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"Akoochimoya. We are far from the place of our ancestors...."

"Did you hear that?" The small salamander cocked his head from where he was basking on a rock. "One of them is at it again."

The wolf lowered his head onto his comfortable bed under the shade of a juniper bush. "I bet it's my human. He seems to need me far more than yours
needs you."

If salamanders could grin, this one did. "Yourtough luck. You'll have to go and answer the same old questions yet again.  I get to stay here in the sunshine."

Wolf rose reluctantly to his feet and shook himself, sending a shower of dust and hairs over his friend. "Guess I better see what he wants this time."

"Let me take a wild stab at it." Salamander turned around so that the other side could bake. "He'll be trying to find comfort, ease his spiritual side,
make peace with his father, and get some more hints on how to make my human fall in love with him."

"Close," said Wolf, as he ambled off. "But really, he just wants to know how to get laid."

Salamander raised his head. "Wait a minute. Did you say..."

But his question was thrown to empty air. All that was left of Wolf was his bushy tail disappearing around a boulder to answer his summons.


It seemed like hours before Wolf returned, and his little friend had given up waiting for him and had crawled under some leaf mould in Wolf's bed.

"Don't squash me," he warned, as he heard the soft paws of his friend.

Wolf sniffed. "I've told you a hundred times I wish you'd go find a rock or something. You take up one heck of a lot of room for a small one."

"Stop grumbling and tell me what your human wanted."

"The usual," Wolf sighed. "He's in love, it's unrequited, he's miserable, he'd die for her, he'd follow her anywhere, he-"

"He wants to get laid." Salamander nodded sagely."Why didn't you say so sooner?"

"What's the point?" Wolf turned around three times and flopped down.

"You've never asked me what my human wants when she summons me." Salamander curled his tail around himself, and looked smug.

Wolf cranked open an eye. "I'll bite-go on and tell me." He yawned ostentatiously, showing enormous yellow teeth.

"What big teeth you have, Grandma." Salamander moved a little further out of the way, just in case. "She's in love, it's unrequited, she's miserable, she'd die for him, she'd follow him anywhere, she-"

"Wants to get laid!" they finished in unison. "Why didn't you say so sooner?"

"I bet you've been feeding him platitudes about how suffering is good for the soul, and how he'll get what he wants if only he's patient, kind and
tender." Salamander said knowingly.

"And I bet you've been feeding her lines about duty above all else, her responsibilities, and her wimpy fiancé!" shot back Wolf.

"No wonder he's horny!"

"No wonder she's frustrated!"

"Hah! I bet you didn't know that all that tenderness, and gazing devotedly into her eyes is making her slightly queasy. She wonders if he's a man or a tribble. All she wants is for him to stride into her quarters, sweep her off her feet and refuse to take no for an answer!"

"And I bet you didn't know that all that stiff upper lip and encyclopaedic knowledge of Starfleet protocols is making him wilt. He wonders if she's a woman or a drone. All he wants is for her to place her hand on his chest, and gaze softly at him for once, rather than interrogating him about the engineering report!"

Salamander sighed. "They're a right pair of leola roots."

"What will we do about it?" Wolf lowered his head so he could study his friend.

"Change our advice." Salamander bobbed his head. "I'll tell her to melt a little, give him the come on with her eyes, stop talking about her fiancé
and her duty, and leave her top button undone."

"And I'll tell him to be more assertive, crowd into her personal space, touch her back, and stop getting dressed before he answers the door to her."

"That'll work!"

"It's a deal."


"Akoochimoya. We are far from the place of our ancestors...."

"It's been three weeks," mused Wolf. "I wonder if that was long enough for them to get together?"

Salamander raised his head and listened. "It's for me."

Wolf cocked an ear. "And for me! That means only one thing-"

"A joint vision quest!" Salamander jumped onto Wolf's paw. "It worked!"

"High five!"

"Finally, some peace."

"But we better see what they want first."

Salamander ran lightly up Wolf's foreleg and curled into his fur, and the two friends ambled off contentedly to meet their humans.


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