Lights flickered haphazardly and computers beeped inside a steady beat inside the control room of the Leviathan as it made its fateful journey toward Pyramid. Night had fallen while Trip continued to work on the machines, checking schematics, enabling defenses, and making sure every part of this giant hunk of metal was fully operational and ready to kick butt when they got there.
Monkey lay comfortably beside her, content to just laze around and watch her work. There had not been many times in his life where he could just sit back and relax, so he took the opportunity now that it arose. He felt himself falling to the other side of wakefulness when she leaned back and nodded at the screen, a fierce look of pride on her face. Finally finished, he assumed. Good. Now they could both rest. Monkey pictured her curling up beside him, perhaps putting her head on his chest, and snuggling with him as they both fell into a deep sleep and woke to a perfect world with no Pyramid or mechs…. or Pigsy anywhere nearby.
Right. He felt his lips twitch up despite himself.
Monkey took a deep breath and felt his eyelids drooping shut. Trip pushed some button or other which made a familiar beeping noise and then spoke, "Pigsy, we're all set. I am going to try to get some rest now. If you need one of us to come relieve you for a-"
Monkey frowned as snorting sounds erupted from the console. "RELIEVE ME? Pigsy nearly shouted. "This is the best… the greatest… THE COOLEST," he spluttered, losing his ability to coherently speak for a moment. He snorted a few more times in that annoying high pitched way of his and then continued. "I do not need any sort of relief from the most spectacular thing to ever happen to me. I will let you guys know when we get close."
Trip leaned back from the console, her face shifting from proud and amused to something unrecognizable. Monkey felt his stomach clench and twist. She had only kept him around to help her get her revenge. Once they had defeated Pyramid… Trip wordlessly pushed a few more buttons and the screens flickered into what he assumed was some sort of idle mode. He took a deep breath and forced himself to relax. Whatever happened would happen. Nothing he could do about it now.
"I've been wanting to talk to you…" Trip said slowly. Monkey focused on her and realized she had actually moved closer to him without his noticing. He had been so lost in his own thought he hadn't noticed. "… but there never seems to be a time." Right, focus Monkey, she was talking to you, buddy. Pay attention.
"When I found my father dead…" she paused, taking a deep breath and bringing up her wrist terminal, as if desperately looking for something to do to occupy herself with.
"I'm not trying to excuse what I've done," she continued, her voice tight and quiet. His headband and… brain?... appeared on her terminal. Oh right, the whole enslavement thing. He thought about telling her they were all good on that but… well... Ok, so yeah, he had wanted to kill her at first, but things had worked out. She had nearly killed him, he had wanted to kill her… they were even, really. No need to apologize.
"I know it was wrong," she continued. Monkey mentally shrugged. Ethics… ehh. He hadn't exactly been the most ethical human being himself.
Trip continued to gaze at her wrist hologram. She took another deep breath and continued, "I have no more right to enslave you than anyone does." She closed the screen down, her eyes hollow and dead as she continued to stare at the floor rather than at him.
He wanted to shrug and say something along the lines of "Well, whattya gonna do?" But then his vision flickered. All of his information, such as his heartbeat, physical condition, and the other information that let him know how hurt he was, disappeared. He looked at Trip as a red light flashed above his eyes and realized he couldn't see any of that information floating around her anymore either.
He reached for his headband and sat up, comprehension flooding his face and a single thought pounding through his head over and over again: No.
"What have you done?" he demanded quietly, hating himself for the desperate, accusatory tone he couldn't stop himself from using. So what, now that she had Pigsy and this hunk of junk she didn't need his help anymore? Didn't need him for anything? With a swipe of her hand she was cutting him off from her completely?
"There's nothing controlling you anymore," she explained, finally meeting his gaze.
"So I can…" he stopped as pain clenched in his gut. But he had to hear her say it. "I can just leave?"
"If that's what you want," she whispered. He felt his heart skip a beat as he stared her down, deducing the truth of that neutral statement. It wasn't a plea to stay… but it wasn't a dismissal either.
"Turn it back on," Monkey said softly, determinedly. He looked at Trip, willing her to understand.
"You heard what I just said," he interrupted quickly, fierce in a quiet, soft-spoken way. "Turn it back on."
Trip looked down for a second, as if debating whether or not to acquiesce to his request. For a heartbeat of a second, he worried she would refuse on principle. But then she tapped a button on her wrist terminal to bring up the holographic screen and looked at him as she pushed the button to power up the headband once more. It flashed back on and he could see all the little details it enabled him to once more.
