Gaila had never been much for seduction. Sure, she could enjoy sex long and slow, but she'd never wanted to waste a lot of time just getting to the sex. If it was going to be good, she wanted to enjoy it right away, and if it was going to be bad...well, she never picked bad sex partners. She had a knack for these things.
But with Scotty, she took her time. It wasn't because he was her commander. By the end of her first year on the Enterprise, everyone knew that she never allowed her sex life interfere with her professional life, and she didn't sleep with people who couldn't return that favor. It wasn't because he was shy and a little nerdy either. She was an engineer; she had slept with a lot of nerdy guys, and seducing them never took longer than seducing anyone else.
No, what made Scotty different was that he was nice. Not that she slept with a lot of assholes.
But Scotty was nice all the time. Other people – herself included – were nice when they woke up in a good mood, or when work was easy, or when they had plenty of extra time to spare for social pleasantries. But Scotty was nice all day, every day, as if he knew no other way to be. And not only was he nice, he slept in his office, and he could never tear himself away from his beloved engines long enough to eat.
And so Gaila became his secret sandwich admirer. It had started simply enough. One of the reactors had gone off-line, and they'd all worked a twelve-hour shift to fix it. Most of the repairs were simple, just tightening screws and twisting bolts -- exactly the kind of work that ensigns like her expected to do alone while their superiors moved on to more engaging tasks. But Scotty had stayed, crawling through narrow conduits, just like the rest of them, and so they had all finished a few hours earlier than they might have otherwise. Afterward, Scotty was the only one who couldn't leave. He was the chief engineer; he had a double shift. Picking up an extra sandwich for him in the mess hall was the least she could do, but when she returned to engineering, he was nowhere to be found, so she left it on his desk instead.
Four hours later, she'd come back to work the second half of beta shift when Zavalian suffered a coolant burn. Scotty had been standing outside his office, talking excitedly.
“And when I came out of the Jeffries tube, there was a sandwich on my desk! No note, no word of how it got there, just two beautiful slices of white bread with cheese and pickles in between. Imagine that!”
His whole face had been suffused with joy, and Gaila had felt a strange thrill in her stomach. This was the man who had discovered trans-warp beaming. He could bend and break the laws of physics seemingly at his whim. But none of those things made him smile like he was smiling now, and she, Gaila, had put that smile on his face.
Thrilled with her strange new power, she began sneaking ever more elaborate sandwiches into his office. Soon the simple combinations of meat and cheese bored her, and she began using her mess allowance for baguettes and ciabatta rolls, meatballs and marinara sauce, and thick grilled cheese sandwiches browned in olive oil and dusted with herbs.
With every sandwich she delivered, she paid a little more attention to Scotty. She told herself that it was because she wanted to monitor his reaction to each new flavor, but she knew it was more than that. What she felt for him was more than the simple curiosity that compelled her to find out what different people were like in bed. It was friendship mixed with admiration, combined with a mysterious warm feeling that seemed to live in her belly and her chest. And the more she watched Scotty, the more there was to like.
When he jury-rigged the warp coils so that the captain could have more power, he was always the one who stood at the most dangerous station right in front of the engine – even though regulations stated that an ensign should have been there. He was also the most patient of the whole engineering staff. If someone said they didn't understand something, Scotty always explained it clearly and thoroughly, and if he couldn't deliver the lesson immediately, he always came back to do it later. Everyone in engineering had benefited from these instructions, even Gaila. No matter how hard she tried, she simply could not get the knack for calibrating the inertial dampners. Another superior would have gotten angry, but each time her name appeared on the duty roster, Scotty took time from his shift to do the calibrations with her. Working on the best ship in the fleet could have been tiring and stressful, but Scotty made it fun, and he made sure they all left their shifts better engineers than when they started.
Gaila thought about all those things as she slipped into his office, carrying a ham sandwich topped with apples, chives, and gruyere cheese. She would sleep with him one day, she hoped. But first, she wanted to make absolutely sure he understood how much she liked him.