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Three's Company

Posted on 13 Nov 2018 @ 6:17am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan

Mission: Fractured
Location: Jayla's Quarters
Timeline: MD 6 | 2130

Though Jayla had no musical ability- she was pretty near tone deaf- she had a lot of musical appreciation. She enjoyed listening to almost anything, but one of her favorites was Gustov Holst. And currently, she was curled up on her sofa, snuggled against Alex with a glass of good wine in her hand. They were working through The Planets Suite, neither really having anything to say and instead just enjoying one another's company and the music.

They were listening to Mars, Bringer of War. Alex had never really listened much to Earth 'Classical' music, though his father had a taste for it, so he'd of course be exposed to it. As Alex sat on the sofa with Jayla, he, too, sipped wine. The piece, particularly the horns and drums, made his blood pump faster and he smiled as he felt the driving music in his bones. As someone who played around with a bass, he appreciated music that he could feel with his body. He turned to Jayla and gave her a kiss on the head then went back to sipping wine and enjoying the music.

With a smile, Jayla settled her head against Alex's shoulder. It was nice, just spending time together, and just listening. Nobody just listened to music anymore, except at a concert and that didn't really count because there was some watching involved, too. At a concert, one could see fingers moving on instruments, bows being drawn across strings, trumpets rising and lowering. There was plenty to see.

She leaned forward and grabbed the bottle from her coffee table. She refilled her own glass and offered some to Alex.

Alex looked at his glass, then at the bottle, then shrugged and held out his glass as Jayla topped it off. He clinked glasses with her after she set the bottle down and before they drank, he leaned in and kissed his lady on the cheek. He sat back and closed his eyes and went back to listening, one arm across the back of the sofa so Jayla could rejoin him.

And she did, settling against him once more. She sipped her wine and just as she was settling her head back on his shoulder, a noise from the bedroom caught her attention. She blinked and sat up to peer around Alex. She looked between Alex and her bedroom twice before getting up, setting her wine on the table and heading over to the bedroom, expecting to find something had fallen over.

Alex also heard something. He looked over, concerned. Starships, unlike the wooden ships of old, rarely got pests, but when they did, they were really nasty pets. He set down his wine and followed Jayla into the bedroom.

Looking around the room, Jayla at first saw nothing out of place. She gazed around carefully, hands on her hips and brow wrinkled, trying to figure out what could have caused the noise. She was about to give up and chalk it up to her imagination when something streaked across the floor and scuttled under her bed. With a startled cry, she took a step back and bumped into Alex, which startled her again and caused her to leap forward. That threw her off balance and she toppled to the floor where she spotted the little critter under her bed. It lunged at her and she scrambled to her feet as it streaked past her and into the living area.

Alex, obviously not thinking things through clearly, dove after the...whatever it was, and sprawled out flat on the deck with a grunt. Feeling stupid, Alex pulled himself to his feet and then looked at Jayla as if to say 'What the Hell was that?!?'

Jayla shook her head. She hadn't gotten a good enough look at it. Slowly, she crept over to the sofa and crouched down to peer under it. Finally, she spotted the critter. It was one of those spidermunk things they'd been plagued with not too long ago. She'd thought they had all been rounded up, but it appeared that at least one of them had escaped capture. She was about to turn to tell Alex what it was when the little critter spit webbing at her. With another cry of surprise, she lept back and began peeling the unnaturally strong stuff off her face.

Thinking quickly, Alex went immediately to Jayla and began trying to get the webbing off of her face...and promptly got his hands stuck to her face, which wasn't helping. Alex knew how to remain calm, so he didn't panic, exactly, but he was a bit concerned that there was an apparently violent critter loose in Jayla's quarters while the corpsman's hands were stuck to his lover's face. He cursed several times as he tried to figure out how to get unstuck.

And then, because the situation was just too ridiculous and because at that moment, Jupiter- a very cheerful piece- started up, Jayla burst into giggles. This whole situation was ridiculous. Here she was with a pair of hands stuck to her face and a half-crazed spidermunk scampering around her quarters. Carefully, while still laughing, she began peeling Alex's fingers off her face one by one.

Alex started laughing as well as Jayla freed his fingers. Once he was free, he was afraid to touch anything. Ignoring the chittering...thing under the sofa, Alex went to the replicator and carefully dialed in a code for a solvent he had used in the field to clear gooey things away from wounded personnel. It materialized and very, very carefully, Alex sprayed some on his hands until he was finally able to get rid of the crap. He went over to Jayla, motioned for her to close her eyes, and sprayed her face. Soon the goo was off of her. Alex put the 'goobeegone' spray in his pocket. Then he turned and looked at the sofa and pondered how they were going to get rid of the...whatever it was that was hiding under the sofa. From the 'tone' of the chittering, Alex assumed the little thing was casting aspersions on them, perhaps suggesting that they engage in some anatomically impossible activity or that they engage in inappropriate relationships with their mothers.

