Part of the SAC-2004

Invitation

Angyl & Orithain

December 21, 2004

Disclaimer: If they belonged to us, weíd be able to watch this instead of writing about it. We didnít create them, but we sure do have fun playing with them, and the only person making profit is the real owner, who gets the royalties when we go out and buy copies for research... and to drool over. ;)

Dylan watched his first officer over the chessboard, musing that Gaheris Rhade seemed incapable of approaching any activity in any way other than as if it were a life or death situation. As usual, Dylan was losing the game, though he managed to challenge the Nietzschean more than most, according to Rhade.

"Did you know that Tarn Vedra has a mid-winter festival?" Dylan asked suddenly.

"I did attend the Highguard Academy on the planet, Captain," Gaheris pointed out dryly as he moved his piece after careful deliberation. "I seem to recall seeing events on campus and around the planet as well as numerous inebriated people wandering around in formal attire. I never could grasp the need to binge on highly caloric food and drink oneself into a stupor. Checkmate in two moves."

Dylan frowned at the board, seeking a way out, but he finally tipped his king. "One of these days Iím going to beat you, Rhade," he stated emphatically. "However, to return to the Midwinter Festival, did you also know that my family is from Tarn Vedra?"

"No, youíre not," Gaheris said with a ghost of a smile. "You play to compete; I play to win.

"And, yes, Iím aware your family is from Tarn Vedra. Your mother is a heavy worlder and a high G shuttle pilot; your father is one of the imperial horticulturalists in the palace of the Empress. You grew up in the human quarter of the capital city Beshana-Tarn, and you were a student of Admiral Stark. Is there a reason why I need to know all of this information, by the way?" the Nietzschean continued with a quirk of his eyebrow.

Dylan sighed. "Not every situation has tactical applications, Rhade. I was attempting to invite you to join me for the festival since our orders will allow the Andromeda to be at Tarn Vedra at the right time. Iíve already let my family know Iíll be there and that I might be bringing a friend."

Rhadeís eyebrow went even higher at that. "I see," he said, giving Dylan the once over. "Very well, I accept.

"Shall we switch to Go? You actually made me work for a win last match."

"Yes, Iíve noticed that you like a challenge. Then again, so do I." Dylan leaned back in his chair, sipping his brandy, as he eyed Rhade.

"And youíre about as close to a real challenge as I will get without returning to my Pride home," Gaheris replied blandly as he packed away the chess set and got up to retrieve the Go board. "While on Tarn Vedra I should pick up a few baubles for my wives and some weapons for my children. And then you can... show me the sights," the Nietzschean finished mildly.

"I look forward to it. The Midwinter Festival is a time of great joy and celebration, and itís best enjoyed with a close companion." Dylan sipped his brandy and surveyed the board Rhade had set up before reaching out and making his first move.

"A brother in arms, so to speak," Rhade agreed, making his own move. "One you can share intimate moments with, even."

Dylan eyed him askance over the board, taken aback by the abrupt putting into words of what they had never acknowledged. "It is a possibility," he finally said.

"Keep telling yourself that, Captain," Rhade smiled hungrily. "The invitation... it was you opening the door to what we both already knew existed between us.

"Iíve served you for four years; you think I havenít smelled it, the arousal, the desire? I thought you were being typically human and ignoring what was happening. Now, however, your invitation has forced me to reevaluate your reactions.

"I see no reason to hide behind these intricate courtship dances you humans insist upon. However, I understand your need to do so. I am therefore informing you that I am interested and will await the time when you are more comfortable with the idea," Rhade continued calmly as he made a great leap towards victory in the game with a cunning move, executed successfully thanks to Dylanís obvious distraction.

Gaping at his first officer and friend, Dylan sat there, game and drink forgotten in his bemusement. Finally he nodded sharply and leaned over the board with no warning, his hands grasping Rhadeís shoulders for balance as he kissed the Nietzschean.

Gaheris chuckled against Dylanís lips. Perhaps there was hope for the High Guard captain yet. Sweeping his arm across the table, Rhade sent the Go board flying and, bracing himself, hauled Dylan across the low table to allow for a better angle of attack.

Dylan groaned and allowed himself to be moved bodily, his mouth opening to invite Rhade to take more.

