“First Lieutenant Deunan Knute, at attention!” a voice
shouted in her ear. Deunan sat up quickly, knocking her head into an
open dresser drawer.
“Ow…ow…” she groaned, as the impact only added
to her hangover.
“Serves you right for sleeping on the floor like that. Or is this
the spot where you passed out?” Briareos asked, his tone entirely
“Well I…” Deunan rubbed her head. “I had to
get a t-shirt. You know I always sleep on the floor, Briareos.”
“But not with a pillow. You were quite curled up with
it. Did it remind you of anyone in particular?”
Deunan’s face flushed as she looked down at the pillow. “I
don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Really. So you didn’t have a date with Hitomi last night?”
Deunan ignored him, studiously getting to her knees and closing the
dresser drawer. She braced herself against the dresser, still a little
“A little hard of hearing this morning? Or were you so drunk that
you don’t remember insulting Hitomi in the hallway last night?”
“What? I didn’t do anything to Hitomi!” Deunan got
back down on all fours as she spoke.
“Well then whatever you didn’t do to her, you owe
her an apology. I’ve never seen her so upset.” Briareos
leaned over Deunan. “So you’re going to march upstairs and
“I can’t!” Facing Hitomi again made Deunan nervous
all over. She turned and tried to crawl away but Briareos scooped her
up under one arm. “Hey! Put me down!” she clanked her fists
on the cyborg. “Ow- come on, put me down!”
Briareos walked out of the bedroom, oblivious to his kicking cargo.
“Deunan Knute. You can mow down an entire squadron without blinking.
What’s the problem with one helpless woman?”
“Helpless? She’s not helpless! She wants to kiss me!”
Deunan yelled. Briareos threw open the bathroom door and slung Deunan
into the tub.
“Then deal with it, soldier!” he barked out, turning on
the water. Deunan sputtered angrily as the cold water hit her body,
soaking her shirt.
“You don’t understand- I can’t say no to
“Then you better hope she doesn’t ask you to marry her.”
Briareos laughed as he spoke. A sock in the face by balled up wet t-shirt
did nothing to stop the laughter. “Can I be the best man?”
“You set me up! How could you?” Deunan hissed at Briareos.
“Please. You’re over-reacting. Is there any special reason
why?” Briareos leaned over the counter and pointed to a bucket
full of roses. “One dozen, please.”
“Because you knew she wanted to ask me out! And you didn’t
do anything to stop it!”
“What was I supposed to do, reverse her DNA transplant?”
Briareos pulled Deunan forward to the counter. “She’ll pay.”
He nodded to the clerk.
“What? Why am I paying? This was your idea.” Deunan grumbled,
reaching into her pocket.
“Your date, your insult… your pocketbook.” Briareos
picked up the bouquet. “It seems perfectly logical to me.”
“I’ll take that.” Deunan took the bouquet from him
as they exited the flower shop. “So tell me again about this DNA
transplant and Hitomi.”
“I guess you can now say she’s developed a libido. After
the weekend she’ll head back to the lab for some readings. They
want to make sure there aren’t any side effects before transplanting
the rest of the Bioroids.”
“Well the side effects are that she’s kissing me.”
Deunan swung the bouquet at Briareos.
“Now that she can reproduce, she’s got new…urges.”
Briareos replied calmly.
“Well she can’t reproduce with me.” Deunan
snapped out. “So why is she wasting her time?”
“Has it ever occurred to you that Hitomi may want something more
than just to kiss you?” Briareos squeezed the top of Deunan’s
“What…what are you saying?” Deunan felt the nervous
waves rising up in her stomach.
“I’m saying, that as much as a Bioroid is capable, Hitomi
Deunan stopped, dropping the bouquet.
“And that your slamming the door on her last night like you did,
has hurt her immensely.”
“But I had to run to the bathroom- I didn’t mean to…”
Deunan knelt down and retrieved the bouquet.
“Then go up there and tell her so.” Briareos pointed at
the apartment building.
Deunan bit her lip. “I’ll do this- for the sake of the Bioroids.
Just for the weekend. And then we’re going to straighten all this
out.” She took a deep breath.
“Briareos, I’ve never been so nervous in my life.”
She whispered. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Go upstairs and find out.” He pushed her gently forward.