gaila: full body

Fic: Not a Standard-Issue Hook-Up (Gaila/Chapel)

Hey! I fixed my first Gaila/Chapel story for Sex Is Not the Enemy. *is excited*

Title: Not a Standard Issue Hook-up
Author: igrockspock
Pairing: Gaila/Chapel
Rating: R
Summary: Christine never thought that the easiest thing about her first week in Starfleet would be hooking up with an Orion cadet in the Academy swimming pool.
Notes: My second response to my Sex Is Not the Enemy prompt.
Word Count: 5,000


If she closes her eyes and wishes hard enough, Christine can almost imagine she's on the beach. Sure, she reeks of chlorine instead of sunscreen, the red Starfleet swimsuit is cut more for modesty than attractiveness, and the species-neutral lighting isn't quite as warm and golden as the sun she knows. But she is still free to flex her long legs against light-dappled deck chair, she can still listen to the water lapping against the edges of the pool, and best of all, for the first time in a week, she is alone. Who cares if she had to come to the swimming pool at 22:00 to find a little solitude? It's worth it.

Flexing her toes with delight, she pops her red, standard-issue travel mug into the hole on the armrest and snaps off the lid. Ice tea is perfectly within regulations, of course. It's not her fault if "long island" technically belongs in the prefix, and she refuses to feel like a sneaky teenager when she takes a long sip -- never mind rule number six on the block-lettered signs around the pool, which warns her that alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Starfleet fitness facilities. She also prefers not to acknowledge Starfleet regulation 26.4, which she had taken a quiz on that morning, and which stated that "any cadet caught consuming adult beverages at prohibited hours or in prohibited locations shall be punished by six hours of additional duty in kitchen facilities." It's like being in high school all over again: have a drink, get grounded, except in fancy military terms. Really, she thinks, it's cruel and ironic that the career that was supposed to bring her freedom has actually supplied more rules than she's ever had in her life.

Of course, none of this matters right now. Her fingernails, painted a decidedly non-Starfleet-issue blue, glitter in the artificial light as she plucks her padd from the standard-issue athletic bag beside her chair. Right now, there are no rules, only choices. Most pressingly, which article to read: Seventeen Ways to a Better Orgasm or Five Tricks to Plump Your Lips. Her fingers hover expectantly over the touch screen, savoring the decision ahead, when a voice interrupts her reverie.

"I've seen you around here before. You're older than the others here."

Christine looks up sharply and stifles a sigh when she sees the speaker is green. She should feel better, knowing that the girl hadn't meant to cause offense. It's just that she's so goddamn tired of being understanding. In her first week at the academy, about a hundred beings have asked her weird or rude or insensitive questions and she hasn't had the opportunity to get mad at a single one of them. She's not homesick for homogeneity; she'd never liked that much. She is homesick for the right to be pissed off once in awhile.

"I imagine that on your world, recognition of a woman's age is a sign of respect."

She bites off the words carefully, making them pointed enough to give her satisfaction but too polite (she hopes) for an inexperienced alien to notice their edge.

"But you're still annoyed that I pointed it out," the girl says so matter-of-factly that there's not much room to argue. Especially because it's true. Christine winces. She should have controlled herself better.

"I'm sorry," the girl continues without waiting for Christine's response. "It's just that everyone here is so young."

Christine stifles a snort. The girl looks all of 17. Not that that means anything without more data about the maturation date of her species. Her head aches with the open-mindedness of it all. New life and new civilizations where what she'd come here for, but she hadn't known that she'd have to question, modify, and correct every casual thought that passed through her head.

"Will you tell me why it makes you uncomfortable I said that?" the girl asks brightly. Christine recognizes the line from chapter one of the Starfleet inter-species communication manual, which does not make her feel very inclined to respond. But the girl -- Christine really should ask her name -- looks so bright and eager that she feels a bit guilty for spurning her. Which does not change the fact that the answer to that question is more personal than she cares to get with a stranger. She can admit to herself that she feels old here, and maybe, if she is being especially honest, that being a twenty-eight-year-old among the eighteen-to-twenty-two demographic is a little lonely. It's not the age so much as the domesticity, really. Starfleet attracts wanderers, and it's not as if she's the only person here who took a circuitous route to the academy. But, as near as she can tell, she was the only one who came here after five years living with a man and planning a family. She should have been married last June; they'd hoped she'd be expecting by now. None of Starfleet Academy's fresh-faced men and women -- or non-gender-binary beings, she reminds herself -- can relate to having that...or choosing to leave it.

