/sss/ probably final

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  1. A grey monolith crept through the depths of space. The structure had been in space for virtually a century and had just neared its target, a distant lonely planetoid. The celestial body hung on the edge of humanity's grasp and would be the stepping stone to expand onwards. Encroaching upon the planet, the monolithic ship would prepare its payload for its first and final landing. Onboard were hundreds of men and women from all ethnicities, ready to prosper on a new home. These individuals had been altered for their mission,  large, rugged, and robust forms ready to take on whatever hurdles came their way. The females were, at least. As for the males, their forms had been changed to remain diminutive in size as they aged. The males' small frame kept resource consumption low and assisted in the initial launch costs for their ship. In addition to these alterations, only a paltry amount of young boys were taken on board, the women outnumbered them by a wide margin.
  3. As per regulation all humans aboard the colony ship were cryogenically frozen, perfectly preserved until their arrival. A select few of the crew, however, were set aside to awaken a year beforehand to ensure the most critical part of the voyage went smoothly. A skeleton crew made up of pairs oversaw every department on the ship, keeping them maintained where computers could not. One male and one female would assist one another over the coming year, providing each other support and companionship. While the ship wasn't designed as a prolonged living space, it was more than enough for the small advance group.
  5. _________________
  7. "Good morning."
  9. An elfin figure stood in a row of identical metallic rectangular boxes within a wide hallway. One in particular was shedding its cover, collapsing in on itself to slide soundly and seamlessly into the rest of the box. Inside, resting comfortably was a large muscular woman with light olive colored skin, most of which was covered by a sleek black jumpsuit that conformed to her body almost to a fault. Her eyes opened slowly, still under the hypnotic effect of the box's cryogenic function. She gave a few experimental flexes before raising herself upwards into a sitting position. The one watching her, a boy, observed her with a cheerful smile. In his hands was an assortment of clothes neatly folded into a pile, a pair of boots rested on top. The woman smiled and gave a tired nod followed by one quick stretch. She braced herself on the sides of her box, managing to stand up completely with some effort. Her brown, long, straight hair flowed down her backside as she stood.
  11. The woman looked down the hallway in both directions, seeing if anyone else had been awakened. All the boxes sat untouched and uniform, which somewhat disappointed her, but she expected as much. With a gentle motion she stepped out of the once confining box, looking down at the boy. Despite the natural cold of the box, the artificial metal on her soles was all the more offensive. Her numb body was jolted awake from the sensation. It was good to feel something again, even the irritating shock of a chill. Recognizing that the occupant had vacated, the box shut back up into a whole cuboid like its neighbors. The boy held out the neat clothing, still wearing his warm expression. His short, dark hair complemented his own jetblack jumpsuit, but both were in stark contrast to his light skin.
  13. The woman took the clothes and sat down on the gunmetal box, setting the garments to the side and removing the boots. The boy held his hands behind his back.
  15. "Did you have a good nap, Silvia?" the boy asked.
  17. Silvia hesitated for a moment to comment on the absurdity of a coma-like state, but decided against it.
  19. "It was just fine, thank you for asking," she said with a smirk. She had just finished lacing up her boots and set them on the floor.
  21. The boy took his gaze off Silvia for a moment to look down the hallway. His expression dimmed for a moment before returning to its cheery form.
  23. "By any chance, have you heard from the others?" Silvia asked, pulling on a vest.
  25. "No, sorry. I know another one is around, but I'm pretty sure they're nowhere near ready." He seemed to perk up at that last sentence, gleaming even more at a job well done.
  27. Silvia stood up, buckling a belt that had various bits of machinery on it. She chortled at her partner's pride.
  29. "I'm certainly glad I was paired with you, Andrew."
  31. "Thank you, Silvia." Andrew stepped back. "Should we get going?" He gestured with a hand towards the empty hallway. Andrew was eager to make an excellent impression on the real mission.
  33. Silvia took the lead and walked briskly. She took note of the echo of her and Andrew's combined footsteps, reminded again of the loneliness. One long deep breath helped to wash away the oppressive notion, but it still niggled at the back of her head. The ship seemed like a simple set of interconnected tubes with budding rooms on the inside, but it was far more complex than the areas designed with humans in mind let on. Each hallway had a designated letter and number, giving the whole ship a simple street code system that was further expanded upon with an additional number for auxiliary rooms.
  35. Andrew was enthusiastic to be aboard a ship, in a way his life was leading up to this moment. While the interior was nothing special, the mere idea of being on the forefront of humanity's future was enough to motivate him towards making sure his work was up to standard. These comforting thoughts helped to block out the inherent monotony of what his life would be like for quite some time. The halls were insanely uniform, the temperature was a constant chill, and the curious state of fabricated gravity left each step uncertain, but he would bear through it.
  37. Silvia stopped just short of C7, looking along its length for a computer terminal. One computer jutted out of the wall in the distance. Upon the pair's approach, someone else rounded a corner and nearly collided with them.
  39. "O-oh, sorry." A young boy similar to Andrew apologized, looking downcast. His attention snapped back up and his eyes widened. "Oh no."
  41. "Hey Daniel," Silvia greeted. She looked over the despondent boy and added, "is something wrong?" Andrew nodded at Daniel.
  43. "I thought for sure I'd be first, but now..." Daniel trailed off with a sigh. "Now Heather's going to be mad." He cringed at the thought and rushed past the pair, his hair messily going back and forth. Silvia gave an insignificant wave.
  45. Silvia and Andrew looked on at the panicking figure before going back towards the terminal. Its monitor flicked on after registering some simple motion, the display began showing miscellaneous ship information. Silvia clattered away at the machine and absorbed all the information it spewed. Most of it pertained to the integrity of the ship while a few portions noted the status of the crew. Out of twenty only two males were awakened and out of one-hundred only one- the display updated- two, females were awakened. In the distance a faint "What?!" was heard. Silvia jumped at the noise. Andrew tried his best to keep composed though couldn't help but slightly lose his sheen at the thought of being chewed out by Heather.
  47. The display shifted to a summary of the ship's remaining power reserves. Of course most of it was directed towards keeping the crew alive, but small amounts were siphoned off for course corrections. Finally the screen changed to an atmospherics readout, noting that while the rest of the ship was pressurized, a small breach in one of the maintenance shafts had been caused by a stray meteorite. Silvia was relieved there was no significant damage, but also somewhat glad to have an objective to do before getting everything running.
  49. "Let's go get suited for EVA." Silvia began walking down the corridor once more.
  51. Andrew followed closely behind. "Are you sure you don't want to get used to moving again?" That remark was somewhat for his sake as well.
  53. "I'll be doing that on the way, let's go." Silvia moved onwards down the hallway and eyed every white code for navigation.
  55. The military grey was starting to wear on the woman's eyes, but the boy kept his vision fixated on his superior in front of him, following automatically. Silvia stopped in front of C82, repeatedly checking the number to make sure she had actually remembered the room properly. Not as though Andrew would judge her harshly for forgetting, but the thought was still embarrassing. She tapped on the door's activation pad, it beeped happily and whirred open. The noise was an odd injection of happiness in comparison to the rest of the gloomy ship. Silvia took one step inside and the lights obediently flicked on. She scanned the room for her target, but only found replacement parts for any extreme mechanical failures. Silvia gulped and stepped out, the room returned to its dormant state.
  57. "Silvia, EVA is at C83," Andrew informed happily. He was glad to have re-familiarized himself with key areas beforehand.
  59. Silvia immediately snapped her eyes to one entrance over and muttered. Again, she approached the door and repeated its opening ritual. It looked much like every other room aboard the ship, with its shiny but bland grey walls and embedded overhead lights. This room, however, had several cylindrical pods mounted on the walls with accompanying rectangular structures stationed adjacent to each container. A pod hissed upon Silvia's approach, unlocking itself in preparation. She tapped on the side of the machine to reveal its contents. The pod contained pieces of space-walking equipment that looked like bits of scrap to the untrained eye. A sharp-edged helmet, one elliptical disk, and a pair of metal soles.
  61. Silvia took the disc and pressed it against her chest. The object molded to her bosom and then began extending thin rods throughout her jumpsuit, the rods seemed to melt away. She was familiar with how the disc functioned, but the feeling still made her shiver. Eventually the jumpsuit had turned into an ashen color and had ever so slightly gotten larger. After that, the suit extended over her hands and boots which left her head the only exposed part of her body. Silvia picked up the helmet worriedly. Her long hair was going to be somewhat of a problem. Andrew watched her hesitate with the final suit piece, deciding now would the best opportunity to offer his assistance.
  63. "Do you need some help with that?" Andrew piped up. His sudden question surprised her, she nearly forgot he was even there.
  65. Silvia nodded and crouched down to give him access to her head. He gently bundled up her hair to easily place it within the helmet. The larger woman felt a bit odd doing this and imagined a third party observing them. She tried to think of something else, anything else. Her eyes attempted to focus elsewhere but the dull room lacked any interesting features. Naturally, Silvia's eyes moved to Andrew, her vision dragged over him. He was particularly cute, with rounded blue eyes, a mouth that always seemed fixed into a comforting smile, soft skin, and the slightest bit of musculature to his frame. Her gaze drew further down to his groin causing her heart to skip a beat.
  67. Andrew absentmindedly ran his hands through Silvia's hair, piling it together neatly and compactly. It occurred to him he hadn't touched anyone in several years, and while that was obvious for cryo-sleep, it made him feel ever so slightly off. The woman's hair was silky smooth and it glimmered beautifully under the artificial lighting. The boy thought about how it was quite fortunate that he was matched up with someone as friendly and hardworking as Silvia. He took a moment to run his hand through her hair, attempting to pass it off as another round of hair piling. He blinked, that was a queer act for him to take. Awkwardly he withdrew his hands, his mind still focusing on the texture of her velvety hair.
  69. "Is that good, Silvia?" Andrew innocently asked. Silvia broke out of her crude thoughts and hastily placed the helmet on her head without checking her hair. The helmet blocked her vision for a moment, shrouding her vision in darkness. A small zap signified the helmet's internal display turning on and it showed what lied beyond the metallic mask. Andrew looked up at Silvia as she stood. A miniature camera on the headwear stared back at him. The device was particularly intimidating, its shape barely mimicked that of a human's head, only with aggressively sharp angles. Andrew suddenly felt quite distant from his partner as the inhuman machine looked over him.
