Pilots and Engineers
I groaned, my tongue feeling heavy and dry in my mouth.
'How long have I been out for…?' I tried thinking back, but a sharp pain discouraged that course of action quickly enough.
"He's coming to!" A voice called from my side, and with a monumental effort I managed to heave open my eyes slightly, light stabbing at my eyes, though in my groggy state my brain could care less, and my eyes adjusted, attempting to take in the room around me. An embroidered quilt covered me, my arms on top, paws palm down, an intravenous fluid needle stuck in the top of my right paw, covered by a mass of cotton and medical tape.
Holding my left paw was a young Caninu girl, I guessed around fifteen years old, but it was just a guess. She wore a look of concern, brow creased in worry and a frown on her lips. My eyes settled on hers for a time, content to rest on the midnight blue orbs. A small note of irritation poked at my brain as it noticed the single errant strand of hair, bubblegum pink in color, hanging before her right eye. I fought the irritation, but in the end I managed the herculean effort of lifting my right paw and carefully tucking the strand behind her ear. I felt a blush color my face as I brushed the soft fur, and I let my paw drop back down to the bed. I smiled at the faint blush that colored her face.
I felt my head hit the pillow as my body shut itself down again, letting unconsciousness roll over me.
I woke again, this time feeling better, energy much more abundant, though any attempt to think farther back than my awakening earlier still caused a sharp pain. The girl was still there, and I smiled faintly at the, dare I say, adorable sight as she slept on my leg. The intravenous feed had been disconnected, and a meal, long gone cold, sat on the nightstand. My stomach groaned, informing me that it required a meal, and the food before me was quite appetizing. Being careful as to not disturb the sleeping girl, I carefully divided the portions of food, and set to filling my hungry belly.
A quiet moan drew my attention, and for a moment I sat still, my ballooned somewhat from the quantity of food I had eaten all at once. I slowly swallowed, careful to not make too much noise, before setting the food to the side. Another moan wormed its way from the girl's body, and I gently placed my paw on hers, rubbing the soft fur gently in an attempt to sooth her.
I sat there doing so for some time, before letting sleep consume me, a smile gracing both my lips and hers.
"Excuse me…" A voice called, soft and sweet. I opened my eyes, smiling at the girl from before. I attempted to speak, but a dry cough stopped me. The girl handed me a glass of water, which I accepted, nodding my thanks before draining it.
"T-thank you…" I managed to rasp out, my vocal cords weak from lack of use.
"Don't thank me yet. My brother Red isn't too happy that we had to use up the last of our medical supplies to help you get better. But don't worry," She added, laughing at my concerned look, "He's just being silly because you crashed through the wall of his room."
"I crashed through a wall?" I asked, my voice quickly returning as the situation seemed to become progressively worse.
"Actually, you crashed through the hull of the Asmodeus, our ship. I don't know how you managed to hit us, but you must have been going pretty fast to punch a hole through that much metal." She giggled. "My name's Chocolat. I run this ship." She held out a paw, which I shook tentatively.
An awkward pause followed.
"This is usually where you tell me your name, you know." Chocolat replied, giggling.
My blood ran cold. "I… I don't remember…"
"Well, I can't keep calling you 'that one guy who crashed through the hull', doesn't really roll across the tongue very well!" Chocolat laughed, "I'll call you… Drake! How's that sound?"
I smiled, "That sounds… good. Great even."
"So… how long have you been on the Asmodeus for?" I asked, prompting Chocolat to look up from her navigation logs.
"Me and Red managed to scrap together enough rings to pay for her, and we've been traveling, doing Hunter quests for money ever since." She replied, smiling as she thought back.
"Sounds rough…" I noted; smiling in what I hoped was a comforting style.
"Not really, Red and I are orphans. Well, I am, Red on the other hand…" She began, smiling sadly, looking away as she tried to decide whether to tell me or not.
"Don't worry about it. You guys saved my life, and for that, I'll be forever in your debt, regardless if you guys were orphans or not." I assured her, smiling.
