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Chapter Notes:

The foolproof song - Marvin Gaye - Let's Get it On

“When the good-time girl's over fifty, it's time for a new good-time girl.” – Tommy Digiorno-Madden (Sato)

“I do trust her, you know.” – Doug Hayes

“Help a girl out.” – Pamela Hudson

“See what you do to me?” – Malcolm Reed


“Back to love, then, are we? Tell me about it. And while you're at it – all this breeding. Other than perpetuating the species, it seems, you have a lot of fun doing it,” Q said.

“If you were a human or, really, most species, you'd get that part more easily than anything.”


“I mean, when I realized that, well, that there was a real possibility that we could be, uh, becomin' parents, I realized how much, well, that I love you. And, and you could, you could learn to love me, too. At, at some point. I mean, we're good friends, right? And that's a good three-quarters of the way there, isn't it? We know we're good together. We both know this.” – Tripp Tucker

“We're not in the same place, you 'n me. And that happens. And that's, uh, that's all right. I love you enough to, to not push it. But I just want you to know. Just, just say the word. And not about, about gittin' married but about just, well, just giving this another chance. Just say the word. Any time, any place.” – Tripp Tucker


“Whaddaya got there, Jenn?” Frank asked.

“It's a letter from Travis Mayweather,” Jennifer said.

“Huh,” he said, looking out the window. Their home had a view of Saturn, but then again, all homes on Enceladus did. “Is, uh, everything okay?”

“He mentioned Lili and Malcolm. I guess he didn't realize she and I've been in touch.”

“Is that all?”

“He also, uh, he said he was glad that we had a happy ending, Frank.”

“Well, we did – uh, do,” he said, coming over and kissing her.

“Even though –?”

“Even with that,” he said, “I have no problems with us, no negatives. I guess that's bad grammar, but you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I guess so. I am so lucky,” she said.

“Me, too. And, uh, don't worry about how long it's taking for us to become parents. We will. I can feel it.”

“I suppose I should just be patient,” she said.

“Practicing and trying is kinda fun, though.”

“Whaddaya mean, kinda?” she said, playfully grabbing at him.

“Oh?” he kissed her, “I, uh, you're not ovulating right now, right?”

“Nope. This is just for fun.”

“I can go along with that,” he said.


“I don't want to do it out of a sense of any sort of obligation, or to try to entice you to do the same for me later. I just want to do this, right now, for you.” – Lili O'Day

“It's difficult for me to, to concentrate while you're, you're doing that.” – Malcolm Reed

“Tell me what to do.” – Susan Cheshire

“I think you'll understand why I'm not so thrilled to have a chaperone right now.” – Doug Hayes


“Interesting,” Q waved his hand, “All right, I'm human for a while. Let's do it.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Hold on, I have something that I understand is foolproof.”

Music began to play.


“Yanno, love songs – they really, really stink when you're getting over someone. They just make you feel ten times worse.” – Chandler (Chip) Masterson

“A little mood music to get us goin'.” – Tripp Tucker

“And you, you strike me as a guy who's not listening. Who's busy playing gimme, got it and gimme more.” – Pamela Hudson


Lili laughed, “I know this song. It's old.”

“And it's foolproof.”

“If both parties are interested, then, yeah, I suppose it is. But when one isn't, well, you can forget about it. I'm not swayed by such things. I'm still upset about Doug and all.”

“Why? You know he will die at some point in time. As will you, as will your children, as will everything.”

“Still, I'd rather not be reminded of such things. It's all rather fresh in my mind.”

“Ah, hmm. Well, this should change your mind. I can sweeten the pot,” A slight nod and her surgical incision was healed, and gone. It was as if it had never happened. She went back to the bassinette. Declan was still in there, as before, sleeping. It was only her abdomen that had changed.

“My belly feels better,” she allowed.

“Hmm, more?” he asked.

“More what?”

“More sweetening. Let's see,” he nodded again and she felt another change, “Go look.”

She went into the room's little adjoining bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror, “Twenty-two or so, eh? So you just nod a bit and thirty years are gone. And a few kilos gone as well – that's a bit thoughtful of you, I suppose.”

“You said I should be thoughtful.”

“Still, you think you're gonna bribe me into not feeling awful?”

“Like I said, death accompanies life. You're aware of this every time your husband or the short Brit touches you and it leads further.”