  71. "Thanks," Silvia's voice buzzed through the helmet.
  73. She turned back to focus on the pod and noted that the helmet lit up the soles. The suited female picked up the soles and tossed them onto the floor, where they clattered loudly. She took one step onto a sole. The spikes extended outwards for a moment before snapping the broad sides against her suited boots. The helmet registered one magnetic lattice online. Another step and the other sole fit snugly into place again.  Silvia looked over to the cube situated on the wall, it automatically revealed its compartment and slid out a large blue pill-like canister. She took the canister and tapped on the side of the helmet. A port opened up, ready to receive the object. It slid snugly into place and the port promptly shut. A readout in the helmet's visor showed that oxygen levels were at maximum and that its internal rebreather was fully functional.
  75. Andrew merely withdrew the components of the suit from a nearby pod, tucking the contents under his shoulder.
  77. "Alright, I'm suited up, let's head on out."
  79. The pair moved out and the room shut back up as if no one had ever entered. They approached a particularly wide lift situated between C3 and C4. Silvia marched clumsily into the lift while Andrew daintily followed after her. Silvia activated the elevator, feeling the jerk of motion downwards.
  81. "Silvia, can I ask you a question?" Andrew piped up.
  83. "Of course, what is it?"
  85. "Would it have been easier to equip your suit when you arrived at the breach?"
  87. Silvia shifted uncomfortably in the suit.
  88. _________________
  90. "What?!" Heather bellowed.
  92. Daniel winced. "Y-you're the second awakened."
  94. "Didn't I tell you how important it was that the advance medical officer be awoken first?"
  96. "Yes," Daniel said, slinking.
  98. "What if the other crew had trouble with the thawing process?"
  100. "I-I-I," Daniel stammered.
  102. "What if I had to deal with a crew member entering cardiac arrest right now, but you were too slow?"
  104. Daniel didn't bother trying to answer anymore. He had hoped that the cryogenics would still have her in a docile state to lessen the blow, but it seemed even advanced states of sleep didn't deter Heather. He kept up his repeated nods and attempted to focus on the positive aspects of his coworker. Her short blonde hair would probably be especially cute if it weren't swishing every which way during her outburst. Her button nose also betrayed her hostility, but her sharp green eyes matched her demeanor exactly, along with the large sinewy figure that every woman seemed to have nowadays.
  106. "Now hand me my clothes," Heather barked with an outstretched hand.
  108. Daniel shakily handed over the clump of clothing. Heather tossed them on the box she emerged from, putting on a generic bright white doctor's coat. Due to her bust, the coat hung an uncomfortable distance away from her stomach before the opening gave up and slid to lay beside her breasts. Daniel gulped. A simple belt equipped with several compartments for medication slid around her waist and clicked into place. Boots in a similar white to her coat were put on last.
  110. Heather walked off. Daniel scrambled to follow after her. The woman didn't bother looking at where she was going, she specifically memorized her path to the medical bay beforehand.  Heather rubbed her temple, annoyed that her temper got the best of her yet again. The subtle hum of the ship only aggravated her even more. While it was indeed a hazard to wake her up second, she had faith that Daniel could tend to any of the rare cryogenic symptoms. She urged herself to calm down.
  112. Daniel was surprised by Heather's quick movement to the medical bay. Cryogenic freezing usually had at least some memory loss side effects, but Heather seemed completely unaffected by it. Whether not she was merely guessing her way over, he couldn't tell, but he had wagered she must simply be resilient enough to be unmoved by the process which inspired some awe in him.
  114. The pair moved down C1 into a stairwell. Daniel groaned.
  116. "C-could we maybe use the lift?" Daniel asked. A steely look from Heather immediately squashed any hope of that.
  118. Daniel practically sighed the whole way down to level E, limply trodding after his partner.  He nearly bumped into Heather when they reached their destination, automatically putting one step in front of the other. Level E had been painted a more sterile white. Daniel had always assumed it was a psychological thing, but also concluded that blood would more easily stand out alongside most other viscous fluids. He then began pondering why most doctors had a similar white if they practically blended into the background. Heather called out Daniel's name, it caused him to recoil and pushed him out of his stray thoughts. He began trailing after Heather again.
  120. The doctor stopped in front of one of many doors in the hallways, she smashed her hand on the door's opening mechanism. A small smile crept onto Daniel's face as he took note of the room designation and recalled what he did earlier. Heather walked into the small room, puzzled. It was fairly empty with only bare tables and empty boxes greeting her. Her confusion turned to anger as she looked over the boxes, upending a few of them.
  122. "Where are all of the supplies?" Heather sternly asked, tossing a box away.
  124. "I um," Daniel tried to muster speaking up, "I already sort of prepared them in the medbay."
  126. "What?" Heather asked.
  128. "Th-they're in the medical bay!"
  130. She peered down at him for a few moments without a word. Her eyes narrowed. She motioned towards the door with her head. Daniel quickly moved out of the room and Heather followed suit. They both moved to another room. Again, the door flew open and revealed a barren area. Once more, another room emptied of its contents. Daniel's small smile started to sprout a bit more. Heather shot him another look which caused that bit of enjoyment to disappear. Silently she moved onto medbay proper. It was a larger room split up into subsections, somewhat mimicking a regular Earth-like hospital. It had a touch more of humanity than most other places, with comfortable chairs, a reception of sorts, and proper windows that allowed for seeing into other rooms.
  132. Heather approached one of the staff entrances, unlike other doors this one merely opened upon approach. It allowed passage into a far smaller and simpler hallway with rows of entrances that led into patient rooms. The lighting here was subdued to a warmer color that was far easier on the eyes. Each room was identical to each other, sharing the same furniture and design. Heather stopped in the middle of the corridor, resting her hands in the pockets of her coat.
  134. "Start up the equipment," Heather paused, "please." She spoke without facing Daniel.
  136. Daniel relaxed. "Yes, Heather," he replied, and began moving towards one of the patient rooms.
  138. Inside was a blocky beige examination table with various flickering lights on it. Nearby was a larger table containing a sink and several cabinets. Finally, mounted on the wall, was a clear glass pane. Daniel flicked several switches on the side of the smaller table. Its innards began to buzz and projections of light appeared on top of the cushions. Daniel looked over the machine once more, nodding when he confirmed that it was fully operational. He turned to the glass, tapping gently on one of its corners. It similarly lit up with a cyan hue, denoting it was functional. The boy left the room to repeat the process a few more times.
  140. Heather moved down the corridor towards another larger room. It was a more technical operation area for severe injuries that contained several gurneys, patient beds, and a myriad of serious medical equipment. It also doubled as storage for most of the medical supplies, which allowed easy access during the most dire of situations. The medic opened and examined one of the storage lockers that contained simple pill-based medication in assorted containers. Aside from some bottles being tipped over and not correctly aligned, she was pleased with how each capsule was grouped with its respective use. One particular bottle caught her eye, however, which she promptly grabbed.
  142. "Daniel," Heather yelled from a distance.
  144. Daniel peeked out of one of the rooms to answer. "Y-yes?" he yelled back.
  146. "Oxytocin isn't a painkiller."
  148. "Right, sorry." He slunk back into one of the rooms.
  150. A small smile crooked at the edge of her mouth. With a sarcastic sigh she set the bottle into its proper group with the rest of the reproductive medicines. She stared at the drugs for a moment, pondering if she would ever need their assistance in her eventual "additions" to the planned colony. Her thoughts turned to Daniel. The pair were indeed put together not only for their use as a preparation crew, but for their combined genes. While it was inevitable, she hadn't really thought of him in any sort of sexual manner. She was certainly attracted to his cute, lithe form on a simple level, but she still held a separation from any sort of carnal thoughts for professional reasons. Heather furrowed her brow. Was he attracted to her? She may not have the toned form as most of the other crew, but she felt she was reasonably attractive. A more curvaceous body was practically a relic of a bygone era, nevertheless it must still hold some merit, right?
  152. Heather snapped out of her thoughts. She huffed, annoyed with her loss of focus. Maybe the pair shared a few traits as well.
  154. The medic went back to looking over the medicine supply. There wasn't a massive amount, but it would be enough for the time being. The rest of the medication would be stored deep within the holds of the ship until landing. Everything else seemed in order, so she closed the container and moved on to inspect the rest of the area. Packets of regenerative bio-gel dominated the rest of the healing aides, a cure-all for simple physical injuries. More specific tools for the rare case of internal damage dotted what remained of the supplies, including a variety of medical braces.
  156. Heather perked up at the sound of footsteps behind her. She turned to see Daniel in his trademark slightly slumped pose.
  158. "All the the rooms are running," he paused for a moment, "b-but table four's display doesn't seem to be projecting properly."
  160. "Thank you. I'll see if our engineer can get that fixed." The doctor looked down at the boy.
  162. Daniel was relieved to see that the worst of the storm had passed, but felt a curious sense come over him. Heather seemed to be eyeing him far more than usual, with an interested look rather than a critical one. She leaned down to get a closer view of the boy. Daniel began to fidget under her gaze.
  164. "I-is-"
  166. "Ah!" Heather cut him off.
  168. "W-wh-"
  170. "Sh!"
  172. He stood there silently, growing more uncomfortable. Heather reclined from her bent position and circled around behind the boy. His natural reaction was to turn and face her, but he was forced back to his original direction with firm hands. The woman traced her hands down the boy's back gently, causing him to squirm. His outfit allowed him to only barely feel her palms, though the  numb sensation was still soothing. She traced over his form, feeling his soft body. One hand wrapped around towards his stomach, holding its position. Her hands were pleasing but Daniel was still baffled by what was happening. Another hand pushed against his lower back, straightening out his posture. Heather's hands then drew up to his shoulders, adjusting them to fit with his improved stance.
  174. "There we go, that's better." Heather gave Daniel's shoulders a quick squeeze and pulled away from him.
  176. "O-oh, th-thanks." Daniel shuddered. He felt disappointment that the event ended so quickly, whatever it was.
  178. "And try not to stutter, please."
  180. Daniel breathed out to calm his nerves. "Yes."
  182. She gave him another once over with a tilted head. Yes, he looked better like that. It would make future events far more agreeable.
