In space, everyone can hear you fuck. The rhythmic thumping of ass against bulkhead reverberates down the cramped corridors and invades the dreams of the poor bastards strapped in and trying to sleep. I remember my first wet dream in orbit, six weeks in on an eighteen-month tour, globules of seminal fluid orbiting listlessly in zero g. Jimmy glomped them up in front of me, just to freak out the new kid.
Privacy is nonexistent; we can't afford the space, but company policy requires breaks. All work and no play inside a sealed box you can't get out of leads to space psychosis. Most everyone adapts or snaps on their first tour. The freaks are the ones that like it. This was my third tour, so I must be a freak.
Bondage types are in luck, strapping yourself to the bulkhead and each other is basically the only way to retain contact without flying apart. No one wants to die in space because they came so hard they cracked their skull on a bulkhead. When astronauts talk about safe sex, they mean helmets and joint protection, velcro straps and fungicidal sprays to hold off yeast infections. Condoms and dental dams? Not while they're still paying by the gram to get anything into orbit.
Like I said, I was a freak. Third tour on Gamma Nine, elliptical orbit science & technology station. Little bit of manufacturing, but mostly we spend our shifts down at the test station, doing trial runs of programs for other corporations. See what works, record the results, send it back to the client. Not cutting edge, but most of the cutting edge stuff is in corporate-sponsored university labs. This was lab practicum, actually getting shit done. Seeing what works with equipment a generation or three behind the state-of-the-art. Upgrades are expensive when you have to spend a hundred kilograms of rocket propellant to get one kilogram of stuff up into the sky.
The tour had just started, and I was still feeling out the crew, but hadn't made any moves yet. So I was jacking it into the vacuum toilet, letting the gentle suction bring me to full erection when I felt a hand grab the same wall strap I was hanging onto.
"Hey," a female voice breathed into my ear, "you holding?" I recognized Domino's voice. That kind of British accent you get from someplace that isn't Britain, but used to be part of the Empire. Hints of French. Creamy chocolate skin spotted with vitiligo. Specialized in troubleshooting, working out why the test programs weren't working and fixing it. Smart woman.
"No strikes," I said, not bothering to stop wanking. "You know company policy. This is my third tour. I think I'm starting to like the cavity searches, but they haven't found anything yet."
A firm hand gripped my wanking forearm. She peeked her head over my shoulder, nuzzling cheek-to-cheek as she started working my arm. I could have let go of my dick at any time, but this was getting interesting.
"We have a dynamics problem," Domino whispered, watching the purple bobbing of the head through the clear plastic tube. "Grant is calling for a ship's bitch."
Ship's bitch is like hazing in the military. You don't talk about it. Broaches the borders of the consensual into some nasty sub-space. When you're the bitch, everyone takes a turn on you - and you have to ask for it. Sometimes, it brings a crew closer together. Like bonobos. Freedom to express sexual desires, lowers stress, repairs relationships. It's hard to scream at the person that just gave you oral sex with a finger in your ass. Not everybody likes that sense of surrender. Not everybody cares what the bitch thinks. That's when dynamics get toxic.
Grant was a program manager. Steroid-maxed muscles when back in Earth-gravity, to help combat zero-g loss of muscle-mass. It was like being caged with a gorilla that could tear you to pieces at his leisure. One with a micropenis, steroid-shrunken balls, a Napoleon complex, and the authority to assign you to shit details and trash your rating. If he didn't get the job done, the company wouldn't put up with it.
Her tongue flicked my ear, and her hand began to speed up.
"Is Grant volunteering?"
"Wants to volunteer someone."
"You or me?"
"Does it matter?" she whispered, voice breathy. I felt her suit rub up against me, and wondered how much she was getting off on this.
She bit my earlobe, and that set me over the edge. I exploded, vacuum sucking away all the mess. Domino released me and held me steady as I re-secured my package. The worksuit flaps let you do it one-handed, but it can be a performance in itself for the appropriate audience. Domino seemed appreciative, but I couldn't really read her half-smile.
"I'm not holding. So Grant's been making eyes? Saying things?" That coffee-and-cream head nodded.
"Grant's pent up. Needs to chill out before he blows up at somebody. I need someone I can trust to watch my ass."
"And what an ass..." She gave me a look that made me shiver with...anticipation. "I'm a cheap date, and I appreciate the hand you gave me back there, but this is about more than not wanting to throw him a pity fuck, right?"
She looked guilty, and released one hand from the bulkhead to tap her ear twice. I nodded and strapped my boots to the deck with velcro. Hand's free, facing each other, we could talk in sign language without any corporate bugs listening in and recording our conversation.
<<I hacked his porn. Erotic fiction. Crew names and faces. Nasty shit. He's off his meds.>>
"So, how 'bout a date?" I said to cover the silence. <<No narcotics.>> I signed back. Tapped my head a couple times to show I was thinking. <<I can score some antipsychotics.>>
"I could be persuaded. What did you have in mind?" Her eyes sprawled wide, showing all the pretty whites. <<How much?>>
"Dinner. A little tossed salad, maybe. They just got in this new mint jelly I've been wanting to try." I smiled. <<Don't worry about it. We'll work something out.>>
She grinned. "I'd like that."