Will to Power I:
The Hour of Great Contempt

Angyl and Orithain

February 2001

Disclaimer: Andromeda belongs to the estate of Gene Rodenberry and Tribune Entertainment Company. No profit is being made.

And when man faces destiny, destiny ends and man comes into his own. 
     ~Andre Malraux, The Voices of Silence 

After a fight so brief it could hardly be dignified with the title of battle, the Andromeda Ascendant captured the pirate vessel Eureka Maru and brought her into one of the battleship's landing bays. Captain Tyr Anasazi stood by personally, curious to meet the captain brazen enough to attempt to outwit him.

His eyebrows rose in surprise when the hatch opened and a blond human woman in tight black leather stepped out, followed by a young human male, a purple female and a large human male who bore a startling resemblance to Dylan Hunt, a High Guard captain from the time of the Tactical Offensive.

"Crap, this was not exactly your best idea, Hunt," Harper grumbled as he looked warily at the Nietzschean captain. He really, really, really hated Nietzscheans, almost as much as he hated Magog. "You had to listen to his no guts, no glory spiel, hunh, Bek? Well, this ain't gonna be glorious, but I heard that Nietzscheans are partial to disemboweling human guts!"

Tucking himself deeper into his leather jacket, Harper resigned himself to a long and painful death. On the bright side he'd lived longer than most of his family, had made something of himself, had managed to live pretty well and had seen the galaxy. On the down side - he was about to die on a freakin' Nietzschean ship commanded by a seriously hot, albeit Nietzschean Alpha, stud.

Tyr observed the captain and her crew with interest. The woman and the large male, clearly her mate, were of acceptable stock. They might be of use in breeding slaves. The other two, however... He had no idea what the purple female might be, but she appeared inappropriately cheerful. And then there was the young man... small and scrawny by Nietzschean standards but still attractive. Perhaps he would keep them all alive.

"I am Captain Tyr Anasazi of the Nietzschean warship Andromeda Ascendant. And you are?"

Harper sneered. "Dead meat so who gives a fuck?" he spat, glaring at the Nietzschean.

"Harper, shut up!" Beka glared at her chief engineer. "I'm Captain Valentine of the Eureka Maru, and we're going to be missed if we don't report in, Nietzschean. You'd be smart to let us go," she continued in a controlled voice. Dylan moved to stand behind his captain, glowering at the captain of the Andromeda, quietly establishing himself as the Alpha of the Maru and Beka's mate.

"Report in. An interesting choice of words for a pirate," Tyr mused. "Who would you be reporting to that could possibly concern me?

"Ship, are there any other ships in the sector?"

A hologram of the ship's AI appeared, her eyes darting toward the man who so resembled her last High Guard captain before she responded. "Three, captain. All known members of our fleet."

"So, nothing of interest," Tyr dismissed, turning back to the crew of the Maru. "Now," staring at Harper unblinkingly, "who are you, and why do you assume you will die?"

"Rommie," Dylan gasped out quietly, only to have Beka shoot him a warning look.

"Gee, I wonder why I think I'm gonna die," Seamus sneered. "Oh wait, that's right, why kill a human when you can experiment on them, right, Nietzschean? You and your kind gonna stick another jack in on the opposite side of my neck so you can have me hack into some other pride's computer core? Oh wait, you're just gonna stick me in a slave camp and starve me. Been there, done both, would rather die, thanks."

Tyr glanced at the young man with interest. He had spirit. Perhaps he would make a worthy trophy. For the moment, however, he had other concerns. "Rommie?" he repeated, brown eyes fixed on the other man. "Just how is you know my ship's former name and look very much like Dylan Hunt?"

Hunt shrugged. "I am Dylan Hunt." Seeing the disbelief, he added, "Not that one, but he is a direct ancestor. The firstborn male of every generation in the direct line of descent is named after him."

The Nietzschean captain made a mental note of this odd event and resolved to delve further into it later on. For the moment, most of his attention was centered on the other man.

"You still haven't told me your name," he said in a near growl, nostrils flaring as he caught the younger man's scent. He ignored the rest of the human's comments as irrelevant.

Harper was not about to give the Nietzschean anything but trouble. To hell with Dylan and Beka, he was gonna die and he knew it. Let the others keep dreaming about ancient Commonwealths and reestablishing the High Guard and overthrowing their oppressors, he knew better.

Spitting on the floor in front of the towering Nietzschean demi-god, Seamus snarled. "I'd say bite me, but knowing your kind, you would, and I haven't had my rabies shots yet this year."

Tyr's eyebrows rose. Definitely worthy of his attention. Without breaking eye contact with the young man, he spoke to the men at attention behind him. "Take these three to the pens. Put the purple girl in a separate enclosure until we can establish what she is. Put the breeding pair in another. And take this one to my quarters. Make sure he cannot damage anything."

Ignoring the sputtering protests from the new slaves, he turned to leave, then paused, glancing back over his shoulder. "Since you choose not to use your own name, I shall call you Pet." With a teeth-baring smile, the captain was gone.

Harper eyed the Nietzschean captain's quarters with the same fear he had the Nietzschean laboratory where he'd gotten his cyber implant. He was in deep, deep shit. Although it had almost been worth it all to watch the color drain from Captain Beka I'll-never-be-a-man's-broodmare Valentine's face. They were all in deep shit.

Licking his split lip, Seamus winced at the bruise that was forming. No Mr. Nice Nietzschean for his escort, or in his case Miss Nice Nietzschean. The female had backhanded him as soon as they'd entered the captain's quarters, sending him flying across the room. If it weren't for the fact that the big guy in charge seemed to want him alive, he was pretty sure he'd be dead now. Maybe she was the pairmate or whatever the hell they called a wife.

When Harper had finally come to, he was chained to the foot of a very large bed in a very Spartan bedroom. Typical. "These guys have absolutely no sense of style," he muttered, as he tasted the copper tang of blood on his tongue. "And even less of a sense of humor!"

"Neither style nor humor is required for survival," Tyr replied from where he sat at ease in a leather chair just out of Harper's view. Seeing the young man jerk in his restraints, he smiled slightly, though it was gone before he stepped forward to where his new toy could see him.

"Yes," he said contemplatively, "you'll do nicely." He pulled out a knife, slicing through the hideous green t-shirt and leaving the tattered halves hanging from the young man's arms. He decided that he liked the way the leather pants clung to his new pet's body, so those were removed more carefully.

"Hey, what the hell?!" Harper jerked back, feeling the knife slip and slice a shallow furrow along his skin. "Jesus, you think I'm gonna bend over for you, you fucked up sack of Magog shit, guess again!" Struggling desperately, Harper tried everything he could to get away, including kicking the captain straight in the groin. He was not doing this!

Tyr had stepped away from the blow so it did him no harm, and he stared down at the squirming, naked man. He'd forgotten the pleasure of taming a mate. As the alpha male of the Kodiak Pride, any Nietzschean female or male he turned his eye toward was eager to share his bed, the women in hopes of bearing a superior child, the men for the pleasure of being with the best male in the pride. This boy, this mere human, however, would have to be subdued and taken, and Tyr found himself looking forward to it.

"Yes, Pet, we are both going to enjoy this," he purred, the flat of the blade now trailing over the bound man's chest.

"Like hell we are!" Harper gasped, his skin shrinking back as far as it could from the blade. He'd survived before, from things like this, because he'd had no choice, had known no other life until Beka and Dylan had rescued him from the science lab he'd been kept at. But now, now he knew what life outside of a Nietzschean Pride holding was like, and he'd grown stronger, grown up and learned how to say no. There was no way he was going back to that person he once was.

"Get your fucking hands off me, you pathetic excuse for a sterile has-been," the young man shouted, hoping beyond hope that he'd drive the Nietzschean into a rage with his questioning Anasazi's right to be called Alpha, prompting the captain to kill him and put him out of his misery.

Tyr growled and backhanded the foul-mouthed human, splitting his lip again. "Careful, little Pet. My patience is not unlimited. Nor am I so brainless as to fail to realize that you'd prefer that I kill you. That's not going to happen, at least not tonight. I have other plans for you."

As he spoke, the Nietzschean captain was stripping off his clothes, baring the superb musculature to his captive's view. Ignoring the squirming and cursing, he sat comfortably on the side of the bed and drew one finger down the center of his pet's chest.

Harper whimpered softly and tried desperately to move away. Fighting the urge to panic, scream or beg for mercy proved almost too much for him. "Bastard," he whispered, knowing full well that there was no way to stop him. "Fine, go ahead and do your worst, but the minute you relax around me or turn your back, I will kill you for this."

Tyr laughed. "If you can kill me, I deserve to die." His fingers closed around the limp cock lying against the young man's thigh, slowly, knowingly, stroking it into unwilling arousal. He bent over, catching the mingled scents of fear, anger, and arousal. Unable to resist, he licked the tip of the cock he held in his fist, tasting the other man for the first time.

Harper groaned, fighting his arousal, willing his body into submission. He bit down hard on his bloody lip, causing himself pain. His fingers gouged into his palms, his knuckles white with strain. "You think you can make me enjoy rape, you've got another thing coming, bastard. And I will kill you, some how, some day I will. I swear!"

Tyr ignored the threats, having little interest in anything the human had to say. He was more concerned with arousing him to the point that he was begging to be fucked, since the Nietzschean found more pleasure when he had his partner's full participation. He didn't really care whether it was willing or not.

He now had his pet's cock in his mouth, sucking hard, tongue playing along the shaft, and his fingers scratched lightly at the portion still outside his mouth. His other hand plucked teasingly at the young man's nipples, tugging and twisting lightly.

Harper's fists beat uselessly on the mattress, his lip bloody and raw where he'd chewed it. No, oh god, no, please. I don't want this. I don't want to want him. Stop, please, oh please, stop, don't do this to me. I'll be good. I'll be a good boy, I promise!

Harper screamed silently as he was taken back to a time long gone, a time he thought he'd never live again, his body wrested from his control, driven by the imperatives that had been trained into him from an early age, the responses and the need. His cock hardened, his breathing became erratic, and his pulse thundered as his body was driven to the knife's edge of arousal.

Startled by the rapid submission and arousal, Tyr glanced up at his captive's face and frowned at what he saw. He realized that at some point his pet had been a Nietzschean slave and a well-trained one at that. How fortunate for him. He would have the human's full participation with only a little more effort.

Tyr licked his fingers then worked one into his pet, slowly pushing deeper then adding a second and flicking a fingertip over his prostate.

Throwing an arm over his eyes to hide the tears that streamed, Harper yielded to whatever the damned Nietzschean captain wanted to do to him. He'd survive this, he would! He had survived before - but he hadn't known what freedom was back then; he hadn't known.

Anasazi might not be goaded into killing him, but it didn't mean that Harper couldn't kill himself. All he had to do was wait until his captor was asleep and then... Nietzscheans always had weapons lying around - it was part of their breed. Harper moaned quietly as he felt his balls draw up and his cock release its heated liquid into the captain's mouth. Shivering and fighting not to sob, he lay there like a rag doll and waited for the next assault.

After drinking down the evidence of his pet's climax, Tyr sat up and shifted between the human's legs. He pressed against the ring of muscle, still lax from his fingers and the young man's own climax, and he slid inside easily. His fingers curled around the still semi-hard organ and started to stroke again in time with his thrusts inside his ass.

Knowing the kind of sexual training Nietzschean slaves received, Tyr was certain that he could arouse the human and bring him to at least one more climax before he himself came for the first time.

Whimpering, Harper bit down hard on his ravaged lip, trying not to make any noise, not to feel the pleasure coursing through him. Tears continued to seep from beneath his lashes as he was forced to relive the training that had marked years of his early life, that of a Nietzschean pleasure slave.

Please, god, please let this be over soon, let him leave me alone! he begged silently, his nails leaving wounded and raw crescents in the palms of his hands as his body once more roused and betrayed him with its instinctive need. Too soon tiny mewls of pleasure escaped against his will as his prostate was teased and his cock stroked to new life.

Tyr saw the blood start to drip from the young man's hands, and he reached down, uncurling the tightly clenched fists and interlacing his own fingers with the other man's. For some odd reason, he didn't like the idea of him hurting himself. Unable to kiss him since he knew his pet would bite him, he lowered his head to lick and suck at the rigid pink nipples while his belly rubbed against the now untouched cock with every stroke into him.

"No," Harper finally whispered, his head thrashing madly about, "nonononononononononononononoNOOOO!" Screaming as his body convulsed and his cock spat another round of semen between their writhing bodies, the young man lost all control, trying to flail and rip his arms free of the Nietzschean captain, trying to deny the pleasure that ripped through his body and heated his blood.

Feeling the young man come again, Tyr found a bit of mercy in himself and allowed the rippling convulsions to make him come as well, driving deeper one last time as his seed spilled uselessly inside the man. Done, the Nietzschean stood up, checking that his pet's arms and legs were securely restrained, finally seeing the slave mark on the back of his hand that he had managed to keep hidden earlier.

"Sleep now," he said quietly. "Much as you might wish otherwise, you are in Nietzschean hands once again, and you will need the energy sleep will give you."

He turned away to dress again, then left the quarters to see to ship's business. As he left, he paused by the door. "Ship, keep an eye on him and talk to him if he will."

Harper curled into a fetal position and finally gave in to his pain. He was so tired, and he hurt inside, in his heart. "I wish, I wish you'd just killed me. At least that way I wouldn't hate myself," he whimpered as he at last gave vent to his tears and sobbed himself to sleep.

Tyr returned to his quarters several hours later, immediately checking on the young human. He was somewhat surprised by the strength of his relief when he saw him curled up on the bed asleep. Rather than taking him again, the Nietzschean moved past him, letting him sleep. He would let the human have the bed for this night instead of moving him. He himself could sleep in his chair.

He settled into the chair, arms crossed, and closed his eyes, falling asleep almost instantly.

Harper's eyes opened slowly, and he silently slithered farther away from the chair and the big Nietzschean asleep there. There was no way in hell he'd willingly let that... thing near him again, not that he was given much choice in the matter. He needed to get out of here and rescue Bekka, Dylan and Trance. He'd figure it out somehow.

Maybe the ship would help; it used to be High Guard; it used to serve Dylan's ancestor; maybe it would turn a blind sensor to their escape or something... what would it hurt to ask? But only when the captain wasn't in hearing range and so fucking huge and threatening. Harper closed his eyes and regulated his breathing, pretending to sleep as he let his smarter than average brain run through scenarios and escape plans. He was gonna get away from here if it was the last thing he did.

Tyr's eyes opened to watch the young man, having awoken as soon as he moved. Deciding that allowing Pet to get away with something on the first night would set a bad precedent, he stood up, removed his clothes and climbed into the bed. He pulled Pet against him, holding him tightly while making sure no part of him was in range of the younger man's teeth.

Harper whimpered quietly and went stiff; he could feel the huge man against him, covering him, and he began to shiver with fear. It was like the camps all over again. If he didn't get out of here soon he'd go mad; he'd lose himself and all he'd worked for, the person he'd made himself into.