  183. __________________
  185. The lift slowed down to a stop and gently opened its doors. It revealed another grey hallway, and if it weren't for the perception motion, it would be hard to notice the lift moved a few floors down. Silvia stepped out of the elevator, and as always was followed closely behind by Andrew. The two of them ambled down another featureless hallway towards a particularly intimidating airlock. The device shone a brilliant yellow with stripes of red. Emblazoned on the top of the airlock was the word "Maintenance" in another alarming shade of red.
  187. "Here we are," Silvia said.
  189. She looked down at Andrew and the parts tucked under his arm. The boy looked back at Silvia, who seemed more like an automaton than a human due to her outfit, but he could still pick out the womanly features in her form.
  191. "Let me get that." Silvia pulled the helmet and soles from his grasp, leaving behind the disc.
  193. Andrew began placing the disc on his chest as Silvia did, and the device melted throughout his suit as well. He managed to keep most of his poise while the suit melted over him, but couldn't help but wince at the sickly feeling. The woman smiled at the cute display, she was thankful that her expression was hidden. When that process was complete, Silvia presented the helmet to Andrew. Instead of him grasping the object as she intended, he instead bowed to have the device placed on his head. She was fully grinning at that point while equipping the helmet onto the boy. Lastly, Silvia set the soles on the floor for Andrew to step in. The woman looked over her fully suited partner. The helmet was a little too big on his smaller frame, further adding to his adorable charm.
  195. "Ahem." Silvia tried to mask the obvious smile she had. "Are you ready?"
  197. "Yes, of course," Andrew replied. "After you."
  199. Silvia approached the airlock and activated its opening sequence. The small area within the airlock had already been pressurized, so the massive bulkhead quickly opened up.  Inside was a far darker room that had been meagerly lit from above. The area provided little to no personal space and the pair were closely bunched together as they moved in. Four doors took up what would usually be wall space. The airlock they entered was behind them, two parallel doors on their sides, and even bulkier door in front of them. Andrew was in a mix of emotions, he was excited to take a spacewalk on the hull of a moving ship for his first time, but also fearful of what could go wrong. It was just another repair job for Silvia, but she was eager to take in the scenery of what would be her new sky.
  201. "Almost forgot, I'm not used to space walking with other people," Silvia said. The notion instilled some more fear in Andrew, but he was confident in his co-worker's abilities.
  203. Silvia pinched the hip of her suit, withdrawing a thin wire of the suit's material. She extended the line over to Andrew's hip, pushing the end firmly against him. The strand melted into his suit and the two were connected.
  205. "Magnetic lattices online," Silvia confirmed.
  207. "Online."
  209. With that, the woman activated the airlock in front of her. A loud hiss erupted from beneath that slowly washed away. The only thing that either of them could hear was their combined breathing. The artificial gravity that held them in place suddenly turned off, causing a sudden feeling of free-fall in the pit of their stomachs. Andrew reflexively grabbed onto Silvia's arm to steady himself.
  211. "Oh, I'm sorry, is this your first walk?" Silvia asked, concerned.
  213. Andrew sheepishly pulled off of Silvia. "No, sorry, it's just been a while."
  215. He was embarrassed by the display, but also happy for a reason he couldn't quite explain. As if his uneasiness was simply a good excuse to get closer to Silvia.
  217. "We'll take this as slow as you want, OK? No rush." Silvia tried her best to calm Andrew, still concerned over his wellbeing. He nodded in response.
  219. A long groan vibrated through both of their bodies as the door in front of them split open. Beyond the blockade were thousands of twinkling lights off in the distance within a sea of black.
  221. "Be careful, this entrance bends downwards," Silvia cautioned.
  223. The engineer took a clunky step forward, feeling the resistance of the boot as it pulled off the metal and how it easily smashed back down. Andrew tried his best to copy Silvia's movements as the both of them walked down the curved exit. In a few moments they were standing on the outside of the colossal ship. Andrew looked behind him to see the entrance was now horizontal to his position, it looked to him like he crawled out of a sink. The change in position was disorienting, but nothing he couldn't handle. Silvia meanwhile drunk the beauty of the cosmos, slowly looking all around her. A larger bit of light shone just above them.
  225. "Look, that must be our star," Silvia said in awe.
  227. Andrew looked up at the beacon of light with Silvia. Both were comforted by the fact that they drew closer to a new home.
  229. "Alright, let's get to work before we get lost in our stargazing. Do you see anything, Andrew?"
  231. Andrew's attention moved back to the ship's hull. The surface seemed to stretch infinitely in every direction and bore no real markers. While their exit was lit up, the rest of the ship's exterior was not as bright. Every few meters small bulbs of light poked up through the metal, illuminating a short distance away before dimming. The suited pair scanned the outside for any irregularities.
  233. "Is that it there?" Andrew pointed at a flickering light off in the distance.
  235. "Let's find out."
  237. Both of them began to stomp towards the flickering light at a reasonable speed. As the light source came closer into view, it became clear what the problem was. A hole was punctured into the ship adjacent to the broken light, about the size of someone's head. While it was a distinct hole, it actually merely bent the hull inwards like one would peel back a tin can. Silvia squatted down, peering into the hole. The innards of the ship were still lit up, so she could easily make out the small fragment of rock nestled in the crumpled metal. She tried to grab at it from her awkward crouched position, but her arm couldn't reach it. While her arm moved through the hole she could feel the natural tug of gravity, so it seemed this area's artificial gravity was unaffected by the damage.
  239. Andrew watched Silvia as she wriggled her arm about fruitlessly. His arms were nowhere near as long, but he still felt the need to help somehow.
  241. "Can I help?"
  243. Silvia withdrew her arm and stood back up. Her mind started thinking up ways to retrieve the rock without tearing the hull more or going around the long way to it.
  245. "Silvia?" Andrew asked again.
  247. The woman turned her attention to her smaller compatriot. Yes, he could indeed help. She sized him up for a moment and then spoke.
  249. "I've got an idea, here," Silvia crouched again and meticulously lowered herself to lay prone against the ship, "hold me down while I grab this."
  251. Andrew quickly moved downwards and pushed her back into place before she could drift away from her target.
  253. "Spread your hands out a bit more so I can lay flat against it."
  255. Andrew held his breath and slid one of his hands from the woman's upper back downwards. He was dangerously close to resting a hand on her ass directly, but Silvia didn't seem to mind. She was wholly focused on the task at hand.
  257. "That's better, thanks," Silvia said.
  259. "Of course," Andrew replied, somewhat uneasy. He wasn't sure where to focus since he arbitrarily reasoned that staring would be rude, but looking away would be unsafe.
  261. Silvia began humming and went straight to work, pulling out the mess of rock with ease. Andrew concentrated on her backside, strictly for keeping her down, he excused. With the debris in-hand she chucked it off into the distance, where it went careening into the depths of space.
  263. "Someone else's problem now," Silvia joked.
  265. She pulled the shredded hull towards her, where it would usually be, lining up the tear with the surrounding intact exterior.
  267. "Andrew, could you grab my plasma welder?" Silvia asked. "It should be around the front of my belt," she added.
  269. Nervously the boy snaked a hand down across her stomach, making sure to keep the other flat on her back. He riffled around for the device, knowing it was cylindrical in shape. A few hesitant grasps later and he retrieved the device, handing it over to Silvia.
  271. "Here you are," Andrew said in relief.
  273. "Thanks."
  275. Silvia lit the welder, spewing a beam forth at one of its ends. She traced it around the hull damage, welding the whole thing back into place. With a simple knock she tested if it was stable. Satisfied, Silvia awkwardly got back up, boots locking into place on the surface once more. The suture was glaringly obvious with its scorch marks, but as long as it held, not a soul would ever notice. Andrew was simply glad to have been able to help, despite how uncomfortable it was.
  277. "I think this light is still broken, Silvia."
  279. Silvia turned to the blinking light next to her.
  281. "It's probably a connectivity issue with the power supply," Silvia replied.
  283. The suited woman gracelessly took a boot to the device. It obediently stayed on.
  285. "Percussive maintenance solves everything," she said cheerfully.
  287. With that finished, the engineer placed her tool back into its designated spot. Andrew looked around for any more damage, but was interrupted by a peculiar noise. A loud screech buzzed through both of them, the ship was gearing up for another course correction. As soon as the noise started, it seemed to stop, and the entirety of the ship gently swayed away from Silvia and Andrew, pulling them along with it. Andrew immediately began trying to balance himself properly. Silvia grasped his hand in hers, settling him down. The couple relaxed as their bodies adjusted to the new path of the ship.
  289. A subtle warmth came over the boy as they held hands.
  291. She squeezed his hand as they silently looked out at the stars.
  293. __________
  295. Silvia sighed as she put the last of her space suit into its storage container. It closed slowly and shut tight. She looked down at Andrew next to her, who likewise had just finished placing the components back in place. He looked at her once the container locked up.
  297. "Thanks again for the help out there," Silvia said. Tentatively she reached out to pat his back.
  299. "You're welcome," Andrew beamed from a job well done. Though the manner in which that job was carried out still left him blushing.
  301. Both of them turned to leave and moved out into the hall.
  303. "We'll check on the ship status real quick and then we can start setting everything up, is that alright?" Silvia asked.
  305. "That sounds good, it's going to be a while before we need to start anyways."
  307. Silvia and Andrew then sought out the nearest terminal to check on the ship once more. They found another lonely monitor planted on a hallway wall. Silvia turned on the computer to look over any additional updates on ship integrity, however small the chance might be. The one atmospheric issue had been cleared and was logged as "resolved" by the computer. Looking below that, Silvia was surprised to find another registered issue. Just under the listing of the previous breach was simply typed "Table Malfunction," its vague title confirmed it wasn't reported by the ship. Investigating further, the woman found it was designated as a Medical Bay issue. She nodded, understanding who it was from.
  309. "I think Heather needs our assistance" Silvia told Andrew.
  311. "We better hurry up then," Andrew urged, jokingly.
  313. They moved down the hall again towards the lift to reach their destination.
  315. "How do you think Heather is doing?"
  317. They entered the elevator once more, Andrew pressed a large button with the letter E on it. Instantly the elevator moved upwards.
  319. "I think she's just fine, at least physically." Andrew thought back to her previous outburst.
  321. "Do you think she'll recognize us?"
  323. "She should, I don't think cryogenics memory loss is that bad."
