Second Hand

Love and Starships: Chapter 12 (More Dirtiness)

Francis slumped back and rubbed at her eyes. The clock read a time that would mean if she were to go to bed that instant, she would still no longer be able to get a full night’s rest before having to wake up for her shift. The feeling and images of her contact with Skee had continuously distracted her, keeping the progress on the report grueling. It’s pretty much almost done.

Francis stretched her legs to the floor and stumbled across the room where she collapsed down on the bed, shoving her face into the pillow. As she pulled the covers out from under her and tucked herself inside, the sensitive parts of her body rubbed gently against the fabric of her clothing. She flipped over, yanking on her tank top and stretching out the elastic band on her pajamas. Her body tingled, and somewhere in her stomach the butterflies still fluttered.

With a sigh, she sat up and stretched over to her communications terminal where she typed in the number for Trisha’s room. The woman responded as the terminal on her side adjusted for the low light. “Who is it?” The strawberry blond muttered, lifting a polka-dot face mask off her eyes.

“Trish, can you come up to my room?” Francis asked, her head tilted to the side innocently.

The woman blinked heavily at the camera and the glow from the screen. “You what?” She muttered incoherently. “Frannie? What time is it even?”

“Come on, please?” Francis begged.

Trisha turned to her side, complaining to the other person in her room. “I know, I’ll have it off in just a sec.” She finished, turning back to the screen. “Now that you’ve woken up my roommate too, I guess I have no choice.” She whispered, smacking at the screen and the button beside it.

The knock came to the door some time later. Francis opened it, revealing Trisha on the other side, dressed in fancy yet wrinkled sleep wear. “You better be dying, Frannie.” She complained. “And even if that were the case, I’d still be pissed, because you could have been at the medbay way faster than I could have got here.”

Francis stepped out and grabbed her by the wrists. “Just come on inside.”

“Fine.” She grumbled, moving inside the room and taking a seat on the edge of the bed.

Francis sat cross-legged on the floor. “I have to tell you something.”

“Just say it already.” Trisha said sleepily.

“Skee and I… kinda… well, I don’t know what to do now.”

Trisha blinked her eyes and squinted down at Francis. “You what now?”

“He helped me move this desk in earlier.” Francis noted, pointing back at the new fixture. “Then we both sat down, kinda close, and things just kinda happened.”

“Hold on.” Trisha waived her hand. She picked up the pillow from the bed and placed in on her lap for support. “What happened? Is it even okay for me to be sitting on this bed right now?”

“We didn’t go that far!” Francis insisted.

“Well, yeah. I mean, now that I think about it, there was this talk of him being physiologically different.”

“We just made out.”

“Is that it?” Trisha asked, tilting her head.

“Clothes… kinda… started coming off.” Francis offered, wrapping her arms around her torso.

“Did you…” Trisha paused, making a downward motion with her eyes. “See his…?”

“NO!” Francis shouted. “I mean, who’s to say if he even…”

“And then what?”

“I was wearing my plain cotton panties and…”

“Yeah, bad move.” Trisha interjected.

“Reedeens are allergic to cotton!”


“I kinda caused him to break out.” Francis concluded, slumping down to the ground.

“Well, worse things could happen.” The strawberry blond sighed along with her. “Still probably gonna be awkward next time you see him.”

“I’m not even that type of girl, but I ended up making the first move somehow.” Francis said, smacking her legs out of frustration.

“Come on Frannie, it’s just because you’re pent up. When’s the last time you itched the ditch?”

“Excuse me?” Francis said, sitting up.

“You know, masturbated.” Trisha said slowly in a near whisper.

“I don’t… I mean… I just…” She floundered.

“You’re lucky, come on.” Trisha fretted. “I have a roommate, you know, and we have pretty much the same schedule. My first day off ended up being the same as hers too.”

“Stop.” Francis said, dragging out the word.

“You know, just the other week, I offered to work late so I could take a long lunch break. Headed back to the room and… helped myself.”

“TMI, Trisha.” Francis groaned, avoiding eye contact.

“Well, either you’re frustrated, or you like Skee, as strange as he is.”

“He’s not strange!”

“Well, there’s your answer.” Trisha nodded.

“It’s just…” Francis muttered, thinking aloud. “His skin was just so soft, and he’s actually more muscular than he seems.”

“Hold on, soft like a baby bottom’s soft, or soft like freshly shaved legs soft?”

“I don’t know.” Francis shrugged. “But he said he liked touching me too.”

“Of course.” Trisha joked, poking at Francis’s boob with her big toe, outstretched.

Francis swatted her foot away before standing up and beginning to pace around the room. “He’s not a bad guy, but I don’t know if I can see myself with him.”

“See, it’s something you’ve considered though.” Trisha added. “Just remember, we won’t be on this ship forever. It’s not like all relationships last forever anyways.”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to make things awkward either.”

“You’ll be fine. Nothing will be more awkward then seeing his strange penis or whatever for the first time.”

Francis scoffed loudly and turned to Trisha to grab the pillow out of her lap. “Hell, why did I ask you here in the first place anyways?” She said, smacking the strawberry blond in the face and chest with her bedding.

Trisha flailed her arms back in defense. “Fine, I’ll go now. Goodnight.” She teased, dodging the final barrage of attacks before heading out the door.

After finishing her breakfast the following day, Francis headed out of the dining hall. Her eyelids were still heavy from the lack of sleep, and the white lights on the ceiling seemed brighter than usual. The deck was comparatively desolate, meaning that she was nearly late to the morning shift. As she slumped to the door of the lift, she was stopped by the torso of someone who had stepped in front of her.

“Francis, good morning.” The person talked down to her.

Francis stood up straight and made eye contact with him. “Oh, Skee.” She exclaimed, stepping back.

Skee offered out his palms as if wanting to say something. “I… see that… you are… nearly late.” He said, as if he were coming up with the sentence as he spoke it. “I should let you pass.”

Francis held her spot as Skee made his way around her. “Uh, hold on.” She blurted out, stopping the alien mid step.

“Yes, Francis?” He asked, turning back to her.

“I hope that your… allergic reaction… didn’t turn out too bad.” Francis mumbled, barely able to look at Skee in the face.

“I took a ‘sick-leave’ yesterday to recuperate.” Skee said. “I have no symptoms today.”

“I’m sorry.” Francis apologized.

Skee took a slow step towards her and carefully placed his palm atop her head. “It is alright, Francis.” He said, rubbing his hand back and forth.

Francis hid her face and ran to the lift doors, mashing the button. “Ihavetogo.” She blurted out as the doors opened.

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