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Vespers II

(or, Not The Log You’re Looking For) [Joint log, Jylliene and Nijil]


Jylliene returned from her shift to the quarters she was sharing. She was looking forward to getting to know her roommates a bit; it almost felt like the Academy again. Both were junior grade Lieutenants, just as she was. The Elasian, Miraen, was in science, and the Human, Leanne, was in engineering. They had taken their meal back to their quarters, and enjoyed talking about their roles on the station. Leanne was typically gamma shift, and Miraen, beta - so although they likely would have crossed paths numerous times, their shifts meant that they hadn’t worked together before. Jylliene, of course, had seen their names on manifests, but that was the extent of it. Miraen and Leanne did know each other, though.


A little too well for Jylliene’s comfort, as it turned out, as she awoke that night and became aware that the two were *not* sleeping.


In the corridor, her bag over her shoulder and her pillow and blanket under her other arm, Jylliene juggled a padd and looked up the quarters assignment for Nijil. Yes, it did look like he had a room to himself. Privileges of rank, she thought, as she walked to the correct deck, and down the hall to his door. She rang the chime and looked down. Trill equines again. Oh well. Right now, she just wanted sleep.


The sound of someone singing stopped at the sound of the chimes. Nijil had not expected anyone at his quarters this hour. Must be some engineer trying to adjust the engines in ways they didn’t understand. Too embarrassed to call over the comm system no doubt. “I told you once before not to touch the eng... oh, um...Jylliene?” His mood wind-down mood came to a halt. The family dagger lay blade down in his right hand. “Is something wrong? I thought you were asleep.”


“I am apparently rooming with limber liplocked lovers. Also, I need to take up yoga. I’ve never been anywhere near as flexible as they are. But not right this moment. Sleep. Can I use a corner of your quarters, please? Or if not, do you have any of that ale with you, so I can go back, drink myself to sleep and ignore them?”


“Elements, get in here.” He moved her in quickly and poked his head outside, and looked both ways. “You will not use a corner of my quarters to sleep nor will you drink any of my ale. Do you think I could sneak any of that onboard under Jorahl’s nose?” Nijil made his way to the bathroom sat down the dagger then got something out of the sink. The sound of ice in water. He held up a fresh bottle. “This is not as good as the one I gave you earlier. And about where you will sleep...” he stopped talking, he could see she meant to get more words out.


She was about to protest, but stopped. “Go on. But if you mean to give me your bed and take the floor yourself, you’ll find yourself in an argument. These are your quarters, and a patch of floor in here is more than generous enough for me.”


Nijil growled and smiled at the same time. “Very well, e’lev, perhaps I’ll have a sip of this and not share.” He went to grab one, or perhaps two small glasses.


“Let’s not be hasty, then. Go ahead, say your piece, whatever it is,” she replied with a half-grin.


“I would not dare turn you away. I’d give you the bed and you know that.” He looked at her directly. She’d already taken his mind off of Annisha’s unexpected outburst. He held both glasses in one hand and poured some ale in the other. He offered a glass to her.


Jylliene accepted the glass and took a small sip. “Nijil, you have to fly a massive so-called-shuttle that barely fits through the cargo bay doors. I have no idea how you managed to get that behemoth IN, but I know you’ll also need to be rested and alert to get it back OUT without wrecking it and the Aegean. And the floor isn’t going to do that. I have ops. I man ops at Aegis every day. I need sleep too, yes, but believe me, I’ll be able to do that fine in here on the floor versus back in my room listening to those two,” she sighed, “and wanting you while they’re...” she waved her free hand, and took another sip - this one a bit larger - looking away from him.


“Why...what were they doing? Wait, I don’t want to know.” Or do I? he thought. The bed had been calling his name and he sat at the corner. His hair lost its straightness and his mind too. Another sip.


“I told you. Lovers. And not much trying to hide it, though I suppose they didn’t expect me to wake up while they were so occupied.”


“Or while someone was in the middle of his favorite music.” His smiled extended.


Jylliene gave him a very confused look, then looked at her glass, then back at him. “...wait, what?”


Nijil shook his head. “I was singing. I know, when was the last time you had the notion of a Rihan singing?”


“Depends, are we talking about battle songs, or some kind of romantic ballad? The first, I could easily see. The second, admittedly, not as easily. But even Klingons have their opera.”


“It’s a song about betrayal from a long-time love. I don’t know if it’s translatable, yet. Not the best song to take one’s mind off of a little crying girl.”


“Annisha.” She winced. “Poor thing.”


“Yes. There’s a good chance I’ll not see her before she’s gone off to A’tari IV.” Nijil closed his eyes a moment.


“I hope we make it back in time to see her. She said there’s still a fair bit of red tape tying things up, and that it was likely to take some time before she’d actually leave. We had a nice conversation last night. Which reminds me, you might want to change your security code. She was jumping on the bed chanting it.”


“She’s very observant and has great recall.”


Jylliene nodded. “That’s quite clear.”


Nijil’s attention drifted to his talk with Annisha before leaving. She didn’t understand what was happening. No indication of a second thought about being adopted, but she’d expected her hero to see her off to her new home. He fell into a brief silence. A glance back at Jylliene’s dark green eyes pulled him back to now.


“Elements, I must be tired. Earlier did you say ‘wanting me?’”


She took a larger drink of the ale. “I think I recall saying that, yes,” Jylliene replied, quietly. She had wanted to tell him before they left Aegis, but couldn’t make the words come out. This time, she couldn’t stop them.


“H'tah-fvienn...” Not so much a command, more of a request.


Jylliene put her glass down and took the few steps forward toward him, her eyes lowered, then finally looked up. Nijil in turn stood up and approached. He pulled her close and held her tightly. No words. In time he broke the silence. “I think we both know what the other wants, but this is neither the time nor the place.” He led her to the bed. “No one sleeps on the floor. We both use the bed the way it’s intended, for restful sleep. It’s been a rough time for both of us.” Now they were at the blanket’s edge.


After nodding, Jylliene replied, “Just one question. If - When we get back to Aegis...what then?”


Nijil bent over and softly whispered...

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