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You’re a River (I’m a Stone)

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It was her fault, really. She had been hoping for a change, a fresh start. Sure, there were a limited amount of spaces she could strap her bed, but even then she needed something to do that didn’t risk the ship blowing up in their faces. So, her room came to mind.

Except...her room was where she kept the contraband.

Meaning Eiffel’s cigarettes.

Which she now had in her hand.

Hera was quiet, which Minkowski was grateful for. There wasn’t much the AI could say, anyways- apologies got tiring after the first day (and it wasn’t Hera’s fault, anyways).

“Hera. You’re smart- how likely was Eiffel’s plan to smoke going to end in flames?”

“What?”

“I know he had a plan, he must have. So. How likely was said plan going to explode in his face?”

“Moderately.”

Minkowski hummed. “What can we do to improve it?”

That’s how she found herself standing outside a room, Lovelace (shrapnel bombCommander) and Hilbert (coughing betrayalDecima) behind her, each person holding an oxygen canister. They hadn’t asked and she hadn’t explained.

“C’mon.” She opened the door, strapping the can to her face. The others did as well, stepping into the room after her.

“Minkowski, what-“ Lovelace was cut off by Minkowski taking the pack out of her pocket. “Oh.”

“I was cleaning out my room.” She said in as level as a voice she could manage, “And I thought-“

“How are we doing this?” Lovelace asked.

“Hera?”

The AI explained the plan, Minkowski adding a, “Hoping we won’t blow up in the process.”

“This is stupid.” Hilbert muttered.

“I’m sorry, Doctor, but did I ask for your permission?” Minkowski scoffed. “We’re doing this.”

He grumbled but took the cigarette she gave him anyways. Lovelace took one too, although she looked nervous.

“Everything good, Captain?” Minkowski asked.

“I...yes, everything’s fine.” Lovelace said, although the apprehension hadn’t left her face.

Minkowski shrugged it off, and pulled out the lighter that they had kept in the emergency kit. There was a small percent of oxygen in the room, hopefully enough that the cigars would burn but not enough to set them on fire.

“Ready?” She asked.

“Ready.” Hilbert said.

“...Ready.” Lovelace agreed.

Minkowski flicked the lighter on- they hadn’t blown up yet, so that’s good. Interchanging the O2 mask and the cigarette was strange, but she got into a rhythm.

The sound of sharp coughing dragged her attention away, to Lovelace, who was coughing into her elbow.

“You good, Lovelace?” Minkowski asked. Lovelace turned beet red.

“I’m fine.”

“...Can you not smoke?”

“I can.” Lovelace said, much to quickly.

“...Sure. Take drag then.” Hilbert chuckled.

“I can smoke!” Lovelace huffed. She put the cigarette up to her lips and took a breath in, lasting about half a second before coughing again, sending her cigarette flying through the air.

“Don’t hurt yourself.” Minkowski teased. Lovelace glared at her. Even Hilbert had a small smile on his face.

“Drinks are better, anyways.” Lovelace grumbled.

“Okay. Whatever you say.” Minkowski grabbed the cig out of the air and smushed it between her fingers.

“I’m not a child, no need to patronize me.” Lovelace grumbled.

“You should say no to the big scary drugs, anyways.” Minkowski smirked.

“Shut up, Minkowski.”

Minkowski shook her head, chuckling.

“Ashtray?” Hilbert asked.

“Just use the counter.” Minkowski shrugged.

“You sure?”

“Either that or your hand.” She added, smudging out her own.

“Very well.” Hilbert shrugged, putting it out.

“Hera? You can go ahead and put the oxygen back.”

“One moment.” Hera said. “Oxygen returning to room.”

There was a hiss of air, and Minkowski unlatched her O2 mask.

“Alright. Now, back to work everyone.” Minkowski sighed. “This station won’t fly itself.”