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Shore Leave

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They landed with a good haul ready for pedaling in Udon, and Takita rejoiced to be back on the ground. It'd been a long few months in the sky as they hunted around the clock, always on the lookout for their next dragon. She couldn't wait to escape her crewmates awhile, and she had big plans for how to spend her wages.

"Where are you heading?" Mika asked quietly, strolling in the direction of the city beside her, absentminded as ever when there wasn't food to discuss or dragons to hunt.

"The nearest massage parlor," Takita admitted. "All that butchering has left me sore all over. And a clothes store. I've outgrown everything I have onboard the Quin Zaza."

Mika nodded, looking off into the distance. 

"What about you?" she asked.

"See an old friend," he shrugged his shoulders. "Find some food."

Takita nodded. Food was never far from their resident glutton's mind. The nine years she'd spent training alongside him to be a Draker had taught her that nothing affected him like food.

"Guess I'll see you later, then?" she asked when they reached a massage parlor. 

Mika nodded before leaning toward her a sniffing her hair loudly.

"You don't need to remind me that I smell," she complained, rolling her eyes at his habit. 

"Do I need to remind you to bathe while we're on the ground, and water's not finite?" he teased, slanting a crooked smirk in her direction, his dark eyes laughing at her.

"Do I need to remind you to get a haircut?" Takita asked in retort, grinning and reaching over to pull on a lock of his long hair where it hung in his eyes. 

"Yeah, yeah," he laughed, shaking his head before he turned and walked off down a side street.

~O~

When she returned to the ship that afternoon smelling fresh and lugging bags of shopping, Takita was exhausted. She dumped everything down on the bed and began to sort it all out for putting away. 

"Takita, there you are," Vannie interrupted her a while later as she was folding the last item. "Mika said he left you at the massage parlor, but we couldn't find you. We made enough profit to buy us all a bed in town for the night rather than bunking on the ship while we're on the ground. You want to head over there, and we'll get something to eat?"

"Gosh, yes!" Takita sighed. "I'm starving."

"Is this a new dress?" Vannie asked.

"Yeah," Takita smiled. "I bought a bunch of new stuff. Everything else was too small since I've grown. I'm going to take all my old things into the market in town and see if I can trade it for coins or something."

She indicated to her chest; the cause of her wardrobe malfunctions. Vannie glanced down and nodded before smiling. "We'll have to keep an eye on you in town, so none of the local boys think about stealing you for themselves, huh?"

"Not too close an eye, I hope," Takita smiled in return, and Vannie laughed.

"Yeah, it's slim picking when we're sailing," she chuckled. "Make the most of your time on the ground, girl. I'm telling you, the months feel longer when you're up there after having it good down here, but the sky will call you home again soon, don't you worry."

"How long is our shore leave supposed to be this time?" Takita asked.

"The sale went well enough that Crocco and Gibbs want to do some upgrades on the ship. A bigger engine to help us run down the faster dragons, he said. We might be down a week or even a month."

"Feels strange not to have the ship shifting under my feet when I move," Takita commented, nodding.

"Yeah, it takes a while to adjust," Vannie agreed. They zigzagged between people on the crowded streets until they found Capella and Mayne enjoying a couple of cold drinks and some of the tasty local cuisines outside a local pub.

~O~

"What is that?" a low voice moaned out of the darkness. Takita and the girls had had too many drinks at the pub, and she was unsteadily making her way up the stairs at the local hotel where they'd booked rooms for the entire crew for the night. 

The sound of intense sniffing followed, and Takita started giggling to herself as she clung to the railing of the stairs and made her way to her room.

Mika appeared at the top of the stairs, sniffing intensely. He'd abandoned his shirt somewhere and wore only a pair of soft cotton pants to sleep in. Mika tended to be early to bed, early to rise, so she wouldn't be surprised if he had actually already been asleep even though it was barely past nine.

"Takita?" he asked in surprise.

"You cut your hair," she said, squinting at him and noticing that it was shorter and didn't fall in his eyes quite so much.

"Did you bathe?" he asked, sounding surprised. "What's that smell? Do you smell it?"

"What smell?" she asked. She was well aware she smelled better than she could ever remember smelling before. Between the massage oils that the masseuse had used and the expensive hair products and skin creams she'd bought that day, she smelled divine.