  325. Silvia was relieved to hear that, the thought of a friend- coworker, forgetting her didn't settle well with her. Andrew thought about Daniel, slightly worried for his health. An errant thought flashed through Andrew's head. He pictured himself as Heather's partner briefly, sending a quick shiver down his spine. He hadn't interacted much with the doctor, and while those few times were actually quite relaxed, she had a reputation for her short temper.
  327. Silvia, on the other hand, wasn't really sure what to think of Heather. While she could be harsh and abrasive, Silvia felt that was merely a projection of how seriously she took her work. She had wished they could be friends, but similarly to Andrew, their meetings were sparse and contained little dialog. They would get to know each other better over the year, she hoped. Though she reasoned the matter would probably be forced with there being only a few people around.
  329. Feeling the elevator halt, the pair prepared to exit the lift. The doors opened to a glaring white, clearly showing they were on the medical bay level.
  331. "Should be on our left." Andrew pointed along with his directions.
  333. They rounded the corner, searching for an entrance to the medical bay. Silvia wasn't sure whether the white was a better change of pace from grey, or if it was even more annoying. Andrew's vision was firmly stuck to Silvia as usual, though this time it was less of his own volition and more that her black jumpsuit was refuge from the blinding hallways. Silvia spotted a rare sight onboard the ship as she moved, windows.
  335. "That must be it," Silvia said.
  337. Andrew followed Silvia's gaze and peered into one of the windows. Beyond a little reception area were two figures, one sitting down and another standing up, grasping at the other. In a few moments he recognized a familiar pair, Heather and Daniel. Heather seemed to be feeling up Daniel's limbs and prodding at his body while he sat frozen. Silvia tilted her head, confused. She beckoned at Andrew and both of them moved into the reception. Heather didn't notice either of them enter and kept exploring Daniel's frightened form. Daniel immediately noticed the pair, his eyes widened and seemed to be begging for their help.
  339. "Ahem, you called?" Silvia asked cautiously.
  341. Heather stopped mid-grope to look at Silvia. Daniel loosened up from his frozen pose as the assault stopped. Andrew was more curious about what was occurring, he had never pictured Heather doing... whatever it was she was doing.
  343. "Oh, you're here," Heather said plainly. "Daniel, mind showing Silvia where the problem is?"
  345. Andrew spoke up, "I'll fix this, Silvia, since you got the last one." He began moving towards Daniel who immediately shot up out of his chair and quickly disappeared into the staff door. Heather watched her companion recede into the adjacent hallway, pensively.
  347. Daniel stood next to one of the patient room entrances waiting for Andrew's approach. He moved into the room proper when Andrew was close enough.
  349. "The examination table doesn't seem to be working right," Daniel said, a slight urgency in his voice.
  351. "What's the problem?" Andrew asked.
  353. Daniel moved to the side of the machine, switching it on. An outline of a humanoid became visible on the top of the table's cushions. The image flickered wildly, its form erratically changing colors and warping. Andrew moved to the side of the machine and crouched. In a swift movement he pushed in an outer panel and slid it to the side, revealing the appliance's innards. Looking inside, Andrew quickly identified an improperly placed screw causing a component to lean onto the machine's main projection unit.
  355. "I should be able to fix this pretty quick, but-" Andrew was cut off.
  357. "D-Does Silvia do that to you?" Daniel asked worriedly.
  359. Andrew looked up at Daniel from his position.
  361. "Sorry?" Andrew asked.
  363. Daniel gulped, trying to stifle his stutter. "Heather keeps grabbing at me, and it's really starting to worry me."
  365. Andrew thought for a moment. No, he hadn't been the subject of any unwanted probing. He looked back at the machine.
  367. "Maybe that's how she shows affection?" Andrew wasn't actually certain if that was remotely true but didn't want to scare Daniel with anything else.
  369. Daniel was calmed by that suggestion, but was completely unsure how to react to his partner showing an affectionate side. He needed more input.
  371. "How does Silvia show her 'affection'?" Daniel hung on that last word with emphasis.
  373. The other boy felt somewhat embarrassed, but went ahead and said it anyways. "Holding hands... I think." He thought back to their EVA excursion. "Regardless, shouldn't you ask her that yourself?" He looked up at the anxious youth.
  375. Daniel sighed in defeat. "Probably."
  377. "Anyways," Andrew got up, "like I was going to say, I'll need to ask Silvia for a tool real quick." He moved out into the hallway. Daniel nodded absentmindedly, still trying to process what to do.
  379. _____________
  381. "So it's been a while, huh?" Silvia asked in a vain attempt to start small talk.
  383. "You could say that," Heather replied, not keen on continuing the conversation.
  385. "Well," Silvia tried to think of something to continue with. She felt naked without pockets like Heather's, opting instead to cross her arms. "Has everything been good so far?"
  387. "I did wake up later than expected," a slight edge was in her tone that quickly faded away, "but it's been an agreeable time." She withdrew a hand to brush some strands of hair out of her face.
  389. Silvia was hoping to ease her way into the topic, but it bothered her far too much to wait anymore. "What were you doing with Daniel there?" Silvia blurted out, she recoiled at the bluntness of her question. Heather was unphased, almost finding the question humorous.
  391. "I was getting familiar with the body I'm going to be dealing with later." Silvia was shocked with how equally blunt Heather was. She continued after seeing the engineer's expression, "you've done something similar, right?"
  393. Silvia was aware of the partner arrangement, but had hoped to deal with "it" when the time came. The second question posed made her feel off, as if she was supposed to prepare herself for Andrew already. She drew closer to Heather, lowering her voice down to a near whisper.
  395. "No, no, I haven't." She casted her gaze downwards. "Do..." Silvia slowly worked her way back up to Heather's eyes, "do you think I should?"
  397. The blonde was taken slightly aback, she didn't expect others to be so reluctant in their breeding duties, at least in such bashful way. Likewise, she was interested to see how quickly Silvia jumped on the opportunity to seek out her own advice. It was clear to her that the woman needed some goading.
  399. The doctor crooked a finger at the nervous girl, beckoning her to follow. They traveled down the staff hallway, passing by the patient rooms. The women overheard the boys having a conversation, but moved by too quickly to make out what it was. They walked into the main medical storage room where Heather suddenly stopped and turned to Silvia. Reaching down, the blonde woman opened a small cabinet labelled "Recreational Contraceptives" to retrieve a generic container filled with tiny white tablets. It rattled loudly as Heather handed the receptacle to Silvia.
  401. "It's for the best if you get used to your breeding duties, especially in our genetic situation, but we wouldn't want any new passengers," Heather said.
  403. Silvia blushed and nodded very quickly. She hastily shoved the container into a pocket on the inside of her vest, muttering a simple, "thank you." She turned away and quickly walked out, nearly colliding into Andrew as he left the patient room. The doctor bent down once more, looking over the cabinet. One of her own couldn't hurt, she thought, and promptly pocketed one container for herself.
  405. "Oh, hello, Silvia, I didn't want to bother you, but do you have a screwdriver on you?" Andrew asked politely.
  407. "Sure," Silvia reached around her back to retrieve a small screwdriver, "here you go." Andrew heard an odd noise as she contorted, but thought nothing of it, taking the tool.
  409. "Thank you," Andrew said as he disappeared back into the previous room.
  411. Silvia watched as her smaller partner receded into the patient room, her heart began pumping and butterflies brewed in her stomach. Thoughts of having to advance their relationship was both exciting and terrifying, she would have to approach the topic carefully without scaring off Andrew. A finger poked at her back, surprising her.
  413. "Excuse me," Heather said.
  415. Silvia suddenly realized she was taking up most of the hallway and quickly shuffled aside for Heather to pass. The engineer soon followed after the passing woman.
  417. "How should I, you know, go about doing this?" Silvia asked nervously.
  419. "You could always ask him directly." Heather sat down and crossed her legs.
  421. "But what if that's coming on too hard?" Silvia pouted.
  423. "He's going to have to get used to it eventually, same as you." Heather nodded towards Silvia.
  425. "I don't want to prod at him like a corpse either." Silvia was clearly referring to Heather's earlier charade. The statement made the doctor pause for thought, it was an insult to be sure, but it was true. Perhaps that show was a little too much.
  427. Heather rolled her eyes, "maybe you should ease him into physical contact then?"
  429. "Like?"
  431. "You need help with that too?"
  433. "OK, sorry, never mind." Silvia looked away.
  434. ____________________
  436. "Could you hold up that part there?" Andrew asked, arms deep inside mechanical guts.
  438. Daniel got beside Andrew to push up a particularly heavy metal chunk and visibly stressed himself in the process. Andrew quickly screwed the component in place, which secured it soundly.
  440. "You can release now." The boy nudged the component to test for any more faults.
  442. "So you think that was affection, right?" Daniel immediately leaped back to the previous conversation. Andrew felt uneasy talking about women's affections so closely together. The conversation caused him to shuffle a small amount away.
  444. "Maybe, I really don't know."
  446. "Alright, b-but if it was!" Daniel tried to calm himself, "if it was, what should I do?"
  448. Andrew felt something odd, an experience he hadn't gone through in quite some time. He started to feel trickles of jealousy, as if he actually believed his suggestion of affection.
  450. "Just show it back, I guess?" Andrew got up to examine the top of the table and noted it displayed properly. "Well this is fixed, I'll get going now, bye." Andrew hurried out of the room.
  452. "Right, OK, right, show it back, right, OK," Daniel mumbled to himself. His eyes widened when his mind fully processed what he was saying. "W-wait, what?" He looked up at the vacant space where his friend was, dumbfounded.
  454. Andrew rushed into the lobby to find his partner deep in thought with a hand over her mouth. Heather was nearby in a chair, a bored expression stuck to her face, but beneath that she was in deep thought on her own share of things. Andrew stretched out a hand to give Silvia back her tool. She immediately straightened out upon seeing him and took the object with a nod. Heather noticed her own boy didn't follow Andrew out.
  456. "Table four should be working now, Heather," Andrew reported.
  458. "I guess we'll get going now if there's nothing else you need," Silvia said.
  460. Heather stood up and pocketed her hands, "thanks for the help."
  462. "See you later," Silvia said with a wave.
  464. Andrew waved in unison and followed behind Silvia as always.
  466. "Farewell," Heather replied, she waited a few moments before adding, "don't forget what we talked about!"