Trip continued to gaze at him for another moment. He hoped she would just let it go, but he doubted she would be able to.
"It's impractical," she said, shaking her head slightly. "If I die you'll die, too. What's the po-"
"I wouldn't see much point in living if you died," Monkey said.
Trip gaped at Monkey. He stared back, maintaining a calm face but reeling inside that he had actually said that out loud. What was she going to do now? She looked from one eye to the other rapidly, as if trying to deduce the truth of his statement from one or the other. She suddenly broke off contact and shut her mouth decisively. He felt a flutter of nerves across his stomach, a sickening dread. She was going to tell him she wanted nothing to do with him. She was going to- she smiled.
Trip smiled and leaned forward to rest her forehead on his. He closed his eyes and enjoyed feeling her there, so close. A different kind of flutter raced through him as she shifted her face closer and touched her nose with his. Warmth, tender and affectionate, shot through him. She nuzzled him and he nuzzled her back, surprised at how intimate it felt, how natural.
Her lips brushing against his felt even more natural. She pulled back and smiled shyly at him. He smiled back at her and felt a strong desire to kiss her lips again… among other places. Instead he ran his thumb over the top of her hand and then pulled it to his lips and kissed it instead. He could see himself kissing up her arm and to her neck, laying her down on the floor and… he released her hand and took a deep breath instead to calm himself down.
Trip gave him a quizzical look and he lay down as he had been laying before.
"Tired," Monkey mumbled and closed his eyes. His eyes snapped open when she laid her head on the crook of his shoulder and pressed herself against him just the way he had imagined her doing earlier. Well, some dreams did come true, after all.
She snuggled closer to get comfortable and pressed her breasts against his side. They had been pushing themselves into his view every time he had turned to look at her in that impossibly low and tight top and he had been proud of himself for managing to maintain eye contact every time. Also, they had always been about to die so he had never had a good chance to really appreciate them.
Now, they were pushing themselves into his view more forcibly than ever. The way she was laying, he could see directly into all of her cleavage, could feel them pressed against his arm. They were pushed up more so than usual and looked soft and inviting and touchable… He couldn't help but think how easy it would be to pull her top down and finally let those breasts be free. To reach down and cup one and… and his body responded accordingly, again. He closed his eyes and willed himself to calm down.
Trip shifted herself to get more comfortable. She moved her head down to his stomach and hugged his thigh like a pillow. He felt himself harden even more. She was so close to him. All she had to do was move her head down a little bit and her mouth would be…
"Is that… my fault?" she asked him quietly. He froze. Shit. Now she was going to think he was no better than Pigsy the Pervert.
He expected her to be furiously glaring at him, but when he opened his eyes and looked at her he instead found her chewing on her bottom lip, staring at his pants. He found himself torn between wishing she would just put her head back down and go to sleep and wishing she would reach out and touch him. It had been a very, very long time since anyone besides himself had touched him. End of the world and all that.
But there was no way she actually desired him. She was just seeking comfort. She may have kissed him and lain next to him, but she was upset, emotionally drained. People did things they regretted in those times. He jerked his head and looked instead at the lights winking and blinking all around them, frustration coiling in his belly like a snake. He felt her eyes burning into him, expecting something from him. It took him a few moments to remember she had asked him a question.
"I don't see anyone else around here to blame," he said in a soft but irritated voice.
Trip licked her lips and he couldn't stop himself from staring out of the corner of his eyes at that soft, pink mouth of hers. He had gotten to experience a bit of that softness when she kissed him earlier, but he wanted far more than a taste. He very much wanted to pull her down and show her exactly what a proper kiss was like- a chaste peck it was not.
Monkey could not take any more of this. She was driving him mad. "Go to sleep," he commanded gruffly.
Trip glanced once more back at him before laying her head on his chest this time. He released a breath he had not realized he had been holding. She nuzzled into his chest and he tried to think as much as possible about fighting mechs, settling in himself. He felt himself calming down until she began tracing the golden tattoo on his stomach. He tried to think about how much it had hurt to get that one, which helped tremendously… until her fingers lightly skimmed over his stomach and trailed down.
"Please," Monkey mumbled and her fingers halted. Please what? He wanted to say he meant to say "Please stop and go to sleep" but he could not deny the possibility that he meant "Please don't stop."