"It's you," Mika murmured, leaning toward her as she stepped around him at the top of the steps and breathing in deeply. 

"Must you always sniff me?" she asked, feigning annoyance that she didn't actually feel. 

Over the years she'd known Mika, she'd developed a crush on the guy, and Takita had purchased expensive products to make herself smell nice. He might not notice the new dress, but Mika would notice a unique smell.

"Why do you smell like that?" he trailed after her as she headed down the hall. She was expected to share with Vannie as she did on the ship, but Vannie wouldn't be joining her tonight. Vannie had caught the eye of a draker from another crew back at the pub – a big handsome one with a thick beard and a square jaw - and she'd told Takita not to wait up for her.

In fact, Capella and Mayne had all located men they intended to spend the evening with. Takita had been surprised after so long on the Quin Zaza alongside them to learn her fellow female crew members made the most of their time on land, just like the boys did.

"I bathed," Takita shrugged, letting herself into the room. Mika followed her inside, heedless of his shirtless state. "And the oils they used at the massage parlor smelled great."

"Mmm," Mika groaned in agreement, following her across the room and walking right up to her. 

Takita shivered when he stood close enough that she could feel the kiss of warmth from his body heat when he buried his nose in her long, peach hair.

"Smells amazing," he muttered, surprising her even more when he reached up and ran his fingers through the strands she'd left loose after her bath. He sifted the locks, breathing heavily as though he couldn't get enough of her new smell. Takita smiled inwardly. She'd hoped for a reaction like this. It was nice to know that the money she'd forked out for the products had been well worth it.

"Have you been drinking?" she asked, amused and delighted when he scraped his short fingernails against her scalp.

Usually, Mika wasn't particularly touchy-feely, so to have him being so forward was a little bit of a surprise but highly welcome.

"A little," he admitted, his voice husky. He sniffed her some more, his nose trailing down the side of her neck and making her tremble. Takita quivered when he paused at her pulse point on her throat where she'd dabbed a liberal amount of her new perfume. "Smells so good. I wanna taste it."

Takita didn't know who was more surprised when he leaned closer and licked a long line over her pulse point, brushing his lips across her skin and then biting her gently. A low moan escaped her, unbidden at the attention, and Takita knew she'd had a little too much to drink with Vannie before she'd left the bar. 

"Tasty," Mika murmured against her neck, licking her again like she was an ice cream melting on a hot summer's day. 

"Mika," Takita breathed, her hands lifting to press against his ribs, bare in his shirtless state. 

His skin was soft and warm under her fingers. She felt the muscles tense beneath her touch before he pulled back and blinked dazedly, mesmerized.

"Shit," he muttered when he blinked again and pulled back. His eyes widened in surprise when he realized what he'd done. "Takita… I…"

"It's okay," Takita said softly, observing his face as his cheeks cut pink in the dimly lit room. 

"You smell delicious," Mika offered in excuse. 

"Are you okay?" Takita asked, realizing the perfumes on her skin and in her hair have overwhelmed him. For a guy who could usually smell the scent of a dragon from hundreds of meters away while they were way up in the clouds, being so close and so exposed to the strong scent of her perfume must be overwhelming for him. 

"Yeah… I… I licked you," he pointed out, frowning and blinking at her in concern while his cheeks darkened even more.

"You bit me, too," Takita nodded. "But it didn't hurt. Don't worry about it, Mika. I don't mind. I forgot how sensitive your nose is. This stuff must be pretty overwhelming, huh?"

"Yeah," he said, his nose twitching a little as he took another deep breath before he sighed contentedly, his eyelids drooping to half-mast and his shoulder slumping a little as though he was in a daze. "What's in it?"

"One of the local oil refineries here has found a way to refine their oils and dragon parts to include in a line of cosmetics," Takita told him. "I think they mentioned that they use the scent glands of the dragons and combine it with some fruity scents and earthy scents that make it smell extra nice, and they add it to shampoo and lip-balm and moisturizer and all kinds of things. There was some in oils they used for my massage, and it smelled so good that I asked where I could get some."

"How much did you buy?" Mika wanted to know, leaning in again and burying his nose in her hair before groaning softly. 

"Um… I might've… spent what was left of my money after shopping for clothes. I got shampoo, and conditioner and hair oil to prevent dandruff and a lip balm and a body lotion, and… Mika…"

Takita trailed off when he slid the tip of his nose across her forehead and down the curve of her nose, stopping just above her mouth. 