  468. Silvia clenched her fists and increased her pace, embarrassment overcame her. Andrew was curious about what they could've discussed, but decided not to pry. Heather stood in the reception area, alone. Her intrigue grew when her partner still had not appeared, so she ambled back to the patient rooms to search for him. Daniel was muttering to himself and staring at the floor when Heather found him. He was repeatedly going over what he should do, working up his courage.
  470. "Something wrong?"
  472. He perked up and replied with an uneasy, "no." Maybe next time.
  473. __________________________
  475. Silvia could feel the bottle of pills rattle around with every step, a constant reminder of what she should do. Ease him into physical contact, that's what she was told. While it did seem like a flimsy suggestion, Silvia couldn't really think of anything better. The expectation of having sex was something she couldn't exactly get into. Silvia partially blamed herself for becoming too friendly early on, turning her coworker into a close friend. Of course she harbored deeper feelings for him and did want to pursue them, but potentially ruining the relationship they've had up until now would be a large blow. Sex was purely for reproduction, at least for her and a few others, but with Andrew it had to be more than that.
  477. Andrew himself was no stranger to the pairing concept. Despite his age he realized at some point he and Silvia would have to mate and have children. An embarrassing but necessary aspect of his life. He had no direct qualms about the idea, but whether or not it was just as a job troubled him. They were excellent friends and partners, but did their relationship only come about from an engineered need to make better people? Underlying feelings for Silvia were becoming harder to mask. Affection worried him. They had to have sex eventually, yes, but would confirming these feelings beforehand conflict with the professional aspect of this whole mission? A clash in his job and his personal feelings, the latter of which had never really been taken into account on anything he had ever done.
  479. The troubled pair continued on, neither of them realized what the other was feeling. They robotically piloted themselves towards the elevator without a word. The door opened and they automatically boarded. Silvia reached out towards the control panel and paused. She bit her lip.
  481. "Andrew."
  483. The boy looked up, "yes?"
  485. "How about we just call it a day for now?" Silvia moved her hand up on the control panel. "Y'know, start everything tomorrow?"
  487. Andrew wasn't particularly tired, but Silvia did handle most of the heavy work today. He shrugged and agreed, "sure, why not?"
  489. Silvia smiled and pressed the button her hand hovered over. The elevator started and headed for the upper portion of the ship, level B. The area was designed as miscellaneous storage, but more importantly it housed the small designated living space for the skeleton crew. The living area was a small cluster of rooms centered around a large dormitory. A bathroom, a cafeteria, and a laundry room all bordered the main sleeping quarters.
  491. The elevator doors slid open and the two passengers disembarked. The hallways were the same as nearly all the others, however, directly in front of the lift was a simple double door entrance. Additionally, a label was beside the doors that read "Sleeping Quarters." Silvia approached the door with Andrew in tow. It felt odd to her to turn a doorknob when every other door opened on command. Inside the room were rows of white cots equally spaced away from one another. On each side of the room were doors with their own labels, much like the entrance. The area was a darker grey than everywhere else which gave much needed ease on the eyes. The area was noticeably warmer as well.
  493. "Pick out a bed, I'm gonna go shower, alright?" Silvia said. She immediately moved to examine the other doors for her destination.
  495. Andrew nodded and looked out at the rows of beds. All of them looked identical, so he was unsure which one to pick. He walked through the group of beds, looking at each one closely for any imperfections. Silvia passed by one door, making a mental note that it was the cafeteria, she moved onto the next and found the bathroom. She opened the door, stopping to look behind her. Andrew still scoped out the beds pointlessly. Silvia hesitated and wondered if she should ask Andrew if he needed to wash as well. She shook her head and entered.
  497. The washroom was rectangular in shape and had rows of shower heads on either side. The room naturally sloped inwards towards a drain to pick up any water. On the far end were cabinets to store various cloths and washing materials. One door was off to the side, which Silvia assumed was the entrance to the toilets. She moved towards the cabinets, removing her vest as she did. Setting the item on the counter, she began removing her belt, laying it beside the vest. Leaning down she undid both shoe's laces, slipping out of them in moments. She was reminded of the cold floor as her feet met it again, but most of her body had slightly numbed from the chill of the ship. Finally she pinched on the neck of her jumpsuit, then pulled it to the side and held that position. In a few moments the jumpsuit expanded from its skin-tight hug to loosely hand around her. Silvia wriggled free of the suit which caused the whole thing to fall to her feet and reveal her nude figure.
  499. Silvia was never particularly vain, but she started to worry about her body. She was toned, but not to the degree of the cargo technicians or peace keepers, she was somewhat above average by today's standards she figured. Hardened abs were just below pert breasts, she wondered if they were adequate and ran a hand over her stomach's rippling form. Her arms were similarly visibly muscular which led into a sculpted back. The woman dragged her hand down to her hips to fret over her large thighs and accompanying sizable rear. Maybe she should take up some sort of exercise routine.
  501. The woman retrieved a towel from one of the cabinets and set it alongside her articles of clothing. Silvia then moved under a shower head and turned a knob on the wall. It began to pour a stream of fresh, warm water. Silvia relished the warmth, it was wonderful to feel something other than the artificial cold. She spread out her hair under the liquid in order to soak it entirely. Eventually she stood there to take in the jet of water as it ran over her form, occasionally she turned to get every inch of her body as she relaxed into its comfort.
  503. Andrew finally settled on a bed. He sat on it, motionless, thinking about his first day awake. It was fairly eventful and enjoyable for several reasons, so he hoped to keep up this pleasant pace for the rest of the year. He thought back to the quick and odd conversation he had with Daniel, curious if his poor advice affected him at all. It's not as though he would know how to respond to any fond expressions, let alone fond expressions from someone like Heather. Though, he thought, he should begin to learn if he wanted to have some sort of advanced relationship with Silvia. He sighed, unsure if that would ever happen.
  505. Silvia turned off the shower, finally satisfied, she let out a long relaxed breath. Retrieving her towel, she began to dry her body along with her hair. When she felt reasonably dry she hung the towel over a shoulder. She rummaged through the cabinets to search for a brush and found one amongst the several beauty supplies. Silvia gathered all of her clothing and tucked them under an arm, holding the brush in her other hand. The woman breathed out in preparation and approached the washroom entrance. "Ease him in," she repeated in her head as a mantra.
  507. Andrew looked up upon hearing the bathroom door open. Silvia approached him wholly nude and sat down on the cot in front of him. They had seen each other naked before while they showered, naturally, but her body was still quite a lot for his adolescent mind to take in. Silvia tried to act as natural as possible as she set aside her discarded clothes and began to brush her hair. Bits of water glistened on her skin, winding their way down her curves and wet the bed she sat on. Andrew was uncertain how to greet her, if he should at all. Instead he kept his eyes trained on her face and forced them not to wander.
  509. Silvia thrust herself into the situation but wasn't sure how to continue it. Drawing attention to her nudity would be too brash, so she continued on as nonchalantly as possible. She finally broke the silence with some poorly contrived small-talk.
  511. "A lotta work today, huh?" Silvia kept on brushing her hair.
  513. Andrew blinked a few times. "Yeah, but it was only the first day."
  515. "True, I guess I never thought about what the first day would be like," Silvia replied, trying to continue dialog. "What'd you think the first day would be?" Silvia cursed at herself for the mindless question. The brushing was almost becoming comically needless.
  517. Andrew managed to keep his composure, much to his amazement. "I guess I thought it would be a lot more lonely, but you've been with me the whole day, so..." He trailed off.
  519. Silvia stopped brushing for a moment. It comforted her to hear her partner actually enjoyed or at least didn't mind her presence. She reached back up to run the hairbrush down her locks once more when a risky thought occurred to her.
  521. "Andrew," Silvia spoke up, "could you come around back here and get the rest of my hair?" She innocently held up the brush towards Andrew, bundling up her hair behind her back. The bare woman hoped Andrew didn't realize the pointlessness of the task. He hesitated for a moment to consider the proximity he would be in. After a moment he got up and took the brush, not wanting to disappoint Silvia.
  523. "Thanks." Silvia was relieved. She gave another thanks in her thoughts.
  525. The young boy rounded the bed to reach the woman's back. Another awkward pause came. With the width of the bed, Andrew had to choose between leaning over it and bracing on her back, or kneeling down onto its surface. He chose the latter after the fear of a clumsy loss of balance popped in his head. Silvia could feel the depression on the bed and gave another silent thanks. Gently, the bristles of the brush came down on her hair in long drawn out motions. The experience was more pleasing for the boy. Despite his placement next to his friend in the nude, he felt happy to show his own affection towards her, even if he believed that Silvia viewed it as a favor.
  527. The plan took most of Silvia's thoughts, and she only just now realized the lethargic state her partner was in. She cursed at herself again for being so single minded. What could have caused that? She quickly thought back to the day's events. It wasn't her, was it? No, she had seen him like this beforehand, just about when they were in the medical bay. Her memories of that time were fuzzy with panicked brainstorming, there must've been something she missed. There was that brief moment he was talking with Daniel, wasn't there?
  529. "What Heather was doing to Daniel was pretty funny looking, huh?" Silvia tried to probe the matter.
  531. Andrew kept brushing over the woman's hair carefully. "Yeah, Daniel was telling me about it, he's pretty worried."
  533. "Did he say why?"
  535. "At first it was because he didn't know what was happening," Andrew was apprehensive if he should continue, "but then I said it might be affection."
  537. Silvia giggled, "affection? By inspecting him like livestock?"
  539. It wasn't as though Andrew was aware how two people should show love, both his age and upbringing contributed to that, but the thought was still ridiculous. Yet still, a small part of him wanted attention like that.
  541. "If I said anything else, it could've worried him."
  543. "Yep! I'd definitely be worried if Heather was looking over me like that."
  545. The joke was enough to lighten up Andrew's mood and have him continue with the conversation.
  547. "Then he asked how you show affection, but I wasn't really sure." Andrew stopped brushing, "holding hands is affection, right?" He had to make certain of her intent.
  549. Silvia picked on the slight somber tone in Andrew's voice as he said that. She wasn't sure if she should be happy or sad that her displays of endearment were most likely the cause of his soured mood, but still found his awkward question to be cute.
  551. "It definitely is, at least the way I meant it," Silvia replied, in hopes to ease his nerves. "There are a lot of ways to show a friend you love them, or someone more than that."
