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RP: YSS Kaiyō [Love Day] Aside: Covert Kisses


Head in the Stars
Staff Member
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🌸 FM of Yamatai
🎖️ Game Master
YSS Oriole

Between the planetary assault and finishing touches on the park, Hoshi hadn't been on Saiga's Nozomi class since early winter. Now the frost was thawing as hearts warmed on the most romantic day of the year. Though it was Love Day and the park she had built was hosting it, Hoshi was spending it away from the crowds, as she preferred to be with her boyfriend. There was something easy about getting lost in conversation inside a busy restaurant or among the splendor of nature, but there was always some abrupt change of pace when a waiter arrived or couples walked past you, averting their eyes at the sight of a well-known captain holding hands.

Hoshi breathed in and a smile tucked up on her face in small increments as she grazed her fingers over the gilded frames of paintings that hung on the darkly stained wooden walls. They were some of her paintings that he had hung on the walls of the Nozomi's ornate hallway passages.

"You didn't have to do this," the little pink captain said. With a finger pointed to her paintings on his wall she looked incredulously at the man who owned the ship as he followed her up from the shuttle bay. With her pink mouth, glossed for the occasion, agape under sparkling deep blue ocean eyes she turned back to look at what he had done, almost unable to believe it without another look.

"Huh?" Nicholas Saiga wondered with a grin, surprised that she was being so bashful about her own art. "How else is a guy supposed to decorate his ship if not with his girlfriend's paintings? I've still got some of the class' stock pictures around here and there for authenticity's sake but it's nicer to look at these."

Like he often did when he was off duty, today Saiga had chosen to wear a loose fiiting aloha shirt unbuttoned one extra buttonhole (so that he looked extra cool). Upon its charcoal grey fabric were printed moon crescents in yellow and green palm trees with blue hibiscus blooms clustered in an uneven pattern all over it. A simple pair of pleated khaki pants were worn below over black leather sneakers. An outfit of pure comfort and, in his own opinion, pure style.

The SAINT commando beamed happily as he stood next to his pink while she perused the little corridor like it was some sort of gallery. He'd personally refurbished this old Nozomi-class after finding it in a Second Chance scrap catalog. It'd mostly been returned to factory specs for a lot of reasons — not the least of which was the requirement that it remain battle ready to carry a YSS prefix so long as he was still a member of the Star Army — but Saiga had taken the liberty of making it feel more like a home away from home. Its exterior, too, had a few modifications; hardpoints that made it easy to change the ship's silhouette and make it look more like a civilian freighter for when some sort of spy mission called for such disguise.

"You'll have to make me some more for the shack," he chuckled, referring to his clan's ancestral castle on planet Yamatai. Now that he was well of age and a successful career soldier, his mother and other clan elders had finally afforded him stewardship over Kurayami-jo, which had gone unoccupied for so many decades that few others beyond Saiga had any care for it. But he liked the dusty old place so it had become yet another renovation project like the ship that carried him and Hoshi through the stars tonight.

"It's all old samurai armor and flags," Saiga added, not mentioning that he liked the samurai armor and age-old banners that adorned his ancient childhood home. "Needs some of your color, you know?"

A new color was added to Hoshi's palette as a blush of red started from the small peak of her button nose all the way to the tips of her downward sloping ears. She had been contentedly looking at her own art on the walls, thinking of telling him how she'd make a picture for his ship of how his squad mates were spending Love Day. But when it was obvious he was referring to his castle, the joke at the tip of her tongue felt uncouth. The taste of it reddened her already rosy visage and she couldn't think of something more appropriate.

"I'd be honored," she mustered with uncharacteristic humility. She gave it a little thought, though, as she leaned against the wood panels of the wall. "On the Emperor's ship he had a lot of these epic paintings along the walls and ceilings. Grand war scenes. I think something like that would make sense. Something of the Saika Clan in the Second Mishhu War. Maybe something else from when I knew you, too, in the same style. Or would that be too stuffy, too?" Hoshi asked, adding another question with a tone that matched the holiday, "We're not going straight to the captain's quarters, are we?"

"There are plenty of war tapestries, but if that's what inspires you then go ahead," Saiga said back, keenly aware of Nekovalkyrja interests. They were bred for fighting, after all. "Just keep an idea for something in the back of your mind. For now, I'm going to get to the bridge. You can go relax on the bed but I need to get us underway if we're going to make it on time to still be a Love Day date."

With that, he stepped off down the hallway and toward his Nozomi-class' command center. It was only steps away, and so the couple of Star Army captains made it there quickly to set off on their date. Like the rest of the place, its walls were furnished with the finest wood from Tami and Tatiana inlaid between the standard grey bulkhead paneling, with its seven consoles being carved from the same. The floor was covered in Hinomaru red low pile carpeting (since this was, after all, still a working bridge) with the SAINT emblem sitting in black, red, and blue in the center of the room between its viewscreen and captain's chair.

