Everyone on the Kestrel knew the unspoken rule of piloting a spelljammer ship: what you see at the helm stays at the helm. Cacophony, Jylliana, Kara and Lachlan had all seen everything imaginable (and plenty of things unimaginable) during their piloting shifts, and the remaining, non-spellcasting crew knew that within that bubble of localised omniscience, nothing was hidden. It was just a fact of life, and live with it they did. What other choice was there?
But, of course, the memories remained. Silent ones, memories that could never be spoken about openly. The intimacy of piloting was such a strange and visceral experience, seeing moments of life that never should be seen, yet could be perceived through the hull and walls and doors as if the pilot was standing there in the room.
Perhaps we should start a support group, Lachlan mused as he rolled over in his bunk. He'd just finished a shift of his own, and was he ever tired. Asteroid fields were no picnic to navigate; it was true that he merely had to think of the maneuvers and the Kestrel would obey, and it helped immediately that he was supported by a good crew on the sails. And yet anything could happen out here, and the tension of knowing his and others' lives were at stake never went away.
He needed to unwind.
When he tagged out and swapped Kara in, Mr Hurst and Wyn had been in the wardroom. So that meant Dewey's prized smutty magazines were off limits. Wyn wouldn't mind, but he didn't want to scar the little robot, or Mr Hurst for that matter. The poor giff was, for all his brute strength, so innocent. So, memories it was. Kara would see, but whatever. She'd seen him, he'd seen her, it was just a fact of life as a pilot. So he let his mind wander back to who he'd seen getting changed during his shift, and he let his hand wander into his trousers. It was okay. As long as she didn't know.
Jyll patted Kara on the back and handed her off to Finn. The little kobold was mortified, or so he signed among his other profuse apologies. No matter how well preserved the food was, sometimes it just didn't keep as well has he'd have liked. Jyll signed back that she understood, and that she was prepared to burn a healing spell for her, but Kara interrupted to insist it was fine, and she just needed a vomit and a rest. So Jyll settled into the pilot's chair, felt her power radiate into the ship, and off her mind went.
It was always so jarring to become the ship. Her first shift had been the worst, and she'd gotten used to the act of piloting itself, but the transition never got any easier. Being there, herself, now, and then suddenly being everything and seeing everything and knowing everything, all at once? The mortal mind was not designed for such things.
As her consciousness expanded, Jyll immediately directed her attention outwards away from the ship. Away from the head, specifically, because she knew exactly where Kara would be and did NOT want to be seeing or hearing or smelling that. The stars were lovely anyway, or whatever strange form they took in this particular sphere. She'd been asleep when they came in, but Lachlan had said they were, like, semi-dormant volcanoes brimming with iridescent lava? Or some weird shit like that? Whatever.
Now, Lachlan himself, that was a more interesting thought. His mouth was still fresh upon her mind; it had been but a few short days since she last kissed him, and she could still feel the contrast between his hard tusks and his soft, soft lips. Her breath caught in her chest, and with a small smile directed her mind towards his cabin, where he was… oh.
Lachlan was… touching himself. And not just a little. He was completely naked, with his trousers crumpled beside his bed, and his hand was… his, his cock , was… NOPE. Nope nope nope. She looked away just in time to observe Kara heave into the heads. Oh goddess no no okay uh, stars! Yes, stars, look at those. Right now Kara was a sight and, worse, a sound and smell she wanted to avoid.
… But his cock, though. Wow. She'd never really paid attention to it before. Glimpses as he got dressed while she was piloting, yes, but she'd always averted her attention elsewhere before seeing much. Here, now? It was… almost hypnotic. With the awareness granted by the helm, she was cognisant of every pulsing vein, every microscopic twitch, every little thrust of his hips. She dragged her mind away from it, and slowly allowed her perception to glide over the rest of his body. The short, wavy strands of his pubic hair. His legs, bending and squirming, his curling toes. His stomach, rippling with muscle and peppered with perspiration, undulating as his breath hitched in his throat. His chest, rhythmically shifting as his arm moved. His neck, and the pulse throbbing within it, and his face.
She would never tire of looking at that face. Lachlan's eyes were shut tight, so tight his forehead was creased. His cheeks, normally pale green, were flushed darkly. Sweat ran off his brow, filling her mind with his scent. Oh, Ethla, that scent was exhilarating. Just like when she had kissed him on the lips. And what lips! She looked to his mouth, the way it twitched and fluttered and whispered.
