2517, The Unification War has been over for a decade and Miranda is still a secret. Into The Black is an Alternate Universe Firefly & Serenity fandom roleplaying game. It centers around independent crews of different ships which travel all over the 'verse created by Joss Whedon.

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Messages - Jean Marceau

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Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 15, 2017, 10:27:29 AM »
She shuddered, pushing into his fingers, and Jean felt it before it happened. Felt her tense, felt her breath catch, her legs stutter. He pushed in harder, pressing with his tongue, sucking hard, trying to push her over that edge.

She came so hard he could feel her clench around his fingers, thighs squeezing tight around his head. That ragged cry was everything a man could hope for and more, coaxing her through it, held on while she ground into his mouth, relishing every goddamned second of the way she shuddered and twitched under him, against him, thighs slamming tight around his head.

He waited until the shocks began to die down. Until she could breathe. Slipped his hand from her, face slick, fingers wet and dripping. Something almost sly in that smirk as he nuzzled against her inner thigh. “So good,” he murmured, pressing a kiss against her skin.

Another throb ran though him, and fuck, if she wanted to back out now, he might have to bring himself off right there in front of her. Mercifully, he didn’t have to wait. A little aftershock coursed through her, and she was back, determined, mouth wrapping around the head of cock, slick, exquisite heat that made his breath catch. Jean’s mouth dropped open in a silent gasp, making a throaty, needy sound, gliding forward with his hips, into the slick, hot inside of her mouth.

“Holy fucking Christ...” And he wasn’t going to last long this time. Not after that. Sweet smell of her filling the air, hands gripping in tight, head resting on her thigh, litany of words spilling out of his mouth that definitely wasn’t English.

It was his turn to shudder, jagged breaths. It didn’t take long of that — hands working in tandem with her mouth, exquisite grip of her hand and heat of her mouth — until instinct took over, muscles clenching, shallow thrusts as he pumped into her mouth, careful, trying to bite back on the impulse to push in deep, felt muscles start to tighten, twisting pool of heat. Fuck— Yes. There.

“Woah- Tavi—,” he gasped, another clench shooting through him, curling like a fire, gently reaching for her shoulder to encourage her back while trying to twist out of her way. This was relatively new for the both of him, and he didn’t mean to catch her off guard if that wasn't her intention.

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 13, 2017, 09:17:23 PM »
Jean wasn’t far behind. He’d let Tavi go on ahead, lingering in the pool for a moment with his arms crossed over the concrete, watching her as she walked. There was a nice sway of her hips as she went, the wet back of her bikini bottoms clinging tightly to her skin, but, for once, Jean wasn’t just admiring the sight.

She looked like she was gaining a little weight. At least, he hoped. His gaze lingered on her thighs for a moment, the way the sun glistened on wet skin. His head tilted to one side as he tried to puzzle it out. It was subtle, if it was true. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking on his part, but the thought still brought an ill-advised flicker of hope

She said she’d brought food. Sans doute, it was just to make him happy, but if it meant she actually planned to eat something today, then that had to count for something, didn’t it? A little step in the right direction was still a step.

He couldn’t help it. He did tend to worry about her.

Someone had to.

Jean kicked off the bottom of the pool, hauling himself up over the side. He took a quick detour for his abandoned shirt first, slinging it over his shoulder, feeling it stick to wet skin before following her to the cooler.

He knew something wasn’t right the moment she paused, her feet trailing to a halt. The slight hesitation that had crept into her movements. The nameless emotion in her eyes, when she turned towards him. Something a little more lost. A little more worried than it had been only seconds before. It wasn’t much of a giveaway, all told, but he’d spent so long desperately watching after her, carefully studying her every move for a hint or a sign, that he was starting to pick up on the subtleties. The little things that made Tavi Tavi.

Jean his brows start to draw together, mirroring that look back at her with an expression of concern. Something in this stomach giving an unpleasant twinge.


“Hey. Come here,” he prompted when she was finished, reaching for her and pulling her close. She still felt small in his arms, the way she always did, cupping a hand to the back of her head and pressing a bristly kiss to her forehead. She tasted of water, sunscreen, and chlorine. Tasted like her. “You’re here with me.”

He didn't know whether she was talking about the things in her head, or whether or not she was doubting this was real. The fact that they were both here, together. He was getting used to that too. The little shifts and breaks in her reality.

It had stopped stinging as much to see her this way — repetition brought a certain amount of familiarity — but it never hurt any less.

“And I’m not going to let anything happen.”

He’d thought she was getting—

Well, maybe that was foolish of him too.

A little reminder that, even here, as far away from the ship and the death as they could get, they still weren’t quite free.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:01:06 PM »

It was a little lacking in finesse. The way she choked down on his cock like she was desperate for it; crushing heat, the clench and squeeze like an iron band as her throat locked down around him with each gag, pleasure bordering on pain. But Jesus, there was something about her determination, sending another twist as the muscles in his stomach clenched, until—

She pulled away suddenly, leaving only cold air and a sharp, aching throb. Jean made a frustrated sound that vibrated in his throat, the fingers of his other hand digging painfully into her thigh. Jesus. He’d been getting close; the sudden neglect now bordering on discomfort, felt another throb run through him, while a tiny, desperate voice tried to forcibly remind him that it was in his best interests to lose. To let her win. But he couldn't help it. He’d come too far now.