"Lip balm, you said?" he asked, sounding like he was in a haze, lost to everything but his olfactory sense and whatever it was doing to his brain.

"Uh-huh," Takita breathed, nodding and noticing that he stood so close that doing so meant her nose brushed his.

"Can I… taste?" he asked, practically moaning while his fingers twisted through her hair, stirring more of the scent where it was trapped in the long locks. 

"Uh-huh," she breathed again, and Mika didn't wait to be told twice. "But it might've worn off while I had dinner and some drinks with the… girls…."

He leaned closer, surprising her when instead of kissing her, his tongue darted out to trace across her lower lip in a way she found most distracting. 

"Mika…" Takita gulped, her stomach triple-backflipping at the sensation while he emitted another soft groan, his eyes fluttering closed as though he just tasted ambrosia. "Mika, the door's still open."

"Huh?" Mika asked, his tongue darting out to trail over her top lip this time. 

"The door," Takita said, her heart hammering inside her chest. 

Mika wasn't listening. That much seemed evident when rather than lick her again, he leaned down and kissed her gently, his mouth opened a little, his tongue seeking out more of the flavor lingering on her lips. Takita's brain shorted at the sweet sensation, and she stopped worrying about the door – stopped even being aware the door existed – in favor of moving her lips against Mika's in a soft kiss.

He'd never kissed her before. In all the time they'd shared the close quarters of a relatively small draking ship – all the years she'd spent aboard the Quin Zaza – Takita had learned that Mika had two passions in life. Dragons and food. He knew how to cook because he hunted dragons and cooked them to eat. He knew about fighting and weapons because he used them for hunting the dragons. He knew by looking at a dragon how many vertebrae it had and how many dragon steaks that size of dragon might yield. That was Mika. Reckless. A glutton. A Draker at his very heart.

He'd never shown any interest in the things the other men on the ship were interested in. Faye and Soraya and Niko, and the others were perverts who talked about girls all the time and only cared about girls and drinking. Right at this very moment, she suspected most of them were holed up in a tavern or a brothel with whatever pretty girl they could lure into bed with them. And in the nine years that she'd been on board the Quin Zaza, she'd never known Mika to followed them. He'd shown no interest in any of the girls on the ship – though Capella had once confided in Takita that Vannie had originally joined their crew because she had a crush on Mika.

Vannie herself had even once drunkenly cautioned Takita when she caught her making moon eyes at him that she was wasting her time. Mayne had speculated that maybe Mika didn't like girls at all, and when Capella had pointed out that he didn't seem to care anymore for the boys, either, they had concluded Mika simply only cared about dragons and food and moved on with their lives. 

But he was kissing Takita.

Mika was kissing her, and Takita was kissing him back, and it felt good. It felt nice. It felt innocent and sweet, and it made her toes curls inside her boots. It felt like she'd always dreamed it might. Her hands-on his ribs tightened as she leaned up on her tip-toes, kissing him back carefully. He moved his lips like he was still searching for more of the flavor of her lip balm, and she wondered if she should push him away and tell him to go back to bed. If he wasn't kissing her for want of kissing her and only for the flavor, then didn't she owe it to herself to have some more respect for both of them. 

Just as she was about to pull away, her hands tightening even more and flexing to push him back, Mika tilted his head a little more, and his tongue, which had traced her lower lip several times, carefully licked at the seam of her closed lips instead. Surprised, Takita opened her mouth just a little bit, and Mika pressed forward, the next pass of his tongue brushing the top of Takita's. He did it again when she didn't pull away, and again. And again. And Takita surrendered into the kiss, forgetting any notions of self-respect in the haze of desire and happiness suffusing her every molecule. 

Moving her tongue in return, she met him on the next pass, their tongues brushing a little more like shy, curious creatures meeting for the first time, coming together in quick, soft touches and parting again, only to return once more. Her hands-on his ribs slid around and to the small of his back, clutching him closer until his chest pressed firmly against her own. The power of his body was evident against her own slender body, the few soft places on her yielding to all the hard planes on his. His lips moved his hers, his tongue kissing her own and retreating again and again before slowly he began to pull back until only his lips brushed hers, and then only his nose skimmed and nuzzled against her, their short, soft breath mingling sweetly.