"I'm at helm," Saiga said to Hoshi upon entering. "Roadtrip!" he added with a sarcastic smile. "Take weapons if you want to sit beside me. Captain's chair's there, too, if the First Fleet's finest gunship captain simply cannot give up the spot for a romantic evening."

Having been quiet and pondering what she could possibly add to Saiga's home, Hoshi followed him into the bridge. She couldn't imagine spending this time without Saiga, lounging on the bed alone. After the war's end they had what felt like an affectionate eternity together at the ranch and within Yamatai's bounds, even despite his SAINT missions taking him away for short periods. Now with her own ship active again, she felt like any chance she got to spend time alone with her boyfriend was one she took hungrily.

"Roadtrip!" Sitting at weapons, she couldn't help but mirror his smile and exclamation, brimming between her cheeks with pure joy. Her dark blue eyes took in the man as her hand tucked some of her pale blue hair from between her back and the chair so that it fell over her shoulder and cascaded over her outfit. Her dress was dainty, somewhere between a casual dress and lingerie. Directly below a strapless bralet with stars on its top edge was an attached sheer tutu that ended just at the hips. On her pink legs was a garter where a star dangled and she had pale stockings that ended just above the knee with a dangling jewel and winged mary-janes at her feet.

"Sitting behind you is the last thing I want," Hoshi said, referring to the captain's chair he had offered. "It's nice to be back in the saddle, but it's even more nice to have a break from command. Don't go telling any Taishos that, though."

"Can I put some music on from here?" Hoshi asked, looking back to the work station in front of her. She had star earings on and jewelry with a central heart hugging her neck, which both jingled slightly when she made the quick movement with her head.

Saiga stepped over the helm seat's back and sat down while Hoshi took her spot to his right, quickly consumed in activating the Oriole's sublight engines and plotting in courses that would take them out of Yamatai's orbit, into deep space, and then on toward their destination. While he'd spent most of his career by now as a black paneled operative assigned to secret missions across the galaxy, and was a simple communications tech before that, Saiga's first occupational desire had been to become a starship operator who sat at the controls of a warship. But the Species Restriction Order of YE 29 had put a damper on his earliest Star Army ambitions, cutting them sort just after he'd earned his first pilot's certification. Although his time as a secret agent had more than made up for it and given him plenty of time behind the wheel of more than a few gunships, he still reveleld in pretending to be a helmsman.

"Put on whatever you want, Hoshi," Saiga said, glancing up from his focus on inputting ship controls while his fingers danced across the volumetric display that was fitted into the wooden console before him. Already, the ship was moving out and away from where it was moored above the Empire's capital world.

"You're going to love this spot I got picked out," he added, looking up to the viewscreen to steer them through the planet's busy spacelanes. "It's one of those for your eyes only things I always get tangled up in, except just for you instead of some admiral."

"For my eyes only?" Hoshi repeated as she put on a track. A melody translated to Yamataian, though some Trade words about lover's arms remained in the chorus. She reminisced about the past few months, from opening the park for everyone in Kyoto to the planetary assault with thousands of feet on the ground. It sounded like just what she needed, not just what she would want.

"You're always one for the best kinds of secrets, Nick," she said. "Take me away."


Getting into deep space had been easy enough, and the YSS Oriole's trip had mostly been relegated to autopilot even before the ship traveled far enough out and away from any gravity wells to activate its FTL drives. Once safely in hyperspace and on their way, Saiga had beckoned Hoshi to the ship's wardroom so that he could cook their dinner in the galley adjacent.

Much of his prep work had been done before Hoshi had even shuttled aboard, and subsequently put in stasis for when it was time to put it all together. And so while his pink girlfriend relaxed nearby, Saiga pleasantly put it all together and spent the better part of the next quarter hour baking lamb, sautéing onions with mushrooms, stirring cabernet sauvignon into rice. The rich, savory scents of meat and mushrooms, undercut with that wine as it reduced down, filled the wardroom and ship beyond with its delectable flavor in measured intensity as his red wine risotto feast did the same throughout the methodical if not necessarily painstaking process.

Saiga hummed while he cooked — everything from Star Army marches to the cute love pop Hoshi played in the background as he worked — and chatted with her over the hot bubbling of his lamb's fat in the oven. The time passed by so quickly that the next part surprised him, and left him wondering why the rice hadn't thickened precisely on time (as he always wondered when preparing this particular dish).

"The ship will exit hyperspace in one minute," the MEGAMI announced in her agreeable voice. "I will proceed on course to the assigned destination."

"Good," Saiga confirmed so that the ship's computer wouldn't bother them about it again. "I should finish up here just in time, Hoshi," he added, peering up from the stove and leaning back so he could see Hoshi through the galley's open doorway. "You're going to love this."