"It's okay if you don't want to tell me," the girl says. "I mean, I have stories I don't want to tell too."

The girl extends a hand, either oblivious or willfully ignorant of Christine's sudden, curious look.

"Maybe what I should have said was, 'Hi, I'm Gaila, and I'm really glad to meet someone else who lived a little before they got here.'"

"Christine." Christine offers a hand because it would be rude not to, but she falters where she should pick up the conversation. She could say, "I haven't really lived much; that's why I'm here," but she doesn't feel like divulging the big truths of her life to a perfect stranger. But that leaves her with the same worn superficialities: where are you from, what's your concentration, what brought you to Starfleet. She doesn't think she could bear another conversation like that.

"Sick of meeting new people, huh?" Gaila asks, and Christine wonders if her reluctance was really that obvious or if Gaila's just exceptionally skilled at reading people. Either way, she owes her an apology, but Gaila waves a dismissive hand in the air.

"Don't apologize. I don't blame you. I've had the same conversation a million times this week."

She folds herself into a nearby deck chair, careless and graceful all at once, and pulls a small flask from between her breasts.

"Look," she says, "I'm sorry to invade your solitude. But as long as we're both here, maybe we could have a drink together?"

"I'd like that," Christine says, managing a small smile. Sharing a drink was the least she could do after how rude she'd been to Gaila earlier.

She raises her plastic cup, ice cubes jingling festively, and they both toss back a long drink without bothering to toast. At the end, Gaila leans back in her chair, propping herself up on her elbows, and Christine can't help but stare. No regulation suit in the world could hide the voluptuous curve of her breasts, and Gaila holds herself like she knows it. Not arrogantly, Christine decides, just matter-of-factly, as if she's had her beauty on display for so long that she barely notices it any more. Christine envies that a little; she knows that men love her blond haired, blue eyed, good girl look, but she's never known how to carry herself like she deserves to be looked at.

"So tell the truth," Gaila says, angling her body toward Christine's and adopting a conspiratorial tone. "What do you hate most about this place?"

"I don't hate it," she answers fast -- too fast. Even she can hear the defensiveness in her voice.

Gaila takes a long pull on her flask.

"You hate something. Otherwise, you wouldn't be alone at the pool on a Friday night when there are parties to go to and boys to fuck."

Christine smiles a little at that, even though it's hard to imagine herself 'fucking' at all, much less with someone who could be described as a boy.

"Touche," she says, tipping her glass toward Gaila. To tell the truth, it's a relief to admit she doesn't like everything here. All week, she's pasted a smile on her face for every class, every mixer, every call to anxious parents and friends. Maybe she's felt so disconnected from everyone because she hasn't told the truth about anything.

"I don't hate it here," she says, more slowly this time, and she realizes with relief that it's true. "It's just new. Everything is new."

"And you thought you were settled?"

Christine looks down in her drink for a moment, half relieved and half embarrassed by the truth of it. It's childish of her to complain that life here is different when she'd run screaming away from the life she'd had.

"Are your people empathic?"

"No. I'm just good at reading people. It's a thing." She shakes her head slowly, seeming to retreat into herself for a moment. "I don't need to so much now, but I don't know how to stop it."

She looks up then, her eyes a little pleading.

"I'm really sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I said I understood before, about having stories you might not want to tell."

Christine looks down into her drink again, feeling a bit ridiculous now. It's not as if she has some large and dramatic secret to hide; it's just that her decision to leave Roger had been so deep and personal that she doubts she could explain it to anyone. Even now, six months after breaking the engagement, she can barely explain it to herself.

She takes another long drink and then raises her head to meet Gaila's eyes. A little self-consciously, she straightens her shoulders.

"I was engaged to be married," she says, and she knows she says it like a dare. That's how she means it too: I was engaged to be married and I dare you to tell me that it was a bad idea to leave.

"We were together for five years."

Gaila chokes on her drink, and Christine stiffens, bracing herself for the now-familiar questions: did he cheat? did he lie? did he gamble? did he do anything that would justify her leaving him broken-hearted two weeks before their wedding?

"Five years?" Gaila stutters when she finally recovers her breath. “You were with one person for a whole five years?”

