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Mites? Really?

Posted on Wed Jul 26th, 2017 @ 1:57am by Lieutenant Commander Arturo M'Rohass & Lieutenant JG Xiulan Song

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Arturo and Xiulan's Quarters
Timeline: MD100: 1730hrs

Arturo returned to the quarters he shared with Xiulan. He had to pick up his kit so he would be able to go to work directly from the quarters he'd be using for the night while he got rid of the mites he'd picked up from Gerri. He entered and called out to Xiulan so he wouldn't scare the crap out of her by just appearing.

"Xiulan?" he said. "Graceful Orchid? Are you here?"

Xiulan was at the desk in their quarters working at the desk terminal. She had her headset on, so she didn't hear Arturo when he came in or when he called out for her.

Arturo looked around and found Xiulan. If she was sighted, he would put his hands over her eyes and say 'Guess who?' The part of his brain reserved for bizarre and useless thoughts considered whether or not he should cover her ears or plug her nose or maybe both and say 'Guess who?' Fortunately, the more rational part of his brain realized two things: 1) what was the point of saying 'Guess who?' if he covered her ears? 2) if he pinched her nose, she'd likely kick him in the knackers so he decided against that, too. Instead he walked up behind her, leaned in, and planted a kiss on her cheek.

Xiulan smiled; she knew that furry kiss! She removed the headset then switched off the music that was blaring from it. "Hey, what's up?" she asked as she saved her work on the terminal.

Arturo sighed.

"I am afraid I must sleep somewhere else tonight, alone, of course," he said. "You can blame Gerri. He gave me some kind of mite infestation. The cure requires the use of an electromagnetic field produced by some bracelets I have to wear tonight. The field might, if you'll pardon the pun, have a negative effect on your implants. While I will suffer from terrible loneliness tonight, better that than you get your brain fried...again."

"The mites?" Xiulan said with a confused expression. "The Doc said they shouldn't be interested in all the fur, I thought for sure you'd be in the clear!" Then she sighed. "I'm sorry, he said these mites could have been dormant for years, so apparently Gerri's always had them, I just feel bad that you've got them now too. How long will you have to stay away from me?"

Arturo sighed.

"One unbearable night," he said. "Sorry this happened only one day after we finally moved in together..."

Arturo grinned.

"We moved in together," he said. "I like the sound of that."

Xiulan grinned. "Yeah, I guess I like the sound of that too," she said with some reluctance. "Although, to be fair, it doesn't really feel that different from before, you were spending more nights at my quarters than your own," she pointed out.

"Yes," Arturo said. "But it will feel different, at least for me. Now we live together. We share space. We have a place to call ours. We get to enjoy the pleasure of each other's company, whether that means doing something together, or just being alone together. There's something very relaxing about just being, doing your own thing, with someone you love nearby, doing their own thing. I think I find that idea quite pleasant!"

"That," Xiulan started, then paused to give him a kiss, "is so cheesy, and so you. Hurry up and get rid of those mites so we can enjoy 'our place'."

Arturo got a little thrill when Xiulan kissed him. Some people got so used to each other that they took little things like the intimacy of a casual kiss out of nowhere for granted. Arturo hoped that he never did that with Xiulan, that he would always cherish any and all moments of intimacy with her, physical or otherwise.

"Oh I will," Arturo said, a mischievous grin on his face. "I intend to 'enjoy' our place with you as frequently as our schedules and our biology allow. But seriously, I'll be back tomorrow. That great Cossack bear of doctor says I'll be clear tomorrow morning. If I have time, I'll stop by before my shift starts so we can at least say hello to each other before our day gets started."

"I like Bear Doctor," Xiulan replied, then laughed. "And of course you're stopping by in the morning, you have to make my morning brew; why else do you think I keep you around?" she asked teasingly.

Arturo laughed.

"Of course," Arturo said. "And I don't necessarily mind the giant medico. I just have to get used to his speech patterns and learn to not react when he says something that sounds utterly stupid in Standard. I mean, he told me that there was something wrong in your 'imaginary'! I thought he meant your 'imagery', that he found something off on your scans! Then I couldn't figure out why he was telling me about your health issues without you there! I of course love and care about you and want to know everything that is going on with you, but that seemed highly unprofessional of him and I told him so! Unfortunately he meant 'menagerie', which also confused me because menagerie implies more that you brought more than one of your lizards with you and as far as I knew, you only brought Gerri. By the time I got out of there, I was wound up pretty tight. But never mind me. How was your first day?"

