What Rocket Scientists Want

Part 1

by Verve
9/17/01

My mom just bought What Women Want and I had a brain explosion involving this fic... hope you like it... some parts may be shippy, some funny, some I dunno, but they'll be there....

>What Rocket Scientists Want:
or why Mel Gibson may look as hot as Dwayne in control-top pantyhose.

"No, Darlene, I havenít been out lately." Dwayne paused to listen to the midwestern lilt of his sisterís voice from the other end of the line. He chuckled lightly at her concern before responding. "Listen, Iím fine. Being chief mechanic requires a lot of my time and thatís fine by me." The voice on the other end quickly inserted a comment. "No, I donít even think I have a biological clock. Listen, little Ms. Nosey," Dwayne teased; Darlene quickly chattered something at him and he responded. "No, nosey is not another way to say Ďconcerned.í Iím okay; Iím not as lonely as you think I am. Besides," Dwayne added slyly as a fellow crewmember walked by. "Jo is all the woman I need around here." Jo cocked an eyebrow at him warily.

"Sure." Mack slid into the room where Dwayne was on the phone as well. "Jo can handle everything until you want the cooking, cleaning, sewing or any of that womanly stuff done."

"I didnít know I was taking over your duties, Mack," Jo snapped back, huffing down into the chair next to Dwayne.

"Say hello to Jeffy for me, and let him know heís got a package in the mail. Okay...okay. I will. Talk to you later, sis. Bye." The phone clicked down onto the receiver and the entire room focused on Dwayne.

"So what was that all about?" Jo threw her feet leisurely up onto a nearby table and procured an apple out of her pocket. "Another lecture from the adopt-a-mom about wearing your long underwear, since she knows how drafty Navy ships can get?"

The lieutenant pulled himself out of his thoughts to smile at her. "No, not this time."

"I bet the nagging de jour was about how our Lieutenant here hasnít got himself hitched yet." Mackís tone was crass, but teasing as he shuffled through several cabinets in search of food. "Dames are always worried about that."

"Eh," Jo regarded the greasy man with a wary eye, "Dwayne doesnít need a woman in his life to make it complete. Besides if he really gets desperate thereís always me." She took a large bite out of her apple and grinned widely at Dwayne, bits of apple between her teeth.

"Attractive," Dwayne said flatly, but then smiled. "No offense, Jo, but I just donít see us working out. Now, you and Mack on the other hand...." Pots clattered to the floor as apple chunks were spewed across the room.

"What!?!" Their protests were almost simultaneous, as well as the disgusted looks on their faces. Dwayne was rolling with laughter.

"Oh, yeah?" She tried to recover, grasping at straws. "What about you and the Doc, huh?"

Unfortunately, he was hardly fazed. "The Doc just isnít my type," Dwayne shrugged and took a deep breath. His sides ached from laughing.

"Oh, yeah, what is your type?" Jo challenged. Mack found a seat at the table with a bag of pork rinds.

"Thatís easy," Mack said before Dwayne had a moment to consider the question, grinning through a mouthful of chips. "Fifteen feet tall, all curves and a full-bodied ten tons of titanium."

***

Later that night Dwayne lay in bed, in the darkness. His breath was slow and he had his eyes closed in thought; his mind wide awake. Jo's challenge about what "his type" was kept turning in his mind. Heíd had a few steady girlfriends in his life, but nothing serious enough to warrant a favorite among them. One had been a tall brunette who was thin but athletic, the fastest girl on New Tronic Highís track team. He had taken her to prom, and they spent the entire night out on the town, only to watch the sunset in the morning.

Then there had been Lisa, in college. She was an artsy girl who thought that Allen Ginsberg was God, and had a panache for editing his term papers. Shorter, hippy, with thick red lips and blue eyes, curling short red hair; she was a great kisser. Dwayne smiled sleepily. There had been a handful more between them, each one ending eventually, but being interesting while they lasted. Like snowflakes, each different, but none really having that spark he thought that real love was supposed to have. His brow furrowed slightly. Not that he was a corny romantic or anything.

In the end he just didnít get women, what made them tick. Lisa had been his last girlfriend, and since then he found himself distancing himself more and more from the opposite gender. So many relationships that ended, most of them for reasons that he still couldnít understand, by women who seemed to be speaking a different language entirely. They were an enigma he couldnít seem to grasp. Each one so different, and yet each relationship felt so much the same. It felt like there was something he was missing, something vague and yet very obvious.

He quickly chided himself for thinking too much about the matter, and shoved it aside in favor of a full night of sleep. He turned over, pulling the blanket tightly over him, though the cabin wasnít cold.

Within minutes the cabin began to rock and sway. Dwayne hardly noticed it until the motions became almost violent, books falling from their shelves along with family photographs. If one hadnít smacked Dwayne directly on the head he may never have noticed the Big Guy signal beeping urgently on the floor where it had slid beneath a pile of dirty laundry.

"It was a dark and stormy night...." he mumbled to himself, assuming from the bucking room around him that that was indeed the case. Quickly, he threw a gray cotton robe over his white tank and loose sweatpants. His bare feet were cold and clicked slightly against the corridor floors as he swept down the various hallways. In his mind he quickly calculated the quickest way to the BGY hangar, and took a sharp left turn.

However, in the haze of half sleep, Dwayne realized too late that it was actually a right that he should have made, and found himself unwittingly on the main deck in a freezing wind that slashed across his face. He hugged his robe tightly to his body and squinted his eyes into the violent darkness all around him. He tried to make a slow step forward, but stumbled, falling on his chin. He could taste the bitter copper of blood in his mouth.

"Point one for the storm," he grumbled, cautiously pushing himself up. Taking a quick survey of his surroundings, Dwayne found himself much farther from safety than he liked. He could feel his shirt begin to stick to his body with wetness, his hair plastered against his forehead. Desperation was the last thing he felt as, in a flash of brightness, his world went black.

On to Part 2!

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