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Loud Silences

Posted on Fri May 20th, 2022 @ 5:33pm by Quinlan Barrett Poe & Addy Stone

Mission: The Xiao Jin Chronicles
Location: Poe and Addy's Quarters, Xiao Jin
Timeline: Mission Day 19 at 0900

A bathrobe. That was what she needed. Addy found herself wondering what that might be like. Something she could tie around her waist for the quick walk from the bathroom back to their room so she didn't have to throw old clothes on over top of clean skin or at least so that it wasn't necessary to carry new clothes about and do the requisite juggling.

She was quick to strip again, pulling off her tank top shimmying out of her pants as quickly as her feet hit the floor at the bottom of the ladder. She only bothered to step aside so Quinlan could come down behind her and though she was quick with the removal of clothing she still kept her eyes on him, appreciating the view as he descended the ladder.

"That might be my new favorite post workout activity," she commented with a chuckle once he was at the bottom of the ladder with her.

"Sometimes, it was a cold dip in the lake," Poe said as he pulled his top up over his head, "which can get you clean but its more in the nature of a misery, something to get over with. I prefer a hot shower. Good for the muscles. And I'm not in danger of biting my lip." He mimed his teeth chattering as he undressed, kissed her lightly, and then moved farther into the room, hunting for clean clothes to put on, as he sent up a silent thank-you to the ship's designers for including a way to actually get his gorram clothes clean. Over the past ten years, he'd served on ships that had no notion of cleanliness to speak of; this was better. He had never been body shy, though he seldom talked about the experiences that went with the scars on his body, which meant that he moved easily and unconcerned about their quarters.

"Quinlan Poe, for a man whose been thinking about having sex with me for a decade you sure do miss the innuendo," She tilted her head, eyes continuing to scan him appreciatively. There were moments like this one where she was struck with how unlikely all of this had been. The 'verse wasn't known for bringing together those that had been apart for so long. "The key word there was new... and the post workout activity I meant definitely required your participation. The shower was a bonus, though."

She crossed the room, following him to where he kept his clothes stored, and gently reached out to run a hand over one of the scars on his back. "You'll have to tell me about these someday," she said quieter than before, the mirth gone from her tone. "The other tattoo as well."

Poe grunted, a non-committal sound, as he turned toward her and sought to distract her by kissing her, this time more thoroughly, his hands wrapping around her, one splayed against the base of her spine while the other traveled up to tangle in her hair.

For a moment he was successful in derailing her line of thinking. Her breath caught and she wound her arms around him, melting into him. She'd spent so much time not kissing him, that sometimes it seemed like they were making up for time lost. They'd only just been doing this and still she was like a match struck suddenly and lit. With a small grin against his lips she stepped into him further, making him back up a step until they were pressed against the wall.

The moment lengthened; the connection between them, so long prevented by the war and then her parents, was strengthening, day by day. Not something he could take for granted, this peace he found with her, nor could he take the woman herself for granted. She mattered to him. The love they shared mattered. And all of that he channeled into his kiss.

She might have continued on like that--on to more than that really--if it hadn't been for the gurgling growl of her stomach, loud enough in the quiet of the room to startle her into breaking the kiss, though she didn't pull away way from where she had him against the wall. "Well that's inconvenient," she muttered, cheeks flushing slightly at the distraction. She tilted her head up so she could meet his eyes. "I know we should eat..." she trailed off, gauging his thinking before making a decision.

"Okay, sure," Poe answered. "Just give me a minute to get dressed. Not that we have much of anything interesting." He sighed as he hunted around for a clean pair of pants. "Need to address that sometime soon."

She did the same, reluctantly pulling on clothes. She gave half a consideration to her coveralls and then, with a second thought, pulled on a pair of sweatpants. Not her usual choice, but she was dressing for what she wanted to do instead of what she probably ought to be. "Mind if we come back here after? Just... for a bit..." They'd worked so hard together and she was proud of that work. But in that moment, she had softer gentler things in mind.

"Something on your mind," Poe asked as he pulled on a pair of cargo pants and dropped into his reading chair to work on socks and boots. "Not psychic or anything but it purely does feel as though there's something that you want to say." He picked up a sock that was more holes than material and tossed it aside. Hunting around for another that was reasonably close in color. "Or am I not getting the right of it?"

One side of her mouth quirked up at his question and she moved over to the bed sitting cross-legged on the spot closest to the chair. "More things I'd like you to say I 'spose," she said. "I've been wondering about the war and about your scars and your tattoo all week. Isn't as though I haven't seen them all dozens of times now seeing as we spend a fair bit of time without clothes." Her eyes glinted as she said it, the other side of her mouth turning up to meet the first in a mischievous grin. "I know it's not something you like to talk about so it doesn't have to be all at once. And I'll trade you if you like. Stories about what I was doing or about my tattoos. I've got a nice scar on my lower back that has an interesting story to it as well." She paused, realizing she'd kept rambling rather than giving him a chance to react and stopped midway into the next thought before she voiced it.

If there was a polar opposite to chatty, it was Quinlan Poe. The idea of talking about his past, dredging up horror after horror, wasn't something he did and until Addy, no one had been particularly interested either. Sort of summed up his whole life. Before Addy and after Addy. After Addy meant living with the fear of taking an untrained (civilian) into the field, the same person that should anything happen to her, he was fairly certain it would crush him. After Addy now apparently meant 'sharing.' She could have asked him to kiss a cobra and gotten a more enthusiastic response. Still, he had promised her honesty and while he didn't know anything whatsoever about what went into a good relationship, he had a notion that her asking for his past was a part of it.

He finished dressing in silence and prepared himself for the onerous task of opening a door in his mind that was not only shut but locked, barred, and barricaded as well. "Alright," he said quietly. "You pick the scar or tattoo and I'll tell you about it as soon as I can. Maybe not at that moment, but soon after. "Fair?"

She waited while he dressed, quiet now that she'd caught herself rambling. She had at least a sense of what she was asking of him and understood the weight well enough to know that his silence wasn't a dismissal, at least not outright. When he did speak she hazarded a soft sigh of relief. "Fair," she repeated back to him--a statement rather than a question. "Now... about that coming back here after breakfast... gonna be a busy run once we get to Persephone... I can think of other things to do as well... if you can be coaxed into relaxing."

"Oh," he asked as he looked up, looked into her eyes, searching them to see what else in his life she wanted to shake up, change, and thoroughly disorder. What he saw there, made him smile, the slow and seductive kind of smile that he reserved solely for her. From the chair, angled as it was, he could reach her knee easily, and so he let his hand rest there a moment. "What did you have in mind?"

"Well..." she said, shimmying forward and causing his hand to run further up her thigh. "What's that phrase you like so much... One more?" Her smile turned coy. "I mean... showering together was lovely..." She left the thought dangle for him to fill in the rest, grinning broadening in a mirror to his on smile. "One more?" she asked before her stomach grumbled again. "After breakfast..."


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