Red Handed (Landing Day - Early Morning)

OOC: Joint Post from Blitzen and Sail

“Ah swear,” Dorian muttered as he tapped the annoying cortex, “tha first thing Ah give up when Ah’m done with spacin’ is alarms.” He rolled to one side of the bunk, reluctantly separating from Riley and their second night together.

Riley chuckled, pulling the covers around herself. “You’re gonna hang up your shingle and not open ‘til noon?” She asked, sleep still on her mind.

“Like a civilized man.” With a quick kiss landed upon the woman’s exposed hip, he rose from their shared bunk. “Oh-five hundred,” he groused quietly. “And thus begins tha mornin’s surreptitious return tah mah bunk.” On stiff legs he collected the scattering of his clothes. “Five credits says Serena’s set a tripwire and a buncha cans…”

“You might as well just take the five credits now,” she kidded back. “Will I get the pleasure of your company again tonight, Doctor Adler?”

His trousers now on without any trip and fall incidents, the medic went for his undershirt. “Mmmmm,” Dorian pondered the question aloud. “Difficult tah say...what with Verbena bein’ such a hot spot an’ all. “Well,” he amended his earlier thought, “at least it’s hot.”

“Local cathouse running a special?” She asked, settling back against the pillow, to enjoy at least one extra hour.

“On Verbena?” he gasped. “Land sakes, such a scandalous notion! Ah’m told there’s some positively lewd hand holdin’ goin’ on at tha local churches….or Ah might try mah luck at Mah Jong.” As the buttons of his shirt were slipped into place one by one, Dorian seated himself next to Riley. “Ah might have a bettah idea. A warm night, a blanket spread up topside. A bottle of somethin’......thee…….me?”

“All you’ll likely see is hazy sky, but the company will be top notch.” She said, running a hand over his back. “It’s a date.”

He grinned, then leaned in for a kiss. “Perfect. An hour aftah sundown work with yah schedule?”

“I can close up shop whenever you’re finished for the day. I doubt we’ll get many takers. You might see some business though.”

“Countin’ on it,” Adler chuckled as he pulled his socks on. “Last time Ah was through here, Ah noticed tha residents-tah-teeth ratio was one tah one.” Tucking his boots, coat and vest under one arm, he lowered his face again for several kisses until a swift foot nudged him on his way. “You’re a cruel, vile woman,” the medic said as he took to the hatchway ladder.

“Say hello to Edwards for me.” Riley replied, rolling over and settling back into another hour.

“Listen fah tha cans,” Dorian answered as he made his reluctant way up the ladder.

In his stockinged feet, the Doc moved quietly along the corridor toward the galley, and the after stairway beyond. Such an approach would yield him plausible deniability in the claim that he’d returned to the cargo bay cot city from the infirmary. Nobody would believe that, but then again, with the exception of the hyper-inquisitive Serena, no one else would choose to belabor the issue.
That was before he ran into Marisol.

The mechanic wielded a mop, working diligently at what appeared to be a sizeable smear of something red? Yellow? Orange? The tangy smell of mustard caught his nostrils as he stopped dead at sight of the petite woman.

She’d removed the top of her coveralls, tying the excess about her waist. From his vantage point, it appeared that the only part of her clothing not spattered in ketchup and mustard was her sleeveless white undershirt. But the odd sight paled in comparison to the woman’s hair, caked in white and risen to a lopsided mohawk. “Marisol?” he asked. “What happened?”

When she turned, he could see that her eyes were puffy and red from tears. But the smile she offered was something utterly joyous. “Dorian,” she exclaimed at sight of her friend. “It’s Haddie…”

He was immediately concerned. “What’s she done?”

“She played…..we….played,” Marisol’s tears started afresh. “She did this,” the diminutive woman gestured toward the wild hairstyle.

“Is that mayonnaise?”

“Uh huh,” she nodded enthusiastically. “But Dorian,” her voice trembled as she spoke. “Lyen…and I…were playing with her……and she laughed.”

His mouth dropped open. “Say that again?”

“Haddie…” Marisol fought to contain her emotions, “,,,,,,laughed! Out loud!”

Dorian smiled. “That is amazin’,” he replied. “A monumental leap forward.” He dropped his things onto a table before taking Marisol into a firm embrace.

“It’s….so sad,” she sobbed onto his shoulder.


“Laughing,” Marisol pulled back enough to wipe her eyes. “Laughing frightened her. She ran away…I think Lyen tried to find her. Mi Dios, Dorian…the pain that poor kid is suffering…just breaks my heart.”

“There’s a lot of trauma bottled up inside that child,” Dorian said gently. “Lyen and yahself made a big crack,” he nodded, smiling upon her. “It’s gonna take time…we’ll need tah be careful not tah scare her off with our attention. Ah think play is tha perfect way tah start…yah wear it well enough,” he laughed as their hug came to a cheerful conclusion.

As she wiped her eyes once again, Marisol spied the boots, jacket and vest as he collected them. “Where are you coming back from?” she asked as she cast an eye up the corridor. “Oh, tell me you weren’t….with a passenger?”


She seemed content with his response until the next conclusion dawned. “Riley?” Marisol asked, stunned. “Really?”

He met her with a nod. “Really Riley.”

“We should talk.”

“Yes" he drawled, "preferably somewhere off tha Serena net.”

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