“Never mind that,” she said, “And what makes you think, despite your presents, that I'd want to, well, cheat on them with you? Wouldn't sex just be the betrayal of all of that? My life – and our arrangement – it's strong but I don't really want to test it and, and mess with it.”

“Very well,” he said, “But this is the main crux of the biscuit – human love. And it goes along with mating, and with kissing. All of your cultures do some form of it. I want to know why, and what it means to you, and, well, whether being any good at it will help me with Kathryn.”

“I still don't want to do any of this. You cannot force me. And God knows I don't want my son witnessing a primal scene – even if he is only a day old. I don't want to take the chance that he'd remember any of it.”

“Hmm. Well, how about this? You show me a small piece of it and we'll call it square.”

“How small?”

“The initial advance,” he said, “The icebreaker, if you will. The remainder, well, I can get that from looking at your history.”

“All you need to do is check a good, comprehensive porn collection,” Lili said.

“Later,” he said, “Just show me this one thing.”

“A kiss,” she said, “Nothing more.”

“A kiss it is,” he said. He began changing before her eyes. He was Doug, he was Malcolm, and then he was Paul Mayer, the boy she'd lost her virginity to over two and a half decades before. He was Captain Archer, he was Travis Mayweather, he was José Torres, he was Andrew Miller, and then he was Aidan MacKenzie. He was every guy she'd ever found attractive, ever, scrolling along and along in a seemingly infinite loop of desire.

“Stop it!”

He stopped, settling on Tripp Tucker, “Something wrong?”

“Go back to what you were.”

“I thought this would be thoughtful.”

“No – I can't wrap my head around it,” she said.

“So my appearance – what I came to you as – that's all right?” He changed back and was again brown-haired, taller and about Doug's age or so.

“Sure. It's fine,” she said.

“Good to know. Let's, uh ....”

“Hang on,” she said, “I got conditions. Your hands will go either on my face or around my waist. You will not explore anywhere below my waist and you will not touch my breasts in any manner.”

“You're lactating. Why the devil would I want to touch your breasts? It'd be awfully messy.”


“Oh, c'mon, not that old ploy. I know what that's gonna turn into.” – Lili Beckett

“Y'know, we never actually had a proper first kiss. Where you don't know which side to put your nose on and you're afraid that the kiss won't be welcome or you'll click teeth or something.” – Lili O'Day

“Holding hands seems too personal. As does kissing.” – Melissa Madden

“Maybe a kiss will be a thrill for her. It's just one kiss. Hey, you never know.” – Travis Mayweather


She smiled, “Well, many human males would find that to be a necessary component of the experience. Anyway, we're clear on that, good. Oh, and when you put that music back on, we're gonna dance.”


“Yep. Doug doesn't dance unless he's had a few, and Malcolm's too self-conscious. So, we'll dance.”

“I hardly think ...”

“Dance, cowboy.”


“Well, dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. Or am I the only one who knows that?” – Pamela Hudson

“'Course if we dance it might turn into something else.” – Tripp Tucker

“You should see me when I'm not pregnant. I can move better.” – Lili Beckett


The music started back up, and Marvin Gaye began to sing.

I've been really tryin', baby
Tryin' to hold back this feelin' for so long
And if you feel like I feel, baby
Then come on, oh, come on
Whoo, let's get it on
Ah, babe, let's get it on
Let's love, baby
Let's get it on, sugar
Let's get it on

She put his hand on her waist and took the other one in hers. He stared at her so she started leading.

She broke away from his hand on her waist and twirled herself around.

We're all sensitive people
With so much to give
Understand me, sugar
Since we got to be
Let's live
I love you

She smiled at him and came closer again.


“All I want to do is please you.” – Lili O'Day

“And, at the very least, you can say you were loved a little bit.” – Malcolm Reed

“You make me feel like I'm younger than I am, like I don't always have to be so responsible all the time.” – Jonathan Archer


There's nothin' wrong
with me lovin' you
Baby, no, no
and givin' yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true

She took his hand again and moved him in a different direction, then came closer, cheek to cheek.

Don't you know
how sweet and wonderful life can be?

She smiled against the side of his face so that he could feel it and then took his hand and put it on the side of her face, “Feel that,” she said softly.