"T-thanks…" Chocolat replied, and I noticed her cheeks grow rosy before she hid her face behind her navigational logs.
"What are you doing?" Chocolat asked with a look of confusion on her face as she watched me work at the engine of the Asmodeus.
"I don't fully know, actually…" I muttered, "It just feels… instinctive, I guess, like I've done this before." I laughed, turning to Chocolat. "Kinda like riding a bike, I guess."
"Well, lucky for you, because Red asked me to find you so that we could put you to work, seeing as we need to pay off those repairs for the Asmodeus, and the cost of you living here." Chocolat replied, giggling.
"What would you have done if I couldn't pay?" I asked, grinning.
"Red would probably have thrown you into the cloud sea." Chocolat replied with a smirk, before turning and walking away.
"Thanks for bringing it down." I looked up from my work on the engine, moving my goggles away from my face as I smiled. "Just put it on the bench, I'll get to it in a few minutes." I lowered my goggles, continuing my work on the machinery.
Chocolat coughed from behind me, and I turned back to her. "Yeah?"
"Well… I was kinda hoping we could… you know… eat lunch t-together?" She asked, and even through the grime on my goggles I could see she was blushing faintly. I could feel my own cheeks lighting up, and was quietly thankful for the level of grime on me.
"Oh… well, uh… That'd be nice." I smiled, hoping to feign nonchalance. "Let me just go wash up, don't want to eat anything covered in… Well, I'd rather not know what the heck this thing runs on. Be right back."
"Y-yeah…" Chocolat replied, giggling.
I rolled my shoulders, muscles relaxed after finally scrubbing away all the grime and cleaning myself up. I stepped into the engine room. "Chocolat?" I asked, looking around. "What happened to lunch?"
"I thought we could eat on the bridge." Chocolat replied, and I jumped, turning to find myself face to face with the giggling Caninu behind me.
At least she was comfortable now.
"Lead the way." I said, gesturing with my arm towards the bridge.
As we walked, we made small talk, consisting of how things were going in each of our lives. We were both busy, Chocolat at the helm, me in the engine room, and we rarely had much time to speak.
"So how's the engine?" Chocolat asked.
"I've told Red, we need to save the rings so we can purchase a new engine, but he always says that we'd never have anything for me to do." I replied, and we both laughed as we walked into the bridge.
"Looks delicious!" I comment as I looked over the spread Chocolat had set out.
"Thanks…" Chocolat said blushing as we both sat side by side at the small table. My paw brushed against hers and she pulled away quickly. Our eyes met and we sat, frozen.
"A-anyway, let's get to eating!" I said, mentally cursing myself for stuttering. "Where should we-Mmmph!" I began, cut off by Chocolat's lips on mine. I froze again, this time for only a moment, before I relaxed, my arms slowly and tentatively wrapping around Chocolat's small form, pulling her close to me. She did the same, and I felt her relax against me, a soft sigh escaping the lock of our mouths.
Eventually we gave in to our need for air, and we sat, gasping for air, slightly dizzy. Chocolat rested her head in the crook of my neck, her breath warm on my neck. "How long?" I asked.
"You first." She replied, laughing.
"Since I first woke up." I said, and I smiled as she giggled.
"Me too." She admitted, "So… what now?"
"Well… I still don't know my past, but at least I know one thing about my future." I said, smiling, nuzzling closer to Chocolat with a smile, lunch forgotten.
"And what's that?" She asked, giggling.
"I'll be with you." I replied, placing my lips on hers again for a moment. Chocolat giggled and pulled back, smiling and placing her lips on mine again in return.
"Then here's to the future."
The sound of breaking glass turned our heads to the door, our eyes coming to rest on Red.
"What's going on here?"
Author's Note: Interesting fact, I actually was writing this as a series of journal entries, but I was making them ridiculously short, so there was no point in keeping it that way. Hope you enjoyed, please review, favorite, and watch, and I'll see you in the future!