Unable to help himself, the terrified young man let one word escape his tightly clenched lips, his voice quivering and dark with barely leashed emotions. "Why??"

Tyr found himself answering honestly, giving a reply he hadn't even formulated to himself. "Because I wanted you. Something about you drew me as no one else ever has. I couldn't see you and not want you. You can thank that for the lives of your shipmates."

A single tear tracked down the young man's pale and shivering cheek. "I would rather you have killed me."

"That wasn't an option." Tyr's arms tightened around Pet as if to prevent his escape. "I can imagine what your life was like last time, but it's not the same now. You are mine only. I'll kill anyone who touches you."

"And that's supposed to make me feel better?" Harper choked, an almost hysterical laugh escaping. "I was free for the first time in my life. I was something better than a slave, and you've taken that away from me. I'll hate you to the day I die."

Tyr shrugged. "That's your choice. The only person you will hurt is yourself."

Harper went rigid in the Nietzschean's arms, trying to forget where he was and who he was with. His damned body began to betray him as the captain's arm spikes caressed the skin of his belly lightly where they held him. He remembered what they felt like, how he'd come to enjoy the sharp, pained pleasure they could bring. No, dammit, he wasn't going to do this again.

"Too late, you bastard, you did that when you raped me instead of killed me. Not that you give a damn; you Nietzscheans are all the same, murderers, rapists and slavers. You fit the bill on all three."

Tyr's patience had finally come to an end. "We are survivors. We survive because we are the strongest and fittest. And as such, we reap the spoils. Be careful, little pet, or you'll find yourself back in the breeding pens. The fact that you were trained in the first place and the jack on the side of your neck say that there is something worthy in you."

Harper's jaw slammed shut, and his body quivered with repressed rage. Arrogant bastard! his mind screamed as he thought over his options. There was one... "In that case you might as well kill me now and get it over with. Your experiments left me sterile. Can't procreate to make you more little slaves to jack and fuck and enslave. Sorry, you lose."

"That leaves you with exactly two options: me or sex slave to anyone who wants you. And for the moment, the choice is mine, not yours. You stay here." Wide-awake now, Tyr rolled them over so that Pet was on his belly and Tyr lay over him. He reached down, finding the human still relatively loose from their encounter earlier, and pressed inside him.

Groaning, Harper bit down on the sheet underneath him, his hands gripping the sheets as he forced his body to go limp. Not again, he wasn't going to give the bastard the satisfaction again. Anasazi might be able to take him, but Harper was damned if he'd enjoy it!

Annoyed by Pet's attempts to pretend this wasn't happening, Tyr shoved a pillow under his belly, raising him and giving the Nietzschean access to his cock. He stroked the firming length, equally determined to make him participate.

Whimpering as he fought the response that was threatening to emerge, Harper bucked up and back, trying to unbalance the bigger man and throw him off, but only succeeded in burying Tyr's cock further into his ass so that it slammed into his prostate. "Oh GOD!" he wailed unexpectedly.

Tyr growled in his arousal, teeth closing lightly over the nape of Pet's neck. His hips drove him in and out of the other man rapidly, and one arm wrapped around his middle, spikes brushing against his belly while his hand pumped his cock. "Yess," he growled, "like that."

Whining, Harper thrust his hips up and backward then forward, impaling himself between hand and cock, feeling the spikes scrape across his belly adding to his pleasure. Mindlessly he thrust and whined and mewled his need, his baser needs usurping his normally rational and highly intelligent mind, making him a slave to the needs that had been trained into him.

Gasping, the Nietzschean captain rode his pet, loving every moment of his eager response. He drove into him harder and harder, taking him, feeling Pet's body cling to him, not wanting to let him go. His fingers teased the other man's cock, seeking to arouse him further.

It was too much for the young man to take. After a day full of fear, emotional upheaval, terror, hate, anger and sex, his senses were on overload. With an almost strangulated mewl of bliss, Harper climaxed and slipped into unconsciousness as his body was forced beyond what it had been used to for years.

Once again Pet's convulsions milked the Nietzschean's climax from him. He was startled to find the younger man had passed out from the intensity of his climax. He settled them both on their sides, and he fell asleep with an arm thrown possessively over the young man.

Harper woke up, what felt like days later, to yet another 'new' home. "Where... where am I?" he groaned.

Gentle hands held a glass of water to his lips and let him drink his fill. "You're in InSidious Pleasure, a brothel on Kyros 14," the man who held him gently replied quietly. "You're Harper, aren't you? Seamus Harper. You're my sister's chief engineer," Rafe Valentine said quietly as he picked up the sponge he'd discarded when the younger man had begun to stir and continued to clean the week old semen from his body.

"You poor kid, what happened to you?"

"You're Rafe, really?" Harper turned wide, terrified eyes to the older man, praying this wasn't a dream. Seeing the face he'd seen in Beka's pictures, Harper at last allowed himself to relax. "How'd I get here? Last thing I remember was," Harper choked, "was me... servicing Captain Anasazi. He got a call; one of his wives had just had another brat, and he had to return to Kodiak Pride to acknowledge it as his. He left me alone, on that damned ship, and then this woman - she really hates me - came in, and then I woke up here."

"You were sold by a Nietzschean woman who claimed you no longer pleased her as a pleasure slave. Uncle Sid bought you, and I recognized you from the vids Bek sent us. Is she... is she dead?" Rafe whispered, his eyes gone dark with pain.

"Last I knew she, Dylan and Trance were in the Andromeda Ascendant's breeding pens on a lower level. Dylan recognized his ancestor's ship and wanted to reclaim it, so he talked Bek into mounting an assault. We got captured and... I got claimed by the captain while they got sent down to the pens. Oh god, we gotta rescue them somehow!"

"You gotta get better first, kid. You took one hell of a beating at the hands of those Nietzscheans. You're damn lucky you're only bruised and not broken. You may have a cracked rib or two, and you... you've been sexually assaulted recently. Just get better first, okay? Heal and then we'll worry about getting my sister out of there."

Tyr Anasazi returned to his ship with a sense of relief. His wife had presented him with twins, a boy and a girl, which ensured her high status in the pride and made him even more sought after. He'd lost count of how many women he'd bedded while home. Being back on the Andromeda, where only the most junior of his wives, Freya, served, would allow him to relax. He looked forward to spending some time with his human pet as well.

Entering his quarters almost eagerly, he halted abruptly when he found them vacant and feeling as if they'd been unoccupied since his own departure.

"Ship!"

The hologram of the Andromeda's avatar flickered into existence directly in front him, with an inquisitive expression on her face. "Captain?"

"Where is the human male I left here?" he growled.

"Freya sold him to a brothel within hours of your departure."

Tyr gaped at the hologram in disbelief, his eyes narrowing into a ferocious expression. "Communications," he barked. "Freya! My quarters, now."

The Nietzschean captain stood, arms crossed, waiting, until his wife arrived. "Explain yourself."

"I am your wife, and I am not yet pregnant, yet you waste your seed on that human sport. I removed him." Freya glared back, clearly insulted.

"You deny the right of an Alpha to take a sex slave?" Tyr couldn't quite believe what he heard. "You are no longer my wife. Remove yourself from my ship." That easily he dismissed her from his life and turned back to the waiting hologram.

"Ship, do you know where Pet was left?"

"Yes, sir." Both ignored the furious utterances of the Nietzschean female and her eventual departure.

"Then set a course. I want him back." Tyr sat down to wait until they arrived at their destination and he could reclaim the oddly compelling human.

Harper woke with a pair of strange human arms around his waist and come on his belly from a wet dream. A wet dream about a certain Nietzschean captain he pretended didn't exist in his waking thoughts, unless of course he was plotting to kill the bastard and save his crewmates.

Slipping out from beneath the arm pinning him, Harper looked at his latest bedmate. Dark skinned with long hair and a beard, above average height for a human and a disturbingly similar look to that of... shit! Hastily pulling on his clothes, Harper sneaked out of the room. Sid would take care of Harper's fee minus his own cut.

"Seamus, why do you insist on working?"

Rafe was standing in the hallway waiting. "You're Beka's engineer, and you're family. You don't have to..."

"Prostitute myself?" Harper replied derisively. "Why not, that's what I was trained to be - a Nietzschean whore. Besides, that bastard captain reawakened... my conditioning. I need sex now, whether I want it or not," Harper admitted with disturbing honesty.

"Dylan and Beka got me through the withdrawal I felt last time - but it took a long time to get over the craving. He," the young man spat, "didn't give me any choice. He just took me and...

"Did you know I was celibate on the Maru?" Harper suddenly told his friend. "I had to be. If I'd engaged in sexual activity with anyone, even a woman, it would have reawakened the conditioning. I was made to be a sex slave, Rafe. It's how they controlled me when they needed me to jack into things, hack into computers, design weapons or new bombs and toys for them. They withheld the physical contact. I need sex like your uncle's junkies need their Flash hit.

"So why do I prostitute myself now? Your uncle lets me choose my partners, lets me keep 70% of the profits and takes care of me. Fair trade to feed my addiction, don't you think?"

"Harper I'm..." Rafe began helplessly, only to hug the smaller man tightly then let him go. "Go back to your room, eat, wash, get some rest. When you're ready, we'll talk about how we're gonna rescue Bek and the others, okay?" the older Valentine continued gently.

"Rafe," Harper's eyes misted. Complete and total acceptance of what he was, of what he'd been, of his faults and addictions. "You Valentines - you're something special. Thanks. Thanks for being my friend."

Tyr looked around with faintly veiled distaste. This brothel appealed to his fellow Nietzscheans as well as humans? It was disgusting, overblown and decadent. The thought of his Pet here enraged him. If he could hunt down every person who had touched him and rend them limb from limb, he would. Freya had gotten off lightly.

The only comfort was that at least Pet wouldn't have suffered. The Nietzschean knew how he would crave sex now that his conditioning had been reawakened. Under normal circumstances, he would have provided it, but these were far from normal. He'd arranged to have one of the human women brought to Pet once a day while he was away, but Freya's actions had made that moot.

The arrival of a middle-aged human male focused his attention. "You have something that belongs to me."

Sid eyed the Nietzschean warily. Thanks to what Harper had told him directly and what he'd learned through Rafe, he knew who he had to be. It didn't hurt that he bore a striking resemblance to nearly every client Harper had chosen. "Could you be more specific?" he asked, stalling.

"My former wife sold you a slave that did not belong to her. Human, young, early 20s, blond, blue-eyed...mine. I want him back."

Harper sat on the lap of his latest customer in the music room of the brothel, listening to one of the bands play what passed as music while the man he'd chosen for the night finished conducting his business. A Flash peddler talking to a client, but who was Seamus to judge the man, he was a Nietzschean whore.

The hand that idly stroked his hair and back was soothing, and gently, it lulled Harper nicely, making him relax and feel almost happy for the first time since Dylan got his wild idea to save his ancestor's ship from Nietzschean tyranny. That was until Rafe raced into the room. "Harper, run!" he bellowed just as Sid was practically thrown into the room through another entrance, followed by a very irate and pissed off Nietzschean captain in full battle dress.

"Oh shit!" Harper was off the Flash peddler's lap and weaving through people, picking up speed as he bolted. Sliding through the door, he pounded up the stairs to his room, stopping long enough to grab his jacket, and then he was scrabbling out the window and climbing down the drainpipe.

Pausing only long enough to pick up the human who'd dared to touch his pet and hurl him full force into the nearest wall, Tyr charged after his human, going through anyone and anything that got in his way. He reached the room in time to see Pet lunge through the window, and when he reached it, Pet was already more than halfway to the ground. Tyr simply jumped out the window, muscles engineered to handle much heavier gravities easily absorbing the shock. He reached the ground ahead of his human and simply plucked him off the pipe when he came within reach and carted him away over his shoulder.

Ignoring the thrashing and cursing man over his shoulder, though he did smack his ass sharply when he kicked Tyr in the chest, the Nietzschean glanced back at the owner of the brothel, who watched from the open front door. "If you call me tomorrow, I will see that you are reimbursed what you paid for him."

"No, let me go, damn you to hell! I'm free, I'm a free man!" Harper screamed, beating his fists uselessly against the Nietzschean's back. He could barely draw a breath; he was terrified beyond belief and totally confused. Why had Anasazi come after him? It was counterproductive, and no human was worth the effort that the captain had expended to track him down and recapture him.

Rafe watched from the door where Sid was holding him back, his eyes burning in unholy anger. He'd find a way to rescue Harper and his sister. There was no way he was going to let the troubled and vulnerable young man live in that kind of hellish slavery, not for long. "I'll get you out, Seamus, I promise," he croaked.

Tyr carried Pet back to the shuttle in silence, strapped him in and flew them back to the Andromeda. Once there, he stood, unstrapped the young human and stepped toward the hatch. "Will you come under your own power, or shall I carry you the rest of the way?" he asked, a growl clear in his tone. The Nietzschean was not happy.

Harper shivered where he sat, deathly afraid of the Nietzschean without knowing why. When the larger man made to move towards him, he shot out of his chair and pressed himself as far into the shuttle wall as he could, cringing. His eyes, large enough to swallow his face, and his pinched and white lips were the only outward evidence he gave of just how close to losing control he was. He felt like a trapped animal, and he hated the feeling.

The captain's expression tightened at the blatant fear the human was displaying. He'd gone out of his way to avoid hurting his pet, and still he feared him. A growl forced its way from his throat, and the young man tried to back away still more. A thought suddenly struck him.

"If you fear that Freya might do anything else, there is no need. She is no longer aboard the Andromeda. In fact, I have returned her to her own pride."

Harper swallowed visibly, trying desperately to get himself under control. Thing was, the Nietzschean was displaying all the signs of a master - Harper's master. And Harper didn't want to go back to being that... creature he'd been before he'd been rescued and given his freedom.

"Your bitch can rot and die for all I care; the only good thing about her was she gave me my freedom, even if she didn't think she was. I don't belong to you, dammit; you can't make me do this!"

His patience at an end, Tyr moved faster than any human could and grabbed the other man. "In fact, you do belong to me. Freya ignored that fact, and she is no longer my wife." Once again hefting the struggling human over his shoulder, Tyr strode toward his quarters, planning to prove his ownership until the human could no longer deny it. And this time, Pet's only relief would come from him.

As soon as Harper's ass hit the bed, he was off it and on the other side, his hand going into the sleeve of his jacket and pulling out a lethal looking shiv. This time he wouldn't go down without a fight. He wasn't going to be any man's fuck toy unless he was the one doing the choosing.

"I had a different lover every night who could argue the fact with you," he goaded, "and I enjoyed it. The way their human hands touched me and made me beg - because I wanted to, I wasn't forced to. You'll never be able to do that to me - you'll have to force me every time - that's if you can take me!"

