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Another Furry little PG vignette; this time a bit of a narrative experiment.
Hope you like it. As ever, feedback to [email protected] Please?



Andromeda: Part 4 - Breathe (no sex)
by Furball

"I love to watch you sleep at night,
to hear you breathe,
by my side."
- All You Want, by Dido, from "No Angel"

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

Warm/soft: happy. Nose tickles. Sleep.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

Where am I? Who cares. I'm warm and comfortable. I am therefore I think, and
what I am is sleepy, so I think I'll stay asleep for now. I wonder what's
tickling my nose?

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

[Subconscious to conscious mind; There's something wrong.]

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

It's no good, something isn't letting me go back to sleep. I guess I'm going
to have to let my mind start itself up. Damn. It just feels so good lying
here, with my arms around her.

[Subconscious mind to conscious: Hey buddy, there's something wrong. Wake
up. Fast.]

As more of my mind starts up, and some of the sawdust gets shaken from my
synapses, I realise what's tickling my nose. My face is buried in the back
of her neck, and my breath is disturbing the small hairs along her hairline.
I decide to let the tickling continue. I start to like it. It's a part of
her.

Waking up with her is a new pleasure. She's been here overnight before, but
this is the first time she's spent that night with me. I feel honoured. She
feels so good in my arms, so soft and warm. I don't ever want to let her go.
It only takes a little movement of my lips to kiss her neck, so I indulge
myself. I wonder if I can get my repair crews to go slow fixing her shipbody
without her noticing? Anything for another morning like this.

OK, so I know her heart isn't mine. I've been out drinking with the Andromeda
crew a couple of times now, and I've seen how she looks at Dylan when she
thinks nobody's watching. He's a good man, I try not to be jealous. But
sometimes, even though her heart is his, her body's mine. She allows me the
illusion that she's mine. It's not much, but I try to make it enough. This is
one of those moments that makes it all worthwhile. The simple pleasure of
waking up with her in my arms, even though she's ticking my nose. Her skin
smells of cinnamon. I love it.

[Subconscious here: Damn you're slow. Big problem, and the longer you miss
it, the worse it gets. WAKEE-WAAYKEEE!!!]

So why can't I just relax and enjoy it? It's a perfect moment, but for some
reason it's started to feel wrong. I can't put my finger on it. Reluctantly
I let myself rise a little further toward consciousness in the hope I can
figure this out.

[Subconscious: Finally. You gotta learn to listen to me, buddy...]

I start to pay more attention to my surroundings. The bed is soft, and I'm
on the dodgy spring so it isn't pressing into her. Good. The cover is warm,
it's decadent silk lining caresses my skin as I breathe. Wait. There's
something there. What is it? Breathing. I'm breathing, she isn't. *Shit*!

Suddenly I'm completely awake, and close to panic. Training. Remember my
training (it's been so long!) Flip her on her back, lift her head back
gently - don't hurt the neck. Pinch her nostrils, force two fast breaths
into her mouth. Check her pulse - two fingers beside her windpipe. Nothing.
Measure two fingers from the base of her breastbone - hurry - place my
other palm above them, join hands and push, fifteen times. Two more breaths,
then start fifteen more compressions. God, no Rommie. I can't let you go.
Live, damn you. Live.

Her beautiful dark eyes pop open, *YES!*

"Look, I know you're kinky, but that's starting to hurt. Can we do something
else?"

What????

Oh crap. Of course, she isn't human. She doesn't need to breathe, and she
never has a pulse. My panic turns to relief as I scoop her into my arms,
burying my face back in her neck. "God, Rommie, you weren't breathing. I
was half asleep, I thought you were...." I can't even say it. She
understands. Her arms slide around my still-shaking body.

"Holy crap. You were really scared, weren't you? For me? That's so sweet."
She pulls me down to the bed and kisses me, long and deep. Then she makes
love to me, slow and gentle. No tricks, no games, just slow, sweet love.
The best kind.

Eventually, spent, we cuddle. My nose is buried in her hair again, and I'm
really starting to appreciate that tickle when the magnitude of my screwup
dawns on me.

Rommie isn't human, but she's built to appear human. It's a basic part of
her design to appear human at all times, and that includes breathing. For
one brief moment, she was so comfortable here with me that she felt she
didn't have to keep up that pretense. She let herself be herself. She
stopped breathing, and I freaked out. Idiot. I feel like something precious
has been lost.

I spend the rest of the night holding her, feeling her chest rise and fall,
listening to her breathe.

    

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