Hands coming up to hold Dylanís head still, Rhade thrust his tongue into Dylanís mouth, claiming it as his, fingers flexing constantly. He grinned when Dylan at last broke the kiss to gasp in much needed oxygen. "So, Captain, does this mean weíll be spending the winter festival in bed, or will I actually get to see the sights as well?"

"It means that weíll be able to warm up nicely when we go back home after seeing the sights," Dylan said once heíd caught his breath. "Though my parents do expect me to come over for dinner at least one night. Iíd like it if you came too."

"You want me to meet your parents?" Rhade raised one eyebrow. "Should I be expecting a marriage proposal as well?" he teased.

Dylan rolled his eyes. "Very funny. Many of my friends have met my parents. Not everyone has a place to stay on Tarn Vedra, so I often bring people home with me. They just usually have their own room."

"And just how will you explain my staying in a room with you?" Rhade wondered, curious as to how humans would handle something that was very commonplace amongst Nietzchean males, a ritual taken from the ancient Spartans, of shield brothers who bonded in the bedroom and on the battlefield.

Dylan shrugged. "Why would I have to explain it? I rather doubt anyone will come over and check our sleeping arrangements or that anyone would care."

"So there will be no surprise visits from your parents? Good. I wouldnít want to kill them by accident when they surprised me from a night of fucking their son," Rhade grinned, waiting to see what Dylanís reaction to his claim would be.

"My parents havenít dropped in on me when I had company since I was in my teens," Dylan replied. He eyed Rhade challengingly over the table, having subsided back into his own seat. "It sounds like we wonít be seeing too many of the morning events."

"Well, you wonít anyway. Nietzscheans have greater stamina," Gaheris smirked.

"You forget Iím half heavy-worlder," Dylan retorted.

"You think you can keep up with me, Captain Hunt? To quote my superior officer, Ďbring it.í"

Dylan laughed and stood up, slowly backing toward the doorway to his bedroom, eyes never leaving Rhadeís. "Shall we find out who gives up first?" he challenged.

"A Nietzschean never surrenders. We would die before such a dishonor. No matter if we are captured, tortured, we are unbreakable. You think you can make me so weak, Dylan?" Rhade laughed, getting up and moving forward, stalking his prey hungrily.

Dylan unfastened his uniform tunic and tossed it aside, leaving himself bare-chested as he continued backing toward the bed. "I think itís going to be fun to try. And you might want to give a thought to mutual surrender. Itís very pleasurable."

"Ahh, but so is total conquest. I can picture you writhing and begging under me with great ease. I think I approve of the dichotomy; you command me on the bridge and in battle while I command you in the bedroom. Yes, that would work quite nicely for me," Gaheris mulled as he stripped with casual efficiency, as comfortable in his own skin as he was in his High Guard uniform.

Dylan shuddered, Rhadeís words making him harden almost painfully as he seemingly effortlessly stripped bare Dylanís darkest fantasies. "I think that could be arranged," he managed in a husky murmur, throat constricted by lust. Never looking way from the dark gaze, he sat on the edge of the bed and reached down to remove his boots, then unfastened the pants, his erection immediately pushing free.

Smelling the spike in Dylanís arousal, Rhade growled appreciatively. "So, the idea of not being in control appeals to you, does it? Then perhaps we should begin. Have the Andromeda go into privacy mode; the only interruptions should be Admiral Stark or higher and only if the galaxy as we know it is about to come to an end. Do it, Dylan, now."

Staring at him, Dylan gave the order to Andromeda, ignoring her half-voiced protest, intent upon his first officer. "So now what?" he challenged, not about to make this easy for Rhade.

"The rest of your clothes. Remove them. I want to be able to see what it is that Iím claiming," Gaheris replied as he ghosted around Dylan, not even attempting to touch him, and sprawled across the bed to watch.

Dylan frowned at the order and Gaherisí attitude, taking a step backward instead. "This may have been a mistake." While heíd liked the idea of Rhade taking the lead, he did not like the idea of total submission. It wasnít in his personality, and Rhade was going too far, too fast. "Perhaps we should just plan to enjoy the festival," he suggested, still retreating.