“I love you,” Christine blurts. It's a silly, silly thing to say, and she's half-drunk already, but she means it. No one else has ever pronounced her five years with Roger like the prison sentence it was – a sentence she never could explain to her family or friends because Roger had looked so damn good on paper. Of course, explaining all of that to an alien -- no, member of another species, Chapel corrects herself -- who might not understand human concepts of love... Hesitantly, she looks up at Gaila, wondering if her strange, tipsy declaration had spoiled their burgeoning friendship. But Gaila is smiling radiantly.

"Thank you," she says, looking genuinely flattered. Then she narrows her eyes suspiciously.

"But you love me platonically, right?"

"Definitely," she says emphatically, and Gaila's radiant smile returns.

"Then I love you too." She sinks back in her chair for a moment, letting companionable silence hang between them while they both sip their drinks. Christine breathes a slow sigh of relief. All week, she had held back from discussing anything important because she had been so terrified of miscommunicating with a member of another species; now it seemed that these conversations weren't as difficult as she had imagined.

So, when Gaila leans in close and lowers her voice to a whisper, Christine doesn't tense the way she might have before. Instead, she meets Gaila's conspiratorial grin with one of her own.


"So, this guy you were going to marry," Gaila whispers. "Tell me he was at least good in bed."

Christine shakes her head slowly back and forth.

Gaila lays a hand on her wrist. Her skin is warmer than human flesh, and softer too, almost like suede.

"Christine, I am so sorry." She says it like she really means it, like five years with a man who's never done it with the lights on is the most awful thing she can imagine.

"Thank you," Christine answers, meaning the words maybe more than she's ever meant them in her whole life because nobody had ever understood that it was awful to devote her life -- and try to make love -- to a man who didn't have a single passionate bone in his body.

"I should have left him a long time ago," she adds, knowing how unfair it is to blame Roger for her unhappiness when she'd been complicit in her own slavery.

"Sometimes it takes a long time to free yourself," Gaila answers so understandingly that Christine wonders if she'd left here to escape a relationship too. She's about to ask, but Gaila's looking toward the pool with a wild gleam in her eye.

"We should get naked."

Now it's Christine's turn to choke on her drink, but Gaila continues without the faintest suggestion that she'd said anything unusual.

“I mean, you were going to swim, right? And wouldn't it feel so much nicer if you could feel the water on your skin?"

Gaila looks down at the red Starfleet swimsuit, her fingers picking thoughtfully at the conservative leg openings.

"And you came here for freedom, just like me, and all we got was this standard issue bullshit. Christine, it's time to change that."

She says it all like it's common sense, and Christine has to admit it's pretty hard to argue back. That doesn't mean she's ready to strip naked with someone who was a stranger less than an hour ago. Without quite meaning to, she curls into her chair while Gaila tugs the straps off her shoulders, yanks it down her legs, and kicks it across the floor.

“The, um, the door?” Christine finally manages, not quite certain where to focus her eyes with Gaila standing proud and naked in front of her.

“Don't worry!” Gaila exclaims. “I hacked the maintenance code and locked it when I came in. I knew I was going to swim naked, but I wasn't in the mood for an orgy tonight.”

With that, Gaila leaps into the pool, leaving Christine to wonder if there were nights when her new friend was in the mood for orgies. She doesn't quite have the energy to tackle that right now, not when Gaila is treading water in front of her, ripe green breasts half-submerged in the water. Christine hastily raises her gaze, willing herself to focus on the diving board, the institutional beige walls, anything but Gaila's miles of naked green flesh.

“It's okay to look,” Gaila says, and Christine feels a bright red blush erupt across her cheeks. “I have a great rack. I'd be insulted if you hadn't checked it out.”

With that, Gaila does a little somersault in the water, flashing her bottom – on purpose? Christine wonders – before gliding across the pool in long, graceful strokes. She leans on the wall on the opposite side, arms spread on the lip of the pool, and the rest of her body thankfully submerged.

“Hey, Chris,” Gaila calls.

“Yeah?”

Christine drains the last of her ice tea, crunching her teeth on the ice the way Roger always hated.

“I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. Different planet, different rules, you know? Sometimes I forget.”

She pauses a moment, her eyes seem to grow serious even though it's difficult to tell from across the pool.

“Anyway, nobody should have to do anything with her body if she doesn't don't want to. So do what makes you comfortable, okay?”

