- From: "Tkilyle@xxxxxxx" <tkilyle@xxxxxxx>
- To: ussgeorgetown@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 18:50:47 -0400
_Pack _by Ek Balam, Nathaniel Graison, & Aaron ZeemanThe dark haired lieutenant walked into the Georgetown's main engineering bay with cat like grace, lifting his head slightly, as if he were trying to catch a scent. Dark eyes surveyed the resident engineering staff, the engines, and the machinery. It was all spiffy and nice, he told himself but something was annoying him. "It stinks in here," he announced.
His long mahogany hair was tied into a braid down his spine, its tip brushing the top of his pants. Nathaniel grinned as he strolled in behind the lieutenant and then sniffed the air himself, wrinkling his nose. The cadet's uniform was snug across his wide shoulders but loose around his slim waist but the most striking thing about him was his eyes. They were purple, a pretty violet that glittered in the harsh lights of Engineering. "Smells like wet dog," he grinned as he padded him, moving with liquid grace. "And something underlying it. Something rank."
"You would say that," the dark haired man muttered with a smirk on his face. Then he shook his head. "You know what it smells like, Nathaniel? Tz'it coffee." He suppressed a shudder that really wasn't faked at all. "I hate coffee."
Nathaniel stuck his tongue out and shuddered, looking for all the world like a cat shivering. "Yuck. Coffee smells bad. All bitter." He padded over to one of the consoles and started idly tapping away, bringing up files and scanning them quickly. "Maybe we could spray over some catnip," he teased over his shoulder. "We could roll around in it."
"Here?" There came a growl from deep within the second man's belly, making his chest vibrate, and then he hissed. "I think not. Ek Balam does not work or play around that stench." He stuck out an arm and grabbed a passing ensign. "Why does it stink of coffee in here, Ensign? It means it isn't clean."
The ensign stared wide eyed. The newcomer had a very intense gaze, dark eyes that glittered with some sort of primal light. "Well, Mr. Garrity, the chief engineer, liked it. Loved it. Lived and breathed it. I think somebody scented the air with it so he'd be happy."
"I still say we scent the air with catnip," Nathaniel laughed, his lavender eyes sparkling. "Isn't there some way to make it smell less... bitter?"
Ek raised both brows then shook his head. "It does have a nice herbal scent,Nathaniel, you've got a point," he admitted but then he shook his head. "Look, Ensign, just run the air filtration system. It doesn't smell clean and if it doesn't smell clean then it isn't."
Nathaniel bounced over to him, barely resisting the urge to rest his head on Ek's shoulder. They were in public now, no behaving like the lupus he was. It was normal for them as a species to curl together and sleep, to touch casually, just little reassurances that the other is there, that it's okay. Instead, he fluttered his pretty eyes and grinned, flashing white teeth. "Trust him, he's got a perfect sense of smell."
Ek almost snickered as the ensign scurried away then absently patted Nathaniel on the head. "Thanks, it was going to irk be to no end. Tz'it coffee..." He nodded toward the console Nathaniel had been tapping at. "Please tell me the ship is in better condition that the air. I somehow doubt you know who'd be pleased otherwise."
"It's purring away nicely," Nathaniel grinned, touching his hand to Ek's then slinking back to the console. "I can see all the little adjustments he's made since he came. He's got his own style, his own little habits on how a ship should run. He's taken out a lot of the really weird configurations, going back to the original specs."
Ek ran a hand through his short but rather thick hair, stopping just short of licking his fingers to smooth strand. "Things to be thankful for. I would hate to have to find something occult and weird at a bad time." Then he laughed out loud, knowing very few people would know why he thought that was funny. "The name's Ek Balam not Murphy after all."
"Hmm, some of these upgrades are downright freaky," Nathaniel snorted."And dangerous," came a deep baritone from the level above. Dark, almost black eyes swirled with danger as Aaron Zeeman leaped from the upper level right down in front of Ek. "There's a lot of dangerous things in this department. What the hell are you two doing here?"
Ek jumped back, a few feet at once, his upper lip almost curling in irritation before he got over the startling he'd received. "What aren't you glad to see more engineers?" he asked with a smirk, padding slowly closer. "We're pleasant. Well, he is any way."
"Pleasant but you're lupus," Aaron growled, stalking forward. He leaned in and sniffed Ek, drawing his scent in as if he could taste more than just skin on the man. "Why are you here? Three in one place out in the black isn't just unusual, it's unheard of. Why the hell are you here?"
"Magnets," Ek said casually, scratching his chin on his shoulder, at ease despite the inspection he was getting. "We flock to our own." He turned his head to Nathaniel. "Tell him."
"We felt you come home," Nathaniel said simply, moving so he was almost touching Aaron but not quite. When Aaron put a hand on his shoulder, he rubbed his cheek against it, like a cat scenting. "You didn't stay but we felt your pain. They're frightened for you, scared you won't ever come home, they think you've been away from us for too long. We're here, we're your pack now, the little bit of home to keep you safe."
"And the cub, too," Ek said softly, his voice still coming from deep within despite the soft tone he used. He tapped his own nose. "The girl cub I can't smell yet but the boy? I got nose of him."
Aaron felt something give in him and he realised it was his homesickness. He missed his people, his home, and seeing them here made him realise just how much. "So long as you can both pull your own weight. Just because you're cute and cuddly doesn't mean you don't have to work," he teased.