"It appears Iíve overstepped my bounds, my apologies, Dylan. If youíd like, I can get dressed and leave, and we can forget this ever happened, go back to being captain and first officer," Rhade offered, getting up off of the bed and reaching for his clothes. "I forgot myself. It will not happen again."

"No," Dylan sighed, "thatís not what I want. But I am not a slave, Rhade, nor will I ever be one. Must everything be so extreme? Canít we just enjoy each other without one of us having to be submissive?"

"I thought youíd fight back; itís what my wives do when I get like this, and I have the scars to prove it. It makes the joining that much more intense. I forget that you are not Nietzschean and donít understand that drawing blood, both literally and figuratively, is as much foreplay as petting under the right circumstances. Humans have strange sensibilities when it comes to mating and procreating. I see that I must treat you as a virgin on their bonding night," Rhade explained with a smirk.

That drew a glare from the captain. "I donít think so. But Iíd prefer not to shed blood either, if itís all the same to you." Dylan began to move back toward the bed.

Gaheris chuckled and quirked an eyebrow. "Are you saying youíre not suffering from virginal jitters?" he teased. "Iíve yet to see proof to the contrary."

Dylan growled and stalked back across the room until he was practically on top of the Nietzschean, where he grabbed Gaheris and kissed him.

Snorting his amusement, Rhade wrapped his arms around Dylanís waist, his bone blades brushing against the curve of the humanís ass. Nipping on Dylanís lower lip, the Nietzschean pulled back and lifted up even as he rotated his torso.

A quick heave and Dylan was splay-legged on his back in the center of the bed. "You still have too many clothes if you want to fuck," Rhade politely pointed out with a quirk of a brow.

"So do something about it," Dylan challenged, putting his hands behind his head and smirking at Rhade. He was still shivering from the brush of blades over his ass, but he was damned if he was going to just follow orders... at least not yet.

Rhadeís brows crept higher, and then a truly feral grin spread across his face. "As you wish, Captain," he replied blandly before reaching for one of his uniform boots. Moving aside one of the decorative buckles, he removed a thin but deadly shiv. "I hope you have more uniform pants in your closet."

Dylanís eyes widened as they focused on the razor-sharp blade, and he hardened even more. "Enough that Iím not going to worry about it," he said, his voice deepening and growing more hoarse.

"Tsk tsk, such wanton disregard for the uniform," Rhade murmured. "And here I thought youíd be the death before dishonoring of the uniform sort of person. Iím so disappointed in you, Captain."

Straddling Dylanís thighs, Rhade ran the flat of the blade lightly over Dylanís breastbone and worked his way down across hard nipples and a taut stomach until he encountered fabric. Positioning the blade so that the pommel rested against Dylanís flesh, Rhade began to slice carefully.

"Actually, Iím looking forward to the dishonor," Dylan rasped, his eyes fixed on the knife and every muscle in his body quivering with anticipation.

"And here I thought you were looking forward to the deflowering," Rhade replied with a wicked gleam in his eyes.

"Iím afraid itís been a long time since that happened, but youíre welcome to repeat the basics," Dylan retorted.

"My, feeling bold with a knife at your groin, Iím impressed, Captain," Gaheris replied, letting the blade dip to press lightly against Dylanís skin, leaving a faint welt but not drawing blood. "Not so much as a twitch of life," he continued blandly as he flipped the blade back up and sliced down the leg, freeing part of Huntís body and then eyeing it appreciatively. "Not bad, not bad at all. Almost worth my effort," he purred.

"Donít do me any favors," Dylan growled, eyes narrowing at the Ďalmostí. He suddenly grabbed Rhadeís head, trusting the Nietzscheanís reflexes to keep the knife from his body, and pulled him into another kiss.

Gaheris allowed Dylan to control the kiss for a few brief moments and then bit down hard enough to make the human gasp and pull back. "I wasnít finished undressing you yet," he pointed out as he moved back down Huntís body to finish slicing his way through the captainís uniform, tossing the knife so that it imbedded itself in one of Dylanís picture frames.

"I was fond of that frame," Dylan said, his mild tone belied by the heat in his eyes, his body tense and waiting for Rhadeís touch.

"And now youíll look at it, see the scar in the wood, and remember the first time I took you for as long as you own that picture," Rhade answered, dark eyes raking over Dylanís now fully exposed body. "For a human you really are very pleasing to the eye. If I had a sister, I might be tempted to offer her to you. Your genes would only strengthen a Pride, even if they arenít Nietzschean."

