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Hair Trigger

Posted on Sat Apr 8th, 2023 @ 10:19pm by Quinlan Barrett Poe & Addy Stone

Mission: Ghost Walk
Location: Addy's Room
Timeline: Mission Day 55 at 2000

Slow breath in, and then out again.

Addy stood opposite her bed, leaned against the wall next to the ladder, watching. She'd left Quinn to sleep a bit more than four hours prior, but, if she was honest, she wasn't accomplishing a thing beyond counting down every minute that passed. Not a second passed faster for all the attention she paid to their passing. But he was right there. Right... there...

He'd been exhausted though and she told herself over and over not to wake him. He needed that sleep. Skies knew he'd earned it. And surely she could wait a few more hours to feel his arms around her again. She'd told herself that same line in between counting the minutes and finally admitted it wasn't working.

She needed to see him. To confirm she hadn't imagined his news... hadn't imagined him. She wouldn't touch him, she told herself. Just look. She could take her boots off up on the gangway and climb down in her socks and just look. For a few minutes. And then she'd leave him be. She was going to need to find somewhere else to sleep anyway. Weren't space enough in her bunk to curl up against Quinn with his long legs all arms all akimbo.

Slow breath in, and then out again.

His chest rose, gentle-like and peaceful in sleep. She was reminded how young he was at moments like this. When he wasn't dreaming and slept peacefully he looked almost boyish--the weight of the world removed from his shoulders for a brief moment.

And his hair. It tumbled around him, brushing his shoulders and splaying across the pillow in a dark wave. A bit of it had wound its way toward his neck and she wondered if she should brush it aside. She couldn't sleep well herself when her hair was like that.

Lip tucked between her her teeth she considered, watching him a bit longer.

Yes, she could do it, she was sure. If she was careful and braced herself on the wall, she could brush it aside with a whisper of a touch and he'd never know she'd done so.

A few careful steps put her next to the bed and then she leaned forward, bracing a hand on the wall and then ducking her shoulder to reach and brush the hair aside.

It was all exactly perfect until it wasn't. Feet shifted, socks sliding slightly making her hand give way and before she could stop it she'd tumbled against him, her body laid out against his own at an awkward angle while she tried to regain purchase with her feet.

Instinct took over; instincts honed during the war and brought back to the surface over their time apart imparted speed to his reflexes, leaving his sleep-fogged mind far behind. He had his weapon in hand, even as he flipped his attacker over, and brought the muzzle in line with the intruder's face. Finger on the trigger, his expression cold and unforgiving, his brain finally sprinted to the fore and tied memory to fact. "Addy," he asked.

He moved so fast. So fast. She was on her back staring at the barrel of his gun before she could even make a sound in protest. For a moment her eyes could focus only on the barrel of the gun, inches away from her face. Her breathing came in startled draws and her heart felt like it might fly out of her chest. But at the sound of her name on his tongue she shifted her eyes up to his face. "It's me, Quinn," she said softly, the tone of her voice the same she might have used on a startled horse who had backed itself into a corner--one she didn't want to rear up and strike at her. She willed her body to stillness and waited.

"Right," he said as he climbed down off the bed, yawning as he did so. "What's going on? Problem?"

Her heart had begun to slow, but with it two red spots lit her cheeks. "Umm... no..." she said, every so slightly self conscious, "no problems."

Once he was standing Addy shimmied off the bed. "I wasn't trying to wake you I just..." She pressed her lips together hard. "I was trying to brush a strand of hair off your face... I thought I could do it without waking you up. And I slipped."

"My ... hair," Poe repeated as he found and holstered the pistol. He found his clothes and pulled on the top, his gaze returning to her own as his head reappeared. "Sorry if I frightened you," he said. "Combination of exhaustion and being too long out there in the wild." His expression turned quizzical as he grabbed his pants. "What was that about my hair?"

Placing her hand on his arm to stop him, Addy fixed him with an apologetic look. "You don't have to get dressed. You can go back to sleep." She looked pointedly at the pants he was getting ready to pull on. "And... yeah... I was trying to brush some hair away from your face and neck. It's... I always get uncomfortable when my hair does that..." She screwed up her face, trying to figure out how to explain.

"Hungry now," he said. He stroked the side of her face then pulled on his pants. "Four hours is a luxury I haven't in a bit." He settled the gun belt on his hips but his mind was on what she said. He cocked his head slightly to one side, brow furrowing. "You woke me up ... because my hair was bothering you?"

She closed her eyes at the touch of his hand on her cheek, only opening again when she felt him pull away. "I woke you up because I fell," she said, a bit firmer than before as he pulled on his pants. "I thought maybe your hair being like that might... bother you... and so I thought I'd fix it." She sighed, unable to come up with any other way to explain herself. "You weren't supposed to wake up."

Her eyes roved over him a second, and she sighed, stepping closer to him and then wrapping her arms around his middle, breathing him in. "And I was having trouble convincing myself not to just sit here and watch you sleep."

His arm encircled her, one hand stroking her back, as he thought that over. "So ... rather than watch me sleep which is, you know, monumentally boring, you decided that my hair was bothering me and it needed to be fixed?" He pulled back far enough and, using one finger, tipped her chin up so that he could look in her eyes. "Just what's been going on while I was out gathering evidence?"

How, with just a single finger, he managed to make her heart flip like that, she couldn't say. Instead of responding right away, Addy held Poe's gaze, letting herself get lost in his eyes for a moment before tipping up onto her toes and pressing a very brief kiss to his lips. "I've been deprived of you far longer in my life than I ever want to think of. If being near you means the boredom of watching you sleep then so be it." This she had delivered with an air of seriousness and a note of the longing she'd felt.

"Well," he said, "if its nearness you're after ..." He lowered his head, his lips following hers to make the kiss longer, deeper, one hand sliding down her back while the other tangled in her hair.

For a very long moment there was nothing else. Only Quinn, and his lips on hers, his hands holding her to him. Her body betrayed any semblance of self control she might have claimed to have as her arms wrapped around him, one hand coming up to cup the back of his neck. Her mind was halfway to suggesting another use for the bed when realization struck and she groaned, pulling back away from him reluctantly, eyes suddenly worried.

"Ramp's down," she said, a bit of guilt and alarm and no small amount of frustration lacing her voice. "I..." She looked at him, begging forgiveness with her eyes even as they drifted back down to his lips. "I'll be right back..."

And then she turned and hurried up the ladder.


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