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When You Lay Down With Dogs

Posted on Tue Nov 7th, 2023 @ 10:42pm by Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong

Mission: Season 1 Interlude II (E5.5)
Location: USS Phantom
Timeline: ID 6

For once, Sophie was glad of the small size of the Phantom. She didn’t suppose she could have managed to walk much farther than she had to to get to the tiny quarters where she had lived for the duration of the trip to Risa and where she would live for the trip back to Overwatch Station. As the doors automatically opened for her- having already read her bio sign- the full weight of her exhaustion hit her. Between the kidnapping, being hit in the head multiple times, wearing herself out inside the crate, and the vacuum of space, it was just too much for her body to handle. “I don’t think I have the energy to shower,” she muttered sleepily.

"You know I don't mind you gamey," Ryland said with a waggle of his eyebrows. He flopped onto the bed that wasn't really meant for two with his ankles across and hands folded behind his head.

“If I’m too exhausted for a shower, I’m too exhausted to fool around,” Sophie pointed out, too tired to even muster up an annoyed tone.

"Liar." Ryland loved teasing Sophie. It either led to fooling around or an exhausting fight that would then lead to even more exhausting makeup sex. "But you did get sucked out into space today, so I'll let that one slide."

She gave him a sour look. “Gee, thanks,” she said sarcastically. “Budge up; this bed isn’t very big.”

Ryland only budged the slightest amount, mostly just extending his arm to force her to lay close to him. "Come on. I won't bite, least not until you say please."

She gave him another withering look. “Do you want me to lie on top of you?” she asked. “No. Forget I asked that. Don’t answer it.”

"Don't mind if ya do!" Ryland quipped before he pulled her atop of him and slightly to the side. One arm under her shoulders and the other bracing her side, he held her softly. Whatever it was about this frigid bitch that made her irresistible to him also made him want to run the other way. It was a horrible impasse that made him feel like a complete simp. "I'll leave if you want."

“You can stay,” she said, too tired to really offer any resistance to laying mostly on top of him. “As long as you behave.”

"Fat chance of that." Ryland stuffed his face into her hair. "You gonna make me leave if I don't?"

“I don’t think I have the energy,” Sophie replied into his chest. “I’ll just press charges tomorrow.” The statement was so incredibly deadpan, even a Pakled could recognize it was a joke, and that thought made her giggle. “I think I’m slap happy,” she confessed.

Ryland reached down and gave her rear end a slap. "Hey, what a coincidence! So am I!"

“Cut it out, Ryland,” she said half-heartedly. She was unable, however, to think of any sort of clever comeback, so she simply sighed. “I’m too tired to think. So why am I not sleeping?” she wondered aloud.

"You can sleep," Ryland said. "I'm just glad to have you back. This time yesterday, I had no guarantee of that..."

Sophie didn’t really know what to do with that statement. It sounded almost as if he… cared? She had only ever had two people care about her and they were both back on Ix-light. She decided to ignore that and focus on something she understood. “I’m trying, but my brain won’t shut off,” she replied. “An hour ago, I was ready to die. That’s a lot to come down from.”

"Thrilling as fuck, ain't it?" A grin came to Ryland's face. "I used to pull turns in my old starfighter that woulda' ripped the Phantom in half, inertial dampeners or no. Nothin' clenches the old brown-eye like a brush with death. Gets addicting after awhile..."

“Well, I don’t care to repeat the experience,” she said. “My only regret is not getting to off whoever the buyer was.”

"You little psychopath," Ryland teased. "You got your pound o' flesh from your kidnappers at least."

“I can’t pretend that didn’t feel good,” she admitted. “If I never see another Pakled again, it’ll be one two many. Wait… I got that wrong, didn’t I?”

Ryland chuckled at her expense but didn't rub her face in it. "Nope. Sounded good to me. Nobody likes Pakleds. Not even the diplomat nerds."

“Well, at least I’m not alone,” said Sophie. “Imagine mistaking me for a Vulcan! The universe fucked up when it created them.”

"I dunno," Ryland said in the same teasing voice. "Sexy eyebrows, think you know everything, call everyone else stupid... all you're missing," he gave her exposed ear a light tug, "is the elf ears."

“Everybody is stupid and I do know everything,” she countered; it was unclear whether or not that was a joke. “But only Mrazak is like that. Most Vulcans are overall agreeable.”

"Don't bring him into this or you'll kill my boner." Ryland let out a groan. "Oh, dammit all, too fuckin' late. What'd you go and do that for?"

“I already told you I’m not fooling around,” she replied. “Besides, you can get it up faster than I can say get your pants off.”

"Hey, don't say that unless you mean it!" Ryland protested.

“Oh good grief, Dedeker,” complained Sophie. “Is your brain in your pants?”

"Yeah, but hopefully not for long," Ryland quipped back. Teasing her was fun and easy. "You done sleepin' yet?"

“I haven’t even started,” she replied. “I can’t even…” she trailed off aimlessly. “I lost track of the sentence in the middle of it,” she said. “That’s not a good sign.”

"No... you must be getting old," Ryland said. "The Pakleds couldn't have whacked you that hard on the head."

“Don’t bet on it,” she replied. “They might be stupid, but they’re not weak. They knocked me out twice.”

"I knocked you out the bottom plenty more times than that," Ryland said. "But then again that always shuts you up awhile, so maybe you're on to something there."

“That’s completely different, Ryland,” she pointed out, exasperated. “The Pakleds weren’t interested in pleasing me. Or I don’t know, maybe they were, but I didn’t offer.”

"Are you offering now?" Ryland asked. He knew she wasn't but the question would irritate her to no end.

“Dedeker!” she replied warningly. “You’re going to be the death of me, I swear.”

Ryland chuckled shamelessly. "Yeah, but you'll die smiling. What more could a gal want?"

“Three minutes’ peace,” she suggested jokingly. “A billion credits. Crème brûlée.”

"I can give you three minutes," Ryland said with a snicker. "Piece of cake."

“Can I get that in writing?” she said sleepily. If she had been less exhausted, she probably would have recognized a weird Dedeker innuendo, but as it was, she missed it entirely.

"Hey, now!" Ryland said. "Talk like that and I'll have to prove it!"

"Dedeker?” she said around a yawn. “Shut up a little, okay?”

Ryland let out a yawn himself. "Make me."

“I don’t have the energy,” she muttered, subconsciously nuzzling his shirt as she felt herself begin to drift off.

"Then I win," Ryland said behind droopy eyes. "Ha."

Sophie murmured something that sort of sounded like “congratulations,” but it was hard to tell for sure. Within seconds, her breath had become slow and deep and she was fast asleep.

Nodding off right behind her, Ryland chuckled to himself. "Heheheh... I won..."


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