Season Notes: This is essentially a heavy nonconsent/dubious consent D/s story set in space that’s as close to erotica as I come. If you are uncomfortable with noncon, explicit sex and/or rape, or fictional slavery, skip this story entirely.
Moira hadn’t confronted the captain. Her first reaction to learning he’d been isolating her had been to storm out of Skullfire’s rooms and scream at him. Her second had been to burst into tears. Having sex with Skullfire (and sharing many orgasms — once the worst of her heat had passed the alien had insisted on reciprocating) had been a distant third. It had, however, been the right one. Endorphins, Moira thought with a small sigh of memory, were wonderful. Nature’s best invention. Even better than sugars and caffeine.
Now, a day later, Moira had set herself up smack in the middle of the crew’s common room. She was done hiding in Zdenko’s bedroom and stalking the crew through surveillance systems. It was time to force the issue. Her way.
Besides, her case study on the social dynamics of a free trader was drafted, and she’s sent it out for peer review at their last planetfall. Given what she was ‘earning’, she’d have another two years stuck on the Meadowsweet. With planet falls (and access to a new library) every few weeks, it was time for that cultural survey she’d been contemplating the last few years.
She smiled at the thought as Efe popped out of her room. Moira’s smile grew wider as the woman stopped, blinked at Moira, and slunk across the common room to the head.
Each of the crew had responded differently to her staking out the common area. Efe with embarrassed awkwardness that was almost cute. The captain with silent glowers. Skullfire had given Moira a smile the first time she’d seen her there and otherwise went about her business apparently unnoticing. Ezra… poor Ezra was having trouble with Zdenko’s edicts. Every time he saw her, he started to say something, caught himself, flushed (with anger, she thought), and stomped out of the room.
Ildar was the only one to actually use the common room with her there. He’d walk in, give her a brief nod, and go do whatever.
Unknown to Moira, with her no longer stalking the security cams, the crew could talk openly about her and were. Well, when Zdenko wasn’t in the room.
Which was how Skullfire kept Ezra from confronting Zdenko himself. Skullfire was very impressed with Moira and thought the human woman would want to handle the matter herself. Skullfire was able to point to Moira’s sudden siege of the common room as evidence that Moira had her own ideas and they should let her handle it.
Skullfire’s counsel lasted a week. After that Ezra, was out of patience. But he did take to heart part of Skullfire said.
Moira was, once again, in the common room, doing a quick skim of a paper on the function of the Tyrelean government. Ezra stepped into the room from the galley, did what had become his usual open mouth, close mouth, flush, turn… then he stopped and turned back.
It took Moira a moment to notice the change. When she did, she dropped her data unit and raised her eyebrows at him.
“Look, I don’t know… I mean…” he stopped and shook himself. “Do you have some kind of plan here?”
“I would have bitched Zdenko out myself by now, but Skullfire said not to fuck with whatever you’re up to. So… do you have a plan? Or do you need any help?”
“Oh. No, I don’t have a plan. Not yet anyway, I’m doing research.”
“Research?” Ezra took a step closer to her, curious. “What kind of research?”
“A bit of psychology, a bit of sociology.”
“So… mental stuff?”
“You could say that.” She grinned at him. “Congratulations, by the way. You’re the first of my subjects to grow a pair of balls.”
“The first of your…” He blinked at her, blinked again, and burst out laughing. “You mean you’re waiting to see how long you can take over the common room before we start telling Zdenko to go fuck himself.”
“Well, I wouldn’t put it that way…”
“Nope, you’d drape in some scientific gabble, just to drive it home that we’re being a bunch of idiots. Right?”
This time she flushed a little bit and shrugged.
“So,” he said, finally crossing the small room and sprawling on one of the lounge chairs. “Ildar’s hanging out in here doesn’t count as growing a pair?”
“He used a different avoidance tactic than the rest of you, but pretending I don’t exist beyond the barest courtesy is not exactly challenging Zdenko’s pile of shit.”
Ezra didn’t know what to say to that. But he didn’t want to just… walk away again. Finally, just as Moira was picking up her data unit again, he blurted out, “You like fish? I finally got my fish tank set up proper.”
Moira blinked. “Is that like asking me if I wanted to see your etchings?”
“Old, old joke.” She shook her head. “What kind of fish do you keep?”
Ezra didn’t stay long, not because he was avoiding Zdenko, but he did have work to do. When he left, Moira had to bit her lip to keep from crying. While she had enjoyed, reveled in, the true intimacy Skullfire had offered, she had known it was a one-time thing, a biological imperative, and not a reflection of anything between them. Ezra offered her something infinity more precious — not a single night of sex, however enjoyable, but his friendship.
She looked forward to learning more about his fish — literally and euphemistically.