Posted July 24, 2021, 7:11 p.m. by Lieutenant Alexis Bonner (Scientist, Medical Researcher) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Lieutenant Dr. Solomon Kane (Medical Research & Development) in When the Chemistry is Right
Kane had ‘settled’ her as he put it. It made her laugh, she wasn’t sure why though. She was restless. Apparently so was Solomon because he had first thrown himself down on the couch and then suddenly got up and left. She was curious what was on his mind, but she didn’t need to know. She understood that his mind worked differently, just like hers did. If he wanted to tell her he would. She didn’t feel slighted if he didn’t and she wasn’t bothered by it if he did. It was…natural, it simply was and it worked because that’s how it was. She shrugged not even able to explain it to herself. Normally when she was restless she would go to the lab, she’d go work. However, the work waiting for her right now, required the lab to be empty because the projects she was working on were hazardous. She preferred, for safety’s sake, to work in the lab alone for those. Either in R&D or the chemical/biological hazard labs.
She looked around, Solomon said to make herself at home…sigh…at least for a little while. “Computer close the windows and turn the lights to 90%.” The computer trilled softly and then picking up a PaDD with a letter from her mother Alexis walked over to the replicator and began to request items.
She placed the yeast into a large with warm water and flour and began to whisk the mixture and then watched, still fascinated at watching the exothermic reaction of the yeast and warm water and the foam it caused in the flour. She understood it could write the equations, but it reminded her of when she was little. She’d watched her mother work the starter and turn it into bread that they ate. Alexis had wanted to know why it didn’t expand in their stomachs and make them explode when they ate it, and that question had started a deep dive into, what her dad called a rabbit hole, into the digestive system and the human body that she had never climbed out of.
Alexis added egg, butter, sugar, salt, and 3 more cups of flour and began to slowly knead the mixture, adding a tiny bit of flour when she was sure it was too sticky. Once fully mixed she scooped the dough out of the bowl and gently formed it into a smooth round blob. She let it set while she cleaned the bowl and drizzled olive oil into it and then placed the dough back in the bowl and carefully coated the whole surface in the oil and covered the bowl and let the dough rise. Now she had two hours to kill. Frigga came over and pawed her foot. Alexis smiled down at her, “Yes girl I’m making one for you too.” Frigga whined. “Oh you need to go out…” She had time. She slipped on shoes and out the door they went. They spent an hour in the arboretum while Alexis threw the ball and tried to wear Frigga out.
Frigga led Alexis back to Solomon’s home. Frigga liked it there and she preferred Alexis there. The doors opened to Frigga’s combadge and Alexis walked in and peered through the glass bowl to make sure the dough was rising properly, and content with the reaction she started reading the latest medical journals on her PaDD until the two hours were up. That’s when it started to get messy. She floured the table top and began to work the bubbles out of the dough and flatten it to a half inch thick. She cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, rounded the shape and then covered and allowed the buns to rise for another hour. She set the small rotisserie oven to 375 and then she started making hamburgers. In another bowl went the meat and seasoning and she began to mix it all by hand. Her mind considering where the meat came from, what animal, what part of the animal, and…etc. Not so strange connections but ones that most people would find weird or uncomfortable to consider. Setting the meat aside she made the egg wash and gently brushed it onto the buns and sprinkled them with sesame seeds. Then she popped them into the oven.
Frigga came over sniffing, her nose trying to reach to sniff the bowl of hamburger. Alexis laughed. “I told him he was spoiling you.” She laughed again and shooed her away from the food. Alexis began to clean the dough remnants and flour up, and return the used utensils, bowls back to the matter recycler. “Alright Frigga, bed.” and she pointed into the bedroom and Frigga hopped up, turned around once and laid down. “Stay.” Alexis walked into the wash room, looked at herself and laughed. She had flour and dough, well not every where, but on her shirt, across her forehead and temples, even flour in her hair. She went back into the living area and pulled out clothes from her bag tucked into the corner. She placed her combadge on the edge of the counter, within reach, just in case, and stepped into the shower.
Kane walked in and immediately smelled the aroma. He looked around, smiled, and then moved over and knelt by Frigga. “You guys gettin’ comfortable? Good… good…” and he had her lay back down and then went into the bedroom. He smiled and stripped down, whistling as he did so so as not to startle Alexis. After a moment, he stepped in the shower behind her and wrapped his tattooed arms around her. “Hey there hot stuff… come here often?” he asked and kissed her neck.
Frigga sat and placed both front paws on his chest, tongue lolling, tail wagging happily. Kane was her favorite person, just don’t tell her mom that. She dropped back to all fours, turned a couple of times and laid back down.
Alexis heard movement and then whistling. The timbre of the whistling told her it was Solomon but she’d never heard him whistle before and so she started reaching for her combadge when she saw a flash of heavily tattooed skin and smiled. She was standing under the water rinsing shampoo out of her hair. Alexis’ hair was long already, and appeared straight coming to the small of her back. It actually had quite a bit of curl to it. The length and weight just pulled the curls out. The added weight of the water made her hair several inches longer and completely hid her own tattoos. She looked down at his arms, tattooed against her blank skin, and smiled, tracing the eagle tattoo, not the scar. He was flirting with her. In the shower. It was a totally unfamiliar experience. She wanted to flirt back but had no idea how to go about it…maybe there was something she could read about it? “Hey,” a soft moan escaped as he kissed her neck, “Ummm…No.”
