The stranger had come full of bizarre smells and even odder forms of payment, and while Hikari wrinkled her nose at the collection of coins and seeds, it was technically money. So she tucked the coins away, placed the seeds in some soft earth so they could blossom properly, and offered the stranger coffee.

“No, thanks,” he said, his eyes glued to the window and the hangar beyond yet. “Is that a monkey?”

“Say ’bout eighty percent of him, yes,” Hikari said, her ears twitching. There was something about this man she wasn’t sure she liked. Though she had to admit, now that she had gotten over its exotic nature, she couldn’t get enough of his smell. “It’s not just a clever name.”

“And he’s going to be working on my ship?”

“If he likes the look of you. ” Hikari allowed a sly smile to play across her muzzle. “Wouldn’t sweat it, I haven’t seen him turn down a pregnancy once. He’ll probably go at it all night. ”

“All night, but how could..well, if that’s what it takes…” The man slumped on the couch, and ran his hand through his hair. He had lots of hair, long black curls. Hikari liked his hair.

“This your first time, hon?”

“Yeah. That obvious? Caught me a bit by surprise. Checking the cargo hold and finding…I didn’t think she was that kind of ship, you know. I probably left her too long at port. Back at Sumter there was this whole gang of Plesocopuses that were up to no good, bet it was one of those…”

“Oh, hush,” Hikari said. She leaned forward toward the man and played a bit with the shoulder strap of her tiny shirt. “That ship of yours ain’t hussy. And you can trust me, I know the type. Back when I was kitten on Osiron, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting some bastard swizzleskid or tamerind. You fellas forget how much of your ship is flesh and blood, forget that a girl’s got needs.” She walked over to him, her hips swaying in time with her tail.

“I imagine she does, at that….”

“She was just doing what came natural.” Hikari slinked onto the couch next to the man and stared at him, black slits narrowing in deep green eyes. “You two came from Sumter? Long ways. Not surprised you turned down the coffee. Reckon I could find other ways to help you relax. ” Hikari snuggled up close, and gave a soft purr as he stroked the soft mottled fur down her back.

“Well, if the monkey’s gonna be at it all night…”