Christine nods absently, running a finger under the modest strap of her standard issue swimsuit. Nobody could accuse her of doing something wrong by refusing to go skinny dipping with a girl she'd met just an hour ago. It would be a good story to chuckle about with her friends at home: can you believe it? This girl I just met took off her swimsuit and asked me to get naked in the pool with her! What a freak! But then, she'd come to Starfleet to try new things, even ones that she'd never be able to explain to her old friends back at home. And somehow sitting here with Gaila has ignited a spark she'd never felt in the little apartment that had always seemed like Roger's even though half of it was hers. It's a new feeling, fierce and hot, a little titillating and a little scary, and she wants to hang onto it even though she can't name it.

All at once, she knows she's getting in the pool, and not with her swimsuit on. Her heart pounds as she stands, and her legs quiver just a little bit. She tells herself she'll take it slow. Just one strap at a time, plenty of chances to go back if she decides she doesn't want to. But then, chances to go back are the last thing she needs; she'd decided that when she'd returned the ring to Roger. Eyes squinched shut, she yanks her suit off as quickly as Gaila had and plunges gracelessly into the pool, the sound of her splash mingling with Gaila's whoop of delight.

I am naked in a swimming pool, she thinks. Then, the pool is cold. And then, finally, I am naked in a cold swimming pool with another woman who is definitely watching me. And she is right, at least a little bit. When she finally wrenches her eyes open, she finds that Gaila has swum over to her, but not quite close enough for them to touch, even by accident. And yes, Gaila is looking at her, but not watching her. She looks at her the same way she had when they were chatting by the pool with their clothes on, as if being naked didn't mean anything at all.

"It feels good, doesn't it?" Gaila asks, and Christine has to agree. She's never felt so aware of every inch of her flesh. Her nipples prickle as the water laps over the top of them, alternately bathing them in warmth and exposing them to the cold air. She lifts her feet and swims across the pool in slow, even strokes, letting her the tips of her toes and the top of her buttocks rise above the water.

"You have a really nice, ass, Christine," Gaila calls out from behind her. "It's so pretty with the water lapping around the edges."

Christine puts her feet back down and turns hesitantly toward Gaila, not certain what to say to new friends who compliment her naked bottom.

Gaila's eyes go pleading again, and she asks, “Is it okay to say that to human friends?”

"Can you tell me why you said that?" Christine asks carefully. It's chapter one of the inter-species interaction manual again, but now it feels useful, even vital.

"Well, because your ass is pretty." Gaila shrugs. "I mean, I always hear human girls saying 'those boots are hot' or 'that dress looks really good on you,' so shouldn't it be okay to tell you that you look good instead of just your clothes?"

"That makes sense," Christine says dumbly because it does. She's never thought of it that way before but it was nicer to compliment the woman instead of the clothes that covered her.

Gaila offers her a smile so dazzling that Christine can actually feel how hard she's working not to hug her.

"Thank you so much for understanding me," she says, and at that moment, Christine realizes how much harder it must be for Gaila than for her. She has chafed against the necessity of making her thoughts more politically correct, but suddenly it occurs to her that Gaila is who she is doing that for -- Gaila and hundreds of other species among the thousands of humans in Starfleet, beings who won't feel welcome or happy here unless someone is willing to think like them, even if it's only for a moment. So maybe she'd never wander up to any of her friends and say "screw the dress, it's your tits that look great," but it doesn't mean that Gaila is wrong to do it, or that she can't enjoy having a friend who will frankly compliment her ass.

Not that any of that makes it easier to know what to say next. Should she tell Gaila that her breasts are nice? Is exchanging compliments about each other's naked bodies an important Orion custom? If it is, and she doesn't say something, she might ruin their friendship before it even starts. But what if she compliments the wrong part? She knows nothing about Orion culture really, especially not how they perceive their bodies. What if she compliments a body part that's dirty or holy or inappropriate to mention in casual conversation?

"This situation is unfamiliar. I am uncertain how to proceed without causing offense," she blurts, barely caring that the memorized line makes her sound like a Vulcan.

At that, Gaila laughs -- a full, deep belly laugh that makes her curls bounce and her impressive breasts jiggle in the water.

"Christine, we are half-drunk and naked in a swimming pool. This is not a diplomatic negotiation."

She steps a little closer.

"We're just two women with beautiful bodies having fun."

Even though she is only just in arm's reach, Gaila's scent rises above the harsh smell of the chlorine, and Christine can feel the heat of her body radiating through the cool water. She shivers in spite of herself.

"You have really nice breasts," Gaila says. "I like how perky they are."