Each choked word only seemed to spur him on further. Now wasn’t the time to be pushing her limits — he knew that — but Jesus Christ, she made it fucking difficult. That pleading in her voice making him want to press in harder. Push in deeper. Feel her body clench and squirm underneath his hands. Under his tongue. It was a conscious effort to keep his hands still, to keep that same rhythm, that wet heat tightly gripped around his fingers.

He could feel her thighs start to clench, gripping around his head, and fuck— yes. Perfect. Wanted to growl encouragement, but that meant moving his head, and that wouldn’t do. Pulled his fingers free instead, just for a moment, another slap to her ass and a determined squeeze,  before his fingers slipped back inside, heel of his hand pressed against her so she couldn’t buck away.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Candyland
« on: July 10, 2017, 08:42:19 AM »

“I know.”

Jean had moved to the side of the room once the chaos had settled, leaned back up against the medical counter, arms crossed over his chest. Although he was speaking to the Doctor, Jean hadn’t been able to tear his eyes away from Tavi for the last ten minutes. Even the admission was made through gritted teeth.

Jesus. How had it come to this?

There was a welling in Jean’s throat that didn’t seem to want to budge. The sight of her there, pale in the artificial light, all ribs, riddled in marks, monitors still hooked to her chest. Jean had protested at the restraints, but the Doctor had insisted it was necessary in case of a seizure, or if she woke up thrashing. The sight of them around her bone-thin wrists made him feel sick.

It wasn’t a stroke, as Jean had feared. She wasn’t dying. He still remembered the icy way the blood had flowed through his veins as the doctor had checked her over. The way the world around grew distant, as if viewed through a dream. Trauma reaction. He’d felt it before. The brain’s way of coping under extreme pressure. Then the crashing relief like a wave that she wasn’t about to die.

He could still feel the prickle along his skin. The shadows of a thousand spiders.

She was okay. Or at least, as okay as she could be. Her body had just… shut down. Too much. An overload. A rerouting of essential function triggered by a fight or flight response. At least, that had been how it had been explained.

How much of it had been Jean’s own fault?

He couldn’t even say for certain.

The fingers of his right hand flexed again. The physical memory — the feel of bone crunching under his knuckles — was replaying in endless loop. He’d washed away the blood where it had dried and flaked over his skin, but he could still feel it. As thought it was still here.

He still didn’t quite understand why he’d done it.

It had been years since Jean had struck out in anger. At least seven or more, by his own reckoning. Jean was no stranger to violence, but it had always been controlled. Deliberate. Selective application to accomplish a purpose. Even when he was angry, he had control.

Until today.

That hadn’t been anger. That was rage. Genuine rage. The type that came on quickly, like the fall of a hammer. The one that made him bare teeth, and in that flash of a second, want nothing but blood.

Jean still didn’t understand why he saw red.

There was a time, long passed, when red was the only colour he saw. But had had been after the War. After the killing. Another demon he’d carried ever since, and one he was supposed to have cowed a long, long time ago.

So why?

It felt like the answer was in front of him. Tantalising, but just out of reach.

There was something slow in Tavi’s breathing. Each rise and fall of her chest. Was that the sedative, that made her look so at peace? Or was it because a chemically induced sleep was the closest thing she’d felt to peace ever since the world self destructed?

The thought stung.

The memory of her was taunting him. Toying on his mind. It had only been yesterday. Only yesterday when she’d—

Jean felt his heart seize again.

“You will not convince her,” he said, the matter-of-factness in his tone surprising him. He didn’t look away from Tavi. That slow breathing. The restraints. The wires. She had to know. Surely. She had to know what she was doing to herself. A woman that smart, who could read the stars as though they were poetry, had to know. Cause if she didn’t? He didn’t know what the Hell else he could do.

“She will not stop only because you have given her a lecture.” God, if only it could be that easy. But no amount of praying would change that. It wouldn’t change why she did what she did. Jean thought he knew, but it was never possible to know for sure. “And if she will not stop, then all it is we can do is make sure she is safe.”

Well, as safe as she could be. Jean was under no illusions. There was no ‘safe’ here, just the lesser of two unspeakable evils.

“If she will not let you inject her, then... Jean sighed, running his hand through his hair, the sound half a frustrated growl working up through his throat. “Then she has to learn how. What she can mix that is safe. What she can not.”

He thought he knew already how the suggestion was about to be taken. He knew how it sounded even to his own ears. But they couldn't control her every minute. She'd find more drugs after today. She'd inject herself again. Likely within minutes of being back out of sight.

So what was left?

“Because if she keeps going how she is, she is going to kill herself. And we can not help her if she does not live long enough to let us.”

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 07, 2017, 07:53:32 PM »
Okay, so, maybe sunscreen might be wise. He wasn’t about to panic that the sun was going to instantly set him on fire, but, she had a point. For all of Tavi’s complaining about albacore, he’d been with her on the same ship for the last few years. When it came to complexion, he wasn’t looking any better.