Occupying both the galley and wardroom was a funny way to hold a conversation. The fragrant aromas that ebbed between the two spaces flowed freely, inciting their exchange to do the same. But in the moments before he had spoken, Hoshi had entered a quiet reverie —as she often had in the past forty-five minutes— as she watched Saiga work the pan and ingredients. She had tucked her hand under her chin and even further below the complacent smile she had taken up.

"Mmmm," Hoshi said, easing back into talking. "I'm already loving it. Best view on the ship is right here."

Her dark blue eyes took in it all, from the tea towel he kept atop his shoulder to the way the kitchen's lights caught the base of his green eyes and illuminated the radiance of them as they followed his own hand's movements. There was an ease to most things Nicholas Saiga did; he was a renaissance man not just in field work but in all things. For Hoshi, success in things outside of the bridge of a ship came slowly for her. Where Saiga took readily to the kitchen, she had a past frought with failed dishes. The night and day difference between them was certain.

"That's what you think," Saiga said, chuckling as he tapped the wooden spoon in his right hand against the stainless steel pan he'd been stirring before setting it aside. He turned down the heat to its lowest setting, made sure the lamb was covered in its dish, and then stepped out of the kitchen and into the wardroom. "Okay, let's go," he added, proceeding straight out past Hoshi and into the halls.

Jumping from her seat onto her winged shoes, the captain didn't have much time to respond, let alone think too long on what he had said. Her sheer dress draped past her body as she floated after him giddily. She attempted to overtake him in the passageways as if chasing him down, but kept behind him in the halls save for her pink and gauzily-clad arms that she wrapped around his stomach momentarily in a quick hug.

The embrace slowed Saiga's pace but didn't stop it, settling his left arm around Hoshi's shoulder as he lead them forward through the corridors and to the shuttle bay where Hoshi had parked her transport when she'd come aboard. When they reached its sealed door, he thought to tell her to close her eyes just in case he hadn't timed everything just right, but Saiga trusted the count he'd been maintaining since his MEGAMI's message was accurate enough. He'd kept timing straight in far worse Mishhu-infested situations than this one, after all, but something about love was just as nerve-wracking.

"Okay, so nobody's seen this since my dad charted it a few decades ago," Saiga told her when the bay's hatch slid open. Beyond, Hoshi's shuttle and his own took up the majority of the room inside, but the star-sprinkled blackness of was visible through one of the open shuttle port doors. "Not even me. So I hope it's not a complete letdown. It was only recorded in text with the coordinates on one of his maps but it seemed like it was made for you to see."

He let Hoshi step through and into the shuttle bay first, and then took her right hand and tugged her along so that they stood right next to the shielding that kept the vacuum out and the breathable air inside. Precisely when they took the final step, the mundanity of the void and tapestry of its stars gave way to a glittering cloud of pink stellar matter and gas interlaced with blues and twinkling particulates of gold and silver. A little planetoid that had attracted a teal atmosphere hung near the nebula's center, glowing brightly from its heart.

"Nice," Saiga said coolly with a big, awe-struck smile wiped across his face. "I knew its description reminded me of my shooting star. You like it?"

Having kept an excited smile for their jaunt into the shuttle bay, Hoshi's beam slackened as her lips pressed open in awe. Her face became hard to read as she took in the view. The stellar scene pulsed bright hues of her Hoshi's own colors, like a heart beat breathing life into the stars around it.

Hoshi didn't have any words but her hand squeezed his and let go as she jumped into his arms with a little gravity assisted hop. She had kept her face to space but stopped watching what Saiga had brought her to see as her kiss pressed into him and her eyes squeezed shut. She opened them again to look from him to the warm pinks of the cosmos and the blue within.

"All of this for me?" she asked.

"Yep," Saiga smiled, heaving her up by the hands held under her thighs so that she could settle in, for both of their comfort, to being mounted to his front. "We can even take a space walk on the rock there later. The notes say its breathable. Barely."

As Hoshi continued to look sideways out of the shuttle bay doors in his arms, he kissed her back on the neck and let her take in the gift. Glad she liked it, he kept necking her while she hung off his shoulders with her legs around his hips. He could see more of the secret spot's spectacular stellar display later. For now, Hoshi and her smile were the best sight he could imagine.

"Happy Love Day, Hoshi," Saiga said between his gentle pecks.

With her sky blue lashes somewhat obscuring her own view, Hoshi thought about returning the sentiment. Her head rolled back slightly to grant Saiga more avenues for kisses and she conjured up all the happy ways she could give him just as special of a gift later. There was a sweetness to his that she hadn't expected and the surprise of its beauty aroused her curiosity as to how she would do as much for him as he had for her.

"Happy Love Day. I love you so much," Hoshi finally said in reply before softly putting her lips to his.

JP between Ametheliana and raz