I'm askin' you, baby
To get it on with me


“I feel so much with you. And I don't mean the physicality of it although that is certainly a part of it. It's everything.” – Malcolm Reed

“Just let me believe a little longer.” – Deborah Haddon

“I never get a chance to say or do anything noble. So just, just be quiet for a little bit and, and let me be noble for once.” – Pamela Hudson


I ain't gonna worry, I ain't gonna push
Won't push you, baby
So come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, baby
Stop beatin' 'round the bush, hey

She moved her head back again and looked him in the eye, smiling, “Smile back, Q,” she said, “This isn't a root canal.”

Let's get it on,
Let's get it on
You know what I'm talkin' 'bout
Come on, baby, hey, hey
Let your love come out
If you believe in love
Let's get it on, baby
This minute, oh yeah
Let's get it on
Please, please, get it on
Hey, hey

I know you know
What I've been dreamin' of
Don't you, baby?
My whole body is in love


“I wanna hear about your sixteen-year-old moves.” – Lili Beckett

“I was terrified that anyone would find out. So it was all rather quick and jolting.” – Malcolm Reed

“I don't share a bed with anyone I'm not on a first names basis with.” – Tripp Tucker

“I love you. I want to please you. And I want to be a part of you feeling good.” – Lili O'Day


I ain't gonna worry, no, I ain't gonna push
I won't push you, baby,
Come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, darlin'
Stop beatin' 'round the bush, hey

Gonna get it on
Beggin' you, baby, I want to get it on
You don't have to worry that it's wrong
If the spirit moves you, let me groove you good
Let your love come down
If you believe in love let’s get it on
Oh, get it on, come on, baby

“You seem to be going through a lot of preliminaries,” he said as they continued moving.

“I like a little romance,” she said, “Be patient.”


“And my husband and my lover are very jealous men.” – Lili Beckett

“Let's, let's have tonight together. No matter how fast or slow it all goes. No matter how good it even is. But let's at least have it.” – Malcolm Reed

“He won't marry me or anyone else. I can tell. I don't know if that helps things or not. I just believe that people should have all the information.” – Pamela Hudson

“We had a thing. It was a long time ago.” – Doug Beckett

“I still want you. I cannot, cannot stop wanting you.” – Malcolm Reed

“I'm tempted to find out just what sex with you would be like.” – Treve


Do you know I mean it?
I've been sanctified
Hey, hey
Girl, you give me good feelings, so good

Nothin' wrong with love
If you want to love me
Just let yourself go
Oh, baby
Let's get it on

The music stopped, and she grabbed his arm to stop him from moving. She put her hands on his face and brought it down to hers, “Close your eyes,” she said.


“It's just nicer that way.”

She touched his mouth with hers, lightly, then again, “Open your mouth a little,” she whispered.


“You'll see.”


“All I can tell you is, breathe through your nose, concentrate on what you're doing and, and think positively.” – Lili Beckett

“Now, just concentrate on how this makes you feel.” – Pamela Hudson

“Am I gonna feel good?” – Izo (Mayweather) Sato


He complied, and she pressed down harder with her lips.

Several minutes later, they broke apart. She opened her eyes and looked up at him, and smiled.


“Well, it wasn't exactly fireworks but it wasn't horrible.” – Melissa Madden

“Don't, um, don't tell anyone we did that.” – Lili Beckett

“Nice touch. You've, um, got potential.” – Pamela Hudson


“Well?” she finally asked.

“Fascinating,” he said, “And this leads to intercourse?”

“It can. Or it can just be a kiss.”


“We shoulda done that earlier. Now we should sleep together.” – Yimar

“Scraps from her table. They will have to be enough.” – Malcolm Reed

“I say 'I love you' far too fast. I stay in relationships that aren't working way too long.” – Pamela Hudson


“I see,” he said, mulling it over, “And Kathryn will like this if I do it?”

“With some preliminaries, I don't see why not. You're a quick study. But, uh, don't just go planting one on her or anything. Remember – subtlety. Otherwise you're bound to just get slapped.”

“Hmm. What's the deal with the tongue?”


“She threw you a softball. You so shoulda hit that one outta the park.” – Lili Beckett

“I never have to see you again, and I never have to talk to you.” – Blair Claymore

“I'm not the one.” – Pamela Hudson

“I want to believe that someone believes in love, still.” – Jennifer Ramirez

“We should sleep together some time.” – Yimar

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