  553. Andrew's curiosity was piqued, "how would you show love for someone who's more than a friend?"
  555. Silvia adjusted herself on the bed, turning her body around to better face Andrew. The boy's kneeling position made his gaze match up with the woman's own perfectly. He had never realized how pretty her hazel eyes were.
  557. "Plenty of ways," Silvia softly said. She closed her eyes and leaned in to plant a kiss on Andrew's cheek. His heart skipped a beat as she did so, feeling a comfortable tenderness inside of him. "That's one way, but if you wanted to go further..." Silvia's breathing became heavier.
  559. "If you did want to go further?" Andrew asked, pleadingly.
  561. Silvia leaned in again, eyes shut. Their lips met, both melting into one another as they kissed. Andrew slowly closed his eyes. Silvia let out a small muffled moan, being able to properly show how she felt was heavenly. Andrew's pleasant feelings culminated into a warmth at his groin, an erection began to press at his clothing. Trickles of wetness spread across Silvia's labia. The couple's breathing quickened together. The brush clattered to the floor, though neither of them noticed.
  563. The woman drew a hand up to her lover's chest and slowly moved it downwards past his stomach onto his crotch. She kneaded against it with an open palm, causing Andrew to grunt in response. Silvia pulled against the neck of the boy's jumpsuit, it slowly fell off of him. His erect cock pulled free of his clothing. The woman wrapped a hand around the length of his shaft and began to stroke him. Feeling his warm, erect manhood caused Silvia to shudder. Andrew relished Silvia's palm, the sensation of her fingers as they slid up and down his cock sending jolts of pleasure throughout his body.
  565. Andrew simply wanted more and equally wanted to give more. He pressed up against Silvia to thrust into her hand and kissed her again. The woman carefully worked her tongue into the boy's mouth so as not to surprise him, but he was quickly enthused with the idea and pushed his own tongue against hers. They swapped saliva as they tasted each other's mouths, curling up, around, and over every inch of their tongues. Silvia moved a free hand between her legs, slipping a finger between her wet folds.
  567. Slowly, Silvia withdrew from Andrew's mouth, much to both of their dismay. She eased Andrew down onto the cot with a careful hand. The boy's dick twitched as it left Silvia's warm palms, eager for more. Silvia got up from the bed, her form towered over Andrew. Her sculpted body was on full display. Andrew's cock twitched a few more times, precum began to dribble out of its head. Silvia straddled Andrew, her mind urged herself not to immediately thrust his cock into her anxious sex. His hands rested on her thighs as she teased the length of his dick with her slick entrance, slowly grinding up and down his shaft. Andrew began to moan and desperately pushed himself against Silvia again. In the woman's sexual stupor she gave a smile, she was glad she could make her partner so excited.
  569. With a steady hand on Andrew's cock, she impaled herself on the boy's dick. Both of them let out a loud cry of pleasure as they connected. She could feel his hot prick push deep inside her as it ran over the flesh within her pussy. Andrew, likewise, could feel Silvia's warm, wet walls push against him as he penetrated. It was pure bliss to finally join together as a whole. They stayed like that for a few moments to bask in the joy and pleasure.
  571. Silvia began to gradually bounce on the boy's dick. He in turn strove to thrust into her folds as she came back down on top of him. Their efforts produced a loud slap of flesh on flesh. The woman leaned down to brace her hands above the boy, her breasts shook in front of him as she repeatedly enjoyed his cock. Andrew raised his hands from Silvia's thighs to explore her tits. He pinched and pulled on her nipples, some part of him recalled seeing that somewhere. Breathy moans pushed him on as he groped at Silvia's bosom.  
  573. Andrew was on the cusp of his orgasm, he quickened his already heavy breathing. Silvia felt the boy's dick as it twitched, and noted his desperate thrusts. She tried to tighten her walls around him to bring on his finish. Briskly, the boy moved his hands back to Silvia's thighs, frantically he tried to push more of himself into Silvia. She stopped her bounces and let Andrew plunge in as quickly as he pleased, she idly watched his wonderful body with a soft smile.
  575. One final thrust and Andrew came deep into Silvia. He grunted and faded into a moan. Silvia let out a delighted sigh as she felt warm strands of semen shoot into her over and over again. She looked down at Andrew whose face was in a struggled pleasure as the last amounts of ejaculation left him. Silvia savored the expressions her partner produced as she relaxed. Sobriety began to trickle back into both of their minds, and with it came a wealth of emotions.
  577. The boy was happy to confirm his lover felt the same way, gone were any previous doubts from his mind. Experience for their later breeding was an added bonus. Silvia felt relieved that the boundaries between her and Andrew were removed. She did feel slight guilt at forcing herself so suddenly on him, but was glad that he enjoyed the experience nonetheless. The contraceptives went ignored, but a head start on the next generation couldn't hurt, Silvia reasoned.
  579. The woman took in the last of her partner's visage and leaned back into a kneel. Andrew wordlessly looked back at her. Gently she caressed his cheek before she lifted her larger form off of his dick. A mixture of their fluids ran from each other's groin before it slowly dissipated. Andrew was completely spent and remained limp on the bed as Silvia stood next to him. The woman looked at the boy for a moment, then turned away. Grabbing a nearby cot, she loudly dragged the bed and pushed it against the one on which Andrew lay. She crawled onto the larger surface she created and embraced Andrew, turning him on his side to better hold him.
  581. The shower afterwards would certainly be interesting, the woman mused.
  582. ____________________
  584. The medbay was silent, no one would see its use for some time, but the complete lack of anything going on began to drag on Heather. She sat in its reception area, staring off into the distance while she contemplated any odd thought that came by. Her hand ran over the contraceptives bottle she retrieved earlier and idly played with it. Everything was in place for the off chance that one of the few people awake were injured. Heather knew it wasn't right to want a patient, but anything to occupy her time was welcomed.
  586. Daniel tested the examination tables over and over, a small part of him wanted to find a reason to call back Andrew, but his incessant test work was mostly for safety's sake. The table chirped and pinged at all of his inputs, which brought him satisfaction as each test confirmed it worked properly. Daniel considered going over medicine storage again, but he was sure Heather would have let him known of any mistakes, quite directly in fact.
  588. Daniel moved back into the reception area and sat down next to Heather. Her eyes swayed over to him, head unmoving.
  590. "I went over the machines a few more times, they all seem fine," Daniel said, a bit too nervous to try and look at the woman next to him.
  592. An awkward silence hung in the air for a few moments. Heather turned her head to Daniel, looking over him again.
  594. "Thanks," she said. "Sit up straight."
  596. Daniel quickly straightened out his posture. The doctor extended a hand to micromanage little imperfections in her partner's position, but paused and rescinded. She rattled the pill bottle once more and placed it in her coat's pocket with a sigh. Daniel noticed the hand retreat in the corner of his eye. He was glad to be spared another round of groping, but felt a tinge of sadness. If Andrew was to be believed, Heather just has a curious way to show friendliness. The young man breathed in, gathering his courage.
  598. "You can," the boy spoke, then soon added "i-if you want to of course."
  600. Heather furrowed her brow. "What?"
  602. Daniel tried his best to meet Heather's gaze. His eyes darted to and fro in a poor attempt to settle down.
  604. "If you want to show your affection, that's... that's fine." Daniel gulped.
  606. Heather smiled and tilted her head in confusion. "What?" she repeated, nearly laughing.
  608. Daniel's heart dropped. This was completely wrong. He turned his head away.
  610. "No, keep going, what are you on about?" She tapped his shoulder and adjusted in her chair to face him.
  612. "I-I thought that was a friendly thing, I mean, I was told," Daniel's voice lowered.
  614. "You could call it that," Heather nodded, "not really, but sort of."
  616. "What was it then?" Daniel still couldn't turn back.
  618. "When we land, we're going to be doing more than first-aid," Heather stated, matter-of-factly. "I was getting acquainted."
  620. "Oh." Daniel stumbled upon his ultimate embarrassment. "Oh..." His posture slumped slightly, "so then... you didn't want to- never mind."
  622. Daniel, like everyone else, was aware of their initiative to mate. He expected it to be the most awkward experience of his life and wasn't particularly enthused with the idea. Sure he found Heather attractive, but she was hard to connect with personally. He wasn't aware if anyone called Heather a friend, or even an acquaintance. The sudden physical contact was a glimmer of hope for his naïve mind that maybe they were becoming friends, or whatever she approximated was a friend. Perhaps, he reasoned, along with their friendship she would have a change in mood.
  624. "Look at me when you're talking to me. Want to what?" Heather's tone began to edge off humor.
  626. The boy nervously looked back at the doctor. "You didn't want me to touch you back."
  628. Heather relaxed. She found the callow child to be cute in his pure obliviousness. To indulge him in his misinformation was enticing, but she decided merely to adjust his false thinking.
  630. "Friends don't do that," the blonde stated straightforwardly. She decided to continue when Daniel kept his dejected appearance, "you can call us friends, though." Heather thought back to previous ebullitions and cold interactions, she wasn't exactly the best friend. Her expression hardened. No, she really wasn't.
  632. "Here." Heather stretched out her arms as an invitation towards Daniel for a hug. He looked at her quizzically. "I'm trying to be a better friend, now come on," she demanded. Awkwardly the boy moved into her embrace and felt her arms close around him. He would be thankful if he wasn't so baffled.
  634. "Aren't you going to hug me back?"  
  636. Hesitantly he drew his arms up to wrap around Heather's midsection. His own squeeze forced his head into her soft bust. If Daniel wasn't sure before, he certainly wasn't now. Confusion, arousal, and a dash of fear clouded his mind. At least through the bizarre farce he somehow became friends with the stringent female, or at least, he hoped he did.  
  638. The larger woman released Daniel from her grip, but he hadn't budged yet. She waited to see how long it would take him to react to the lack of arms around him. Daniel was starved for any signs of endearment and kept his hold. Maybe being with Heather wouldn't be so bad. Heather considered interrupting him, but his adorable display of need was too good to break off, as if she was actually wanted for once.
  640. Daniel slowly backed off Heather after he had enough and added a simple, "I'm sorry."
  642. "Stop apologizing so much, it's fine," Heather said. She tried to curb how harsh she sounded. "Daniel, it's fine. You would know if it wasn't."
  644. "I'm s-" He caught himself, "I get it."  