Harper ignored the almost silent voice of his subconscious telling him that the Nietzschean had already claimed him, that he'd already given in to the captain. It tried to remind him that all his chosen partners had looked or acted like the Kodiak, but he ruthlessly pushed the voice aside. He wouldn't, he couldn't listen, or he'd fall back into being that person he never wanted to be again - owned, controlled, used.

Unfortunately for the human, the Nietzschean could very easily imagine that scene, picture man after man taking his pet. His control snapped, and it was an enraged Alpha who pounced on the young man, contemptuously batting away the knife and twisting so that they ended up on the bed again. Tyr literally ripped Pet's clothes off him, holding him down with one hand while he reached for the lubricant with the other. When he reached down to prepare his slave and found him already slicked, another angrier growl escaped him.

He slammed into the human, taking him fiercely.

Harper screamed with pleasured pain as Tyr claimed him again. His whole body, which had been on the knife's edge of arousal all night due to his trying to slowly wean himself of his addiction, sang to life with a vengeance and demanded that the need it had be slaked.

Moaning gutturally as his body was invaded, violated, driven up and over its normal levels of arousal as his alpha claimed him, Harper couldn't feel his barely healed ribs crack once more; all he could feel was the gentle abrasion of the sheets as they rubbed his dripping cock, the rough glide of the huge cock in his ass, ramming into his prostate over and over, the sharp teeth of the Nietzschean as he bit hard at Harper's nape. Hands fisting into the sheets, Harper's screams turned into mewls of bliss then croaks as his voice gave out due to the longevity of the Nietzschean's claiming.

Only when the human was barely conscious and hanging limply, supported only by his grip and his cock in his ass, did Tyr allow himself to come as well. Feeling that his pet was well claimed, he slumped down, settling over the human to feel his full length against himself. The cry of pain startled him and made him twist to the side.

"What?"

"Hurts," Harper whimpered, his exhaustion making his responses sluggish and uncoordinated as he gingerly wrapped his arms around his abused ribs, curling into a fetal position to protect them from any further abuse.

Frowning suspiciously, Tyr reached for him, pressing lightly on his ribs. Pet's reaction told him instantly that his ribs were broken or, at the very least, cracked. Now, calmer, he inspected the young man carefully, seeing the signs of a beating. "What happened to you?"

"Like you actually care," Harper laughed bitterly. "Why would you? Just leave me alone. You've 'claimed' me again; I smell like you now. Just leave me alone, please?" he begged quietly, hoping that the captain would grant his request and not use him again until he'd had chance to heal once more.

Tyr gripped his chin and forced him to meet his eyes. "What. Happened. To. You?" He enunciated each word slowly and carefully, making it clear that neither of them was going anywhere until the other man answered the question.

"Freya," Harper spat then his eyes rolled up into his head as the fear, the pain, and the complete exhaustion from being fucked into oblivion caught up with him, and he passed out cold.

Though Tyr had suspected it from the moment he'd realized that Pet had been injured, to hear it confirmed sent a chill of rage to curdle his stomach. If Freya had still been in reach, he would have killed her with his bare hands. As it was, all he could do was vow to protect the young man and prevent anything like that from ever happening again. It never occurred to him to wonder why it mattered so much to him.

He arranged Pet carefully, spooning up behind him and draping his arm over the young man's hip, making sure not to put any pressure on the injured ribs. He drew the covers over them both, knowing the other man would need the warmth, and fell asleep.

Harper woke up over 24 hours later, rested but sore, and found himself, surprisingly enough, alone and free. Sitting up gingerly, he ran a hand through his hair then wrinkled his nose at the smell of stale sex that emanated from him.

Knowing better than to move or the captain might end up being pissed, Harper cleared his throat and, feeling a little foolish about speaking into thin air, called out. "Umm, Andromeda?"

The hologram appeared in front of him. "You look better. And thanks to the nanobots, you're completely healed. Would you like something to eat?" She glanced away momentarily. "The captain is on his way, but you should have time for a shower before he gets here, if you like."

Harper bolted out of bed, not caring that he was naked. "Oh shit, did you tell him I was awake? Oh god, I don't, I mean, Jesus!" Diving into the bathroom, Harper threw himself under the shower and quickly scrubbed himself raw, until at last he felt he was clean enough to come out.

Bolting out of the shower and ignoring the hologram for the moment, Harper looked around, muttering under his breath. "Clothes, need clothes, where can I find clothes?"

Tyr arrived as he was frantically rummaging around the room, and the captain had to smile at the sight. "In the closet and the bottom two drawers. I think you'll be able to tell which are yours and which are mine."

Rommie spoke up finally. "Of course I told him you were awake. He left orders that I do so, and he is the captain."

Harper spared a glare at the AI as he dove back under the covers, trying to cover himself up from the appreciative eyes of the captain. "Do you mind?" he snarled. "It's bad enough you have to do... that to me; do you have to ogle me too?"

Shaking his head at the oddities of humans - after all, he'd fucked the other man and now he was concerned about showing his naked body? - Tyr returned to the outer room. "Hurry up, Pet. I'm hungry, and you need food."

Rommie watched Harper. "You know, if you want him to stop calling you that, you're going to have to tell him your name, Harper. He won't ask again."

"Why would I want to do that?" Harper groused as he reemerged from beneath the covers and grabbed a pair of pants, leather of course, and some weird mesh muscle shirt, almost like a cloth version of Tyr's chain mail.

"Because I can see you react every time he calls you Pet. But by your public refusal to tell him your name, you've made it impossible for him to ask anyone else. You have to tell him."

"How long does it take to dress?" The irritated yell came from the outer room.

"I hate being called 'Pet', I really do," Harper groused as he looked down at what he was wearing. "And I look like a Nietzschean fucktoy." Sighing, the young man walked out into the outer room.

With a dejected sigh Harper slunk over to the table where the captain sat and slouched down onto the chair across from the huge man. "Okay, I'm here, now what?"

"Now you eat. Even with nanobots, much of the healing still has to come from you. You need the energy." Tyr showed every likelihood of feeding the younger man if he didn't eat on his own.

His eyes ran over the clothes approvingly, admiring how they displayed Pet's body. It was unfortunate that he would have to be extremely careful of him for a few days until his ribs were fully healed.

"Do you like going around bullying people?" Harper groused as he picked up a fork and began to move the food around the plate. "What if I'm not hungry and don't want to eat? You gonna hold me down and force the stuff down my throat?"

"If necessary." The Nietzschean regarded him serenely before picking up his own fork and digging in. No Nietzschean would ever turn down food, not knowing where he might find his next meal.

"You need it, and you will have it, Pet."

"Harper," the young man whispered sullenly.

Eyebrows rising in surprise, Tyr stared for a moment. He'd begun to wonder if the human would ever relent on this point. Remembering that the ship's avatar had been in the room when he left, he realized she must have said something.

"You need it, and you will have it, Harper."

"What I need are my friends and my freedom; will I ever have that?" Harper asked, looking directly at the Nietzschean with world-weary eyes, already knowing the answer.

"Never mind, stupid question. I'm your 'pet'." Lowering his eyes to his plate, Harper began to half-heartedly eat a few bites of what was set out before him.

Tyr sighed. He wasn't ready to confront any of these issues. "I'm sorry," he offered, one of the few times in his life he'd ever said those words, though Harper couldn't know that.

Harper said nothing, just continued to eat small bites of food, forcing himself to swallow until he was sure if he ate another bite he'd bring it all back up. It was hard to eat when your throat was closed from tears that refused to be shed.

Pushing himself away from the table, Harper didn't even look at the older man. "I'm tired now." Walking into the bedroom, he lay at the foot of the bed, his place in his master's home, and tried to let the numbness that had helped him survive in the past freeze over his aching heart.

Frowning, Tyr followed Harper into the bedroom and sat down beside him. He placed one hand on his shoulder, trying to ignore the way he flinched away. Not knowing what to do, he stood up and left.

Once in the outer room, he spoke to Andromeda again. "Try to talk to him. And bring the purple girl to keep him company. From what I've seen of her, no human could remain depressed in her company." Shaking his head, Tyr returned to the bridge.

Harper stared listlessly into space as Trance babbled on about how different the Nietzscheans were and that they really weren't all that scary once you got to know them. In the corner the avatar form of the AI sat silently and watched the interaction, her face growing more somber by the second.

"And there's a hydroponics deck too, Harper, not that I got to go in; they just walked me by it, but it looked so green and pretty. Beka and Dylan are okay too, and there are a lot of nice humans with us, so we're not lonely, though we do miss you. "But look at all the space you have up here, quarters of your very own!" she bubbled.

"They're Captain Anasazi's quarters, Trance, and before you make it sound like a great honor, I'm his fucktoy, his slave and his pet," Harper sighed dejectedly. "You're probably a lot better off where you are - at least you have each other."

For once Trance didn't know what to say. Her friend was... different and she didn't know how to make it right again. "Oh Seamus," the young woman wrapped herself around the engineer and held him tight. Only then did Harper let go and silently weep into her shoulder, mourning the loss of his life.

Tyr walked into the room and was forced to restrain himself from forcibly tearing the purple whatever-she-was away from his lover. At least Harper was showing some emotion. His wooden withdrawal earlier had frightened the Nietzschean. He wasn't going to lose Harper, not for any reason.

He backed up slowly, trying to retreat from the room without disturbing the occupants. If this Trance creature could help Harper, he'd accept her touching him.

Harper heard the door open and shut down again as soon as he saw Tyr standing in the doorway. Gently extricating his friend from her position around him, he managed a small, watery smile. "Thanks, but you'd better go; my master is back," he told his friend before walking into the bedroom and stripping off his clothes to wait for whatever it was Anasazi wanted to do with him.

Tyr looked up in surprise when the girl followed him out of the room only moments later. "Why are you here? You were supposed to help him."

Trance frowned at him. "Only you can do that," she said, then turned and headed back to her pen without further comment, her jailer trailing behind her like another tail.

Sighing, Tyr went back inside, then continued on to the bedroom when he didn't see Harper. Finding the young man lying naked on the bed, he winced. "Why did you send your friend away?"

"You're here; I thought you wanted to use me again," Harper said with a shrug. "If you don't, I'd better get dressed again."

For the first time in his life, Tyr felt an almost overwhelming urge to beat his head against the wall. "Why do you keep fighting me?" Honest bewilderment rang in his tone.

Harper looked up, somewhat bewildered. "How am I fighting you - you come in, and I get ready to give you what you want. That's the way my last master wanted me to act, and he was Nietzschean. What do you want from me?" This last came out sharply, emotion finally bubbling to the surface.

"You capture me, make me your sex slave, growl and snap at me, hunt me down when your wife sells me, fuck me senseless over and over again; what am I supposed to think? How am I supposed to act? Like you're my lover? Like you're tender and gentle, and I love you and want to be with you?"

Tyr actually flinched from the barrage of words. How could he admit, even to himself, that that was exactly what he did want? How could he want that? It was impossible. And yet, it was the truth. He shook his head, turning away from the temptation that was Harper's naked body. "No, I suppose not."

There was nothing else to say. He was trapped. Harper would never be his, not the way he wanted him, yet he couldn't let him go now, not when so many of the pride knew how he'd gone after the human. He would lose standing if he released him. Tyr turned to leave.

"Why does one slave matter so much?" Harper whispered quietly. "And a pathetic excuse for a human one at that? I know what your kind thinks of me. Dylan or Beka or even Trance would have made better sex slaves than me - I'm just... pathetic."

The Nietzschean stopped, facing the door, and laughed bitterly. "How blind. I can't speak for the ones who trained you the first time; that probably had something to do with your intelligence. But for me... I can't look at you and not want you. So much for our instincts being totally geared toward self-preservation." Another bitter laugh forced its way through a dry throat.

"But why do you want me?" Harper asked, his voice sounding like a confused child's trying to understand a question far beyond him. "And why don't I please you?" The last was a cry from his soul; he was so tired of trying to be whatever any and everyone else wanted him to be. He was lost and confused and tired and scared. All because this man, this Nietzschean actually seemed to care about him.

Tyr had leaned his forehead against the cool metal of the door at the first question, eyes closed, but the second brought him whirling around. "Not please me?" he repeated in utter disbelief. "How could you think that? No one has ever pleased me the way you do."

Harper shrugged fatalistically. "'Cause I've always been told that I was a poor substitute for a Nietzschean partner and nothing but a pathetic little whore that they were using until they got themselves a real bedmate," he replied, lowering his head in shame.

"Harper..." Tyr trailed off almost helplessly, then continued. "I chose you over my wife. I think you can assume that I'm not looking for something 'better'." A wry grin quirked his lips momentarily.

"They all looked like you, you know," Harper said suddenly, looking extremely annoyed that he was even admitting it. "The men, the humans in the brothel - they all looked or acted like you, and that was the only reason I even let them... touch me."

Sighing, Harper rolled off the bed and grabbed his pants, pulling them on. He had no idea what he'd do with his time while Tyr was off playing captain, but it was kind of embarrassing lying there with your naked ass in the air, offering it for the taking, and there was no response. It seemed he couldn't even get the role of sex slave down right.

The Nietzschean growled, caught between possessive rage at the thought of anyone else touching what was his and pleasure that Harper had only wanted men who reminded him of him. He frowned slightly as the human reclothed himself, preferring the unobstructed view, but he said nothing. Perhaps he could convince Harper by holding back for a little while.

Rapidly reviewing everything he knew of human mating customs, he offered a hand to the young man. "Shall we try something really radical and have dinner together?"

Harper stared at the older man's hand for long minutes, his whole demeanor showing that he expected a trick of some kind or a change of heart on the part of the Nietzschean. Suddenly an incredibly ancient Earth saying that Dylan once told him popped into his mind.

He could remember the day he'd heard it clearly. He was on the Maru, barely a week after being released by Dylan and Beka, and he was suffering from withdrawal of sexual stimulus. He was trying so hard to fight it, but he at last broke down in tears, crying at the pain of not being able to feed his addiction.

Dylan had left Beka's bed, curled up behind him and held him tight through the night. During one of the lulls the older man had brushed Harper's sweaty hair out of his eyes, wiped away his tears and had said, "Remember this always, Seamus. What doesn't kill you can only make you stronger."

"What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger," Harper whispered out loud, coming back to the present. He could do this, he could survive, and if making peace with the Nietzschean meant that he had a better chance of survival then he'd try. With not a little trepidation Harper put his shaking hand in the much larger hand of his master, letting his action speak for him.

Tyr smiled slightly, tamping down his immediate urge to pull the other man into his arms and claim him again. "Come, the meal is even all fit for human consumption," he promised, referring to a Nietzschean tactic of mixing in foods that un-engineered humans couldn't eat.

He led Harper to the table, allowing him to choose which seat he preferred and what food he wanted to eat. "What do you like to do?" He was awkward, trying to get to know the human.

Harper was confused. What was the Nietzschean captain playing at now? It wasn't as if Tyr was actually really interested in him or anything. Should he tell the older man the truth knowing it could possibly be used against him, or should he lie? Well, there was one truth he could admit to since he'd never be able to do it again anyway, now that he was a slave again. "Surf, I like to surf."

