Blue Ball #19 - 20 "Back to the grind."

ON: [Canberra, Australia, random church-turned-studio/loft]

"Shakespeare, Shakespeare, wherefore art thou, Shakespeare?" Alyson shouted as she entered the church, sending an echo throughout the room. She had changed before leaving the ship, wearing her favorite pair of jeans, a white button shirt and a denim jacket. She had clipped the commbadge on her shirt in case of emergencies.

She surveyed the room, but didn't see Shakespeare. However, she knew he was here. She could still smell his cologne, and a faint smell of cognac.

"Shakespeare, where are you dammit!" she cried again. At last he rose from the sole pew in the room.

"Who dares to interrupt my drunken slumber?" Shakespeare grumbled, rubbing his eyes and his temples.

"It's me, Williams, it's Alyson," she replied, smiling. He was as she remembered him. He still had his raven black spiky hair, three earrings in each ear, and two barbells on his left eyebrow. Long ago, she had one on her right eyebrow, but she gave it up after she got out of rehab, almost four years ago.

She let him wake up some more, and admired his half-naked body. As slim as usual, but more toned then ten years ago. She wondered if he had given up all the drugs, the cocaine, the heroin. He looked at her sternly, as if trying to scold her, then his yellow eyes softened and he smiled.

"Pixie, the love of my life!" he cried as his half-nude person ran up to her and hugged her, sweeping her off her feet. "What are you doing here, Pixie?"

"Shore leave," Alyson said simply, hanging on firmly to Shakespeare's neck while being whirled around

"Well then," he replied, setting her down. "You'll have to go to the Red Dragoon with me tonight. They're hosting their first rave of the year. And God knows how long it's been since you've worn that leather suit I love so much. Plus, we can get reacquainted with old friends."

Alyson pondered the idea of dancing all night as she hopped on the marble altar, which Shakespeare had kept intact. And just what he had said confirmed her suspicions. Once a junkie, always a junkie, and she didn't want any of it. "I'm not taking anything. You should know, you were in rehab with me. Obviously, it never worked for you."

"Oh, come now, Pixie. Once in four years won't hurt… Besides, I can see it in your pretty eyes that you want some. Besides, I only stock the best from Colombia," Williams said, his lips curling up a bit, as he knew Alyson couldn't resist the allure of Colombian goods.

"I hate you, Shakespeare. I really, really hate you…" Alyson responded, shaking her head, thus indicating that yes, she'd reacquainted with old friends, and regretted her decision as soon as she had made it. She had left Earth for multiple reasons, and one of them was just that. She didn't want to be a junkie again. But then, once couldn't hurt…right?

[Late night, Red Dragoon]

It was two o'clock in the morning, and Alyson showed no sign of stopping. She could, and would, dance all night long. She had enough stimulants in her blood to last her that long.

She hadn't told anybody where she would be going, but had clipped her commbadge inside a near-invisible pocket on her burgundy leather top, which a local tailor had gladly sewn on that afternoon, for a small fee.

She was dancing for the first time since she had left home, but found she never lost her groove. She was moving with the rhythm of the music, her leather ensemble clinging to her skin. Sweat was literally rolling off her back, her neck, her forehead. But she didn't mind.

All the while, Shakespeare was dancing alongside her, sometimes letting other people dance with her. But Alyson could sense he wanted her all to himself. He had always wanted her for himself, although they had never dated, and never would. And when he had her to himself for a little while when they were dancing to the music, his hands and eyes were all over her.

She had become hypersensitive with all the stimulants she had taken. Someone just had to brush their fingers on her bare skin made her shiver and squirm. And Shakespeare's fingers seldom stopped brushing the bare skin on her waist and arms.

At one point, after the sun had risen, she suddenly turned around to face Shakespeare, grabbed his neck, and kissed him with a passion she hadn't experienced in a long time. "I want you," she whispered in his ear.

Shakespeare glared at her for a second, then whispered back, "You want me," he asked. It wasn't a question but merely a statement, as if he knew along that she'd want him.

"I don't think I need to repeat myself," she whispered back, before kissing him again. Shakespeare smiled. He would have her again, even if it was for one night. "Where to, pixie?"

"Your studio. "

OFF: Keeping it PG-13, boys and girls.

Alyson Cooper Barwench/Yeoman USS Pegasus "Once a junkie, always a junkie, whether you like it or not."