  646. Heather realized that similarly to how she was trying to get used to him, he had to get used to her. She was conscious of how disagreeable she could be, but it never particularly bothered her until now. Daniel didn't really deserve any of her ire, nor her slave driving. She could afford to be nicer to someone she was going to spend the rest of her life with, she thought. There wasn't any regulation to their continued relationship, it was merely a subconscious desire on her part. Heather still yearned for companionship like most others, and Daniel, despite all of the abrasiveness, was probably the closest she had ever been to someone, but not through her own doing.
  648. Maybe she should try to copy Silvia's happy demeanor. "Hey Daniel, let's like, go for something to eat," no, no that wasn't quite right. Silvia certainly had an actual relationship with Andrew, so that might have been the right train of thought. What would she try? Small talk? Heather found it depressingly funny how Silvia had asked for sexual advice like a nervous teenager, and now Heather was trying to mimic her in turn, only for far simpler relationship troubles.
  650. The lights dimmed as Heather mulled over her sad situation. It was a specific design choice for the ship, not only did it save a minute amount of power, but it was in sync with their destination planet's day cycle. The skeleton crew's internal clock would naturally adjust to their new home as a result. Daniel and Heather both looked up at the lights and recognized their significance.
  652. Daniel spoke up, "should we get going?"
  654. Heather nodded and shifted her hands into their trademark pocketed position. "Come on."
  656. The hallways appeared practically dead to Daniel without their usual full power lighting. The original grey had taken on a darker tone that nearly bordered on a light black. Unconsciously he moved to Heather's side as they navigated the silent halls. His mind feared to lose her in the darkness, even if it wasn't all that dark in actuality. The nurse barely noticed Daniel's new position, still focused on what steps she could take to soften her image. Though, rather than try to alter her character, she thought about what other crew relationships there were to style herself off of. As she did so, it became frighteningly apparent to Heather how little of the other crew she actually fraternized with.
  658. Daniel nearly walked past Heather when she stopped to call the elevator. Immediately he turned back around to situate himself next to her. He found it odd that she took to the lift, but wasn't about to dismiss the idea any time soon. The woman stared at the lift doors while her mind stuck to relationships. Daniel realized Heather's intent focus on the door and tried to make out her expression in the dark, but couldn't quite manage it. Whatever it was, staring at the elevator couldn't be good, he thought.
  660. The elevator doors slid open and both boarded. The lights of the lift were still on full blast which created a pleasing beacon in the dark. Heather unintentionally slammed the control panel and the elevator began its ascent. The sudden sound caused Daniel to jump. He began to worry he had upset Heather somehow and straightened out his posture to absurdity in an attempt to please her. The elevator ride was deathly quiet. Heather kept to her thoughts and Daniel stood ramrod stiff. Occasionally the boy stole a look at his partner to confirm that her attention wasn't aggressively focused on him.
  662. When the lift doors parted, Daniel was confused at the sight before him. A new blockade stood in their way with odd nubs that protruded out of them at their midsection. Heather casually strolled up to the barricade and automatically opened it by a curious manipulation of a nub. The pieces fell into place and Daniel realized their purpose. It had been quite some time since he had last seen a doorknob, perhaps even longer for one that actually worked.
  664. Daniel had to quickly rush through the doorway before it gently shut behind Heather. Upon his entrance, he heard cheery voices that lowered down to silence. Positioned on beds across from one another were familiar faces. Silvia and Andrew had stopped their conversation to give a nervous wave. In their hands were small packets of generic confectionery. Heather broke out of her spell for a moment to give a nod as she approached. She took particular note of the crookedness of one bed and a peculiar mark on the floor. Daniel gave a happy "hello," and a wave of his own. While the cots did look inviting to Daniel, Heather walked by each one into the door labelled plainly 'CAFETERIA'. He obediently followed after her and watched the comfortable pair disappear behind the door.
  666. The lunch room was as soulless as nearly all of its brethren. Stark white walls and a shiny grey floor beamed back against the lights. A few sets of circular tables took up most of the center space, each table had stools that swiveled out from beneath in neat compactness. Large metallic storage units sat against the bare walls, a few had a soft hum to them. A sink was stationed on one of the walls for the infinitely small chance a part of the ship wasn't sterilized.
  668. Daniel was not entirely certain why he followed after Heather, especially since the work day was over, a bad habit he supposed. Heather barely registered the boy as he trailed after her. With some effort, the woman pulled open one of the containers. Inside was an array of packaged foods neatly stacked on shelves. Heather settled on a crumbly strawberry pastry for a simple snack. The boy peered around his curvy partner into the container before it shut tight. She turned around and came face to face, or rather, face to stomach with Daniel, the sudden halt temporarily snapped her out of her thought process. With a step to the side she watched Daniel rummage about for his own meal.
  670. The smaller boy produced a packet that contained a hardened dough treat that was lightly salted. Heather looked over her own choice of edible and put it back as Daniel moved away. She then grabbed the same doughy meal that Daniel did and followed him in turn. Heather examined the package and concluded she could at least try to figure out what her associate likes. It was probably the only thing she could bother to attempt at this point.
  672. The duo sat at one of the many tables that Daniel had chosen for its proximity. Heather made sure to sit next to Daniel rather than across to prevent the tabletop from being a boundary between them. The boy wordlessly opened up his own treat and began to consume it, with his attention on no particular place. The woman looked over her new replacement once more and hesitantly opened it to take a bite. Instantly she was hit with a bitter salty taste that she couldn't believe anyone could enjoy, mixed with an awful crunch that shattered flakes of food everywhere.
  674. Heather swallowed and set down the poison atop the mess of crumbs she created. "Alright, this isn't working," she said with a hand at her temple. She instantly gave up on her plan. Daniel looked over at Heather due to her sudden remark, but still enjoyed his meal. The woman felt the only way to try and have a proper relationship was to restart the entire thing.
  676. "Daniel," the woman spoke.
  678. "Mm?" Daniel asked through repeated crunches. The noise began to irritate Heather.
  680. "Could you just," Heather clasped her free hand shut in front of the boy, "stop that for a second." Daniel slowed his ravenous enjoyment to a halt and ended with a swallow.
  682. "Yes?" He asked again, coherently.
  684. "Do you like me? At all?" Heather forced out the words painfully. Daniel paused in response, his brow ever so slightly crinkled. It was as if Heather asked Daniel's opinion on the fuel efficiency of spaceship thrusters, he did not know where to even begin on the subject. He had to choose his next words carefully. "You know what? Scratch that, I know you don't." Heather noticed his unease. Daniel was about to dissuade that notion, but as to what he could say he was still unsure. "Look, I know I've been harsh on you," and everyone else, she mentally added, "and I have no excuse for it, so," Heather looked into Daniel's wary gaze, "I'm sorry."
  686. Daniel considered if he should ask Heather if she was feeling alright or wholeheartedly accept her sudden apology. It was not as though she was a known deceiver, but the experience was nigh unbelievable and even she seemed troubled by her words. Her vulnerable green eyes pierced his own. For once, their appearance did not force him away worriedly. Maybe indeed, being with her wouldn't be so bad.
  688. Heather anxiously waited for a reaction from her nervous partner. It couldn't be as easy as a simple apology, she knew that much, but still, her brief flash of exposure left her wanting. It was ridiculous for her to spring such a poorly constructed arrangement of words that vaguely resembled an apology in an instant. Especially for over a year of caustic behavior. Maybe atonement during a meal was less than ideal.
  690. The blonde leaned back from her weak position, still restless for a response. Daniel was still bewildered by this unforeseen scenario. Heather spoke up when she realized she wasn't going to get a response any time soon. "Alright, that was too much, but I really do mean it." She brushed aside a stray strand of hair. "Just try to put up with me a little longer."
  692. Daniel was still affixed on the woman's eyes. He gave a gentle nod to her plea. A soft comfort emanated from within him that relaxed his whole body. It was Heather that broke their eye contact. She rose from her seat and disappeared from Daniel's cone of vision, his eyes still trained on where she was. The woman soon returned and woke Daniel up from his docile state.
  694. "I'm not sure how you can eat that stuff, by the way," Heather said as she swept aside the flaky mess she created. She tried to give herself a playful tone but was unsure if she managed to convey it. With that she unwrapped her original choice of snack and began to eat. Daniel moved his own treat back to his lips, but paused to watch Heather eat. A concerned expression was being held under wraps that barely broke the surface of Heather's inexperienced chipper look. Daniel continued to eat his small meal in deliberate careful bites.
  696. The room went silent again, a regular occurrence for both of them, but the younger boy wanted to spark a conversation in a roundabout way to soothe the troubled woman's nerves. Daniel looked down at his crunchy edible. What was there to talk about at the edge of explored space in a year where most people they would have known are long gone? The latter half of that thought stung.
  698. "You don't like pretzels?" Daniel asked simply.
  700. Heather relaxed slightly. "Well that's not a pretzel, is it? It doesn't swirl around." She emphasized the swirl with a pointed finger.
  702. "Ah, uhm, you don't like," Daniel searched the wrapping for a name, "bread product number four seven six two two three five?"
  704. "Not really, no," she took another bite, "too bitter, too salty, and far too messy." Heather leaned over the table to brush off a stray crumb from Daniel's face. Both remarked silently about the touch of soft skin.
  706. "What does yours read?"
  708. Heather turned the package in her hand. "Pastry product number seven seven eight two five three."
  710. "Oh." The boy looked around and shifted uncomfortably. "S-so I wonder why they don't ship us with uhm, name-brand foods?"
  712. "I'm not well-versed in psychology, but it probably helps us distance ourselves from the old. It's a new world and all, wouldn't want to get stuck thinking about things of the past." The thought didn't sit well with Daniel, even if it was reasonable. The woman shrugged, "or it's probably cheaper." The boy was relieved, but he was unsure which he preferred of the two theories. "We'll start seeing normal food again when the trade lines boot up anyways."
  714. Both had just about finished with their small bits of nutriment. Heather rose from her chair to search for a trash receptacle, she finished the last of her sweet snack as she did so. Daniel watched her go. He was glad to have attempted some sort of normal human interaction, even if it wasn't as smooth as he had hoped. While going over his thoughts, the boy finished his off his bread product and crushed the torn wrapper in his hand. He went on his way to meet up with Heather, who had begun to remove bits of food from her clothing over the sink.