When she slowly opened her eyes, feeling a little lightheaded with the happiness filling her up, she found Mika's dark eyes fixed on her intently and glittering with something that made her tingle. A soft creak from behind Mika caught her ear, and Takita's eyes darted past him to land on some helpful citizen gently pulling the door closed to give them privacy as though they'd simply forgotten. It clicked closed with a soft snick, and Takita realized she was truly alone with Mika as she hadn't been in the entire time she'd known him. 

"Mika…" she breathed softly, turning her eyes back to the man in front of her and finding him still watching her. 

"I should go," he said, his voice husky in a way she'd never heard it before. 

Takita's stomach flipped.

"You don't have to," she whispered, her heart in her throat.

Mika's fingers were still knotted in her hair, and she was plastered against his bare chest, his scent tickling her nose. 

"Vannie will be back soon," he reminded her, nodding at the second bed in the room where Vannie was supposed to sleep.

"She went off with a guy," Takita shook her head. "She told me not to worry if she wasn't back before morning."

"Was she drinking again?" Mika asked, looking amused. 

Takita nodded. "You know she always drinks more when we're on shore leave than she does on the ship."

"Were you drinking with her?" he asked, and Takita's eyelids fluttered at the husky tone of his voice and the way he gently scraped his nails against her scalp. It felt divine.

"Only a little."

Mika hummed in response.

"So we've both been drinking," he pointed out at a moment when she leaned even closer, surrendering to his touch and desperate to keep from letting him go. "I should go."

"But…" Takita said before biting her lip, her eyes opening once more to fix on his face. "I thought…"

"We have to work together, Takita," Mika reminded her quietly. "When shore leave is over, we've got to work together on the ship. Entire crews have been ripped apart for less than what we've already done."

"But I thought… Niko says that what happens on shore leave stays on shore leave," Takita pointed out, repeating the oft-uttered phrase that everyone on the Quinn Zaza crew tended to repeat whenever they were on shore leave.

"Niko makes a lot of poor choices while on shore leave," Mika reminded her, and Takita knew that was true. More than once, Niko had insisted they get a move on back to the skies before their leave was even over because he'd gotten into trouble for one thing or another, or some clingy woman he slept with wouldn't leave him alone afterward.

Takita opened her mouth, wanting to argue, and she caught the way Mika's eyes dipped down to rest on her lips for a long moment. He wanted this. He wanted this as much as she did. Takita could feel his interest in her stirring against her belly, pressed against him as she was. He was trying to be responsible, and he had a point. They did have to work together. It wouldn't do anyone any good if they gave in to lust here on land and couldn't put it aside when they were back in the clouds. She wanted to tell him that it would be fine, and that they could figure it out, and that it could just be a bit of fun while on shore leave and that it wouldn't change anything when they were back on the ship.

But it would be a lie. It wouldn't be fine if they couldn't figure it out, and the way she felt about him demanded more than just a casual fling to indulge in only while they were on land. It would certainly change things when they were back on the ship. Even kissing him made her yearn for so much more — more of his touch and more of his kisses and more of his strong hands on her body. Takita knew in her heart that she cared deeply for this reckless, gluttonous, absent-minded, dragon-obsessed idiot, and it would crush her heart and maybe even her spirit if they rolled in the sheets today, and he didn't even look sideways at her tomorrow. She wanted it to mean as much to him as she knew it would mean to her, and maybe the excuses he was making were supposed to indicate that it wouldn't.

Sighing, Takita released her hold on him, trailing her fingers over his back as she pulled them away. She stepped back, gently removing herself from his arms and untangling his fingers from her hair. He let her go, and Takita stepped back, no longer touching him before she turned away and crossed over to the bed. She hadn't brought any of her gear with her, so she simply toed her boots off her feet before shrugging out of the cardigan she'd put on over her dress. 

"Takita…" Mika said quietly, and she could hear the hesitation in his voice, the uncertainty as he tried to figure out if she was angry with him.

Takita didn't look at him. She was embarrassed. He'd kissed her, but he'd rejected her for anything more than a kiss, and she knew he was right to do so because they did have to work together, and it would be awkward if he only wanted one night and she wanted a hundred thousand nights, but that didn't make it any easier to meet his eye. 

"What, Mika?" she asked quietly without looking at him as she worked on undoing the zipper at the back of the dress she'd worn to come into town and drink with the other girls at the pub. 

