Canopus Station
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Try, Try Again

Posted on Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 @ 10:15pm by Stephen Spires & Lieutenant Commander Mara Ricci
Edited on on Fri Aug 2nd, 2019 @ 10:25pm

Mission: S0E0: What Came Before
Location: Mara's quarters
Timeline: Right after “Did Someone Order an Arm?”

Since Aarav had left, Mara had spent about an hour tinkering with the settings on her arm- that would never sound normal- and was just starting to think she had things sort of right. She hit save and sat back on her sofa with a sigh. Ravioli jumped up and settled in next to her almost immediately.

"Well, Rav," she said, ruffling the dog's fur. "Your fur feels a lot less like pasta. Is it fur yet? No. More like yarn. But we're getting there!"

The chime sounded at the door. An unexpected visitor.

“Come in,” called Mara from her place on the sofa.

The doors parted to allow Stephen Spires to enter. He did so far more sheepishly than the last time he darkened her treshold. "Mara." His eyes went to her prosthetic arm. "You're right. Can't even tell."

Ravioli, who had perked up at the sound of the door chime, now jumped off the sofa and raced at Spires, jumping up and down in front of him with that high pitched bark that meant, "Oh my goodness, where have you been? I've missed you so much! I need to lick your face, but I can't reach it!"

Seeing the dog wouldn't be satisfied, Stephen let her lick his hand while he scratched behind her ears.

Mara grinned at Ravioli's antics. "Just this," she said, indicating the thin band of silver still visible from the connector. "Just kinda looks like an arm band. And there's no freckles. I'll have to see about putting them on."

"Shouldn't be hard, considering everything else." Stephen shrugged. "I was scared, Mara. When that thing started eating away at your flesh... I'm just glad you're alright now, freckles or no freckles."

"Try not to think about it," she replied. "That's what I do. Come in and sit down. Ravioli, calm down already!"

Stephen gave a bemused laugh to offset his nervousness. This was unfamiliar territory for him. Taking a seat, he let Ravioli bathe his hand with her aggressive licking. It gave him time to contemplate the lingering question: what now?

Luckily, Mara had done this three times before- once as a teenager and twice as an adult- and knew exactly what to do next. So, as Ravioli zoomed to her toy box, retrieved her favorite toy, and settled onto the sofa next to Spires, happily squeaking away, Mara held up her hand and waggled her fingers. "So, check it out," she said, reaching over and taking his hand in hers, twining their fingers together. "Feels real doesn't it?"

The press of flesh certainly felt real. "Very," he agreed. "Good thing they didn't have to replace anything else. Might not duplicate that head of yours with such attention to detail." He smirked mischievously. "A'course, that might not be such a bad thing, chere."

She gave him a playfully annoyed smirk. "I should probably punch you for that," she replied. "But, I'm too distracted. I can’t get skin to feel right. It feels like fish skin- all scaly. It's weird."

"Shame. Getting you riled up was always my second favorite past time," he said. "Usually leads to my first favorite."

"Maybe later," she replied, waggling her eyebrows. "But, I'm not entirely sure what this thing will do just yet. It might rip something off."

Stephen laughed, then clutched her hand tighter and ran his other hand clear up to her elbow. "Still feel fishy?"

She giggled. “Yes, it’s weird!” she said. “I might just have to get used to it. A lot of stuff feels weird.”

"How about this?" Stephen knelt down and brushed his lips over her knuckles. "C'est l'amour..." he said, staring up her arm. "Principessa."

“Less fishy,” she replied honestly. “But I’m going to have to fuss with the settings some more, I think. Later,” she added with a smirk. “Not right now.”

Little did she know that annoying her was its own reward. "Maybe I should get enhanced. Would you have me get a matching arm or maybe something more risque?"

“No!” she laughed. “Don’t be absurd! I like you just fine the way you are.”

"But I'm a scoundrel." Stephen's eyes twinkled. "A big, dumb oaf. Sure you wouldn't change a thing?" His cheesy grin dared her to argue.

"Hm, now that you mention it..." she teased, leaning over to kiss him gently. "Seriously, though, no. If I didn't hate you, I wouldn't like you. Plus, you're cute, so..."

Stephen laughed at that. "Good. I wouldn't know what to do with myself without your hate."

She gave a return laugh. “Don’t you hate me, too?” she asked playfully.

"I try to," Stephen retorted. "Makes it easier to stay mad at you when you act so damn stubborn and crazy. Makes me just appreciate your finer qualities all the more."

She giggled lightly. “We could go hate one another a bit,” she suggested, nodding towards the bedroom. “I’ll try to keep this thing under control,” she added, indicating her prosthetic.