"Surf," Tyr repeated blankly. He couldn't imagine what possible merit such an activity could have. Well, it would improve balance and coordination, but with an unacceptably high risk factor. "How...interesting." He groped for something to add, left staring at Harper.

"It was about freedom. It was the ultimate form of it, just you and a board alone on an ocean of waves, just your skill keeping you standing. You didn't have to depend on anyone; you didn't have anyone telling you what to do, where to go, how to dress or act or eat, when to sleep, when to fuck, any of that. It was just you surrounded by miles of ocean, clean and pristine, perfect. I'll miss it." Ducking his head to hide the sudden liquid splash in his eyes, Harper didn't hear the tremor in his voice. Damn, maybe that wasn't the best answer to give after all.

Tyr slumped in his chair. Nothing, not even the most innocuous seeming topic, was safe. Everything led back to Harper's yearning for his freedom. The Nietzschean wasn't sure he could stand to see that every day, every hour, but he couldn't imagine letting him go. Growling, he rose to his feet and strode into the bedroom, stripping off his clothes to stretch out naked on the bed.

Harper sat there, stunned and confused. What had he said wrong now? Suddenly not hungry any more, he pushed himself away from the table. Unsure of what to do, if he were supposed to join the Nietzschean or stay away, the young man stood there, indecisively, for the longest time.

Finally Harper came to the conclusion that if Tyr had wanted him, he would have simply tossed the younger man over his shoulder and carried him into the bedroom with him. Guess that meant that the captain didn't want him tonight. For some odd reason the thought elicited a tiny pain in the region of his heart.

"Just the imprinting is all," he murmured to himself, rubbing a spot on his chest over his heart, trying to soothe the imaginary ache. Wandering over to the couch, the young man curled up into a small corner of it and tried to get comfortable. He'd slept in worse places than this.

Finally, frustrated and angry with himself for his uncharacteristic indecisiveness, Tyr got and stalked to the outer room, instantly spotting Harper curled into a corner of the couch. He picked him up and carried him back to the bedroom, lying down with the smaller man on top of him.

His hands ran over the human's body, first removing his clothes, then petting him, fingers going a little lower on each stroke until they were delving into the tight ring between his cheeks.

Harper whimpered quietly, his hands clenching into fists where they were bunched up between his chest and Tyr's, as the larger man gently worked a finger into his anus. Not questioning why he felt such a wave of relief when Tyr had come out and carried him back into the bedroom, Harper shut his mind down completely and just let himself float on the feelings that the Nietzschean was engendering in him.

In his most secret heart the young man finally admitted to himself that he'd missed this. The sense of intimacy that came with physical contact, the way he felt so tiny and vulnerable when a larger and stronger partner took him and then took care of him. It was a darkly exciting feeling, one of complete surrender, and Tyr was making him feel it again. Mewling quietly, the former engineer of the Eureka Maru began to lave and suckle on one of Tyr's nipples, feeding off of his Master as he was brought pleasure.

Tyr groaned darkly, his body arching under Harper's attentions. "Yes," he growled, "enjoy what we do for each other." He reached for the lubricant beside the bed, thoroughly coating his fingers before quickly working one after the other inside the mewling human. "Now ride me, Harper. I want to see you take me inside you and take your pleasure."

Gasping quietly, his blue eyes wide and uncertain, the young man finally worked up the nerve to look at Tyr and, seeing the desire the Nietzschean had for him, the honest emotion rather than the cruel calculations of his past owners, Harper found the courage to simply live in the moment and take what pleasure he could from his situation.

Pressing his palms against the bigger man's chest, Harper levered himself up then, balancing himself on one hand, reached behind him and guided the thick head of the captain's cock to his well loosened entrance. Holding Tyr's erection steady, Harper sank onto the thick pole of flesh, whimpering, gasping and moaning as he slipped further and further down, until he could at last feel the wiry curls of Tyr's groin against his ass.

The captain's hands gripped his lover's hips hard enough to bruise, but neither man was paying much attention just then. He pulled Harper down at the same time as his hips drove upward, going as deep inside the young man as possible and trying to go deeper still. Brown eyes focussed on blue, holding them prisoner, wanting to see every reaction, every moment of pleasure.

"Ride me," he rasped, fingers lightly tracing the stretched opening he so completely filled.

A tiny yelp of bliss escaped Harper's throat as he felt Tyr's fingers trace where they were joined. No one had ever... it was so primal, in a way that had the young man shivering right to his bones. The heat, the intensity, the lust that radiated off the Nietzschean was unbelievable.

Harper found he couldn't look away; the captain's eyes commanded him just as surely as if he'd spoken. Bracing himself on the massive chest, the human did as he was asked. Using leg muscles made strong by years of riding the even more powerful and primal ocean waves, Harper began to ride his Nietzschean master - slowly.

Realizing that he had found something that Harper liked, Tyr kept his hands where they were, stroking over the sensitive muscle, occasionally pressing lightly so that a fingertip almost slipped inside as well. All the while he stared into the human's eyes, seeing his pleasure, watching it grow and swell like those waves he'd mentioned earlier.

"That's it, Pet," he murmured, his free hand rising to tease at a rigid nipple. "Ride me hard. Come for me."

Harper could barely hear the Nietzschean speak; all he heard was the blood cresting in his body, pounding like the waves of his beloved oceans. Surging up and down, losing himself in the motion and glide of sex, Harper's head fell back and his arms went backwards, bracing on Tyr's thighs as his body bowed.

Tiny gasps of air were sucked in, and a long, continuous moan was drawn from his lips. God, how could he have forgotten how good it was to be claimed? How could he have fought and denied the urgings of his body for so long? He'd been made for this - to be a pleasure slave. It was what he knew best, this and riding the cyber waves of computers. The blunt tip of the Nietzschean's cock raked across his prostate time and again, eliciting tiny cries of need and sending his body into shivers of ecstasy. One last, powerful jab of the captain's hips and Harper's arms gave out as his cock fountained hot, white semen all over his and Tyr's stomachs, never even having been touched.

Tyr gasped at the incredible sensation of Harper rippling around him but somehow managed to hold on. When the human collapsed, Tyr's arms went around the small of his back and drew him upward, then he rolled them over so he was above his lover. Waiting till the blue eyes opened again, he smiled into them before lowering his head to claim his first kiss from the younger man.

As his tongue possessed Harper's mouth, his cock drove into his ass in the same rhythm, filling him top and bottom, claiming him utterly.

Harper's eyes widened in shock. No Nietzschean had ever kissed him before. His mouth automatically opened wider to moan, and he felt Tyr's tongue sweep inside, claiming this last orifice of his body as surely as he claimed him in other ways. It was too much; it was too tender and loving, almost as if the captain really meant it. Harper whimpered and broke off the kiss, gasping for air.

Despite wanting to taste more of the human, Tyr allowed him to break away, instead fastening his mouth onto Harper's throat. He bit down and sucked on the tender flesh, marking Harper as his. He continued to drive in and out of him, the vaunted Nietzschean control deserting him in the pleasure of Harper's sweet body.

He reached between them, hand closing over the slowly stiffening cock and pumping. "I want you to come again," he growled, teeth nipping at a tender earlobe.

Mewling as his body was driven higher and further, Harper clung to the Nietzschean weakly. Tyr worked his body mercilessly, driving him faster, harder, stabbing his huge cock repeatedly into Harper's sensitized prostate.

With a weak moan, Harper came, a few tiny jets of semen escaping his spent body which the Nietzschean had now wrung dry. His hands fell limply to his sides, and his body shimmered with the sheen of sweat from their exertions. He couldn't remember ever having his needs catered to before, but even he had his limits, and they'd now been reached. "Please," he begged tiredly, hoping that the captain would take mercy on him and finish before his overloaded body came apart at the seams.

After watching the blond come again, Tyr covered his mouth again in another deep kiss, muffling his own cries of satisfaction as he came deep inside his lover. Done, he lay over the human, now kissing him gently, exploring his face, neck and shoulders with tongue and lips.

Unsure of how to act but finding himself oddly attracted to this gentle, almost soft side of his captor, Harper hesitantly brought his arms up around the Nietzschean's shoulders.

It was Captain Anasazi's tenderness and his own exhaustion that had Harper admitting something he normally never would have, had he been more in control of himself. "I dreamed about you when I was in that brothel, wet dreams. I've never imprinted on any of my other masters as fast or as completely as I seem to have with you."

Tyr's eyes widened in surprise, then he kissed Harper again. "Forget them, P- Harper. You're here with me now." Reluctantly, he allowed their bodies to separate, then stood up, picking the sated young man up in his arms and carrying him to the shower.

He stood Harper under the water, holding him up and washing him thoroughly, then quickly cleaned himself as well. Done, he dried Harper off, then carried him back to the bedroom and settled him in the bed before curling around him to rest.

Harper woke hours later alone in the bed. The captain was nowhere to be seen and from the silence not in his quarters. Stretching, Harper winced at the slight twinges of pain emanating from his hips and ass.

Wandering into the bathroom to relieve himself, the young man noticed the large hand shaped bruises on his hips proclaiming Tyr's ownership of his body. For some perverse reason it infuriated the engineer to see such a blatantly outward sign of the Nietzschean's ability to reduce him to a mindless slut. Muttering under his breath, Harper quickly dressed. Hopefully the AI was occupied with the Captain and flying and whatever else he was doing. Since he now had free reign of the cabin...

It took next to no time to bypass the door security, and having first downloaded the ship's schematics from the computer he hacked into, Harper furtively sneaked down the hallway and then slid into one of the repair conduits, clambering between decks and avoiding all the Nietzscheans wandering about, until he at last came to the slave deck. It took even less time for him to break Trance out and break them both into Dylan and Beka's pen, where the four of them had a happy and tearful reunion.

Tyr returned to his quarters, hoping to continue getting to know Harper, only to find that the human was gone. Disappointment fueling his anger, he immediately headed for the slaves pen, knowing where Harper had to have gone.

Along the way, he waved off those crewmembers who questioned their captain about his almost visible fury, arriving at the pens alone. He stepped inside, standing in the aisle between the two unlocked enclosures, arms folded across his chest, and glared at Harper.

Swallowing visibly, Harper stiffened his spine and put on his most belligerent glare. What did the Nietzschean expect? He knew that Trance was okay, but he'd known Dylan and Beka longer - and much better. He'd been worried about his friends.

"Harper?" Beka placed a concerned arm around her engineer's shoulders while Dylan automatically stepped in front of the younger man. They'd been overjoyed to see him when he suddenly appeared, having been worrying themselves sick for the past month. The fact that he seemed none the worse for wear and unlike the cowed and terrified man they'd rescued years ago had lulled them into believing that he'd simply been made to serve in his engineering capacity. The appearance of the captain and the proprietary glare he threw at Harper had them accepting the worst. "Harper, why didn't you tell us?" Beka asked softly.

"It... it's not like last time, Bek; he's almost - nice," Harper admitted grudgingly, looking at Tyr's handsome face and feeling himself shiver and his cock harden automatically.

"Harper, you don't have to do this," Dylan whispered, looking back at the younger man he'd taken under his wing and now called brother. "You know you don't." "Ummm... somehow I think he'd have something to say about that. I'd better go," Harper sighed unhappily before hugging Beka, Dylan and Trance tightly. "I'm glad you guys are doing okay."

Now that he'd found Harper and seen for himself that he was fine and no one here was a threat to Tyr's possession of him, the Nietzschean relaxed. He pulled Harper to him when the other man approached and kissed him deeply and possessively, then released him. "Stay if you like. And use the corridors to return to my quarters. No one will touch you."

With a final possessive caress, Tyr turned to leave, ignoring the other three completely.

"You mean you're not gonna punish me?" Harper squeaked out, surprised, before clamping his lips shut tight. He did not understand this particular Nietzschean and admitted as much. "You confuse me, Captan Anasazi, you really do."

Tyr grinned back over his shoulder, suddenly looking years younger. "Good." On his way out, he tossed back one final remark. "Since you're so good at breaking them out of there, you might as well bring them back to our quarters where you'll be more comfortable."

"Our quarters???" Harper stood there, gape mouthed and more confused than he could ever remember being. The Nietzschean was crazy; there was no other explanation for any of this from hunting him down to now.

Trance came to stand beside her shocked friend and giggled at the look on his face. "I think he likes you, Harper."

Dylan moved over beside Harper again. "What's up with that, Seamus? If I didn't know better, I'd say Trance was right." He stared after the captain, baffled.

Before Beka could comment, Rommie appeared. "She is. Captain Anasazi is acting completely out of character. He's acting like... like Rhade did when he first met Dylan. Oh dear."

"Oh dear?" Beka questioned, Dylan being stunned speechless by Andromeda's casual reference to his ancestor.

"Nietzscheans are unpredictable when they fall in love." Rommie shook her head. "If not for that relationship, Rhade would never have been able to override my self-destruct imperative to capture me."

"I often wondered about that," Dylan murmured.

Rommie nodded. "In a way, the System Commonwealth fell for love. Well, not really, but a lot would have been different." She shrugged. "You really should go up to the captain's quarters."

Harper sputtered quietly. "Love? Love? You've got to be joking - Nietzscheans don't fall in love. Ever. It's against their code or creed or survival or whatever!" The engineer's voice rose with every word he spoke, more confused and confounded than he had ever been.

"What does he want from me? What, having a sex slave isn't good enough, now he wants me to... to..." Harper couldn't even say the word, he merely glared at the hologram in a pale imitation of the captain and stormed away, half expecting his friends to follow him, half expecting them to flee.

Exchanging a glance, almost amused now that they knew Harper was all right, even if they didn't quite understand how, Beka and Dylan followed the engineer through the Andromeda with Trance on their heels. The Nietzscheans they passed eyed them, but no one made a move to interfere. It had been made very clear that anyone who touched the captain's human pet would regret it.

Trance explored the captain's quarters curiously, while Dylan and Beka hovered near the door, not sure what to make of any of this.

Harper paced the living room, muttering under his breath, ranting about insane Nietzscheans and crazy computers, furious without knowing the reason why. How could that... that Nietzschean say that to him? How could the ship suggest that Tyr was falling in love with him?

"Harper, are you okay?" Trance looked at her friend curiously; she'd never seen him quite so jumpy.

"No, I'm not okay, Trance. The captain's insane, and the ship's round the bend, and there are Nietzscheans everywhere, and I'm the fuck toy for their leader! Why the hell would I be okay?" Harper snarled.

Trance was taken aback by his ferocity. "Why don't you want to believe it, Harper? It's the only thing that makes sense of everything Captain Anasazi's done since he met you."

Dylan and Beka frowned, but the purple girl had a point. The captain was acting in a very un-Nietzschean sort of way, and Andromeda's explanation and hers made sense. After seeing Anasazi with Harper earlier, the two humans were prepared to believe almost anything.

"But... but he's Nietzschean!" Harper practically wailed. "None of the ones in the camps, none of the ones that trained me acted like this - why is he??"