"Iím really not interested in your sister, real or imaginary," Dylan pointed out, thrusting his hips upward to brush his cock against Rhadeís belly.

"Ah, but if I had a sister and she took you as a husband, youíd be easily accessible any time I wanted you," Rhade pointed out even as he wrapped a fist around Dylanís erection and began to pump it lazily.

Dylan groaned, unable to respond as the pleasure spiked through him. His eyes fell half closed, his body arching under Rhadeís knowing hands, and Dylan reached for the Nietzschean, his hands gripping Rhadeís upper arms, needing the contact between them.

"So sensitive to the touch. One would think that you hadnít satisfied your urges in a very long time, Dylan. Donít tell me you believe in abstinence?" Gaheris teased as he squeezed down on the captainís cock ever so slightly, increasing both pressure and friction.

"I wonder how many times I can make you come before I feel the need for release," he mused aloud, a superior grin painting his face.

"Rhade," Dylan moaned, his arousal instantly surpassing the level heíd been at earlier, and he nearly shook with lust. Heíd never thought about the possibilities inherent in Nietzschean genetics, but he had a feeling he was about to get a lot of hands on experience. He was so hard it hurt, but he never wanted it to end.

"Yes, Captain?" Rhade replied immediately as he grinned down at the writhing human. "Mmm, very attractive show. Most appealing. A reward is required, I think," the Nietzschean continued as if he hadnít asked Dylan to respond to him.

Sliding down Dylanís body, Gaheris was soon face to groin, and without so much as a deep breath, he was swallowing his captain down, working the hard shaft past his mouth and into his throat with casual ease.

Dylanís reply was lost in a gurgle of intense pleasure as Rhade took him into his mouth. His back arched off the bed as his hips rose convulsively, his fingers rising to grip the Nietzscheanís hair. "Gaheris!" he groaned breathlessly.

Removing his mouth and the pleasure he was giving Dylan, Rhade grinned and licked his lips hungrily. "Yes, Captain, is there something I can do for you?"

"Suck me, damn you!"

Rhade quirked an eyebrow in amusement at the desperation he heard in Huntís voice. "So much for your vaunted patience, Captain. This is not the man I remember from our Argosy days. You seem to be a little... tense," the Nietzschean smirked, blowing on Dylanís saliva-slicked cock.

"I didnít expect to be tortured in my own bedroom!" Dylan growled, trying to grab hold of Rhadeís short, dark hair but unable to get a good grip.

"Ahh ahh," Rhade growled, quickly snagging Dylanís hands and pushing them to the bed. "Time for you to follow orders for a while. Hands donít leave the sheets, or you donít get fucked. Do you understand, Captain?"

"Bastard," Dylan rasped, fingers clenching in the bedding to keep himself from reaching for Rhade again. His whole body was throbbing with arousal, practically vibrating with tension, and he wanted release, wanted the pleasure desperately.

"Actually no Iím not. There are no bastard children among the Nietzscheans; we marry to ensure bloodlines, remember?" Gaheris smirked before extending his tongue to deliver a long lick up the underside of Dylanís shaft just to tease the human.

"Fine, you just have the personality of one. Damnit, stop teasing and suck me," Dylan groaned, the sheets almost tearing in his tightening grip.

Rhade bit back a rather un-Nietzschean chuckle and decided heíd tortured his new lover long enough for now. He would revisit this delightful pastime later after the edge had been taken off, so to speak. Taking firm hold of Dylanís hips and pressing them hard enough to bruise, the first officer of the Andromeda pinned his captain to the bed and began to deep throat him with great skill.

Dylan yelled, trying to thrust but held motionless but Rhadeís unbreakable grip, the flats of his boneblades resting against Dylanís skin and making the captain hyper aware of Rhade. It was rather like petting a tiger: exciting and pleasurable, but inherently dangerous. Dylan liked it.

Working Dylanís shaft as hard as he could, Rhade continued to suck and lick and nibble, working hard to make his lover come harder than he ever had before.

Thrashing where he was pinned, Dylan cried Rhadeís name again, his entire body tensing as he came, spurting into Rhadeís mouth.

