Hotdog, Seelix and booze

He knew it was a good idea to cultivate the new nugget--a former grease-monkey would keep her connections. Now they were sitting in a corner of the hangar bay that he hadn't known about, drinking part of a bottle of the Chief's finest brew, just him and Seelix. She was saying something about pilots, her voice wobbling as she tried to keep her vowels and consonants straight.

"You're all too cocky! Yeah... But put some booze down your throats and you're all right... or I just don't... care."

Hotdog took another swig from the jar and passed it back to her. "Come on, we're not so bad."

"Cocky!" she said again, and giggled. "Hey, how did you get your callsign?"

"Starbuck gave it to me." They both looked somber for a moment. "I'm sure you'll get a good one soon. Greasemonkey won't stick." She smiled at him so he added, "It's not nearly stupid enough. We have to get you a name that makes you cringe." She glared at him. "How about... Boozy?"

"Boozy? It's stupid."

"I told you it had to be stupid." He tried to think of something clever, but his brain was about two beats behind his mouth. "How about Spooch? 'Cause of your landings?"

She snorted and said, "How about Viper Goddess?"

"Yeah, right."

She suddenly started tilting downward. "Room spinning," she announced, and her chin landed on his chest.

"Ouch! How about Bony?" The corner of her mouth tilted up and she turned her head slightly. "Don't you dare throw up on me," he said. She closed her eyes and within a few moments her breathing was even. He looked at her. "How about Drooly?" he whispered to himself. Her gray and black tanks had ridden up slightly above her waist and he could see the pale skin of her stomach. Pale skin stretched over bone, that's what they all were. But they lived, they breathed, they drank and laughed. He put his hand on her shoulder and thought about copping a feel, but fell asleep instead.

Gaeta, Dee/gum

Dee sat at the bar nursing the one drink she'd ordered. She wasn't trying to get drunk, she just didn't want to go back to her quarters and see her falling-apart husband. Someone bumped her shoulder and she turned to look. Felix took the stool next to hers, his dark eyes evaluating her mood. "Hey, I have a present for you," he said. He pulled out a stick of gum wrapped in shiny paper.

She grabbed it greedily. "My gods, where did you get this?" Grinning happily, she started to unwrap it.

"You can save it for later if you want," he said, interrupting her movements. He knew her habits too well. She didn't crave chocolate or coffee on the bad days; she just wanted to chew and feel the artificial flavor and sugar slide around her mouth. In her locker she had a few pieces hidden, saved for later.

"No, I want it now. Plus you gave it to me; you should get to watch me enjoy." He cocked an eyebrow at her and she realized that her last remark sounded... not how she intended.

"Okay, Lieutenant. I'm watching." Felix had that 'I dare you' look on his face that had nearly gotten her into trouble before, but she could never resist it.

So she took the mostly-wrapped gum and started waving it around in front of her chest, trying to look as seductive as possible. Felix was trying to leer while not laughing, and she almost lost it herself. She heard herself snort and started to unwrap the gum slowly, adding in a little beat for each bit of unwrapping. Finishing up she stuck out her tongue and put the gum on it. That was when they both realized Conner was staring at them from behind the bar. She almost swallowed the gum. By the time they both stopped laughing she was leaning against him shoulder-to-shoulder. She started chewing blissfully. She knew it made her look about twelve but she didn't care. Sighing happily, she shoved Gaeta a bit and said, "Thanks. I needed that."

He turned his head a little and whispered, "Hey did you hear what happened at the triad game last night?"

"No, what?" Felix always knew the best gossip.


They were alone in their quarters for the first time in ages. Sharon had patiently endured Helo's idea for a date--they had wined and dined as best they could with the limited supplies. Now Helo was wasting time being goofy. She loved him, goofiness and all, but sometimes he tried her patience. He was still completely dressed, chattering while sitting on the corner of their bed. She nudged him with her elbow. "Hurry up!"

He grinned at her. "Remind me to thank Seelix for offering to baby-sit."

"Offering? You cheated at cards to get her to do this."

He put his hand to his chest dramatically. "Me, cheat?" He paused for a moment and then asked, "How did you know?"

"Because I'm better at math than you." She sighed and tried introducing a sexier note to her voice. "So how do you think you should thank Seelix?"

She thought it worked for a moment because he grabbed her and pulled her on his lap. "How about this?" he said, then licked her sloppily from her neck up to her ear. It was about one part sexy to five parts silly.

She smacked his shoulder. "You are not a puppy. And I am not your lollipop."

"'I am not your lollipop!'" He repeated back her comment in a disbelieving tone. "Oh, but I think you are." He leaned in and licked her nose.

"Karl Agathon. Don't make me wrestle you. 'Cause you know I'll just pin you and you won't be able to do anything about it."

His eyes widened for a moment and the mischievous look disappeared. "Maybe I want you to pin me."

That was the last thing either one said for a while.