"I think that's something you need to ask him, Harper," Beka said quietly. "Come see us again soon, kay?" She herded Dylan and Trance out of the room, breathing a faint sigh of relief when Rommie appeared beside them, keeping the Nietzscheans back as they returned to the slave pens.

Harper picked up a piece of sculpture depicting two warriors in combat and hurled the thing at the wall, enjoying the almost violent way it exploded and shattered on contact. It was an almost cathartic feeling, the release of pent up emotion.

"God Damn him! Why couldn't he have left me alone? Why did he have to do this to me? Turn my world upside down? Why couldn't he have just used me like the others? Why did he have to be kind?"

"Do you think I haven't asked myself those same questions?" a quiet voice asked from the doorway. "It would have been much better for all of us. But... I find that I dislike the idea of hurting you." The Nietzschean stepped the rest of the way inside, allowing the door to shut behind him.

"By the makers, I even find myself making excuses to spend time with you." He laughed a little wildly and shook his head. "If anyone knew..."

Harper sank to the floor, his energy spent in his fit of rage, and looked helplessly up at the Nietzschean. "But I don't want to like you let alone feel these things that I do. I'm supposed to hate you. I want to hate you - you took my life away from me and gave me... what? What do I have here, Captain? What am I? A pampered pet? A slave? A bedmate? Are you going to get tired of me and send me down to the slave pens eventually, or worse, give me to someone else?

"Please, tell me what I am; I... I don't know anymore," the young man asked brokenly, eyes moist and glistening.

Tyr knelt down at Harper's side, watching him. "I don't know. You're more than just a slave," he admitted almost resentfully. "I want more than your body, though that's part of it. I do know that I won't tire of you, won't send you away, won't let anyone else touch you. You're mine!" He suddenly grasped Harper's arms and pulled him slightly toward himself. Brown eyes blazed their ownership, and Tyr once again took Harper's mouth in a hungry kiss.

Harper put aside his questions and doubts for the moments. The past had only taught him that no matter what they said, no Nietzschean could be trusted beyond those things that were essential to his or her survival. Harper doubted very much he was essential to Tyr's survival. However, with the huge man's tongue scouring his mouth, claiming even this part of him, those concerns seemed rather far away - for the moment.

Arms wandering up over bulging muscles and then back down to trace and play with Tyr's arm spikes, Harper let himself be devoured until he saw spots dancing before his eyes, and then he broke off the kiss, gasping for air. "No one's ever kissed me like that before," he admitted gruffly, his eyes dancing around the room, trying to land on anything but Tyr. Confessions were so damned hard on the pride!

"I've never wanted to kiss anyone like that before," Tyr admitted in return. He shivered slightly when Harper's fingers moved lightly over his spikes. His eyes moved from the hands to the human's parted lips, swollen from the pressure of his kiss, and he wanted him again. Knowing, however, that humans were weaker and more fragile, he tried to restrain himself, not wanting to hurt Harper.

"Harper what?" he asked suddenly.

"What?" Harper asked, distractedly, not really listening to what the Nietzschean was saying as he was more concerned with the cravings of his body. One craving in particular, actually.

Feathering his fingers across the prominent bulge in the front of the captain's leather pants, Harper quickly figured out the intricate catches and had Tyr undone and exposed almost before the Nietzschean could finish his moan. Licking his lips to wet them, the young man plunged his mouth down onto the hard, ruddy cock, swallowing as much of the imposing baton of flesh as he could without choking and wrapping his fist around the rest to stimulate that as well.

Tyr's entire body stiffened and arched forward, driving his cock deeper into that grasping mouth, then he forced himself to sink back on his heels. It was even better than he could have imagined, if he'd allowed himself to do so. He couldn't believe that the man he hadn't dared kiss a week ago for fear of losing his tongue was now sucking him because he wanted to.

One hand slid down the back of Harper's pants, sliding between the soft leather and equally soft skin. A finger traced the length of the crack, then pressed gently against his opening.

Moaning around the bar of flesh in his mouth, Harper wriggled slightly, letting his legs spread wider so that his ass was more clearly split and therefore more accessible to the Nietzschean's ministrations.

So far gone with the needs of his body, Harper didn't even realize this was the first time he'd ever willingly initiated sex between them. All he could think about was how good Tyr tasted and how hungry he was, how he wanted to feel the silky glide of the Nietzschean's semen as it slid down his throat.

Harper's free hand flew to his fastenings, undoing his own leather and wrapping a hand around his own cock to stroke in time to the rhythm he established on the captain's flesh. His tongue lashed and traced the huge vein underneath the cock, moving around the sensitive flesh like a living whip, and his cheeks hollowed with the pressure he exerted to suckle on the bigger man's shaft.

The incredible pleasure drew an ecstatic groan from the captain, and he took advantage of Harper's loosened clothes to work a finger inside his human lover. He found himself needing to pleasure Harper, not willing to just take what he wanted without giving something back.

With two fingers now stroking deep inside the young man, his other hand rose to brush Harper's aside. His own fingers curled around Harper's cock, stroking him outside as well as in, driving him further with every movement. He looked down, seeing the blond head in his lap and his hands in and on Harper, and a ragged cry of pleasure ripped from him.

Gurgling his own need around Tyr's cock, Harper let his teeth scrape lightly along the Nietzschean's flesh, his ass moving to thrust him between dueling hands bent on driving him crazy. Everything about the older man fuelled his desire - touch, taste, smell, the sounds he was emitting, the gorgeous perfection of his master - they all made Harper delirious with need and hungry to taste Tyr's essence.

Bobbing his head faster and faster, Harper rode Tyr's fingers and whimpered as the callused pads of the Nietzschean's fingers brushed not only over his cock but played with his balls too. Groaning, Harper felt the thick cock slide further into his mouth and then into his throat as his whole body relaxed and loosened in preparation of his orgasm.

Tyr watched Harper carefully despite his own growing pleasure. He wanted to time this perfectly. He wanted them to come at the same time, then he would fuck the young man until they both came again. Feeling the quivering starting to overtake Harper, he let himself go, pushing into Harper's mouth as he came.

Harper felt the flood of warm semen down his throat just as his own body jerked and spat its seed across the floor. Quivering and shaking as his body came down off the orgasmic high, he continued to drink down the copious amounts of his lover's seed, some of it escaping to trickle down his cheek.

When at last he felt Tyr begin to soften, the young man lapped at the ruddy tip of his cock one more time and collapsed onto the floor, eyes closed and tongue darting out to catch what drops escaped him earlier.

Momentarily sated, Tyr stared down at his lover wantonly sprawled on the floor, his own seed on his face, and he wanted him again. But not like this, not here on the floor. He scooped the limp body into his arms and gracefully unfolded to his feet, carrying Harper to the bed.

Smiling wickedly, the Nietzschean captain placed the younger man on his belly and settled lower on the bed, between the legs he spread. Smirking, his head lowered, and his tongue flicked out over the loosened ring of muscle.

"Fuck!" Harper went from lazy relaxation to every part of his body screaming and awake as he arched back into the incredible sensation of a tongue rimming his anus. "Oh my god, oh god oh god oh god!" Braced on trembling arms, the young man rocked back and forth trying to impale himself on the thick muscle of Tyr's tongue. He'd never, ever felt anything like that in his life!

Pleased by the reaction, Tyr continued, one moment teasingly flicking the tip of his tongue over the spasming muscle, the next driving the full length inside Harper as far as he could. His hands gripped the human's thighs, holding him down, not letting him escape the overwhelming pleasure. Curious, Tyr decided to find out if his Pet could come just from this.

Mewling and bucking, Harper's hand fisted in the fabric of the bed, his mouth open and panting softly as he tried to impale himself on the living, flickering flesh in his ass. He'd never, ever felt anything like this before.

Eyes rolling back in his head, one hand let go of the bedding and slid between his thighs to cup his cock.

Sensing the movement, Tyr's hand immediately released his leg and shot forward to catch the hand, pulling it away from the rampant length. He pressed the hand flat against the bed, his fingers interlacing with Harper's momentarily before returning to his thigh. Throughout, his tongue never stopped teasing at his lover, and he realized that he was enjoying this as well.

Wailing quietly, Harper thrust backwards, desperate to come. "Bastard," he whispered between the pants and moans that kept escaping from his open mouth. Deciding that he was fed up with the Nietzschean dictating his every action when it came to fucking, Harper reached back again with his hand, this time to squeeze and roll his balls.

Now growling as Harper refused to play along, Tyr released both his legs and grabbed his hands, holding them in his own. Seeing Harper's entire body quake at the vibrations caused by his growl, he continued, trying to increase the human's pleasure, though the sound was more like a purr than a growl now.

"No, dammit, Tyr! I want to come; I need to come, you son of a bitch!" Harper snarled as he lunged backwards, his whole body on the knife's edge of coming but unable to find that last touch required to send him over the edge.

Cursing and swearing and threatening dire consequences if he didn't find relief soon, Harper continued to lunge back against Tyr's tongue, moaning as the vibrations of his growls teased him even more.

Tyr shifted slightly and the very tip of his tongue rubbed over the bump of Harper's prostate the next time he plunged into the squirming man.

Harper jumped as if shot with a pulse canon and screeched, his hands squeezing down on Tyr's as his body shivered and convulsed at last. "Oh my GOD!!!" the young man wailed, collapsing on the bed, his semen creating a warm, damp spot beneath his belly.

Smiling with satisfaction despite the fading ache in his tongue and jaw, Tyr rolled Harper to his side out of the wet spot and spooned up behind him, his erection fitting perfectly between the human's cheeks. While Harper was still quivering with aftershocks, Tyr pushed inside him to the root, then stilled.

An almost voluptuous sigh escaped Harper's lips as he was at last filled again. He'd become so dependent on this feeling of fullness, this sense of being claimed and owned and taken and even taken care of. Relaxing into the strong embrace and stronger body, Harper's head fell back onto Tyr's shoulder, and he lay there, docile and compliant for the first time all day, waiting for his master's pleasure.

Despite his pleasure in the sensation of being inside Harper, Tyr could not remain still for long. His hips began to move back and forth, slowly despite his arousal, and his hand fell to his lover's groin, gradually awakening the soft cock with slow, knowing strokes.

"Oooooooh," the former engineer sighed, his hands kneading the strong forearms wrapped around him as he began to thrust back in counterpoint to Tyr's motions. "How could I have forgotten how good this is?" he whispered to himself, not realizing he was speaking aloud. "How could I have given it up for so long. Was what I was made for, trained for. Love this."

Tyr frowned, freezing mid-motion. Harper wasn't enjoying him. He could have been anyone. But he was here, with Tyr, and the Nietzschean was confident of his ability to make the human want him. Slowly he began to move again, this time whispering in Harper's ear, making him know who was with him, who was taking him.

Shifting restlessly, trying to impale himself on even more of the older man's cock, Harper turned his head and bit down hard on whatever flesh he came into contact with, which was Tyr's neck. "Will you fuck me, already, Anasazi?" he growled impatiently, slamming his hips backwards. "Thought you liked claiming me, fuck knows you've done it enough over the past month."

Tyr's eyebrows rose in surprise. This was the first time Harper had ever been demanding about sex. He liked it. "If you insist," he replied, his tone deep and rumbling in his chest. One hand gripped Harper's hip as he drove into him hard and fast.

"Oh God, YESSSS" Harper screamed, slamming himself backwards onto the Nietzschean's cock as it impaled him over and over. His fingers dug into the arms that wrapped around his waist, nails creating bloody crescents on the perfect Nietzschean flesh. "More, please, oh god, oh fuck, oh please, there, yes, my, TTTTTTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" With the final, voice bruising scream, the young man passed out cold, his come fountaining hard over the sheet even as he lost consciousness.

Hearing Harper say his name finally was too much for the Nietzschean, and he came as well, jetting his seed deep inside the engineer. As the last shudders passed through his body, he tightened his grip around Harper and allowed himself to fall asleep still held safely inside his lover.

Staring disgustingly at the pile of clothes on the bed, Harper scowled. They all made him look like a sex toy... which was exactly what he was. However, Anasazi didn't say he had to wear them. He didn't give any instructions at all when it came to Harper's apparel. An evil grin split the young man's face. Time to start pushing limits and seeing just how far his master would let him go before he got yanked back into place.

Two hours later, Harper was busy sweating up a storm, playing an impromptu game of one on one with Dylan down in the slave pens, wearing the clothes that he'd removed himself from the Maru. A god awful, overly bright and gaudy Hawaiian shirt over a loose white tee-shirt and much too baggy shorts.

After all, he wasn't leaving; he was just getting his stuff. Stuff that included a cyber jack. His next little act of rebellion would come in the form of hacking into Andromeda Ascendant and seeing what made her tick - maybe lowering the temperature on the bridge or something, just to prove he still had it.

Arriving in search of Harper without even having to resort to asking Andromeda where he was, Tyr did a double take when he saw what the blond was wearing. Unable to believe his eyes and hoping that they weren't bleeding from the assault of that shirt, the Nietzschean slowly circled his lover. There truly was no good angle.

"That is the single most hideous garment I have ever seen in my life."

Wiping an arm across his sweaty brow, Harper glared up at the Nietzschean. "Do you mind? You're blocking my shot."

His head shaking in bemusement, Tyr backed out of the way, still unable to tear his eyes away from the horrible shirt. Seeing Trance and Beka nearby watching the game, he approached them. "Does he always wear such awful clothes?" he asked, completely unconscious of the strangeness of the situation.

"I like Harper's clothes," Trance said, sounding confused.

"Yes," was all Beka said.

Harper shot a quick glance at the Nietzschean and smirked. So he thought the shirt was hideous? Harper wasn't even wearing the fuchsia, electric blue and crimson one with the lime green leaves that Trance got him for his last birthday. He was going to enjoy this.

Dylan caught the younger man's smile and moved in close, ostensibly to block the shot but in reality to whisper to him. "What game are you playing at now, Seamus?"

"Getting the Nietzschean's goat," the young man replied with a smirk, weaving under Dylan's arms and going for a lay up.

"Seamus?" Tyr asked, suddenly alert again, thanks to Nietzschean hearing. He focused totally on Harper, except for an awareness of how close Hunt was to his lover.

Shooting a sour glance at the Maru's former first officer, Harper ignored his master. He hated being called Seamus. He really did.

Slamming the ball over to Dylan, Harper smiled a saccharine sweet grin. "Your turn, Hunt," and then proceeded to change one on one into a contact sport.

Beka and Trance turned alarmed glances toward the Nietzschean captain as he started to growl, the sound growing in volume and intensity with each touch between Harper and Dylan. Finally, it was too much for him, and he stormed toward them.

Seeing the enraged Nietzschean heading for him, Dylan rapidly got out of the way, leaving Harper to deal with what he had created. Oddly, he had no fear for Harper. Even he had to admit that Anasazi seemed unwilling to harm the engineer in any way.