Kane chuckled and shook his head against her. “Girl… its a good thing you are smart and beautiful, because you are terrible at flirting.” and he softly bit her shoulder. “But that’s okay… I speak Lex. I know what you mean.” He turned her around and gently pushed her against the wall… and then stood in the water and grinned at her. “Possession is nine-tenths of the law. I have the water, so its mine. Unless you care to come share it with me?” and he grinned again.
Alexis was a force to be reckoned with in the lab or medical bay, but outside of that…well sometimes there were situations she just wanted to leave because she felt so incredibly foolish. Not in a silly and lighthearted way but in an inexperienced and inadequate way. It had nothing to do with Solomon, what he said, how he said it, or what he did. He made it easy to stay, to try, even though she was terrible at it. A quick but soft intake of breath as warmth spread from her shoulder… ‘Lex speak’ the nickname and the term, every time, made her smile and flush - he understood her. She leaned against the wall, he was grinning at her and she grinned back at him. As she stared at him her eyes widened noticeably and she bit her lower lip. She stared at him a second longer before stepping into the water with him. She grinned looking up at him, “I wanna share it with you.”
Kane took her in his arms and let the water fall on them and he smiled at her and said “You know I love you, right? As in… I am in love with you? And I… I… when all this is over and Weaselhead McF#@knugget is dealt with… I don’t want you to move back to your room. I want you to stay here… with me. You know… permanently.”
Okay so she was really bad an innuendo. Okay not bad, but slow to pick up on it. She was smart…how did she miss that was where he was going with that? No she didn’t miss it, he was flirting with her, teasing her about the water. She hadn’t missed anything. She blinked again.
She was stunned, but then it all just clicked. He would feel it where he was holding her, she was relaxed at the idea, but her eyes would show she was nervous. “I know you do. I’m in love with you too. And when McF#@knugget is gone I don’t want to go back. I want to stay with you, here, for as long as you want me to.”
He looked at her, he face as serious as she had seen it, and he reached up and put his fingers lightly on her wet cheek. “I think you know how long that is… don’t you?” he asked softly. The implication… the offer… hung unspoken but so very real between them.
Stillness, butterflies, and a warm ache somewhere in the vicinity of her heart, every time he touched her like that. Always when he made love to her, but he wasn’t…or maybe he was, it sure felt like it - standing in his arms, under the water, his fingers tracing her face. Brown eyes stared into his green and she nodded softly but clearly. She thought she knew, or at least she knew what she wanted it to be. Solomon terrified her…no that wasn’t right. The way she felt about Solomon scared her, but he made that not matter, he made everything still, he made it okay to be her. He said permanently. Permanently meant in a way that lasts or remains unchanged indefinitely; for all time. But she didn’t trust herself to say it.
“Don’t you, Lex?” he asked her again. “Remember… you don’t have to be scared with me. You can be whatever you need to be, but it doesn’t have to be scared. At least… not in a bad way.” His fingers brushed her skin, and he looked unblinking into her eyes. “You know how long I want you to be with me… right?”
She nodded again, quietly. Alexis stared back into his eyes, that consistent relaxed softening she felt every time his fingers brushed her face. Her body twitched slightly, much like her hand had that first night in the lounge, when he pushed her comfort zone, but she’d answered him anyway. She didn’t want him to say it was for forever. It would hurt too much if he changed his mind. Reflex, one asked the other answered, and he’d asked her three times now. Remember…
我也爱你. That means I love you, too. And that means you are never alone again… understand?
Tell me how you feel, Lex… not what you think… but what you are feeling right now.
Breathless, giddy?, scared or maybe anxious, safe, wanted.......love- that I love you and you love me.
Good. Now remember that feeling. Right now. Remember it. Lock it away in the strange, convoluted, beautiful brain of yours and never forget it. Because no matter what happens, what the future brings, or who tries to break this… this is real, Lex. Right now. So hold onto that whenever you get scared, whenever you feel lost… whenever things get dark. Know that that feeling is still there. And part of it is me, got it?
She closed her eyes briefly and then opened them again, the hint of fear and tears gone. Her body language, her eyes, was suddenly calm and certain. “You said I’m never alone, and you said permanently - indefinitely; for all time.”
Kane smiled and said “Thats right. You never are. And I did say that. And I mean it. But now I need to know how long you want me. And be honest. You won’t break me. Just tell me what you feel.”
Didn’t he know? He was better at this than she was. But how did she feel? He’d never tell her how she felt or how she should feel. She had told him, she had feelings, she knew why she had them and why she reacted the way she did, but she didn’t really pay much attention. Previously, before Solomon, not having a reason to pull herself out of her work. She closed her eyes, resting her forehead against his chest and let the water pour over them. “Nervous because this is more and I want it, but I only want it with you. And I’m terrified I’m gonna mess it up because I’m me. And I know you said I can’t do that, but I still feel that way. I want you to stay here, with me. If you ever left I’d never get over it. I love you, I’m in love with you. ” Wow he really made her feel a lot. She lifted her head and looked at him, her voice really soft. “I want you for forever.”
Kane looked at her and said “Ok. So here’s the deal. You have me as long as you want. But always know this… you can change your mind. You are not mine. I do not control you. You and I are together. We are a team… okay?”
Alexis nodded, a soft but radiant smiled on her face. “Okay.” He had said whenever she wanted and she really wanted to right then. She reached up on tip toes and kissed him. After a long moment she pulled back slightly. “Solomon, just incase I get lost in my headand forget to tell you sometimes. I think you’re really amazing and I love you.” And then she kissed him again.
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