“At least one of us came prepared,” Jean acknowledged.

There was an irony here of a sort. Assuming, of course, he was using the word correctly. He had the armory categorised to perfection, each loadout pre-equipped and ready to grab at a moment’s notice in case of a surprise attack. He could tell you precisely how many rounds of ammunition they needed to purchase at the next layover or space station, and the date he’d cleaned and serviced each item of armor and weaponry. Welding tape, breaching charges, commlinks, and other tools all accounted for. But stop over for some leisure time, and suddenly little things like food and sunscreen completely slipped his mind. Probably to do with the fact ‘leisure time’ might as well be a foreign language. Even when Jean had been given R&R in the past he never seemed to know what to do with it. Though, as he watched Tavi try and make her way to the side of the pool, he had to wonder if the problem hadn’t been in the Company.

He caught up to her easily, in no small part because his feet could still touch the bottom of the pool. Jean scooped her up as he went past, hooking an arm under her legs and one around her back. Not that it looked like she was struggling, but, well…

Okay. It wasn’t the most graceful swimming attempt he’d ever seen.

“Are you sure?” he asked, meaning the sunscreen as he lifted her up to help her get over the side of the pool. “At least if I turn red, then if we are to crash in the snow, we will have a reserve beacon.”

OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:50 PM »

OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:39:46 PM »

OOC Chatter / Re: Mood Boards
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:38:33 PM »

Mining Skyplex / Re: Another Day At The Office
« on: July 05, 2017, 09:43:04 AM »

Well. This was off to a fucking good start.
One of Jean’s eyebrows arched as he studied her carefully. It seemed a bizarre thing to be coy about. Up until now, it sounded like she’d been trying to convince him to agree to her little deal, and once he’d shown a hint of interest, she was locking up tighter than a virgin’s cunt.
“Funny. I had already guessed that,” Jean replied dryly. He would have thought the question would have been a good chance for her to show off exactly the sort of skills she had. Maybe even wave his record over his head to make sure he knew exactly what he’d be facing if he crossed her.
But, no.
Was she seriously going to make him slide two gold coins across the table for this? Really? If she got her way and he agreed to this ‘mystery favour,’ then he was subjecting himself to far more risk than what she was taking by sitting at her computer screen. What was to say she wasn’t going to make him take on an Alliance Frigate, or something equally suicidal?

He already knew he was in deep shit. That wasn’t in question. The question was the precise depth and whether or not he was going to need gumboots or a canoe.
“Then how do I know you have my military record at all?” he countered with a one-sided shrug. She easily could be bluffing, and if this was going to be a waste of his time, it was best to find out now rather later. “You may be reading off a civilian register. Obituaries, or Birth and Death records.” Any one of them would show he'd died and his rank as a courtesy.
Why else not tell him? If she wasn't bluffing, and not just trying to get him to believe she had more information than she really did, then it implied what was on his record wasn’t damning enough for her to want to spell it out in comparison to the ‘favour’ she had planned.
Cheeky bitch.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 04, 2017, 06:31:33 PM »

That had upset her plans. Jean heard her choke, throat fluttering around, felt her mouth move away, the sudden tensing of her body beneath his hands as her next word was cut off. And, honestly, he might have felt a bit disheartened about the fact the blowjob was over so quickly if he wasn’t feeling so damned smug.
He smiled, something even a little sly in the curl of his lip, satisfied rumble in his throat as he closed his eyes, trying to focus on making her quake all around him. The positioning was more comfortable than he’d expected; her thigh making a good makeshift pillow, and Jean moved his free hand, stroking down her ass, fingers digging in so she couldn’t jolt away from his mouth, breathing deep and taking a moment to just to appreciate this.
His victory - of a sort - was short lived. Tavi readjusted, mouth closing back about around him, drawing him in, hot and wet, and damned if that didn’t near sidetrack him completely. He faltered for a second, a moan tearing from him that was half a growl, prompting him to press his jaw against her tighter, sucking relentlessly, encouraging her to grind against him.
And that sound again; the gagging as she choked on him, her throat tightening in a quick spasm around his cock, making his muscles clench instinctively, like fire through his belly, and for a moment, Jean wasn’t sure whether or he should stop and make sure she was okay, or follow his gut impulse and start thrusting deeper.
Jesus Christ...
It was a conscious effort to keep his hips still, not to drop what he was doing and grab fistfuls of her hair. He didn’t relent, free hand curling around the back of her thigh, fingers pressing against her, soaking wet beneath his hand. The feel of her under his fingers, against his face for fucks sake, going straight to his cock. He spread the slickness around her lips, pushed two fingers inside, just past the first digit, testing the water, giving her something to clench against as his tongue pushed beneath the hood of her clit in an attempt to regain his imagined lead.
It wasn’t technically a competition, but he couldn’t quite seem to help himself. And if he lost, he honestly couldn’t say he’d care.

