Gaila knew she should be grudge-holding pissed at James T. Fucking Kirk for using her to cheat--or at least, very creatively apply his nefarious skills to the test. But when he showed up on her doorstep that evening, offering himself up to her for the night, "No holds barred," she just didn't have it in her to decline. Ten hours of having him at her mercy would probably be more than enough to cool her ire. Gaila wasn't terribly interested in being angry all the time. She'd gotten that out of her system when she'd escaped the dance hall, and realized she was more than anyone had ever said.
Plus, the thought of making Jim beg was just a little to heady to give up, even for a bout of righteous anger. (Especially for that.)
In the morning, when she rolled over and considered Jim, exhausted and limp and still tied to the side of her bed, she thought for a second that she wasn't going to ask. Then Jim looked up at her with a hint of fear, far overidden by awe and perhaps a bit of desire. She asked, "Was it because I was Orion?"
He struggled then, the first time he'd struggled against anything except the orders she'd expected (wanted) him to struggle against. She said, "Hey, no," and put a hand to his shoulder, stilling him. Gaila was all for a little rough sex, a little bit of being in charge, but she wasn't one of the men who'd come into the dance hall, so sure that they owned the women within. She didn't hold hostage anyone who didn't want to be held.
He said, "Let me out. Please, let me--"
She had already undone the knots and suddenly he was wholly in front of her, abject in a way he hadn't been the night before, a way she hadn't known he could be. He shook his head. "No. Fuck, no."
His hand found her cheek, his fingers resting lightly against it so that she'd look at him, even though she was doing so of her own will. He said, "No," again.
She nodded. "Okay. I didn't--"
"If it had been Fabd who would be in the right place at the right time, I would have seduced him. I was just lucky it was you."
"Fabd's Aamazzarite. I'm not even sure they're sexually compatible."
"No, but I hear they can secrete quality prophylactics."
"There's actually something wrong with you," Gaila told him. It was true, but she didn't really mind.
"Gaila," he said, and the way his voice was low, like when he had begged, made her listen. "Gaila, I was lucky."
"Yeah, we're good at what we do," she said lightly.
He shook his head. "Nothing to do with your species."
She rolled her eyes.
He just said, "Nothing at all."
Fucking command-track kids. Gaila was pretty sure they took classes on how to make themselves sound believable, even when they really shouldn't have been.
When Gaila came home from classes the next afternoon, Uhura said, "Someone left something on your desk."
The box was wrapped in shiny green paper. Gaila opened it carefully, liking its glow. Inside was a glass ball with colors swirling inside of it, colors that mimicked the sun. Gaila touched the glass, and felt its warmth.
Uhura said, "Wow. Is that a Xyrillian holograph?"
Gaila looked over at her. "I've never seen one."
Uhura shook her head. "Me neither, but I've seen pictures. They're exceedingly rare. There's folklore that you have to swim the Xyrillian ocean to the point where the sun touches to get one. I think that's probably apocryphal, but wow."
Gaila had to agree. It was possibly the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen, even figuring in the stars and the ocean. Uhura murmured, "Someone must be pretty hung up on you. Lucky bitch."
Gaila looked up in time to see the crook of Uhura's smile. She grinned back. "Yeah. I'm lucky."