Tyr grabbed Harper by the upper arms and shook him slightly. "Do not try my temper, Harper. Or should it be Seamus?" he growled, angry that everyone else seemed to know more about his lover than he did.

Harper's lips compressed into a thin, water tight line, and he glared up at his captor but not before his foot managed to connect to the Nietzschean's knee with a well aimed kick.

Harper wasn't sure why he was so damned determined to defy the captain, but all he knew was that he was going to. The truth was, Harper was unsure of how to act, how to be around a man who treated him like a lover and not a possession. He didn't know the rules of the game, and he was unsettled and more than a little scared. Emotions shouldn't be involved in this - other than hate and lust maybe. And yet Harper's seemed to be fully engaged, and he didn't like it.

A deathly silence descended. No one could believe that Harper had kicked the Nietzschean, least of all the Nietzschean, and they waited with bated breath for his reaction. Tyr stared at Harper unblinkingly, then suddenly tossed him over his shoulder and stalked out of the room. Whatever happened next would be between them alone.

In their quarters, Tyr set Harper back on his feet and stood in front of the door, arms crossed, a forbidding expression on his face. "Explain yourself."

"Make me," Harper snarled, matching the Nietzschean scowl for scowl.

Tyr simply remained where he was, silent and immovable, clearly prepared to wait till the universe came to an end for a reply.

Harper snorted and wheeled, stalking into the bedroom where he began to strip off the sweaty clothes, deciding now would be the time to take a long, leisurely bath.

Focussing his gaze on the bedroom doorway so he'd be looking at Harper the moment he reappeared, Tyr waited. He would wait minutes or hours or days, whatever it took.

After soaking an inordinate amount of time with no Nietzschean presence, Harper was miffed enough to do something he'd only ever done once.

"Uh, Andromeda? Where's the captain?"

"In the same position he was prior to you choosing to bathe, Mr. Harper," came the ship's disembodied voice.

"And how long is he gonna stand there?"

"Knowing the captain, as long as it takes."

"Unh, thanks. I think." Climbing out of the bath, somewhat deflated that his confrontation was being denied, Harper wandered naked into the bedroom and threw himself on the bed. The sheets smelled like the Nietzschean. Harper's cock hardened immediately, and he felt the need and desire rush through him. "God damn that hulking bastard," he growled softly even as his hand wrapped around his cock to slake his lust.

Tyr's nostrils flared and his eyes closed momentarily as he could smell Harper's arousal. His own body hardened in response, but he ignored it. He was a Nietzschean. He was strong. He wanted the little bastard! Fists now clenched, the gaze he focused on the bedroom doorway should have drilled through bulkheads.

He would outlast Harper. He would find out what he wanted to know. And then he would fuck the human so long and hard that he wouldn't be able to sit or walk for a week. He didn't realize that he was growling as he stood there.

Harper heard the growls reverberate from the living area, and an evil grin spread across his face. So the Nietzschean captain thought he could ignore Harper? Not fucking likely.

Letting out a low moan of arousal, Harper scraped a pearl of cum off his cock, bringing it up to his mouth and tasting it with a loud smacking of his lips. Continuing to suck the finger into his mouth, wetting it thoroughly, the younger man moved his other hand to cock.

The wet finger was trailed down the center of his chest then, after he rolled onto his side, over his hip and ass to inveigle itself between Harper's ass cheeks and into the well loosened muscle there.

Tyr listened to the sounds of Harper pleasuring himself, and he gritted his teeth. The only thing helping him was the knowledge that Harper's body was trained to want sex, and his own hands would not give him what he wanted. He also thought that some tiny part of Harper wanted him specifically, even if the human wouldn't admit it yet. If only he could survive until Harper's frustration with the lack of sex and being stuck in these rooms forced him to start talking.

Harper stroked himself into orgasm, his finger ramming into his prostate and eliciting temporary sparks of arousal. However, the orgasm faded quickly and left him hungry and aching for more - for a thick slab of Nietzschean cock in his ass, namely Tyr's. "Fuck," he breathed softly.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!" Rolling out of bed and grabbing a tee-shirt, one of his own, not the ones provided for him, and a pair of form fitting lycra biker shorts that he wore under his wetsuits, Harper stormed out into the living area, looking for something, anything to distract him from the need that had begun to roil inside him again, much the same way that the need for Flash spurred on an addict.

Tyr kept his eyes focused on the young man, watching every move he made, enjoying the sight of him despite his own frustration. He could smell the sex and arousal on the human, and his own body responded again, but no facial expression gave him away.

Suddenly wheeling around to glare at the Nietzschean, knowing he was giving Tyr exactly what he wanted but unable to take the burning need anymore without some form of release, Harper yelled at the captain. "What the hell do you want from me???"

"I want to know why you refuse to tell me your name, why you are deliberately trying to arouse my anger and jealousy, why you are doing your best to be as difficult as possible."

"Gee, maybe it's got something to do with the fact that I'm a slave - your slave. Your little pet, remember?" Harper retorted. "I don't get you at all. Why aren't you beating me or selling me or throwing me into the breeding pens or giving me away to be used until I'm better behaved? That's what any other slave master would do... why don't you? Aren't I good enough for even that?"

"Because I don't think of you as a slave!" Tyr snapped, frustrated with the whole situation. He finally moved away from the door, dropping onto the leather chair in a loose-limbed sprawl. Brown eyes rose to meet blue, frustration and confusion battling for dominance in that gaze.

"You... you don't?" Harper's voice went from strident to that of a frightened child. "I don't understand. Don't you want me anymore?" He just couldn't grasp the concept that this man who'd taken him prisoner, claimed him, hunted him down, and proclaimed his ownership of Harper time and again considered him anything other than a slave.

The captain threw his head back on the chair, staring up at the ceiling in total aggravation. "Of course I want you! Haven't I made that clear in every way I know how?" His head shot up to allow him to glare at Harper. "I want you as a lover not some mindless, uncaring, unfeeling thing!"

"I, I need to sit down." Harper sank weakly onto another chair and stared at the captain in total confusion. "You're the strangest Nietzschean I've ever met. You confuse me, make me feel things.

"You scare me," Harper admitted at last. "I mean, I don't know what I mean. Why can't I hate you like I should? Why do I want you to like me, to want me?

"I don't mean to act like a brat, not really," he finally confessed. "I guess I just wanted you to put me in my place. To give me something, anything to keep thinking of you as my master."

"Is it so impossible to think of me as a person?" Tyr's eyes remained focused on the human. "I do want you, like you, when you let me see you instead of the defenses. Between us, when we're alone, can't we figure out our own places, how we want to be together?" The Nietzschean could hardly believe what he heard himself saying, yet the words accurately reflected his feelings. Unfortunately, he knew that he would never dare let any of his own race hear this. It would be the end of him.

"I... I don't know. I want to, I think. I just," Harper sighed and ran a hand through his hair and heaved a sigh.

"How can I expect someone who considers freedom their given right to understand? You were born free, and you'll die free. You never experienced the slave camps, will never know the constant fear that was like acid in your gut. You didn't watch your cousins killed for sport or your mother raped in front of you. You were never raped or beaten or made to do such horrific things just to be able to stay alive. "And then. Then to learn what it was to be free, to have the power of control over your own life, your own destiny. I suddenly could choose when I'd wake up, what I'd wear, what I'd eat, if I wanted to spend the day lounging in bed, riding a wave or tinkering on an engine. Even when I reported to Dylan and Beka, I still had the right to say no, to disagree without fear of being backhanded, beaten or killed.

"This thing on my hand," Harper waved the arm bearing his slave tattoo. "It did more than just mark my body, it marked my soul, it branded me something less than other people, something to be used and abused and discarded at will. It made me a thing not a person. And now I'm a thing again, even if you do like me and want to be with me and are kind and gentle and thoughtful and considerate. They're wonderful things to be... but you still own me, Tyr. I'm a thing, not a person. I deserve to be a person. I know that now, and I can't settle for less. Dylan and Beka taught me that. They taught me I was worth something. That I had the right to be a person, to be free."

Tyr desperately wanted to deny Harper's words, but how could he? He couldn't begin to imagine existing as a slave, yet he knew that if he were to find himself in that position, he would never cease fighting to be free. If Harper wanted less, he would not be a person Tyr would want.

"I... understand," he admitted slowly. "I'm just not sure that I can give you what you want." He looked away, knowing that he was unwilling to let Harper go.

Harper nodded his head solemnly, looking away from the Nietzschean even as his shoulders slumped. "I kinda figured you'd say that. I understand, I really do. I... I'm kinda tired, I think I'll go to bed. If that's okay with you, that is?" the young man replied, his voice going lifeless once more.

"Then go," Tyr snarled, angry that he cared. "Take your friends," he sneered, "and get off my ship." Not waiting for an answer, he slammed into the bedroom, refusing to watch Harper leave.

Drawing a shuddering breath, Harper got to his feet shakily. Oh god, he was free again! Looking at the quarters that had been his home as much as his prison for the past month, Harper's eyes lingered a long time on the closed door before walking out.

Heading down to the slave pens, the engineer got Beka, Dylan, and Trance and headed for the Maru. He could do this. He could walk away and never look back.

Dylan and Beka frantically went through the launch checklist, afraid that the captain would change his mind. Harper sat almost inhumanly still in his chair, fighting for control. Over and over he silently chanted, I can do this, I can leave, I can walk away, I can do this... "I can't do this. I'm sorry, Bek. You should go, all of you, while you can, but I can't."

"Harper? He's brainwashed you; you were his slave, for god's sake!" Beka whirled in her seat, her jaw hanging open.

"A slave he freed, Bek, he let me go. He let you go for my sake," Harper replied with a pained smile. "I'm probably making the biggest mistake of my life, hell of anyone's life, but... I'm staying. You should get out of here though. "Tell Rafe I said thanks, okay? He took real good care of me, Beka, and I won't forget that," Harper continued as he unstrapped himself and headed for the hatch. "I love you guys; drop me a line sometime, okay? Just don't try to piss off Kodiak Pride. Tyr might get in major shit. Do it for me, if not for him."

The door was still closed when he walked back into the captain's quarters. Not wanting to venture into the bedroom and face an incredibly pissed off and possibly homicidal Nietzschean, Harper settled himself down on the couch, pulling a blanket over top of him. A single tear slipped down his cheek as he thought of his friends, free and somewhere in a slipstream moving further and further away from him. He only hoped he'd made the right choice.

Eventually, knowing he couldn't hide in his bed forever, Tyr came back out, planning to go work off his frustration and try to forget what he'd lost. Catching sight of the huddled figure on the couch, he stopped in his tracks, staring incredulously.

"Harper?" he breathed, unable to believe what his eyes were telling him.

The young man in question sniffled loudly and scrubbed his red and swollen eyes. One tear had led to another, and another until a silent flood had emerged, leaving his nose running, his eyes puffy, and him cranky.

"Who were you expecting, Tyr, that bitch Freya?"

"Why?" Tyr came to sit beside Harper, his hand falling naturally to the human's thigh, needing to feel him to believe that he was really still there. "I thought you would be long gone by now." Unconsciously, his grip tightened at the thought.

Harper winced slightly and tugged his thigh to get the captain to ease up a bit. "I couldn't do it. Can we leave it at that for now? Please?" he begged quietly, not ready to put into words what he wasn't sure he could even admit to himself in the privacy of his own mind and heart, let alone to the one responsible for those feelings.

"But they're gone, I made them go. They deserved to be free too," he continued with a belligerent tilt of his chin, daring Tyr to question him.

The Nietzschean frowned slightly but let it go. He would have to reimburse the pride for the value of the lost slaves, especially a breeding pair. Looking at the young man sitting in his quarters willingly, he found the price a small one to pay.

Although he couldn't say the words, the smile he gave Harper expressed his pleasure at his continued presence quite well. Then he leaned forward and kissed Harper almost gently.

Drawing back from the kiss, Harper examined the captain's face, looking for something, what he wasn't sure but just... A smile lit his face suddenly, and he wrapped his hands in Tyr's braids, pulling him down for a kiss that was a little more passionate than the Nietzschean had intended. "Maybe this wasn't the biggest mistake of my life, after all," he whispered after the kiss ended.

A wryly amused grin lit Tyr's face. "Do you always do things you think are a mistake?" he asked, his arms going around Harper loosely.

"Asshole," Harper shot back with a punch to the rock hard arm. "Wanna make me regret my decision already?"

"I think I'd like to enjoy your decision instead." Tyr claimed his mouth in a hungry kiss and stretched out full length over him on the couch. Harper was here voluntarily; Harper was his. He couldn't stop smiling.

"Hey, don't get too cocky here; I'm still free, ya know," Harper grumbled halfheartedly even as he pressed up into the growing bulge of the Nietzschean's groin. "Can't just demand I roll over and spread 'em for you anymore. Gotta," Harper moaned as Tyr's tongue traced a damp path down his neck, "gotta court me, make me w-want youuuuuooooh god, Tyr!" he whimpered, bucking up as strong teeth clamped over an erect nipple.

Tyr chuckled and raised his head, momentarily releasing the rigid bud of flesh. "I think I can manage that," he rumbled, his tongue darting out to lick roughly at the damp nipple. Feeling Harper's legs struggle to part beneath his weight, he rose slightly, allowing the younger man to move, then lowered himself again, settling between the now widespread legs. "I want you," he said, finally confident enough to say that and allow Harper to decide how to respond.

"And I want to be in a bed before I get fucked; this couch isn't comfortable enough for the pounding you tend to give me," Harper replied with a quirk of his lips. Maybe he could get used to this new Nietzschean after all. Tyr did try; Harper would give him that.

That comment gained Harper a smug, self-satisfied smirk from the Nietzschean, who stood up, holding Harper, who still had his arms and legs wrapped around him. He carried his lover into the bedroom, setting him down beside the bed to remove the hideous clothing.

Looking at Harper's naked body, Tyr couldn't resist. He sank to his knees in front of the smaller man, his tongue tracing over him. He nuzzled into the nest of hair at the base of his cock, his tongue flicking over the sensitive skin.

"Oh sweet Jesus," Harper gasped, his head falling back on his shoulders and his fingers tangling in the Nietzschean's braids. "Damn near shattered me with that mouth of yours last time. Was trying s-so hard not to like i-it," the engineer stuttered as he tried to speak coherently while his cock was being subjected to the most incredible torture.

"Please, oh god, please, Tyr," Harper whined as he thrust his hips forward, taking control of the pleasure for as long as the captain would let him, fucking Tyr's gorgeous mouth with his aching and needy cock.

Tyr relaxed his throat, allowing Harper to pump in and out of his mouth, glad that he was beginning to act rather than react when they were together. His hands curved around his lover's ass, cupping the firm buttocks, then shifted to allow a single long finger to trace the length of the crevice then lightly rub over the ring of muscle.

Snapping his hips forward into the wet haven of his lover's mouth, Harper bit down hard on his lip to prevent a scream of need from escaping. "Tyr, oh god, oh shit, oh Jesus, Tyr. So good, your mouth, so hot and..." Harper whimpered as he was pierced by the Nietzschean's finger, now impaled both front and rear as he rode out his pleasure.