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 03, 2017, 10:27:16 PM »

The amount of care and thoughtfulness she’d evidently put into preparing all of this caught Jean off guard. How long had she been planning this, exactly? Long enough to conspire with French to make ceviche. It was a strangely uncomfortable revelation. Not in the least because Jean wasn’t used to being doted on by anyone, and secondly, because he was left with the distinct impression he’d dropped the ball somewhere.
Merde. Had he really been stuck up in that metal tube so long he’d completely forgotten the basics? Finding new and creative places to fuck inside the Echo without getting caught was all well and good, but it didn’t exactly scream romance. But, then, it wasn’t as though anything about his relationship with Tavi had followed the standard formula.
Was this technically their first date?
… He supposed it was.
Merde alors.
He’d have to arrange something. Make it up to her somehow. He’d never been good at grand gestures. His affections usually manifested in the little ways, such as if she mentioned wanting something, even in passing, he made sure to fetch it whenever they reached a station, by being extra affectionate whenever they were alone, or making an extra cup of coffee to bring with him to the bridge. But then, women liked more than that, didn’t they?
Jean tabled the thought, adding a little mental reminder that he needed to step his game up. No ideas were springing to mind, but there was still time.
A corner of his lip quirked boldly at her question, marking the exact second his mind dropped back in the gutter. “I can think of a few things,” he answered, cutting short of actually spelling it out. He wasn’t sure if — as she’d put it before — “being crude” was going to ruin the moment, so it felt wiser to give her a chance to cut off that line of thought if she wanted.
This was sort of a date, after all.
He allowed her to disentangle herself, but he kept his hands lightly supporting around her sides all the same. She should be able to touch the ground on tip-toes, but he wasn’t sure how familiar she with was with treading water and keeping her head above the surface. It wasn’t always the most intuitive process for some, but at least he was right there if something was to go wrong. “You are all right?” he asked, checking in just to make sure.

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:56:37 AM »

Well, squire was probably fitting, if she was using the definition he thought she was. Namely, that of a male attendant of one of great personage. This was Octavia fucking Yeats, after all. Senators daughter and all the prestige that went with it. Meanwhile, Jean was just… Jean. Another Universe, another world, maybe ‘squire’ or ‘bodyguard’ would have been the best he could have ever hoped for.
Would she have paid him any attention at all, if it wasn't for the chain of events that had brought them here? Even Jean had to admit it wasn’t likely. She seemed… happier, though. At least, compared to what she had looked on the Caduceus. Or maybe that was his subconscious desperately trying to assuage his guilt. He had to admit, there was something strangely liberating about this new life they’d found themselves in — a sense of freedom he hadn’t anticipated — and that was a big admission coming from him. Perhaps she felt it too. From what little he knew, even away from her parents, Tavi had never really been free.
“I have need of a sword,” Jean decided, pulling a mock-thoughtful expression and glancing up at the clouds. The water was at the base of his neck now, and keeping his feet flat on the base of the pool was getting difficult. “To be a good squire, I mean to say. They always have swords in the films from Earth-That-Was. Did you buy me a sword?”
She’d mentioned birthdays, but that didn’t sound quite right. He’d been in the habit of ignoring his birthdays for the last decade or more, and to that extent, he’d never told anyone the date. Then again, if anyone was smart enough to work it out, or determined enough to dig up his records, it was definitely Octavia.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:56:29 AM »

Jean hadn't caught the double entendre until Tavi all but spelled it out. The burst of laughter was unexpected, but contagious enough even Jean had to give a confused smile. It didn’t feel like being laughed at, so as long as she was feeling better, he wasn’t about to question it.

Good. That was...

It was good.

He didn't want her to be stressed. Hypocritical of him as it might be to say, given that was his default state of being.
Tavi started to wriggle, and Jean shifted onto his side, lifting his arm to let her escape. He wasn't completely sure of what she was doing at first, but he caught on quickly when she began to maneuver towards his manhood, realisation bringing a clench of anticipation through his gut like a jolt.

Her mouth closed around him, hot and wet, lips wrapped around the end of his cock, eliciting an involuntary moan that was half pleasure half surprise. The renewed attention on neglected skin felt downright exquisite, slick hand working his shaft, tongue swirling over the head in a way that was almost dizzying. More-so, even, given the emotional weight that had just lifted off him. He tried to keep still, doing his best to let her go at her own pace, but fuck, it was difficult, biting back on his first instinct to thrust straight into her throat, feel it close and flutter around him.

His head was still reeling. At this. At what had just transpired. But he couldn’t find time to think. Didn’t want to find time to think. Not when her hand was working him like that, perfect heat of her mouth and relentless working of her tongue.

Holy shit.

He wasn't sure whether or not the positioning was intentional, but fuck, did it help. Her legs were spread in front of him, giving him a good eyeful, opened like a goddamned invitation, just for him. He couldn't help himself, arching his upper back a little so he could reach, hands running down her thighs, divots left in the skin beneath his fingers before he delivered a light smack up against her inner thigh. “Open for me,” he ordered, before pressing his lips against her mons, heady smell of her and the feel of her mouth making his breath catch, short cutting reason, until he leaned in, closed his mouth around her clit, and sucked.

