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Imperial Radch Fandom Meme
Fill: Cosleeping (Reply)
2016-11-30 08:33 pm (UTC)
"Ship," Seivarden said, "do you ever feel like you want to sleep?"
She had just lain down, Kalr Six having rushed to remove her boots before she could put them on the Fleet Catain's bed, and she was drowsy. Maybe a little more than she should have been; Mercy of Kalr made a note to check if Medic if newest med adjustment might be causing side effects.
"That is an odd question, Lieutenant," Kalr Six said, for Mercy of Kalr.
Seivarden yawned. "Is it? Even if you can't get physicially tired, you must get mentally worn out like the rest of us. And you only get powered down once a decade, in drydock. That's got to be exhausting."
She stretched out on the far side of her bed, turning her head towards the door and pressing her cheek into a pillow. Waiting for Breq, though her shift wouldn't end for another three hours and Seivarden would hopefully be asleep by then.
"I have never found drydock particularly enjoyable," Kalr Six said.
"Well," Seivarden replied, beginning to slur her words, mind slipping towards sleep, "sleeping isn't nearly as nice when you're alone."
Mercy of Kalr had Seivarden's entire sleep period to think about it. In the morning, in the officer's mess, Kalr Twelve served Seivarden a bowl of skel, and said, "Were you offering to help give me that experience?"
"Of course," Seivarden replied. Mercy of Kalr was still surprised by how quickly Seivarden had adjusted to her ship speaking to her through her fellow soldiers. She almost always seemed to immediately know when someone was talking to her as themselves and when they were speaking for their ship.
"I can't imagine Fleet Captain ever coming up with such an idea," Twelve said, pouring Seivarden a cup of tea.
Seivarden let out an amused snort. "Of course not," she said, "she's a ship. Or was. It wouldn't occur to her. But, Ship- she does very much want you to have whatever you want." She leaned back in her chair. "Want me to bring it up to her?"
"That's all right, Lieutenant," Twelve said. "I'll discuss it with her myself."
It took a few days of everyone gradually adjusting their schedules. At last things were ready. Two thirds of the crew left for Athoek Station, though all of them had been willing to participate. Ekalu insisted on staying.
Drydock, in the Athoek System, was a platorm orbiting the one gas giant in the system. Mercy of Kalr slowly moved into a synchronomous orbit, and carefully latched on. Then she ship began to switch off systems, assisted by the soldiers where necessary. Communications were temporarily switched off. Sensors retracted. The great loud engines slowly powered down, and the emergency power came on, bathing the ship's corridors in low red light.
At this point the humans on board that weren't part of repair crews should have taken the ship's shuttles to the habitable part of the station, and from there on to wherever in the system they wanted to spend the months it took to check a Radchaai warship over and repair any damages. But there were no repairs to be made this time, and everyone stayed on board.
The captain handed out small glasses of arrack to everyone in the Kalr decade room, and there was a round of singing. Then the soldiers departed for their bunks. With only a skeleton crew, there were enough bunks to fit everyone at once.
Seivarden lay on the far side of the bed, uniform and boots off for once, waiting. Breq came into the dark room, removed her own uniform, and lay down, scooting a bit so their shoulders and thighs touched. "This was a good idea," Breq said. "Well done."
Seivarden grinned, and rested her head against Breq's.
Yes, Mercy of Kalr said in their visions, thank you. How did you know I wanted this? I didn't even know.
"I know how hard it can be sometimes to sleep alone," Seivarden said. She felt a surge of emotion, and rolled over, closer to Breq, who wrapped an arm around her waist. Seivarden reached up a hand, and laid it against the painted wall. She felt Breq's hand come up and lie on top of hers.
"We're all with you, Ship," Seivarden said. "You're with us, and you're safe. You can relax. You can sleep."
The life support systems were built to act autonomously of the AI core in case of emergency. Mercy of Kalr relinquished control over them, and stopped listening to any information coming in that wasn't the quiet sleeping brain waves of twenty humans. As it put its computer banks to sleep, it sung itself a quiet lullaby, that slowly dissapated into nothing but a sense of warmth, and comfort, and home.
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