"Well, it was relevant to ask if I had more in my collection because that can be a concern for contamination, and I did have a pretty big collection back on Deep Space 11," Xiulan said. "And he wanted to know how I got Gerri, make sure he hadn't come into contact with anything dangerous, and the only thing he's come into contact with besides myself and my quarters was you," she added, grinning at the idea of Arturo being a 'wild' or 'dangerous' anything, especially when he could be so cuddly! "But my day was alright; got checked out, checked in, checked out my work space... Basically, a lot of checking," she said with a laugh.

Arturo chuckled.

"Well," he said. "I'm pretty fastidious. I doubt I gave the mites to Gerri. I'm really a one lizard kind of man. I've always wondered about Gerri, though. He's got a bit of a wandering eye. Speaking of which, I've been asking around about my chief support craft pilot and shuttle bay manager, Ryland Dedeker. He's really rather self-destructive and a bit of cad to boot. He's rather universally reviled by the female officers on the ship. I met him when I landed. I immediately saw that to him, none of the bad things in his life, the setbacks in career and even love, were his fault. They were all either someone else's fault or fate. Now, I have nothing against the idea of fate. It brought us together, after all, and for that I am very grateful. And as you know, I am well aware that things happen that are beyond my control and that sometimes life hands you a raw deal. But at some point you have to take responsibility for your life. The captain has asked me to keep an eye on him and see if I can straighten him out. Have you met him?"

"Yeah, there's no way you gave him mites, Bear Doc said he probably had dormant mites since I got him, it happens," Xiulan said with a shrug. "And if this Dedeker guy is anything like the guy that helped me find my way to our quarters, then you have your work cut out for you; he tried to sweet talk me, called me 'M'lady' which I just wasn't having, I only let you get away with that, and I finally dropped him to the deck when he tried to use a 'cunning linguist' line on me. Dumbass wouldn't stop until I threatened to de-nut him. Oh, by the way, what are we doing for dinner?"

Arturo's eyes narrowed.

"Did this...person give you his name before he made this uninvited pass at you?" he said in a quiet voice that was somehow scarier than if he had started yelling and screaming and throwing a fit. If Xiulan had hoped to distract her furry paramour from getting angry, she had failed. However, Arturo wasn't fool enough to try and make Xiulan's experience with whoever had harassed her about him. If he could get this person's name, he would have a word with the man. If it turned out to be Ryland...well, Arturo had ways to put the fear into him. He'd learned things out on the frontier. Some of the things he'd learned weren't very nice. Regardless, Xiulan didn't need him rushing off to defend her honor, so he would bide his time.

"Nah, just some guy working the shuttle bay when I arrived, I didn't get his name," Xiulan said with another shrug. Truly, it was no big deal to her, she had already dealt with the guy and set boundaries, so in her mind it was done and over. "Seriously, what are we having for dinner, I'm starving," she said, getting up from the desk chair to go find the replicator. "Oh wait, you can't stick around because our quarters have been cleaned and you're supposed to be quarantined away from me."

Arturo let the other matter drop and got onto the subject of food.

"I thought he was cleaning our quarters after we got rid of the..." Arturo said. "I'm really only supposed to sleep somewhere else because the bracelets will give off pulses that might fry your implants. However, if the...good doctor has cleaned earlier than he said he would, which doesn't really surprise me, I suppose I should go. I'll be back tomorrow morning, mite free, bright and early to say good morning. Let me just grab my reading PaDD. I was re-reading Scaramouche on the trip to the Vindex and now I'm hooked all over again. Ah! There it is."

Arturo scooped up his reading PaDD.

"Good night, my Graceful Orchid," he said. "I don't like this sleeping apart. Let's try not to do it too often."

"Yeeeeeah, let's not damage these, I'm tired of doctors poking around in my head," Xiulan replied with a grin. She pulled him close to give him a quick kiss, then quickly pulled away "Have fun reading, I'll see you tomorrow," she said as she continued feeling her way to the replicator.

Arturo sighed.

What is that terribly crass, and often true, Terran expression? Ah, yes. I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you walk away. See you in the morning, Graceful Orchid, bright and early.

Arturo chuckled to himself and left to go to his temporary quarters. Ops had already fumigated his chair on the bridge and swept the rest of the bridge for these damnable mites. Once they were gone, the matter would be over and done with. Except for the poofy coat of fur in the morning. He'd have to rid himself of the static charge before he returned to the quarters he now shared with Xiulan. If they went through all of this and then he electrocuted her anyway, that would be very disappointing indeed.


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