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: July 02, 2017, 09:06:35 AM »

Well, she was definitely flexible. Not that Jean was going to complain for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because it let him grab a generous handful of her ass with both hands under the shallow guise of helping to hold her up. Okay, sure, they were both mostly submerged under water and her weight was functionally negligible, but he wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity where it presented itself.
He liked her smile. He must have had that thought a thousand times by now, but he found himself reflecting on that fact yet again as she grinned up at him, impossibly wide, lighting up every inch of her face in a way that made him feel at least a little bit better just for seeing it.
"Lucky for you, I think the pool is all out of Léviathans," Jean replied, nevertheless wading them both deeper into the water at a leisurely pace, letting it slowly rise up over their shoulders. He wasn't in a rush, as though if he were to rush, it would all just be over sooner. It was nice. This was nice. The smell of real air, cool water and light that had actual warmth. Spending time alone. He wanted to keep it that way, just a little longer.
"And, no," Jean had to admit. The idea of sunscreen hadn't even occurred to him amongst the deluge of everything else he needed to keep track of on a daily basis. "I ran out of room for it on the shopping list of diabolic evil."
Five hundred rounds of ammunition. Ten kilograms of explosive. Timers. Charges. Pressure packs. Corrosive gas. Gas mask filters. And sunscreen. For the health-conscious pirate.

The Verse / Re: In the Pipe, 5 by 5
« on: July 01, 2017, 09:27:51 AM »
... Well... at least the whole ship hadn't melted.

"Close enough."

Somehow, Jean doubted Mao was going to be pleased. Despite Jean's own laundry list of potential complaints about the Alliance, it seemed the efficiency of their shipboard weaponry went without question.

There was no sense saying anything about it. It had happened, and that was the end of it. Instead Jean mentally shook his head, at least partially aware of the humor in the situation despite the fact maybe half of their potential profits out of this endeavor might have literally just turned to ash and melted alloy.

But, hey. At least the ship hadn't blown up.


It did, however, leave him with a slight problem. The engine parts themselves had been a tempting sweetener on this, and without it, the risk-to-reward ratio was starting to look unfavorably skewed. The fact the ship hadn't blown up after that sort of hit also had some implications about the existence of Schrodinger's Munitions. Or, more specifically, the potential lack thereof.


This was looking worse by the minute. Any cargo she had left had better be worth the trouble. Currently, the only bright side was that they hadn't had to fight for it. So far. There was something about this he still didn't quite trust, but he'd have to deal with those possibilities when or if it came to it.

"Bring her in carefully," Jean ordered, allowing Tavi to initiate the grapple procedures without further interference.

Watching the sensors and pulling up the blueprints once more, Jean muttered something sarcastically under his breath that might have been "Que Dieu me donne de la force," before switching on the intercom to Mao, briefly filling him in on what had happened together with a quick damage report.

They still had to get the Deuteronomy off her current path first. That, at least, would give him some time to work out the precise details of the next few steps.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: July 01, 2017, 08:19:49 AM »

What was she afraid of?
By the sounds of it… nearly the same things that he was.
The reply was surprisingly more cognizant than Jean had anticipated. He’d stopped what he was doing while she spoke, his hand trailing back to one side of her hip, cradling the little jut of bone in his palm and letting her get her thoughts out uninterrupted.
It was strangely sobering. And, yet, calming, in its own odd way. A little seldom-gleaned insight into her mind that told him that he wasn’t, in fact, alone. That she was almost as afraid for him as he was for her.
And he was afraid for her. He had been, ever since he’d found her half alive in that corridor, and every minute since.

He didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he moved back up, shifting his weight to give her room to move. He cupped his hand to the side of her head, pressing a slow kiss to her forehead, breathing deep. As though steeling himself for what was to come. Or finally surrendering enough to let go.
He wasn’t sure which.
“Then don’t say it. Yet,” he answered slowly, as much trying to find the right words as to understand what he even wanted himself. He wished he could make her understand, but he’d never had a fraction of her eloquence. “Hold that thought, Miss Yeats, and tell me again, in a week. Or a month. However long it is that you need.”
Perhaps they both needed it. A moment to reflect. To be certain. But somehow, he thought he already knew what his answer was going to be. There was a peace in that. One he never would have seen coming in a thousand years.
But Tavi, well…
He needed her to be sure. He needed her to know, before he heard it. Because having her take it back might just hurt worse than never hearing it at all.
“Until then,” he offered, trailing a line along her skin, down her sternum, unable to quite keep his hands off her in one form or another, even now. “Let us just… enjoy what it is we have. And take things as they come, yes?”

The Verse / Re: In the Pipe, 5 by 5
« on: July 01, 2017, 03:53:25 AM »
Jean couldn't help but throw Tavi a sideways look when she smacked herself in the forehead. He'd assumed, clearly incorrectly, that she'd still remembered the last order. His mouth pulled into a hard line.

"Correct," came the terse response. "Tighten it up, X.O."