"Oh, Jyll, oh…"
Jylliana yanked back her consciousness as far as it would go, far far out to the outside of the Kestrel's bubble, and it was all she could do to keep the ship from jolting. He was thinking about her. Her! While he masturbated! Oh goddess, oh goddess. Okay, nope, too much. She needed to Send him a message, a warning, something to politely let him know that she was aware of what was going on.
No, no, wait. No. That would make it worse, and she couldn't cast spells while piloting anyway. Fuck. Okay. Um.
In the background of her mind, his arm was still pumping on his cock. And Jyll, haltingly, let her mind slip back to him.
She had never seen a penis being touched before. Sure, she'd seen them while dressing patients in the convent; it was just a part of medical studies. Here, though, it was standing at full glory. It was greener than the rest of him, and gently curved in a slight downward arc towards his feet. Was he big? She didn't know whether it was particularly big or not, but he could cover the entire shaft with his hand and have the head standing out. She would have to ask… no, no, she would have to read a book about it later. Or maybe ask Wyn. Maybe.
There were so many little details about this that she'd never realised. The way he held it backwards from what she thought was normal, with this thumb towards his body, pressing into his, uh, his scrotum. And the way his pinky massaged his glans through his foreskin. He twitched when he did that, so it must be a good feeling.
Jyll shook her head. It felt so strange referring to things so medically, so mechanically. It wasn't sexy or hot or cool, and she didn't know how to be sensual or seductive or sexy.
But Lachlan did, whether he knew it or not, and goddess was she turned on. She felt warm tingles in her stomach, the same she'd felt when he kissed her, and she felt them move down, down. She squirmed a little in her seat, and before she knew it, her hand had slipped into her robes. This… this was okay, right? The captain was asleep in her bunk, and she could see that nobody else was near her end of the ship, and if Lachlan was doing it to the thought of her, then surely he wouldn't mind...
Jyll had miscalculated how aroused she was. It had been a very long time since she'd had enough privacy to blow off steam, and the thought of Lachlan -- his form, his smell, his taste -- was too much. As her fingers slipped between her lips, she felt a wetness like never before, and the moment they whispered over her clit, her stomach convulsed at the touch.
Kestrel, tied directly into her mind, jolted like it'd been struck by an asteroid. Across her attention, she watched in horror as crew were hurled out of bed, Dewey's books were flung off their shelves, and something surely broke within the galley cabinets. Her head whipped forward as the shock nearly tossed her from the helm, and she yanked her hand out of her clothing just in time as Captain Bondar burst into the room.
"Are we okay? Did we get hit?" She, like the others, had been bodily flung out of bed, and she'd rushed to the bridge with her hair down and a gun in her hand. Jyll tried to keep as straight a face as possible, dragging her mind back to the bridge.
"No, no," she said, realising that she was panting. "I, uh, reached for something and lost my focus. Sorry, Captain."
The captain eyed her for a moment, then sighed with relief.
"Please, be more careful. I'll go tell the others not to worry."
"Ma'am," said Jyll, and nodded slowly, trying not to shake the ship any further with the movement. Bondar turned on her heel, and Jyll watched her through the ship as she went around knocking on doors and making sure everyone was okay. She saw Lachlan burst out of his room, wearing just his trousers, and call out to the captain.
"Ma'am, are we okay? The impact woke me up, and--"
"At ease, Lachlan. Jyll just had a little hiccup at the helm."
"Jyll?" He swallowed, and his silent observer couldn't do anything but watch his palpitating throat. "I, uh, I thought Kara was piloting today?"
"Kara's resting. She ate something bad and Jyll's filling in for her. I'm going to see her next."
"Oh." Lachlan's face turned pale, almost grey. "Okay, um. Thank you, ma'am. I'm glad we're alright."
He touched his knuckle to his forehead, and the moment Bondar turned away he whirled back into his cabin, almost slamming the door. He collapsed on his bed, and looked up at the ceiling. His face now blushed again, right before Jyll's gaze, to a deep pine green.
"Oh, fuck," he said aloud.
Jyll tensed up, remembered he couldn't see her, and allowed herself to breathe. For all her embarrassment, she couldn't suppress a smile. Oh fuck indeed.