"Are you going to be alright here by yourself?" Mika asked, taking pity on her when she repeatedly clawed at the delicate zipper and couldn't manage to drag it down more than an inch or so. 

He came up behind her, and Takita tensed when he carefully grasped the zipper, lowering it slowly until it gaped open at the back, revealing a large panel of her pale skin to his gaze.

"I'll be fine," she said, her cheeks aflame even as she stubbornly shrugged her shoulders to dislodge the fabric, peeling it down to reveal the thin singlet and bra underneath it. She fussed with it, wriggling her way out of the snug-fitting design and shimmying it down over her hips until it slipped free and skidded down her legs to puddle around her feet. 

Another soft groan came from behind her. Takita realized that the scent that had lured him out of bed in the first place was getting stronger. It'd been used in the massage oils during her session earlier that day, and she imagined that without the barrier of her dress, the scent of it wafting off her warm skin must be affecting him. And it had to be the scent because it wasn't like he hadn't seen her in just her underwear before. It was practically impossible on a ship the size of the Quin Zaza to maintain any kind of privacy. 

Over the nine years since she'd joined the crew, Mika and her fellow drakers had seen sides of each other and parts of each other that she was sure even some married couples never saw. There was only so much square floor space aboard the ship, and the bathroom was cramped and tiny, the work hard, the days long, and the crew close-knit. She'd never have been so utterly alone with him as she was right at this moment. The intercom system aboard the ship that filled every room except the bunk cabins and the toilets ensured that everyone knew everything about everybody – but she'd seen Mika in every state a man could be, she was sure. He'd seen the same of her. They all had. 

"You smell so good," he moaned quietly, moving up behind her and burying his nose against the back of her neck, breathing in deeply again. 

"Mika," Takita sighed, her skin tingling as he gently rested his hands on the curve of her hips. "You just said…."

"I know what I said," he answered, sniffing loudly and drawing the scent into his lungs like he couldn't get enough of it. 

Takita trembled, leaning back against his chest and pressing into the warmth of his bare skin against her.

"If it's only the scent of the oils attracting you, then you should leave, Mika." Takita tried to be reasonable, wanting to make sure that if he really did want to pursue anything with her, it was because of something more deeply felt than that currently, she smelled good. 

Mika pressed closer, her arms encircling her waist and his hands trailing under the hem of her singlet to smooth over the bare skin of her belly.

"You always smell good," he said against the skin of her neck, pressing his nose to the back of it right at the edge of her hairline. 

"Usually, you tell me that I stink," she argued.

"Sniffing you and claiming you stink are different things, Takita," Mika pointed out quietly. "I wouldn't sniff you so often if you smelled bad."

Takita frowned, thinking over the number of times throughout their time on the ship together, trying to think of a time he'd ever actually said she smelled bad, and she couldn't think of one. At worst, when she asked if she stank, he'd told her that she smelled like a human.

"Oh," she said softly, leaning against him even more and curling her hands around his powerful forearms while he breathed her in.

"Did you say Vannie wasn't planning on returning tonight?" he asked quietly, trailing his nose and then his tongue across the side of her neck like he couldn't resist any more than she could. 

"That's what she said," Takita nodded. "She met some big bearded draker from another crew at the pub."

"So, no one should be stopping by to interrupt?" He asked quietly, nuzzling the underside of her jaw.

"Not unless there's some kind of emergency," Takita shrugged. 

"Knowing our people, that's more likely than on most crews," Mika pointed out grimly.

Taking sighed, closing her eyes and simply enjoying his closeness and his warmth. How long had it been since anyone had held her like Mika was holding her now? She wanted him to stay. She wanted him to ravish her until she could barely move, actually, but she'd settle for just laying in bed with him holding her just like this.

"They do seem to attract trouble more often than not," she mused while he nibbled her jaw and licked his way to the sensitive shell of her ear. 

"They can probably manage one night without any death-defying stunts or dragon-related drama while we're on land…" he murmured directly into her ear, making her quiver.

"Mika?" She breathed quietly, turning her head until she could meet his eyes, trembling with pent-up desire.

His eyes darted to her lips again before lifting to her eyes once more. 

"Are you sure?" He clarified quietly. "You won't get weird tomorrow?"

Takita bit her lip.