It was a far more gentle reprimand than anyone else would have gotten in her position, but there was a tone to his voice that made it plain he was nothing if not deadly serious. Slips like that got people killed, and while she'd always been a top-notch pilot, he didn't need any more reason to be doubting her ability of late.

A mirror of the measurements and readings from the shipboard weapons were now up on Jean's display. He forced the earlier thought aside and flicked through the targeting data. "Ripple both cannons," he ordered, repeating himself for good measure. "Grapple when secured. Then course correct to nine zero mark two nine zero," which should, in theory, take them further from any current shipping lanes.

And, for good measure...

"And try not to melt the ship."

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: June 30, 2017, 08:58:52 PM »

She didn’t say it loudly. The words were almost quiet;. As though she was afraid he’d hear them. Or she was afraid of saying it. Jean wasn’t sure which.

He paused where he was, pressing a final kiss between her breasts before he looked up her, a flicker of something nameless passing over his face.

She thought she…

The heaviness of the words didn’t hit him as hard as he’d expected. Perhaps, because, in his own way, he’d known it was coming. He’d been bracing for it ever since she’d crawled into his room that night so many weeks ago to complain about a cat. A little still twinge still curled through him; a heaviness that was a quiet mix of sadness for the tragedy of it all, while at the same time flickering with a warm lick of hope, even as he offered her back a warm smile.

Mostly, the calm was because he wasn’t quite able to convince himself the words were real.


She’d used the word think.

That meant, at least, that she didn’t know.

He knew her too well by now. Or, at least, he thought he did. This might be another meaningless impulse her mind threw at her. She might wake up tomorrow with no memory of ever having said it. It was easier to believe that was the case; as though it’d make it hurt less if it proved not to be true. But the thought still sent a strange feeling through his chest; a part of him that wanted it to be true, almost much as the part that was terrified of the implications if it was.

… But, then, there was something in the way she’d said it. Something in the small, quiet voice that made it sound more genuine than he’d expected. Or perhaps that was only in his own head. There was a time — barely a month ago, yet a distant memory — when those words would have filled him with dread. For what they meant. For what they could mean. Tavi was…

Jean, for all his faults, wasn’t entirely blind. He knew she was dangerous. Dangerous to him, in a fundamental way that had nothing to do with physical safety. It was easier to forget that in these moments, only because he willed himself to forget, but he knew. She could destroy him at any moment without ever having pulled a trigger. He’d seen the truth of that in the Med Bay, before she passed out. He’d made his promises then. And he’d kept them, for the most part.

He knew what he’d be opening himself up to if he let this happen. He knew the risk. There was a crux here. At the end of a set path he was being lead on. Multiple roads all leading to one conclusion. One he’d tried to turn away from it time and time again, but he always found his way back to the same path.

He’d grown tired of fighting it.

Perhaps that was why he didn’t even try to argue with himself.

“But you’re not sure?” Jean asked quietly, finishing her sentence and shifting his weight a little, propping himself up. His mouth closed around the tip of her breast, hot and warm, a hand sliding down her waist, fingers spread, rough pads of his fingers feeling every inch as he traced the line of her hip, the crease that separated her thigh, touch becoming feather light as they moved between her legs — teasing, promising, but not yet — as he looked up to wait for her answer.

The Verse / Re: In the Pipe, 5 by 5
« on: June 30, 2017, 02:50:46 AM »

"That is the idea," Jean agreed, reaching overhead to hit the switches to divert the necessary power. She'd raised a fair point that the external hull itself had possibly being rigged, but he was going to have to trust that the Echo's sensors would be able to pick up any anomalies before then. That, or the blast to finally kill her with the EMP would either disable or detonate them ahead of time.

Only one way to find out.

Getting her off her current path still seemed like the best first step. Perhaps an EVA run for a more thorough assessment once they had her. It all had to go according to plan first, and Jean knew damned well how that liked to work out.

The Verse / Re: Everything Was Beautiful...
« on: June 30, 2017, 02:30:22 AM »

So, she was funny when she wanted to be. And, apparently, a massive dork.

Jean smiled, the corners of his eyes wrinkling in amusement. It was more than a little endearing, and it was good to see her having fun. God knew they didn’t get enough of that as it was.

Her mood, as well, was oddly infectious. Enough, at least, for Jean to do his best to put his own misgivings aside. He was more familiar with being planet-side than Tavi was, and the presence of genuine sunlight and air that hadn’t been recycled a thousand times and a thousand times again made for a welcome change.

There was something, too, about being home. Not technically home, but given the vastness of the Universe in which they travelled, just being on the same planet felt like it counted as home. There was something familiar in the way that sun felt on his skin, in the exact shade of blue the light cast through the sky as it crossed through the atmosphere. Even the gravity felt like it should. Terraforming had made the planets of the Verse similar, but it couldn’t make them identical. On this one, everything just…

It felt right.

“I guess I had better. I do not think we even ’ave a lifeguard,” Jean pointed out. He preferred it that way. Just the two of them. A lack of people helped soothe the wariness he always felt when he didn’t have a gun in arms reach.

And, besides; he liked her company.

