Scotty opens his eyes.
At least, he thinks they're his eyes. His eyes don't usually show him a beautiful green girl in a purple brassiere and his own dress kilt, turning this way and that in front of the mirror, adjusting the hang of his sporran.
"Oh good," she says, "you're conscious."
Gaila, that's her name. She's a student in the warp core seminar--and bloody hell, he can't remember the regulations about graduate assistants fraternizing with cadets. The time to ask was before one was half-naked in his room, he supposes.
"I made you some coffee." She gestures at the cup on the bedside table. Numbly, Scotty lifts it and takes a sip.
"Augh, what--?" he gasps, choking. At least he knows he's awake, now.
"Oh no, did I do it wrong? The replicator was being difficult so I just entered the chemical composition."
"It's fine, really. I just--don't much care for coffee."
Gaila brings him a glass of water and presses a white pill into his palm. "Here, try this instead," she says, and settles on the bed as he swallows it, unconcerned with her state of semi-nudity. As he supposes she wouldn't be, given what must have--
"What's a dunnydore?"
Scotty blinks, confused. "A--what? What makes you ask that?"
"Lieutenant McClure compared me to one last night. He said, 'She bangs like a dunnydore in the wind!' He yelled it, actually."
"A dunny door? Oh lass, I don't want to say, it's rude."
"Well, obviously. That's why you tackled him."
"I did what?"
"You tackled him. He was standing on the bar, shouting about dunnydores, and you told him to stop, and that you'd teach him to speak lightly of a lass who's your personal friend--thank you for that, by the way--and he didn't stop, so you climbed up and tackled him."
"Good lord, was anyone hurt?"
"Well, you, a little."
He pats his face--yeah, there's a lump above one eyebrow and a distinct soreness in the jaw area.
"And the bar had some damage," she continues, "but as we left Captain Pike was settling it with the owner."
"Captain Pike was there?!"
"Captain Pike is also my personal friend. Whenever someone calls security, I call Captain Pike."
Scotty flops back and stares at the ceiling, trying to make sense of everything he's heard since he woke up. Dunny doors, tackling, Captain Pike? And worst of all there's a beautiful girl in his room, half naked in his kilt and sitting on his bed like she belongs there, and he can't remember a blessed thing about it.
He puts his hand over his eyes. "I must confess something to you, Gaila. Whatever happened last night, how we came to be--here, as it were, I'd be lying if I said I remember." Och, it sounds even worse said aloud.
"Is that what's bothering you? I thought you just had a hangover."
"Um, yes, yes I do. But aren't you offended?"
"Mmm, no, I don't think so. Shall I tell you what we did last night?"
It should be impossible for a man in his condition, but the thought of her retelling it sends a bolt straight to his groin. Great, less blood for his brain. "That's--not necessary. Maybe later."
She shifts to a reclining position beside him, her head propped up on her hand. When Scotty dares to peek at her, she smiles. From this distance her eyes are as blue as the seas of Terra seen from space. A man that could forget those eyes--he's a cad, pure and simple.
"We came back here," she says, "because you were worried what my roommate would think, having me brought home by a drunk man who'd been in a fight. You thought she'd blame you for the trouble."
"Aye, that's logical," he mutters sarcastically at the ceiling.
"Anyway, we came here, and I helped you undress, and since you didn't have a concussion I gave you some anti-nausea meds and put you in bed. You snore, by the way. It's cute."
He lifts his hand from his face and looks at her. "So, we didn't--"
"Have sex? Hmm, it depends. Humans have such variable definitions for sex. Does kissing count? Because we did a lot of that."
"Let's say it doesn't. At least, it's not what I was worried about."
"And you gave me an orgasm while we were hiding from Commander Park in the stairwell. Is that the kind of thing that worries you?"
His face flames. "I--did that, did I?"
"Don't worry, Commander Park didn't catch us. You kept your voice down when you were telling me what you wanted to do to me. And I'm good at being quiet. Luckily," she adds, eyeing the wall above the headboard skeptically, "because this dorm looks like it's built out of cardboard."
Memories are starting to come back--yes, the stairwell. Scotty lifts his arm and sees the mark; he remembers that now, her nails digging in as she stifled a cry against his shoulder. The curve of her belly under his palm and his fingers slipping just so--and how they tottered and almost fell, laughing.
He clears his throat. "Those things I said I wanted to do to you, Gaila--did we, uh, do them?"
Gaila laughs. "Not yet." She slips one leg over his body and rises to her knees, looking down at him like a red-haired goddess in a purple brassiere and a kilt slung low around her hips. "But I have high hopes for this morning, if your headache is better."
"If it's not, I may have to kill myself."
She smiles, a sly smile that's beginning to seem very familiar, and leans down to kiss him. "Sex with an Orion is very healing," she says--
--and by gods, it turns out she's right.