"Will you still talk to me tomorrow?" she asked, frowning as she recalled that there had been a time or two in the past when she'd taken a man to bed, and he'd snuck out in the morning and pretended not to know her if she sought him out again.

"I'll still talk to you exactly the same as I have today," Mika promised, nodding steadfastly.

"Then I'm sure," she said before reaching for his lips and claiming them for another hungry kiss.

Mika didn't ask again. Takita turned in his arms as she kissed him, craving more, hungry for him, so in love with him already, and more so to finally get to kiss him after all this time.

Once he decided on a course of action, as with all things he did, Mika didn't waver from it, and he didn't hold back at all. Takita huffed, the breath leaving her lungs all in a rush when he walked her backward to the bed and shoved her down on top of it before he grinned at her as she'd only seen him do when he set his mind on hunting a dragon. He shucked his pants off unabashedly, baring himself to her gaze before he reached for her camisole, tugging it up over her head and tossing it to the floor, going for her knickers without hesitation.

He kissed her again when they were both naked, his powerful arms scooping her up and tossing her further on the bed before he crawled after her, nudging his way between her legs and pinning her beneath him. Takita always forgot how much bigger than her the powerful draker was in such close quarters. He never seemed so imposing day-to-day when they were draking or butchering a kill unless he got up really close to her when he did things like sniffing her hair. She quivered with delight as he claimed her lips hungrily while his body blanketed hers, pinning her to the mattress snugly. He propped himself on one elbow, his hands exploring her body and finding their way over her bared chest with interest before snaking lower.

His mouth followed the path of his hands, his lips delighting in his nipples for torturous minutes before he ventured farther south, leaving Takita squirming and breathless. She should've known a glutton with an educated palette like Mika would be interested in tasting her, and Takita moaned, her hands knotting in his dark hair when he smirked at her wickedly for a moment before burrowing his face between her legs.

Mika groaned along with her as his tongue explored her folds, and Takita arched, wondering if this was just some drink-induced dream she was experiencing.

"Mika," she whispered breathlessly as he dragged his tongue across her needy flesh, delving it insider her aching center and burrowing in hungrily like he couldn't get enough of her.

"I should've known you'd taste good," he muttered when she bucked under his tongue as he drove sensation and delirium into her skin and made her thrash with the overwhelming feeling of him touching her. "You always smell so good."

He burrowed back into her, licking and licking and licking and licking and licking and… oh, god… more licking.

Takita cried out when he licked her right over the edge and into a fever-dream of sensation and synapses firing at hyperspeed. Mika groaned, lapping at the gush of her release like it was a magical elixir he'd spent his whole life seeking and finally gotten to taste.

"Mika," she breathed hoarsely, reaching for him, wanting more, wanting to feel him deep inside her.

"More," he muttered into her sex. "Taste so good."

"Mika," she tried again, pulling at him now, trying to drag him up the length of her body. 

Mika wasn't having that. Glutton that he was, he just kept licking and licking her, eating her out, devouring her until she felt turned completely inside out and like she couldn't move and single muscle; she was just so much jelly and sensation. He ate her out like he'd been starved all his life and was finally permitted to eat until Takita feared she would pass out from the exhaustion when he pushed her body to orgasm again and again and again. She'd never known a lover like him, and it wasn't until she trembled and shook under him when he paused to wipe his chin and crack his jaw that he seemed to realize she was putty in his hands.

"You alright?" he grinned, his eyes sparkling when he looked up to meet her eyes, sleepy and dazed, utterly spent as she was.

"Mmmm," she hummed contentedly.

Mika laughed.

"More?" he offered, rising from his knees and kissing across her taut belly and over her ribs. 

Ordinarily, she was terribly ticklish, but he'd worked her over so thoroughly that she simply relaxed into the feel of his mouth upon her and skimmed her hands down the back of his neck and across his powerful shoulders as she was able to reach more of him. 

"I don't think I can move," she confessed as he kissed across her chest, pausing to nuzzle her small breasts affectionately.

"We'll see," he grinned, kissing his way up to her neck and slotting himself between her thighs.

Takita parted her legs wider for him, opening to him, inviting whatever else he might do to her, utterly besotted now. 

"Ready?" he murmured against her ear when he aligned their bodies before beginning to press forward.

"God, yes," she replied, her arms snaking around him, pulling him closer, wanting him inside her. 