"Aww, Nathaniel, did you hear that? We're cute and cuddly," Ek snorted though he grinned wide enough to show teeth. "Fear not, I actually know how to fix and build things. Mayans were building things long before many Earth cultures had the wheel."
"A starship isn't exactly a pyramid," Aaron snorted but he could actually see the gleam in Nathaniel's eyes, the sheer pleasure in being wanted, being needed, and it warmed him right down to his toes. Sliding his hand along, he draped it across Nathaniel's shoulders, pulling the slender young man close. "And the fact that there's suddenly three mutants on board isn't suspicious?" he smirked.
"Pah," Ek said with an outright snort of disdain. "It's been how long and nobody's noticed? They're all too worried about the tz'it superhero prima donnas." He patted Aaron's shoulder affectionately. "Not to worry, people just think we're a bit odd."
"Just remember that's all we are: oddities," Aaron pressed. "We protect our own, no one learns what we are and no one comes into the fold unless it's agreed between us. Since you're here, we're our own pack, just the three of us. Though, I'm not quite sure what two kitties and a wolf constitute, but pack does for now."
Ek nodded his head slightly. There was entirely too much at stake and their kind. "Relax, Aaron," he said in the soft and deep voice of his. "no one jeopardizes the pack."
"Good," he grinned, then he tickled under Nathaniel's chin and added, "Means you too, pretty eyes."
"I promise not to give the game away," the young man said with an innocent smile.
Ek stretched his arms slowly over his head, the stretch leisurely as ever. "He'll behave," he said with a sideways glance at Nathaniel. "Though if it doesn't stop stinking of coffee in here, I am going get sick. What sort of debacle went on here, Aaron? I couldn't get any ideas on the way in."
Aaron's face was a mask of swift, fiery anger, his energy roiling around him in a haze so furiously hot it made Nathaniel flinch but the cadet didn't move back. "You should see some of the enhancements they put in place. I swear this ship was held together with string and some duck tape."
Ek's growl was deep and his glare narrow. "Aaron, there seems to be a good deal of hero worship going on around here. I am going to my damndest to help you fix this tz'it place up but I don't do hero worship. It's too weird and, anyway, I get enough of that at home."
"Hero worship isn't what we do, you should know that by now." Aaron's eyes glittered almost yellow as he stared at him with a quirk of a smile. "Just remember who's in charge and we'll be fine."
"Pah, I didn't mean you, Aaron," Ek said softly, his nose twitching slightly as he moved closer. "You I respect and for that I obey but I meant the ones who are here already. These people think your predecessor was a god. I know the look in their eyes after all."
Aaron's smile twitched into place and he shrugged. "We can be gods, Ek. But I think it's time they learned how to be engineers again instead of worshipers."
"Can I worship?" Nathaniel teased, fluttering those petal coloured eyes.Ek actually laughed and clapped the younger man on his shoulder. "Come home with me on shore leave, my friend. You can worship all you like. Aaron, I even promise to behave while being my wonderful Mayan engineer self."
Nathaniel gave up his place next to Aaron to mold himself to Ek, his head on the older man's shoulder. There was a low purr in his voice as he said, "Worshiping you could be fun."
Lifting one finger to point between the two of them, Aaron's eyes suddenly became serious. "And we need to cut out the were-animal stuff. If we're forced into saying, we're mutants. Just mutants. Be vigilant, we don't want the pack to be put in danger because we were careless."
"It'll be an effort, Aaron, I won't lie to you, but I wouldn't do anything to hurt the pack," Ek said, those glittery eyes deadly serious. "I really will behave but I can't help being a smug bastard. That's always been me and you know that."
"Smug is fine with me, just keep the otherworldly stuff to a minimum," Aaron nodded. He rolled his eyes as Nathaniel snuggled closer to Ek. "And that means the touching. Less obvious would be good."
Ek tilted his head curiously. "And off duty in our quarters? Can I transform to relax or sleep?"
"Well sure, and keep this one close too." He tilted Nathaniel's chin up, keeping eye-contact. "I'm going to ask that you both be assigned quarters close to mine, would it be okay if I put you both together?"
"Had to ask and that's not a problem with the kitt- kid here. He's got a good head on his shoulders even if he did snore on the trip out here," Ek said dead pan.
"I don't snore!" Nathaniel huffed though only lightly.Aaron just lifted hie eyebrows and grinned. "And come over for dinner a lot. I think Cyrus'd like to meet you both."
"I miss seeing kids," Ek said wistfully. "There weren't any any my last ship."
"I like kids!" Nathaniel cheered. He'd stepped away from Ek because the older man hadn't offered any attention so he was a little apart from them both, holding himself still, watching them with his pretty eyes, waiting to see if they'd accept him back.
"I told you, Nathaniel, come home with me next time. There're tons of kids there. In the meantime, I bet we can babysit. What d'you say, Aaaron? I'm not a bad influence...any more," Ek said with a grin.
Aaron let out a bright laugh, tugging Nathaniel close and hugging the boy hard. "Sure, take care of the kiddies for me. Jaci can tell you all about her butterflies and dolls, Cyrus can be grumpy and huff. They're good kids but I'm just getting the taste of puberty from Cyrus. This is not gonna be fun."
"Heh heh, if he's half as bad as I was, you're doomed," Ek said, his laugh now theatrical. "But maybe new faces'll be good for him. "
"Anything to stop the pain in his eyes," Aaron nodded, even as his own glittered with grief. "He needs to laugh more."
"We'll try, Aaron. That's what family's for," Ek said in all seriousness. -- 'When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear.'-Mark Twain
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