Swallowing hard and fast, Rhade caught every last drop of Dylanís semen and continued to nurse on the humanís cock until Dylan, too sensitive to take it anymore, pushed him away with a whimper. "Mmm, quite tasty. Iíll have to do that again before the night is out," he purred as he knelt up and pushed Dylanís hips onto his shoulders as he did so. "I trust you have lubricant?"

Dylan nodded at the drawer next to the bed and watched as Rhade retrieved the lube. Completely relaxed in the aftermath of his climax, he still felt the fluttering in the pit of his stomach as he considered what was coming next.

"Ahh, what a proper High Guard officer you are, always well prepared," Rhade smirked as he opened the container and quickly lubricated his cock. "However, Iím not the same, I donít believe in preparation," he continued in a hot voice. "I believe in slamming into action, or at least sliding into it."

Placing the head of his cock against Dylanís opening, the Nietzschean looked down at Dylan. "Are you ready for me, Captain Hunt?"

Instead of speaking, Dylan reached for him and pulled Rhade forward, hissing his discomfort as he stretched to accommodate the Nietzschean.

"You do tend to leap in where angels fear to tread, donít you?" Gaheris grinned as he continued to push into the tight and unstretched channel. "Ahh, almost virginal, itís delicious," he sighed when he was at last seated fully in Dylanís body.

"Less talk, more action," Dylan panted, gasping as his body slowly adapted to the welcome intrusion. His hands moved to clutch Rhadeís shoulders, anchoring himself, and he slowly drew his knees up, letting Gaheris sink deeper into him.

"A risk taker and pushy too," Rhade growled, fighting the urge to slam Dylan back down and claim him unequivocally. "Keep this up and Iíll leave you so sore youíll be walking funny for your next duty shift," he continued menacingly, withdrawing slowly from Dylan and then slamming home once more.

"Try your worst," Dylan challenged with a smirk. He knew he was probably going to regret this when he really couldnít walk straight in the morning, but it was going to be worth it. He thanked his mother for the additional bone density and strength that let him take a Nietzschean on nearly equal termsóor at least without fear of unintentional damage.

"Brave but oh so foolish," Rhade replied with mocking disappointment. "At one point I had hoped to make you a proper Nietzschean; now I fear I will never be able to." Ensuring that Dylan couldnít come up with a smart comment, Gaheris sealed his mouth over his captainís once more and wrapped a hand around Dylanís cock to fist it in time with the more brutal staccato of thrusts he began to implement, wanting to see Dylan come apart underneath him.

Groaning into the kiss as the pleasure throbbed through him, Dylan drew his knees up higher, pressing them into Rhadeís ribs as he rode and met the pounding, his hands gliding erratically up and down Gaherisí back until he was cupping the Nietzscheanís ass, a finger pressing into the valley between.

Snarling almost sub-vocally, Rhadeís pace picked up, pounding into Dylan harder and harder as his own pleasure spiked at his loverís bold move. "Mine, youíre mine now, Hunt," he swore, moving his head to the side and biting down hard on Dylanís neck, sucking the blood to the surface, marking the captain well above where his uniform collar would rest so that all could see.

When he realized what Rhade was doing, Dylan pushed him away. While an atavistic part of him loved knowing that heíd driven Gaheris to mark him, the larger part of him, the one that was captain of the Andromeda knew he couldnít allow it. "No," he said simply as their lower bodies continued to slam together. "Canít lose the respect of the crew," he tried to explain.

Growling, Rhade relented, although his eyes flashed dark with anger and the need to mark, to mate. "As you wish," he ground out, slamming his hips harder still, fighting to deny his nature in order to please his captain.

Dylan drew Rhadeís head to him, directing him lower, to Dylanís chest. "Just not where the crew can see it," he whispered an instant before he cried out, his head tossing against the pillows as the pleasure continued to grow.

"Doesnít serve its purpose nearly as effectively there," Rhade grumbled but nonetheless was appeased enough to be guided downwards where he could mark this man to his leisure.

"Fine, you can mark me higher during our leave on Tarn Vedra." Dylan spared a thought for Sara, Admiral Starkís niece whom heíd been seeing on the rare occasions that they were both on the same planet, but they hadnít made each other any promises. And heíd wanted Rhade since that first mission together.