"You mean I didn't have to piss you off first?" Stephen asked with mock surprise.

"Not every time," she replied with another giggle. "Not anymore, anyway."

Stephen swept her off her feet and carried her in his arms. "I'll just have to think of other ways to get a rise out of you."

“I thought I was supposed to get a rise out of you,” she laughed in reply.

Rather than answer, Stephen flopped her on the bed and shed his clothing in record time.

"Let me help, gimpy," he traded as he pulled at her clothing as well. Before she could deliver a cunning retort, Stephen set his mouth upon hers and wrestled for dominance.

Despite the familiarity of their intimate embrace, there was a hesitation in the mingling of their limbs. Their first time together had been born from hateful spite that was satisfied through sexual release. Most repeat performances were little better.

But now...after Stephen's profession of true love in Sickbay and Mara's reciprocation, there was a tenderness in their caresses and kisses that was not there before.

For hours on end, Stephen's hands completed their familiar circuits over the mounds and curves of Mara's body. The rhythm of their bodies changed with their positions, but their great passion did not.

A brief thought of concern came over Stephen when Mara's prosthetic hand clutched him a little too tightly. Her natural aggression soon took over, though, which meant her biological hand was just as gripping.

After several rounds, at the height of their throes, Stephen's knee slipped over the edge of the bed. In a sweaty avalanche, they toppled together on the floor.

"I'll be honest..." Stephen said, a little breathless. "I did not see that coming."

Mara giggled. "What?" she asked, also a bit breathless. "Falling off the bed? We've done that before."

"Have we?" Stephen asked. "Guess I'm a slow learner." He traded his hand over her side and let out a him. "Looks like you haven't missed a beat though."

"It's not as awkward as I'd thought it would be," she agreed, but it wasn't clear if she meant the prosthetic or their activities. She sighed happily, leaning against him. "Shall we get up or just stay here?" she asked, not moving.

Stephen pressed his face against Mara's head and inhaled the scent of her hair. The moment seemed ripe for a stolen kiss, so he took one. "I don't know. Haven't really thought much ahead."

"Hmm," she said happily. "Let's just stay here for a bit. Cuddling is good. At least for a little while."

Stephen chuckled at an odd thought. "I might be a cuddle virgin. Think you just punched my cuddle v-card."

"Oh, come on," she giggled into his chest. "You must have cuddled before. Girls are into cuddling. How could you have gotten this far in life without cuddling?"

Stephen furrowed his brow in disbelief. "Are you really asking me that?" He gave a self-deprecating snicker before turning pensive. "I dunno, chere. Sex was always a means to an end, or a contest, conquest, what have you. Never did open my heart, I s'pose. Always moved on first." He steeled his jaw and gazed into her eyes. "It took nearly losing someone special for me to... you know, take the plunge."

She afforded him a grin at that. “Okay, granted,” she said, her tone softer. “But even so, I would imagine at least one of them managed to rope you into a snuggle session.”

"Maybe if I was blind drunk," Stephen said with a laugh. "But I've got no recollection of that. So, there you have it. Popped my cuddle cherry."

“Well,” she said with another grin. “I’m honored. And I’ll have to make sure to cuddle you often. You know, so you can make up for lost time.”

A sly grin came over Stephen's face. "Speaking of lost time... We weren't exactly done when we fell down here."

He sat up, drew Mara to her knees, and playfully pushed her onto the bed. "A love ballad from a long time ago comes to mind," he said. "Boom, boom, boom! Let me hear you say wayo!"

She had no idea what he was talking about, but as it didn’t sound anything like a Love ballad, she couldn’t help but laugh. “What is that?” she giggled.

"Hell if I know," Stephen said, joining in her laugh. "I heard it once at Jeffersonian Institute exhibit and it stuck in my head ever since." His grin turned sly and seductive. "More lyrics are coming back to me... I came to make you shake it til you break it,
caress your body until you're naked.
Bend you over, grab your shoulder, slip my peter inside your folder.
Make you sweat-a, get you wetta',
pump it faster to make it better.
Dim the the light then lock the room,
'Cause now it's time for me to hit that boom!

He cackled with juvenile delight. "Clearly it made a strong impression on adolescent me."

"Clearly," Mara laughed. "That is the most terrible song I've ever heard in my life. Now forget that song and get over here. Well, maybe don't entirely forget the song," she added, waggling her eyebrows at him.

"Aye aye, 'Commander'..." Stephen snickered at his impertinent use of rank. But the time for words had past. Maybe Mara would have a witty retort, or maybe she would lay back and enjoy the ride.


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