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 Every night in my dreams,
I see you, I feel you
That is how you will go on.

Outside the One Esk guards are singing, a chorus of the unit’s best voices: a love song popularized by a drama that had been airing in Radch space when they departed. Awn had maybe hummed it under her breath once or twice at the beginning due to certain influences on her habits; but if she hasn't completely left her homesickness behind, she had at least mastered it. Naturally this hadn't escaped One Esk's attention.

The One Esk segment inside the house is stoic and silent, pouring tea into their bowls with steady hands even when Awn stares at it in deep suspicion. It doesn’t look innocent or guilty, or anything at all but an ancillary carrying out its tasks. Awn belatedly remembers she ought to be doing her job as Skaaiat Awer says, in a voice rich with amusement and her distinctive accent: “I’ve never had a choir of ancillaries serenade me before. It’s more romantic than I imagined.”

Awn is grateful she isn’t drinking tea at the moment, or she might have spat it out in an appalling breach of etiquette. Even if, especially if, the fellow officer at her table is...whatever she is, after the developments of the previous week. As it is her face flushes with a heat she is certain can be sensed from where Skaaiat is sitting, loose-limbed and completely at ease. “It isn’t...I didn’t call you here for that.” Her face warms even more at the emphasis her traitorous tongue lays on the final word.

“I know.” Lieutenant Skaaiat accepts the bowl from One Esk Twelve with a quiet murmur of thanks. She raises it and the corner of her mouth in a charming smile. “But there’s no reason business can’t mix with pleasure, can it?”

Awn fights her own blossoming smile--one of them at least should remain professional. She says firmly, “Afterwards.”

“Afterwards,” Skaaiat agrees amiably. After a moment, she adds, “Though I’m sure One Esk would give us sufficient warning if anyone were to approach the house…”

“That can be arranged, Lieutenant,” One Esk Twelve intones. Awn covers her eyes with one gloved hand, and loses control of her smile.  

Every night dream of me
As I will dream of you
And we will go on and on.