A second finger joined the first, Tyr working to make the younger man come, wanting to feel him come apart, then take him to bed and claim him so thoroughly he could never deny him again. He growled softly, the vibrations running the length of Harper's cock, and his tongue lightly teased the length of the prominent vein on the underside.

"OH FUCK!" Harper wailed then convulsed, his body coming apart at the seams, his semen flooding the Nietzschean's, his lover's, mouth even as his fingers tightened into a death grip around Tyr's head.

"Oh yes, oh god, oh Tyr, more, fuck me, oh crap, fuck me into the next deck!" Harper continued to babble as he thrust back and forth, his body shivering, his legs trembling and his breath coming in quiet gasps.

More than happy to comply, Tyr stood up, holding Harper upright as he did, then shifted them onto the bed. In moments, Harper was his back with Tyr buried inside him, fingers gripping his hips as the Nietzschean fought his instincts and remained still, giving the human a short time to recover.

His head lowered, braids falling around them and curtaining them from the world, and his mouth closed over Harper's. Their tongues played together, then Tyr's retreated to his own mouth, enticing Harper's to follow and explore. Slowly, the captain's hips began to move, pulling almost all the way out of Harper, then pushing back in as far as he could go, each successive stroke a little faster than the one before until he was slamming into his lover, seemingly trying to fuck him through to the next deck as he'd asked.

Harper moaned as he was penetrated, his legs spreading themselves even wider to accept the large man completely. Tasting himself on Tyr's tongue made his own limp cock twitch in response. It was just too damn hot for words. And then Tyr started to move, and Harper stopped thinking at all.

Sliding his legs up Tyr's long arms, over the arm spikes and huge biceps, Harper slung his feet over the broad shoulders, changing the angle of Tyr's penetration and opening himself wider for a deeper plundering. His right hand moved between them to stroke and knead his cock while his left hand wandered over Tyr's broad chest until he found a nipple to tease and play with.

Tyr groaned when Harper's fingers closed over his nipple, and his eyes focused on the writhing man beneath him. Smiling wickedly, he shifted an arm closer to Harper, his spikes brushing against the sensitive skin around the human's jack. His hips continued to drive him in and out of his lover, claiming him, and he lowered himself slightly so that his belly rubbed over the other man's rising cock on every stroke.

"Oh god, TYR!" Harper screamed as he felt the spikes touch the skin of his neck. Ever since it had been implanted, his neck had been his weakness, the skin there even more sensitive than that of his circumcised glans. That caress combined with the grinding of the Nietzschean's stomach against his rapidly filling erection and the constant slamming of Tyr's cock into his prostate drove him wild.

Panting and whining, Harper's head reared up, and he found and bit down hard on the nipple he hadn't been teasing, his teeth worrying the flesh even as his body convulsed and began to shiver, his cock now completely hard. Letting go of the nipple, he fell back onto the bed, his hands going above his head to latch onto the headboard, his whole body strained and taut as he was aroused mercilessly by his huge lover's expert ability.

Staring down at the wantonly sprawled body beneath him, Tyr wanted Harper more than he'd ever wanted anyone before in his life. A rumbling growl erupted from him as he possessed his mate, claiming the young human thoroughly. He kept his arm still alongside Harper's neck, letting the tossing of the human's head arouse him further as his sensitive skin rubbed against Tyr's spikes.

"Mine," he growled as he took the young man, hungry brown eyes focused on blue.

Harper stared uncomprehendingly up at the growling Nietzschean, unable to process the words, only hear and feel the growls. Fuck, could that noise be any hotter? Tossing his head back and forth, Harper felt his balls begin to tighten, his legs quiver and his abdominal muscles grow taut.

"Tyr, god, Tyr, more, harder, need... need... YOU!!!!" the young human wailed as with one more, almost brutal, thrust against his prostate he came again, this time a little more weakly, as his muscles clenched and contracted around the massive cock in his ass.

Tyr allowed Harper's convulsions to carry him over as well, his body arching and driving deep as he came, his seed filling the young human. He groaned, braced above Harper, eyes closed as the last ripples of pleasure ran through him. Then, knowing that a Nietzschean's muscle mass made him much heavier than even a human of equivalent size, he rolled them over so that Harper was lying on top of him.

He found himself content, lying there with his human lover and petting the smaller man lazily.

Harper managed a tiny whimpered moan as he was rolled over, then snuggled into the huge body beneath him to recover. Having a 6'4" lover who was a solid wall of muscle definitely had a few good points, he thought with a silly grin. Lover. Tyr really was his lover now, not his master. The thought sent a shiver of warm delight chasing up his spine.

The rumbling purr from underneath him, combined with the older man's stroking hands, had a peal of laughter erupting from him, one that turned into a full fledged laughing fit. "You sound like a huge cat, one that just got to eat the proverbial canary!"

Momentarily looking insulted, Tyr finally grinned as well. "I did get to swallow the cream at least."

"Oh, that was just bad, Tyr! Very, very bad!" Harper groaned, trying to roll away from the huge man. "I can't believe you actually said that!"

The massive arms tightened around the young man, holding him in place. "Why not? It's true," he pointed, laughter bright in his voice. "Hold still," he finally said in exasperation as Harper continued to squirm to be free. "Where could you possibly need to go right now?"

"Take a wild guess," Harper replied irritably as he finally managed to squirm his way out from underneath the steel bands the Nietzschean called arms and then bolted for the bathroom, making it in time to relieve himself. "Really shouldn't have had that bottle of Altairian Ale Dylan gave me," he muttered as his stomach heaved slightly.

"I'm going to be very insulted if you get sick now," Tyr pointed out from the doorway. Seeing the gathering frown on Harper's face, he explained, "I didn't follow you just to watch you. We could both use a shower." He scratched at the dried semen on his belly irritably.

"Hey, it's not my fault if I get sick. Haven't exactly eaten a lot lately, and that ale is kinda strong. I mean the most protein I've had in the past week was when I sucked you off," the human complained as he tried desperately to control the heaving of his stomach, to no avail. Spinning and finding the latrine once more, what little contents had been in his stomach from the last two days managed to make a reappearance.

"I feel like shit," he moaned quietly, not caring how insulted the Nietzschean got.

Tyr flinched away, the instinctive Nietzschean reaction to illness. Reminding himself that Harper wasn't suffering from a disease, that there was no danger of contagion, that it was simply a result of poor nutrition recently, he forced himself to step closer. He wet a cloth in cold water and offered it to Harper.

Noticing the fact that the huge Nietzschean was actually scared of him because he just puked his guts out, Harper managed a wan laugh. "My hero," he muttered sarcastically as he grabbed the cloth and swiped it across his mouth before getting tiredly to his feet.

"Get the water running, will ya?" he grumbled quietly, resting against the cool metal wall. "Otherwise I'm gonna squish when I walk."

The Nietzschean was actually taken aback by that comment and thought, though he was not stupid enough to actually verbalize it, that slaves were sometimes easier to deal with. Deciding that ignoring it was his best bet, he simply leaned in to turn the shower, adjusting it to the hot temperature he'd noticed that Harper preferred.

"After you." He gestured toward the stall, waiting for Harper to step in once he'd finished brushing his teeth.

Grinning tiredly up at the huge man, Harper had to laugh. "Wanna know something scary?" he asked conversationally as he stepped into the steaming heat with a grateful sigh. "This isn't even me at my worst. Shoulda seen some of the stuff I said to Freya. Would explain why she broke a couple ribs and other things, I guess."

Letting the water stream over his head, Harper tilted his face up into the spray and stood there, luxuriating in the sensation of water. "God, I want to go surfing so badly I can almost taste it," he admitted quietly.

"Surfing?" Tyr repeated blankly, stepping in behind Harper and reaching for the cleanser. He lathered up his hands and began to wash his lover, enjoying touching him, making him feel good.

"Yeah, surfing. You know, big, long wooden board with a fin, you paddle it out into the ocean, stand on it and let the waves push you to shore. It's my hobby. Told you that already," Harper groused even as he stretched and sighed like the cat he'd called Tyr earlier, melting under the attentions of the older man.

Tyr shook his head in confusion. "There is not much surfing on board a ship," he pointed out, reasonably as he thought.

Harper rolled his eyes and spoke very slowly, almost like he was instructing a child. "That's why you go down to a planet with oceans to surf. You know, take a shuttle, take a vacation, take a break from reality and relax. Sun, sand, skimpy bathing suits, suntan oil and beach volleyball? It's called fun, Tyr. You should try it some time; you may like it!"

Harper shook his head in total amazement. "Figures I find myself the lover of someone from a race that has no concept of fun or relaxation. I have got to have the worst karma in the galaxy!"

"Exposure to the sun, like any radiation, is harmful. It causes genetic mutations, cancers," Tyr replied in distaste. He was perfectly happy remaining on board his ship. He had everything he needed here. Well, perhaps a wife would be good so he could have more children, but he preferred to leave his wives in safety on the homeworld. Having Harper here was enough for him. He would do his duty to his clan with his wives on his visits home.

Soap-slicked fingers moved more purposely over Harper's body, the thought enough to arouse him again.

"Oh, you're about as much fun as... well, as a Nietzschean. I happen to like baking myself in the sun and lying on the beach wearing next to nothing and riding waves. And I'm gonna do it too, so you can either come with me or stay on board ship, but I'm not gonna give up my hobby now that I don't have to!" Harper declared stubbornly, his lip jutting out in defiance and his eyes flashing in challenge.

Tyr's hands stilled, and he frowned. "And just how would you suggest that I explain to my crew what I'm doing? If you want me dead, there are easier ways than convincing a shipful of Nietzscheans that I'm insane and have to be put down."

"What are you talking about?" Harper frowned. "You let me go, right? I'm not a slave anymore, right?"

"No, but I am still a Nietzschean and the captain of this ship. It's not unheard of for one of my people to take a human lover, especially aboard ship, but to divert the ship? To sit in the sun?" He shook his head. "I would lose command of this ship and my life before the day was out."

"Why would you have to divert the ship? Couldn't I take one of the slipskids and go by myself? I mean, don't the human lovers get to go visit their families or spend time off ship?" Harper was genuinely perplexed. "I wouldn't want you to get in trouble or anything, so I guess that means you wouldn't be able to come with me, but dammit, Tyr, I wanna go surfing!!!" Harper continued petulantly.

Tyr closed his eyes in frustration, tilting his face up to allow the water to beat down on him. How could he make Harper understand? He straightened up again, his eyes again focused on his lover.

"No, they don't. It's not like us, not like this, Harper. Human lovers are usually one step above slaves with very few rights. Usually the only time they leave the ship is with the Nietzschean who claimed them or to leave permanently." He raised a hand. "I know this... thing... between us is different, Harper. But no one else will understand that. We have to try to find a way to make it work for both of us." He sighed, expecting Harper to demand his own way regardless.

Harper's lower lip quivered as he realized that maybe he'd never be able to enjoy his most cherished hobby again. "You mean, I'll never be able to surf again? Is there anything I'll be able to do, other than bend over and take it from you?" he snapped, then wilted as quickly as the anger had boiled.

"I'm sorry, that wasn't fair; I should know better. I do know better; I've lived this life before. I won't bring it up again, okay?" the young man sighed as he rinsed off the suds and began to quietly scrub Tyr, returning the favor.

Tyr's arms closed around the human, drawing him against his chest and stilling his arms. "No, that is not what I meant. We'll find a way, but you have to give me time, Harper. I will find a way to let you enjoy the things you want to do... whenever it's possible." He sighed, resting his chin on the other man's head. "I want you to be happy."

"Hey, it's no biggie, not in the grand scheme of things. I mean I'm here and you... like me. It's enough. I'll make it be enough. I don't want you dead or anything; I guess I'm kinda used to you being around now, you know," the younger man replied as he listened to the strong heartbeat beneath his ear.

It would have to be enough, because it was all that Tyr could really give him; he knew that, he had never been good at facing reality was all. Time to grow up and be a man, Harper m'lad, he told himself sternly as he quickly squeezed Tyr then returned to washing the Nietzschean clean.

Tyr watched him carefully, seeing that much of the happiness he'd displayed earlier had vanished again. His tone was also a good indicator of his mood, the Nietzschean had noticed. When he was happy, he grew cockier, but when he felt like a trapped slave, he grew dull and listless. Tyr refused to cage him so tightly that he lost the spark that made him special.

He pulled Harper to him for a fierce kiss, deciding there and then that he would find some way to allow him to go surfing. "So which is best world for this vacation of yours?" Surely there would have to be something on the world that would give him reason to go there.

Harper smiled a watery smile, his fingers brushing lightly across Tyr's face, tracing his neat beard and full lips. "It's enough that you offered. Really," he continued, his finger pressing into Tyr's lips when the Nietzschean tried to speak. "I'd rather have you alive and healthy and here with me than some smelly old waves and a piece of plastic any day. I... I guess this means I love you, captain," Harper admitted, finally able to get the words out.

Tyr stared at him, trying to decide how to answer. His immediate inclination, to scoff at the idea of love, would not gain an amicable reaction. Besides, he'd found himself doing some very odd things for Harper, even some counter to his own best interests. "I'm not certain what love is," he finally admitted slowly. "Nietzscheans don't believe in love. But I... feel something for you."

Harper smiled, somewhat wistfully, knowing full well that the Nietzschean could never love him. "It's okay, Tyr, I know Nietzscheans don't fall in love. I never expected you to. That you desire me is enough, that you want me in your bed over that cold bitch Freya is enough. If a suitable wife should come along, I'd even under," Harper's voice cracked, "understand that. It's your nature. I had to accept that when I accepted I wanted to be here with you."

Drawing the other man out of the shower and reaching for a towel to dry him off, Tyr wondered what he should say. Clearly Harper hadn't thought about it, hadn't realized... Deciding he would not lie to his lover, Tyr spoke. "Freya was simply my most recent wife. I am the dominant Alpha of Kodiak Pride. I have seven wives back on the homeworld."

"Seven," Harper replied faintly. "Oh god, you have seven wives? Guess," the young man's voice hitched, "guess I should have expected it - after all I'm just for fucking, not procreating, and it's the Nietzschean instinct to procreate. So I'm not real important in the scheme of your life, that's okay, I'll live. I..."

Harper bolted quickly and ran into the living room, then sank onto a chair, knowing there was really no place for him to go. "Big mistake doesn't even cover it, Harper old boy, catastrophic maybe, end of the world, possibly, but what's a broken heart in the grand scheme of things, right?"

Tyr followed after the fleeing human, relieved when he stopped in the outer room. He'd been afraid Harper might just keep running and never stop. He crouched beside the chair, placing a hand on Harper's knee. "Harper, there is nothing different. I am still the same I was an hour ago. My wives are on Fountainhead, and I am here. As the dominant Alpha, I must have children for the pride. You yourself admitted that. But here, there is only you. I will take no other lovers," he promised.