An unfamiliar surge of heat flashes between Christine's legs, and she realizes suddenly that Gaila hasn't taken her eyes off her breasts. Her breathing speeds in spite of herself, but she thinks, even though it's ridiculous, that Gaila's breathing faster too.

"I'd really like to give you an orgasm," she says next, and Christine would be startled except that Gaila says it as matter-of-factly as she says everything else.

"You say that like my friends at home would offer to paint my nails or make me dinner."

Gaila shrugs her shoulders.

"Is it really different? It's just friends helping each other, that's all."

Christine licks her lips. She wants this, she really does. It had been a long, long time since she'd had this kind of release, and Gaila made everything seem so free and comfortable and easy. It's just...she's never done this before. She doesn't believe it's quite as easy as Gaila claims, that she can say 'sure, I'd like to have sex,' and come out of it with an orgasm and a friend at the end.

Gaila's fingers brush against her arm.

"It's okay if you don't want to. You have to know that," she says, voice growing more firm with every word. "It's not some cultural custom. Well, actually it is, but that doesn't mean have to do it. If you don't want me to touch you, we'll still be friends."

"It's not that," Christine says, and Gaila looks up at her through thick, dark lashes.

"I just...I didn't know you could just say 'I want to have sex,' and then get sex." She laughs uncertainly, wondering how ridiculous that must sound to a woman who wakes up and decides whether she's in the mood for an orgy.

But Gaila doesn't laugh, just steps forward with a wicked smile. She lays one of her hands on Christine's hip, sliding her thumb back and forth over her ribs. She pulls Christine forward, gentle but firm.

"Christine. It is absolutely that easy."

Her velvet-soft lips press against Christine's mouth. Christine can barely decipher the rush of sensations: Gaila's hand on the small of her back, pushing their bodies together; Gaila's tongue flicking over her lips; the slickness of their kiss punctuated by sudden, sharp nips on her already-swollen lower lip. She doesn't even think, just lets Gaila push a knee between her legs and rubs herself unapologetically against the silk-smooth skin of Gaila's green thigh.

"You like that?" Gaila breathes into her ear, and Christine manages a strangled, "yes."

Gaila steps forward little by little until Christine is pressed against the swimming pool's cool tiled wall. She rakes her fingernails down Christine's ribs.

"Christine, do you want me to fuck you?"

"Yes."

"Thank you," Gaila breathes into her ear. "Thank you for letting me do this with you."

Kissing a woman is strange, Christine thinks, then corrects herself the way Starfleet has taught her. Kissing a woman is new. Strange things are bad, but new things are good, like feeling Gaila's soft, full lips instead of Roger's thinner, harder ones. She kisses Gaila hard, hungry for more, and tangles her hands in auburn curls.

With a faint moan, Gaila pulls back to whisper, "You're so beautiful. All of you."

She rests her forehead against Christine's, and together, they watch Gaila's long, gold nails slide over her stomach, trace faint circles around her nipples, and finally come to rest against her lips. Slowly, she traces the wet, swollen flesh there, and Christine opens her mouth a little wider with every circuit until Gaila finally slides a finger inside.

"You look so good with your lips wrapped around my finger like that," Gaila says, and Christine finally gets the courage to wrap her arm around Gaila's hips and pull her forward until she can thrust a knee between her legs.

"Give me one of your fingers," Gaila commands, and Christine obeys. She sucks on the tip of it, gradually taking more it deeper and deeper into her mouth, and grinding down harder on Christine's knee with every stroke of her tongue.

She pulls her finger from Christine's mouth slowly, dragging every inch of it along her lip. Christine does the same, and then lets her finger drift over Gaila's chin and down her neck. Gaila tilts her head back, sighing contentedly.

"I'll never get tired of how people touch my whole body now," she says. Christine starts at that, her eyes snapping from Gaila's body to her face. Gaila shakes her head quickly as if to clear it and smiles sweetly.

"It feels really good. That's all. Don't stop."

She presses a little closer to Christine, circling her nipples gently with the tips of her fingers. Her fingers trail from Christine's nipple and past her bellybutton, coming to rest just above the blond patch of hair that Christine hasn't bothered to trim in, oh, six months. She is so not letting herself feel self-conscious about that now, especially not when Gaila is leaning in close, tickling her neck with her breath.

"Am I the first woman you've been with?" Gaila asks.

Christine nods mutely, and Gaila sighs against her neck. She stares up at Christine through auburn lashes, half coquettish and half rakish.

"If you could have me do anything to you right now, anything in the whole galaxy, what would you want?"