Mika laughed again, the soft sound tapering into a low groan that raised the hairs on her arms as he pressed forward and sank into the heat of her body. Takita wondered if this was what heaven felt like. He slid into her warm welcome, and her body stretched to accommodate him, smarting only a little after all his tender attentions readying her to take him this way. 

"Fuck," he muttered against her neck, his hips rolling slowly as he built a steady rhythm, rocking in and out of her tenderly as though worried he might hurt her even after all he'd done to ease the way. 

"What?" she asked, clinging to him tightly, one arm belted around his back under his ribs and the other curled around the back of his neck, while her legs encircled his narrow hips, clinging to him like her life depended on it, never wanting to let him go. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he groaned. "Nothing's wrong… you just feel good."

Takita practically glowed with the praise, closing her eyes as the tension eased, and she surrendered to his ministrations. Mika took his time with her, savoring every moment their bodies were connected and seeming to regret every time he drew back, only to hum delightedly when he pushed back inside of her. She'd never imagined it could be like this. The last time she'd had sex with strangers she met in random towns whenever they were on shore leave had been fast-paced, fumbling, and rushed, desperate to get in, get laid, and get out every time, knowing that at any moment she might be called back to the ship to take to the air again. 

Mika didn't rush. He didn't hurry his movements at all. Like everything he did when he found something he enjoyed doing, he took his sweet time savoring every morsel of pleasure he could wring from it, and it seemed Takita's body was something he enjoyed immensely. He didn't talk much, she noticed. Some of her previous partners had talked a lot, muttering rude things and spitting out cuss words and obscene phrases that she suspected were supposed to make the encounter feel hotter, dirtier, and cheaper. Not Mika. He was quiet but for the occasional muttering too low for her to hear, reminiscent of a pray. 

"You cling so tight," he muttered against her neck as Takita's grip on him tightened, her body coiling with each stroke of him deep inside her, each rock of his hips filling her and each roll of her own bringing him into contact with all the places that made her gasp. 

"Too tight?" she managed. They were both gasping and panting, their bodies slicked with sweat from their exertions as Mika pushed her and pushed her and pushed her, filling her again and again until she was sure she was going to explode before he backed off and changed the angle a little bit, making her crazy, drawing the urge up from her toes that made her want to scream and cry and beg him to let her find release.

"No," he murmured, nuzzling her neck, peppering her skin there with little kisses and nips that drove her crazy. "I like it. Can you go tighter?"

She could. She would. She'd been holding back as she squeezed him, wanting as much of her as humanly possible pressed to him, wanting to join with him in every way she could, never wanting to let him go. For so long, she'd wanted this; wanted him. Mika. Her favorite crewmate. Her favorite draker. Her favorite everything. This man who'd taught her draking, and cooking, and the value of a good rest. This man who'd tolerated her questions and incessant chatter with a grin and ruffle of her hair. He was her best friend, Takita realized, and she loved him with all her heart. And now, after so long lusting after him, she had him. 

She squeezed him tighter, wrapping her limbs around him more snugly, gripping him like her life depended on it, like she might slip inside his skin and become one with him once and for all if she just held him tighter. Mika groaned, his muscling straining against her strength and the restrictiveness of her grip on their movements.

"Fuck," he muttered again.

"Too tight?" she checked again, clinging to him so that he struggled to withdraw from within her for each powerful thrust, her body moving with his, following him every time he tried to rock back.

"Never," he groaned. "Fuck, Takita. Ughnmn!"

Takita grinned, closing her eyes and clinging to him, unwilling to ever let him go. 

"Don't stop," she whispered when he struggled against her tight hold, panting shakily like he could barely breathe.

"Never," he promised again, his voice tight now. "Fuck, that feels good."

She squeaked in surprise when he rose up on his knees, still thrusting into her, lifting her with him while she clung to his chest like a koala. Unsteadily, he shuffled across the bed and stood without releasing her, reaching up to claim another searing kiss as he carried her across the room to the wardrobe. He pressed her back against the cool surface of the wooden doors before slamming into her hard. He changed his pace then, his languorous rocking growing rapid and deep, driving into her high and hard, leveraging the cupboard door to move into her even harder, and Takita gasped, all but delirious with his touch. Spirits, she hoped he never stopped. She hoped he would love on her like this forever. 

