At that moment, Sara couldn’t remember what had prompted their argument, but it was surely something trivial. She was hot, and sweaty, and grumpy, and her cheeks were a little sunburnt and there was sand in her hair and in her… well everywhere. Liam was faring just as poorly, just as hot and grumpy. Neither knew quite who or what started their bickering but Drack, who was completely unbothered by the heat, was the one to finish it.
“You two remind me of my second mate, she and I would fight and boy did she have a mean bite. But we would usually end up rutting around in the Tuchankan dirt like no tomorrow afterward,” he laughed his low, throaty chuckle. With that thought on both of their minds, Liam and Sara exchanged an awkward glance at one another before both had to look away. It was almost as if Drack knew that it would shut them up because he let out another throaty chuckle. “Haska would go straight for the quad, but damn was she something else,” he said fondly, slapping Liam on the shoulder. Liam was blushing now but so was Sara so she pretended to focus on driving.
The thing was, they’d thought they’d been discrete. They’d had very grown up, totally normal sex in a storage room one time… and they’d gone on something that resembled a date on Aya, during which she almost got arrested. They flirt… a lot. But not where anyone could overhear, or so they thought. The Tempest was a small ship though, and things happened and Gil would get chatty over poker.
The rest of the (thankfully) short drive back to the Tempest was quiet (mostly thanks to Drack describing in detail where to best hold on when copulating with a Krogan female which kept Liam and Sara from any further bickering). The ramp for the Nomad was down and Gil was waiting for them.
“Damn Ryder, did you dent my baby?!” Gil exclaimed incredulously upon immediately seeing the large dent on the rear driver side panel.
Sara rolled her eyes, “No! An eroch did, blame Elaaden,” Ryder snapped tossing her helmet a little rougher than she’d intended before storming off toward the crew quarters. She heard Gil ask Liam ‘what’s with her?’ and the rather professional grunt Liam gave in response.
It took her a moment to realize that most of the lights were down and Gil was the only one around. Outside, on Elaaden, the sun never left its position in the sky. ‘SAM, what time is it?’
‘Nexus Standard Time, it is currently a little after 0200 hours. Most of the crew is currently in bed, however Gil, Dr. T’Perro and Kallo are all currently at their stations.’
No wonder she felt so awful, they’d been on the ground on Elaaden for more than 16 hours now, she suddenly felt more exhausted as if such a thing were possible. She made her way to the shared bathroom, peeling off bits of armor as she went. She left it all in a pile outside her door and stepped into the bathroom to peel off her enviro-suit and all the under layers that were now stuck to her skin with sweat. It was not a fun experience but finally being naked was an enormous relief.
She found herself simply standing there, staring blankly at the shower wall letting the tepid water wash over her shoulders. She found herself thinking about Liam, specifically his bare chest while he worked on armor mods. Sara shook her head, no they were mad at each other she reminded herself.
Suddenly the bathroom door slid open, jolting Sara from her thoughts.
“Hey, just using the loo then I’ll give you some privacy,” he said, his voice soft. She wondered if Liam had been waiting for very long for her to get out of the shower before coming in. It was the only bathroom aboard the Tempest, so the entire crew had long since gotten used to using it communally. Wasn’t much privacy to the point where Sara had seen virtually every female on the crew, and Jaal for some reason, naked on numerous occasions and habitually shared a bathroom space with them. She’d even had Gil come in to take his early morning dump while she was showering, they’d actually had a really nice few conversations that way. It had become quite literally the least sexy spot on the Tempest.
Liam stepped into the sectioned off toilet and Sara found herself becoming anxious as she worked shampoo through her hair. He stepped back out dressed down to his skivvies, Initiative issued, dark gray, form-fitting shorts made from synthetic fabric that left very little to the imagination… Not that she needed to use her imagination, she’d already seen him naked and he’d definitely seen her.
“You can stay,” Sara said, well before she thought it through. Liam stopped at the door. “There’s two shower heads,” she added before mentally slapping herself for sounding like a complete creep.
Liam gave a breathy laugh before turning back towards her. “C’mon Ryder, you’ve got better game than that,” she turned back to the shower faucet but she could tell he was smiling, you could always hear the smile in his voice.
He stepped into the shower next to her turning on his own shower faucet, he gave a sigh of relief at the running water dislodging sand and sweat.
“My game can’t be that bad,” she said as ran her fingers through her short, wet hair.
Another breathy laugh from Liam that made her heart rate spike ever so slightly. Damned if he wasn’t absolutely adorable. “Hey, I’m sorry about getting snappy about the spare ammo clips,” he said.
Oh yeah, that’s what they’d been arguing about, it seemed so distant now. “I’m sorry too, I got pretty testy in that heat,” Sara said focusing on the shower head in front of her.
“Damn, Elaaden was… hot. And did you get a whiff of the inside of the Nomad?” Liam said, with a laugh, eyes trained ahead on his own shower head. “Thought it was gonna knock Gil out, he’s spraying it down right now.” Sara laughed at that, poor Gil, she thought briefly. They'd must have gotten used to smell after sitting with it for so long, it hadn't even registered how awful it must be.
They felt the inertial dampeners kick on as the Tempest was taking off, leaving Elaaden, much to both their relief.
“Ryder, Elaaden was not my favorite, but I bet Tann will pucker up everytime he has to say ‘New Tuchanka’,” Liam said rubbing his neck. Sara snorted ungracefully at that, glad that they were talking normally again.
“Made Eos look like a winter wonderland,” she added.
“You know what sounds good right now, a visit to Voeld,” he laughed.
“Tell Kallo to change course immediately.”
They both laughed and then it was quiet. Sara slowly turned her water off, her skin feeling refreshed after a long, very hot day. She paused for a moment before reaching for her towel, she was naked and a little vulnerable. She let her eyes finally fall on Liam, equally naked and beautifully built, toned muscle and warm, dark skin. Their eyes met and Sara briefly forgot what she was going to say before she caught herself.
“I have a bottle of some Angaran liqueur from Aya in my quarters, tastes kinda like rum,” she said. “I need a little time to unwind before I can actually get any sleep. You interested?” She reached for her towel and began drying herself off so she wouldn’t have to face him if he declined, though she hoped she came off as cool and nonchalant (she wasn’t). Truth was, she wasn’t ready to fall asleep yet-- not now that she had him on her mind.
He turned off the water for himself, “See Pathfinder, much better game than before,” he laughed.
Sara smiled wrapping the towel around her bust, “You mean all it took was the offer of booze, Kosta,” she said. He smiled, cocking his head just slightly the way he did. He wrapped his own towel around his waist, his chest still glistening with water. Neither bothered to pick up their sweaty, dirty equipment scattered around the bathroom (they’d deal with Cora’s complaints about it in the morning) as he followed her next door to her quarters.
They didn’t even bother with the Angaran liqueur.