"I'd want you to fuck me from behind," Christine says, and then immediately feels silly because hello, no penises here.

"I mean, I know we can't," she adds, suddenly panicking that she's insulted Gaila by asking for an activity that a woman couldn't possibly perform.

"Oh no, don't be silly!" Gaila exclaims, eyes growing wide. "I totally have a strap-on in my bag."

At Christine's look of surprise, she adds, "I don't get why more humans don't carry sex toys with them. I mean, you girls all have dental floss and bandaids and deodorant in your purses, but if you want to have an orgasm? Totally unprepared."

Without waiting for a response, Gaila climbs over the lip of the pool and walks toward her own standard-issue gym bag, water droplets raining from her shapely behind. When she reaches her chair, she poses for a moment like a Renaissance painting, stretching out on her side to display all her curves and piling her auburn curls on her head. Christine watches entranced, wondering if this display of sexuality appeals to all species or if Gaila had studied human sexual behaviors before she got here. Either way, she certainly knows what she is doing. Toes pointed like a ballerina, she rubs her legs together slowly while one elegant hand slides over her breasts and toward her thighs. Her fingers tangle in their hairs there, and she murmurs softly, "I'm really looking forward to this."

With one last sultry look, she hooks her toes around the strap of her sports bag and drags it out from under the chair. For a second, she loses her customary grace as she rummages in the bag and piles mysterious, non-regulation objects beside her: a soldering iron, a pile of data chips, and what Christine thinks is a Klingon phaser. Finally, with a triumphant "aha!" Gaila's head emerges from the bag. Two phallic objects dangle from leather straps in her hand.

"You want vibrating or regular?" she asks, waving them in the air.

Christine bites her lip.

"Vibrating sounds fun."

She thinks this is going to be a very good night.
Wow, this is a pairing I would never have dreamed about but this is a fantastic fic. I particularly like the way they stumble around cultural assumptions. Well done!
This is such a lovely continuation of the other Chapel fic.

I totally want to say "screw the dress, it's your tits that look great," Next time a friend asks how she looks! XD

And OMG yes, of course Gaila would carry a strap on... sorry, two strap ons, in her bag, (along with hacked gadgetry, SHE IS SO AWESOME.)

And again with Chapels naive/not naive thing.

I love how she's really putting herself out there, trying new things, and just up for stuff in a lovely open way with very few hang-ups.

Basically, adorable, all over.

Also Gaila is so fucking hot. Like, all the time :)
This is great! I'm so glad vito_excalibur pointed me your way. I've been curious about fanfic for ages, but didn't know how to sort to find the good stuff.

I love your fic, how nuanced it is, and how it subverts all the things about star trek that makes me feel guilty for liking it.
Thank you so much! I am so pleased and flattered to be a part of your introduction to fanfiction!

If you are looking for more good stuff, secretsolitaire has lots of recommendations in her journal, and of course I am partial to where_no_woman for stories about the ladies.
Okay, I've read this about three times now and always hoped the next reading would allow me to leave a more thoughtful comment but apparently, I'm still mainly aflail. *flails* Loved the look at academy life and culture, the attempts to go beyond ethnocentrism and fully integrate all cadets into the service, Gaila's and Christine's shared experiences re: being older and Christine adjusting to her new life and... *flail* Loved it.

I'm so insanely pleased you found this worthy of re-reading. It's a weird pairing, and it didn't get a lot of feedback, so it's nice to know that someone out there thought it was worth a couple passes :)
This is fantastic! I love how aware of herself and her efforts to adjust to the new place Christine is, and how smoothly Gaila fits into that. There should be so much more of this pairing; it's an awesome one.
This is seriously fantastic -- so thoughtful and nuanced, and also hot. :-) I adore your Gaila.
Very well done:) I loved how Christine was a little hesitant at first, but saw the opportunity for what it was. As usual, your Gaila was awesome! Prepared indeed:)
*explodes*

This was fifteen billion trillion kinds of awesome. I was on the edge of my seat for every moment, you have an amazing ability to create suspense. And I am SO HAPPY to see another fic that tackles the difficulties of learning about others not like you instead of glossing over it like Starfleet is One Big Happy Interspecies Playground.

ahem

*climbs off of soapbox*.

But for serious, this was brilliant and yum and wonderful and THANK YOU.

Okay so um. Everything you have ever write about Gaila, I'm just going to pretend it's canon. Deal?