Jean braced his arms against the side of the pool and dropped beneath the surface of the water in one  motion. The water was cool, the sound of the world drowned out by the familiar pressure around his ears. Blearily, his eyes tried and failed to focus as he found the blurred shape of Tavi up ahead. He turned, pushing off with his legs against the side of the pool and giving two hard kicks in her direction, exhaling a tail of bubbles in his wake.

Jean surfaced close by, helping himself to a breath of air and laughing to himself. He couldn't help it. He'd missed the water more than he realised. The air was almost brisk on wet skin, mitigated by the warmth of the sun, and Jean blinked the excess water out of his eyes.

"You might regret that," he warned, taking a step through the water and pushing with his hands as he went. "Because, now—" he reached for her ass to pull her into him, taking advantage of how light she was in the water, "—I’m not going to be able to leave you alone."

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: June 28, 2017, 09:58:39 PM »

As she settled in beside him, Jean angled himself towards her, resting a warm hand on her hip, bodies entwining, the feel of her skin hot and warm as she draped her thigh over him. He could feel his cock ache needingly at the touch of her leg, but he forcibly put that impulse aside. Whatever was happening here was more important.

The words pilled out in a jumble, and, for a moment, Jean wasn’t sure what to do with them. His heart was still beating hard inside his chest from earlier, now joined by an uncomfortable twist in his stomach.

He hadn’t meant to make her feel bad. The revelation had caught him unexpectedly, sending a sharp twist of guilt.

“Tavi, hey…” he said gently as she tried to determinedly bury her face in his arm. He reached across for her hair, smoothing out some wayward strands from around her ear. It felt difficult to explain, even without the added difficulty of the language barrier. But she was upset, and he—

Christ. What was he supposed to do?

“You make...” he began, rolling into her enough to press a kiss to the top of her head. “Me feel...” Her hair smelled nice. Comforting, somehow. “The best that I have ever felt.” He cupped the back of her head affectionately with a warm hand, nuzzling the top of her head with his chin and breathing in deep.

She was upset. Jean felt his heart twinge a little, unsure of what to do. Honestly, he wasn’t tremendously experienced at relationships either, short of a few teenage fumbles, and the Unification hadn’t been a great backdrop for facilitating a healthy relationship of any sort. He’d never been with anyone else since the War, until now, and if that didn’t say anything about how he felt about her, well, he wasn’t sure what did.

They’d both survived, hadn’t they? That had to mean something.

He tried to pick his next words carefully. “For me,” he said hesitantly, “the second time will take longer.” Especially twice in a row without a break, as they had. Although admitting that felt... awkward. As though it was admitting a personal failure. He wasn’t sure if this was just inexperience, or if her last partner had been able to cum like a shaken up soda can on command. The worry that it was the latter and that he was failing to measure up was enough to niggle uncomfortably. “It is not you. It’s just—”

He was running into a language problem again. So he sighed, breathing out slowly then pressing another kiss to her mouth as he rolled his weight on top of her, taking some of the weight on his elbows. His body, warm and solid, as one knee pushed her thighs apart until his hips seated between her legs, cock pressed hard and insistent against her hip. That needy throb was back at the touch of her, the wetness there, sending a jolt through his gut which he determinedly ignored.

“You are…” he began, pressing a trail of kisses along her jawline. “The most beautiful woman,” he continued, little swipes of teeth and tongue as he moved down her throat, paying attention to every detail, every contour. “That I have ever met.” And Christ, if that wasn’t true, marvelling a little in that fact as he moved his body down a little, heat and salt of her skin under his tongue as he made his way down to her breasts. “Et je veux te lécher des tête jusqu’aux pieds.”

If he couldn’t explain it to her, then perhaps showing her was a step in the right direction.

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: June 28, 2017, 05:31:38 PM »
And, then, something else Jean couldn't have expected.

Jean’s breathing had been speeding up, each breath coming harder as the world shrunk to the feel of her hands. The muscles in his stomach clenched again, wetness slicking her grip with each stroke, sensation building, then…

The cavalcade of frustrated swearing caught him off guard, yanking him off the precipice and jolting him back to the present. Tavi was looking back at him, frustration plain in those brown eyes and every line of her face.

Jean blinked, slow, a rush of worry flooding in as it quickly registered that — for a reason he couldn’t understand — Tavi was upset.

He sat up again without thinking, propping himself up with one hand, his expression a picture of concern. “Woah, hey,” he said quietly, voice low and steady, resting a hand on her wrist to slow her down so he could think.


“Fang xin,” he said slowly. “You are not doing anything wrong.”

Why did she think that—?

He was worried about her now. He couldn’t help it. “Come here, okay?” he prompted, slipping his hand around the small of her back, leaning back towards the bed himself to get her to lay back down with him. “What is the matter?”