"Ok," Trip whispered. She moved her fingers up, stroking him until he was fully aroused once more. His breath hitched and he suddenly grabbed her hand and stopped her.
"You don't want this," Monkey insisted, absentmindedly stroking her wrist with his thumb while his mind raced. She was upset. She was just seeking comfort. She would regret this. He had never turned a woman down before, but he knew he had to turn her down now. He wanted to, oh so badly wanted to. But not like this, not when he was not sure of her motives. He wanted her to want him, not just comfort or distraction from her losses and the hard choices she had had to make recently.
"Don't tell me what I want," Trip said. She shifted herself so she was straddling him. She leaned down and kissed his earlobe. "Don't make me command you…" she teased when he opened his mouth to object again.
His eyebrows lifted up and his mouth snapped shut. Well, if she was going to be that way… he rolled them over so that he was on top of her. He held her hands down and stared into her eyes. He stared at her intently until the smile on her face faded.
"I would never force you… if you don't want-"
"I never said that," he interrupted.
Trip smiled up at him and lifted her face up to his and kissed him again with those soft, soft lips. No chaste brushing of lips this time. Deep kisses, the kind you lose yourself in. And he did. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to fall into those kisses, to relax. He released her hands and leaned them down until her head was resting against the flood and he was leaning on his elbows. He vaguely felt her wrap her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, almost like a monkey. Monkey would appreciate the irony, or compatibility, of that later. Her tongue reached out to touch his and he jerked his hips instinctively.
Trip moaned, breaking the kiss off for only a moment before coming back with more need. She tightened her legs around him, pressing against him. Her tongue sought his again and feeling shot down to his groin again. He did not try to stop himself this time. He drove himself against her. She gasped again. He moved his hips faster, feeling himself becoming more and more sensitive. She wrapped her arms around his neck and squeezed him. He felt himself nearing the edge when she seized up, breaking the kiss and pressing her cheek against his, releasing one long, quiet moan into his ear.
Monkey grunted and lost control. His eyes twitched and rolled back up into his head. His breath hitched, hips drove harder. He felt sweet, sweet release. He slumped over her, breathing shallowly, just existing for a few moments in bliss. He slowly came out of his daze, rolled off of her, and lounged beside her.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't realize…"
"It's been a long, long time since I have… done anything like that at all," he said slowly. "I couldn't stop myself…" he added lamely. He had felt great at the moment, but now he felt like he had let her down. "Did you…" he asked, looking at her, unsure himself what he was even asking. It was pretty clear she had.
Trip bit her lip again and nodded, but he knew that did not necessarily mean she was done. If he could not have lasted long enough to even do what she wanted, he could at least make sure she found her own completion as many times as she wanted to. He reached his hand down and pressed a finger against her. Her hips jerked and she bit her lip harder.
"You don't have to…" Trip whispered.
"I want to," Monkey said, all the sincerity he felt coming out in his voice.
He leaned down and began stroking her lightly with his fingers until he had her squirming. She gasped and grasped what she could of his bicep. She could only fit her hand around half of it, but she squeezed what she could. He teased her with slow, gentle strokes and she relaxed slightly, enjoying the pleasing sensations. But he did not let her relax for long. He moved his fingers faster, pressing down and moving side to side every now and then. She twisted her head back and forth and squeezed and released him. Her hips began to buck slightly. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Suddenly she squeezed as hard as she could and moaned, long and low like before. He pressed down, pressing on the pressure point. She cried out, slightly louder. Her hips bucked once more then collapsed back to the ground. He continued to stroke her, gently, until she stopped moving altogether.
She lay breathing for a few minutes, her eyelids fluttering. Before he could stop himself he leaned down and kissed her forehead. Her eyes snapped open and she looked at him hovering over her.
"Again?" Monkey asked, unable to stop his lips from curling up into a smirk.
Trip's lips slowly, lazily, crawled up into a smile. She shook her head and mumbled, "Sleep."
He smiled but pointed toward a bathroom they had discovered earlier. She nodded and waved for him to go first. She lazily closed her eyes again, as content as a cat in the sun. A few moments later he returned and she took her turn. As she walked back toward him, he lifted his arm to welcome her to snuggle him. She leaned down and cuddled him again, like before. She gave a contented sigh and nuzzled his stomach and hugged his thigh tightly. He stroked her hair lightly and then just let his hand rest there on her head.
They would not have long to relax like this, he realized, but it was enough.