"Until you have a mate of your own," Rhade agreed. "Then we will be more circumspect. Human women donít understand like Nietzschean women do. So I will mark lower on ship, higher on leave and not at all when you have a mate," the Nietzschean mused. "And you may mark me anytime you wish. I enjoy it."

Dylan blinked. That was much too complex for him to deal with at the moment. "Shut up and just fuck me," he demanded, pushing a fingertip inside Rhade to encourage him to concentrate on the right thing.

"I thought I was?" Gaheris chuckled, squeezing his fist tighter and tilting his arm so that his bone blades ran over Dylanís stomach lightly. "Or have you forgotten my cock up your ass, Captain Hunt?"

"You talk too much," Dylan growled. He lunged upward to capture Rhadeís mouth with his own, his tongue driving inside in the same rhythm as their lower bodies moved.

Rhade chuckled and allowed Dylan his way. His human could be quite amusing. Stroking Dylanís cock, Rhade began to rotate his fist, circling it around the turgid flesh, and added more pressure subtly. He was determined to make Dylan come again and soon. And then perhaps he would have Dylan go down on him until he found release.

Gasping, Dylan clutched hard at Rhadeís shoulder, his other finger pressing deeper into the Nietzscheanís ass as he rocked between the cock driving into him and the hand he was fucking.

"And just what do you hope to accomplish by doing that?" Rhade growled, impaling Dylan over and over even as he himself was impaled by the humanís fingers. "I have plans for you, Captain Hunt, that donít include giving into your brand of persuasion just yet."

"Oh good," Dylan panted, perfectly willing to have the pleasure never end. It might kill him, but what a way to go! "God, so good."

"Of course it is," Gaheris replied smugly. "I am, after all, superior in everything."

Dylan rolled his eyes, but whatever he would have said was stopped by his near scream of pleasure as his climax suddenly overcame him. He shuddered, body stiffening and arching beneath Rhade, his come splattering over their bellies.

Smugly amused by being able to make Dylan come a second time in rapid succession, Gaheris trailed his fingers along Dylanís belly, gathering the cooling semen onto his fingers, and then brought them up to his lips to lick clean. "Delicious. How many more do you think I can get out of you before you pass out?"

Dylan whimpered.

"There are rules against killing your captain."

"Ah, but I donít want to kill you, Dylan Hunt, merely make you pass out from exhaustion, dehydration and extreme pleasure," Rhade smirked, circling his hips to make his cock dance within Dylanís no longer so tight ass, nudging the other manís prostate as he did so. "I do admit to being impressed though; most humans would be out cold by now, but your heavy-worlder genes are giving me a challenge. I adore challenges," the Nietzschean purred menacingly.

Limp, sweaty, and wrung out, Dylan still mustered up the energy to smirk at Rhade and challenge, "Give it your best shot."

"But what if Iím not ready to give you my best Ďshotí?" Rhade rejoined with a smirk of his own. "I could go another few rounds before that happens. There is a reason why Nietzschean males usually have more than one wife; you do realize that, donít you?"

Pulling out of Dylan, Rhade laughed at the growl that emerged from his captainís throat. "I thought weíd try something new, just so I donít leave you raw and aching," he explained patiently, laughing out loud at the look of menace on Dylanís face.

Two hours later, it was Rhadeís turn to smirk. He was once more buried deep in Dylanís ass, this time content to let things come to their natural conclusion, and his brave captain was nearly delusional with exhaustion. "Not nearly so cocky now, are we, Dylan?" Gaheris teased, stroking Dylanís now spent cock. "Are you sure I should continue? Perhaps you need to sleep some."

Dylan could only moan, no longer having the energy to speak. He was willing to admit that Rhade had bested him, but heíd loved every moment of it, even when the pleasure grew nearly indistinguishable from pain to his exhausted flesh.

Gaheris grinned and bent to capture Dylanís lips once more, gently forcing his tongue inside and sweeping it round the parched flesh hungrily. Dylan reeked of sweat and sex and Rhade himself. He was covered with love bites on his chest, buttocks, thighs, back, hips and anywhere else Rhade could mark without having broken his captainís request.