Black Echo ~ Pirate Ship / Re: Go Down, Moses
« on: June 23, 2017, 07:18:35 PM »

He didn’t know the answer to that. Jean dropped the cigarette in the ashtray and rested his head back on the bed, letting the sound of her voice and the feel of her hands wash over him. He’d only been to New Dunsmuir once. Maybe twice. It was an expensive place; too rich for his blood, really, but he doubted she’d be interested in where he actually grew up. He didn’t know. She...
... She deserved better than that. Somehow.
Her only answer came in the form of another hitched breath as Jean’s chest caught again mouth parting slightly as he looked down at her hands. “I’ll—” he managed, the words cut off as the muscles in his stomach tightened, the extra slickness a hot, wet glide that felt exquisite. “We’ll find one.”
It was getting dizzying. To get it out there. It hadn’t been much of a confession, but it still felt a weight had been lifted that he hadn't even been aware was crushing him. It felt good. He wanted to grab her. Pull her onto him. Wanted her close. To feel her skin. Wanted to bury his face into the warmth of her neck while she rode him and just breathe.
He just—
“Jesus—” Another low moan cut him off, each muscle along his torso starting to clench and tighten as instinct began to take over, light shallow thrusts into her hand as he tried to hold back. Would have felt him squirm a little under her fingers, words that may have been French coming out as a breathy jumble.
And that was part of the problem. The feeling in his head. Part of the reason he’d tried to distance himself in the first place, even after they started sleeping together. In case anything happened. Always just in case. Thinking, stupidly, that it was better for both of them that way. But she’d made him remember, just for a moment, what it felt like to have someone. To stop being lonely after so long. And he’d tried. But he was never good at keeping it all separate. Sex. Emotion. It all tended to get… blurred together in his head.
And time would tell whether for better, or for worse.

Mining Skyplex / Re: Whisky Time
« on: June 22, 2017, 11:38:19 PM »

So much for that plan.
Tavi may as well have been an eel for the deftness she displayed in slipping through his fingers. Jean couldn’t help but curse a little louder than he’d intended, rapidly getting to his feet in an attempt to follow. “Désolé,” he grumbled at Cordell as he hunted through one of his pockets, the temporary animosity he’d been feeling effectively snubbed out in his desperation to catch Tavi. “I need to… contain this.”
He left handful of credits and some coins on the bar in front of Cordell before he left, making his way out at a brisk pace to try and intercept her before she disappeared. He'd left little too much. Enough to cover their own drinks as well as Cordell’s with some to spare, but Jean wasn’t exactly going to stay back to count it properly.
He caught up to Tavi outside the bar, the sight of her yellow dress bringing a rush of relief. For a moment he’d thought he’d lost her, and trying to find her amongst the cavalcade of people in the monstrosity that was the Skyplex wasn’t an appealing prospect.
She seemed upset, bringing a flicker of worry and slight frown before she mentioned… turtles.
Jean had to resist the urge to sigh. He’d found her, and that was the important bit. “No, not the turtles,” he agreed, trailing a hand down her arm in order to take her hand. He wasn’t quite sure what he was agreeing to, but he felt too tired to argue. “Time to go home, yeah?”

- Fin

The Verse / Re: In the Pipe, 5 by 5
« on: June 22, 2017, 08:50:39 PM »

"Thank you mon frère. Standby for further."
Jean took his thumb off the radio switch, ending communications and going back to idly toying with it while staring at the data as though it might sing to him if he glared at it determinedly enough.
How much of it was falsified, exactly?
Tavi may have had a point about the cargo, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to agree with her assessment that the Deuteronomy was a lost cause. Mao, at least, seemed to think there might be something worth salvaging, and he was inclined to agree it was worth the attempt.
“She is still flying,” Jean pointed out, bringing the read-out of the Deuteronomy’s engine output back onto his screen. “Engineering is still in tact.” Mostly. “If they are running, she is not completely destroyed.” Even if the munitions were gone, she might at lest have some functional scrap. Hopefully the bridge as well. It wasn’t any use to them, but Jean was more than curious about what the logs had to say.
Then there was the escape shuttle. If someone had survived long enough to launch one, the entire interior couldn’t be completely reduced to dust. Perhaps the crew or the automated systems had shut the blast-doors if they had them installed. Although, the shuttle could have easily been launched before the explosion.
He brought up the LIDAR scan again and enlarged it, focusing on the hole that had blasted through one side. If she was carrying nothing but munitions and they’d all detonated at once, he’d have thought the damage would have been more widespread than that.
Sabotage. There was that word again.
It just felt a little too… deliberate. And if someone had rigged her to blow then taken an escape shuttle before she detonated, then it was starting to look like thieves stealing from thieves stealing from thieves at the moment.
“Here,” Jean said, sending a mirror of the escape shuttle records and the damage on the side of the hull to Tavi’s secondary screen. ”What does that tell you?” It wasn’t a test. He was just checking in case she caught another possibility he'd missed.

Jean couldn’t help it. This was starting to niggle at his curiosity. There was still an Alliance Officer in him somewhere that wanted to know quel en l’enfer a ship with a false transponder was doing with weapons-grade munitions, and, more importantly, where it was going. The newly formed Pirate Identity was busy wondering whether any of those munitions may have survived, and, if not, and the ship was empty, it was a chance for some low-risk salvage that might add a touch of cream to their bottom line.
In theory.

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