didn't move; oh no, that would be too simple. Instead, Delaney regarded the Betazoid through reluctant eyes, cheeks flushed with something more than just the warmth inside the tent, and smiled ruefully. "I'm taking a rain-check though."

The security crew member was just about to up his game and take things further as there seemed to be no slowing down when she pulled back. He nodded breathless and moved his hands to her waist and did not move as he tried to catch himself. “How long is this rain check?” He demanded not even rising when she said he was being a distraction. It was not his fault at all that he was that adorable or that she had a weakness.

Had she been in possession of his psionic potential, Delaney might have punched her boyfriend in the shoulder for that accuracy. As it happened, she was too busy hating herself for being sensible. "How does two hours sound?," she murmured, trying to calculate a reasonable amount of time that was long enough to satiate the group but short enough that she wouldn't spend the entire time crawling out of her skin in impatience. It was still probably a terrible idea, but the longer the situation extended, the more certain levels of restraint seemed like wasted opportunity. Neither of them wanted to put it into words but next time was starting to sound like a small luxury.

"Two hours. Show faces and then cash in the rain check." He made a face as if he was contemplating it before he nodded. Two hours was doable in his mind and he could easily make himself life and soul of any party in less than an hour if he really needed to.

There passed a moment of pure energy, where Delaney's eyes locked with the Betazoid's to allow the implication of their agreement to radiate outwards as fully-fledged anticipation. A touch of nerves was nothing compared to the thrill of risk and challenge and Delaney grinned slowly, her gaze sparkling with unspent vivacity. In a single, swift motion, she stole a final kiss and slipped backwards, rising to turn quickly towards the door, where she paused long enough to turn back, hover for a moment, and then held up two fingers before disappearing through the tent-flap.


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