"But what happens when you need to go back?" Harper whispered painfully. "You can't stay captain of the Andromeda forever, and then you won't need me anymore." Harper knew he was being foolish; he knew he was making himself sick with all the what ifs and maybes and possiblys, but he couldn't help it. To finally let himself be happy with this man only to have it last for a few brief hours before reality came crashing back in - it was hard to swallow.

"I'm being stupid, I'm sorry. It's just gonna take a while for me to get used to this, okay?" he whispered, not looking at the older man as his much too overactive mind tried to process this newest bit of information logically.

"Harper," Tyr sighed. "Nothing has changed. I'm still here; you're still here; I still want you. That's not going to change. Not today, not when I have to do my duty to the pride. I will always come back to you. Trust me, Harper."

"I do trust you, Tyr, really I do. I'm trying. Have a little patience with me, okay? Human emotions suck at times. I almost wish I was Nietzschean, and then I wouldn't have to worry about them," Harper sighed, laying his head on the captain's shoulder.

"If that were true, none of this would be happening," Tyr admitted. He gazed down at the blond head on his shoulder, confused by all that Harper made him feel. He almost wished he'd never met the other man; life had been much simpler before. But no, he wouldn't give up Harper for anything. "Will you come to bed?" he asked.

Harper merely nodded and got to his feet, clinging to Tyr's hand in a vaguely childlike manner. "Can we... can you just hold me?" the younger man asked quietly. "I want to feel your arms around me, holding me tight."

Responding with actions rather than words, Tyr scooped the slighter man into his arms and carried him to the bed. He settled Harper against the pillows, then stretched out beside him, pulling him back into his arms. "Get some sleep."

"I do love you, Tyr," Harper whispered almost silently, bringing a large hand up to his mouth and kissing its palm gently. Twining his fingers through the Nietzschean's, Harper took his free hand and traced the arm spikes that marked the man so obviously a Nietzschean until he at last drifted off to sleep.

A commotion at the door woke the men in the middle of the night, and both sat up as Tyr's first officer burst into the room. "An attack!" he snarled, only a quick flick of his eyes indicating that he'd noticed Tyr's instinctive reaction to protect Harper by pushing him back.

"We received a message from the homeworld. Orca Pride attacked us, decimated Kodiak Pride, killed most of the women and children. Freya and Guderian led the attack. We are told that she left a message for you."

Tyr growled and jumped out of bed. "We are on our way home?" Receiving a nod in confirmation, he grabbed for clothes, dressing rapidly. He glanced back at Harper before he followed the other man out. "Stay here, Harper. Things will be unsettled. I'll be back as soon as I can."

"Stay here, Harper," the young man imitated, as the Nietzschean bolted out of the room, sticking his tongue out. "What am I, a dog?" Sighing, the engineer clambered out of bed, knowing there was no way he'd go back to sleep. Well, if he couldn't get onto the bridge one way...

Dressing quickly, Harper grabbed the innocuous looking duffel bag that held some very sensitive and advanced technologies - including the wet wire that would jack him into any computer system. "Time to go to work," he grinned.

Rommie's hologram appeared in front of Harper, smirking. "You don't really understand AIs, do you, Harper? Do you really think you could jack into me without my permission?" She shook her head. "Go ahead. I'll allow you some access."

Harper squeaked in surprise, then grinned shyly at the AI. "I just want to help him, is all," he admitted softly. "Well, that and know what the hell is going on. I'm not a complete moron. It's got something to do with me, doesn't it?" the engineer asked the hologram. "This attack, that is."

Although she knew the captain would prefer that Harper not know, Rommie thought he deserved to know the truth. "Yes. I'm sure the message Freya left will explain more, but when the captain divorced her and sent her back to her home pride, she vowed revenge for the insult. She was not pleased at being displaced by a male, human former slave. I'm not sure which she considered the greatest insult. The odds favor this attack on Kodiak Pride being at her instigation, along with Guderian."

"You're beginning to sound Nietzschean, you know," Harper informed the hologram with a smile as he prepped himself for wet wiring. "Dylan's gonna be pretty disappointed. He was raised on stories about you and his ancestor and the glorious battles you fought together before you were captured. Guess he thought you were kinda like a prisoner yourself, a High Guard ship in chains, waiting to be liberated."

"She was really pissed," the human suddenly admitted, changing topics completely. "Don't tell Tyr this, okay, 'cause the last thing we need is for him to go more ballistic than he already is but... I used to belong to Orca Pride. She recognized the mark and said she had the right to sell me - and use me or have others use me. The trip to the brothel, well, I'm glad I don't remember it. Rafe said I'd been sexually assaulted - multiple times."

"I know," Rommie admitted, "about you having been a slave to Orca, that is. I recognized the mark. I'm sure Captain Anasazi has as well. I think he was allowing you to choose what to talk about. I've never seen him act like this with anyone before. He's been doing some very out of character things since he met you. Congratulations, Mr. Harper. I think you've actually made a Nietzschean fall in love. I just hope it doesn't kill you both."

Harper paled. "Maybe I should have left with the others," he husked. "I don't want him to die, Rommie. I really don't." The young man trembled as he set up the cyber connections, then jacked himself into the AI.

The transition into a sentient ship was like comparing the Maru to the Andromeda - there was no comparison at all. Icy smooth, everything pristine and in its place, and there, waiting for him, was Rommie. "Wow. Oh wow. You're... amazing!" the young man gasped in total awe of the ship.

Rommie smiled, pleased at the compliment. "Thank you. It's nice to be appreciated for a change. I really don't think the Nietzscheans think of me as much more than a glorified autopilot. There, you should be able to see and hear everything on the bridge now."

Tyr glared at the viewscreen, waiting for the Andromeda to exit the slipstream near Fountainhead. He was not looking forward to the first up close view of Kodiak's lands, dreading what he would find.

Harper watched, amazed at the complexity of Andromeda's systems and the fact that she could generate such clear images for him to watch. He could see Tyr as perfectly as if he were standing next to him.

"Orca pride is known for its treachery," he commented to Rommie. "When I was a slave in their camps and they made me hack into systems, they would have me plant viruses and worms that would destroy everything once I was gone and they had their information. But they would always leave themselves a backdoor. And they'd always want to see the reaction that their havoc caused.

"Rommie, where are you coming out of slipstream?" Harper suddenly asked, getting a very bad feeling about the whole situation.

Rommie answered Harper with the same announcement she made on the bridge. "Exiting slipstream... now!" The ship transited back to normal space over the Kodiak lands. Even from that height, the sullenly burning ruins were visible as Rommie zoomed in.

Tyr's hands clenched into fists. "Orca Pride will die for this," he vowed.

As Rommie and the crew concentrated on the planet below them, Harper was frantically scanning the space around them, looking for what he didn't know, but he just had this gut feel-

"Tyr, off your starboard bow, an orbiting weapons platform. It's Orca Pride design!" Harper broke through the com system, earning a glare from Rommie because he'd betrayed his presence inside her systems.

Turning off the com, Harper blushed. "Sorry, couldn't help myself."

Startled by Harper's voice, Tyr was already checking what he'd said even as he made a mental note to find out how he'd managed that later. "Destroy that weapon!" he roared, enraged at this additional treachery.

Shortly afterward, the weapon now nothing more than disjointed pieces, Tyr and several others boarded a flyer to land and see if anyone was left alive.

"Rommie, Orca probably planted proximity bombs, and god knows what else, you may want to check outside before they disembark the flyer. Damn, I wish there was a way for you to be down there with them; your sensors would be a definite advantage. They're even sharper than a Nietzschean's enhanced senses," Harper groused as he initiated a scan of the lower atmosphere for any booby traps of any kind.

"I wouldn't tell the Nietzscheans that," Rommie replied with a smile, most of her attention on the small craft even now landing.

Tyr and his pride members stepped out into a scene out of nightmares. Bodies lay everywhere, men, women, children, the future of Kodiak lying bloody and broken in the ruins. The warriors looked around in disbelief. How could even an enemy clan destroy so many fellow Nietzscheans like this?

"Father." All heads turned at the sound, seeing Tyr's eldest son, a twelve-year-old, who led several of his siblings, including the youngest, who rested in his sister's arms. "It was Freya and Guderian. She left a message for you, said that was the only reason she didn't kill me." He raised his chin proudly. "I made sure the others were hidden while I distracted her."

"You did well, my son." Tyr nodded his approval, then held his hand out for the message. After reading it, he snarled furiously. "The Orcas have dared to do this because of one woman's injured pride."

"Freya?" one of the others asked.

Tyr nodded sharply. "I begin to think that Orca Pride's genes are not as unsullied as they would have us believe. This is madness!"

Hours later, the survivors had been ferried up to the Andromeda, and all that could be salvaged had been. Tyr took one last look around before stepping into the ship. "We will reclaim our lands and place," he vowed.

"Harper, there's an incoming transmission. It's the Eureka Maru, and it's for you." Rommie spoke gently, not wanting to startle the restlessly sleeping man. Harper had been up for hours, helping settle survivors, aiding the medical officer to treat the injured, getting emergency shelters set up in some of the unused cargo bays and watching over Tyr's children. In other words he was exhausted.

However, from the frantic and angry tone of voice of Captain Valentine and the way she demanded to speak to Harper, Rommie couldn't say no.

"Wha, hunh? Bek?" Harper mumbled as he dragged a hand over his face and tried to form a coherent thought in his over taxed brain. He vaguely recognized the fact that he was waking up alone and frowned in irritation. Tyr should have been next to him, dammit! Stumbling out of bed, taking enough time to throw on a pair of shorts in case one of Tyr's kids decided to wander in, Harper slumped into a chair in front of the monitor as Rommie made it flicker to life.

"Hey, Bek, what..."

"Harper, thank god you're okay!" the older woman sighed in relief. Behind her Dylan and Trance crowded into view to check on him as well.

"Beka, for shit's sake, Tyr's not abusing me or anything!" Harper responded with an aggravated sigh. "He's my lover, like Dylan is yours. He'd probably kill anyone who came within 50 feet of me with the intent to hurt me!" "Never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad to hear it," Beka replied darkly. "Uncle Sid's is gone, Harper; the building looked like a bomb went off in it. Uncle Sid is dead, and I... couldn't find Rafe anywhere," the blonde woman admitted with a slight quiver in her voice. Dylan's hand came out to rest comfortingly on her shoulder as he took over the tale.

"It was a bunch of Nietzscheans who did it. Sid's whoremaster said it was the woman who sold you. She went looking for you, and when she couldn't find you, she and the Nietzscheans went ballistic and leveled the place, killing Sid in the process. She kept screaming how she'd find the Orca whore and make him suffer before he died. What's going on, Harper?" "Oh god, oh god oh god!" Harper shot out of his chair and began to pace. "It's Freya. She and Orca just slaughtered most of Kodiak pride and pretty much leveled their capital. Can you... can you get to... Rommie, can you give them our coordinates?" Harper asked the ship frantically.

"Transmitting them now, Harper. Shall I ask Tyr to return to the quarters, stressing that it's of great importance?"

"Please, Rommie." Turning back to the screen, Harper continued. "Meet us here, I'll tell Tyr you're coming. He's gonna want to hear this too. And you'll be under his protection; they won't try and recapture you. I promise." "All right, Harper, but the first sign of trouble we're outta here, and this time we're taking you with us!"

Arriving in time to hear that last comment, Tyr growled. Narrowed eyes fixed on the screen, and he moved to Harper's side, a possessive hand curving over his shoulder. "Touch him and you die."

Ignoring them after that, Tyr turned his full attention to Harper. "The ship said you needed me?" Unconsciously, the hand on Harper's shoulder stroked him lightly, the thumb rubbing gently over his vulnerable throat in full view of the screen.

"They're just trying to protect me, Tyr," Harper snapped, exasperated that he was being used as the rope in a Alpha tug of war, then sighed and relaxed into the caress.

"The brothel where Freya sold me to has been destroyed. It was owned by Beka's uncle, which was why I wasn't a slave there, he recognized me and let me go. I just chose to work there for... well, for reasons," he admitted with a blush. "Uncle Sid's been killed, and Rafe, Beka's older brother, has gone missing. Freya was looking for me. Started shouting about finding the Orca whore and subjecting him to a slow and painful death," Harper continued, shivering with the realization that someone was really out to kill him.

"The Maru's on its way here. We've got a common enemy now, Tyr, and they can help. Dylan, Beka and Trance are good in a fight, and Trance is a pretty good med tech too."

Tyr frowned and looked back at the screen, eyeing the three beings disdainfully. "I have a ship full of Nietzscheans." Forestalling the protest he could see Harper forming, he sighed. "But if you wish them here, I will explain it. Somehow." Tired of having to look back and forth between the screen and Harper, he picked the other man up and sat in the chair, settling Harper in his lap.

"You will be permitted to land when you arrive. One of my men, Agravaine, will meet you." He smiled slightly, his eyes meeting Dylan's. "If you know your family history, you may recognize him. Gaheris Rhade was one of his ancestors."

Harper yawned and snuggled into his lover's lap, resting his head on Tyr's shoulder, not noticing the looks of resignation that crossed both Beka and Dylan's faces. "Thanks, Tyr. I do want them here. They're my family," he admitted quietly.

This elicited a smile from everyone watching and a giggle from Trance. "They're cute, aren't they?" she asked her shipmates.

"Cute? He's a Nietzschean, Trance; Nietzscheans aren't cute!" Beka muttered under her breath.

"I've seen pictures of Rhade, so I probably will recognize him. Thank you for your understanding. Maru out."

Tyr stared at the blank screen for a moment before moving his gaze to the man snuggled in his lap. "This is not going to be easy, you know," he warned. "My people will not be pleased by the presence of humans when we are in the midst of a clan war." He shook his head. "We will work it out. Now, however, you need sleep."

He stood up, holding Harper close, and carried him to the bed. "Are you going to stay here for a change and actually do what I tell you?"

"Is our clan war too," Harper replied with a yawn, wrapping his arms around Tyr's neck and snuggling deeper into his embrace. "She killed Beka's uncle. Beka has the right to revenge too, ya know."

When the Nietzschean tried to deposit him on the bed, Harper clung even tighter. "No, you're suppos'd to be sleeping next to me," he slurred with a pout. "Don' like sleeping alone! 'Sides," the young man continued, yawning, "I never lef' the room when you told me to. Was here all the time 'til the survivors started coming on board - jus' ask Rommie."

"And the little detail of your voice coming out of the ship's systems?" Tyr reminded. He shook his head. "Never mind that now. Sleep. You're barely awake as it is." When Harper's arms just tightened more, he laughed slightly. "All right, you win. I'll stay for a little while." He stretched out beside Harper, arms securely around the smaller man.

"'S better, you belong here, with me!" Harper yawned as he crawled on top of the huge man and settled himself comfortably, using Tyr's chest as his pillow. In seconds he was out like a light.

Tyr watched him fondly for a short time before falling asleep as well, his arms tightening around the human as he slept.

END

  since 02-17-07

 

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