She hoped she died like this, in his arms and impaled on his cock, out of her mind with the pleasure he wrought. 

"Mika," she moaned as her overwrought body seized around him, her grip on him growing impossibly tighter. "Mika… I'm gonna…."

Mika groaned, surging into her again and again, fighting her stranglehold on his cock and his torso to drive home one, two, three more times. Takita emitted a high-pitched keen when the firestorm of pleasure he'd stoked and coaxed into existence overtook her senses, her mind blanking as pleasure seared through her veins, coursing through her muscles and deep into her bones as she'd never known. Mika roared in her ear when the clamping and spasming of her body around his own pushed him over the edge, and he shuddered as he slammed into her harder and harder before burying himself to the hilt as his own body spasmed in response. 

"Fuck," he muttered hoarsely. "Fuck."

He stumbled back from the cupboard, still supporting her as she clung to him, breathing hard and falling back on the bed when he reached it, with Takita on his lap. They were both panting like they'd run for miles, and Takita's head swum with delirium and delight. She huffed when he nuzzled her cheek before capturing her lips, kissing her slowly as the high began to ebb, and they simply trembled together, aftershocks making them twitch and moan together. 

"Mmmmm," he hummed eventually, breaking their kiss and laying his forehead against her, simply breathing with her and holding her loosely. 

Takita smiled, exhausted now and ready for sleep. Slowly, she eased her grip on Mika, uncoiling her legs from around him and relaxing her arms until she held him loosely. He sighed, dropping his forehead to the top of her shoulder and breathing deeply, not yet letting her go, still buried within her. 

"Takita?" he asked softly when she lowered her cheek to his shoulder in return, pressed to him comfortably and almost drifting off in his arms. 

"Hmm?" she hummed, jolting a little, well and truly exhausted.

"What are you doing tomorrow?" he asked hoarsely.

She shrugged without lifting her head. "Whatever there is to do in town, I suppose. Why? You have something in mind?"

"Yeah."

"Something fun?" she grinned sleepily, liking the idea of spending the day with him. 

"Depends," he answered. "Did you have fun just now?"

Takita laughed softly.

"The most fun I've ever had," she answered honestly, even knowing she shouldn't be so forthcoming with the truth about her feelings but unable to resist telling him. 

He chuckled.

"Then, yeah. I'd say what I have planned for tomorrow will be fun," Mika promised.

His hands smoothed up and down the length of her back, his fingertips tracing her bare skin gently and making her feel adored.

"We'll get caught," she reminded him. 

"Not while we're on the ground," he disagreed. "No one pays attention to anyone else on the ground. Too busy getting laid."

"Probably true," she sighed sleepily. "You staying?"

Mika laid back across the mattress, his body still impaling Takita's, and she loved the feel of him there. 

"Vannie will catch us if I stay," he muttered. "And after that… I don't think I can go again so soon."

Takita laughed.

"I know I can't," she mumbled, sprawling across his chest and nuzzling her cheek into the hollow of his shoulder. "I need rest."

"I should go," he said. "Before Girard comes back and finds me gone."

Takita sighed, not wanting to move off him, even knowing she should. Mika chuckled as though he could read her mind, and he leaned over, pressing a kiss to her forehead affectionately. 

"You've got to move, tatsuo," he reminded her gently. 

Takita grizzled, not wanting to leave the warmth of his embrace yet. Mika snorted, amused at her, and she opened her eyes to grin at him, still unable to believe he'd actually slept with her.

"Fine," she whined, lifting herself off him and crawling over the mattress in the direction of the pillows. She squeaked when Mika smacked her bare rump as she moved away, attempting to burrow under the cover while he pinned them beneath him. 

He levered himself off the bed after a heavy sigh, and Takita opened one eye to drink in the sight of him in all his naked glory, knowing she really must be sated when even such a delicious view didn't stir her passions. Mika paid no mind to his nudity as he pulled the covers up and over Takita.

"You good?" he checked quietly when he'd pulled the blankets to her neck.

Takita offered him a sleepy smile. "Perfect."

Mika grinned at her and nodded before finding his clothes and pulling them on quickly. He ruffled her hair before he saw himself out, turning off the light and pulling the door closed with a soft click in his wake. 

Takita fell asleep thinking that if this was how every shore leave could be spent from now on, she might grow to care more for life on the ground than the one she'd built for herself sailing the skies.