Pumping his hips slowly, almost delicately for a Nietzschean, Gaheris let himself go, let the pleasure build, and with a monumental bellow filled the human with his seed. Catching his weight on his arms so as not to crush Dylan beneath him, Rhade kissed him soundly. "Tomorrow you can take me if you like," he offered magnanimously.

A breathless laugh escaped Dylan. "Donít think I wonít."

"If you are sufficiently recovered to be of any use to me, that is," Gaheris grinned down at the man, eyes dancing with amusement in an otherwise somber face.

"Insubordination!" Dylan snorted, still lying motionless beneath the other man.

"This from a man who canít even move a muscle because I wore him out. I think I can live with your pathetic attempt at a threat," Rhade replied, baring his teeth in a fierce grin. "Shall I take pity on you and carry you to the bathroom, Captain? After all, you rather stink."

"At the moment, I donít think I care," Dylan admitted as he slowly levered himself to a sitting position, Rhade backing off enough to let him up. "But I donít want to wake up stuck to the sheets or you, so yeah. A little help would be nice."

Chuckling softly, Rhade got out of bed, stretching his lean body to loosen the kinks. "Not bad, almost worthy of a sore muscle or two," he teased the limp-looking man still on the bed. "Weíll have to improve your stamina though. Iíll instruct the ship on a new protein diet for you; youíll need your strength," Rhade continued to taunt as he reached down and pulled Dylan up off the bed, wrapping an arm around his waist to help steady his feet.

"Smug bastard," Dylan said without heat. "Fortunately, I feel too good to care. I begin to see why Nietzscheans are so sought after. He leaned on Rhadeís strength without embarrassment, and they slowly made their way toward the shower.

"Because weíre so damn good," Rhade replied, leading them into the bathroom and then programming a rain shower and the heat of the water. Leading his partner under the spray, Gaheris set about showing Dylan yet another reason why Nietzscheans were so sought after and began to minister to his mate, cleansing him with gentle, calming strokes of his hands.

"Mmm." With a soft sound of contentment, Dylan leaned into Rhade, letting the hot water and Gaherisí hands sooth and relax him. "That feels good," he murmured, his head falling to Rhadeís shoulder.

"Smart man, it should," Gaheris chuckled. "You may want to have one of the shipís robots take care of your bed while weíre in here though; you probably donít want to crawl back into that mess after weíve cleaned up."

Dylan made a face. "Rommie!" He waited for the ship to respond before asking her to clean up the other room, and he muttered to Rhade that he was glad sheíd chosen not to have her hologram appear. Considering his current state, that would have been a bit more than heíd have been comfortable with.

Gaheris quirked an eyebrow at his captain when he commented on the fact he was glad Rommie hadnít appeared and shook his head in amusement. "You realize, donít you that the state of your bed sheets are even more telling than your current appearance. Besides, sheís a machine; why should that embarrass you?"

"Sheís my friend. And this way I donít have to face her and see her knowing look. I know she knows, but I donít need to see it."

"And sheís not going to look at you like that the next time you have a meeting in your quarters?" Rhade asked with a quirk of a brow. Knowing the avatar as he did, Gaheris had no doubt that there would be something. Subtle, perhaps, but there was no way that Rommie would let it go without at least a smirk.

"Ah well, I will let you keep your delusions," he grinned at his captain. "And listen to you moan when theyíre shattered. Are you ready to sleep now, Dylan?"

"Definitely! Just point me toward the bed."

"Are you sure you can make it on your own?"

Dylanís eyebrows rose in surprise. "Are you planning to stay in the shower all night?"

"No, I just didnít know if I had to carry you or not," Gaheris replied, turning off the water and turning on the sonics to dry them off quickly and efficiently.

Dylan was too tired to bother arguing. "Iím going to bed now," he announced, wobbling only slightly as he walked toward to the bed, eyes already half closed.

Rhade chuckled quietly and followed behind his captain, wrapping the human in his arms as soon as he lay down behind him. "Sleep well, Hunt; youíve earned your rest tonight," he teased, brushing his lips over the nape of Dylanís neck.

Dylan only made a sleepy noise as he turned into Rhadeís arms, relaxing into a deep sleep the moment he was settled.

"And tomorrow you can explain just what this holiday actually entails," Rhade murmured, following his captain into sleep.

END

  since 02-11-07

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