Finally free of the sticky webbing, Jayla again knelt by her sofa and peered under it. She wished she knew how to tell the thing that she meant it no harm and only wished to return it to its friends. The poor thing must be terrified. What did they eat? She could tempt it out with food. She went to the replicator and ordered several different tiny dishes of food to see what it would like and returned with them to the sofa where she presented one of the dishes and pushed it slowly towards the little critter.

Alex quietly went to get the ice bucket from the little kitchenette. While he did that, the spidermunk slowly, very slowly moved towards the dishes of food, then darted away, then came back, then away, then back, until it got close and snatched a piece of apple and then ran back to under the sofa before Alex could drop the bucket on it.

Jayla resisted the urge to slam a fist on the floor in frustration. It looked like they might have to earn the creature's trust to catch it. She pushed the plate of apple slices under the sofa and watched the creature as it slowly nibbled away at the piece it had snatched. She looked back at Alex and shrugged, indicating that they would just have to wait.

Alex nodded and stood ready with the bucket. He listened to the chewing noises and from the foul odor coming from under the sofa, the spidermunk had just farted. Alex made a face and backed away from the sofa. It smelled like something had crawled up inside a creature ten times as large as the spidermunk and died.

Jayla's nose wrinkled and she stifled a cough so as to not frighten the creature. Wow, that was awful! She turned her head away and waved her hand in front of her nose. Disgusting! Now she really wanted to get it out of her quarters!

The odor filled Jayla's quarters. Alex started to wonder if maybe the little bastard had actually defecated under the sofa. He walked over to the wall console, tapped a few controls and the vents activated, suctioning the foul smells out. The noise wasn't too loud or too sudden, but it seemed to started the spidermunk, who sprinted from under the sofa and started running all around Jayla's quarters again. The little guy even ascended Alex's tall frame, ran across his shoulders, and jump off before Alex could grab him...if it was a him. Alex didn't have time to look between it's legs as it passed.

If they were going to catching it, they would have to be quick. Sprinting into action, Jayla snatched the bucket from Alex and began chasing after the little creature, trying to head him off, but to no avail. It quickly became apparent that they wouldn’t catch him this way. Panting from exertion, she shook her head at Alex and motioned for him to turn the vents off. They’d have to lure him in after all.

Alex shrugged and killed the vent. The horrendous odor seemed to be gone anyway, so they didn't need it on. Alex went and sat cross-legged by the food and did his best to look harmless. He picked up a piece of apple and munched on it, then something else. He just hoped the little rodent would decide to investigate the food again in time for bed.

Hoping that the little creature was watching, Jayla followed suit, sitting next to Alex and crunching on a carrot. Soon, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the funny creature peaking out from behind the sofa. Slowly so as to not frighten him, she reached for a piece of apple and held it out to him, then gently tossed it nearer to him.

The spidermunk crept up to the piece of apple. He sniffed it, then picked it up and began to gnaw on it. Alex did nothing as the little guy...or girl ate his...her...its...their? Their. Their apple. When the creature was done, it sniffed the air again, as if trying to see if there were more apples. The spidermunk followed its nose, which led it to the bowl of apples, which was in Alex's lap. The spidermunk again crept closer. It sniffed Alex. Having apparently decided that Alex wasn't dangerous, the creature crawled into Alex's lap and started eating apples. Alex did nothing. He just sat there and let the little creature eat its fill, hoping there wouldn't be anymore foul gastrointestinal emissions from it.

Wide-eyed and unmoving, Jayla watched the little guy- or girl, she thought- settle into Alex's lap. She wanted to reach over and scritch behind his ears, but was afraid it might startle him. She grinned excitedly at Alex, wondering what to do next.

Very, very slowly Alex held out his hand and brought one finger close to the spidermunk. The spidermunk looked at Alex suspiciously for a moment, then, tentatively, sniffed his finger. Again, the spidermunk seemed to think Alex was okay, so Alex took a chance and scritched behind its ears. The spidermunk seemed to think this wasn't so bad and then went back to eating apple slices.

Afraid that speaking would scare the critter, Jayla attempted to communicate with shrugs and looks. Should they try to take him to Sciences and put him with the others? Should they just chill with him here for a bit and gain his trust some more first? Should they try to capture him in the ice bucket?

Alex gave a slight shrug, then, very carefully, he picked the little critter up and cuddled it to his chest. A quick check told Alex the spidermunk was male. For his part, the spidermunk snuggled up against Alex. Alex looked at Jayla with eyes that said 'awww...can I keep him??'

Quickly stiffling a giggle, Jayla shook her head. But, it wasn't a no, it was more of an, 'I can't believe you want to keep it, but whatever makes you happy.'

Alex grinned and motioned Jayla closer so she could cuddle with Lucas, too. He was definitely a Lucas. Lucas, for his part, happily broke wind again, befouling the air. Alex took the bowl and handed them to Jayla to take away. No more apples for Lucas.


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