  716. "Is this the trash?" Daniel held up the crumpled packaging. The woman held out her hand. Daniel placed the bit of refuse on her palm. In a moment the trash was tossed down the sink, eaten up with a quiet grind.
  718. Heather turned her attention to the boy next to her. "See, I told you that stuff made a mess." Her hands began to peck at bits of crumbs on Daniel's suit. The feeling was blunt through the material, but his sensitive body still winced ever so slightly at each pinch. "Much better," she said, finishing off with broad strokes down his chest to make certain everything was clear. He certainly preferred this attention to being a posing model.
  720. Heather took a small step back. "All good?" she asked as she looked down at her own clothing. Daniel drew his eyes down her buxom form and gave a nervous nod. It was still a little too much for him to take in. "Good." Heather brushed herself off once more for good measure. "I think I'll have a wash before going to bed. How about you?" The boy's stomach immediately knotted itself and his gaze shifted down to the floor. Heather wasn't sure if she should giggle that her partner was still so embarrassed by nudity, or apologize for the uncomfortable question. She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, that seemed proper. "I'm not forcing you to go, you know," she said, with another attempt to dull the natural edge she perceived in her voice.
  722. Daniel looked back up to meet Heather's soft gaze. Their sincere appearance gave him enough courage to respond. "Y-yeah, I think I'll," he gulped, "g-go too." Heather nodded and began to walk towards the exit. Daniel hurried to her side, an oddity, but he also wanted to try his best to prove his willingness to continue an actual relationship. On their short trip he lagged behind for a moment, but quickly corrected himself. The woman was glad to see her quickly constructed apology had some level of success.
  724. Their exit was slightly awkward as they worked out who should go first, but they managed to go through without too much of an issue. Upon their exit, Silvia and Andrew watched the new strange couple in confusion as they walked side by side to the shower room.
  726. Movement to the showers was increasingly difficult for Daniel. He could back out at any time, but he had to see it through. The room itself was of little comfort to the boy, it was as free and visible as the showers back home within the staging camp. They moved over to the cabinets at the far end of the room where Heather wasted no time in the removal of her garments. Boots were quickly placed on the counter, followed by the bright white coat thrown on top that inexplicably rattled. Daniel slowly stepped out of his own shoes and looked at the bare wall in front of him. He made it a point to keep his focus there as a jumpsuit was added to the discarded clothes. He pulled at the neck of his suit and took it off. The air had a chill that bit at him, and made him naturally bundle up.
  728. When he turned around he noticed Heather's naked frame as water ran down over her, he could feel his face go flush and his ears burn. Daniel sighed, he really had to get over this. It would be a a difficult decision for him to choose which shower to use. Far away seemed too rude, but too close was invasive. Heather saw him as he stood still at the far end of the room and turned to face him. Daniel urged himself not to stare at the woman's sizeable mammaries, but she wasn't so hesitant to look over him. His form was a little more lithe than the other boys and lacked their muscle definition. That, coupled with his near constant worried expression and messy hair made him cute rather than formidable. He wouldn't have been her first choice, giving an almost 'runt of the litter' air, but as of late she was glad to be paired with him.
  730. "Is there any soap in there?" Heather asked. She ran a hand through her hair. The boy turned around to rummage through the cabinets, he really wished he had done that first without being stark naked. He pulled out packaged bars of soap and lamented on how everything seemed to be wrapped up. Carefully he moved over to the showers and handed a bar to Heather. He decided he might as well use the shower there since he was already under it. While it had seemed just like yesterday he had taken a shower, his body naturally enjoyed the warmth of the water stream. Daniel nearly forgot to wash himself as he stood there.
  732. The woman next to him smiled for a few reasons. It was good to see such a worried person relax so quickly, but also the modest erection that began to grow flattered her. She contemplated if she should point it out, but rejected the idea after she recalled how much of an effort this escapade was for him. No, that was something he had to find out on his own. Instead, she took out the soap and began to scrub herself with it. Nothing would really be dirty, of course, but showers were not really complete without a full clean, she felt.
  734. Daniel languidly ran the soap across his body. This wasn't too bad, he just had to keep a clear head. The bar traveled up and down his chest before it moved south and suddenly stopped. Daniel's heart began to race as he realized how clearly aroused he was and stressed on if he should continue as normal or attempt to hide it. Heather stole a glance as she washed a leg. He definitely noticed it now, she thought. The woman had to stifle a laugh as the boy turned away. He really had to relax.
  736. Heather set down the bar and put her hands at her hips. "Alright Daniel, you can stop now. I know you're still on edge about being nude, but you can relax around me, right?" He paused. That should probably be true, but basic human privacy was still embedded deep into his mind. "I mean, you're going to be doing a little more than getting naked later on." Actually, that was probably the wrong thing to say. Daniel still felt deeply embarrassed by the idea and she was well aware of it. "Right, OK, sorry." She started to feel ridiculous as she tried to comfort someone else in the shower, or comfort someone in general.
  738. "Look, I mean, I'm sort of happy you're like that because of me." Heather really could not believe what she said. Maybe psychology was not as pointless as she had thought. She turned off her shower head and watched as Daniel tried to act normally. His hand still moved around his body, but it was noticeably redundant as it went over the same areas several times. He turned his head, but his body was still angled away.
  740. "Is... is that true?" he meekly asked. He had stopped his absentminded cleaning.
  742. "Yes, really," Heather quickly responded. "Unless you were thinking about someone else. Don't get me wrong, that's fine too." It was stupid, but at least it worked.
  744. Daniel mumbled inaudibly and turned back to his original position, his cock was completely erect.
  746. "What did I say about-" Heather cleared her throat. "What was that?"
  748. Daniel spoke up a little louder, "it was you." The woman moved closer, her body was underneath the cascade of water. It was a relief to hear that she was the source of his incident.
  750. "That wasn't too hard to admit, was it?" Heather almost wanted to ask what it was that the boy liked the most about her physique, but did not want to push her luck. Daniel gave no reply, but also made no effort to move away. The woman shuffled a little closer to the boy to where their skin gently grazed one another. It was quite obvious her presence caused him more than just a simple erection, as she noted Daniel's dick began to twitch on her approach. Heather leaned down to the side. "I can take care of that, if you want," she stated directly. Though, she was fairly certain there would be no response.
  752. Daniel felt incredibly light headed. "I don't think..." he lost his words.
  754. "No pressure, it was just an offer."
  756. "What if- what if they come in here?" Seemed he wasn't going to directly refuse.
  758. "What, you think those two don't do this all the time?" None of that was even vaguely true, but she figured it was more of a prediction than a lie.
  760. "But..." Daniel continued to stumble around the issue. Heather straightened out again before she felt repeated shaky taps on her hand. It was difficult to hear over the pitter-patter of water, but the boy's breaths quickened. The woman leaned down and braced one hand on the wall, the other snaked down his abdomen and wrapped firmly along the length of his cock. Daniel let out a trembling sigh as Heather's hand gripped his shaft. She wouldn't have admitted it, but her own heart began to pump faster. The water that flowed over them was warm, but Heather noted the boy's member seemed all the warmer her palm.
  762. "Fast or slow?" The woman tried to keep it as simple as possible. Daniel only gave a frantic nod to her question coupled with more accelerated breaths. Heather smiled and began to stroke her partner at a moderate pace. She enjoyed feeling his cock react so sweetly to her hand. Daniel more or less had been lost in his sexual release, his mind wholly focused on the soft fingers that pleasured him. His body shuddered as it enjoyed the tight hole Heather had made for it. Bolts of pleasure ran up and down his spine. He nodded again and his friend obliged.
  764. Heather increased her pace, jerking off the boy faster. She was impressed with how willing he was, and glad he of all people trusted her with such a task. Daniel inhaled again and propped up a hand against the wall in unison with the blonde. "Are you going to come?" she asked nicely, still rapidly pleasuring his cock. His dick twitched a few more times and Heather could feel his body tense up as she closed in on him. Daniel gave a muffled moan and a few more drawn out breaths. "Let me know when, OK?" He gave one final frenetic nod and forced his hips forwards. The woman quickly pulled her hand from the wall and positioned it in front of his hot prick. Daniel clenched his mouth and gave a long exasperated moan. Heather could feel the sultry fluid spurt into her free hand in sticky strands. She waited for him to calm down and pulled away while he caught his breath.
  766. "Wow," Heather remarked as she held up her hand. Daniel had marked most of her digits and palm in his seed. "You really should have let me known how pent up you were." She moved back to her original shower and turned it on to wash the mess away. The air was heavy with his scent as Heather scrubbed away the last bits of semen. She wasn't sure if she particularly liked the smell, but it wasn't too egregious either. When she looked back, Daniel had already moved back to the cabinets and had begun to dry himself off. Heather turned off the shower head and moved to his side. A towel was already set for her, which she gladly took up.
  768. As she began to dry off her hair, a tender hug wrapped around her naked waist, surprising her. Heather looked down at Daniel. His wet mop of hair gleamed back while it dug into her side. She pulled a hand away from her head and timidly lowered it down to the boy. Stiffly, she patted his back and added an unnatural "you're welcome." They both went back to their preening without a word, eventually completely redressing themselves, bar the woman's coat.
  770. Their exit was met with less surprise than their entrance. Silvia and Andrew had begun to relax into bed, still chattering sparsely. Heather looked over the beds and simply chose one bed over from Silvia's, not wanting to get too close to the happy couple. Daniel took up a bed adjacent to Heather's own without much thought. The doctor sat on the bed, idly looking over at the other pair near her. An odd sensation wormed its way into her thoughts. A lull in Silvia's conversation prompted her to look over at Heather. With a cheery smile she mouthed the words, "thank you," and turned back to Andrew. The sensation grew. It was something familiar but alien, not a feeling she had experienced in quite some time. Jealousy.
  772. The relaxed state the other two were in was an almost annoying sight, but was something she wanted for herself. Heather looked over to the bed next to her. Daniel had already begun to make himself comfortable, covered by bright white sheets. The sensation subsided, replaced by a shaky reassurance that perhaps something like that was coming her way. Perhaps not in the same capacity, perhaps not with the same vigor, and perhaps not with the same ease, but that was just about fine with her, all things considered. Heather laid down, still trained on the boy next to her. His attention moved to her. The woman nodded, and Daniel did the same in turn.
  774. "Good night, Heather."
  776. Heather pursed her lips and looked away at the ceiling. "Good night, Daniel."
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